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January 08, 2006

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EXCELLENT post.

Thank you FMF.

Financial Rounds had an interesting post not too long ago about insurance companies starting to target the "religious market" -- they apparently have crunched the numbers and decided that religious people are good risks.

Anyhow, he notes that one of the most popular features of their policies is their promise to continue your tithe for you if you are disabled in an accident.

[Huh. Apparently I can't post an html link in your comments -- the post is at http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/2006/01/insurers-find-religion-from-wsj.html ]

I cant tithe and at the same time save for retirement and an "emergency fund". Should I tithe before I put money into my savings?

First of all tithing was an ordinance created by God for the 11 tribes of Israel to take care of the Levite Tribe. The Levite Tribe had the responsibility to do service in the temple and they could not have any kind of a business. This is why the other 11 tribes had to support the Levites. At that time in the Old Testament, there was a storehouse. The 11 tribes gave 10% of everything they had. Today, the church is not that storehouse. There is no carry over of this ordinance because the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has done away with the temple worship and the New Testament points the believer towards the idea of giving offerings which are to be done by a free will. Ordinances were under the law and the age of grace does away with ordinances. The tithe was given to the Nation of Israel and not to the church(the Body of Christ). Very few believers teach this concept because many of the leaders do not rightly divide the word of God for the people. Many leaders find it very economically sound to push the tithe on the people for the love of you know what(money). Go to the the book and everything I have said is there. Be truthful to the people and the Lord will be pleased.

So, are you saying that people should only give as they feel led? What standard is that? Should New Testament Christians give more or less than the tithe? What about Jesus' thoughts in Mt. 23:23? Lots of unanswered questions here.

As I've said in other posts/comments, if someone says that tithing is not for New Testament believers but advocates that Christians should use the tithe (10%) as their starting point for giving, I'm ok with that as well. The reasoning is that the tithe (in effect) does still end up being paid.

What I'm not ok with is Christians who use the "freedom" of the New testament to give LESS than 10%. They are simply beeing stingy and robbing God. The New Testament calls us to a HIGHER calling (see Mt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-48) than the Old. As such, tithing should be a starting place for Christians.

We must tithe no less than the 10% then we have to give offerings from the 90%. Tithe is a covenant sign an belongs to God. Offerings is for abundance (generosity)what we sow we'll reap

i agree with tsunami:
"Christians should use the tithe (10%) as their starting point for giving"
i allot more than 10% of my income to giving for God's/kingdom work...so it's not really a tithe anymore. note that I did not specify church. while my home church does get the bulk of my offerings, I belive that giving support to missionaries, campus ministries, etc. is a way of tithing too.

I think it worth noting that in Malachi 3:8 it points out that not paying tithing or offerings is akin to robbing God. And one of the 10 Commandments is "Thou shalt not steal." God is our financial partner in life and all He has asked of us is 10% of what He helped us earn. And when you treat God fairly and give Him His 10%, He blesses us further. You will never find a business partner that will offer you such a great deal!

One person here asked if they should pay their tithing instead of saving for retirement and putting money into an emergency fund. I would say "No!" Pay your tithing AND put money in retirement and your emergency fund. Only 90% of your income is yours to keep. 10% is God's. Don't spend God's money - spend yours. Pay your tithing, pay yourself and then pay your bills and expenses and watch how God will bless you for your faithfulness. Just remember that tithing isn't paid with money ... it's paid with faith.

One thing that I love about my church is that each year we meet with our Bishop for tithing settlement where we get to declare whether or not we are a "full-tithe payer." In Matthew 5:48, Jesus tells us to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect. I am inperfect in a lot of ways. But each year I have the opportunity to say that I am perfect in one way - I am a full-tithe payer.

Lastly, don't forget the offerings. Sometimes we serve as God's angels to others and the paying of offerings to help the needy is one way that happens. Give what you can give when you can give it. Sometimes it is money. Sometimes it is labor. Sometimes it is simply love and understanding.

Im curious, how do you guys feel about tithing to a non-Christian organization which does the work of the Lord by helping others. I gave half of my yearly tithe to my church back home (currently deployed military) which will be used in a Sudan relief effort via UMCOR. I would like to give the other half to International Medical Corps, which is a non-Christian aid organization which provides emergency health care around the world. I am satisfied that they will use the money as efficiently as possible and they have some endorsments to back that up. I cant say that about a lot of churches I have attended. I am often afraid my money will go to purchasing a new espresso machine or a jungle gym for the kids. Any thoughts?

Joshua --

That's an EXCELLENT question -- one I've been meaning to write about (it's on my list.)

If I were you, I'd try and find a parachurch Christian organization like Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, or Compassion which does what you want (helps those in need efficiently) but also does it in the name of Christ (something I sense you're looking for as well.)

