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May 27, 2007

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Someday (God forbid) you might end up totally disabled like a lot of us are adn lose your fortunes on medical bills. Then you willhave to decide whether you want to tithe first or buy pain pills or pay to keep you mother in a nursing home.
Paul says if you put church finances first you have DENIED THE FAITH. 1 Tim 5:88 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.NASU
Again you will not stoop lower than a starting place of 10% and that reveals your ignoracne of God's Word which never set the beginning bar at 10% except fof farmers and herdsmen inside Israel. You will not let go of that sacred cow and act like a Hindu. Read some serious books like Edershiem's Sketches of Jewish Social LIfe. Even an OT Jew could not brign tithes if he lived outside of Israel.
Try refuting just one point of my 19 point essay.

Amen to the author. It isn't "your" money in the first place, so why shouldn't we give to Him first?

Interesting. I'll have to ponder point 2 a little because I'm not sure I agree.

As for Dr. Kelly's challenge, I've forwarded your website URL to my church's pastors. But as for point 14 within the essay, just because something is mentioned in the OT and not mentioned in the NT doesn't mean that it's no longer true in the NT. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus states that the old laws will remain unchanged until He comes again.

Would you care to expand the discussion of 'tithing' and 'giving generously' just a bit? In my case, a few years ago I was 48 years old with a corporate career and a six-figure income. I left there and went to work for a church-based nonprofit that provides direct services to the poor. The pay cut was 60%, and it took a couple of years to fully adjust but my wife and I are now comfortable living at that level. However, we now disagree on 'giving generously.' We give 5% to the church, and I'd like to give more. She says that (1) we're already 'donating' the $60k of income that I gave up, and (2) I'm working full-time for the church, so we are making a significant contribution and don't need to give more. In a sense I agree with her, but I don't think this takes the place of cash donations to the church or to service organizations. Any thoughts on either of her points?

I'd like your feedback concerning NOT what the % is; but who to give it to.
As a matter of stewardship, I'm aware that while giving to single causes or single individuals might have the greatest short term impact; giving to churches may be more "bang for the buck" long term as funds are carefully allocated. (assuming the church is well organized and operating to high ethical standards & practices due diligence)
I'm in a position now where I can quite easily donate far more then 10% and do not consider 10% in any way "sacrificial" as I'm quite content without having more "stuff". ...so supposing that first 10% goes to the church; a bit more goes to the current church growth program; what considerations would you make as to where to give next?

I sent the following email to DaveRamsey.com. I don't know if this fits in this category, but maybe it fits somewhere on the site.

I am facing a default judgement. The order will be signed this week. The court will take a lien against my property. The bill is about $16000.

I have a property that is assessed at $109000. Market value is about 140k. It’s a money pit. I need to spend big bucks to rehab it to code. Septic system, electrical, plumbing, siding
/paint,asbestos abatement. I don’t have the time, money, or expertise to pull it off.

If it didn’t have a expensive new roof, I’d say bulldozer renovation was in order.

Why not donate the property to a local charity? They negotiate better rates on the existing mortgage,[about 83k] we pay it off at the better rate, we save money on the mortgage, they set up a 5th wheel or small trailer for us to live on while the house is rehabbed, we rent the house from them after it’s ready. We end up with a place to live, the money we spend on rent goes to people we support [our rent is a charitable donation!!!!]. Sounds like a win/win situation. We could even stay on in the trailer permanently and the big house could be rented.

Alternate solution-sell to someone local who we respect for their support of charity, try for full market value, and offer to pay rent or lease. If we have to get a 5th wheel and live in that while the place gets rehabbed, fine. If I can get a cheaper rental rate to keep a 5th wheel parked on the property, fine. Let someone else live in the big house. We end up with a better place to live, get money to pay our bills, and help our kids get their education.

Meanwhile, I listen to Debtors Anonymous, Dave Ramsey, Ihatedebt.com, etc. and get educated about debt destruction.

Have people done this? How do they do it to minimize tax and property transfer costs?

Thanks,

John

Mike/Will --

Stay tuned. I'll address these issues in upcoming Sunday posts (though it may be a few weeks.)

John --

Sounds like there are a lot of holes in that plan to me. Sorry.

FMF, I agree with your post in each point. All of what we have belongs to God. I agree with you that 10% is the minimum - we should always look for opportunities to go beyond the minimum. An area where I cut corners for many years was in tithing from my "net" after tax income... I was recently convicted that I was not giving my "best" or my "first" and was not exercising faith. Since then, the 10% tithe have come from my gross income - always rounded to the nearest $5. :) It was a step of faith.

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