Tithing your first/ last dollars

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Gina B, May 31, 2004.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I'm curious as to how many of you have ever tithed knowing it would mean not having enough later, or tithes your last bit of money when you knew it was going to mean no dinner that night unless God provided it, or your electric would be shut off unless a miracle happened?
    What happened?
    A few years ago I was in such a situation and relied on faith. Nothing happened. No miracle. I wrote a bad check to take care of the need, and trust me, I waited until the last second possible.
    It always gets to me when preachers insist that if you tithe even when you don't have the means to, you will be blessed, and relate stories of how so and so found a $20 bill in their time of need, or so and so drove two hours on an empty tank of gas to get to work, etc..
    Didn't happen for me. I'm curious as to whether these types of stories ever happen to any real people.
    So, if it's happened to you let us know!
    Or, if the opposite has happened let us know! [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  2. JeffM

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    I am now convinced that tithing is a false doctrine of the New Testament Church.

    When my wife and I started to go to church regulary a couple of years ago, we were told that when you tithe, you will have the money come back to you, sometimes ten-fold. We heard stories from our pastor that people who gave their last penny, or wrote a check without the funds in there that God would put the money in their bank account. He wasn't lying because I am sure some people had this happen, but it didn't happen with us.

    We tithed our ten percent and nothing happened. In fact, my business started to suffer for the first time in a decade. On a couple of occasions, I would write a check knowing I didn't have the money and the check actually bounced.

    I became frustrated and asked for counselling from our assistant pastor. I asked why we weren't being blessed by our tithing. He said that the tithe is questionable and even said that some members do not believe in tithing. I was shocked, but it also made me want to find out more about this.

    I was given a book by a Christian friend called "Lies of the tithes" and it really opened my eyes.

    I can't go into it here, but this author makes a compelling argument against a tithe using scripture. I've learned that God doesn't need our money and doesn't require it like some cosmic godfather.

    Then two weeks ago we had a visiting pastor who gave our morning message. This was his topic. He said that God wants nothing from us but our love, faith and obedience. He doesn't want our money and he doesn't need our money. He used Moses, Paul and a couple of others as examples of people who when faced with hardship, didn't ask "why"?, but "How can I get closer to you God?" When Moses came down with the Tablets, after a lengthy and intimate one on one fellowship with God, and saw his people worshipping the golden calf, he could have thrown up his arms in defeat, but he asked God what he can do to get closer to him.

    We have been taught that we have to pay for our blessings via a tithe. I now believe this is false. God loves us unconditionally and wants to bless us and most of all we wants us dependant on him.

    I now feel God was showing me that I don't need to pay him for my blessings. That is exactly what I was expecting. I thought I had faith, but it was the wrong kind of faith. He was drawing me closer to him, not by me paying him, but in other ways.

    I started a whole thread on this several weeks ago and I know I am in the minority on this. Tithing is an old Testament Law, and Jesus took the old Law with him (aside from the Commandments) on the Cross. We just can't go back and pick and choose OT laws that fit our needs. If we take on, we should take all of them.

    To me, tithing to expect your blessings is like doing works to get to Heaven. How do you know you are paying God what he wants? I would rather know that I am in his Grace, not financial favor. What if you aren't able to pay your ten percent one particular week?

    Plus, the OT pratice of tithing wasn't about paying God. It was about bringing your abundance (food) to the presence of the Lord and sharing in a feast with him. It was about Fellowship. Then every three years, you brought your "Tithe" and shared it with your community. It was Gods way of sharing the abundance he has given to his people with others.

    When was the last time your Church shared it's tithing with the community? Usually it stays right in the bank. Is that what God wants?
     
  3. Marcia

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    Jeff, I agree with you. Thanks for the post. I just posted something in the I.O.U. tithe thread questioning whether tithing is even taught in the NT. I don't think it is.

    Also, some of the preachers who say you must tithe to get blessed are into the health and wealth gospel or the Word Faith movement. They just want more money - most of them get pretty rich making their followers feel guilty by not giving money, or promising them that they will get rich if they give. I heard a similar teaching in the non-Christian Unity church -- "money attracts money" so if you give, you are attracting money because you putting money "out there" and more will come to you.

    I have given before when I was very low on funds and God did provide for me. But it has not always happened. I live on support, so every month I am depending on the Lord to provide through my supporting churches and supporting individuals, but I do not believe that I must "pay God" in order for Him to bless or keep me. What matters is my faith and trust in Him. As Heb. 11:6 says, it is impossible to please God without faith.
     
