28 Comments

Saturday sermon series: “The Gospel Demands Radical Giving” by David Platt.

We are in week five of our eight-week series on Radical. What makes today’s message, The Gospel Demands Radical Giving, so important is that in it David Platt answers many of the criticisms levied against him.

If you dislike the message Platt is delivering in this series and you refuse to listen to it because you think Platt  believes that Christians who give away more are better than those who don’t; you think Platt “guilts “people into giving to the poor (and keeping less for ourselves); you think Platt believes the rich man was in Hell because he had money and Lazarus was in Heaven because he was poor; you think Platt is advancing a works-righteousness gospel; or any of the other baseless judgments that have been levied against him for daring to touch American Christianity’s golden calf of affluence, then please listen to this message so you can better understand his heart and his message.

I don’t wish for the “controversy” surrounding Radical to overshadow the message Platt is giving, but the criticisms must be answered and in this particular message Platt does just that (most of which is done in the first 14 1/2 minutes of this message).

28 comments on “Saturday sermon series: “The Gospel Demands Radical Giving” by David Platt.

  1. So much I am struggling with in my heart and soul….thank you for this post.

  2. Katy:

    Don’t be in turmoil over this (unless, of course, you are experiencing conviction by the Holy Spirit, then in that case let the conviction flow like a river). Platt makes it clear that YOU can’t do any of this anyway, but only Christ in you.

    Platt understands that American Christians parting with their “stuff” (even for the sake of the lost) is not a well received message and not an easy thing to do, and he concludes his final sermon (which will post on DefCon on December 24th) with encouraging us to pray for God to change our hearts in this matter.

    The very fact that you’re willing to listen to this series (without simply dismissing the words of Christ by virtue of bringing erroneous accusations against Platt) is a great encouragement, as well as seeing that your desire is to have “less” to be able to give “more.” These are both great steps in the right direction and (dare I say) resembles more of 1st century Christian thought, behavior, and lifestyle than that of 21st century Western Christianity.

    Be encouraged dear sister, be encouraged.

  3. I’m a girl, so bare with me, but I could cry. Thank you for the encouragement…I truly appreciate it. I just wish I could tell if I was being convicted by the Holy Spirit or if I am just stressing myself out. Again, thank you!

  4. Katy,

    I haven’t yet listened to the sermon, but have some thoughts to share. An attitude of giving (of oneself, time, resources (financial or material), compassion, help, etc.) emanates from the Holy Spirit within the regenerated believer. An attitude/menatlity/value system of selfishness (self-centeredness, self-promotion, self-focus, etc.) is fruit of the unregenerate fallen nature. So self-less-ness (often manifested in giving), is as natural for the child of God, as selfishness is to the unsaved.

    Having said that, giving is not always a matter of giving money, and not all giving is evidence of true conversion. Some of us are so heavily burdened with medical bills, rent/mortgage, insurance payments, utility bills, car expenses, etc. that we eat lean and can barely get by each month (yet the Lord does provide so that we do get by). It goes without saying we have no money in the bank after bills are paid. If we are in such a financial state, we should not let anyone guilt us into giving financially to others. Our families must come first. However, in America there are things people have gotten used to thinking that they NEED (that morning latte from the drive-through, that juicy-looking steak or lobster tail, that pastry in the bakery window, etc.), that they don’t. And there are many who have money in the bank (perhaps 10′s of thousands of dollars), eat out once a week, have all their needs met, and spend the rest on themselves buying the newest electronic gadgets or other toys. These are the ones who, if they consider themselves Christians, need to seriously re-assess their spiritual condition.

    Then there is a giving to feel good about oneself, or to be seen by those we want to impress, or to be part of the local Pharisaic group’s “giving” program. All such giving is inherently selfish giving. Giving should not be a matter of “doing” for acceptance (from either God or man). As Pilgrim said, it’s something that comes from Christ within.

    Now, back to non-financial giving. I may not have money to give, but do I have a giving heart for others? I know a mentally challenged man in town. Most Christians I know, when they see him coming, find a way to not spend the time to talk to him (he does take a lot of one’s time). And there are those who need visitation, those who need phone calls, those who could use my time (such as the elderly, the disabled, the “unlovely”). If I am able, do I make any time for them? Such giving of my time, of myself, should also be fruit of my relation to Christ.

    In conclusion, let me reassure you, we are ALL growing each day in our knowledge of the Lord and His ways. As we live daily in obedience to His word, we are transformed into people pleasing in His sight. We don’t have to strive to be such people, in obediently following Him are such.

