Where in the bible does it justify tithing on "income" rather than on the land and herds and flocks? Every church I've been to says to tithe on your "gross income" but I can find any scripture to support this.
I would love to start tithing at least 10 percent of my earnings to God. My confusion is just what does that mean specifically? Does it mean directly to the church or missionaries or could one direct these tithes toward any organization that does good will towards men..i.e. charities, hunger organizations, homeless missions, etc.?
"Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6:2-4)
It is absolutely wrong for person to make a show of giving, tell others what they give, or to have a preacher ask people publicly to make contributions by a show of hands, etc. There is no blessing in publicly giving. Jesus said in Matt. 6:5..."they have their reward" which means the praise of men or pride they feel in giving publicly.
He said to seek His righteousness...not wealth. The "health and wealth" preachers (false...everyone) are not preaching the Gospel.
For example . . . Luke 6:38 is one of their key passages saying that God will bountifully give wealth to those that give to their ministries.... Problem is that this verse has nothing what ever to do with giving money or receiving wealth. The verse in context is taking about giving forgiveness to others and being forgiven.
God never promised Christians health or wealth. He did say He would never forsake us or leave us no matter what our circumstance. Note that the Lord says in Heb. 13:5, that our lives ("conversation") are to be without covetousness which means seeking or coveting material things. He is saying we are not to covet material things and are to be content with what He gives because He will not leave or forsake us.
Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Most believers today around the world are poor and many are sick and dying. Does that mean that God has forsaken them or that He lied? The answer is obvious neither is true.
Trials and troubles strengthen us in the Lord and by difficulties we grow and mature. We do no need wealth and health to serve God. In James 1:2-5 God tells us, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Often our greatest testimony for the Lord comes when we go through troubles.
Romans 12:1-2, Clearly teaches we are to live sacrificial lives and be not conformed to the world. The world seeks riches. This false idea of seeking wealth has fueled the religious con artists of our day such as the Greater Ministries of Tampa, Fla and many other ponsi schemes. The leader of that group was sentenced to 24 years is prison for stealing millions from Christian seeking to get rich by sending in "seek" money to support missions?! This too was a super church which taught the prosperity gospel. I personally know several who lost money in that scheme. I warned them and send them information. ( http://bible-truth.org/GreaterM2.html ) Their response was to attacked me showing the spiritual condition of their heart. Why did they get conned....they believed the false idea that salvation brings prosperity.
Four times Jesus said " Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Mark 10:21, Luke 9:23 )
God tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:24 "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth."
In fact no where in the Word of God is a believe told to seek after riches.
1 Timothy 6:10, warns "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows?
Any church that builds its ministry by telling people God promises riches....is a false church and that preacher is an apostate (1 Cor. 11:14-15).
God warns in Titus 1:11 of false preachers who preach for "filthy lucre" (money). Many of the TV preachers and the "super church" preachers are very wealthy men. They know how to milk their audiences of their money.
I am sure this super church is Charismatic because that is one of their drawing cards.....they offer instant spiritually (receive the gift of tongues) and prosperity (get rich). They also offer all kinds of "Christian" entertainment which further appeals to the flesh. That has always drawn large crowds and people are willing to give lots of money to a church and preacher who entertains them and tells them God will make them rich. There are a lot of "Jim Bakkers" out there in the name of Christ robbing people (Matt. 7:21-23).
Psalm 112 in verse one says blessed is the man that fears God and keeps His commandments which set the message of the Psalm. This passage is Hebrew poetry in which the first and second part of part of a stanza says the same thing, but in different words or compliments the first phrase.
Verse 3, " Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever." The "wealth and riches" are related to righteous that endureth forever. There are other things that are called wealth and riches that are not referring to money and material things. There are spiritual wealth and riches.
Matt. 6:20-21 says, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Psalm 112 speaks of the results of a man fearing God and obeying His commandments it is not teaching that we have a blank check with God.
In some cases God does bless people financially. I have a Christian friend who is a millionaire. I have know him over 15 years. He does not seek wealth, but to honor the Lord. He lives very modestly and you would not know he we rich by how he lives. He strongly condemns the false idea of a prosperity Gospel. He is the most generous man I know and has helped many people and ministries....always anonymously. When God blesses a man financially it is to used as a channel of blessing to others....not to use to satisfy the lust of the flesh.
