What do you think about stories of people giving money and then they magically get back exactly the same amount or exactly double the amount they gave? After listening to so many stewardship sermons, i’ve heard so many pastors give a story where they would give $210 in the offering and magically they would get a check in the mail that was almost the exact amount that they gave in the offering. These kind of stories kind of twist my bones a little. Who am I to say that God didn’t do that? What evidence is there to say that God gave them almost to the penny what they gave to him? Hey, maybe if they had a little more faith, God might have given them the exact amount down to the penny, back.
I don’t doubt that God rewards those who sacrifice for him. Maybe i get bent out of shape because i do not have a story where I gave such and such amount and God gave me back twice that amount through an anonymous gift. I guess I get annoyed at these stories because it gives me the idea that God is a slot machine.
Here’s what i mean. Do these miracle stories happen every time you give? No. For the people that do tell these magnificent stories, it only happens to them once in a blue moon. But when it does happen, they love to publicly display this miracle as though God does this all the time. Its like when someone sits down in front of a slot machine. They keep popping in quarters and pulling the lever, time after time. Hey, soon enough, after enough quarters and enough time, you’ll hit the jackpot. Don’t murder me here or get me wrong. I know God provides miraculously for his children, but do you know how many people can give a testimony about them winning the jackpot? probably the same amount of people that can show how they got the same amount of money back in return that they gave. Hmmm . . . maybe God is a slot machine?
I think we are getting to the same chapter now. I’m sorry if my wording cofused anybody. I’m not seeking help or enlightenment. I got it.Some anyway. This was years ago when we were force fed the tithing doctrine from the pulpit. It stopped our street ministry, which was very anointed, and claimed our wallets and souls.What did we know? The pastor holds the truths of the word…right?
We ‘no longer live there’. My point is this. This is what the I.C. is doing to the body of Christ. It is muzzling and shackling the Holy Spirit along with the folks with the false, man-made doctrine of devils, tithing. It burdens the needy and let’s off easy the well to do. If you are well to do, then you are free to pursue your heart’s desire without monetary hindrance. If you are poor, you are stuck in a hard place.
The poor are the one’s we are to look to and support. We are not to lavish our opulence by the sweat of the brow of the widow or the poor.
The second would be the church planter or missionary.
And you are correct when you say that the church is the people. Ekklesia. The called out ones. Webster’s take on the word church is ‘a place of worship.’
The only real place in the N.T. where the word ‘church’ is legal is in the book of Acts where it is talking about pagan temples.
I personally deplore the word ‘church’. There has been so much confusion wrought by the application of this term.
For instance. We are the church. So how do you ‘go to yourself’. I am a Leesley. Can one ask me ‘where do you go to Leesley’. Foolishness and non-sense at best. We need to jettison the word and that right quickly.
We have morphed from a living organism, the alive body of Christ, into a dead organization complete with brick and mortar, sound systems, video systems,CEO type leadership, complete with salary, perks, and rertirement plans. Little towers of babel dotting the landscape. Independant kingdoms of men and their plush dreams of self interest basking in the lime light of the little people’s adoration. Many, of the smaller sort, are honest though and disinterested..to a degree. My hat off to those few. But still the whole pyramid, top down authority construct patterned after the world’s structure, soundly condemned by Christ Himself yet very much alive today and thriving for ‘my people love it so.’
My God, where are the true servants of the Most High God? You know, the ones on their knees washing the feet of their brethren and that without charge? Those who watch out for the wolves instead of being one. The one’s who look to the poor and the heart-broken with spiritual discernment and compassion extending the supply for their need, not by mere words but by concrete, durable action.
Those humble men and women of humility and shame facedness, basking in His light, enduring afflictions and reproach, counting all esteem and applause as rotting, toxic refuse infested with the maggots of avarice and arrogance which they flee in horror lest the slime touches their blood washed garment.
Jesus said [my paraphrase] ‘If anyone of you desire to be the big cheese, then become a humble, obscure, not in your face, servant.’
Many will enter heaven with an empty poke and a down cast countenance cemented by a life time of wood, hay and stubble ministry. How grand they were on this planet beheld and upheld by the decieved masses but how shameful and irreputable in the hereafter.
