Prosperity Tithing

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by lola21st on Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:33 am

I just don't like to see pastors or leaders defamed where ever it is. And once i had looked at the scriptures, i had to agree that your pastor may be right, although I was not there and was not able to know exactly what went on.

I happen to believe that His anointed is just that, people who walk in the authority and power of God. But I also feel that leaders are accountable to God and that there is a greater responsibility on them. So if we judge them, we are guilty of touching His anointed......1 Ch 16:22 and Ps 105:15 both say also not to harm the prophets. IF this was referring to all of us, then why did God specify the prophets too. If anointed is everyone, then wouldn't prophets be anointed too? This IS TALKING ABOUT LEADERS.

Since I'm the one who made the observation regarding televangelists, I'm taking an opportunity to respond. I don't agree that making legitimate observations of leaders who are engaged in practices that are not biblical is "defaming" them. But it may be that we should agree to disagree.

What I will say about my statement is that it was NOT a blanket statement about ALL televangelists. If I gave you that impression, I apologize for being so brief as that wasn't my intent. We all know that there are tv pastors who are doing the work on God and are blessing the Kingdom in HUGE ways through the tv platform by reaching areas of the world that wouldn't otherwise hear the Gospel, by establishing missions and programs globally to help the poor, impoverished, and not yet saved. And of course, they're providing believers with opportunities to hear solid biblical teaching and be encouraged. However, not everyone on tv (or IRL) is doing this - It's this small group that I'm referring to in my statement - those who are preaching a false doctrine and are taking advantage of the flock in the process. My belief is that although someone has the title of pastor, apostle, or prophet it DOES NOT automatically mean that they are appointed of God nor are they His anointed. We are to know them by their fruit. In my post, I indicated that suggesting that people get into debt by using their charge card to donate a huge amount of money ($1,000 because the starting point) and suggesting that if they do this that God will bless them is not biblical because God does not like debt and buying blessings. The scriptural support for this can be found in Psalm 37:21, Proverbs 3:27-28, 2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 5:25-26; 7:22-24; 18:23-24 (and there are others) - if I'm wrong, please show me the scriptural references that would support doing this.

The Bible also warns us in several places to be wary of false teaching - knowing it is occurring but not raising it as an issue because it would be criticizing the teachers is not wise nor responsible in my opinion. Christians must always be on guard against falsehoods that are presented as Biblical teaching. In the Old Testament, both Jeremiah and Ezekiel warned the Israelites of false prophets who were speaking things that were not given to them from the Lord:


Jeremiah 14:14
Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.

Jeremiah 23:16
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.

Lamentations 2:14
The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.

Ezekiel 13:9
My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.

Ezekiel 22:28
Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’—when the LORD has not spoken.



In the New Testament, Paul, Peter, and John all warned the church to be wary of false teachers who will try to work their way into the church while spreading false teachings.
2 Peter 2
Destructive Doctrines
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Corinthians 11
Concern for Their Faithfulness
1 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity[a] that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Paul and False Apostles

5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.
7 Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.


Galatians 1:6-10
Only One Gospel
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Also, Galatians 3 and 6

1 Timothy 6 (the whole chapter addresses this)
Honor Masters
1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 2 And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.

Error and Greed
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings[a] of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Matthew 7:15-16 - 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them."



Last edited by lola21st on Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:59 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by lola21st on Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:38 am

DS - This is indeed an engaging topic that is resulting in some lively fellowship. Don't be afraid to state your belief and allow others to respond - this is how we all learn and grow in Christ. We can all disagree without being disagreeable... flower ...and if we approach that line, we all have each other (and Mia) to keep us in check and reign us back in.... laugh

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Virtuous on Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:38 am

Delightful Soul,
I wasn’t going to say anything, other than what I already have, but after reading one of your most recent post, I feel I should. I KNOW exactly what you’re speaking about concerning the tithes and the leaders. First let me say that I don’t think MJ (not saying that you felt/feel she is doing this) was ill-speaking against her Pastor. I think she is just expressing what happened to her and how she felt about it which is totally understandable.

