"Will a man rob God?" (Malachi 3:8)
Some people are going to be mighty upset with their pastors one day.
When, standing before the Lord, it becomes obvious that Jesus was not speaking metaphorically when He said that in giving to Him we are "laying up treasure in Heaven" (Matthew 6:20), many who were never taught to do that on earth are going to be pointing the finger of accusation at the preachers who failed them.
Why would a pastor shy away from preaching a message on giving? The answers are many and complex, but most boil down to one: He's afraid.
He is a coward.
Pastors do not like criticism and nothing will get him criticized quicker than a rousing sermon on turning loose of the almighty dollar and rerouting it into the offering plate.
Pastors do not like anonymous letters and nothing will fill his mailbox sooner with these orphan missives than declaring the whole counsel of God against materialism and greed.
The cowardly in any congregation enjoy anonymous carping at their spiritual leaders. If the preacher is silenced before he even begins, they have won.
Pastors do not like it when their most influential (and verbal) supporters are unhappy with them and nothing will achieve that distinction quicker than sermons on giving.
I suggest that ministers constantly remind their people that "I was not sent to make you happy, but to make Jesus happy and to make you mature and Christlike." Those are not the same thing.
Pastors do not like to be accused of selfish motives for sermons and a sermon urging people to bring offerings into the church which will pay the bills and could conceivably increase his salary will result in accusations of self-interest as quickly as anything you can think of.
Since some preachers do indeed abuse their position and urge people to give so they will have more money, many a pastor refuses to preach on money at all. And that's a great disservice to their people.
Shall we stop doing good just because some wrong-doer will be offended?
Pastor, even if some get it wrong, don't let that stop you from doing it right.
This is not a theoretical situation. I know plenty of pastors who never preach on money (stewardship, tithing, materialism, greed, giving- call it what you like). They hate the reaction they get from the pews and therefore choose safer topics, the kind that generate lots of compliments and 'amens' from the pews. As a result, those who need to hear the counsel of God on these very issues go without. Those who would respond to healthy scriptural teachings on this subject never hear God's truth and go on in their bondage.
Meanwhile, the Christian workers at home and throughout the world who depend on churches for their financial support go hurting.
All because of pastor's cowardice. All because he caved in to the critics and naysayers, the compromisers and the rebels.
All because he would rather be liked by his people than to please His Lord.
I'm urging you to reconsider, servant of God.
When you and I choose not to preach the Word of God on the subject of giving, we are failing the Lord, abandoning our people, deserting those who need their support, and ultimately betraying ourselves.
People are robbing God.
Malachi 3 says this as clearly as anything in Scripture. When the people of the Lord fail to bring in their tithes and offerings, the Lord's work goes wanting. "That there may be food in my house," is how the Lord phrases it in 3:10 .
God is honored when we faithfully bring our offerings and insulted when we don't.
I dare anyone to dispute that scripturally.
Non-giving church members are abandoning the Lord's workers.
Click here to read more.