Fallacies of Faith for Finances – The Father’s House Church of Stockton

Posted on May 30, 2012

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Fallacies of Faith for Finances – The Father’s House Church of Stockton

Much of the American church has been programmed about faith for finances in ministry so much so that there are ministries with their entire focus on faith for finances. I am about to take some Holy Ghost dynamite and blow that thinking to the pit of hell where it belongs. I hope you join me in the continued disgust of how the work of the Lord is sold like a Amway product with some ministries. Proper and biblical conduct with finances is mostly unheard of and things like church investments, pledges, seed faith, and selling everything from used goods, cakes, to fireworks has replaced what the Word of God says about finances. My passion for sharing this is that God is stirring the church right now (and me) to get things into right order, finances being one of those things and especially to the finances used in the church.

Fallacies of Faith for Finances

You hear so many things about living by faith and granted God does want us to live by faith, but that living by faith is not completely focused on finances. Just to start with look at these two passages and tell me how faith for finances fits.

 

I Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

 

II Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

 

Three times in the word of God is the analogy of ox treading out the corn and being fed by the corn is giving to us.  When the Word of God repeats something three times it is a pretty clear message. Then the passage of Thessalonians say that food comes by working for it, not faith. This is just two passages, there are many more plus implications in other Bible stories that whether you serve in full time in the gospel or in the secular world, reward is based on working and being rewarded for your efforts. Let’s get back to our ox. How foolish would it be to tell the ox to not look at the corn he is treading and just trust somehow and some way God would meet his need.  Maybe that ox should go to his mailbox and see if a check he was not expecting is there to meet all his needs. This is pure foolishness but ministers have been taught this for generations and pass it on to the next generation. In reality the master takes a portion of the corn and sets it aside to care for the ox and the ox has no worries at all. God, the master has made that provision for the minister of the gospel as well, it’s called the tithe. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the tithing and its validity for today I have others studies you can read or listen to regarding it.

 

Poor Foundation

A poor foundation causes the entire house to suffer or even fail.  If you see a home where too much moisture has caused a portion of the foundation to sink or dry rot or termites have damaged some of the foundational structure, this weakness will cause walls to crack and even the roof to sag and dip over the weak area of the foundation. This is what we see in the church where the giving structure is not proper. Unbiblical practices of giving and use of funds is causes entire houses of God to collapse or at least experience the cracks and sags due to the weakness and wrong practices. Consider this passage about building on a good foundation.

 

Matthew 7: 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

 

The first thing I ask you is what are the sayings of mine that Jesus is referring too?  Jesus is the Word, and Jesus is referring to the whole council of God found in all the Word. When we hearing His sayings we must be the doers of the word, not just the hearers of it. The word of God outlines from cover to cover about the ministers of God being taken care of and blessed by the work of their hands with the tithe being the primary resource. The tithe existed prior to the law and in the law it was documented in greater detail, these are the words of Jesus and our foundation to make a house that will stand in the storms. If we do not listen we are like the foolish man building upon the sands.  We may look good until the rains come, then the house will collapse.

 

Tithes & Offerings

The tithe has always been designated to go to priests, the full time ministers of God.  Offerings were used for all other uses in the kingdom.  Under the law Levites did not receive an inheritance of the land because their lives were dedicated to full time ministry and their sons after them.  Here in America pastors used to have a parsonage on the church grounds almost like the Levites, the church was their life.  Today ministers have lives separate and apart from their ministry and need their personal space and personal life away from the church.  A simple study in the Word will show that all tithes should be being used to support the ministers of the gospel and offerings should be where all other needs should be taken from.  In most churches there is a lack of ministers supported by tithe and the local church is top heavy with building expenses that consume a large portion of the tithe.  Sadly this building that eats up most of the tithe sets empty most of the week while the needs of people go unmet due to the lack of ministers that do not exist because of lack of funds. This is a poor foundation and in these hard economic times many of the ministries operating this way are suffering. Most operate like this because this is the way the American church has done it for years. Just think of all the board meetings it would take to see if a local church could start receiving and using it funds the way the Bible prescribes.

