Christian giving in tough economic times

I have written several posts about the importance of tithing and giving above normal tithe.  I have a few thoughts about giving during these tough economic times.  First, we are still required to give during this time of economic hardship.  This is where God builds our faith so that we can understand that we are to trust Him for all that we need. 

Today I had the opportunity to give another we besides monetarily.  I drove to our local Blook Connection and donated blood.  This is a great way that we can practice Christian stewardship.  Yes, I believe that we are supposed to manage God’s resources.  So if we are in Christ, and our bodies are the Temples of The Holy Spirit, then our blood is His.  This means that it is a resource that we can give so that others can have life.  Christians you should be doing this too. 

Wait, before you say that you are scared of needles, you should know that I am too.  The nurse laughed at me today when I looked straight up as she stuck me.  It doesn’t hurt as bad as we think it does.  You can do it too. 

While at The Blood Connection I noticed that there are other ways to give too.  You can give plasma.  I found out that plasma is needed for burn victims.  Here are some of the reasons that you should consider donating plasma.

Now, there are many people who have seen those commercials of children fighting different types of cancer asking for financial help.  If you are like me, you may try to figure out how to budget some money so that you can help.  Yet, you may not have the resources to do this.  A good alternative to giving financially to those who are fighting cancer is to give platelets.  Cancer patients need platelets and The Blood Connection said they need 50 platelets a day.  That averages out to 50 donors a day.  Now, this will take a little longer than simply giving blood.  You will need and hour and a half.  You can give platelets a little more frequently than whole blood.   

Those who desire to be missional to their communities should consider how they can help meet the needs of all who are victims whether of disease, or any other trauma.   

Giving these types of God’s resources only requires that you care, are not looking for recognition, love others as your self, and able to sacrifice/steward God’s time.  Plus, you get free cupcakes and soda.  And, if you are a husband, you don’t have to do any strenuous work around the house for the day.  This means that your wife will have to allow you to relax so that you blood can begin to build back up.   

My advice is that we should all do our part while we are healthy.  Because a day may come that we will be those who are in need too.  Plus, I think God is glad when we do.

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Donating blood, Giving, Missional Resources, tithing

10 responses to “Christian giving in tough economic times

  1. May I respond to your worldwide Internet post?

    Gentiles were never under Hebrew worship laws (Ex 19:5-6). The only way for Hebrews to be blessed by tithing was by observing all 600+ commands of the OT law which is impossible. See Deu5 28 and 29; Neh 10:29; Mal 4:4.

    Also, nothing Abraham did in Genesis 14 is an example of faith for the Church. (1) only pagan spoils of war, (2) not his own property, (3) he gave it all away and (4) he gave the 90% to the king of Sodom.

    Malachi 3:10 has been replaced by Galatians 3:10; 1:8-9; 3:1-2 and 2 Cor 3:10.

    Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    According to Deuteronomy 28-29, the entire law was a TEST. Obey and be blessed; disobey and be cursed.

    Although money was common in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money is never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of tithes.

    Tithes were not firstfruits either. Firstfruits were extremely small token offerings. Compare Deut 26:1-10; Neh 10:35-39; 12:44 and 2 Chron 31:5.

    Jesus only discussed tithing as “matters of the law” in Mt 23:23. Tithing is never commanded o the Church in terms of grace after Calvary. Period. NT giving is primarily sacrificial with no set limit up or down. 2 Cor 8:10-15.

    For over 150 articles on tithing see: http://www.tithing-russkelly.com

  2. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    _________________________________
    Making Money $150 An Hour

  3. Scott Uselman

    I maintain that Jesus Himself said that He did not come to abolish the Law, instead He came to fulfill it. Gentiles who converted to Judaism would have been under the Law too. Otherwise, God would have been requiring more from one group than another.

    10% is hard to track in the New Testament. Yet, Jesus seemed to expect more than 10% when giving. He usually said He wanted All.

    Obviously, it is conviction for a person. As Protestants, we are able to interpret the Bible how we feel led. But, for those of us who have committed to a local church to pay 10%, we are still committed. The Bible points out that yes should yes and our no should no.

