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


Again, for those getting upset. The issue we are discussing is indiscriminate giving (under which the tithe falls). This is much different from being miserly. It is important to note Jesus did not cleanse entire leper colonies. He did not revive entire cemeteries. Such impulses might be steeped in the logic of humanism, but they are not God's way. The money I have is God's - not merely the tithe, but 100%. That means none of it is mine to spend autonomously.

Knowing this, I want to try my best to spend it according to his heart, according to His will and pupose. This means that if I am not prompted to give His money to a certain panhandler, I won't - no matter what the sign he is holding says. There may be another beggar I see tomorrow to which the Holy Spirit says "Give to him", and so I give. It's God's money; He should chose to whom it goes. We need to be able to discern His heart in this matter, otherwise we will give to anything and everything that puts on a sad face and panders to the emotion: tantamount to clearing out entire leper colonies for the sake of goodwill.

God has given us the freedom to hear his voice and be led by Him in all of our giving and taking. The old way was to go to a prophet or some human oracle to get instruction. To get rules, legislature, commands on what to do, how to do it, how much, etc. The flip side is to go off our own corrupt humanistic reasoning; of what "seems" right, of what we believe our godly obligation is, and of what others tell us we need to do. This may foster the "feel good" notion of the flesh, but often misses the perfect heart of God. The tithe preachers assume the latter, preying on those devoid of New Covenant understanding.

I'll say it again, brethren. We are "released" (or loosed) from everything on this earth that seeks to usurp the place of the Holy Spirit, including where, when and how much we give. Do not let any man put you under the bondage of what he thinks you should do with God's money.

Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/10 10:41Profile


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.

I suppose I knew that you would make this comment. Just-In you have referred to those who seek to raise money in a certain way as 'spiritual fascists'. Did you miss this point? Apart from asking what a spiritual fascist is it seems that this is a much more extreme saying than my own which amounts to no more than many believers would agree with. It is a fact that the church, just as with Israel often stands in opposition to the perfect heart of God when it comes to showing compassion.

What has my own experience got to do with addressing this topic. If I make a personal comment it is to back a statement. Such as saying that I have generally found believers to be hard hearted and lacking in compassion for homeless people. Or perhaps even more generally as well. It is a sad fact, and being thus said it amounts to saying no more than that which I I have experienced myself and witnessed many times. This is not only a personal comment but a more general comment. You don't have to keep feeling sorry for me as a way of excusing your own failings Just-In or making reference to my past or being concerned about it. I am more blessed than many in every way.

As a family we are multi millionaires. We live in an Edwardian nine bed mansion. Drive Mercedes Benz vehicles and have more liquidity than we could possibly spend. Lets get something straight Just_In. I haven't known hunger or a lack of comfort from the day I believed into Christ to this hour. Before that I slept on park benches, floors of warehouses, and in the street. Other than that I spent the rest of my time in prison. I can make the distinction between poverty and wealth directly. I can also see what an astonishing difference there is in the way believers deal with you when a poor man and when a wealthy man. I utterly detest it without reservation.

This thread is about how we tithe or more generally how we give to others.

Your own comments were in my opinion typical of the kind of remarks which I hear constantly from believers who for the most part have little to give. The only difference is that I can look them in the eye and they turn away because they do not understand how a wealthily man can hold an attitude which stands at odds with their hypocrisy of judging the hearts of others and understanding why people get into the mess which makes their lives such a misery. There is no compulsion to give what you do not have. If you have much then even a poor man can exceed you in giving by giving all of his little substance. Praise God for that. It is not about wealth or poverty. It is about the heart of compassion for the Lord's sake.

Mr West made what appears to have been an attempt to raise the bar a little and put the thing into a higher plane. Several have acknowledged that this presentation is helpful and meaningful to them. Mr West asserted that a person can be harmed or hindered by help.

When my son who has never known a moment of discomfort or hardship and who has more money than many adults have, decided to rebel one time I took him to the edge of reality in an instant. I explained what it actually was like to be homeless, cold and alone. He was very nearly sick and turned back instantly. The parable of the prodigal son, is not for rich brats who throw away their parents efforts, it is for all men, and has to do with seeking out the Father in heaven. If applied to a financial matter it takes on the meaning as was applied. I happen to think that this is wrong and fundamentally other than the intended and true meaning of the parable. If our giving exceeds that which is necessary for the basics in life then it may well be a reasonable and necessary thing to discern at least the wisdom of giving more than a man needs for his life.

The Christian life on the other hand is not a psychological exercise where people have to reach the bottom before they can be brought back. You can go out in Christ name and bring them back by authority. If not then with tears!

