When giving becomes paganism – Part 2

The New Testament is established on grace. This is UNMERITED favour that we do not have to try and earn because it is something we already have. This paves the way for us to have unfettered access to God and to establish a father-child relationship with Him. This was something not available to those of the Old Testament hence they had to strictly observe rules to be accepted by God.

All that is required from us in the New Testament is faith in God and nothing else. Abraham was an example of this kind of faith but not in the way that is being preached in some quarters. God did not select Abraham based on personal merit neither did Abraham have to earn God’s blessings through acts of piety or righteousness. Abraham simply obeyed God and his belief was credited to him as righteousness.

He did not get circumcised to win God’s approval; it was simply an outward sign of his inward conviction. Neither did his encounter with Melchizedek or the tenth of the recovered plunder he gave influence God’s relationship with him. Abraham simply did things that his relationship with God required.

With this in mind, we should be able to see that our actions do not influence God’s love for us nor our relationship with Him. We cannot fast and hope this will make God respond speedily to our prayer requests. We cannot ‘release’ our faith through sowing or giving as being taught by many WoF proponents in order to make God move on our behalf. That is most certainly another gospel and not one taught by the early apostles. If we bear in mind that our works count for nothing before God, we will see that none of our actions influences God relationship with us. God is not obligated to do anything for you because you’ve tithed or ‘sowed’ sacrificially instead it is the blood of Jesus that makes Him act on your behalf.

I realised how much damage this wrong doctrine has done to lots of ‘naïve’ Christians when I watched John Oliver parody these televangelists on his show. Salvation and relationship with Christ had taken the back seat and all these preachers promoted was a ‘cash for blessings’ type thing. If you wanted your debts wiped out, sow a seed. If you wanted healing, sow a seed and so on. This is an awful misrepresentation of the Gospel. Watching these preachers teach such falsehood made me sick to the stomach! No portion of scripture teaches this kind of stuff!

Let us also be mindful that a good parent never indulges their kids, God is no different. The bible clearly states that the Lord chastens those He loves. Jesus too learnt obedience through the things He suffered. In other words, do not expect that God will come running to bail you out if your inability to properly manage your finances gets you into debt. That you ‘sowed’ into the life of any preacher will certainly not make any world of difference.

Giving to ‘invoke’ a move from God has a hint of paganism. In order to receive from pagan gods, you have to meet certain requirements. If you fall short, you are definitely not getting it. But Christianity isn’t like that; we’d already fallen short anyway hence God sent Jesus to help us do what we were unable to do.

All God requires is that we ask with no ‘giving’ catalyst required!

When giving becomes paganism – Part 1

I have previously shared my Christian experience as a young Christian and boy what an experience it truly was. And one aspect where I fell victim was in the area of giving and am sure this is quite evident as majority of what I blog about centres around this.

I get quite mixed reviews regarding my take on the tithe; to some am spot on while to others am just another false teacher. But I will like to make it clear like I have tried so many times; am not in any way trying to dissuade people from giving to church. Instead, I am drawing from my personal experience and trying to admonish that we strike a balance and give the right way with the right attitude.

I came to realise that in order to be able to give properly to God one has to have a proper understanding of Christianity; and this is where we appear to have the problem. We try to infuse some aspects of Judaism into Christianity and end up with something completely new that is neither Judaism nor Christianity. This became quite clear to me when I decided to read the bible afresh starting from the book of Genesis in order to gain a better understanding of all things pertaining to God. As I read, I began to see how distinct Judaism was from Christianity.

God established His covenant with Abraham and his faith in God was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham did all that God asked and did not try to gain God’s approval because he already had it. And more importantly, he had a relationship with God and was able to know when God was speaking.

By the time the Law was given to the children of Israel, they needed to go to the land of promise to be able to observe it. The Law was tied to the physical land of Israel as it would have been a little difficult to observe anywhere else. All aspects of the Law carried equal importance hence breaking one was tantamount to breaking all of it. The Sabbath breaker was stoned to death even if he had an impeccable track record of keeping all other laws. An uncircumcised male was cut off even if he kept the Sabbath and gave all the offerings required by the law and so on.

More importantly, access to God was done through the priests and Levites as the people were not allowed to approach God by themselves. And herein lies the difference between Judaism and Christianity; the former was restricted to a physical location while the latter isn’t. And the book of Hebrews also makes clear the difference; the Old Testament was a shadow of the New Testament.