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Tithing on Your Increase — 94 Comments

  1. I struggle with the whole tithing concept. To me God is very very unfair. I hope you don't mind me being direct.

    If a family with 5 children earn $20,000 per year - they would have to survive on $18,000/yr for 7 mouths to feed. A couple with no children who make $100,000/yr. would have $90,000 for 2 people to enjoy. Where is God's fairness?

    I have a friend who is so financially nailed by his ex-wife and the courts that he can barely survive. Besides his extremely high child support, he also has to provide/pay (by himself) for a 3 bedroom apartment so that the courts will let his children (boy/girl) come and visit him (they must have their own separate rooms). He receives food from a local pantry in order to get by. How am I supposed to witness to him, bring him into the church, and then tell him "Oh yeah... there is a membership fee!?"

    Since you mentioned "Caesar".... Even (corrupt) Caesar is more fair than God. The IRS has different tax brackets for different wage earners. A person making $15,000/yr. is not expected to pay the same % as a person pulling in $1,000,000/yr.

    Where is God's fairness? I know I am supposed to have faith... I am supposed to be in awe at the stories of people who find groceries on their doorstep after paying tithe, etc. But I see the rich becoming richer... the middle-class joining the poor... and the poor getting more and more stomped on by the world. I don't think we should see it from God/The Church.

    Amen!(9)
    • Paul, I understand some of your frustration, and often we raise a lot of "You should do this" scenarios that make us aware of some of the issues. Something that has come to my notice in this study about stewardship, is that we need to recognise that tithing is something between us and God. All the legislation and raising of guilt levels about tithe-paying is not going to change a thing. I have said somewhere else tonight that, "God loves a cheerful giver!" It only when our hearts are changed and we give of our means cheerfully that the tithe will become effective.

      Two things are necessary: a) transparency of tithe usage b) and an appreciation that God wants us to be partners with him. It is personal; a relationship between us and God. It is not an invitation to be judgemental about others and how they pay their tithe.

      Amen!(30)
    • Paul, I think we should understand that tithe is a proportionate, by using 10% the Bible emphasises giving as we earn. It is a personal obligation as oppposed to a relative price. It is very fair because you only give based on how much you earn.....if you earn $1000 you return $100 and if it is $10,000 you return $1000. Isn't that even fairer? I think it is. It will only look unfair if you focus on the change.

      Amen!(17)
      • Arthur:

        I am not sure I agree. I mentioned my friend who is financially nailed by his Ex and the Courts. He is forced to pay for a 3 bedroom apt. along with his high child support payments, junk-box car, bills, etc. that he is forced to rely on free food from the local food pantry to survive.

        Because we work together, I know about how much he makes per hour. I figured it out... taxes and all... Because he has NOTHING left at the end of the week/month now... If I were to bring him into the church, he would be forced to get a part-time job for about 9 hours per week just to earn the appropriate amount of tithe money.

        How do you bring someone (the poor) into the church under these conditions? Having NOTHING left over at the end of the week is the "norm" for many people.

        As far as tithe being proportionate... in today's world, this is not always the case. If I bring "Dr. Smith" into the church, his tithe paying would be like throwing a couple bucks in the plate. My friend would need to --literally-- get a part-time job to pay his tithe.

        In his Baptist church he ignorantly (not held accountable by God) throws a couple bucks in the plate each week. If he were to come into the SDA church he would be taught that (even with all the stresses in his life) he would need to get a part-time job... or else he will be robbing God... therefore sinning... and of course... sinners will be lost. Compared to "Dr. Smith" is this fair and proportionate? I don't think so...

        Amen!(5)
        • Paul, you appear to leave God out of your reasoning. God says, "Return your tithe, and see if I will bless you." It's a matter of faith, and as such it is fundamental to our Christian experience. The Apostle Paul tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb 11:6)

          As for it being easy for the wealthy, please consider how "easy" it would be for you to put $3,000.00 in the offering each week - $1,500.00 in tithe plus $1,500.00 in offerings. Records ìndicate that the "wealthy" don't find it easy. Apparently, the richer people get, the smaller their percentage of giving gets. Consider that with increasing income, expenditures usually increase. (I know folks who barely make ends meet on CA$10,000.00/month - without tithing.) It is usually more difficult to help big income earners see the blessings of tithing than those with a very small income. (Living below the poverty line, there's not much to lose and a high incentive to "prove" God.)

          I'd also like to suggest that the vast majority of people have nothing left over as tithe after paying all their expenses. That's not how tithing works. "Proving" the Lord only works by taking the tithe off the top *before* paying the bills.

          I write from the experience of living much of my adult life technically "below the poverty line." During all this time we tithed and gave a second tithe in offerings. We didn't consider ourselves poor, and we didn't look like we were poor. Friends found it difficult to believe that we lived on as little as we did. There used to be "Dollar Stretcher" stores in our area. Not sure about those stores, but God is the real "Dollar Stretcher."

          Amen!(31)
        • There is nothing wrong with your calculations in human terms - you are perfectly correct. The only thing you haven't taken into account is God's miraculous goodness. Countless people have stared in amazement at their accounts at the end of the month, because they have money left over when they should not have, by human reckoning. test the Lord and see for yourself.

          Amen!(18)
        • The important point in my view is obedience to what God says. The moment you focus on what you will be left with then you cannot serve. 10% is an equal sacrifice despite varying circumstances. I was astonished by a statistic that the World Church is always below 30% tithing compliance rate. Are we being 'Honest with Him' that we hard pressed and left with nothing for church?

          Amen!(8)
          • Figures get quoted quite often without a lot of proper investigation. There are a number of factors that need to be considered. For example some people may pay their tithe anonymously, or they may simply put it unmarked into the offering. Alternatively they may donate it to a specific branch of the church. Undoubtedly though, the tithe income of the church is nowhere near 100%.

            Amen!(1)
        • Paul, may I make another practical suggestion: Your friend needs to know that tithe is between him and God. God challenges us to "test" Him to see if He will not pour out a blessing when we give him a tenth of our "increase" before we spend our money on anything else. That means it is up to us to figure out the "increase," with the help of God. May I suggest that when we exercise even the little faith we have, God will bless and increase our faith.

          Amen!(6)
      • I understand the situations Paul cited. Our decisions in early life don't always work out the way we want; and sometimes our expenses and obligations leave us with far less in income than we might prefer, or need. Social programs, both public and private, can help with these issues, but still leave some needs unmet. If only our daily expenses were proportional to our income.

        The earlier point that tithe is proportional to income is one way in which tithing is fair; however, the gift of the Widow's mite was noted by Christ, not because of the amount; but because of the faith demonstrated. The another way is that God is faithful in pouring out blessings in response to faithful accounting of the increase that comes under our stewardship. God's blessing in response to demonstrated faith isn't a matter of bargaining or some kind of business transaction, we can't manipulate God; but rather it is a freely given gift. Blessings are not limited in proportionality and may include continued health, opportunities for cost savings or improved income; perhaps even through local contacts provided by local church members or the church itself. This is something I've seen and experienced personally. Tithe isn't a membership fee, it is a matter of demonstrated faith in God and his promises; and an opportunity for the local church to show their stewardship in assisting a brother with opportunities.

        Does a member have a garden with an abundance of produce; share this blessing with others who may be in need. Does a member need help with minor repairs or housekeeping due to infirmity or other serious issues; volunteer your time as a church member to help with yard work or minor repairs. These are examples where we serve as the hands which bring God's blessing to others. We shouldn't just say "be filled" to those in need.