  5. Could only handle 18 minutes of Rev. Platt. After reading reviews by others of this book I ask this: What is the difference between Radical and Rick Warren’s PEACE plan? Probably not a whole lot. He gives just enough truth to set the hook for those easily taken in by his deceit and trickery. On the one hand it’s “you can’t do this by yourself” and on the other hand we must take the bull by the horns and so something for Jesus. Since he seems to tell his flock how much they are required by his reading of Scripture to give away to the “poor” what is his current bank balance? Home ownership? Car(s)? Give an accounting of yourself to your hearers before you require them to do something you have not. Is this “name it and claim it” light? What about the proceeds from your book? How much? Who gets it? Is this not the same old guilt-trip garbage in a new package? He sounds like a young “preacher” trying to make a name for himself—–WHY? Always finding something “new” to tell his unsuspecting flock. I can hear it now: “Oh, what a wonderful preacher we have”. So he gets a pat on the back when he should get a Berean shack-down. Pilgram, I can’t beleive you fell for this.

  6. “Always finding something “new” to tell his unsuspecting flock.”

    Yeah – the commands of Jesus surely are something NEW to american church goers – even many reformed ones.

    “What is the difference between Radical and Rick Warren’s PEACE plan? Probably not a whole lot… Is this “name it and claim it” light?”

    How do you expect anyone to take you seriously saying things like this. “Pick up your cross and follow Christ” is the exact opposite of name it and claim it.

    No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. -Luke 16:13-14

  7. Darrel:

    Disappointed but not surprised at your comment. It’s definitely not the first of its type since I began posting the series. In fact, we kind of hashed this out already last month in the comments section of the first posting.

    I just wish those who are opposed to the idea of sacrificing a little of themselves for others (a foreign concept indeed in 21st century Christianity), would not be so angry in their opposition. Their frothing anger tends to point to a deeper issue.

    I simply do not believe in only 18 minutes (especially of this particular message in which 14 1/2 minutes were spent dispelling the false accusations about the message) would have borne in you such a heated response. You appear to have brought some preconceived notions with you to the table.

    Blame displacement, finger pointing, accusations of hypocrisy, besmirching the man’s character, and now comparing this message to that of Rick Warren (something even Rick Warren critic, Gary Gilley, didn’t dare do in his review of Radical) seems to be commonplace and a common defense anytime our sacred cow of affluence is touched.

    But I expected the opposition to this series (James would have received similar from the Western church if he were to preach from his own Epistle today), I just didn’t expect the amount of anger and the depth of false accusations by which people would go to discredit the message. ‘Tis a shame.

    Those with ears will hear, those who refuse to listen will continue to lash out at what Platt has said. And you and I, Darrel, will just have to agree to disagree on this one. You believing I fell for some sort of deception (along with the Jungle Pastor who first turned me on to Platt’s book last year), and me believing your scathing reaction to conviction is to simply dismiss Christ’s teachings on poverty and the poor as “the same old guilt-trip garbage in a new package.”

  8. DavidW,

    Thank you for your words. Encouragement as I grow in Christ is much appreciated! :)

    Darrel,

    One thing I have learned since first coming to this site is that everyone here is very discerning (as am I). I would really encourage you to listen to the whole sermon as there is so much you have missed!

  9. Maybe Platt is not radical enough. If the Words of Jesus are to be final authority then let us not exclude “If your eye offend you, pluck it out” “If your hand offend you, cut it off” or maybe these are conducive to the discusion at hand. if we are to take all that Jesus said in the literal since that Platt requires then I must ask has he abandoned his wife and children? has he disowned his mother and father? has he turned his back on all his friends and his congregation? If not, then he is not practicing what he is preaching, is he? Is a fiscal accounting of his affairs so wrong when he is requiring others to lay aside everything? Did David Platt lay aside everything? Or is he what he says he despises- – - – -a hypocrite? By the way, the Words of Jesus ARE the final authority. So stop twisting them to fit your agenda. If you cannot give these questions an honest hearing, then Platt has you right where he wants you. By the way, there is nothing new under the sun, this is just installment #xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in a long line of cults.

  10. Dear Darrel:

    Firstly, if you don’t understand basic biblical hermeneutics (allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture to determine what’s literal and what’s figurative instead of allowing what makes us comfortable or uncomfortable to be that guide) then I cannot help you. After all, perhaps Jesus didn’t really rise from the grave on the third day. That would be way too literal. Maybe each of those days was meant to be understood a thousand years or an era.

