I recently started working for a Christian ministry and there's another person doing pretty much the same job as me. He supports a wife and three children on the money that he makes here... his wife similar to Krispy's stays at home.
I consider how difficult it is for me to make ends meet with the money I make in this job... and then I get to consider that he has provided so generously for this other man, and although he mentions things are tight he wouldn't have it any other way.
Now there are also other members of our ministry (it's big, over 1300 employees here at this campus) that drive BMWs and have a lot more in physical possessions, so I don't want to say those things necessarily are evil. It's not money, or possessions that are evil, it's negligence of the provider that is.
If someone is making 200,000 a year working for a Christian ministry (and some people do), it wouldn't be evil for them to buy a 30,000$ dollar car if they gave an equal ammount to charity and the kingdom. Now I hope that if I was in that position I would make choices that have a better witness, like driving a used Honda instead of a BMW -but each of us have a different calling.
Right now my means support a used Saturn, renting an apartment with two room mates and paying off student loans... It'd be difficult to imagine raising children and supporting a wife in a similar situation with similar needs so I don't want to compare myself with anyone on this.
Now I don't want to infer that I'm poor, God has blessed me so much! From my blessing I want to show how much I appreciate the generous blessing that I have recieved.
| 2007/1/30 15:50||Profile|
Oooo... excellent points, Bill.
I know many pastors who preach tithe claim the storehouse is their church, and they (the pastors) are the NT Levitical priesthood.
Funny thing is... there is absolutely nothing in the NT to support that notion! Not one word. You really have to jump some hoops, and make a lot of presumptions in order to come to that conclusion.
Ya know, Paul talked a lot about so-called believers who would put other believers under the bondage of the Law. He meant the OT Law. I think pastors who press the issue of tithing are guilty of this.
Jesus set us free! Glory to God!
People who believe in tithing are trying to fulfill an OT Law when they dont need to. Tithing was not meant for the NT church, and it is impossible to tithe in the way it was intended in the OT because the temple is no longer there, the Levitical priesthood is obsolete, and there is no "storehouse" as it is understood in the OT.
You're right, Bill!
Pastors are not priests!
And trying to live by an OT Law is dangerous because you're saying that what Jesus did on the cross is not enough... you need to do more to please God.
There is nothing you can do to please God outside of the covering of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Thats why most tithers are struggling and not seeing the "blessing". The blessings Jesus promises are not material or monetary anyway!
| 2007/1/30 16:00|
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS
the tithe was for the purpose of tending to the Levites who had no share in the inheritance as the other tribes did. they didn't have time to work the land as the others did so the others brought in their tithes so that they would also eat of the fruit of the land. if you see in leviticus and the other books of the law how involving it was to be a levite, you'll see why the other tribes had to pitch in. that being said, we are not jews that we should tithe, we have no equivelent to the levitical priesthood in the Church for we are all kings and priests so there is no basis for tithing so i don't tithe. i give as our Lord leads, sometimes it's 10% sometimes it's more it just depends on what He requires. i find most of the time though it is not to the organized church but rather to a brother or sister who has nothing to eat or something like that.
Christ said not one jot or tittle of the law would pass away because He came not to abolish but to fulfil the law. if we are to be like Him, ought we not do as He did? to use the law of moses as a basis to call people to tithe is wrong not because the law is not in effect (it is but through Christ we can fulfil whatever it requires not unto salvation but as proof of salvation) but rather we in the Church have no such thing as a levitical priesthood/tribe to look after.
i'm not saying don't give, clearly the N.T. Church gave but they gave as God led and God honoured that. this is how we ought to be, if it is 10%, then it is 10% as He leads if it is more, then it is more, if it is less then it is less.
| 2007/1/30 19:50||Profile|
Actually, the concept of a "tithe" goes all the way back to Abraham's tithe to Melchizedek (Genesis 14; Hebrews 7). Melchizedek was certainly a priest -- but not in a Levitical sense of the word.
Currently, I believe in the concept of the tithe. I don't feel legally obligated to a mere tenth of my income. However, I feel that the tithe was no more discontinued than the actual act of worship. While we may not be legally bound -- it is still a great concept. Regardless, the Lord certainly wants us to give cheerfully -- and not out of obligation. But the same in true of our worship. God desires our worship, but it must be given wholeheartedly and willfully for it to have meaning.
Of course, I do not feel strongly enough about the issue to make a concrete doctrine out of it. And I wouldn't be so bold as to say that those who believe either way are "free" or "slave" to the concept. I believe in the concept, yet I feel that I am FREE of unnecessary or irrational legalism -- at least in regards to this issue.