However, what you’re saying is true about the scripture. It IS speaking of leaders and I had to learn that the HARD way. I wasn’t doing it on purpose but I just didn’t know. I was so hurt behind something that happened between me, my Pastor, and a couple other saints that I talked about it to anyone who would listen. Well, not anyone. But I talked to family about it… It hurt SOOOOOOO bad. I told God I was LEAVING and I meant every word I said. He said, “You ain’t (yep that’s the word He used) going nowhere. You’re going to sit there and you’re going to get through this.” [MJ, I’m not saying that’s what you should do. You have to know what God is telling you. I’m just using myself as an example.] I should’ve gone into prayer about the situation and given it over to God because I KNEW I didn’t do anything wrong. Once I did that, God told me HE was going to vindicate me. I began to rest in Him, stayed in church because I was too afraid to go anywhere else after He said I couldn’t (yep I had an attitude about it at first and still “plotting” to leave), and after awhile, the hurt and the anger was gone. But it took God to show me that I HAD to go through that. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I do now. Growth and maturity followed in so many areas. Do I still feel that my Pastor was wrong? Yes. Did I see God’s hand move in the situation? Yes. Not only with my Pastor but with me as well. One of the things He revealed to me was that I HAD my Pastor on the pedestal where He belonged. My Pastor makes decisions that I don’t agree with and sometimes things are said during service that I don’t agree with (no one is ALWAYS operating in the spirit) and I HAVE to take it to God because if I don’t, I’ll take it somewhere else and start a gossip session. It is a MUST that we pray for our leaders as well. We have to keep them lifted up in prayer. I did that with the situation I told you about earlier and it caused a couple of my family members not to even want to visit my church because of it. I could’ve cost my family their very lives by telling them what I went through during that time (because I was hurt and just didn’t understand what was going on) and it was a TEST FOR ME to make and mold me. Tell God on your Pastor and allow Him to deal with him/her. So we DO have to be careful about that.

As far as the tithing goes, there have been deep discussions on this very topic on this site. You are absolutely right. Some of the things you mentioned, I also mentioned in the other thread that was started before I became a member. Everything you have said about tithing, curses, and grace is the truth. Those are hard facts to swallow. It’s tight but it’s right. There are many who will not agree because they want to do away with the Old Testament because it is under the law. The Old Testament is rough and it’s because sin was brought into the world. When God spoke creation into being, there was NO SIN – Period. What Jesus did for us, already was, in the beginning. When Jesus died, he took all of our sin to the cross, saving us from death because of our sins. Now, we don’t die BECAUSE of our sins. The grace of God when He sent Jesus saved us from that. We can die IN our sin if we don’t repent. What would the NT be without the OT? Would there even be a NT?

Grace is a beautiful thing and it IS taken for granted. We can’t use it to justify, sugar coat or pamper. We have to be taught the unadulterated word of God. Yep…HOLINESS. I agree with you 100%. I feel just as strongly as you feel about this. I chose to not go into the depth that you did because I did that in the other thread and it went the same way this one is going.

"Grace is there for mistakes and for mercy when we fail but when we have knowlege we are accountable to follow His word and not use grace as an excuse to sin.
I really pray that the grace message be preached with balance and not used to water down the convicting power of the word."

I don’t think this could’ve been said better.

I do believe that tithing/giving comes from the heart and a person is led by the Lord on what and where to give. He has given us the minimum already when it comes to tithing. He specifically asks for 10% of all of our increase - that’s a given. But as for me, He has instructed me to give more than 10%. My Pastor didn’t tell me, a Prophet didn’t bring me a prophecy telling me – God told me Himself what I should tithe. I give in the offering (above my tithes) what I want/desire to give and sometimes He tells me what to give. It’s not about the money. Come on now, we’re talking about God here. He who lives where the streets are made of gold. It’s my obedience. He said it’s about the obedience and not the sacrifice.

Yes tithing IS actually more than money/income. It has to be. That’s why I believe it says “of INCREASE” and not wages. Give of yourself through talents, time, love, and all the other things expressed to the Pharisees when they were ONLY carefully giving money. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.

I don’t think ANY of us want to offend the other and we all have our thoughts about things. We’re not going to always agree but I think the most important thing to remember is that we need to speak things in love and hope and pray it is taken in the spirit of love. huggins

----As I was getting ready to post this, I saw where lola21st posted and I just wanted to chime in.

