Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

If like me. you have a background in the black church, you will know that dancing and shouting is part and parcel of a normal Sunday service. As you watch these two videos, I’m sure you will recognise a member of your congregation. Enjoy

Part 1

Part 2

A few years ago, I posted an article called The Sad State of Gospel Music today. Well I saw an article by H B Charles Jr which also talks about this and also touches on the current trend of Christian reality shows.  I have posted the article below and added some of the videos that he is talking about as well

I love Gospel Music. Traditional. Contemporary. Praise & worship. Choirs. Groups. Solo artists. Old and new. From Rev. So-and-So Presents… albums of the 80s to today’s Bishop So-and-So Presents… albums. I have even started to listen to some quartet and Christian hip-hop.

I love music. And I especially love music that exalts the Lord Jesus Christ. But my true love for Gospel Music has broken my heart.

In two ways…

First, I am grieved by the excessive commercialism of contemporary Gospel Music. I can cite various examples of this illicit love affair with the world. But there is an explicit seduction of the world on Gospel artists that burdens me: reality TV. What is this about? Why are Gospel artists joining the ranks of these mind-numbing reality TV shows? Don’t you now know that “reality TV” is an oxymoron?

Mary Mary

The Sheards

Of course, Gospel artists are not the only ones joining this parade of worldly foolishness. It’s also preachers, preacher’s wives, and preacher’s daughters. More and more religious personalities are nakedly pursuing fleeting celebrity. We want to be famous, rather than promoting the name, message, kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Sisterhood

Preachers of LA

Please to tell us you are doing this to expand the influence of Christ in culture. If that’s what you think, you are extremely confused. Deceived. Out of touch with “reality” (pun intended!). It is easier for the world to pull you down than for you to pull the world up. And in leaning over to reach the world, the church often falls in. And we are dragging the precious name of Jesus down with us.

Where did we get the idea that Christ wants us to help him be relevant in this God-ignoring society? The Lord commands us to be holy, faithful, obedient, wise, and loving. The Lord does not want us to show the world that we are regular people just like everyone else. The world already knows that! That’s why they don’t respect the church. We need to be different. Light. Salt. Our influence in the world happens by the difference Christ makes in our lives, not by blending in. The world cannot see our good works and glorify the Father in heaven by watching so-called Christian leaders divas argue, boast, shop, covet, date, lust, and complain on TV. Get real!

My heart is broken for another reason.

Not only are Gospel artists fallen in love with the world; even worse, they have fallen in love with Word of Faith theology. Prosperity Theology used to be on the fringes of the Christian landscape. Now these faith teachers are the mainstream. And many prominent Gospel artists have digested their unbiblical teachings and regurgitate them in their music.

As I listen to the new Gospel Music released, I am blown away by how talented Gospel artists are. The music, singing, and production can rival anything “secular” project. Unfortunately, I am hearing more thoughtful reflection in some Pop and R&B music than among those who claim to sing for the glory of God.

I buy a lot of Gospel Music. But I can commend very little of it for worship, private or corporate. Too much Gospel Music has too little gospel in it. It is not God exalting, Christ focused, or biblically saturated. It is fixated with self.

“It’s my season…”

“My harvest is coming…”

“What’s to come is greater than what’s been…”

“I don’t look like what I’ve been through…”

“Praise him till you get your breakthrough…”

“Speak those things that are not as though they were…”

“I’m taking back everything the devil stole from me…”

“Speak it into the atmosphere…” “

“I’m claiming my destiny…”

On and on it goes.

Just because you use biblical phrases does not mean you are communicating biblical truth. Cults play that game. Christian musicians and singers should not.

We need music that teaches truth (Col. 3:16), not just cherry-picks phrases that sound good. We need Gospel Music that proclaims the gospel! We need reverent, bible-rooted music that will lead worshipers to think deeply about Christ. We need musicians to record music that will lead us to sing to the glory of God, not just cheer-lead to get an emotional response.

Don’t look now, Gospel Artists, but the upstart Christian hop-hop artists are lapping you. Now, I am not a big hip-hop fan. And I don’t know any of these artists personally. But I am encouraged by their willingness to rap about God and Jesus and the gospel and holiness and doctrine. They are daring to compose and perform truth-driven messages, not mere foot-tapping music.

