There seems to be a lot of buzz out there right now about President Obama's tax plan, which could dramatically affect the amount of deductions a person could receive from charitable giving. Some of the people who wear tin-foil hats believe we're headed for a time in the very near future in which there is zero tax incentive for giving to churches and para-church ministries. 

Who knows? I may need to invest in one of those hats. 

Last week, I had a really good discussion with a couple of guys who asked if I was freaked out by the potential for such a plan. I'm a young pastor with a heart for the parachurch ministry as well. There is no doubt this plan would dramatically affect the budget of many ministries out there. 

But here's my honest opinion: That kind of plan would likely be awful for churches and parachurch ministries, but great for Christians. 

Make no mistake, it's a real blessing to be able to receive a tax break on charitable donations. But if that is the only reason (or even primary reason) Christians give, we might as well do away with it and start over from scratch.

We should give because (1) We're commanded to, (2) God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7), (3) It demonstrates our dependence on God (Luke 6:38),  (4) it demonstrates that we know whose stuff we have (Psalm 24:1), and (5) it reflects a desire to invest in eternal things (Matthew 25:14-30).

If we're giving primarily so we can keep more of our money, we are at best teetering on the brink of idolatry, and the very best thing President Obama could do for Christians is to save us from ourselves.