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  • Need Advice: Tithing when in debt

    I know tithing is a debatable topic as I read the ones on here, but this is something my husband and I are dealing with.

    We have a lot of debt and are about to start paying down on it, but the issue of tithing is weighing on us.

    We're following the Dave Ramsey plan and even he states about tithing the 10% even when in debt.

    I've talked to our pastor about it, fellow Christians, and have done a lot of reading on the 'net. At the same time, I've also read from fellow Christians about not tithing 10% and they use scripture too!

    We're unsure of what to do...I know we are to pray about it...but it really seems like we should tithe our 10%. We will be able to pay our bills still, but not have anywhere near left over what we would of had. We will have a little extra, but like 1/3 of what we would of had.

    Also, if we do tithe, what about any over time he gets? Can we keep that for ourselves as we are already being faithful and obedient to God and sacrificing 10% and my husband is working hard to bring in any extra pay to put down on our bills. Or should we do 10% from that also?

  • #2
    First of all, go and see what the BIBLE say about it. Ask God, but dont expect a different answer from what His Word tells you.

    My opinion:
    I am convinced that it's 10% of ALL the income you get - before tax (firstfruits). Yes I know it's not that easy.
    Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
    This is the only scripture I know of that God tells us to prove Him herewith.

    If it doesnt come from a cheerful heart but from a grudingly or of necessity, there is something wrong with the relationship between you and God. God loves a cheerful giver.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Psalm View Post
      God loves a cheerful giver.
      That's the one aspect of this that I'm absolutely sure of.

      Comment


      • #4
        What did your pastor say?

        My personal feeling is somewhere right around where Psalm is

        2 Corinthians 9:6-8 says, 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

        You should give what's on our heart to give. The widow threw in all she had.
        She gave everything to the Lord. If you cannot, give what you can.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RZ06 View Post
          I know tithing is a debatable topic as I read the ones on here, but this is something my husband and I are dealing with.

          We have a lot of debt and are about to start paying down on it, but the issue of tithing is weighing on us.

          We're following the Dave Ramsey plan and even he states about tithing the 10% even when in debt.

          I've talked to our pastor about it, fellow Christians, and have done a lot of reading on the 'net. At the same time, I've also read from fellow Christians about not tithing 10% and they use scripture too!

          We're unsure of what to do...I know we are to pray about it...but it really seems like we should tithe our 10%. We will be able to pay our bills still, but not have anywhere near left over what we would of had. We will have a little extra, but like 1/3 of what we would of had.

          Also, if we do tithe, what about any over time he gets? Can we keep that for ourselves as we are already being faithful and obedient to God and sacrificing 10% and my husband is working hard to bring in any extra pay to put down on our bills. Or should we do 10% from that also?
          Every person's situation is unique, and I am of the opinion that the Tithe is not on the Standard pay you had, but on wherever there was an increase. The bible talks about tithing in terms of the first fruits of the increase, thus, I believe the tithe, technically only applies to that money over and above what you may have had previous (For example when you receive a raise.) The Pastor I used to have at my last home, believed this as well.

          However, let me say, that if it is in your ability to give more now, by all means do so, and do so cheerfully, for God loves a cheerful giver, and he will certainly bless you accordingly.

          A lot of folks subscribe their "lawful" tithe as some service to God and expect blessing from it (in terms of more money), but I am of the opinion that God does not only bless us in financial areas. You can also tithe of you time, or your goods. My wife and I are also under some bad debt that we've worked hard for almost ten years now to get out from under, and we
          are not there yet.

          There is another thing that I've been considering of late, that this increase may actually be over and above the general provisions to which God provides. For example I believe God promises to provide us with food, clothing, shelter, running water, and other things necessary to maintain that home (electricity or gas heating for example) anything above that which is extra (cable, internet, telephone) would be extra as well.

          However, given our nature of indebtedness and our desire to dig out of it as quickly as possible, we do not presently tithe, though we wish we had enough room in the budget to do so. We instead give as we are able and do so Cheerfully, longing for the day when enough of this debt burden is relieved to where it does not hinder us from tithing.

          I would definitely pray about it though, God expects different things from different people, and I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination :/

          Comment


          • #6
            From a personal expierence I can tell you this. We have been in debt (and still are) and we did not tithe because we didn't think we would have the money to make it. Guess what? When we didn't tithe things just got worse. We would overdraw our account, have to get my parents to buy us groceries, it would be tough to get gas to get to work.

            Then, we started tithing our 10% and now, even in debt, we always have extra money. God has met each and every one of our needs, and He has never let us down. Even though you may think it is going to be tough if you tithe while in debt, then just remember that God will protect and watch over his children. He will meet all of your needs. You will have to find ways to cut back, like not eating out, not buying that cd you want, and so on and so forth.