I too have experienced the blessing of God during over twenty years of living on missions support as a missionary. God has always met our needs which is what He promised to do...yet we are not rich and things are very tight. We lived in a 33 foot travel trailer for 8 years because that was all we could afford. Yet, we saw God bless the church and it was established and continues to do well and grow. We are presently working in Tremonton, Utah and God has allowed us to have a nice house. Whether in a travel trailer or now a nice house we are grateful for the Lord's provision. Following Him has been often difficult, but He has never for a second forsaken us and always met our needs. When God called me into the ministry my wife and I were very well off and had a beautiful new home on a lake. We have never had a place like that since...but we are very satisfied with all the Lord has given us. Our wealth is in the Lord....not in the temporal material things of this world that will soon perish.>
I have been sick several time since coming to Tremonton. Once was a kidney stone and the other more serious was a ruptured diverticulitus (like a ruptured appendix) A man in town had the same thing at the same time I did and he died. If God had promised to keep me well and healthy because I trusted him and served him then I should not have gotten sick. Brother I trust HIM....ABSOLUTELY!!! God has blessed us in the midst of this illness. I was bedridden and God lead me to a young man and his family and he was saved two weeks ago. Our church paid off a loan for $17,000.00 on a piece of property we are going to build a church on. We have only seventeen members and an attendance with children of around twenty five! Am I out of God's will....NO ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why then did this happen? God allowed it dear friend because He wanted too and that is OK by me. I can't trust Him any more than I do. Paul was sick, and many in the New Testament were not healed or made wealthy. Many died martyrs for the cause of Christ.
You hear one of the phony con artist evangelists on TV hawking about you sending them money and God will make you healthy and wealthy...TURN OFF YOUR TV!!!!! YOU ARE WATCHING SATAN'S SERVANT AND A FALSE PROPHET. HE IS OF HIS FATHER THE DEVIL AND IS LIAR BECAUSE HIS FATHER IS A LIAR. Oh, yes, he will talk of Christ and tell people to believe in Jesus, but all the while lying about what the Bible teaches.
Respectfully, your e-mail shows you do not understand what God says about giving. The New Testament does not require tithing or giving any percentage to the Lord. Tithing as a requirement under the Old Testament law given to the nation of Israel. Christians in this dispensation are not a nation and are not under the Old Testament Law. Giving in the New Testament is a matter that a believer decides for himself of course being lead by biblical principles. Tithing is only a voluntary guideline. This is what God instructs Christian in this the Church Age about giving:
The passage does not mention tithing, but it does mention giving to God. God says he will provide for those who honor Him in their giving. Most people who have a problem with giving, do so because they have not surrendered their whole lives to the Lord. The reason they are offended at God telling them to give is they do not see that all they have is God's and comes from God. They do not see themselves as channel of blessing whereas God can help other people, and are not trusting in God for their needs. In other word they have not learned to live by faith and thus deny God being able to bless them.
I have tithed for over thirty years and though I to not publish this....my wife and I give about 30-35 percent of our income and we give that amount on the gross. You said a person on minimum wage could not give ten percent. Well, I have and did for many years. Never once in all that time has our family not paid its bills or went without. We have only few "extra" things, but God always provided for us. We try to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with and we do not waste it. Before I surrendered to preach both my wife and I had great positions in business and were well on our way to being very wealthy. However, we sold all we had including a beautiful home on a lake to pay for Bible college. When I graduated and I took my first church we had a total of $32.00 between us. Yet, we were never hungry or missed a payment on our expenses.
