Tithing

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Osage Bluestem, Nov 16, 2009.

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  1. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    That's what I need to do is play catchup. I want to support the forwarding of the word more but I have limited additional funds with my current budget.
     
  2. steadfast7

    steadfast7 Puritan Board Junior

    Does the tithe need to be paid to the local church per se, as the "house of God"? or can tithes and offerings be given to missionaries, ministries, Christian agencies, itinerant preachers, etc?
     
  3. HokieAirman

    HokieAirman Puritan Board Freshman

    I am strongly convicted that 10% of my gross income is required. I also believe that God will bless us the more we give. He actually asks us to test Him in this and see if our store rooms do not overflow (I'm sure someone out there has a reference).

    I take this at face value. If I have a low income, I simply take the 10% out and don't even miss it. In one church I went to, if the members tithed $10/wk, there wouldn't be a church and the pastor would starve.

    As a deacon, it is apparent that $10 per household is not adequate to support a church. It would quickly shrivel and die for lack of funds to pay rent and a pastor, not to mention communion supplies, or supporting a missionary or two.

    If each Christian tithed 10%, the Christian church would be an extremely powerful entity to be reckoned with in this world.

    -----Added 11/16/2009 at 06:43:21 EST-----

    To answer Dennis, I do believe that a 10% tithe should go to the local church in which you hold membership. Extra would go to missionaries, plus most churches support missions on your behalf. For me personally, 10% is a tithe that goes to the local church. Anything above 10% is classified as an offering in my mind and can go to the local church or other Christian entities.
     
  4. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    Hmmm...

    Is the tithe part of the moral law, ceremonial law, or civil law when given in Israel?

    -----Added 11/16/2009 at 07:18:25 EST-----

    The needs of the church are fairly fixed, but the ability of the church to minister is tied to what the people give.

    I can speak only to what I see as a deacon, but if everyone in the church gave only $10, there would not be enough to provide the pastor of our church with the median salary of those in the congregation (which I consider a reasonable salary ... he should neither be poor or rich compared to the congregation).

    The deacons fund what they do out of offerings that are given above the "standard" support of the church. If your church is reasonable, you should be able to tell where all the money is spent. I am presently going through preparing the yearly report to the congregation for our yearly congregational meeting. At that meeting, we will also be presented with the budget for the prior year, and the coming year. It is fairly easy from that, and the number of families in the church (also reported) to figure what the average need is for the budget (the deacons' fund is separate). I will report on what we dispersed, and what ministries we supported (while I do not reveal the names of those within the church that we help, I do state what we have done).

    With about 100 people in the congregation each week, and a budget that is well over $150,000 per year (and we have no mortgage) it is obvious that we need on average more than $30 from each person per week. That is per person, as when I said "100 people" I include even children. There are those that have given more than a 10th, those that give less.

    When we (the deacons) collect the offerings each week, we pray that God would use them, not as all of what we give, but as a token of our giving ourselves, and that we desire that all of what we have and all of our lives are an offering to Christ, who died for us, out of our gratitude. If you know you have little, then little is asked of you. If you have been given much, much will be asked of you (not by us, but by God).

    So if you want to know if what you are giving is "okay" then it is okay if you are giving what you ought to give, by God's grace in your life, and you see all that you have and are as at God's disposal, and that you are sensitive to the work your church is doing, the needs of others, what your church might need for ministry.

    Look at what you spend. I dare say that $10/week is probably less than what many people spend on going out for lunch every day (you can easily spend $10 on a single meal out for one person around here). Is that what you think your church is worth?
     
  5. NRB

    NRB Puritan Board Freshman

    It took me a long time to accept the concept of a tithe for the modern christian, this due to the fact that a former SBC preacher basically scolded the congregation one Sunday morning, used Malachi, and told us that anyone one of us not tithing at least 10% of our gross income to the church is not blessed by God, and we are indeed robbing Him. Poppycock!

    Now, my attitude is different, we give what we can every week, with our goal being an actual 10% of my wife's and my own paycheck.
    As a member of a local church, it's a duty In my humble opinion.
    Somebody has to pay the Pastors(if the presbytery pays them, then the light bills is quite important too). ;)
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    No, the Scriptures teach us that ALL we have belongs to God.

    And if someone only gives $10 a week, the session should probably investigate to see what assistance they might need from the diaconate.

    When I had no income, I gave no regular contribution. I did not need help from the church, but the elders were aware of my circumstances, and one stayed in touch with me about them. Now that I'm employed again, I try to pull my weight.
     
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Tithing -- that is the church's way of getting people to do in the flesh what they should be willing to do in the Spirit.

    If one believes the Old Testament tithes still apply as a law of Christian giving then they are bound to give alot more than 10% because there was more than one tithe.
     
  8. William Price

    William Price Puritan Board Freshman

    Dave Goodgame, a brother at Mills Road Baptist Church, just finished a series on tithing. You can find the complete list of messages here:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Dave^Goodgame
     
  9. Scottish Lass

    Scottish Lass Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm reluctant to pursue your question until I better understand your position by your answers to my questions...for example, is middle-class $30K or $50K?
     