        Amen!(19)
    • Paul, The problems that you have mentioned are real, and to quote texts that are applicable to some, does not solve or answer the questions at hand. Most if not nearly all the text about tithing are in the old testament. As far as I know Jesus and His disciples did not tithe. The words in Matthew 23:23, were a rebuke to the Scribes and Pharisees. Hebrews 7 mentions a history of Abraham and Melchizedek. All of the promises that God provides are reliable sources for all of our problems. Faith is a promise. Trying to solve problems by others in our society seems to be a brick wall much of the time.

      Amen!(3)
      • In Matthew 23, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for the wrong focus. Their motive also was wrong. The most important verse there is where he said to them, "that you should have done, without leaving the others undone". So, yes they tithing is important but so also is mercy and good judgment. In other words, do your tithing and give your offering but don't forget the more important things as it relates to the kingdom.

        Amen!(19)
    • Paul, I am glad you felt able to share your honest views and feelings in this forum! We need spaces for more honest and sincere discussions like this.

      Your illustrations demonstrate that things are often complex rather than simple. Hence, as Maurice has correctly stated, it is primarily a matter to be sorted out between the individual and God (as per Phil 3:15) and not a matter that someone else should be 'judging' whether an individual is doing the right thing or not.

      Amen!(14)
    • You haven't mentioned how unfair Ceasar is to your friend with all those silly requirements. His problem isn't tithe it's Ceasar.

      Amen!(7)
      • Yes, Edwin... the World Bankers, the Elite, the Caesars of the world are the problem for us all. That is why I wrote the word (corrupt) when I mentioned "Caesar" (IRS). But again... even Caesar/IRS does not charge the same % for a person making 15-Thousand per year as one making 1-Million per year.

        Amen!(1)
    • Paul many years ago I was given a testimony by a gentleman I became aquointed with. He told me how before he had given his heart to the Lord he had to poach deer just to feed his family. When he became a Christian Seventh-day-Adventist the Lord got him into an apprenticeship, as an electrician. The Lord blessed him, it was no longer necessary for him to poach deer to feed his family. I was a witness of heaven pooring out blessings for him. He was able to put his kids through our, Christian Academy.

      Amen!(15)
    • Paul, read 2 Corinthians 9:7. You are not under compulsion. This is a question of faith. As SDA we unfairly attack, in general, "prosperity preachers" because most of us have not listened long enough to understand what many of them are saying. Some are definitely un-biblical, but many are spot on. God WANTS to prosper true Christians because in doing so He helps His own work go forward. That's why James 4:3 says "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

      If you believe that God seeks to prosper you, then tithe becomes part of a partnership investment instead of a burden. Dave Ramsey, who most people don't realize is an undercover prosperity preacher, gives examples in his book of desperately poor people who work his steps, which include systematic benevolence as well as systematic savings, and who are able in 15 years to retire comfortably. If you really believed that paying $2,000 per year was simply part of the process of God seeing if He can trust you in the partnership so that your part of the partnership could be increased so that you could turn around and bless others, then it wouldn't be a problem. But you would also need to know that what you give to God is dependent upon what you purpose in your heart. Is your faith not to the place where you believe you will be better off giving God 10% then you would be giving Him 5%? Then give Him 5%. We don't live under the old covenant. You will not be struck dead. Annanias and Safira were struck dead because they lied about what they were giving. Peter told them "Was not the land yours before you sold it? Why lie to the Holy Spirit?" But I challenge you to enter into a financial partnership with God. Go through Financial Peace or some other spiritually based financial system. Avoid debt like it was cancer. After all, according to the Proverbs, the borrower is servant to the lender, and according to Jesus we cannot serve two masters. So it's against the will of God for you to go into debt. As you systematically give, systematically save. Save 10% if you can. Yes that means your family may have to live off of $16,000 per year. Find other ways to bring in income. I'm as broke as you if not more so. Recently I got a job listing eBay items for someone else. The pay will be about $500 per week. But the KNOWLEDGE is worth far more! I've already seen how I can double my income on my own time by replicating the system! You've got 5 kids? Are any of them old enough to know how to work a computer? Get them involved in your family eBay business!

      Here's the bottom line. According to 1 Corinthians 13 the three things that are the most important are faith, hope and love. Without faith you can't have hope and without hope it's hard to love even God. God can bring you out of this situation. He's done it for other people. That can give you hope. And once you have hope you can truly respond to His love. When you respond to God's love, His "commands" are no longer "commands."

      This is what John said:

      1 John 5:2-4 English Standard Version (ESV)
      2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

      Amen!(19)
    • Hi Paul, I understand the tension in your message, and the apprehension that things will NOT turn out well if one who 'gives' a tenth of their income to God has less than nothing remaining to sustain themselves.
      I have a very low income myself. Yet I believe I can't afford NOT to 'pay' tithe! I have never suffered from giving back to God what He has designated 'holy'. The tithe is actually not ours. We RETURN it to God; it's holy to the Lord.
      The promise in Malachi 3:l0 is the boldest promise in the Bible - and one which God honours. The issue is, do we trust God? He doesn't force us to 'pay' tithe; He invites us to 'return' it and to experience an exciting relationship with him.
      Do not deny your friend the opportunity to learn about our wonderful God and how He can and will provide for us. God says, "Test Me'. Why not do as some have done and say, 'I'll give it a week,' or, 'I'll give it a month'. Or more. You'll never look back. God is faithful! He is real and he does keep His promises.
      One of my early experiences in life taught me that God does keep up His end of the bargain with tithing:
      http://www.judyspatch.com/--the-white-hen.php

      Amen!(20)
    • Hello Paul,

      What you are expressing is a cognitive dissonance, that is, how could a loving God impose an arbitrary system that lays such a heavy burden on the poor and disadvantaged? I suggest you read Deuteronomy 14:22-29 and you will see that God had a very different tithing idea in mind for those he led to his promised land. To those he is now leading to his promised new heaven and earth, he calls out “Follow me.” And this is the path that Jesus is taking:
      “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
      because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
      and the regaining of sight to the blind,
      to set free those who are oppressed,
      to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
      (Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1,2)

      Note the similarities to Deuteronomy passage: those who have would provide relief to those who have not and support those who teach and preach the gospel (Levites), in the year of the Lord’s favour. Since the Kingdom of God is at hand, that year is now.

      The God who:
      • Makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust, for their increase, (Mathew 5:43-48)
      • Gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, (John 3:14-17)
      Provides a pattern for those who have wealth to follow his path of blessing.

      Tithing is a template for systematic benevolence provided by a loving God to lead all with wealth and who are willing to his Christ.

      Amen!(12)
      • Richard, I think you're focussing on people and physical limitations, not on God's faithfulness. You're not taking into account God's accounting. Tithing is an exciting adventure! God is faithful, not unfair. He invites us to exceed our expectations, He does not invite us to despair. He says 'Test Me'. It's a bold promise, one which anyone who trusts Him can depend on. If you still doubt, set a time limit on Him. TEST Him as He says. He is real, He is true. He wants you to trust Him. Return His tithe for a week or two or even a month and TEST Him. See how wonderful our God is! Give yourself the chance to rise to new heights of belief and love.

        Amen!(11)
    • Paul, let me be very direct: while you question God's fairness, I don't see you give any mention of His goodness and "exceeding great and precious promises". Is there anyone in your church that praises God? If so, make sure your friend meets them. If not, perhaps a different church where God is praised and His blessings are being received would be where your friend should go if he shows any interest in learning the Truth and desires to know Jesus as a friend.