I believe all that you have said as well because what you speak about is happening every day. We have to be careful because God warned us of false prophets/teaching. There is this one televangelist that a co-worker of mine was telling me about who was coming to a local area that she was going to see. My sister had just mentioned this person to me the night before. I had never heard of this person. I was like, hmm. But as my co-worker began to go into more detail about this person and the ministry, something just didn’t sit well with me. She said this person was sending letters asking for a certain amount of money and for her to do certain things with items sent to her. Well, she didn’t get the items. I didn’t say anything to either of them about it. I did a search on-line and the entire first page of the search was allegations brought up against the ministry. It is said that this person would have conferences and ask the people to fill out visitor/information cards. The cards are taken up before service and the spouse of this person would transmit the information to this person about the people through an earpiece this person was wearing. I didn’t say anything to my co-worker or my sister. My co-worker went to the conference and I asked her how it was. She told me it was powerful and she and the young lady who went with her were called out and given a word. I asked her to tell me everything that happened. Just as the search said, it happened. They were asked to fill out information cards and they were taken up before the service. One of the things asked is if there was sickness in the body and if they had a prayer request. Everything she and her friend put on the card, this person spoke. I sent her the information I found and let her decide for herself. I did the same with my sister. I didn’t bash the person or anything, but I did pray for this person AND the people who are following this person.

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by lola21st on Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:56 am

I believe all that you have said as well because what you speak about is happening every day. We have to be careful because God warned us of false prophets/teaching. There is this one televangelist that a co-worker of mine was telling me about who was coming to a local area that she was going to see. My sister had just mentioned this person to me the night before. I had never heard of this person. I was like, hmm. But as my co-worker began to go into more detail about this person and the ministry, something just didn’t sit well with me. She said this person was sending letters asking for a certain amount of money and for her to do certain things with items sent to her. Well, she didn’t get the items. I didn’t say anything to either of them about it. I did a search on-line and the entire first page of the search was allegations brought up against the ministry. It is said that this person would have conferences and ask the people to fill out visitor/information cards. The cards are taken up before service and the spouse of this person would transmit the information to this person about the people through an earpiece this person was wearing. I didn’t say anything to my co-worker or my sister. My co-worker went to the conference and I asked her how it was. She told me it was powerful and she and the young lady who went with her were called out and given a word. I asked her to tell me everything that happened. Just as the search said, it happened. They were asked to fill out information cards and they were taken up before the service. One of the things asked is if there was sickness in the body and if they had a prayer request. Everything she and her friend put on the card, this person spoke. I sent her the information I found and let her decide for herself. I did the same with my sister. I didn’t bash the person or anything, but I did pray for this person AND the people who are following this person.

Exactly. I've had the same experience with friends and relatives. And I realize that I didn't state this in my posts (sorry!) - I completely agree that we shouldn't criticize God's Anointed. I am witnessing this very dynamic right now within my own church which is divided right now because of a moral transgression that our pastor experienced over a year ago. My point simply is that not every one who holds the title is appointed by God and unfortunately there are a growing number of people who see ministry as a surefire get rich business and are fleecing the flock. bandaid In my post, I didn't identify any specific ministry and don't intend to but I will warn other Christians of the dynamic and urge them to stay close to the Word as they navigate through these waters.

The root of my concern is that when we use this principle, we have to be careful to not suggest that as such, pastors and other spiritual leaders are more or less unchallengeable or untouchable. That notion opens the door to manipulation and control by the pastor/leader. If I appear sensitive to this, it's because I live in the region where Jim Jones' gained popularity and I know people who lost relatives in the Guyana tragedy of 1978 so have seen firsthand what can transpire when this principle is itself manipulated and taken to its extreme. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown)

While I certainly agree that we should be reverent and respectful towards our spiritual leaders, we also have the right (if not requirement) to question unbiblical teachings and draw attention to it.

By the way Delightful Soul and Virtuous, you've both raised some good points. I have my own thoughts as well on tithing and have chosen to stay out of that part of the discussion because my view has been stated and I have nothing to add that would add value to the discussion. As for the grace message, I completely agree with the following statement and am noodling over the rest of what you stated, DS - regardless of where I end up in my own belief, I appreciate the discussion because it has caused me to take some time to consider this idea more thoroughly. Scratch Chin thinking oldguy huggins

"Grace is there for mistakes and for mercy when we fail but when we have knowlege we are accountable to follow His word and not use grace as an excuse to sin."


