A colleague at work is very depressed because his church harassing him for tithes. My consolation was to read, meditate and on Deu.14: 22 - 29.Anyone has any suggestion?Tithes:22Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. 24But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), 25then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. 26Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. 27And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.28At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that years produce and store it in your towns, 29so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed ; 9 as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER." 10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness ; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift ! (2 Corinthians 9)Did you notice the sentence about "not [being] under compulsion" or being a "cheerful giver?"If your colleague is truly being "harrassed" to tithe then he should pryerfully consider finding a new fellowship. If the leadership of this group is trying to exercise control of their flock at this level, I'd hate to know how they'd respond to something more serious. Churches that cannot distinguish between the Old Covenant and the New are very unlikely to be healthy places to grow in grace. Again, your colleague should pray and seek counsel about finding a new body of believers if "harrassment" is actually what's going on.Grace and peace,Matthew
paula4jc: I have nothing against tithing. Tithe just means 10%. If I put 10% of my income into a retirement fund I am putting a tithe back for retirement. 10% is a good foundation to begin giving. If we live under the law we would be bound by law to give an estimated 33-50% of everything we earn, grow, or raise in both tithes and offerings. The New Testament, however, never teaches tithing as a new covenant concept. It does teach giving liberally out of a joyous and generous heart. It recognizes that we really have nothing that is our own. God has supplied all of it and we recognize that we are surrendering it all to Him to steward as He desires us to do so. From that perspective we give as we purpose in our own heart or as the Holy Spirit prompts us. I would never give where I am harassed or where I am being manipulated. 2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. A good principle is to give generously where you are fed. In most cases this will be the local fellowship where you regularly attend. In some cases it may be a particular ministry that has sown into your life spiritually. In the New Testament, Paul did not have a fellowship that he led. He traveled and ministered in churches in many locations. Yet he said that he had ministered spiritual food and it was only right that the recipients of that food should minister to him material sustenance. Yet these people were, no doubt, regular contributors to the local churches where they lived. So from that perspective I think Matthew has a point. If the church this friend belongs to is harassing him for money, he might want to pray about what he should do.