Tithing is not Giving to God

This past Sunday, I closed out my message with a statement that I honestly felt was controversial but something that should be said nevertheless.

I said that tithing is not giving to God.

Context

On Sunday, I taught a message to my congregation on the incredible problem of greed and how the antidote to greed is generosity.

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Why does God listen to my prayer?

I got a very interesting question on a Connect Card this past Sunday, and I’d like to interact with it here on my site. Here’s what it said:

With all of the prayers God hears every day – how does he hear yours? What makes me as important as everyone else in the world that I am heard?

Here is my response:

Your question is a great one!

I wanted to give you a quick response of encouragement and explanation of why God would pay attention to your prayers.

First of all, remember that He’s God, and he already knows everything.

continue reading Why does God listen to my prayer?

To Tithe or Not to Tithe

In a recent conversation I had with a church planting friend of mine, the topic of the tithe came up, and I thought it might be interesting for me to put down in this forum what I am teaching my church regarding giving.

Having been heavily influenced by the likes of Andy Stanley, Randy Alcorn, and my own Dad, I have become convinced that teaching percentage-based giving is not only the number one kind of giving to encourage in our people, but I have also become convinced that the church organization should structure its budget based on the tithes of the people without regard to special offerings, designated funds, or anything above and beyond the tithe.

However, I know there are two major problems with my approach:

Objections to My Approach

First of all, some people find the tithe principle to be archaic and irrelevant to New Testament Christianity.

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How should Christians live out God’s ideal of justice?

Occasionally, I get really deep questions turned in on our Sunday Connect Cards, and this past Sunday, I received this one:

I noticed that two of the songs played in service this morning mentioned justice as something God has and uses to demonstrate his goodness. If one of the classic arguments against belief in a personal God is perceived injustice in the Bible – God plays favorites, the wholesale slaughter of thousands of men, women, children by the Hebrews, the concept of Hell, etc. – how should we answer that charge? On a less philosophical level, how should Christians demonstrate the ideal of God’s justice in our daily lives? How do we commit to something so ephemeral and confusing?

This is such a big question that I responded to the author by email but thought it might be worthwhile to post it here as well.

continue reading How should Christians live out God’s ideal of justice?

Why do we say “Amen” at the end of prayers?

Recently, a note came to me from someone in our church with an interesting question. It said this:

Why is it that sometimes your prayers do not end with “Amen”? Is there a biblical reason why we do or do not say amen after prayers?

I responded personally, but I also felt my answer might benefit others, so here it is in blog form.

The Meaning of “Amen”

First, the word Amen is a Hebrew word that comes from the Hebrew root AMN which means faith/faithfulness.

continue reading Why do we say “Amen” at the end of prayers?

LCC Weekly :: November 4 & 11, 2012

This is part of a series of posts aimed at supporting and encouraging the volunteers of Lafayette Community Church.

Sunday Review

Our past two Sunday gatherings have been truly refreshing to me. For one thing, Jake Steffes has been selecting our music, and he has done a great job of not only picking songs that resonate with the theme but also ordering them in a way that encourages us on Sundays to release ourselves into God’s presence.

continue reading LCC Weekly :: November 4 & 11, 2012

LCC Weekly :: October 28, 2012

This is part of a series of posts aimed at supporting and encouraging the volunteers of Lafayette Community Church.

Sunday Review

What an incredible Sunday we experienced last week! Not only did we get the weekend started right with our Volunteer Refresh event on Saturday evening, but the whole weekend we were blessed to have Brian Fraaza and his band with us.

It was also a great blessing to have Greg Shackleford, a great friend of mine and a founding member of this church, joining us this weekend as a part of Brian’s band.

continue reading LCC Weekly :: October 28, 2012

LCC Weekly :: October 21, 2012

This is part of a series of posts aimed at supporting and encouraging the volunteers of Lafayette Community Church.

Sunday Review

Music

http://grooveshark.com/playlist/2012+10+21+LCC+WORSHIP/78537924

What made the music for this past Sunday extra special and extra refreshing for me was that Jake Steffes took the lead on planning the setlist and coordinating the band practice.

continue reading LCC Weekly :: October 21, 2012

LCC Weekly :: October 7, 2012

This is part of a series of posts aimed at supporting and encouraging the volunteers of Lafayette Community Church.

Sunday Review

Before I report on this last Sunday, I need to apologize for not putting out a report for the previous week. I have no excuse other than I let myself get too busy with other things.

continue reading LCC Weekly :: October 7, 2012

LCC Weekly :: September 23, 2012

Sunday Review

Another week has come and gone, but this last Sunday, I felt like I was in nearly full health, and I also felt strong in what I had to say in our service. As a result, even though I went home exhausted after our morning gatherings, I was encouraged by the great things God is doing in our midst.

Music

I had the honor once again of leading the worship band for our music on Sunday, and I must say that it was a real treat to add Joe Schoolcraft to our team.

continue reading LCC Weekly :: September 23, 2012