            So from personal expierence. Tithe. You won't regret it. God will provide, especially when you are obeying his commands.
            www.showhismercy.blogspot.com <<--------My new blog spot...check it out if you have time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Rethinking 'tithing&quot; . . .

              This is my first experience at this forum, and the modern-day "tithing" issue in the OP caught my attention; not only the "benefits" that people are having, but the challenges that people are having in their "obediance" to this teaching.

              In John, 8:31-32, it is recorded that Jesus is speaking to his disciples that believed on Him and He said that " . . . If you continue in my Word, then are you my disciples indeed, And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

              John 8:31-32 is a capstone passage for any Christian to consider as he or she seeks to live the life of repentance and obedience to God.

              In fact, I have learned a law from John 8:31-32: if any teaching from the Word does not bring freedom to the lives of all, then it CANNOT BE TRUTH.

              Might there be an opportunity to rethink the modern-day "tithing" teaching in our day? The horror stories that I (and others) have seen and heard with people who seek to obey the modern day "tithing" teaching is not good--it really takes on the stature of a modern-day scandal. Of course, there are saints who mention the"good" things that have come to them "because they tithed"--and they (unknowingly, to be sure) make an honest, and open, discussion of this issue problematic.

              Nevertheless, I hope
              we will all really do some rethinking on the "tithing" teaching in the modern church--and think about whether it is biblical or not.

              We really need to understand that if we are taught in the Word, we should contribute financially to the support of those doing the teaching (see Gal. 6:6ff). The contribution should be generous, but entirely voluntary (no pressure); it's not a big deal, really.

              The issue in this is clear, though: THIS IS NOT BIBLICAL TITHING.

              After being a born-again Christian for more than 30 years, I have come to the conclusion that NOBODY can tithe today biblically. One can, of course, give money to a 501c3 ministry effort in a city--and, in the USA, get a "tax break" for doing so. Nevertheless, biblical tithing is an altogether different thing than "giving money" to a ministry. (This is where major misunderstandings occur among the saints.)

              As we might remember, the first example of tithing in the Bible was between Abram and Melchesidek (the High Priest of that day), and that never happened again--where Abram would provide the tithe from the "spoils of war" that he fought in (NOT his personal wealth--see Gen. 12-14). There is only one more voluntary example of tithing in the book of Genesis (Jacob's--and this was conditional).

              Since that time, tithing was incorporated into the Law of Moses, and at least four other things are REQUIRED to be in place TOGETHER for the tithing command:

              1) A Physical, Earthly Temple (or tabernacle) having YHWY's name (the "storehouse" to store the tithe was in this facility)
              2) Earthly Crops and Livestock (money was NOT involved in tithing)
              3) Earthly Levites and an Earthly High Priest (the Levites provided a tithe of the tithe to the High Priest).
              4) Specific "Sabbath" Covenant Configurations and Conventions

              Some commentary on these four items are given below:

              1) Beside the tabernacle of Moses, there have been three (3) earthly brick-and-mortar temples on the earth respectively: Solomon's, Zerubabbel's, and Herod's. All three earthly temples have been destroyed: Solomon's was destroyed when Judah went into Babylonian captivity; Zerubabbel's and Herod's (Herod expanded Zerubabbel's temple during the time of the Christ) were destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD per the prophesy of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 24, Mark 13, Lk. 21). HENCE, THERE IS NO PHYSICAL EARTHLY TEMPLE, TABERNACLE, OR STOREHOUSE TODAY. (The implication is this: the local church of today is not the storehouse of Mal. Ch. 3--despite shouts to the contrary by preachers.)

              2) Is there a mention of tithing in the Law that indicates activity other than someone giving or eating livestock or plants? Jesus mentions in Matt. 23:23 that the Pharisees tithed "mint, anise, and cumin" in a hypocritical manner--these come from PLANTS. Several translations of Proverbs 3:9 indicate that if honor is given to the Lord with substance and first-fruits of CROPS (it is incorrectly translated "increase" in the KJV), there would be barns filled with plenty and so on. It is clear that money is not involved in this, because money can not be eaten. Actually, the first-fruits and the tithe of the Bible was not the same thing anyway; more about this under 4) below. Additionally, all the Hebrew people would celebrate the Lord by EATING the so-called "Festival tithe"--but I will write more about the "Festival tithe" under item 4) below as well.


              3) There is NO Earthly High Priest today--only a Heavenly one (the Lord Jesus Christ). Every believer in Christ is a PRIEST today as well as the "TEMPLE" (see 1 Pet. 2-9 and 1 Cor. 3 and 6); there is no Levitical priesthood today. Every believer is born into the BODY OF CHRIST, and the BODY OF CHRIST is the CHURCH (the "TEMPLE" of GOD indeed)--you can't "join" this, you must be "born again" into it per the New Covenant mandate of Jeremiah the Prophet (Jer. 31).

