Get The Rhyme and Reason Podcast Delivered, Free Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Pandora | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | Podchaser | Podcast Index | Email | TuneIn | Deezer | RSS | MoreThe first century Christians were committed to one another. Christians today? Not so much. Sure, there are small cliques. But, as a whole, it’s a divided faith. And splintered, sometimes, by just the meaning of a single verse. Or even a single word. Want an example?
OK. Christians today split up over the word, tithe.
I just scanned an article with this title: “Which denomination tithes the most?”
And that, inadvertently, addresses a big part of the issue. Because human nature seeks to “be number one.” And that includes the giving department. So, the article shared lots of demographics from a 10 day study of denominations. How ’bout I share just a few snippets?
“Eighty percent of people who attend a worship service at least four times a month agreed that tithing is a biblical commandment compared to 72% of respondents who attend a worship service one to three times a month.”
Hmm. Wonder how many tithing messages the first group hears as opposed to the second group.
Here’s an age-related stat. 66% of young adult respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were less likely to believe tithing is a Biblical commandment. And I think that’s interesting. Because tithing IS undeniably a commandment (or law) found in the Bible. But it’s crucial to understand where it’s found and why.
Then, the article shared some numbers about amounts.
Before I share that, it’s important to know (if you don’t) that tithe means a tenth. And that’s the command God handed down to the Jews. To give a tenth of all they had.
So, on that note, notice what Christians today, and even many of those Jews, do and did.
“Thirty-one percent told pollsters they give a tithe and 19% said they give more than 10% of their income. Meanwhile, 16% said they donate less than 10% of their income to their church. Nine percent of respondents reported that their financial situation makes it difficult to give, and 2% said that they did not give.”
Yeah, if God says give a tenth, then I should give more. Because, well, because I say so. And if it feels good to me, then I’m sure God will be even more impressed with me. Or at least other people will once I’ve informed them that I give even more than God says.
I know, from personal experience, that Christians boast about giving their tithe AND even more. Because benevolence should be spotlighted. Right? Wait. Wasn’t there a left hand right hand thing?
Now, I would never urge you to believe what I say just because I’m a trustworthy guy. I believe I am, but I’m not the authority. You find that in the Bible. And if it says “the law kills” and that the Grace of God is “not of works” (which includes the tithe), then that’s the truth. My goal is to agree with it. And to keep “rightly dividing the word of truth.” And I urge Christians today (you and me) to…
Take A Stand
If you take a stand and you stand for the Way,
You might never be rich.
But no gold here beats the treasure in Heaven,
And you’ll know which is which.
Angels are gonna rejoice,
And we’re gonna get to see how
The Lord will judge the ones who wait.
So better take a stand right now.
If you take a stand and you stand for the Truth,
You could lose a good friend.
But if you lose the whole wide world
And keep your soul, you win in the end.
All eyes are gonna look up.
All knees are gonna bow,
And when that time comes it’s too late.
You gotta take a stand right now.
If you take a stand and you stand for Life,
People might laugh and make fun.
And Jesus didn’t say it was gonna be easy,
But you’ll be with Him when this life is done.
No more livin’ like this;
By the sweat of your brow,
And if you want God’s paradise,
You better take a stand right now.