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From MUC: “A New Kind of FORTITUDE Needed in the Military”


One Year Bible followers how is your study going? I wanted to share with you a post from my Man’s Ultimate Challenge site that addresses a Christian friend of mine who is being persecuted for his beliefs. Get used to it brothers and sisters because the Secular Fundamentalists are on the troll!  This issue has inspired me to do a multi-part series on “Secular Fundamentalism”. I will not repost any of the series, but this issue that I address below with my brother in Christ has moved me to post a series on a topic that I argue is our biggest threat of persecution in western civilization. I pray that you enjoy the post below and if so here is the link to part-1 of my series on my www.MansUltimateChallenge.com ministry website. Please feel free to share this via the social media buttons below…Pete Lackey

 

Foritude

Those of you like me who love our military are used to hearing stories of FORTITUDE; i.e., courage, valor, etc. In today’s US military there is a new application of this virtue that is needed by those who have conservative views, and Lord help you Christian conservative views!!! Some of you may have heard the story of Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a decorated soloist for the US Army band who was recently reprimanded for openly holding Christian views in support of marriage and reading conservative books while waiting to sing.

Nathan Sommers

You see you are supposed to shut up if your views conform to Christian orthodoxy in todays military where the only religion that is permitted to be openly orthodox is Secular Fundamentalism. The misuse of the term Fundamentalist or Fundamentalism by the media is interesting in that their “new definition” of the term suits the modern Progressive quite well. Let me explain.

The term fundamentalist has its origins in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism insisting, for example, on the inerrancy of Scripture. In other words being considered a fundamentalist was a good thing. However, today this term is a bad thing and often used in the media and academia when speaking of those that adhere to a particular orthodox position and are “intolerant” of other views by insisting that their views alone are true. The point of using this term when referring to the secularist is to demonstrate that they themselves are in fact intolerant of opposing views and insist that their secular orthodox views are true. The secularist is as equally intolerant and dogmatic with their views, while at the same time calling those that oppose their views as intolerant and dogmatic. The secularist even goes a step further by demanding that you hold their views or else! Thus we have the Secular Fundamentalist standing on his or her own absolute relativizing every other view.

What is interesting is the fact that we even find this secular definition of fundamentalist in a dictionary that I received in my college English class (yes I actually received a book back then ha): “A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism” So, according to the dictionary, which is supposed to be an objective reference, only those religious views outside of secularism are intolerant and require adherence. Luckily the on-line dictionary maintains the classical definition of fundamentalism

Friends, this new demand for adherance to one orthodoxy is extremely dangerous to all of our freedoms, including the freedoms of those that you may disagree with! You may even disagree with this post, but we are in a free country where debate is supposed to be open and protected. But unfortunately and increasingly it is not. As a matter of fact, have you noticed that the only speech that is considered “hate speech” is speech against Secularism?

There are two common responses by the Secular Fundamentalist directed toward the “noncomformists”. Both of these responses are lessons that both liberal and conservative American parents have been training their children not to do beginning around the age of 4 years old. Talk about bi-partisanship! What are these bad behaviors of the Secular Fundamentalist?

(1) Name calling

(2) Bullying

Think about it! This is the mystical part of their religion. These new gnostics act as if they have the ‘secret knowledge’ of every nonconformist’s heart knowing that he or she must be a bigot because only the Secular Fundamenalist’s one way of believing and loving is true. Disagree, then not only are you wrong, but hateful so here come the flaming arrows of judgement, from those who are the first to say “you should not judge”. The fundamentalist jumps up on his or her box of judgement and starts with step (1) name calling: “You __________!” “You are anti-___________!” Then step (2); let the bullying begin! You must pay with your job, your finances, and worse–your good name!

Today we have Islamic Fundamentalists blowing things up and taking the lives of “nonbelievers” around the world and in a similar way we have the Secular Fundamentalists blowing the lives up of those who believe differently in Western Civilization. The good news though is that both liberals and conservatives dislike bullies!!! I say let’s work together like real men of FORTITUDE and stop the bullies.

