Date sent: Thu, 13 May 2004 10:37:06 +1200 From: "C. H." <email withheld> Its no joke being told to tithe on a benefit raising 3 children with no support from your ex-husband and little support from my family (my mother is a widow). Yet every church I went to laid this impossible burden on me except the Anglican church.. But the guilt and condemnation laid upon me by the previous churches led me to falsely believe the reason why I was always so poor was because I wasn't tithing 10% and that I had robbed God by my previous disobedience and that I needed to make it up. All the testimonies of miraculous provision and my lack of them always kept me bound into believing that 1) It was my lack of faith, 2) I wasn't being obedient to the law of tithing, 3) I was under a curse. Try telling your hungry children why the church was getting our money and they were always going without. This went on for years. It wasn't until I stopped going to church over a year ago that I prayed and asked God to show me where to give and how much and he showed me Tear Fund Microenterprise Trust which lends money to poor people (usually widows) to get them started into business, etc, and they pay it back and someone else borrows it. And its not 10% I give but I can give freely and cheerfully to those who really need it. I feel the tithe I gave was a curse indeed - but to me for being under the Law.. It never really produced fruit except occasionally the church would pay for my children to attend a camp. The provision I have needed over the years for my children was poured into church salaries and buildings and while they all lived in comfort we went without. 10% isn't much when you earn $1000 a week but it is the difference between buying food or paying a bill when you get $450 to feed, house and clothe 4 people. Occasionally some kind folk would secretly slip me some money, but generally I was treated like an inferior (it was obvious God wasn't blessing me their way so I must be at fault). This caused me to feel such shame that I stopped mentioning my financial needs. I just got into debt on a credit card as this was the only way to make up for all the shortfall of my pay. This whole matter stinks if you ask me. Often I felt like asking the church leaders if they would like to 'live in faith' weekly for their provision for their churches like I had to for my family.