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PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
If they don't tithe, denominational officials (especially in Pentecostal churches), will remove you from ministry. And being that they don't have any other marektable job skill, some will truly tithe until it hurts. They know if they don't, their family will be out on the streets.


I was a certified minister in the Assemblies of God when I began to have doubts about tithing. Of course, tithing is one of the non-negotiables if you want to retain your credentials in the denomination. Any suspicion that you are withholding your tithe brings you under the threat of dismissal.

One year I simply chose not to renew my credentials. This naturally brought a phone call from the district presbyter, but not after I received an embarrassing letter from the general council. The abridged version of the letter stated that as a mortician (my secular profession), the average salary was "x" amount of dollars per year according to national statistics. My current tithing record reflected my salary for that year was, in fact, far below the national average. They then asked me directly (by checking yes or no in a statement) if my tithing was an accurate calculation of 10% of what I in fact earned.

Of course, I was floored - and then just angry. I tried to imagine Paul or John sending such letters to the elders in the churches of Asia minor. It was obvious it was time for me to leave the AG. I still have the letter, by the way. I don't think I'll ever throw it out.


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/8 12:52Profile









 Re:

Hi havok,

It is ok to let the Word of God speak.

And, it's not as if modern day men and practices are above leaning on the flesh and following men instead of Christ. But there is a price to pay for following men (not following God) and the Holy Spirit describes it very well in 1 Samuel.

Just as there were false kings of the sheepfold in the OT, there are false "kings" of the sheepfold in the NT.

What I find interesting in 1 Sam 8 is that even the Elders wanted a man to rule over them. They condemned Samuel's sons for their blatant money grubbing (bribery, extortion) but did not see their own sin and dependence on the people providing for their needs.

Same thing today. You have preachers (Elders) who run a pretty tight ship and every thing looks to be in order from a religious point of view and they condemn the blatant money preachers, not understanding that in their sophisticated and subtle way, they are "money preachers", too.

1 Samuel 8 is excellent for showing us two kinds of people that use religion (godliness) for gain. The unrespected, blatant, money grubbing preachers (Samuel's sons) and the subtle, sophisticated, respected preachers. They are all caught up in a system that refuses to have God as their complete and total KING. And of course they would tell you that is absolutely not true. But, like Paul West's experience, touch the money and you will see the real intents and motivations of the hear. And you might just find out like Paul and others on SI that you are persona non grata.

 2014/4/8 13:23
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

That's a pretty powerful story Paul. I remember when I was in the Church of God that the pastor of the church I was at announced that a directive had come down from Cleveland that the pastor was to ensure that all lay ministers were actually in fact tithing 10% to the rest of the church. Now, he went off the honor system, and didn't ask for audited financials or anything like that.

At the time I was a recent college graduate, making a mere 30 grand a year, but had just as much debt. I tried to keep up with tithing, as I knew it was a requirement for ministry in the church. Eventually I had to step aside because I could not afford to keep up my debt payments from college and pay my tithes. I gave what I could, but I simply could not afford to give anymore.

Had I not been dating/engaged to the youth pastor/worship leader, whose apartment I helped furnish and whose expenses I helped subsidize when I dated her on the weekends, I probably could have afforded to tithe. She tithed by the way, and when I was unable to do so anymore, shortly there after, it was one of the reasons she called our engagement off.

Prior to that I had been a candidate for being an elder in the church. After that, Bible college grad and all, they wouldn't even put my name on the roster to teach Sunday school. But my ex-future in-law, who was chornically unemployed and living off the government, tithed what he made from them, and who eventually lost his home, was put on the elder board and Sunday school teacher list.

Sometimes it appears you just got to "pay to play."


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Jimmy H

 2014/4/8 13:28Profile









 Re:

But why "pay to play"?

If you "play" you end up paying in ways you could not possibly envision. Best just hear His voice and follow it, don't you think? It seems that Paul heard the Lord's voice and refused to pay for the "privilege" of paying.

1 Sam 8 shows us the result of "paying to play".

 2014/4/8 13:35
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 786


 Re:

Just-In,

I believe that you are very much right about this. Biblical eldership was never designed to supercede the Lordship (Kingship, if you will) of Jesus Christ. Anything that elevates itself above him (including business meetings in some churches) needs to be reevaluated and brought in line with scripture.

I have recently finished studying the last 5 chapters of the book of judges (which actually precedes the first 16 chapters of judges) and I see more and more the modern day church in those verses. Paris Reidhead also preached a sermon called "10 Shekels and a Shirt" from 17 & 18. Very revealing.

It seems to me that most people are merely doing what is right in their own eyes.

 2014/4/8 13:43Profile
cjoseygirl70
Member



Joined: 2012/7/11
Posts: 8


 Re: The Dark Side of Tithing Testimonies

I came to the same conclusion about tithing after studying on it & even went as far as to seek the opinion of a Jewish Rabbi. What I learned left me speechless. The Rabbi stated that "NO ONE" Jewish or Gentile may legally ( according to Torah ) receive a tithe. Because only the Levites were allowed to receive tithes. He also stated that because there is no temple the Levites are not able to perform their duties and so any tithing would be nonsense. Also Paul who was a Pharisee not one time mentioned tithing. He being a Pharisee, of whom we know were very careful in tithing on even the smallest matters. Surely Paul wouldn't have neglected such an important subject if it had been required for the New Covenant believers. My husband & I stopped tithing several months ago after my research but we still give to our church but mostly we have been giving money to help the less fortunate in our church. I am a giver. I love to give. But I can't understand how our churches preach love but neglect to see that the tithe doctrine has placed an undue burden on many people. Many times my husband & I have given more than 10% so for us it's not greed, it's a matter of right & wrong. It's about the anguish a single mother feels when she is torn between paying her rent or paying her tithes. My husband & I usually pray about what to give & we give the amount we feel led to give. Moreover we tend to give to others who are in need whether its buying food, a battery for their car, paying their electric bill etc. We are supposed to share with one another & help those in need. Isn't that what it's all about anyways. If the churches who are receiving tithes aren't really giving & helping the poor, orphan, widow, homeless then aren't they the ones robbing God of the Tithes?

