Sunday, March 26, 2006

Why I don't tithe

Sigh,Our pastor taught about tithing, he does this about once every two years or so.I don't tithe and I don't feel bad about not tithing but my dh has more guilt about it and would likely tithe if I wasn't so opposed to the notion.Why, you might ask, would a crunchy-ish Christian woman be opposed (adamently opposed) to the tithing, particularly the Malachai verses being used to *guilt* people into tithing?Well, let me tell you a personal story about us. We have been in just about every income bracket. We started off painfully poor. We were married and had children ad a very young age. When DD #1 was 3, and DD #1 was 1, we became Christians. We were taught that if we didn't give 10% of our income to the Church, we were "robbing G-d."We were so poor, we didn't have enough to eat of put a decent roof over our heads, and forget about doctors or dentist visits, we made about $10,000/year and we gave 10% of it to our damned Church.We went to another church, the infamous Ezzofied legalistic church (the other one was just about as legalistic,) and we got an even stronger pro-tithe, "if you don't tithe, you're robbing G-d" message from these schmucks.I couldn't afford to take my children to the doctor, I had my children's teeth literally *abcessed* but we dutifully gave 10% of our money to this damned church. DH worked 60+ hour weeks and we were still poor (making about $30,000/year with six children in an expensive geographic location) and we *still* tithed.We tithed to that damned church until they *kicked* us out, gave us crap, and we stopped.This business became part of an article about the Ezzos and turmoil within the church and they claimed they kicked us out because we didn't attend, but we proved we attended. Regularly. Because we had a record of that damned tithe every time we were paid, we paid them the tithe.So, back to the Malachai verse that tells people to test G-d, HA!!!Test G-d, like it's a good idea to put the L-rd to the test.I stopped tithing, stopped giving alltogether for a long time and, guess what happened?Our finances were blessed.And blessed and blessed, we make over triple what we made when we dutifully tithed.What have I learned?Everything EVERY LITTLE THING we have belongs to G-d and comes *from* G-d.G-d Himself has blessed our family with eight beautiful intelligent children and He has also blessed our finances so, primarily, we can take care of our *children*My children go to the dentist. They go to the doctor, they all get glasses if they need them.I am able to give them money for class trips and a new pair of jeans (imagine that, we look like people who have a Father who can take care of His children!!!)It isn't as though we *don't* give, we do give but it is a *gift* not a legalistic tithe. If you measure by our *taxible* income, we do actually tithe, but that wouldn't be good enough for the legalistic people. It's amazing to me how normally grace-oriented people morph into legalistists with regard to this one issue.No, I would rather be prosperous and take care of my own children than to be faithfully tithing to a bloated church whilst my children suffer in pain from abcessed teeth and inadequate housing/clothing/transportation/education/etc.etc.etc.Debra Baker

15 Comments:

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Debra, I'm really with you on that. (Sophmama here from Mothering). I tithed when I was making 10k from a church (where the pastor made atleast 100k then - now it's 250k). I was going hungry frequently and cried at night laying awake trying to figure out how to pay my bills. After marrying, my dh had a good salary and we gave thousands to pointless building campaigns and what not (ontop of our tithe grrrrr...). Now we've both started new careers and are making hardly anything (moved to one of the most expensive parts of the country too lol). I could really use all that cash I gave to make the church more lavish. I'll make more again someday and I have no aim to give it away to silly people trying to build empires for God in their own names.

One thing that cinched it for me when we were leaving and giving up tithing was that Old Testement tithes were put in the storehouse to be used to primarily care for the poor. The Levites had land allotments to care for themselves. I read a statistic a while ago that American churches spend around 3% or something horribly low on actual charity work. Most of the money goes to 'feeding the ministry machine' (buildings and salaries). I also think the arguments used to prop up New Testement tithing are rather weak and insufficient.

I still do help others less fortunate than me but often not with money, since I don't have any right now. And when I do get back on my feet financially, for the first time in my life I plan to take care of myself and my family a little bit. I've put everything else first for the majority of my life and I've never really had much of anything, and dang it - I've been sucked dry. I gave when it hurt beyond hurt. Life is better with out all those silly constructs. I don't want my kids to grow up poor like I did.

 
At 1:50 AM, Blogger Amie said...

I am so with you! We give but not always to the church ang not always in a way one might expect but we give. A tithe is legalistic, it might be able to be used by some as a guideline, but it definatly isn't a mandate. Thanks for the post,
Blessings,
Amie

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Time said...

What the preacher forgot to mention:

The verses in Malachi that refer to robbing God are directed toward the priests of the temple, not the parishioners. He accuses the priests of taking money by fraud from the laborer and says the nation of them are condemned, among other things.

