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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

The Widow's Mites


Standing Firm In Christ

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12 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

She was manipulated into giving to thieves, just as many church members are manipulated into giving ten percent of their monetary income to thieves..  Both the widow and the church goers are deceived into believing God requires it.

That was not my question.  My question was whether or not she thought in her mind and believed in her heart that she was giving a gift unto God.

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9 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

The text does not say what she thought in her mind.  It only reveals that thieves were robbing her and that she was putting money into the treasury of a den of thieves.

False.  The text says that she was giving a gift "unto the offerings of God".

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The author also reveals that the Treasury was in a den of thieves who rob widows houses.

They may have labeled that particular receptacle "Offerings of God," but it wasn't going to God.  It was going into the hands of thieves.

Mark 11:17 (KJV) 17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

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13 hours ago, Ronda said:

Dr. David Peacock from Jacksonville, Florida.  

A Ruckmanite, Hyper-Dispensationalist.  His doctrines are protestant and not baptistic.  Ever listened to his sermon on "The Deeps"?

As for the widows mites, these verses used to support such a position are out of context and therefore not biblical.  Another example of why knowledge of english and grammar rules are so important.  

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9 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

She was manipulated into giving to thieves, just as many church members are manipulated into giving ten percent of their monetary income to thieves..  Both the widow and the church goers are deceived into believing God requires it.

If this were true then I would be regarding iniquity in my heart and the Lord would not hear me.  However, I've been in sweet fellowship with the Lord these last few days and he's been answering many, many prayers.  Tithing is like showering, it's something so well known that it does not require mention.  The change from food to money follows the same.

This line of thinking is the result of poor reading skills, and or, not rightly dividing the Word.  If you would submit to the Holy Ghost on this and let him teach you...  but alas you're stuck and stubborn brother.

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The many in Matthew 7:21-23 obviously thought they were in fellowship with the Lord too.  As did the Self-righteous man in Luke 18:9-12, I'm sure.

God's Word says His holy tithe is agricultural.  What right do you, or anyone else, have to insist it is something other than God said it was?

The Holy Ghost will not instruct me to act contrary to the Word of God.  He is in perfect agreement with God on what God says His holy tithe is.

 And thank you for admitting that your line of thinking is "the result of poor reading skills, and or, not rightly dividing the Word".

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12 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

The author also reveals that the Treasury was in a den of thieves who rob widows houses.

Mark 11:17 (KJV) 17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Indeed.  And the very same Author also indicated that the temple was "the temple of God" and was God's house.

Matthew 21:12-13 -- "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."
 

12 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

They may have labeled that particular receptacle "Offerings of God," but it wasn't going to God.  It was going into the hands of thieves.

Indeed, it is possible that the widow and the other givers were deceived into thinking that they were giving gifts "unto the offerings of God," when in truth they were giving "into the hands of thieves."  However, is it equally possible that the Lord Jesus Christ was so deceived?  For the Lord Jesus Christ is the very One who reported that they were giving "unto the offerings of God."  Furthermore, He did not report anything whatsoever at all unto His disciples about the givers being deceived; nor did He rebuke any of the givers for giving gifts "into the hands of thieves." 

__________________________________________

Now, earlier in this discussion you made reference unto our Lord Jesus Christ's rebuke against the scribes and Pharisees for binding "heavy burdens and grievous to be bourne" upon the people.  This rebuke is found in Matthew 23:4 -- "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."  So then, could you explain the instruction that our Lord Jesus Christ delivered unto the multitude and unto His disciples in Matthew 23:2-3 -- "Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."?

_________________________________________

In Matthew 8:1-3 God's Word gives report concerning our Lord Jesus Christ's healing of a leper -- "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.  And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean.  And immediately his leprosy was cleansed."  Then in Matthew 8:4 we find that our Lord Jesus Christ specifically instructed this healed leper to offer his gift unto the priest at the temple -- "And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."  If it was a bad thing to give gifts unto that wicked "den of thieves," why did our Lord Jesus Christ give this instruction unto this healed leper?

__________________________________________

Finally, let us consider our Lord Jesus Christ's "den of thieves" rebuke.  Is there any indication in the context of that rebuke concerning the specific activities whereby the thievery was occurring?  In Mark 11:15-17 God's Word give the report -- "And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves."  It appears from the immediate context that the thievery of this "den of thieves" was occurring by the means of the selling and buying of goods and by the means of the exchanging of moneys, not by the means of freewill gifts being given "unto the offering of God."

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The text of Luke 21 does not say the widow was giving a gift at all.  It says the MEN cast in their gifts.  It follows with the woman cast in two mites.  Mot her gift, but mites.  Her only means of survival.

