Michael Pearl: All right. I'm out here throwing knives, and Jared is following me around with this camera. I'm getting ready for a world championship down in Austin, Texas and San Antonio, Texas, going to have some stiff competition, so I'm trying to punch out that four‑inch bulls‑eye right there, going to have to hit it nearly every time if we're going to ‑‑ that's 100% there ‑‑if I'm going to win that world championship. We got to throw it from six different distances. I'm Michael Pearl, and I'm sitting on my stump here, ready to answer your Bible questions. We're in Tennessee on a beautiful, sweaty, humid day. So, Jared, what's on the folks' mind out there? What do they want to know?
Woman 1: Good morning. My name is Denise, and I'm calling from north east Maryland, and I wanted to say that I just saw Mike's answer to the question about tithing, very shocked, and surprised. I've never heard this my entire life; I'm 52 years old. I would like, Mike, if he could, to explain what a Christian should do with their money. I know it's obvious ‑‑ give to the Lord, give to missions, that kind of thing ‑‑ but how should we ‑‑ what should he suggest we do on a weekly, monthly basis if we don't give a specific 10% to our church? Does it matter who we give it to?
Thank you very much.
Michael: The Bible tells us, as the Lord has prospered us, we should give, said on the first day of the week, set aside your offerings, and offer gifts, and offerings, so certainly, giving is what being a Christian is all about. That is an expression of being a Christian: giving. Now, [laughter] be wary of any preacher or ministry that puts a mandate for giving upon you, and they are the recipients of it. Now, see, I have a multi‑million dollar ministry, but my income doesn't depend on that.
That's ‑‑ I don't need the ministry for my income. I've made my own living all my life, so I never ask anyone to give me money. If you give anything to our ministry, every dime of it goes to whatever you designate it. For instance, if you designate it to buy Bibles for Laos, and you give $10,000, $10,000 goes overseas to a printer who prints those Bibles and they're distributed in Laos.
We don't take a dime of it out, and we have audits. We have records to do that. Now, be wary of anybody that says you need to give 10% to this church, 10% to right here to this ministry, or any amount, for that matter.
Yes, give, but how should you give? Give as God lays it on your heart. Give to people printing bibles.
Give to people rescue missions. Give to people working with unwed mothers. Give it to orphanages and homes.
Boy, it troubles me that today in America, we've got church building after church building after church building, gigantic, expensive multi‑ million dollar affairs that people use three hours a week. Boy, that's a poor business. [laughter]
My brother was working for a church, and they had, I think, four or five thousand members, and had about 36 maintenance men in the place that he was holding ‑‑ that he was directing.
They got in a tight financially when everybody else did, so they layed off 25 counselors, including psychologists, and psychiatrists, and completely vacated an entire building of counseling people.
Now, it's pitiful that we in America want to go to some counseling session, some expensive operated counseling session, when there's people never heard the Gospel. There's people in Haiti [laughter] they never got of counselors. They just try to find something to eat.
There's people in Angola, people in Papua New Guinea who've never seen a Bible for the first time. The Bible has been translated. We ‑‑ in fact, we've printed 40, 000, I believe it was, Bibles for Papua New Guinea, and they were distributed.
They could use another 40, 000. They could use 400, 000 Bibles in Papua New Guinea, and in America, we talk about tithing, so it can all be consumed right here on our lust for fancy buildings, and bowling alleys, and dining halls, and all that stuff. It troubles me. It troubles God a whole lot more.
When you give, give more than 10% if you can. Some of you can't. Some of you are so poor you can't give 10%; you're just barely making enough to pay your rent.
Maybe you need to move smaller, but now you're living in a three bedroom house with seven kids. You can't trim it down anymore. Your old car won't run [laughter], and I couldn't with a clear conscience to tell you need to give to the church or to our ministry.
Our ministry needs to give to you instead of you giving to our ministry. If God prospers you, and you get a little extra, and you give $10 somewhere, don't give it us; I'd feel too bad. Give it to ‑‑ walk up to some poor, homeless guy, and take him down to a restaurant, and buy him a meal, and sit, and listen to him talk for an hour.
Then take him down to the Dollar Store, and buy one of those $10 Bibles, and give it to him, and mark a couple passages.
Find out what cardboard box he lives in. Go back, and see him next week. That's the way you need to be giving.
This institutional giving to support institutions, whew, that's nauseating. That's totally nauseating. So give.
Give big. Give freely. Give joyously, but give of yourself, not just your money.
Don't buy God off by giving something, and then spending the rest of the week doing your own thing. Get involved in people's lives, and use your money to get involved in people's lives so that you can help them, so that you can bless them.
You might go six months without giving hardly anything, and then a big situation comes up, and you give what would amount to 10% of your yearly income at one time to one ministry opportunity, but check it out. Just because somebody comes crying with some pictures of kids with fat bellies, don't give them your money.
Spend half of that money to go to that country with a couple of your kids, and spend two weeks getting to know the ministry. If it's a good ministry and a faithful ministry, then give the other half to the ministry, but don't just buy God off by giving a portion of your money.
Go back if you didn't hear the tape on tithing. Go back and look at that. That's not something that the Christian is placed under.
That is a Jewish taxation that supported the one‑twelfth of the nation of Israel, the tribe of Levi. It was a national tax that supported the country. It had nothing to do with giving to God.
It was not like our giving today. It was a taxation for the nation, and the Christian church is not under a 10% taxation.
All right. Going to stick some more holes in this wood.
Announcer: If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at [email protected] or call at 931‑805‑4820.