 
At 6:12 AM, Blogger Yves Tambashe said...

I don't tithe either but it is for theological reason. You should read this article by Dr Sam Storms on the issue!

http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/are-christians-obligated-to-tithe-2-cor-8-9

Yves

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger vange said...

tithing is what the bible teaches us to do. We tithe out of obedience. And God is true to his promises, that he Will take care of us. It may seem so hard, and by reading many of your stories, I see that it is, but put your Trust and faith In the Giver, not the gift. Yes, churhes sometimes fail with how they preach on tithing but hey, preachers are still human..they sin too...and on what the tithe is used for? My mum always said, let God deal justly with what the church uses our tithes for, our only concern is that we obediently have given to God what he commands..and with a thankful and trusting Spirit, God will always provide. If we tithe grudgingly and with doubt, don't expect God to Provide, but when God sees that you tithe because you believe that everythings going to be alright, He will take care of you, because you Honour Him, you lift His name up. I pray that all who struggle in tithing may come to see it as a way of trusting God and then seeing what God can do with your Trust in Him. I'm not speaking as one who has never been in need, right now I am going through financial hardships, and am tested in what I am typing on, but I will tithe and trust that this same God who has come through for me in the past will come through for me again. I urge you sisters/brothers in Christ to read His word, and see what God has to say about how we live our lives, and just dwell in His love,power,Glory and providence.There is just countless stories of how God has provided and the bible says he is still the same today as yesterday.

 
At 2:31 AM, Blogger proxy said...

Im with Vang I believe that tithing is an act of obedience to God, in line with this word, and once given, in your heart you say “God this is for you”, detach yourself from which Church or Pastor that receives it (the act of obedience is not for them), who act as stewards.

Its a intimate act of trust in a God you believe loves you, has asked you to trust him with this, and who will keep this end concerning outcome of tithing. Should Pastors and Churches miss use the tithes, well I believe “time” in this earlier post has touched on that to some extent.

If you find it hard to tithe ask God to help you, he understands, it just warms the heart of an awesome, loving God when you do it from your heart.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger jr said...

I think you should belong to a house church. That way you and your family don't have to mouch off the other tithers who are paying to flush the toiliets, turn on the lights and make the impact they are making in your community. You could just do church together with your clan and other like minded people and dirty your own carpets, mark up your own walls and let all of your neighbors go to hell because they would mess up your kids and your prosperous life. It is amazing to me that so many people don't want to tithe but want there local church to be a viable witness in there community. With more christians like you we will surely get the job done of making disciples of all nations.

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger The Davis Chronicles said...

I googled "I don't want tithe" because my heart has been conflicted for along time over this. It's amazing to me how churches want to be so forward moving and then pull out the big OT guns on "tithing." I don't sacrifice sheep at church. I've been so confused and distraught over the church and the pastors who expect and complain about not making enough. I have a Bible and Family Minstries degree and went to work in Corporate America. People with less experience and no education call themselves "pastor" start a church in a hotel and make $250K a year. Fashizzle! I gotta get me wanna those ministry jobs.
This conviction reached it's height when last Sunday we were visiting the largest church in the area and the pastor informed us that they had cut 34 paid staff and they were $400k short for their $5M budget. He said we were obligated to tithe 10% of our gross income to the church or we were disobedient, robbing God, and cursed. I used to spend the week looking forward to church now I spend the week trying to figure out if I really want to be a Christian. Maybe it's not "worth" it. I thought we were supposed to use all of our time, gifts, talents, and resources for God, give from our hearts, take care of needs, carry each other's burdens, and practice hospitality. Damn, I'm so confused. I've come a long way since Bible college.
I'm really glad you're providing for your family and I think having and caring for eight children is a fantastic investment for God.

Oh, and by the way I'm convinved now that Ezzo's kids were push over's and they obviously weren't very smart. That GKGW stuff doesn't work on obstinate gifted children...or special needs. It's scary anyone ever published his book.

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger EnnisP said...

Did you lump birth control in the same category with tithing?

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger john said...

I don't tithe because the people across the street from me buy meth with the money they get from the church. They asked me if i wanted to buy some. The mormons don't drug test. They say that god tells them it's ok...?

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger truthteller89 said...