      Your view seems only from the perspective of the world, and not heaven, and I hope you understand the difference. Do you believe Jesus? Was He the Son of God or not? What did He teach us?

      "Take no (anxious)thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

      Do you find such promises with the IRS?

      I would like to address your questioning of God's fairness by reminding us that this world has both rich and poor people. What does that have to do with God's fairness? Are the rich honest, God-fearing people, or did they cheat, lie and deceive to get their gain? Are the poor trusting in God or have they been careless and foolish? God has taught that the poor will always remain, and that it will be easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle that for most of the world's rich to find eternal life, where there will be NO MORE poverty.

      Let me be really honest here and suggest that your question of God being fair tells me you have not fully understood what Jesus did on Calvary for you, your poor friend, and the rich people, and what it truly reveals to all about the character of God, His government, and purposes. And what about His promises? I hope you find something encouraging for your friend, so he won't miss out on eternal life because his friend did not trust God's fairness, or His exceeding great and precious promises.

      p.s. "Membership fee"?!! Is that how you see it?

      Amen!(9)
    • Love and loyalty to God and our fellow man are the lessons in the tithing system. God does not need anything from us other than our love and loyalty, which was demonstrated in the account of Abraham being asked to offer his son Isaac. It was a test to prove his loyalty to God. God will not accept anything from us if there is no love in our hearts, as Jesus quoted in Luke 11:42.

      God did not withhold His only begotten Son, He does not withhold oxygen from our nostrils or hide the sun, moon and stars, nor does he neglect to fill the oceans with life or seeds in the earth. He does not prevent the rain to feed the earth and wind to clean it up. He allows the blood in or veins to flow and our hearts to beat. The benefits we receive from God's hand outweighs our imagination of giving. It is love that motivates giving.

      God said: “prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. This is a powerful promise and challenge from God. He knows our weaknesses and will not ask the impossible from us. So be bold and prove Him today.

      Amen!(5)
    • Hi Paul.

      The tithe system is, as my uncle once told me, extremely unfair.

      The point he made was that any time God wanted $10, he had to give my uncle $90. How unfair was that!

      But then, God knew he could safely give my uncle the $100 because He could rely on him to have His $10 next Sabbath in the tithe envelope. I was also humbled by the realisation God was not able to trust me. I wondered then on how many blessings have passed me by because I couldn't be trusted to receive them. It's a hard lesson when you face yourself and look deeply and truthfully in the mirror.

      ---

      On the subject of God Vs Inland Revenue Service, the comparison is not apples with apples. Tax is specifically intended to be a wealth redistribution system (amongst many other aims). It is also astutely described as a tall poppy syndrome. As soon as one person rises above the rest, income wise, they are cut down, or growth inhibited, as you might say. You could also class it as punishment for working harder than your less wealthy neighbors. (PS: This is notoriously ineffective in taxing the wealthy who apply considerable talent to tax avoidance).

      A fixed percentage is inherently fair however, the man who earns $100 a year pays $10 in tithe. The rich man earning $100 million a year pays $10 million in tithe. (Arthur Chibwana also made this point)

      I think your last paragraph nails it though, when you note how the "fairer" world is making the rich richer and everyone else poorer. That method isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it?

      I could now write this: "God has issued you with a challenge (Mal 3:10). Take Him up on it!"

      Is that the right approach? What about the short story in John 21 (especially verses 15 to 17) and 1 Corinthians 13:3 and Matt 22:37-40? If even the tithe commandment hangs on this, maybe it is best to start there?

      But here's the thing. God meets you wherever you are. It could be that He meets your friend in the promise (and challenge) of Mal 3:10 and the walk with him starts there.

      It is, I have noted, different for each of us, because it seems like there is literally nothing that He won't do to reach out to us, regardless of who we are, where we are, and how we got there.

      The prodigals father is always watching for his son and runs, not walks, to meet him. This is what many of us here can testify of, a God who went out of His way to meet us in unexpected ways and places to start that walk home with Him right then and there.

      Once you love your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might, tithe is a non issue. You just do it. Out of love, not out of obligation.

      I hope all that makes some sort of sense with you 🙂

      Amen!(6)
    • The rich getting richer is especially evident in Caesar\'s model.

      Conversely, within the church, we ought to help one another in love. Please..Witness to your friend, because he/she will be joining a community of people who can help and assist him/her. People who by putting Acts 20: 35 into practise, will be happy to support his/her family.

      Amen!(2)
    • “Christ has said that we shall have the poor always with us. . . He has placed them among us to awaken in our hearts the love that He feels toward the suffering and oppressed.” {PP 535.3}.

      Tithing system recommended was as follows:

      1. First tithe to take care of the Levites (Lev. 27:30). The Levites had to pay a tithe out of what they received (Num. 18:26).
      2. Second tithe: In regard to the second (God) commanded, "Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always." (Deuteronomy 14:23, 29; 16:11-14).
      3. Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, "That they may eat within thy gates, and be filled." (Deuteronomy 26:12).

      The second tithe was to be shared with the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow.

      Amen!(2)
    • Paul, You are mentioning laws and restrictions put in place by Civic Leaders and not God. Educational achievements are not used in determining how much you earn or how rich you can become in God's book. Do you realize that God has promised to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings to the 'family with 5 children earn $20,000 per year' and they will have no room to receive them. THAT to me is how fair our God can be. They will live a life with no want or worry, that is the promise

      Amen!(2)
    • I totally agree. I believe that the churches concept of increase is is wrong. I do not see in the bible anywhere that gods concept of increase is in line with Governments concept of net profit. I believe God sees us as individual business. I do not believe that increase is determined only buy an outside business or job. I believe that God determines my increase as a person as my increase in monetary value, and the expenses for me to function as a person or to survive are not increasing my value. It to me would be the same as the items that are necessary to keep a business going. The only way that I increase in wealth is if I have money over and above my survival needs. If I did not have shelter and food to keep me alive I would not even be able to create wealth. If I didn't have a way to get to work, I would not be able to create wealth.If I am buying a car that has value more than just getting me to work then it is increasing my value as a person. If I am buying a house, the equity that I am gaining is increase my monetary value as a person. If I use money to go on a vacation, that money is not being used for my survival it is giving me value in pleasure.Just as the maintenance that you would put into the items that you use for your business is not an increase to your business, the maintenance that you put into your body to stay alive so that you can perform work should not be treated as an increase to you. Just because a business is not compensating you to maintain yourself the same as any other tool they use in there business. It doesn't mean that what they give you to maintain yourself should be considered income or increase to you. I believe that my increase as a person should be treated the same as a businesses increase. If my net monetary value as a person or balance sheet is worth 1,000 dollars at the beginning of the month and then at the end of the month my net monetary value was worth 1,500 then I should pay a tithe of 50 dollars. Please tell me by the Bible how this line of thinking is wrong.

      Amen!(1)
      • Dale, I believe you put too low a value on a person when you write, "I believe that God determines my increase as a person as my increase in monetary value." We need to value each person in terms of the price that was paid: Christ died for each one, and He would have died for just *one* sinner that needed saving. The idea of treating the 'value' of a person the same as modern governments treat businesses is wholly foreign to Scripture.

