New Testament Giving – We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
Many people misunderstand my anti-tithe position many times. I would like to clarify my position a little more. I believe sacrificial, spirit-led giving is still commanded to continue to support God’s work. After all, the Spirit is the one that ordains each ministry, so why can’t others listen to the Spirit’s calling to support those ministries? For those that beckon to the Spirit’s call to serve in ministry, there are the same amount that beckon to the Spirit’s call to give financially to that ministry. I don’t know the exact amount that the Spirit of God tells each person to give, but don’t be quick to criticize the unknown. This is why it is called walking by faith when you are controlled by the Spirit.
There is no difference between the Spirit calling pastor Bob into the unknown to start a church, and then calling us into the same unknown to support it. The spiritual calling of pastor Bob is no more of a vague command then the spiritual calling is for us to give.As each day goes along, the Spirit is constantly revealing our next steps. Each step of faith we take, the Spirit begins to illuminate the next one. If we decide to go off path, well, that is our decision. That’s why It is called freewill giving. Whether you obey the Old Testament law of tithing or you obey in the giving commands of the Spirit, we each have a freewill to obey or disobey. Pastor Bob cannot neglect his ministry without disobeying the Spirit, just as much as i can’t neglect my financial support without disobeying the Spirit. I do not like to use the term “freewill giving” to describe how i give, because whether or not you believe in the tithing mandate, you have a freewill to obey or disobey. As our pastors are called by the Spirit to lead the ministry in each direction, we are also called in the same way to financially support it.
Spirit-led giving provides an invaluable system for checks and balances. Have you ever heard the phrase, “if God ordains it, He’ll sustain it”? What it means is If the Spirit of God provides the gifts to ordain a ministry then doesn’t He have the capability to provide the gifts to sustain it? Let’s think back to the nation of Israel, and how their system of checks and balances worked. The Mosaic law guided the Levites and priests during the operation of religious faculties, so in turn God also included within the law a means to support the ministry. The Levites operated under the law, and the people gave a tenth under the law. Both Israel and the Levites were under the restrictions of the same guide.
What we’ve done today is guide our Church by the Spirit but support it by the law. We now have created 2 guides that contradict one another. The Spirit of God no longer has the sole authority to confirm Godly ministry through financial support. Why should the law have the right to come in and demand that others give to a ministry that the law never ordained? If a pastor knew that financial support came from the Spirit of God instead of a required law, he would think twice before initiating a building project. What is the incentive for a pastor to seek the counsel of the Spirit if the finances are dependant on the tithing law? All he has to do is make sure the numbers work out in the accounting books.
God’s system of checks and balances is still the same today. Of course the Church is no longer led by the Mosaic law, instead the Church is guided by the Spirit with our serving and in turn we are guided by the Spirit with our giving. For we walk by faith and not by sight.