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ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 03:20 PM
Okay... there is some ado about tithing and New Testament giving. So figure this is Bible Chat and a great place to actually talk about BIBLICAL giving.

Here is the biggest disagreement that folks have. TITHE. To tithe or not to tithe... that is the question!

We all know that we aren't under the Law of Moses now... or should know. So where does tithing come into play? And if not tithing then how are we to give. YES WE ALL KNOW that we need to give cheerfully. So let's all agree on that and not waste a bunch of post talking about giving cheerfully. Let's go deeper than that because honestly... deeper than that is where the answer lies I believe.

So make your case... rest assured that I'll make mine. ;)

jeffreys
Nov 2nd 2007, 03:25 PM
Because the word tithe does not appear in the New Testament, I do not look at it as a command. However, there are clearly some principles for giving that are clear in the NT - 1st Corinthians 16, for instance.

I look at tithing as a guideline, but I don't take it too literally. And what I mean by that is that I refuse to get nit picky about whether I ought to tithe on my gross income, or net taxable income, or adjusted gross income, or whatever such nonsense would derail me.

I give to be a blessing. I give generously. I give because God has asked me to. I give because it helps people in need. I give because it contributes to the ongoing mission of the Kingdom of God. I give because I want to, not because I'm afraid to not tithe.

That's a start.

VerticalReality
Nov 2nd 2007, 03:28 PM
Okay... there is some ado about tithing and New Testament giving. So figure this is Bible Chat and a great place to actually talk about BIBLICAL giving.

Here is the biggest disagreement that folks have. TITHE. To tithe or not to tithe... that is the question!

We all know that we aren't under the Law of Moses now... or should know. So where does tithing come into play? And if not tithing then how are we to give. YES WE ALL KNOW that we need to give cheerfully. So let's all agree on that and not waste a bunch of post talking about giving cheerfully. Let's go deeper than that because honestly... deeper than that is where the answer lies I believe.

So make your case... rest assured that I'll make mine. ;)

I would say it's a good idea to just ask the Lord what He would have us to give. If He can lead us in ministry, lead us in our workplace, etc. . . I'd say we should allow Him to lead us in what He would have us give as well. Just my opinion.

ravi4u2
Nov 2nd 2007, 03:48 PM
Tithe means the Tenth
There is no difference between firstborn, firstling, first-fruit and tithes
Firstborn is the first offspring of people
Firstling is the first offspring of animals
First-fruit is the first offspring of the landFirst mention: Genesis 4: 3 – 7:
Where did Cain and Abel learn to bring an offering? Did Adam teach them?
Cain knew how to bring an acceptable offering unto the Lord (vv.7)
God accepted Abel’s offering for he brought the firstlings of his flock and their fats thereofIn the beginning, men were hunters, gatherers and farmers, so they brought their first-fruits and firstlings unto the Lord. But later, more of them became traders and so the firstlings and the first-fruits were substituted with the tenth.

A PARADIGM SHIFT – Romans 8:29: CHRIST IS THE TITHE

WHEN THE WORD OF GOD (Christ Jesus) ENTERS US, HE TRANSFORMS US AND CAUSES US TO CONFORM TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST. WHERE NOW, WE BECOME THE 'CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN' (HEBREWS 12:23), WHERE WE OURSELVES ARE TITHE UNTO THE LORD.


THE INWARD ALWAYS PRODUCES THE OUTWARD!

VerticalReality
Nov 2nd 2007, 03:57 PM
Tithe means the Tenth
There is no difference between firstborn, firstling, first-fruit and tithes

Firstborn is the first offspring of people
Firstling is the first offspring of animals
First-fruit is the first offspring of the landFirst mention: Genesis 4: 3 – 7:

Where did Cain and Abel learn to bring an offering? Did Adam teach them?
Cain knew how to bring an acceptable offering unto the Lord (vv.7)
God accepted Abel’s offering for he brought the firstlings of his flock and their fats thereofIn the beginning, men were hunters, gatherers and farmers, so they brought their first-fruits and firstlings unto the Lord. But later, more of them became traders and so the firstlings and the first-fruits were substituted with the tenth.

A PARADIGM SHIFT – Romans 8:29: CHRIST IS THE TITHE

WHEN THE WORD OF GOD (Christ Jesus) ENTERS US, HE TRANSFORMS US AND CAUSES US TO CONFORM TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST. WHERE NOW, WE BECOME THE 'CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN' (HEBREWS 12:23), WHERE WE OURSELVES ARE TITHE UNTO THE LORD.



THE INWARD ALWAYS PRODUCES THE OUTWARD!


And you said all that to say what exactly?:confused

Are you saying that our works are our tithe or offering?

jeffreys
Nov 2nd 2007, 04:20 PM
THE INWARD ALWAYS PRODUCES THE OUTWARD!

This is very true!

Sold Out
Nov 2nd 2007, 04:24 PM
Because the word tithe does not appear in the New Testament, I do not look at it as a command. However, there are clearly some principles for giving that are clear in the NT - 1st Corinthians 16, for instance.

I look at tithing as a guideline, but I don't take it too literally. And what I mean by that is that I refuse to get nit picky about whether I ought to tithe on my gross income, or net taxable income, or adjusted gross income, or whatever such nonsense would derail me.

I give to be a blessing. I give generously. I give because God has asked me to. I give because it helps people in need. I give because it contributes to the ongoing mission of the Kingdom of God. I give because I want to, not because I'm afraid to not tithe.

That's a start.

Great answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 04:26 PM
Tithe means the Tenth
There is no difference between firstborn, firstling, first-fruit and tithes
Firstborn is the first offspring of people
Firstling is the first offspring of animals
First-fruit is the first offspring of the landFirst mention: Genesis 4: 3 – 7:
Where did Cain and Abel learn to bring an offering? Did Adam teach them?
Cain knew how to bring an acceptable offering unto the Lord (vv.7)
God accepted Abel’s offering for he brought the firstlings of his flock and their fats thereofIn the beginning, men were hunters, gatherers and farmers, so they brought their first-fruits and firstlings unto the Lord. But later, more of them became traders and so the firstlings and the first-fruits were substituted with the tenth.

A PARADIGM SHIFT – Romans 8:29: CHRIST IS THE TITHE

WHEN THE WORD OF GOD (Christ Jesus) ENTERS US, HE TRANSFORMS US AND CAUSES US TO CONFORM TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST. WHERE NOW, WE BECOME THE 'CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN' (HEBREWS 12:23), WHERE WE OURSELVES ARE TITHE UNTO THE LORD.


THE INWARD ALWAYS PRODUCES THE OUTWARD!
Okay... and what has that to do with giving?

VerticalReality
Nov 2nd 2007, 04:52 PM
Okay... and what has that to do with giving?

Okay, good! I thought I was the only one here that doesn't speak Christianese.:lol:

ravi4u2
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:29 PM
And you said all that to say what exactly?:confused

Are you saying that our works are our tithe or offering?


Okay... and what has that to do with giving?


Okay, good! I thought I was the only one here that doesn't speak Christianese.:lol:

I am surprised you would find "the inward will produce the outward" to be 'christianese'...:lol:

Since now, we ourselves are the 'tithe' unto the Lord because of Christ, everything that we have is His. And because everything is His, we give from whatever is already His, as we are prompted by the Holy Spirit.

VerticalReality
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:35 PM
I am surprised you would find "the inward will produce the outward" to be 'christianese'...:lol:

Since now, we ourselves are the 'tithe' unto the Lord because of Christ, everything that we have is His. And because everything is His, we give from whatever is already His, as we are prompted by the Holy Spirit.

So, in other words, just give as the Holy Spirit leads. :lol:


:o

I had to have the Holy Spirit lead me into all truth on that one. Good gravy!

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:42 PM
Okay, good! I thought I was the only one here that doesn't speak Christianese.:lol:

I give this a shot.

Those who give up their life for Christ as Christ gave his life up for us, will be saved.

Those who think that giving 10% of their income to somebody else, as some sort of justification and payment to an organization they have laid the responsibility on of leading them and/or their families to Christ, are in severe danger of having an eternally damning attitude.

Those who take advantage of the guilt and sever misunderstanding of those people, and think they need those peoples money, because it helps their organization better lead people to Christ are in severe danger of having an eternally damning attitude, as they have no idea what it takes to lead somebody to Christ.

IMO, The "tithe", "money offering", whatever you want to call it, is the biggest reciprocal/co-dependent stumbling block that plagues the Body of Christ today.

No amount of money will buy heaven! No amount of money will help lead people to Christ.

The real issue with the "substitute tithe" is a modern day, severe misunderstanding of what it means to be led to Christ, and what it takes to lead people to Christ. How we are to fellowship with each other, and gather in a Godly way, to teach each other about living Godly lives, is completely being gone about in a wrong way.

IMO, How the tithe is used today is filled with nothing but excuses and feel good justifications, and there is nothing biblical about it.

So I ask a little question here. What if everyone was asked to no longer give money, and all cash money offerings were rejected? What would happen?

VerticalReality
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:44 PM
So I ask a little question here. What if everyone was asked to no longer give money, and all cash money offerings were rejected? What would happen?

TBN would go out of business.:D

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:49 PM
TBN would go out of business.:D

Where would people find God then?

:saint:

VerticalReality
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:54 PM
Where would people find God then?

:saint:

Well, there is always INSP . . . :lol:

In all seriousness, I don't think this is going in the direction intended. So I'm going to wait and see what PP and others have to say on the topic.

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 05:58 PM
Well, there is always INSP . . . :lol:

In all seriousness, I don't think this is going in the direction intended. So I'm going to wait and see what PP and others have to say on the topic.

;)

Good idea! But it is going to go the direction it is supposed to go. I can guarantee you that.

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:08 PM
I am surprised you would find "the inward will produce the outward" to be 'christianese'...:lol:

Since now, we ourselves are the 'tithe' unto the Lord because of Christ, everything that we have is His. And because everything is His, we give from whatever is already His, as we are prompted by the Holy Spirit.Why do we need "prompted by the Spirit" when we've already been instructed in His Word?

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:33 PM
Not to compete with other tithe threads, but I posed a question in PP's thread and I feel it may impose on his thread, and the ideas he might be trying to get across with his opinion.

So I would like to pose my own question here regarding the same topic.

The question I have is; "What would happen if all Churches and ministries stopped asking for money, and also rejected all cash offerings?"

AlainaJ
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:34 PM
Not to compete with other tithe threads, but I posed a question in PP's thread and I feel it may impose on his thread, and the ideas he might be trying to get across with his opinion.

So I would like to pose my own question here regarding the same topic.

The question I have is; "What would happen if all Churches and ministries stopped asking for money, and also rejected all cash offerings?"
They couldn't operate:hmm:

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:37 PM
They couldn't operate:hmm:

Why do they need to operate?

AlainaJ
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:43 PM
Why do they need to operate?
Well, if a church is going to have a building, ministries, vans ect...the money needs to come from somewhere.

Even if you just rented a building, the people who are part of that local body would have to pay for it some how.

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:46 PM
Well, if a church is going to have a building, ministries, vans ect...the money needs to come from somewhere.

Even if you just rented a building, the people who are part of that local body would have to pay for it some how.

Thanks Alaina. Your asking exactly the questions I had hoped for.

:saint:

Why do they need a church, buildings, vans, ect...?

rchivers
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:46 PM
Then I would have to actually do the work and teach my kids about the bible. ;)

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:53 PM
Then I would have to actually do the work and teach my kids about the bible. ;)

Bless you brother.

Not only that, you might have to actually get involved with your drunken neighbors life, and his kids lives, and ....

You might have to actually invite somebody into your own home that you may not want there. You might have to actually go into some body elses home that you may not want to go into....

You might actually have to become a leader in the body of Christ yourself.

jeffreys
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:55 PM
Not to compete with other tithe threads, but I posed a question in PP's thread and I feel it may impose on his thread, and the ideas he might be trying to get across with his opinion.

So I would like to pose my own question here regarding the same topic.

The question I have is; "What would happen if all Churches and ministries stopped asking for money, and also rejected all cash offerings?"

I don't know what would happen.

But why would be want to not encourage people to be blessed through their financial giving to the Lord?

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:57 PM
You might have to actually use the gifts God gave you to tithe of yourself. You might actually have to give up your life to God, instead of letting TBN and your local church do it for you.

Not you specifically you rchivers, cuz I think you get it.

AlainaJ
Nov 2nd 2007, 06:58 PM
Bless you brother.

Not only that, you might have to actually get involved with your drunken neighbors life, and his kids lives, and ....

You might have to actually invite somebody into your own home that you may not want there. You might have to actually go into some body elses home that you may not want to go into....

You might actually have to become a leader in the body of Christ yourself.

Ok- I see where you are going, but even if your local church body was just your family, you would need to put $ into it, to reach people.

If I cook for the poor, i am using my $, If I buy someone clothes or food, I am giving $.

Now I am not a 10% tither. I beleive God wants our lives. Our talents, abilites, time everything...not just a check of 10% of what you make.

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 07:17 PM
I don't know what would happen.

But why would be want to not encourage people to be blessed through their financial giving to the Lord?

Why would you teach people that the route to accessing Gods blessing is through their money?

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 2nd 2007, 07:22 PM
Ok- I see where you are going, but even if your local church body was just your family, you would need to put $ into it, to reach people.

Beautiful. Thar she blows.


If I cook for the poor, i am using my $, If I buy someone clothes or food, I am giving $.

Teach them all to be like this Alaina.


Now I am not a 10% tither. I beleive God wants our lives. Our talents, abilites, time everything...not just a check of 10% of what you make.

Indeed sister. But I would like to add not ever a 10% check.

Listen up everyone. Never put the responsibility of your charity in another persons hands again.

:saint:

amazzin
Nov 2nd 2007, 07:26 PM
Listen up everyone. Never put the responsibility of your charity in another persons hands again.

:saint:

In who's authority do you say this by?

jeffreys
Nov 2nd 2007, 07:27 PM
Why would you teach people that the route to accessing Gods blessing is through their money?

I'm not. God is not a slot machine. But we are blessed when we give. Those are actually Jesus' words.

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 08:14 PM
The thread is fine here S&P... this keeps the discussion from getting scattered all over the board.

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 08:51 PM
Not to compete with other tithe threads, but I posed a question in PP's thread and I feel it may impose on his thread, and the ideas he might be trying to get across with his opinion.

So I would like to pose my own question here regarding the same topic.

The question I have is; "What would happen if all Churches and ministries stopped asking for money, and also rejected all cash offerings?"


Why do they need to operate?


Thanks Alaina. Your asking exactly the questions I had hoped for.

:saint:

Why do they need a church, buildings, vans, ect...?


Bless you brother.

Not only that, you might have to actually get involved with your drunken neighbors life, and his kids lives, and ....

You might have to actually invite somebody into your own home that you may not want there. You might have to actually go into some body elses home that you may not want to go into....

You might actually have to become a leader in the body of Christ yourself.


Beautiful. Thar she blows.



Teach them all to be like this Alaina.



Indeed sister. But I would like to add not ever a 10% check.

Listen up everyone. Never put the responsibility of your charity in another persons hands again.

:saint:But let's take this to where your logic takes you. Why drive a car to meet with others? You should walk and you should take ships. Never a car, plane, train, bike, etc. None of those were in Acts or the other books of the Bible therefore we shouldn't dare use those things!

I mean here is a reality now. You can have a church in your home in some places in the US, Canada, etc. But there will come a time when you have that one guest too many. That one car will upset the neighbors and they call the cops and next thing you know... you can't have church there any longer. So now what? Close the doors? Turn folks away? Or find you a building somewhere within the zoning laws... and have church. There are many places where it is straight up not allowed. That's a legal reality.


We can go on and on about "church buildings" not in the Bible but then we do know that they met in the synagogue... call that what you will... but it was a building designed for a certain purpose and not a home. The reason that they often started in homes... they were kicked out of the synagogue. They didn't have a building... etc. The problem isn't the CHURCH BUILDING. When there is a problem it is with those that are INSIDE OF THE CHURCH BUILDING.

Acts 2:46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

The fellowshipped both in the temple and they fellowshipped in their homes. In some places... as we read in Acts and whatnot... we know they also met in homes.

So all of that being said... folks need to lose the idea that it is the "church building" itself that is a bad thing. We can get into the multi-million dollar facilities and we can pick it apart but in the end... those buildings are still there and they are still filled up with the body of Christ. Complaining about the church building itself makes a person part of the problem while doing nothing to offer a solution.

Now... on to the next point.

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 09:02 PM
Listen up everyone. Never put the responsibility of your charity in another persons hands again.

:saint:But then isn't that exactly what the church did with Paul and Titus when they gathered money from the various places to help the folks out in Jerusalem? Why should we not trust someone to do the same with out gifts of charity? I mean I wouldn't give it to a bunch of agencies out there... but if a church or Christian organization has a proven record of doing what they say they are going to do with the funds they collect for various charitable things... why not give it to them and trust it to be used wisely?

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 09:09 PM
Why would you teach people that the route to accessing Gods blessing is through their money?
2 Corinthians 9:1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;
2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
3 But I have sent the brethren, that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;
4 lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to speak of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.
6 ¶Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
9 as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ABIDES FOREVER."
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
13 Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!


THere is a great blessing associated with giving... if giving rightly.

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 09:23 PM
I give this a shot.

Those who give up their life for Christ as Christ gave his life up for us, will be saved.

Those who think that giving 10% of their income to somebody else, as some sort of justification and payment to an organization they have laid the responsibility on of leading them and/or their families to Christ, are in severe danger of having an eternally damning attitude.

Those who take advantage of the guilt and sever misunderstanding of those people, and think they need those peoples money, because it helps their organization better lead people to Christ are in severe danger of having an eternally damning attitude, as they have no idea what it takes to lead somebody to Christ.

IMO, The "tithe", "money offering", whatever you want to call it, is the biggest reciprocal/co-dependent stumbling block that plagues the Body of Christ today.

No amount of money will buy heaven! No amount of money will help lead people to Christ.

The real issue with the "substitute tithe" is a modern day, severe misunderstanding of what it means to be led to Christ, and what it takes to lead people to Christ. How we are to fellowship with each other, and gather in a Godly way, to teach each other about living Godly lives, is completely being gone about in a wrong way.

IMO, How the tithe is used today is filled with nothing but excuses and feel good justifications, and there is nothing biblical about it.

So I ask a little question here. What if everyone was asked to no longer give money, and all cash money offerings were rejected? What would happen?What you are proving here is that there are folks that simply jump from one ditch right slap into another one! I am right sure that there are some nutbars out there who likely teach that giving is a way to salvation... I don't think that is a fair way to label everyone that ask for tithe and offering. That is actually being quite unfair. Most will let you know that it is to keep the building going. It is to fund ministries elsewhere etc. etc. Where you go from one extreme to the next... it does take money and did in the days of the Apostles... boat rides weren't free. Rent wasn't free. It sure enough cost them to eat, while they were traveling. And other folks were instructed to give to them as they traveled through the various areas.

