Faith Promise Giving

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by PackerBacker, Nov 9, 2001.

  1. PackerBacker

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    Read some good debate on the tithe and it got me thinking about a thing called "Faith Promise Giving" that is taught in order to get pledges for missionary work. Is it really biblical or just another modern day fund raising system?
     
  2. Brian

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    I don't remember any scriptual basis for this and have been resistant to it when confronted by it. Seems to me (so careful this is my thought on it) if the project you want to fund this way is Gods will then the resources will be there. Regardless of how they are raised. So it also seems to me that by requireing faith pledges you are trying to determine if Gods will is finacially viable. That IMHO is just wrong. If there is any scripture I'd like to read it. I know the widow gave her all and she was more blessed than all the rich tithers. That seemed to relate to "normal" tithes and offerings though.

    [ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: Brian G ]
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    "Faith promise giving" is a modern-day fund raising system. It also goes beyond just pledging. A person is supposed to promise on faith to give a sum of money that he does not have (nor expect to have) and have the faith that God will supply it so he can give it. This is more than an apostle required, as Paul said that God would accept according to what a man has (II Cor. 8:12).
     
  4. Chick Daniels

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    Furthermore, the congregation is told to "ask God to tell you how much you should pledge" as though God will whisper a dollar amount into your ear. When someone objects to this notion of special revelation, The Faith-Promise speaker then mumbles something about searching the Scriptures for an answer. This exercise is somewhat similar to using the Bible as an oijia board--flip through the pages and when you see a number in the text force yourself to feel all fuzzy inside, and modify the number to fit a realistic amount and submit it to the Faith-Promise director. You might flop the Bible open to Gideon and see the three-hundred men and decide that God is telling you $300. (Advice: Stay away from passages with large numbers like the 120,000 Assyrians killed by the Lord near Jerusalem)

    When the dust settles, a person in a Faith-Promise program will simply decide what they want to do--and they did not receive any dollar amount from God or the Bible.

    I know this sounds cold, heartless, and unspiritual to some, but I am simply trying to have an honest hermeneutic.

    Chick

    [ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: Chick Daniels ]
     
  5. Ransom

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    rlvaughn said:

    A person is supposed to promise on faith to give a sum of money that he does not have (nor expect to have) and have the faith that God will supply it so he can give it.

    Yep, and it is presumptuous to believe that if you make such a promise "in faith" that God will therefore cough up for you:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (Jas. 4:13-16)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  6. PackerBacker

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    Thanks for the comments on Faith Promise Giving. For something so many Baptists in Indepentent Fundamental circles do, is there no one out there that cares to give a defense? Looking now to hear from someone out there that is willing to support it.
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Looking now to hear from someone out there that is willing to support it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    They're too busy raising money! ;)
     
  8. DocCas

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    PackerBacker, after reading the other comments, it is clear that few, if any, of the posters know what "faith promise" giving really is. It is based on Philippians chapter 4. It is not "making a pledge then expecting God to cough up the dough" but, rather, saying "by faith" IF the Lord supplies additional funds, then I will give those additional funds, or a portion thereof, to missions. If the Lord does not provide those additional funds, then the person is under no obligation to give. It seems pretty simple, and also seems to work well, at least in the churches I have been in that practiced it. We don't do it at the church I pastor, but we do have a special missions fund which presently supports 22 missionares. Missions is the largest single item in our budget. [​IMG]
     
