I thought this was a sufficiently churchy title that some of you would click to read. 🙂
Today’s verse of the day on my iPhone Bible App is Malachi 3:10. If you’ve attended a charismatic church very often, you’ve likely heard this verse as the pastor pushes for increased tithing/giving. Let’s look at it anyway:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”
I’ve heard several pastors quote this verse and others to support their message of tithing to your local church organization. The common thinking is that if you trade out “storehouse” and “Temple” and replace it with “local church organization”, the promise equation of God will still compute and you will be blessed.
But I’m not buying it. And I’m not buying it because the Temple in Scripture was a physical building pre-Jesus. It’s the place where the select few priests could interact with God Himself and perform the go-between tasks of humans to God.
But we don’t live in that world anymore. There is no physical building housing the presence of God. There is no sacred meeting place where we are closer to God or where priests and pastors perform sacred rituals as the middle man.
Since the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. No building. No church organization. We human beings.
What does that mean for this verse?
Instead of replacing “Temple” with “church organization”, put “human”. We ARE the temple. You aren’t fulfilling this promise of God by tithing to a church organization, because it’s not the Temple of God. You are. It’s pretty black or white. You’ll hear someone try to talk around this, because their church culture informs them that tithing is important and good and draws blessing like a magnet.
While tithing may be good, and may draw blessing to you, it also isn’t the fulfillment of this verse of the Bible. Plain and simple.
So the only logical next question is:
Can we insert body/soul/spirit into this verse and the promise equation still works?