Gospel artists, please wake up! We are in a storm. And you are playing the Jonah, sleeping your way to Tarshish when you should be headed to Nineveh. The church – and the world – needs you to wake up and give up music about the true and living God!

It is for this reason that I hardly listen to the new gospel music today. I would rather listen to some old Commissioned songs than listen to the unbiblical Christian lyrics that I hear today. I also listen to Christian hip hop which to me are like the hymns for this generation as a lot of it is saturated with sound theology and doctrine.

Am I saying that all gospel music today is bad? No. But it needs a discerning ear. If you cannot discern the false doctrine coming from the pulpit. You will not discern it in the ‘gospel’ music lyrics.

How many times have you been in a church service and you have heard something like this?

“That preacher (or singer) is so anointed”

“I would like to introduce to you the anointed man of God”

“He has got the anointing ON him”

Here is an example of a Benny Hinn talking about the “three dimensions of the anointing”

If I am honest, this was just all over the place and he just invented this all up and twisted scriptures. There is nowhere in scripture that talks about three dimensions of the anointing. And the examples that he gave were old testament concepts

This is a typical example of 2 Tim 4:3

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

Also 2 Peter 3:15(b)-16

…..Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

So what is the anointing? As per Got Questions

Answer: The origin of anointing was from a practice of shepherds. Lice and other insects would often get into the wool of sheep, and when they got near the sheep’s head, they could burrow into the sheep’s ears and kill the sheep. So, ancient shepherds poured oil on the sheep’s head. This made the wool slippery, making it impossible for insects to get near the sheep’s ears because the insects would slide off. From this, anointing became symbolic of blessing, protection, and empowerment.The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are chrio, which means “to smear or rub with oil” and, by implication, “to consecrate for office or religious service”; and aleipho, which means “to anoint.” In Bible times, people were anointed with oil to signify God’s blessing or call on that person’s life (Exodus 29:7; Exodus 40:9; 2 Kings 9:6; Ecclesiastes 9:8; James 5:14). A person was anointed for a special purpose—to be a king, to be a prophet, to be a builder, etc. There is nothing wrong with anointing a person with oil today. We just have to make sure that the purpose of anointing is in agreement with Scripture. Anointing should not be viewed as a “magic potion.” The oil itself does not have any power. It is only God who can anoint a person for a specific purpose. If we use oil, it is only a symbol of what God is doing.Another meaning for the word anointed is “chosen one.” The Bible says that Jesus Christ was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit to spread the Good News and free those who have been held captive by sin (Luke 4:18-19; Acts 10:38). After Christ left the earth, He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Now all Christians are anointed, chosen for a specific purpose in furthering God’s Kingdom (1 John 2:20). “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

When was the last time you heard someone say that the church administrator was anointed or that the church cleaner is so anointed? You will notice that the anointed ones are mainly the ones on the front line e.g The preachers, the choirs and musicians. By saying that they are anointed all the time, we inadvertently elevate them as if they are more spriritual. This in turn feeds the notion that the man of God has a closer walk with God than the lay members and that he is on the ‘main line’ to God. The lay members who are at the bottom of the chain, then dont question him

We as Christians ALL have the Holy Spirit (who is the anointing) INSIDE of us so there is no need for him to fall ON us as he did in the old testament. Jesus stated in John 16:7 that the Holy Spirit would only come when Jesus went and he now indwells EVERY believer and not just ‘special ones’. Lets stop throwing out the word ‘anointing’ at every whim.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

This concludes this series. I hope it has challenged your traditional thinking and you will not go with the status quo. If you disagree with anything in this series, let me know why in the comments. All I ask is that you have proper biblial support, rightly divided and in context. Thanks for your time

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 5) : Armor Bearers

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 6) – Decreeing and Declaring

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 7) – First Ladies…..and Gentleman

So what is a First Lady? In simple terms and primarily in the black churches, she is the Pastor’s wife. But not just the Pastors wife. She normally has a special role in the church, she has special privilidges and she is treated differently than other women in the church. She is also expected to almost appear perfect to the congregation and the expectations from her are high. Karen Clark-Sheard of the Clark Sisters explains what the role of the First Lady should be in the video below.

