Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cultural Sins

Dr. Couch, what you have written about the sins of cultures is fascinating! I agree with you and believe what you are saying goes to the root of the problems we are facing in America. Do you have any more thoughts?

ANSWER: Just to remind those reading this, that all individuals stand before God equally, and all need the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. But when it comes to establishing or maintaining a nation, there are dangers that must be looked at carefully when considering a flood of those coming to our shores from cultures that are other than Christian, European, or Reformed in orientation. America has been able to a degree to absorb people from different cultures but there is a limit, and certainly a danger in just opening the door to thousands or even millions from a society opposite from this country. All cultures are not equal. Cultures more influenced by evil will corrupt those that have been in a positive way influenced by Christian virtues and mores.

In some ways my argument is almost mute because those in this nation who have a heritage that would be Christian, Calvinistic, and European, have virtually repudiated or forgotten their own heritage. Sin is covering over the values that were once precious to the Anglo community and hiding them as a casket in the ground!

We have recently had a flood of people coming to these shores with ulterior motives. They see America as a nation that only gives. They do not understand its European and Calvinistic base. I was just reading about the founding of Pennsylvania. It had a religious purpose similar to the founding of Massachusetts. While today we would not agree with William Penn's determination to make that State a theocracy, yet there are great virtues that we must consider. Penn said, "We cannot be false to our principles." Penn added, "Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad. But if men be bad, let the government be ever so good; it should endeavor to warp and spoil the bad to make it good."

Duty, honor, reliability, virtue, drove the early founding of the nation. Would these qualities be part of the heritage of those now sneaking into our country like thieves in the night? No! So we will be mixing people of different spiritual persuasions and attitudes. No nation can survive with such a division!

America now has become a most barbarous nation with the philosophy among many that "anything goes." So one culture is as good morally as another, people wrongly will think. The Bible would tell us this is not so. John Calvin made an interesting statement in his Institutes. He wrote, "It is indeed a bad thing to live under a [nation] with whom nothing is lawful, but a much worse situation is to live under one with whom all things are lawful!"

I have many school teaching friends who share with me things happening in their schools that are not made public. For example, in one school, there are special classes for pregnant teens, about forty-five girls in one district. And almost all are illegal foreigners! The State will pay for the delivery and the care of the mother and child. The culture, and the families—the mothers and fathers--now dominating that school district teach that it is a shame for the girl to reach seventeen or eighteen without having a baby. This is part of "their culture." The State pays fully to support what their culture demands. This is what I call Liberal Sympathetic Humanism. But that is not Christian Charity. Christian Charity operates within the bounds of moral responsibility and even demands something moral in return from the recipient.

The apostle Paul laid out the principles for Christian Charity in 2 Thessalonians 3. He wrote: (1) he worked hard so he would not be a burden to anyone; (2) if anyone will not work, neither let him eat; (3) he warned against an undisciplined life, doing no work at all; (4) eat your own bread.

"But Dr. Couch", you may argue, "I thought illegal foreigners were hard workers?" While this may be true they "take" from the State in terms of free health care, free education. Most often they do not pay taxes. And too often they bring in from their society the immoral values in which they were raised! If they give birth in America they receive virtually free citizenship, along with their child who is automatically declared a citizen.

What is happening in America does not impact simply on social or cultural issues. It also has to do with morality. And if that is not considered "the chaos of cultures, and the division among peoples, will someday surface, and it will not be pleasant!"

Thanks for asking.

Dr. Mal Couch (4/08)

Monday, April 21, 2008

What Is The Liberal Social Gospel Movement?

Dr. Couch, it seems that Barack Obama's pastor is into the liberal Social Gospel movement. It sounds like kingdom-now theology and postmillennialism. Would you explain this?

ANSWER: You are correct but his theology is even worse than that. He is into Liberation Black Theology which is full blown socialism and communism. Black Theology calls for the destruction of "white power" and even the elimination of the white race if it is not subdued and tempered. This and the Social Gospel is just warmed over liberalism. The great doctrines of Scripture are demeaned and down-played. Social and political action is what Christ was all about, and should be today the main focuses of Christian activity.