 

The Local Church and Apostolic Vision

The local church and apostolic vision are God’s pattern of being the hub of financial activity. Today people often given how every they wish or think is right in their own mind.

 

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

 

In the book of Judges the above passages or wording like it appears three times and was one of the main issues why life was a roller coaster ride in the book of Judges.  During Judges the people experience bondage to the enemy followed by great deliverance than back into bondage. Today many people give or don’t give their tithes and offering based on what they think is right in their own eyes.  Some of this is rebellions but I believe it is mostly poor teaching and understanding of the Bible.  When I first got saved I operated in this manner as well because I was not taught properly. My personal finances came into right order more and more as I have studied the word myself and came to understand God’s simple patterns of giving and use of the funds. Many truly receive their biggest blessing from a TV ministry so they feel they should send their tithe to that ministry which on the surface sounds acceptable but in reality is not. On the other hand we broadcast our ministry and have had thousands of viewers of the years and rarely receive an offering which is just as wrong.

 

The local church and or local apostolic vision needs to be the center of giving. If we just think a little bit we can see with common sense and without a huge biblical dissertation why the local vision is the place to begin giving at.  How many of us pay taxes to a city or county across the nation from us? The answer is absolutely none. Our tax base against our homes and many of sources goes to support local schools and various government activities. Even our federal taxes that go to Washington are supposed to be used for the benefit that comes back to our region. TV and other ministers are after their followers to keep them on the air and asking for funds which more than likely they know the local church will suffer as they are blessed. Then these ministries which have a valid place create such a money machine that they devote a portion of every broadcast and sometime complete broadcast to just raising money. This should be a clue that something is wrong; not with their ministry or their doctrine but with how the finances of the kingdom are being used. These big money machine ministries scare the local church and if they have valid teaching their church needs the local church would not recommend watching them for fear you may quit coming to church and giving. There is a way for it all work together, but the local church has to be the center of ministry.

 

Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34  Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35  And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

 

When the people of the Book of Acts came on board with the vision of the local church, with passion they did things like in the above passage to bless others and the local minister and ministry made decisions on the use of the funds. These apostles with wisdom and God’s help used to the finances to bless people and build the kingdom. This where faith needs to come, that as God blesses we will listen to Him and do as He pleases with the blessing. Local money raised locally, given to a local minister known by all, used in the local community, this is God’s way.

 

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

 

Jerusalem First

Jerusalem has to be first. This again is God’s pattern, Jesus even sent the disciples first to the lost sheep of Israel before sending them out to the lost and the rest of the world. Today people love the grandiose things or as one person recently said, they run from the ordinary looking for the extra-ordinary. If there is national or state prayer movement, a regional or national stadium event it is exciting and generates often millions of dollars while most of those giving and serving rarely witness in their home towns.  These excitement seekers can go across country to participate in these events because they do not have any regular duties in the local church and the local church isn’t counting on their tithes either because they rarely see them. After the dust settles from the excitement the local community or the national level is no better in most cases. Cause they spent hundreds if not thousands personally on this big meeting they rave about how great it was with little or no fruit to show for. If we can’t follow something as simple as reach our Jerusalem first how can we do much else for the Lord? If our Jerusalem is first, obviously the focus of our giving would be locally. Is has become almost a cliché “I am called to the nations.” If this is true, then God will give you a new Jerusalem when you arrive in that nation you are called to for that season and you will be serving and giving locally.

 

Lack of Trust

One excuse or maybe even a valid reason for not giving locally is the use of funds. This is another place for faith and involvement. Money and it’s use should not be a secret. If a person truly has a heart to see God’s funds used properly and they have the knowledge to do so, maybe they should be one of those apostles making those decisions and getting it all done. We should be able to ask questions about finances and pray for the leaders that God gives them the wisdom to use resources in a biblical manner. We have to let go and believe God and trust those that he has placed as leaders. Getting involved regarding the money and ministry should be about ministry not being the watch dog. For as many stories of miracles with finances there are horror stories of misuse of funds but God is bigger than all that.

