| Question Concerning Tithing|
I have some questions concerning tithing that I am in hopes someone with knowledge and experience might be kind enough to address with their personal testimonies. Malachi Chapter three is very clear:
Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
Often when this scripture is addressed there seem to me to be several differing opinions offered in regard to implementing it:
1. A literal interpretation of it in that believers should pay their tithe before anything else. Often this is reinforced with the new testament mentioning that even Levi paid tithes while in Abraham when Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec.
2. Tithing is an old testament legal requirement which the nation of Israel was under and that tithing is not a requirement under the new testament dispensation of grace.
3. That tithing is not a new testament requirement; but, since we are under grace we should be more graceful and generous givers than believers were under the old testament.
What kind of experiences have the saints here had concerning tithing? And, hypothetically, if one had a budgeting choice between paying one's tithe on "payday" and helping some good friends who need to purchase food for their children -- what is the scriptural procedure to follow?
Perhaps the hypothetical question above would not apply to a christian who can, out of abundance (as there would be no required choice as they would not need to exercise faith of the unseen being manifest because of their abundance) to give both to the needy and the tithe; however, would the giver who gives from a lack of resources and gives to the needy and the tithe -- is this the time to believe for the blessing of the gift to be increased and the giver's needs to none the less be met? Or could the tithe be seen here as ferreting out an element of pride in the giver who would prefer to give to the needy and thereby be known to them -- wherein the tithe could be given anonymously? Might the proper order here be for the tithe to be given to the church and then for the tither to go to the church and ask for the church to help his or her needy friends?
And what about the person who has already been devoured, and say perhaps is in hospital or some similar situation? -- The broken among us how might we be able to instruct them on the tithe if asked?
I wish to have the blessings of God in my life and greatly desire for the devourer to be rebuked -- I truly desire to obey God -- But there has been times that I know I have not tithed -- Does anyone have personal experiences they can share in regard to their own tithing experiences and what the fruit of that has been?
| 2014/7/13 19:28||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: Question Concerning Tithing|
Great questions. I simply felt led to share that the abuse of false teachers in the Western World and mostly America has caused saints to not want to contribute to the work of God. Sadly this will cause hurt to the work of God in true ministries and churches that are doing the work of God and building the actual kingdom of God not a palatial palace on earth for a prosperity teacher.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2014/7/13 20:54||Profile|
| 2014/7/13 21:58||Profile|
| Re: |
Hey Beige, like Greg said good questions. I think sadly many suffer under this teaching.
The truth is that in Christ we are free from being "under the law" yet as in the beginning of Romans 8 "... in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit".
Love, love love ...... It's all about love.
| 2014/7/14 4:02||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you jujashan4. Can you perhaps elaborate a little more? If we walk in love towards God and man... I am not sure I am able to follow the implied conclusion.
When I think back over periods of my own life -- it seems I can think of times that had I been more faithful to the tithe I would have taken less risks in my personal and business life.
I can also think of others who are faithful to the tithe and have their homes, etc... all paid for and are much more secure in property and personal relations than I am. A friend of mine (who has since passed on) as an example, started working as a television repairman many years ago and then started his own television cable company. Within just a few years his monthly tithe was more than his yearly salary as a repairman had been. He praised God that God had honored His words in Malachi and blessed him abundantly. However, I have to admit I was confused in learning of some of the content in programming on his cable service as it was clearly broadcasting ungodly material. It was quite evident to me that he wished to profit from that market as well.
Certainly the scriptures declare that the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just, but... I am not sure that I would be able to provide to the ungodly the material for their own furtherance in sin no matter how much they paid me. I am not sure profits from that would be clean fruit from which offerings could be paid to our King's work.
| 2014/7/14 4:44||Profile|
| Re: |
The tithe in the OT was a shadow, like everything else of what
would be fulfilled by Christ, and now it is not 10% but 100% of everything we have including ourselves which now belongs to Christ to do with as He wishes.
I tithed for many a year before I understood the truth, and was not any better off during that time.
| 2014/7/14 4:55|
| Re: |
Thank you krautfrau! I am thinking that we must begin by giving our entire lives to Christ -- And then allow Him to cleanse us and keep us from all ungodliness. Then the 2%, 10%, 90% or whatever it is of our income He should speak to us in our spirits to give is what we should give. I am praying God will increase my ability to give, that He will show me where to give, and that I will be giving from fruit that is clean and godly -- not tainted with compromised business deals or from taking advantage of others in their weakness.
| 2014/7/14 5:06||Profile|
| Re: |
The new covenant model is stewardship, which means God owns 100% of everything I have but lets me manage it. However, being a steward (agent) of the Master (Jesus) I must manage what it exactly as the Master would.