As much as I have loved the Clark Sisters music, to hear Karen say things such as the First Lady should be the best dressed person in the church to ‘set the standard’ breaks my heart and I am realising more and more that some of the gospel artists that so many people look up to, when you sit them down and listen to what they have to say, theologically, they are found to be wanting….but I’ll leave that blog to another day

Also, the TLC channel has been running a reality show on First Ladies called ‘The Sisterhood’. Here was the preview

StopFirstLadies

So what role should a pastor’s wife or elder’s wife play in the church? What are her responsibilities? How can she serve as a helpmate to her husband in the ministry? 

As per 9 Marks ministry:

THERE IS NO “PASTOR’S WIFE” OFFICE

The first thing to say on this topic is that the Bible does not establish an office for “elder/pastor wife.” It doesn’t offer her a job description. This in turn means an elder’s wife should not feel forced into some mold or set of expectations. Rather, an elder’s wife should feel free to simply be a happy, healthy, growing Christian who seeks to fulfill the “one another” commands in the context of her church just like every other member should. 

Shouldn’t the pastor/elder’s wife seek to love and serve the church as occasion permits and as gifts allow? Yes, but only because she is a Christian, not because she is an elder’s wife.

Some pastors’ wives will want to play the piano, run VBS, and lead the women’s retreat. Great! Others will find themselves more fully occupied in the home as well as in the work of private hospitality or neighborhood evangelism. Great!

An elder or pastor’s wife, like every Christian, should engage in private ministry. But there is nothing in the Bible which says that she must engage in public ministry. 

But it doesn’t stop there. As mentioned in my post Blinded By Loyalty, we now also have First Gentlemen. Below is Lexi interviewing Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen and ‘First Gentleman’ Rashad. This is an example of what happens when people hold a low view of scripture and hold their own opinions higher.

So in summary, NOWHERE in scripture do you see First Ladies how we see it today, no where in scripture does it specifically mention the role of pastors wives that is no different than any other persons wife to a husband who may be in a different ministry. The aspects may be different but it is basically the same. Do not let these traditions blind you to the truth of God’s word

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 5) : Armor Bearers

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 6) – Decreeing and Declaring

Over my 20+ years of being a Christian, I have seen many fad and phases that the christian go through. This can range from ‘the year of jubilee’ to the ‘prayer of Jabez’. One of the most recent things I have witnessed is how many people are ‘decreeing and declaring’. Even though this post is about decreeing and declaring, you will get two traditions for the price of one in this video. Just watch one example of how being slain in the spirit works and how she she suggests to them what she is going to do. But also listen to the decreeing and declaring.

0:45 Before the congregation gave, the heavens were locked but because they have given, she decrees and declares that they are now open

1:11 Like a Tsunami, she decrees and decalres that God is going to move from her right to the left and from the front to the back

1:19 As she moves across the stage, she decrees that they will be slain in the spirit and will pick up mantles in the realm of the spirit (whatever that means)

1:31 As she moves across the stage, she decrees and declares that economics and finances will be shifted

1:40 She decrees and declares that the wealth of the wicked will be released to the congregation

1:46 She decrees and declares that the winds of the spirit are beginning to blow into homes (whatever that means)

1:52 She decrees and declares that the sons and daughters will be birth into the kingdom by virtue of their praise from prisons and crackhouses

2:10 She decrees and declares (again) that a supernatural anointing will sweep from her right

2:52 She decrees and declares that (I have no idea what she said)

2:58 She decrees and declares a double portion of the Elijah anointing

3:28 She decrees and declares about ?????

3:35 She decrees and declares the spirit of Jabez falls upon the women

3:40 She decrees and declares both to will and to do of his good pleasure and SHE release angels to ministries and to houses (this is totally unscriptural. See my post on commanding angels)

4:01 She decrees and declares every invisible that is buried is now destroyed (que???)

4:07 She decrees and declares that they are now a trailblazer

4:24 She decrees and declares new territories

4:30 She decrees and declares that the kingdom of heaven comes with force and a supernatural anointing

5:32 She decrees and declares channels, doors and gates open

5:46 She decrees and declares a ‘shifting’

Phew!!! That’s a lot of decreeing and declaring. This practice is just another form of the Word of Faith doctrine of positive confession which basically teaches that our words have creative power in them and are a container for our faith. It also sometimes known as name it and claim it where people are name what they want and ‘claim it’.

