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tithes and offerings

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tithes and offerings
I appreciate there are many threads here which refer to tithing, and if I remember correctly I myself have posted some of my views. However, there has not been a recent discussion, I think, therefore I am interested in opening up yet again this hoary old chestnut.

To begin, let me state my position: I do not believe tithing is scriptural. My wife and myself will attend church, (any church, we are not members of any denomination), and we will place our offerings in the collection plate, according to our means. Greg Boyd talks sense here, I think, where he discusses how we might determine the amount of our offering.

http://www.gregboyd.org/

Regrettably his site is down at the moment, but if I remember correctly he looks at percentages of wealth which each of us might possess, and suggests giving an amount accordingly. He gives no admonition to give to the church, or even a church, leaving each of us to decide for ourselves to whom or what we might give our offerings.

My own personal view is that, because I enjoy the architecture of church buildings, the music and some of the liturgy, the presentations of which all have to be paid for, I will give freely in the same way as I am willing to pay for a ticket to a concert, a play or a film which might move me spiritually. If I come away rather flat and lukewarm, I suppose I am within my rights to ask for my money back, or at least criticise the performance, even in a church!

Listening recently to Derek Prince Ministries on the radio, the topic being money, he constantly used the phrase "giving to God". But God does not need money! In fact He does not need any material goods. He does not need a silver platter, a bag of corn, a chicken, or two goats! In the OT such gifts were given to the temple and the priests, and nowadays we are apparently expected to give to a church (well some of them anyway!), trusting that the clergy are Godly people and will distribute the collection in a righteous way.

God is a spiritual being, and the gifts we give to Him are spiritual gifts: our love, our prayers, our praise, our thanks and even our petitions. In return He will give us His love - what more do we want?

This leaves us to distribute our own material prosperity according to our own encounters with ordinary mortal people who appear to want some help. We pray to God that He will guide us in this, and help us to apportion our wealth, again as suggested by Greg Boyd, for instance.

As usual, I am not able to quote Scriptures in support of my view, but I am familiar with the rejection by non-tithe paying believers of a particular interpretation of Malachi 3: 8. The argument over this verse seems to be perennial, and I am unlikely to engage in this debate here. However, I would be interested in any critique of what I have already said in this post, including Scripture references, of course!

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mystic37: Apr 4, 2012, 8:27 AM
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Re: [mystic37] tithes and offerings In reply to
This is all I have for now. You might look at some of the other links at Gospel.com

http://www.gospel.com/...ian-perspective/9783

and

http://www.gospel.com/...-Nehemiah-10-38/9098

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MaryPankratz: Apr 4, 2012, 9:25 AM
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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
Many thanks for all responses!

However, it seems that I am at the moment only presented with the idea that tithing is supported by Scripture. I refute this, and only ask for responses concerning my first post.

What do we mean by "giving to God"? As I pointed out, I see God as a spiritual being and therefore does not need material gifts.

Give to our church, yes, (my wife and myself are not members of any particular denomination, and our offerings are what we feel is appropriate if we attend any church service), but also, more importantly, we give to the needy. This is our own decision, guided by God, and we may be ripped off. But we prefer to be ripped off by a local vagabond rather than the local pastor who seems more interested in money rather than the spiritual development of his parishioners!
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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
Thank you, Jim, for making it so clear. I have a question: I have heard that one should tithe where they are fed spiritually. Can you support or deny that scripturally?
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [mystic37] tithes and offerings In reply to
thanks for saying that

that how i used to feel i glad i not alone on this that one reason i dont go to church i love to help ppl and the needed if i feel they are needed i feel i do what God God helps me more then i can say i will help the ppl that need it right here in my country that care of your country frist many here need i
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Re: [mystic37] tithes and offerings In reply to
Okay mystic, here's what I came up with during my studies last night.

I'm not a bible scholar this is just my opinion ok? That being said...

It appears that in the NT with the new covenant that tithing stopped and almsgiving appears to have taken its place. I believe that it was with the intent that those with money were to help their neighbors and brothers to keep them from falling away. Help them so that there would be no poor or needy. I don't think God wanted us to be keeping it all for ourselves while others around us struggled or even died from lack.

He wants us to give FREELY-Matt 10:8
JOYFULLY-2Co 9:7
PROPORTIONATELY-Deut 16:17
Prov 3:9
1Co 16:2

Does it have to go to the church?
I believe it can if that's what you feel needs to be done with your alms. I believe God called each of us to do certain things and give in certain areas in order to have a complete body in Christ that is fully functioning. If we all did the same thing and gave to the same causes it would be like walking around on one leg all the time and going the same direction all the time. Following me?

As for the giving it to the poor...

Luke 19:8
Acts 11:28-30
Rom 15:25-27

And lastly the bible speaks of giving GENEROUSLY-2Co 9:5-6

As for giving to God...what we do for our neighbors and brothers and sisters...we are also doing for Him. If we give to the poor we are in a sense giving to Him.