Honestly... so far all you have done is toss out a whole bunch of emotional stuff here. This is Bible chat... so let's get to some Bible and actually learn what Scripture teaches and why etc. Then we get to the truth.

ProjectPeter
Nov 2nd 2007, 09:26 PM
Bless you brother.

Not only that, you might have to actually get involved with your drunken neighbors life, and his kids lives, and ....

You might have to actually invite somebody into your own home that you may not want there. You might have to actually go into some body elses home that you may not want to go into....

You might actually have to become a leader in the body of Christ yourself.Why would any of this stop or why should anyone not do this already? Even those giving money to churches?

ravi4u2
Nov 3rd 2007, 05:18 PM
But let's take this to where your logic takes you. Why drive a car to meet with others? You should walk and you should take ships. Never a car, plane, train, bike, etc. None of those were in Acts or the other books of the Bible therefore we shouldn't dare use those things!

I mean here is a reality now. You can have a church in your home in some places in the US, Canada, etc. But there will come a time when you have that one guest too many. That one car will upset the neighbors and they call the cops and next thing you know... you can't have church there any longer. So now what? Close the doors? Turn folks away? Or find you a building somewhere within the zoning laws... and have church. There are many places where it is straight up not allowed. That's a legal reality.


We can go on and on about "church buildings" not in the Bible but then we do know that they met in the synagogue... call that what you will... but it was a building designed for a certain purpose and not a home. The reason that they often started in homes... they were kicked out of the synagogue. They didn't have a building... etc. The problem isn't the CHURCH BUILDING. When there is a problem it is with those that are INSIDE OF THE CHURCH BUILDING.

Acts 2:46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

The fellowshipped both in the temple and they fellowshipped in their homes. In some places... as we read in Acts and whatnot... we know they also met in homes.

So all of that being said... folks need to lose the idea that it is the "church building" itself that is a bad thing. We can get into the multi-million dollar facilities and we can pick it apart but in the end... those buildings are still there and they are still filled up with the body of Christ. Complaining about the church building itself makes a person part of the problem while doing nothing to offer a solution.

Now... on to the next point.Where you come together does not really matter, including in buildings. Buildings are amoral. But to use the 'temple' argument from Acts 2 to justify meeting in buildings is a bad example because the Acts 2 church were Jews and they still went to the temple and to the synagogues. At most, they were figuring out what it means to be a follower of Christ and to be a Jew. The temple and synagogue depictions are descriptive rather than prescriptive.

ravi4u2
Nov 3rd 2007, 05:25 PM
Why do we need "prompted by the Spirit" when we've already been instructed in His Word?So that it may be a "matter of generosity and not a grudging obligation".

ProjectPeter
Nov 3rd 2007, 05:38 PM
Where you come together does not really matter, including in buildings. Buildings are amoral. But to use the 'temple' argument from Acts 2 to justify meeting in buildings is a bad example because the Acts 2 church were Jews and they still went to the temple and to the synagogues. At most, they were figuring out what it means to be a follower of Christ and to be a Jew. The temple and synagogue depictions are descriptive rather than prescriptive.It isn't a bad example at all. They met outside of homes in a building as well as fellowshipping in each others homes etc. Just as it is not likely that folks met in a major meeting place in Corinth (at least now and again) thus incurring the problems of a lack of order. Sure... there were many that met in homes when that worked. But some of the churches were plenty large enough where it is a certainty that they didn't always meet in a house.

As Christianity grew... there would have been a direct need for a larger place to gather the saints together all in one accord.

Slug1
Nov 3rd 2007, 05:44 PM
I give back to the Lord... through service, time, money, worship, praise, etc is what I give... all with a cheerful heart :pp

ProjectPeter
Nov 3rd 2007, 05:58 PM
So that it may be a "matter of generosity and not a grudging obligation".Why do you need prompting by the Spirit for that? Again... when Scripture is very clear... why does one need a prompting from the Spirit to do something Scripture makes it clear to do? I know many folks that are waiting for that Spirit's prompting and what it is... an excuse to do nothing.

What does Scripture say about it?

ravi4u2
Nov 3rd 2007, 06:11 PM
It isn't a bad example at all. They met outside of homes in a building as well as fellowshipping in each others homes etc. Just as it is not likely that folks met in a major meeting place in Corinth (at least now and again) thus incurring the problems of a lack of order. Sure... there were many that met in homes when that worked. But some of the churches were plenty large enough where it is a certainty that they didn't always meet in a house.

As Christianity grew... there would have been a direct need for a larger place to gather the saints together all in one accord.Well, that is mere speculation...I did my doctor of divinty research in early christian communities and all early evidence, points otherwise. Even the rather large 120 in the 'upper room', probably never happened soon after that, because of persecutions. First from the religious elites and then from the Roman empire. the 'lack of order' thing, can happen in a gathering of 12, as much as in a gathering of 1200. The concept of 'ecclesia' is so very different from the contemporary idea of 'church' many have today.

ravi4u2
Nov 3rd 2007, 06:16 PM
Why do you need prompting by the Spirit for that? Again... when Scripture is very clear... why does one need a prompting from the Spirit to do something Scripture makes it clear to do? I know many folks that are waiting for that Spirit's prompting and what it is... an excuse to do nothing.

What does Scripture say about it?Because in the new we are the 'tithe' through Christ Jesus, everything belongs to the Lord. So, if he wants you to leave everything and go after Him, you do just that. To enforce the 'doing', without exhorting the 'being', a lifestyle, always leads people to a cycle of bondage and dependence upon men.

ProjectPeter
Nov 3rd 2007, 06:32 PM
Because in the new we are the 'tithe' through Christ Jesus, everything belongs to the Lord. So, if he wants you to leave everything and go after Him, you do just that. To enforce the 'doing', without exhorting the 'being', a lifestyle, always leads people to a cycle of bondage and dependence upon men.So far in this thread... we've had an awful lot of opinion with a bunch of words but very little (pretty much NO) Scripture.

Here is what John said.

1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

Now... if I have the worlds goods and a brother is in need... why do I need a "prompting" from the Spirit? Doesn't Scripture already tell me what it is that I should do? Now... If I need to question whether I can do this with a glad and sincere heart... then I suppose that is all well and good but that last part of that passage ought to shake the snot out of that sort of thinking... "how does the love of God abide in him?"

We don't need that whole "being" mess... we need to be doing. If you can't do something as simple as this... then I'd recommend that person check to see if they are even in the faith.

James 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?


Can I not say the same... If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you walk away because you don't feel "prompted by the Spirit" and you don't give them what is necessary for their body... what use is that?

ProjectPeter
Nov 3rd 2007, 06:32 PM
Well, that is mere speculation...I did my doctor of divinty research in early christian communities and all early evidence, points otherwise. Even the rather large 120 in the 'upper room', probably never happened soon after that, because of persecutions. First from the religious elites and then from the Roman empire. the 'lack of order' thing, can happen in a gathering of 12, as much as in a gathering of 1200. The concept of 'ecclesia' is so very different from the contemporary idea of 'church' many have today.And your studies would then have shown you that it would have been near impossible for that first 3000 folks to have met in but a few places in Jerusalem after Peter preached that first message. Much less the number growing daily... even upwards to 2000 in one day soon after the first message. ;)

As to the 120 in the upper room... that's a far cry from thousands.

ProjectPeter
Nov 3rd 2007, 08:20 PM
Just a note to folks. If you don't want to post in the thread or no longer want to post in the thread then that is cool. Don't post in the thread. There is no need to explain why you don't want to post in the thread and in not explaining... it generally keeps the confusion to a minimum.

jeffreys
Nov 3rd 2007, 09:30 PM
And your studies would then have shown you that it would have been near impossible for that first 3000 folks to have met in but a few places in Jerusalem after Peter preached that first message. Much less the number growing daily... even upwards to 2000 in one day soon after the first message. ;)

As to the 120 in the upper room... that's a far cry from thousands.

I'm not sure where in Jerusalem the thousands were, on Pentecost Day, as mentioned in Acts 2. If 3,000 were baptized (some scholars believe that was only the number of men), it's likely that thousands of others, who heard the message, were not. I don't know Jerusalem well enough to speculate as to where that "assembly" would have taken place.

However, given that Pentecost was a festival of gathering, it's likely that many (most?) of the new Christians left and went home immediately following their conversion.

Where those in Jerusalem met is a little clearer. According to Acts 2:46 they met in the Temple Courts - which kind of makes sense, considering its size. The same verse also says they met in each others' homes, but presumably for smaller gatherings.


Beyond that, I don't know what this has to do with New Testament giving. ;)

Soj
Nov 3rd 2007, 10:32 PM
I believe in giving financially to God through the local church or directly to those in need as the Lord leads.

The following passages of scripture lay down God's spiritual law of sowing and reaping for the New Testament believer and gives us the standard on giving:

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

cf.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

The complete law states: You reap what you sow, you always reap more than you sow, you reap according to how you sow, and you will reap!

The standard for giving is in verse 7: "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give." Technically speaking there is no NT minimum to give, yet I do believe in the biblical *principle* of tithing as a minimum! I thnk the Lord gave us examples of tithing before the Law, in Abraham (Gen 14:20), and Jacob (Gen 28:22) to establish this principle for His people.

Ultimately NT giving is between the individual and God, it's a heart matter. No-one should be forced or put under pressure to give if they don't want to, they certainly won't lose their salvation if they don't, but they will miss out on the many blessings.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

jeffreys
Nov 3rd 2007, 10:38 PM
Very well put, soj_NZ. Thank you!

poorinspirit
Nov 3rd 2007, 11:48 PM
Hi Project Peter,

Care to explain these verses? They don't match up with the KJV.


2 Corinthians 9: 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.
6 ¶Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

2 Corinthians 9: 5Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. 6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Maybe I am dense or maybe I have a problem with that word promised being snuck in your version whereas I don't see it in the KJV. I mean, in regards to the topic of giving as to the verses quoted, it is God that provides. If one promised, you have to give, otherwise you would have sinned by breaking your promise. All those verses that follows does not jive with it being a promised bounty in either version.

So let's cut to the chase; if a preacher from the pulpit tells those in the pews that are unemployed and poor, not to worry about tomorrow for that God will provide, and yet come collection time, tithings and pledges are expected to be fulfilled. That is not practising the faith given to the pews. If I was a preacher in a church that God is working through, then I would be looking to God to provide, because if I know He is using me and the church to serve Him as He enables us, then He would provide as such as well.

So I would look to the pews and say, anyone here that wishes to give in secret, we have a box in the main hallway to do so to provide opportunities to those to practise what Jesus taught in almsgiving... not letting your right hand know from your left hand what it is doing. To those that wishes the church to continue record keepings of your gifts for tax deductions, may continue to do so in the envelopes provided for them. It is not a sin, but as Jesus said, they have already received their rewards from men. By not looking to man by making a pledge to give as tithings would not be practised at all, then I give God the glory for providing as the congregation would also. By applying faith, we give God the chance to glorify His Providence as Jesus did with the fishes and the loaves.

Now some churches will refuse to operate on faith, but what power is there in tithings and pledges? The church can only operate on what is given. Then they would say, but we need to plan for tomorrow..again... you can only do with what is given. So if a family made a pledge, but has fallen on hard times, I am causing them to sin when they break that pledge. Now a church I know would give grace, which is good, but still leads to the question, what good are pledges if once again, a church can only act on what was received?

Pledges and tithings are no way the means to have cheerful givers. They are the means to void faith in God the Provider.

What did James say about boasting of tomorrow in which is the need for pledges to plan for tomorrow?

James 4: 13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

What did James say to the church that did not practise their faith? As we read in James in how they were mistreating the poor in favor of the rich, it got so bad that they began issuing faith that God would provide for the poor by sending them off with... "Be warmed and be filled". That is pretty much the same as a doctor at a free clinic sending patients away by saying , "Be healed and be whole." As much as James has been misused as implying saving faith with works, it is the faith issued by the faithsayers to the poor that was dead for the scriptures testify how can that faith spoken, "profit" the poor as in the same content, how can that faith spoken, save the poor when he is starving and naked? So as James was correcting the faithsayers in speaking faith to the poor that way, so does that comes back to my point about the preacher from the pulpit looking to tithes and pledges to run the church on and yet expect the congregation to go home with faith that God will provide for their individual lives, but not when they come together as a congregation to run the church on.

So I believe tithings and pledges are things that voids faith in God providing for the church. Paul held a group of givers accountable because they had promised it, and he did not want them to sin by breaking it. He did not want anyone to be bound to him. Proof below.

1 Corinthians 9: 16For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

Mayhap, by looking to God to provide, faith may be restored in the churches again regarding God's working through the churches as well as through our individual lives. Indeed, faith is a declaration of saying to the world, "He will." That is more to His glory.

StevenC
Nov 4th 2007, 12:15 AM
Okay... there is some ado about tithing and New Testament giving. So figure this is Bible Chat and a great place to actually talk about BIBLICAL giving.

Here is the biggest disagreement that folks have. TITHE. To tithe or not to tithe... that is the question!

We all know that we aren't under the Law of Moses now... or should know. So where does tithing come into play? And if not tithing then how are we to give. YES WE ALL KNOW that we need to give cheerfully. So let's all agree on that and not waste a bunch of post talking about giving cheerfully. Let's go deeper than that because honestly... deeper than that is where the answer lies I believe.

So make your case... rest assured that I'll make mine. ;)

The most obvious answer for tithing is that it New Testament Tithing would be the voluntary (due to grace) contribution of 10 percent (a tithe) of your income to support the ministry (compare to the levitical priesthood.)

The real problem with tithing isn't the lack of it but rather the use of manipulation to coerce followers to give out of guilt. Remember that it is written that God loves a cheerful giver, those that play mind games to take money of Christians hands to line their own pockets are the real thieves spoken of in Malachi. Those that practice the word dishonestly are not "worthy of their bread." But are wolves in sheeps clothing.

That said if you find that you are in a church where the leadership is honest, hardworking, and faithful to God's Word then you do have an obligation to share with them the good things you have received. Consider 1 Corinthians 9, Galatians 6, 1 Timothy 5, etc. It seems that it is important that we take care of those who have looked after us, even if our taking care of them is carnal and their taking care of us is spiritual it matters not. But those who are dishonest and peddle the Word of God as a product will reap their due reward.

-Steven

ravi4u2
Nov 4th 2007, 01:12 AM
And your studies would then have shown you that it would have been near impossible for that first 3000 folks to have met in but a few places in Jerusalem after Peter preached that first message. Much less the number growing daily... even upwards to 2000 in one day soon after the first message. ;)

As to the 120 in the upper room... that's a far cry from thousands.

As this is a thread on giving, I won't say much more here than to say the 3000 and the growing numbers met in the temple, besides breaking bread in homes because they were Jews and they were grappling between the implications of keeping their Jewish obligations and in being a follower of Christ. At first, they were tolerated as a sect of Judaism. In this sense, Acts 2 is descriptive and not prescriptive.


So far in this thread... we've had an awful lot of opinion with a bunch of words but very little (pretty much NO) Scripture.

Here is what John said.

1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

Now... if I have the worlds goods and a brother is in need... why do I need a "prompting" from the Spirit? Doesn't Scripture already tell me what it is that I should do? Now... If I need to question whether I can do this with a glad and sincere heart... then I suppose that is all well and good but that last part of that passage ought to shake the snot out of that sort of thinking... "how does the love of God abide in him?"

We don't need that whole "being" mess... we need to be doing. If you can't do something as simple as this... then I'd recommend that person check to see if they are even in the faith.

James 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?


Can I not say the same... If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you walk away because you don't feel "prompted by the Spirit" and you don't give them what is necessary for their body... what use is that?This is precisely why we need to be sensitive to the Spirit. Not in pondering "if I should give or not", but "what do you want me to give Lord?" "Everything I have is yours, what do you want me to give?"

When you prescribe to give a fifth or a tenth or whatever, then you subconsciously advocate your ownership over the remaining percentage.

Why were Ananias and Sapphira judged? It was for covetousness and for their deceit against the Holy Spirit. At the end of the day, rightful giving is an attitude of the heart. A right heart that is governed by the Spirit of God. That was why Jesus said, "“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."

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 01:53 PM
I'm not sure where in Jerusalem the thousands were, on Pentecost Day, as mentioned in Acts 2. If 3,000 were baptized (some scholars believe that was only the number of men), it's likely that thousands of others, who heard the message, were not. I don't know Jerusalem well enough to speculate as to where that "assembly" would have taken place.

However, given that Pentecost was a festival of gathering, it's likely that many (most?) of the new Christians left and went home immediately following their conversion.

Where those in Jerusalem met is a little clearer. According to Acts 2:46 they met in the Temple Courts - which kind of makes sense, considering its size. The same verse also says they met in each others' homes, but presumably for smaller gatherings.


Beyond that, I don't know what this has to do with New Testament giving. ;)It is in response to the folks that think that giving to churches is a bad thing by and large because by golly... we don't need "church buildings" because in the old days there was no such thing etc. ;)

jeffreys
Nov 4th 2007, 01:58 PM
It is in response to the folks that think that giving to churches is a bad thing by and large because by golly... we don't need "church buildings" because in the old days there was no such thing etc. ;)

Well, in the good old days they had Scurvy too. :)

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 01:59 PM
Hi Project Peter,

Care to explain these verses? They don't match up with the KJV.



2 Corinthians 9: 5Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. 6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Maybe I am dense or maybe I have a problem with that word promised being snuck in your version whereas I don't see it in the KJV. I mean, in regards to the topic of giving as to the verses quoted, it is God that provides. If one promised, you have to give, otherwise you would have sinned by breaking your promise. All those verses that follows does not jive with it being a promised bounty in either version.

I really would like to keep this free from version debates but to answer your question... here is what the KJV reads.

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

Here is the Greek for "had notice before".



proepaggellomai

middle voice from 4253 and 1861; to promise of old: -- promise before.

In other words... they promised the gift. Paul reminded them of it. So they didn't "SNEAK" that word in there.

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 02:21 PM
So let's cut to the chase; if a preacher from the pulpit tells those in the pews that are unemployed and poor, not to worry about tomorrow for that God will provide, and yet come collection time, tithings and pledges are expected to be fulfilled. That is not practising the faith given to the pews. If I was a preacher in a church that God is working through, then I would be looking to God to provide, because if I know He is using me and the church to serve Him as He enables us, then He would provide as such as well.

