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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Dark Side of Tithing Testimonies

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

 Re:

Quote:
People talk about tithing like it is an obligation, but if you aren't giving offerings (some mysterious extra amount), then you aren't fulfilling your duty. They say tithing is commanded, but the real blessings don't start flowing until you give sacrificial offerings, and the more sacrificially you give, the more blessed you will be, because, as everyone knows, "You can't outgive God."


The reality of life is that God is astoundingly good and sends His rain on the just and unjust, irrespective of how much they give sacrificially. If we exclusively go by money as the sign that God has "poured out His blessings" on a person, then we must concede that Muslims, Jews and Atheists hold the majority of wealth in this world - and therefore, must be the most favored by God.

Here is a quote by Dorothy Parker I just love: “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gives it to.”

The crazy American gospel equates money and success with God's favor. If a person is particularly gifted in athletics, for example, the belief is that God's favor is on the person (especially if they give Him glory for their skills). But what goes unmentioned is a fellow Buddhist athlete is just as gifted and wins just as many medals and attributes his skills to meditation. The idea that God's favor is evident through carnal means - i.e. the ability to run faster, throw a football further, excel in business, earn lots of money, etc. is Old Covenant theology, where God increased flocks and crops and gave His "mighty men" athletic power to rip apart lions and bears.

Not so in the New Covenant. The apostles were not rich and athletically superior. They were weak, humble, despised. They did not preach tithing and "releasing the power of God" through some sacrificial action. That is a cheap, superficial misrepresentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which brings it down to the level of magic.

The truth is that God usually has to take everything away from us in order to break our reliance on the things the gentiles seek after. This is diametrically opposed to the current teaching on tithing, which actually promotes a lust for money. "Do you have a need?" the evangelist asks. "Sew a seed and reap bountifully." It is another gospel. The teaching on the tithe (with its promises and curses), I have found, is the bedfellow of another gospel: a gospel which is predicated upon an obsolete covenant.


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/9 13:39Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 804


 Re:

Paul,

I was listening to a sermon series by Paul washer called "The impossibility of the Christian life." It is very good stuff and relates well to what you are talking about--God uses the weak things of this world. That part of the message is primarily found on Part 3. I would highly recommend it.

 2014/4/9 13:52Profile









 Re:

Coercion preaching should have no place in our pulpits such as the implication that is spoken when preachers say "The tithe is the Lord's." The implication being, keep your hands off it or something bad will happen to you." And this goes right with the statement that "if you don't tithe you are a God-robber." And society knows that all robbers are bad. Some don't stop with implications and just come out with pure fear and say that "a curse will come on you if you don't tithe." But, if it isn't enough for God to be after you, "breathing down your neck", then the preachers will even employ the Devil by saying "Tithing rebukes the Devourer and if you don't tithe, "the Devil is gonna get you." So, forget about your landlord or the banks or IRS breathing down your neck, the devil is worse. I don't know, IRS...Devil....hmmmm, that could be a tie.

Despicably equivalent is telling a child of God that you are not in covenant with God if you don't tithe or that "the tithe redeems the other 90%". Implication being that if you don't tithe you will lose the other 90% and of course, you aren't putting God first in your life. Interesting how men so loosely use the name of God for their own end.

I am constantly amazed at the creative sermons when it comes to money. These examples demonstrate to me how much men love money (and themselves) and hate people. We all know that "tithing qualifies us to receive more from God" and "if we don't tithe God won't bless us with anything." Isn't that right? Yes, God is mean and vindictive because if we don't tithe, He will get His 10% somehow. When you least expect it, He will take it from you. That's what you get for not "putting God first in your life."

There is always another angle to work the guilt into us. You know, the reason that churches are impoverished is because of people like you that don't tithe their 10%. We would have plenty of money if everyone did their part.

They promise us that God will pay our bills and not let us get thrown out on the street if we only tithe. Of course they have a lot of experience with that. The preachers tithe, and yet have hundreds, if not thousands replenishing their coffers. But each sheep, has no one paying into their lives, certainly not an entire congregation. Yeah, right I forgot. They are supposed to depend on God. At least that is what the preachers tell us. Depend on God, like they do.

If none of these work, let's try to be positive and parade out all the miracles that will happen in your life if you tithe. Afterall, miracle testimonies prove that tithing is God's will. But, is this positive? No, it is not, because what they are really communicating to you is that you have no miracles in your life because you are not tithing.