So I did a bit of research to see where people are getting this from and it seems to spring from the three following scriptures.

1. You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you;, So light will shine on your ways. (Job 22:28)

This is the primary scripture that is used for decreeing and declaring. If you look at the context, Eliphaz’s ‘friend’ was basically stating that the reason why Job went through his suffering was because of his wickedness. Wayne D Turner correctly points out that:

“Many Christians quote scripture way out of context and think nothing of it. I have often heard people quote Job 22:28 as a promise for Believers…..It’s one of those name-it-and-claim-it verses that goes with the prosperity-giving message that is often taught by preachers and teachers trying to bolster the financial giving of their audience. In fact, this verse does say, in essence, “Declare it, and it will happen just as you claim it.” Here’s the catch to this verse: Eliphaz is the one who said it, and he was wrong about nearly everything; he lacked a knowledge of the nature of God. He and his friends were rebuked by God himself for their bad counsel in Job 42:7-9. (See verse 7 where it says “The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right). So…when Christians quote scripture out of context as they do this verse, one might very well come away with a very skewed impression of the nature of God.”

2. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, (Proverb 18:21)

This is another proof text that on the surface seems to suggest that we can ‘speak life’ into every situation so that we can create a positive reality. Thats why sometimes when a person confesses that they are sick, the next thing that you may have heard in another believers mouth is ‘Don’t confess that’ or ‘that’s not your portion’ as if to say that by just confessing that you are well makes you well and that you ignore the fact that you may well be sick even with the evidence of vomiting all over the floor. This scripture does NOT mean that our words create reality but that our words can have consequences.

3. As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations” in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Roman 4:17)

Again the scripture itself tells you who “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did”. It is not us. It is God. Yet many people use this scripture to state that we can do the same thing. Our words do not create reality. God’s words do. Don’t believe me? Confess that you are a millionaire and I will bet that none of you will become one just by saying it alone. It has so infiltrated the church on a massive scale even to the point where little children have been taught to do it and ‘decreed and declared’ that we wont be broke a day in their life as can be seen in the video below. My guess is that someone who was in that congregation is broke today

So in summary, there is nowhere in scripture where Jesus’s 12 disciples taught his disciples to go around decreeing and declaring in the fashion that we see today. You dont see them doing it and you dont see Paul or any other follower in the new testament doing it. Just because everyone is doing it doesnt make it biblical.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 5) : Armor Bearers

AtServiceThis is one of those traditions which seems to be predominantly found in the black church. But first thing is first. What is an armor bearer in the bible? As per Got Questions:

In Scripture, an armor-bearer (also spelled armorbearer and armor bearer) was a servant who carried additional weapons for commanders. Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 16:12), Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:6-17), and Joab (2 Samuel 18:15) had armor-bearers/armorbearers. Armor-bearers were also responsible for killing enemies wounded by their masters. After enemy soldiers were wounded with javelins or arrows, armor-bearers finished the job with clubs or swords. After the time of David, armor-bearers are no longer mentioned, likely due to the fact that commanders began to fight from chariots (1 Kings 12:18;20:33).

Now as those from other churches may not know what an armor bearer is in today’s churches, let me give you a little summary. An armor bearer is basically like a preachers right hand man/woman and serves them basically, like a glorified personal assistant. Some of their duties include (and I am not making this up), carrying the pastors bible and books, getting their water to quench their thirst while they are preaching, wiping the sweat off their head with a towel while they are preaching, bring and preachers bodyguard. Picking up the pastor and driving him to church. You don’t believe me? My friends across the pond at Real Talk Radio made me aware of this armor bearer ‘training’ video

Notice that one of the first thing that he says is that it will be less scriptural (in fact I didn’t hear any in this clip)

According to the video, the armor bearer:

  • will watch out for his wife
  • will watch out for his kids
  • will have closer access than the average church member
  • represents the preacher (note…not Christ)
  • ‘covers’ the preachers
  • ‘softens the blow’ for those who want to have access to the pastor
  • should be willing to change their schedule, their lifestyle and their work so that they are available for their Pastor
  • should be willing to use up their work vacation days to serve the Pastor

He also stated that that he was there early washing his pastors car and it caused problems in his marriage. If that isn’t a red flag, then I don’t know what is.