Last edited by lola21st on Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wording)

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by mjtorrence on Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:02 am

Yes tithing IS actually more than money/income. It has to be. That’s why I believe it says “of INCREASE” and not wages. Give of yourself through talents, time, love, and all the other things expressed to the Pharisees when they were ONLY carefully giving money. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. This is the answer I was looking for yet we are tithers and give offerings and are cheerful givers to every good work, I don't believe that I was being dishonorable to our Pastors, because we honor and respect them as being called of God yet we are to be respected as well. I also respect each and everyone's opinion here I would not ever be disrespectful to anyone I do understand that to talk on the subject of money is very touchy tornado

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Cholette on Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:39 am

Just for the record...I'm not using Grace as an excuse to sin. Never, never, never my intention. I just see it a little differently and its hard to explain it when we are talking about money. What Jesus has done for us through Calvary gets buried a lot of times and I just wanted to show that. It's not really coming through as I have hoped.

MJ...I hope through all of this discussion, your question has been answered. All in all...keep sowing girl...God needs people like you and your hubby in the Body of Christ!!


Do not fight FOR victory, but fight FROM THE PLACE of victory. Jesus has ALREADY won the battle!

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Dove-Solutions on Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:15 am

MJ,

I gave a really good sermon on here about that not to long ago. We are not to tithe. We are to give of our time, talent and our treasure. Not just money. If you have time to give, give it cheerfully. If you have talent to give then do it cheerfully and if you have treasure to give then do it gladly. Give all three if you can but whatever you decide do it with your whole heart and with gladness. The Lord fulfilled the tithe requirement. We are to give and it will be given unto us, good measure, pressed down, for by the measure we give it will be given unto us. No were in there does it say tithe. The Lord wants our heart. He doesnt need our money. It is the act of giving he wants. He wants you to give because you love him. A gift for gesture only means nothing. But a gift given in love means so much. The woman in the temple gave her last penny.....he was amazed because her love was so great she gave even her last penny. She gave because she loved. A gift is a gift....there is no monetary value on a gift. The value comes in the act of love. I hope that helps some. I loved Cholettes remarks. Good stuff there as well.

Love in Jesus,

Connie


~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Virtuous on Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:41 am

Cholette,
Sweetie, I didn’t mean to make it sound like I felt as if you are using grace as an excuse to sin. huggins I completely understand what you’re saying ABOUT grace as far as what it does for us as a result of Jesus dying on the cross.

Dove,
Do you mind directing me to that sermon? Or maybe even giving me the scripture references which state we are not to tithe?

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Dove-Solutions on Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:20 am

Virtuous,

I think it was the discussion you and I had before under the fellowship collum.

Love in Jesus,


Connie


PS I will find it.


~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Virtuous on Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:51 am

Dove,

I found it. It's under "Prophetic Words". Then "Divine Revelations". Then the "Law and grace vs curses and blessings" thread.

I read it again. It's 4 pages long! what We went deep! holy moly Your scripture references are about grace. They don't mention anything about we are not to tithe. The discussion was great! We played nice. huggins

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Dove-Solutions on Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:18 am

Yes we did but I will find some scriptures about tithe vs giving. Hehe


~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by dreamster on Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:56 am

um wer ur treasure is ther ur heart will be also,, i really think the amout is imaterial, sum ppl give 90% of ther income, ,, i jus feel wen ppl r compelled 2 give its wrong,, i agree wiv ,,let all our doing be dun froma cheerful heart ,,, D

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Dove-Solutions on Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:30 am

I am going to post an article I found about tithing and offering and let you all read it. It confirmed for me many things that I was trying to understand. I hope this helps all of you understand this better. I did not personally write this article. The authors name is not listed.

FAQ: Most churches I have been to teach rather emphatically that Christians should “tithe,” that is, give 10% of their income to their church. I have even heard some ministers say that if you don't tithe, God will not bless you. Must you give a tenth (10%) to the church? What does the Bible say about financial giving?

