Houston, we have a problem

June’s edition of Charisma Magazine has a “survey says” section. They list the results of a Barna Survey and then ask you to go on line and comment, giving your views.

The poll is on tithing. This will start a family feud. Only 11% of Pentecostal/charismatic Christians (born again, Spirit-filled believers) tithe.

Rubbing salt into the wound the survey further states that this can be compared to 24% of evangelicals (born again believers) who tithe.

Both statistics suck. Because both groups profess to believe the Bible is our authority and the standard upon which we base our lives. We are not talking main-line denominations, cults, sects, and wackos here. We are supposedly talking about solid believers – people who have had a conversion experience due to an encounter with the living God resulting in a personal relationship with Him.

So, we are on our faces praying for revival and wondering why revival has not come. We pray and fast to see our loved ones saved and wonder why new converts are not being added daily. We lay hands on the sick and wonder why, in the vast majority of cases, they are not healed.

Well, let me clue you in Church. Jesus said “If you love Me, you will obey Me” and He was certainly, by all of the gospel accounts, not removing tithing as the standard of giving. So, raise your hands during worship and tell the Lord how much you love Him and then don’t tithe during the offering equals HYPOCRITE! Can you feel my anger and disgust? We are in rebellion.

Well, let me clue you in Church. Jesus said to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” and we don’t put God and His Kingdom first in our finances. So, we are disobedient; which according to 1 Samuel is like the sin of witchcraft.

The Bible clearly states (Deuteronomy 14:23) “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to fear the Lord your God” (NLT). So, a lot of believers are stupid because fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and so they have no wisdom because they don’t tithe which shows they don’t fear. Follow the logic there and feel the feeling.

The same verse in the older Living Bible states: “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your life.” And Jesus said “Love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and called it a commandment. This would be putting God first! And so, many believers are not obeying this commandment and do not have God in first place.

There is an old saying I learned when I first got saved 32 years ago. “If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all”. Lordship means we have submitted every aspect of our life to Him and He is Lord of every area of our being – including finances. If we are not submitted to Him in the financial realm we are not submitted and He is not Lord.

Tithing is more than paying the bills at the church and making sure the salary of the pastor is paid. It is part of our worship experience. It is a way to offer ourselves up once again to the Lord as we give of what we have earned and so present ourselves in a tangible form to the God who gave us health to work the job. Tithing is basic to the Christian faith – Class 101 stuff – and yet many have yet to learn to obey the Scriptures and live in right relationship with the Lord.

Houston, we have a BIG problm.

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