Some interesting arguments on tithing. The real problem here is not tithing at all but understanding, wisdom and knowledge. Reading the comments of the above shows one point - most are bemoaning tithing one way or another and yet not one has stated they have STUDIED -ALL- the bible to find out what God actually says on the mattter. I am in the middle of my study at present. I have been a Christian 8 years and longed to study the bible and eventually started 2.5 years ago - but so many bibles - it seemed impossible - then I decided I would study the 'best' one. Guess what, God started showing me there were 'false' bibles and there is a 'best one' and its the King James Version 1611 - all others bibles (NIV, NLT, NSAB (read "Gail Riplingers New Age Bible Versions" - http://www.avpublications.com/3_catalogue/nabv/nabv_html_tract.htm) are catholic cult corruptions, the fables of men containing the leaven of the pharisees. God would NEVER have showed me this had I not had it in my heart to know him DIRECTLY not thru some pastor or church nonsense -but by his ACTUAL WORD. The Lord Jesus Christ is faithful in death and in life. I know ONLY support pastors and churchs who use the KJV bible and understand clearly that all other bible are false. These churchs are always the poorest of all and have the smallest congregations. The pastors take little or no salary and they always make themselves accountable, they give most of their books/materials away for free and rely on Jesus Christ in faith. In other words they teach the ONE AND ONLY gospel of the Apostles and live accordingly: [KJV 1611] Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger truthteller89 said...

Some interesting arguments on tithing. The real problem here is not tithing at all but understanding, wisdom and knowledge. Reading the comments of the above shows one point - most are bemoaning tithing one way or another and yet not one has stated they have STUDIED -ALL- the bible to find out what God actually says on the mattter. I am in the middle of my study at present. I have been a Christian 8 years and longed to study the bible and eventually started 2.5 years ago - but so many bibles - it seemed impossible - then I decided I would study the 'best' one. Guess what, God started showing me there were 'false' bibles and there is a 'best one' and its the King James Version 1611 - all others bibles (NIV, NLT, NSAB (read "Gail Riplingers New Age Bible Versions" - http://www.avpublications.com/3_catalogue/nabv/nabv_html_tract.htm) are catholic cult corruptions, the fables of men containing the leaven of the pharisees. God would NEVER have showed me this had I not had it in my heart to know him DIRECTLY not thru some pastor or church nonsense -but by his ACTUAL WORD. The Lord Jesus Christ is faithful in death and in life. I know ONLY support pastors and churchs who use the KJV bible and understand clearly that all other bible are false. These churchs are always the poorest of all and have the smallest congregations. The pastors take little or no salary and they always make themselves accountable, they give most of their books/materials away for free and rely on Jesus Christ in faith. In other words they teach the ONE AND ONLY gospel of the Apostles and live accordingly: [KJV 1611] Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Greg said...

There is no command to tithe anything in the new covenant. This tithing money issue is one of the most scandalous frauds in modern times. Learn how to rightly divide the word of God using hermeneutics. Under the Mosaic law only food items were tithed. This food had to be grown within the boundaries of Israel. If you were not involved in food production you didn't tithe. It's right in front of you people, good grief.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger Greg said...

There is no command to tithe anything in the new covenant. This tithing money issue is one of the most scandalous frauds in modern times. Learn how to rightly divide the word of God using hermeneutics. Under the Mosaic law only food items were tithed. This food had to be grown within the boundaries of Israel. If you were not involved in food production you didn't tithe. It's right in front of you people, good grief.

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger Eyrola Haku said...

The issue is not about wanting to give money to God or not is if tithing is obligatory. In my country Nigeria a certain popular Man of God is known to have said that people who don't tithe will go to hell. Every scripture about giving in the New Testament encourages free willing giving which is of people who are under grace and have love.
In the OT people necessarily had to do something to be blessed by God but that doesn't necessarily happen these times.
The Malachi scriptures which the Pastors always preach was first and foremost God speaking to the Priests and Levites. Read from Chapter 1 to the famous 3.
Every other scripture about tithing which they do fail to quote made reference to food from land, the trees, fruits and livestock. There were specific times of either a year or the third year and the tithes included the people themselves, the poor, widows, orphans and the levites. Tithes has never been money, never for church buildings, paying staff or carrying out church programmes.
Concerning all that, so many provision has been made for the Pastor and helping the needy, etc in the NT of freewill, love giving. If only the pastors didn't compete, come up with programmes that are beyond the abilities of church members these sufferings will reduce cos while God is blessing you there is another church programme to fund.
The levites were the only ones mandated to receive a tithe and there's no record of any living Levite since records were destroyed along with the temple.
Tithe is not any income that comes to you but from your seed (produce from work) so money that is dashed to you is not tithe.
If you choose to tithe pls do out of love for a God who has blessed you but remember its not obligatory cos Christ fulfilled the law. This is the only law of the over 600 that pastors are holding on to. Tithe to God not expecting the windows of heaven to be opened but because you are grateful to Him but pls pay your bills, give to the poor, widows, orphans, your family, and then there will indeed be food in Gods house. Remember to always live a planned life.

 

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