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Is Pastor Creflo Dollar a true minister of God? Judge for yourself December 21, 2013

Posted by Henry in Uncategorized.
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WARNING: The below video is not for the fainthearted as it is very disturbing. In the video “pastor” Creflo Dollar talks about what he would do to non-tithers if he had the chance. Listen to the video and judge for yourself if this saying can be coming from the mouth of a minister of God.

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The Rapture: Fact or Fiction? February 10, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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As a young person growing up in church circles I used to hear much talk of “the rapture”. At that time I did not give much thought to it except that I generally accepted that this cataclysmic event would precede the end of the age and all I hoped was that I too would be ready when the rapture comes. In more recent times there is a lot of talk of “the rapture” on Christian TV and the online forums and blogosphere are awash with talk of being “rapture ready”. This furore has no doubt been fuelled with the help of the “Left Behind” series of books written by Tim LaHaye. It should be noted here that the idea of “the rapture” generally refers to a pre-tribulation rapture. What this implies is that those who are in Christ will escape the wrath of the Great Tribulation that Jesus said would come upon the world in the last days. How wonderful to think therefore that the Lord would return and secretly whisk those that are saved away to some safe haven, leaving the remainder of the sinners to suffer the tribulation? This sounds all idealistic for after all why would Jesus allow His saints, the church, to go through such a horrific event as the tribulation? But what is the real deal about the rapture and can it be supported by scripture?

 Since the 1800s, John Nelson Darby, although he didn’t invent the idea, has popularised the idea of the pre-tribulation rapture. However, the term rapture doesn’t even appear anywhere in the Bible. Moreover when Jesus outlined His coming in Matthew 24 there is not even so much as a hint that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture. In looking at the key verses we read:

 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Emphasis added)

 One of the first things we note is that Jesus does not come in secret but all eyes shall behold Him coming in the clouds. The idea of a secret rapture therefore poses a dilemma in that Jesus would have to return two times instead of once. This reasoning however is not supported by scriptures as Jesus will return only once. In any event Jesus clearly says that after the tribulation of those days, then shall His sign appear in the heavens and then He shall send His angels to gather the elect. Verse 22 also makes it clear that the days of the tribulation period would be shortened for the elect’s sake. There is no such promise of a rapture and 1 Thess 1:17 can hardly be used to support a pre-tribulation rapture as some bible scholars like to do.

 What if the tribulation should come and those who were expected to be raptured were still here to face it? What would they think, that they perhaps weren’t saved after all or that the Lord had abandoned them? These questions highlight why this is such a very dangerous doctrine and I would that people read their Bibles before being carried away with every wind of doctrine.

Contending for the Faith but the truth is hard to “sell” January 28, 2010

Posted by Henry in Contending for the Faith.
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The road of apologetics and biblical discernment can be a very lonely one because often times the truth (i.e., the truth of the Gospel) will be offensive even to professing Christians. In spite of that true Christians have a responsibility to be uncompromising about their faith even if we are going to be ostracized and rejected for doing so. The scriptures say in Jude 1:3 that we should contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. Why? One of the primary reasons for doing so can be found in verse 4 of the said passage:

 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Whilst the “church” was sleeping certain men crept in without notice, men who were ungodly but who cloaked themselves in righteousness with the primary goal of deceiving the flock. These men have created a poison cocktail of biblical truths and half-truths, mixed in with lies and false doctrines which they feed to their undiscerning flock. This is why the work of Christian apologetics and applying biblical discernment is done.

 The reality however is that this work is usually opposed by the very people, the deceived undiscerning masses, it was set out to help to come out of deception. This is not surprising however since Jesus said in Matt 7:13-14 that broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that fall there in but narrow is the way that leads to Life but few there be that find it. There are some interesting parallels between Jesus’ own ministry and the work of apologetics and discernment today however.  At the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth the Pharisees and Sadducees were the self-proclaimed spiritual leaders who had replaced the by now defunct Levitical priesthood. But these supposedly righteous holy-men opposed Jesus at every turn. For example, in Mat 9:34 we see the Pharisees accusing Him of casting out demons by the prince of devils without discerning who He really was.

 An even more remarkable example can be found in John 5:38-39 where we see that the Jews did not believe Jesus’ testimony and sought to kill Him. Jesus said to them that they searched the scriptures thinking that in them they would find life but that the said scriptures testify of Himself. In verse 43 Jesus said that if He came in the Father’s name the Jews would not believe Him but if someone else came in their own name him they would believe. Jesus went further to say in verse 46 that if the Jews believed Moses that they would believe Him because Moses wrote of Him. This is no different to what is happening in the church today however. The point though is that if Jesus, the Son of God, who came in the flesh to deliver the Word from the Father, was rejected by those who studied the scriptures, how much more can we lesser mortals expect to be opposed and rejected by professing Christians for seeking to uphold the truth of Christ?