 

again, since God said in the Law that widosxwere to be provided for, I highly doubt Jesus would be commending this widow for her being the supporter of wicked men.  I refuse to believe He was commending her for giving all she had to live on to wicked people.

 

you may believe what you wish, but you will never convince me that a poor widow taking all of her money to robbers is pleasing to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

it is foolish to even entertain such a notion that God is pleased when one who has little to survive on is giving all her means to thieves.  You may as well be preaching such a message with the ranks of Mike Murdock or Steve Munsey on TBN.

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19 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

The text of Luke 21 does not say the widow was giving a gift at all.  It says the MEN cast in their gifts.  It follows with the woman cast in two mites.  Mot her gift, but mites.  Her only means of survival.

 

again, since God said in the Law that widosxwere to be provided for, I highly doubt Jesus would be commending this widow for her being the supporter of wicked men.  I refuse to believe He was commending her for giving all she had to live on to wicked people.

 

you may believe what you wish, but you will never convince me that a poor widow taking all of her money to robbers is pleasing to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

it is foolish to even entertain such a notion that God is pleased when one who has little to survive on is giving all her means to thieves.  You may as well be preaching such a message with the ranks of Mike Murdock or Steve Munsey on TBN.

So then, is it your belief that the Lord our God is contrary to the sacrificial giving of the poor and needy and would never commend such a practice?

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 -- "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God."

 

By the way, I am fully aware that I will NEVER convince you.  However, you are not the only one engaged in the discussion.  Every observer in the audience is also engaged.

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21 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

SFIC Said:

I highly doubt

I refuse to believe

you will never convince me 

it is foolish to even entertain such a notion that God is pleased when one who has little to survive on is giving all her means to thieves.

Scripture says:

Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

While this scripture does not address the subject in question, it does show that The Lord approves of the motive of the heart. The widow's heart was in the right place and her sacrifice is recorded in scripture and will follow her into eternity.

 

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It is easily seen IMO that the widow was being manipulated into giving and this manipulation came from thieves posing as God's men. The overall context does indicate it because it is consistent throughout the Gospels that our Lord was in full rebuke of all formalized religious practices fueled by man's greed. The "priests" of that day had the same iron handed rule over the hearts of the deceived just as the present day roman pagan "priests" do now.

The same goes for any teaching of tithing for Christians. Tithing is wrongful manipulation of people and goes against everything our Lord told us He wants from us as born again believers.

Now please don't go confusing this exposure of wrongful manipulation into meaning we should not give all to Jesus. But Jesus told us clearly who to give to and nowhere did He intimate to give blindly to church "finance committees". We are to give to each other in the church (certainly including the elders who labor in the Word and doctrine-who are to live of the Gospel) and to the lost poor as we witness. Never to give grudgingly and of necessity through manipulation.

I know everyone here has been exposed to this type of "finance committee" or "deacon board" or "treasurer" (you know whomever handles the money). People are manipulated into tithing and then not making bills or living without basic necessities only to find out later that this "tithe-tax": went to pay for a vacation for the church staff. "Because they have been so faithful". Well, guess what: they have their reward.

Is that what it is all about in full time ministry, I am talking IFBs? Really folks, I don't think so.

 

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27 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

So then, is it your belief that the Lord our God is contrary to the sacrificial giving of the poor and needy and would never commend such a practice?

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 -- "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God."

 

By the way, I am fully aware that I will NEVER convince you.  However, you are not the only one engaged in the discussion.  Every observer in the audience is also engaged.

Modern Thinking...

 

Jesus is pleased when widows give all their living into the treasuries of men who enrich themselves through thievery.

 

Doesn't sound like the same Jesus that wanted the poor to be provided for to me.

 

interesting concept.

9 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

 

Please point out, in Mark 12 or Luke 21 where the Lord said anything about the motive of the widow's heart.  

 

Given the fact that Proverbs 22 reveals that those who give to the rich will come to want, I highly doubt that Jesus would be pleased by the widow giving all her living to the thieves

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6 minutes ago, wretched said:

I know everyone here has been exposed to this type of "finance committee" or "deacon board" or "treasurer" (you know whomever handles the money). People are manipulated into tithing and then not making bills or living without basic necessities only to find out later that this "tithe-tax": went to pay for a vacation for the church staff. "Because they have been so faithful". Well, guess what: they have their reward.

Is that what it is all about in full time ministry, I am talking IFBs? Really folks, I don't think so.

 

I don't know how you can "know" this. I have been saved for over forty years and have never been exposed to what you outlined above. Might it just be that there are some churches that do it right?  :clap:

I am speaking here to the actual "use" of monies received by churches.

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1 minute ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I don't know how you can "know" this. I have been saved for over forty years and have never been exposed to what you outlined above. Might it just be that there are some churches that do it right?  :clap:

I am speaking here to the actual "use" of monies received by churches.