Nathan is a friend of mine and he is a wonderful man with a deep love for Jesus Christ, his family, and this great country. Secular Fundamentalism is the threat within the military that requires FORTITUDE for dealing with our enemies “both foreign and domestic”. Who would have thought that we would see the domestic form in our day. Please visithttp://www.militaryfreedom.org to stay informed and help!

I am going to do a series of posts on what Secular Fundamentalism is, its history, and how you will be able to see if you have some of these views. Stay tuned…

Building Men of VIRTUE in a culture of VICE,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Persecution and A New Kind of Fortitude Needed in the Military


Well, How is everyone doing this year reading the Bible?  It is nice to hear from some of you and I pray that this has been a blessing to you.  This summer has been great and I have been out of town quite a bit. We just finished the book of Colossians where the Apostle Paul begins addressing some of the early forms of gnosticism.  Gnosticism comes from the greek word gnosis which translates into knowledge. The gnostics believed that they had access to a “secret” knowledge that all matter is evil.

I will be posting on one of the bible readings soon but I did want to share with you this post on my “Man’s Ultimate Challenge” website.  I wrote a post about a good friend of mine who is going through some persecution by the new gnostics of today.  Some of you may have seen the story in the news, but if not please take the time to read this post and please pass it on.

Here is the link:

http://mansultimatechallenge.com/a-new-kind-of-fortitude-needed-in-the-military/

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2013 in Suffering

 

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Fatherly Leadership: Serve In the Trenches


2013 MBC Men’s Conference Fatherly Leadership Handout

www.MansUltimateChallenge.com

Below is the handout from my breakout session at the 2013 McLean Bible Church Men’s Conference on Discipleship called: “Discipleship In The Home”.  This will be included in my upcoming book and study guide to be used as a discipleship program on the virtues.  Please read the footnotes!!! I use footnotes to TRAIN YOU!  My goal for this handout, and my upcoming book is to train you as the man of influence in the life of your son or younger man that you are training.  I want to equip you my brother and you can go as deep as you want to go as you will see in the footnotes. Enjoy and feel free to provide me feedback and feel free to share via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.

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Fatherly Leadership: Serve In the Trenches

“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men” – Frederick Douglas

 Faith-back-1

There are a few things that you will find in common on each challenge coin.  On the front you will find the Latin phrase Semper Paratus which means “always ready”.  This phrase is to remind us that we are to always be ready for battle because being a man of virtue is a battle that is continuous, meaning daily and even every hour.  1Peter 5:8 calls us to “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”[1]  Our duty is to not be the “someone” whom gets devoured, and the only way that happens is when we choose to fight along side other men and never alone.

Our military unit symbol is found on the back of each challenge coin and is the ancient Trinity knot. This unit symbol was chosen because we belong to the one true triune God who has His seal of ownership on us.[2] Christianity is unique in this claim of the one God whom exists not alone but in eternal relationship with each person of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In fact the very first time that aloneness ever existed was when God created Adam.

As God ended each day of creation he announced that “it was good” but after the creation of the very first man God announced that, “it was very good”.[3] As man begins to explore his domain that his Creator gave him, he quickly comes to the conclusion that he is different from the other living things that God created and God announces, “that it is not good for man to be alone”[emphasis added]. Only another person also made in the image of God could cure this aloneness. Isn’t it interesting that “going green”, eating organic, and giving animals names only revealed this difference to Adam existentially[4]. But what are we doing today in our post-Christian western civilization?  When people give up on human relationships today they try this failed formula and try to cure the experience of aloneness by giving their pets human names.[5] God created us for more and we need other people in our lives, but not just any human being in this post-Fall world.[6]

There is a band of brothers both locally and around the world whom all have this unit seal of ownership engraved on their hearts.  This is encouraging because we are not alone in this battle and we are called to lead. In his book The Leadership Engine: Building Leaders at Every Level Noel Tichy recalls a story about a Navy Seal who knows leadership because he shows leadership!

