Many Christians went to the polls last November to make America great again but have forgotten that judgment begins at the house of God. We are guilty of two great sins that will prevent us from becoming prosperous as a nation, and no single pull of the lever can fix that.
Our first great sin as a church is that we've completely left out one major way in which we are supposed to spend our tithes. But before we can even get to that, however, it must be mentioned that 33-50% of church members tithe nothing, and that the church, overall only tithes at 2.5% per capita.
Now, let's move on to what happens with the money that actually does make it in. In the Bible, the tithe would be divided into sections and allocated accordingly. Some went to the Levites, some went to sacrifices, and some went to the poor.
In researching for this post, I found that we are giving virtually nothing to the less fortunate from church coffers. When reading the following verse, notice the word whole.
'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'
We've brought SOME of the tithe in and are giving almost nothing to the poor, therefore we won't see the floodgates of heaven opening up. Many of us don't even like that some of our taxes go to the less fortunate.
Deuteronomy 26:12 says of the tithe:
'When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.'
That basically says to care for the immigrants, orphans, and widows, along with those tending to God's flock, and I daresay we're not faring too well on that front.
According to Christianity Today, the breakdown in church spending looks like this:
2% Cash Reserves
3% Denomination Fees
3% Property Insurance
4% Administrative Costs
4% Domestic Missions
5% International Missions
5% Maintenance Cleaning
9% Ministries and Support
There is a great misconception that the tithe is only to go to church buildings, paying ministers' salaries, and to things that are only focused on preaching.
When people in our communities try to go to the churches for help, it is often a dead end. Assisting the unfortunate is often also loudly decried as a social justice gospel and is seen as not inherent to spreading the gospel, as if the poor will take us seriously when we are closed-fisted.
Put simply, the church is not a hub for the poor to get bread, but Jesus offered the hungry the bread of life, Himself, and He also gave them literal bread and fishes to eat.
Maybe we should do the same.
The second area where we have failed is with regard to our littlest neighbors, the unborn. This past Friday, on the day of the March for Life, Congress had two bills on the table to decide to pass. One was HR 490, otherwise known as the Heartbeat Bill, that would prevent 95% of abortions, as it would stop a child with a beating from being aborted.
It has been shown that this can occur as early as 18 days gestation.
The other bill up for consideration was the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill that would keep a baby who survived an abortion from being killed as so often is the case in botched abortions.
The Heartbeat Bill would have made the other bill unnecessary, and the other bill is also largely a redundancy, as a similar bill was passed by George W. Bush in 2005. Once a child is out of the womb, it is already illegal to inflict further damage on them.
The Heartbeat Bill had 169 co-sponsors, and yet, it was decided to pursue the other bill that will not prevent a single abortion. The marchers marched, and this year, close to a million babies will still die.
We had a choice between Jesus and Barabas, and we chose wrong, siding with big business instead of with our precious sons and daughters.
In Bible times, because the Israelites were guilty of sacrificing their children, they were sent into Babylonian captivity and were driven from off their land. Those that remained were suffered the sword, pestilence, and famine.
I'm not suggesting that that is going to happen to us here in America, but these are some things listed as signs of judgment in Deuteronomy chapter 28:
Drought, scorching heat, famine, diseases, losing in battle, confusion, invaders, theft, your money and possessions going to other people, worshiping false gods, going into debt, oppressed by other nations, anxiety, and fear.
Some of these are already happening in our land, such as debt, though I am definitely not saying that those with anxiety and depression are experiencing this because they are being judged. I am saying that we may already be seeing the beginnings of judgment in our land, and that is a fearful thing.
Our lack of care for the poor and our national sin of abortion are serious issues, but there is always hope. I Chronicles 7:14 says,
'If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'
It's up to us.
We can be humble.
We can repent.
We can seek His face.
We can pray.
The Bible says He will hear us.
The questions is, will we?
Think a woman can't take an active role in her own life and pop the question? Think again!
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