October 25, 2016


Rather than using cash, many people, organizations and entities use in-kind donations to transfer goods, services and gifts. Occasionally believers will try to bring this model into the church. For instance, we might put a monetary value on our volunteer work as a youth sponsor and equate volunteerism with a tithe, or the way God has increased our income. Paul said, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor 9:6 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Let’s first remember that the tithe in the New Testament is a thing of the Law. The gospels show Jesus talking of it often during the time of the Law. From Acts on, “tithe” is mentioned only six times in Hebrews chapter seven regarding the tithe Abraham paid Melchizedek. After Christ rose from the dead defeating the penalty of the Law, the concept of tithe becomes generosity. It is no longer a thing to be done. It is now a nature of the new life. The compulsion moves from outside the heart to the inside of it. I had a most revealing conversation regarding tithe/generosity which I do not forget. It was with a rather wealthy man who held tenaciously to the concept of tithing, because, by that concept, ten percent was all he had to give. Nor would he give more; ten percent fills his quota. The rest of the fat is his to savor.
-----Human nature loves to draw giant differences where subtleties actually demonstrate sameness. Some people are black as night, others are white as biscuits, but their DNA is practically the same. Skin them both and nobody could tell the difference. God has a solution coming worse than that. Because the pregnant woman has not completed the “giving of life” to her unborn baby, man’s law gives her the right to kill her child. Some of these disgusting vultures even argue that she is not finished giving life to her child until it is a toddler, or even older, and that she has the right to kill it up to even then. But are we ever finished giving life to one another? I would love to take one of those university professor geniuses who advocate such moronry, strip him of every last stitch of what his own hands did not themselves make, and dump him in the middle of the jungle hundreds of miles away from any other human soul where he can demonstrate his capacity to live without the aid of another human being. This would be a short, nasty demonstration. The truth is more seen in the subtleties of situations. MOney is merely the enabler of exchanging the goods and services we need from one another to live.
-----Money is merely a means of convenience. If money is so important in itself, clothe yourself with it rather than with what it buys. Eat your fifty dollar bills when the crops fail. Fill your gas tank with pennies and try driving to the bank. Money makes exchange convenient, and that’s all. The real economy is the exchange of real wealth: meat, potatoes, shoes, shirts, gasoline. Goods and services are the life assistance we provide each other, not money. Money is just a marker of who’s entitled to how much goods and services. So, expressing generosity in goods and services is yet generosity as long as those goods and services contribute to real needs. Even the contribution of time is generosity, especially when that time would otherwise have been used for serving one’s own needs.
-----But, lo! Money does so well in making exchange convenient that most everything we humans do is linked one way or another into money. That makes the in-kind gift of goods and services less efficient, because each contributed good must then be matched with a beckoning need. Otherwise, we can just throw a little money at the needy, then forget about them.

Love you all,
Steve Corey