"I do not believe there is a duty to the tithe. Here is what I believe: I believe God prospers you and blesses you according to His graces and His gifts which he gives to you freely and without measure. That everything you have is His and you should be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and you should give as the Holy Spirit prompts you in response to your love for the fact that you've been set free from the duty to give."In this final clip from Wade Burleson's January 2, 2011 sermon on Jesus being our Jubilee, Wade uses the "tithe" as an example of the freedom we have through Christ. As Wade says, we are not duty-bound to give some prescribed amount to church. We are free from this duty, Christ has set us free in the New Covenant!
It is so simple, and so clear from scripture, that Wade is speaking the truth.
But for most of you reading this, you've never heard a preacher ever say this from the pulpit. You've heard storehouse tithing preachers tell you that 10% is the starting point, that you're sinning if you don't give, that you're a "taker" if you don't tithe, that you need to "man up" and tithe. Some of you have even heard your preacher tell you to stay home, quit wasting God's time if you don't "bring the tithe". Some of you have had to endure your preacher calling you a thief, even threatening you with financial calamity because "God collects" on what you owe him.
Why? Why is the clear teaching from scripture hardly ever taught, and why do so many preachers use tactics of guilt and shame and legalism to coerce people to fork over more money to their church?
Well, perhaps preachers who preach the storehouse tithing doctrine are sincere and actually believe it.
But I think deep down most preachers who preach this storehouse tithing doctrine don't truly believe that any Christian who does not give 10% is sinning. I don't think they could pass a polygraph test on this. I believe deep down they know they do it because they are afraid of the financial consequences at their church if they don't teach it. They know it is a tradition, not a biblical doctrine, but they believe they are right to teach it because it raises necessary funds to further the gospel.
But what about the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God?
Today we hear much about the "Sovereignty of God" in all things under heaven and earth. Preachers tell us God is sovereign in our lives, our families, in our country, and in our churches. God is sovereign even in who does and does not accept Christ, we're told. But when it comes to finances in the church, the Sovereignty doctrine goes out the window. Nope, God is not in control over THAT. The preacher becomes the Holy Spirit, and misuses scripture to beat and guilt the sheep to give more and more of their money.
Thank God for preachers like Wade - they communicate financial needs, and leave the results to God. God is sovereign in the finances of the church. As Wade says, if the people give the money that is great. If they don't, that is great too because that means God is telling them something different. But as Wade reports in the video, his church has met all of their financial needs simply trusting God's people to follow the Holy Spirit.
How sad that if the storehouse tithing preachers don't get enough cold hard cash, it can't be God's will - it has to be the deadbeat, stingy "giving units" who are not tithing and are thwarting the will of God.
When if they would preach the truth of people's freedom to give as the Spirit leads - I believe the revenue of their church would actually go up. People are tired of being brow-beaten, and how refreshing would it be to hear a mega church pastor preach the truth.
Note: If you want to see Wade's sermon in its entirety, go to his church's website here, click on the "Watch Live" button in the upper right hand corner, register for a login account, then go to his January 2, 2011 sermon entitled "Your Year of Jubilee".
Part 1: "Christian, Jesus is Your Jubilee, and You Can Rest" - July 21, 2011
Part 2: "Christian, You have Been Released from Servitude to God" - July 27, 2011
Part 3: "Christian, You are Free, a Willing Bondslave" - August 2, 2011