Another post by GED Nate...
Although I do not totally agree with some of what he says [he seems to skip over some verses in Scripture], I do think he is on the right path in some of his thoughts.
So here we go!
"The consequence of Privileged information."
The Receiving End of Sirens "The Evidence"
It seems to come around every year without fail, stewardship month. A month full of Pastors begging for its members to dedicate X amount of dollars for the year. How much, and how many times are we to give our tithe? But how important is tithing? What about giving to the poor?
First lets get the actual definition of tithing so we are all on the same page: the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy.
First, how many times are you to give a tenth of your earnings?
Deuteronomy 26:12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.
Amos 4:3-54 "Go to Bethel and sin;
go to Gilgal and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three years.
So right from the begging the commandment if for every 3 years during the year of tithe. This is something I have never heard sitting in front of a pulpit. My question is when did it go from a 3-year thing to a year or every month commandment?
Secondly, giving or tithing to the poor.
Acts 10:4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
Its seems that when we give to the poor, or are asked to give it is supposed to be an offering above and beyond the tenth that is dedicated to the church. But as this verse clearly states’ giving to the poor is giving to God.
Why does giving to the poor have to be a secondary gift, when we are commanded over and over again to give to the poor? When did we make the distinction of giving to the poor is different from giving to God?
Thirdly, how important is tithing?
Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men robbers, evildoers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Luke 11:42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. (Also see Matthew 23:23)
When you place such an importance on tithing you are in going against the commandments of Jesus himself. Taking one month out of the year solely to focus on tithing seems to me to be doing just this.
The thing we have to remember is that tithing is not the greatest commandment.
1 Corinthians 13:2-4 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Now I must state that I am not against giving to the church, the church needs money to operate. Tithing is a commandment of God; there is no question of that. My question is how did we get this new definition of tithing. The way the church, or at least every church I have ever been to, speaks about tithing is unbiblical.
Tithing was not established for churches to buy new projectors or a fancy new pulpit, it was meant to benefit the people who attend the church. It is meant to do God's work, which I simply don't think is new comfortable pews for the people to sit in.
Maybe if more Pastors would preach tithing as giving to do the Lords work, and then the people saw the church doing God's work, they would be more interested in giving.