X04.22.............What TO DO With Your Money....
We have studied in many other Bible studies that the Christian "tithe" is clearly not a Biblical doctrine. It is put together with many" half-verses" taken out of context---transmuted to the new covenant church--and grain and animals are magically transferred to money--given once a week--to a pastor/priest.
The new covenant tells us that we ought to give to the poor which are our brothers.
This idea is so anyone who has lack will be taken care of---but not just for living--FOR MINISTRY--since the ministry gift in the new covenant is in every believer. Ministry is service--not authority over other believers. (If one person collects all the money in a church--that person certainly has authority over the others!)
But, let's assume something.
Let's assume that "tithe" is the correct way to do things. That is to say, we ought to give 1/10th of our income "to God".
If this was correct, we run into another roadblock. Who should receive this "tithe"?
In the Bible, the only people who received the tithe--was a priest (specifically the high priest of Jerusalem). Now, in the old covenant--it is clear that there was a specific priesthood in Israel--the Levites. But the new covenant clearly and specifically changes this. In the new covenant the Levitical priesthood is abrogated...("For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." Hebrews 7:12)
In the new covenant, every believer is a priest (1Peter 2:5, 2:9--Acts 1:6, 5:10). Every believer has a priesthood (a ministry!!) to the Lord.
So think about it.
If you are a priest, and the pastor of the church is a priest (is he the "high priest"?--No, Jesus is the High Priest--we are all equal in God's sight--all equal in our priesthood)--again we ask--where does the pastor/leader of the church have the right to collect this "tithe"?
But a simple step forward. Assuming that we should "tithe"--but realizing that we all have a priesthood to fulfill, WHY NOT GIVE 1/10TH OF YOUR INCOME TO THE MINISTRY THE LORD LEADS YOU TO FULFILL?
Now, are you giving "to yourself"? Absolutely not! What are you going to give to?
The Gospel--(which is God's purpose in the earth--and the purpose of your ministry and priesthood).
What is the Gospel?
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to
heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering
of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
We have seen these verses before. The Gospel that Jesus demonstrated is a big thing. It encompasses not only salvation, but healing, deliverance, the feeding of the poor (care for homeless, visiting people in prison.....)--and also, "apostolic liberty"--which is "release"--the encouragement of believers to serve God.
The gifts of ministry inside of all of us are meant to carry on the Gospel. The ministry gifts are meant to be used in unity with one another. Small groups of believers, working together, praying in the Spirit (to receive the specifics--the "where and when" of the witnessing of the Gospel)--and going out and doing the Gospel out to the world (apostles). Within the church, are the ministry gifts of teaching and pastoring, which are meant to quickly, simply and directly instruct and guide people TO THEIR MINISTRY--to be quickly able to function in the Gospel themselves.
Understanding this as the Biblical new covenant way of operating the church, money is simply given to the purposes of the Gospel.
So, why not "tithe" to your own ministry? That is to say, have giving to the ministry that the Lord leads you to. In giving this way--you will be giving directly to the Gospel--to the poor that you will feed--to the needs of carrying the Gospel out to the world.
Example: the Lord leads you to witness at the mall. You will needs tracts, Bibles, handouts of some kind. this is what you give to--freely out to the world--DON'T' CHARGE MONEY! You have received freely--you must give freely.
Think about what we could do, if all the money was directed toward the Gospel! Some people could put their money together, buy a cart at the mall--stock it with free Bibles, tracts, Jesus T-shirts and buttons--Christian books and tapes--and give them away for free! Wouldn't' that make an impression on the folks in your town! The resources are there. Christians have way more than enough money to do the Gospel in many varied creative ways. (Instead, we give money to a building--which we use FOR OURSELVES,--once a week, for a few hours--what a waste!).
Jesus told us to be "fishers of men" What we are doing in church tradition, is to build a big beautiful boat, and expecting the fish to jump into the boat by themselves!
Give directly to the Gospel.