Recently in Cornodo, California, Rear Admiral Ray Smith, a Navy Seal since the Vietnam War, visited a class of SEALs graduating from Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training. Only 20% of the cadidates who enter this elite six-month program survive its great physical and mental demands to graduate. Throughout the day, Smith, in his fifties, participated in the same physical training as the SEAL candidates who were all in their twenties. At the end of the day, he met alone with the graduates. Speaking as a successful leader who had been exactly where they were, he laid out for them his teachable point of view on the leadership duties of becoming a SEAL, the conduct, honor and teamwork required, and the need for them to develop other leaders.[7]

Do you think these men listened to this leader at the end of the day? What an example this 50 year old Navy seal was to the young future leaders in their 20’s! We have to look at every single man that we invest in as a future leader. There are two important leadership qualities that this Navy Seal taught us:

(1) Good Leaders Serve in The Trenches:

John 13:3-4 – Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

A servant-leader knows that he learns the most by never being afraid to get into the trenches with his unit.  The leader learns this lesson when he ponders the question “am I really humble enough to get my hands dirty and serve?”  When answered correctly the leader goes and gains a sense of appreciation and empathy for what his team goes through on a day-to-day basis.  In short, the leader is in touch with his team’s reality and everyone that he serves knows it.  One of my favorite leadership proverbs is “he who thinks he is leading and has no one following is merely taking a walk”. It is much easier to lead when your hands and feet have the same stains as the men in your unit.

As a follower of Christ, we do all have the same stain—sin.  That can either negatively influence our leadership or positively influence our leadership; it all depends on your fuel.  Are you being fueled by the Spirit or the flesh?  When someone shares in your unit, do you stand above the trench and look and wonder how he got there?  Or, do you go down into the trench with the cry of “me too!” for I am as stained as you are, so let’s get out of this together.  As you can see the first response is fueled by the ‘flesh’ while the second response is fueled by the ‘Spirit’.

(2) Good Leaders Step Down to Stay Up: 

John 1:1-2; 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning…14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…

A reachable leader is easily accessible to those whom he leads. No leader can influence his unit by maintaining a long distance relationship, for this is no relationship at all.  God the Son gave this example as He left His heavenly throne and made Himself available to us in the flesh.  If God in His position of ultimate authority can leave His throne and make Himself available[8], then should we not leave our “throne” and make ourselves available?  This can be as simple as a father stepping down into the world of his son that has totally different interests than him so as to be an influence. For example, this is the father who is a complete sports nut and played certain sports his whole life that has a son God gave him that could care less about sports because God placed music and the arts in his heart.  This father must step down into the world of the arts in order to stay up in the heart of his son as a man of influence.  Or, you love music, the arts, and intellectual activity but God gives you a son who is a complete jock!  Now what? Well Dad time to step down into the world of sports in order to stay up as a man of influence.

This “stepping down” can feel awkward as men sometimes and it has absolutely nothing to do with not wanting to step down and serve.  Why is this especially difficult for men? It is because of the way we are wired as men who typically connect around a common interest or activity whereas women find any excuse to connect.  Can you imagine a household of men getting together to look at baskets? A common interest or activity usually serves as a natural bridge point to begin building a healthy relationship with another man, especially a son. Well men we have a duty to build a bridge where one does not exist in order to get from where we are to where he is.  It would be just like God to force a father to humble himself while at the same time call him to enter into another creative part of His being and His creation. God wants to show you more of Himself through a son that reflects another aspect of Himself.

Semper Paratus Exercise [work together]:

  1. Dad, you identify your interests below on the left and have your son or daughter identify his or her interests on the right. Write your name above your list:

Name: _____________________________ Name: ______________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

2.  Draw a line and connect existing bridge points of similar interests that you notice above (if any).

For Example:

______________Art _____________ <———-> ______Art__________________

______________Football________<———->_____Football______________

3. Where there exist no natural bridge points for connecting, each person write down the most important interest below under your name:

Name: _____________________________ Name: ______________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

_______________________________ ________________________________

4. Read the verse below and reflect on what it means:

  Proverbs 15:22 – Without consultation plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.

5. Unit Consultation: Time to apply the verse.

Dad, ask for help! Ask your son or daughter: “What advice do you have for me so that I can build a connection bridge to you in the area that is most important to you?   Who do you recommend that I talk to get more information? Is there a website or a book that I can purchase? Write down the advice below.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

6: Ask for forgiveness and permission to hit the ‘reset button’. Now take action and start building that bridge!

