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Understanding Biblical Giving and Redefining Prosperity

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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  - 2Corinthians 9: 6 (NIV)

There was an uproar in the charismatic world this past week when a well respected theologian decided to spend a week on the Benny Hinn Television program. Dr. Michael Brown spent that week discussing Jesus in the Old Testament and the subject of hyper-grace with the renowned false teacher. On these subjects there was no controversy but the overarching point was that the falseness of Hinn's 40 + years in "ministry" were never addressed. That is a subject for another day however as a needed debate brewed after between Dr. Brown and Christian music artist turned pastor, Steven Camp. During the two hour exchange between the two, Dr. Brown asked a question that may need some clarification these days amidst the plethora of false prosperity doctrines. That question is this:

Is it doctrinally sound to believe that as you give financially God will bless you financially?

Giving is one of those subjects that divide many believers and has done more damage to the cause of Christ than most others due to the abuses of the Bible by men seeking to make money by misusing God. But we do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater when discussing financial giving. Hopefully by reviewing what Scripture says we can clear the waters that so many have muddied. Let me start by saying that it was reassuring to hear that both Dr. Brown and Pastor Camp denounced tithing as not being biblically supported in the New Testament. Instead of spending time here on that matter, if you are interested here was a previous review of the tithing issue which came up during my brief exposition on the Book of Malachi:

The first thing we must recognize is that there is a general principle regarding giving found in the New Testament and it is the key verse today. This principle is simply known as sowing and reaping. While this principle applies to more than just finances, there is no question when examining the surrounding context that Paul is addressing financial giving to the ministry. This is also confirmed in Scripture:

One person gives freely, yet gains even more;   another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.  - Proverbs 11: 24 (NIV)

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