If your gross income is only 8,000 a year should you still pay tithes?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mattjtayl, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. mattjtayl

    mattjtayl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    How important is it for the poor and penniless to pay tithes? This is a question my girlfriend presented to me. She does not belong to any church or pay tithes. She is physically handicapped, she has to use a power scooter to get around a lot and can only walk very short distances.

    She has major surgeries every year. Her health problems and disabilities are so numerous I don't know what she would do without healthcare. She use to work years ago but now cannot due to how bad her disabilities have become. She may even need to have more surgery on her spine; she needed major surgery on her spine years ago to save herself from death.

    From her disability and soc security she gets a gross income each year of $8,000 thats it. She barely inches by each month making the rent, food costs, electric, utilities, etc. She was lucky enough to get into a section 8 apt, when she use to live at her old apt she risked being homeless many times. I have as well as her family have helped her with costs a lot.

    The problem with tithing for her is after the bills are paid there is little to no money left over. She barely survives every month. If she would pay tithes she might end up homeless. I can pay tithes because she makes only a fraction of what I make and I am of good health and have no healthcare costs to worry about.

    My parents growing up for many years always paid their 10% tithe to the church, but for them it was of little burden. I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in Naperville, IL. My parents made well above the national average. Every year we could afford to pay a 10% tithe as well as spend thousands of dollars each year on long vacations. On top of the tithe we wasted money on many luxuries many family's simply couldn't afford. Starbucks everyday, expensive clothes, seeing a box office smash every week, $500+ a year health clubs, going to sporting events, paying hundreds to see famous celebrities perform live, etc. I mean we had it good and I assumed as a kid all families lived like that.

    What my girlfriend is able to give to God is really a much bigger sacrafice to her then all the tithes my family gave. I don't remember praying much at meals, or evangelizing and converting people in other countries across the globe to christianity, or observing the sabboth, or attending church more then a few times a year, I really don't remember caring much about God as a kid or our family really believing that there was a God, but my parents always paid their 10% tithe during the years they went to church.

    The type of tithing preached in churches today really was an old testament law found in the book of Leviticus, and it wasn't in the form of money, but in livestock or crops. This law only applied to farmers and a few other occupations from my understanding. Those who did not earn their wages off of the land of Israel did not pay this tithe. Their were three types of tithes Jews practiced in ancient times. The form of tithe mentioned in Leviticus was the only mandatory one that only applied to some and not all the people.

    We were told by the apostle Paul that the old levitical laws from the old testament no longer applied under the new covenant. Tithing is mentioned in the gospels but it has much more implications than simply giving money. Showing love to fellow christians is a form of tithing talked about in the gospels. Never does Jesus tell his apostles to give 10% or does he say tithing has to be in the form of money. Jesus also uses examples of tithing that are in the form of generosity or out of love. He was very clear tithing didn't always come in the form of ones money or wealth.

    We are told in the new testament under 1 corinthians chapter 13 that the three most important virtues of the christian faith are faith, hope, and charity( also translated as Love); charity being the greatest virtue of them all. So under this law we should be as charitable as we can afford. Thus a family that can live well above the national average should be much more charitable then 10% of their income on the same token someone who fears being homeless every month should only be required to give what little money they can afford. The word charity also does not always apply in the form of money but also can mean donating time and showing love. So in this sense one who doesn't simply have the money could also tithe by donating their time to others and loving them. They could also donate possessions or items they don't and that could be counted as a form of a tithe.
     
    #1 mattjtayl, Sep 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2008
  2. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Luke 21:1-4
    (1)
    he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
    (2) He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
    (3) "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
    (4) All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."



    Whether you believe in tithing or not, you can't ignore the fact that Jesus praised this poor woman (who definately made less than $8000 a yr) for throwing in everything she had...

    Yes, a person should give to God...no matter what their income is...

    10% is not much to give to God... If a person can't afford to give that very small amount, they should cut some debts...
    And if they can't give that much now... that could be a goal to work for...

    She should give as her heart tells her too.

     
    #2 tinytim, Sep 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2008
  3. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the sort of thread that comes up often. And you make a very good-sounding case. Some on here will not agree with you, others will.
    But just to be conversational, are those her only options?
    You could marry her. Or she could move in with other family members that help her some now. Or she could get several roommates and perhaps an even better apartment for less outlay.
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    She should give as she purposes in her heart, as a joyful giver, and NOT take away from the needs of her family or herself to do so.

    Nor should pastors pressure this woman to give. If I caught a pastor pressuring a poor woman or man to give to his church I'd probably slap him. But that's is my frustration with the issue. May the Lord judge the false shepherds who fleece the sheep and get fat on their substance. May He dry up their personal finances and bankrupt their churches.

    RB
     
    #4 ReformedBaptist, Sep 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2008
  5. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like you already know the answer Mattjtayl.

    She needs to give something. Giving is a blessing to both the giver and the receiver. No matter how bad she has it there are others worse off. There are other things we can give besides cash. She needs to give joyfully and follow the Holy Spirit.

    But blind formulas and percentages, no.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    She needs to give as she purposes in her heart, not "she needs to give something" if we are talking about money. The woman has nothing. She should not be expected to give a red cent. In fact, the church should be helping her with their "tithes and offerings"
     
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    She does need to give something, everyone needs to give something, it is part of God's blessing that we can do things that help others. I don't necessarily mean money, but she needs to give of herself. It will help her as much or more than it helps others.

    RB said she needs to give, "as she purposes in her heart."

    That of course is a reference to II Cor 9:7. Looking at II Cor 9:6-8 the Bible says:

    Now we usually take that pronoun "He" in verse 7 and apply that back to the subject of the sentence, "Every man." If we dig a little deeper we can see that the phrase "He purposeth" is the translation of a single Greek word, proaireo. This is the only place it occurs in scripture and it can mean to purpose or to bring forth.