 

 

If you would like more information on purchasing a set Man’s Ultimate Challenge Coins please see my web site: www.MansUltimateChallenge.com
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Until He Returns,
Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

[1] The Greek word used in this verse for adversary is antifikos, which references an opponent in a lawsuit.  Satan will take the law of God, which is good in itself, and accuse you by constantly reminding you of your failures and shortcomings.  Never allow this to be a focus because your sin nature is why we needed a Savior!  Remember God’s grace when you feel accused and give thanks and praise to God for loving you, saving you, and most of all using you as a force for good in a world that rejects His gift.

[2] 2Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now He who established us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also set His seal of ownership in us and Gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. [emphasis added]

Ephessians 1:13 – In Him, you also, after hearing the message of truth the gospel of your salvation-having also believed you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, [emphasis added]

Ephessians 4:30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [emphasis added]

[3] Genesis 1:2-31.

[4] This is a fancy way of saying that Adam learned this difference by experience in his existence along side these animals.

[5] Sadly, the father of the modern animal rights movement is Peter Singer a utilitarian bioethics professor at Princeton University. In fact, he even has a slanderous politically correct term “specism” that he uses for those of us that believe that the human species is significantly different and deserving of more rights than other animals.

[6] In Christian teaching the ‘fall’ refers to the time when we fell into disobedience and all humans since inherit a fallen sin nature. This is a critical part of Christian anthropology.  We as Christians believe that man is made in the image of God, has His moral Law written on his heart, but is rebellious to its authority in our lives and we are particularly rebellious toward our heavenly Father whom placed the law there. In fact, Socialism,  Marxism, and Communism speedily swept through the world and failed miserably for one main reason: a failed anthropology, or view of the nature of man.  Karl Marx built his entire system on two pillars that both crumbled: (1) God does not exist, and (2) Man is naturally good. Why did they crumble? Because both pillars are lies of the enemy!

[7] Noel Tichy with Eli Cohen, The Leadership Engine: Building Leaders at Every Level (Dallas, TX: Pritchett, 1998), 2.

[8] Philippians 2:4-7 – do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus 6who although He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

 

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Matthew 13: Jesus and the False Positives


The Invisible WarThe Invested Life

I was teaching group of teenagers last year and I asked them to send in some questions before I came. Here is one of them and an answer that I gave right out of Matthew 13:

Question: If you accepted Jesus into your heart, but then go out and do really bad things and stop following God’s Word, will you still go to Heaven?

Answer: It depends! There are four types of people who hear the gospel but only one type is truly a Christian. If you were never a Christian in the first place then the behavior makes sense because continuous willful disobedience with no guilt is to be expected. If you are truly a Christian then you are a SAVED SINNER who will still sin but will experience a war within between the sin nature and your new nature. More importantly you will experience guilt or remorse once confronted by God’s Holy Spirit inside directly or indirectly if you are confronted by a loving brother or sister in Christ. Furthermore, if you are a true Christian know than you cannot ever ever ever lose your salvation for God does not want you to be in an insecure relationship with Him. The question is do you have salvation in the first place!

Below are the four types of people who hear the gospel. In this parable people labeled #1, #2, and #3 are not Christians but the ones labeled #4 are truly Christians. You will find 1 – 4 in Christian churches!

Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23 – Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

… “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When #1anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The #2 one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The #3 one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the #4 one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

So let’s break down the four people who hear the gospel and “say the prayer”:

#1 The Hearer – The word of God never penetrates the soul of this person so Satan snatches the word from the surface.

#2 The Stoner – A person who makes merely an emotional commitment to Christ as shown by their lack of commitment.

#3 The Thorny – A person who again makes a superficial commitment to Christ without repentance so he or she easily chokes on the love of money and worldly pleasures.

#4 The Christian – Truly makes a transaction with God! He or she moves from a creation of God to an adopted child of God who becomes a disciple and makes disciples.

If you are truly #4 the Christian then you must remain secure in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This security and acceptance is what enables you to grow as a child of God. You work from your salvation not for your salvation!