In some churches they MUST be a tither and ‘must make the advancement of the leader the important goal’. That alone flies in the face of scripture and borders on idolatory. In John 3:30 John the Baptist stated that he must decrease and Christ must increase but many churches are looking to increase the profile of their pastor.

If this sounds unbiblical and unhealthy to you, that’s because it is. Maybe its just me but it sounds very close to a slave and not a servant. You do not see any disciples in the new testamant who had an armor bearer as it is today. The closest person I can see was Peter in the Garden Of Gethsamene when he drew his sword to protect Jesus and Jesus told him to put it away so there goes that theory

When James and John wanted to be Jesus’s right (and left) hand men in Mark 10:35-45, Jesus told them that “even the Son of Man came NOT to be served but to serve” but for some reason , they get it twisted and think that they are greater than Jesus and should be served by their armor bearer at every opportunity. This is NOT biblical and is a tradition of man.

So how did we get from the biblical definition of an armor bearer to what we have today? The answer is that they have equated the armor bearer in the old testament carrying the weapon to the armor bearer today carrying the sword (the bible). This is a classic example of eisegesis which is a common practice with many traditions . They have come up with a idea and read it INTO the scriptural text. Instead of using exegesis and getting their doctrine OUT of the text. Let the scripture speak for itself and not what you want it to say.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

This is one of those traditional practices that you normally see at events such as ‘healing’ crusades and ‘deliverance’ ministries when the preacher lays hands on a person and they ‘fall out’ or as it is commonly known ‘get slain in the spirit’. It has almost become the norm in many churches that a lot of Christians do not even question it’s biblical validity and assume that it is from God.  See the video below as an example.

Question: Why is it that the only place in scripture where people fell backwards due to the power of God was the wicked men who came to arrest Jesus?  Selah

I know that one of the first thing people will say to defend this (or their favorite pastor/bishop/preacher) is ‘I know what I felt when it happened to me’ but we must remember that feelings and emotions are not an indication of truth. Feelings can change and deceive. See my post Emotionalism and Experience versus Sound Doctrine. The bible even states that Satan presents himself as an angel of light and he will perform many lying wonders. So what is the standard that we should follow? It is the scriptures and the scriptures alone. That is the plumbline.

My good friend, Steve Campbell wrote a good article called ‘Slain in the Spirit or just “Slain” stupid’ and I thought I would share it with you below

Just a couple of links to remind us that once again we must use the scriptures as the final authority for our faith and not these so called “fake healers and prophe-liars”…..

I’ve been saying for a while especially when you study and see the comparisons in the New Age Movement, that this whole “slain in the spirit” thing is false and has no place in Christianity…
People in the Charismatic Movement have mis-interpreted the scripture in Acts 2 and especially from verse 11 where scripture shows that some and not all of the many who had gathered accused the disciples of being drunk. This has been interpreted by The Charismatics as meaning that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you he makes you act in a manner that to others seems strange and some have even labeled this behaviour as being “Drunk in the Spirit”… Once again this teaching has no biblical foundation as the purpose of having the Holy Spirit is one of comfort, a guide and teacher…Look at John 14:26…  The Holy Spirit does not make you roll around on the floor like some socially dysfunctional person in order to show that God is working in your life.. Ephesians 5:18 tells us to ” be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
The only characters that I’ve seen in scripture who were “slain by the spirit” and not “slain in the spirit” were Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5……

Look at what happens from verse 12 in Acts 2, as Peter explains to the crowd the events that were occurring and made reference to the Prophet Joel’s prophecy in Joel 2:28-32.
He clearly states that the disciples were not drunk… A few major things happened on the Day Of Pentecost … The disciples spoke in tongues which were the dialects of approximately 18 different nationalities… They professed the gospel of Jesus Christ.. Peter then preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ with authority and articulacy.
Acts 2:37 shows the hearers of Peter’s sermon were “cut to the heart” ESV.. This meant that were convicted by what Peter had preached.
It then goes on to say that they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, which was the Gospel and they fellowshipped together giving and sharing their possessions to as many who had a need.
So we can see from reading the whole text that the Day of Pentecost was the birth of the Christian Church as we know it, and that the gospel was preached and the lost were saved..
We cannot just simply highlight the gift of receiving The Holy Spirit without actually showing it’s purpose.. Which is to enable us to preach the Gospel in any surroundings, especially a difficult one with clarity and authority….