    AbidingThroughGrace is working on a post on proper biblical interpretation (I encourage you to keep an eye out for that post) that may be of help to you.

    Secondly, Darrel, your disdain of Christ’s message to sacrifice a little of your riches for the sake of the lost, the poor, and the suffering is blazingly obvious. Like the rich young ruler you are not hearing what you WANT to hear and thus reacting (and lashing out) in a manner expected by many who get uncomfortable when faced with Christ’s harder teachings.

    As I said before, we have already discussed this matter at length in the comments section here: http://defendingcontending.com/2011/11/05/saturday-sermon-series-what-the-gospel-demands-by-david-platt/

    To continue to waste my time attempting to answer your continued rants while you’re wielding your sword of unrighteous judgment and unsubstantiated accusations against Platt is of benefit to no one. Neither you, nor me, nor our readership.

    You have implied that Platt is a cult leader, you’ve likened him to Rick Warren, you’ve abused Scripture as a justification to falsely accuse him (no, Platt did not walk on water like Peter so this must mean that Platt is a hypocrite), you’ve accused me (or Platt, or both) of twisting Scripture to fit some agenda, you’ve claimed that Platt’s teaching is a form of the Word of Faith heresy, you’ve called this series “guilt-trip garbage in a new package,” and you’ve accused Platt of using the Word of God to make a name for himself because he’s a young preacher (with the word preacher in quotes to denote your disagreement with the title being applied to him). These are some very hefty accusations. And dare I say, even bearing false witness? And what’s amazing is you came to all those conclusions from just listening to 18 minutes of message five. Wow.

    I would be remiss to further allow you the platform by which to level these fallacious accusations, hurl your continued litany of appalling accusations, and make these unrighteous judgments against Platt (and me). You have stated your position and it would be rather pointless to bother debating with you any further as you most certainly will not be persuaded otherwise.

    Respectfully,
    - Pilgrim

  11. Darrel,

    I am dismayed by your comments. You are not only making slanderous charges towards a Pastor you know nothing about, but you are also demonstrating a real and tangible lack of Grace and Love as a follower of Christ. You are bring charges against Pastor Platt as basically being a) out for selfish gain, b) a hypocrite, and c) a fraud.

    You can find ways to disagree with a great and faithful brother like David Platt without slandering him and bringing false charges against him. I pray that you’d reconsider your approach towards such things. I have listened to David Platts preaching for a couple of years now and although I don’t know his personal finances or could answer any of your questions I know him to be a humble and passionate Christian who above all wants to exalt Christ and is nothing of the man you question above.

  12. The didache offers good advice here. If a minister spends all his time preaching on money, he is a false prophet. Usually when the emphasis is on radical giving it is to the personal benefit of the pastor’s salary. We’ve seen that too many times. Fact is, one does not have to preach about giving if one is preaching the Scriptures. Scripture takes care of all the issues. Hobby horses are just that: hobby horses.

  13. I’ve heard and read enough by David Platt to not spend time listening to him. Not to say he has nothing worth listening to, just that I have better things to do with my time (and I may or may not actually do those, mind you). But here’s a little food for thought: Why would a man of God endorse by public association and lend credibility to those who embrace and teach clearly false doctrines and down right heresies, as is the case with David Platt being one of the guys in the Elephant Room next month? List of speakers at this flesh fest: http://www.theelephantroom.com/conversations/

  14. Manfred,

    Wow, I missed this…are you saying that Platt has agreed to be in the Elephant Room? If so, that is a big issue for me.

    thanks,
    atg

  15. “Wow, I missed this…are you saying that Platt has agreed to be in the Elephant Room? If so, that is a big issue for me. ”

    I didnt see his name on there – that is a HUGE deal for me if it is true. Worse than piper and driscoll… or warren.

    -Jim

  16. His comment from last year: David Platt – I think the best way to reach people is to exalt the glory of God.

    I won’t draw a conclusion because he took part in one bad religious get together, and surely hope he went in with the naive but pure hearted motive of being a light among the degenerate crowd as his comment indicates. I will keep this in mind though and thank you for posting it Manfred since I did not really even know who he was before pilgrim posting his sermons. I still have not heard anything unbiblical from him though – and in fact have heard some very sobering words that Christ taught and that many pastors would fear losing their salary for speaking to this backslidden church age.

    In Christ – Jim

  17. Here is some additional info regarding the Elephant Room and Platt:

    http://vimeo.com/21754490

    https://theaguirrebulletin.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/pastors-oppose-david-platts-stance-on-money/

    I have not seen the interviews and I don’t know how he presented himself at this event. But he is at this event.

