Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tyranny of the Tithe: God's Plan for Giving, Part 1 - John MacArthur

Over at John MacArthur's site you can listen to sermons and read the transcripts for free. Here's a great message he preached on God's Plan for Giving. This is part 1 where he focuses on the Old Testament giving - part 2 deals with the New Testament plan for giving.

Here's a brief sampling from God's Plan for Giving, Part 1:

[Concerning money] The major issue of Scripture is concerned with how you give your money. This dominates Scripture. It's too important a subject for us to bypass. How we give our money is extremely important.

Now, many people come along and they say that the solution to everything is to just accept the biblical pattern, which is 10%.

In all the passages where the church gives, there is no mention . . . any place of tithing. But what they're really saying is, "We know tithing is not New Testament giving, but if we don't push the tithe, we're afraid we won't get enough money to operate." It really boils down to that kind of motivation. The 10% sort of keeps the money flowing.

You know what's wrong with the 10%? Number one, it isn't biblical and it's giving for the wrong reason. It's giving to fulfill an obligation rather than a response to a loving, willing heart. Second thing that's wrong with it is, it hinders what you could do by making you think you're done. Giving is never to be by coercion. It is never to be by fundraising. It is never to be by compulsion.

God's pattern for giving is not tithing in the New Testament. It isn't even tithing in the Old Testament. It never has been tithing, it never will be tithing.

[T]he Bible does not institute tithing in Genesis. There is no statement from God ever regarding tithing at this point. No one told Abraham to give a tenth. No one told Jacob to give a tenth . . .

Tithing was always taxation. So that the programs of the government could run.

Freewill giving was independent of taxation.

Freewill giving was always whatever came out of the willing heart. But I'm telling you . . . when people believe in what you're doing, that willing heart opens up.

Don't get stuck at the tenth. Don't limit yourself to legalistic giving. Be free in the spirit of God to give super abundantly and sow bountifully that you may reap bountifully.

To listen to the sermon and follow along with the transcript, click here. More coming on God's Plan for Giving, Part 2.

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