        I believe you are proposing that we should tithe only our increase in personal assets. And it seems to me that that would exclude the vast majority of believers from the joy of tithing and the blessings it brings. After all, genuine sacrifice does not normally increase personal assets but decreases them. And the Psalmist defines God's people as those who have "made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (Ps 50:5)

        In Old Testament times, if a family had a flock of 25 sheep and the ewes gave birth to 30 lambs, they would have all the lambs pass under a rod, and every tenth one would be considered as tithe - whether or not they used some of the sheep as food. If they planted one bushel of wheat and harvested 11 bushels, then one bushel would be tithe, even if all of the wheat was used for food.

        The biblical concept of tithing is one of expressing gratitude for how God has supplied all our needs. Returning a tenth to God makes it eminently fair, in that those who have much return much, and those who are poor return a tenth of what they have received. What tithing, as well as proportionate giving, does is to give rich and poor an opportunity to express gratitude to God in a tangible way. It's a very simple system, and not so difficult even for a modern business.

        In the end, how we return tithe is up to each one of us, and our decision will likely say something about our faith.

        We have received so many blessings that we wouldn't dream of giving up tithing, even though we now live wholly on retirement benefits and we tithed *before* deductions during our lifetime. Thus we could possibly reason that we are just getting some of our investment back. That may suit some people, but we are still thankful for God's blessings and tithe our full retirement checks and are happy to be able to give offerings. The way we see it, we cannot outgive the Lord.

        For further insight into this subject please see my post, "Do You Pay Tithe" and the many testimonies posted as comments. I suggest you also take time to read some of the posts dealing with tithe on this blog. I believe they will answer many of your concerns, and I trust you will be inspired.

        I pray that you may be encouraged to tithe generously and experience the blessings God has promised to pour out on those who cheerfully return to Him a tithe of His material blessings to them. (Mal 3:10)

        Amen!(0)
  2. 2 Corinthians 9:7 King James Version (KJV)

    7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

    I was born into a Seventh Day Adventist family and I have belonged to the SDA church for over 40 years. I went to SDA schools K-12 and 2 years of SDA college before transferring. I did Pathfinders. I've been a youth leader, Pathfinder leader, child and adult Sabbath School teacher. And it was only a few years ago that i learned i had been mis-taught the above verse my entire life!

    I grew up thinking the verse said "For God loveth a cheerful giver" and that was it! That's less than half of the verse. As a child we were required to memorize long passages like the 23rd Psalm and the Lord's Prayer. Each week in church we repeated the fourth commandment together so it was committed to memory as well. And yes, each week the elder presiding over the offering would read the infamous passage from Malachi "Will a man rob God?" Tithing was based on compulsion. And to add insult to injury, it wasn't just compulsion, but because I was mis-taught 2 Corinthians 9:7 I thought I had to be HAPPY about it! When Abram gave the first tithe in the Bible, which he only did once, after God gave him victory to be able to rescue Lot and the rest of the people of Sodom and Gomorroh, he gave a tithe to Melchizadek, priest-king of Salem, AFTER Melchizadek blessed him and as a showing that it was God who gave Abram the victory. After God gave Jacob the dream of the ladder to heaven, Jacob promised a tithe to God IN RESPONSE to God's past blessings and promise of future blessings. Tithe didn't become a compulsion until the Hebrews rejected God's offer of being a kingdom of priests and said "Moses, you talk to God for us but don't let God talk to us", then turned around and worshiped the golden calf. God set up the Levites to work in the temple services and Aaron and his descendants to be the priests and then tithe became a compulsion. Yes, Jesus commended the Pharasees, While that priest system was still in effect, for paying tithe but that was part of His rebuke of them for ignoring more important things. Jesus also said if you something against your brother, I don't want your offering until you make that right. The main concern of the Christian should be "is my heart right" and not "do I pay tithe before or after taxes." When Jesus was asked about the temple tax (compulsory church giving), He told Peter "Whom do the kings of the earth collect tribute? From their children or from strangers?" Peter replied "From strangers." Jesus answered "So the children are free." Are you a child of God? Are you free? Is the money you return to God based on your greatfullness for Him prospering you or is it out of compulsion?

    Amen!(12)
    • Hi John.

      I must apologize for being brief but it's after midnight here and I need some sleep soon.

      On Abraham and tithe I do not believe that Abraham invented the 10% tithe any more than Abel invented the idea of a sacrificial lamb being the correct sin offering Vs produce. Neither did Jacob invent a regular tithe.

      Think of it this way. To whom did Jacob physically pay his tithe? How could he make this promise of a future permanent 10% with no priesthood in existence?

      Think too of Cain and Abel. If Cain had paid his tithe in vegetables and Abel in sheep, was it not his thought then that a sin offering in the same vein would be acceptable?

      Like the Sabbath, Abraham knew what a burnt offering was as did Isaac, pre Sinai. So too with tithe, Abraham knew to pay it to the house of God through the one who served as the priest.

      All the commandments - think through all of them, they were not unknown to Abraham. I believe you are being misled if you are told tithe did not exist before Abraham.

      Else you are intimating God thought, oh my, this 10% is a great idea, when Israel is given laws I'm going to add this one in and then God copied Abraham and Jacobs idea.

      Kind regards,

      Ian.

      Amen!(2)
  3. The text quoted says to pay tithe on my increase and I appreciate the way the article addresses the issue. I do have a question. I don’t see that I must pay tithe on “increase” that did not come under my control. Seed lost to birds, travelers eating as they pass, or through the harvesting and transport process is not tithed because I didn’t receive it. Only what was actually gathered in could be tithed.

    The same principle should be applied to gross .vs. net pay. Taxes are monies taken from my control before I receive my pay and may in some cases be used for purposes I don’t approve or which conflict with scripture. Since taxation isn’t increase to me, or under my control, why do you feel gross pay, not net pay, should be tithed? Why is this case different from other direct costs which I may control to some extent?

    Amen!(8)
      • I've known many faithful members who follow your good example and have no dispute with those who feel and do as you do.

        I've had to think long and hard on this topic ever since I was at Andrews University (many years ago). While there, the Conference published a series of papers on stewardship and tithing most of which argued in favor of tithing Gross income, one of which argued that _any_ additional money received (including home, car, and student loans) should be tithed.

        After the gales of laughter died down, (we didn't get the loan directly paid to us and couldn't have paid the tithe owed with the money we did have/earn at the time) we thought about the question and agreed that this was the right thing to do; provided, when we had to repay the loans, we could deduct the payment (principal and interest) from our later income. Realizing the financial loss this would cause, the paper was quietly withdrawn with the explanation that it was just one point of view open for discussion.

        To often I've heard sermons with Plentycostalist views and I've even seen some of our church widows in tears talking to their Adventist preachers saying they can't meet their bills and couldn't afford to give more (this really happened) than the tithe being paid from their pension and a very small offering. They were told to have faith and give anyway. These kinds of positions are nothing but greed and leave me disgusted.

        Currently I understand only between 1/4-1/3rd of church members pay tithe. I often wonder why this is so. I would love to see some masters or doctoral student do a survey on this question. Either way, seeing honest individuals who pay a faithful tithe (on Gross or Net income) and who care for those in need are a great witness and example to others. Thank you for your response and testimony on faithfulness.

        Amen!(4)
        • Brian most of the comments so far are about how and how much tithe is, or should be given. I believe it is a personal choice, not a matter of someone else's belief. Some have also opted to give a freewill offering instead. Do you think that God is disappointed by the way an offering is labeled ? We were given freedom of choice when we were created. The text from Matthew 28:18-20, is quoted often also when the subject of tithe is mentioned.