  10. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    I again find myself in the awkward position of totally agreeing with Tripel.

    I find arguments against tithing more than a few dollars out of necessity unconvincing in light of Christ's words regarding the poor widow in both Mark and Luke. Even in her poverty, she still gave it all, and because it was all she had, it was far more than those who gave amounts of more worth. Moreover, God tells us in 1 Timothy, verse 6,

    I am led to believe from what I have read that those who refuse to give in their poverty suffer from a lack of faith and contentment. I also think that I would never want to be put under the same test as I think I suffer the same.
     
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Give as much as you can cheerfully give.

    It's all the Lord's anyway. Tripping yourself upon a percentage is not constructive. As you grow in the Lord, your love for His Bride will grow as well, and your desire to give all you can will grow right along with it. I sure wish I could give more.
     
  12. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Here’s Jesus scolding the Pharisees: “You tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Mat. 23:23).

    Jesus affirms the Pharisees’ tithing as good, but not good enough. Even these super-diligent tithers were not obeying God’s law far enough. They did what all our hearts are prone to do. They picked pieces of God’s law—like tithing—that, with some real determination, they could actually keep pretty well. They let this satisfy them. They let it make them feel proud.

    Our own financial giving can easily make us like the Pharisees. But where determined effort fails to please God, a heart changed by Jesus succeeds.

    You see, we have no record that Jesus himself ever tithed. Just one short story about him paying the temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27), but nothing more. Perhaps Jesus did tithe, but none of the gospel writers thought it important enough to mention what he did with ten percent of his money. Their accounts are consumed with how he gave 100 percent of his life.

    What if our lives, too, were so immersed in justice, mercy and faith that we gave far more than ten percent of our money to God without even thinking about it? It would take a heart like Jesus, but this is what he offers every believer through his Spirit.
     
  13. Sweaty Deacon

    Sweaty Deacon Puritan Board Freshman

    That would be Malachi 3:10

    7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ 8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

    I think others have hit upon all the right buttons. The tithe is literally 10%. Giving of your firstfruits indicates your gross not your net.

    All that being said, it is hard to go from $10 to 10%. You have to re-evaluate your priorities and decide if God rates an increase. Speaking from experience, when my wife and I have stepped out in faith and given more, God has always provided more. You can't give up real responsibilities like the mortgage or groceries or the light bill in order to tithe but, if you are committed to give more to the church you'll be surprised what "necessities" you can suddenly do without.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  14. beej6

    beej6 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I was taught 10% of net income (net = gross salary minus taxes). But then I was never a good economist, and at times I confess I have had difficulty with even the 10% net standard... not so much now, thanks be to God. Anyone else?
     
  15. KaphLamedh

    KaphLamedh Puritan Board Freshman

    Does Tithing only means money? :think:

    If it is 10% of incomings I think it´s different situation if you get 100USD a week and give 10USD than get 1000USD and give 100USD. Yes it is 10% but for poor sometimes 10% is bigger than for rich.

    Luke 21:1-4
    1. And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3. And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; 4. for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."

    On the other hand, when we give we should give to God and be glad.

    2.Cor. 9:6-7
    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.
     
  16. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    If this were true then God would be guilty of laying a greater burden on the poor of Israel than the rich. The whole point of tithing is that the gospel ministry is supported by an equal burden among rich and poor.
     
  17. louis_jp

    louis_jp Puritan Board Freshman


    I appreciate your point here, but Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, so I would assume that he tithed as required by law.
     
  18. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    :confused: huh? I don't understand what you are saying here. 10% would always be the same, whether rich or poor because it is a percent and not a fixed number. Are you arguing it is harder to give when one is wealthier or poorer? Either way, I wouldn't buy the argument.
     
  19. ForHisGlory

    ForHisGlory Puritan Board Freshman

    Wow. Quite interesting to see us debating over what the minimum standard is to please God.....10%, less, or more.....net or gross.......I wonder if this attitude pervaids other aspects of our lives? Or is it just "our" money?

    What happened to a changed heart that realizes the tremendous mercies and grace of God? What happened to humble surrender of our lives...."Here I am Lord! Send me!"? What happended to:

    "their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints - and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us."

    Is our joy so limited? Is our joy so shallow that it's not worth giving as much as we can to send forth the glorious gospel? Why aren't we asking questions like, "how little can we live on?"

    I pray that the gospel will be seen as the true treasure it is.......and that we will love our neighbor so much as to pay whatever it takes for them to hear the gospel.
     
  20. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    Talking about tithing, there are a few things to remember. First of all, to get this out of the way, the tithing in the OT was not only for the needs of the church proper, but also for the needs of the nation, just like we pay taxes to the government.

    In the NT reality, the ceremonial laws have been done away with. We no longer live by precept upon precept.

    Our guidelines for our giving for Kingdom causes is set by the principle of thankfulness. Thus, we give to these causes as the Lord has blessed us, realizing that we have to be good and sound stewarts over everything He gives us to use, not as if we possess it as our own property to do with as we please. It is still His.

