Must I Tithe 10% of My Net or Gross Income?
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Must I Tithe 10% of My Net or Gross Income?

That Beautiful Bow

Like many Americans, I woke up on June 1st with an Apple Calendar reminder and an inbox full of emails, all announcing the beginning of LGBTQIA++ Pride Month. As a God-fearing, straight, biological male who still goes by the pronouns he/him, I wasn’t really sure what to do about this information. At first, I was a bit confused. What exactly does LGBTQIA++ stand for? And what does it have to do with me?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a sinner saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Thus, I join all humanity in being created in God’s image and fallen into sin. As a Christian, however, sin grieves me. My sin grieves me. The sins of humanity grieve me. Sexual sins grieve me right alongside sins of idolatry, consumerism, racism, and every other unclean thought and deed that proceeds from our unclean hearts. So, where does the LGBTQIA++ movement land regarding guilt, grace, and gratitude? And what does it have to do with me, someone who would prefer to ignore the “movement” and go about my daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

The Problem of June

LGBTQIA++ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Transsexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and the “Plus” signs are for Agender, Demisexual, Genderfluid, Graysexual, Non-binary/Genderqueer, Pansexual/Omnisexual, Polyamorous, Sapiosexual, and Two-spirit.

And it has a lot to do with us. As Christians, we live in a society celebrating, popularizing, and proclaiming the grandeur of these sexual sins while referring to them all by the name of another great sin—pride.

Now, I can’t rightly define every single one of the terms listed above, but to be honest, I’m not convinced that too many people can. In a way, this only adds to the confusion. How did we as a society end up dedicating an entire month to celebrating sexual identity, preference, and debauchery? How is it that some churches came to a place where they decided to hang banners out front proclaiming to “celebrate pride?” How have we all fallen so far?

We celebrate mothers, fathers, and veterans for one day each year. In fact, the last Monday in May, we celebrated the men and women who laid down their lives for our freedom and security. They lived out John 15:13, showing great love and sacrifice. Their lives contributed to our ability to do things like celebrating sexual identity. And we recognized their sacrifice for one day. How did we become a culture that spends more time celebrating sexual identity than honoring those among us who serve faithfully and sacrificially day in and day out?

For most Christians, June poses a problem. What do we do about the celebration of sexual immorality all around us? How do we navigate the mosaic of colors, love our neighbors as ourselves, and remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Should we hide? Should we fight? Should we “celebrate pride” alongside our unrepentant fellow citizens? Or is there another way?

Enter That Beautiful Rainbow

One beautiful thing about June is all the rainbows. They’re everywhere—on storefronts, websites, name tags, flags, and bumper stickers.

A rainbow is a beautiful thing. It signals the calm after the storm—the translucent red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple light up the sky and reminds us of the brilliance of God’s creation.

More than that, however, the rainbow reminds us of God’s goodness to us even amidst our wickedness. Though humanity has fallen so far, the rainbow reminds us of how gracious God is. Our gracious covenant-keeping God will give us good gifts—even in the midst of our terribly sinful ways. Without the rainbow, humanity would never have made it to the cross. The rainbow kept the seasons coming and going, allowed the years to tick by, and eventually brought the year in which God became a man.

In other words, the common grace promised by the rainbow paved the way for the saving grace realized at the cross.

The Hope of July

In keeping with common grace, this year’s month-long celebration of sexual sin brought with it rain and harvests for the righteous and the unrighteousness alike, new life, and even the protection of life in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, for anyone who humbled themself before Jesus, our month-long celebration of sin preceded the new heart, new life, and a new everlasting destination that follows repentance. All of this was promised by God, the one who gave us a rainbow to remind us in part that he is the God of common grace; he is the God of the rainbow; and he is the God who keeps his promises.

The rainbow reminds us that Jesus humbled himself to the point of death, even death on the cross. God has taken our pride and placed it upon the shoulders of his beloved son. Our sin has been buried with us in baptism and left behind in the tomb of our old selves. We can rely on God to see us from fall to redemption—from sin to salvation.

The rainbow reminds us that we live in a fallen world. God’s image-bearers have rebelled and are still rebelling—indeed, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But God acts and we receive.

The rainbow reminds us to trust God, the one who carries us from June 1st to July 1st, from birth to new birth, and from this earth to the world to come.

And the rainbow reminds us to proclaim this good news to all people in every season with every ounce of our being, because “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).”

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise the designer, creator, and sustainer of that beautiful rainbow.

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Alan Giles

Alan Giles is a former submarine officer turned small town pastor. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Old Dominion University, and Westminster Seminary. He is currently serving as the Pastor of Monadnock Congregational Church in Peterborough, NH where he lives with his incredible wife and four amazing children.