          Amen!(2)
          • Paul, "there is a way that seems right unto a man...", do you recall how this passage ends? We are to serve the Lord with "all..." and not choose for ourselves to do anything other than what He has specified clearly.
            Though many have made this subject confusing, we have the Word of God and the promise that it will be made plain to us IF we are seeking with all our heart to understand the will of the Lord concerning our lives. The only choice we have been given is whom will we serve? God or self are the only options. God has made clear His requirements for faithfulness, but leaves the choice to us whether or not we will obey and serve the Lord.
            Malachi 3:18 will soon be fulfilled.

            Amen!(3)
        • Brian, let me pose some questions based on your comment.

          What if you have "auto payment" for your utilities, services and perhaps loans, etc, and it is taken out before you access your money? Does this lower your "increase"? Or, are these utilities, services and goods the loan was for considered increases as well?

          Concerning taxes, do they pay for anything you benefit from, such as law enforcement, roads, protection from enemies(military) etc? Are these increases? How would one drive to work if they didn't help pay for a road to drive on, or the snow plow to clear it after a storm?

          I'm not arguing gross vs net as much as I am extending your logic to other instances. Where do we draw the line concerning what has brought us increase?

          Perhaps our greatest need is to understand what the will of the Lord is(Eph 5:17) and know it for ourselves. Is this possible, or do we need letters from the conference or doctoral papers to define our duty to God? Is this knowledge beyond the grasp of the common man? Or do we have "exceeding great and precious promises" and need not walk in darkness, relying on other men to define duty for the servant of God?

          I would also suggest that the great percentage not returning God's tithe are ignorant of His goodness that leads one to repentance(of, say, robbing Him). How sad that they are "members" of the church while remaining ignorant of these things.

          Amen!(6)
          • You have a choice on whether or not you want to set up your check on autopay or even whether or not you want to have utilities. You don't have to have electricity or running water. Many Amish live without those things. Unless you own a business, electricity and running water are not a part of your profit calculation. If you are a business, then yes it is. The Bible does not teach that a person running a business had to pay tithe on a loss. That person paid tithe on increase. You grew more grain or you had more cattle, you paid tithe on it. And tithe only became mandatory after the Aaron priesthood was instituted. Under the Melchizadek priesthood it was voluntary.

            Amen!(2)
          • Your question is an interesting one, but as you've pointed out in your example, I chose to have the utilities deducted, therefore these funds were under my stewardship. This isn't true of taxed monies.

            Your second point is that in return for taxation I might gain some incidental benefit. It is also true that the money might go to things that are harmful to my interests or which my conscience is opposed (i.e. secret prisons and torture, armies that invade peaceful neighbors, etc.). Just because someone takes my money and a later action happens to incidentally benefit me, doesn't mean that I had stewardship of these funds at any point. As I understand the principle, tithing is to be done on the increase of which I am a steward, not on the increase under the stewardship of others.

            I would also agree that whether you tithe the gross or net increase, I do wish that more members would settle this principle for themselves and return an honest tithe and free will offering to support the preaching of the gospel. Those who die without hearing the word preached, because of our negligence or personal greed, are our responsibility and we are answerable for what we refused to do, just as much as we are answerable for what we did do.

            Adventists used to be known as a people of the book, but I doubt many do daily bible reading, or personal study on questions of faith and obedience. I know I didn't for many years and I've come to regret the time I could have put to better use.

            As to this question of gross .vs. net tithing, I agree this is something that must be decided by prayerful investigation and by the Holy Spirit's leading in an individual's life. This is a guide that can never fail.

            Amen!(6)
          • Brian, do you deduct the tithe from your "increase"? Like taxes, you have no stewardship over those funds. Just because you agree with what tithe is used for doesn't change the fact you have no say over it. If you make nothing, you pay no income taxes. If you make more, you pay more taxes(in some tax brackets), as you do with tithe. Do you deduct sales tax?

            Taxes are what you, the wage earner, pays for what that government you voted for, provides for you and the society where you work to earn your increase.

            Not sure how you can change the rules simply because you cannot have your taxes spent as you wish. Tithe is really no different, and is based on your increase before you return the tithe. From you increase, you return to God and to Caesar, based on that increase. Or is our increase deductible where Caesar is concerned? (does Romans 13 hold any meaning here?)

            I'm only bringing up this because I'm not that sure myself and have never really considered this question before. Years ago our household income was received and brought home first, with the gross indicated. Now it's auto deposit with only the net amount indicated. We used to pay on the gross and as a result never tithed the tax return, having tithed it already. Now we tithe our tax returns. I'm wondering now if we should request to know the gross pay.

            Amen!(3)
      • 1Corinthians 16versus 1to2 Give as God prospers you 2Corinthians 8versus12Give what you have and not what you don't have. Instructions to give in new testament is give freely not under compulsion tithes was a old testament principal. Scripture says we no longer under the law but under grace why when it comes to giving we back under the law. The only PPL that gave a tithe was farmers they produced from the land. Fishermen construction workers diamond cutters garment workers won't eligible to tithe only fruit and vegetables

        Amen!(2)
        • Donovan, In the New Testament Jesus says we should tithe. "You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.Matthew 23:23 NLT

          Nothing changed from Old to New Testament regarding tithe. It was supposed to be given cheerfully and willingly in both Old and New Testaments.

          Amen!(11)
    • Brian: I see those payroll deductions as bills you would have to pay regardless of whether they are taken from your paycheck, or paid by your personal check after your paycheck was deposited.
      They are debts you owe for the privilege of working and living in this country. Some people even
      have their rent & other bills deducted directly from their pay checks, so should they only pay tithe on what they walk home with?

      Amen!(11)
      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply Leilani. It is clear we both agree this is a question of honest stewardship. One point argues that the taxes are expenses paid for the privilege and ability to work and earn an increase. If this is correct, taxes should be treated as fees and not tithed, just as a fee to maintain a professional license would be deducted from gross earnings when calculating my increase.

        I appreciate your other point; however the bills and debits I owe are for things I chose to purchase; not money taken from earnings without my volition or consent. Taxes are deducted before the money is under my control and coerced with the threat of incarceration and fines if not paid in full. I have no objection to taxes in exchange for good governance; but I am clearly not the steward of these monies. If the question is one of good stewardship, how can I be steward of that which I don't control?

        With regards to any benefit I might receive, Social Security tax (as an example) is put into government investments (which I don't control) against the day I retire (if I live that long). Should I pay tithe on the tax paid into the SS fund then tithe the benefit paid in retirement (after subtracting the principle) rather than simply not tithe the tax and tithe the whole SS retirement benefit received? If I tithe the SS tax and die before receiving any benefit (or benefits equal to the principle), will the church refund the tithe over-payment to my estate (which would be the upright action to take)?

        Clearly trying to parse this situation may end up with tithing "mint and anise" and forgetting the God we seek to honor with honest stewardship. I'm still left with a simple question and no satisfactory answer. Since the difference between gross and net income received (i.e tax) is not something I am a steward of, why would honest stewardship require that it be tithed?

        Amen!(4)
        • Taxes... Social Security... Some appear to worry about "their" money even after they are dead ("estate"). Really?

          Please consider this. We own nothing. Everything we think we own can be lost, stolen or taken from us overnight. Who will feed us then? (clue: Who is feeding us now?). Assuming we give thanks before our next meal, we are acknowledging that God gave it to us and are thanking Him for that undeserved kindness. Everything we have is a gift from God. That includes our next breath... our next meal... our next heartbeat.

