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Giving to God
Giving is part of Christian living:
giving to the church – giving through the church to special needs – and giving directly to persons or charities in need.

Lies in God's name!
as with all that is good, the act of giving as a devotion to God has been as corrupted as any other good thing. Some modern 'evangelists' in particular have defiled the issue by appealing for, what is effectively, a bribes-for-blessing giving to God (meaning me or my group). Some have even deceptively called this a 'wealth-transfer-covenant'/contract with God conditioned on the giving of a full tithe (10%) of gross income – that is, tithing to the church on your tax to the government as well.
In his 2001 income tax return, Hagee's personal income package amounted to more than $1.25 million compared to Billy Graham's total of $202,403 for the same year.
Pastor John Hagee of San Antonio's Cornerstone Church, Texas in the USA, is typical of this modern perversion of the Bible's teaching on Christian giving. It twists the motive of the heart and so violates the character of Christian giving.
His says –
"When you give, it qualifies you to receive God's abundance ...If God gives to you before you give to him, God himself will become a liar ...If you're not prospering, it's because you're not giving." (San Antonio Express-News, June 20, 2003).

Total Nonsense!
The Bible actually says:
'the love of money is the root of all evil' (1 Tim.6:10).
An old
satirical parody of the twelfth-century AD uses misquotes and twists of Scripture to mockingly underscore this abuse –
'Here beginneth the Gospel according to the Mark of Silver [silver coinage]...
Then the Lord Pope, hearing that the cardinals and servants had received many gifts from the [rich] clerk [clergyman], fell sick nigh unto death. But the rich man sent him a medicine of gold and silver, and straightway he was healed.
Then the Lord Pope called unto him the cardinals and the servants and said to them, 'Brethren, see to it that no man deceive you with empty words. For, lo! I give you an example. Even as I receive so receive ye also.'
Rome had become so associated with financial abuse at this time that the name itself was used as an acronym for the misquote – 'Money is the root of all evil' (Radix omnium malorum avaritia, R.o.m.a).
Throughout Christian history, human nature has stained and perverted the sacred act of worship-giving.
Papal abuse!
For instance, Pope Innocent III ruled that expenditure incurred in production of income was not to be deducted before calculating the tithe to the church; a practice still perpetrated in some Protestant and Evangelical churches even today. Paying a tax to God on your tax to human authorities (which this is) was certainly not part of God's intention.
giving ten percent of one’s personal income, has been one of the most used methods of giving to the local church, and has served as a useful guide in Christian stewardship of resources. But Christ did not give it to His church as a law, even though God had incorporated it into the structure of Israel's national religion.
pre-dates the Bible and is found in ancient history as a basic act of submission and reverence to the king or governor of one’s land, and as a temple-tax in Mesopotamia. This background is reflected in Abraham’s initiative in voluntarily giving a tithe from his war-plunder to local Jebusite city-king Melchizedek of Salem, in the presence of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was a public statement of great moral and spiritual significance, in that particular circumstance at that time. It was especially significant to the other kings present, because of the contrastive moral character of Melchizedek who had lost nothing and so needed no compensation. This act of Abraham's submission also continues in his borrowing of Melchizedek's Canaanite terminology to refer to God Most High.
Genesis 14:18-23.
Abraham's grandson, Jacob, incorporated the tithe as a sacrifice to God as his king in his vow of service to God in exchange for protection, provision, and safe return to his parental home in the Land of Promise.
"Then Jacob made a vow, saying –
'If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go,
and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace,
then the LORD shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house.
And of all that You give me I will give a full tenth to You
Genesis 28:20-22.
In the infancy of Jacob's faith (at Bethel) this was his very limited view of God. He still needed a Peniel experience to bring him into the reality of God's relationship to him.
Genesis 32:30.
It is
against this background that God incorporated this pre-existing tithing practice into Israel’s national covenant with Himself. Unfortunately, the tithe as part of God's national covenant with Israel, has been taken out of context by church leaders and turned into a part of the New Covenant on the basis that 'God does not change' (concerning His promises and warnings of a curse regarding Israel's national compliance with its Covenant commitment to God). That is a dishonest 'sleight of hand' that dishonours the context of Holy Scripture and so treats God's Word with disrespect.