The Apostles of Mammon VS the Apostles of Christ January 27, 2010

Posted by Henry in Teaching Things They Ought Not.
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The church today is dogged by many false teachers spouting false doctrines on wealth and prosperity, and many in the church have become deceived as a result. These teachers give promises of untold blessings, as if God placed them personally in charge of doling out His blessings, raising false hopes mainly amongst even the poor and destitute in the church. All you need to do to receive of these blessings is to hand over your money (sow a seed) and even if you don’t have it you should write an IOU or pay using your credit card. The “sheeple” are led to believe that unless they give they won’t receive any blessings. In one video floating around on the Internet, for example, people can be seen strewing money at “apostle” Leroy Thompson’s feet, during one of his “Money Cometh” speeches. Later in the video both “apostles” Leroy Thompson and Creflo Dollar could be seen walking or sliding across the money supposedly to “anoint” it. The basic idea then is that “money cometh” (blessings will flow in the form of money) to those who gave money and have it anointed by these “apostles”. The first question here is whether such practices are biblical. It shouldn’t take a “rocket scientist” or a theological degree for that matter however to ascertain the answer to that question. But how does this contrast with the Scriptures?

 In the early church it was common practice for the people to sell their belongings, be it houses or land and bring the proceeds and lay it at the Apostles’ feet. But what did the Apostles do with these generous gifts? Did they take it away to count up privately and use it as they saw fit, promising the donors that blessings will flow to them for their giving? On the contrary we notice something quite the opposite. In Acts 2 for example we read:

  42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

The first thing we note is that the church continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and they had all things in common and shared their possessions according to the need of everyone. No where do we see the apostles promising the church earthly blessings for the due care, brotherly love and kindness they showed to each other as Christians.  Again we may learn from Acts 4 to see how the apostles approached handling the gifts laid at their feet:

 32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

 We note here that the apostles did not go off in secret to count the money and lodge it in some bank account and promise blessings to those who gave but they distributed it according to everyone’s need. How then did we get from this position to what we see Creflo Dollar, Leroy Thompson and others doing in the church today? Did the early Apostles, some of who walked and talked with Jesus Christ miss it? Did Jesus forget to tell the apostles that they should take the money and the goods laid at their feet and go enjoy it and in return give the church empty promises of blessings that will never materialise? Creflo Dollar and the likes may call this the “Word of Faith” but Brother James calls this dead faith in James 2:14-17:

 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

  Which apostles’ doctrine do you believe then? Those who teach the “gospel of mammon” or the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Activate Your Faith: Sow that seed January 21, 2010

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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One of the common teachings one will hear from Word of Faith teachers is that one should activate or release their faith and this normally requires one to “sow a seed” (in the form of monetary donation), usually into the teacher’s own ministry. Usually this type of exhortation is accompanied with further encouragement that the size of your seed will determine the size of your harvest. It is thought that it is imperative to activate your faith if we are to receive from God, and to move to the “next level” of blessings. However, are these teachings scriptural?

 Firstly, if one is a Christian such teachings leave us with a dilemma. When we first came to faith in Christ what did we do in order to “activate” our faith at that point? Did we sow a “seed” in order that we may activate our faith such that we may believe in the Gospel of Jesus and thereby receive the free gift of Salvation? Noting that the gift of Salvation is the greatest blessing we could ever receive from God the Father. Scripture tells us that we were alienated from God and enemies in our mind by wicked works yet He chose to reconcile us through the work of the cross (Col 1:21). Had it not been for God’s saving Grace we all would have perished. According to the Ephesians 2:4-9:

 “4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 Verse 8 of the above portion of scripture tells us clearly that it is by Grace that we are saved through faith and not of ourselves. By ourselves we could do nothing talk less of “activating” our faith. More profoundly, how did we obtain this faith? It was given to us by God who gives a measure of faith to every man (Rom 12:3). Scripture also tells us that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). Going by this scripture alone, we see then that it is Jesus Christ who starts us on the journey of faith, take us along and accompany us on the road of faith, and takes us to the finish line of faith. This happens as we abide in Him and He in us. If this is the case then how can anyone suggest that it is possible for individuals to “activate their faith” by their own doing especially by sowing a financial seed?