          There will come a time soon when many Christians will have no money, no way to obtain food (think Elijah) and no earthly security whatsoever. Who will we depend on then? Why wait until then to trust and depend on the only One Who can give us true security anyway? Why not start now so when there is no other option, we will just keep trusting our faithful Provider as we always have?

          Jesus asks us to follow Him and leave the illusion of earthly security behind (Matthew 4:18-22). The difficulty of that choice depends entirely on how much we trust Him.

          God doesn't want to be our last choice after we have exhausted all other options. He wants to be our first Choice. When He is, He has promised to provide all we need. Will we trust Him or will we trust Social Security? Will we trust Him or will we trust our own ability to provide for ourselves?

          Who will we trust and when should we start?

          Why not Him?

          Why not now?

          Amen!(5)
          • We need to understandthat putting our trust in God does not mean we do nothing. I have seen people who say they put their trust in God and give away their money, only to end up depending on the rest of us to support them. That is presumption and not faith.

            I am recently retired, and if my mother is anything to go on, I look forward to more than 20 years of retired life without an income producing job. I prepared for that by appropriately saving my money. I know the ephemeral nature of the value of money but at the same time I have to do my best to ensure that I do not depend on others. I have done my part and I put my trust in the Lord that he will look after me.

            And if it happens that my retirement plan still has money in it when I retire. I have a will so that there are no fights over who gets what. Being prepared for the Lord's return also includes planning for the future. (Stewardship of wills is a whole new topic and one that could have been included in this lesson series)

            Amen!(9)
          • Luke 14:28“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

            The Bible is filled with examples of individuals who relied on the Lord (David, Hezekiah) yet I noticed that God still required them to make proper preparation and not to just sit around and pray. Both of these individuals prepared defenses, trained armies, and asked God's blessing on their efforts. I seem to recall something to the effect "God will not do for you what you can do for yourself." in the writings of Ellen White. In the parable of the talents, each steward was expected to improve upon what was given them. The servant who did not do so was condemned. To suggest that we should abuse the financial blessings by failing to plan ahead and give a clear accounting of our stewardship is foolish and dishonors God.

            Amen!(2)
          • Hi Brian. Stewardship is not about how much we can do or save for ourselves. Stewardship is about our faithfulness in sharing our blessings with others. Big difference.

            Amen!(2)
          • Seig: I agree with you that stewardship is an important principle, however God will not reward foolish handling or our resources either. A good steward honors God by returning a faithful tithe (a symbolic acknowledgment of God's ownership of the whole) and a free will offering (showing personal gratitude). God expects good stewards to shepherd the remaining resources and provide for our own immediate and future needs and for the needs of our family and loved ones. There is no sanctity in donating more than is prudent as offerings then expecting God to do for you what was your responsibility to do as steward of his bounty in the first place. There is also no blessing in being stingy or miserly when God has blessed your efforts and rewarded you abundantly. Personal sacrifice is about putting aside our own immediate desires so we will have the resources to give as a special offering. That is a very different thing from donating all your earnings and then starving because God didn't bless your poor stewardship.

            Amen!(0)
          • "Some appear to worry about "their" money even after they are dead ("estate"). Really?"

            Yes I am concerned with my estate, I have a father, now retired and living in a senior community and I want to make sure his needs will be taken care of should I get hit by a bus tomorrow morning. I also have a sister who's health is not the best and several nieces and nephews that might want to attend Andrews (if they can afford it). Good financial planning includes making provision for God, and for your family. Christ himself made this clear when he admonished the Pharisees concerning their declaration of "Corban" on their property. Deliberately failing to provide for your family, even after you are dead, violates the commandments, is not good stewardship, and displeases God.

            "We own nothing." That is the whole point of tithing. It acknowledges God's ownership of the resources he has made us stewards over. Yet God doesn't demand we give him all, God asks only for a symbol of 10% and a free will offering. Foolish extravagance, in fashion, cars, property, or in our donations to the church are not wise and do not honor God. The point that the resources God has blessed us with could be stolen, or in the final tribulation will be taken from our control, is not germane to the discussion. We aren't responsible for resources that are stolen (stolen things are not increase), if we've put forth our best efforts to properly secure the blessings God has given. If we've foolishly left these resources at risk, we are answerable for their lack IMHO.

            The question isn't one of do we trust God or Social Security; it is do we plan to use our financial blessings wisely, including Social Security, so we can sustain God's work and not be a burden to others, or are we poor stewards who don't put forward their best efforts as a Shepard of what God has generously provided. Social Security, like many investments, is one way God has provided to care for us in our senior years and is certainly not opposed by any biblical principle I'm aware of.

            We've drifted from my original topic anyway. I'm still trying to answer the same question. Since the difference between gross and net income received (i.e tax) is not something I am a steward of, why would honest stewardship require that it be tithed?

            Amen!(3)
          • Hi Brian: "God expects good stewards to shepherd the remaining resources and provide for our own immediate and future..."

            I realize this is what the world teaches. Perhaps you could share a Bible verse where God actually says this.

            I think it would serve us well to ask ourselves whether we are more like this woman (Luke 21:1-4) or this man (Mark 10:21-22).

            Amen!(1)
  4. I see the fairness of God in allowing us to have choices. Would you call God fair if He didn't allow you to have children if you couldn't afford them. Would God be fair if He didn't allow you to have children if He knew you were going to get a divorce. I don't see tithe so much as a salvation issue, (not paying for my salvation) as a faith and blessing issue. If I want to do life on my own, God allows that, He just never promised to bless that. No matter what our choices God always loves us. I debated a long time whether to post anything at all. Most of the time I say whats the use and don't. I guess I lost this debate.

    Amen!(17)
  5. Thank you John, well said.

    Everything belongs to God he don't have to ask us if he wants. Christ has made us free; therefore, what we do must be of a free will and not of some law/command. When we truly love God, doing what he ask of us becomes easy; Why, because he sent his comforter to lead us in all truth. Man has fallen from "Grace" something he did not earned or had to work or fight for, it was a gift from God. God is taking us back to that place but we don't understand; so, we focus on the things that are not of great importance and leave the things we should do undone.

    Therefore, we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that what we do , what we say and what we ask for will be according to God's will. "A broken and contrite heart he will not despise", "for my Kingdom is about Righteousness and Peace in the Holy Spirit".

    "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you, said the lord and I will reveal my deep secrets unto you".

    This all about Relationship my brethrens.

    God blessings

    Amen!(11)
  6. Brethren, while I was writing what I wrote above I went into a place where I had to stop and watch what God was showing me, it was peaceful and deep. There are so much to know about God yet we continue to stay on the surface. God is Beautiful and Wonderful, let us go after his heart as he said "David was a man after his heart".