So I would look to the pews and say, anyone here that wishes to give in secret, we have a box in the main hallway to do so to provide opportunities to those to practise what Jesus taught in almsgiving... not letting your right hand know from your left hand what it is doing. To those that wishes the church to continue record keepings of your gifts for tax deductions, may continue to do so in the envelopes provided for them. It is not a sin, but as Jesus said, they have already received their rewards from men. By not looking to man by making a pledge to give as tithings would not be practised at all, then I give God the glory for providing as the congregation would also. By applying faith, we give God the chance to glorify His Providence as Jesus did with the fishes and the loaves.

Now some churches will refuse to operate on faith, but what power is there in tithings and pledges? The church can only operate on what is given. Then they would say, but we need to plan for tomorrow..again... you can only do with what is given. So if a family made a pledge, but has fallen on hard times, I am causing them to sin when they break that pledge. Now a church I know would give grace, which is good, but still leads to the question, what good are pledges if once again, a church can only act on what was received?

Pledges and tithings are no way the means to have cheerful givers. They are the means to void faith in God the Provider.

What did James say about boasting of tomorrow in which is the need for pledges to plan for tomorrow?

James 4: 13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

What did James say to the church that did not practise their faith? As we read in James in how they were mistreating the poor in favor of the rich, it got so bad that they began issuing faith that God would provide for the poor by sending them off with... "Be warmed and be filled". That is pretty much the same as a doctor at a free clinic sending patients away by saying , "Be healed and be whole." As much as James has been misused as implying saving faith with works, it is the faith issued by the faithsayers to the poor that was dead for the scriptures testify how can that faith spoken, "profit" the poor as in the same content, how can that faith spoken, save the poor when he is starving and naked? So as James was correcting the faithsayers in speaking faith to the poor that way, so does that comes back to my point about the preacher from the pulpit looking to tithes and pledges to run the church on and yet expect the congregation to go home with faith that God will provide for their individual lives, but not when they come together as a congregation to run the church on.

So I believe tithings and pledges are things that voids faith in God providing for the church. Paul held a group of givers accountable because they had promised it, and he did not want them to sin by breaking it. He did not want anyone to be bound to him. Proof below.

1 Corinthians 9: 16For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

Mayhap, by looking to God to provide, faith may be restored in the churches again regarding God's working through the churches as well as through our individual lives. Indeed, faith is a declaration of saying to the world, "He will." That is more to His glory.I don't disagree with much of what you said here. Folks shouldn't PLEDGE anything. It is one of the most foolish things I think a person could do truth be told. It commits you in word to something that may or may not happen. As James says as well...

James 4:13 ¶Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that."
16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.


The lesson is in there... it should be heeded.

But then I don't care if they pass a plate or put up a box. Folks are going to give however it is they give. Just because it is a box isn't going to guarantee folks give properly... Jesus proved that point when it speaks of the widow giving her last.

But let's see what Paul covered in his letter to the Corinth church.

2 Corinthians 8:11 But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

Paul didn't expect them to give outside of their ability to give. Just as with John in his first epistle... if you have the worlds goods... but hey if you don't have it you don't have it. I am rather sure they didn't expect folks to give or pledge what they didn't have. This is where folks that follow the TBN crowd have been horribly mislead. They are taught to "make a pledge in faith". Well there is faith and there is stupid. One who makes a pledge to give something that they don't have to give... that ain't promising in faith. That's being stupid. That is totally forgetting other principles laid out in Scripture because they listen to the teachings of men who teach contrary to those principles. Sadly, there are churches that use those same teachings and ultimately they do one or two things. They either put folks in bondage or they make liars out of them.

All that being said though... we should give. If we have it... give it. If you don't then there's nothing to give and that person certainly shouldn't be made guilty or treated differently. The one who treats them that way is a person in sin.

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 02:27 PM
The most obvious answer for tithing is that it New Testament Tithing would be the voluntary (due to grace) contribution of 10 percent (a tithe) of your income to support the ministry (compare to the levitical priesthood.)

The real problem with tithing isn't the lack of it but rather the use of manipulation to coerce followers to give out of guilt. Remember that it is written that God loves a cheerful giver, those that play mind games to take money of Christians hands to line their own pockets are the real thieves spoken of in Malachi. Those that practice the word dishonestly are not "worthy of their bread." But are wolves in sheeps clothing.

That said if you find that you are in a church where the leadership is honest, hardworking, and faithful to God's Word then you do have an obligation to share with them the good things you have received. Consider 1 Corinthians 9, Galatians 6, 1 Timothy 5, etc. It seems that it is important that we take care of those who have looked after us, even if our taking care of them is carnal and their taking care of us is spiritual it matters not. But those who are dishonest and peddle the Word of God as a product will reap their due reward.

-StevenWhy tithing in the New Testament anyway? Why not as the New Testament dictates... if there is a need and you have the means to supply that need... supply it. Be it bread, drink, clothes, money for the electric bill, money to help a missionary on their journey and ministry, etc.?

Slug1
Nov 4th 2007, 02:59 PM
Why tithing in the New Testament anyway? Why not as the New Testament dictates... if there is a need and you have the means to supply that need... supply it. Be it bread, drink, clothes, money for the electric bill, money to help a missionary on their journey and ministry, etc.?Good post... just give back to the Lord.

People should just stop titling this giving as "tithing". Just "give" back to the Lord and do it with a happy heart. Sowing is much more then just giving money.

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 03:26 PM
Good post... just give back to the Lord.

People should just stop titling this giving as "tithing". Just "give" back to the Lord and do it with a happy heart. Sowing is much more then just giving money.
Yeah.,.. look it really is something to ponder. We have several ditches that folks get caught up in here. Some give ten percent and figure that overall... that's all required of them. Now many of those give some extra now and again but the overall mindset is "hey... I've given my ten!"

Then you have the other side that gives very little. Now if very little is all a person has then that's all they have. But many could and should give much more than they do. So where's the balance... where's the truth in giving?

I remember Todd Friell who did a sermon on tithing when he was still in Minnesota. He got to studying this out because of a song being sung in his church on Sunday morning. They were singing a song that most of us have sung at one time or other... "I Surrender All."

He said as he was singing it and thinking of the words... he had to stop singing. Why? He would have to change the words totally in order to be singing the truth.

I Surrender ten percent
I surrender ten percent
Don't push me, you're just my Savior
I surrender ten percent

He knew he really didn't "surrender all." Few of us really do. But then is that what Christ wanted from us? I can make a very strong biblical case that he certainly did. But what about the grandkids and kids? But what about my retirement? But what about _____________ (fill in the blank with whatever you BUT WHAT ABOUT)?

What did Jesus teach us about our stuff? Our material goods and wealth? Is it about tomorrow? Next year? Not at all. It's about eternity stupid!!! :lol: Store up for yourself treasures in heaven where moth, theives, and rust cannot destroy. I've a friend that is doing a teeshirt that says that very thing. It's About Eternity Stupid! Me being twisted a bit... I love it! :lol:

poorinspirit
Nov 4th 2007, 03:30 PM
I really would like to keep this free from version debates but to answer your question... here is what the KJV reads.

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

Here is the Greek for "had notice before".

proepaggellomai

middle voice from 4253 and 1861; to promise of old: -- promise before.

In other words... they promised the gift. Paul reminded them of it. So they didn't "SNEAK" that word in there.

Thanks for replying and informing.

I, too, wish to keep it on topic as the verses are on the topic. So then I put that question to you in that as that "appears" to be the correct translation and use of that word, how can it not be of covetousness if the receiver seeks the bounty by a promise? What I mean is, Paul goes on about how the giver is to give, but Paul was not requesting them to promise it. Supposedly...( if I was to take that translation of yours at face value without questioning the source as scholars will make mistakes since the modern scholars thought the behemoth was a hippo or an elephant in the footnotes), the givers did that on their own as that is what I would be believing Paul was alluding to in the following verses in instructing otherwise about purposing in your heart to give as in nobody's business, but your own and God's. But of course, if they promise it, Paul would hold them to it providing that is to your point on the use of the word promised being used properly. Do note, I am still referring to the topic of giving. I just don't see Paul endorsing how churches are doing collecting today in looking to the givers to promise it.

Which brings up the other matter if I was not to accept that translation as a promised bounty and why (if you may be gracious for me to inquire in ignorance so that I may be better informed). Paul was also boasting to the Macedonians of the Corinthians in their zeal. In reading these verses, it appears that Paul was coming with the Macedonians to visit the Corinthians as suggested in verse 4 of 2 Corinthians 9. This is why I don't see this "had notice before" as a promised bounty, because I read it as is.. sending notice ahead that they were coming thus the bounty will be ready to greet them instead of waiting for them to arrive to collect for them, lest their coming to visit would be seen as a means of covetousness to those around them in Corinth as well as the newcomers feeling like they were not really expected nor looked forward towards in their coming with Paul. In this, I would believe is the adequate translation since Paul knows full well what promise and vows and pledges are, he would have referred to that as such and not by the use of the word notice which is I believe is towards his coming with the Macedonians thus why he sent the brethrens ahead of them to prepare for their visit. How could Paul expect a "promised" bounty to not be seen as covetousness if they did not know they were coming? He can't make them promise a bounty for their arrival, right? That would be covetousness.

Therefore, I have trouble seeing it as a promised bounty whereas "had notice before" in context.. is simply to mean to be alerted that they were coming. Paul had boasted of the Corinthians' zeal in regards to the reference of Achaia being ready a year ago and how they had provoked very many as Achaia was one of them in being ready for Paul and his company. I read this as believers clamouring in excitement and preparing for Paul's arrival with those that are with him as the Corinthians had developed the reputation of their zeal for Paul in his coming to be ready for him and those that were with him... that it inspired others that seek Paul and company to do the same... thus having notice before by sending the brethren ahead of time is to insure the Macedonians that the Corinthians reputed zeal for Paul and company would not be found lacking and thus be ready in providing for their company. Thus the reminder given by Paul about purposing in your heart to give for the Lord loves a cheerful giver and God is able to provide for the church cheerful givers thus alluding to God's providence by the grace of God in the last verse of the chapter as an unspeakable gift for He that ministers to them and through them is able to raise up cheerful givers to provide.

Does that not glorify God in His Providence?

Do note I am still on the topic of giving, even though I am somewhat contesting the use of the term "had notice before" as being a promised bounty as some scholar using the Greek word seem to imply it to mean.

Slug1
Nov 4th 2007, 03:37 PM
I'm sure that this has been brought up for this thread (I haven't read it all yet) and if so then it needs to be reiterated. If not, I'm surprised that it hasn't...

Mark 12:41-43

The Widow's Offering

41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=12&verse=41&end_verse=43&version=31&context=context#fen-NIV-24709a)]worth only a fraction of a penny.[b (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=12&verse=41&end_verse=43&version=31&context=context#fen-NIV-24709b)] 43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

Money is a "portion" of what we are to "give" to God. As long as whatever you sow is given with a happy heart.

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 03:50 PM
Thanks for replying and informing.

I, too, wish to keep it on topic as the verses are on the topic. So then I put that question to you in that as that "appears" to be the correct translation and use of that word, how can it not be of covetousness if the receiver seeks the bounty by a promise? What I mean is, Paul goes on about how the giver is to give, but Paul was not requesting them to promise it. Supposedly...( if I was to take that translation of yours at face value without questioning the source as scholars will make mistakes since the modern scholars thought the behemoth was a hippo or an elephant in the footnotes), the givers did that on their own as that is what I would be believing Paul was alluding to in the following verses in instructing otherwise about purposing in your heart to give as in nobody's business, but your own and God's. But of course, if they promise it, Paul would hold them to it providing that is to your point on the use of the word promised being used properly. Do note, I am still referring to the topic of giving. I just don't see Paul endorsing how churches are doing collecting today in looking to the givers to promise it.

Which brings up the other matter if I was not to accept that translation as a promised bounty and why (if you may be gracious for me to inquire in ignorance so that I may be better informed). Paul was also boasting to the Macedonians of the Corinthians in their zeal. In reading these verses, it appears that Paul was coming with the Macedonians to visit the Corinthians as suggested in verse 4 of 2 Corinthians 9. This is why I don't see this "had notice before" as a promised bounty, because I read it as is.. sending notice ahead that they were coming thus the bounty will be ready to greet them instead of waiting for them to arrive to collect for them, lest their coming to visit would be seen as a means of covetousness to those around them in Corinth as well as the newcomers feeling like they were not really expected nor looked forward towards in their coming with Paul. In this, I would believe is the adequate translation since Paul knows full well what promise and vows and pledges are, he would have referred to that as such and not by the use of the word notice which is I believe is towards his coming with the Macedonians thus why he sent the brethrens ahead of them to prepare for their visit. How could Paul expect a "promised" bounty to not be seen as covetousness if they did not know they were coming? He can't make them promise a bounty for their arrival, right? That would be covetousness.

Therefore, I have trouble seeing it as a promised bounty whereas "had notice before" in context.. is simply to mean to be alerted that they were coming. Paul had boasted of the Corinthians' zeal in regards to the reference of Achaia being ready a year ago and how they had provoked very many as Achaia was one of them in being ready for Paul and his company. I read this as believers clamouring in excitement and preparing for Paul's arrival with those that are with him as the Corinthians had developed the reputation of their zeal for Paul in his coming to be ready for him and those that were with him... that it inspired others that seek Paul and company to do the same... thus having notice before by sending the brethren ahead of time is to insure the Macedonians that the Corinthians reputed zeal for Paul and company would not be found lacking and thus be ready in providing for their company. Thus the reminder given by Paul about purposing in your heart to give for the Lord loves a cheerful giver and God is able to provide for the church cheerful givers thus alluding to God's providence by the grace of God in the last verse of the chapter as an unspeakable gift for He that ministers to them and through them is able to raise up cheerful givers to provide.

Does that not glorify God in His Providence?

Do note I am still on the topic of giving, even though I am somewhat contesting the use of the term "had notice before" as being a promised bounty as some scholar using the Greek word seem to imply it to mean.Actually what you are still doing is arguing translation with a giving twist. ;) But in order to make the point... let's look at the entire text. Sometimes that helps folks.

2 Corinthians 8

1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,
2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord,
4 begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,
5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
6 Consequently we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.
7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.
8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
10 And I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.
11 But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

They began this... now Paul is telling them to finish it. It was previously promised. ;)


12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have.
13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality --
14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their want, that their abundance also may become a supply for your want, that there may be equality;
15 as it is written, "HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK."
16 ¶But thanks be to God, who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus.
17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.
18 And we have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches;
19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness,
20 taking precaution that no one should discredit us in our administration of this generous gift;
21 for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent, because of his great confidence in you.
23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
24 Therefore openly before the churches show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

2 Corinthians 9

1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;
2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
3 But I have sent the brethren, that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;
4 lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to speak of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.
6 ¶Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
9 as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ABIDES FOREVER."
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
13 Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

And keep in mind that Paul makes it clear. Don't kill yourself in the process. That would be stupid of you. But he was reminding them of equality... although words like that spook folk. :lol:

Paul wasn't expecting them to pledge it... he was expecting them to give it. He had already told them in the first letter...

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.
2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.
3 And when I arrive, whomever you may approve, I shall send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;
4 and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.

In the 2nd letter... Paul make it clear that they started it... now time to finish. They were coming to collect the gift so get it ready.

amazzin
Nov 4th 2007, 04:32 PM
This is my official first post in this thread,....LOL

I think there are those in this thread who are confusingf NT giving with the norm in churches today. In many churches today you give out of guilt based on what the pastor says. In churches today you give without sacrifice. In churches today, you do not give generously but out of a law that says minimum 10%.

I think many folks are stuck on this rather than what the NT says. I won't repeat what has already been said but I encourage those who are stuck to read again the many beautiful verses mentioned in this thread.

Lastly, our problem in the western world is that we never have enough and therefore we don't live in a place of contenment. If we did, we would stretch out our hands and give whatever God wants to take. And folks, yes there is a blessing attached to that becasue the heart is the heart of the matter. The more God can do this through you the more he will provide so that He can do it again and again. Its a supernatural provision that flows through you. You should try it, its amazing, and this is what the NT chuirch did. No strings attached.

poorinspirit
Nov 4th 2007, 07:18 PM
Hi Project Peter,

Thanks for sharing.

Sorry for being a stick in the mud, but I am confused as to certain aspects of the giving being practised in the Corinthian churches that you have referred to as being of a promise. I understand better now as to what you are sharing in that Paul had set it up as you have informed me in these verses.

1 Corinthians 16: 1Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 3And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 4And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. KJV

But what gets me is your version implying the finishing of it when it is a practise, thus not really a promise for a promise would require a finishing of the doing,but as you pointed out, Paul made it clear that it was set up as an ongoing practise out of the bounty that the Lord has provided through what they were willing to give. It could never be finished then, right? He would still be in need of this order to be perform even after he had left. Thus I wonder if the giving being practised in the church was one due to faith as the Lord is able to raise up cheerful givers and out of that bounty was the order of setting aside to provide the collection for the saints? It was not being done as a promise, but as a practise for providing for the saints as God provides. It could never be finished as the practise would be ongoing as the Lord provides just as it is with those that receive the gift as in God be willing, Paul should come to Corinth, unless the Lord directed him elsewhere as we have seen Him do, but yet others have participated in receiving this gift set aside for the saints in Corinth. This practise would lead to boasting of the zeal of the Corinthians also.

Your version below of 2 Corinthians 8:

7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.10 And I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.11 But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

King James version below:

7Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

Big difference, huh? Anyway, the King James version made it clearer what the other version failed to do thus I wonder if the King James Version being translated from the Textus Receptus would still use that Greek word that you found to mean promise of old or promise before? Course, scholars do make mistakes. I guess if I am still missing it as a promised bounty, I just don't see how it can be ever be finished if it is ongoing practise. A promise requires it to be finished as in done. I don't expect to be in Heaven to hear the Lord, I am still trying to save you." nor "I'm not quite done with you yet."

I thank you for pointing out those verses that was declaring the practise and thus the zeal of the Corinthian church, but your version of it being a promised bounty and to the finishing of it would put an end to that practise, yes? Since Paul said it was not of commandment, thus the setting aside of what God has provided was an order Paul had set up so that the Corinthian church in their zeal may provide for the saints... out of the performance of what they had. So I guess I have a problem fitting that Greek Word to mean what it means in regards to the other words written.

I still believe that everything points to the glory of God providing cheerful givers without the need of a promise given by the givers to support the saints or the saints looking to that promise from the givers for support. It is merely a practise of setting aside a small portion for the collection of the saints at each collection so that when they do come, there would not be a need to collect for them upon their arrival thus avoiding the appearance of covetousness.

I believe that if Jesus taught almsgiving, to not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing for the individual, then I can understand how one can do that and still do the practise of the church in providing a collection for the saints out of the bounty received.

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 07:41 PM
Hi Project Peter,

Thanks for sharing.

