[anzac] 'NON-TITHING' VIEWPOINT

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2004 15:33:46 -0600
From:           "Motueka Baptist Church" <mot.bap@...>

I read with interest your letter on ANZAC regarding 
tithing. I am a pastor of a Baptist Church in New Zealand.  
I am not convinced of tithing as a New Testament principle 
at all.  That it is an Old Testament requirement is not in 
doubt at all, but even then I would point out a couple of 
passages that the modern day preachers of tithing don't 
ever point out:  Deut. 26:12-13 - "...to the Levite, the 
stranger, the fatherless, and the widow".  The tithe is 
obviously not just to build lovely big buildings and to 
support big name preachers and ministries.

I ask myself why the tithing pushers of today seem only 
able to quote Malachi in their teaching on the subject 
and not seem to realize that these other verses are even 
there.  Is it because Malachi is the only tithing scripture 
that's suitable for squeezing money out of people?

As far as New Testament tithing goes.  I sometimes ask 
people to do a New Testament study of the word.  The 
study is over in about a minute.  Jesus mentioned it 
about once [-About the Pharisees tithing -ed]. Unless 
Paul wrote Hebrews, he didn't mention tithing at all, nor 
did Peter, James or John.  So to be a good New 
Testament preacher or teacher surely those ratios 
should apply to me - don't mention the subject at all or 
if you do it's just in passing.  

So what does the New Testament teach about giving?  
The two big foundational principles apply first and 
foremost but I won't go into detail:  
1/ We are not under the Law, and 2/ All that we have is 
His. Aside from these we are taught to: sow bountifully, 
to give as you purpose in your heart, not to give 
grudgingly or of necessity but cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:5-7).  
I am amazed that most tithing preachers try with all 
their might to get people to tithe out of necessity. That 
they must tithe or they are cursed, they must tithe 
because they owe it to God etc.  They are encouraging 
people to be unscriptural in their giving.  I know of many
instances where preachers have exhorted their listeners 
to give beyond their means.  This is encouraging the 
breaking of 2 Cor 8:12. 

I actually think there is some sort of money grubbing 
spirit gotten into many great preachers and it saddens 
me greatly.  God help us all to stay pure and Godly 
and right even if we can't afford a data projector or a
sealed car-park.

-Lyall Scheib,
Motueka Baptist Church.
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From:           "Jim Brooks" <newtonjr@...>

There is no verse anywhere in scripture which teaches 
the American belief in tithing. 

The Jews tithed before Christianity, but it was not the 
kind of tithing that is taught in American churches. They 
actually had many tithes, as we can read in the Old 
Testament. There was a tithe which was usually eaten
by the person and their family. (Deut 14:23)  Try telling 
your pastor that you and your family are going to eat 
part of your tithe! There were other tithes as well.
Deut 14:28 - "At the end of THREE YEARS thou shalt 
bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year."

"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." 
Under the rule of the Spirit of God, which is the way 
we of the New Testament are to live, we are to be led 
of the Holy Spirit in everything. 1 Cor 16:2 - "Upon the 
first day of the week let every one of you lay up, as 
God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings 
when I come."  Notice that Paul says, "as God has 
prospered" you. Paul was going to take up a collection 
when he arrived, according as God had prospered them.

To whom we give, and how much, is to be determined 
by God. Often tithing is a financial struggle for a 
Christian. More than that, it prevents them from being 
led of the Holy Spirit in their giving, for if 10% puts a real
financial strain on them, and if they give that 10% to 
their church, as we in America are taught to do, then 
how are they, or we, going to give to elsewhere if God 
directs us to? 

Tithing is not taught in the New Testament. Givng under 
the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to the degree that 
God has prospered us is taught in the New Testament. 
Tithing as we are taught in America was not even taught 
in the Old Testament. If you have any doubts, read more
scriptures about tithing and see for yourself.

-Dr. James Brooks, USA.
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From:           <andrew_nancyhorton@...>

I too have had difficulties with the teaching that New 
Testament believers are required by God togive 10% of 
their income to their local church. The effect it had on 
me was one offear that ifI didn't tithe then I would not
be protected by God.

I have heard teaching from the pulpit which says thatif 
I don't tithe I'm under a curse. Somechurches here are 
even requiring tithing before you are eligible for membership 
or tohave an active ministry in the church.

My own personal journey in this whole tithing question has 
been as follows: I was brought up in the Open Brethren 
church where I never once heard of tithing.Next I came into 
contact with a group from America run by Bill Gothard in 
which I read that if I didn't titheI was cursed. At this point 
Istarted tithing but it didn't last long. God didn't seem to 
be keeping his side of the bargain and Igot hacked off with
God.

I got through Varsity and got a job and read a book called 
'Reese Howells Intercessor' in whichReese Howells 
listened toGod and God told him exactly what to do and 
provided for him in miraculous ways. I started doing this,
giving money whenever I felt God tell me to and really 
enjoyed it.

ThenI went to a Baptist church where again the tithing 
issue was expected but not hammered - it was an 
unspoken expectation. Istarted tithing again, and again 
I started going without. I got married and my wife and I 
were still struggling (on a good wage) to make ends 
meet while tithing.

We moved on to an Assembly of God church where again 
the tithingwas expected and we actually starved while 
fully serving Godin Revival ministry in the area of worship 
leading. It got to a point in desperation thatI calledGod a 
liar and then hebegan to talk to me... He told me thatI 
should give from my heart. If it was on my heart to give 
(to anyone) I should give and if it wasn't I shouldn't. This
set me free. I studied the scriptures earnestly seeking
God for his revealed word on the issue of tithing and he 
showed me that in the Acts 15 church council there was 
no mention of tithing being carried over into the New 
Covenant of graceand that Malachi 3:8-12 applied to the 
nation of Israel "you are cursed with a curse...the whole 
nation of you" under the old covenent of law.

He also told me from 2 Corinthians 9:7 that "each man 
should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not 
relucantly nor under compulsion for God loves a cheerful 
giver" and that as time went by he would be working in 
my heart to make me exponentially more generous and 
that I'd find over time that it would be on my heart to give 
greater and greater amounts of money. This too seemed 
right in my spirit.

We stopped tithing and our finances started to come into 
order. We started giving to people as we felt led and haven't 
ever gone without.

We had to leave our Assembly of God church mainly 
over this issue of tithing because we didn't want to come 
under the law. At present we are seeking God as to our 
next move but feel blessed in the revelation that we are 
free to serve God with a pure heart as he releases his 
desires into our hearts in this area of giving.
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