    Many churches have church budgets. It is certainly our obligation to give according to the church budget. That should properly be the first line item on our own household budget.

    If it be so that that absorbs our budget so that we cannot feed our family properly, for that cause the Lord, in His inscrutable wisdom, has given us the deaconate. And if we bring home the bacon with our paycheque, or if the deacons provide the bacon, still, in both cases that bacon comes from the same source, in that it is the Fatherly provision of our covenant God for our temporal needs.

    Over and above the church budget, there are many other Kingdom causes, such as the deaconate, missions, etc. To those we give as the Lord blesses us. Out of thankfulness, and not with a calculator, saying, well, I have done well again, as I have given 10% to the penny....
     
  21. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I find it sadly hilarious that we slavishly cling to 10% (and focus time and energy on making sure that we're giving just that much), but if we look to the NT, we see the rich young ruler being told to give all his money away (perhaps more because it was an idol to him, not because that is a prescriptive standard for us, not sure), we see many in the church selling property and giving the proceeds to the church, we see all manner of nearly inhuman sacrifice, the giving of the wodow's mite, and yet we quibble over the necessity of 10% gross/net/if I can afford it. :confused:
     
  22. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Can you elaborate? Which OT tithe are you speaking of?
     
  23. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    This all proceeds from the fact that OT Israel was a theocracy. The needs of the church proper were intertwined with the needs of the Jewish nation.

    In the first place, read Deut 26:12, which was speaking of tithes and offerings for the care of the poor, the widows, the strangers.

    In the second place, it was the Levites particularly who had the right to the tithes, according to Numbers 18:24. Now, what was the function of the Levites? Besides being helpers to the priests in the tempel service, they acted as teachers of the people, as judges, etc.
     
  24. KaphLamedh

    KaphLamedh Puritan Board Freshman

    I mean that when I was student, I got about 400€/month student money and my house rent was about 200€. When I gratuaded and I got job, my incoming was 2000€/month and I lived in same house. So it was harder to give 40€/month tithing than it was 200€/month tithing. Food price was the same etc. I quess you get the point. And I said sometimes, not always.

    In Finland when you are member of Lutheran church, from incomings taken 1,30% for the church. btw. I don´t know is it tithing? At least it´s not 10%.
     
  25. Damon Rambo

    Damon Rambo Puritan Board Sophomore

    There are several "Tithes" spoken of in the Old Testament.

    #1 The Levitical tithe (which, since early Israel was a Theocracy, is roughly equated to a governmental tax);

    #2 a festival tithe, which really isn't a tithe in the sense of something you have to give up, since it was to buy "whatever you like" for yourself and your family,

    #3the third year tithe to the poor (welfare, basically)

    So, other than giving for yourself, and giving for the government, which we pay through other means now, the only giving left would be that of the 3 1/3 percent welfare tax, which some would say is also being paid to the government (thank you, dems).

    The Christian is not being disobedient when they do not give. We are commanded to "give whatever we want." (2 Corinthians 9:7) In fact, we are FORBIDDEN to give according to laws and customs (Greek "anagke", referring in this instance to giving according to "laws and customs" {Thayers}).


    So how much should we give? I think every time we get paid, we should meditate on what Christ has done for us for about an hour with our paycheck sitting in front of us, and then write a number down on a piece of paper; and give that much.
     
  26. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Which of the three tithes were used for the needs of the Jewish nation?
     
  27. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Do you, therefore, add it all up and make sure that every time you make and offering it is NOT 10%? 9% is OK; 11% is OK; but it better not be 10%. Is that what you are saying?


    Is this a practice you have found in the Bible?
     
  28. KaphLamedh

    KaphLamedh Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, I didn´t mean Israel when Jesus was in flesh, but rather today. It is true that someone has problem with money and someone doesn´t. I believe that God looks to our heart and attitude when we are giving tithes. With that Luke´s verses I meant that attitude of poor widow.
    Sorry, I wrote in great hurry my message. I shouldn´t do that...
     
  29. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    As I said, the tithes in Deut 26:12 was for the poor people in general, and thus for what we would equate with the deaconate (which is never the subject of tithing in our case). The tithes referred to in Numbers 18:24 was for the maintenance of the Levites, so this was a 'blend' of the needs of the nation and the needs of the church.

    The NT imperative is that we 'lay aside as the Lord has blessed us', quoting the apostle Paul...

    To expand on my answer,

    All that is not done out of faith, is sin. Thus giving out of an outward conformation to a tithe is outward slavish obedience, and hence sin.
     
  30. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    But 10% can be a good standard to hold us accountable, since left to ourselves we would often give less, right? It may be different for you, but if you told most evangelicals today they don't have to tithe, they wouldn't give. Sad, but true. So the solution is to encourage people to give cheerfully and sacrificially, with 10% being a useful number if you don't know where to start. It may not be a rule, but it can be a helpful measuring rod for us if we are not giving as much as our church needs. And as I pointed out early in the thread, we have examples of tithing before the Mosaic covenant (Abraham and Jacob).
     
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