Wow, quick response! I went ahead and got on UMCOR's web site and learned that 100% of donations go to the program listed since administrative costs are obtained through a separate channel, and that they also provide medical relief similar to IMC. I went ahead and made my donation to the administrative channel because I think its great that they can make the 100% guarantee for first time givers, or people not quite sure where there money is going. For someone like myself who has a little better understanding of the organization, I have no problem funding administrative costs. Also, any spillover from this fund goes to the programs with the highest need. It feels great to give, especially since I am giving for the whole year all at once. The bigger amount makes it more fun! Thanks for the advice.

I am happy to tithe. I even am excited to tithe, it makes me feel good. But, I just have one question...I know that you give 10% of your earnings to God...first...and then He will bless the other 90% but do you think it counts if on Friday you get paid and you write your check for your tithe and don't go to church until sunday to place it in the offering bucket but in the meantime you need to pay your bills or go grocery shopping or something like that? I am confused...

Stefenie --

Yes, I think that's fine.

I have one question: If you are not apart of a local congregation or are not saved, does God still accept you tithing and should churches accept you tithing?

John --

That's actually more than one question. :-)

I'm not sure what you mean. Can you clarify your questions?

I'm curious to know if I should give a tithe from my income tax return or just an offering? It isn't earned so I wasn't sure about that.

Michelle --

Since you've already tithed on this money (the gross salary you earned, then paid taxes from it), you don't need to tithe on a tax return, IMO.

what about Deuteronomy 16:13-15?Is that included in the tithe in the book of Malachi ?And what about the tithe of Deuteronomy 14:22-27?Is this tithe included in the tithe Malachi teaches?And of course what about the Levi ? And what about Deuteronomy14:27-29?Do these tithes apply to believers in YESHUA?And are all these tithes the tithes that the prophet Malachi is teaching ? Is that why the prophet uses the plural tithes instead of tithe?Peace be to your house.

I don't understand why so many insist that we follow the OT Law of Tithing, but say it's ok to neglect most of the other Laws.

Galatians 5:4
"You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

How many of the Apostles taught that we need to Tithe? All of them? Most of them? Some of them? No. NONE of the Apostles taught that we need to/must/should Tithe. Not one.

The only mention of the Tithe outside the Gospels is in Hebrews 7.

The author, assumed to be Paul, writes that Abraham did not Tithe a tenth of everything. It says a tenth of the PLUNDER. And Abraham did not Tithe every week. Abraham Tithed only once in his whole life.

In the Old Covenant, Levi collects the tenth. But it also says that the Levitical Priesthood has passed, and so we need a change of the Law.

So why do we try to follow a Law that has been crucified and buried with Jesus? He died for us, we should live for Him. We should stop acting as if His sacrifice meant nothing, as if we are still under the Old Covenant.

Jesus Himself talks about the Tithe only twice, in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 18:9-14.

And both times, Jesus spoke to Pharisees who were still under Law, who were still following the Law, better than any other group in Israel. But Jesus did NOT say "well done". Both times, He said, "You hypocrite! You neglect that which is more important."

Does this mean we should stop giving? Of course not. But we should be good stewards, stop trying to live under and old Law, and give as the Bible says. When will we stop following false doctrine and turn to the Bible?

what about when a person recieves an ssi check? Ssi rules are that we are never allowed to give away money so how can God honor tithes paid from ssi when it is breaking the laws of the land. i am so confused about this. In other words, if ssi knew we were giving money away to a church they would take our checks. I have to make sure I don't write a check to the church so social security can never track it. Either way I go I feel like I am being dishonest

Dana --

I've never heard of this restriction. I'll post your question on an upcoming Sunday and see what my readers say.

Oh, people, it is so simple. God called the chosen people together in Jerusalem three times a year to keep his feast days (holy days). God provided for the people something to eat when they went up to Jerusalem and crowded the city, so that they would not overwhelm its resources. He told them to bring a tithe of what he had given them through the fields, the crops, the trees, and the flocks. They brought the agricultural tithe and shared it with others. They ate the tithe. They fed the priests and Levites as well. But the fisherman did not bring a tithe of his catch. The day laborers did not bring a tithe of their earnings. It was flour, oil, fruit, meat, vegetables, etc. that came straight from the Lord. It was not a collection of money. They could not take their money into the temple. They would trade it for a temple coin so that they could pay their half-shekel temple offering. The tithe was agricultural and was tied to the feasts which were also agricultural. Applying the tithe to earned income, and assigning a local organization to collect it does not make for Biblical doctrine.

If you wish to honor the Lord, give to the poor. Feed the hungry. Tell others of His mercy. Give to others in need. Give freely, practicing a "good eye", not a greedy "evil eye".

