December 16, 2017

Internet Monk Radio Podcast 7

Internet Monk Radio Podcast 7. Lots of stuff. What’s up with people posting MLK Jr’s college papers as “bad theology?” Al Mohler ‘fesses up. Thoughts on giving money away.

Comments

  1. Firstly, just tried out your podcasts today, and I find them very enjoyable. Believe it or not, your voice is pretty much what I expected…

    A comment on your discussion about giving: I totally, completely agree. How this legalistic mode of tithing became so accepted in conservative circles, I’ll never understand. A careful study of scripture, esp. NT, just doesn’t support it, not the way it’s usually preached. Evangelists and preachers refer to the so-called “Tithe Covenant”, into which if you haven’t entered, then you’re robbing God, etc. Our pastor actually has said that he won’t pray for healing or blessing etc. for people who don’t tithe. (This is the single biggest problem I have with him.) On balance, though, as you said in your message, it’s very important to GIVE. Any objective reading of II Cor or Phillippians, for example, makes this clear. But it’s a joyful, Spirit-led giving, not something where you have to calculate the 10% (on your pre-tax gross) down to the penny.

    Experience has shown (in my AoG context) that it’s pointless to argue or even discuss publicly. So, we have had to settle in our own minds what we believe the Lord wants of us. Basically it boils down to this: we go ahead and tithe, aproximately, since it’s a good discipline that ensures that we continue to give. If we’re going to be members of our church, we should support it financially. We believe strongly in missions (AG has a strong missions program) so we have several specific giving commitments to various ministries (e.g. Teen Challenge New Mexico, American Indian College in PHX, a couple of overseas missionaries, etc.), and we have supported kids thru Compassion Int. for decades. Add it all up and it comes out to well over 10%, so I feel somewhat covered from the legalistic perspective! Some church leaders have violent opposition about designating your tithe (enough to disqualify you from church board membership, for instance– fine by me), but at least this way we feel like at least a portion of our giving goes where we feel strongly the Lord is ministering.

    (Oh, yeah, our church is in the midst of a building program to become the big dawgs in town, and we kinda feel obligated to give just so we won’t have to rent forever– but much of that giving is the “tithe” from my wife’s paycheck; don’t tell anybody!!!)

    Example of Tithe Law logic: The first 10% you give is tithe. Everything beyond that (and only beyond 10%) is considered “offerings”. However, if you designate any portion of the first 10%, then it’s no longer tithe. OK so far? So, my question (this really happened) is, if it’s not tithe, and it’s not offering, then what is it? The sound of crickets chirping was deafening…

    I won’t even START on the “theology” of God’s obligation to bless you in return if you tithe.

    Last I checked, there was no temple in my town, with a storehouse to support the Levites and priests. My culture looks nothing like pre-Christian Palestine, nor much like pagan Rome. I’m placed into a position where I have to make some decisions on where to best place the resources God has given me. If I live by the Spirit per Romans 8, then I should be able to receive God’s guidance to identify the need.

    Sorry about the rant. I detest legalism in any form, and this manifestation has been ubiquitous and strident in our experience.

    Thanks, Michael, for the podcasts and all the writing. It’s very refreshing.
    -JimBob