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

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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5621
NC, USA

 Re:

Paul-

What you are posting sounds so good because it is true. I agree with you 100%. We should always be lef by the HS when giving.

But I am afraid from a pragmatic standpoint that in reality maybe 90% of the christians out there aren't very spiritual. Very few christians are listening for, much less hearing the HS telling them what to give.

What I am saying is that in a perfect christianity the coffers of all churches, parachurch organizations, missionaries, and christian charities would be overflowing with cash from believers who have listened for an heeded the HS telling them to give generously.

I think part of the reason tithing is taught is because of this pragmatic problem. If a person tithes, at least they are being obedient even if the HS is not telling them to do it.

It is kind of like worshipping or praying. We should be doing both whether we feel like it or not, or whether we sense the HS telling us to or not.

It is simply too easy of an out for a christian to say "The HS has not told me to give, therefore I don't."


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Todd

 2014/4/9 22:15Profile
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

I am sorta with TMK on this. I think we have to be careful not to swing the pendulum too far the other way. Some tithe and lact like it is a magic slot machine with 100 fold returns guaranteed. Others wait for magical like experiences to influence them before they give.

How about we just do as much good to every man, as often as we can, and call it a day. If a beggar asks you for money, just give it to him if you have it. Whatever you do, do it sincerely from the new heart Christ gave you, and you'll be fine every single time. If it was in your regenerate heart to do, that was probably the Spirit every single time.


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Jimmy H

 2014/4/9 22:27Profile









 Re:

I doubt that it matters whether anyone tithes or not. What does matter is claiming that you have to be lead by the Holy Spirit to show compassion. Now that is astonishing. Thank God I don't live in the USA if this attitude is symptomatic of your attitudes to homelessness and hardship.

Have any of you actually been on drugs, addicted and destroying yourself? Have you been a complete alcoholic? Or homeless? Slept on any benches lately? Thought not!

That's the real thing by the way, not some ideological fantasy borne out of cynicism.

 2014/4/9 23:24









 Re:

I never said you could not be led by the flesh to show compassion. It is done all the time, but is normally self-centered. A lot of people give to the poor because they don't want to feel bad not because they care for the poor. Or they give because they have someone like you Andrew, nagging them and judging them. I don't receive your guilt or condemnation. No nation has the market cornered on compassion. You guys are hard on your brothers and sisters and should be concerned with your own motives and intents and stop judging who is worthy to fellowship with you or not. And this bit about judging who has had hardship or not in their lives is a bit sophomoric and over the top. Please, spare us such nonsense.

 2014/4/10 0:59









 Re:

Jimmy, how about if we just "keep ourselves in the love of God" and abide in Christ? Again, no need to judge, condemn, legislate or regulate. Do what you feel you are supposed to do and leave others to God.

 2014/4/10 1:00
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

Justin, I'm only offering general exhortations.

As far as the homeless go, having worked with them every week for several years of my life, I am always reminded of what one former homeless drug addict who got saved told me years ago:

He told me that he always gave to any beggar he came across since he cleaned up his act if he had the money. He said it is true that most of them, like him, are just going to take the money and spend it on booze and drugs. But he gave anyway, knowing like him that many are so addicted that it is a matter of life and death to them. Without their fix they could go into severe relapse and die. He often ended up in the hospital because of it. Knowing that he needed his drug fix so bad, he often would break into homes and such and steal stuff to support his habit.

Eventually though, God got a hold of him, and he got help, got his life together, got a job, married, and had kids and is now a grandfather. He said if his giving keeps one high street person out of somebody's home and out of the hospital and keeps them alive one more day, that is one more day they have the chance to get saved and get cleaned up. It is what happened with him.

That story has stuck with me for 12 years now. It has influenced why I do what I do when dealing with beggars. Most of the time when I know I am going downtown, I try to always get some pocket cash just in case the opportunity arises.