I wait for the true servants even as the Lord searches the earth for those whose heart is perfect before Him. May I one day be found worthy to be counted among those who have no name on this fallen earth and yet have a name that is cursed in the realms of hell.
So now you’ve heard my veiw on tithing and churchianity. I’m sure some will try to correct me. devon [smily face].
Bravo Devon, beautifully written! I underestimated your understanding. I love it! :) How long have you loathed your flesh? How long have you waited for the exacting master vent his fury upon your enimies. I have to say I once thought like you! But my will to continue long suffering for a greater resurrection is subsiding…i’m afraid I cannot endure. I long for greener pastures and envy the rich. I pray that I am still the LORD’s advocate but I fear the concequence of my backslide.
If heaven cost more than my blood and generosity then I most likely will be turned away at the gate!
I Love what the Lord has done for me and us and I will continue to be generous…but as for holding fast to the scripture, in reality the only verse I want to keep is “Eat,Drink and be Merry for tomorow WE DIE!”
Jared, I have an article titled ‘Raging Anointed Men’. Not sure where to place it. devon
What do you mean you’re not sure where to place it? Are you looking for a place where it can get the most publicity? Did you write the article?
Are you tormented by the words of the bible? I have been tormented for almost 8 years. But on the up side, I have had a personal encounter with our maker. :) Let me give you an example of what i’m tourmented by…
(Proverbs 18:22) He who finds a wife, finds what is good and recieves favor from the LORD.
1 Corinthians 7:28
But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
It makes me feel as though i’m damned if I marry because of the many troubles and i’m also damned if I don’t marry because the need for companionship!
If I choose to marry i’ll feel like I let God down and if choose not to marry I feel like i’m missing out on a lot of fun!
I imagine if anyone has had a fearful encounter with the LORD like I have, they are also tormented by this dicission.
Without a woman I feel incomplete, although God tells me I am whole and that he is all I need. I’ve been in a place that is not much fun for a very long time.
Those who have never experienced true fear of the Lord might say ” oh, just brush it off and move on. Do what you want to do!” But they have never been beaten….by something invisible but never the less real and very painful. That is why I work out my salvation with fear and genuine trembling.
He’s one scary hombre! But awesome too!
On that note ….for a long time I had a problem with trying to praise him.
Things have gotten better and i’m having a look around with a creator perspective and the world is awesome! He is good!
I’m workin my butt off to find my place in it though!
In the past 8 years things have happened to me that most everyone hopes won’t happen to them. I’ve been a victem of identity theft (6 credit cards amassing 18000 dollars in debt)My mobile home got hit by a hurricane that ripped off the front porch and car port, I’ve gone without hot water for 2 months and without air conditioning for an entire Florida summer, I’ve dealt with rat infestation ( i’ve heard them bang their heads on the bottom of my bathtub and i’ve heard them racing on my roof at night) For no apearant reason, one morning I woke up to a kitchen full with a swarm of flies that were flying back and forth bouncing off opposing windows. ( I sucked them out of the air with a shop-vac) haha There must have been hundreds of them…literally hundreds!!! Some say it’s bad luck I guess….but I know different! :)
I call it a cluster-fu** of biblical perportion!!!
I’m no slacker!! I’ve got an A+ CompTIA computer certification, I passed Florida Real-Estate Course I (salesperson course) I’ve traded stocks on the stock market just as it began to crash in 2001. I recently passed both class D and class D Florida Security Guard Training and somehow by the grace of God I’m 34 with no children and I find myself living month after month on about 100 dollars or less in my bank account after bills. I even quit drinking for 6 of these last 8 years and I quit smoking for 2 of them. For me it seems that success is like trying to grasp oil in my hand.
True prosperity has managed to escape me time and time again in SPITE OF MY EFFORTS. I was once even on the dean’s list in college for 3 semesters.
Some might say it’s because I don’t tithe that God has broght this upon me! Truth be known, I’ve given more money in the past 8 years to needy strangers because the spirit of the LORD is upon me! Oh I have a choice not to do it, but I AM COMPELLED BY TRUE FEAR THAT IS A CONSUMING FIRE.
*BROUGHT* (SPELLING CORRECTION)
He gives new meaning to the phrase “knowedge is power”.
If I told any lie in the course of this story it is against my will. This testimony is TRUE to the best of my ability to recollect!