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Ananias and Sapphira died because…

January 12, 2008
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They lied. They deceived and it would seem God made an example out of them. Personally it is one of those bits of history I could do without. So they lied about giving but what was the giving for? If you look at Acts 4:32-36 you find the context of the story. People were giving so that others didn’t have needs. The text goes so far as to say there were no needy persons among them.

So the money was for those who had needs. It wasn’t for building costs or even the paid preacher, it was because they were trying to deceive about their efforts to meet people’s needs. Pretty stark isn’t it?

I know I know, this is my hobby horse but what else can I do? Most people when hearing about others meeting needs don’t say we should be doing that too, they say isn’t that nice as they go back to their million dollar building project.

You’re such a downer Darin, no wonder no one wants to be around you. Okay, I understand, but shouldn’t we have some alarm when people die because they lie about giving to help those in need? I’m not making any judgments but it is in the Bible and to be honest it seems a lot clearer than Ephesians 5:19 or Colossians 3:16 being a prohibition about accompaniment.

Let’s face it, the offering discussed in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 is for whom? Romans 15:26 let’s us know it is for the poor in Jerusalem. So it was give when people have needs. I remember the first church I ever attended out of college. I had my first paycheck and it was time to give at church. I remember seeing what the church did giving to others and I took the list and matched what the church was giving. That is right, a twenty-three year old on a $17,000 salary was able to take what the church did for orphans and widows and match it. In my mind I had just doubled what they were doing and I didn’t have to take it before the elders.

I know, I know, someone is bound to point out that it was for the saints, not just any random poor. Maybe that is why we gather in homogenous groups so we don’t have to give to the less fortunate among us because they aren’t amongst us. That settles that. The problem there of course is that they were giving to the poor in another area. The problem is the poor in Macedonia thought it so important to meet others needs financially that they scraped what they had together to give. Paul uses them as an example in 2 Corinthians 8.

So you know that collection that is taken up each Sunday, the one for the electric bill and the new playground equipment, the one that covers the billboard and the espresso machine, the example that inspired all of that was a collection for the poor.

So we have taken a collection instituted for those in need and turned it into giving to meet our own wants. I just don’t think that is good. Take a look at 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and reflect on what it means to give and who giving is for.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2008 9:41 pm

    That kind of talk will get you fired…or a cross.

  2. January 15, 2008 4:20 pm

    Darin,
    Excellent post brother.
    You have made me think about this brother.
    Keep up the wonderful posts.

  3. January 15, 2008 8:18 pm

    Being a fellow frustrated communicator, Darin, my only critique of your blog is that you should either put quotes around “needs” in the last paragraph or switch it for a more accurate term like luxuries. Because you are more correct than I ever ever ever realized on this matter.

    People wonder why the church in America seems dead. Maybe God got tired of us lying about giving our all to help the poor among us, and he killed us.

    in HIS love,
    Nick

  4. January 15, 2008 10:22 pm

    Nick, I edited the post. Thanks.

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