When Worship Becomes Manufactured

Tithing has always been an issue of conflict within me. There are a lot of awful articles out there written about giving that look at the act as a sort of sacrament where God’s blessing is reserved for those who give the most. Likewise, I’ve heard plenty of terrible sermons manipulating passages to suggest that God reserves a special grace to those who give. (The story of the woman with the two mites is largely misunderstood.)

Typically giving is either guilt-tripped or reward based. This is contrary to the doctrines of Grace. That’s why I was so happy to read this article by Matt Erbaugh entitled, “Something’s Missing from Your Giving.” I was both encouraged and convicted.

“This New Covenant removes us from the management of the Law of the Old Covenant, and instead places us as sons under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is important because it’s this New Covenant that governs how we should give, not the old. It’s all about a relationship with a Man now, not a mere set of rules. Jesus commanded the Rich Young Man to give ‘all’ in order to highlight the fact that for all his rule following he had no relationship with the Lord. While he could submit to rules he could not submit to the Rule Giver!”

Here is another article that addresses more on the principle of money in conjunction with ‘poverty theology’ from the Gospel Coalition.

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One Response to When Worship Becomes Manufactured

  1. I love the commentary of the story of the rich young ruler. I’ve heard it explained differently; however, Matt Erbaugh’s explanation really hits the mark for me. I would also comment that the article from The Gospel Coalition was insightful and thorough. It gives a very good overall approach to riches. I do; however, think the American church has moved pretty far past the mark of contentment and our culture that so encourages riches through fear of all the “what if’s” and our system that rewards those that do well financially. Just as sin blinds you to the truth…riches can blind you to your own grasping of them. Justification can move in quickly to console the conscious. In my own struggle with this, I realize and am moved to action by Paul’s encouragement that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” When I think of the life that Paul lived…pouring himself out, in want, in plenty, hungry, thirsty…he experienced the extremes and yet, stated that he had learned the secret of being content whatever his situation.
    I think that we are in danger of what Jesus said “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” Why? Because I believe our churches are full of immature Christians who struggle and have a fear to “be safe,” “be blessed, (thinking that blessing comes mainly through finances), “cover all the bases so that the “what if’s” don’t exist.

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