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

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  1. Damon Rambo

    Damon Rambo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Nope. I just say "I want to give this much" without thinking of percentages at all. Sometimes special things come up and I say "I want to give 50 bucks to that!"
    There is no thought of "percentage" at all.

    Sure; a combination of passages.

    2Co 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart..

    Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

    The part about putting your paycheck is not in scripture, but I thought it was a nice touch.

    -----Added 11/17/2009 at 12:05:29 EST-----

    No. I think that this is so stigmatized, it cannot HELP but lead to legalism. Any "percentage" system is going to lead to law keeping.
  2. Frank Brito.

    Frank Brito. Puritan Board Freshman

    There is no such thing as tithing money in the Bible...
  3. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    But if one will be giving month after month, and one has a regular income, it doesn't seem unbiblical that the generous givers in the NT could decide to give a regular, set contribution, with more if desired at the time. We can give ourselves a guideline, can't we?

    And I could argue just as well that doing it your way can't help but lead to giving dreadfully little for the majority of churchgoers. Of course, that's not your fault - It's a heart issue we have.

    -----Added 11/17/2009 at 12:10:15 EST-----

    Not to make myself sound like a three-year-old, but...Yuh-huh! :D
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  4. Frank Brito.

    Frank Brito. Puritan Board Freshman

    "A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD...The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod—will be holy to the LORD". - Leviticus 27.30,32

    That is the Law of tithing. There was money going around. But tithing was specifically agricultural.

    The reason for this is simple...

    Tithing was mainly the means for supporting the Levites. The Levites didn't own land so they needed this.

    When Malachi and Jesus talk about tithing this is the law they are talking about. The law in Leviticus. If you pay attention to Jesus' argument he doesn't talk about money. "...ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin" (Matt 23). Money existed but it was not part of tithing simply because the Law according to Leviticus was not about money but about supporting Levites with no land. It was therefore an agricultural law.

    "And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law...For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law". (Hebrews 7.5,12)
  5. Damon Rambo

    Damon Rambo Puritan Board Sophomore

  6. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Very clever.
  7. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    You have created an impossible situation for he who has 'decided in his heart' to give exactly 10%. On the one hand you say he is FORBIDDEN from tithing, but you also say he must give he has 'decided in his heart'.
  8. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    So you are saying that all those who tithe are doing so because they wish to "curry favor with God"? Is this really what you mean to say?
  9. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with you that the nation of Israel and the church of Israel were very similar, but at this time there was no king. What were the needs of the nation spoken of Deut?
  10. Damon Rambo

    Damon Rambo Puritan Board Sophomore

    What happens when the person has a bad week/month/year and CANNOT give ten percent? They are going to feel guilty; guilt is a result of not doing something you "should" or "have to" do.

    Also, they may let financial obligations go (Like the light bill), in order to keep up with a self imposed standard.

    The point is to determine what amount you are going to give, with the amount you have "in your hand", not to make some kind of future rule for you to follow, which you may or may not be able to fulfill. If you have 100 dollars, and you want to give ten bucks, great. If however you say "I HAVE to give 10 bucks, because I have determined this is the amount I should give"...then that is different.
  11. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    If you see a need, you should try to help fill it, church budget included.
  12. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Damon, I suggest you rethink this thought process. If everything I did for the Lord was based upon what I felt He has done for me on any given day, I would give Him nothing because of my sinful pride. I do not offer anything to God because of what I get out of Him, instead it is done solely to radiate His Glory. It is not about us, but about God. The scriptures are the revelation of God, not man. What you say above is a subtle form of Christian humanism.

    11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

    Everything is this world is for His pleasure alone. If we think for one second it is about us, then wasnt it rather odd of God to make the earth the way it is where it is uninhabitable in 75% of the area? We cannot hear certain sounds but dog;s can. Eagles can see better than us. A baby horse can walk at birth but it takes us a year. Galaxies we cannot even see.

    Give to God because of who He is, not because of how it impacts us.
  13. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Guilt is a result of not understanding the Gospel. We are all continually "not doing something we should or have to do." We do not feel guilt because we know all of the guilt and punishment for our sinfulness was born by Christ. No one on this thread (that I can remember) is advocating feelings of guilt.

    Besides, you have stated that tithing is FORBIDDEN. Are you trying to make tithers feel guilty?

    Is it a sin to choose, like the widow, to give all, even if it means no lights?