 

Alternatives To Tithes

Because ministers are afraid to talk too much about giving they are forced to find other means to take care of the needs of the local church. If giving is a problem, why not teach about it?  If adultery was going on in the church would we teach about it? If the majority of the church have in-biblical giving practices after being Christians for years then teaching on giving is severely needed. Since tithes and offerings in general are not the standard of the church, the church has taken on other means to accomplish its goals.  Again this is not building on the rock but upon the sand.  Churches commonly haves sales to raise money, cake sales, firework booths, car washes, crab feeds, and parking lot sales. Working and earning money is a good thing but that is something we do as individuals and tithe and give offering from those funds.  There is no biblical example of exhortation for the church to sponsor and propagate the raising of funds.  As sited earlier, those that bought and sold lands and gave the proceeds to the apostles and the apostles distributed those funds as they were lead was all done outside the church.  The early church appointed deacons to care for the widows and other church duties so the ministers of the gospel could remain in the Word and in prayer.  Today ministers promote and spearhead fundraisers which are not even biblical as the work of deacons. Sadly these things are so common that the reality of how faithless and unscriptural they are does not even cross their minds. A few questions for you; would you ask the people of your mission field to wash cars to raise money so you could minister to them? Of course not, yet we program our teens to wash cars at a church fund raising event so we can send them to camp.  Teaching work ethic is great, but not as a church sponsored event. Would King David have a crab feed and sell tickets to the Philistines so he could get some extra cash in the Israelite coffers because the Israelites were taught poorly about tithing? Sounds crazy but the reason why is because it is crazy and the American church is selling everything under the sun to the unsaved world because they don’t teach Christian how to give.

 

Leviticus 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.

 

The tithe is holy and is what the church should be supporting its ministers with, yet we use the common dollar of the world often generated by un-biblical methods to do God’s work.

 

Have Faith Brother

Often the faith for finances drum is drummed to us if our finances are not in order and because the work of the Lord is suffering we feel condemn and ask, is it because we are not walking in faith correctly? Why does this not feel like God? Because it’s not God’s way.

 

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 

Above are a couple of real good faith verses often used as a sword and not bread to someone who is suffering financially. These passages were not written conclusively to the American church that has adopted bake sale mentality but to believers that were taught you must work to earn wages and that the minister was to be supported by ministry. The ministers knew that the dedicated believers would bless them as they have generations of teaching on tithes and offerings, there uses and blessings.  The others knew that if they worked they would be rewarded as well because they were taught so.

 

If only Elijah would have had a cash wash, maybe he would not have had to rely on food by ravens.  If only Elijah would have sponsored a crab feed he would not have had to live with the widow and expect God to provide meal and oil every day.  Remember Elijah lived in a time like us where giving and much of the believers lives was out of order.

 

We Have To Come Into Biblical Order

Obviously if you are reading this and feel the witness of the Lord and want to change things in your personal finances or in your ministry often we are so committed to our current ways it would take a miracle to get on the right track. In a household usually a couple has to agree for change, in a ministry it may be a board that has to agree, either way there is no simple answer.  Many of you may be saying that you have done things a certain way for years, how can we change? There are fund raisers that almost have a life of their own and may have been an annual event for more than twenty years. No matter how much of a tradition a thing is, God’s way must prevail.

 

Matthew 27:6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

 

The priest, as evil as they were in Jesus time, knew that money that was not a tithe or offering, and in this case blood money, it could not be put in the treasury of God it had to be used otherwise. Today the church is happy to take money from any source and use it for any purpose, with the exception of teaching on tithes and offerings like we should. Each one of us must do our part and where we are out of order, pray by faith that God will do that miracle and help us get out of the rut of tradition and get in line with the will of the Father.

 

Farris Baker

The Father’s House Church of Stockton

www.TheFathersHouseStockton.org

 

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