Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fake Giving

There is a tendency in Churches and among Christians to make pretend offerings. Fake Sacrifices. Phony giving. Let me make a few examples.

There is a church where a young couple are out of money. Short. Broke. The pastor says, "I'll pay your bills for you." Everyone cheers. Then, he takes up TWO offerings to accomplish the task. It cost HIM nothing and he is a hero.

There are all kinds of fake giving. Click here and you send money to Haiti. Click there and you send money to starving children. Click here and you will save the whales. None of this is true. It's fake giving. Fake sacrifice.

I think the one that bugs me the most is the giving away of things your got for free and you hold your head up high. Many times in finding goods to send to people in need, I find someone who is a big hero by giving away tee shirts, hats or socks they got for no price at all. They are giving without a sacrifice.

There is a great Bible story, I hope you read it. I believe that the Spirit of God has brought this to mind. The key passage is this, "I will not sacrifice anything that cost me nothing". I wish we had that ethos among us today. People are making non sacrificing sacrifices.



David, Satan, and Araunah

1 Chronicles 21:
1-2Now Satan entered the scene and seduced David into taking a census of Israel. David gave orders to Joab and the army officers under him, "Canvass all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and get a count of the population. I want to know the number."

3 Joab resisted: "May God multiply his people by hundreds! Don't they all belong to my master the king? But why on earth would you do a thing like this—why risk getting Israel into trouble with God?"

4-7 But David wouldn't take no for an answer, so Joab went off and did it— canvassed the country and then came back to Jerusalem and reported the results of the census: There were 1,100,000 fighting men; of that total, Judah accounted for 470,000. Joab, disgusted by the command—it, in fact, turned his stomach!—protested by leaving Levi and Benjamin out of the census-taking. And God, offended by the whole thing, punished Israel.

8 Then David prayed, "I have sinned badly in what I have just done, substituting statistics for trust; forgive my sin—I've been really stupid."

9-10 God answered by speaking to Gad, David's pastor: "Go and give David this message: 'God's word: You have your choice of three punishments; choose one and I'll do the rest.'"

11-12 Gad delivered the message to David: "Do you want three years of famine, three months of running from your enemies while they chase you down, or three days of the sword of God—an epidemic unleashed on the country by an angel of God? Think it over and make up your mind. What shall I tell the One who sent me?"

13 David told Gad, "They're all terrible! But I'd rather be punished by God whose mercy is great, than fall into human hands."

14-15 So God unleashed an epidemic in Israel—seventy thousand Israelites died. God then sent the angel to Jerusalem but when he saw the destruction about to begin, he compassionately changed his mind and ordered the death angel, "Enough's enough! Pull back!"

15-16 The angel of God had just reached the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel hovering between earth and sky, sword drawn and about to strike Jerusalem. David and the elders bowed in prayer and covered themselves with rough burlap.

17 David prayed, "Please! I'm the one who sinned; I'm the one at fault. But these sheep, what did they do wrong? Punish me, not them, me and my family; don't take it out on them."

18-19 The angel of God ordered Gad to tell David to go and build an altar to God on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David did what Gad told him in obedience to God's command.

20-21 Meanwhile Araunah had quit threshing the wheat and was watching the angel; his four sons took cover and hid. David came up to Araunah. When Araunah saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed deeply before David, honoring the king.

22 David said to Araunah, "Give me the site of the threshing floor so I can build an altar to God. Charge me the market price; we're going to put an end to this disaster."

23 "O Master, my king," said Araunah, "just take it; do whatever you want with it! Look, here's an ox for the burnt offering and threshing paddles for the fuel and wheat for the meal offering—it's all yours!"

24-27 David replied to Araunah, "No. I'm buying it from you, and at the full market price. I'm not going to offer God sacrifices that are no sacrifice." So David bought the place from Araunah for six hundred shekels of gold. He built an altar to God there and sacrificed Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings. He called out to God and God answered by striking the altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering with lightning. Then God told the angel to put his sword back into its scabbard.