    Anyway, I said all that to say this, instead of applying the pronoun (which doesnt really exist) to "every man" we instead apply it to God. Instead of giving as we purpose in our own hearts we should give as God brings forth out of our hearts. That I think is a closer translation to what God is teaching us in II Cor 9. At least thats MHO.

    We can't trust ourselves and our own understanding. Not when it comes to salvation and not when it comes to giving. We need to be sensitive to and follow the leading of God through His Holy Spirit.

    And I agree with you RB, the church should be helping her.
     
  8. mattjtayl

    mattjtayl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is my feeling too. She already gives plenty with her heart, most people then I know. She converts people to christianity every week and prays to God more then anyone knows. She is adamant about not sinning and keeps the ten commandments better then almost everyone I know.

    If churches are adamant about everyone paying their 10% then their should be a fund set aside for the church to help church members in need. If those in poverty have to give money then the church members should donate money to them so they can pay their tithes and have a roof over their head.

    There are ministers in this country that drive mercedes, have $500,000 houses, and earn over six fiqures a year. I have no problem with that as long as they help out their church members that could benefit from some of that income they earn. These ministers can pay their 10% tithes with ease, if they expect their poor and penninless members to pay 10% then those ministers should give a portion of their income to help those members pay their tithes. I have a very good minister and I respect him with all my heart he is not this way at all. He grew up in poverty and understands my argument. I think most ministers have a good heart, I only feel critical of those select few who seem a little too greedy.
     
    #8 mattjtayl, Sep 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2008
  9. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I remember a story about a guy who was struggling financially and went to his pastor about his struggles. The minister encouraged him to begin tithing every week. So the man and his wife began tithing $50 a week. It was hard at first but they continued to do so. As the years progressed the man's busines grew rapidly and he was receiving a much higher income By this time his tithe had grown from $50 a week to well over $500 a week.

    This was a hard practice to keep since it was a healthy amount of money to be giving. The man went to his pastor and asked how he could reduce his tithe and remain faithful. The minister looked at him and simply asked, "Well do you want us to pray that God makes it easier for you to give the $500 or return you to the $50 week amount?"
     
  10. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Alright! THis is great. So the more i give the more I get. ANd if God doesn't pay me back and get me a good return on my money then what?

    This is ridiculous and stupid theology. Many of a preacher will answer to the Lord for fleecing the flock.
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    You advise her correctly. Several years ago I was raising a family on a very small income. My pastor at the time knew it and took me aside and advised me not to give. He encouraged me to give as I purposed in my heart and when I had the means to do so, but my primary responsibility in giving was to my wife and children.

    Had I given at the time and didn't have money to buy my family food, I promise you would have taken money OUT of the plate when it passed.

    Wicked and lazy preachers. Woe to you who take from the poor to fill your coffers and fatten your bellies. The Lord is against you.




    RB
     
  12. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Giving is an act of worship...
     
  13. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am reminded of the woman in the bible who gave every cent she had she was so poor. Not that your girl friend needs to give everything she has, but I would say no matter her income, God expects her to give. How much depends on what God tells her to give.
     
  14. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes it is, not giving is a lack of worship, not to mention a lack of trust in God.
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Prove it biblically.
     
  16. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    If pastors acted like Jesus, this OP would even have to be discussed.

    Ezekiel 34

    1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

    2Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

    3Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

    4The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

    5And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

    6My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

    7Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

    8As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

    9Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

    10Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

    11For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

    12As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

    13And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

    14I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

    15I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

    16I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

    17And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

    18Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

    19And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

    20Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

    21Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

    22Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

    23And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

    24And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

    25And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

    26And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

    27And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

    28And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

    29And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

    30Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.

    31And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.
     
  17. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    You know everyone can give something. My mother inlaw was in the same position and the woman gave everyday to God to her neighbors to her family. She gave something more valueable than money. She gave of her self.
    She prayed more than a lot I know and she was always doing something for someone. She also live in a Hud supported assisted living apartment. She was always helping her neighbors however she could. let me tell you there is nothing more valueable than someone who really cares. She cared with a Godly Love in her heart. That's more valueable than gold.
    MB
     
  18. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    RB: I agree with you but I think you may be a little over-reactive on this. Donna is right - she ought to give something or at least try. I think it is worship to do so.

    I've been there too. (edited out a detailed account of my former financil woes - I will spare you).

    Tithing should be based on expendable income. There, I said it and I ain't taking it back. Call it blasphemy if you want.

    No, I don't mean that you can go out and buy a million dollar home and stop tithing to pay the mortgage. I mean it takes a certain minimum amount of income to meet living expenses. And a person that does not make enough to pay basic living expenses cannot afford to tithe.

    Believers should tithe as an act of obedience, trust, and love for God. But the design of Paul's "collection for the saints" was that certain believers were to GET money from the church, not GIVE money. It's all written down right there in the New Testament. Legalists, think about that for a while.

    BTW bankruptcy courts are right to consider whether a person has been giving away money to charity (the legal definition of tithing) that should have been used to pay bills in rendering a decision.
     
  19. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have just had the usual discussions on whether to tithe or not, and what to base it on, and whether or not preachers and churches help enough.
    But I am still interested in how it is that many such people cannot pay their bills when they could if they lived with family.
    Maybe we need to get back to extended families living together a little bit more than we do.

    Obviously this is not quite the same thing, but there is some similarity: Paul said not to put a widow on the church roll unless she had no family to take care of her.
     
  20. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
    Your statments are contradictory.

    No, she shouldn't tithe and neither should anyone else. Proof you say? Check it out: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0595159788/?tag=baptis04-20
     

Share This Page

Loading...