 Clearly scriptures show that this type of Word of Faith doctrine of activating our faith is false. It is designed to deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:18) and make merchandise of the sheeple (2 Pet 2:3). I pray that those who have been deceived by this type of doctrine would wake up to the knowledge of truth.

Do we need “New Revelations” and are they valid? January 15, 2010

Posted by Henry in Teaching Things They Ought Not.
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In the current church age there are numerous prophets, apostles, and teachers that have arisen and who are buzzing with excitement, claiming to have “new revelations”, new teachings and new insight into scriptures. Some of these individuals use the Old Testament scriptures to base their “new” teachings, some radically re-interpret Christ’s message, and some even claim to have received new revelations from God that even falls outside of the realms of the already Revealed Word. These preachers and teachers promises that their messages will be “awesome”, especially as God is doing a “new thing” and they scurry around to hold concerts and conferences to deliver this “new message” to the masses.  Seemingly, they have whipped up a frenzy among church-going folks who rush to and fro to attend their meetings/gatherings in the veiled hope of receiving a “word from the Lord”. This is in spite of scriptures warning us not to be carried away with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14).

What then is the position that Christians should take in regards to these teachings? We first need to ask whether there is a scriptural basis for anyone to lay claim to having “new revelations”. Certainly we could go down the road of arguing that Christ said “it is finished”, i.e., the redeeming work of the Cross was finished. This would mean then that we would not need anything else other than that which we have received through the Word, the Bible. We could also argue that God in sundry times past spoke to us via the prophets but today speaks to us by His Son (Heb 1:1-2). Since Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14), then what Heb 1:1-2 is saying is that God speaks to us today by the Word. Again this would mean there is no need for any new revelation since God continues to speak today by the Revealed Word.

In spite of those cogitations however we may examine further evidence as to whether claims of new revelations are valid. One area which is often overlooked with regards to this question is what is sometimes referred to as the “Great Commission”, the pertinent scripture being Matt 28:19-20:

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

What did Jesus command the Disciples to teach to all nations? The answer to that is, “to observe all things whatsoever I (Jesus) have commanded you”. This commission given to the Disciples is the same commission given to us today. Jesus clearly did not say to the Disciples to teach the Old Testament practices, to re-interpret scriptures or His words, or to teach “new revelation” that He will provide. How then can anyone claim to be a true follower of Christ and claim to have “new revelations”? It is noteworthy to mention here that there are those who will still insist that the Holy Spirit gave them new revelations. In that case what did Jesus say of the role of the Holy Spirit? To answer that we may look at John 14:26:

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jesus did not say that the Holy Spirit would give us “new revelations” outside of Scriptures but that “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Do we therefore heed Christ’s commands or do we go after our own way to seek new revelations or doctrines?

Are Denominations Important? January 14, 2010

Posted by Henry in Denominations.
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There are many different Christian denominations across the globe today, be it Baptist, Methodist, Apostolic or Oneness Pentecostals, Reformed, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, just to name a few. The interesting thing to note however is that none of these names existed during the early birthing and consequent growth of the Church. So why then do we have so many different denominations today and are denominations important?

Certainly for some people denominations are important to them because they feel that theirs is the “true church”. In my own experiences when having discussions with members of denominations such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist and Oneness Pentecostals, they all are of the view that their own denomination is the true church and consequently everyone else is on the wrong path. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have made claims suggesting that they are the Elect and the 144,000 who will be saved. A closer look at scripture will show however that in actual fact the 144,000 mentioned in the Bible constitutes 12,000 men of each of the 12 tribes of Israel who did not “defile themselves with women” (Rev 7: 4 – 8, 14:1 – 4). It is clear to see then that these 144,000 are not Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In contrast the Seventh Day Adventist say they are the true church because they have kept the Biblical Sabbath which they claim is Saturday (the seventh day) and that those who attend Sunday church do so in direct opposition and disobedience to God. They ignore the fact that the calendar we now use was instituted by Pope Gregory the Great, hence the Gregorian calendar. As such it would be very difficult to ascertain whether the seventh day as we know it today coincides with the seventh day God instituted as the Sabbath from the time of creation. The key point that the Seventh Day Adventists seems to have missed however is that God set aside the 7th day as a day of REST, what ever that day is or was. God did not say that we should attend church services on the Sabbath but to REST and do no work in it. The other point to note though is whether New Testament Christians are obliged to observe the Sabbath since Jesus fulfilled the Law thereby abolishing it, which also included the Sabbath. In any event Romans 14:5-9 has this to say:

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.