28 And that's the story of what happened when David saw that God answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite at the time he offered the sacrifice.


29-30 At this time the Tabernacle that Moses had constructed in the desert, and with it the Altar of Burnt Offering, were set up at the worship center at Gibeon. But David, terrified by the angel's sword, wouldn't go there to pray to God anymore. So David declared, "From now on, this is the site for the worship of God; this is the place for Israel's Altar of Burnt Offering."


May every man, woman and leader understand this principle. Giving without sacrifice is not giving. In fact, your offering will not be even accepted. Cain understood this after God dealt with him.

4 comments:

Steve Scott said...

Gene,

So true. I've recently had occasions to give unwanted things to "charity." I did them to get those things out of my garage, not because I had compassion on the poor. But I knew that I did it to help myself, and I also knew that I would receive no reward other than to have my garage less cluttered. I received my reward in full, but expected nothing more. Is that unrighteous?

Gene Redlin said...

No Steve. You did good.

My beef is with someone who comes to your house, gets stuff from you for free, then makes a big show of giving it to a ministry for praise.

Too much of that kind of thing going on. People Pretending to give sacrificially and are doing nothing. We used to call it soft money, I call it soft giving.

It's pretty close to what Ananias and Sapphira did.

Heart and Hands Int'l Ministries said...

You should see some of the clothing that is given to mission! Ripped, holes in them, stained...and rarely any money is given to help ship these "blessings."

But it is not only in the giving of things. It is in the giving of ourselves. For with the measure you meet out it WILL be measured back to you...
Did you think this scripture was talking about money? Oh slow of heart! It is talking about YOU! The very inner workings of your heart! Go back and read the scripture before it: Judge not lest ye be judged...

Jam 2:14 What use is it, my brothers, for a man to say that he has faith, if he does nothing? will such a faith give him salvation?
Jam 2:15 If a brother or a sister is without clothing and in need of the day's food,
Jam 2:16 And one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warm and full of food; but you do not give them the things of which their bodies have need, what profit is there in this?
Jam 2:17 Even so faith without works is dead.

You say you love ME? Then WHY do you not keep my commandments? Why is it so hard for you to love one another? To walk as I did when I was among you? Have I not shown you My love? Have I not been your example? Do I not yet wash Your feet? Yet you are too proud, too busy, to self absorbed to wash the feet of those around you with tears of love? Do you not know that it is MY tears that you would be crying? It is My Love that you would be giving? Have I not already given it to you and made it to flow from My Throne of Grace to you? Why then do you hold back? Why then do you pass by on the other side of the street an not get involved in My Business? You ask what IS my Business? Do you not know? It is the business of dying to self that I be raised up before men to draw them unto Myself! Can you not hear the cries and groans of mankind as they labor so self deceived under the burden of self? Self aggrandizement. Self promotion. Self fulfillment. And yet they are naked, hungry and tired. And their children starving. Starving for Love. For meaning. For direction. And many starving for food as well as the milk of human kindness. But genuine kindness has gone out of style, no longer in vogue, unless it makes one "look good and feel good." Otherwise why bother? But when I went about doing good, it wasnt an act, or an show... it was a flow from the throne to my own. Now You are my channels, You are my vesels to deliver the sip of cool water, that bread of life... but my vessels are too busy in strife! Debating as of old who is greatest, and who has done the most, made the most impact, contributed the most... and so you greive My holy Ghost. Repent! Get off your high horse and take once again My Yoke upon you and LEARN of ME. I am afraid you've forotten what it's all about, you see.

EmpressTemptress said...

I find the False Giving pertinent and I found sense. I am sorry the bible references did not sit with me well as I am illiterate in that area.

I have seen falseness in people and their actions from childhood to adult hood. I see truthfulness as well. I was a teacher in a religious private school, but in the end it was a business and the Anglican part was only for school events and the brochure. I found myself teaching Anglican religion and found I had no support material and qualification. In the end it became a compulsory subject that was a farce.

I may not be a believer but I am into theology in a broader sense. The falseness of it all was a frustration.