Sorry for being a stick in the mud, but I am confused as to certain aspects of the giving being practised in the Corinthian churches that you have referred to as being of a promise. I understand better now as to what you are sharing in that Paul had set it up as you have informed me in these verses.

1 Corinthians 16: 1Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 3And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 4And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. KJV

But what gets me is your version implying the finishing of it when it is a practise, thus not really a promise for a promise would require a finishing of the doing,but as you pointed out, Paul made it clear that it was set up as an ongoing practise out of the bounty that the Lord has provided through what they were willing to give. It could never be finished then, right? He would still be in need of this order to be perform even after he had left. Thus I wonder if the giving being practised in the church was one due to faith as the Lord is able to raise up cheerful givers and out of that bounty was the order of setting aside to provide the collection for the saints? It was not being done as a promise, but as a practise for providing for the saints as God provides. It could never be finished as the practise would be ongoing as the Lord provides just as it is with those that receive the gift as in God be willing, Paul should come to Corinth, unless the Lord directed him elsewhere as we have seen Him do, but yet others have participated in receiving this gift set aside for the saints in Corinth. This practise would lead to boasting of the zeal of the Corinthians also.

Your version below of 2 Corinthians 8:

7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.10 And I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.11 But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

King James version below:

7Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

Big difference, huh? Anyway, the King James version made it clearer what the other version failed to do thus I wonder if the King James Version being translated from the Textus Receptus would still use that Greek word that you found to mean promise of old or promise before? Course, scholars do make mistakes. I guess if I am still missing it as a promised bounty, I just don't see how it can be ever be finished if it is ongoing practise. A promise requires it to be finished as in done. I don't expect to be in Heaven to hear the Lord, I am still trying to save you." nor "I'm not quite done with you yet."

I thank you for pointing out those verses that was declaring the practise and thus the zeal of the Corinthian church, but your version of it being a promised bounty and to the finishing of it would put an end to that practise, yes? Since Paul said it was not of commandment, thus the setting aside of what God has provided was an order Paul had set up so that the Corinthian church in their zeal may provide for the saints... out of the performance of what they had. So I guess I have a problem fitting that Greek Word to mean what it means in regards to the other words written.

I still believe that everything points to the glory of God providing cheerful givers without the need of a promise given by the givers to support the saints or the saints looking to that promise from the givers for support. It is merely a practise of setting aside a small portion for the collection of the saints at each collection so that when they do come, there would not be a need to collect for them upon their arrival thus avoiding the appearance of covetousness.

I believe that if Jesus taught almsgiving, to not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing for the individual, then I can understand how one can do that and still do the practise of the church in providing a collection for the saints out of the bounty received.
Okay... let me try it in plain old English.

Thou shall not maketh this thread one about translations. That is what you are pulling here and not going to have it. Clear enough?

poorinspirit
Nov 4th 2007, 09:50 PM
Okay. Dropping the subject about how the church was actually giving.

Sorry to bother you.

ProjectPeter
Nov 4th 2007, 10:03 PM
Wasn't a bother. Share it without the Bible translation argument and it's all good.

Amazedgrace21
Nov 4th 2007, 10:25 PM
Ok, just another 2 cents worth..

What did Jesus say about tithing?

In order for a law in the Word of God to be considered an eternal principle, it must duplicate an exact character trait of God.

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."

Matt 23:23-24
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."

With the principle of the widow's mite, a New Testament believer who is in severe financial straits and gives only 3.76 % of his income, is he blessed or cursed? If he gives with a cheerful heart, in faith, he is blessed not cursed.

It takes a little bit of head knowledge to calculate your tithe and it takes a little bit of head calculations to figure out how not to give. Both are cut from the same cloth (head not heart). James 2: 26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also". If this is your mindset then you might as well tithe because you're in bondage both ways.

This always convicted me with the concept along the lines of, why not go ahead and put your seed on the stony tablets of the law, it will produce more than sticking it in a bag with holes.

Haggai 1: 6 "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes."

Because if you're not a giver then you have separated yourself from God's blessing and I personally, certainly do not seek that to be the case.:)

As to the issue of tithing as a spirit led choice to serve God...

The building in which we worship is not the Old Testament storehouse renewed for us in the New Testament. So, the new challenge today is to fill up the borderless gates of heaven.

I do not diminish the idea of having a central place of mass service, but I do not condone the idea of promoting the church building as the main tool for evangelism. IMHO, I do not think the church structure should be one of the main tools that we tithe to to reach the lost.


Luke 12:16
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. Andb he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ This verse is not endorsing the expansion of storehouses to fit the crops that are ready to harvest. The question that appears to be asked is,

"then whose will those things be which you have provided?" In other words, your crops and enormous storehouse will be gone one day. The millions of dollars of the tithe and offerings are placed in your construction is not an investment in the eternal storehouse.

The temple storehouse in Jerusalem did not permanently contain all of the tithe. The Levites first collected the tithe from the Israelites, and then gave ten percent of their tithe to the priests ministering at the temple.

The storehouse portion for the priests was only 1%(A tithe of the tithe) of the total gift of Israel. The other 9% given by Israel, was kept in the levitical refuge cities mentioned in Joshua 21:8. It was intended to be "distributed" to and for the people if I understand this correctly, stewardship in "action"..of gathering and distrbuting the blessings of God, that God has "blessed" and accepted.:hmm:

Paul was not showing the necessity of burning incense and sacrificing animals "to God", he was illustrating the principle of spices and animals as a standard, and sacrificing "for" God.

In Phillippians 4:18 Paul also eludes sacrificial principles of "spirit led giving" in all things as a sweet smelling thing to God..opposed to a "crappy attitude and motive" which stinks as far as God is concerned!:blush:



1 Peter 3:18
being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit

Galatians 3:2
Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Because faith is the evidence of things not seen, we cannot teach Spirit led giving by a tithe law that has been revealed and fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit guidance, empowered by our faith, brings us to a whole new dimension of understanding "giving" that cannot be bound by earthly traditions or a tithe.

So this is perhaps not an issue of not "knowing" what we should be doing in respect to what and how we give, but if we need to "own up" if we are doing all that we "know" we should be doing in the first place and sacrificially going beyond the call "being the church" no matter which side of the church doors we are on seven days a week and not simply when "in a church".

:)

ProjectPeter
Nov 5th 2007, 02:19 PM
Ok, just another 2 cents worth..

What did Jesus say about tithing?

In order for a law in the Word of God to be considered an eternal principle, it must duplicate an exact character trait of God.

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."

Matt 23:23-24
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."

With the principle of the widow's mite, a New Testament believer who is in severe financial straits and gives only 3.76 % of his income, is he blessed or cursed? If he gives with a cheerful heart, in faith, he is blessed not cursed.

It takes a little bit of head knowledge to calculate your tithe and it takes a little bit of head calculations to figure out how not to give. Both are cut from the same cloth (head not heart). James 2: 26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also". If this is your mindset then you might as well tithe because you're in bondage both ways.

This always convicted me with the concept along the lines of, why not go ahead and put your seed on the stony tablets of the law, it will produce more than sticking it in a bag with holes.

Haggai 1: 6 "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes."

Because if you're not a giver then you have separated yourself from God's blessing and I personally, certainly do not seek that to be the case.:)

As to the issue of tithing as a spirit led choice to serve God...

The building in which we worship is not the Old Testament storehouse renewed for us in the New Testament. So, the new challenge today is to fill up the borderless gates of heaven.

I do not diminish the idea of having a central place of mass service, but I do not condone the idea of promoting the church building as the main tool for evangelism. IMHO, I do not think the church structure should be one of the main tools that we tithe to to reach the lost.


Luke 12:16
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. Andb he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ This verse is not endorsing the expansion of storehouses to fit the crops that are ready to harvest. The question that appears to be asked is,

"then whose will those things be which you have provided?" In other words, your crops and enormous storehouse will be gone one day. The millions of dollars of the tithe and offerings are placed in your construction is not an investment in the eternal storehouse.

The temple storehouse in Jerusalem did not permanently contain all of the tithe. The Levites first collected the tithe from the Israelites, and then gave ten percent of their tithe to the priests ministering at the temple.

The storehouse portion for the priests was only 1%(A tithe of the tithe) of the total gift of Israel. The other 9% given by Israel, was kept in the levitical refuge cities mentioned in Joshua 21:8. It was intended to be "distributed" to and for the people if I understand this correctly, stewardship in "action"..of gathering and distrbuting the blessings of God, that God has "blessed" and accepted.:hmm:

Paul was not showing the necessity of burning incense and sacrificing animals "to God", he was illustrating the principle of spices and animals as a standard, and sacrificing "for" God.

In Phillippians 4:18 Paul also eludes sacrificial principles of "spirit led giving" in all things as a sweet smelling thing to God..opposed to a "crappy attitude and motive" which stinks as far as God is concerned!:blush:



1 Peter 3:18
being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit

Galatians 3:2
Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Because faith is the evidence of things not seen, we cannot teach Spirit led giving by a tithe law that has been revealed and fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit guidance, empowered by our faith, brings us to a whole new dimension of understanding "giving" that cannot be bound by earthly traditions or a tithe.

So this is perhaps not an issue of not "knowing" what we should be doing in respect to what and how we give, but if we need to "own up" if we are doing all that we "know" we should be doing in the first place and sacrificially going beyond the call "being the church" no matter which side of the church doors we are on seven days a week and not simply when "in a church".

:)
Okay... let's hit on something you said here. The church should not be the primary giving point for reaching the lost. I agree. The church (gathering of believers) is not for reaching the lost nor was it ever set up that way. The gathering was a place for believers to fellowship, pray, learn... be edified etc. The apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist and teacher... their primary purpose in their calling is to EQUIP the SAINTS for the work of ministry... not to preach to the lost.

Now that being said... those that feed you should be fed with your material goods so that they too can eat, have a place to live etc. So in that we should freely and with joy give. As to reaching the lost... we can give to those that do that as their primary ministry as well. Now if you, as a corporate body, have several folks that the body itself sponsors in such as that then cool. Give and let it be given to that person (s). But then where else do we need to focus out giving to? We have here the ones feeding us (spiritually) and we have those preaching the gospel. But there is much more need than those few things. We have those that don't have in our own bodies (they should be cared for first) and then even those outside of our body and in other places... some near and some far. We should always be ready, willing, and joyous about giving if we have to give... when there is a need.

Serve-N-Protect
Nov 5th 2007, 05:08 PM
For the most part, I have become a bystander in this conversation.

But, Can I hear some thoughts on:

Who is it appropriate to give your gifts to.

Why?

And who is rightfully supposed to receive your gifts?

Why?

I am talking cash money here.

ProjectPeter
Nov 5th 2007, 05:23 PM
For the most part, I have become a bystander in this conversation.

But, Can I hear some thoughts on:

Who is it appropriate to give your gifts to.Whomever has a need and you have the means to meet that need.



Why?It is love... acting.




And who is rightfully supposed to receive your gifts?Whomever has the need.



Why?They are the ones that need it.




I am talking cash money here.Cha-ching.

Slug1
Nov 5th 2007, 09:52 PM
For the most part, I have become a bystander in this conversation.

But, Can I hear some thoughts on:

1. Who is it appropriate to give your gifts to.

2. Why?

3. And who is rightfully supposed to receive your gifts?

4. Why?

I am talking cash money here.
Straight up cash only...

1. Anyone in need would be first and foremost IMO. Which does include the church that I attend.

2. They need to pay for the rent/utilities, pastor's salary, funds to facilitate ministries etc.

3. Whoever is in a position to utilize the offered money to accomplish the will of God ie payment of everything I said in #2. Usually the church treasurer controlled by the pastor or church board members (*I guess)

4. Cause then all that money we offered up to God and collected during the offering would just sit there and do nothing.

* I guess... I said this because in my heart, once I give my money up in an offer, I don't care how it is spent. This may seem narrow minded but it's not my place to dictate how God is to use the money I offered. It's NOT MY MONEY any longer.

If a church abuses this money for personal gain (I feel this is why you are asking these questions) then sooner or later I would expect this church to fall by the wayside. If I see this abuse I can question it and if the right thing isn't done and the money used for proper usage... then I pick up and go to another church.

Once the money is out of my hand, I did what God has placed in my heart to do and God will do with my offer what He wants to do.

ravi4u2
Nov 5th 2007, 10:12 PM
While we are at it, let me toss this one...

Paul says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

What do I do, when I come across someone who is in need. At that point, of coming across this person, I have some money in my pocket. But this money if just enough to pay my bills and put bread on the table for my family. So, do I give to this person who is in need, when what I have is just enough to meet my family's need, which is my primary responsibility?

Slug1
Nov 5th 2007, 10:18 PM
While we are at it, let me toss this one...

Paul says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

What do I do, when I come across someone who is in need. At that point, of coming across this person, I have some money in my pocket. But this money if just enough to pay my bills and put bread on the table for my family. So, do I give to this person who is in need, when what I have is just enough to meet my family's need, which is my primary responsibility?This is a good point also. When it comes to those in need, our church doesn't just give money away, we're building up a food pantry or we will purchase food to give away instead of handing out cash.

Same if done on a personal level. Maybe, just maybe there is something in the home that has sat there on the shelf for quite awhile. That can now be an offering to help another person in need of food. This is just an example.

ravi4u2
Nov 5th 2007, 10:22 PM
This is a good point also. When it comes to those in need, our church doesn't just give money away, we're building up a food pantry or we will purchase food to give away instead of handing out cash.

Same if done on a personal level. Maybe, just maybe there is something in the home that has sat there on the shelf for quite awhile. That can now be an offering to help another person in need of food. This is just an example.And I don't necessarily speak about the food need. What if someone needs to pay the electric bill and in the winter, or they go without heat? And you have just enough for your family's needs?

Slug1
Nov 5th 2007, 10:31 PM
Thats where you help them by introducing them to a church or service that can help. We're not to help every single person in need in a monetary way.

ravi4u2
Nov 5th 2007, 10:41 PM
Thats where you help them by introducing them to a church or service that can help. We're not to help every single person in need in a monetary way.You must be kidding right? Now, I like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:...

Is there any scripture that says that we should not provide every person who is need? Or perhaps this entails something more than scripture?

Slug1
Nov 5th 2007, 11:26 PM
You must be kidding right? Now, I like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:...

Is there any scripture that says that we should not provide every person who is need? Or perhaps this entails something more than scripture?I'd have to do allot of lookin' cause nothing jumps up in my mind. Helping those in need shouldn't always be through money and I bet allot of people fail to offer help because of this. An hour of time helping a person my be more important then handing them cash IMO.

I'll look, hopefully someone does have scripture at the tips of their fingers and will post it.

If I was to walk down a street in a city and passed by 1000 people in a few blocks, I bet I just passed by 1000 people in need of something. I guess when a specific person is to be helped then the Holy Spirit will lead you and the far reaching results of that help will be bigger then we will ever know.

I drove by a person broke down along the road 2 days ago while I was heading to a friends house. I felt concerned for them and it bothered me until on the return trip I saw that the vehicle had been pushed to a parking spot and the person was gone. I assumed picked up and that they'd be back later to recover the car. Was it my place to stop and help? If I was to do this all day I'd never get anything done that I need.

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 02:13 AM
I'd have to do allot of lookin' cause nothing jumps up in my mind. Helping those in need shouldn't always be through money and I bet allot of people fail to offer help because of this. An hour of time helping a person my be more important then handing them cash IMO.

I'll look, hopefully someone does have scripture at the tips of their fingers and will post it.

If I was to walk down a street in a city and passed by 1000 people in a few blocks, I bet I just passed by 1000 people in need of something. I guess when a specific person is to be helped then the Holy Spirit will lead you and the far reaching results of that help will be bigger then we will ever know.

I drove by a person broke down along the road 2 days ago while I was heading to a friends house. I felt concerned for them and it bothered me until on the return trip I saw that the vehicle had been pushed to a parking spot and the person was gone. I assumed picked up and that they'd be back later to recover the car. Was it my place to stop and help? If I was to do this all day I'd never get anything done that I need.Lol......No hours of community service is going to meet the need of having to pay the electric bill...And it is pure assumption to think that everyone who needs help to pay bills is some sort of a bum or lazy person...I really am not looking for scriptures...As PP has rightly pointed out...scripture commands it...

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 02:37 AM
And I don't necessarily speak about the food need. What if someone needs to pay the electric bill and in the winter, or they go without heat? And you have just enough for your family's needs?

I'm going to get a little nit-picky here, because for many years I managed an emergency fund for our local ministerial assocation.

In many (perhaps most) cities it is illegal for the power/gas company to turn off the gas and/or electricity during the winter.

I don't know how they collect their funds (I suspect it is added into everyone else's bills), but I do know that they cannot just shut off people's heat.

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 02:39 AM
You must be kidding right? Now, I like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:...

Are you saying that churches do not give money to the needy?

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 02:53 AM
I'm going to get a little nit-picky here, because for many years I managed an emergency fund for our local ministerial assocation.

In many (perhaps most) cities it is illegal for the power/gas company to turn off the gas and/or electricity during the winter.

I don't know how they collect their funds (I suspect it is added into everyone else's bills), but I do know that they cannot just shut off people's heat.Well, what I mentioned was a hypothetical situation...But this is a real incident:


Hi, I'm a single mother of two. I live in the country. I do work, however i'm temporarly laid off. When we had the bad storms in (Iowa) my car got stuck in a snow bank while trying to get it out it blew up. So I went without a car for almost three months. It was hard just to get a ride to the store. Now I got a car but it took everything I had, now I can't pay my bills that i'm behind on. I do get unemployment, but thats not enough to survive on. I havn't got child support since last November. My electric has been off since last week. This has been hard on me and the kids. Yesterday we went to a camp ground just so we could shower. We were not guests so the whole time im showering im a nervous wreak thinking we could get in trouble. I have never felt so low in my life. Im used to helping other people. I did find a tempory job that alowed me to pay my rent. So I do have a roof over my head just no electric or water. If there is someone out there who would help me through this tuff time, I will be able to pay it back in time.

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 02:56 AM
Are you saying that churches do not give money to the needy?I am saying they should...

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 03:00 AM
I am saying they should...

Gotcha.

And I will guarantee you that many do.

But I'll also caution you by my experiential fact that MANY of the people (in fact, I will just flat out say MOST) who claim they've fallen on hard times and are on their last leg are lying. Period. I know it's a hard pill to swallow, but I can promise you that I have had people lie to my face, repeatedly, more times than I have any way of remembering.

Most churches are far more apt to give groceries, or vouchers for gas, than anything else. Why? Experience and wisdom.

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 03:02 AM
Well, what I mentioned was a hypothetical situation...But this is a real incident:

Can I ask you if you know, for a fact, that this is a factual real-life situation?