We do a great disservice to the working of the Holy Spirit when we act in manner that is confusing to the unbeliever and does not audibly proclaim the wonderful works of God, which is the Gift Of Salvation to all of mankind.

So……. Have a look at these two clips and then decide if these acts truly bring people to repentance and convict them of their sin just as Peter’s preaching did on the day of Pentecost???

As Always…

Sola Scriptura..

Steve….

BUT DONT TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

I have heard this so many times but have never really seen it as something that new testamant believers have been instructed to do. Even though this is used for a variety of decisions, it seems to be predominantly when it comes to relationships and choosing a life partner. The person then waits to ‘get a confirmation from God’ so that they know if their partner is ‘the one’.

Now let me make this clear. I am NOT saying that God cannot give a confirmation, but what I AM saying is that we are not obliged, required or instructed to wait for one. It is this REQUIREMENT that has become a tradition of man. Some people refuse to make a decision until they get a confirmation or a sign from God.

I have tried to find the scriptural basis for this for myself and cannot find any so did a bit of research to see where other people are finding it from.

One came from 2 Corinthians 13:1 - “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established”

Here Paul quotes Deuteronomy 19:15 which was to be used in the case of a crime where a single witness was not sufficient. If we look at the context of 2 Corinthians 13, we have to go back to chapter 12:20-21 and see that he was talking about how he would deal with sin in the Corinthian church. Compare this with Matthew 18:15-21. It is not saying that we must ask God for a confirmation before we do anything as some teach.

Further examples where God gave a confirmation was when Samuel anoints David to be King (1 Samuel 16: 1-13), when Jeremiah is instructed to buy a field (Jeremiah 32: 6-9), and with Gideon asking about saving Israel. (Judges 6:36-40) but we must remember that Samuel, Jeremiah and David did not have what we have today and that is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit residing in us so we cannot compare our situation directly with theirs. Nor can we take those narratives to say because they got one, that we must do it as well.

The problem with seeking confirmation or sign from God is that both Matthew 12:39 and Matthew 16:4 tell us that “an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign“.

So if we shouldn’t wait for a confirmation or sign from God, what should be done instead? This is one of the main questions that many Christians ask when it comes to knowing God’s will in a situation and it seems as if it is a minefield. First of all, please read the answer given below from Got Questions

Question: “How can I know God’s will for my life? What does the Bible say about knowing God’s will?”

There are two keys to knowing God’s will for a given situation: 1) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing is not something the Bible forbids. 2) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing will glorify God and help you grow spiritually. If these two things are true and God still is not giving you what you are asking, then it is likely not God’s will for you to have what you are asking for. Or, perhaps you just need to wait a while longer for it. Knowing God’s will is sometimes difficult. People want God to tell them specifically what to do—where to work, where to live, whom to marry, etc. God rarely gives people information that direct and specific. God allows us to make choices regarding those things.

To hopefully answer this question practically, I will give some scenarios and examples (including the relationship question), which I know are not exhaustive, but I do believe that sometimes we can complicate things. I think the principles can be used in almost every area.

Scenario 1 : “I have been praying about dating this person who is not a Christian and want to know what God’s will is”

My Answer: No need to pray. God has explicitly told us in scripture that we should not be yoked with unbelievers so dont try to get God to come down yo your standard. Go up to his. Oil and water will not mix. No matter how much you shake it.

Lesson learnt: There are some things where God’s will are explicitly explained in the bible

Scenario 2 I am looking for a spouse. How do I know if they are “the one”?

