God no longer requires 1/10th of our money and 1/7th of our time... its 100%
| 2007/7/30 13:41||Profile|
brother pacowup, i believe that this is a matter of the heart. i appreciate your concern for the church to have money. i think that one really needs to look at the purpose of the tithe in the OT and the revelation of the NT. why was israel commanded to give a tithe to the levitical priesthood?? to support the priests because they did not work the land but rather in the temple. they were the Lord's portion.
brother, like paul shows the galatians, if you place yourself back under the law, you are obligated to keep the whole law. now some may say, well abraham tithed in genesis. if you study that story, you will see a couple things...
(1) abraham was not commanded, he chose to give.
(2) he tithed off of the spoils from the victory and not from his possessions.
(3) it does not show that he ever did this again. it does not say that this was something that he was to keep.
others say, well Jesus told them in the NT to keep tithing. as krispy showed us earlier, this was to the jewish people who were still under the law. "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those under the law".
do you still keep the sabbath like they kept it in the OT?? does it matter if one is physically circumsised or not?? do you have to follow the dietary laws that the jews did??
let me ask you a couple more questions..
(1) do you have to pray a certain amount each day or you are cursed??
(2) do you have to read a certain amount of scripture or you are cursed??
(3) do you have to witness to a certain amount of people or you are cursed??
it is obvious that the answer to all of these questions are no, then why do people take a OT law and place it on christians and say that we are cursed if we do not uphold the law of tithing??
brother, it is all the Lord's (our time, money, life) and He desires to be in control of it all. it should all be given to Him in our heart that whatever He desires will be given at once. it is truly a heart matter.
now the scripture clearly says that we should give our money to help others. our money should be freely given for those who are in need and supporting others like missionaries, widows, orphans, others in need.
so i said all this to say, brother the giving of money is a matter of the heart. if one is convinced that he needs to tithe, then let him be convinced in his own mind. but let not one try to place another under a law that Jesus redeemed us from.
let all giving be done unto the Lord.
"so let each one give as he purposes in his own heart, not grudgingly or of compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver".
| 2007/7/30 15:06||Profile|
brother pacowup, i believe that this is a matter of the heart. i appreciate your concern for the church to have money.
Actually... thats the nice thing about house churches... we have zero overhead. No salaried staff, no salaried pastor, etc etc.
Paul makes it clear that a pastor can draw his income from the church, but Paul sets an even better example by [b]not[/b] drawing his income from the church, but instead utilizing his skills as a tent maker in order to live.
What this does is it eliminates temptation for the pastor. He doesnt have to worry about people in the church getting mad and leaving. He can preach the whole counsel of God without worrying about his family going hungry because people were upset with him and left.
Anyway... do away with the need for crystal cathedrals and gigantic sound systems and large productions... and get down to a small group of believers sitting on someone's living room floor just praying, sharing and teaching... and you have surprisingly little need for money to fund "the church".
Maybe if churches wouldnt take out huge mortgages and what not... we could stop demanding a tithe, and let people give as the Lord leads them to.
| 2007/7/30 16:01|
| Re: Beyond Tithing|
Sorry I don't have time to answer in greater detail in light of previous posts, but just would like to add comments, as from the leading post, I was mildly surprised that anyone has thought up tithing as if it is a new thing for Christians to do.... I'm sure many do already tithe, believing it is mandatory (although I do not).
I apologise if what follows appears to be random thoughts, but it's my best shot for the moment... rather than discussing point by point.
When I read Deuteronomy not so long ago, I noticed there were various options for bringing gifts to God, including freewill offerings.
In particular, I noticed that the people could set aside their year's gift for up to three years, before making the necessary journey with it.
I also noticed they could expect an increase in their crops. God already [i]intended[/i] to bless them with increase.... from which they were to give. It was not that they were to give, [u]so that[/u] :-o He would increase the yield of their crops and flocks.