Ironically, some of the individuals that argue AGAINST the tithe are actually arguing out of fear concerning their income. I believe that ALL of my belongings are at the Lord's disposal. With this in mind, a tenth (or even 25%) seems small. The Church deserves to have its needs taken care of. I attend a small local fellowship. We have a small brick building that seats about 150 people. Our pews have no padding. We recently put tile in our Sunday School classrooms. The pastor works full-time as a nurse, and then takes on the responsibility of pastoring the Church. In order to make ends meet, many members give more than a tenth.
| 2007/1/30 20:33||Profile|
Ironically, some of the individuals that argue AGAINST the tithe are actually arguing out of fear concerning their income. I believe that ALL of my belongings are at the Lord's disposal. With this in mind, a tenth (or even 25%) seems small.
In the first sentence of Malachi 3:10, the statement, All the tithes is plural, which means there is more than one tithe. There was more than just a tithe of their money the Hebrews were required to give.
In Leviticus 27 it explains that the Lord owns the first tenth of everything, including cattle, oxen, sheep, the seed of the land and the fruit of the tree. If any of the things that were tithed were not of the best quality or unclean, they were required to add the fifth part thereof to redeem the tithe. So, on occasion they were required to add 20% more to a tithe to redeem it.
This made some of the tithes more than 10%. The law also stated the first tenth of everything belonged to the Lord. If they grew 10 roses in their garden, they had to tithe the first one. I strongly suggest, under these Old Covenant legalistic standards, VERY few Christian have met this standard and given ALL their tithes. Did you tithe on the tomato plants in your garden, or on the value of all your gifts you received on your birthday? If you are one of the few who did tithe on your tomatoes, did you add one fifth more for the ones that had blemishes? If not, you did not give ALL your tithes.
| 2007/1/30 21:59||Profile|
I understand the dilemna about the legal definition of a tithe. I do not have a garden. Thus I do not tithe a rose or strawberry. However, I do earn an income. Of that income I gladly give back, at the least, one tenth.
As I said before, I am no where near accepting the concept of tithing as a certain and established "doctrine" of the Church. However, I accept the principle of the idea. Most individuals today (right or wrong) establish a day seperated as a "day of rest." The New Testament declares that EVERYDAY is a Sabbath rest for God's people (and not just the Hebrew Sabbath). While the day might not be "holy" (as was the Old Testament Sabbath), the principle is still good.
I feel that it is the responsibility of local believers to take care of the local Church and "missionaries" that preach the Gospel (as well as those that either reap or desire to share in the benefits of a particular ministry).
Even today, I know of some Churches that have much of their needs provided for through non-monetary tithes. In [i]The Cross and the Switchblade[/i], David Wilkerson testifies of townspeople who paid their "tithes" in produce, crafts or labor in Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania. Money may not be everything; but in today's society, it takes money to pay the morgage.
The very small fellowship that I attend used to meet across town in a small wooden shack. The body of believers decided to purchase a brick Church building that was for sale (on about four acres). The Church body realized the difficulty of the task -- but rose to take on this responsibility. This local Church does not "require" a tithe. However, it often takes a bit more to keep the building. We worked to build the pews, place the tile on the floor, buy a sound system, etc... In fact, the pastor (who works full time as a nurse) and his wife (who works full time as a public school teacher) also have a small catering business to help cover some of the Church expenses. The pastor often comes to Bible studies and prayer meetings in his hospital scrubs. We are kept up-to-date about the expenses of the Church. This often prompts many of us to willfully and cheerfully give more (if we can afford it). Amazingly, in less than four years, we will have paid off the property (by this summer).
Do I feel that all believers must tithe? Of course not. I am merely convinced of this issue myself. I am completely open to the idea that I might be wrong. I would never believe that a person should ever be FORCED to tithe any more than I feel that a person should be FORCED to worship or pray. I probably wouldn't continue attending a local fellowship that created a legal obligation for tithes (although I have attended a couple). On the other hand, a regular tithe helps the pastor (or secretary) determine a semi-consistent monthly income (in order to determine the financial stability of the congregation).