I ask this because if this woman is living in the country, in Iowa, in the dead of winter, without electricity - she WILL freeze to death. Period. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, and can tell you that you literally cannot survive in the winter without heat.

I'm also wondering how this lady was able to send emails without electricity - though I'll readily admit that there could be all kinds of variables involved...

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 03:05 AM
Gotcha.

And I will guarantee you that many do.

But I'll also caution you by my experiential fact that MANY of the people (in fact, I will just flat out say MOST) who claim they've fallen on hard times and are on their last leg are lying. Period. I know it's a hard pill to swallow, but I can promise you that I have had people lie to my face, repeatedly, more times than I have any way of remembering.

Most churches are far more apt to give groceries, or vouchers for gas, than anything else. Why? Experience and wisdom.'Many' or even 'most' are not justifications enough...don't you agree? Are most churches then guilty of being led by experience and wisdom, rather than by the Holy Spirit?

amazzin
Nov 6th 2007, 03:06 AM
You must be kidding right? Now, I like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:...

Is there any scripture that says that we should not provide every person who is need? Or perhaps this entails something more than scripture?

When the church sends the landlord money for rent, the church is giving out money. When the church buys groceries it is giving out money. when the church buys school supplies it is giving out money.

Giving out money into people's hands is not necesarily the way to go in these times but there are many churches who through their benevolence will do almost anything to help those in need

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 03:09 AM
'Many' or even 'most' are not justifications enough...don't you agree? Are most churches then guilty of being led by experience and wisdom, rather than by the Holy Spirit?

"Many" and "most" are indeed justification for being wise. And by "most", I mean 95% or more, not 51%. I also experienced, during a very long-tenured ministry, that the same people showed up, with the same story, at the same time of year every year. They didn't count on pastors staying in one town long enough to remember them...

And as for how we are "led", it's not an either/or situation. God has called us to be discerning. In addition, every organization (including benevolent agencies) have a limited budget. What really bothers me is to think that we would have wasted all our money on people who will just buy booze & drugs, and have absolutely no funds to help that one family who comes along, and is genuinely in need.


Are we called to help people? Yes, absolutely! But sometimes the most loving, helpful thing we can do is say, "No."

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 03:12 AM
When the church sends the landlord money for rent, the church is giving out money. When the church buys groceries it is giving out money. when the church buys school supplies it is giving out money.

Giving out money into people's hands is not necesarily the way to go in these times but there are many churches who through their benevolence will do almost anything to help those in needBut I am not talking about 'giving out money'...I am sure lots of money is given out by the church...

My initial question was:


Paul says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

What do I do, when I come across someone who is in need. At that point, of coming across this person, I have some money in my pocket. But this money if just enough to pay my bills and put bread on the table for my family. So, do I give to this person who is in need, when what I have is just enough to meet my family's need, which is my primary responsibility?

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 03:18 AM
"Many" and "most" are indeed justification for being wise. And by "most", I mean 95% or more, not 51%. I also experienced, during a very long-tenured ministry, that the same people showed up, with the same story, at the same time of year every year. They didn't count on pastors staying in one town long enough to remember them...

And as for how we are "led", it's not an either/or situation. God has called us to be discerning. In addition, every organization (including benevolent agencies) have a limited budget. What really bothers me is to think that we would have wasted all our money on people who will just buy booze & drugs, and have absolutely no funds to help that one family who comes along, and is genuinely in need.


Are we called to help people? Yes, absolutely! But sometimes the most loving, helpful thing we can do is say, "No."But isn't that contrary to scripture? can you give credence to this line of thought from the Word? Did not Jesus leave the 99% to go after the 1%? So, are you suggesting that statistics instead of the Spirit becomes our justification? Don't you need to be led by the spirit and not statistics to be 'discerning'?

amazzin
Nov 6th 2007, 03:22 AM
...
My initial question was:

Back to your original question which is about giving money from your pocket when you need it for your family.

My responce to you is give it away and meet the need. Then watch how God meets yoru needs. Our God is one who has more than enough and He provides all the time for you Ravi.

The women who gave it all away is an example that we need to take heed of and follow because just blike Jesus singled her out, he will single us out and make sure we don't go without.

Isn't it interesting that as I read that passage again about the women who gave all she had away, to read that Jesus sat next to the "bucket" and watched what people were putting into the offering. I wonder what would happen today if the pastor of our churches did that,....LOL

I have seen it happen to me and I have ssen it happen to others. God always comes through. So, if you find yourself inn that situation do what is required of you ravi

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 03:39 AM
Back to your original question which is about giving money from your pocket when you need it for your family.

My responce to you is give it away and meet the need. Then watch how God meets yoru needs. Our God is one who has more than enough and He provides all the time for you Ravi.

The women who gave it all away is an example that we need to take heed of and follow because just blike Jesus singled her out, he will single us out and make sure we don't go without.

Isn't it interesting that as I read that passage again about the women who gave all she had away, to read that Jesus sat next to the "bucket" and watched what people were putting into the offering. I wonder what would happen today if the pastor of our churches did that,....LOL

I have seen it happen to me and I have ssen it happen to others. God always comes through. So, if you find yourself inn that situation do what is required of you raviWell, actually Jesus commented about the happenings at the treasury of the Temple, it is a common misconception that Jesus was watching as His disciples went about collecting offering.

I hope you understand that mine is a hypothetical question for the purpose of a healthy discussion.

But by doing what you suggested, I am going against what Paul says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." What if by doing that, I am not able to pay my own bills or put food on the table? Will I then be worse than an unbeliever?

I see your point of view as well, but should I 'jump into the water' when Jesus did not say 'Come'?

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 04:23 AM
But isn't that contrary to scripture? can you give credence to this line of thought from the Word? Did not Jesus leave the 99% to go after the 1%? So, are you suggesting that statistics instead of the Spirit becomes our justification? Don't you need to be led by the spirit and not statistics to be 'discerning'?

By the same token, I'll way "right back atcha."

Give me a Scripture - any Scripture - that tells me that discernment is wrong, or that we should just give handouts, indiscriminately, to everybody who asks.

I'd also like a Scripture that indicates that using your brain is the polar opposite of being led by the Spirit.

Thanks!

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 04:38 AM
By the same token, I'll way "right back atcha."

Give me a Scripture - any Scripture - that tells me that discernment is wrong, or that we should just give handouts, indiscriminately, to everybody who asks.

I'd also like a Scripture that indicates that using your brain is the polar opposite of being led by the Spirit.

Thanks!Well...I am not playing the 'atcha' game with ya...:lol:

I did not say 'discernment' was wrong, but masquerading response to statistics as 'discernment' is wrong.

I am not saying that we should not use our mind. But as Paul says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." A sound mind can only be from the Spirit of God. The only thing statistics give is fear. Whenever we fear, our ability to love is greatly limited.

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 04:44 AM
Well...I am not playing the 'atcha' game with ya...:lol:

I did not say 'discernment' was wrong, but masquerading response to statistics as 'discernment' is wrong.

I am not saying that we should not use our mind. But as Paul says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." A sound mind can only be from the Spirit of God. The only thing statistics give is fear. Whenever we fear, our ability to love is greatly limited.

No, actually statistics give us factual proof, by which we can make informed decisions.

20 years ago, I would have held your exact same view on giving to those "in need". But that was 20 years ago. Since then I've become MUCH more wise, and as a result, make MUCH better decisions.

If I give somebody $50 just because they say they need it, I would probably be doing the absolute worst thing possible - not because it would be a waste of money (although that alone would be bad stewardship) but because if that person is a raging alcoholic, the LAST thing he needs is more money to buy hooch. Giving them money is NOT helping them. It is, in fact, doing the exact opposite.

ravi4u2
Nov 6th 2007, 05:03 AM
No, actually statistics give us factual proof, by which we can make informed decisions.

20 years ago, I would have held your exact same view on giving to those "in need". But that was 20 years ago. Since then I've become MUCH more wise, and as a result, make MUCH better decisions.

If I give somebody $50 just because they say they need it, I would probably be doing the absolute worst thing possible - not because it would be a waste of money (although that alone would be bad stewardship) but because if that person is a raging alcoholic, the LAST thing he needs is more money to buy hooch. Giving them money is NOT helping them. It is, in fact, doing the exact opposite.I hope you realize this has got nothing to do with you or your ministry.

The 'factual proof' and 'informed decisions' are only factual for the '95%'. How can you determine if someone asking for money is an alcoholic or really a mother with young children, who is down on hard times and needs the money? The answer is, you cannot. Not if you try it corporately. That is why organizations use statistics to determine who they should help and how they can only help.

It takes a personal relationship or in the absence of that, the leading of the Holy Spirit in helping the 'desperate mother in her downtime'.

From my personal experience of walking with the Lord for over 20 years, there are many who have abused my helping them with money. But there are also some, who were genuine. And my sharing has even brought these 'some' to the Lord, because they just could not understand why. So, should I let the outcome with the 'many' stop me from giving cash to the 'some'? That would be a great disservice to the love of God that I am compelled to share.

The organization, has to stick to established by-laws and rules. And that is what they have to do. But as an individual, we are free to live and give as the Spirit leads us. And this we should never compromise with statistics.

jeffreys
Nov 6th 2007, 12:11 PM
I hope you realize this has got nothing to do with you or your ministry.

The 'factual proof' and 'informed decisions' are only factual for the '95%'. How can you determine if someone asking for money is an alcoholic or really a mother with young children, who is down on hard times and needs the money? The answer is, you cannot. Not if you try it corporately. That is why organizations use statistics to determine who they should help and how they can only help.

It takes a personal relationship or in the absence of that, the leading of the Holy Spirit in helping the 'desperate mother in her downtime'.

From my personal experience of walking with the Lord for over 20 years, there are many who have abused my helping them with money. But there are also some, who were genuine. And my sharing has even brought these 'some' to the Lord, because they just could not understand why. So, should I let the outcome with the 'many' stop me from giving cash to the 'some'? That would be a great disservice to the love of God that I am compelled to share.

The organization, has to stick to established by-laws and rules. And that is what they have to do. But as an individual, we are free to live and give as the Spirit leads us. And this we should never compromise with statistics.

I think you might be mis-reading, or misunderstanding, what little I said about the Ministerial Association whose emergency fund I managed. We did help people in need (I assume they still do, though I now live in a different state). In fact, we did so to the tune of thousands of dollars per year.

But we did not help everybody.

First of all, we did not help people pay their rent, utilities deposits and/or utilities bills. We had people calling us on a weekly basis for that, but their requests were always for anywhere from $500-$1,000. And, bluntly put, we simply did not have that kind of money. In addition, if we had helped one person, I'll promise you that there would have been 50 call us the very next day. These people do communicate with each other! And what's more, that person we helped one month would be back for more help - with the very same problem - 3-4 months later.

We also did not help "repeaters" - those local people (and they live in every town) who always have a reason they just couldn't make ends meet this month, even though they just bought a new car. Nor did we help the "repeat transients" who did this sort of thing professionally, and ran the same route every year - sometimes forgetting that they encountered the same pastors in the same town as last year.

My point is that, whether you call it the prompting of the Holy Spirit, or wisdom and discernment that comes with experience, we were good stewards of this fund. We helped many people who were legitimately in need, and we did so by not helping a lot of liars and hucksters.


But my main point is that I'm sick to death of all these "horror stories of churches refusing to help the needy". And mostly I'm sick of these stories because they are lies told by liars, and re-told by gullible people! In addition, they are used by people with a disdain for churches, as evidence of how churches are failing God and failing God's people.

In light of that, I'll again ask you if you can provide verifiable proof that the letter from this lady in Iowa - who had her electricity shut off during the dead of winter - is factually true. The reason I ask is because literally everything about it smacks of her being one of these perpetual liars who abuse the generosity of others by manipulating their emotions. I will apologize if proven wrong, but I am almost positive that it is a scam.

Thanks!

ProjectPeter
Nov 6th 2007, 02:58 PM
You must be kidding right? Now, I like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:...

Is there any scripture that says that we should not provide every person who is need? Or perhaps this entails something more than scripture?There are many that give out money to the needy... food as well as help with bills when they have the funds available. Now we can argue the need for folks to help up those funds... but many have a benevolence fund for things like that. Keep in mind that folks always seem to focus on the monster churches out there and thus paint all churches with the same brush stroke. You can't do that. There are millions of small churches out there that do help as much as possible. They are small and their often filled with folks making it paycheck to paycheck. But they will go as far as they can go to help folks... even those that come in off the street.

ProjectPeter
Nov 6th 2007, 03:12 PM
There is an insane amount of scamming going on and churches see tons of it. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years or so, the morality of folks has taken a nose dive. Once upon a time... folks would scam the government or individual persons or companies... but the church was more or less off limits. It was the same with thieves although there has always been exceptions. But not any longer.

Because of that abuse... folks have gotten tougher on who it is that they give to. They require more than just a sad story... so that's a simple reality that we have to deal with.

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 12:15 AM
I think you might be mis-reading, or misunderstanding, what little I said about the Ministerial Association whose emergency fund I managed. We did help people in need (I assume they still do, though I now live in a different state). In fact, we did so to the tune of thousands of dollars per year.

But we did not help everybody.

First of all, we did not help people pay their rent, utilities deposits and/or utilities bills. We had people calling us on a weekly basis for that, but their requests were always for anywhere from $500-$1,000. And, bluntly put, we simply did not have that kind of money. In addition, if we had helped one person, I'll promise you that there would have been 50 call us the very next day. These people do communicate with each other! And what's more, that person we helped one month would be back for more help - with the very same problem - 3-4 months later.

We also did not help "repeaters" - those local people (and they live in every town) who always have a reason they just couldn't make ends meet this month, even though they just bought a new car. Nor did we help the "repeat transients" who did this sort of thing professionally, and ran the same route every year - sometimes forgetting that they encountered the same pastors in the same town as last year.

My point is that, whether you call it the prompting of the Holy Spirit, or wisdom and discernment that comes with experience, we were good stewards of this fund. We helped many people who were legitimately in need, and we did so by not helping a lot of liars and hucksters.


But my main point is that I'm sick to death of all these "horror stories of churches refusing to help the needy". And mostly I'm sick of these stories because they are lies told by liars, and re-told by gullible people! In addition, they are used by people with a disdain for churches, as evidence of how churches are failing God and failing God's people.

In light of that, I'll again ask you if you can provide verifiable proof that the letter from this lady in Iowa - who had her electricity shut off during the dead of winter - is factually true. The reason I ask is because literally everything about it smacks of her being one of these perpetual liars who abuse the generosity of others by manipulating their emotions. I will apologize if proven wrong, but I am almost positive that it is a scam.

Thanks!I think you are missing my point. It does not matter if the case of the 'needy mother' is real or not. By your own admission:
I mean 95% or more, not 51%. I also experienced, during a very long-tenured ministry, that the same people showed up, with the same story, at the same time of year every year.According to you, at least 5% of the people needing help are real. When you respond to statistics, you miss out on the 5% who are real. If you want a real story, how about the one on May 31, when an 11-month-old boy died in Exeter, California, in a home without electricity that had caught fire after a candle was left burning. USA Today reports that 1.2 million American's utilities has been disconnected this year just from March through May. But let's go beyond the USA. There are many all over the world, who have real needs and are not 'fakers'. Even if they are a 'small' percentage, there are people that have a real need.

My point is discernment is only of the Spirit. The Spirit can only infill and prompt a person. And it is this person who is filled with the Spirit, who is prompted by Him, that can make a discerned decision.

In the absence of the discernment of the Spirit, organizations helping the needy have to rely on statistics, experiences, by-laws and guidelines in helping the needy, which is not wrong, but may not be the best way of helping an individual in a unique situation.

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 12:24 AM
I think you are missing my point. It does not matter if the case of the 'needy mother' is real or not.

Actually, quite to the contrary, it does. You said it was factually true, and I'm just asking if there is some verification of that.

And the reason I do so is because that paragraph that you posted is so typical of the stuff that is supposed to elicit all manner of sympathy for "the needy" and all manner of antipathy against "the big bad church". So if it's not true, it's just flat-out evil because it's a lie.


And no church should ever base any kind of action on lies.

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 12:26 AM
By your own admission: According to you, at least 5% of the people needing help are real. When you respond to statistics, you miss out on the 5% who are real. If you want a real story, how about the one on May 31, when an 11-month-old boy died in Exeter, California, in a home without electricity that had caught fire after a candle was left burning. USA Today reports that 1.2 million American's utilities has been disconnected this year just from March through May. But let's go beyond the USA. There are many all over the world, who have real needs and are not 'fakers'. Even if they are a 'small' percentage, there are people that have a real need.

My friend, have you been reading ANYTHING I've been writing? How many times have I now clearly stated that the Ministerial Association I used to be with (before I relocated) helped MANY people who WERE in need?

Can I make that any more clear?


And one of the main reasons we had the money to help those in need is because we did NOT help those who were liars and hucksters!

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 12:27 AM
There are many that give out money to the needy... food as well as help with bills when they have the funds available. Now we can argue the need for folks to help up those funds... but many have a benevolence fund for things like that. Keep in mind that folks always seem to focus on the monster churches out there and thus paint all churches with the same brush stroke. You can't do that. There are millions of small churches out there that do help as much as possible. They are small and their often filled with folks making it paycheck to paycheck. But they will go as far as they can go to help folks... even those that come in off the street.My question actually is deeper than church giving out money. So, how does one determine which person who comes off the street that I can help (even with cash) and who are the ones I should not? Isn't it only through the relationships or in the absence of that by the prompting of the Holy Spirit? And as you have rightly pointed out, the smaller churches as you mentioned are more effective in this because they are more relational than organizational. Isn't that the fact?

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 12:31 AM
If you want a real story, how about the one on May 31, when an 11-month-old boy died in Exeter, California, in a home without electricity that had caught fire after a candle was left burning. USA Today reports that 1.2 million American's utilities has been disconnected this year just from March through May.

Exeter, California? Are you aware that Exeter, California is only 200 miles North of San Diego? And are you aware that by May 31st, the temperatures there often reach well into the 90s? I just looked at today's weather map for Exeter, and it got up to 75 degrees today - and it's nearly the middle of November.

There is something extremely suspect about that whole story.


Furthermore, concerning the 1.2 million American's utilities that were disconnect AFTER winter had passed, why do you believe that the Church should pay all those utility bills? I'll bet you ten bucks that most of those homes who had their utilities disconnected didn't get their Cable disconnected...

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 12:33 AM
My point is discernment is only of the Spirit. The Spirit can only infill and prompt a person. And it is this person who is filled with the Spirit, who is prompted by Him, that can make a discerned decision.

In the absence of the discernment of the Spirit, organizations helping the needy have to rely on statistics, experiences, by-laws and guidelines in helping the needy, which is not wrong, but may not be the best way of helping an individual in a unique situation.

