The message of Jesus Christ and the true practice of walking in the Spirit taught by Jesus and explained further in Paul's letters is often lost in the clutter of church practices that have no origin in God's word. Centuries of Gnosticism, Imperial Christianity, Enlightenment Philosophy have distorted the simple way that Jesus introduced to the Disciples in some cases beyond recognition. The modern obsession with numbers of people and dollars have further added to the morass of confusion that leaves most of our contemporaries with a bitter taste upon exposure to the Christian culture.
We can't blame the skeptic when what they see is so unlike the Christianity that used to be so attractive that people endured torture during the Age of Persecution. The call to exhume the untainted way of Jesus from these incompatible philosophies is strong in the church today. Solid church members are tired of hearing about how the church needs more money in Sunday morning services. If only unconsciously, mature Christians sense that there is too much focus on programs and various honors of men than a simple love for one another and an interest in saving those who have not been introduced to Jesus in any real way.
We view the explanation of differences of priesthood described in the seventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews as the theological explanation for why a new standard in giving applies to those following Christ. In summary, tithing is obsolete.
Tithing always was intended to support the sacrificial ceremonies of the Levitical priesthood. When Christ dies for our sins, a new priesthood was established. Jesus Christ, having made a complete sacrifice for all time on behalf of those who believe in Him, requires no funding to accomplish the work He already completed.
The new model for Christian finances is described in detail throughout the New Testament.
Trusting one person or a committee of people with the proper use of one tenth of the collective income of a group of people with which there is no personal connection is akin to trusting one bishop or an eclesiastical body with the definition of universal truth. If we see the Bible as the sole source of truth (sola scripturum) or as the definitive guide to truth, then for the same theological reasons, the less lofty yet still important aspects of truth, such as use of finances, should require accountability. Therefore, Higher Ground will share its accounting along with the biblical reasoning behind each expendature with any active church participant interested in helping out with such accountability.
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