You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Churches Offer A Money Back Guarantee

Giving God's Promises Testing God

Source: “Should churches offer a money-back guarantee on tithes?” By Greg Garrison, June 28, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-10-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Greg Garrison, with AL.COM, writes:

Many churches are picking up on a trend of getting people to donate to the church by offering a money-back guarantee if God does not bless them, according to Christianity Today.

NewSpring Church in South Carolina is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have offered 90-day tithing challenges, the magazine reported.

. . . "Participants sign up with a commitment to give 10 percent of their income or more, and if 'God doesn't hold true to his promises of blessings' after three months, they can request their money back—no questions asked. It's the church's version of 'satisfaction guaranteed,'" CT said.

The idea is backed up by a Bible verse in the Old Testament Book of Malachi: 

"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." (Malachi 3:11, NIV).

"God literally says, 'Test me out, see if I'm God,'" NewSpring Pastor Perry Noble said in a sermon. "You and I cannot out-give him."

APPLICATION

Try to imagine the “Oh, ye of little faith” looks received by those with the nerve to ask for their money back! After all, aren't they impugning God’s reputation, suggesting He hasn't fulfilled his part of the bargain? But that's where the problem lies, theologically speaking. These churches are appealing to a conditional promise made to the adherents of Judaism, under the Old Covenant . 

The Book of Hebrews tells us that The New Testament, or New Covenant, is a better agreement than The Old Covenant, being based on better promises.  The New Covenant is based on unconditional promises, on heavenly promises, as opposed to conditional, earthly ones. The New Covenant is not only better, it also happens to be the one currently in effect in this, the Church Age. 

This means that conditional promise like this one found in Malachi, have been replaced by the New Covenant. The New Covenant does not demand a tithe (the concept never appears in the Epistles where The New Covenant is explained) nor does it threaten a curse on those who fail to offer one, not does it promise blessings based on the giving of said tithe.  Those who push this conditional promise cherry pick from the Old Covenant, ignoring many other laws and regulations laid out under the contract between God and the nation of Israel. 

Under the New Covenant the blessing is found in the giving itself, as Jesus promised when He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). That's because at the heart of The New Covenant is a New Command; "Love one another. As I have loved you" (John 13:34). The love of Jesus doesn't worry about whether there will be earthly gains that come for its efforts.  Agape love, being selflessly motivated, doesn’t ask for a money back guarantee. It just loves. 

"But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

Living In Glass Houses

Criticism Golden Rule

Source: Words To Live By

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Charles Panati
1

ILLUSTRATION

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Lexicographers have traced the proverb back to Geoffrey Chaucer's poem Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1385), written when glass windows were extremely rare. Most windows, depicting biblical scenes in "stained glass," were found in churches.

Based on a Greek legend, the 8,239-line poem is the tragic love story of Troilus, son of the Trajan King Priam, and Criseyde, the widowed daughter of the deserter priest Calchas. Tolerance and sympathy are major themes of the tale, for many people want to keep the lovers apart--and in the end succeed (p. 210). 

APPLICATION

At some point, the saying came to mean that those who are vulnerable should not attack others (ibid.). Truly, in the broadest sense, the fact we are all sinners should keep us from hypercriticism with the faults of others (Romans 3:23).

But, a proper sense of our own faults, in marriage, childrearing, and Christian living, should cause a humility that addresses the faults of others not with stones but with prayer and compassion, "considering ourselves lest we also become tempted" (Galatians. 6:1). 

Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

Source: Various

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-09-19

Author: Various
2

ILLUSTRATION

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” [Jack London (1876-1916), American author, journalist, and social activist, most famous for his works THE CALL OF THE WILD and WHITE FANG.]

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” [John Bunyan (1628-1688), English Christian writer and preacher, best known for his work PILGRIM'S PROGRESS.]

“I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” [Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th president of the United States, author of the Gettysburg Address and champion of the Emancipation Proclamation.]

"The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess; neither can angel nor man come in danger by it." [Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author.]

"A man there was, though some did count him mad. The more he cast away, the more he had." [John Bunyan (1628-1688), English Christian writer and preacher, best known for his work PILGRIM'S PROGRESS.]

"Help thy brother's boat across and lo! thine own has reached the shore." [Hindu proverb]

"When our cup runs over, we let others drink the drops that fall, but not a drop from within the rim, and call it charity; when the crumbs are swept from our table, we think it generous to let the dogs eat them; as if that were charity which permits others to have what we cannot keep." [Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery.]

APPLICATION

Many of the above quotes contain their own points of application. They do not necessarily represent the view of Orthodox Christianity; neither do they necessarily represent the views of the editors of Illustration Exchange.

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-16

Author: Various
4

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Temptation Quotes

Temptation Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Author: Various
4

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Good Friday Quotes

Good Friday Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
2

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
3

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or