  4. Trotter

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    Tithing is OT. Giving is NT. Ten percent is nothing more than a starting point.

    While the New Covenant does not include a tithe, we should still happily give to the work of the church.

    True, God doesn't need our money, but most people have grown accustomed to eletric lights and air-conditioning. God works through people, not bank accounts, after all.

    Many do not believe in giving a pastor a salary. I do. I believe that when a man accepts the call and responsibility of a congregation, that congregation should support him finacially (or at least help to) so that he may devote his time to the care of that congregation.

    Sadly, most pastors in America are bi-vocational becasue their churches cannot afford to support tham. But if all the adult members gaev to the work of the church, every church with at least twenty adults could provide full support for their pastor and family.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    I am a tither. I know that I'm in the minority, but I know that is where God has led me in my finances.

    I give 10% of my gross income each month as a foundation and I contribute offerings as the Lord leads me.

    I give it regardless of whether or not it's comfortable.

    I do not tithe in order to get a "return on my investment". I tithe because God has asked me to.

    I do not expect that "unexpected" check in the mail from the long lost relative or a "rebate" from God. That's a ridiculous doctrine taught by false teachers.

    For me, tithing is an act of worship.

    People try to hang on to material possessions and money with their left hand and try to hold God's hand with their right. All God asks is that we let go of that tight hold on the money and stop placing our faith in it. Show your true spiritual courage and faith by letting go and allowing God to use those resources for His Kingdom's sake.

    God doesn't need my money. He can change the world with the blink of His eye. My paultry tithe doesn't amount to a hill of beans as far as giving God a "hand-out".

    But what my tithe and offerings do mean is that I trusted Him and not the money. It's a outward pledge that I cannot serve God and mammon.

    It's a reminder that hits home and sometimes the old pocketbook that I serve God and not vice versa.

    For me, it's an act of obedience, service, and trust. It reminds me that I am not God and that He holds me in the palm of His hand.

    I expect nothing in return. Yet, I am blessed nonetheless.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O. [​IMG]
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  6. MaryKay

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    Scarlett, I agree
    Mk. [​IMG]
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    I don't tithe and don't find it taught in the new testament but I find responses such as Scarlett's to be reasonable and believe that they have the spiritual freedom to give whatever percentage they desire. I would however, have a problem if my church or pastor tried to teach it as doctine.
     
  8. Gina B

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    Of course the church has to run and that takes money. It's ridiculous to not expect Christians to give for the needs of the church, so I hope nobody has mistaken my post in that aspect.
    But...it's just as ridiculous to use tacticts such as guilt or bribing to obtain needed funds, let alone encouraging people to not use common sense when it may come down to the difference between feeding their kids or putting it in the offering plate, promising a miracle will happen if they obey.

    Besides, letting everyone sit in a church building for a week or so with no running water and no electric will quickly bring them to a realization of why it's a good thing to give much faster than all the smooth talk in the world. [​IMG]

    Gina
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I was a tither. Jews gave 10% every year + an extra 10% every 3rd year + assorted required offerings. Comes out to 15-16% if you do the math. So that is what I did.

    Of course, that is 100% OT and nothing to do with the NT church. But it gave a starting point for me and my family.

    I teach and preach NT doctrine of giving, not tithing. I would find in incredible to live in the relative liberty of today and NOT try to at least do what was required of Jews under the Law.
     
  10. Watchman

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    All of these posts are good really. Breathren, we are Christians, who, "...love Him, because He first loved us."
    God does not need money, but people, who do God's work and minister in the word does. Not to mention the electric company, etc., wants payment to keep the Church's utilities on.
    In your giving, what represents you?
    $10.00 a week may represent one who is making $10,000 a year; but would $10.00 represent one making $100,000 a year?
    I do not hold to the false doctrine of the Word-of-Faith crowd, however, I do not think that anyone at the judgement seat of Christ will hear Him say to them that the Lord owes THEM!
    IMHO, whatever you give, give cheerfully.
     
  11. Ben W

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    What has really encouraged me is the advent of the Christian Discussion Board where Christians can discuss issues and resolve them. If you are the guy that complains tithing is not scriptural, you are the guy seen as the dissenter of the flock at your church. Yet as we have seen in various posts here. It is a law based thing that has no basis in the New Testament.

    That said, plenty of people should give more than a tenth if God has enabled them to be able to do so.