              4) No commentary on tithing should ignore the 7-year “Sabbath” cycles of the Hebrew people that YWHW set up for them in the Torah (the Law of Moses). This is very important, because the Law of Moses set this system in place--and to disobey carried severe consequences. Indeed, tithing was configured so dynamically to this Hebrew “life rhythm”cycle of “sevens” that it is really impossible to separate them (in my mind, at least).
              As I understand it, the “life rhythm” of the Hebrew people was expressed in “sevens” in the Tanakh (the Old Testament). The format is as follows:

              a) the 7-day week (7 days)— 6 days of work, a Sabbath rest on day 7.

              b) a week of 7 years (7 years)—6 years of farming, a Sabbath rest on year 7 for the land.

              c) 7 weeks of 7 years (49 years)—7 sets of 6 years of farming followed by a Sabbath rest year PLUS an additional Sabbath year (the 50th year; this is called the “Jubilee”).

              At least three different “tithes” were featured in the Torah--and they were configured dynamically with this “life rhythm” cycle of “sevens” as follows:

              A) The Levitical tithe (Masser Rishon)—

              i. eaten (!) by the Levites (servants to the Priests); it was their reward for their service in the temple/tabernacle; it was received from the non-Levitical Hebrews; a “tenth of this tithe” was given by the Levites to the Priests for their food also.

              ii. The Priests did not tithe, nor did any non-Levite give tithes to the Priests directly (they gave first-fruits to the Priests directly only).

              iii. This Levitical tithe was to be given in years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Hebrew 7-year cycle; no tithing was commanded for the 7th year of the cycle (Sabbath year).

              iv. The Levites brought the “tenth of this tithe” to the Priests in the temple/tabernacle; the Levites did not live in the city where the name of YWHW was. The Priests would have opportunity to place this “tenth of the tithe” in the storeroom of the temple/tabernacle.

              v. Since the Levites had no inherited land, YWHW gave them 48 “Levitical cities” to live in. These cities were scattered throughout the lands of the 11 Hebrew tribes. Most of the tithe that they received from the non-Levitical Hebrews remained in the fields around these cities. In fact, specific “courses” of Levite families had a week of rotation work time in the temple (there was 24 courses, in fact). A Levite family “course” would bring a portion of their own tithe with them—plus the “tenth of the tithe” for the Priest when they would go for their “week of work” in the temple/tabernacle. The Levites that worked in the temple as servants to the Priests would store their portion in the storeroom of the temple/tabernacle also.

              B) Festival tithe (Masser Sheni)—

              i. eaten (!) by the non-Levitical Hebrew people (along with Levites from their cities also) as a celebration of the goodness of YWHW at the yearly festivals around the temple/tabernacles in Jerusalem. This is an additional “tenth” of corn, wine, olive oil, animals, etc. of what remained AFTER the Levitical tithe was given. The food (!) could be exchanged for money if need be, and, after traveling to Jerusalem, the non-Levitical Hebrew people could buy things to eat in celebration at the feasts; some of this would be given to Levites who would accompany the trip to the feasts in Jerusalem.

              ii. This was to be done in year 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the 7-year cycle; no tithing was commanded for the 7th year (Sabbath year).

              C) “Poor” tithe (Masser Ani)—

              i. eaten (!) AT HOME (”within thy gates”) by the non-Levitical people along with the Levite, stranger, orphan, and widow.

              ii. This was to be done in the third year (years 3 and 6) of the 7-year cycle; all would be at the homes of the non-Levitical Hebrew people during these years (year 3 and 6).

              So, from the facts of 1), 2), 3), and 4) above, can any Christian can be involved in any of the modern-day church "tithing" configuration today--and remain biblical?

              Is not the goal of the Christian to maintain biblical fidelity to the Lord and the truth from the Scriptures?

              Comments are welcome . . .

              Cheers and love,

              billy-brown 2


              Grace and peace,

              Billy-brown 2


              I Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

              Comment


              • #8
                "We're unsure of what to do...I know we are to pray about it...but it really seems like we should tithe our 10%"

                And so you HAVE your answer. If you have a conviction that you should tithe, then tithe.

                This or that "theology" to the contrary notwithstanding, if you go with what your "Peace" leads you toward, you'll be O.K.

                Comment


                • #9
                  2 Masters?

                  Can a man/woman serve two masters? One debt and one tithing?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Debt is not a master nor is tithing. Jesus is the master and he is the way the truth and the life. We are serving Jesus when we tithe. So the answer to your question is no, we can only serve one master and if we let someone esle or something take that place then we will be disciplined.
                    www.showhismercy.blogspot.com <<--------My new blog spot...check it out if you have time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RZ06 View Post
                      I know tithing is a debatable topic as I read the ones on here, but this is something my husband and I are dealing with.

