I wrote a note about tithe and pastors a few weeks ago. I tagged some people, others I did not but then also read it. In a previous article, I wrote
Church traditions versus the Word == controversy. “| Anything, however good it is, presented as a law will never benefit God’s people until it is presented as of faith! So, what I am examining here is the truth in the Word vis a vis Church traditions.
Some people who have read might have found an excuse to stop tithing or giving. Others are genuinely wondering why we tithe, others love the study of the scriptures. Others, after reading have been offended, others have decided to be like the Berean [Act 17:10 But the brothers at once sent both Paul and Silas to Berea during the night; who having arrived went into the synagogue of the Jews. Act 17:11 And these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness, daily examining the Scriptures if these things are so. ], others have agreed.
While I wrote to bring to light what the New Testament Church did with their money and giving, it would also be wise to add that the Church was one. Any teaching in the body of Christ is meant to build, knit together, mature believers. Not withstanding, some are babes in the Lord who should crave pure spiritual milk [1Co 3:1 And, brothers, I was not able to speak to you as to spiritual ones, but as to fleshly ones, as to babes in Christ. 1Co 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, and not food, for you were not then able, for neither are you yet able now. ], some are young men, and some are Fathers. In simple terms, some of us have grown up more than others. More still, some of us might think we are right when we are wrong, and some of us may think we are wrong when we are right.
The Church of the New Testament was united, not according to denomination, or doctrine, or a man’s calling; rather it was imperative that Christ united all. It was the desire of Christ and still is that we all mature to the same level, so that as prophesied Jer 31:34 And they shall no longer each man teach his neighbor, and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah. For they shall all know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them, declares Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.
. In essence that we might be at the same level. Yet I will share about the greatest. Love. Knowledge, Paul rightly said, puffs up. Those who know more may look down on others who know less and create factions saying for example ” we cannot fellowship with people who think the only way to worship is by singing”, or “I cannot just give ten percent, I owe my whole life to God…” or “I belong to Ap. so and so”.
Yes, it is intimated “2Ti 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be perfected, being fully furnished for every good work. ” . We need to learn how to be reproved, corrected, instructed so that we can be fully prepared for every good work. Love cannot be an excuse to live in sin, and reject the truth of God.
However, this is what the love of Christ does: regardless how I disagree with you, it should not give me a reason to stop fellowship with you. Fellowship, in this case, I do not mean gathering once in a while, but relationship with you.
Because of doctrines and special “callings”, the body of Christ has become this: “butchered, fragmented, sliced and diced into denominations, movements and parachurch organisations” . I need to accept someone who does not eat meat just as the one who does not must accept it. I must accept someone who tithes and the one who does not. I must accept the one who drinks wine and the one who does not. I must accept them. On what grounds? On the grounds that Christ desires it.
Rom 15:4-7 For whatever things were written before were written for our instruction, that through patience and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. And may the God of patience and encouragement give to you to mind the same thing among one another according to Christ Jesus, that with one accord and with one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, receive one another as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
We have been received by Christ, so let us receive each other. Pray for each other and pray that the day will come, when the fault lines of doctrine, denomination, “men of God” (clergy) have been removed. Where Christ is all. Not Pastor M… or Pastor N or Pastor O. Not on the teaching of circumcision or whatever.
The only time a person is excused from the body of Christ, and please note “excused” is when he himself intentionally refuses what we saw above 2 Tim 3:16-17 and continues to live in sin. Why is he “excused” coz he might poison the unity. When he is excused, sometimes he does repent, like the brother in 1st and 2 Corinthians; sometimes, he may be given up so that his soul shall be saved on the last day.
So, if you’ve read my previous note. Maintain this, peace, love, the bond of the Spirit. Remember, knowledge can puff up, but love, the law of love, the love of Christ builds. If you and I disagree, it is okay, we are still growing in the Lord, it takes time sometimes but let Christ remain and let us join together. Let us blur out the lines tradition has painted , let us remove the wall of denomination, or doctrine, and become the Church- Christ;s bride, His temple made of living stones, His body.For when we do that- surely the world shall recognise and be drawn unto us and in essence unto Christ.
For your own reading, 1 John 2 is a gem.