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The Bible teaches us that we should tithe our income to the church. However,most people don't tithe. Is the tithe one tenth of income before or after taxes? I believe that the Holy Spirit can change a person's heart so that they will tithe and see the tithe as a from of worshipping God. However, until a person gets to the higher spiritual level of tithing, I believe that at a minimum, a member of a church should pay at least 3 dollars a day in their church which comes to about one thousand dollars a year. Some of our memberships in professional and social societies cost us one thousand dollars a year and frankly we get very little out of it. We get so much more from our church membership. What disturbs me about appeals for the tithe is that the ministers don't explain how the tithe is to be used. Malachi said " Bring ye the tithes and the offerings in the storehouse so that there may be meat in the storehouse". So this means that the tithe is to be used to carry out the work of the church such as the support of the ministers, church staff, feeding the hungry, emergency shelter for the homeless, etc. I believe that the tithe should also be invested in business enterprises and Wall street to. I have observed at other churches that minister call for the tithe and these congregations build multimillion dollar cathedrals in the mist of blighted neighborhoods. No one seems to be interested in using the tithe to purchase property around the multimillion dollar cathedrals and renovating so that people can have decent housing. Furthermore, some of these ministers are driving luxury cars while their members drive used or economy vehicles. If most members of a congregation are poor, wouldn't it be better if the minister drove a similar style car as his or her members did and pocketed the savings between the vehicles and invested it. Please comment on this subject.


-- Anonymous, February 16, 2001


Some very brief comments:
  1. Tithing begins with Abraham and Melchizedek, and therefore predates Mosaic Law. We see it as an underlying principle of the Old Testament.
  2. The greatest financial gift in the Bible was the "Widow's mite". Although it amounted to pennies (or less), it was all that she had, and would have for a couple of weeks, so it represented total sacrifice and total commitment.
  3. The call for giving in the New Testament is "Sacricfical Giving". This goes beyond the tithe. We see the Widow's Mite, Zaccheus offering to give 25%, and Paul's teachings on the matter. Of course, if you can't jump 6', how will you jump 7'?
  4. The tithe is on the increase. If there had been no government, taking away its portion, you would be fully expected to give the tithe on the gross. Of course, if you tithe on the gross, when you get your refund, you have already tithed on it, so any gift from it becomes an offering.
  5. Offerings are after tithes.
  6. Isn't it interesting that we have no problems leaving a 15% tip at a restaurant, but choke on leaving a $15 "offering" at the altar?
  7. Each AME church is required to give full accountability of its expenses and disbursements. This occurs at Official Board and Quarterly Conference, and a summary may also be given at Annual Conference in the written reports.
  8. Tithing institutes financial commitment to the work of the Local Assembly. Your $3/day suggestion is a good start on the path of commitment. I would recommend increasing the giving by 1% of total income per month until the tithing level is reached, then see where the Lord would have you commit.
  9. Tithing, or Committed Giving, places the Lord and the work of the Local Assembly as our highest priority (of our own discretion - Uncle Sam gets his first, unless you are self-employed). We all have bills, and always will, unless we marry one of Bill Gates' kids. Therefore we won't make them go away any faster by diverting the tithe to bill payment.
  10. With the shift away in the last 10 years from government funded social action, the church's role as intecessor in the lives of the poor and disenfranchised raises in significance. In addition to being the will of the Father, it's just plain loving to care about our neighbors. Wise stewardship will enhance our ability to do this.
  11. There are some churches that do make more than cathedrals. Allen Cathedral, Jamaica, has also transformed its neighborhood by building a school, a senior citizen residence, and an enterprise zone that creates jobs and teaches business skills so that people can better take control of their own destinies. First AME, Atlanta, has a housing complex and educational facilities that teach computer skills. St. Paul, Cambridge, owns at least 12 units of "Transitional" housing, used to aid the homeless and those going through tough times. These are just examples.
  12. Once we have mastered tithing, we should master giving - to ourselves. Rev. Floyd Flake declared, "Pay God, pay yourself." We should impose the same spiritual discipline in our giving onto our personal spending. This begins with savings. We mustbecome more disciplined and transition from a desire-driven credit oriented approach to a patient, investment oriented approach that meets both our wants and our needs from our increase, not our future. This will be the true path out of most financial crisis in this country.

    -- Anonymous, February 16, 2001

Tithing...this is one element that binds up the thinking of church members. We tithe or bring the first fruits unto the Lord. Throughout the Scriptures, we see the necessity and the impact of tithing, however, what is considered to be holy unto God, has become perverted in the hands of man. The tithe is the 10% which is taken off your gross pay, moreso it is worship unto the Lord. The tithe is your committment unto to the Lord. Tithing goes beyond just giving your money, but it is a lifestyle. In the Old Testiment, the tithes were brought once a month to the temple, and whatever the people have a need, then they were able to "withdraw" what they have given in otherwords, the money was there in extreme cases to help the members. Also, the tithe was to take care of the priest as well. But as we crossed into the New Covenant, the tithe included your whole life. See God wants us....He owns a cattle upon a 1,000 hill, He doesn't need our money, however, where we are fed spiritually we are to give. In today's Christianity, the tithe is perverted. Men and women who sit in the pastors' seat have used the tithes of the people to make themselves fatter. The men and women of God are playing con games with the members into thinking such myths like "you shouldn't drive a car better than your pastors" or "the tithe is mine...saith the pastor" Nothing is being done for those who give their last dime to be faithful to the Lord, but the pastors, get bigger and bigger at their member advantage. The teaching of the tithe is taught wrong in our churches. We have gotten away from the word and decide to adjust the Word for our needs.

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2001

Sister Lori is correct. God doesn't need our money. He gives us the order to tithe to test our obedience. I've never met a cutting edge Christian who didn't tithe. I saw an interesting thing recently. You've heard me mention the God chasers, whom I consider to be some of today's finest Christians. On their website recently one lady said she didn't tithe, which opened up a discussion on the issue. About a week later she replied that God spoke to her in a dream and told her to tithe. Typical of the God chasers, both in the supernatural experience, and her humility and integrity in admitting she was wrong to the web group.

Keith Green, the Christian contemporary music pioneer (and great influence on my life) told about the first time he tithed. He dropped the envelope in the plate and it hurt oh so very bad. Then the devil whispered, "you've done your duty, now the rest is YOUR money!" Keith said, "yeah, it's MY money." He then heard the Spirit say, "YOUR money? It's all mine. You've been given a standing order for 10%. If I want any more of my money I'll let you know."

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2001

My pastor made a point yesterday in church. We GIVE gifts, but we BRING the tithe. You can't give something that's not yours, but you can bring it.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2001

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