If the Holy Spirit prompts you to pay the utilities for a bunch of people, so they don't get disconnected, then more power to you.

But my guess is that the Spirit has never prompted you to do such a thing, has He?



As I've now said many times... The Ministerial Association I was part of helped MANY people over MANY years. And we were able to do so because we said "NO" to many liars and hucksters over that same period of time.

Unless you've been in the same position, you have absolutely no business being so judgmental of those of us who have spent years doing the work.

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 12:44 AM
Actually, quite to the contrary, it does. You said it was factually true, and I'm just asking if there is some verification of that.

And the reason I do so is because that paragraph that you posted is so typical of the stuff that is supposed to elicit all manner of sympathy for "the needy" and all manner of antipathy against "the big bad church". So if it's not true, it's just flat-out evil because it's a lie.


And no church should ever base any kind of action on lies.Again, this question I cannot answer because I do not have a relationship with the person, nor was I prompted to help by the Spirit of God.

But there is at least one person whom I have helped even financially here in the USA because I was prompted by the Holy Spirit. He was in a thrift store in the middle of winter inquiring to about an electric heater. When he heard that it was $40, he put it back and said that he will be back when he had more money. I overheard him and was prompted to give him the money to him to buy that heater. And he was not even a follower of Christ. He could not understand why I would do it. He invited me to his house which was not far away and I found out that he was married, had two children and was recently laid off. I gave him some money for whatever. I did not even say to him that I was a follower of Christ. But we developed a friendship and he soon came to the saving knowledge of Christ. He and his whole family. My help was one time, I am no longer helping him. Although he lives from hand to mouth, now, he tries to help others as much as he can. When I looked at him the first time, he looked like a bum. Could you imagine if I had written him off as one?

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 04:23 AM
Again, this question I cannot answer because I do not have a relationship with the person, nor was I prompted to help by the Spirit of God.

This is what you wrote, and I quote, in post #83.
"Well, what I mentioned was a hypothetical situation...But this is a real incident:"

You then went on to share the copy & paste story of a single mother - supposedly from Iowa - who supposedly had her utilities shut off and was freezing.

You claimed that it was "a real incident", though you have absolutely no idea whether it is true at all. Now you're saying, "I cannot answer because I do not have a relationship with the person..."



Here's my beef: You cited that "mystery woman" as evidence to buttress your case against churches, claiming that churches won't help the needy - claiming that you knew it was "a real incident." What if feels like to me is that, in your rush to condemn churches, you bore false witness. And frankly, that offends me because I am a pastor of one of those churches you are condemning. I have been intimately involved, for many years, in doing exactly what you say churches will not do.

I'm sorry, but that just really bothers me... :(

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 04:24 AM
But there is at least one person whom I have helped even financially here in the USA because I was prompted by the Holy Spirit. He was in a thrift store in the middle of winter inquiring to about an electric heater. When he heard that it was $40, he put it back and said that he will be back when he had more money. I overheard him and was prompted to give him the money to him to buy that heater. And he was not even a follower of Christ. He could not understand why I would do it. He invited me to his house which was not far away and I found out that he was married, had two children and was recently laid off. I gave him some money for whatever. I did not even say to him that I was a follower of Christ. But we developed a friendship and he soon came to the saving knowledge of Christ. He and his whole family. My help was one time, I am no longer helping him. Although he lives from hand to mouth, now, he tries to help others as much as he can. When I looked at him the first time, he looked like a bum. Could you imagine if I had written him off as one?

I appreciate the fact that you helped him. Honestly. And that help has obviously borne much fruit!

amazzin
Nov 7th 2007, 04:28 AM
I appreciate the fact that you helped him. Honestly. And that help has obviously borne much fruit!

Amen and I agree with jeff.

amazzin
Nov 7th 2007, 04:32 AM
Ravi

Why do you try so hard to go out of your way to prove churches are all bad and that they do not help the needy when there is plenty of proof and examples that this is not always the case.

As a pastor I take exception to this because I know there are a lot of churches that do help and feed and provide provisions for the poor and needy

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 04:38 AM
Ravi

Why do you try so hard to go out of your way to prove churches are all bad and that they do not help the needy when there is plenty of proof and examples that this is not always the case.

As a pastor I take exception to this because I know there are a lot of churches that do help and feed and provide provisions for the poor and needy.
There is a Lutheran church in the town where I used to live that, every Thanksgiving, provides a fantastic full-blown Turkey Dinner for the community. It is specifically targeted to low-income, needy and homeless people - and many of them take advantage of it.

But it's also open to people who can well afford to pay, and many of them do. They go for the fellowship, the companionship, and to love on people. Many community people love it so much that they volunteer to help cook, prepare, serve and clean up after the meal.

There is absolutely no charge, nor is any record kept of who came and/or who contributed financially. Those who can afford to give do, and those who can't, don't.

I'm not Lutheran, but I can certainly recognize a good thing done by a Lutheran church - and this is a very good, loving, kind and "giving" thing!

amazzin
Nov 7th 2007, 04:42 AM
There is a Lutheran church in the town where I used to live that, every Thanksgiving, provides a fantastic full-blown Turkey Dinner for the community. It is specifically targeted to low-income, needy and homeless people - and many of them take advantage of it.

But it's also open to people who can well afford to pay, and many of them do. They go for the fellowship, the companionship, and to love on people. Many community people love it so much that they volunteer to help cook, prepare, serve and clean up after the meal.

I'm not Lutheran, but I can certainly recognize a good thing done by a Lutheran church - and this is a very good, loving, kind and "giving" thing!

As pastors we serve people and not ourselves. In the midst of serving people I see many who are themselves "givers". They want to help, they want to be involved in feeding the needy, especially the children and seniors who are struggling. When they do this they become God's hands extended in to the community. I have yet to see a church who repels at this thought of not helping. I know they exist but they are rare and trhank God, few!

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 05:28 AM
My friend, have you been reading ANYTHING I've been writing? How many times have I now clearly stated that the Ministerial Association I used to be with (before I relocated) helped MANY people who WERE in need?

Can I make that any more clear?


And one of the main reasons we had the money to help those in need is because we did NOT help those who were liars and hucksters!My friend, have you been reading any of my posts? I repeatedly say that I have got no issue with organizations helping the needy y statistics, guidelines and by-laws. Can I make that any more clear? And the 'liars and hucksters' comment is not true for your '5%' who is in need of real help.


Exeter, California? Are you aware that Exeter, California is only 200 miles North of San Diego? And are you aware that by May 31st, the temperatures there often reach well into the 90s? I just looked at today's weather map for Exeter, and it got up to 75 degrees today - and it's nearly the middle of November.

There is something extremely suspect about that whole story.


Furthermore, concerning the 1.2 million American's utilities that were disconnect AFTER winter had passed, why do you believe that the Church should pay all those utility bills? I'll bet you ten bucks that most of those homes who had their utilities disconnected didn't get their Cable disconnected...So, USA Today posted a false story...:lol:... When did I ever say that we need to pay the utility bill of everyone who comes for help...:hmm:


If the Holy Spirit prompts you to pay the utilities for a bunch of people, so they don't get disconnected, then more power to you.

But my guess is that the Spirit has never prompted you to do such a thing, has He?

As I've now said many times... The Ministerial Association I was part of helped MANY people over MANY years. And we were able to do so because we said "NO" to many liars and hucksters over that same period of time.

Unless you've been in the same position, you have absolutely no business being so judgmental of those of us who have spent years doing the work.hey...I don't need your power man...And again you judge me when you don't even know me...isn't that something? :lol:...Is that how the 'hucksters and liars' are judged by you as well...:lol:...


This is what you wrote, and I quote, in post #83.
"Well, what I mentioned was a hypothetical situation...But this is a real incident:"

You then went on to share the copy & paste story of a single mother - supposedly from Iowa - who supposedly had her utilities shut off and was freezing.

You claimed that it was "a real incident", though you have absolutely no idea whether it is true at all. Now you're saying, "I cannot answer because I do not have a relationship with the person..."



Here's my beef: You cited that "mystery woman" as evidence to buttress your case against churches, claiming that churches won't help the needy - claiming that you knew it was "a real incident." What if feels like to me is that, in your rush to condemn churches, you bore false witness. And frankly, that offends me because I am a pastor of one of those churches you are condemning. I have been intimately involved, for many years, in doing exactly what you say churches will not do.

I'm sorry, but that just really bothers me... :(Let me put this in retrospective. You had asked:
In light of that, I'll again ask you if you can provide verifiable proof that the letter from this lady in Iowa - who had her electricity shut off during the dead of winter - is factually true. My reply to this was, I think you are missing my point. It does not matter if the case of the 'needy mother' is real or not. By your own admission 5% of the needy are real cases and the 'needy mother' could be one of the 5%. By me saying,
"I cannot answer because I do not have a relationship with the person..."does not mean the incident was not true. I meant exactly what I wrote. The onus is not on me to prove anything, it is on you. I am not here to condemn anyone...or any church...where did I condemn churches...or say churches will not do something...I have never beared false witness here...so what if you are a pastor...do you want me to lay out my titles ad credentials...why do you keep trumpeting that you are one...you are not my pastor...

Amazedgrace21
Nov 7th 2007, 05:36 AM
If the Holy Spirit prompts you to pay the utilities for a bunch of people, so they don't get disconnected, then more power to you.

But my guess is that the Spirit has never prompted you to do such a thing, has He?



As I've now said many times... The Ministerial Association I was part of helped MANY people over MANY years. And we were able to do so because we said "NO" to many liars and hucksters over that same period of time.

Unless you've been in the same position, you have absolutely no business being so judgmental of those of us who have spent years doing the work.


Well, there is discernment that relies upon common sense , and there is "discernement" that does need to rely upon the Holy Spirit IMHO..when it comes to "THOSE" needy, poor, low income folks..that sure sounds like "profiling" and not very personally vested one little bit..

It does require a willingness to identify with them in much more personal ways than simply in generic terms of "projects' and ministies..in the church or on personal level before a true grasp of what a "need" is in the first place.

I'm offering this situation for you to weigh in on as this thread applies to it..

An middle aged woman in her late 40's, early 50's has some very serious medical conditions, they have been around for years, there is no cure, and will become progressively worse, are crippling, require medication and care that is very expensive.

She was divorced, had full care and custody of her children, left with incredible debt and was able to work full time when her medical condition was not severe..so she never turned to her former church or the government for charity or help except in dire circumstances..but made due...her children are now raised but they are struggling getting and keeping on their own feet because there never was "extra"..college took years longer while they worked full time..some went into the service, but they all pulled together to care for each other.

Meanwhile she had moved, had been in attendence regularily for a few years, actively particpated in ministry, tithed to her former church as she had commited to a very special ministry that was started when there by her and several others for special needs famlies and the tithing gifts were directed to the place each member requested.. but also gave at this new church, faithfully as it grew out of a basement into avery large and thriving church over the years.She just never switched her memebership to the new church..

Now she's in trouble..her needs are more than her children can carry at least yet..there is no family to turn to for help..her medical condition requires health care...medical insurance and out of pocket co-pays, meds require over $1000.00 a month

So this woman recognized she had to make a decision that was best for her famly as well as her situation..all of her modest savings are gone..she can literally no longer work..she is not terminally ill,but her disease is progressive, she is chronically ill and at times severely handicapped when the symptoms flare up.

She anticipated and prepared best she could over the years for the inevitable path her ilness would take her on..moved to a mobile home, has a lot rent and utilities, taxes, insurances and set up a budget of under $575.00 a month for everything for just needs to handle the $1000.00 medical expenses and $150.00 a month for food..and no "wants or luxuries" for a single adult her age. Just to keep the bills paid, no long distance, no internet..no cable..no trips to the hair salon..enough gas to get to the doctors and local store..enough toilet paper for one adult for 30 days..etc.Everything else went into her children, her church, charity, family and paying off the debts her ex husband left..on more thanone occasion she supported a sister and others who were in dire straights.

Welfare will provide $200.00 a month in cash to cover gas to the doctor and co-payments that are reduced, and $150.00 of food stamps..winter energy assistance programs will cover some of her heating bills..her medical care will be restricted to those doctors appoved but not the specialists she sometimes need's..the only debt she has is $5400.00 in medical bills..she had a mild heart attack and that was left from th bills for that..and is being paid down..very slowly..

She does not need food, she does need a car repair now and then..she does not need cable..she needs help when her bathroom floor is sinking down because the toilet seal broke..she has to chose between getting glasses to help her see and therapy so she can continue to walk or her taxes being paid so they do not take her home.. public assistance can not nor will meet all the needs.
She had to go on welfare to get the medical care to document her illness and qualify for disability.she ran out of her own funds to do this..even for her insurance..but she never asked for help..she simply got through it..somehow, God always provided

She's done nothing morally wrong except "be ill"..her children are doing everything they can to help, there are other needs in the family besides the mothers..due to health issues..so many exceptional circumstances and no "father or husband" around to help with these things..

What does she do, and where should she turn to for help after her family and public assistance.."if not her church"?

And if she does..how much help should she ask for..?

Keep in mind the public assistance system is very complicated and causes great problems..one was this woman had to send her youngest child out of her home to be eligible for assitance..because her daughters "income" disqualified her for assistance by $800 a year..while her daughter had to work full time in order to have medical coverage..so she could not work "less"...oh yes..if she did get money from her kids..it was called income..and if it exceeded a certain amount, she was not eligible for medical care..AND the amount she needed to pay the rent and taxes, the

Welfare by the way suggested she go to the churches and see if they could help her with the gaps..

There wasn't enough gas money to include trips to church many months..utilities such as the phone or electrical were being turned off periodically just to conserve funds to meet bills and not becasue they were "overdue" but so they would not "become due" and the funds could go to placesof higher priorites of needs.

I sat down and ran through this with my churches Ministry for such folks..I shared this scenario, asking what we could do for her

They said this woman was not a "widow", she was divorced..albeit her ex abandoned his responsibilities and she could not collecton any court ordered alimony or child support he abandoned..

They suggested she go on welfare..and ignored the fact to do so was forcing her to have to find an alternative place and way for her 18 yr. old and 20 yr old children to now support themselves and her and have to leave the only home they had ..which had been why the kids had been able to help where they could..it simply was not enough..it would be less when they had to take on rent and utilities in another household..

They said "God would provide"..and they had obligations to the folks like the Katrina victims and to their ever growin missionary trips, and of course the children under 18 yrs. of parents in prison, or outreach programs to unbelievers to ease their needs..and show them the love of Christ..there were no "minors" in this womans home..and furhtermore she was not a member "of their church"..albeit I had not shared with them the identity of the woman...this was a gal who did not let her sons know that utilities were going off for weeks at a time when her kids were at college, trying to let them get a chance to better their situations so they could one day become self sufficient or in the case of two sons because they were in service overseas at war..no complained at her church while she traveled to New Orelans and worked with the victims there as well..things just went bad fast due to medical problems, and not being able to access or afford proper medical care to properly manage the illness..

So their solution was to offer groceries..which were not needed..visits to the clothing bank for free clothes which was not needed and to "pray for her"..also to pick her up so she could come to church..and suggested she become more involved at the church and consider becoming a member in good standing..with the Body of Christ.

I traveled to several churches in the area and received similar responses to some degree..a few were more sensitive and asked if they could help with repairs if the woman was willing to be a "service project" for the youth ministries..

It was a fascinating..eye opener..and a second time over 12 years I had done this, tested the waters to try and see if any churches were actually in tune with the world and how complicated it gets for many folks....things had not "improved" much..at that the earlier time all the focus was on the children..the single parent was somehow disinfranchised as having needs..albeit I couldn't imagine how it eluded them that this was the "only parent" these kids had and was a "widow" in more ways than they ever imagined..I received more positive responses from private, secular agencies and folks when it came to requests to attempt to find resources to "meet dire needs"..such as what I mentioned..

Once when the power had to be turned off..the fella that had to do this returned afterwards and made sure the woman had heat, then when he saw the circumstances..took up a collection at work and had her bill paid..and he was not a christian.Yet her story touched his heart as he listened to her try to comfort him and why she reassured him, it was OK, God would provide, he always had.

The thing is this was not a hypothetical story..it's mine..and please do not feel obliged to comment on that, I only offer this as an example..not all folks who are in need are "slackers"..or get to these places for bad choices..lack of faith..and often due to circumstances well outside their control..and have a very hard time asking for help because they recognize how great the needs are in other areas or lives..many do not know how bad things were for a very long time before the needs became so great, that some feel reduced to terrible burdens of remorse to even work up the courage to ask for help..and more often will not come forward when they feel there is going to be a "test" of their character and 'faith' required to be deemed eligible for assistance..

I certainly felt this burden put upon me everytime I had to fill out a form to "prove" I met the guidelines of having a need, when I was already bearing the burden of the unmet need in the first place..what was simpler to ask for when my children were in the house became overwhelmingly difficult to ask for as an adult without children..even when the need was legitimate.

It is very common for folks who are struggling to have a very difficult time with asking for help, especially when they have been ones who have been the helpers..

If a church does not have single parents, adults such as myself attending, divorcees..which is a huge population of folks in society today..then something is terribly wrong with that church if you ask me..

and if they do not recognize these are just some of many folks with very special needs if indeed they are present and are not connected to the reality of what they are, or think God would have them ignore this and simply 'throw prayers' at them or that free turkey on Thanksgiving Day covers the other 364 these folks have to go back to and some how hold on until next Thanksgiving..

its a shame..my experiences have truly shown me what it mean's to many who have needs and so many ways we are able to help if we can past the fact they are often "those people", and assume they are not simply people "just like us" and would often be just as happy to not have "those needs" in the first place, much less have to rely upon them being met by anyone who is able or willing to do so.

I speak from personal experience on both sides of this issue..and there are those like myself who are among "those people" and very familiar with the parts of the stories that should be heard and not ignored by any Christian when Christ has made it so abundently clear..about these matters.

"What you do for the least of these brethern , you have done for me".:hug:

YSIC,
Grace

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 05:39 AM
Ravi

Why do you try so hard to go out of your way to prove churches are all bad and that they do not help the needy when there is plenty of proof and examples that this is not always the case.

As a pastor I take exception to this because I know there are a lot of churches that do help and feed and provide provisions for the poor and needyI don't have any issue with churches...I love the Church, she is the bride of Christ...How can I love the Head and not the Body??? This is bible chat remember, whatever we discuss has got to be based on the Word. Now, if you can refute my convictions scripturally good and fine...And it is alright to have differences of opinions as well...but it is very wrong to read into my posts and think that this is what I am saying when that was not my intent.