Isn't is odd, that most everything in the religious world can be (and is) tied to mammon.

Religious world has crafted a guilt-based multi-level marketing system with most of the revenues rising to the top and staying there.

Why is it so hard for born-again people to see this false system?

2Pe_2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

"Feigned words" my friends.

 2014/4/9 14:27









 Re:

Though I believe the tithe is Old Covenant what I hear coming from this thread is the believer has no obligation to give under the New Covenant. We are governed by the law of Christ which is the royal law. That being to love our neighbor.

In actually studies and surveys have shown the American church to be pretty stingy when it comes to supporting missions. Particularly when it comes to reaching people groups in the 10/40.

While we are trashing tithing I ask is the New Covenant believer released from his obligation to give to the kingdom? If so then where are the scriptures to support this?

Consider Paul`s words to the Ephesians,

He who steals must steal no.longer, but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will share something to share with one sho us in need.

Or consider Paul`s example,

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said "It is more blessed to give them to receive."

So you are released from tithing. But are you released from giving?

Bearmaster

 2014/4/9 14:31
PaulWest
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
But are you released from giving?


Absolutely. You are "released" (as opposed to captured) from anything and everything which might be manipulated via the emotions and soul as being impulsive or a guilt trip. Giving under the New Covenant is governed by the heart, alone, unconstrained and joyful and it is no one's business how much or how often a child of God gives.

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (II Cor. 9:7)

This means that if you do not purpose in your heart to give to missions, you do not have to. You are released. But if you feel you "need" to (out of necessity) because someone is scolding you, then the motive is corrupt. Give elsewhere if you are led. Or give nowhere if you are led. The important thing is that we should never prod or make a believer feel he or she is wrong for not giving. That is unchristlike according to scripture, for it is none of our business. It is a heart matter between that believer and God.


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/9 14:42Profile
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

I remember teaching a Sunday school lesson in which I gave the following illustration:

On your way to church, a homeless man came up and asked you for money. You apologized and said you didn't have anything to give him. In truth, you had your tithe money in your wallet. Then you came to church and gave your tithe, while neglecting the homeless man on the street. If that was you this morning, while the church may have accepted your offering, you didn't give one red cent to God.

The pastor of the church heard about this from his son. Very shortly thereafter, I got an e-mail from the pastor warning me not to teach that again.


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Jimmy H

 2014/4/9 14:56Profile









 Re:

Paul, giving as anything under the New Covenant is a discipline that needs to be taught. To say a believer is released from not giving will breed selfishness and arrogance.

Again I don't think the issue is people are being.manipulated to give. Surveys have shown American Christians are the least generous when it comes to giving. All I see this thread doing is giving rise to our flesh we do not have to give to the kingdom.

Bearnaster.

 2014/4/9 15:01
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

While greed definitely hinders many, maybe a lot of American Christians would give if they truly were empowered to see real needs, and empowered and encouraged to meet them. Maybe they need to see something worth giving to.

Instead, we get brutally lashed at by many ministers for not giving enough money to church buildings and programs. They are things that usually don't move our heart.


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Jimmy H

 2014/4/9 15:04Profile
PaulWest
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Paul, giving as anything under the New Covenant is a discipline that needs to be taught. To say a believer is released from not giving will breed selfishness and arrogance.

Giving under the New Covenant is never compulsory. It is rather "inspired", purposed in the heart by the Holy Spirit. How can you teach a person to give cheerfully? You can only mention that that is how it is to be done. The cheerfulness must be innate and genuine, bred into the person by the Holy Spirit. This is why you never read of Paul chiding believers to give. He understood this principle. His instructions instead merely governed the collection of the givings.


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/9 15:31Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

greetings

I use to be so eaten up about tithing and then after much prayer and reading the BIBLE I found freedom in HIM to give as HE gave me leading to. I do think there is much pressure in this country to support church buildings and programs with little of the money really being used to go to help the poor, the widows, or the orphans. How many times I have heard the call to bring in more money so the church building can be expanded or a new sound system put in, meanwhile families are struggling to get by.

KingJimmy I looked over your mock up budget and the state I live in a family a four could never live on that amount let alone follow a ten percent tithe. The taxes and cost of living on the east coast are so high that people struggle to barely make it. I think your article was very well written and spot on.

Thank you for sharing
God bless
mj

 2014/4/9 15:33Profile





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