Oh sorry Jim, perhaps not everyone here then :)

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9 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Please point out, in Mark 12 or Luke 21 where the Lord said anything about the motive of the widow's heart.  

Sure SFIC, as soon as you point out where it says that "This Widow" was robbed or coerced.

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Context reveals it.

 

Jesus had finished his scathing rebuke of rhe scribes and Pharisees.  He had ended with a warning to beware of the scribes.

 

why?  Because the were not the pious people they pretended to be.  Instead, they were thieves.

 

now, Jesus ended all that, nd then sat down to watch the treasury.  Why?  This was not His normal practice.  Normally, after ripping the religious leaders for their dishonesty, He would leave the Temple.

 

but this time it was different.  He knew the widow would be coming in.  It was a perfect demonstration of the thievery He had just spoken of.  The widow's living was forcibly appropriated by the thieves.

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3 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

So then, is it your belief that the Lord our God is contrary to the sacrificial giving of the poor and needy and would never commend such a practice?

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 -- "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God."

 

2 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Modern Thinking...

Ahhhhh.  So then, the Holy Spirit inspired passage of 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 is "modern thinking" now?  I thought it was New Testament truth.

 

2 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Jesus is pleased when widows give all their living into the treasuries of men who enrich themselves through thievery.

Doesn't sound like the same Jesus that wanted the poor to be provided for to me.

No, our Lord Jesus Christ was pleased when a widow actively gave in sacrifice "unto the offerings of God." 
 

2 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Please point out, in Mark 12 or Luke 21 where the Lord said anything about the motive of the widow's heart.  

In Luke 21:3-4 our Lord Jesus Christ Himself indicated that she, as well as the other givers, were giving "unto the offerings of God."  This also is a part of the context.
 

2 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Given the fact that Proverbs 22 reveals that those who give to the rich will come to want, I highly doubt that Jesus would be pleased by the widow giving all her living to the thieves

Given the fact that 2 Corinthians 9:6 reveals the divine promise that those who sow "bountifully shall reap also bountifully," I can certainly understand how our Lord Jesus Christ would be pleased that the widow sowed so bountifully "unto the offerings of God."

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2 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Jesus had finished his scathing rebuke of rhe scribes and Pharisees.  He had ended with a warning to beware of the scribes.  Why?  Because they were not the pious people they pretended to be.  Instead, they were thieves.

 

Now, Jesus ended all that, and then sat down to watch the treasury.  Why?  This was not His normal practice.  Normally, after ripping the religious leaders for their dishonesty, He would leave the Temple.  But this time it was different.  He knew the widow would be coming in.  It was a perfect demonstration of the thievery He had just spoken of.  The widow's living was forcibly appropriated by the thieves.

Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ had a strong rebuke against the scribes and Pharisees for their selfish and oppressive greediness.  Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ lingered in the temple in order to teach a lesson unto His disciples.  Neither of those truths are matters of contention between us.  The matter of contention concerns the character of the lesson that our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching unto His disciples.  Was He communicating further rebuke against the scribes by revealing an example of their greedy oppression against widows?  Or, was He communicating a further rebuke against the scribes by revealing a contrast to their greedy oppression against widows through the generosity of this one widow in giving so sacrificially "unto the offerings of God"?
 

2 hours ago, wretched said:

It is easily seen IMO that the widow was being manipulated into giving and this manipulation came from thieves posing as God's men. The overall context does indicate it because it is consistent throughout the Gospels that our Lord was in full rebuke of all formalized religious practices fueled by man's greed. The "priests" of that day had the same iron handed rule over the hearts of the deceived just as the present day roman pagan "priests" do now.

Brother Wretched,

Please understand that I have not presented a single word of defense for "the doctrine of tithing" throughout this discussion.  On the other hand, I have engaged significantly concerning the correct understanding of the widows giving.  Is it true that our Lord Jesus Christ "was in full rebuke" against "all formalized religious practices" that were fueled by sinful greediness?  ABSOLUTELY.  Yet it is also true that Scripture often presents a contrast between the rejection of the religious leaders against Christ and the reception by the common people for Christ.  As examples, this can be seen in the contrast between Matthew 21:8-11 (see also Luke 19:37-38) and Matthew 21:15-16 (see also Luke 19:39-40) and in the contrast between Mark 12:1-37a and Mark 12:37b.  Even so, the principle of contrasts is NOT foreign to the context.  Furthermore, our Lord engaging in a spirit of "full on rebuke" against the false religious leaders is observed with either possibility, whether He was revealing an example OF their greediness, or whether He was revealing a contrast TO their greediness.  As such, the truth that our Lord was in a spirit of "full on rebuke" against the false religious leaders is NOT an evidence for one of these positions and against the other, since it actually is valid for both of these positions.

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