    I think that God still expects His people to give tithes. Paul seemed to reinforce this when he talked about ministers being worthy of wages. The question that has to be asked is what influenced his thinking? Could it be that he was influenced by the Law?

  4. Jesus did not abolish the law. He fulfilled it and then set it aside because of the provisions of the better new covenant. The new covenant was not merely a restatement of the old per Heb 8:8-13.

    Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    Rom 7:4 believers are dead to law
    Col 2:12-16 the enmity of the law was slain
    Eph 2:15 abolished the enmity
    Heb 7:12, 18 changed — annulled

    —“Gentiles who converted to Judaism would have been under the Law too.”

    Jesus did not require his Gentile disciples to become circumcised and observe the law.
    The early church did not either (Acts 15 and 21).

    —“10% is hard to track in the New Testament. Yet, Jesus seemed to expect more than 10% when giving. He usually said He wanted All.”

    Jesus did not command either the rich young ruler or Zaccheus to tithe any of their great wealth. Saying that he “wanted all” means nothing unless you are willing to explain and demonstrate this in your own life. Yes, our “all” should be available for God’s use, but I know of nobody who gives 100% of their income to the Church.

    —“For those of us who have committed to a local church to pay 10%, we are still committed.”

    If you made such a commitment following your heart and soul, then you should keep your commitment. If you made such commitment in fear of being cursed by an annulled curse of the law, then you are giving for the wrong reason.

    —“I think that God still expects His people to give tithes.”

    You opinion does not change the biblical definition of tithes as only food from inside Israel. Your blessings as a Christian only come from New Covenant promises of giving sacrificially –not giving 10%.

    —“Paul seemed to reinforce this when he talked about ministers being worthy of wages.”

    In 1 Cor 9:12-19 Paul boasted about his “wage” being the ability to work for free. He was worthy of some support but chose to refuse it. He was worthy of limited support but the Bible nowhere teaches that gospel workers MUST be full time. That is the choice of the church which calls the preacher.

    —“The question that has to be asked is what influenced his thinking? Could it be that he was influenced by the Law?”

    Read your church history books from any major denomination. They all tell the same thing. As a Jewish rabbi Paul considered it a sin to be paid to teach God’s Word. He accepted help because he was poor. Look at 1 Cor 9:13. It is self-destructive because it opens the door to every kind of support given at the Temple. Verse 9:14 only makes sense in the context of 9:7-14 as a whole. Living of the gospel means “by gospel principles.”

  5. Scott Uselman

    I will look over your comments for a while before I respond. I have a couple of questions though. What is your opinion of the Old Testament? Is it still the Word of God? If so, are there principles in it that should and could be applied to this age?

    I think your argument comes down to your view of the Old Testament and the role the Law plays in Christianity.

  6. Scott
    Thanks for the dialog. The following answer to your question is from chapter 17 in my book. Chapter 18 is also relevant. If you still have questions I will be glad to answer it in more detail.

    A Completely New Covenant

    What would you think of a lawyer who tried to argue a case in a court in the United States by using the constitution and laws of, say, England or China? You would probably say, “You have got to be joking! Right?” Yet when we try to teach New Covenant doctrine using the laws and traditions designed for Old Covenant national Israel, we are doing exactly the same thing! The Old Covenant, especially Exodus through Deuteronomy, is the code of laws for national Israel during that period of history.

    Theologians Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart wrote in their seminary textbook, “The Old Testament is not our testament. The Old Testament represents an Old Covenant, which is one we are no longer obligated to keep. Therefore we can hardly begin by assuming that the Old Covenant should automatically be binding upon us. We have to assume, in fact, that none of its stipulations (laws) are binding upon us unless they are renewed in the New Covenant. That is, unless an Old Testament law is somehow restated or reinforced in the New Testament, it is no longer directly binding on God’s people (cf. Rom. 6:14-15)”.[1]

    Occasionally, because of essential radical changes, a nation finds itself needing to abolish its constitution and establish a new one. When this is done, EVERY law, precept, judgment, ordinance, regulation, rule, procedure, and mandate is completely wiped off the books of the original ­ constitution. It is as if the original constitution had never existed—both good and bad disappear. That nation then takes the BEST of the old ­ constitution. It clarifies, simplifies, re-states, gives a new foundation, and starts all over again.

