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To tithe, or not to tithe?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by TruelightUK, Jun 10, 2002.

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  1. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    What place do you believe tithing has in following Jesus?

    Clearly it was a law under the Old Testament - is it still binding under the New? Or is it simply 'good practice'? Or outdated and irrelevant?

    More to the point, is simply tithing enough? Or is it just the beginning?

    Anthony
     
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  2. Lynn

    Lynn Veteran

    +99
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    We practice tithing.......5% to our parish and 5% to other causes. In addition, our parish asks for our "time and talent". This can be serving in the parish, the school, our community, or any other way that serves humanity.

    My husband and I think of tithing as a way to give back some of the blessings which God has given to us. It isn't always easy, sometimes, writing that check really hurts. But it hurts so good!! :angel:

    lynn
     
  3. GreenEyedLady

    GreenEyedLady My little Dinky Doo

    +164
    Baptist
    i think it is so important!
    If you don't tithe then your church cannot exist!
    GEL
     
  4. LilyLamb

    LilyLamb The Lord is My Shepherd

    588
    +1
    Here are some verses on tithing ...

    The first example of tithing is found in Genesis 14:17-20 (by Abraham) - this is also mentioned in Hebrews 7:1-6 - so it would seem that tithing (a tenth) is of enough importance to mention it here again in Hebrews.

    Jacob also gave a tenth in Genesis 28:16-22

    Leviticus 27:30-33 laws concerning the tithe

    Numbers 18:26

    Deuteronomy 12:6-8; 14:22; 26:13

    Nehemiah 10: 35-39

    The most famous verse for tithing is found in Malachi 3:8-10 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, In what way have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings." "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house ..." "prove Me now in this ... If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."

    Did the practice of tithing a tenth carry over to the New Covenant??

    Jesus seemed to imply that the practice should continue in Matthew 23:23 "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."

    Verses on giving and/or taking up a collection ...

    Matthew 5:42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away."

    Matthew 19:21 "Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

    Luke 12:33,34 "Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

    I Corinthians 16:1,2 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come."

    In 2 Corinthians 8,9 we are given the example of the Macedonians who gave willingly and generously despite their poverty, we also see the purpose of giving, the policies of giving, the readiness of giving, principles in giving and promises from giving.

    The most famous verse from the above passage II Corinthians 9:7 "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (compulsion); for God loves a cheerful giver."

    I Timothy 6:18 "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share ..."

    I think we need to realize that God owns ALL our money and we need to be asking Him what to do with our paycheck each week - prayerfully considering where to give so that we are ready to give and no one need "compell" us to give.

    I have found that we cannot outgive the Lord - once we realize that ALL we have belongs to Him - and we open up our pocketbook, our home, our talents, our food etc etc we are never without the means to give generously over and above even the ten percent apportioned in the Old Testament (actually I have heard that those who followed the Law were giving closer to 30 percent).

    My two cents :)
     
  5. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    The bulk of Lily's (excellent) array of Scriptures are Old Testament. The only New Testament endorsement of tithing per se, as a continuing practice, is Jesus comments about the Pharisees - which comes before the Cross, therefore is questionable in its application under the New Covenant - which is based, not upon legalistic requirements, but the law of love and the leading of the Spirit.

    This is indeed a key verse in our understanding of the matter! We are to give 'not of necessity' - because the Law says you must tithe into the Church to be blessed. Neither are we to give 'grudgingly' - 10% as the Law requires and no more. Rather we are to give 'cheerfully' - from willing hearts, imitating the generosity of our heavenly Father who loved so much that He gave til it hurt. And we are to give 'as we purpose in our hearts', in prayerful response to the Holy Spirit's leading - not as is prescribed in the Law or from the pulpit.



    An excellent point! I always say, as my money belongs to God, I should be asking Him not how little I can get away with giving, but how much He is willing to let me keep!

    I am humbled by the example of John Wesley who, it is said, on starting out in ministry had a salary of £30 per year, gave £2 away, and lived on £28. Years later he was earning something like £120 per year, yet still lived on £28, giving away a massive 77%! Obviously he wasn't living in days of rampant inflation, but still, such a selfless example gives us pause for thought!

