Monday, February 15, 2010

Giving..."I Have to Get This In"

First of all, I would like to reiterate that if you are going to leave a comment, you must leave a name with it. No anonymous comments will be posted. If one does not have the backbone to put their name behind their comment, then the comment is untrustworthy at best. For example, I received the following anonymous post this week:
Why don't you try it for a month. No specials, Women keep silent which will leave just men signing the hymms in unison. Before you know it, you will have the men wearing beards and them funny round brim hats and the women folk wearing thos funny head coverings (since that is a commandment to!).
Aren't you glad your saved by Grace. Its all a heart issue anyway. If a man loves God, he will keep his commandments, abstain from what he calls abominitions and do what he says makes him happy ( God loves a cheerful giver, every preacher that calls himself baptist gets that in every sermon he preaches). You look at the service thru eyes of proper biblical eticic, God looks on the heart of the believer.

First of all, if you are going to comment, please first study grammar and spelling fundamentals. While perfection is not demanded, a simple understanding of basic principles is appreciated; or if this is not the case, please ask your daddy or mommy's permission before posting a comment next time please.
I will address these thoughts though because it leads into my thought for today.
1. I am praying about trying it for a month at church.
2. We are not going to have any specials, just congregational singing.
3. Women are not commanded to keep silent in all things, but not to usurp authority over the man, not to teach a man, but to be in silence in these matters and to learn in silence in all subjection (1 Tim. 2:11-12)
4. According to 1 Cor. 11 a woman's covering is her hair. And yes, I believe women should have hair. By 'funny head coverings' I assume you refer to bonnets? If so, you have taken 1 Cor. 11 out of context.
5. I am glad I am saved by grace.
6. You then confuse say a 'man that loves God will keep His commandment' but then criticize me for wanting to follow the Bible? Aren't those God's commandments? You speak on behalf of most of the evangelical world I suppose. Very typical. "God loves me, I love Him. I will keep His commandments, unless I don't feel like it, but that really doesn't matter because God sees my heart and He knows I love Him." Well my grammatically challenged or child friend, the Bible teaches we are saved by grace in Eph. 2, and says
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them
You see we have His Word to teach us how to live and act and behave-including in the house of God. (1 Tim. 3:15). After salvation we are to be His workmanship...unto good works...we should walk in them. So yes, "biblical eticic" is of great importance.
7. You also lead me into today's thought in your side thought "God loves a cheerful giver, every preacher that calls himself baptist gets that in every sermon he preaches" Thus our title for today, "Giving...I have to get this in." (Don't blame me...Anonymous told me too!)
Simple thought for today. We know there was giving for the New Testament church. In the first church our Lord started, there was a treasurer, Judas. (John 13:29). We again cannot use Temple/Synagogue practices for giving as THE MODEL for the New Testament church; rather we look to Scripture in how the church gave.
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. Acts 4:35
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet. Acts 4:37
And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Acts 5:2

We know there was giving in all the churches on the first day of the week.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 1 Cor. 16:1-2
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 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. 5:9-7

So we know offerings were given, on the first day of the week, as God hath prospered they were to give, and the offerings were laid at the apostle's feet.
When did "passing the plate" begin?
Now, I feel this is a good time to say this: "Just because the Bible is silent on a subject does not make it wrong." But having said that, if the action is contrary to Biblical principle, then it is most definitely wrong. So my question for today is, "Is passing the plate contrary to Biblical principle?
Again, let me state, our church does pass the plate. I am not looking to debate someone, just seeking other's counsel (not sarcasm). What principles could be contradicted in passing the plate?
First and foremost is the principle of accountability. By 'leaving the offering at the apostle's feet' the giver was seen by the church as a giver. What was given was a matter between them and the Holy Ghost. This being exampled in Acts 5 with Ananias and Sapphira. The people were aware that they had given. There was accountability in this way. Today a 'non giver and robber of God' can hide in his pew by just passing the plate. Then, a non giver was noticed in that they never gave. Now what they gave was a matter between them and the Holy Ghost. Peter says in that passage about their offering, "Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost...thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." A church that did have the members give at the apostle's feet would be a much more accountable church.
Second, is the principle of greed and a lack of faith in God. The best I can figure, we pass the plate because we know we will 'get more money.' We know that those who are just giving a $5 or a $10 probably would not make the effort to get up and give it, so we come to them. And, we might be able to squeeze a few bucks out of the lazy who would otherwise not make the effort to move. Are we displaying a covetous spirit and robbing people of the privilege of worshipping God in their giving?
Again, just thoughts....let me know what you think.