The Oneness Pentecostals on the other hand believe that one should be baptised in Jesus name only, as opposed to Jesus’ instruction in Matt 28:19-20 where he told the disciples to go out and teach all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Oneness Pentecostals however uses Acts 2:38 as one of the central pillars of their faith. This is what they use to support their claim that one should be baptised in Jesus name only because Peter said so. But who is Peter? Do we obey Peter or do we obey Christ? Notwithstanding, it is doubtless whether what Peter said was meant to be a baptismal formula since Jesus already gave us the baptismal formula that we should use. Peter was more concerned with telling the Jews of their need to be baptised in the name of the very Man whom they had crucified. After all scripture tells us there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved except Jesus.

The points highlighted above, although not exhaustive, do demonstrate some of the ways in which denominations do differ on points of doctrine. It may be argued that some of these points are not “foundational” to the gospel but the question should be asked, why do denominations differ on points of doctrine and beliefs? I believe the answer to this question lies in the fact that Bible tells us that heresies will creep into the church over time. This can be the only explanation for why there are so many different denominations, each with their own “brand” of Christianity, which differ in some way from another. It is interesting to note however that even from the early days, the Church was being divided up into denominations and Paul had to deal with this very issue in the Corinthian church (1 Cor 1:10-13):

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Instead of being haughty and puffed up about this denomination or that, we need to heed the words of Paul here and get back to the “basics” of Scripture. As Paul makes it clear, Christ is not divided, therefore no divisions should be found amongst us and we all should be speaking the same thing and be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement. It is my prayer that we who call ourselves the true church should heed Paul’s admonition.

False Prophet Simon and the Church Today November 26, 2009

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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There are many false prophets parading in the church today professing to be God’s mouth-pieces. Seemingly they have caused the church (at least those they oversee) to become mesmerized to the extent that the people are unable to discern Biblical truth from the false doctrines they promote.  This scenario however is not new to the church as this very same thing was occurring during the early days of the church. Acts chapter 8 records that there was just such a “prophet” by the name Simon who had put the people of Samaria under a spell and convinced them that he was the true prophet of God.

Acts 8

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But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

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To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

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And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

What we see here in this passage is no different to what is currently happening in Christendom today. Jesus warned us that many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many. The problem with “churchianity” however is that they do not exercise discernment nor do they believe that discernment should be applied in church. In fact one of the tricks used by these false prophets is to discourage the church from questioning anything they say as this is seen as attacking the “Lords anointed” and therefore challenging their “authority”. To support this position they misuse scriptures such as Psalm 105:15, which says, “Touch not the Lords anointed and do my prophets no harm.” Many people however fail to see the context in which this scripture was delivered and that it in no way related to exercising Biblical discernment. Scripture admonishes us on the contrary to, “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom 16:17). In churchianity today however we have a situation where all churches and all doctrines are accepted as being relevant even where there is a blatant contradiction of scriptures. To many, our differences shouldn’t separate us but rather what we have in common should bind us. This is of course a departure away from scriptures and is termed ecumenism.

In churchianity today there are people who claim to be Christians but who also claim to equally belong to other religions at the same time. An example of this was seen in a news article about an Episcopalian female priest who claimed to be both Christian and Muslim at the same time. How can these things be one might ask. Scripture however warns us in 1 Tim 4 about this departure from the faith.

1 Tim 4

1

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

One of the endemic problems in churchianty today, however is that people have become convinced that such departure away from Biblical orthodoxy is actually a “new move of God” or an “end-time revival”. The “Florida Outpouring” springs to mind here as a classic example. The situation is so bad that it is as if people have literally taken leave of their senses. They have allowed themselves to become so wrapt up in deception to the extent they are not able to discern between truth and falsehood. What is certain though is that the false spirit of Simon is rife in the church today and this type of spirit is bewitching the people and blinding their eyes to the truth.

May the Lord have mercy upon us that our eyes may be opened to the truth of His word and that we will be able to exercise discernment and do not so easily become so deceived by false spirits.

Abraham's "Blessings" Are Mine September 21, 2009

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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It is very interesting to see the various subtle ways in which deception comes into the church, even in the most seemingly innocent of things that are taken for granted. Take this “worship” chorus for example which goes like this:

Abraham’s blessings are mine

Abraham’s blessings are mine

I am bless in the morning,

I am blessed in the evening

Abraham’s blessings are mine.