    Personally, I have always tithed - not as a legalistic requirement, but as a good Biblical starting point - whether as a volunteer living on £5 per week 'pocket money', or as a Manager earning over £1,200 a month. But never calculatingly - 10% of £1,234.56 = £123.46 - but as a rough rule of thumb. Always before tax - the firstfruits of my labours, before any other demand is met. And always as a basic minimum, with gifts to the poor, charities etc. coming over and above that - with a monthly sum being set at the start of each year, which has first call on my income (after tithing and taxes), before household expenses, holidays and the rest. When I've had pay rises, I've tried to ensure that my giving increases proportionally more than my personal spending - so I am trying to live according to need not greed (if £800 was enough to live on comfortably last month, why should I suddenly need to spend £850, just because I've moved to a better job??). For the last 2 years, I have been fortunate enough to have gained an income in excess of my target for comfortable living, so any further pay increases can be directed predominantly to 'good causes'.


    Finally, to back up Lily's closing statement, in Proverbs it tells us "He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord"!

    Anthony
     
  6. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    The apostle Paul considered it robbery to take wages from people in the "church" when he preached the gospel to them!
    2 Corinthians 11:7-8, "Did I commit a sin in humbling myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, having received wages for service towards you."
    Paul did not make any gain from preaching the gospel; he was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3) and laboured night and day in his trade so that he would not have to charge people a price when he preached the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:9).
    We're not supposed to make a living from the Gospel. Paul made tents! Likewise, Jesus laboured as a carpenter (Mark 6:3). Neither one of them ever demanded that his listeners pay tithes to them.
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    The principle of tithing was instiuted b4 the Law came -- Abraham tithed (not just his income but everything) to Melchizidek, a type of Christ.

    God works on the Principle of Firstfruits. ie give the firstfruit to God and He makes the rest holy, whether its your firstborn, your time, your business, etc. Tithing with regard to your income is just one part of the whole aspect of the firstfruits.

    God only asks for a 10th (he doesnt require you to give everything!) becos in the Bible the number 10 symbolises completeness or entirety. So when you give a tenth of our time or income to God, you are in a sense telling him that you have surrendered everything to him. How gracious too, as what Senior Partner would only ask for 10%!
     
  8. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Give me a GOOD reason NOT to tithe!
     
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    quote: "The apostle Paul considered it robbery to take wages from people in the "church" when he preached the gospel to them! 2 Corinthians 11:7-8, "Did I commit a sin in humbling myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, having received wages for service towards you."
    ----------------

    Paul was telling the conrinthian church (who were obviously the most carnal and selfish in terms of giving) that he could come minister to them becos another generous church (Macedonia) had given him the material support to come to them.

    So Paul IS NOT saying that it's a sin to receive material blessings from the church to support his preaching of the Gospel, in fact, he says that it IS his right! yet he chose not to exercise that right, but that doesnt mean other ministers of the Gospel cant.

    1 Cor 9: 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
    10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
    11* If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
    12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
    13* Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
    14* Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
    15 ¦ But I have used none of these things:
     
  10. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    Hi Andrew, I think you might be missing my point....
    Where do you see Paul saying it is his right to receive payment for preaching the gospel?
    Paul was given an administration, a dispensation, a commission, or stewardship to preach (1 Corinthians 9:17). A steward receives no pay. He was merely a willing slave doing his assigned task faithfully.
    However, at the same time, scripture says, "...so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). Therefore, when someone hears another preaching God's Word, and that listener feels moved to give money to him to support his needs, then it would be okay for the preacher to accept this money. As Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 9:11-12, a minister of God imparts to people spiritual things; would it then be improper if he should expect remuneration to sustain the body? No, it would not. But there is a big difference between accepting money from people who willingly give after they hear you preach, and demanding money from them before you preach.
    Get the picture?
     
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    quote:"Where do you see Paul saying it is his right to receive payment for preaching the gospel?"

    I used the words material support/blessings. that cld come in the form of cash or can food or whatever. Where does it say so? Right here: "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn", "is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things", "Nevertheless we have not used this power", "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple?" and "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel".

    quote: "But there is a big difference between accepting money from people who willingly give after they hear you preach, and demanding money from them before you preach."

    Fully agreed. But I'm not talking about forcing to give, and Ive not come across any church I know where the preacher forces or coerce's the congregation to give offerings or to tithe.
     
