Thursday, February 16, 2012
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV).
The other day, I happened to meet an old friend, a dear brother in the Lord who has been studying the Bible dispensationally for a few years. He told me that, after decades of bondage in denominational systems, he finally understood his Bible, and added, “I realize much of today’s ‘Christianity’ is money, money, money!” My, sad to say it, but these few words contain much truth.
Months ago, another Christian brother told me that he watched a famous preacher’s television program. Shaking his fist, the pious preacher warned, “If you are not tithing, you are under God’s curse!” (Certainly, the preacher was biblical, for he was quoting Malachi 3:8-11. However, he was not dispensational because he willingly ignored that the “cursed nation” spoken of there was Israel, not America… according to Malachi 1:1 anyway).
According to the Bible, preachers such as the aforementioned heretic were besieging Corinth. The dear Corinthian believers were enthusiastically (!) letting false teachers slip in and “take of [them]” (2 Corinthians 11:20)—people were swindling them in the name of “God”/religion! In fact, Paul calls these false teachers “fools” (verse 19). Paul would use this term to describe the thousands of pastors who are still extorting, “robbing their church members blind!” If God should be unhappy with someone, it would be with the greedy preachers, not the meager givers.
Beloved, never, ever let someone make you give a certain amount. That is legalism (tithing), and legalism is against grace. Grace leads us to give “as [we] purposeth in [our] heart.” Unlike Israel, we do not give “grudgingly” or “of necessity.” We give “cheerfully” (happily, wholeheartedly), and as much or as little as WE decide (today’s Scripture). God is not cursing anyone today, and that includes people who do not give money to Him (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
God’s grace is not against giving, for Paul taught giving under grace in 2 Corinthians chapters 8, 9, and 10. God’s grace is against tithing (obligatory giving, giving under law).