I am simply saying to you that suffering and ease are of themselves not the issue. The issue is compassion. The rich perish and the poor may well believe more easily but they too perish. Your own comments about me are getting thin Just-In. Why do you feel a need to reply if you are so confident that your elitist and individualistic understanding is so right? If a brother came to me and asked for ten thousand pounds then I would see a need to exercise some proper discernment. But if a pastor needs his keep because he is in full time ministry, or a brother or sister needs a bed, some warm clothes and some food then it seems to me that I am obligated before God to give it if I have the means to do so even to the end of wealth.

I actually believe that in the end it will come down to that very thing. Then the whole matter will be settled of necessity. The Amalekites who preyed on the rear of the flock of Israel continued to be a prey until they were eventually destroyed some 700 years later. Are you saying that someone who presses for a tithe and teaches that it is a true and proper way of measuring to the kingdom, is an Amalakite praying on the flock? If we so easily reject men out of hand because they perpetuate the pastoral ministry improperly then we will no doubt find it easy to believe that we have not spoken against the Lord house. I do not so easily reject any man as being an unbeliever and so I am willing to bear with most men. Even though I may go against them directly I would not so easily say that they are unbelievers if they in fact do believe into Christ Jesus according to the doctrines of life.

So on the basis of saying that you know of men who press strong doctrines onto the flock, there is no basis for formal giving and no basis for bearing responsibility of others needs unless you have an express leading of the Holy Spirit. In the end this thread has concluded for the most part that believers should only give as the Holy Spirit leads them. I cannot see how that could even be possible. We are not inert flesh. We comprehend need and so if we are not willing to meet that need we know that also. Waiting to be led of the Holy Spirit may well be a necessity in some circumstances. Needing to be led in my view is a falsehood when it comes to the basic things of life.

We live before God and men wether we believe it or not.

 2014/4/10 11:04

Joined: 2008/3/17
Posts: 75
United States


This whole discussion on tithing and the reality of it in the "church" is a symptom of a greater problem and would not even be happening if the Church was truly built according to God's plans and not man's ideas based on the Old Testament patterns. Nothing will change in christendom until we say:

12 O our God, will You not exercise judgment upon them? For we have no might to stand against this great company/enemy that is coming against us. WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT OUR EYES ARE UPON YOU. 2 Chronicles 20:12

And throw away anything that does not land on Jesus only. Man has entirely built his systems to bring God down to his level, how we think God should act and function and be. This system will truly have to come to naught if we expect a true movement of God's spirit. His word says that new wine cannot be poured into an old wineskin if it does it will ruin both skins. When will we awaken and give up our own ideas and plans and purposes and truly repent of "doing it our way or how our parents did it or church fathers did it?"
And crying out to God "We don't know what to do, we don't know how to be the true body, but our eyes are on YOU!"

30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out and send away the slave woman and her son, for never shall the son of the slave woman be heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. Galatians 4:30


 2014/4/10 11:41Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 804


Whoa, brothers. Giving to the poor was not the original issue here. So please don't apply the entirety of this thread to that subject.

In regards to the poor:

Jesus said, "Give to those who ask of you." So if a poor man comes up to me and asks me for money, food, or gas, etc and I am able to give it, then I will, regardless of the motive (which I may or may not be able to perceive), because I desire to be conformed to the image of Him.

What I would be looking for is not the Spirit to tell me to give, but for the Spirit to forbid it. Our default setting should be generosity and only when the Spirit commands us should we pull back. We should not default to cynicism or feelings. Because, let's be honest, if you like to keep control of any amount of your money, you will see no benefit for just giving it away and you are very likely to not feel like giving.

Now, do I do it out of obligation? No. I delight in the commands of the Lord. Now, if I am broke and have very little and a poor man comes up to me and asks for money, should I give it? Well, yes. "Give to those who ask of you." It would be awfully easy for Jesus to throw on there, "if you are able" (that is assuming we actually have what is being asked of us).

Now the context is for us to love our enemies and those who don't love us back. Most homeless and poor people who fall into the latter catergory.


In regards to the church taking up a mandatory collection. THAT is not commanded. And that, I believe, was the original intent of this thread. So we need to decide right now, which one of these things we are talking about lest our discussion become absolutely fruitless and detrimental to the body.

 2014/4/10 12:18Profile


Gal 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO SUCH LAW. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

We must remember that when it comes to living in the Spirit, THERE IS NO SUCH LAW that is superior to it.

We have been released, as Paul has stated over and over from every man made regulation and legislation (legalism) that would seek to regulate our spiritual life with God.

We do not walk with God according to this world's dictates of what it means to be spiritual.

Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Because this world and the religious world are engaged in "the satisfying of the flesh", to make themselves feel better about themselves.

Our identity and security is in Christ.

In Him, we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28

Andrew, the demon spirit behind the Amalekites has not died, even though the Amalekites died. Is that so hard to understand?

 2014/4/10 12:30

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 804


I found this article:

It is very revealing of the corruption on this topic.

