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During Tough Times You Can’t Afford Not to Return Your Tithe — 6 Comments

  1. Thanks much for this, William! You echo my thoughts exactly. When times are tough, I want to make sure I don't rob God because I need His blessings more than ever, and He has promised to follow me with so many blessings that they will "overtake" me, as we learned in an earlier lesson. (Deut. 28:2)

    I think we do people a terrible disservice when we suggest to them they "don't need to" return tithes or offerings when they are struggling financially. When we do that, we infect them with our own lack of faith and deprive them of the blessings God wants to shower on them!

    Instead, let us act on faith and expect God to fulfill His promises. Let us share our faith with those around us. If we have acted on faith in the past, we will have our own experiences to share.

    With my husband being self-employed for much of our nearly 60 years together, we've had plenty of opportunities to exercise faith. I remember friends not believing how little we lived on because we did not look poor! (And we didn't feel poor either. But God just stretched every dollar so that 80 cents went further than a whole dollar would for others.)

    Now I would love to read how others have experienced the fulfillment of God's promises to those who faithfully return tithes and offerings.

    (21)
  2. Tithing should never be used to exploit or take advantage of vulnerable individuals. It's important for the Adventist Church to be understanding of those who may be struggling financially, rather than adding to their burden.

    This quarter's lessons appear to be heavily focused on 'revenue gathering', utilising a concoction of biblical passages. Encouraging a person, living in poverty, to have faith can be a recipe for disaster, and could be harmful. Many church members do, in fact, struggle financially. e.g. an elderly person who can't afford to heat their home in order to return a faithful tithe. This common example highlights the potential dangers of using religious teachings to extract money from the vulnerable. If an elderly person were to catch pneumonia, and die as a result of feeling pressured to pay a certain amount to their church, it would be a serious concern... elder abuse, financial exploitation... Please, it's important for our church organisation to prioritise the well-being and safety of their members, and not engage in practices that could cause harm.

    Matthew 25:35-40 talks about showing compassion to the vulnerable, as if they were Jesus himself.

    (3)
    • I think that we do tithing a disservice if we ignore the welfare component of the whole tithing package. For too long I have heard sermons about returning a faithful tithe to the Lord and all the blessings that it is supposed to provide. The tithe was essentially a tax on producers. (I don't like the term tax because of its legalistic connotation - but it is the closest term we have in our modern-day language) If you did not produce anything from your flocks, herds, vineyards, and olive groves, you did not pay tithe. Part of the whole package included welfare and inclusiveness towards the needy. When Malachi wrote these words:

      Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and 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. Mal 3: 10 KJV

      he wasn't talking about making sure the Levites were well-fed. He was talking about the welfare of the whole nation. It was a reminder that the nation that looks after its poor and needy properly is a happy and prosperous nation.

      I think that the Seventh-day Adventist Church's idea of tithing is a good one, but we need to broaden the narrative and not just cherry-pick the bits that suit revenue gathering. There is a responsibility for us to look after and be inclusive of the needy, orphans, and widows in our society. It is not just ten percent!

      (9)
      • Thank you for your response Maurice.

        I agree, and tithing is needed to carry on the work of the church, but broaden the narrative...

        In some cases, church members in the 'vulnerable' category, may have dedicated countless hours of their time and energy to keep the church running smoothly. They can be very reliable and faithful, despite their financial challenges, and lack the means to travel or take vacations, but often show up at church every Sabbath and perform tasks diligently.

        (4)
  3. Thank you so much for your post, William. I too have a similar experience like Inge Anderson. I bought a house through a bank loan that I'm paying currently, and the interest rates here in South Africa have been soaring over the past 2 years, while my salary hasn't changed much. But I've faithfully returned my tithe and offerings, and haven't skipped a month of not being able to pay my bond, and I've never lacked anything I truly need. God's hand is evident in all my daily living, I've been driving the same car over the past 8 years and I haven't been hurt in an accident, and the car has never given me problems.

    (12)
  4. Thanks, William, for this sharing. The anxiety in us robs us of the faith we have in God's promises, but with these, I find strength.

    (3)

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