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  #1  
Unread 7th January 2006, 10:56 PM
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Question Tithing: Before or after taxes?

If we are asking ourselves that question, then shouldn't we really be asking whether we are being greedy and possessive? If we are really trying to give an offering to God, do we need to look for coupons?
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Unread 7th January 2006, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by theseed
If we are asking ourselves that question, then shouldn't we really be asking whether we are being greedy and possessive? If we are really trying to give an offering to God, do we need to look for coupons?
Tithing is based only on what you receive, so it would be after taxes. Also, tithing is based on only the income you receive from working. In other words, it does not include your Christmas bonus. It does not include your unemployment check. It does not include your workmans compensation. It does not include your insurance settlement, etc.
After saying that, love offerings, based on all of your income and compensation is something that every Christian should do.
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Unread 8th January 2006, 12:00 AM
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In my simplistic view on life at my 24 years of age I see it like this...

Give God what is God's and give Ceaser what is Ceaser's.

It doesn't say to give God 10% of what is left after Ceaser has his way with us.
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Unread 8th January 2006, 12:25 AM
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If Christ is reigning in us, we will be giving joyfully and generously regardless the word "tithe" is being used. I know "tithe" is not being used in the New Testament. We never see the word "tithe" in the New Testament because it is from the Old Testament (the Law). Therefore tithe is from the Law. In the New Testament, we see the words "give" or "giving" or "cheerful giver" because they are related to grace. (see Mark 12:41-44, Romans 12:8). Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (compulsory), and giving to God (voluntary). Keep in mind, the government takes % of your gross income, why God be excluded from this? Why put give God based on after-tax income when the Government takes from Gross (pre-tax) income? The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel. Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today's income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). We in America pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government--a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.

Matthew 22:21
"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
After reading the scriptures, I believe we are to give based on "pre-tax" income. If you felt that you did gave 10% based on after-tax income, this is where God looks in the heart and the motives. (Hey, I am an accountant ). I am just saying is to allow the Holy Spirit have convince you to give from the heart. Remember, this is between YOU and God. No one around us will know EXCEPT God.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Anyway, we are under Grace and that we are to obey God and follow His Word (the Bible). God wants a pure heart from us and He does not need to give us rules in order for our hearts to be pure. Jesus Christ cleaned our sins and all God wants us to do is be Christ-like. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 "God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God." God wants our hearts more than He want us to follow rules. We all have to realize that a local church's accomplishments will depend upon members' spiritual condition. The church's financial health will be healthy if the people are submitting to the Holy Spirit, who will give them fruit.

I want to point out another view that may help us understand. The concept of 2 Corinthians 8:9 is actually about giving and sharing. If you look the whole chapter (8), you will see how the topic of wealth came up. We all are capable of working, earning money and provide our family's needs. God gave us opportunities for us to be successful in our lives and at the same time, God do not want us to forget those who are not. There were those who made a lot of money wanted to help those who did not make a lot of money. 2 Corinthians, Chapter 8 is about giving. Those early Christians in the early church did a remarkable thing; no one told them they had to share and give in the manner that they did. They had just been filled with the Holy Spirit who would help them to be more like Jesus and to walk and live as He would in a loving and giving manner. While we as Christians are not under a legalistic law that gives us specific details on our giving, again, we are indeed commanded to be giving people, and we ought to look for opportunities to give.

"And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity." (Second Corinthians 8:12)
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God knows all. He has known everything from the beginning. Nothing is a surprise to God, nor does He ever come into possession of new knowledge. Did it ever occur to you that nothing occurs to God?

God gave us conscience. If the truth of God's Word opposes the world's wisdom on a certain issue, you must align yourself with God's Word.

Faith is from God, not from man. Man can do nothing to earn or receive it. Martin Luther

If we take our doctrines into our hearts where they belong, they can cause upheavals of emotion and sleepless nights. This is far better than toying with academic ideas that never touch life. John Piper

Faith is the gift of God not the result of the persuasion of the evangelist.Jerry Bridges
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Unread 8th January 2006, 01:59 AM
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Tithing is really up to the individual. Some will argue that you must pay on what you make the same as the way you pay taxes on what you make. And I can the logic in that. There are those who believe that they should tithe on what they bring home because this is what they have to live on. And I can see the reason in that too. But I think that it is something that the person and God should work out. If you feel giving on net pay then give based on net pay. If you believe in giving on gross pay then tithe on gross pay. It really boils down to the individual and God. But it still comes down to giving no matter what, God gave you your job and all your blessings, so why not render to God the things which are God's?
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Unread 8th January 2006, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by theseed
If we are asking ourselves that question, then shouldn't we really be asking whether we are being greedy and possessive? If we are really trying to give an offering to God, do we need to look for coupons?
This thread is guaranteed to generate debate and heat. Many will say that the tithe was part of the Law and has been done away with. However, the first recorded use of the term tithe is with Abraham giving a tithe of all the spoils taken when he rescued Lot. Later, when the Law was established the tithe became the Law of the land because the Levites were not given land of their own from which to make a living. The tithe was required from the other 11 tribes to meet the needs of the Levites who were serving as priests.