And nobody has answered my original question:
Paul says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

What do I do, when I come across someone who is in need. At that point, of coming across this person, I have some money in my pocket. But this money if just enough to pay my bills and put bread on the table for my family. So, do I give to this person who is in need, when what I have is just enough to meet my family's need, which is my primary responsibility? It is a question concerning the Word...and if explored properly, will bring us into a deeper understanding of the concept of giving. Which is what this topic is all about.

Amazedgrace21
Nov 7th 2007, 08:38 AM
Quote:
Hi, I'm a single mother of two. I live in the country. I do work, however i'm temporarly laid off. When we had the bad storms in (Iowa) my car got stuck in a snow bank while trying to get it out it blew up. So I went without a car for almost three months. It was hard just to get a ride to the store. Now I got a car but it took everything I had, now I can't pay my bills that i'm behind on. I do get unemployment, but thats not enough to survive on. I havn't got child support since last November. My electric has been off since last week. This has been hard on me and the kids. Yesterday we went to a camp ground just so we could shower. We were not guests so the whole time im showering im a nervous wreak thinking we could get in trouble. I have never felt so low in my life. Im used to helping other people. I did find a tempory job that alowed me to pay my rent. So I do have a roof over my head just no electric or water. If there is someone out there who would help me through this tuff time, I will be able to pay it back in time.

There was no reference to what time in the year her bill was shut off..it only takes 6o days with some utitilties..it does snow beyond winter here in PA

Some areas of the country hit longer periods of harsher temperatures..that begin or go beyond the official winter season..where in most cases the hardship extension to not turn off the utility is 'lifted'..which sounds like this was the case..I have been there, and done this..it happens!

A particularly bad winter could have shot up the use of electricity well beyond normal season..same is true during summers with harsh heat waves..so come winter , it's brutal. Nor are there programsfor heat waves..also families with both parents, the elderly and many others need this help..

Some programs like LIHEAP here in PA..have only limited amounts they can contribute based upon an average season..variations in income levels matter too..so a set amount is budgeted..and if the need goes beyongd that often the balance will ride until March and in 30 days unles the person can meet a budget payment or pay in full, the utility goes off

Often many of these programs are based on order of application and not priority of needwhich means if your need arises after funds are gone..you are in deep trouble..

A single adult (any age), or a single parent with one child living side by side would receive different amounts of assistance..same weather variables but one will get less..and face termination of utilities faster..pipes freeze in a house no matter how many live in it.

Unless someone requires electric for operating a life-saving piece of equipment, they do not qualify for medical criteria..which do you save first, the house you can't afford ot the car you need to go to work, go to the store to buy groceries for your child or take themto the doctor to try to get out of this grave of debt?

There are many differnent income guidelines and cut off's..they are not uniform and most government assistance programs will not cover much more than folks assume they can and do,

In the case of children..Welfare will not allow you to receive assistance for children unless you enter into an agreement to litigate against a dead beat parent..and then "if" they can locate the dead beat parent..they have to chase down the funds, and then what is collected goes back to welfare "first".. funds which often don't get caught..and often any assitance granted is based upon the criteria of treating the assistance as if the money was in the hands of the custodial parent..

If there is a payment made, even a fraction of it..and then missed..it takes three months of missing before the agencies go after the one who has not paid..and meanwhile no assistance is given until it reaches that stage..30 days is hard to go without either funds or asitance but 90 days is enough to cause a catastrophe

as for all the cynicism about a child dying in a state where the utilities were turned off but the rationale being there was no climatic justification..

The obvious explanation was a candle was replacing the lights, which was done during the summer, so I could pay down my winter electric bills after a horrendous winter ..I have seen floks die from trying to use grills to heat their homes with the power out for only a few days..

I am not too proud or ashamed to say I have done this myself..or when faced with a horrendous stretch of bills, turned my gas off and simply heated water on my stove, because it was cheaper and it came down to "priorities"...with children who were minors...AND BECAUSE I was directly involved with the Benevolence Ministry and its budget.. I had a very good handle of the nature of the needs as well as other folks outside the church and in the community..I "knew" what my children and/or I could tolerate opposed to a mother, with babies who would come with those needs as in that letter.. with those circumstances.

I also could also share insights with how economic hardships terrify a parent so much she will stay in home and be brutally abused as the lesser of two evils when it comes to whats out there in the community in termsof helping her..to "protect" her children..because I have been there..

Most folks can't imagine a lot of the areas that require a great deal of insight how much isinvolved with coordinating needs with what is available in terms of actual giving..

I have devoted years to taking folks and working with them with budgets to deal with their unique circumstances and have a very healthy appreciation of how these things work and how many cracks there are in the system as well as a lack of awareness or empathy for this towards those that fall in the cracks.

Neither arguements cited against either of these examples as being fraud really examined the particulars to dismiss they may have been true..so I offer these explanations that may satisfy some doubts that they could not have been and more than likely were..and why they were picked up as human interest stories to try and alert folks to be more aware of others needs.

Nor is the arguement that in they were "sob stories" a very objective assessment to present the case that they were..to argue a point of how folks abuse the system and that most folks are just looking for handouts with.

Folks that assume the worst really need to simply stop assuming..

for instance I can't afford the internet..but my son who is in the service set me up on his account so I could use my phone line to keep in touch with him over seas...but I am familiar with folks "assuming" they caught me in a sob story lie because I am on the internet so I "must" have money to throw away on the internet..

sort of like my walking..I stagger quite a bit and it is evident when I am in the store..I drop things like crazy too. In check out lines when I pay with a food stamp card and have listened to folks comment on how I need to lay off the booze and quit stealing their tax dollars to support my habit..LOL!

A good ,inexpensive but wonderful place start "to give", as like "gimme a break here folks"! Try not to personally assume the worst until you have been given a "personal" reason to.:)

jiggyfly
Nov 7th 2007, 11:27 AM
So far in this thread... we've had an awful lot of opinion with a bunch of words but very little (pretty much NO) Scripture.

Here is what John said.

1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

Now... if I have the worlds goods and a brother is in need... why do I need a "prompting" from the Spirit? Doesn't Scripture already tell me what it is that I should do? Now... If I need to question whether I can do this with a glad and sincere heart... then I suppose that is all well and good but that last part of that passage ought to shake the snot out of that sort of thinking... "how does the love of God abide in him?"

We don't need that whole "being" mess... we need to be doing. If you can't do something as simple as this... then I'd recommend that person check to see if they are even in the faith.

James 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?


Can I not say the same... If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you walk away because you don't feel "prompted by the Spirit" and you don't give them what is necessary for their body... what use is that?

I agree with you in part here, and notice it doesn't mention that you can contract this out to someone or some group. It doesn't say give the money to some church or some pastor or minister and let them do it. But also remember here that he is talking about the brethren, a brother or sister in need.
Since we are talking about new testament here no where in the new testament are we commanded to be led by holy bible or scriptures we are commanded to be led by HolySpirit time and again, so I disagree with you on this point.

Giving without the unction of HolySpirit is no different than what the shriners do and it has revealed "church" as just another well meaning carnal club in competition with other clubs. This thread is not much different than any of the others. Everyone looking for scriptures to point out how, when and where the first century Church fellowshipped, worshipped, ate, gave, and shared, and then try to imitate it. Which makes it a carnal thing. The first century church was submitted to the government of HolySpirit and that is what made them powerful, not how, when, or where they did all these things. Wanting to act like the first century church is really hypocrisy. Acting like the Church is not the same as being the Church. Reading, memorizing and doing everything the bible says does make you a mature believer, but allowing the HolySpirit to control you and how you live, does.

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 12:48 PM
My friend, have you been reading any of my posts? I repeatedly say that I have got no issue with organizations helping the needy y statistics, guidelines and by-laws. Can I make that any more clear? And the 'liars and hucksters' comment is not true for your '5%' who is in need of real help.

So, USA Today posted a false story...:lol:... When did I ever say that we need to pay the utility bill of everyone who comes for help...:hmm:

hey...I don't need your power man...And again you judge me when you don't even know me...isn't that something? :lol:...Is that how the 'hucksters and liars' are judged by you as well...:lol:...

Let me put this in retrospective. You had asked: My reply to this was, I think you are missing my point. It does not matter if the case of the 'needy mother' is real or not. By your own admission 5% of the needy are real cases and the 'needy mother' could be one of the 5%. By me saying, does not mean the incident was not true. I meant exactly what I wrote. The onus is not on me to prove anything, it is on you. I am not here to condemn anyone...or any church...where did I condemn churches...or say churches will not do something...I have never beared false witness here...so what if you are a pastor...do you want me to lay out my titles ad credentials...why do you keep trumpeting that you are one...you are not my pastor...

This is where you are dead wrong. The onus is on YOU. YOU are the one who was citing something that you cannot prove as PROOF that churches do not help the needy.

You could, at this point, admit that you've been making strawman arguments and have gotten caught doing so.

BadDog
Nov 7th 2007, 01:11 PM
Peter,

As you know, I'm not really following threads right now, so don't be too surprised or take it as an afront if I ignore your response...

But...

It's the 4th page and I still don't know your position on giving and tithing.

My position is that "tithing" is an OT principle IOT support the Levitical priesthood. NT believers are nowhere commanded to tithe, but to give generously ("cheerfully" - can't talk about NT giving without referring to this, Peter - 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7).

The tithe is not a biblical NT concept/teaching at all. The principle is to give generously - according to how God has prospered you. This doesn't leave us off the hook to support what God is doing. It does keep it from becoming a legalism response rather than giving from the heart. That is the danger I see in calling something a command which is not commanded. It changes the focus and makes giving a legalistic self-centered ritual rather than giving back to God out of a heart which rejoices in what God is doing in their lives.

Thx,

BD

Brother Mark
Nov 7th 2007, 01:16 PM
Greetings everyone, I have read some of this thread. Giving to the needy is near and dear to my heart. Have churches helped? Yes. But many of the churches I have been a part of don't really give to those in need with a joyful heart.

Job, put on righteousness like a robe, and gave to the needy. Jesus said that if someone ask for our shirt, to give them our cloak too. In other words, simply asking should be enough to get helped. But often churches require people to jump through hoops. I know there are hustlers out there and we need to be careful.

My own church let me down in this particular area. I know a young man that lost everything he had in a fire. This particular man was lost. I went to the church and asked for help. We gave him $500. I was grateful, but we had much more money in the bank. This man was borrowing clothes to wear from his friends. He also lost his computer in the fire and that prevented him from working his second job. For $3k to $5k we could have changed his situation and ministered more deeply the complete love of Christ and concern of Christ for his situation.

Our churches do help. I wish we helped more and understood the idea of giving better. But praise God that we do give!

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 03:16 PM
Well, there is discernment that relies upon common sense , and there is "discernement" that does need to rely upon the Holy Spirit IMHO..when it comes to "THOSE" needy, poor, low income folks..that sure sounds like "profiling" and not very personally vested one little bit..

It does require a willingness to identify with them in much more personal ways than simply in generic terms of "projects' and ministies..in the church or on personal level before a true grasp of what a "need" is in the first place.

I'm offering this situation for you to weigh in on as this thread applies to it..

An middle aged woman in her late 40's, early 50's has some very serious medical conditions, they have been around for years, there is no cure, and will become progressively worse, are crippling, require medication and care that is very expensive....

I'm not quoting your entire story, simply for the sake of saving space - nothing more.

Let's address the issue of the sick woman, living in a mobile home, for just a moment.
I cannot vouch for every town or city, but in most places there are apartments available, that are government subsidized, where the rent is based strictly on income. One such place, in the town where I used to live, was a wonderful 7-story apartment building with 1-2 bedroom apartments. Several of the people in my church lived there and loved it. For some, their TOTAL cost of living there was between $150-$200 per month, and that included everything.

I will also not try to "judge" this woman's children, though you seem to imply that she had several adult kids. But let me put this bluntly. If my mom, or my wife's mom, was having that kind of financial difficulty, either or both of them would be living in my home, and they would have no housing costs of any kind! Period.


Now let's talk about the obligation & finances of a local church.
The average attendance of the average American church is about 75 people per Sunday. Many of these people are, themselves, living on a fixed income. The entire offering income of many of these churches is well under $40,000 per year. Even if these churches have no paid staff, just how much spare money do we think they have sitting around? I can promise you that it's nowhere near as much as most people think.

In addition, just how many "hardship cases" can a church provide for? If a church takes on one $500 per month individual in need, I guarantee you that there will be 25 more people, with nearly identical needs, that come calling on that church within the month. And that means that this local church ends up saying "No" to somebody - and that somebody will be hurt, angry and discouraged, and will go around telling everybody, "I asked that church for help and they told me 'No!'"


Let's talk about the purpose of the church. This is going to sound horribly harsh and rude, but the Church does not exist for the purpose of paying people's bills.


Let me tell you about the church I am privileged to pastor.
One of the reasons I was drawn to this church is because the chairman of the elders said, "A goal of mine is to see this church get to the point where 85% of all our offerings/income is used outside the church." What he meant is that the vast majority of what we take in would be immediately invested in missions - starting locally and going overseas, and on serving others. Have we reached that goal? No. Will we? Likely not. But are we striving toward that end? Yes!

Every month we financially support a local food pantry - a pantry that gave food to over 25,000 people last year. Just this past Sunday the lady who runs the food pantry came and spoke briefly to our church. We took a "second offering" for this food pantry, and the offering was over $500. Now, mind you, we're NOT a big church. We will also give them a special offering for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas. And these are in addition to the money we send them every month. Is the church I pastor "feeing the hungry"? Yes, absolutely!

This past summer we received a call concerning a family whose home was in disrepair, and the condition of the home was going to keep this "older" couple from being able to have custodial care of their grandchildren. Our mens' group - and some of the ladies - rose to the occasion and have done everything from painting to clean-up to floor repair to wiring in a new stove (donated by another church member). It has been all at our own expense. In addition, there were projects at the church that got put on hold so we could help this family. And it comes as no surprise that we honestly feel that we, as a church, are the ones most blessed by this! Are we helping those in need? Well, we are certainly trying!


I could go on and on, but not only would people quit reading, it would also seem like I'm bragging - which I am not. What I am saying is that it is very easy for people, who don't know any different, to sit and criticize churches - claiming churches refuse to help people in need. But most of the time, said people simply are not seeing what is actually being done.

It is true that there are churches who care nothing about anything but their building, and care about nobody but themselves. But I doubt that's a very high percentage of churches. In fact, I'd encourage everybody here to get involved in the outreach and help ministry of your church. I think you'll be surprised by how busy you'll be!

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 03:29 PM
There was no reference to what time in the year her bill was shut off..it only takes 6o days with some utitilties..it does snow beyond winter here in PA

You cited the story of the woman in Iowa, who supposedly got her electricity shut off. The story talks about November, and getting stuck in snow. Being a native of Iowa, I can assure you that those two things mean one thing: Winter.


I decided to do a little research about "Shut Off Protection".

Most states/municipalities offer "shut off protection" to people who qualify for it. This means that the utility and/or gas company cannot shut off their service from November 1st to May 1st.

The "rule of thumb" is that families whose income is lower than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, they qualify to not have their utilities shut off during that 6-month period of time. For my wife, myself and our daughter, we could make over $34,000 per year and qualify for "shut off protection".

In addition, most families that qualify for shut off protection also qualify for low-income heating assistance. Additionally, most who qualify for those two things also qualify for rental assistance.


The reason I bring this up is simple: It's time to stop using stories - like this fable of this single mother in Iowa who is freezing because her heat was shut off - as fodder for the "Look how horrible these selfish churches are" argument. Now that we know more of the facts, we can put some of the fables and myths to rest.

third hero
Nov 7th 2007, 04:08 PM
Here is the problem I have with "tithing".

1. It is squarely an OT reference that was mandated by Moses.
1a. It was to be split three ways
1b. It was to be given to the Levite, the stranger in the midst of them, and the widow.

If a church wants to talk of tithing, one needs to get real with it, and truly follow it as the Lord mandated the Israelites.

2. It rejects Christ's commandment.

Jesus didn't say to the people, give me your tithe, and it will be given back to you. No, the Lord said, Give. That is the only requirement. To those who have a lot, the Lord would expect for that person to give more, and to the ones that can not, even what they give is more than enough.

We can take a look at preivous examples in the Gospels of what the Lord deems as good giving.

1. The poor woman and her 2 cents; this would be classified as a good giver. She did not have, yet she gave what she had. This is what the Lord meant by, give and it will be given back to you. If one doesn ot have, and yet gives what she has, then she will be given according to the riches not on earth, but in heaven, which would still make her blessed even on earth.

2. The rich disciple.... err...

This gentleman walked to the Lord and said, what must I do to receive salvation? Jesus told Him to follow the commandments. The rich guy said, "I followed them since youth". I am willing to bet the house that Titheing was a part of what that man followed, and yet, even though he tithed, it was not enough. Jesus required not ten percent of what the rich guy had to be sold, but ALL OF IT! Did the rich guy do so? Who knows, but he probably did if he knew what was best for him. (But many imply that he did not, and who am I to argue the point).

The point is that God does not have a percentage of what He wants from us; He wants it all! If money is the thing which is the most precious to you, give it, all of it. If time is the most precious thing to you, give it, all of it. God does not want us to have anything get in the way of us having an open, honest, and true relationship with Him.

The point? Give, and it will be given unto you. Titheing is not of God, especially today. My authority? Luke 6:38. This is Christ's mandate, and not man. The churches today need to truly understand this concept.

Now I understand the need for buildings, and I also understand the need to pay the bills. However, even if the leaders of the church buildings need to have these bills paid, there is no excuse for requiring 10% of the people's income. This is not what CHrist taught us, and in all honesty, I believe that tithing is sinful. It is not the giving mandate. It is the requirement of things which the Lord does not require. It is the teaching that God does not want everything, but only a percentage. The earth is the Lord's and EVERYTHING thereof. Jesus did not die to save 10% of you.

side note: thank you PP, for bringing up this thread, because this has been causing me to be burning red hot with anger for quite a while, and finally, I can put into words what I was taught by the Lord since I committed all of myself to Him. I am truly greatful.

Jesus gave all of His life, so what is all of ours? Give and it will be given back to you.

To the churches, if you stopped teaching the titheing mandate and start teaching the Word of the Lord, then one might find that your buildings will be paid for, and the bills taken care of. If a church building is God's Will, then what would cause Him to not have His Will done? Indeed, if that church is suppose to have all of the extravagence that it has, then would not the Lord see to it that the people give to the point that the proceeds would cover all of the costs?

This leads me to say this as well. Just because one says that they are building a building in the name of Jesus does not necessarily mean that that particular building is part of God's will. God does reserve the right to say no on occasion. If the money dries up, then wouldn't that be a sign that the Lord is moving, and you are not? It is not about the money; it's about Him, and I believe that all of the churches need to wake up quickly to this fact.

Do away with titheing, and institute what Lord Jesus has taught us. Give. That's all that He said. Give.