And yes, all in the liberal camp would be into the kingdom-now and postmillennial movement. We are building the kingdom by social and political action. If we just tweak society a bit we will bring into the world peace and harmony.

But there is more going on that is even worse. The Green Movement, fired up by the ignorant younger yuppy crowd, is removing all of our freedoms of choice and movement. It is certainly important to be responsible for the world God has given us but they are going beyond normal responsibility. They are into full control of both your thoughts and actions. They are virtually atheistic in their philosophy and activities. They believe humans are alone and must save the world. God is not around. They would deny prophecy that tells us this world is going to self-destruct by the providence and direct action of God in His anger against a sinful world.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Apostacy? Error? Heresy?

Dr. Couch, what is the difference from the Greek between apostasy, error, and heresy?

ANSWER: This is a good question. Sometimes we just lump these ideas together, but as you, I like to be specific because that is usually what happens in Scripture. And we want to be a good observer of what the Holy Spirit has given to us and said in the Word of God.

APOSTASY. Unfortunately, the KVJ does not translate the word apostasia as apostasy but as a falling away. This is close. The word is a compound, apo=from, and stasia=to stand. Thus, to stand away from. A standing away from something, specifically in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, is "a falling away" from the truth. The word apostasion is related and means "to divorce." The NAS translates the Greek word as "apostasy." This "departure, falling away" comes just before the revelation of the anti-Christ, the man of sin, who is revealed at the beginning of the tribulation.

This apostasy is further described in 2 Timothy 3:1: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come." As well, men will be "holding to a form of godliness, although they will have denied its power …" (v. 5). They will be "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (v. 7). This apostasy is further described in 1 Timothy 4:1-3. "The Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will fall away from THE FAITH, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (v. 1). Further, they will be hypocritical liars "seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron" (v. 2).

I believe we are now starting into this terrible period just before the arrival of the rapture of the church.

ERROR. In a technical sense the word error (agnoeema) ("to not know") is used only once in the NT in Hebrews 9:7. There it is speaking of the sinful errors of the Jews that were committed in a certain blind manner. A sacrifice had to be made for those sins of ignorance. A similar idea is given in a related word (agnoia) which is almost always translated as ignorance. There are sins of ignorance, nevertheless, they are sins and must be accounted for.

HERESY. This word (hairesis) may carry the strongest idea. It is sometimes translated "sect." An interesting use is found in 1 Corinthians 11:19 where the apostle Paul writes "There must be heresies among you." He could simply mean there "will be" or God puts heresies in your midst in order to strengthen your resolve and your doctrinal understanding. Heresies are part of the work of the flesh (Gal. 5:20), and "false teachers" (heretics) shall arise in the end times (2 Pet. 2:1).

While each word has a different shade of meaning, the point is almost the same. False doctrine will dominate, and especially it will come to the forefront in the final days!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

How To Tithe?

Dr. Couch, I am fellowshipping in a group that believes we must tithe. To prove their point they reference the words of Christ and say He commands it. They would probably use Matthew 28:20 which are the words He spoke to the disciples before His ascension: Teach them "to observe all that I commanded you [disciples] …" They would say this includes the tithe. How do you answer?

ANSWER: Apparently your group is not dispensational. They glob all Bible verses together, ignoring context and the dispensational setting. This shows gross ignorance and a lack of clear OBSERVATION of what is going on in various passages.

Christ came and ministered under the Law and tithing was part of the Law. He lived and ministered during the period of the Law, which we are no longer under. In light of their quoting the Matthew 28:20 verse, I never remember Christ commanding His disciples to tithe. The tithe was part of the Law and the disciples were about to move into the dispensation of the church age. They would no longer be under Law. The old Malachi 3:8-10 passage had to do with bringing the tithe into the temple storehouse. The temple is not the church!

