X04.09.............Giving in an orgainzational way
22 ¶ Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that
the field bringeth forth year by year.
23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. (Deuteronomy 14: 22-29)
this area of scripture is used greatly within the church (whether werealize it or not) to justify organizational giving.
If we take it in context--it is saying that Israel may take 1/10th of the increase of it's fields and use it as they want to. But in the process, they need to take some of it and give it to the poor--and also give some to the Levites--the priests--since they do not have land of their own.
the typology of the church (which the Roman empire began 1700 years ago and we continue in today) gave the operation of the local church to a priest--a "Levite"--who collected and lived off the "tithe".
The new covenant had a different type of operation (apostleship) and a different goal (the spreading of the Gospel--through every member of the body). The giving in the new covenant was Spirit-lead--to the poor within the church--to "every man" as they had need. The new covenant asks us to support the weaker members of the body--so that all can serve God--and the church can be as effective as possible in spreading the Gospel. The church fed the poor--and carried the Gospel with it in a direct way using the annointing and gift of ministry within every member. All the church was a priesthood--NOT a certain "delegate designated authority"
(by the way--the Levitcal priesthood is done away with in the new testament--the law is changed in this area--something which is fully ignored by the church organization--)
11 ¶ If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood,
(for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there
that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not
be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7: 11-12)
The old covenant typology is in operation today.
We recently saw a large ministry on television speak about making a collection for the poor. Instead of going to the new testament--they went to the old--specifically Deuteronomy 14:28-29--
28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of
thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
If we take this typolgy--out of it's context--we come up with the common idea of organizational giving--
Yes, give to the poor (but notice that the tithe is NOT given to the Levite--and he decides what to do with it--right?)--but also include the Levite--the priest--the pastor.
Giving in this type of organizational way, justifies the pastor--the "ministry" organization-- to take a percentage for themselves. This is the way most charities operate. When you give to charity--the big question is always--"how much of the money actually goes to the poor--and how much is taken by the organization which operates the charity?"
The ministry operating this campaign claimed that the Gospel will be spread in this giving---will it really? The bible says that the Gospel is spread by people who carry the word to the unsaved. Imagine if we did it the new covenant way. It would be simple--and we would not have to raise money! In every city and town there are already churches--Christians--who would love to feed the poor--with what they already have in their kitchens. And also within every church are people who would love to minister the Gospel out to the poor that we would feed. The Gospel would truly be spread in his way, and we would not have to have a large organization and raise money to operate it--the organization is already in place (put there by God!!)--if we could only release it and have faith in one another!
Charities in the world operate as businesses do--and we operate the church like a worldly business--and so we invite corruption, and are not nearly as effective as we could be in both feeding the poor and witnessing the Gospel.
These ministers often come under scrutiny from the press, and are found to be corrupt--when the question is investigated to find out where the money is really going--and the world is right to investigate in this way. Since we have chosen to follow and misinterpret from the old covenant--which leaves the devil a foothold and an open door--since they have one foot in his kingdom if they are collecting like this. Which is why the new testament way of collecting would be foolproof from the world's scrutiny--and that is why God gave it to us as our example--and we ought to follow it--if we are--the Christian church.