This is a chorus that is somewhat popular in some Pentecostal church circles and is conveniently sung at offering time. In fact the catchphrase, “offering time, blessing time” is normally echoed about this time as well just before the collection plate is passed around. This chorus is normally used therefore to reinforce the belief that one will receive blessings after they have given their offering. But what does it really mean to say that Abraham’s “blessings” are ours? We know from scriptures that Abraham had become rich and increased in much goods (Gen 13:2) as a result of God blessing him but can we as New Testament believers claim these things for ourselves and what is the scriptural basis for this?

Indeed scripture tells us that the Lord promised to make Abraham the father of many nations and that the future generations would also be blessed. In fact scripture, Gen 12:3, stated that all nations of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. But I think we ought to be cautious in interpreting these things. Under the Old Covenant Abraham and his forebears, namely Israel was blessed materially especially when they entered into the Promised Land. There was much emphasis then on material blessings but this is clearly not the case under the New Covenant. Under the New the emphasis is more on spiritual blessings. For example Jesus said in Matt 6:

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Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

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But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Jesus also said later on in the passage in verse 33 that we should, “… seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Jesus made it very clear here that our focus should be primarily on the things of God (the Kingdom of God) and less on the things of this world. Is it the correct approach to conclude then that when God promises to bless all nations through Abraham that the blessing being referred to here is material in nature? If we should apply proper exegesis of scripture however we will find out that scripturally the chorus aforementioned is flawed, to say the least. The chorus emphasizes “blessings of Abraham” but in looking at Galatians 3 we soon find out that what this blessing (and not blessings) of Abraham is:

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Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

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That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The blessing of Abraham is thus the promise of the Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ, which was to come to the Gentiles. On reading further in the passage it tells us that this fulfills the prophecy God gave to Abraham back in Gen 12:3, that in him all nations of the earth shall be blessed. The passage of Gal 3 goes on to say this:

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And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise

We can hopefully conclude then that as Christians we can indeed claim Abraham’s blessing but not his “blessings” since scripture gave us no such assurances. We are heirs to Abraham according to the promise, and as heirs we can receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. It should be evident then that the chorus is just another form of deception designed to deceive the hearts of the simple. Knowing this then can we still confidently sing this chorus believing we are inheritors of Abraham’s material blessings?

No "Should" in Tithing September 18, 2009

Posted by Henry in Tithing.
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In a discussion about tithing a young woman once said to me that I “should” pay my tithes. That basically was her final word on the matter. But is the tithe something that I or the church should observe? It is interesting however to see how close-minded some church people can be on the subject of tithing. They refuse to apply any rational thought to proper application of scripture but instead take it as a given that if one is a Christian and a churchgoer one should pay their tithes. For them the question doesn’t even merit discussion as the attitude generally is “this is what we believe in and this is what we do at our church”.

If however, we say that someone “should” pay their tithes then effectively what we are saying is that we are obliged by some law to pay a tithe. From a Biblical point of view however are we under a legal or other obligation to tithe? We should remember of course that we are no longer under the Law but under Grace because Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. This is not to say however that since we are under Grace we can do what we like. Of course not! But does scripture support the view that the New Testament church should pay a tithe and are obligated to do so. Under the Old Testament which we sometimes refer to as the Law Israel was obligated under the Law to pay tithes but surely this Law does not apply to us today, or does it or perhaps you don’t really know? The Law that governed the tithe was part and parcel of the very same Law that Jesus has redeemed us from. But you ask, “What about Malachi 3:9-11?”

Many a minister has wrongly used this passage to convict their members to pay the tithe, suggesting that they are “robbing God” if they don’t and that they are cursed as a result. But clearly a close look at the passage will tell us who this passage was speaking to and it was not the New Testament Christians but the nation of Israel. Only the Levite priests of the nation of Israel had a commandment to take a tithe of their brethren (see Heb 7:5). The curse mentioned in Malachi 3 referred to the curse of the Law and not specifically to the issue of not paying the tithe. Some will argue however that the tithe was before the Law since Abraham tithe to Melchisedec in Gen 14. But on close examination of what occurred we can clearly see that this is no basis for establishing a tithe teaching in the church. What then is the motivation of pastors and church leaders to demand a tithe? Again others will ask if we shouldn’t tithe then what should we do? We should bear in mind that tithing is not supported anywhere in the New Testament. Paul’s instructions on giving to the work of the ministry were thus:

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9:7

Clearly we all have freedom in Christ to give according to how we feel led. Do you therefore still think that you are obligated to tithe, and on what Biblical basis do you make such a conclusion?

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