Wow, this is stunningly correct and the point
even Joseph Prince could not see. Fear and guilt are wielded viscously by many
churches and giving is usually one of the favorite cudgels used. Catholic
churches routinely tells congregants what they will be giving towards new
building projects based on their family salary. If not met, public shaming or
expulsion may even occur. Most evangelical churches are not so overt but the
pressure is definitely on. I have seen hirelings steal church memberships from
people there decades before them because they refuse to be public about their
giving. Dollar is also right that under the Old Testament law, there were
untold blessings for obedience and untold curses for disobedience. Of course,
no one could keep the entire law, which is why God sent His only Son to earth
to begin with.
"Alright now watch this. The New Testament talks about the importance and the benefits of giving, that's what it talks about. We are to give as we are able. And sometimes that means giving more than 10%. Sometimes that means giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the Body of Christ. So every Christian should diligently pray and seek God's wisdom in the matters of participating on how much you should give. That's the whole point. We're Christians now, under the grace of God, we have a relationship with God. We need to be talking to God about giving us wisdom in our giving." - Creflo Dollar
It feels almost dirty saying this but Creflo Dollar is correct. He is referencing the key verses for today which outline what New Testament giving should look like. First off, we are still bound by a general principle of sowing and reaping, which is supported elsewhere in scripture. This is to prevent those who might think they can get away with being cheap or overly frugal when it comes to kingdom matters. Secondly, we must decide how much to give and that giving should never be reluctant or under compulsion. This eliminates tithing from consideration because tithing by definition is under compulsion. God loves a cheerful giver! By the way, if you and the Holy Spirit decide on ten percent, knock yourself out but do not call it tithing! So, while I applaud Mr. Dollar for this newfound correct theology, this is not repentance. Do not confuse it beloved. The bible gives us clarity on any subject and for this we turn to the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. As a tax collector, he had routinely cheated his own people out of their money, much like Creflo did for decades. Faced with his own sin at an invitation from Jesus, here was how Zacchaeus responded:
'But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."' - Luke 19:8 (NIV)
Just as a baseline, Zacchaeus decided to give away half of his wealth and on top of that, pay back anyone he cheated four times the value of the cheat. While I am sure this still left him very well-off, it showed true contrition. I am sure Zacchaeus did not say he would not apologize, even though he could have used the same lame excuse Creflo provided. Could you imagine the reverberation throughout the halls of the NAR and apostate church if Creflo Dollar donated 13.5 million dollars to charity and agreed to buy back all of the false teaching materials he sold over the years? Some would still cry for his scalp because that would still leave him with ten million or so but c'mon. Citing Zacchaeus as the model, I think I would be fine with that except his insistence on now teaching greasy grace. The abusive tithe teacher part of his life and ministry? I would close the book on it. But not now. Not under these "I won't apologize for anything" conditions.
The first link above was to the transcribed sermon from Protestia but the second was found on Dr. Michael Brown's website today in response to the Dollar story. It is a simple repost of a three-minute teaching Brown did on tithing. There was simply so much wrong in these three minutes that it deserved a response. Brown actually tries to split the bill more than Dollar. Now, Dr. Brown is too learned to try and pretend that tithing as a part of the law, is still required today and he says it is not. That is unfortunately the last truth he utters here. Brown's claim is that while not "law", tithing is still a spiritual "principle" of sorts. This is the sort of false teaching that tithing teachers flip to when busted for their "law" adherence. Suddenly now tithing becomes a principle or they change the name to "first fruits." Either way it is deceptive beyond words, especially since the key verses show that God already explained New Testament giving. He does not need Michael Brown to invent a new principle or change tithing into first fruits. The first defense offered by Brown is that tithing existed before the law, citing Genesis 14 and 28. This was one of the first false tithing teachings I refuted in my book about tithing lies. The deception is in conflating the tithing system, with individual instances of people giving a "tithe", which simply means ten percent. Let's turn to Genesis 14, which deals with Abram:
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself."
But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.' I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me"to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share." - Genesis 14:20-24 (NIV)