I believe that we should never be fearful of a tithe -- nor embrace the idea that a "tithe" is equivalent of "chains" (or a lack of "freedom"). I am glad to give unto the Lord. In addition, we should not make a "law" out of the tithe or giving. When the axe is laid to the root, I think that we discover that "tithes" and "offerings" were simply God's people providing the provisions needed for His work (and workers) to continue on the Earth. The Church certainly exists without money -- but it takes the generosity of God's people to provide the building, instruments, hymnals, overhead projectors, communion elements, etc... Our small congregation could not afford a building (or the expenses within that building) if our entire congregation simply gave 1 or 2%.
Well, at least the bank doesn't think so.
| 2007/1/30 23:24||Profile|
| Re: tithing|
I believe that ccchhhrrriiisss hit on the reason most of us tithe a tenth or there abouts. We like having a building to meet in and somehow the bills on said building must be met.
In this quote:
[color=0033CC]This made some of the tithes more than 10%. The law also stated the first tenth of everything belonged to the Lord. If they grew 10 roses in their garden, they had to tithe the first one. I strongly suggest, under these Old Covenant legalistic standards, VERY few Christian have met this standard and given ALL their tithes. Did you tithe on the tomato plants in your garden, or on the value of all your gifts you received on your birthday? If you are one of the few who did tithe on your tomatoes, did you add one fifth more for the ones that had blemishes? If not, you did not give ALL your tithes.[/color]
we see a limited distribution.
All we have belongs to God and should be at His disposal moment by moment. We don't have to worry about these little miniscule things if we are a conduit of His provision to those He sends us to.
If this worlds good don't have us we will gladly share everything we have that might benefit someone else. We won't be worried about tithing 10%, we will be looking for opportunities to further the Kingdom with our substance and we won't be weighing out to see if we have come up to our 10% worth.
| 2007/1/30 23:48||Profile|
I have probably already wore out my welcome with this thread and I usually don't even post this much on any thread it can lead to some serious disagreements, but I think it's really important for the baby Christians to know that when we surrendered to Jesus as Lord, we also received a new spirit whereby we cry Abba Father, Romans 8. God is now our daddy and we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us who knows all things and reveals all things, John 14.
We no longer have to go to a temple to see Gods presence, He is right there within us all the time in the new temple, which is our own body. In the Old Covenant, the only people who were given the anointing of the Holy Spirit were the prophets, priests and kings (Psalms 51:11). Every true born again Christian now has access directly to God and His Holy Spirit. This is why the veil in the temple was ripped apart at the same moment Jesus died (Mark 15). It was Gods way of showing us we now had direct access to Him and He no longer lived in the Most Holy Place of the temple. We dont need a priest to tell us how to give because we are supposed to use the Holy Spirit to guide us in those decisions.
| 2007/1/30 23:59||Profile|
| Re: Was Jesus Upset About the Widow's Mite?|
Jesus beheld the woman who gave the three small coins and loved her! This woman gave everything she had, even what she didn't... she gave everything, not worrying about what she would eat or drink or wear tomorrow -trusting that God is good and he will provide.
Perhaps this is so. Or maybe she did it because she thought she had to in order to be accepted by God. Maybe the greedy leaders of the day (see the context in Luke 12:38-44, Mark 20:46-47) were pressuring the poor, such as herself, to give sacrificially. Not unlike many teachers today, "Give or you're cursed, give sacrificially and you're blessed - especially to our ministry."
Traditionally, it has been taught that Jesus was endorsing the Widow's sacrifice. Recently, I heard a [url=http://garycarpenter.org/MP3/GFA1005.mp3]shocking sermon[/url] stating that, in context, Jesus' comment wasn't an endorsement of the woman as much as it was a rebuke of the rich.
He may be correct based on this contextual evidence:
- Jesus had just cleared the temple
- He had just told the parable about the greedy, evil vinegrowers
- He made his observation about the widow right after warning the disciples/people to beware of the scribes, "who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers." Then saying, "These will receive greater condemnation."
I'm not necessarily endorsing the speaker, but it is worth a consideration - religios tradition gut check. The message is coming from a guy who takes no salary and gives all of his ministry resources away for free. So it's not like the message is by someone stingy towards God.
I'd be curious to study the treasury in that day. How it was perceived, who managed the money.
All of our money should be at God's disposal, since he allowed us to have it.
| 2007/2/2 13:18||Profile|
Southern Manitoba, Canada
I am kind of doing this a little backwards. My first thought was to post my testimony and also introduce myself, but the "grace" topic caught my eye, and now this one. Allow me to share what the Lord taught me on the topic of tithing. You can read it at this link:
I pray that it will be helpful.
| 2007/2/2 14:06||Profile|