Religious Stuff

‘Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.’  Colossians 2:16-18
Have you ever been criticised for not tithing to your local church? Of course giving is a central element of Christian faith and financial giving is an important part of that. But giving ten per cent of one’s pre-tax income is nothing less than a religious presumption. 

Do you feel uncomfortable when you are expected to recite the ‘Lord’s prayer’ so fast that you cannot possibly even think about what you are saying? If you do feel uncomfortable with this then thank God because you are not yet religiously inoculated!

Why must ‘church’ be on Sundays? Do we have to observe Christmas? I must tell you that I go to church on Sunday and I do observe Christmas – but not because it is a religious convention to do so. I come together with my fellow believers on a Sunday to worship God, to learn to obey his Word, and to have fellowship with his other children. I would happily do this on a Saturday, or a weekday evening. However, Sunday is a non-work day for most and so it is a good day to gather together as a local church.
As a leader of a local church I call my fellow Elders to annually examine our church practices. We ask the question of all rituals, rites, and ceremonies, ‘Do we do this to help us build our communal relationship with Jesus and each other, or do we do this because we always have, or because it’s expected?’ This is a healthy practice for any church and for our private devotional lives.
Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler

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3 thoughts on “Religious Stuff”

  1. The ten percent tithe thing can often limit our giving, or it did for me.

    At one stage I was all about the ten percent that if I couldn’t afford to give ten percent then I’d give nothing. The whole ‘ten percent’ thing became so engraved in my mind that it was either ten percent or nothing.

    It was a great revelation when God said to me one day, “You can give five percent too you know.” I was like, what? I don’t have to give a full ten percent?

    That’s how something religious can actually limit us. Five percent was always better than nothing, but because the rule said ‘ten percent’ I would give nothing when I couldn’t afford it. Meanwhile, I could have at least given SOMETHING, it’s just that the thought never crossed my mind. Strange, I know.

  2. Thanks for your comment Ryan. I know that the subject of Tithing is liable to stir up the small change in a number of Pastors pockets 🙂 But as a pastor myself, I want people to give financially as a joyful expression of gratitude and love for Jesus and His church. I believe, as it seems you do, that giving must be intentional and responsive, not out of compulsion or religious obligation. God be with you.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.