Do what you want with my story :-)


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Jimmy H

 2014/4/10 3:56Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I never said you could not be led by the flesh to show compassion. It is done all the time, but is normally self-centered. A lot of people give to the poor because they don't want to feel bad not because they care for the poor. Or they give because they have someone like you Andrew, nagging them and judging them. I don't receive your guilt or condemnation. No nation has the market cornered on compassion. You guys are hard on your brothers and sisters and should be concerned with your own motives and intents and stop judging who is worthy to fellowship with you or not. And this bit about judging who has had hardship or not in their lives is a bit sophomoric and over the top. Please, spare us such nonsense.



Yes I read what Mr West posted and I could easily reply to it with some substance and reality of experience. I won't for self evident reasons. I have to say I am sickened by what I am reading here but ought not to be surprised. What I have written is not a matter of thinking I understand what it means to be led of the Spirit in the matter of giving to the poor, it is based on experience in my own body. I have been ripped off more times than I can remember. In most instances I am happy to be defrauded because I too was once a thief, and therefore know what it means to both steal and to give. When someone says they need to be led of the Holy Spirit in order to give to the poor or feed a hungry person I know they have gone over the wall. Better let them run away for a while and perhaps they will come back one day with a real mind of understanding. How easy it is to spiritualise that which ought to be practical.

In ministering to homeless and broken people I have seen some genuinely humorous and imaginative ways that people employ to get my money. Why be offended? I would have done the very same thing in their shoes. At the same time I can only recall a handful of occasions when I would say that the Holy Spirit specifically bore witness to what I was doing. Why make that a basis for not giving or passing by?

And as for a nation Just-In I will say this part very plainly. The USA is a sick self centred society. If you feel minded to compliment my own nation please feel free to do so, but do not tell me I am being humorous when in point of reality I am offended by religious hypocrisy. Whether it is found in the USA or anywhere else is irrelevant. Save for one difference. It seems to me that in the USA somehow there is a veil which can be drawn easily and through which even the most difficult thing appears acceptable. As someone sitting from a distance of thousands of miles it is not hard to see where the USA differers in its particular effect and influence. As far as I know the USA is the only nation on earth where happiness is a right of all. That makes for an especial attitude which few can miss. Sorry if that offends you but it is true.

Don't tell me that my experience is my own experience because if you do I feel sure that my reply will in the end have you prepare one of those 'spiritual fascist' labels of yours, ready to hang around my neck. It's all talk. Moreover I don't care what you think of me either Just-In. Don't get lost on the self placating flattery which seems so much in evidence. It means nothing. I do not do religious hypocrisy and flattery. I would rather make the street my church and the park bench my pew. Give me thieves and liars and I will in time show you men and women who know what it means to be forgiven with tears. But it requires some straight hard talk as well as compassion and mercy.

There we are then Just-In. It seems as though you and I are set to clash more often than not. Don't take it personally I do not know you it cannot be personal.

 2014/4/10 4:01
ZekeO
Member



Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re:

Interesting points of view, just to add another perspective.

Within the grace churches even they are divided on whether tithing should be encouraged. The reasoning goes that Abraham tithed under grace, not to get a blessing but because he was blessed already.

Also, in tithing to the local church there is a level of trust for the people who are full time employed by the church.

They need to eat, live and raise families. They have the time to run the affairs of the church because they are employed to do so.

More often than not people in need know where local congregations meet and will come to the premises for help. So there is a focal point for ministry and the administration of helps.

I have to trust that the full time staff have systems in place which makes there ministry to the poor and needy the most effective. Which they do in my case.

So I 'tithe' based upon the above factors. Not under law, because tithing predates the law and also that its by and in faith.

Does it release the burden to help every and anybody, to a certain degree it does, because as a local body of believers this things are happening. At the same time you can't turn away someone when its in your power to do so.

Listening to some of the ways that churches 'collect' tithes was quite revealing. Only in our more conservative old school churches do they still go to that level of invasiveness in your finances.

In fact it was so bad many years ago that the pastor used to go around at the beginning of the month and collect tithes from the congregants.