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 04:26 PM
This is where you are dead wrong. The onus is on YOU. YOU are the one who was citing something that you cannot prove as PROOF that churches do not help the needy.

You could, at this point, admit that you've been making strawman arguments and have gotten caught doing so.Please see http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432071&postcount=83
You will see that my citing of the incident has got nothing to do with proving "that churches do not help the needy". I wonder why you keep insisting on it? I wonder who is the one making strawman argument here and is caught up doing so...???...:lol:

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 06:50 PM
Please see http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432071&postcount=83
You will see that my citing of the incident has got nothing to do with proving "that churches do not help the needy". I wonder why you keep insisting on it? I wonder who is the one making strawman argument here and is caught up doing so...???...:lol:

This is what you wrote, in post #78.

You must be kidding right? Now, I'd like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:...Would you care to explain that little comment?

Is that NOT a sarcastic jab at churches that you believe refuse to give out money to the needy?

If that is NOT a cheap-shot at churches, please explain exactly what it really is?


You then went on to cite the fable of this single mother in Iowa, who was freezing along with her children, because her electricity got shut off. And before you posted the quote, this is what you said of it:

But this is a real incident:Were you not dishonest in writing, "this is a real incident," when, in fact, you have absolutely no idea whether it is true?

Would you care to explain why you're saying such things? Please do!

Amazedgrace21
Nov 7th 2007, 06:53 PM
I'm not quoting your entire story, simply for the sake of saving space - nothing more.

Let's address the issue of the sick woman, living in a mobile home, for just a moment.
I cannot vouch for every town or city, but in most places there are apartments available, that are government subsidized, where the rent is based strictly on income. One such place, in the town where I used to live, was a wonderful 7-story apartment building with 1-2 bedroom apartments. Several of the people in my church lived there and loved it. For some, their TOTAL cost of living there was between $150-$200 per month, and that included everything.


Yes, I am familiar with Section 8 housing and how it works, currently the waiting lists for this assisstance is quite long, the availble units are limited and the turnovers are pretty low as they are often set aside for families with minor children and folks much older..there are also issues of the handicaps involved and special accomondations needed for "this woman' situation

(Please note, I am familiar with this situation personally..I AM..this woman lol!)

I will also not try to "judge" this woman's children, though you seem to imply that she had several adult kids. But let me put this bluntly. If my mom, or my wife's mom, was having that kind of financial difficulty, either or both of them would be living in my home, and they would have no housing costs of any kind! Period.

That would be wise..the childrens ages during this situation were between 16 and 22 yrs at the onset and then 20 yrs and 26 yrs towards the end of it arriving at some resolution that is a bit more tolerable..which I indicated by the age range of "the woman",you overlooked the variables of others aka the children having special medical circumstances, their ages, the dynamics of income , the fact that the situation deteriorated under these factors..that two of the older children were committed to a long stretch ofmilitary service and stationed over seas..and that everyone was contributing..to the best of their ability..nor living in the lap of luxury.

The huge problem being the need for medical care and the fact that the expenses canonly be relieved with a health care plan that meets the needs of the illness,and that the actual "costs" of living in a mobile home, thatis modified for the "woman" is less considerably modified and opperating within the levels at or below the Section 8 guidelines in this community "the woman" lives in..

The point being there are unique situations and variables on the "personal/individual level"..that are
being overlooked and characterized in a very negative, cynical, judgemental manner by using statistics alone as a cut off criteria..especially if you do not undertand them and work with Social Service agencies and actually are one of the folks who do this job..such as "myself" .


Now let's talk about the obligation & finances of a local church.
The average attendance of the average American church is about 75 people per Sunday. Many of these people are, themselves, living on a fixed income. The entire offering income of many of these churches is well under $40,000 per year. Even if these churches have no paid staff, just how much spare money do we think they have sitting around? I can promise you that it's nowhere near as much as most people think.

Again this was alreaady "noted"..what applies to these folks, I have applied to myself as have my kids..and in some communities such as the one I live in..we are speaking of much lower income levels..demographically speaking a national average is just that..an average..as a number "cruncher" and facilitator who has worked for a living in some of these agencies and done so in my churches for years..

I am privy to the same info as the Pastor and actually collect and correlate it for him. So I can rely upon an information source and base that does not require your "promise" here but thank you for offering it!

In addition, just how many "hardship cases" can a church provide for? If a church takes on one $500 per month individual in need, I guarantee you that there will be 25 more people, with nearly identical needs, that come calling on that church within the month. And that means that this local church ends up saying "No" to somebody - and that somebody will be hurt, angry and discouraged, and will go around telling everybody, "I asked that church for help and they told me 'No!'"

Once again, I have not suggested we socialize "churches" into becoming another social entity or agency to act as a Welfare agent for "the poor"..

Thee are proactive ways in any community and for churches to address these sort of things and manage these types of ministires "better" by actually being aware of their own communities around them..nor do I believe it is the role of the church to subsidize anothers entire situation..but simply be a bit more flexible in respect to trusting that there are often doors God does open with some truly commited folks who have a heart for this type of work and recognize that they are not going to be able to help everyone..but can help the ones they can..
If you noted what I wrote..

I certainly did not ask for or accept anything from my church..I was doing a "blind" study on behalf of several Pastors who asked for some input with ow to approach this subject better. My point being that "if" I can recognize certain things by being one of "those people" , I can offer a better criteria to help meet ministry priorities for others..who" only make $40,000.00" to be in a position to help as they feel led to do.




Let's talk about the purpose of the church. This is going to sound horribly harsh and rude, but the Church does not exist for the purpose of paying people's bills.

Absolutely agree... and ,Christians live to serve Christ in what ever way he "leads" them too,


Let me tell you about the church I am privileged to pastor.
One of the reasons I was drawn to this church is because the chairman of the elders said, "A goal of mine is to see this church get to the point where 85% of all our offerings/income is used outside the church." What he meant is that the vast majority of what we take in would be immediately invested in missions - starting locally and going overseas, and on serving others. Have we reached that goal? No. Will we? Likely not. But are we striving toward that end? Yes!

A poor, underprivaleged unbeliever is as worthy a treasure to seek for God's glory if it comes from our local communities as the ones overseas..and it is vital to reach areas of the world where the gospel is not available..I too have undertaken international missionary trips..as have raised a child who is well on their way to becoming a Pastor.

Every month we financially support a local food pantry - a pantry that gave food to over 25,000 people last year. Just this past Sunday the lady who runs the food pantry came and spoke briefly to our church. We took a "second offering" for this food pantry, and the offering was over $500. Now, mind you, we're NOT a big church. We will also give them a special offering for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas. And these are in addition to the money we send them every month. Is the church I pastor "feeing the hungry"? Yes, absolutely!

No one suggested that as a Pastor you are not feeding the hungry..and that your sheep are also doing their part as well helping any of "those" sheep"..I simply ofered my perspective as someone who has commited to this particular areas of ministry that a portion of the "giving" for "those sheep" as one of those who are a Pastor's sheep as well..

This past summer we received a call concerning a family whose home was in disrepair, and the condition of the home was going to keep this "older" couple from being able to have custodial care of their grandchildren. Our mens' group - and some of the ladies - rose to the occasion and have done everything from painting to clean-up to floor repair to wiring in a new stove (donated by another church member). It has been all at our own expense. In addition, there were projects at the church that got put on hold so we could help this family. And it comes as no surprise that we honestly feel that we, as a church, are the ones most blessed by this! Are we helping those in need? Well, we are certainly trying!

This is a wonderful thing..it required a call to bring this to your attention,and that is perhaps my point..Christians should be doing the calling and paying more attention and not always 'wait' to have to be asked..I queston any teachings that suggest otherwise as perhaps the genuine spirit of Christ, thats all..


I could go on and on, but not only would people quit reading, it would also seem like I'm bragging - which I am not. What I am saying is that it is very easy for people, who don't know any different, to sit and criticize churches - claiming churches refuse to help people in need. But most of the time, said people simply are not seeing what is actually being done.

The Churches do have to be sensitive to being in tune and appropriately prioritized with their roles representing Christ in all areas of life..taking an inventory to see if that is the case is not neccessarily a critical judgement but a process of accountibility that should be encouraged and welcomed ..it sounds a bit defensive and jumping to an extreme to not address the middle ground here and avoid the issues when in fact do miss the boat "badly".

It is true that there are churches who care nothing about anything but their building, and care about nobody but themselves. But I doubt that's a very high percentage of churches. In fact, I'd encourage everybody here to get involved in the outreach and help ministry of your church. I think you'll be surprised by how busy you'll be!

I am simply suggesting that there is opportunity, need and ability to be involved in outreach and ministry as private Christians who "are the Church" that is on going part of being a Christian who is a member of a church that does this as well. We don't "punch" a clock on Sundays after we leave the church..and many forms of giving do not require simply dollars but "sweat equity" to be invested to meet a need.

often everyone thinks everybody and anybody is doing this and sadly, the everybodies and anybodies pass the torch to the nobodies" who end up doing the job that Christ asked of everybody and anybody.

Its pretty sad "if" we approach this with a spirit since we cant help everybody we will simply help no one so we do not hurt someones feeling here and appear "unfair"..giving even when it hurts or casues some mild discomfort or inconvience to ones own personal "life" is not the same as giving till it harms..that's all!:hug:

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 07:01 PM
I am simply suggesting that there is opportunity, need and ability to be involved in outreach and ministry as private Christians who "are the Church" that is on going part of being a Christian who is a member of a church that does this as well. We don't "punch" a clock on Sundays after we leave the church..and many forms of giving do not require simply dollars but "sweat equity" to be invested to meet a need.

often everyone thinks everybody and anybody is doing this and sadly, the everybodies and anybodies pass the torch to the nobodies" who end up doing the job that Christ asked of everybody and anybody.

Its pretty sad "if" we approach this with a spirit since we cant help everybody we will simply help no one so we do not hurt someones feeling here and appear "unfair"..giving even when it hurts or casues some mild discomfort or inconvience to ones own personal "life" is not the same as giving till it harms..that's all!:hug:

I wish you lived in Omaha.

I'd love to have you as part of the church I pastor - and you'd love it too. Not because of me, but because of the "people in the pews". They're lovely!

And I can promise you that if you lived in this area, your bathroom floor would have already been fixed!


Blessings to you!

Amazedgrace21
Nov 7th 2007, 07:20 PM
Quote:
Hi, I'm a single mother of two. I live in the country. I do work, however i'm temporarly laid off. When we had the bad storms in (Iowa) my car got stuck in a snow bank while trying to get it out it blew up. So I went without a car for almost three months. It was hard just to get a ride to the store. Now I got a car but it took everything I had, now I can't pay my bills that i'm behind on. I do get unemployment, but thats not enough to survive on. I havn't got child support since last November. My electric has been off since last week. This has been hard on me and the kids. Yesterday we went to a camp ground just so we could shower. We were not guests so the whole time im showering im a nervous wreak thinking we could get in trouble. I have never felt so low in my life. Im used to helping other people. I did find a tempory job that alowed me to pay my rent. So I do have a roof over my head just no electric or water. If there is someone out there who would help me through this tuff time, I will be able to pay it back in time

The storms occured throughout late winter..we had them here too..and then three months later would allow for the deadline to pass and an outstanding balance to be left in a situation where the funds had run out and not enough income to meet the needs.. come MAY 1st..

The only reference to "November" was when the child support ended..there is no contradiction here, many folks do not have family to turn to or the needs exceeds the families ability to do so..sometimes it simply takes time and "break" a miracle for some to 'catch" and turn things around..

Again, speaking from experience..one week you can be sitting in your home and have things situated and working then life throws something at you thatis everybit as devestating and catatstrophic as being in the Towers on 9/11 or unable to leave New Orleans..nor can you get out of these circumstnaces without a hand..no one could..

and it takes time to be able to stablize the situation..to get to the objective of self sufficiency. I know..I have lived through stuff like this..had to pick up my 4 kids and leave a home of over 20 years with them and what ever I could throw in the car on the way out..and never went back, both my parents were terminally ill in this period, the world did not revolve around just me when things went bad whenit came to others who had problems .. I moved into a Domestic Violence Shelter that became "my home" for 8 mos..nor is it uncommon..a factory or business shuts down and in 60 days there is a crisis..and a man finds himself with no way to support his wife and kids..

Everything is on a keel but its horrendously tight and sparse, the property taxes can't be paid..a family is on the streets when a few hundred dollars would have kept them in a home and bought some time for things to improve..so much has to do with timing...this is not rocket science here, its simply being in tune and if able beng part of the solution instead of simply ignoring the problem, thats all..its love in action.

Folks never forget when God takes the impossible and makes it possible for them..and uses one of us to do that in some small way..if its a $100.00 problem and requires $100.00 that last penny counts, even if its only a penny.:)


There is so much involved with adjusting, interacting and reacting to the individuals and not simply "numbers".

Amazedgrace21
Nov 7th 2007, 07:42 PM
I wish you lived in Omaha.

I'd love to have you as part of the church I pastor - and you'd love it too. Not because of me, but because of the "people in the pews". They're lovely!

And I can promise you that if you lived in this area, your bathroom floor would have already been fixed!


Blessings to you!

Please don't take this wrong, I was not complaining here..just giving an example how "stuff happens"..and we can "plan on that"..lol!

I personally notice folks and things that are in our community and church and recognize the ones who are not "asking for help" when they need it..and why..often their own church families don't. If a single parent sort of drops of the face of the planet, I know why..if someone who has been around and a vital part of some ministires suddenly stops..I know why.. or at least recognize something is up..

What I mean was that the "relationships" at the church were all "functional" and based on the task not personal..and focused on the people working along side one another or coming and going..

No one came to see what was up with me..they didn't even question the scenario I gave and pursue looking for other ways to help if not with the ones they could not..knowing this was the position, it closed the door as far as I was concerned..in "asking" for something or even attempting to try to for what had already stiputlated would be denied..

Thats my point here, thats all..the situation is resolving itself with God's help and from those who were inclined" to allow Him to do so..We should not be waiting for the cross to come tous but racing to the cross when it comes to much .:hug:

Thank you for your kind words, our folks are great at this church, and I love my Pastor...just a bit clueless and need's to be a bit more alert to some things IMHO, and am sure God will take all the time needed to do that eventually.

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 10:57 PM
This is what you wrote, in post #78.
Would you care to explain that little comment?

Is that NOT a sarcastic jab at churches that you believe refuse to give out money to the needy?

If that is NOT a cheap-shot at churches, please explain exactly what it really is?Refer:http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432078&postcount=85
(http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432078&postcount=85)


You then went on to cite the fable of this single mother in Iowa, who was freezing along with her children, because her electricity got shut off. And before you posted the quote, this is what you said of it:
Were you not dishonest in writing, "this is a real incident," when, in fact, you have absolutely no idea whether it is true?

Would you care to explain why you're saying such things? Please do!Refer: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1433068&postcount=107

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 10:59 PM
Refer:http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432078&postcount=85
(http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432078&postcount=85)

Refer: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1433068&postcount=107

I've already read them several times, and they do not in any way speak to the questions.

Now... can you answer my questions, please? Thank you!

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 11:01 PM
I've already read them several times, and they do not in any way speak to the questions.

Now... can you answer my questions, please? Thank you!I hate to repeat myself...The answers are there...I am sorry that you cannot see them...

jeffreys
Nov 7th 2007, 11:10 PM
I hate to repeat myself...The answers are there...I am sorry that you cannot see them...

I've repeatedly asked you now, to explain why you wrote this comment:
"You must be kidding right? Now, I'd like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:..."

1. Were you just kidding?

2. Did you include the "laugh out loud" emoticon to heighten the sarcasm, indicating that you cannot find a church that gives out money to the needy?

3. Was in an honest question, because you are in need of something?



Would you take just a moment and provide simple answers to questions 1, 2 & 3? Call me dumb, but I've not yet seen any answers to those questions.

And maybe I'm wrong, but that statement - written by you - seems clearly to be an open mocking of churches because, in your mind, churches aren't willing to help the needy. I could be wrong, but that sure seems to be what you were implying. And if I'm wrong, you could EASILY clear up that error by saying so.

ravi4u2
Nov 7th 2007, 11:20 PM
I've repeatedly asked you now, to explain why you wrote this comment:
"You must be kidding right? Now, I'd like to find a church that gives out money to the needy...:lol:..."

1. Were you just kidding?

2. Did you include the "laugh out loud" emoticon to heighten the sarcasm, indicating that you cannot find a church that gives out money to the needy?

3. Was in an honest question, because you are in need of something?



Would you take just a moment and provide simple answers to questions 1, 2 & 3? Call me dumb, but I've not yet seen any answers to those questions.

And maybe I'm wrong, but that statement - written by you - seems clearly to be an open mocking of churches because, in your mind, churches aren't willing to help the needy. I could be wrong, but that sure seems to be what you were implying. And if I'm wrong, you could EASILY clear up that error by saying so.Refer: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1432078&postcount=85
You replied 'Gotcha' meaning you understood my reply...

jiggyfly
Dec 5th 2007, 01:39 PM
Peter,

As you know, I'm not really following threads right now, so don't be too surprised or take it as an afront if I ignore your response...

But...

It's the 4th page and I still don't know your position on giving and tithing.

My position is that "tithing" is an OT principle IOT support the Levitical priesthood. NT believers are nowhere commanded to tithe, but to give generously ("cheerfully" - can't talk about NT giving without referring to this, Peter - 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7).

The tithe is not a biblical NT concept/teaching at all. The principle is to give generously - according to how God has prospered you. This doesn't leave us off the hook to support what God is doing. It does keep it from becoming a legalism response rather than giving from the heart. That is the danger I see in calling something a command which is not commanded. It changes the focus and makes giving a legalistic self-centered ritual rather than giving back to God out of a heart which rejoices in what God is doing in their lives.

Thx,

BD

I agree with your understnding here BD and I too am interested in PP position on new covenant giving.

ProjectPeter
Dec 5th 2007, 05:45 PM
I agree with your understnding here BD and I too am interested in PP position on new covenant giving.
I've mentioned it often times on the board. I don't think the tithing system is for the church today. But to clarify... I think folks wrongly get caught up on the number 10 percent. It goes much further than that with New Testament giving. If I have... I give. If that is 10 percent or 90 percent... even all then so be it. It isn't about a set in stone number.

What I have found to be the general case... those that talk about tithe give ten percent with some more now and again when the mood hits. Those that are against tithe... generally give little in comparison. Both use each system as an excuse to give only so much... or give very little. Both are in error.

I've a post in my blog that would shed some light on it too... feel free to gander at it.

jiggyfly
Dec 5th 2007, 09:55 PM
Thanks PP for your response, sorry if I passed over some of your previous comments, this clears it up. God bless