God, Grace and Tithing

While I tick off the miles as I deliver my next load of freight I spend a lot of time listening to the radio. While my favorite network is whatever Public Radio station that happens to be within range that is delivering some brain wave material it is not unusual for me to find areas that are underserved by NPR (National Public Radio). One thing that there is abundance of throughout the airwaves is Christian radio stations. One Christian network I am fond of is KLOVE. While I am not a Christian I do love Jesus, and I find that KLOVE delivers on what they advertise, which is "positive and encouraging".

Anyway, amongst the Christian broadcasting is a lot of preaching. Here is my viewpoint on the "fundamentalist" or "evangelical" slant of preaching:

If you want to get to heaven you must be "saved" (or perhaps "born again"). To be "saved" you must accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior. Once you have done this the deed is done. No further action is required, because it is "grace alone" that reserves your place in heaven. You need not worry about doing "good works" because "good works" will not get you into heaven unless you have the grace that is granted by accepting Jesus.

Do you understand this? What they preach is that once you accept Jesus it is the "Grace of God" that is going to get you into heaven and you really do not have to do anything else. This is important to understanding "fundamentalists" and "evangelicals".

However they seem to be willing to compromise their standards when it comes to "tithing". No "good works" are required, and they can site Bible passages to prove it, until it comes to money. When tithing is the subject they will then come up with Bible passages that prove that you must tithe. I think this is because someone has to pay the salary of the preacher. If the preacher can not convince his congregation to tithe he is going to have to get what the rest of us would call a "real job". Ahem, shouldn't "tithing" be included in the list of things that would be described as "good works"?

I would not be so condemnatory of "tithing" except that I heard it described in such terms that I must absolutely SHOUT out against. I heard one preacher state that when he was asked if an impoverished widow should tithe off her Social Security stipend the answer was yes. His reasoning was that God pours out his blessings to those who tithe. The poor widow should not be denied these blessings by not tithing.

Meanwhile, the preacher who's salary is paid by the tithing puts steak on his table while the poor widow buys a smaller can of cat food for dinner, or chooses to forgo medicine she needs so that she can afford to tithe. Why? Because the preacher says that is her ticket to heaven.

Since these preachers love quoting from the Bible, I am going to quote a little bit of it at them. Exodus 16:18 "And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed."


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