    In answer to your original question Gina, I had severe financial problems just after I had married and through no fault of my own lost my job, my wife also was retrenched from her job. The advice of the church was to keep on tithing and rely on God and it would all be fine. Needless to say it was not fine and taking there advice nearly sent me bankrupt. Nearly in that I was only saved from bankrupcy by leaving the church and then having counselling on the Prosperity Gospel that is being preached in churches over Evangelical Christianity.

    Interestingly I was helped by a Rabbi who was involved with Cult Aware who are sponsored by the government. Many cases that they are called to help with are from people that have been abused in churches were the Prosperity Gospel has gone out of control.
     
  12. Marcia

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    Ben, you were not getting good teaching if you were getting the Prosperity gospel. That can really sour and damage people on church.

    As others have posted, giving is good but should not be taught as a way to get money, get blessings, or to provoke guilt.

    My pastor teaches that a tithe is a good guide for giving, but it is not the tithing commandment of the OT. We should be cheerful givers.
     
  13. Johnv

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    That's relative. I can always afford to live on 90% of my pay. It's called "budgeting". I make good money now, but I didn't 15 years ago, when I first started tithing.

    You are blessed. You have 90% of your income to live off of.

    I don't think you should be tithing to expect something back. That's the wrong reason to tithe. All I can tell you is that, when I drop a check into the plate, I'm always able to do fine. When I don't, I often run into financial stumbling blocks. It probably relates more to God blessing me with the ability to budget, but I do indeed consider that a blessing.
     
  14. onestand

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    we do not tithe a certain percentage, we give exactly what God places on our heart to give. we have had that very thing happen where my husband looks at me, says hun, ten bucks is all we have NOTHING MORE EVEN IN THE BANK, but we just gave with the prayer God, use this money for your kingdom and place it where it belongs. The one particular night we did that, imediately after the service our children's pastor came up to us, said God laid it on my heart to give this to you so...here it is, gave us 40 bucks, he wasn't even present in the service so he had no idea.

    God knows our hearts and needs and God doesn't "need" our money but he does want our willingness to give Him what he already owns, it's all a part of sacrificing, that's not always the easiest thing to do and God knows that, He will always take care of His children...HE PROMISES HE WILL!!
     
  15. Gina B

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    John, there is a difference between tithing in faith when you don't have enough to supply your needs as it is, trusting that God will allow things to work out, rather than tithing with the expectation that you're going to be better off than before because of it.
    It sounds like you haven't had any major financial struggles to deal with. Perhaps you've never been homeless and been expected to tithe at the same time. Perhaps you haven't had a pastor take a sudden and unexpected offering and plead for your money saying "God led me to do this. We're going to stop right now and give it all. We need that new gym for the bus kids. Empty your wallets and trust God to meet your needs, you will be blessed because of it. If you can't have faith in God in something this little you may need to get up to this altar and get your heart right with God". (meanwhile the missionaries are being sent letters questioning their brand of toilet paper, but somehow we're to believe God really wants that gym built, or that new piano bought!)
    I don't believe it's right for Christians to not give to the church.
    What I'm stating with this post is that I do not believe pastors are right to preach a mandatory percentage of all, or to teach that people should not pay their debts in order to give a certain percentage, or that certain things will happen if you give above and beyond your capabilities.
    Gina
     
  16. Johnv

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    On the contrary. When I was in my 20's, I had severe financial struggles, and at one time, had to resort to food stamps while being unemployed.

    No income = no tithe.

    That's not a tithe issue. That's an offering issue. Yes I have. I pledged several hundred dollars when my cousin's church was raising money for a new school building.

    I think that a 10% from net income should be a minimum. But other people give more. Some give less. It's not for anyone to judge. Unfortunately, too many people give none.

    I've never heard that before, and I'd agree, I'd have a problem with that. However, a Christian should not get into debt in the first place. So to stop tithing because of an overextended cerdit card is stupid.
    "a certain thing"? Perhaps you're right. But to preach that your needs will be supplied, that's biblical.
     
  17. Karen

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  18. WallyGator

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    The Lord has blessed me with unexplainable finances on occasion. Some so powerful that I feel anxious to even talk to others about them. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Paul of Eugene

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    I have always tithed 10% or more all my life, having been raised that way by my parents.

    I have seen times when God supplied my needs miraculously; I have seen God's hand at work to help me keep my job; but for some reason God has never seen fit to make me wealthy in this world's goods.

    I suspect it is because He has other priorities.

    But I have learned to trust Him for what I really need. It has never been the case to have to decide whether to tithe or buy food . . . for that I thank God.
     

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