The gospel frees men from many things, not the least of which is our greed. While the Scriptures command giving our financial resources to our local church, there is generally much unsaid about the frequency and amounts. However, this does not dissuade a generous heart from giving frequently and liberally. Conversely, such gospel freedom is viewed by those greedy hearts within the church as an opportunity to be miserly toward the work of God.
Martin Luther observed the same thing five hundred years ago. The Reformation had freed many from the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church – one being the church’s demand of the populace to give regularly to its ecclesiastical treasuries. However, while the recovered gospel of the Reformation liberated Protestants from such church taxation, Luther observed the sin of greed filling the vacuum. To this situation he speaks in the following quote.
“Our people have been set free from these and endless other exactions by the Gospel. But they are so far from being grateful for this freedom that they have been changed from prodigal donors to thieves and robbers, who will not give even a pittance either for the Gospel or for its ministers or for the holy poor. This is the surest possible sign that they have already lost the Word and faith and have been excommunicated from our blessings.” – Galatians – 1535 (124)