Reply to SBC TODAY BLOG, Feb 16, 2010
By Russell Earl Kelly
Kelly: Yawwnnnnnnn. Again, as usual, no Bible texts which is simply incredible on a supposedly Bible blog
Guthrie: The practical side of "tithing" and giving will show the depth of need in American churches that once was not an issue but now is at critical mass.
Kelly: Dr David Croteau's research demonstrates the tithing has failed to accomplish its goals since its beginning around 1895 in the USA SBC. It does not work and the church needs another better approach.
Guthrie: The first reason given these days is that the church is NOT required in the New Testament to receive such.
Kelly: NOT T RUE. The overwhelming majority of those who believed in freewill grace giving are strong church supporters. I always point out that 2nd Cor 8:12-15 requires MORE than ten per cent from while some are giving sacrificially even though less than ten per cent.
Guthrie: The rationale behind such a statement comes from those within the New Covenant Theology spectrum that love to highlight the breakdown of the tithes instructed by God that Israel was to bring to the Temple.
Kelly: Since Guthrie often censors posts which use biblical arguments to disagree with him, the other viewpoint is not found in his blog. Therefore only his biased opinion with no textual validity is all that he wants one to read.
Guthrie: Since the Temple is not part of the New Testament, then, in their reasoning, the church should not be recipients of tithing.
Kelly: NOT TRUE. The Temple is part of the New Testament but it is now the body of the individual believer which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit per the last verses of 1 Cor 3 and 1 Cor 6.
Guthrie: Lost in the discussion of this type of teaching is the fact that the Bible clearly shows that the New Testament endorses churches as God's ordained entities for the work of the ministry.
Kelly: NOT TRUE. It is not lost except in Guthrie biased mind. He does not correctly state our viewpoint. There were no church buildings for over 200 years after Calvary and they were not legal for almost 300 years. In other words, the concept of a church "storehouse" is a false doctrine and not a "fact." Notice he produces no texts.
Guthrie: Key in this discussion is the threat of the idea that there is a Universal church instead of a Universal Body. If such existed as taught then one could argue that instead of setting aside monies for a person's home church, one could make the decision that something else is more deserving and thus give to that need instead of to one's church.
Kelly: If you read other blogs which Guthrie cannot censor, you will find that he is almost alone arguing this point. I certainly do not teach what he says.
Guthrie: It sounds wonderful to many; especially those who see abuses of wasted money by a few churches that lack accountability and missiological purpose. But there is a danger here that cannot be ignored.
Kelly: Boring. Talk, talk, talk --no Bible discussion.
Guthrie: When we move from an understanding that God established and ordained churches for His work we move from His plan.
Kelly: Churches are ekklesia, the gathered assemblies of believers in hiding places like caves and graveyards. Churches are not buildings to store tithes.
Guthrie: We weaken churches. We weaken Missions around the world. We move to a system of thought that says I can hear from God and do as He tells me and my church may not be in the equation.
Kelly: Since OT tithes were never used to send out missionaries or set up mission stations, there is no precedent. The primary way that believers "hear from God" is through His Word and Guthrie avoids that.
Guthrie: A great question to ask at this point which few address is actually a simple one: Would God ordain churches and NOT provide for their funding in scripture?
Kelly: Pure ignorance. Paul's writings have a lot to say about post-Calvary New Covenant giving principles. The question is pure nonsense and ignores reality.
Guthrie: Any attempt to leave out the first priority of one's church is extremely poor Biblical Theology. Leaving out the local church is like saying to your heart, I don't like the maintenance required so I am going to take you out. The body could not live long at all right? God gave us the New Testament church. We have corrupted her greatly in America but God still has not given us an alternative. In fact He did not give us a choice. Ephesians is clear that God provides every gift for the church for the purpose of her caring out the mission - the Great Commission! It is the church that is to hold us accountable as individuals. It is the church that is to provide for the teaching and discipleship of the people that are reached with the Gospel. The gifts given were given to local churches to honor God in doing the work of God. Each one of us according to Ephesians are part of the body that God uses to equip and "staff" the church. Would God go to all this trouble and yet not provide funding? NO!
Kelly: Our point is completely ignored. Christ uses his church to achieve his purposes. However, however, however, he does so by using better New Covenant giving principles which do not include tithing! Guthrie is arguing with himself most of the time in this blog. Yawnnnnnnn.