    Amen!(9)
  7. I can give you a clear understanding of God's amazing grace when you tithe. Many years ago I was on welfare. My ex-husband gave me $100 to Christmas shop for our, then, 2 children, his parents, my parents and little sister plus a give for exchange with his family as there were 7 children and more grandchildren on his side. We lived on $350/month (this is in the 70's). I had just started going back to church. I cried and prayed about what to do with the money he gave me. Then I decided to be faithful to God and 'test' Him. I tithed the $100 that left me $90 to shop with the list he allowed me to buy from. God not only blessed me with getting everything on the list but I had a little change to take home!!! God is good and faithful. The tithing and offerings is our test of our faithfulness and trustiness to Him. It doesn't matter how much money you make-it's how much you trust and are faithful to God. Today, I make more than $350/month 🙂 however, my paychecks do not last very long at all when I'm lazy and don't tithe or give any offerings. Remember the story of the widow with 2 mites. 🙂

    Amen!(14)
    • I am retired and do my own taxes and itemize my deductions, so, I have to be extremely diligent in dotting my i’s an crossing my t’s. This includes year long meticulous accounting records. Having been audited by the IRS because I was red-flagged for donating too much to charity (tithes and offerings), I can say that that experience might dampen even the most diligent giver! Cesar was telling me I was giving too much to God and not enough to him. Obviously, Satan took note of my faith. But so did God! The reason I was audited was that I decided not to split hairs with God and try to analyze what went into pre-tax-post-tax-income, mileage and business deductions, etc., etc. and just give as if everything I earned was all gross, which to me was everything I had was God letting me use some of what was all his to keep me and my family going and to serve him and my neighbors. I began tithing in earnest many years ago when I became an Adventist, when me and my family were on the edge of poverty, living pay check to pay check, amassing crushing debt to stay afloat. A church elder counseled me with these words, “throw your calculator away and trust the Lord.” I did just that. I didn’t know what else to do. When Simon Peter replied to Jesus in John 6:68 “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” Since that time, God repayed my faith as he will anyone who trusts in him. I was miraculously lifted up from debt. My income and bonuses came in the exact amounts of what I was returning, and began increasing above that. So I gave more, and more was returned.

      Amen!(13)
  8. I believe in returning tithe, as many times I have seen the results! However, I can't seem to come to terms with the fact that my harvest of beautifully formed celery was destroyed by a sudden frost?

    Amen!(3)
    • Sandra, God didn't specify in what form His blessings would come. If God invariably blessed us with material goods as a reward for tithing, the tithe would be nothing more than a material investment on which we hope to gain a reward.

      Instead, tithing is an opportunity for us to acknowledge that *all* our blessings come from Him, as well as a method of uprooting the inherent selfishness from our hearts. If the uprooting of selfishness were the only blessing, it would be more than sufficient reason for tithing, because the object of salvation is to uproot selfishness from our hearts and to make us more like Jesus, so we will be happy to spend eternity with Him.

      PS Did you grow and harvest anything else in your garden?

      Amen!(1)
      • Thank you for your replies and posts. I also believe that our relationship and trust in God affect all the choices we make in our life whether it be returning tithe, giving our offering, obeserving the Sabbath and so on. I once had struggle over tithing but thanks to our lesson I am getting better insight. I used to ask myself should tithe before tax is deducted or after tax is deducted. I felt that if i tithe after tax I am prioritizing Caesar before God. I am not perfect in this sense but I have seen how indeed God has blessed me in many ways. Please pray for me because sometimes I still have some doubts especially when I think that there are ministers that have better cars and houses than me. They can send their children to good (expensive) university but not me.

        Amen!(1)
    • Remember how Job came to terms with the news of his dead sons and daughters, among other calamities? We learn why God spoke very highly of him, saying, "there is none like him in the earth."

      There will always, in this sinful world, be events that will reveal our faith to whomever might be questioning it, even ourselves. Satan accuses "day and night" and sometimes God will allow circumstances that will prove us. We live in the same world that Job did.

      Amen!(3)
  9. Does God accept your tithe when you give grudgingly? In the lesson it said prove him. Instead of saying tithing is unfair, prove him week by week or month by month see what happen,you just need to have faith,we were born selfish so naturally the focus is on us and our needs. If God said said we should tithe we should obey, because he is owner of all things we are just stewards. A blessing awaits my friend,give a try.

    Amen!(11)
  10. There are a couple of things about the promises in Malachi that we need to consider. First of all one of the functions of the tithes was to provide food for a) the Levites and the Priests, because they did not have land, and b) support for the needy. If you read the lead up to Malachi 3:10 you will read that they had not only neglected the poor and needy but in fact had exploited them. The tithing reminder was essentially a reminder that if they tithed properly then the whole nation would be enriched as a result.

    I think the notion that God is promising individual protection from crop failure, or whatever, is a misreading of these verses. God is essentially saying that if we look after one another through the tithing system then there is no need for anyone to go hungry.

    Amen!(7)
    • I've heard it said that up to 1/4 of the Israel's wealth went to the poor in one form or another. This might be that you couldn't harvest a crop twice in the same season (what was left after the first harvest was to be gleaned by the poor), or it might be the year of Jubilee when debits were forgiven, or it might be in direct donations. Either way, provision for the poor was a major portion of the observance of the law.

      Amen!(4)
      • The Torah was quite generous towards providing provision for the poor but in practice the Israelites were pretty skilled tax avoidance accountants. A quick read of the minor prophets will give you the impression that the poor were not only supported, they were exploited. If you could not pay a debt, you went into bondage and had to work off the debt. That was where interest was added and it became difficult to pay your debts. The minor prophets list the exploitation of the poor as one of the great sins of the nation.

        I will have to go back and study the jubilee principle and its application again. From memory I recollect that it was not carried out in practice for very long.

        Amen!(4)
    • Another reason for the second tithe was “to promote the assembling of the people for religious service“. {PP 530.1}.

      Mal. 3:11 does state that the devourer will not destroy the fruit of the ground.

      Amen!(1)
  11. Thank you William and Maurice for writing on this very important subject of tithings and offerings and for the opportunity for all of us to help each other work out and on, this subject. (I was surprised William you knew about the distances in NSW between Sydney and Newcastle!). I started tithing when I joined another church as a young bride, I got used to it and even when widowed and no money coming in I did what I could with what I had and experienced miracles that I could educate my children with. I live alone now on a pension and budget for everything and my tithings. Recently I visited a relative by marriage whom I heard needed someone to do her shopping. I was willing to simply get her list when I went to town to do mine. She insisted on paying me $25 each shopping trip or forget about the deal. So I agreed. I really don't need her money so what I have decided to do is give God 90% of her payment and keep 10% for myself. I am delighted that God 'told' me to do this as I have always been impressed with the story of Colgate that - as God blessed him, he gave more in his tithe until he now (is what I was told) gives 90% of his money in tithes and he is still a multi-millionaire, I have always wanted to be in a position to do this. So I am joyfully looking forward to my first shopping pay to be able to say in my mind I do the same thing as Mr Colgate does. Next week I am leading in the Sabbath School pamphlet lesson on Offerings of Gratitude, I plan to make a slide of the image SSNET you posted on 14 Feb. 2018 regarding 'Thursday: Revival, Reformation and Tithing' to present at my local church, as I can see that sometimes, the idea of giving (back) is 'caught, not taught', that visuals are also important in learning. Godbless today,
    Mrs A Stolz.
    PS I feel desperately sorry for Paul King and his friend and will include them in my prayers that they will feel the peace and healing comfort of God's presence and mighty Majesty, for them to get through these dark times.

    Amen!(6)
    • Mrs. A Stolz I actually looked the distance up on Google, but Google was wrong and Maurice, who lives in Australia helped me out. I visit Australia occasionally on Google Maps, and dream of actually visiting some day. I really don't have the money for such a trip, but would be great if I could get someone to sponsor me as a missionary. However I realize Australia has plenty of their own good Gospel Workers and does not need to bring an American over. Still I can dream. 🙂

      Amen!(4)
  12. Thanks William,
    Americans have been a part of Australia's history since the gold rush days. And Australians basically follows what is seen in America right up to today. I do believe you could be a welcome asset to Ausies. Don't just dream -ask!
    (?) Lightbearers ?
    Godbless, AS.