My Answer: ‘The ‘one’ is normally a myth. But God have given us some guidelines. Questions to ask yourself would be things like, are they a Christian? Do they love God and is this shown by their fruits? Do they encourage you to get closer to God or further away from him? Are they interested in prayer and the bible? And last but not least, are you attracted to them? If so, make yourself available and go for it!! Now as you can see, there will probably be more than one person in the world who might fit that description, so I believe that God says, be prayerful and YOU make a choice and YOU pick. Difficulties down the line is not necessarily proof that it wasnt Gods will but can be just God shaping our character and conforming us to Jesus’ image. All relationships will have their ups and downs.

Lesson learnt: There are some things where God has not given us specific instructions, but has given us enough guidelines and principles to work with

Scenario 3: How do I know which school to send my child to?

My Answer: As there is no scripture verse which tells you the exact school, get all the relevant information taking into account distance, reputation, league tables and then again, be prayerful and based on that information, choose a school

Lesson learnt: Again, there are some things which are not explained in scripture at all and are not within themselves sinful and God has allowed us to make our own wise decisions based on the information that you have at your disposal. I’m sure many of you do not pray everytime you go shopping asking God which products to choose.

We must remember that as Christians, the Holy Spirit is constantly guiding us, and the fact that we may go through some ‘stuff’ is no indication that it was not God’s will or that it happened because we didnt seek God for a confirmation first of all. It was God’s will that Jesus should be tempted of the devil, it was God’s will that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, it is God’s will that those who live godly will suffer persecution.

As I have stated above, there is no biblical basis that believers MUST get a confirmation before making any decision. Jesus never instructed us to do so, the disciples were not instructed to do and Paul was never instructed to do so.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 5) : Armor Bearers

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 3:6-12)

The Old Testament

The scripture above is the favorite text given by most Christians to ‘prove’ that we should tithe. Now when interpreting scripture, we should always look things such as the context. Who was it written to? What was the culture? Because even though all scripture is FOR us, not all scripture is TO us. So if we look at the scripture above, who was Malachi writing to? Was it to everyone? Well we only have to go to verse 6 to see the it was the children of Jacob. In other words, Jews. It was not a blanket command to everyone.

The first mention of tithing was in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham ‘gave tithes of all’ to Melchizedek. but notice how Abraham did this freely and it was not a commandment from God. Then in Genesis 28:22, Jacob decided to give a tenth, again not a commandment from God. Then the next mention of tithing is in the mosaic law in Leviticus 27.

Now exactly what was the tithe? Well according to the Levitical law, the children of Israel (apart from the tribe of Levi) had to give 10% of the increase of their land and livestock, to the Levite priests and this would also go to help the poor. As a matter of fact, they would have actually tithed around 23.3% annually because they were required to present two tithes yearly of 10% each of agricultural produce and livestock (Numbers 18:21-32 and Deuteronomy 14:23-27) , and a third of 10% every three years of agricultural produce only (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) ….but I don’t see many churches or Christians rushing to tithe 23.3%!!!

All the scriptures about tithing are either in the old testament or refer to the old testament laws and was mainly about agriculture. Hence why it talks about the storehouse (NOT your church) which was simply a room in the temple. (See 2 Chron 31:11, Neh 10:38-39; 12:44; 13:12). And the opening of ‘the windows heaven’ simply meant that God would let it rain abundantly on the crops and he would not allow the devourer (i.e locusts) to destroy those crops. That is it. Nothing super spiritual about it. All you have to do is look at the context and read it for yourself.

So what happens when you take Malachi 3 out of context? You get video ‘challenges’ such as the one below

Malachi 3 DOES NOT mean that if we give a tenth of our income, God is guaranteed to rain down monetary or any other blessings on us as some teach. Some even teach that nothing will ‘devour’ your finances as if tithing was some sort of insurance policy.

I did a previous post called ‘What do we do with those old testament laws today which you can view here where I broke down the various laws in the old testament. Tithing would come under civil law and is not binding on us today.

The New Testamant

So what about the new testament? Is tithing mentioned? Well we can see Jesus apparently endorsing tithes in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42……or did he?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Matthew 23:23)

These scriptures are the ones that people use as proof text that Jesus commanded that we tithe today, but while Jesus was alive he was still operating under the old testament laws and the new testament had not fully been ratified. How do we know this? I would say for two reasons.

Firstly, when Jesus healed people, one of the first things he told them was to show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Luke 17:14). This was part of the levitical law (Leviticus 14:2) and we do not have to do this today.