The tithe, like the sacrifices, were to be from the increase that G-d provided for His people and were to be taken off the top and from the very best. Malachi wrote about the people stealing from G-d by with holding their tithes or by giving from the dregs or worst of the flocks instead of from the very best.

That brings us up to today. We are not under Law but under Grace. Tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament. However, we are given some guidelines regarding giving offerings. First, because we are under Grace and not Law I believe that the heart of a greatful giver would consider a tithe of the best off the gross to be the very minimum that we should give.
Secondly, as already mentioned G-d loves a cheerful giver. I believe that if the offering is done merely out of a sense of duty, that that doesn't reflect the heart of a cheerful giver and you might as well hold on to your money, your attitude and motivation is wrong. Remember, the cattle of a thousand hills belong to the Lord, (a Hebriasm to say that everything belongs to the Lord anyway). He doesn't need us, He allows us the privilege of participating in His work by our giving.

WE are also told that we are to see to the support of those who serve as pastors, and that one who does an excellent job is worthy of a double portion. This means that the old adage regarding paying ministers of, "You keep him Holy Lord and we'll keep him humble[by keeping him poor]" is NOT a Biblical attitude either.

Oh, and by the way, if you decide your giving based on the idea that G-d will repay you a hundredfold what ever you give, you are giving for the wrong reason and don't expect a reward.

Our attitude, I believe, should rather be, how little of what the Lord has blessed me with must I keep for my families needs so that I might give the rest back to the Lord's work. Before you start attacking this idea, remember that it was the widow who gave all she had in her poverty that was commended by Jesus, not those making a show of giving their tithe.
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Unread 8th January 2006, 03:01 AM
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Follow your heart. I give out of what abundance I may or may not have. God doesn't look on numbers, but He does look on the heart.

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Unread 8th January 2006, 04:34 AM
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I think it's more simple than some churches make it.

Some groups have fluctuated from before taxes to after taxes.

Last year, a thought came to mind. The last church I was with taught basically that with every paycheck, you would give it.

Then I thought about the biblical increase "with all thine increase" - think I got that close.

Anyway, in those days, suppose that you grew your fields and produced whatever you produced, you would do the whole project will everything in your funds at your disposal. Then in the end, you would harvest or measure your increase.

I think there is nothing wrong with, say, a contractor, to use all his funds for the whole year to boost his advertising, use better tools to get the job done...

THEN....THEN...

At the year's or seasons end, give a tenth of his increase - more if he or she wants.

That would take discipline, for cash would need to be retained in reserve - enough for the tithe.

A farmer plants all his crop, and he and his workers probably snack and partially live off the land for a whole season. The farmer would not know his increase until it could be measured.

Correct me if I botched something here. But I think the weekly giving thing in Corinthians got twisted out of context. I believe it means to make giving available every week for whoever happens to be bringing their tithes and offerings in.

If Christians could use all their financial resources for the entire year or season - many of them - they would probably yield larger incomes and a greater bulk of yearly tithe.

I think it depends on the individual. A person on a fixed salary income could surely choose to tithe weekly or monthly.
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Unread 8th January 2006, 08:59 AM
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Tithing was instituted by God before the 10 Commandments.
Therefor, tithing is before the Law.
I think that when Christ came, he abolished the Law, but not what came before it.
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Unread 8th January 2006, 10:00 AM
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Christ

We have a choice, to obey God or to do otherwise. Tithing is between the individual and God alone. Malachi chapter 3 is where many believe tithing ends, while many believe, I choose to believe and trust in Gods word. Christ did not abolish the law for the law is needed. Man could not abide by law so by the glory of God He gave the world his only son. God gave us a way! Law is needed or there would be no sin, and Jesus died why? Back to tithing, 10% is a starting point, the minimum if you will. But to give 7% or 6% shall not be called tithing for tithing is 10%. Many will argue, saying I shall not, and I do not have to pay this 10%. God Bless, you will be before God and will need to provide a answer. But lets let that be your buisness, I will pay mine.


Galatians 6:6 Let him that is taught in the Word share with him that teacheth, in all good things.

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints: As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay aside in store as God hath prospered him, so that there need be no gatherings when I come.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
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