John 6:28-29 – Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

There is a class that I teach at McLean Bible Church called “Christianity 101” that ends with the assurance of Heaven. The below information is taken from the course book:

(OF COURSE, THESE APPLY TO #4 ONLY)

In order to lose your salvation someone (including you) you have to be able to accomplish the following:

1. Someone would have to ___SNATCH_____ you out of God’s hand.

John 10:28-30 – I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

2. Someone would have to break the ___SEAL_____ of God’s ownership.

Ephesians 1:13-14 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory.

3. Someone would have to remove the ____SPIRIT_______ of God in you.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

4. Someone would have to ___SEPARATE_____ you from the _____LOVE____ of Christ.

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5. Someone would have to erase your ___NAME____ from the ____BOOK______ of Life.

Philippians 4:3 – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

6. Someone would have to burn your ______ADOPTION______ papers!

Ephesians 1:4-7 – In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

RED-DAWN-WOLVERINES

Now you will experience a real war in your body between obeying God and disobeying God by following your sin nature. As you grow the war will increase, and you will win some battles! But the war is not over because our commander has not returned–yet! The goal in the teenage years as young men and women is to give your body God’s temple no territory so that you avoid a lifelong war! As adults your job is to fight and take back the territory that the enemy once accessed from the inside and now has to get to you from the outside!

Below is a very encouraging section of the Bible as the Apostle Paul describes this war that he experienced some 20 years after coming to Christ:

Romans 7:18 – 8:13

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members….Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did…For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

I did a deep dive into this war within earlier this year. You can find that post here

Maybe you are loosing because you don’t know how to fight. Take a look at the book that I recommend above called “The Invisible War”.

Get someone to disciple you and invest on how to fight, or invest in someone else! Some of you have reached your spiritual peak because you spend your time with others when God wants you to invest it.

Come Lord Jesus Come!

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
 

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2013 Men’s Conference on Discipleship


Please join us as McLean Bible Church hosts the 2013 Men’s Conference on Discipleship “Living The Invested Life” with best selling author Joel Rosenberg.  Join me and my wife along with our dear friends Mark & Carol Hernandez as we lead a workshop on Making Disciples at home.

Best selling author Joel Rosenberg will be leading us through “An Invested Life” The Invested Life

I will be there with my “Man’s Ultimate Challenge” coins for challenging men to be “men of virtue in a culture of vice” find out more at my website. I designed these challenge coins off of the 7 virtues so that I could use them for my son Jonah’s rite of passage boy to man ceremony.  Men this is for you!  Find out more at www.MansUltimateChallenge.com

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Thanks everyone for your faithfulness joining my family as we go through the Bible this year!!!

Until HE Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Why A Christian Shouldn’t Tithe!


Show Me The Money

I remember hearing the phrase “tithes and Offerings” many times when I first became a Christian at age 25. I know that many churches teach that the 10% tithe still applies today. I am convinced that if you pause, pray, and place the presuppositions about the tithe aside you will clearly see that it does not apply today. Furthermore you will see that we are to view 100% as God’s so our giving is to be even more generous!

Now before we begin I want to apply the classic method to teaching that I believe helps, especially when a topic such as this many people come with a belief that can cloud their understanding. At the end of this post at least if you disagree you know what it is that I put forward that you disagree with. The classic approach is this:

First, I am going to tell you what I am going to tell you. Then I am going to tell you in detail. Then I am going to tell you what I told you.

Here is what I am going to tell you:

I believe that our duty as Christians today is to be based on the principle that ALL we have is God’s and not ours. Then: (1) We do not legalistically tithe 10%; (2) We should never give to get; (3) Give generously; (4) give cheerfully; (5) give sacrificially (6) give according to your means.

Time to tell you:

First, I want to provide you a very simple timeline to keep in mind whenever you read the supposed commands in the Bible about the tithe. When you do this you will clearly see that there is not one single command for us to tithe that applies today. In fact I will issue you a challenge! If you find one command that you think commands us to tithe today post it in the comments section. But before you get too excited to prove it, here is the timeline to use as a grid to place the Bible verse through:

Giving Timeline

Let’s use this figure as a grid and take a look at some verses in each giving phase in the Bible. Again remember that the Bible is 66 Books that cover a 1500 year span as noted in my post here and here on How We Got The Bible.

