Archive for July, 2011

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To Give Or Not To Give…..

July 6, 2011

To Give or Not To Give….and “How Much?

There are constant and reoccurring questions a Pastor is asked on a regular basis.  Some are obvious questions:

  • How do I know I will go to heaven?
  • Will we recognize each other in heaven?
  • What will heaven look like and can you describe this wonderful place?

There are questions that require delicate answers because of the slippery slope they present.  For example, “Can God make a rock so big that He can not lift it?”

There are also challenging questions that are extremely sensitive.  In the world of disciples and followers of Christ, there are two things that will strike a chord with people quicker than any other….. “their” children and “their” money.  Scripturally, it would be more accurately referred to as “God’s money” and “God’s children” because He has entrusted these to us.  A question that has really brought great disagreement and debate is “How much money does the Bible teach that we should give to the New Testament church which we attend, if any?

The tithe is often the answer given among Bible scholars and teachers.  A tithe represents to most “a tenth” of all you acquire.  Rodney Thomas of Texas recently submitted this editorial containing his perspective of giving.  He said in his editorial comments…

“Most people are sadly misinformed regarding the ‘scriptural mandate for financial support of the church.’ Tithing is a Mosaic Law of Judaism that called for those that raised crops or cleaned animals to separate 10% of such for the ‘storehouse’ for the poor (Mal. 3:10), for the priests, and for the temple in Jerusalem.  Our Christian nation accomplishes the counterpart to those scriptural mandates of the tithe through taxation of those that can afford it and social programs for the poor.  Half of Baptists must realize this in their ‘heart of hearts’ because, statistically over the years, half of the membership of the church give nothing to the church annually.  And additionally, neither Jesus nor His disciples tithed- they were not required to according to Mosaic Law.  We do know, however, that He did ‘render unto Rome’ the coin, His taxes, from a fish’s mouth.”  Thomas went on to say, “I give my offerings to places that actually minister to the homeless, to children, to missionaries, and to ministries that are getting the gospel of Jesus Christ out to the world.  These people and agencies seem to be neglected by the church in the church’s rush to build ever bigger churches and ecclesiastical bureaucracies for themselves.”

What are your thoughts on the tithe, sacrificial giving, and what we should give to our local New Testament Church?  Looking forward to your thoughts.

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Unsung Hero’s

July 6, 2011

Unsung Hero’s Making a Difference….

Summer is here!  School is out!  Yet the memory of one individual lingers on in my mind from this past school year.  When schools across our country are in session, there seems to be more of a routine, normalcy or a “normal” pattern in life.  Certainly weekends have a unique or different feel throughout the year.  If we think about it, approximately 8ish a.m. to 4ish p.m. are school times.  Even those that do not have school age children are impacted by school buses, traffic flow and school zones that are speed regulated.  That is where this “individual” keeps coming to my mind.  Near our office there are a number of school crossing attendants that maintain safe passage through intersections for our children.  They all do a fine job.  But one stands out above all the rest.  Her energy is exception.  She waves, dances, and has so much emotion as she serves.  Her enthusiasm is relentless.  I have witnessed her attitude toward the children and the special interest she pays to each child.  Some people are really making a difference in life.  All of us can “do a job” but to do it exceptionally well, with superior excellence is a real chore.  Then if a person were to add the lasting impact of making a difference, that individual would truly be on the right track.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…”                                                 Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

I hope this will be a summer of excellence.  I trust you will be a “difference maker.”