Now I have no problem with saying that a tenth is a good benchmark for giving but you cannot place the church under the legal obligation of the Mosaic Law. The rule for giving in the dispensation of the church age is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-12. The benchmark of ten percent is not mentioned. Instead giving should be based on: sharing bountifully, cheerfully, not grudgingly, giving as one has purposed in the heart, giving liberally as supplying the needs of the saints. These criteria could mean we should give more than ten percent as one purposes in the heart not by the limited rule of ten percent from the Law. And to be forced to give because of the Law would place us "under compulsion" (v. 7).

Don't forget, in the church dispensation we are no longer under the Law. It is not the governing force of how we live out the Christian life, though all of the moral imperatives of the Law (such as prohibition against murder, theft, lust, etc.) are eternal principles and are repeated in the church dispensation. But the tithe is not repeated as a church command anywhere in the church epistles.

If I am to do all that Christ said, then if I call someone a fool I should be tossed into the fiery hell (Gahanna) (Matt. 3:22)! (By the way, on this passage Christ is using exaggeration, hyperbole, in order to get across a strong point of condemning those who demean others.)

I hope this helps, and thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Does The Word "Dog" in Scripture Refer to Homosexuality?

Dr. Couch, I have heard some Bible teachers say that the word "dog" in some places in Scripture is referring to homosexuality. Is this true?

ANSWER: This is probably true and it is held by many Bible scholars, such as my Hebrew teacher, the great Dr. Merrill F. Unger. He writes in his commentary on Deuteronomy 23:17-18: "The harlot is the female religious prostitute and the sodomite is the male religious prostitute, the homosexual. "The price from the dog" is the fee paid to a male prostitute or "catamite." A catamite is a boy who has sexual relations with a man! God refuses to accept their offerings given to the tabernacle, or later to the temple! Ellicott agrees that this is the meaning of dog in these verses: "The prostitute and the sodomite" he writes.

Revelation 22:15 also refers to the "dogs," probably referring to homosexuals. The passage reads: Outside the new eternal Jerusalem "are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters." John is not saying that in eternity there will actually be such people outside the city. All sin will be eradicated and all sinners will be cast into hell at this time. John is simply using a literary device that is making the point of their exclusion from the new heaven and the new earth! In my Handbook to the Book of Revelation (Kregel), I write on this verse and on 21:27: "Some have mistakenly assumed that the verse is saying that sinners are nearby, dwelling just outside the city walls of New Jerusalem. However, John was simply saying that the issue of sin is over. The sins of the pagan world have been purged forever. We will never look up and see sinful beings coming into the eternal, holy city."

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What Is Going On In Luke 16:16?

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Luke 16:16?

ANSWER: I am glad you asked. This is a great passage proving that dispensationalists are right in our interpretation. The passage reads: "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John [the Baptist came]; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it." The "since then" was taking place while Christ was still speaking to the Jewish people on earth.

John brought a certain conviction to the Jews who were not exercising genuine trust in the Lord. There was a rush to try to get into the kingdom because the king had arrived. By the way, the "gospel of the kingdom" is not the gospel of personal salvation. It is the "good news" about the arrival of the millennial reign of the Messiah! "The kingdom of God" is always a reference to that earthly Davidic reign promised in the OT. Therefore that kingdom cannot be the church as the allegorical guys try to make it.

In the context of the passage, Christ is addressing the Pharisees. Verse 15 sets up verse 16. "And [Christ] said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.’" In other words, the Jews did not want to miss the millennial kingdom and thought they would be its citizens simply because they were Jews.

The kingdom was then postponed. Yet someday in the future, the gospel of the kingdom will again be preached just before the finality of the tribulation. Christ said in Matthew 24:14: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come." It will be preached in the tribulation worldwide!

I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Does Romans 11: 26-27 Refer to the Church?

Dr. Couch, some of the Covenant and Reformed guys try to make Romans 11:26-27 somehow refer to the church. They call Zion and Jacob the new Israel. This doesn’t seem right. What do you say?