Secondly, Hebrews 9:15-17 makes it clear that a new testament can only come in place after the death of the testator.

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

The other references to tithing are in Hebrews 7 which just reference the old testament stating historical fact so again, they are not a commandment to us.

So what is the new testament pattern for giving?

2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 give us the principles for giving today.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (which tithers do); for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7)

In a sense, it is harder to give from the heart as God sees the motives for why you are giving.

Many people are living in bondage to tithing, giving out of what they don’t have and as a result, get into real debt.

Here is an example of the type of advice that you should NOT listen to

So basically Pat Robinson has told this writer to keep tithing at the risk of losing their home and being unable to pay their bills. This is very bad advice and if your church or Pastor gives you the same advice, do not adhere to it.

I think the bible says something different.

11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality , that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. (2 Cor 8:11-14)

If you are in serious debt e.g. arrears in loans, then you should be doing what you can to pay back that money to the loan company and then when you can, then give . This is called good stewardship and should not be seen as ‘not putting God first”. If you don’t have, you can’t give and should not be made to feel guilty for ‘not paying your tithes’. As the scripture above says, there should be equality, but that it not what we see these days. A lot of churches are getting fatter financially and their members are suffering as a result.

For those of you in debt and are still tithing. Please watch this video and do not live in bondage to tithing. There is so much freedom in Christ.

So in conclusion, there is no where in scripture that expects or commands New Testament believers to tithe

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

For those of you are not familiar with ‘pleading the blood’, see two example videos below

You will see in both cases, they have used ‘pleading’ in the context of a court case and it sounds palatable but the question is, is pleading the blood biblical? Can we find it ANYWHERE explicitly or even implicitly in the bible.

In the first video, he quotes 1 John 2:1 where it states “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”. He then uses this to equate it with the (western) justice system that we have today where the accused has to normally plead innocent or guilty. So he says, when the question is asked “how do you plead?”, the Christian states ‘ I plead the blood’. Can we use 1 John 2:1 as scriptural authority to plead the blood? A plain reading of the text would suggest not.

Now in the second video, the lady said that ‘pleading the blood’ was one of the best fighting tools that the Christian has but even she admitted that she didnt have her scriptures but she knew what she said was true (See my post Emotionalism and Experience versus Sound doctrine). And with the scriptures that did come up on the screen, ALL do talk about the blood but NONE mention ANYTHING about pleading the blood. Lets take a look at each one

Matthew 26:28 – For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

To try to make it out that this is scriptural proof is eisegesis (making your point to fit the scripture) instead of exegesis (making the scriptue speak for itself). In this series, you will see this happen over and over again. She even said what I stated in my introduction how this tradition came from generations and how it had been ‘forgotten’.

Another context that you will see people ‘pleading the blood’ is in the context of spiritual warfare. An example of this maybe if someone is moving into a new house, they may go into each room and ‘plead the blood of Jesus’ to cleanse the room of any demons. Or if they think that Satan is involved in any part of their life or anyone elses life (e.g demon possession), they will plead the blood or say something like ‘The blood is against you’ as if it is a type of exorcism or some type of spriritual ‘abracadabra’ that will get rid of evil spririts. Some may even use the Exodus 12 where it talks about the passover where the Israelites had to put blood on the door posts but that would REALLY be stretching the scriptures to say that somehow, that means that we as new testament believers should ‘plead the blood’ (even though I’m sure it hasn’t stopped others from doing so).

The bottom line is this and I will quote Got Questions:

Pleading the blood of Jesus” has no basis whatsoever in Scripture. No one in the Bible ever “pleads the blood” of Christ. Those who “plead the blood” do so as if there was something magical in those words or as if by using them their prayer is somehow more powerful.

If anyone can show me ANY scripture that tells believers to ‘plead the blood’, I really would like to know and I’m willing to be corrected

As I wrote on ‘Yo mama’

A text without a context is a pretext. It simply means this: Scripture without context will be used by people to try and get the Bible to say whatever they want it to say, instead of (with context) what it actually says”. When we quote scriptures out of context, we do not only dishonour those very scriptures but more importantly, we dishonour the God of those scriptures.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God