The church I pastored was Antioch Christian Church in Windsor, Virginia, though having lots of money basically starved us. When they asked me to be their pastor they told me what we would be given each month. However, they cut the amount they promised to give us by a hundred dollars a month, the week before we arrived and never told us until I receive my first check. They made several expensive requirements for us, yet never helped us to pay them. I have to borrow $600.00 the second month we were there. When I resigned the church two years later we were flat broke and I took a minimum wage job which was all I could get. We had to move into an old broken down house in the county that was infested with fleas until I could get enough money to get a better place. It was the most humiliating thing I have ever experienced. While I was their pastor the church grew and prospered, yet the head deacon because of sin in his life I found out about made my life miserable. I later found a house in Hampton, VA with had been trashed by the renters and made a deal to fix it up for a reduced rent. God provided a way for me to make extra money and in six months and a lot of hard work we were debt free. God honored our commitment to him and blessed us beyond anything we could imagine. We continued to live by faith and never missed giving God his tithe and offering. We purposed in our hearts to give Him out of appreciate for saving us and our love of God. My wife has for seven years since coming to Tremonton, Utah worked for minimum wage. She has a college education and degree in accounting. She worked a the controller for the seventh largest chemical company in the United States. She handled millions of dollars every day and is probably the most qualified and experienced book keeping in the area. But Mormons do not often hire non Mormons so see works as a associate in a discount store for minimum wage.
I live on missions income from supporting churches. Some months our income has dropped over $1000 dollars below what it was the month before and it is never as much as most missionaries receive and less than about half what regular pastors get. Yet, NEVER have we gone without anything we needed and we have the highest credit rating one can get. The only thing we owe on is our home. We lived in a travel trailer for over eight years while we were working in Price, Utah planting a church there. We did not have the money for a down payment on a home. We do not drive new cars, but both of them are over 12 years old. They look nice, because we take care of them and they run great. We both have nice clothes. I have about ten nice sport coats and three suits. A wealthy lawyer died in Wyoming, who I never met and he and I were the same size and his wife gave them to me. We have always given sacrificially to the Lord and He has always met our needs.
Any believer can give an offering and a tithe and I know literally hundreds over the years who have done so. I cannot explain how God does it, but He takes care of those who are faithful and show their love in their living and giving. This past week my wife commented after paying our monthly bills that she did not understand how we were able to do all we do month after month. We not only give a percentage...we regularly also give to special needs that our church has from time to time and to others who need help. We send money monthly for missions to another church and also help support a Jewish family in Israel. No one other than the two men who count the offering at our church knows about our giving and that is the way it should be. All we have is the Lord?s....we are simply stewards of His material things and we happily give whenever the need arises. I could tell us story after story of how God has provided from us. The more we are blessed the more we are able to be a blessing to others.
I have seen widows living and as little a $600 a month give their tithe to the Lord and have never seen one of the suffer for doing so.
Something I do know is this....a person who will not surrender their whole life to the Lord...including their money will always be the poorer spiritually and materially for it. I had a pastor many years ago explain it to me. His name was Steve Simons and he told me that to please God as Hebrews 11:6 says one must live by faith. I believed him and God's word and thank the Lord regularly for blessing me and my family. I do not think that if I have not surrendered my all and especially in the area of money I would have never been called to preach. For me it was the beginning of a long road of having peace and joy in my heart in serving the Lord.
I am not trying to rebuke you...that is the furthest thing from my mind....I deeply and sincerely wish to help you. I may be wrong, but you seem to resent the idea of giving to the Lord. That shows you do not understand what biblical giving is and why God instructs us to give our offerings to Him. Clearly, it is not required of God for Christians. Christians are free to serve the Lord in liberty. God says we are to "purpose in our hearts" the amount we are to give. We are free to give any amount. But God also says "if we sow sparingly we will reap the same." The principle is that if we surrender all to the Lord...he will bless us. God says further...."And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8) It is true that God does not state an amount, but if you think about it....what we give and the amount are important as a gauge of our devotion, faith, trust and commitment to the Lord. We cannot please God apart from faith (Hebrews 11:6) so giving is to be a matter of faith.
I hope that you understand my motives. I could tickle your ears and agree with you on this...but that would mislead you and deny you the blessing of sacrificially giving to the Lord. I know that you are struggling with this. I too once had a similar struggle, but I thank God He showed me the principles and wish for you the blessing it has been to me. Why not just surrender your all to the Lord and let God be your source of strength and receive His blessings. The reason you are struggling so is that you are not obeying God.
In the early churches offerings were brought and "laid as the apostles feet" which simply means they brought it to the assembly of believers. (See Acts 425-27) These new believers who had possessions sold them and brought them to their church to be distributed to needy Christians who were suffering persecution and to support the apostles who gave their full time to the ministry. Soon it became a problem to distribute the food the money brought to the widows and in Acts 6:1f they appointed men from the congregation to handle this chore. At the time in history there was only Christians were in Jerusalem. However, as the Gospel spread next in Antioch a congregation was established and then to Asia and eastern Europe.