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MaryPankratz: Apr 5, 2012, 8:55 AM
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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
Just in case you didn't see this particular part of my post dovegiven:

"I'm not a bible scholar this is just my opinion ok? That being said..."

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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts, dovegiven, and thank you again for the many Scripture references you provide.

My wife and myself are continually searching for further spiritual development, and since we do not attend any particular local church, nor are members of any denomination, Christian or otherwise, we attempt to share our thoughts and feelings with others (Christian or non-Christian) in any circumstances where the exchange is dialogic rather than eristic.

Since relinquishing our membership of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, we have tried several things as well as, as I say, occasional attendance at a church service of any denomination. For six months, we regularly attended (every Sunday evening) a local group, the leader of whom has Pentacostal leanings. We have withdrawn our regular attendance, but remain friends (I tutor his children in mathematics). Recently we accepted a regular Bible study (every Saturday evening) with a local Jehovah's Witness, but again pulled the plug on him as we realised he was prosyletising, even though he denied it! Again, we remain friends, he continues to call on us and we are hospitable, as we are to any Jehovah's Witnesses when they call at our door unannounced. However, in no way will they convince us that Jesus is merely the Son of God. As Trinitarians, for us Jesus is fully God, but that does not diminish our respect for them as fellow Christians striving to open up to God's Word - Jesus!

Apparently the JWs do not tithe, nor do they pay their elders. All their members have secular jobs and their witnessing is totally voluntary. A local SDA church which has broken away from the General Conference does not tithe. We know of one non-tithing church in Barbados, but we have not yet attended as its location is not convenient to us, and I no longer drive.

Again recently, the SDA were holding one of their crusades in a large tent nearby. (Why do they pitch them in the more deprived areas of Barbados, and have amplified music and sermons heard across the district for three hours per night, six days per week, for five weeks!?). As part of their outreach we had some callers, and we were our usual welcoming selves towards fellow Christians, but we told them that we had withdrawn from the Church, and gave our reasons. They have not been back since, even though they said they would like to come and hold a Bible study meeting with us.

The Internet is very encouraging and helpful, again provided we try to remain discerning, and constantly read the Bible to help us gain access to God's Word. Our choice of which Bible to use is of course ours, hence our discomfort with our JW friend. We have downloaded a free Bible study course from a non-denominational site, and my wife and myself are going to commit ourselves to its use, beginning with the Gospel of Matthew. Our first session alone will only cover verses 1-17 of Chapter 1, therefore we do not expect to get through quickly! Of course the guide instructs us to pray first, read the verses, and then do the study.

I have a leaning towards Christian Anarchism, and I am currently reading "The Kingdom of God is Within You" by Leo Tolstoy. I hope to read some of Vernard Eller and Jacques Ellul, to gain a greater purchase on the Christian Anarchist position.

My wife and myself are very wary of any organisation which appears to have cultish leanings. The Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Freemasons (from whom we have detached ourselves completely - by considering their obvious demonic connections, strictly guarded against by any reasonable Bible translation), New Age, Astrology, and the Occult all fall into this category (cultish), I think.

We will pray for individuals connected with these cults, but are reluctant to try to pull them out. We leave that to Jesus.

I hope that our exchanges, if continued, remain dialogic. I do not see Greg Boyd's ideas as heretical in any way whatsoever. Open theism is very respectable, putting the Kingdom of God and love first before all material possessions, and only Jesus as our supreme Lord and Master. And I am finding that open theism does support the idea that God is unchanging. Gordon Kaufman's theology is also very interesting:

http://blip.tv/...tive-mystery-2364518

I say again, God is a spiritual being. There are many books on Christian spirituality, the one I like is "The Story of Christian Spirituality", ed. Gordon Mursell (2001).

What does change and develop, I hope and pray, is our relationship with Him, through Jesus, knowing that Jesus is fully God.

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mystic37: Apr 6, 2012, 2:54 PM
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Re: [MaryPankratz] tithes and offerings In reply to
"I'm not a bible scholar this is just my opinion ok? That being said..."

Mary, I did see that, and set out to reply with gentleness. Anytime I see that said I automatically assume a role as Bible teacher, attempting to avoid an appearance of "preaching". I apologize for offending you.


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Be fishers of men
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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
dovegiven wrote:
"I'm not a bible scholar this is just my opinion ok? That being said..."

Mary, I did see that, and set out to reply with gentleness. Anytime I see that said I automatically assume a role as Bible teacher, attempting to avoid an appearance of "preaching". I apologize for offending you.


Thank you.
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Re: [mystic37] tithes and offerings In reply to
The following is taken from:

http://www.cultwatch.com/HowPastorsGetRich.html

They say that it is vital to grasp that tithing is not for Christians. Tithing was part of the old law (of Moses) which was fulfilled (completed) by Jesus and we are supposed to know that Christians are not under the law of Moses. Thye cite some Scriptures:

"But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." - Romans 7:6

"Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." - Galatians 2:16

"All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." - Galatians 3:10

"New wine should not be put into old wine skins, nor should new unshrunk cloth be used to patch an old garment; if you think you need to obey the law of tithing then you need to obey the whole law (or you will be cursed)", - Galatians 3:10).

