Bible Study Course
Welcome to Book 5 in the Practical Christian Living series of the Liberty Bible Course. This booklet deals with Faith Promise Giving. This study is written to be used with the KING JAMES version of the Bible, otherwise your answers are going to be incorrect. Please get your Bible, and begin another exciting study in Gods Word, that just might change your life!
V. Faith Promise Giving
Note: Faith Promise Giving is a system and teaching in regard to giving money to the Lords work. It was devised by a man named Oswald J. Smith; who, for many years, was the pastor of The Peoples Church in Toronto, Canada.
We are dealing with his teaching, because it is so commonly used in fundamental churches. What you might not know, is that it is also used in a wide variety of denominations. A quick search on the Internet came up with pages by the following denominations promoting Faith Promise Giving: Baptist, Christian Reformed, Missionary Alliance, Nazarene, Wesleyan, Methodist, Evangelical Free Church, Bible, Church of Christ, and Presbyterian churches. Many more churches no doubt use the system and could be found, if a more thorough search was done.
A. Definition Of Terms.
1. The common definition of Faith Promise Giving.
Faith Promise Giving
Promising, by faith (normally, a year in advance), to give an amount of money
(which you do not presently have) to God for His work, if He will provide it for you.
Note: This is what Oswald J. Smith says about giving and faith. Have you ever in your life given a Faith Offering, or have you only given a cash offering? IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY FAITH TO GIVE A CASH OFFERING. If I have a dollar in my pocket, all I have to do is tell my hand to go into my pocket, find the dollar, take it out and put it on the plate. I dont have to pray about it. I dont have to ask God for it. I dont have to trust Him for any definite amount. I just have to give it. (bold letters added for emphasis) (A Faith Promise Offering, by Oswald J. Smith). We will deal more with his definition after giving the Biblical definition of Faith Giving.
2. The Biblical definition of Faith Giving.
Biblical Faith Giving
Giving an amount of money to the Lord from what you presently have
(whether part, or all of it), and then, by faith, trusting God to meet your needs.
Mark 12:41 tells us, And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the
people cast money into the treasury: and many that were ________ cast in ________.
b. The next verse says, And there came a certain ________ widow, and she threw in ______ mites, which make a farthing.
c. Verse 43 says, And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast ________ in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
d. Jesus then tells why, in verse 44, For all they did cast in of their __________________; but she of her want did cast in ______ that she had, even ______ her living.
Note: Consider Oswald J. Smiths statement again, Have you ever in your life given a Faith Offering, or have you only given a cash offering? IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY FAITH TO GIVE A CASH OFFERING. If I have a dollar in my pocket, all I have to do is tell my hand to go into my pocket, find the dollar, take it out and put it on the plate. I dont have to pray about it. I dont have to ask God for it. I dont have to trust Him for any definite amount. I just have to give it.
His statement does not match up at all with what Jesus taught. The widow gave
a cash offering, and the Lord highly honored her for it. SHE DID NOT PROMISE TO
GIVE THE LORD MORE THAN SHE HAD but she gave all the cash that she did have.
When Oswald J. Smith says, It does not require any faith to give a cash offering, he is greatly in error, and is assuming that everyone has cash in their pockets that is extra (money that they do not really need). But many people in this world barely make ends meet, when it comes to paying their bills.
When those people give the cash in their pockets, then they do not have the money to meet their
needs for gas, groceries, bills, etc. They have to then live by faith for the rest of that week or month.
That is exactly the situation in which the widow was, after giving her two mites. She of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Those two mites were all the money that she had by which to live for the time being and she gave it all. Now, she would have to live by faith, that God would supply her needs.
Compare the two methods:
Promising to give God an amount of money which you
do not have, then praying that He will supply it.
Giving an amount of money from what you presently have,
then praying that God will supply your daily needs.
B. Misapplications Of Scriptures.
Note: What is the definition of the word misapplication? The word application means, an act of putting to use; capacity for practical use. (Merriam-Websters 11th Collegiate Dictionary). The prefix mis means, badly, wrongly; opposite or lack of. (Merriam-Websters 11th Collegiate Dictionary).
When a Scripture verse or principle is misapplied, it is put to the wrong use, or used in the wrong capacity.
That is exactly the case with the Faith Promise Giving system. It misapplies the principle of faith to support its method.
1. The misapplication of Hebrews 11:1.
a. Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not ________.
Misapplying Hebrews 11:1, the Faith Promise Giving system reaches the false conclusion
that you are not giving in faith, unless you promise to give God an amount of money
which you cannot see (an amount of money you cannot see in your pocket or
purse; an amount of money which you cannot see in your bank account;
an amount of money which you cannot see in your regular weekly check).
Note: Such a statement clearly contradicts what Jesus taught His disciples in regard to the widow who only had two mites. Jesus highly honored her giving of the two mites that she could see. If that poor widow attended the average Faith Promise Missions Conference today, and only gave of what she had, she would be highly criticized for not stepping out on faith and promising to give of what she could not see. That conclusion is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught His disciples about giving.
In fact, Jesus did NOT commend the giving of the rich, because they were only giving of their abundance. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their ABUNDANCE; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Now, please stop and think. Faith Promise Giving teaches that you are not giving in faith, unless you promise to give that which you do not have.
In the Faith Promise Giving system, what you are really praying for is extra money,
or an abundance of money over what you presently make or have, so you can give it to the Lord.
Is that what the system really teaches? Read it for yourself: WITHOUT THE RESTRAINTS
ASSOCIATED WITH KNOWN INCOME AND RESOURCES, THE FAITH PROMISE EXPECTS
GOD TO SUPPLY HIS CHILDREN, LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY which they in turn give to His work.
(Globe Missionary Evangelism http://www.gme.org/giving-fpg.shtml)
They openly state that they are teaching a method that is not going to touch your present income, but is going to bring in an abundance from God, which you can then simply give right back to Him. According to what Jesus taught, that is not something commendable if you just give of the extra or abundance that you have received. That is no sacrifice on your part. Where is the faith involved there? But if you give from what you do have, and then depend upon the Lord to meet your daily needs, that does take faith and that is exactly what the widow did, and what Jesus commended.
Note: The Faith Promise Giving system also misapplies Hebrews 11:1, because it does not take into consideration the very definition of the word faith, which is given right in that verse.
b. Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the __________________ of things hoped for, the ________________ of things not seen.
True faith is NOT a blind leap in the dark or a guess. True faith has evidence and substance to it.
Note: Where does a person get that substance and evidence to prove something which he cannot see?
c. Romans 10:17 says, So then __________ cometh by hearing, and hearing by the ________ of God.
Faith comes through hearing the Word of God. We then base what we do on
that substance and evidence which we have heard or read from the Bible.
Note: Where is there evidence and substance in the Bible for teaching people to promise God that they will give Him a certain amount of money (a year in advance), which they do not have and cannot see? There is no such teaching in the Bible.
This is totally unlike the tithe, which is a percentage of what God actually gives to you. You are not asked to give money that you do not have, but ten percent of what God does give to you.
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