Does this topic belong in Apologetics as it deals with a doctrine or Money and Stewardship since it deals with money? For better or worse, I chose Apologetics since this topic is widespread within the Body of Christ today.
We are looking at this new doctrine called “sowing or reaping”, “sowing a seed of faith”, “sowing to the need”, or some other title that has you “sowing “ a “seed” of money into a particular ministry, whether it be national or your own church with the expectation that you will reap a 30-fold, a 60-fold, or even a 100-fold return on your “seed” that you have planted in faith within a ministry or church. This doctrine is based on the Parable of the Sower and the Seed found in Matthew 13:2-8. The promise of a 30, 60, or 100-fold increase is based on Verse 8 of Matthew 13, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold”. Then verse 9 adds, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear”. So how can this doctrine be wrong if it is based on Scripture?
Well, let’s take a look at this doctrine. Let’s say that I’m going to sow a “seed of faith” into Dr. X, Evangelist X, or Pastor X’s ministry. Since we are all brothers in Christ, lets just call the receiver of my seed Brother X. Now, I continually have more month left over after the money runs out meaning that I have to get into a tug-of-war with my ends just to try and have them meet every month. I sure could use a little relief! I heard Brother X say in that Praise-a-thon I was watching that if I would just sow a seed of faith into his ministry, God would multiply it 30-fold, 60-fold, even (imagine!) 100-fold. Now, to a financially struggling fellow like myself, this seems Heaven sent.
So I sow a seed of faith into Brother X’s ministry. But, due to my rather extreme financial position (I’m not just financially embarrassed, I’m financially ashamed!) all I can afford is $1. So I sow my seed of faith of $1 fully expecting God to increase it just 30-fold. I don’t want to give God the impression that I’m greedy, so I pass on the 60-fold and the 100-fold. 30-fold will do just fine.
In a couple of weeks, my boss comes to me with $30 that I had leant him some 4 months ago. Seems the debt just slipped his mind. Well, knowing that God uses humans to do His work (He has no printing presses in Heaven) I gladly receive the $30 and immediately realize that it is a 30-fold increase of the seed I planted in faith in Brother X’s ministry. Now, I’m getting excited, so I plant the entire $30 into Brother X’s ministry as a “seed of faith”. Lo and behold, a month later, an old car that I had been trying unsuccessfully to sell for the last six months sells for the asking price of $900. Again, a 30-fold increase in my seed of $30. I’ve planted two seeds of faith into Brother X’s ministry and now I have reaped a harvest of $900. My heart leaps for Joy. How do I know the sale of this car is my increase? Simple, God uses natural means to bless me financially. If He just printed the money and showered it on me He would be a counterfeiter, so the sale has to be God’s blessing me with a 30-fold increase on my seed of $30. Now I’m really stoked!
I plant my third seed of faith into Brother X’s ministry by giving the entire $900 to him. This makes Brother X quite happy and he tells everyone on his TV program about my experience with the “seed of faith”. Two months later, my wife and I are going through some of Dad’s old papers and we run across some old stock certificates that Dad had bought many years back. I took these to a lawyer friend who agreed to do a search on them to see if they had any value. Wouldn’t you know it, after my friend deducts his fee from the proceeds of the stock, I receive a check for $27,000. Another 30-fold increase in my latest seed of $900. Well, I’ve got to send this money to Brother X as my “seed of faith”. This is better than those get-rich-quick schemes on late night TV! Besides, Brother X needs help in buying that house in Miami Beach so that he can minister to the up-and-out who need Jesus just like we do.
Now I’ve got a “seed of faith” worth talking about as I put the entire $27,000 into Brother X’s ministry. My fourth seed makes quite a hit with Brother X who talks it up on his TV show so successfully that not only can he afford the 27-room mansion in Miami Beach, but there is enough left over to build an air-conditioned dog house for Buster, his faithful companion. By this time, both Brother X and I are flying high. We are even on a first name basis. I sit back and wait for this seed to bear fruit and sure enough, one of my uncles (whom I don’t remember) died and left the princely sum of $810,000 to his favorite nephew who gave him so much joy years earlier. You guessed it, I’m that favorite nephew! I’ve only planted four seeds and now I’ve harvested $810,000. Isn’t God good?
Nothing is going to keep me from planting another “seed of faith”, besides, Brother X is buying a million dollar airplane to save on airline expenses as he flies to all his various meetings. And he has already taken his second flying lesson in faith knowing that the airplane will be his. So my fifth “seed of faith” is a whopping $810,000 sown into Brother X’s ministry. He just happened to be holding his Praise-a-thon at this time and when I called him with the good news of my latest “seed of faith” he became very excited. He invited me on his Praise-a-thon to testify how God had used me to bless his ministry starting with only a $1 “seed of faith”. The response was so huge that Brother X was able to pay cash for his plane and bought an airfield to right next to his house in Miami Beach. He was really in a position now to minister mightily to the up-and-out!
I was wondering just how God was going to increase my latest “seed of faith” 30-fold when I discovered while watching the evening news that I was the latest winner in the state lottery! Boy, you could have knocked me over with a feather. After taxes and assorted fees, the grand total came to $24,300,000 (I chose the cash now option). Another 30-fold increase in my “seed of faith” of $810,000 I had sown into Brother X’s ministry. I have now gone from $1 five offerings ago to $24,300,000. Not wishing to appear greedy, I decided to stop my planting of “Seed of faith”. Common sense told me that at the rate my seeds were multiplying soon there would not be enough money in the world for God to bless me with. After all, a 30-fold increase on my present harvest would yield $729,000,000 and a seventh “seed of faith” would yield $21,870,000,000 (that’s billion, with a b). And that’s just on a 30-fold return, the lowest yield that Matthew mentions.
Now, let’s see, just how many of you, starting with a $1 seed have seen it grow to $24,300,000 after just five seed plantings? Strange, I don’t see any hands raised. If this were really the case, very soon all the Christians in the world would own the world. So why don’t we and why haven’t you received a harvest of $24,300,000 from five plantings of your “seed” starting with $1? The answer lies in Matthew 13. Jesus specifically states in Matthew 3:19 that the seed is the “…word of the kingdom” not money. The prosperity teachers have twisted this parable to say that if a ”seed of faith” meaning money is sown into their ministry, then there will be a 30, 60, or 100-fold increase in that seed. Jesus never mentions money in this parable, it has been inserted by the prosperity teachers who found a gold mine in Matthew 13. Twisted scripture is a poor basis upon which to found a Christian doctrine. It only leads to ruin. God is not bound to honor scripture that has been twisted to meet a need.
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