They state that there is a biblical foundation for tithing, and then say it showed up during the fourth century under constantine! Doesn't sound scriptural to me. Especially when you find out what the tithing was paying for--big buildings...hmmmmm

 2014/4/10 12:34Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3316


All of you who are pastors and anybody who is a pastor and they take the offering that the people have given them in the churches for themselves they are robbing God. They are robbing God, they are using the money for their own lifestyles and they themselves are not preaching the gospel for FREE. Those of you who are giving to these organizations are not giving to God you are giving to man.-Lyte Robert


 2014/4/10 12:37Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 804


Now, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that a man is allowed to make his living off of preaching the Gospel if he indeed preaches the Gospel.

Now, Paul in 1 Corinthians 9 and 1 Timothy 5 uses the same reference in regards to those who labor in the Gospel reaping material things from their labors.

If a minister chooses, for the sake of the Gospel to waive that, then that is fine.

 2014/4/10 12:46Profile


In regards to the church taking up a mandatory collection. THAT is not commanded. And that, I believe, was the original intent of this thread. So we need to decide right now, which one of these things we are talking about lest our discussion become absolutely fruitless and detrimental to the body.

As far as I know the so-called mandatory tithe is fully intended to be a tithe to the house of the Lord. I agree that it is not in evidence in the apostolic church. What I cannot agree with is that it is arbitrary or that it is fundamentally wrong to the point of becoming a curse. As noone said the problem really lays in the way we understand church life itself. Yet even in this regard we forget that it has pleased the Lord to bless and support this pattern of church life where a single pastor holds broad ministry responsibility. Many profoundly godly men have held that part and done great things for the Lord Jesus both in numbers of men into the kingdom and in setting a good example to the flock.

If today there is a need to re-look at this pattern then perhaps it is because there is a more significant change afoot which makes that pattern of ministry redundant. That change may simply be persecution. Supporting a godly brother and his family is a privilege even when the pattern is wrong for this day in which we live. Yet even a small flock of fifty believers could easily support such a pastor elder in the basics of life and then the pattern is only changed in so far as the issue of unnecessary wealth is removed. It may well be the responsibility of a minister to walk by faith, and that could easily mean having some practical work to earn a basic living. It may also be that there should be several such men leading the ministry and serving others to play their part also.

Feeding the poor brethren regardless as to how they come into their need will never be removed, nor will the pattern of ministry remove it unless every member works with their hands to make a living apart from the gift which they represent to the church. From what I have read in recent years and the many conversation I have had it seems to me that there are a number of clear moves afoot which are shaping the minds of brethren in how they think about the whole question of the church as a body of believers. Some of these appear to me to be in agreement with the reality of preparedness for coming persecution, but others appear to be false in that they are moves which are seeking to remove any notion of the pastoral ministry itself.

Tithing of itself cannot be evil. And no matter that some brethren take a wrong comfort from it and others wrongly ask for it, these things will not change the outcome of a faithful walk. The Lord is not asking us to be perfect in detail, we are asked to be perfect in obedience. In that sense all contentions are settled because a man simply has to obey his conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit to be perfected. I have never fully agreed with tithing yet I did tithe when I was a young believer and the Lord never once said to me to stop from doing it. In the end I only changed my mind because I realised that this tithe has made ruin of many pastors because it ends up far in excess of what is necessary for life. Even in this regard the Lord has never told me to begin again.

Watchman Nee sought to put this idea of pastoral ministry into an experiential reality in China in the 1920s and 30s. The pastor's in that exercise became the bishops or elders and the ministerial pastor of Ephesians five became essentially a co-worker going out into the mission field with other co-workers. In 1948 Nee held co-workers meeting in Gu Ling and began by addressing the reality of what happened to these co-workers in the ten years of their experience. Many starved to death, some died of cold and so on. It was at this time that Nee shared a vision regarding the necessity of all believers pooling their wealth freely so that this wealth could be used to support all the co-workers as they had need.

Even this Jerusalem Principle, as it has been called by some, amounts to a legalistic formality if the one who partakes in it does so for reasons of selfishness and pride. How will we remove from that possibility? We cannot remove from it because these things are of the heart and no man has dominion over another man's heart. In the end brethren will do what they will do of their own volition and according to their own intentions. The cost to other believers may well be considerable. There is no possibility of the kind of freedom which brethren speak of happening in the way we would like it to happen. There will always be believers who take and will not give. There will be believers who give and have no need to take yet become proud and self justified through their gift. There is no right or wrong answer because in the end it is a heart matter.

 2014/4/10 13:07

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 804



The issue I have with a mandatory tithe to the Lord's house is not that Christians are being coaxed to do something that they are financial incapable of doing. No. It is far more sinister than that. What I have noticed is that those who tithe develop a checklist mentality, "oh I did that. I tithe. I don't have to give anymore." They shut up their hearts and absolutely cling to their 90% because that is THEIRS and they already gave God His 10%.

 2014/4/10 13:42Profile

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