    Amen!(4)
  13. William I have been thinking, in 2 years time we will need another Pastor in our little church on our little Island. Perhaps you could ask Maurice for the inner workings of the Australian churches. Our present Pastor from New Zealand saw the job advertised in the Church magazine 'Record' from which he was appointed.
    God knows the future.
    Blessings, A Stolz.

    Amen!(3)
  14. When people pick up quarrels and find God unfair, I think it is okay. It is one step towards understanding God and his providence. And I so commend Paul for this. He is being true to himself and God is willing to help him in the best possible way. To me, it is not how much you make or how many mouths you feed! To me it is only about Gods providence as he provides for all of us individually. For your friend struggling to support and care for his family, go ahead tell him about God, get him to church, you will be amazed at how he will juggle all this and come out a victor. Be blessed.

    Amen!(12)
  15. While reading the comments here, it struck me how generous God is toward us. We struggle sometimes with 'how little' we have and how we can give the minimum necessary to God to satisfy His requirements.

    We could, indeed, realise 'how much' God is waiting to pour out on us. If we are generous toward God, He will be generous toward us. I've seen so many instances of His generosity now that I don't put too much stock in human accounting. God's accounting always trumps ours - to our advantage.

    Put Him to the test and let Him surprise us. I love His accounting! He is anything but 'mean and unfair'.

    Amen!(6)
  16. The subject has garnered a plethora of comments based on personal experiences. It has been very helpful in many ways. As has been mentioned, our relationship with God is of prime concern in all of our choices. What ever it might be we have a Helper. The Holy Spirit, to help guide our questioning. There was a song that came to mind that I hadn't sung for along time. I couldn't remember the name. I finally found it in the Church hymnal. 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus". Jesus, Jesus, How I trust Him. How I've proved Him o'er and o'er. How thankful we are to have an advocate,in Jesus 1John2:1

    Amen!(1)
  17. Good evening everyone. I tithe because God asks me to, not the church. I do not return tithes and offering to be saved. I'm saved by grace through FAITH in Jesus's blood and His righteousness. I also have FAITH to believe that if God says if I return unto Him a tithe(tenth) of my income that He will bless me(show me favor)in many things, then I'll do it. The many blessings poured out of the "windows of heaven" have be diverse and complete; infrequent doctor's visits, decreased car insurance premiums, decrease car repairs, clothes lasting longer, being blessed with new suits from people whom the Holy Spirit impressed upon to give to me, living in a storm and hail damage region and roof not being damage, etc., etc. Brother Paul, I was in your shoes once upon a time and I had to learn to trust completely in God and His promises. I also learned and truly understood that the tithe is holy before I even get my hands on it. God has already given it a divine designation and sacred use. I thank God for given me a sinner the opportunity to share in the blessing of others and myself. God is trusting me to trust Him!

    Amen!(5)
  18. In trying to find a satisfactory answer to my previous questions, I was reading in Patriarchs and Prophets P. 530 the following. 'Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, "That they may eat within thy gates, and be filled." Deuteronomy 26:12. This tithe would provide a fund for the uses of charity and hospitality.'

    Deuteronomy 26:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    12 “When you have finished [a]paying all the tithe of your produce the third year, [which is] the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan, and to the widow, so that they may eat within the gates of your cities and be satisfied.

    If we believe in tithing, why is the requirement for the poor in Deuteronomy no longer preached or followed? We certainly seem to have the poor still with us as Christ said. I believe there are other "storehouse" tithes, and "Pilgrimage" Tithes mentioned in the Old Testament as well. Why aren't these to be collected as well?

    Amen!(1)
    • Brian, this is an individual choice to make and follow. However, the church does collect a poor/needy fund (perhaps under different names) that any can give to. It may not be considered a "tithe" as in the days of Israel, but the command of God remains doesn't it? Also, since we are no longer living in a theocracy on earth, most governments use the collected taxes to relieve the poor much like the 2nd tithe of Israel did.

      Not always safe to wait for the "church" to lead in the proper direction, but never safe to disregard the commands of God to all who would be heirs of His Kingdom. His word speaks to the individual first. Stewards will be judged individually.

      Amen!(3)
    • Hello Brian,

      Your point is well taken. I see tithing as a highly relational experience with God and those God brings into our lives. Tithing to take care of the homeless, the estranged, and the broken families inside our cities would speak louder than any sermon or evangelistic effort. Christ's commission is ours:
      - To proclaim good news to the poor.
      - To proclaim release to the captives
      and the regaining of sight to the blind,
      - To set free those who are oppressed,
      - To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2)

      It is a cause worth dying (on a cross) for and it brings to mind this poem by Edgar Guest:

      I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
      I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
      The eye is a better pupil, more willing than the ear;
      Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear,
      And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
      For to see a good put in action is what everybody needs.

      I can soon learn how to do it if you will let me see it done;
      I can watch your hand in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
      And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
      But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
      For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
      But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

      When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
      When a weaker brother stumbles, and a strong man stands behind
      Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
      To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
      And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
      Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

      One good man teaches many; men believe what they behold;
      One deed of kindness noted is worth forty that are told.
      Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
      For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
      Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
      I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.

      Amen!(4)
      • It should be very clear (in the context of our stewardship to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) exactly what our tithing proves. (Matthew 25:31-46.)

        Amen!(0)
  19. my question is with regards to the analysis William Earnhardt made. one thing I believe you did not touch on is those employed by public or private sectors. do they tithe after taxes?

    Amen!(1)
    • Harold, thanks for your comment. I did not touch on tithing on net or gross because that was not what this post was about. This post was on finding out what your real gross is by finding out what your actual profit is. As far as tithing on net or gross goes, everyone has their own opinion, but one thing is for sure. We can never out give God!

      Amen!(1)
  20. Can someone remove transport fare expended to and from workplace from his salary before paying the tithe?

    Amen!(0)
    • The general principle with IRS is you deduct miles at work. Not going to and from work. For example as a Bible Worker I am not to count miles from home to first appointment, but I count miles from first appointment to all other appointments. Then I am not to count miles from last appointment home. Miles during work are deducted. Not to and from work.

      Amen!(0)
    • This is a question where the answer is "it depends." The principle of Tithe is that you tithe your "increase". You would not tithe loans, or other business operating expenses as these are not increase. Based on my reading of Scripture, you tithe the net profits, not the gross profits from a business.

      If you were a farmer in ancient times, you tithed the yield from the fields after threshing, any seed that fell while gathering and bundling was not tithed (indeed could not really be measured). Your question is similar to asking if the farmer should remove the seed being retained for planting before calculating tithe. While this is reasonable, the scriptures do not indicate whether or not this was done, and most likely was not as tithe was set aside before any other use and there is no indication that seed was separated from other food use.

      In a more modern example, if you drive for Uber or another such service, you could exclude expenses for operating your car from initial passenger pickup to final passenger drop off as these are business expenses (not including driving for a meal break). Other jobs that require personal travel expenses while on company business should be treated similarly. If you are just driving to and from work (such as an office or manufacturing job), IMHO these expenses are not a business expense and should not be excluded from tithe.

      In the end my opinion is not what matters. You should ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and search the scriptures looking for the principles that governed tithe (not just to support a favored view).

      Amen!(2)
  21. If i take a loan of $20,000 to start a business and the business starts operation. Should i tithe from every dollar that comes in or should I tithe after I have paid back the money considering the start up fund wasn't mine?

    Amen!(2)

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