Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just what is Tithing anyway?


So now I have a new debate whirling in my brain. Tithing. what it is, what is isn't, what it really means, is it mandatory, do we have it wrong, does our way of doing church dictate tithing, do small communities have a better, healthier view of tithing?
Is it stewardship instead of tithing? Is tithing a small part of a much larger thing? Is tithing misused by the church?
Is giving to God a much, much larger thing encompassing compassion, justice issues, helping your neighbor, your community, your friend, being able to assist monetarily when needed, buy food for people, clothes for people, have a party for people?
Wow, this is a huge issue. One I never spent a lot of time thinking about before....
But now in light of so many changes in my life and way of thinking, I am obviously bugged by this and starting to rethink the whole thing.
Where is our heart in this? Do we tithe merely to have a tax write off?
Do we tithe because we've been taught if we do, God will bless us and we will be financially secure?
Is the tithe a bludgeon to keep us in line, a measuring stick of how good of a Christian we are?
Is the tithe just used to sustain the church and pay the pastor?
Or should we be doing this in a different way?
Some say in the age of grace tithing is not necessary. I think that is a cop out. But I'm still not sure where I stand on the spectrum.
Aaargh. Just what I need. A confusing issue to wrestle with over break.
And yes, a couple years ago I would never have even had these questions, much less engage and struggle with them. LOL.
Life is never boring......

4 comments:

Greg said...

Tithing under the law of Moses (an expired covenant God had with Israel)had to with food items. A person tithed at harvest. God had a list of things to tithe. One only tithed on an increase. The tither ate the tithe in celebration and shared with poor and Levites.

There is no command to tithe anything for the New Testament church. The church is the Body of Christ--not a building.

abmo said...

Hi,

this is my opinion and could be wrong :)

Please do not worry about tithing. Give all you have away and your problem is solved. And with, giving it all away, I mean give everything to Jesus.

Now that you don't own anything, you don't have to worry about 10% :) Have a nice day.

gerbmom said...

abmo,
I'm not worried about tithing per se, just the structure of it, what it is, what it is perceived as, what it should be. You are correct about holding nothing back. I'm just trying to get a handle on how it plays out in real life.
Thanks for stopping by!

Greg said...

Karen. tithing is an ancient custom. A form of tax. Many Denominations use this principle to finance their religious empires. Scripture is taken out of context to scare and threaten the listener. Giving to God has to do with taking care of your family first and then those in the Body of Christ. The ones who truly need help.

There is no command to use the tithing principle to say we are giving to Jesus. Money was not used as a tithe under the Law. Only food items were accepted.