Why had He planned to give them an increase? Because He [i]expected[/i] them to take in the stranger (They had been strangers in Egypt.) the widow and the orphan. This was not optional. It was also expected a head of household would take in family members whose other means of support had failed (although this is not spelled out as specifically as the others above).
Moving on to the New Testament, this is Jesus idea of giving: [when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "You still lack one thing.] Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. (Luke 18)
The Lord knew that unless this man unreservedly gave up [i]all[/i] his wealth in the form he currently held it, he would never get free of the bondage in which it held him.
I think this is a principle which can be applied in other bondages also.
It always delights me to see how Zaccheus was convicted by being in Jesus' presence (which was, after all, his stated heart's desire) without Jesus saying a word [i]first[/i].
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." (Luke 19:8)
'Look, Lord...' is like what a child might say to a parent. A [i]relationship[/i] is most certainly implied.
'I give half my goods to the poor;...' Amen.
I suppose this is what I've come to believe is the baseline for [i]keeping[/i] (any of) one's material possessions at most, especially as Zaccheus was also going to restore any fraud to the tune of repaying four times what he had taken.....
That promise (by Zaccheus) is an even stronger statement about his change of heart. It tell us he had been well-off already, yet had been so greedy for more, and mean with his greediness, that he had deliberately overcharged honest men in his dealings with them.
I don't think it matters whether others were rich or poor, as much as that Zaccheus himself was convicted about his [u]own[/u] dishonesty.
[u]Then[/u] Jesus said to him 'Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.'
It is instructive to connect Jesus' pronouncement on Zaccheus having been 'lost', with His comment in the parable of the sower, about 'the deceitfulness of riches'.
'Beyond tithing' should be about holding [u]everything[/u] with an open hand before God, and being willing to give what[i]ever[/i] He asks of us.
Let's not imagine that 'tithing' on its own, is going to solve funding for church activities. Anyone can tithe, but, is your heart given over to God's will? Is mine? Is there any fruit of our abiding in Him?
I mean, do we just produce a token ear or two of corn to prove we are a corn plant, or do we really (seeing we are otherwise [u]un[/u]profitable servants) [i]expect[/i] to yield upwards of thirtyfold?.... (I challenge myself here!)
| 2007/7/30 16:11|
Paul makes it clear that a pastor can draw his income from the church, but Paul sets an even better example by not drawing his income from the church, but instead utilizing his skills as a tent maker in order to live.
Actually, that wasn't always the case. I don't have the time to give details but there are instances where Paul's companions worked and he devoted himself to the Word, and others where, as he put it, robbed other churches so as not to be a burden on the young mission churches he was establishing.
I think the example of Paul is an excellent one though because it is one of freedom. He was free to do either. If he received goods, or if he worked, both were for the Gospel's sake.
SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey
| 2007/7/30 16:45||Profile|
I am talking about people who have nearly lost their homes because they refuse to tithe, and I am not exaggerating.
And I know some people who nearly lose their homes and cars because they do tithe. That is, they are so afraid to not tithe that they end up getting behind on their mortgage's, car payments, and credit cards. They might eventually scrape a few dollars together to pay their bills every time, but not without taking on extra debt and late-payment fee's, penalty APR's, etc. I'm sure their creditors are impressed with their witness!
| 2007/7/30 17:20||Profile|
If one reads Deuteronomy 12, they will find that "tithing" is buried deep in the great list of various types of sacrifices that the Jews were to bring to the tabernacle/temple. This shows clearly that the tithe was considered on par with the other types of sacrifices in the sacrificial system. That is, you cannot divorce the tithe from the sacrificial system.
And it is clear from the teaching of the New Testament that the sacrificial system has been done away with. And since tithing is part of the sacrificial system, then simple logic says that unless it can be shown from other passages of Scripture that the practice of tithing somehow carried over into the present dispensation, then it too, like the rest of the sacrificial system, has been fulfilled in Christ.
| 2007/7/30 17:29||Profile|