ANSWER: You are right. They are wrong! They are masters at being wrong, with their allegorical interpretation and replacement theology. The question is often raised about verse 26 which says: "And thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." Does this mean every Jew who enters the kingdom; does it mean a representation of the Jews or only the remnant of the Jews who are representing each tribe of Jacob?

It would mean every Jew who enters the kingdom but also, only a remnant will be saved. Many of the unbelieving Jews will perish in the tribulation. But what is interesting here is that it seems Paul is quoting and referring to Isaiah 4:2-5:

The passage says that when the Messiah, the Branch, comes He will be "the adornment of the survivors of Israel." Isaiah writes, those who are left in Zion at the end of the tribulation, "he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem, will be called holy—everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem." The Lord will cleanse them (v. 4) and He will create over the entire area of Mount Zion a cloud by day, and a flame of fire by night (v. 5). And there will be a shelter (a Sukkah) to give shade from the heat by day (v. 6).

The survivors of Isaiah 4 are the remnant of all of the tribes of Israel who will be saved when the Messiah, the Deliverer, comes "and removes ungodliness from Jacob (the Jewish people)" (Rom. 11:26).

Replacement theology is a gross error and lie! Paul goes on and says the Jews will be saved for the kingdom set up in Zion because God's "gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (v. 29). God will not go back on His promises because He gave the Jewish patriarchs (the fathers) this promise (v. 28).

Dispensationalists are right; the Covenant guys are wrong!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Strange View of Repentance

Dr. Couch, Zane Hodges and some others seem to have a strange view of repentance. On Acts 2:38 they say the audience was saved (cut to the heart) before they asked what to do. Then Hodges would say, Peter exhorted them to "repent" for the forgiveness of sins after they were already saved! What do you say?

ANSWER First of all, there is no question as to what the basic meaning of repentance is. The Greek word is "metanoeo" and is a compound. "Meta" means with, and "noeo" is mind. Balz & Schneider, editors of the best and the newest Greek Lexicon put the definition of the word this way: "to turn around, change one's mind, repent." The great Greek grammarians Dana & Mantey point out that the preposition meta has the force (with the word mind "to express the idea of change, or difference."

Balz & Schneider have a lengthy article on metanoeo and write: "Repentance is negatively a turning away from former ignorance on the basis of the confirming act of God toward Jesus; positively it is a turning toward God, which manifests itself concretely in belief in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21; 26:18, 20, cf. 19:4)."

The Classical Greek Lexicon, of Liddell & Scott, show that the word has always had in the Greek language the idea of "an about face." They define the word: "To change one's mind or purpose, to change one's opinion."

One cannot fully understand the issue of repentance and baptism in Acts 2:38 without thoroughly knowing biblical Greek. As with so many doctrines of Scripture, only the original languages give light as to what is going on in a passage. This is why most untrained pastors give error from the pulpit. They have not paid the price of the discipline to study the Word of God properly, i.e. from the original languages.

Acts 2:38 should be translated like this:

And Peter said to them,
All of you (plural) repent now, ...
For the forgiveness of (all) of your sins,
And (all) of you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,
And then let each one of you (individually) be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

The plural pronouns must be grammatically bunched together and separated from the singular imperative "to be baptized." Those who repented (turned from their sins to Christ) received forgiveness and then they received the Holy Spirit. Following the repentance and the fact of being saved, they were then to be baptized in water in the name of Christ!

On Acts 2:38 in my New Testament commentary series, author Ger rightly states in the Acts volume:

Biblical repentance calls for a vivid change, a complete reorientation of one's perspective. ... Baptism is the closely related physical sign of the spiritual reality of repentance, which results in forgiveness. … Repentance is linked with the forgiveness of sin based upon grammatical agreement in both gender and number (both are second person plural). The "eis" indicates that forgiveness of sin is the result of repentance. This makes the command to be baptized (third person singular) a parenthetical idea. … The verse could then be paraphrased as follows: "Repent for the forgiveness of your sins, and be baptized." … Peter only associates repentance or belief with the forgiveness of sin, making no mention of baptism as a condition of forgiveness (3:19; 5:31; 10:43). (Commentary on Acts, Mal Couch & Ed Hindson, gen. eds. AMG)

I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, April 11, 2008

Food Shortages and Bible Prophecy

Dr. Couch, I just heard of a terrible calamity coming on the world that our U.S. media has hardly (in fact, not at all) mentioned, and that is, Asia and India are about to run out of rice, which is their staple food source. Could this play into the picture of Bible prophecy and the end-times?