Pre-Law:

Exodus 25:1-3 – “The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”

You can see here that the Lord moved in people’s hearts to give in order to build the tabernacle and pieces used in it before the Temple was built.

OT Law:

First note that the word “tithe” means 10%. So we see under the Old testament Law that the Lord gave to the Israelites that in order for them to live in the Promised Land He commanded the people to give 10% of everything.  And this “everything” was to be the “first fruits” and not the “leftovers”.

Leviticus 27:30 – “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord ; it is holy to the Lord”

This served as an act of worship to remember that the land is the Lord’s and He was the one that gave it and divided it among the 11 tribes of Israel. But wait weren’t there 12 tribes? Yes! The Levites did not get any of the Promise Land to own and live off of for their support came from a portion of the 10% offering:

Numbers 18:20-21 – “The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.”

As you can see anytime that you have a command by Jesus to tithe it is because He is fulfilling the law! If Jesus would have not tithed or not commanded to tithe than He would have not been sinless. Friends, He also gave animal sacrifices and commanded that as well and that does not apply today! Post resurrection verses about giving are the commands for us in the church age because that is exactly when they were given.

This continues throughout Israel’s history all of the way up to the last book of the Old Testament Malachi:

Malachi 3:8-11

“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me. 10 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 you will not have room enough for it. 1

Ah, here is our phrase “Tithes and offerings” that I would often hear.

NT Command for the Church:

Below I am going to dive into this topic with reference numbers at the end of every sentence that corresponds to a list of Bible verses at the end of the post. So print this out or scroll and read each verse:

So with this background in mind, why is there so much confusion in the church today on the topic of giving and the Christian’s responsibility? Much of this confusion is due in a large part to the fact that there is much Biblical illiteracy in the church today. Add to this, false teachers[1] that act as if giving is tied directly to God “financially blessing the believer” even though the Bible teaches exactly the opposite![2] ; thus today the sad state of Christians giving not as an act of worship but an act of greed[3]. Listen to my teaching here on the False Teachers and you may be surprised who is on there!

Joel Osteen

There is another reason for confusion that is not that easy to detect at first, and is demonstrated by the timeline above. This has to do with the fact that the 66 books of the Bible is a library of God’s progressive revelation to His creation over 1500 years.

In the Bible the concept of the tithe[4] is taught in many places, so many Christians wrongly believe that this law applies to them. However, once I place the Bible in a timeline, you will clearly see that the tithe no longer applies to us today. As a matter of fact, you will not find the tithe taught in the New Testament!

The tithe was a tax on the Israelites to pay for the temple work of the Levites who were to serve the Lord at the tent of meeting and eventually the temple.[5] The Levites were the only tribe of the twelve to not receive physical territory in the promise land. The Levites were the only ones who were able to serve, and the High Priest was the only one who could enter behind the curtain in the most holy of holies once a year to make atonement for the nation of Israel.[6]

Now, enter the Lord Jesus who fulfilled the law and the prophets.[7] When the Lord Jesus died on the cross and said that “it is finished” the curtain that separated God in the most holy of holies from man was torn in two[8] for now Jesus is our high Priest making intercession for us daily.[9] Moreover, God no longer speaks through priests for we are all part of the priesthood of all believers if we profess Jesus Christ as our Savior![10] What’s more, in the Old Testament only the prophets the priests and the Kings would be temporarily filled with the Holy Spirit for service. But today, we are all filled with the Holy Spirit and given gifts for service the moment we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins on the cross with the expectation that we will use those gifts.[11]