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2014/4/10 4:18Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I never said you could not be led by the flesh to show compassion. It is done all the time, but is normally self-centered. A lot of people give to the poor because they don't want to feel bad not because they care for the poor. Or they give because they have someone like you Andrew, nagging them and judging them. I don't receive your guilt or condemnation. No nation has the market cornered on compassion. You guys are hard on your brothers and sisters and should be concerned with your own motives and intents and stop judging who is worthy to fellowship with you or not. And this bit about judging who has had hardship or not in their lives is a bit sophomoric and over the top. Please, spare us such nonsense.



Reply Number Two

You didn't say that a person could be led by the flesh in order to show compassion. In fact you said the complete opposite thing. Which was my point really. How is it possible to turn things on their heads and to miss what we have written or else to see that what is said in reply may just be something different.

For example why do you need to be led by the Holy Spirit to give a hungry man a meal? Who cares if you vainly imagine yourself to be pleasing God? Who knows but the Father Himself if in fact you are pleasing Him? Just because someone says something does not make it so does it? I suppose you would have to have made a point of feeding the hungry and homeless to know what the difference may mean.

Am I really nagging anyone? In my experience the most heartless people I know are believers. I know criminals with more compassion that most of the believers I know and I am not jesting either. I gave up trying to encourage believers to be thoughtful and generous twenty-five years ago when I was virtually destitute with a disabled son. I got plenty of advice and no compassion. God will help those who help themselves was the Evangelical mantra. Really I thought to myself. How will God need to help anyone who can in fact help themselves? Hypocrisy is not being a thief. Hypocrisy is thinking you are better than a thief when in truth you withhold what is due.

As for the adolescence which you say I am suffering from. I truly hope and pray that you never experience the reality of destruction in your own life because it is in no way an adolescent thing to speak of what that means. Or do you suppose that the woman who prostitutes her body is simply immoral? Or the man who fixes on heroine is somehow at peace with himself? What about the pastor who is torn from every angle by his own flock?

Finally how do you know that the giving which some make to the homeless and the downtrodden is mostly self centred? How do you know that?

 2014/4/10 6:53









 Re:

A person who is walking in the Spirit is not vainly imagining himself to be pleasing God. That is a description of walking in the flesh.

Now, we are lowering ourselves to attacking believers? They are always an easy target, aren't they? I know, they never do enough or love enough. Regardless of the pain that you have experienced in your life, it never justifies the attitude that you have regarding an entire community of people.

There is a spirit I find that is very common not only in pulpits but on street corners. It is a spirit that understands something about the human condition and how most people through guilt and condemnation are easy targets and can be preyed upon.

This is actually very appropriate for the tithing thread, because this is what many preachers do. They prey upon their own people, in a sophisticated way of course. They have many ways (and creative sermons) to satisfy their greed and covetousness, but always through subtle messages of guilt and condemnation accusing others of lack of compassion or having too much. And it works most every Sunday. They also know that people will feel better if they have a cause to give to, so why shouldn't they be the ones that are that "cause"?

To use God for personal, greedy gain is most outrageous and the church world does it openly (on TV) before a lost world. Many beggars or panhandlers have caught on and are now using God just like the false, greedy preacher man.

Are there some panhandlers that are in true need? Yes, of course, undoubtedly so. I also know preachers that don't require a tithe or salary and truly live by faith. Not all beggars are on the take, preying on people and there are a few preachers who are not preying on people, either.

Finally, no Christian has to prove to any other man (let alone a fellow Christian) that they are compassionate. Neither, do they have to unfurl their "curriculum vitae" of hardship and destruction that they have endured in their life. In short, a Christian does not have to justify themselves to man. To God alone they stand or fall.

Christians are certainly easy targets. It reminds me of the pagan nation, whose name escapes me but they would only attack Israel from behind. When the Israelites were travelling in the wilderness, the lame, and sick and weak ones were at the very back of the company. This pagan nation would always attack the weaker ones. The pagan nation (Hittites, Amorites maybe?) are gone today, but the spirit that preys on the "weak" ones is still here and it is in the Church in the false shepherds. The weak ones today, are those who do not know who they are in Christ.

Eze 22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.
Eze 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
Eze 22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
Eze 22:28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.
Eze 22:29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.

 2014/4/10 8:26





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