 2014/4/8 14:16Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5355
NC, USA

 Re:

The World's System
1. Give to myself
2. Pay bills/taxes
3. Maybe save

God's System
1. Give to God first
2. Save
3. Pay bills/taxes
4. Give to myself

Listen y'all.... I will be the first to agree that the NT does not teach tithing. But that is because it teaches stewardship which means everything is Gods but He allows me to manage it.

I use to use this to avoid tithing. But let's face it... 10% is a pretty meager amount. If you have ten pennies and someone told you to give 10% it's no big deal but if you have $1000 then it becomes a huge issue. But it is the same percentage.

I finally had to reach the point where I had to admit that the reason I was not giving a mere 10% to God was because I was being greedy pure and simple. We should not order and prioritize our lives so that giving just 10% to God will throw us into financial ruin.

So if I don't believe in tithing why do I tithe? Because you have to start somewhere and anything less when it comes to giving to God just seems cheap.

I am not saying you have to pay your church if that is not what you are led to do. But we need to honor God with our finances. Why did Jesus talk so much about money?


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Todd

 2014/4/8 14:24Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

With most people in our country living paycheck to paycheck, giving 10% off your gross is a pretty big deal. Granted, many of us could probably easily afford to give 10% if we simply didn't splurge on so much materialistic stuff. But, a lot of people I have found, simply are not able to do that.

For those in the lower income brackets, I would like to see a pastor make a weekly budget for these people, and show them how they can indeed afford to tithe and pay all their bills.

Most probably would not be able to make the math add up.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2014/4/8 14:30Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
The Rabbi stated that "NO ONE" Jewish or Gentile may legally ( according to Torah ) receive a tithe. Because only the Levites were allowed to receive tithes.


When I was going through the whole tithe conundrum in my denomination years ago, I remember sincerely asking God abut the issue - because I just wanted to be obedient. It wasn't about the money, because my wife and I (a registered nurse and mortician) made more than enough money in our given professions to live comfortably. It was instead an issue of bondage, of legalism, of a faulty understanding of the New Covenant. Ever since I had come to the Lord, I was taught that to not tithe was an act of selfish disobedience and, even more - I was robbing God. A criminal act!

Going through each book of the New Testament revealed nothing about what I was being taught; instead all the verses were being extracted either from the Levitical law or the times of Abraham and Melchizedek which predated the law. I saw that circumcision, like the tithe, also predated the law, but whether or not circumcision was required was obvious thanks to Paul's treatise to the church of Galatia. The question still remained about the tithe.

And then God spoke to my heart one day and forever settled the matter for me. He told me that if I could read the New Testament of Jesus Christ in its entirety (from Matthew to Revelation) as an early Greek or African believer would have in the beginning, and come away with a propulsion to tithe (considering I even knew what tithing was), then, of course, I was to tithe as an act of faith. Light came to me immediately on the subject.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/8 14:40Profile









 Re:

Quote:
by TMK on 2014/4/8 14:24:52

The World's System
1. Give to myself
2. Pay bills/taxes
3. Maybe save

God's System
1. Give to God first
2. Save
3. Pay bills/taxes
4. Give to myself



God's system is everything we are and have is His, and we walk by the Spirit not men's dictates or rules.

Quote:
Listen y'all.... I will be the first to agree that the NT does not teach tithing. But that is because it teaches stewardship which means everything is Gods but He allows me to manage it.



Actually, He manages it to the degree that we are abiding in and obeying Him. It's all Him, it is His voice leading us, guiding us, speaking to us.

Quote:
I use to use this to avoid tithing. But let's face it... 10% is a pretty meager amount. If you have ten pennies and someone told you to give 10% it's no big deal but if you have $1000 then it becomes a huge issue. But it is the same percentage.

We are not to live by logic or man's dictates. 2 mites were everything one woman had in the world. We are not to dictate what people should do. That is a Nicolaitan spirit, getting in between Christ and His sheep.

Quote:
I finally had to reach the point where I had to admit that the reason I was not giving a mere 10% to God was because I was being greedy pure and simple. We should not order and prioritize our lives so that giving just 10% to God will throw us into financial ruin.



That may have been your conclusion, but it would be wrong of you to conclude this for everyone. Don't you agree? If one person understands that all they are and do and own belongs to the Lord and the Lord who is merciful and just and loving wants our heart more than anything, is it right for us to prioritize another person's gain and tell them that it is the Lord that is prioritizing their gain and what they should give? No, it is not the Lord but man using the Lord for his own end. It is also not right to conclude that just because people don't have 10% to give to the preacher man that they are not ordering and prioritizing their life correctly. They have other tax obligations besides the religious tax, you know.

Quote:
So if I don't believe in tithing why do I tithe? Because you have to start somewhere and anything less when it comes to giving to God just seems cheap.



You start with the Lord's voice. He shows you where to start. We follow Him. Why does everyone think God is so mercenary and wants to start with money in all of our lives. Men start and end with money. God starts and ends with love and mercy.

Quote:
I am not saying you have to pay your church if that is not what you are led to do. But we need to honor God with our finances. Why did Jesus talk so much about money?



Why do we judge people are not honoring God with their finances because they don't pay the Saul tax (religious tax)? They are feeding their kids, buying them clothes, paying for their medical needs, paying bills, sharing with others, buying gas so they can go to work and paying the government. What in here does not honor God?

 2014/4/8 18:03





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