  9. rlvaughn

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    The Baptist Bible Fellowship was the first group which I knew promoting "Faith Promise Giving". I do not know if it originated with them, but they have been one of the foremost promoters of the idea among independent Baptists. Here are some quotes from a pamphlet distributed by them - A Faith Promise Offering? by Granville LaForge. "The Faith Promise Offering is a free-will offering collected weekly in your church to provide the finances for worldwide missions (p.1)." "First, It is a promise to God. Observe carefully this is not a pledge to the church...However, may we hasten to say that your promise to God should be as binding if not more binding than a pledge to an organization. Secondly, it is an act of faith. You are promising to give beyond your present ability to give...It is simply trusting and believing God to supply the amount He impresses your heart to promise (p.2)." "WHY SHOULD I GIVE A FAITH PROMISE OFFERING?...First to express loving obedience to His commands. [I intended to post this without comment, but can't help myself :D .Where is the command to give a faith promise offering?] (p.3,4)." "How can I determine what God wants me to give? Ask God, with a submissive will: 'Lord, what will thou have me to do?' If you are truly willing to do His will, He will impress your mind with the amount He wants you to give. The amount He indicates may be beyond your personal ability, but remember this verse: 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.' Mark 9:23] FOURTH, SUBSCRIBE TO THAT AMOUNT ON YOUR FAITH PROMISE CARD. (p. 8). "FIFTH, SET THIS AMOUNT ASIDE WEEKLY AND GIVE IT...Knowing that it is God's will for you to give this amount weekly it then simply becomes a matter of good stewardship to give it as He has led you to promise. NOTE: God never commanded us to do something He will not enable us to to! (p.9)." Promoters of the Faith Promise usually insist that it is based on Scripture - "The Faith Promise method of giving is described in detail for us in II Corinthians 8, 9, and 10 (pp. 1-2)." I have no doubt that it may be for some, as with Thomas, simply saying that if God supplies additional funds one will give that to missions. But the excerpts from this pamphlet (and many other writings that are available) show that for most it is a very detailed system, and, for the BBFI at least, "You are promising to do something for an entire year, fifty two weeks without fail (p. 3)."
     
  10. DocCas

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    So, we have established the author of the pamphlet has a completely different definition of faith promise giving than say BIMI or other missions agencies which promote it. Is the BBFI pamphlet the sole authoritative source for such imformation? [​IMG]
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    As with anything Baptistic, everyone is their own sole authoritative source! :eek: Furthermore, I have not established anything in reference to the author of the pamphlet agreeing or disagreeing with BIMI or any other missions agency. I have simply quoted some of his material to show some of what is being promoted under the name of Faith Promise giving. PackerBacker is looking for some positions of those that promote Faith Promise giving. The pamphlet gives some of those propositions. What the BBFI (Macedonian Missionary Service is another) is promoting as Faith Promise giving is not the innocuous "IF the Lord supplies extra funds then give it", but a very agressive program to enlist churches in an annual Faith Promise giving program.

    [ November 11, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  12. Chick Daniels

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    Thomas,
    I have little problem with your approach to the FPG program, but yours is first that I have seen that emphasized the "if" God provides it. I have repeatedly seen folks pressured to give to keep up the needed amount. It was presented as pledge of faith, and then later it is spoken of as an obligation. I do think that most FP givers just wind up giving what they pledged without specifically identifying unanticipated funds that suddenly landed in their checkbooks. Most important of course, is that the missionaries be taken care of, and FPG apparently works for some churches, and not for others.

    Chick
     
  13. Ransom

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    Thomas Cassidy said:

    So, we have established the author of the pamphlet has a completely different definition of faith promise giving . . .

    We have also established that contrary to your previous assertion, it is not the case that "few, if any, of the posters know what 'faith promise' giving really is."
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    If you don't know what Faith Promise Giving really is, here is some other reading - check out these three independent Baptist churches:

    First Baptist Church, Rosemount, MN
    Grace Baptist Temple, Bloomington, IN
    Hyde Park Baptist Church, Hyde Park, NY

    and one example of non-Baptist Faith Promise Giving

    Apostolic Team Ministries International

    And if you want to purchase your Faith Promise Devotional Book, Cards, Pamphlets, etc. ;) -
    BBFI Mission Resources.

    I ran a Yahoo Search on "Faith Promise Giving", and I must say I was surprised at the other faiths that use the method as well - Charismatics, Evangelical Free Church, Friends, Methodists, Presbyterians, Alliance Church, Bible Church, and on & on. I'm not saying that proves anything; it's just that I thought that "Faith Promise Giving" was pretty much an independent Baptist phenomenon.