The Tithe in Israel
  Both pre-date Sinai,
both were incorporated into Israel's Covenant.
both are good today,
but neither are part of the New Covenant in Christ.  
If the one is mandatory
then so is the other also.
The Sinai
Law of God's covenant with Israel incorporated the tithe in its original significance and used it to provision the Priests and Levites during their sanctuary service (which at the time of Jesus was for about two weeks in every year for each of the 24 orders of priests) as well as feeding the celebrants during their celebration of God (Deut.12:17-18). Only every third year was the "year of tithing" but freewill offerings could be brought at any time (Deut.14:28; 26:12).
The tithe to the Levites in Israel was in lieu of an inheritance in the Promised Land. (Num.18:24).
Every third year in Ancient Israel, the tithe was to be stored to feed the Levites, widows, orphans, and the needy, including foreign travellers in the area (Deut. 26:12-13). This is conveniently ignored by many tithe-teaching churches today.
The tithe was not only for the Levites but also for "the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow" (Deut.26:12). The Priests and Levites were also to give a tithe of this tithe in their sacrifices to God, continuing its significance of thanksgiving and submission (Num. 18:21-26). This latter certainly does not mean that local churches or pastors today should pay a tithe on their income to their next higher level in their church denominational structure, although there is nothing at all wrong with that.
The Law of this Covenant with its rules and regulations, which by its strictness often exposed the incessant selfishness and corruption of humanity, was completely done away with by God in the crucifixion of Christ, as Paul so eloquently reminds us –
"abolishing the Law of commandments and ordinances,
that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two
" [Jew and non-Jew].
Ephesians 2:15.
resisting the newness of the new, have argued that because tithing pre-dates he Law and comes from Abraham the Friend-of-God's example it therefore applies unchanged today. If so, then circumcision belongs likewise to the believing community today, for it also did not originate in the Law, and this is precisely how some in the early church thought and it required a public apostolic rebuke to refute it!
If tithing is mandatory today then so is circumcision for the same reasons!
Galatians 2:14.
the beginnings of Christianity as described in the Acts of the Apostles, the man Joseph who was nicknamed Barnabas (Encourager) because of the character he demonstrated, is presented as an example of Christian conduct.
We are
told that he sold his assets to help fund this early community of believers (Ac.4:36), and it is not without significance then that we are also told that it was this same man whom God used to –
    integrate Saul of Tarsus into the believing community in Jerusalem (Ac.9:27);
    later bring his ministry into the leadership of the church in Antioch (Ac.11:25-26); and,
    leads Saul into his first missionary journey which changed the face of Christianity forever (Ac.13:2).
Barnabas remains an example to us today, for our attitude regarding personal possessions will reflect our heart-attitude toward God.

Christian Stewardship Today
Christ's New Covenant of love, it had became common in the early Christian church to sell one’s assets in love to support the welfare action and any other needs among the believers. In fact, equality in material possessions had become a God-given goal for all believers from the time of John the Baptist's heralding of the New (Lk.3:11; 2). The Apostle Paul taught this same goal of material equality in his ministry among the Christian churches (2 Cor.8:13-15), and so it should also continue among us today. . .
was more than social charity. This was a sense that all that any Christian had was held in trust according to the love of God, and this care for others started at the 'house of God' – the spiritual family of believers.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need
Acts 2:44-45.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them
and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need
Acts 4:34-35.
was not a ban on private property. This was an over-riding sense of trusteeship in each believer for the stewardship of all resources for the common good. Paul actively taught this across the churches beyond Palestine –
"So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people,
and especially to those who belong to the family of faith
Galatians 6:10.
Apart from liquidizing assets for God’s work among the needy, the early Christians practiced regular giving associated with their coming together to worship God and to spiritually encourage each other –
Now concerning the collection for the saints [charity to needy believers in Judea]:
as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.
On the first day
[Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection] of every week,
each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come
1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
was taking support for the poor to Judaea in the light of a coming famine prophesied by Agabus (Ac.11:28). Individuals gave toward this on the first day of each week (Sunday) to their local church when they came together so that a special collection would not be necessary when Paul arrived among them. There was no fixed percentage or fixed amount. It was simply as one had prospered.
As far as Christian ministry and teaching is concerned, the Lord Jesus had instructed His trainee preachers –
Ministry is free-of-charge! "...You received [My ministry/teaching] without paying; give [ministry/teaching] without pay." Matthew 10:8.
some preachers have twisted this Scripture to teach financial generosity (toward their church, of course) in contradiction of its own context. If this Scripture in verse eight may be applied today irrespective of its historical context then verse ten of the same context should also be taught to every Christian (take no bag and no change of clothing) which is so obviously not true.
Christian ministry is
always free-of-charge
if it is Christian !
is teaching that their ministry is to be given without charge. This was to be their attitude, but that did not mean they where therefore to fund themselves in their preaching or teaching work. Jesus forbade it (Matt.10:9-10; Lk.10:4; 1 Cor.9:14).
Christ's prohibition on self-funding therefore drove his apostle's to trust God and accept the support of those who appreciated and benefited from their ministry. Paul reinforces this principle of Jesus among the churches even though, as a foundation-laying preacher, he often took secular employment as an exception to fund himself in his work for God (1 Cor.9:4-15; 2 Tim.2:4-7).
than this: on the congregation's side, the Word of God teaches us that the believers/disciples are to ensure that the person who teaches them the Word of God also shares in all their good things, that is, enjoys the same material standard of living as themselves (Gal.6:6) –
  "One who is taught the Word must share all good things with the one who teaches [the Word]" Galatians 6:6.
Love and giving go together. This is Christianity, the Bible's way.
resources of time, money, possessions and influence, are God-given equipment to do as the priorities of God's love dictates and which it also gives us the necessary wisdom to do . . .

See: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL's article of November 23, 2007, entitled 'The Backlash Against Tithing'.

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