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.

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