Let’s remember that Christians can read the same Bible and come to different conclusions about tithing. Some believe that the Bible does teach tithing for Christians today and some disagree. Same Bible, different conclusions. Both love the word of God but both have different positions on this. So…if you don’t teach tithing then simply substitute ‘giving’ or ‘stewardship’ and this series will still relate.
This is part five of a six part series on why preaching on tithing doesn’t work. If need be, you can start the series here.
We have this idea that if people don’t tithe we can correct this by teaching on tithing. The assumptions are, a) they don’t know about tithing and once they hear about it they will change, b) they know about tithing but have drifted out of the habit of tithing and once we teach about it they will change, c) they know perfectly well about tithing but are ignoring the scriptures and once we teach about it they will come under conviction, run forward during your sermon weeping and wailing and begging you to take their money.
I don’t doubt that sometimes…sometimes one of these three happen. But this is rare and we’ve already discussed why this is so in previous parts fo this series.
Here is the fifth reason why preaching on tithing doesn’t work. I think we miss the underlying reasons why people don’t give or give sparingly.
People don’t give because fear. They worry that if they give then there will not be enough left over to meet their living expenses.
People don’t give because of materialism. Our culture has convinced us that we always need the best and the latest thing on the market. The advertisers job is to make us discontent with what we have so that we will buy what they have.
People don’t give because of selfishness. We all have to fight the urge to put ourselves first. Selfishness tempts us to hold on to what we have whether it be our time, talents, or money. It’s mine, it’s mine, it’s mine.
People don’t give because of a lack of faith. In God’s economy what goes around comes around, or in Bible words, “Whatever a person sows, that they will reap.” A lack of faith in God’s promises hold us all back at some time or another.
Now have you noticed that one could teach on fear, materialism, selfishness, and faith, and say nothing about tithing. These four examples apply to many areas of our lives but are particularly applicable to tithing, they are some of the foundational reasons whey teaching on tithing doesn’t work.
Hey…I’ve just given you a great four-point sermon.
A call to all Christians to join with me in a new
non-violent, anti-war movement… with each other.