ANSWER: I never want to be a date-setter but, yes, this could easily be part of the scenario for what will be coming on the earth, even at the start of the tribulation. The enemies of Bible prophecy and premillennialism would argue: "Oh, there have always been famines, and here you go again, saying that the tribulation is just around the corner!" My answer: While there have always been famines, it has only been sixty years since the founding of the Jewish nation, with those who have been brought back from around the world to the Promised Land! And that is a sign that we are getting close to tribulation events!

Let’s look at some recent statistics about the shortage of rice.

    • Three billion people, mostly in Asia and Africa, depend on rice for their daily subsistence.

    • 300 million people in India are below the poverty line and they all have to receive government assistance in order to get their daily portion of rice which they eat three times a day.

    • There is no doubt that the demand for rice in Asia, parts of Africa and in Southeast Asia, is outpacing the production and supply of rice. The gap each month is growing wider. The shortage of rice is already here, not simply building up.

    • The cost of rice worldwide has gone up by seventy percent in the last year.

    • Riots have already started by people who are almost starving for the rice food supply.

    • Government rice warehouses are now being guarded by army troops to keep people from thievery.

What does the Bible say about the coming worldwide tribulation and famine? Christ speaks about the tribulation, and the wrath of God most often, and He always mentioned famine. He said that during the seven year tribulation "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of the birth pangs" (Matt. 24:7-8; Mark 13:8). Jeremiah makes it clear that the birth pangs take place when all the Jews from around the world have been restored back to the land in the latter times (Jer. 30:1-6). Paul repeats the same thing in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4. By the context of Matthew 24, and by the way Christ mentions famines, it is clear He is not talking about ordinary famines and earthquakes. These are specific events that take place at a specific time.

In the tribulation context in Luke 21 famines are mentioned again but other phenomena are also included. Christ says in verse 11 there will be "great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven."

This comes to pass in Revelation beginning in 6:7-17. To Death and Hades, riding on an ashen horse, is given authority (from God) to bring on terror on a fourth of the earth, "to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence, plague" (v. 8). With the destruction of Babylon the Whore in 18:8 more famine will come upon her and her consorts, her allies!

So famine will play a role in the seven year tribulation period. My view is that probably what is now taking place, with the rice issue and potential on-the-horizon famine, will surely build and become a major issue leading all the way into the tribulation!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Legalism in Churches

Dr. Couch, I am a pastor in a small Baptist denomination. I am seeing legalism and just plain stupid things now happening in our group. I don’t know if I can go on. My heart is really wrenched by what I see. What should I do?

ANSWER: First of all, let me say that what you are seeing is happening all over. What I find remarkable is that so many others of your associates do not see the same things going on. This means that they are not spiritually sensitive, and, that they like the company of the denomination. So many today are spiritually blinded and are buying into the philosophies and practices of the culture. And as well, probably you would agree that they have a certain pride in who they are.

To me you have several choices: (1) Leave the denomination. (2) Leave but see if your church would go with you. (3) Talk to brother pastors who see what you see, to ascertain what you could do together to bring about conviction to the group.

Number (3) will probably not work. I have never seen prideful people change their ways. They love to sit in the seat of power and authority and are not aware of the shifting going on in the denomination. Because people like to “cluster” in a denomination, and because they don’t see what you see, number (2) will probably not happen either. That leaves (1) by which you resign and go out on your own. Be prepared for a rough and rocky ride. Starting something new that is true to the teaching of God’s Word, is rarely working in today’s church climate.

