I didn’t see it coming. I hadn’t intended it to happen. But last week, Average Us became controversial. I wrote a post about Why Pastors Shouldn’t Teach Tithing and lots of you showed up to read why, tell me you agree, or disagree, or imply that I’m a false prophet.
(Phew! I’m just a little too average for all that. And btw – we Christians should give generously to support the mission Jesus has given to the church. I explain how much we should give, and why we should give, in What Jesus and His Apostles Taught About Giving.)
One of the disagree-ers was Pastor Tom from California. He wrote a very thoughtful comment explaining why he disagreed, and I thought it was such a great example of Christ-like humility and charity that I asked his permission to offer a reply in this post. Here is Pastor Tom’s comment:
Were you taught the tithing system?
I was. I believed it, practiced it, and even preached it myself. But no more.
The tithing system is what I call the modern teaching that if you tithe, God will bless you; if you don’t, He won’t. You know the Pastor is going to preach the system if the sermon text is this passage from the the Prophet Malachi:
“Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, “How have we robbed you?” In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” —
The system goes like this: Continue reading
A few weeks ago, when resolution-making or goal-setting was top of mind for many of us, I too, was thinking about how to make the most of the new year. And so, I asked God this simple question in prayer:
“How should I spend my time in 2013?”
Now, I must say that the answer that came to mind barely a heartbeat later was so immediate and so obviously what I should be doing, that I didn’t question it.