“What does the Bible say?” is always the “bottom line” in life, but that vital question needs a qualifier: “To whom?” The Bible, the Word of God, most certainly does speak about financial giving, and a good case can be made that it is one of the five most basic activities for a Christian, the others being prayer, Bible reading and study, fellowship with other Christians, and telling others the Good News about Jesus Christ.

The question must be: “What does the Bible say to Christians about financial giving?” Why? Because what God says to Christians about financial giving is different than what He said to the Jews of the Old Testament about it. The sad news is that today very few Christians understand the difference, and, as a result, many are unnecessarily living under emotional and financial stress. For a more detailed exposition of this subject than we can set forth in this FAQ, I recommend our audio teaching Financial Stewardship: God’s Heart Concerning Money and Possessions as well as a book titled The Tithing Dilemma, by Ernest L. Martin.

And, as is so often the case in examining a biblical issue, that takes us to the subject of the administrations in Scripture. Unless we understand what parts of God’s Word are written to Jews, what parts are written to Gentiles, and what parts are written to Christians, we can neither understand nor apply its truths in our daily lives.

We are currently living in what the Bible calls the Administration of the Sacred Secret (Eph. 3:9), which began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff) and will conclude with the Rapture of the Church (all living and dead Christians meeting the Lord in the air—1 Thess. 4:13-18). The primary curriculum for Christians (i.e., people born again of God’s incorruptible seed) is found in the Church Epistles: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 & 2 Thessalonians. It is there that we must look to find God’s specific directions for us today, and the issue of financial giving is given two chapters worth of ink in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9.

There are also some pertinent verses in other Epistles, and the message of Scripture to Christians is that because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, we do not live under the Mosaic Law, during which tithing was instituted and commanded as part of the Law. Therefore, tithing as a commandment of God has no relevance to believers today.

At this point, it is important to distinguish between tithing and giving. Although tithing per se is not relevant to Christians, giving most certainly is. As a member in particular of the Body of Christ, each Christian is to determine in his own heart how much he gives and where he allocates his resources among his brothers and sisters in Christ (2 Cor. 9:7). The Epistles metaphor by which material giving is strongly encouraged is that of sowing and reaping—the more you sow, the more you reap (2 Cor. 9:6). “Tithing” is never mentioned.

Under the Law, Jews were to give out of their produce, that is, what the Lord had provided for them. Just like the Word says, “We love God because He first loved us,” so we give because God has given to us. When we understand what God has done for us in Christ, and that the material blessings we have come from Him, and that He promises to bless us back for what we give, giving cheerfully is a joy.

Even in the Old Testament, believers understood that when they gave to God, they were opening a door, if you will, for Him to bless them in return. This is, of course, still true, but the idea has been distorted by some Christians who teach that one must give to God before God can bless him. Thus, too many Christians are giving in order to get. No, God always gives first.

Also, He does not specify just how He will bless us. If we sow, we will reap accordingly, but it may not be money for money, etc. Some Christians have become disillusioned about giving because when they gave money to their church, etc., they did not receive money back. They may have even failed to notice the blessing that God did give them. When we give in response to a blessing, and not so that we will get blessed, we can be cheerful and contented givers.

Making known the truth about this subject is critical, because the vast majority of Christians are told, and thus believes, that it is God’s will for them to “tithe,” which means to give one-tenth of what they earn. Many of the more “fundamental” Christian groups are adamant about this, and accompany this exhortation with a warning that failure to tithe will result in consequences of various kinds, usually having to do with a lack of prosperity.

In many groups, this has become little more than ecclesiastical extortion, with church leaders using the lever of people’s sincere desire to do what God says is right to squeeze money out of them. Such leaders proclaim that what God says is right is that you give at least ten percent of your income—to their organization. As a result of such pressure, financial giving has, for too many Christians, become a joyless, mechanical act of “bribing” God to avoid the consequences of not giving, and an attempt to earn His favor (something they already have!).

For many other Christians who once gave cheerfully, financial giving is no longer an act at all. They have stopped doing it altogether, either because they got sick and tired of the pressure being applied to them, or they really could not afford to tithe, or they saw the money they gave misused and feel that they were cheated when they did give.

