The real problem however is in the third lesson -- Managing Money God's Way. Here we get a glimpse into the mind of someone clearly obsessed with money. Harris insists that he is "digging deep" into Matthew 25 but the lesson is so shallow that it misses the entire point. Harris teaches that the Parable of the Talents shows us three keys for financial management the way God intended for us. The first is that we must be proactive with our money because the two servants that were praised double the master's money. The second is that we must increase our ability to manage God's money because they were then given more to manage. The third and perhaps most insidious point is that we must manage our money knowing we will be held accountable. Is that heavy enough in law for you? Well relax because none of it is actually what God is saying in this parable. The Parable of the Talents is part of the closing encouragement from Jesus before the cross. Parables are used as imagery not to be taken as literally as Harris does here. The issue is more about knowing Christ and not knowing Him. The reason the first two servants doubled their money is that they knew the Master they served. It is not about money though -- that is used allegorically. It is about what has been entrusted to all of us who follow Christ and that is His Word. Not only sharing it but our obedience to it. The problem with the lazy servant is he did not know the Master. He was unsaved beloved. Just look at how he describes Him!
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.' -- Matthew 25: 24-25 (ESV)
Does this sound like he knew God? Of course not. The result is he is thrown into darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is used consistently to refer to hell. So is Ray Harris actually teaching that if you do not tithe correctly you will go to hell? Yes that is exactly what he infers and he goes further to essentially say that if you do not manage every dime correctly and turn a profit, then you are the lazy servant and we have established where he ends up. The Parable of the Talents is a beautiful illustration of the charge we have in Christ to know our Master, serve our Master, and ultimately please our Master. It is not a financial principle that says we have to double our money our wee will end up in hell.
Beloved, the New Testament says that God loves a cheerful giver. We are always bound by the Biblical universal principle of sowing and reaping. This is not a testimonial against giving. If you are in a church that truly preaches the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ then there is no better investment for your money and I would encourage you that 10 percent is too little an amount. Then there is giving throughout the body of believers, which the Book of Acts teaches us is what we are supposed to do. They will know us by our love for each other and giving is love. There is nothing loving in preaching a compulsory system of forced giving that threatens your eternal salvation if not done correctly. That is law without grace. Ray Harris can hide behind fancy speakers, carnal principles and even heavy metal bands but he cannot escape the fact that in order to teach what he believes he must mangle the Bible beyond recognition. ACDC was right. It is all up for grabs and it is all for a price. Even in the church sadly, money talks.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- September 16, 2017