Paul instructed the Corinthians and in turn the early churches saying "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." (1 Corinthians 16:2) Here again the instruction to Christians was to bring their offerings to their church.
God's plan is that our tithes and offering are to be given to our local church which in turn uses the funds in carrying out the ministry of Christ in their geographical location. Several principles are the reason. One, the ministry of a church is a joint ministry of all the saved people in the church. A true church is a congregation of saved and baptized believers. Thus in giving to one's church the Christian is supporting God's work in their area and through missions around the world. Second, by jointly polling our offerings all are equally participating in supporting the work of the Lord. Even the poor giving what they can are a part of they work and no one is elevated above someone else who may have more to give. Third, Offering are to be given in secret so as not to cause pride in one's giving. Jesus said, "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:3-4)
Fourth, if you attend a biblical New Testament church the offerings are receipted, and thoroughly accorded for with financial reports being regularly given to the congregation. Further, a true New Testament church as congregational rule which means the church membership votes on how funds are dispersed. Fifth, a biblical church is collectively lead by the Holy Spirit and thus the funds are spent for missions, church building and maintenance expenses, supporting the pastor, administrative expenses, and legitimate charitable needs.
The New Testament is clear that titles and offering should be given to one's local church so that it can preform the ministry God has called it to.
The amount is not specified for Christians. In the Old Testament the tithe was 10 to 38 percent. However, God does not tell Christians, in this the church age, what amount to give. God's instruction is as follows:
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Christians then are to "purpose in their hearts the amount they are to give." God says those that give bountifully reap the same and those that give sparingly reap sparingly. We are not to give because it is required...but rather because we love God and want to show our thanksgiving to Him by giving an offering. Giving cheerfully is a matter of faith and trust in the Lord and giving from a gracious heart is what God loves and rewards. He promises that He will take care of us and that we will have our needs sufficiently met.
Many Christians after giving to their church also feel they want to help other organizations outside the local church. We should not take our titles which are the Lord's and give it to those outside the church, but we can give over and above what we give to our church. Who and what amount then it totally up to the giver. We should be careful and throughly investigate charities outside the church, because there are many who misuse what they are sent. TV evangelists are a prime example of who not to give to as most of them misuse the funds. Any organization you give to you should first request a financial statement that shows how they disperse the funds they receive. Even some well known organizations use up most of the funds in salaries and administrative costs. A respectable organization will receipt funds and also provide regular financial reports.
Giving can be a great joy and is a privilege the Lord gives us to be a part of His work on Earth and if given in faith and love for the Lord it will reap eternal reward.
Although the tithe was required giving in the Old Testament Christians are not under the Law. We give a tithe or whatever amount we determine in our hearts freely as offering thanksgiving to the Lord. The instruction to the Christian is this"
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Christians are at liberty and have the privilege to give out of a thankful heart and desire to honor the Lord and be a part of His work. Verse six states the principle that those who give generously will reap the same and vs versa. God does not require us to give or force us to offer Him any amount. The principle is that Christians give "not of necessity"....but cheerfully return a portion of what God has given us.
Some people give the title to the penny. That kind of giving misses the principle and blessing of God. In the Old Testament there were two types of giving. One was required and the other was a free will offering. Even under the law there was the principle of freely giving to the Lord an offering above what was required. That showed faith and trust in the Lord to provide one's needs and recognized God's principle of blessing those who love and serve the Lord with all they have...including their money.
God states this in 2 Cor. 9:9 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8) This is a promise to those who give generously from a proper heart. God blesses those that give with the right attitude and takes care of their needs.
One's giving to the Lord is a matter of faith and also a way to show God that we love Him and gratefully for what He gives us. God does not force us to live godly lives or honor Him....He desires that we to this out of respect and gratitude to Him. Certainly He is worthy of our praise and worship and giving is a important part of true worship. No one in the Old Testament came before the Lord without an offering. It was a sign of the givers faith in the Lord and that He truly worshiped the Lord.