    God did that! The necessary radical change occurred at Calvary. In Christ, God ended, abolished, or annulled the Old Covenant and every single law, commandment, ordinance, judgment, and precept given through Moses at Mount Sinai! Since every type, symbol, and shadow was perfectly fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the “righteousness” formerly revealed in the law is NOW revealed in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:19-20 cf. 3:21-22). Again, the “righteousness” which was demanded by the law was fulfilled in Christ. God next took the BEST of that Old Covenant, and RESTATED it in the context of Jesus Christ and Calvary. However, the “restatement” was not in the form of “Thou shall not do.” Instead, it was in the form of privileges of what “new creations in Christ will do.” The best especially included God’s eternal moral principles of love, justice, mercy, and faith (Luke 11:42; Matt. 23:23).

    When we open our Bibles, we must first ask God to guide our understanding of his Word. Next, we must mentally adjust ourselves to the position of the text we are about to read. Is this Old Covenant, or New Covenant? Is this the Mosaic Law, or other Old Covenant revelation? It this before Calvary, or after Calvary? If the text is before Calvary, does it state a temporary “shadow” kindergarten teaching which has ended at Calvary, or does it contain an eternal principle which preceded creation and was re-stated after Calvary to the New Covenant church?

    Millions of honest sincere Christians misunderstand God’s Word because they fail to ground themselves in the difference between the Old and New Covenant! There is a division in the Bible for a reason! What is that reason? Even though man, and not God, decided to begin the “New Testament” with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—in God’s viewpoint, the “New Covenant” was announced at the Last Supper by Christ and did not begin until his death at Calvary. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John cover the gray connecting “interface” period; they contain flashes of the New, but are mostly Old Covenant.

    At the very moment of Christ’s death, when he cried out, “It is finished,” the veil of the Temple was ripped from top to bottom, exposing the Most Holy Place to all mankind. At that very moment the Levitical priest lost his job (and his tenth of the tithe) in the mind of God. Finally, every believer became a priest with direct access to God and the Most Holy Place of heaven. Also gone were the sacrifices, temple offerings, rituals, holy days, food laws, and all of the cultic ordinances, such as tithing.

    None of the three main approaches to the principles of interpretation today support tithing. First, the advocates of REFORMED THEOLOGY divide the law into moral commandments, ceremonial statutes, and civil judgments. They, next, recognize, and dismiss, tithing as a ceremonial statute.

    Second, advocates of DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY also divide the law into commandments, statutes, and judgments. However, they see it as an indivisible whole, dismiss the entire law, and start over again with God repeating his eternal moral principles in the New Covenant after Calvary. For example, Unger says, “To understand the Gospels one must not confuse the kingdom offered to Israel and the church of Christ. Christ fulfilled the law, died under the law, and set us free from the law. Therefore, to understand the Gospels one must expect to be on legal ground up to the cross (Matt. 10:5-6; 15:22-28; Mark 1:44)…. In understanding the New Covenant it also must be borne in mind that the full-scale revelation concerning grace is to be found in the Epistles, not in the Gospels…. The Gospels do not present the doctrine of the church.”[2]

    Many advocates of a third approach to the principles of interpretation between reformed theology and dispensational theology also dismiss tithing because of its cultic non-moral usage. The Apostle Paul disputed with those who wanted to add elements of the Mosaic Law back into the formula of “by grace through faith.” Protestants point out that this means “by grace through faith alone”—plus nothing! Adding elements such as Sabbath-keeping, circumcision, unclean foods, and tithing actually weaken the gospel by adding cultic law to it. Paul boasted that he had not withheld anything important in preaching the whole gospel, yet never once mentioned tithing.

    http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id32.html

    http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id33.html

  7. Scott Uselman

    Russell,

    I thank you for making me think a little more. However, I am sure that we are approaching Scripture interpretation differently. I believe that the whole Bible is relevant for today. While I know that we should understand the OT better in light of the fact that God was speaking to the new nation Israel, I still believe that God has shown us through those Scriptures who He is and what He expects. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. While these commands were for Israel, they are still basic principles that we should use in our lives with Him. Since, all of the Word of God is profitable and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Tithing helps us to demonstrate His Lordship over all that we have because all that we have is already His. Churches are supposed to be storehouses. Therefore, tithing is how God is able to make sure that His people still give even when they may not be Spirit led.