    P. S. I couldn't get the Grace Baptist Temple link to go directly to the Faith Promise page, so I have revised it. When you get to the sermons page, pull down New Testament books and click on Second Corinthians. Then choose sermon number 12 on Faith Promise Giving.

    [ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  15. Joey M

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    Give until it hurts, brother. :D
     
  16. PackerBacker

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    Much thanks to those of you that have contributed to this thread on Faith Promise Giving. A special thanks to rlvaughn for spending time in on-line searches to provide me with some information resources on the subject.

    Being a missionary myself, I have heard about every form of Faith promise giving. Here is a brief description of the several styles I have heard by different speakers in different Independent Baptist churches.

    1. God gives a money figure to each person and the person then promises to pass that monthly amount on to the missions when God gives it. If God does not keep His end of the deal you don’t have to give. Not much faith required for this method but never the less, I’ve heard it presented as FPG.

    2. God gives a money figure to each person and the person then promises to give that amount each month by faith. Even if the money does not come the person gives the amount “by faith” trusting that God will supply it later. It could be in a pay raise, special gift, or perhaps some other blessing of equal or greater value that God pays the person back.

    3. Person promises God that he will pass on any extras that happen to come his way to missions. The faith part is trusting that God will increase and multiply that kind of giving back to the giver.

    There may be other ones I’ve yet to hear or other variations, but these are the three I’ve heard the most under the name of Faith Promise Giving.

    Now why would a person benefiting from the system question it? “Don’t rock the boat,” some might say, or “Hey it works for you!” Even though I may benefit from it I have recently begun to question it. It has been a result of studying the Way of Faith Movement (Kenneth Copeland, Hagin, etc.) and seeing their errors that made me begin to question, what seems a similar practice within my own circle.

    The first time I read Joey M’s short comment I thought, “Oh how cute…that adds a lot to this discussion.” Not sure if Joey was trying to make a serious point, but there is something in his short phrase that really is missing in FPG. Instead of the kind of sacrificial giving that “hurt,” as found throughout Acts, it seems to me that FPG attracts people to give in a way where there is not personal cost or sacrifice to them. The worst sacrifice possible in most FPG plans is to wait up to a year for God to pay back the money I loaned to Him in good faith, ahead of time. Many times the program is promoted as a “no hurt, no cost to you, doesn’t get any better than this, way of supporting missions.”

    This is a little bothersome to me when I see that the “Name it and Claim it” folks have the same process. Within the last year, I heard Kenneth Copeland speak on giving, and could have swore he borrowed his notes from one of the Mission Board reps I’ve heard preach on FPG.

    As I remember, “It works” is often given as a reason for using it. I’ve heard that comment even before Thomas said something to that effect. I appreciate his comments on this issue and am not picking on him for using that. I do question if that is a good enough reason for using it. The “Way of Faith” folks have also proven that their similar teaching on the subject works to increase their “ministries” and budgets. Does the outcome justify the means?

    I just looked at Philippians 4, as one of you mentioned and would have completely overlooked the FPG part of this chapter if it had not been for some notes I must have made during a FPG message. One note from the FPG speaker on vs. 19 is, “We guarantee God will meet our needs by giving to missions” and “This is only a promise for givers and not for non-givers.” Either the speaker, from my notes, forced his FPG into this passage of scripture or Christians over the years have missed out on the cryptic FPG message, perhaps similar to how we have missed out on the Jabez Prayer blessing. ;)

    Anybody else want to take a look at Philippians 4 and see if you find basis for teaching FPG?
     