    -atg

  18. Thanks for posting the link to report on Platt at the ER. I find it interesting that he is the “senior pastor” at his church, yet it was reported: “It was clear that Platt was not pleased with how the Church in his hometown used resources for “bigger, better things.”” How can the “senior pastor” not be partly responsible for what the church spends money on? I do agree with that luxury in the local church is a far lower priority than evangelism and care for the poor (especially within the brotherhood), but do see more than a wee bit of irony when the guy saying that presides over such a huge “church”. (I put quotes around terms that I think do not rightly apply here: the Bible knows nothing about a “senior pastor” and one cannot pastor such a huge crowd as gathers at Brook Hills. Such a large group does not fit the model we see in the New Testament nor does it fit within historic Baptist ecclesiology.)

  19. Manfred,

    With all due respect and gentleness, as I respect you completely, Platt’s heart seems to truly reflect a passion for serving as Christ instructs in His Word. I am wary of many things as I question *much*…but truly, one can’t argue with what he is saying…it’s right from scripture. I believe their church has taken over a million dollars out of their budget to give to the poor.

    I don’t believe that the gospel itself has anything to do with money…however, I do think that *giving* is a fruit that would be seen in the heart of a saved person. He seems to be convicted about how the church, there, (and all through the U.S.) has been spending it’s money…and has been doing something about it, as well as sharing his conviction and scriptures in his sermons.

    I respect your opinions but in the sermons I have listened to, I think he is right – on scripturally. I’m still listening to them and trying to discern and weigh what he says with the Word, though. :) It would benefit me, greatly, if you listened to the sermons and then shared what about them was off scripturally…maybe I am not seeing it as you do. Maybe you don’t have the time to do that….though….just an idea. :)

    Kindly,
    Katy

  20. Katy, Many men are good or great preachers – but being a preacher does not make one a pastor. I have not said anything about the sermons posted here; merely observed that he was complaining about how his church spent money under his watch, how a “senior pastor” typically has much more influence than that. As I said, I agree with his view (posted on that other blog) that “bigger and better” for the local church should be a lower priority than evangelism and benevolence. I do not have the time right now to listen to Platt’s sermons and do not have the interest in doing so. That does not mean I think Platt is wrong headed or not worth listening to. We each have to decide what to listen to and Platt simply doesn’t make the cut for me. Hence, I refrain from commenting on his sermons :-)

    Blessings in Christ to all the called. None of us is perfect, not even Manfred the Wonder Dog!

    Oh – and I would encourage all to read this book to see why simply “giving money” to poor folk may not be a good thing: http://www.amazon.com/Tragedy-American-Compassion-Marvin-Olasky/dp/089526725X

    This one looks at “social justice” and rebuts that mindset biblically: http://www.amazon.com/What-Mission-Church-Justice-Commission/dp/1433526905

    And I am NOT saying Platt preaches “social justice”, just recommending a relevant, good book.

  21. I understand, Manfred. :)
    Thank you for the book recommendations!!!

    Kindly,
    Katy

  22. FYI – I have written a lengthy review of Marvin Olasky’s book if anyone is interested.

  23. I would love to read it…where would I find the review? :)

  24. Tell ya what I’ll do – in the next couple of daze, I will edit it a bit and post it here as a book review.

  25. When Pilgrim recommended Platt’s book “Radical” I bought it, read it, and thought it was wonderful. However, after examining Platt’s beliefs he posts on his church website, I believe I have made a mistake. Here is a sample of what he states his church believes…

    ‘Biblical truth:
    We are reconciled to God only through faith in Jesus. There is nothing we can do to become right with God. {Sounds good, but he blows it in this next line..}
    Biblical truth:
    Our eternal destiny is dependent on our response to Jesus. {we are in control of our fate, according to Platt; God is sitting in heaven waiting, hoping sinners will respond to Jesus…not!}
    Admit areas of rebellion, be honest with God about sin, and turn from it. {like a dead in sin sinner can even do such a thing as this}
    Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the
    believer.’ {http://www.brookhills.org/new/beliefs.html}

    He insinuates that all who confess Christ will be saved, which isn’t true. There are tons of people running around professing Christ as Lord and Savior, yet they live like demons.
    Salvation is given by God through grace as a gift to those He chooses, regenerates, brings to repentance, and on to glory.
    I do not believe I will be reading anything else from this man, may God be merciful.

  26. “That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is foreordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.”

    -Charles Spurgeon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: