PDA

View Full Version : Pastor says I'm not blessed for not tithing and giving seed...



Magnetic
Nov 19th 2007, 02:54 PM
On another forum, I had a huge conversation with other Christians about tithing and today. As you can imagine, there were many opinions and biblical discussions over the topic. Many of the more well known people on that board were saying that Malachi (the part about "robbing God by not giving tithes and offerings") was directly being spoken to the Levitical priests and not the people.

This isn't about whether or not people should give tithes and especially offerings, or "seed offerings", but more about whether or not God requires such things before He chooses to bless a Christian. The "if you sow little, you'll reap little, if you sow abundantly, you will reap abundantly, and you reap what you sow...".

So, I feel like I will never be blessed if I DON'T give tithes or if I DON'T "sow a seed" and that just seem like such a conditional thing. The way I see it, our own earthly fathers don't require us to do things for them, yet they are glad to supply us with all we need and then some, if they are able. And if they ARE able, they love us so much that they would give us as much as they could, within reason, of course. So what is it with the teaching that God doesn't bless people without us first giving a "seed of faith"?

I stopped giving tithes after the other Christian forum chat because it started seeming more to me like a man initiated rule and not God's.

As far as "receiving a blessing" when you tithe or give seed, many of you know my story of how my wife turned her back on God, on me and the marriage, and filed for divorce. Even though I was trusting God the whole time and tithing, I went from a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs to a single bedroom apartment in the center city. She received a ~$150K check from her dad's estate. . . . . . I didn't see any blessings. I have my pride, but it doesn't make purchases.

What is your thoughts on this?

Thanks!

Doc
Nov 19th 2007, 03:00 PM
This is the reason I left my church when I was back in America. My pastor taught about one thing and one thing only and that was tithing. He would say it was the only way to gurantee blessings and what not.

I gave up tithing and now see it as an evil with some people. I truly believe you are not required to give now that we are not bound to the old testament. I will give to my future storehouse that teaches me and brings me closer to Christ out of Love for Christ not just for the "Blessings" that I am guranteed.

***Sorry not much of an anwswer, more of an added rant. Thanks for listening***

ProjectPeter
Nov 19th 2007, 03:16 PM
Just for discussion sake and it might be too personal and if so then don't answer. How much would you say that you give percentage wise?

Slug1
Nov 19th 2007, 03:51 PM
I see that ProjectPeter has already touched on what I want to say. So I'll say it anyway :lol:

In the vary scripture that you brought up concerning, you sow little you reap little... it also says this:

2 Cor 9:6-7

6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Now, who is to say what a person can give generously. If your income barely pays all the bills, pays for all the necessary needs for life (food, shelter etc) and all that's left over is a dollar at the end of the month... just imagine how joyful God would be if you gave that final dollar to Him.

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.


This is what I mean by giving that final dollar.


Granted tithes should be given to God first but if the situation that I generated in this post caused a person to buy less food for the family or not be able to pay for the water/electric/gas utilities... I can't imagine God "not" understanding a tithe that is less then 10%. Not many give a full 10% but what you give should be of a happy heart.


That dollar in this situation is 100% of all that can be given back to God.

Brother Mark
Nov 19th 2007, 03:55 PM
What is your thoughts on this?

Thanks!

My thoughts... that more is going on here than just giving.

He knows how you feel and why you feel the way you do. He can be trusted. He has good plans for your well being. One things about the fire, it often is intended to only burn that which binds us.

Magnetic
Nov 19th 2007, 04:29 PM
Just for discussion sake and it might be too personal and if so then don't answer. How much would you say that you give percentage wise?

Currently, I don't give any tithe (because of the discussion I mentioned). Not being under Old Testiment Law, that the tithe was an every 3 year thing for people, that their tithe should be brought and consumed by the tither.

Now, I have given when I have felt moved to.

And as far as my own finances, I COULD give it and it not hurt my ability to eat. It's more about whether it is a command to the church today. . . . and if, just by giving tithe or giving a "seed", God will bless you financially more because of your giving. My church reads testimony cards about how someone started tithing and was blessed somehow (usually financial, but not always), and also our church is in a building phase (because the youth have exploaded and they need room, which is a good reason to build),. . . . . but they'll read about how someone "planted a seed for more than they thought they could and how they either got a bonus, raise, or something else that allowed them to pay their seed". In other words, they sowed generously and then reaped generously.

But this may be an exception and not the norm. I would say that most people, who make a seed promise, will not see any extra money come in, but will have to do away with some other thing that they would have spent their money on (which may not be a bad thing), movies, eating out, . . . . .or may find themselves figuring out how to pay the bills at the same time. Was their faith not as good as the person who got a raise/bonus?

I will be honest. I'm being completely open and entirely human now. When I look at "giving the tithe", and I give on the before tax amount, when I figure up what that is at the end of the year, . . . . . it can be substantial. . . . . . . . . . but then, my church does help a lot of people and do outreaches to the community. . . . . . . . . .but then, the pastor does live in a gated community. . . . . . . . but he IS a good pastor and lived paycheck to paycheck in the past . . . and having a good living isn't wrong.........

My brain is in overdrive on this issue, as you may very well tell.

Slug1
Nov 19th 2007, 04:40 PM
My brain is in overdrive on this issue, as you may very well tell.
IMO, you are so concerned about what's going on around you and with what you're money will be used for... that it's impossible for you to give with a happy heart. I don't expect anything in return, I don't care what the pastor does with the money... it's not my money any longer at this point. Granted I'd be upset if the money was abused in some way but that is between such a pastor and God and if the pastor didn't correct the abuse, I'd move onto a new church.

That's just me though but this is what I get after reading this post (even though I didn't quote the whole thing). Let your heart guide you, not your brain. I've always said if it's from the heart, it's from God. If it's from the brain it's you on your own.

rdclmn7
Nov 19th 2007, 04:48 PM
I've both done it and have lived through situations where there simply wasn't enough money and it became a choice between eating and tithing(my weekly grocery budget at the time for a family of three was less than $20).
Nothing bad ever happened because of it.
The times I have been able to tithe has a been a question of participating in the church/community mission, nothing else that in the real world would apply other than being blessed as a particpant in the common good.
Now, I am pentioned by disablility, the income derived from money already tithed from, my church doesn't require it, yet, when I got my lump sum, I thoroughly enjoyed spending money on them, getting them a new sound system, getting parts and accessories for my fellow musicians and finally giving away a guitar just yesterday.
In good taste, I decided never to divulge the amount.
I went out of my way to work behind the scenes, but, they find out anyway...
The point to be made is that God won't ever punish you for not being able to. He will never punish you for something you don't believe in.
The tithe is also described as the tithe of your offering, it will never be anything but voluntary.
Your problem is not a conflict with scripture, you really don't have a problem, you have a situation that you will endure with God's help, believe it or not, it all ends at some point.
When everything is said and done, if you ever decide on the issue, it will be a question of participating in the local church's mission, whichever church that might be...

AlainaJ
Nov 19th 2007, 04:52 PM
Tithing was a way to care for the levite priests in the OT.Do a search on the word Tithe and read every verse . It will open your eyes.

We have a new covenant now, where we are led by the Holy Spirit. Paul talks about giving in the church...and I would not attend any church where tithing was required, or equated with blessing.

However, God expects all of us. 100% of our time, resources, talents, $ etc.......If we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, yes God will bless us. If we ignore or disobey what the Holy Spirit is telling us, God will not bless us.

Alaina:)

ProjectPeter
Nov 19th 2007, 05:35 PM
Currently, I don't give any tithe (because of the discussion I mentioned). Not being under Old Testiment Law, that the tithe was an every 3 year thing for people, that their tithe should be brought and consumed by the tither.

Now, I have given when I have felt moved to.

And as far as my own finances, I COULD give it and it not hurt my ability to eat. It's more about whether it is a command to the church today. . . . and if, just by giving tithe or giving a "seed", God will bless you financially more because of your giving. My church reads testimony cards about how someone started tithing and was blessed somehow (usually financial, but not always), and also our church is in a building phase (because the youth have exploaded and they need room, which is a good reason to build),. . . . . but they'll read about how someone "planted a seed for more than they thought they could and how they either got a bonus, raise, or something else that allowed them to pay their seed". In other words, they sowed generously and then reaped generously.

But this may be an exception and not the norm. I would say that most people, who make a seed promise, will not see any extra money come in, but will have to do away with some other thing that they would have spent their money on (which may not be a bad thing), movies, eating out, . . . . .or may find themselves figuring out how to pay the bills at the same time. Was their faith not as good as the person who got a raise/bonus?

I will be honest. I'm being completely open and entirely human now. When I look at "giving the tithe", and I give on the before tax amount, when I figure up what that is at the end of the year, . . . . . it can be substantial. . . . . . . . . . but then, my church does help a lot of people and do outreaches to the community. . . . . . . . . .but then, the pastor does live in a gated community. . . . . . . . but he IS a good pastor and lived paycheck to paycheck in the past . . . and having a good living isn't wrong.........

My brain is in overdrive on this issue, as you may very well tell.My point with you though... if you were to just guestimate... how much do you give (percentage wise)? Not talking about tithe or anything else we could call ritualistic save the act of giving itself for giving sake.

Magnetic
Nov 19th 2007, 06:42 PM
I don't give anything on a weekly basis. When I was giving tithes, it was just over 10% of Gross.

ProjectPeter
Nov 19th 2007, 06:56 PM
I don't give anything on a weekly basis. When I was giving tithes, it was just over 10% of Gross.
So then you give rarely now and less than even ten percent... and you expect to be blessed why? Just because you believe?

Toolman
Nov 19th 2007, 07:31 PM
So, I feel like I will never be blessed if I DON'T give tithes or if I DON'T "sow a seed" and that just seem like such a conditional thing. The way I see it, our own earthly fathers don't require us to do things for them, yet they are glad to supply us with all we need and then some, if they are able. And if they ARE able, they love us so much that they would give us as much as they could, within reason, of course. So what is it with the teaching that God doesn't bless people without us first giving a "seed of faith"?

Mag,

To me this comes back to the whole Law/Gospel hermaneutic that I see running thru the whole of scripture.

In your above example of a father giving to his kids, I think what is missing from that example is the issue of maturity. My 4 boys range in ages and maturity levels, so my expectations of their responsibilities and my giving of "blessings" differs for each one because of that. My love, of course, is equal for each one regardless of maturity level or age.

Now, lets put that in practical terms.

I expect my youngest to not be able to handle the responsibilities that the oldest can handle nor the blessings, i.e. like driving a car, dating, etc.
They are at different maturity levels.

Now, what I hope to foster as they mature is that they will not handle their responsibilities just so I will bless them but because they know I love them and they love me and want to do kind things to bless me. IOW, out of simple love they will want to wash the dishes, do laundry, cut grass, whatever.
Not that they won't want to be blessed also (that's natural to an extent I think) but mostly because they want to be a blessing back to me.

I think that is how we should view giving also. I want to bless God, by blessing others, because of what He did for me in giving Jesus. Not so I can get some material blessing (though God knows my needs and my wants and He is a giver I have absolutely no doubt) but just because I'm already blessed and I am following my Father's example. He is a selfless giver and that motivates, empowers and encourages me to give also (much more than just money we are talking about here but of course included).

That's how I view it anyway.

Magnetic
Nov 19th 2007, 08:00 PM
So then you give rarely now and less than even ten percent... and you expect to be blessed why? Just because you believe?


Well, that would mean that God only blesses if you do something first. A conditional response. If you . . . . , then I will. . . . .

I have no problems with blessing people, and I understand what you and Toolman are saying. And have been considering the tithe again.

I think that I will do so, not expecting anything in return, though, because I DON'T deserve any blessings.

Toolman
Nov 19th 2007, 08:07 PM
Well, that would mean that God only blesses if you do something first. A conditional response. If you . . . . , then I will. . . . .

And to me that goes back to the Law/Gospel hermaneutic.

The Law says "if you... then I (God) will...."

Whereas the Gospel says "I (God) will... then you will..", i.e. God enables, empowers and encourages us, by His grace and love, to work the works that He has called us to by already blessing us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Joe King
Nov 19th 2007, 08:21 PM
And to me that goes back to the Law/Gospel hermaneutic.

The Law says "if you... then I (God) will...."

Whereas the Gospel says "I (God) will... then you will..", i.e. God enables, empowers and encourages us, by His grace and love, to work the works that He has called us to by already blessing us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

I prefer to give my money to a homeless person or a church/ministry just starting out.

God knows your intent and it is HIS BLESSINGS to give, not the preacher's.

Magnetic
Nov 19th 2007, 08:30 PM
What about those who say that "the tithe is not for today because we're under the new covenant, not the old". Or those who say that "the tithe mentioned in Malachi (those who were 'robbing God') was directed to the Levetical priests?

Again, I have no problem giving to a need, but if the church teaches that the tithe is God's and you're robbing Him by not giving it, . . . and it isn't actually the truth, then I DO have a problem with that. To me (if it isn't the case), that's like scaring people out of their money without biblical reason.

If we ARE supposed to still give, then I will humbly ask God for forgiveness and give it gladly.

Toolman
Nov 19th 2007, 08:32 PM
What about those who say that "the tithe is not for today because we're under the new covenant, not the old". Or those who say that "the tithe mentioned in Malachi (those who were 'robbing God') was directed to the Levetical priests?

Again, I have no problem giving to a need, but if the church teaches that the tithe is God's and you're robbing Him by not giving it, . . . and it isn't actually the truth, then I DO have a problem with that. To me (if it isn't the case), that's like scaring people out of their money without biblical reason.

If we ARE supposed to still give, then I will humbly ask God for forgiveness and give it gladly.

I think there is no doubt that we are to still give (tons of NT precedents for giving).

I also do not think that the tithe is for the new covenant. We have the example and we are to seek God on what and where to give IMO.

Tanya~
Nov 19th 2007, 08:33 PM
It is good to support a good pastor -- one who dedicates himself to the ministry of the word and prayer, for the benefit of the flock of God. One of the qualifications Scripture puts forward for elders (pastors) is that they not be covetous, not greedy for money. The problem is that there are many 'pastors' out there who are greedy, who lay guilt trips and manipulate people so they can fatten themselves financially.

Take the pastor's words to heart. Give to those who are in need. Did you know that the food banks are really lacking right now? All over the country (in the US) the food banks are experiencing shortages. My church has a food ministry, and there are shortages there too. This food is for the people in the congregation who are struggling financially. There are Christians who need financial help with basic needs. So if you share with them, and give generously, you can certainly expect a blessing. God wants us to help those who are in need.


Prov 19:17
He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD,
And He will pay back what he has given.
NKJV

RoadWarrior
Nov 19th 2007, 08:45 PM
Well, that would mean that God only blesses if you do something first. A conditional response. If you . . . . , then I will. . . . .

I have no problems with blessing people, and I understand what you and Toolman are saying. And have been considering the tithe again.

I think that I will do so, not expecting anything in return, though, because I DON'T deserve any blessings.

There are different kinds of blessings. God sends the rain on the just and the unjust, that is a blessing to everyone regardless. (Matthew 5:45)

God said, "bring the tithes into the storehouse" so that there will be plenty for the needs of the kingdom. (Mal 3:10).

I think if you are in a good church that is blessing you by being there, then it is right to support it, whether you tithe or make offerings. If you go to the theater or a ball game, you don't question whether you pay the admission fee, you just do it.

If the church is not blessing you, then find one that will. When I have been in dry places and had no church to give to, I gave to someone individually that I saw to be in need.

The concept of the tithe from the beginning was for the purpose of caring for someone other than yourself.

Look for the intent of the law, and you will have no problem fulfilling it, as Jesus did. Look at the letter of the law and you will never be able to meet what you think it means.

Blessings,

Road Warrior

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 19th 2007, 08:52 PM
Magnetic,

you might want to study Yacob tithing, he made a vow to tithe, and this was before the law and he said he would give a tenth. Since this tenth prefigures the "Law" at Mt Sinai, it may have well been something established even before then.

Abraham also tithed, to King Melchisedek.

Just and FYI, so you can solve this in the Word without anyone telling you what to do but God.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 19th 2007, 08:54 PM
The concept of the tithe from the beginning was for the purpose of caring for someone other than yourself.

Look for the intent of the law, and you will have no problem fulfilling it, as Jesus did. Look at the letter of the law and you will never be able to meet what you think it means.

Alot of wisdom in that simple statement.

Kahtar
Nov 19th 2007, 10:55 PM
Matthew 6:33
(33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
This little verse says a whole lot.
When we tithe, what is our purpose? To obey the law? Out of duty?
(I always find it humorous that those who so fervently preach on tithing, will turn right around and tell you the reason they don't worship on Saturday is because that was of the 'law', and is done away- except when it comes to giving money, I guess)
Do we tithe so that we can get blessed?
The instant you seek 'all these things', you are no longer seeking the kingdom.
Seeking the kingdom is not searching for the kingdom, but rather putting the things of, and the advancement of, the kingdom above all else in our lives.
Do we give to advance our blessings or the kingdom? Do we give to fulfill some duty, or to advance the kingdom?
How much we give, as has been clearly stated, is of little importance, WHY we give is of UTMOST importance.
When God called me to this area, the first thing He instructed me to do was to feed the street people in the park. I did that. From my own cupboard. I continued doing it until God directed me elsewhere.
Soon we were feeding more than we could afford. We prayed and said, Lord if you want us to continue with this, you'll need to provide the food'. Soon we were getting literally thousands of sandwiches a month, and feeding hundreds of people.
Did we give those sandwiches so we could get blessed with thousands of sandwiches? No. We gave them to feed hungry people and speak the Word of God into their lives, thereby advancing the kingdom. And God blessed us abundantly with more sandwiches than we knew what to do with. And on top of that, He began providing EVERYTHING ELSE we needed.
We went from 40k in debt to debt-free in less than 5 years. But not because we were seeking that. We saught to advance the kingdom of God in our area, and on the Navajo Reservation, and IN OUR OBEDIENCE to His direction, and our TRULY SEEKING THE KINGDOM, He did in fact bless us abunantly, in so many more ways than financially, but that too.
Moral of the story - Seek the kingdom of God (instead of YOUR kingdom), and be obedient to His direction. But don't seek the blessing, because the instant you do, you stop seeking the kingdom.

How much should we give? The amount that the Holy Spirit speaks into our hearts, percentages aside.

ProjectPeter
Nov 19th 2007, 11:03 PM
Well, that would mean that God only blesses if you do something first. A conditional response. If you . . . . , then I will. . . . .

I have no problems with blessing people, and I understand what you and Toolman are saying. And have been considering the tithe again.

I think that I will do so, not expecting anything in return, though, because I DON'T deserve any blessings.
Yes... it is conditional. Scripture is full of those "conditional" blessings. Sure enough. ;)

alethos
Nov 19th 2007, 11:09 PM
2 Cor 9:7 Let each man give according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

When it comes to tithing, I have learned that if you believe you must tithe and you only do it because you have been told that you should, then you would be better off not tithing. If you give grudgingly, you definitely should not tithe or give any offerings. But if you willingly and cheerfully give from a thankful heart, then you are the sort of giver that God desires.

ProjectPeter
Nov 19th 2007, 11:33 PM
What about those who say that "the tithe is not for today because we're under the new covenant, not the old". Or those who say that "the tithe mentioned in Malachi (those who were 'robbing God') was directed to the Levetical priests?

Again, I have no problem giving to a need, but if the church teaches that the tithe is God's and you're robbing Him by not giving it, . . . and it isn't actually the truth, then I DO have a problem with that. To me (if it isn't the case), that's like scaring people out of their money without biblical reason.

If we ARE supposed to still give, then I will humbly ask God for forgiveness and give it gladly.
But are you giving to needs? That is what generally happens with folks that figure out that the tithe is an Old Testament giving that isn't spoken of in the Epistles. But then we know too that giving to needs is a measure of our love of both our brother and God. So the big question I would figure is... how do we measure up in that act of love? If you are giving nothing or now and again (translated... no often) then I dare say there's a problem.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 12:03 AM
IN OUR OBEDIENCE to His direction, and our TRULY SEEKING THE KINGDOM, He did in fact bless us abunantly, in so many more ways than financially, but that too.
Moral of the story - Seek the kingdom of God (instead of YOUR kingdom), and be obedient to His direction. But don't seek the blessing, because the instant you do, you stop seeking the kingdom.

How much should we give? The amount that the Holy Spirit speaks into our hearts, percentages aside.


AMEN! Giving brings about far more blessings that just financial. One who sows into us spiritually, deserves to reap from us materially. And that is the "formula" in scripture that is often abused. We do not sow money in order to reap money. We sow money for the spiritual teaching and guidance that is poured into our lives. From this wisdom, we learn how to live in the kingdom. And as we learn to live in the kingdom, we find our needs are met.

Great post Kahtar.

jbbaab44
Nov 20th 2007, 02:24 AM
How can you be blessed from tithing when you don't obey the law that was bound with the blessing? The tithe law could only be brought to the temple, was never given to the pastor, never given every week, and never included money. Now if you want to be blessed from the effects of sacrificial giving, then obey the commands of Spirit-led giving.

Because the Spirit of God has the sole power to ordain ministries, it also has the responsibility to anoint others with gifts and abilities to sustain it. (Hence, the purpose of the gift of giving). How can the old law be responsible to control the gifts and abilities to sustain something that it had no power to ordain?

Steven3
Nov 20th 2007, 02:35 AM
Hi Magnetic
As Alaina says - do a verse search, and then read the context. Tithing is finished, it was part of the Law of Moses.

And even under the Law 10% did not go to the Levites, the Levites had their own fields and had to work and earn their bread with the sweat of their brow just like any other Israelite. Most of the temple tax was used for the temple itself, sacrifices, or for welfare for the poor.

The early church had collections on Sunday not to support a "pastor" (the Latin word for shepherd, "pastors" are a system dating from later), each church had several "bishops" (the Greek word for overseers, the same as presbyters or elders), who, if they were young enough to work, worked. The collections went towards:
i. The widows list
ii. "double honour" for some bishops - whatever that means isn't clear.
iii. big collections - like for the poor in Jerusalem. That's the context of 2Co9:7 "God loves a cheerful giver".

I'd say give - but do it by sponsoring children to attend school in Africa or Asia, not by burdening the church with more wealth. The pastor could also get a job Mon-Fri, which may be along the lines of what Paul (who worked "day and night" so as not to take wages and to "preach the Gospel free of charge") told the Thessalonian church members who were devoting their time to making home visits: "Get a job".
God bless
Steven

Kahtar
Nov 20th 2007, 03:11 AM
Or better yet, while you're listening to God about what to give, ask Him who to give it to as well.;)

StevenC
Nov 20th 2007, 03:39 AM
What is your thoughts on this?

Perhaps you should consider looking at different churches until you find one that teaches right and is in need of tithes. Just a thought, although its between you and God. Also if you want to give but you don't like your churches teachings, you could give the money to the poor. Don't let a pastor make you feel guilty. There are some churches that need tithes, and others that just want them. Have you taken it to prayer? You can set aside the money and ask God to show you what he wants you to do with it.

Just some ideas...

-Steven

hootinannie
Nov 20th 2007, 05:59 AM
I am disabled and my disability $$ is low...I guarantee you it is not enough to live on. Some of you have car payments higher than my income. I am able to supplement my income by caring for other people's pets while they are away from home. This does not add much. I have, however, from seeing God faithfully provide for me during 4 years of homelessness, learned that my resources are not dependent on MY bank account. My resource is Abba, my Heavenly Father, who holds the purse strings. It is not unusual for me to give more than I can "afford", because I know that God is able to cause income to come to me from sources completely unknown and unexpected. It is still sometimes hard for me to give, and I don't always give 10%, and sometimes I don't give at all, but when I do give, it is because I want to, and although I know, when I put the money in the offering plate, or give to someone else who needs it, that it may mean that I have to suck in my belly and live on basically nothing until the beginning of the month, I also know that God will not allow me to go hungry or without shelter or heat or electricity. He has been so faithful to provide for me that I have come to EXPECT Him to be faithful, so I have a lot less difficulty parting with money...HE is my "banker", and I do not have to know where the money will come from or how He will provide. I just know that He WILL provide. And He never lets me down. Never.

Hoot

99svtgreensnake
Nov 20th 2007, 07:43 AM
I do not give my money to a church so they can have new carpet or a crystal chandelier. Here is how I do it and how I believe it should be done. I was at work yesterday and I heard a person talking about how someone who worked with me had a family member who's house burnt down. I then whipped out my check book in seclusion so no one else knew what I was doing then wrote a check for a dollar amount and when the person came to my ward I then gave it too them.. They were surprised and I told them that I cared even though I didn't know them and that it was not me but God through me who was giving this. That is how my God works.

ProjectPeter
Nov 20th 2007, 01:42 PM
How can you be blessed from tithing when you don't obey the law that was bound with the blessing? The tithe law could only be brought to the temple, was never given to the pastor, never given every week, and never included money. Now if you want to be blessed from the effects of sacrificial giving, then obey the commands of Spirit-led giving.

Because the Spirit of God has the sole power to ordain ministries, it also has the responsibility to anoint others with gifts and abilities to sustain it. (Hence, the purpose of the gift of giving). How can the old law be responsible to control the gifts and abilities to sustain something that it had no power to ordain?
But then there is a blessing for giving and even the New Testament makes that clear. So where is the balance? What we are seeing here is clear. Folks either give their tithe and think it's all good... and some give little to nothing at all (not speaking of those who can't). Is either of these correct?

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 01:50 PM
I do not give my money to a church so they can have new carpet or a crystal chandelier. Here is how I do it and how I believe it should be done. I was at work yesterday and I heard a person talking about how someone who worked with me had a family member who's house burnt down. I then whipped out my check book in seclusion so no one else knew what I was doing then wrote a check for a dollar amount and when the person came to my ward I then gave it too them.. They were surprised and I told them that I cared even though I didn't know them and that it was not me but God through me who was giving this. That is how my God works.
Would you give your money to a church so they could repair a leaking roof?

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 01:53 PM
As I continue to read through this thread, I'm finding it very interesting - and just a little disheartening - that so many people are absolutely determined to control who gets their money and how it will be used.

Somehow that just doesn't seem consistent with the apostle Paul's call to generosity, in 2nd Corinthians 8.

Kahtar
Nov 20th 2007, 01:59 PM
As I continue to read through this thread, I'm finding it very interesting - and just a little disheartening - that so many people are absolutely determined to control who gets their money and how it will be used.Yes, and very little finding out what God wants.......
'It's my money, and I am in control.'
And therein lies the two basic problems.

ProjectPeter
Nov 20th 2007, 02:12 PM
Yes, and very little finding out what God wants.......
'It's my money, and I am in control.'
And therein lies the two basic problems.
Takes away from that old song "I Surrender All" don't it. ;)

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 02:28 PM
As I continue to read through this thread, I'm finding it very interesting - and just a little disheartening - that so many people are absolutely determined to control who gets their money and how it will be used.

Somehow that just doesn't seem consistent with the apostle Paul's call to generosity, in 2nd Corinthians 8.

Amen! To me, this is the heart of the matter. When we give to others at the direction of the Lord, then it no longer matters what they do with the money.

I know this... when I hated God, he gave his Son to me. He didn't wait until I deserved His gift before he gave.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 02:31 PM
I do not give my money to a church so they can have new carpet or a crystal chandelier. Here is how I do it and how I believe it should be done. I was at work yesterday and I heard a person talking about how someone who worked with me had a family member who's house burnt down. I then whipped out my check book in seclusion so no one else knew what I was doing then wrote a check for a dollar amount and when the person came to my ward I then gave it too them.. They were surprised and I told them that I cared even though I didn't know them and that it was not me but God through me who was giving this. That is how my God works.

I too am very fond of giving to individuals in need. I think this is often overlooked by our institutions today.

But I also don't mind supporting a church that has a gym or some other nice building.

Tanya~
Nov 20th 2007, 03:05 PM
As I continue to read through this thread, I'm finding it very interesting - and just a little disheartening - that so many people are absolutely determined to control who gets their money and how it will be used.

Church buildings get bigger and fancier and require more and more expensive maintenance, necessitating more and more money from the people while yet some people in the body go hungry. There's something wrong with that.

The money is God's and we don't have the right to throw it away. We have to do with it what God would have us do with it. And from what I read in Scripture, it should go first to the poor in the body of Christ.

ProjectPeter
Nov 20th 2007, 03:11 PM
Church buildings get bigger and fancier and require more and more expensive maintenance, necessitating more and more money from the people while yet some people in the body go hungry. There's something wrong with that.

The money is God's and we don't have the right to throw it away. We have to do with it what God would have us do with it. And from what I read in Scripture, it should go first to the poor in the body of Christ.But then in fairness... folks want the fancier building and more "programs" and etc. That is evident every time a poll is done. They want nurseries and children's programs. They want better music and bookstores etc. Hence the reasons they are what they are and are as full as they are. Proof of that can be seen every Sunday morning when the little churches stay little while folks head on over to the big church with all that cool stuff.

Tanya~
Nov 20th 2007, 03:21 PM
But then in fairness... folks want the fancier building and more "programs" and etc. That is evident every time a poll is done. They want nurseries and children's programs. They want better music and bookstores etc. Hence the reasons they are what they are and are as full as they are. Proof of that can be seen every Sunday morning when the little churches stay little while folks head on over to the big church with all that cool stuff.

That's the reality of things. It is what people want. Is it what God wants? When we give money so that we can have nice surroundings and cool activities at church, does that lay up treasure in heaven? That kind of giving is for a temporal reward, not an eternal one. If the people want a nice building and they're willing to pay for it, they make that a priority and give to that cause, and their reward is that they get to enjoy what they have built. If that's what they want, then that is what they will get.

But if you want heavenly treasure, and if you want eternal blessings, you might want to give to the things that are more of a priority in God's sight.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 03:24 PM
Church buildings get bigger and fancier and require more and more expensive maintenance, necessitating more and more money from the people while yet some people in the body go hungry. There's something wrong with that.

The money is God's and we don't have the right to throw it away. We have to do with it what God would have us do with it. And from what I read in Scripture, it should go first to the poor in the body of Christ.

I agree with this completely! However, I do think there is a balance. For instance, the temple was lavish in some areas.

I know too from first hand experience how some big churches will overlook even ministers in the flock that do not have enough to get by on. If we have to make a choice (i.e. not enough money to meet all needs) then the poor within the congregation definitely come first!

Also, I don't know why we don't give more money to lost people. That is an excellent witnessing tool.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 03:26 PM
I personally think it's nuts for a church to have all sorts of fancy stuff. Teaching is what matters, and a quality of the congregation. The fruits thereof matter, not that big screen TV. I would never vote for our church to have more than what's clearly needed, while people go hungry. That sounds too backwards to me. But alas, people are way to indulgent these days, shows that the ways of the world doesn't stop at your church door.
I have been to a non denominational church that had an overhead cost worse than the one i go to now, even though our new congregation supports a lot more people. The non denom church preached on tithing often enough it became a stale, whereas our congregation doesn't pass the plate. And our new congregation receives more that way, and spends less.

Shalom,
Tanja

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 03:26 PM
That's the reality of things. It is what people want. Is it what God wants? When we give money so that we can have nice surroundings and cool activities at church, does that lay up treasure in heaven? That kind of giving is for a temporal reward, not an eternal one. If the people want a nice building and they're willing to pay for it, they make that a priority and give to that cause, and their reward is that they get to enjoy what they have built. If that's what they want, then that is what they will get.

But if you want heavenly treasure, and if you want eternal blessings, you might want to give to the things that are more of a priority in God's sight.

I don't think we can be so absolute about such things. I know a church in Dallas, Tx that built a skate park for the kids. They saw over 600 kids saved as a direct result of that skate park. But then, they had a word from God to build it. Funny thing about kids too, they can't give back to the church.

Tanya~
Nov 20th 2007, 03:30 PM
I agree with this completely! However, I do think there is a balance. For instance, the temple was lavish in some areas.

In the New Covenant, we are the temple of God. :) So if we want to build up the temple of God, and make it beautiful, then at least the believers who are the temple of God, who are poor, should have enough to eat. :)



If we have to make a choice (i.e. not enough money to meet all needs) then the poor within the congregation definitely come first!

Also, I don't know why we don't give more money to lost people. That is an excellent witnessing tool.

Amen!


Gal 6:7-10
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

ProjectPeter
Nov 20th 2007, 03:30 PM
That's the reality of things. It is what people want. Is it what God wants? When we give money so that we can have nice surroundings and cool activities at church, does that lay up treasure in heaven? That kind of giving is for a temporal reward, not an eternal one. If the people want a nice building and they're willing to pay for it, they make that a priority and give to that cause, and their reward is that they get to enjoy what they have built. If that's what they want, then that is what they will get.

But if you want heavenly treasure, and if you want eternal blessings, you might want to give to the things that are more of a priority in God's sight.No problem with that. Just trying to keep it real. We often rag the pastor's of churches for letting these big churches get to what they become. But those churches are full up with folks that want those things and give money (often times great amounts) to see these things come about.

Here's the passage that I will always fall back on though.

Philippians 1:15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;
16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;
17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.
18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 03:33 PM
In the New Covenant, we are the temple of God. :) So if we want to build up the temple of God, and make it beautiful, then at least the believers who are the temple of God, who are poor, should have enough to eat. :)

Of course! But then again, the temple was also a place of sacrifice and worship. I know the typology. I am just saying, if we have enough money to meet the needs, then spending on the building may not be all bad.

The example I gave above about a skate park is an excellent example of this.

In other words, when spending money, it is important to hear God. There are many options. And scripture also says that it is OK for people to enjoy their money. But at the same time, we are not to forget the poor.

I grow tired of seeing churches make the poor jump through hoops to qualify for gifts. How soon do we forget the command "if someone ask... then give".

Nihil Obstat
Nov 20th 2007, 03:42 PM
Tithes and offerings are not the same thing. Tithes (10%) go into the storehouse. Offerings are over and above your tithe, and don't necessarily have to go into the storehouse. So to hand a check over to someone who's house burnt down would be an offering, not a tithe. Tithing is foundational, and should not be considered optional any more than the foundation of a house should be thought of as optional; it's just the starting point. God wants us to tithe because He wants us to prosper in His kingdom. There are principles to how His kingdom operates. The law is there for your own good and the good of others. God doesn't need your money. God wants your heart, and He wants you to prosper in His kingdom. How can you conclude that by not sowing seed somehow crops will just sprout out of the ground in abundance? Sowing and reaping is a foundational principle of His kingdom, and as a good Father He is showing us how to prosper. If all you do is tithe and give occasional offerings, in the least you are not robbing God. Your pastor is right. If a farmer were never to sow seed, but ate all the seed he had, he'd never reap a blessing. It's foundational, and not some burdensome "law". Ten percent is not the goal; you want a house built upon that foundation? Set your heart to double and even triple tithe, with extravagant offerings on top of that. You don't think that you can do so joyfully? Well then in the least don't rob God, and pray that He'd give you a tender heart, because if you can't give joyfully, then you need to revisit the cross and just sit there for a sustained amount of time, because it pleased God to bruise His Son. It's not wrong to look for the blessing; we were created in God's image, with the desire to be fruitful. However, we are to seek God's kingdom first, and always understand that we don't have a kingdom of our own, but co-reign with Jesus in His kingdom. We want to prosper in Jesus' kingdom. One of the foundational ways to do so is to tithe and give offerings. - Lk.11

Magnetic
Nov 20th 2007, 04:16 PM
astrongerthanhe, so you would say that, even though Malachi is speaking to the Levetical priests in the verses before and after, the "robbing God" was directed at everyone for that section? Again, if the "first fruits", or first 10% is commanded to be brought to the storehouse, then I have no problems following that command, and WILL cheerfully give it because I want to be obedient.

As for the poor, wasn't there a moment where Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus's feet and when others rebuked her (because it could have been sold and given to the poor), Jesus said that the poor will always be with you. . . . .granted, Judas's comments were purely selfish, but Jesus does seem to suggest that sometimes things that have monetary value is better given to Jesus for outward reasons (perfume to prepare for His burial).

I will be honest and say outright that I would never give a cash amount to a poor person. . . . well, I should say, an UNSAVED poor person. If Jesus were here today, he probably wouldn't either. Most of the time, they would probably use it on trivial things, or their habits. Giving food, food pantries, soup kitchens, etc. make sense.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 04:22 PM
I will be honest and say outright that I would never give a cash amount to a poor person. . . . well, I should say, an UNSAVED poor person. If Jesus were here today, he probably wouldn't either. Most of the time, they would probably use it on trivial things, or their habits. Giving food, food pantries, soup kitchens, etc. make sense.

What about this scripture?

Luke 6:33-36
33 "If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 " If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 " Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
NASU

Magnetic
Nov 20th 2007, 05:02 PM
What about this scripture?

Luke 6:33-36
33 "If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 " If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 " Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
NASU

I agree. But it is far more merciful to give actual food than cash. They can actually use food for their body. We can be kind to ungrateful and evil people, but we can be wise about our kindness.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 05:05 PM
I agree. But it is far more merciful to give actual food than cash. They can actually use food for their body. We can be kind to ungrateful and evil people, but we can be wise about our kindness.

here's another scripture...

Luke 16:1-9

16 Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2 "And he called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.' 3 "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 'I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.' 5 "And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6 "And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' 7 "Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8 "And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than thesons of light. 9 "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
NASU

How can they welcome us into eternal dwellings? Because they got saved as a result of our making friends with them through money.

Semi-tortured
Nov 20th 2007, 06:02 PM
Tithing is a funny thing. I personally knew one couple who tithed and then hit a big boom in their business and made tons of money. They were convinced it was the tithing that got them their boom so they tithed more. In short, the business boom crumbled quickly and they were left with problems in paying bills.

Why were they tithing? To help those in need, or because they had an attitude where the more they give, the more they get? At what point can tithing become a selfish thing? I don't think God financially blesses those who tithe all the time. If He did, the church would become a credit union of sorts. People would flock to give money so they could get their guaranteed return.

I tithe when I can. I will not have a pastor tell me I must tithe because we all know, that's basically him saying he wants you to give money to the church he happens to work at. Yes, we do need to give money to the church so it can keep running, but I think the pastor doing an entire sermon on it or even saying you must is a complete conflict of interest. Handing around the offering tray is enough of a reminder that the church needs money. If the church is having financial difficulties, let everyone know they are having financial difficulties. Don't try to make people feel guilty that they didn't donate money to the church when they are having trouble with their own finances.

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 06:36 PM
I'm going to throw another wrench in the gears here, so to speak...

Per capita, many large churches are far better stewards of their income than are smaller churches.

Virtually every church that averages 100 in attendance will have a full-time pastor and part-time secretary. But you won't see many (if any) churches of 1,000 people who have 10 full-time ministers and 5 full-time secretaries.

And few people think anything of it if a church of 200 people were to take a $250,000 lien on their property in order to build an addition, or pave the parking lot. But let a church of 2,000 people go into a $2.5 million building project and everybody starts screaming. Why is that?

Sometimes we let pure dollar amounts deceive us.

RoadWarrior
Nov 20th 2007, 06:43 PM
I'm going to throw another wrench in the gears here, so to speak...

Per capita, many large churches are far better stewards of their income than are smaller churches.

Virtually every church that averages 100 in attendance will have a full-time pastor and part-time secretary. But you won't see many (if any) churches of 1,000 people who have 10 full-time ministers and 5 full-time secretaries.

And few people think anything of it if a church of 200 people were to take a $250,000 lien on their property in order to build an addition, or pave the parking lot. But let a church of 2,000 people go into a $2.5 million building project and everybody starts screaming. Why is that?

Sometimes we let pure dollar amounts deceive us.

Hi Jeffreys,

You make a good point. We have been speaking in very general terms on this thread, and it may be important to look at the individual tree, as opposed to just the forest itself. There are many kind of trees in a forest. The individual church, large or small, can be a good steward or not a good steward. My own church is in process of becoming a big church, and we are exploring ways to accomodate the increased crowds. We rejected the first offer made to us by the builder, and now he is making a reduced offer.

I tithe, and I am also giving into the building fund, but with lots of prayer that our pastors will make wise decisions. I love my church and I want to support it. What makes this church worthy of my tithe and my support? It is the sound preaching that first drew me in. And it is seeing those messages lived out in the body that keeps me there.

Blessings,

Road Warrior

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 07:01 PM
Hi Jeffreys,

You make a good point. We have been speaking in very general terms on this thread, and it may be important to look at the individual tree, as opposed to just the forest itself. There are many kind of trees in a forest. The individual church, large or small, can be a good steward or not a good steward. My own church is in process of becoming a big church, and we are exploring ways to accomodate the increased crowds. We rejected the first offer made to us by the builder, and now he is making a reduced offer.

I tithe, and I am also giving into the building fund, but with lots of prayer that our pastors will make wise decisions. I love my church and I want to support it. What makes this church worthy of my tithe and my support? It is the sound preaching that first drew me in. And it is seeing those messages lived out in the body that keeps me there.

Blessings,

Road Warrior

There's the key. If you love your church, and the mission it has embarked upon, it's easy to not take an antagonistic approach to it all. In fact, when we look at ourselves as partners in ministry, rather than competitors, it's much easier to get onto the same team.

RoadWarrior
Nov 20th 2007, 07:18 PM
There's the key. If you love your church, and the mission it has embarked upon, it's easy to not take an antagonistic approach to it all. In fact, when we look at ourselves as partners in ministry, rather than competitors, it's much easier to get onto the same team.

I agree. If there is antagonism in any relationship, we need to look at two things. Am I the problem? Or am I in the wrong place? I think this has particular importance when we are dealing with our walk with Christ. There are so many churches, and such a variety that are easily available here in America, that we truly do have a choice.

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 10:44 PM
Church buildings get bigger and fancier and require more and more expensive maintenance, necessitating more and more money from the people while yet some people in the body go hungry. There's something wrong with that.

The money is God's and we don't have the right to throw it away. We have to do with it what God would have us do with it. And from what I read in Scripture, it should go first to the poor in the body of Christ.

Oh I'm very well aware of the cost of church buildings.

But let me ask you...

What's the difference between a church of 200 people whose property debt is $100,000 and a church of 2,000 people whose property debt is $1 million?

I think we need to talk percentages, not just dollars.


Is it possible that that church of 2,000 people is sending half-million dollars a year to food pantries & homeless shelters? I don't know, but I bet it's at least possible!

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 10:49 PM
Oh I'm very well aware of the cost of church buildings.

But let me ask you...

What's the difference between a church of 200 people whose property debt is $100,000 and a church of 2,000 people whose property debt is $1 million?

I think we need to talk percentages, not just dollars.


Is it possible that that church of 2,000 people is sending half-million dollars a year to food pantries & homeless shelters? I don't know, but I bet it's at least possible!

Right. Until we have the facts, we really can't judge. Too many people make assumptions that we should not make. Besides, who knows what God told that particular church to do. My friend was told to build a skate park and saw over 600 kids saved as a result.

One thing I would like to see change though is the idea of qualifying for a gift. The bigger churches I have been a part of systematize the giving to the poor. While the smaller churches are more personal. Still, for the life of me, I can' t figure out why we expect churches and people to be perfect or to be like us.

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 10:55 PM
Right. Until we have the facts, we really can't judge. Too many people make assumptions that we should not make. Besides, who knows what God told that particular church to do. My friend was told to build a skate park and saw over 600 kids saved as a result.

One thing I would like to see change though is the idea of qualifying for a gift. The bigger churches I have been a part of systematize the giving to the poor. While the smaller churches are more personal. Still, for the life of me, I can' t figure out why we expect churches and people to be perfect or to be like us.

The other thing we have a problem with is this: JEALOUSY.

Admit it or not, we always have a tendency to look at those with more than we have (be it more attendance, more money, more impressive building...) get a little jealous and resent them for it. Then we start thinking of things that are wrong with what they're doing and/or who they are.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 11:02 PM
The other thing we have a problem with is this: JEALOUSY.

Admit it or not, we always have a tendency to look at those with more than we have (be it more attendance, more money, more impressive building...) get a little jealous and resent them for it. Then we start thinking of things that are wrong with what they're doing and/or who they are.

Yep. That does happen. It's a shame too. We are on the same side, for the most part. But we (believers) often seem mighty quick to condemn one of our own that is in trouble or another that doesn't do it our way.

I know this, God had Solomon, a rich man, and he had Lazerus, a beggar. One day, the residents of the kingdom will awaken and realize, we serve the same God, but we are not all the same.

Shoot, you don't have to be a member of a big church just to be a brick or a number. I have felt that way in both big and small churches.

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 11:12 PM
Yep. That does happen. It's a shame too. We are on the same side, for the most part. But we (believers) often seem mighty quick to condemn one of our own that is in trouble or another that doesn't do it our way.

I know this, God had Solomon, a rich man, and he had Lazerus, a beggar. One day, the residents of the kingdom will awaken and realize, we serve the same God, but we are not all the same.

Shoot, you don't have to be a member of a big church just to be a brick or a number. I have felt that way in both big and small churches.

I was at a meeting, this morning, at a local "mini" mega-church. Though I'm not sure, I think they've recently grown to an attendance of about 1200 people. They're in a new building - though they just have the first of two phases built. A college classmate of mine is the senior pastor. The building is neither opulent or gaudy. It just seems to be very, very functional. The church is located on the outer edge of a rapidly growing suburb, so logic would have it that they'll probably continue to grow in attendance.

We had a perfectly fine meeting. I also looked around the building, thinking of things that might or might not be useful in the church I pastor. Some things about the building I really liked, others I didn't.

But the bottom line is this: It was wonderful to get back to my own office, at my much smaller church. It was wonderful to be able to minister to the people I've been called to minister to. I'm perfectly content in that.

We need to be where we're able to most effectively grow and minister - regardless of how big the church is, or what the building looks like.

Brother Mark
Nov 20th 2007, 11:17 PM
I was at a meeting, this morning, at a local "mini" mega-church. Though I'm not sure, I think they've recently grown to an attendance of about 1200 people. They're in a new building - though they just have the first of two phases built. A college classmate of mine is the senior pastor. The building is neither opulent or gaudy. It just seems to be very, very functional. The church is located on the outer edge of a rapidly growing suburb, so logic would have it that they'll probably continue to grow in attendance.

We had a perfectly fine meeting. I also looked around the building, thinking of things that might or might not be useful in the church I pastor. Some things about the building I really liked, others I didn't.

But the bottom line is this: It was wonderful to get back to my own office, at my much smaller church. It was wonderful to be able to minister to the people I've been called to minister to. I'm perfectly content in that.

We need to be where we're able to most effectively grow and minister - regardless of how big the church is, or what the building looks like.

Well stated! God blessed the early church and it was large. He blessed Jonah's preaching and many were saved. He blessed Noah's preaching and most died. We can't use numbers to say they are a sign of God's approval as we know Noah made it to the hall of faith but Jonah did not.

What we do know is this... God looks on the heart! One of the Godliest churches I ever attended was a large one. I grew more there than just about anywhere else I have ever attended.

I see a large church and I thank God that he put it there for his kingdom. I see a small one and I thank God he put it there for his kingdom.

We are stones, not bricks. We are not nor never were meant to be the same.

yaqub
Nov 20th 2007, 11:21 PM
Per capita, many large churches are far better stewards of their income than are smaller churches.


That's not really a good comparison, since there is something called economy of scales. For example, a small church that pays electrical bills for A/C will spend more per capita than a larger church that caters to more people. Similar for internet, etc (which is almost fixed cost). Large families, in general, do spend less per person than small families, and this not through much of a fault of anyone.

Lighthope
Nov 20th 2007, 11:21 PM
As far as "receiving a blessing" when you tithe or give seed, many of you know my story of how my wife turned her back on God, on me and the marriage, and filed for divorce. Even though I was trusting God the whole time and tithing, I went from a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs to a single bedroom apartment in the center city. She received a ~$150K check from her dad's estate. . . . . . I didn't see any blessings. I have my pride, but it doesn't make purchases.

What is your thoughts on this?

Here's my take on the whole tithe thing:

There is nothing we can do to earn God's salvation. So we can throw that consideration out. No one can "pay their way into Heaven".

Each of us is given a gift from God, and a responsibility. Some are teachers, some prophets (Lord, where are the prophets today...?!), some ministers, and some tithers. If God commands you to give money, then you had better do it, regardless of what your pocketbook looks like. If God does not command you, then give what you want. There are such things as freewill offerings, you know.

Ah, but your question is "Is God commanding you?"

My counsel is, if it's bothering you this much, then sounds to me like the Holy Spirit is trying to move you in a certain direction. God gives us peace, not anxiety. If you are having struggles, then it is possible you are struggling against God.

As far as "getting something for giving something" (boy I really get irritated by these television "preachers"), throw that out the door, too. You could give a hundred million dollars to God, and the best thing you can say is "I have only done my duty."

Lighthope

Pearls of Wisdom - Bigamy: One wife too many. Monogamy: Same idea...

jeffreys
Nov 20th 2007, 11:24 PM
That's not really a good comparison, since there is something called economy of scales. For example, a small church that pays electrical bills for A/C will spend more per capita than a larger church that caters to more people. Similar for internet, etc (which is almost fixed cost). Large families, in general, do spend less per person than small families, and this not through much of a fault of anyone.

That's exactly my point! ;)

So why are people always criticizing the big churches, as though they spend inappropriate amounts of money on things such as buildings?

yaqub
Nov 20th 2007, 11:27 PM
Give cheerfully, not grudgingly, as the Bible reminds us.

One tenth is a good guide, but the amount is between you and God. It could be the widow's mite, or it could millions. If feel you are robbing God, then give more. If you think you are giving too much, God doesn't need your money anyway. For me, I give not only to church, but other organizations that I wan to support.

I give money to my mother (and my father when he was still alive) regularly, not because I owe them any loans, but because I love them and want to give to them.

RoadWarrior
Nov 21st 2007, 02:20 AM
That's exactly my point! ;)

So why are people always criticizing the big churches, as though they spend inappropriate amounts of money on things such as buildings?

When one travels in the big cities of Europe, the huge churches and cathedrals are often a prime tourist attraction. Quickly, you notice that these are empty buildings, monuments that need to be maintained and supported by tourist dollars because there are no thriving congregations to support them. America is currently building it's own monuments that someday will have no thriving congregations to support them.

How does God want us to spend His money?

amazzin
Nov 21st 2007, 02:28 AM
When one travels in the big cities of Europe, the huge churches and cathedrals are often a prime tourist attraction. Quickly, you notice that these are empty buildings, monuments that need to be maintained and supported by tourist dollars because there are no thriving congregations to support them. America is currently building it's own monuments that someday will have no thriving congregations to support them.

How does God want us to spend His money?

Thank you for sharing that. That is very insightful. You hit the nail on the head with this perspective!

jeffreys
Nov 21st 2007, 03:06 AM
When one travels in the big cities of Europe, the huge churches and cathedrals are often a prime tourist attraction. Quickly, you notice that these are empty buildings, monuments that need to be maintained and supported by tourist dollars because there are no thriving congregations to support them. America is currently building it's own monuments that someday will have no thriving congregations to support them.

How does God want us to spend His money?

Well, actually many of those huge cathedrals are supported by government dollars.

But I can assure you that I'd be FAR more interested in touring the Notre Dame Cathedral than the Willow Creek Church building! :)

RoadWarrior
Nov 21st 2007, 03:34 AM
Well, actually many of those huge cathedrals are supported by government dollars.

But I can assure you that I'd be FAR more interested in touring the Notre Dame Cathedral than the Willow Creek Church building! :)

Ummm. And where does the government get its dollars?

Yes, the churches and cathedrals are beautiful. But it is very sad, at the same time for me as a Christian to see them empty and cold.

Interesting side note: My pastor just returned from a sabbatical in Rome. While there, he experienced a great huge church and sat down to admire its beauty and its acoustics, and to pray.

Is this what you want? He asked God. (We are soon going to be building a new facility, if the votes come in for it.) God answered him! Amazing, God still talks to pastors. "Do you hear any prayer?" No, the pastor answered. "Do your hear any praise?" No, the pastor answered. End of conversation.

I think, perhaps, what God wants is prayer and praise, from that little conversation.

jeffreys
Nov 21st 2007, 04:00 AM
Ummm. And where does the government get its dollars?

Yes, the churches and cathedrals are beautiful. But it is very sad, at the same time for me as a Christian to see them empty and cold.

Interesting side note: My pastor just returned from a sabbatical in Rome. While there, he experienced a great huge church and sat down to admire its beauty and its acoustics, and to pray.

Is this what you want? He asked God. (We are soon going to be building a new facility, if the votes come in for it.) God answered him! Amazing, God still talks to pastors. "Do you hear any prayer?" No, the pastor answered. "Do your hear any praise?" No, the pastor answered. End of conversation.

I think, perhaps, what God wants is prayer and praise, from that little conversation.

I couldn't agree more!

jiggyfly
Nov 21st 2007, 12:55 PM
On another forum, I had a huge conversation with other Christians about tithing and today. As you can imagine, there were many opinions and biblical discussions over the topic. Many of the more well known people on that board were saying that Malachi (the part about "robbing God by not giving tithes and offerings") was directly being spoken to the Levitical priests and not the people.

This isn't about whether or not people should give tithes and especially offerings, or "seed offerings", but more about whether or not God requires such things before He chooses to bless a Christian. The "if you sow little, you'll reap little, if you sow abundantly, you will reap abundantly, and you reap what you sow...".

So, I feel like I will never be blessed if I DON'T give tithes or if I DON'T "sow a seed" and that just seem like such a conditional thing. The way I see it, our own earthly fathers don't require us to do things for them, yet they are glad to supply us with all we need and then some, if they are able. And if they ARE able, they love us so much that they would give us as much as they could, within reason, of course. So what is it with the teaching that God doesn't bless people without us first giving a "seed of faith"?

I stopped giving tithes after the other Christian forum chat because it started seeming more to me like a man initiated rule and not God's.

As far as "receiving a blessing" when you tithe or give seed, many of you know my story of how my wife turned her back on God, on me and the marriage, and filed for divorce. Even though I was trusting God the whole time and tithing, I went from a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs to a single bedroom apartment in the center city. She received a ~$150K check from her dad's estate. . . . . . I didn't see any blessings. I have my pride, but it doesn't make purchases.

What is your thoughts on this?

Thanks!
Find someone more spiritually mature to follow.

ProjectPeter
Nov 21st 2007, 12:59 PM
Ummm. And where does the government get its dollars?

Yes, the churches and cathedrals are beautiful. But it is very sad, at the same time for me as a Christian to see them empty and cold.

Interesting side note: My pastor just returned from a sabbatical in Rome. While there, he experienced a great huge church and sat down to admire its beauty and its acoustics, and to pray.

Is this what you want? He asked God. (We are soon going to be building a new facility, if the votes come in for it.) God answered him! Amazing, God still talks to pastors. "Do you hear any prayer?" No, the pastor answered. "Do your hear any praise?" No, the pastor answered. End of conversation.

I think, perhaps, what God wants is prayer and praise, from that little conversation.
I agree that folks all to often get caught up in the pageantry. There lies the rub because that ain't cheap.

If anyone has read the book God's Generals it was written about many of the early folks in the big tent healing revivals. These men started out humble but as more came along doing the same thing... in time it became about who had the biggest tent and drew the most people. Once all of that came to a stop... it basically transferred to buildings. I see much of that same attitude going now. It is like there is a contest out there where the winner will be the one with the largest congregation, building, programs, missions... etc.

Brother Mark
Nov 21st 2007, 02:14 PM
I see much of that same attitude going now. It is like there is a contest out there where the winner will be the one with the largest congregation, building, programs, missions... etc.

And that is the key, PP. It's attitude. God told Noah to build an ark and it was HUGE. We build as the Lord commands. Otherwise, we may fall into the trap of building another tower of Babel. Attitude has everything to do with purpose and goals.

Here's where I think we get a little out of line... we think we have all the facts. If God gives a church a word to build a building, then they better build that building! On the other hand, if God didn't say do it or not to do it, then they are free to do as they see fit. I am reminded of Ananias and Saphira. Until they pretended to give all they had, God was quite fine with them keeping the land for their own purposes.

We need to let ministries do as they deem necessary with the money God has given them. They don't answer to us, even if we give to them. In my opinion, they should get the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are in.

Just a little food for thought... why were Adam and Eve forbidden from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Because that knowledge is necessary to judge a persons heart. Even in the NT, we are prevented from eating of that tree. By judge, I mean judging the heart. Of course, we can all say murder is evil as God has already determined that. But to say buildings are evil and a waste of money? Perhaps the world said the same thing of Noah, yet he was being obedient.

Magnetic
Nov 21st 2007, 02:21 PM
Find someone more spiritually mature to follow.

Would you care to eleborate a little more? ;)


For everyone else in this discussion, what do we do with verses such as Mark 12:15-17? This is where Pharasees were trying to trap Jesus in His words (yet again) by asking if they [his disciples] should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asks them who is pictured on the money, and they said that Caesar was, then Jesus said to give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.

What does this say to you? It seems to indicate that the coin, in question, didn't belong to God or Jesus would have said something like, "This coin has a picture of a man on it, but it still belongs to God since all things belong to God." Why does Jesus say that since the coin has Caesar's picture and enscription on it, that it belongs to Caesar?

In the tithing old testiment, wouldn't their tithe be the fruit of their labor, ie. a tenth of the livestock or garden or whatever? Today, few of us own livestock or farms, and few churches would accept a "tithe of 10 Holsteins" being brought to the church, so today all we can do is give a 10th of our pay. . . . . which has pictures of dead presidents on it (or the name of a bank the check is written on).

What if "giving to God what is God's" was more like our time, talents, and such? If you have a love of hungry people, giving 10% of your time at a soup kitchen. If you have the ability to fix cars/change oil, giving 10% of your time to single moms or widows to help them out. If a gift of music, 10% of your time in that service. And so on....

Comments?

Brother Mark
Nov 21st 2007, 02:28 PM
For everyone else in this discussion, what do we do with verses such as Mark 12:15-17? This is where Pharasees were trying to trap Jesus in His words (yet again) by asking if they [his disciples] should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asks them who is pictured on the money, and they said that Caesar was, then Jesus said to give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.

Well, it goes back to a previous scripture posted about unrighteous mammon and using it to win the lost. But here's another example of how money is to be used in the kingdom.

Acts 2:43-45
44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
NASU

That is a great example of how to use our money to help believers. The scripture in Luke from before is a great example of how to use it with unbelievers. Caesar has a right to taxes and takes them. God has a right to gifts and allows you to give it or not.

watchinginawe
Nov 21st 2007, 04:27 PM
What if "giving to God what is God's" was more like our time, talents, and such? If you have a love of hungry people, giving 10% of your time at a soup kitchen. If you have the ability to fix cars/change oil, giving 10% of your time to single moms or widows to help them out. If a gift of music, 10% of your time in that service. And so on....

Comments?I personally think that would be a great option for you to consider. And if God blesses you with excess money, give that too. Or, you could set aside your tithe and wait on God to speak to you on what to do with it. That might solve more than one problem.

BTW, I do not think you need to "get out of your Church". That has to be the worst advice I have seen on these forums in a long time.

When you say that the Pastor says your not blessed, do you mean that one on one he has told you this or is that your conclusion of his teaching? If the former, I wonder why you don't feel blessed and felt the need to take it up with the Pastor? If you mean Spiritually blessed, then that opens up a whole other conversation, but I think the quoted section above would bless you Spiritually.

God Bless!

Magnetic
Nov 21st 2007, 04:56 PM
watchinginawe, it was more of a general statement given to the congregation. . . . . . not necessarily that "you won't be blessed if you don't give". . . . . . It was more saying that you will be blessed for giving a seed [to, like, the building program to help the exploading children's department].

He will read testimony cards about how [either] someone started giving their tithes and was blessed with a raise or a bonus. Or someone planted a seed [for the new building project] that they felt was more than they could afford, but were blessed with a bonus, promotion, money from somewhere, etc.

So, I took it to mean, if I didn't tithe or give "more than I thought I could do", I wouldn't be blessed at all. . . . . . .

But then, back when I was in the middle of my marital woes, I was tithing and being very faithful, trying to do all the right things, and yet my ex (who has completely turned her back on God) got to stay in the nice house, and received that estate check. . . . which I saw as a HUGE "blessing". Some would say that "it won't bring her happiness", but it is hard to see her in such a position when I'm living in a one bedroom apartment in the center city, using borrowed furnature, and not being able to afford anything [if I wanted to get my own house] but in the lowest income neighborhoods, and even then, it would be a stretch, somewhat financially, but also emotionally.

All that to say, when my pastor talks about how God will "bless you with blessings you will not be able to contain", . . . . I look at my broken marriage, my [now] divorced status, my living situation [compared to where I was], and other things, and saw that the "test Me and see if I won't open the floodgates of Heaven....." didn't work too well for me. I was being sincerely faithful, yet I lost a wife, a house, a livelihood, a future, etc.

Today, I'm doing well enough. I am more content with where I'm at, but I can't honestly say that my present is nearly as good as when I was happily married to her and we were discussing our future plans as a couple. It is still a source of a lot of pain because we did get along [I thought] SO well, and it is a source of pain when I see that all gone.

The response I should have should be that of Job, "the Lord gives and He takes away, and praise His name anyway". I still praise God, but I can't say that I'm happily fullfilled in my life, at the same time.

jeffreys
Nov 21st 2007, 05:04 PM
watchinginawe, it was more of a general statement given to the congregation. . . . . . not necessarily that "you won't be blessed if you don't give". . . . . . It was more saying that you will be blessed for giving a seed [to, like, the building program to help the exploading children's department].

He will read testimony cards about how [either] someone started giving their tithes and was blessed with a raise or a bonus. Or someone planted a seed [for the new building project] that they felt was more than they could afford, but were blessed with a bonus, promotion, money from somewhere, etc.

So, I took it to mean, if I didn't tithe or give "more than I thought I could do", I wouldn't be blessed at all. . . . . . .

But then, back when I was in the middle of my marital woes, I was tithing and being very faithful, trying to do all the right things, and yet my ex (who has completely turned her back on God) got to stay in the nice house, and received that estate check. . . . which I saw as a HUGE "blessing". Some would say that "it won't bring her happiness", but it is hard to see her in such a position when I'm living in a one bedroom apartment in the center city, using borrowed furnature, and not being able to afford anything [if I wanted to get my own house] but in the lowest income neighborhoods, and even then, it would be a stretch, somewhat financially, but also emotionally.

All that to say, when my pastor talks about how God will "bless you with blessings you will not be able to contain", . . . . I look at my broken marriage, my [now] divorced status, my living situation [compared to where I was], and other things, and saw that the "test Me and see if I won't open the floodgates of Heaven....." didn't work too well for me. I was being sincerely faithful, yet I lost a wife, a house, a livelihood, a future, etc.

Today, I'm doing well enough. I am more content with where I'm at, but I can't honestly say that my present is nearly as good as when I was happily married to her and we were discussing our future plans as a couple. It is still a source of a lot of pain because we did get along [I thought] SO well, and it is a source of pain when I see that all gone.

The response I should have should be that of Job, "the Lord gives and He takes away, and praise His name anyway". I still praise God, but I can't say that I'm happily fullfilled in my life, at the same time.

I'm really sorry to hear of the demise of your marriage. That stinks - plain & simple.

I wonder, though, if your feelings about your pastor's message about tithing is a little distorted because it's all wrapped up, and twisted in with, a whole lot of hurt & grief related to the divorce.

And I wonder if you might look back on this, 10 years from now, and see God's provision, blessing and leading during this painful time. I do certainly hope so.

Blessings!

watchinginawe
Nov 21st 2007, 05:26 PM
Jeffrey's has replied well.

Consider this. What if the Pastor indicated that you would be blessed by living a pure life (not sinning). Let's say for the sake of conversation that one was in an adulterous affair like your wife was having. She gets the house, she seems blessed, what went wrong? Is the moral of the story to sin?

As for seeking advice about the matter, you would get several that would scream "legalism". We can't "earn" God's blessings by not sinning. Still others that would say you can't be a Christian and be in an adulterous affair. But if you didn't "see" the blessings from living a pure life, would you turn to a sinful life?

The point I am trying to make is this. If we decided that living a pure life would bless us, would we approach each invitation to sin with regret? Would we say even though I can still be a Christian and indulge I won't because I will be blessed? Or I won't because I will not be blessed if I do?

That seems to be how you are approaching this. I think your heart is settled on the giving side as the right thing to do. It is your attitude towards giving that needs adjusted. You are approaching it legalistically or mechanistically (I am obligated to give, giving means blessing). Just do the right thing that you have determined in your heart in faith and God will bless you for it. Or God will bless others through you. Or both.

If that doesn't make sense I will try to distill the thought some during the long holiday weekend.

God Bless!

RoadWarrior
Nov 21st 2007, 06:23 PM
I'm really sorry to hear of the demise of your marriage. That stinks - plain & simple.

I wonder, though, if your feelings about your pastor's message about tithing is a little distorted because it's all wrapped up, and twisted in with, a whole lot of hurt & grief related to the divorce.

And I wonder if you might look back on this, 10 years from now, and see God's provision, blessing and leading during this painful time. I do certainly hope so.

Blessings!

Magnetic, I agree with what Jeffreys is saying here. You are going through a tough time and that affects everything else in your life. And yet, you have finished your college degree, that is so cool!

You posed what was taken by many to be a theological question about tithing. But this really seems to be something deeper than that. It is about your whole life, where is the balance, and how does this piece fit into it.

Life is a journey, some is great and some of it is awful. When we go through the bad parts we can only keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and know that He will lead us through it. Notice the operative word here, "through". We don't need to be stuck in whatever miserable place we might find ourselves. We just need to keep on walking, moving forward, ever seeking to be closer to God.

Sometimes we go through confusing places, and again the focus needs to be Jesus. Not in terms of what would He do, but in terms of where is He leading me right now?

There are days when things are wonderful. Guess where the focus needs to be then? You are right, it is on Jesus! Blessings are great things to have, but the suffering places are where we learn to lean on Him and thank Him for even the smallest of blessings.

I am praying for you, Magnetic.

jiggyfly
Nov 21st 2007, 10:11 PM
Would you care to eleborate a little more? ;)

I was just replying to the OP, thats all.

NHL Fever
Nov 22nd 2007, 01:31 AM
I think the issue isn't clear regarding whether tithing is mandatory or not, mainly because most of the precedent for it comes from the old testament. Just as we don't recognize the letter of the law that an adulterous woman should be stoned to death, we don't necessarily recognize the letter of the OT law related to tithing. Jesus looks at the heart, and he knows if your heart means to contribute from what you are able, to his kingdom, or if you are not giving joyfully.

I don't know if there's a giving-blessing causal link all the time. I don't give 10% in order to be blessed financially, or because I believe there's an absolute law about it. I also don't even expect to be blessed financially. I just do it because I believe its a good thing to do and its a way of expression faithfulness with my resources.

I have to admit though, and maybe somebody can help me with this, that I really don't expect to be blessed. I don't know if its a lack of faith, or just being too pragmatic. I don't have much of any expectation for supernatural blessing, I simply make choices so I can provide for myself financially. I have confidence that I'll make a strong wage, but I make no connection between that and tithing or giving, apart from seeing the job itself as a blessing. Not seeing the connection doesn't make me resentful or hesitant about giving, I'll continue to do so happily, and more if I'm able. Am I too cynical about it, or living with a secular attitude about it?, I'm not sure.

99svtgreensnake
Nov 22nd 2007, 11:20 AM
Would you give your money to a church so they could repair a leaking roof?

It depends, if the church is supporting missions and seeing souls saved then yes. If they just get together every Sunday and believe us four and no more then no.

Why should I give my money to a Church who is seeing no growth and is stale and stagnant. Would you invest your money in a company with no growth? Would you put your money in a savings account that doesn't grow interest? I invest my spiritual money in the places I see the most growth. Where I can get the biggest bang for my buck. I do not need to hand my money over to a Church to decide on how to spend my money. God can talk to me just as well as he can talk to anyone else. The church has let the government step in an take care of the people in this country and that was the churches responsibility.

I am not interested in building castles I am only interested in building the kingdom.

99svtgreensnake
Nov 22nd 2007, 11:24 AM
Yes, and very little finding out what God wants.......
'It's my money, and I am in control.'
And therein lies the two basic problems.

Yes and the minister says it is my money and I am in control so what makes the minister any more qualified to spend my money in a Godly way then myself?

Kahtar
Nov 22nd 2007, 01:33 PM
Yes and the minister says it is my money and I am in control so what makes the minister any more qualified to spend my money in a Godly way then myself?Nothing at all, my friend.

jeffreys
Nov 22nd 2007, 02:26 PM
Nothing at all, my friend.

Pretty much what I was thinking... ;)

jeffreys
Nov 22nd 2007, 02:27 PM
It depends, if the church is supporting missions and seeing souls saved then yes. If they just get together every Sunday and believe us four and no more then no.

Why should I give my money to a Church who is seeing no growth and is stale and stagnant. Would you invest your money in a company with no growth? Would you put your money in a savings account that doesn't grow interest? I invest my spiritual money in the places I see the most growth. Where I can get the biggest bang for my buck. I do not need to hand my money over to a Church to decide on how to spend my money. God can talk to me just as well as he can talk to anyone else. The church has let the government step in an take care of the people in this country and that was the churches responsibility.

I am not interested in building castles I am only interested in building the kingdom.

Since we are the Church, let me ask you this: How many needy people are you - personally - taking care of?

ProjectPeter
Nov 22nd 2007, 02:41 PM
It depends, if the church is supporting missions and seeing souls saved then yes. If they just get together every Sunday and believe us four and no more then no.

Why should I give my money to a Church who is seeing no growth and is stale and stagnant. Would you invest your money in a company with no growth? Would you put your money in a savings account that doesn't grow interest? I invest my spiritual money in the places I see the most growth. Where I can get the biggest bang for my buck. I do not need to hand my money over to a Church to decide on how to spend my money. God can talk to me just as well as he can talk to anyone else. The church has let the government step in an take care of the people in this country and that was the churches responsibility.

I am not interested in building castles I am only interested in building the kingdom.If the church is seeing no growth... who's fault is that? The pastor or the folks sitting in the pews?

Look folks... it ain't the pastor's responsibility to "increase the kingdom." The pastor is to equip the folks that the pew folks bring into the kingdom. So if your church ain't growing... don't look to the pulpit. Look in the pews. If you generally start looking at yourself in that regard... you'll always find that much of the problem starts right there.

jeffreys
Nov 22nd 2007, 02:56 PM
If the church is seeing no growth... who's fault is that? The pastor or the folks sitting in the pews?

Look folks... it ain't the pastor's responsibility to "increase the kingdom." The pastor is to equip the folks that the pew folks bring into the kingdom. So if your church ain't growing... don't look to the pulpit. Look in the pews. If you generally start looking at yourself in that regard... you'll always find that much of the problem starts right there.

Amen! Well stated.

Kahtar
Nov 22nd 2007, 03:00 PM
If the church is seeing no growth... who's fault is that? The pastor or the folks sitting in the pews?

Look folks... it ain't the pastor's responsibility to "increase the kingdom." The pastor is to equip the folks that the pew folks bring into the kingdom. So if your church ain't growing... don't look to the pulpit. Look in the pews. If you generally start looking at yourself in that regard... you'll always find that much of the problem starts right there.Yep. Of all the gifts mentioned in the Word, 'pew-warmer' is not listed among them.
We are not called to sit and do nothing, but are called to carry the gospel into all the world. Not an easy task to accomplish from the pew.

jeffreys
Nov 22nd 2007, 03:15 PM
Yep. Of all the gifts mentioned in the Word, 'pew-warmer' is not listed among them.
We are not called to sit and do nothing, but are called to carry the gospel into all the world. Not an easy task to accomplish from the pew.

That's right.

We desperately need to re-think what "church" is for. Too many people think it's a place to go be entertained, or do some religious ritual. But it's not. It's a place of fellowship, of edification and learning, and spiritual re-charging - all so that we can "go back out into the world" and be the hands & feet of Jesus.

And that applies to everybody - not just a pastor.

tgallison
Nov 22nd 2007, 03:26 PM
Would you care to eleborate a little more? ;)


For everyone else in this discussion, what do we do with verses such as Mark 12:15-17? This is where Pharasees were trying to trap Jesus in His words (yet again) by asking if they [his disciples] should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asks them who is pictured on the money, and they said that Caesar was, then Jesus said to give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.

What does this say to you? It seems to indicate that the coin, in question, didn't belong to God or Jesus would have said something like, "This coin has a picture of a man on it, but it still belongs to God since all things belong to God." Why does Jesus say that since the coin has Caesar's picture and enscription on it, that it belongs to Caesar?

In the tithing old testiment, wouldn't their tithe be the fruit of their labor, ie. a tenth of the livestock or garden or whatever? Today, few of us own livestock or farms, and few churches would accept a "tithe of 10 Holsteins" being brought to the church, so today all we can do is give a 10th of our pay. . . . . which has pictures of dead presidents on it (or the name of a bank the check is written on).

What if "giving to God what is God's" was more like our time, talents, and such? If you have a love of hungry people, giving 10% of your time at a soup kitchen. If you have the ability to fix cars/change oil, giving 10% of your time to single moms or widows to help them out. If a gift of music, 10% of your time in that service. And so on....

Comments?

Magnetic Hi

There was another time they came to collect tribute money in Matthew 17:24-27. Here Jesus asks Peter, who does the King collect money from? Are not the children free? The answer was yes the children are free.

If we are the children of the king do we pay 10%? The scripture says no.

If we love the Father we will keep his commandments and these are the commandments, that we love him with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind, and our neighbor as ourself.

If we love our father, we will want to do his will. His will is that none should be lost.

Don't let men tell you what to do, you are free in Christ, let the Father lead you.

Men will let you down, whether it be a friend, a Pastor, or a wife, but God will never let you down. We live in a cursed world and we are just passing through. We brought nothing into this world and the only thing we can take out is our relationship with our Father.

In Jesus Christ, terrell

ravi4u2
Nov 22nd 2007, 04:23 PM
Yep. Of all the gifts mentioned in the Word, 'pew-warmer' is not listed among them.
We are not called to sit and do nothing, but are called to carry the gospel into all the world. Not an easy task to accomplish from the pew.As long as there are 'pews', there will be pew-warmers. There is nothing on either in the Word.

watchinginawe
Nov 22nd 2007, 06:38 PM
I think the issue isn't clear regarding whether tithing is mandatory or not, mainly because most of the precedent for it comes from the old testament. Just as we don't recognize the letter of the law that an adulterous woman should be stoned to death, we don't necessarily recognize the letter of the OT law related to tithing. Jesus looks at the heart, and he knows if your heart means to contribute from what you are able, to his kingdom, or if you are not giving joyfully.Tithing is not mandatory to maintain salvation. But the problem with this characterization is the word "mandatory". That one little word makes tithing a work instead of fruit. Maybe if we substitute "commanded" or "commended" then we can use "obedience" to describe our giving.

Can anyone disagree that we are commanded to give? What is then left is how we work out our giving in obedience.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

I mentioned in a prior post about whether we turn aside with regret each invitation to sin. Do we approach our obedience as a sacrifice of some kind? No, rather our mind is changed about those things and obedience itself is a blessing. But it seems that we can fall into a regretful approach in giving. We see each giving opportunity as a sacrifice instead of an opportunity to obedience. We wrap our attitude up in suspicion in contemplating the use of the gift and miss the whole aspect of our own obedience.
I don't know if there's a giving-blessing causal link all the time. I don't give 10% in order to be blessed financially, or because I believe there's an absolute law about it. I also don't even expect to be blessed financially. I just do it because I believe its a good thing to do and its a way of expression faithfulness with my resources.There is a 100% causal link to blessing in giving when one is blessed at the point of giving. When your hand releases the gift you are blessed when giving in the right spirit. 100% of the time! Anything else is added unto us.
I have to admit though, and maybe somebody can help me with this, that I really don't expect to be blessed. I don't know if its a lack of faith, or just being too pragmatic. I don't have much of any expectation for supernatural blessing, I simply make choices so I can provide for myself financially. I have confidence that I'll make a strong wage, but I make no connection between that and tithing or giving, apart from seeing the job itself as a blessing. Not seeing the connection doesn't make me resentful or hesitant about giving, I'll continue to do so happily, and more if I'm able. Am I too cynical about it, or living with a secular attitude about it?, I'm not sure.I think blessing is a "package deal" of sorts. We can't be rebellious in one area and expect blessing in obedience to another. It is obvious that you are being blessed but I think you are wise to not just link it to giving.

I think though that we should have the expectation (faith) that we are and will continue to be blessed by obedience. The nature of our blessing is where we get confused. Paul was blessed in all things because he had faith that whatever he endured was for the Glory of God. Nothing pleased him more! Paul even approached persecution joyfully in knowing that the Gospel was being preached and received. Paul was convinced of the Holy Ghost that: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Seed - Faith

There are some sound Biblical principles at the core of Seed - Faith doctrine. The base concept is that seed sown in faith matures to a harvest of proportions. For example, one seed of corn will produce many seeds of corn. The farmer plants the seed with the hope and expectation of a bountiful harvest. If we approach our opportunities for giving (indeed obedience) likewise, then we can expect in faith that a difference is going to be made by our giving. Our harvest is not in the natural cultivation of crops, but rather supernaturally by God. God gives the increase! We don't sow selfishly for our own reward but for the reward of all. Paul siad that all of our actions collectively are as one. Therefore when another is benefitted, we likewise have benefit:

I Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Where the whole concept today gets derailed is the type of seed and the manner it is sowed. There is teaching that the seed is the money and the harvest is therefore more money gathered unto ourselves. We each are to tend to our own little garden of money. There is no care shown to sow in prepared soil and much seed is just tossed in the wayside with the expectation of a harvest. But more properly the seed should be sown in love when giving. Otherwise, our giving will bring no blessing: I Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

I think a careful reading of II Corinthians 8 and 9 demonstrate the proper attitude of giving and the faith we should exercise in the giving.

God Bless!

Kahtar
Nov 22nd 2007, 07:54 PM
As long as there are 'pews', there will be pew-warmers. There is nothing on either in the Word.Keep in mind I'm not saying it's wrong to go sit in a pew. We go to church to fellowship, get 'recharged', minister to each other, etc. I go to church and sit in a pew, too.
It's what we do the rest of the week that is the issue. Are we Sunday Christians, or is the Christian life and furthering God's kingdom where we are a part of our DAILY life?
But you are correct. There will always be those who do nothing more than sit in the pew. At least they're hearing about Jesus, hopefully.

Soj
Nov 23rd 2007, 12:47 AM
As long as there are 'pews', there will be pew-warmers. There is nothing on either in the Word.Nehemiah 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. 2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

Sounds like a traditional church service to me, I wonder what the people were sitting on? :)

Brother Mark
Nov 23rd 2007, 01:00 AM
Yep. Of all the gifts mentioned in the Word, 'pew-warmer' is not listed among them.
We are not called to sit and do nothing, but are called to carry the gospel into all the world. Not an easy task to accomplish from the pew.

Righto! God doesn't really need more money for the kingdom but he does need more men. It's his way of doing things. He can still take 2 fishes and feed 5000. Oh, he'll use money a LOT were we to give it to him. But what he really wants is us. When he has us, he has our money.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

ravi4u2
Nov 23rd 2007, 03:00 AM
Nehemiah 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. 2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

Sounds like a traditional church service to me, I wonder what the people were sitting on? :)So...you are still in the old?

Soj
Nov 23rd 2007, 03:07 AM
So...you are still in the old?The old is the new concealed, the new is the old revealed!

ravi4u2
Nov 23rd 2007, 03:30 AM
The old is the new concealed, the new is the old revealed!Exactly...in the new we are all the royal priesthood and Christ is our High Priest and the Holy Spirit teaches us all things.

Brother Mark
Nov 23rd 2007, 03:33 AM
Exactly...in the new we are all the royal priesthood and Christ is our High Priest and the Holy Spirit teaches us all things.

Yet, even Paul was needed to teach the new church after the Holy Spirit had been given. He was also used to instruct Peter, who was already full of the Holy Spirit. But there can be no denying scripture says God will write his word on our heart and we will have no need for man to teach us his law. Yet, there can be no denying that God still sees fit to provide us teachers to teach us that which our Spirit will rightly recognize.

ravi4u2
Nov 23rd 2007, 03:52 AM
Yet, even Paul was needed to teach the new church after the Holy Spirit had been given. He was also used to instruct Peter, who was already full of the Holy Spirit. But there can be no denying scripture says God will write his word on our heart and we will have no need for man to teach us his law. Yet, there can be no denying that God still sees fit to provide us teachers to teach us that which our Spirit will rightly recognize.By instruct if you mean 'paidagogos', or 'schoolmaster' kind of instruction, it is only spoken of three times in the new. Twice it is used in reference to the OT being a 'schoolmaster' to lead us to Christ. Once Paul uses it to say that although you have 10,000 instructors in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Paul's 'instruction' is of the father's; to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". Which is borne out of a living relationship, rather than of classroom teaching.

Brother Mark
Nov 23rd 2007, 04:16 AM
By instruct if you mean 'paidagogos', or 'schoolmaster' kind of instruction, it is only spoken of three times in the new. Twice it is used in reference to the OT being a 'schoolmaster' to lead us to Christ. Once Paul uses it to say that although you have 10,000 instructors in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Paul's 'instruction' is of the father's; to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". Which is borne out of a living relationship, rather than of classroom teaching.

Both are required. Paul's letters were valid in both relationship and in teaching. ;)

It's not either, or my brother. It is both.

ravi4u2
Nov 23rd 2007, 05:03 AM
Both are required. Paul's letters were valid in both relationship and in teaching. ;)

It's not either, or my brother. It is both.God's system of teaching/learning has got a distinctly different meaning from all other models in the world for teaching/learning. Most worldly system of insruction is based on Greek philosophy of learning, which assumes that 'LEARNING BEGETS GOODNESS'. All non-Biblical instruction models, assumes that man can become learned without God. In God's sight, 'GOODNESS (GOD BEING THE ONLY ONE WHO IS GOOD) BEGETS LEARNING'. Biblical instructional model, makes knowledge (God) the foundation of learning. Pursuing knowledge without God is a recipe for disaster.

The Bible emphasises the 'Lamad' method of teaching/learning. The word Lamad, does not merely mean learning. It means 'to learn', 'to examine' and 'to write'. Greek required 2 words ('manthano' meaning 'to learn' and 'didasko' meaning 'to teach') to achieve what the Hebrew does in Lamad.

Greek emphasizes 'detached learning', while the Biblical Lamad method stresses 'personal encounter'. Spiritiual encounter and response to the revelation of God is the central dynamics of Scripture. If God is the source of all knowledge, than learning for any person is limitless. Lamad is lifelong learning. The teacher learns as he trains, the student trains as he learns. This my brother shows that meaningful learning and teaching can only be part of a relationship.

watchinginawe
Nov 23rd 2007, 05:44 AM
What happened to the discussion about giving? :dunno:

jeffreys
Nov 23rd 2007, 06:04 AM
What happened to the discussion about giving? :dunno:

It got buried under all the arguing about how bad churches are, and how bad and greedy pastors are.

Kind of hard to get past some of that stuff... :hmm:

Brother Mark
Nov 23rd 2007, 03:43 PM
God's system of teaching/learning has got a distinctly different meaning from all other models in the world for teaching/learning. Most worldly system of insruction is based on Greek philosophy of learning, which assumes that 'LEARNING BEGETS GOODNESS'. All non-Biblical instruction models, assumes that man can become learned without God. In God's sight, 'GOODNESS (GOD BEING THE ONLY ONE WHO IS GOOD) BEGETS LEARNING'. Biblical instructional model, makes knowledge (God) the foundation of learning. Pursuing knowledge without God is a recipe for disaster.

The Bible emphasises the 'Lamad' method of teaching/learning. The word Lamad, does not merely mean learning. It means 'to learn', 'to examine' and 'to write'. Greek required 2 words ('manthano' meaning 'to learn' and 'didasko' meaning 'to teach') to achieve what the Hebrew does in Lamad.

Greek emphasizes 'detached learning', while the Biblical Lamad method stresses 'personal encounter'. Spiritiual encounter and response to the revelation of God is the central dynamics of Scripture. If God is the source of all knowledge, than learning for any person is limitless. Lamad is lifelong learning. The teacher learns as he trains, the student trains as he learns. This my brother shows that meaningful learning and teaching can only be part of a relationship.


Again, we are in agreement. Relationship and learning go together. I have never said otherwise. I have learned far more through relationship than I did in any other way!

Yet, I have also learned while sitting under preaching with 2000 other people as those at Pentecost did while listening to Peter or those that gathered around Paul did while listening to him. Yet, the Galatians had such a relationship with Paul that he knew they would pluck out their own eyes and give them to him if they could. That speaks of relationship! Why do we assume that relationship does not exist in a congregation?

We must be careful of the system of religion. It was Jerusalem that crucified Jesus and killed Abel along with all the prophets. The religious system is still intact today. But it is not a mode of worship or a style. It is a spirit that we must be careful of!

ravi4u2
Nov 23rd 2007, 05:02 PM
Again, we are in agreement. Relationship and learning go together. I have never said otherwise. I have learned far more through relationship than I did in any other way!

Yet, I have also learned while sitting under preaching with 2000 other people as those at Pentecost did while listening to Peter or those that gathered around Paul did while listening to him. Yet, the Ephesians had such a relationship with Paul that he knew they would pluck out their own eyes and give them to him if they could. That speaks of relationship! Why do we assume that relationship does not exist in a congregation?

We must be careful of the system of religion. It was Jerusalem that crucified Jesus and killed Abel along with all the prophets. The religious system is still intact today. But it is not a mode of worship or a style. It is a spirit that we must be careful of!Preaching to the 3000 was evangelistic in nature, not one that is for "perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ".

And to answer your question, relationship should exist in a congregation.

Brother Mark
Nov 23rd 2007, 05:05 PM
Preaching to the 3000 was evangelistic in nature, not one that is for "perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ".

And to answer your question, relationship should exist in a congregation.

True enough. But we also have record of Paul preaching to such large crowds that buildings would not hold them and window seats were used.

The beatitudes were preached for the edification of believers and that was a very large crowd!

Doer
Nov 23rd 2007, 05:21 PM
On another forum, I had a huge conversation with other Christians about tithing and today. As you can imagine, there were many opinions and biblical discussions over the topic. Many of the more well known people on that board were saying that Malachi (the part about "robbing God by not giving tithes and offerings") was directly being spoken to the Levitical priests and not the people.

This isn't about whether or not people should give tithes and especially offerings, or "seed offerings", but more about whether or not God requires such things before He chooses to bless a Christian. The "if you sow little, you'll reap little, if you sow abundantly, you will reap abundantly, and you reap what you sow...".

So, I feel like I will never be blessed if I DON'T give tithes or if I DON'T "sow a seed" and that just seem like such a conditional thing. The way I see it, our own earthly fathers don't require us to do things for them, yet they are glad to supply us with all we need and then some, if they are able. And if they ARE able, they love us so much that they would give us as much as they could, within reason, of course. So what is it with the teaching that God doesn't bless people without us first giving a "seed of faith"?

I stopped giving tithes after the other Christian forum chat because it started seeming more to me like a man initiated rule and not God's.

As far as "receiving a blessing" when you tithe or give seed, many of you know my story of how my wife turned her back on God, on me and the marriage, and filed for divorce. Even though I was trusting God the whole time and tithing, I went from a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs to a single bedroom apartment in the center city. She received a ~$150K check from her dad's estate. . . . . . I didn't see any blessings. I have my pride, but it doesn't make purchases.

What is your thoughts on this?

Thanks!

First of all, you need to look at the definition of "good" and "bad." God will do only good for you, and will rejoice over it. Something that seems bad doesn't mean it's bad. What if all this is to teach you something? What if all this is to strengthen your relationship with God? Or better yet lets think outside of your life and look at the life of others. What if all this is to eventually lead up to helping your ex? God never does something for one reason, he has many reasons for doing what he does. Its up to you to weather or not you want to believe that its for your own good.

By the way, even if you don't give, God is still doing good to you. He will never stop doing good to you. Again, its a matter of how you define "good." By giving, you multiply your blessings. Does that mean you will receive financial assistance, maybe. Does that mean you will receive spiritual blessings, maybe. You may not see money, but you may see more grace, more mercy, more "good."

Yes, you reap what you sow.

ravi4u2
Nov 24th 2007, 04:16 AM
True enough. But we also have record of Paul preaching to such large crowds that buildings would not hold them and window seats were used.

The beatitudes were preached for the edification of believers and that was a very large crowd!Contrary to preaching, Paul was dialogging with those gathered in the upper room. There is no mention of how many there were. The account just states that the man sat on the window. Not because of lack of space but of choice. That was how informal these dialogs were.

As for the beatitudes, when he sat down, His disciples came to Him; and he opened his mouth and taught them (His disciples). No doubt the multitude also heard what he was teaching. But His intend was to teach His disciples.

Magnetic
Nov 26th 2007, 03:16 PM
First of all, you need to look at the definition of "good" and "bad." God will do only good for you, and will rejoice over it. Something that seems bad doesn't mean it's bad. What if all this is to teach you something? What if all this is to strengthen your relationship with God? Or better yet lets think outside of your life and look at the life of others. What if all this is to eventually lead up to helping your ex? God never does something for one reason, he has many reasons for doing what he does. Its up to you to weather or not you want to believe that its for your own good.

By the way, even if you don't give, God is still doing good to you. He will never stop doing good to you. Again, its a matter of how you define "good." By giving, you multiply your blessings. Does that mean you will receive financial assistance, maybe. Does that mean you will receive spiritual blessings, maybe. You may not see money, but you may see more grace, more mercy, more "good."

Yes, you reap what you sow.

What I bolded seems to go against what you said (that I greyed). If you REAP what you SOW, . . . . if you sow money, then you should reap money (and, in as such, is how my pastor put it).

Magnetic
Nov 26th 2007, 03:24 PM
By the way, . . . . why does "obedience" equate to "sacrifice"? :confused

To me, someone who sacrifices runs the great risk of their flesh saying (even to itself), . . . . "Look how holy I am! I'm barely making it, but I am still giving to the church. I'm such a good Christian!"

If someone gives, and it ISN'T a sacrifice, it almost seems like they "didn't give enough". If I plant a seed of $100 for a building plan, and I could have given a lot more, then my seed is fruitless because I didn't "rely on God to help to provide". But, what if paying on that seed offering means you never see any provision from God. Was it still fruitful?

To me, it all is a means for people to feel that they are "good". They're going to church, giving their tithes, giving to other programs, and they [then] feel a righteousness about them. . . . .a "God must be proud of me now" sort of mentality. "I've arived!" Maybe they have. I don't know.

Tanya~
Nov 26th 2007, 05:13 PM
What I bolded seems to go against what you said (that I greyed). If you REAP what you SOW, . . . . if you sow money, then you should reap money (and, in as such, is how my pastor put it).

I don't think that's what the Scripture really is talking about. Look at what it says:


Gal 6:7-10
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap . 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
NKJV
Think about something that you might 'sow' to the Spirit. What do you think that would look like? Anything you do that serves others, that edifies and benefits others, especially other believers, is 'sowing to the Spirit.'

Sowing to the flesh is giving in to temptation, doing things that fulfill our own selfish desires, lust, things we do for personal pleasure or gain or gratification.

The idea is not that if you give money you will get money back with interest. If you give to those in need though, you do have the promise that God will always provide for your needs.

Look for the promises of God, and the conditions attached to them, and follow that. If your pastor makes statements that you aren't sure about, look up the Scriptures and see if what he says is true. Be a Berean.


Acts 17:11
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Don't automatically reject something another says, but don't automatically accept it either. Test everything against the Scriptures to see if what they are saying is true.



Ps 41:1-3
Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed.
NKJV

watchinginawe
Nov 27th 2007, 04:39 AM
By the way, . . . . why does "obedience" equate to "sacrifice"? :confusedMag, obedience doesn't equate to sacrifice.
To me, someone who sacrifices runs the great risk of their flesh saying (even to itself), . . . . "Look how holy I am! I'm barely making it, but I am still giving to the church. I'm such a good Christian!"Exactly.
If someone gives, and it ISN'T a sacrifice, it almost seems like they "didn't give enough". If I plant a seed of $100 for a building plan, and I could have given a lot more, then my seed is fruitless because I didn't "rely on God to help to provide". But, what if paying on that seed offering means you never see any provision from God. Was it still fruitful? Which is why obedience would have one give the right amount in the first place.
To me, it all is a means for people to feel that they are "good". They're going to church, giving their tithes, giving to other programs, and they [then] feel a righteousness about them. . . . .a "God must be proud of me now" sort of mentality. "I've arived!" Maybe they have. I don't know.That kind of feeling probably prevents you from giving and being blessed. You are judging others in their giving in that you don't believe anyone can give a genuine gift in obedience or compassion. I think (hope) that you don't really feel that cynical about givers and giving. :hug:

God Bless!