                      We have a lot of debt and are about to start paying down on it, but the issue of tithing is weighing on us.

                      We're following the Dave Ramsey plan and even he states about tithing the 10% even when in debt.

                      I've talked to our pastor about it, fellow Christians, and have done a lot of reading on the 'net. At the same time, I've also read from fellow Christians about not tithing 10% and they use scripture too!

                      We're unsure of what to do...I know we are to pray about it...but it really seems like we should tithe our 10%. We will be able to pay our bills still, but not have anywhere near left over what we would of had. We will have a little extra, but like 1/3 of what we would of had.

                      Also, if we do tithe, what about any over time he gets? Can we keep that for ourselves as we are already being faithful and obedient to God and sacrificing 10% and my husband is working hard to bring in any extra pay to put down on our bills. Or should we do 10% from that also?
                      Scriptures speak about giving from your heart joyfully of your increase. So overtime is part of that. But you ought to be on the same page and EXPECT GOD TO MAKE GOOD ON HIS PROMISE.

                      Read 2 Cor 9:6-8 (and the whole chapter), then get likeminded with your spouse and pray to God, ask him to bless that which you give out of the joyfulness of your heart. If you really trust him to provide for you, you can give cheerfully even in hard times - for that's when HE works even harder to bless you. Keep your eyes on God's riches in glory in Christ that he has for you. (And don't let anyone talk you out of it)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by doubledcattle View Post
                        Debt is not a master nor is tithing. Jesus is the master and he is the way the truth and the life. We are serving Jesus when we tithe. So the answer to your question is no, we can only serve one master and if we let someone esle or something take that place then we will be disciplined.
                        Yes, but we're to pay our debts and keep our "promises". Since, before truly starting to come to the Lord, we got ourselves in financial debt by over committing and wouldn't the Lord want us to pay those people in a timely fashion?

                        (I'm asking as if I'm thinking out loud...That is a way of thinking my husband & I both have, so that's what adds to our being unsure of the tithing full 10% right now)

                        Billy-brown, you had some good points too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RZ06 View Post
                          Yes, but we're to pay our debts and keep our "promises". Since, before truly starting to come to the Lord, we got ourselves in financial debt by over committing and wouldn't the Lord want us to pay those people in a timely fashion?

                          (I'm asking as if I'm thinking out loud...That is a way of thinking my husband & I both have, so that's what adds to our being unsure of the tithing full 10% right now)

                          Billy-brown, you had some good points too.
                          What you sow you will reap - the tithing isn't mentioned in the NT - but the priniciple applies. Whatever you choose, do it cheerfully of your increase and not with a grudge and see God go to work.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Rethinking &quot;tithing&quot; 2

                            Can we do some more “rethinking” in the area of “tithing”?

                            Why do we struggle with this “tithing” thing so much as a church?

                            Almost all of the posts above (particularly #8- #13) indicate a struggle with this on some level—and this sends a “red flag” up to me. (The very fact that we have to discuss this in a forum such as this is revealing also.)

                            Anyway, all of the posts in this thread are really interesting—and reveal the need for answers to the following questions:

                            • Is there a correlation between “tithing” and “sowing and reaping” in the scriptures?


                            • Are the passages in II Cor. 8-9 dealing with tithing in any way? What is the argument of the Apostle Paul in these chapters?


                            • Does the Lord “curse” the saints if they do not “tithe”? What is the “curse of the Law”?


                            • What are “the Riches in Glory” that is mentioned by Paul in Phil. 4:19?


                            • Are the scriptures the only “standard” for Christian conduct? Or shall we refer only to the Tenets of Faith of a particular ministry as the only “standard” for Christian Conduct?


                            • Is there anything wrong with giving 10% of your finances to a ministry effort?


                            I hope we can have BIBLICAL answers to these questions, because only the biblical answers will bring the FREEDOM the Lord Jesus Christ is offering to us (John 8:31-32).

                            Of course, any incorrect answer to these questions (i. e., unbiblical answers) will indicate the amount of BONDAGE that we all may be in--and the will of God for all of us is FREEDOM.



                            Grace to all,



                            billy-brown 2

                            Grace and peace,

                            Billy-brown 2


                            I Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              be generous and give your best, your first fruits to the Lord. Tithing is an OT rule that can be healthy in some cases but generally isnt. You should just be 'generous' with the cash God owns (and gives to you).
                              "Few men are born brave. Many become so through training and force of discipline"
                              -Flavius Vegetius Renatus

                              "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." - James 2:26

                              Watch This! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA - Christian Artist Lecrae

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