Over the years, I have been a member or regular attainder of many churches and congregations. Without exception they have preach Christ, and Him raised. We are saved by His grace and our sins forgiven and ourselves justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Although it is sometimes less to the front of teaching, but usually a significant part of the teaching is that we are freed from the Old Testament Law. The Law is holy, but we are unable to live up to it. Its purpose, in part, was and is to emphasize in our experience that we cannot achieve righteousness by following a set of rules, however holy those rules may be. Christ’s sacrifice is the fulfillment of the law and we thus are freed from jot and tittle judgment according to that law.
I would appreciate sometime hearing a series of sermons showing how the rule of love, both for God, and for our neighbor fulfills Old Testament Law. Examples could be given showing how breaking any of the Ten Commandments would require breaking either the commandment to love God or the commandment to love your neighbor. Further examples could be given for many other OT laws.
An inconsistency that I perceive with concept of Old Testament law being filled by Christ’s sacrifice and common church teaching is in the subject of tithes. I have heard a preacher one week preach Christ’s fulfillment of the Law, and the very next preach on the importance of tithing. Usually, the only New Testament text given specifically addressing the quantity of the offering is the story from Acts 4 of Ananias and Sapphira.
If you read Acts 5, it is clear that the issue wasn't the amount. Even if it where there is nothing hinting at 10%. It is clear that the contribution was voluntary, and the problem concerns their attempt to deceive The Lord. To be fair, one pastor at a church where I had membership also considered the 10% figure part of the Old Testament Law and that the Lord’s economy in today’s world is based upon giving as the Spirit leads.
From my viewpoint there are several problems with this. Besides being contrary to the idea of Christ as complete fulfillment of Old Testament requirements, it is spiritually counterproductive and financially unnecessary.
There are many struggling, even in the best economy at the best of times. I am quite sure that the enemy works in the minds of both spiritually weak brothers, and those that are close to giving their lives to Christ and wreak great mischief. For those that are saved, but have little, inability to contribute money can cause undeserved shame. There are many ways to give to God. I am quite convinced that He can do wonders with talents and time. If one has little monetary treasure, he is just as welcome.
For my part, God has blessed be greatly both spiritually and in worldly goods. Few but the most very poor b would call me financially rich, but I had a long unbroken and well paid career. My wife also worked at a well paying career with the exception of a few years when my sons were small. The economic downturn cut my career short in 2009, and another complication a few years later cut into my retirement savings, but I have lived within my meansm prepared for the future, and do not worry too much about the bills the mail may bring. A 10% standard for me has been and is now much too low. I believe in sacrificial giving, meaning that my gifts to the Lord’s work should large enough that I have to plan and prepare and forego or limit some of the extras.
I would like to see more emphasis on sacrificial giving and much less on extracting funds based on a numeric formula.
I have never spoken up much about this in Bible studies. I am sure that many who should be giving more would only hear that there is no hard rule. I am also cognizant that any man’s reason sounds good to himself, but my thoughts here have not had the benefit of anther brothers comment. I invite comment here.