Neither of these attitudes—giving joylessly or not giving at all—is biblically right, neither is the will of God, and both are therefore detrimental to a believer. That fits with John 8:32, where Jesus said that experientially knowing the truth, that is, practicing it, will make one free. Conversely, error regarding the Bible (the truth) will put people in bondage. And financial giving is a category in which countless Christian people are being subjected to the bondage of guilt and put through an emotional wringer they do not deserve.

If you feel that the above describes you, take heart, because you can be set free by the truth of God's Word. Then you can also share with others the treasure you have found. In our economically driven world of today, having the right attitude about money and material things is a huge asset in life. Knowing and practicing what God's Word says about financial giving will enable you to experience the joy of giving, and it will enable others in the Body of Christ to experience the joy of receiving and therefore having their needs met, so that together we can reach out with the Good News of God to a dying world.

A study of the Old Testament will show that tithing was instituted as part of the Mosaic Law to Israel. Some Christians point to Genesis 14 and/or 28 in a misguided attempt to prove that tithing was instituted prior to the Mosaic Law and is therefore relevant to Christians today. Their rationale is that because Abram gave ten percent of the spoils of war to Melchisedek, and because Jacob chose ten percent as the amount to give to God for watching over him on his journey, this is the prescribed amount God would have all people give. This is not sound biblical scholarship.

The Genesis 14 record takes place approximately 2000 years after Adam and Eve, and during all those years there is no biblical reference to tithing. Nor is there any record that Abram ever tithed as a result of some biblical law that told him to do so, and he certainly was “making money.” When he did give one tenth, it was not of the increase of his flocks and herds, which was the tithe prescribed by the Law, but rather of the spoils of war that he had gained by defeating the army from Mesopotamia.

In Genesis 28, Jacob told God that if He would keep him safe on his journey, keep him clothed and fed, and bring him home safely, he would give God a tenth of what he had. That was certainly not the Mosaic tithe, which was commanded whether or not those things happened. Both Jacob and Abram gave in response to a blessing.

Even in regard to Israel, for whom the tithe was specifically instituted, nothing was said about it until the beginning of the second year of their exodus. Prior to that, in Exodus 25, for the building of the Tabernacle, Moses instructed the Israelites to give “as their heart prompted them.”

You often hear proponents of the tithe say that surely Christians would do no less than what Jews did in the Old Testament, as if every Israelite gave ten percent of his income. A detailed study of the tithe is beyond the scope of this FAQ, but suffice it to say that the idea that each Israelite gave ten percent of his income (and therefore each Christian should do likewise) is far from the truth.

For example, an Israelite who had fewer than ten cattle born to him in a year did not have to tithe on them because the requirement stated that only the tenth animal that passed under the rod was to be tithed (Lev. 27:32). A farmer who had only eight cows born was therefore exempt from the tithe.

The tithe was basically on animal and agricultural products, and was paid in kind (i.e., the product itself). If one did not wish to pay his tithe in agricultural products, and decided to give money as a substitute, he was penalized and had to add a fifth part of its estimated value to the amount he paid (Lev. 27:31). Such a law was obviously not intended to encourage payment of the tithe in money.

The main purpose of the tithe was to support the Levitical priesthood. The Levites were responsible to minister to the people, and were prohibited from owning land, which obviously limited the ways in which they could earn income. God’s plan was that their support came from those to whom they ministered, much like the direction of Scripture for the Church today (1 Cor. 9:1 and following; Gal. 6:6 and following, etc.). The tithe also provided welfare for widows, orphans, etc.

One reason why there was no command to tithe until the Mosaic Law was that until then there was no Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) and no Temple, no regular sacrifices commanded (the daily sacrifices alone commanded by the Law required more than 700 animals a year), and no class of Levitical priests to support. None of these would be relevant to a Christian today, even if they did exist.

Should a Christian today tithe? One is free to give 10% if he chooses, but we are not commanded to give any particular percentage or amount. Sad to say that many Christians, once misled and often emotionally coerced into tithing, stopped giving altogether when they learned the tithe is not required. 2 Corinthians 9:6 and 7 make it clear that the more generously we “sow” with the right attitude, the more abundantly we will reap.