We presently do not have a local church we attend. My husband feel the T.V. evangelist we watch steps on his toes more than any of the preachers in the local churches. I have to agree, however miss the worship. Anyway, I tithe, my husband does not. He is a new Christian. Since we are not attending a local church, I have been giving my tithe to charities or people in need. Now we have an emergency situation that is going to take quite a bit of money. May I use my tithe for such a thing?

Thank you

Diane --

Do you have an emergency fund to cover such situations?

Unfortunately, No. We are building a house next year and our money is tied up in the down payment. We just had unexpected car repairs that were quite costly also. We have paid that without touching the tithe.
When you look at the fact that we are building a house......Consider the fact that we are living in a mobile home that has a lot of problems and with getting older we need to make changes.

Diane --

Yes, it's probably true that you need to review all your finances so that issues like this don't pop up over and over.

As far as using your tithe for expenses, I would not do it. I would cut expenses and/or increase income -- try anything I could -- before I cut my tithe.

Where does the submission to my husband fall into play here when he feels we should? He made a comment yesterday about my Christian ways being different and that God is not going to pay our bills. No, I don't agree with that. When I met him he did not even have a savings account.

Diane --

Many Christian advisors would tell you that submission to your husband's will should over-rule your wanting to tithe.

All I'm telling you is what I would do (which is all I can do -- you ultimately have to make the decision for yourself). In addition, I want to be sure you're really dealing with the root issue (which appears to be the lack of planning for financial emergencies) and not trying to take the easy way out by using your tithe to pay off a debt.

Ultimately, God doesn't care about the tithe -- He really cares about the condition of your heart. If you want to tithe, really have no other way to pay for this unexpected emergency, and your husband wants to use the tithe, I believe God will understand. But you also need to start taking steps to getting all your finances in order so this isn't an issue in the future.

I totally agree about the planning for emergencies. Believe it or not, my husband is seeing it too. Where my husband works, they have devotions every morning. They are actually doing a series on finances now with Crown Ministries. I don't think this is just a coincidence.
Thank you.

The Bible says if we don’t do it out of Love it is usless, so I do Love Gary, but I need to Love more. Anyway, I was a tither for years, I respect my Pastor and other Pastors, they have a tough job and I could not do it. I thank all Pastors that are truly called for what they do, I have learned alot from them. As far as tithing goes, I ask you people that are tithing and have been for years to simply do some study. I really think that most Pastors are trying to do the right thing but really don’t study the tithing verses deeply. I know it is all GOD’s, I Love to give, giving to church adn Pastors is good, but don’t get hung up on how much and numbers, that is lawful. Let us just touch on the main verses they use in there sermons or talks. I won’t quote them, you research them for yourself, that will help you more, it really will. And please go into this in prayer and and open heart, not an angry heart. Remember, every one, yes every one of these verses are under law, which we are not. In Gen 14: Abraham comes back from war and gives by free will, not a command 10% of his spoils (not money) to the preist, Melkecedek (sp). Abraham was already a rich man before this and the bible never sais that he tithed before or after this event. Abraham did this from his heart, like we should give, from out heart. By the way, Abraham sacrificed animals also, it was before law. There are many other tithing verses inbetween Gen and Malachi, but most preachers don’t touch on them, because most of these verses do not help the Pastors cause for pushing the tythe. Then we get to the famous tithing verse in Malachi, please really know this, GOD was talking to the Jews deep under law, not Christians. GOD was mad at them because they were not giving there tithes, even the Priest were being corrupt with the tithes. GOD told them if they went back to giving like they should, then HE would open the windows of Heaven and pour out great blessings on them, but if they did not there would be a curse on them. So many Pastors use this and show us the blessing that is coming if we tithe, but if we don’t we will be cursed. GOD warns against Pastor’s putting us under guilt, they will be held more accountable, be careful Pastors, study your Bible. Then in the new testament, Jesus has the same speach, but in 2 different areas in the gospels, Mathew and Luke. Remember, you probably might not know this, JESUS was a Jew under Law when HE said this, He had not gone to the cross yet, and HE was fussing at the JEWS that were under law, HE was not talking to us. HE was upset with them becasue they were tithing there spices and herbs to the tee, but they were not loving or following the more important parts of the LAW, the LAW. And remember if you choose to keep tithing and not just giving, no verse in the Bible ever shows anyone tithed money. But if you choose to keep tithing please please look at Gal 3. Galatians 3 talks about if you are going to follow part of the law, you must follow all of the law and if you do that you are putting yourself back under law and JESUS is useless to you. Please read Galatians 3. Now if most Pastors see that these verses are not working on you, they will try and twist other verses to make tithing right. And if you listen careful to a tithing Pastor you will here some of these hand me down sayings, these are man made sayings, not in the Bible. And by the way, did you know that the NT Church brought back tithing just about 160 years ago, GOD didn’t bring it back. OK, be weary of these sayings, you will here them if you start asking: “The Jews were required to give more than 10%, so we are lucky”, “10 percent is a good starting place for you or a good benchmark”, “you can’t outgive GOD” (which is true if you give out of the heart), “I have been tithing for 42 years and the LORD has always supplied my needs”, many people that have just given for 42 or 52 years without tithing have been looked out for by GOD. Oh, listen to this one, “you are looking inwardly and not outwardly”. Just Love your Pastor and support him, but please study tithing for yourself and pray about it. Like I said, mostly these guys mean no harm, they just go off what they have learned. GOD bless you, Give in abundance as GOD leads.