I hate to give you this bad news but I deal with this weekly, with pastors emailing me about the changes taking place in their churches. If you leave, more than likely you will gather a few around you who want the truth. And God may cause a new work to grow, but that is not the trend today. What is happening to you is not coming about by accident. God told us an apostasy would flourish in the end times, a departure in which people will thrive on carnality and error. So we should not be surprised! I wish I had better and more positive news but I don’t.

Thanks for sharing your heart.
Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, April 4, 2008

Did Dispensationalism Emerge From The Charismatic Movement?

Dr. Couch, I've been told that dispensationalism comes from the charismatic movement. Is this so?

ANSWER: Oh my word! Of course this is a bald-faced lie! Dispensationalism is not a "theological movement." The Bible IS DISPENSATIONAL! But up until around 1840 in England silly Covenant theology ruled along with amillennialism and allegorical interpretation. Some of the most intellectual and spiritual Calvinistic Bible teachers and pastors in the land began to ask questions about Israel. They had been told that the church was the "new Israel." They knew that was not right but sought out the Scriptures to see what the truth was. They held Bible studies and conferences and hammered out the truth that was so clear in the Bible but that had been coated over with Reformed allegorical thinking.

Dispensationalism exploded! It has been estimated that at one time during the nineteenth century fifty percent of English pastors were dispensational. I don't know how it can be but charismatics and Pentecostals can be dispensational; and many of them are! Their Arminianism should but does not seem to clash with dispensatonalism.

Some years back all of the great Bible colleges and seminaries in this country were dispensational. I was privileged to graduate from some of them. But today, things are changing rapidly. Leaders are cutting their ties from the truth. Psychology, the culture, and our evil society, are re-molding our Christianity and re-shaping it away from the truth.

If I wanted to give a short list on the clear biblical issues driving dispensationalism, it would read something like this:

  1. A literal and normal interpretation of the Bible.
  2. A literal and normal reading of Bible prophecy. Christ's first coming was literal and His second coming will be literal.
  3. God is clearly not through with Israel and the Jewish people. The church is not Israel!
  4. The rapture of the church, the coming apostasy, the worldwide tribulation, and the coming kingdom reign of Christ in Jerusalem are going to take place "actually" and literally, and, these great truths are easily defensible in Scripture.
  5. Progressive revelation. The Bible progressively unfolds a plan from Genesis to Revelation. Not everything is revealed all at once!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Building Debt

Dr. Couch, you are my favorite dispensational teacher and I really appreciate your advice. I know you have been butting heads for years with problems in churches and I am becoming so frustrated with what is going on here in my assembly. My church is a Southern Baptist congregation that is trying to pay off a huge building debt. They are putting massive guilt on everyone for the problem and calling everyone thieves from the Malachi passage. I am so tired of the legalism and the condemnation. On top of it all they do not teach the Word of God. How should I handle this in my heart?

   ANSWER: You have to learn to accept the stupidity of the church today and the lack of biblical discernment of leadership. The bad news is it is going to get worse; the good news is the Bible told us there would be such legalism and that an apostasy will someday overtake the church. The church age will fail!

   And you observe well, the Malachi passage is not applicable to the dispensation of the church. It was for the dispensation of law. The passage you are referring to is the "old" "bring your tithes into the storehouse" in 3:8-10. The storehouse was the temple treasury. The tithe was a tenth and was required by the law.

   We are not under the law but under the dispensation of the church age, or under grace. Under grace the key passage is 2 Corinthians 9:6-13. We are to give just as one has "purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver." This could be even more than a ten percent of what one gives! Under grace God is looking at the heart and the intent not the figure of ten percent. However, since God knows the heart there is a rule attached to giving and that is found in verse 6: "He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully." If one has the ability to give a certain amount but is stingy with God there will be a limited return of blessing from the Lord. Notice that in the passage the heart is involved. God knows us and examines our motives.

   You will not change your church from bottom up. The only choice you have if it is doctrinally intolerable is to leave.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch