Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Biblical Model of Giving

I'm very interested in knowing what the Bible says about giving because I think this world would be quite a bit different if we actually did what the Bible says. Justin Taylor posted the following blog which I have copied and pasted in hopes that you will read it. I don't know David Croteau at all but I do know and like Andreas Kostenberger so when I see his name I especially think it is worth reading. I haven't read the actual article yet, just the blog, but then, aren't summaries of articles great. :p lol

In these two articles (published in the Bulletin of Biblical Research) Andreas Kostenberger and David Croteau provide an extensive examination of whether Christians are obligated to tithe--that is, given ten percent of their income--under the new covenant. They conclude that "the view that Christians are required to give at least ten percent of their income lacks adequate support from the biblical data. This is not to say that Christians are not required to give, but that no Scripture commands a certain percentage as the minimum giving requirement."

I find their exegetical arguments persuasive. Unfortunately, some people resist such an examination for they infer that this is motivated by a desire to give less, or at least will result in less giving in the church. The authors plead "not guilty" to the first charge, and even suggest that perhaps giving would increase if the arguments were more biblical.

They go on to survey the NT perspective on giving and suggest that our giving should be...

Systematic: Give on a regular basis, that is, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc. (1 Cor. 16:1).

Proportional: Give as you have been prospered; according to your ability (1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 8:2–3)

Sacrificial/generous: Give generously, even sacrificially, but not to the point of personal affliction (2 Cor 8:2–3;Phil 4:17–18)

Intentional: Give deliberately in order to meet a genuine need, not out of guilt merely to soothe a pressing request (2 Cor 8:4; Phil 4:16)

Properly motivated: Our motivation for giving should be love for others (2 Cor. 8:9), a desire for reciprocity (1 Cor 9:14–15; 2 Cor 8:12–14; cf. Gal 6:6), and an eye to the reward from God (2 Cor 9:6)

Cheerful: God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7)

Voluntary: Giving ought to be done out of one’s free volition (2 Cor 8:2–3, 8; 9:7; Phil 4:18)

Finally, they offer the following quotes, which I pass along for your consideration:

Craig Blomberg: “[t]he standard Paul exhorts us to follow is actually a more stringent one than the traditional tithe. If most affluent Western Christians were to be honest about the extent of their surplus, they would give considerably higher than 10% to Christian causes.”

Walter Kaiser: “if a tenth was the minimal amount under the Law, how can Christians do any less? Perhaps we should consider not how little but how much we can give, seeing how richly blessed we are in Christ.”


Blogger Patrick Sutherland said...

An interesting topic indeed dear Mark. I am reminded of a line in a song I have been listening to as of late that says "What must we do? Here in the west we want to follow you? We speak the language and we keep all the rules even a few we made up. COme on and follow me. sell your house, sell your SUV, sell your stock, sell your security and give it to the poor."

the song in itself is a reflection of the rich young ruler who believes he has done everything he can for God and yet has left the one thing he can't do (give). But that is precisely what God wants of us... well everything... but specifically the things we just can't give him.

And so with giving I agree. We have seemed to make up this 'rule' so that we can be the best Christians we can be. But ultimately giving isn't an outpooring of what God tells us to give but a responce to the grace, love and mission that God has for us.

So I agree buddy.

Patman the Pat

Monday, June 26, 2006 2:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mark D. Smith said...

Thanks for the note Pat. What song was it?

....I can't believe I have to use word verification to post on my own blog! :p

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:48:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick Sutherland said...

"Rich Young Ruler" By: Derek Webb

Yeh man if you can check him out he sings deep and from the soul.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:25:00 AM  

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