    I don’t think that the Gospels are a grey area since Jesus instituted Communion at the Last Supper. This is just one example of expectation that He has for His people.

    Simply, I do not see any reason why we would ignore that Law since Jesus did not come to abolish but to fulfill it. Jesus used the Law to teach. He even shared with those who would listen that the Pharisees were right in their knowlege, but wrong in their actions. This is one reason why Jesus fulfilled the Law.

    The Gospels, because they are full of the Words of Christ, must represent the foundation of the Church; not to mention demonstrate His Crucifixion and Resurrection. Also, the amount of times that spoke about how we will know the Way to Heaven.

    Anyway, I know that I will not be able to sway you. That is okay. But I felt the need to respond so that others who read this will know that there are obviously different ways of looking at Scripture. I prefer keeping God’s entire Word in play with my walk especially with my relationship with Christ and His Church. God bless you brother.

  8. All that I ask is that you have a CONSISTENT hermeneutic (principle of interpretation) which allows you to CONSISTENTLY bring things over from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant. I do not detect that you have anything other than a “pick-and-choose” hermeneutic. Your method allows you to retain a very small portion of the OT and reject the vast majority of it as unnecessary.

    Scott: I believe that the whole Bible is relevant for today. While I know that we should understand the OT better in light of the fact that God was speaking to the new nation Israel, I still believe that God has shown us through those Scriptures who He is and what He expects.

    While it is important to study the whole Bible, it is also important to “rightly divide” it by first asking yourself “to whom” and “under what covenant” is this speaking? God certainly did not tell or expect the Gentiles to obey the same laws he only gave to national Israel. In fact he commanded Israel NOT to share its covenant with them. If God “expects” Christians to follow the Old Covenant law, then he expects you to KILL disobedient children and he expects you as a tithe-receiving pastor to forfeit land and property ownership. It is the same law.

    Scott: He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    This is a “catch-all” phrase which means nothing without proper interpretation. While God’s character does not change, he certainly acts differently in accordance with the covenant conditions he has set. The “same” God treated national Israel quite differently than other nations and he treats New Covenant Christians quite differently than Old Covenant Israelites. Clearly the New Covenant has very new and very different conditions from the Old Covenant.

    Scott: While these commands were for Israel, they are still basic principles that we should use in our lives with Him.

    You have changed OT commands from literal specific commands into “basic principles.” Thus you chose to ignore the literal command to kill disobedient children and adulterers but chose to keep one of the three different tithes of the Old Covenant. This is what I call INCONSISTENT hermeneutics.

    Scott: Since, all of the Word of God is profitable and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    ALL of the Word was not directed towards the Christian church. However, we can use that which was directed specifically to national Israel as an learning-example as illustrated in 1st Corinthians 10.

    Scott: Tithing helps us to demonstrate His Lordship over all that we have because all that we have is already His.

    Sounds nice but it is not scriptural. God owned everything during the OT also, but He never used that argument for a reason to collect tithes from outside of His holy land of national Israel.

    Churches are supposed to be storehouses.

    Again, it sounds nice but is not scriptural. Both the OT Temple and storehouse have been replaced by the priesthood of every believer. Since there were not church buildings in existence for over 200 years after Calvary, you cannot call a church building a storehouse.

    Scott: Therefore, tithing is how God is able to make sure that His people still give even when they may not be Spirit led.

    Since when does God expect His NT children to give when they are not Spirit led? This is not scriptural. God’s Spirit moves His people to give as they yearn to see lost souls saved for Christ. They give freely, generously and sacrificially if their pastor is preaching the gospel correctly.

    Scott: I don’t think that the Gospels are a grey area since Jesus instituted Communion at the Last Supper.

    Almost everybody I have ever read places the Gospels in a grey area since they are clearly before Calvary and are in the context of the Old Covenant per Galatians 4:4.