So how are we to give? What are we to give? We are to give our time, our talents, and our treasures (1) Generously[12], (2) Sacrificially, (3) Cheerfully, (4) As the Lord leads, and (5) With Pure motives. All of these should have the goal of bringing praise to God.[13] In many ways we have more responsibility today in the New Testament then the Israelites had in the Old Testament. We have Spiritual gifts that we are expected to use and we are not to merely “pay a 10% tax” but hold out our hands knowing that God owns it all. Think about it. Can a man who makes $100 million a year with no debt giving $10 million a year really be giving sacrificially? What about the man’s time using his Spiritual gifts? But for someone who makes $30,000 a year, has debt to pay off as an act of obedience[14], and a family to take care of giving $3,000 a year can be very sacrificial. It can actually be an act of disobedience if he or she does not pay off debt, or take care of family needs[15], in order to obey a tithe that they are not called to obey! However, this person has Spiritual gifts to use and time to give, both of which are of great value to the Kingdom. In fact for this person 3% of his or her salary could be considered sacrificial giving! Moreover, giving of your time using your spiritual gifts is very sacrificial since time is one resource that is truly finite.

In Short, What did I just tell you?

We all have to give not out of compulsion or reluctantly[16] because God loves when we are cheerful givers giving back to Him a portion of the blessing He has given to us. Also, we are to give as we can and in accordance with our income to missionaries and the local church[17], while helping people in need[18].

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

Founder, Man’s Ultimate Challenge


[1]1 Peter 5:2-3 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

[2]James 4:3 – When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

[3]Proverbs 28:25 – A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.

1 Corinthians 6:10 – nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Timothy 6:8-10 – But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Ephesians 5:5-6 – For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Matthew 23:25-26 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

[4]1/10 or 10%.

[5]Numbers 18:20-22 – The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.

[6]Leviticus 16:34 – “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”

[7]Matthew 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

[8]Matthew 27:50-51 – And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

[9]Hebrews 10:19-22 – Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God…

Hebrews 4:14 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,

1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…

[10]1 Peter 2:9-10 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

[11]1Corinthians 12 – 14; Romans 12; Ephesians 4.

[12]2 Corinthians 8:1-7 – And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Proverbs 11:25 – A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

[13]2 Corinthians 9:11-14 – You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

[14]Romans 13:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…

[15]1 Timothy 5:8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

[16]2 Corinthians 9:6-8 – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

[17]1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

[18]Acts 11:29-30 – The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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“So That” The Ministry We Never Prayed For


Changes That HealCelebrate Recovery

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

The belief that God is a “God of all comfort” is an essential truth that every believer must embrace when life’s journey leads us through the valley.  In our scripture today God calls us to do two things with this essential truth.  First, God wants us to apply this truth in our own lives by letting Him into the deepest parts of our being to be comforted personally by Him.  Second, God wants us to serve others with the same “comfort we ourselves have received from God”.  Notice the so that in verse four.  God is comforting us not merely to benefit us, although that is certainly true, but with the intention that we will serve His people with the same comfort that we have received from the Father of compassion.  In essence we are called to give it away!  Notice that there is a correlation between the areas of your life that you allow God in to comfort and the type of comfort that you can give away.  Is there an area in your life that needs comfort that you have not allowed God into?

Every Sunday my Senior Pastor Lon Solomon makes theology both personal and practical by asking his famous question “So What”?  Throughout the Washington D.C. area, our Mclean Bible Church brothers and sisters are making this theology of comfort personal and practical as they serve the Lord in their own “So That” ministry.  Their ministry is an outgrowth of the comfort that they have personally received from God while in the midst of the valley experiences of their own lives.  For instance, we have couples who have experienced hope and healing in their marriage whom now have chosen marriage mentoring as their “so that” ministry.  We have other couples who have experienced the comfort of God through the touch of a community of saints who now serve as small group or community group leaders.  What is your “So That” ministry?

When are you going to start?  If not now, when?

Our “So That” ministry is our most personal ministry and one that can have the greatest impact for the Kingdom.   I call it the ministry that we never prayed for because I do not know anyone who prayed for addiction, prayed for abuse, prayed for a husband, wife, or child to leave this earth before we were ready.  What you allow God to do with these areas of pain and how far you let Him into the pain will determine if you are a space taker or a difference maker in this world.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus thank you so much for sending me the Comforter when you went to be with the Father; for you knew in this life that is exactly what I would need.  Father, I ask your forgiveness for and seek your comfort in ____________________.  Give me the strength to serve your people with the same comfort that I have received from you.

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Suffering, Uncategorized

 

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