THE SEED FAITH Doctrine is a common teaching among prosperity gospel preachers and preachers who promote tithing. The basis of the doctrine is that when you sow a seed (money) in faith God will bless you with a 30, 60 or 100-fold increase. The doctrine is based upon a misinterpretation of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13:3-9 and Luke 11-15.
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among the thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thrirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear (KJV).
According to the Seed Faith Doctrine, the seed is money or so-called tithes. The sower is the believer, churchgoer or Christian. The ground is a church and/or ministry. The 30, 60, and 100-fold increase refers to the financial return you will receive on your seed (money).
Is this what Jesus was teaching in his seed parable?
In understanding what Jesus is teaching in this parable let us first look at what a parable is.
What is a parable?
Jesus often spoke in parables. A parable is a story that illustrates a moral/religious lesson or spiritual principle. Parables use symbolism and/or analogies. The symbolism and/or analogies Jesus used were inspired by everyday life, situations or cultural references that his disciples could relate to.
In the case of the seed parable Jesus uses the following agricultural/farming references for his symbols/analogy:
- 30, 60, 100 fold increase
No Need for (Mis)Interpretation
What is interesting is that no one should misinterpret the parable because Jesus explains the meaning of the parable in Matthew 13:18-23 and Luke 8:11-15. Since Jesus clearly explains the parable there is no need for an interpretation, and there is no excuse for a misinterpretation.
The Meaning of the Seed Parable
In the parable Jesus is talking to his disciples. He is telling them what to expect when they preach the gospel. Basically, he is preparing them for the realities of his ministry. Here is how Jesus explains the seed, the sower, the ground and the 30, 60 and 100-fold increase:
• The seed is the word of God (gospel)
• The sower is the person who spreads the word of God (gospel)
• The ground is the heart and/or mind of people
• The 30, 60 and 100-fold increase refers to the different levels at which people receive the gospel and how much fruit they will bear when after receiving the gospel
The Lesson of the Seed Parable
There will be people who reject the gospel. Some people will receive the gospel up to a point and others will completely embrace it. As a result, the gospel will impact their lives in varying degrees.
It is clear that Jesus was not teaching a type of prosperity gospel or seed faith doctrine in his parable. It is also clear that the Seed Faith Doctrine is a complete misrepresentation of what Jesus was teaching.
Beware of false doctrines! Read the Bible for yourself!