    Scott: This is just one example of expectation that He has for His people.

    Communion at the Last Supper anticipated the Cross and the initiation of the New Covenant when Christ shed his blood. It was a grey area.

    Scott: Simply, I do not see any reason why we would ignore that Law since Jesus did not come to abolish but to fulfill it.

    Ignore what law? The law of communion Christ CHANGED from the Passover ritual or the law of tithing which was annulled as an ordinance/statute in Ephesians 2 and Colossians 2 and was annulled also in Hebrews 7:18 when compared to 7:5 and 7:12.

    Scott: Jesus used the Law to teach.

    Of course he did. He was living under its full jurisdiction and came to fulfill its righteousness in order to redeem those under it. If he had not taught the law he would have been sinning against it. However, however, he did NOT tell his Gentiles disciples to observe or to show themselves to the priests after being healed. Why?

    Scott: He even shared with those who would listen that the Pharisees were right in their knowledge, but wrong in their actions. This is one reason why Jesus fulfilled the Law.

    The Pharisees were WRONG in their knowledge of the intent and scope of the law of tithing and their wrong knowledge resulted in their wrong actions. The law of tithing did NOT include meticulously counting garden herbs and spices. Christian Churches disobey Jesus here also concerning herbs.

    Scott: The Gospels, because they are full of the Words of Christ, must represent the foundation of the Church; not to mention demonstrate His Crucifixion and Resurrection. Also, the amount of times that spoke about how we will know the Way to Heaven.

    Those parts of the Gospels which go beyond the Law are especially for the Church. While the Law said that IT was the “way, truth, light, life, bread” –Jesus REPLACED the Law with Himself when He declared that He was THE “way, truth, light, life, bread” etc. According to Romans 3:21-25; John 16: 8-9 and Hebrews 1:1-2 Jesus is the New Covenant standard of righteousness.

    Scott: Anyway, I know that I will not be able to sway you. That is okay. But I felt the need to respond so that others who read this will know that there are obviously different ways of looking at Scripture.

    I have been swayed to change my theology numerous times. We must always be open-minded as priests before God. It is good to know how the other guy thinks.

    Scott: I prefer keeping God’s entire Word in play with my walk especially with my relationship with Christ and His Church. God bless you brother.

    Covenant theology says concerning the Law:
    Keep EVERYTHING from the OT in play except that which has been specifically REPEALED in the NT after Calvary.

    Dispensational theology says:
    Keep NOTHING from the OT except that which has been specifically REPEATED in the NT after Calvary.

    Pick-and-chose hermeneutics confuses everything.

    May God bless you and your church also.

    Russell Earl Kelly

  9. Ol' Suit (Steve Stanley)

    Great job, Scott!

    Have you blogged, yet, about how giving was a part of the means whereby God led you to conversion? I have not forgotten that it was so for both you and Wade. Truly moving testimonies and I deeply appreciate you men and your ministries.

    God bless you and keep up “the good fight!”

    -Ol’ Suit (Steve Stanley)

  10. Scott Uselman

    Haha. I appreciate the humor of your “pick-and-chose” (sic) comment. That’s one man’s opinion and you are, of course, welcome to it. I, on the other hand, note your habit of proof-texting — of taking a verse here and a verse there and cobbling them together to come up with your own novel interpretation. I find it strange that, so far as I am aware, the men of God who have been used most powerfully in revival and renewal across the ages were men who preached and practiced “storehouse tithing” …the principle of honoring God with the “firstfruits” of one’s life. Yet this, you say, is a symptom of preaching the Law and of having a muddled hermeneutic.

    You see it differently than I. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

    As for me, I am a busy pastor of a small but growing congregation. I am seeking to honor the Lord with my whole heart and life. I believe He is able to “fulfill his purpose for me.” (Psalm 138:8a) I pray the same for you. But I have no more time to squander on what (it is now clear to me) is a fruitless endeavor.

    By the way, who I am, what church I represent, the particulars of my life are available here on my website. I have searched your website in vain for a statement of YOUR beliefs, the source of your ordination, your place of residence, and where you received your degree from. Could you point me to that page?

    Grace and Truth,

    Pastor Scott

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s