For some believers who do not earn much, giving generously may not mean a large amount. For others, it may mean millions of dollars, and far more than 10%. Each Christian’s situation is different, and that is why God does not prescribe specific amounts that we should give, but allows us to make our own decisions. Remember, we are “fellow laborers” with Him, and He loves to work with us in determining how much and to whom we should give, and He loves to bless us with more so that we can give more. That kind of giving makes for an exciting element of the Christian life.

You may say, “Well, what about Malachi 3:6-10? That says people who do not tithe are ‘robbing God.’” Those verses have been used innumerable times to prod Christians into giving, but wait a moment—to whom is Malachi written? Well, in verse 9 of chapter 3 it says “the whole nation” is under a curse. What nation? The USA? No, the book of Malachi is specifically addressed to the nation of Israel, and more specifically to the priests (see 1:6,10-13; 2:1,7 and 8) who were badly mistreating God’s people. To use verses from Malachi as if they are talking to Christians is at best poor scholarship and at worst dishonest.

So what should Christians do about financial giving? 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 is the first place to go to find the answer to that question, and the heart of the message there is expressed in 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.” If, for you, that’s ten percent, great.

Beyond that, Scripture directs us to give to those who are genuinely ministering to our spiritual needs. When we do, we are making a sound investment in (that is, sowing into) a work that is bearing good spiritual fruit. Although there is no way we can help everyone who asks us, we are also encouraged to give to those in need, and we can seek the Lord for wisdom in doing so.

For a Christian, giving from the heart is all about knowing that we have a great, big, wonderful God, and also understanding who we are in Christ. Speaking of the attitude of the believers in Macedonia about financial giving, Paul said: “This they did, not as we hoped, but even beyond that, first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us, by the will of God” (2 Cor. 8:5). As Christians, each of us has been “bought with a price.” We (let alone our material possessions) don't even belong to ourselves. When you know that you belong to the Lord, and that everything that you have belongs to the Lord, and that he is responsible to keep his promises to care for you, then you can truly be a cheerful giver.

Love in Jesus,

Connie



~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by mjtorrence on Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:00 pm

Thank you Dove, yet I do understand that you have never heard a Pastor say that but in my church I have heard my Pastor say if you don't tithe you will not be blessed what I myself have not ever heard this either and it was a shocker to me it almost made me want to leave the church, yet thank you again for the article

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Delightful soul on Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:29 am

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by lola21st on Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:45 am

Merry Christmas, Delightful Soul!

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Dove-Solutions on Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:21 am

Merry Christmas all. MJ what I am saying is we no longer tithe but give. That is basically it. It is no longer a requirement but a gester of love to God. That is basically what the article is saying. It just has all the biblical support with it.

Love in Jesus,

Connie


~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by mjtorrence on Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:06 pm

:thanks:

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Virtuous on Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:20 am

:bible:

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by dreamster on Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:39 pm


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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by SisterinChrist on Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:43 pm

just wanted to add...
somtimes when pastors etc preach about tithing and offerings they tend to forgot to add this important, very important part of the bible that the Lord wants us as an offering. To offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Yes He wants us to be a cheerful giver.. However , He wants more of US. He desires ALL of us.

If we give from our pockets yet we "act" like pharisee's, or condemn othrs an tell them thy r cursed, or pretty much insult them or slap them..
just my 2 cents.
I personaly seeked the lord and He told me exactly how much to give and to whom i shud give.
I'ts not about the Law. it's about relationship an seeking Him for guidance. I try to give all of me an $$. it's hard but its something i work on. If I personaly give money, i feel like - ok God it's not enuf. I need to give myself( follow Him., Love and work on myself to be His servant). i've got a long way to go.. but I know for a fact that the Lord would never curse me or point a fingr at me.

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by lola21st on Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:23 pm

thumbs Amen :goodpost:

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by mjtorrence on Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:18 pm

:goodpost:

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by Cholette on Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:37 pm

Had to "like" your post SisterNChrist. I couldn't have said it better myself. Praise God!!!



Do not fight FOR victory, but fight FROM THE PLACE of victory. Jesus has ALREADY won the battle!

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

Post by dreamster on Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:06 pm

lol! ohh thats high praise by D,,terrizin the nieghbahood, lol!

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Re: Prosperity Tithing

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