    Then you concede that tithing is not necessarily FORBIDDEN?
  14. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    Do not exactly know what you are driving at, but suspect you have at least as good a knowledge as I do as to what the governmental needs were in those days, king or no king....
  15. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I am wondering because I have heard this argument against tithing to gospel ministers before. It seems kind of shaky since no seems to know what portion of the Levitcal tithe went where. I would argue that comparing their infrastructure costs to modern day America is not a fair comparison. They had no public transportation, public education, standing military, bureaucracy, endowment for the arts etc etc.
  16. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    Well, if you read my original post, that was not at all MY argument. I am not into comparing financial needs of Israel of old to the needs of the church today.

    My argument is, that we do not possess anything for us to do with as we please, but that everything comes to us from God, for us to use in His Kingdom, and for us to exercise stewardship over.

    Does that mean we may enjoy the earthly, temporal blessings: yes, but not at the expense of Kingdom causes.

    Does that mean we have to give 10%? No, maybe one that is well to do should give 25% or even 50%, while a poor widow can only give her mite....

    As Paul said, let each one lay up as the Lord has blessed him...

    And that should be the first thing on the family budget...
  17. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    I have practiced 10% gross giving to our church since childhood. As the Lord has blessed my family with additional money we tried to go well beyond that stingy minimum by adopting missionaries and Christian institutions we felt committed to and wanted to support.

    I think that much of the discussion in this thread is framed inartfully and backwards. We should be asking how much of the Lord's money may we legitimately keep, not how much do we "hafta" give.
  18. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    This is from your original post:

    I am just trying to figure out what bearing this has on tithes today.

    The point with the poor widow was that she gave %100. The percentage one gives is in relationship to their 'increase', not the church budget. (Which is what it sounds like you are saying.)
  19. Rogerant

    Rogerant Puritan Board Freshman

    Matthew 6:1 "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly"

    Take heed that you respond with an answer from scripture or the confessions to what we are required to give. That is what the question was. NOT what do you give!
  20. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    Sounds to me you are trying to pick an argument, or to fit something into a legalistic framework where it does not belong...

    How many times do I have to repeat: "We do not own any of it"....
  21. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    We must be talking past each other because I have not once suggested that there is some kind of 'law' involved in the issue of tithing. I agree with you that in one sense we do not 'own any of it'. However, as Dennis has pointed out, God has sovereignly given us our wealth and and it does belong to us. The question is, how much of what God has blessed us does he intend for us to keep for our own living and how much should be used to support the Gospel ministry?

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that the church budget should be a high priority in the minds of all the church.
  22. Damon Rambo

    Damon Rambo Puritan Board Sophomore

    No, it is following what the scriptures say. The scripture say for us to give what we WANT, what we desire "in our heart." What you are saying, is that we should go back to the old Covenant and do it that way. That is incorrect.

    Also, this is not a simple matter of what we "feel" but what we "want." If you have a single day, where you say "I want to displease God today." then I suggest you have a heart problem (not saying that you do, of course.)

    Scripture says God gives us a new heart; one that desires to give all to Him. Either that is true of an individual, or it is not; either way, forcing some silly rules on them, that were never given to us, will not fix the problem.

    -----Added 11/17/2009 at 05:57:51 EST-----

    But when you start putting percentages to things, that is the inevitable result. People should just say "Give what you want" and leave the Holy Spirit to work on His people's hearts to get them giving.

    He is quite capable, friends.
  23. PointingToChrist

    PointingToChrist Puritan Board Freshman

    The heart of man is corrupt. The Old Testament clearly lays out that we should tithe 10% of our firstfruits (which in America and Western Europe are dollars, pounds sterling, Euro, and so on; no one is exchanging mint, dill, and cumin), and Jesus shows the widows' mite.

    Let's see what happens when a church congregation gives $10 a month each member. You will probably no longer have a church.

  24. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I think if we ignore tithing we're left with little guidance as to "normal" weekly giving to Christ's Church i.e. His Cause and Kingdom.

    If tithing is no guide to us, one believer could ordinarily give 1% a week and feel quite pleased with himself, whereas another could give 90% and still be racked with guilt, that he was not giving enough.

    The fact that Abraham, our father in the faith, and Jacob tithed and that this is repeated in the New Covenant, Book of Hebrews, persuades me that tithing is an ongoing principle.

    Melchisedec received the tithes and brought forth bread and wine; the imagery is unmistakeable. All communicant members should tithe, and teach their children to tithe.

    I'm not persuaded that under the Mosaic period there were extra-tithes. If there were, we should learn from that, but it is Old Covenant anyway, unlike the passages on Abraham and Jacob. The lessons we learn from the typological Old Covenant period may be different from those thing that were established before.

    Tithing also isn't a simple matter. In an ideal world the Church would be responsible for "HEW" (Health, Education, Welfare) from the tithe.

    Therefore, if someone deducts from his tithe those taxes and/or insurance he pays for HEW, this is a perfectly legitimate way of doing things. In an ideal world the state would have as little as necessary to do with HEW.

