Protestant Sermon on Tithes

While I was in Europe, I ended up visiting a Hillsong service because of my sister. Anyways, there was a sermon (sort of) by this self-professed multi-millionaire (in about 10 years he says) and he was explaining about tithing. Afterwards, I felt extremely bothered by it :ehh: especially since it seems so disapproving of mendicant orders which I am very inspired by (Saint Francis :thumbsup:), so just wondering if there is any truth to his sermon (if at all). Here are just random snippets I was able to copy down from the sermon…

*Is being poor scriptural? He says no. Having money and being financially stable is the way to help others. He says there are 70% of parables in the bible related to money, and he mentions Luke 16:10 as a way to show that being financially stable etc. is a way to show that a person is trustworthy in small matters (vs. the great matters in heaven).
Says being poor is not what God wants. Says if you are poor, then you can’t give (and he points out the Bible says to give much). He mentions scripture that “blessed are the poor” is in reference to spirit, not in finance, so this is not the Bible telling people to be poor.

He mentions Deuteronomy 6:5, and he says a more accurate translation of loving God with all your “heart, soul, strength” is “emotions, reasoning, and money” and uses this to point out that God wants you to love with all your money, not to get rid of your money.

He mentions how if we can’t be trusted with money then we can’t be trusted with real riches (Luke 16:10) Says tithe is before the mosaic law and so we should do tithe. He says if you don’t tithe, you are still saved etc. (This guy is a OSAS, just saying) but no covenant or blessing is made in regards to finances because to not tithe is to take control of your own finances instead of letting it up to God.

He says Jesus isn’t poor. Mentions Deuteronomy 8:10. Says you should pray after you eat, not before. Also, Deuteronomy mentions being thankful for the “excellent land which He hath given thee” and so this is an example that God does not want us to be poor. He then mentions Deuteronomy 8:11 to beware of forgetting God, and that God wants us to be financially good, and just not to forget about God. He then mentions Deuteronomy 8:13 and how a person is given riches (oxen, sheep, gold, silver…) and says that if you can’t handle gold here then you will be digging the streets of gold in the new Heaven.

He then says he became a multimillionaire in 10 years from the slums by giving his finances to God, etc. He then mentions Matthew 19:16. He says not all commandments are mentioned to show a point about financial living (don’t have his explanation). Once the man asks what more to do to attain eternal life in Matthew 19, the guy mentions Matthew 19:23, and Matthew 19:25, how it is against what is said in Deuteronomy and is the reason why the apostles are against this and says it is impossible. Then he says that it is possible only through God. He says if humans think having 100% of money is better than 90% of money, that’s not correct. He says that if we tithe so we have 90% of money, then we will receive more than 100% in return. He then ended the sermon with prayer for financial well-being of everyone in the theater.*

Sounds like false prosperity teaching.

This is just a lay opinion, but money itself is not evil or good. It’s how we use it, how we obtain it, and how we view it that makes all of the difference. Being poor does not make you instantly good nor is being rich inherently evil. It’s focusing on stuff that is the real issue. Rich or poor can obsess about obtaining, maintaining, and valuing money or things just as easily.

Sounds OK to me. Not sure if you are stressing about "poor’ or tithing. But I can’t recall if bible says He desires us to be poor. Bible deals more with spiritual things, of which tithing is and being rich or poor is immaterial on many aspects. If it is false prosperity stuff then we must be weary of false poverty also, as if it were “spiritual” . Both are extremes, and immaterial to tithing and any truth to tithing has blessings to poor and rich.

This is a wise post indeed. Money is neutral, it is our earning, value and usage that determines our morality. It is wise to earn a good living to feed clothe and educate a family. There is need to put aside luxuries to provide alms to the poor. It is good to py for the Church’s laborers in the field, but to also maintain your charity to mainly Catholic charities so as to glorify the Lord in their works. Thus giving to a Catholic leper hospital in India is better than giving to a UN sanctioned “charity” that may support abortion or contraception.

Hillsong is famous for its bags that collect only notes, letting the coins fall on the ground.
American evangelical churches on television are famous for the false teaching that giving to the Church will result in God making you wealthy.
From an examination of the world’s population I believe He doesn’t care if we are rich or poor in money terms. He looks for greater riches.

One of the best ways to make money is to get paid to tell other people how to make money.

Still, I find myself recalling this:

Jas 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Jas 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Jas 2:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jas 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Does it say that wealth is wrong? No, it says that valuing wealth is wrong.

Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

This is the hard part. 30 000 children died from poverty yesterday, 30 000 more today, and I’m not making any bets on it changing tomorrow. If I were rich, I would have to do some very serious soul-searching about whether I were really using all of that money (beyond what I needed to keep body and soul together) in ways which unnecessarily benefited myself or in ways which benefited others who were in far more desperate need. (Fortunately, I became a teacher, and so I will never face the headache of being rich.)

Can you be rich and still care about others? I presume so, but it would not be easy.

Agreed. It can be said that how we use our resources (gifts from God) is, in many ways, our ministry to those around us. While we receive the means of grace through word and sacrament within the walls of our church building, our ministry, His ministry, takes place outside those walls.

Jon

Well, he’s obviously denying the obvious sense of the Scripture.

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

He’s right that poverty is not for everyone (e.g. the women who supported Jesus and Joseph who bought the tomb), but not that poverty is for no one, and certainly not that financial wealth is for everyone and guaranteed to all Christians.

I once went to a Benny Hinn concert and the buckets were passed around, and the question was asked who can give $1000? God is prompting you to give. I decided I would give as much as the 10 well-dressed well-feed pastors who were sitting on the stage. That ended up being $0. :shrug:

Just my 2 cents worth.

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