[Reply]

I am encountering a new financial situation, where I earn a monthly salary and am given a monthly travelling allowance. Am I supposed to tithe on the travelling allowance as well?

DJH --

Do you spend the allowance on expenses that your employer knows you'll be incurring?


The allowance is given for travelling to and from meetings for work, hiring taxis etc. So, the answer to your question would be yes. This is the first month I'll be getting the allowance, so I haven't done any spending as yet.

DJH --

Here's what I would do:

For the amount you use to pay actual expenses, I wouldn't tithe on it. This is similar to most work arrangements (except reversed) where the employee pays for expenses and is then reimbursed by the employer. No one I know tithes on these.

If there are amounts over and above the expenses that you "pocket", then I would count this as income (since that's what it really is), and I would tithe on that amount.

And if you have expenses that go over one month, I would use excesses from previous/subsequent months to cover those and not tithe on that amount.

In short, don't tithe on expenses you pay, but do tithe on excess amounts above your expenses.

Ok, thanks much. :)

my husband and I separated, living in diff houses but still respect one another as husband and wife. We are still going off of the same income, his pay check. I am a stay home mother to the children. He doesnt like the tithe and offering thing, yet I do. Or shall I say I agree that it is truth. Come every paycheck, he separates a portion of the paycheck for himself and gives the remaining to me. Question: must I pay the tithe from his gross or the amount he gives me each paycheck? I have tithed on both but would seriously like absolute closure on this. I dont want to do this ignorantly and suffer out of ignorance. I would like to go about this correctly because when the budget looks kind of cutting things close I begin to wonder whether I really must be tithing from the gross. Also, are you absolutely certain we dont have to tithe the tax returns? I mean u made a good point and I never questioned the tithe further than tithing all incomings. Thank you

Sonia --

Would you like me to post your question as a "help a reader" post on the main page of FMF? That way you'll get a lot of responses and advice.

oh yes please. Thank you.

Sonia --

It will run on Sept 4 (the soonest I could get it posted), but here are my quick thoughts:

You should tithe on your increase -- which is the amount your husband gives you.

Yes, I'm sure about the taxes. You can feel free to tithe tax returns if you like, but that's really money that you've already tithed on.

Sonia,

I believe you are approaching the question all wrong. Tithing (as understood to be giving 10% of your income away to Christian causes) is not a biblical mandate (after all, we are saved by grace, not by any separate action on our part). The purpose of tithing, as alluded to in Matthew 6:21 ("For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."), is to show you are faithful and to soften your heart. The Lord isn't impressed by things done in his name out of a sense of guilt or requirement, but wants to see that you are living in the grace of Christ's love always. When it comes to tithing, this means giving faithfully - giving enough to where it means something to you. Pre-tax, post-tax, tithing off of the child support check - to agonize over what the "certain" and "right" way to tithe is a sure indicator that you are not living in the spirit of Christ's love. You're not earning anything by giving - you've already been given grace (and hopefully you've chosen to accept it). The proper response to that gift is to submit your whole life (including your finances) to the will of God and give as your heart leads you to give.

Hi,
I would love to start tithing and I know that the tithe is supposed to be paid before any other expenses but I'm not sure how I can do that in my situation. My paycheck gets direct deposited every Thursday and I deposit my husband's check every Friday. My problem is that every week I overdraft so by Thursdays my checking account is in the high negatives. So if I do tithe it would not be the first thing I pay because the bank will take their share first. I have tried to not let anything overdraft but it still seems to happen every week. I always seem to have less money that I need to pay all my bills. I am trying to get caught up on my bills but I seem to just keep getting deeper an deeper in the hole. Does God want me to tithe even if the bank takes their money first?

thanks so much!!!

Trina --

Are you saying that you're spending all of the money you make and then some?

the post are plainly base on presuppositions and opinions of the author not on the biblical system of tithing. If we just carefully and faithfully look and study the scriptures we cannot see or read anything that tithing should still be practice or it was a practice by the early christians and christians today if it did then along all the commandments prescribed in the law should be practice as well. when the Lord's day come He will not ask you how much tithe did you gave but how many souls did you brought to His kingdom.

i want to know should we tithe on SSi money it a disablity and i do help people get to work and if i can i help on food to i take from my needs and help others out is this tithing

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