    All these calculations etc, may smack of carnality to the SS, Super Spiritual, for some reason.

    You can obey something because it is commanded out of a good and renewed heart, as we Reformed should know.

    We are not limited to the tithe and may give our whole weekly income some weeks if we wish, like the Poor Widow.

    The Widow and her Mites is sometimes cited when this comes up. One of the things that should be kept in mind, is, if this widow had done this each week she might have ended up starving and/or dead. And if that wasn't the case with her, it might be with some widows. So what does this have to do with any guidance from God's Word on normal, regular giving.

    We should all be happy to do the Poor Widow thing, from time to time and on occasion, because God in Christ has been so good to us.

    But should we advise people to do it every week? Seems much more reckless than saying tithing is a standard?

    In the Old Covenant, and more importantly in the Abrahamic period, there were tithes and offererings. Are we saying that in the New Covenant period there are only offerings?

    Without the tithe to guide us we are left to the clueless and carnal motions of our own partially-sanctified wills.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  25. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Those who advocate reassessing the giving situation every pay period according to your heart's desire, how can you expect a church to make a budget? How can the gospel minister be assured he will be able to pay his light bill?

    Is you gospel minister worthy of his hire? Try hiring a plumber and telling him you are going to pay him whatever you want. He will laugh in your face.
  26. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    There is no mandated % or any specific demand of regular offering by God outside the Siniatic administration.

    1 Cor:6:19-20, "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price."

    God owns you, lock-stock-and-barrel.

    "Tithing" is a good lesson for teaching the grace of giving, relying on God, etc., and it has the advantage of Scriptural example and precedent. But calling this amount God's legal obligatory "minimum" on Christians amounts to legalism. I would rather a person not give, rather than reckon his spirituality (or the spirituality of another) according to this measure of "obedience."

    If Christians will not give to maintain a Minister among them, then that Minister (if he is faithful) will be provided for by God--either extraordinarily, or by moving him to a position where he is provided for.
  27. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    I suppose that depends on whether the examples of the partiarchs are mandatory. For instance, is tithing to the holy ministry built into God's created order, or was Adam instructed in it after the fall?

    Also, are the gospels included in part of the Siniatic dispensation? If not, then tithes are commanded in the New Covenant.

  28. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Re. para.1, the issue should be further divided between the question "does God teach the requirement of giving/maintenance of worship," and the question of a set amount. The latter seems to be the issue of the thread.

    Re. para.2, the issue is not whether the gospels are a "part of the Siniatic dispensation," but whether Christ's specific words to his Pharasiaic detractors "You tithe... and these are things you should have done..." (which is certainly true of them as men under the Siniatic) have a prescriptive ring for the prospective kingdom. Such conclusion certainly would need a deliberate alteration of the tense of the words.

    Again, the issue is neither wisdom, nor practicality, nor whether or not there is an obligation to competent maintenance for the ministry of worship. The question is entirely focused on whether there is a divinely ordained "spiritual quotient" for a believer to fulfill, namely 10% (of something: net worth, net pay, gross pay, increase, etc.).
  29. Wanderer

    Wanderer Puritan Board Freshman

    Are Christian to Tithe?

    Is very sad. Every time I hear about this subject, I see where Christians have been improperly taught by men who do not understand that we are no longer under the law. And do to the fact that we are no longer under the law, we are not to give a tenth of what the land yields to the Levitical Priests.

    Say what, is that what they are preaching. Not exactly. But for some reason or another, pastor think that they have replace the Levites and that us "lay" folk are to give them money.

    This can be further from the truth.

    Additionally, if you examine the scripture carefully, you will find that the tithe had nothing to do with money. It had everything to do with what the land yielded. Meaning if you were a farmer, you gave a tenth of your crop. If you were a Shepard, you gave a tenth of your sheep. However, if you were as fisher, you did not give a tenth of your fish. Get it. The tithe came from the land.

    Unfortunately, many preach that the tithe in the Old Testament was whatever your increase was. This simply was not so. A good example is the fisherman.

    Now, what I do firmly believe in is that we are to give generously. And our giving is a free will offering to the Lord. By preaching that men are to tithe, these men are preaching that God mandates a "free will offering" from us. By doing this, they are tarnishing the work of the believer, and they are also forcing many to comply to their demands in order to give the appearance of a changed heart.

    I would suggest that everyone check out Tithing: Low-Realm, Obsolete & Defunct . This man states these issue much clearer than I can.
  30. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    I was always under the impression the tithe was part of the ceremonial law. Does this have any bearing on the subject? Since the CL is abrogated, where and why does the concept of tithe still find its way into the NC? If this has been discussed I apologize.
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