I personally think a tithe is a good monetary discipline not from a legalistic standpoint but as a starting point and a matter of discipline. It is a "do-able" amount. I found that before I made a final decision to start tithing (i had been relying on the idea that tithing is not a NT concept) that I gave far less than 10%.
Again this is not legalistic and I could care less what other people give. It is definitely between them and God, but once again we are stewards and I really can't imagine that Jesus would want less than 10% going toward His work on the earth.
| 2014/7/14 6:43||Profile|
| Re: My Tithing Testimony|
Disclaimer: I am far, far, far from perfect in regards to anything.
I am going to give you my testimony in regards to tithing and then I am going to discuss something much, much different, and I think better (i.e. scriptural) than what is normally taught in regards to this practice.
I don't tithe. I just don't. I never have (consistently) and I never will. I also don't own a lot of stuff (in comparison to other Americans), and I don't glory in that, but I make it a point not to try to amass all sorts of things, although I definitely need to do some more cleaning out of what I do have. I also try to live in a manner that isn't wasteful. I don't turn my AC on unless I am physically in that room. I wash all my clothes together instead of separating them out. I don't have internet (except at work or church) or cable or anything like that. And that isn't because I am super holy or anything like that. It is because that is the way I live. I could definitely reign in the way I spend money on food.
So people look at my life, the way I live, and then see I don't tithe. And they think that I am dirt poor because I dont' give God His 10%. I don't have this glittering testimony of financial or business prosperity that everyone is looking for whenever they hear about tithing.
And that's the problem with us. Almost everyone who preaches tithing also preaches financial prosperity. The FIRST person I ever heard not equate tithing and worldly prosperity (in some form or fashion) was Glenn Sheppard in last week's sermon of the week. But everyone else generally says that if I want the financial blessings of God on my life, I need to tithe. THEN, I can have enough money to not worry about bills, to not worry about food, to not worry about clothing, etc. But Jesus didn't say, "Tithe and all of these things would be added unto you." Nope. He didn't say that. Man says that. Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." So while I am trying to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, God has provided me with food, clothes, a roof over my head, and enough income to pay my bills. I don't mess with credit cards and I won't buy anything that I can get now and pay for it later. Some people say it is unwise to not have a credit card, just in case something disasterous happens, but if I had to choose to have a credit card for security or the faithfulness of the Lord for security, I am going to pick the Lord.
I never have piles of money floating around or a big bank account slap full of the "blessings" of God. But I don't want earthly blessings from God. I don't want more stuff and I don't want more money in my pockets. I want treasures in heaven, where moths can't destroy and theives can't steal. I am so sick and tired of everyone around me equating worldly possessions with the blessings of God. I read Matthew 5. It says "blessed are the..." and follows that phrase with things that are absolutely different than anything a natural man will think is "blessed." But everyone says, "look at all these wonderful things the Lord has blessed me with! It is because I am a Christian and I am faithful to God!" You know what that reminds me of? Judges 17. Micah, after he built a little altar and an ephod and some household idols with stolen money and installed a vagabond levite as his priest said, "Now I know the Lord will do me good, because I have a levite as my priest." But Micah was an idolater and a hater of God. The Lord lead him to more and more deception, not blessings. He was having his best life now, but later, it'll all burn up!
And I also hear people saying things like this: "I am going to keep giving 10% to the church, just in case."
Well, you might as well sacrifice a goat and keep the feast days and sabbaths while you are at it, just in case.
We can be so much like children. If I told a kid, "don't touch that oven!" You know what they do? They get as close to that oven as humanly possible without touching it. That is all we are doing when we have the "just-in-case" attitude.
So, here is what I am advocating.
Give up everything. Count it all as loss. If you see a brother in need and have this world's goods, give it up to him, because you love him more than yourself, and count others as more important than yourself, giving them greater honor than you. Trash everything that has no eternal value. We are called to advance the Kingdom not build our own petty ones. And this isn't directed at yall, I know very well that I can do this so much better than I do.
Brothers and sisters, I am not better than anyone here. I ain't got this figured out; however, we have got to get our priorities straight--I've got to get my priorities straight. This is for the sake of the kingdom and for the sake of the name of the Lord. Do you think God needs your 10%? He doesn't need anything.
I agree with listening to the Holy Spirit, but if you see brothers and sisters in need and you have this world's goods and you do nothing, then how can the love of God abide in you? We don't need the Holy Spirit to tell us to give up our stuff to other believers after He has already told us to do it in the Scriptures. In Acts, it says that the believers shared all things in common. Everyone had what they needed. Was that written for them or for us? It was written for us. Why are we not doing that? This world will know that we are His disciples because of the love that we have one for another and that's it. You can claim Christ all day long, but if we do not have love--love that is both passionate and active--then we are badly deceived.
| 2014/7/14 13:33||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you TMK and Thank you havok. Your words are a great blessing!
| 2014/7/14 13:57||Profile|