  12. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    Andrew, You haven't been in many churces then.... :)
    I've actually heard the coercing not so much in the form of threats but more like in the form of quilt trips on the congregation! Statements such as, "if you don't give God will get your money in some other form, cars breaking down, your house burning down", you think I'm joking brother? Well, I'm not! I've even heard a pastor one time demanding his congregation to double tithe! Speaking of guilt trips, what about the most suttle one of all.... when the ushers walk up and down the isles passing the plate? Why don't they wait till the preacher finishes his message and have people drop their checks in a box at the rear of the church. I've been in one of those churches too! It was the only one i've seen that never asked for any money up front.
    If a church is incorporated by the State, they are legally defined as a business. And they are doing business on the so-called "Lord's day," which is prohibited by God. One of the evidences to show that they are truly a business, even if they are not incorporated, is that they want the money up front. In other words, they pass the plate before they even preach the Word of God. That's limited liability on their part, that's business, that's commercial activity, that's selling the word of God.
     
  13. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    ...and then of course there's the more subtle "Give and it will be given unto you" approach: "If you sow into my ministry, God will reward you". I've been in many meetings where the offering is preceded by a 15 or 20 minute exhortation on the blessings of giving, the perils of withholding your tithe/gift, and the emotional blackmail of 'this ministry depends on your gifts' - "we've got $x thousand in bills to pay; the solution lies in your wallet - don't let God's name be dishonoured" - not to mention the idea of praying over your gift as you put it into the offering basket, 'confessing' that you 'receive a hundredfold return'. Is this what Paul meant by a 'cheerful giver'? Or is it more like some kind of self-interested 'investment' coaxed out of you by some unscrupulous salesman?!?

    Anthony
     
  14. allieisme

    allieisme I am ME

    +344
    Pentecostal
    Married
    US-Republican
    To demand Tithe today is Robbery


    That is such a ridiculous statement!
    No one demands you do anything! You give because you want and because you believe.

    I agree with tithing, I believe God is watching over me and my family and most of all our finances!

    allison :pink:
     
  15. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    Allison:

    I'm really glad that you have escaped some of the abuses which are prevalent in certain sections of today's Church. But, sadly, it does happen! From the basic 'God will curse you and your family if you don't tithe into my ministry', down to some 'shepherding' churches where the elders insist on seeing your pay cheque and telling you what you will give each month!

    Anthony
     
  16. coastie

    coastie Hallelujah Adonai Yeshua!

    +45
    Baptist
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    I've never heard of the shepherding before... beleve me, I would keep my distance from that church.
     
  17. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    Sounds like pure legalizm.....
     
  18. Auntie

    Auntie THANK YOU JESUS!!

    +603
    Christian
    Married
    Giving to the church is an expression of the Holy Spirit within you. Salvation is not accomplished thru good works, rather, good works are the fruit of salvation. If you have received salvation thru the shed blood of Jesus, your heart is ever searching for ways to give, because it is the desire of the Holy Spirit within you.

    Here is an experience I had a few years ago. I was giving to the church every week, including volunteer work in the office preparing the church bulletin. I noticed the carpet in the office was getting rather shabby, so I wrote a check to the church specifically designating the funds for new carpet in the office.

    Then one day I received a phone call from a church member/friend saying "come see the new carpet!" I met my friend at the church and we went into the office, where I saw the beautiful new carpet. It put a big smile on my face, I was so pleased.:) But then she said: "I have a surprise for you". Not knowing what she could mean, I followed her as she lead me down the hall to the Sunday school rooms. To my GREAT surprise, there was NEW carpet in three of the Sunday school rooms!! Praise God!! They had found some carpet on sale at a very good price, enough to carpet the office and three Sunday school rooms.:)

    Can you see how God blessed me as I blessed my church? God magnified my gift. No one can out-give God. Whenever I give to the church, I give to God. Our tithes are to God, our gifts are to God. They are an outpouring of the Holy Spirit within us.
     
  19. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Great story Auntie!!!

    I love when God works our little offerings into big things!!
     
  20. Auntie

    Auntie THANK YOU JESUS!!

    +603
    Christian
    Married
    Yes!!:clap: It is very exciting, kind of like the story of the loaves and the fishes. It is a witness to my spirit of God's working within us and thru us. What a great blessing this is!
     
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