I have also referenced Greg Boyd in earlier posts, and I am pleased to say that his new website is up and running. I trust I am not breaking any T&C here by giving the link, as I believe that anyone claiming to be a Christian must have an open heart towards all other people of any faith - even atheists must have faith in something!

http://reknew.org/

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mystic37: Jul 1, 2012, 7:09 AM
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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
Ok... I admit I have not thoroughly read all of the posts in this thread... I am a simplistic person. I tithe because I see it as a way to "give back" to God for all He has given me. It is choice because New Testiment living is not under the law. I just thought I would throw this in. Blessings, guys.
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] tithes and offerings In reply to
Greg Boyd's brief commentary on this issue is here:

http://reknew.org/...s-supposed-to-tithe/

I cannot fault anything he says here. On my own, I am searching the Scriptures to find support for the ideas expressed in dovegiven's last post (now deleted) where he suggested, I think, that the admonition to tithe was established before it was written into the old laws of Moses. Dovegiven made reference to Melchizedec (I think):

The following is taken from:

http://www.tithingdebate.com/bobgassrebuttal.html

"Abraham paid tithes 600 years before the law (Genesis 14:20),

"This is one of the classic tithe teacher chestnuts."

As a Christian Anarchist, my argument is that 10% is a reaonable proportion of one's finances to give to worthy causes, even more if one is so inclined. I think my wife and myself do give generously to family, friends and strangers. We will also pay any admission fees to films, concerts, theatre, and church services which we hope and pray will give us spiritual uplifting. Regrettably, our attendance at most local church services leave us feeling that the church is luke-warm at the best, and downright corrupt at the worst! Therefore we cease to attend.

In other words, we decide how and to whom we will give generously, in support of those less fortunate than ourselves. We will not give it to tithing ministers for them to choose where these proceeds will be distributed.

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mystic37: Jul 3, 2012, 12:21 PM
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Blessings ~ Sarah
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My apologies, Sarah, I trust that my editing brings my post within the T&C of Praize.

I hope and pray that you are not referring to me as a fool, dovegiven! As a teacher, I learnt not to call children fools, but sometimes to say that what they were doing was foolish. I greatly respect your Scripture references and they help me become more aware of God's Word.

I say again, I trust we are all here as committed Christians, and whether we tithe or not is to be judged by God alone, I think. God bless.
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Re: [dovegiven] tithes and offerings In reply to
I, too, hope you were not referring to Mystic or anyone else as a "fool". I realize that this is an Apologetics forum, but, nevertheless, flaming (including name-calling) is not not allowed. Please attacks the points, but not anyone's personhood. Thanks.
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [mystic37] tithes and offerings In reply to
mystic37 wrote:
Greg Boyd's brief commentary on this issue is here:

http://reknew.org/...s-supposed-to-tithe/

Quote:
Quote;" I am searching the Scriptures to find support for the ideas expressed in dovegiven's last post (now deleted) where he suggested, I think, that the admonition to tithe was established before it was written into the old laws of Moses. Dovegiven made reference to Melchizedec (I think):"
That would be referring to Abraham giving 1/10th to Melchizadek. There are glaring problems with using this example as some sort of 'proof' for tithing....or that since it predated the Mosaic Law....it post-dated it as well.

As far as I'm concerned, I'll go along with it....BUT (and it's a BIG BUT)....what THAT means is that the next time I go and forcibly retrieve SOMEONE ELSE'S GOODS from a thief....I'll feel perfectly free to DONATE 1/10 of THAT PERSON'S GOODS, that I've recovered....and give it to any tribal King/Chieftain I encounter. How's THAT?

In other words....the story's point isn't 'tithing'....there is absolutely NO indication that Abraham EVER tithed HIS OWN GOODS 10%....or any other percentage either.

The common theme..post cross (in other words, binding on Christians) is generosity....to give....to meet the needs of the needy, especially those of the 'household of faith', and that those who 'gave' to the ekklesias (servant leaders) were entitled to be 'laborers worthy of their hire'....in other words, IF they labored for the body, they were entitled to be supported by that body.

Okay....have I stirred up enough emotions for one night?

Okay....one story....years ago I was friends with a couple in a fairly fundamental charismatic church. They were firmly pro-tithing. We'd discussed it briefly once or twice...then....because our church was embarking on a building program (grin)....one Sunday the subject of the sermon was....you guessed it....TITHING!

We went to our friends' place for lunch afterward, and the wife said to me..."A strange thing happened during that sermon. I went into it believing in tithing....but as each supposed Scripture was put forth that allegedly SUPPORTED tithing...and as I looked them up and saw what they actually SAID....I left the service no longer believing in tithing! I found that incredibly ironic!

Blessings, Smile