  17. Joey M

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The first time I read Joey M’s short comment I thought, “Oh how cute…that adds a lot to this discussion.” Not sure if Joey was trying to make a serious point, but there is something in his short phrase that really is missing in FPG. Instead of the kind of sacrificial giving that “hurt,” as found throughout Acts, it seems to me that FPG attracts people to give in a way where there is not personal cost or sacrifice to them. The worst sacrifice possible in most FPG plans is to wait up to a year for God to pay back the money I loaned to Him in good faith, ahead of time. Many times the program is promoted as a “no hurt, no cost to you, doesn’t get any better than this, way of supporting missions.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Though I don't agree with thier tactics alot of times, that is exactly what I meant in a humors kind of way, I have read this thread and also the one on tithing and many seem to think that we can give to God out of our excess, and that is not how God sees it. Look what Jesus said about the woman that gave two mites, she gave till it hurt, she gave before her bills were met, she gave in faith that God would somhow provide her the things she needed. The others gave out of thier riches, it did not hurt them to give, they never missed the money. If we are called to live by faith then why should it not apply in all areas of our life. If I only gave after God provided me with excess, I would probably hardly ever give, because most of the time God does not bless my with excess money, instead He just makes sure that some how my bills do get paid and blesses me with far better blessings than money could ever be. I used to pray that God would make me rich, I wanted more so I could give more, then one day I realized, I am the richest man alive, I am joint heirs with Christ, What more riches could I possibly ask for. There are many months that my family skims by our monthly bills by the skin of our teeth, many times bills being a little late, but I chose to give first and give above my tithes, an offering to the Lord and trust God to meet my needs. I will tell you this, He has not failed me yet, and I can assure you, He will never fail me. One thing I have learned as God showed me how to tithe is that God stands true to His word, He has poured out a blessing to me from heaven and I haven't enough room to receive it.

    God speed.

    [ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: Joey M ]
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    The following lines are excerpts from an article I published in The Baptist Waymark, Vol. 2, No. 10, Nov-Dec 1994. It is in response to the type of Faith Promise Giving represented in the BBFI pamphlet mentioned above (and which is what I have heard and am hearing more than any other kind).

    FAITH PROMISE GIVING - IS IT SCRIPTURAL

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>...Although this may sound good to those unfamiliar with God's Word and its interpretation, the proofs of the faith promise system are scriptures stretched beyond reason.

    To begin with, the system is built on a faulty foundation. There is no New Testament teaching of two ways of giving: tithes which are owed to God and offerings over and above the tithe which are not owed but freely given. All we have belongs to God. We are stewards of it all. Even the Old Testament tithing proof text (Mal. 3:8) states that the robbers of God were robbers "in tithes AND offerings." How so, if only the tithe belongs to God?...

    Faith promise giving might hide behind such shaky use of scripture, since it is between a man and God, if not for a fatal flaw - it violates scriptural principles of giving.

    First of all, it violates the principle of giving "out of that which ye have (II Cor. 8:11)" This principle rules out pledging OR promising what we do not have, and faith promise giving is exactly that - promising to give what you do not have...God accepts our gifts according to what we have, not according to what we do not have (II Cor. 8:12).

    Secondly, faith promises violate I Cor. 16:2, which teaches us to give as God has prospered us. God only asks us give out of that with which He has blessed us. Faith promise giving asks us to give that we hope or expect God to bless us with.

    Faith promise giving denies us the prospect of giving sacrificially, as did the Macedonians (II Cor. 8:14). While seeminly calling for sacrificial giving, the faith promise system actually promises that God will supply extra funds to you in order for you to keep your pledge to Him...David said, "Neither will I offer...that which doth cost me nothing (II Sam. 24:24)."

    To make a faith promise to perform a certain amount of giving for a year, when we know not what shall be tomorrow (Jas. 4:13,14), seems an act of foolishness rather than an act of faith...

    ...Let us propose to cheerfully give out of what we have as God has prospered us, and leave off the faith promises.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Further, some things that I have noticed common in most Faith Promise promotions - almost all find their scripture base in II Corinthians 8; most want a promise made for a year; most emphasize this as a promise to God rather than a pledge to the church, implying it is not binding, but then turn around and say that a promise to God is even more binding than a pledge to the church.
     

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