Tithing - Printable Version
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RE: Tithing - Mark - 02-16-2009 12:50 PM
I guess I am still very confused on the whole tithing thing. At first, I thought I got it, but then I noticed that our Pastor was not using the tithe for anything in the church. He was using it for himself which is when I first began to question it. I was told it is not up to me to decide what the tithe is used for because it is God's and He will decide.
New cell phones, new clothes, vacations, etc. My wife and I both tithed faithfully and without grumbling. While the Pastor's family gained, ours (inlcuding our 2 children) went without many of these "luxuries" and in fact are now so far in debt that we can't even see our way out. When we had an emergecy such as vehicle repairs and thought about not paying tithes that week, we were told that we were not trusting God and that if we didn't pay tithes, we would "be cursed". So we paid tithes and took money for our other bills to pay for those unexpected financial issues. We had sacrificed buying our children clothes, toys, school supplies, etc. to pay the Pastor. He even ranted on one Sunday because he had to take a job to make ends meet and said he shouldn't have to work at all. When I brought up the fact that Paul worked as a tentmaker when he needed income, he said that it wasn't the point because the Bible says that he should be able to "live off the gospel".
Needless to say I began seraching different articles about tithing and have learned some interesting facts from scripture. I really believe I was guilted into paying 10% of my gross income every week. Not that I wouldn't have given something, but there were times that that 10% could have come in handy for our family.
THat Pastor has since moved on. His house was forclosed on, his vehicle is still in a shop where he left it for repairs, and he still isn't working. Is he a "good steward" of "God's" money? I guess it's not up to me to decide. I am now so far in debt and have such bad credit I can't even get a loan for anything if I needed to. It's not all his fault. I take the blame for being ignorant. I just really feel deceived.
RE: Tithing - Vic - 02-16-2009 07:06 PM
It can get confusing when you have been shown things that appear to be Scriptural but are not necessarily. And feeling deceived can make one feel compromised in being able to understand what to do.
Jesus said, by their fruit we will know them and that pastor showed his fruit, repeatedly. I can think of several scriptures that he violated. But it's not what he does that is of concern for us, because God deals with each. Regardless of what others do it is always about our relationship with Christ and our obedience to the Scriptures and Him. Because we will stand before Him.
If you haven't read the Tithing series I would recommend it with your Bible open. It was a study I did when I was trying to understand tithing and also being under the law...or not. So it is comprehensive from when the tithe was instituted and why and what happens under the new covenant when we are all part of the royal priesthood. Where everything we have is provided by God and in essence belongs to Him.
I would encourage you to really spend time in prayer and study of His Word. He won't fail you Mark. In fact, He will lead you in straight paths if that is what you really want and your desire is for His will be done in your life.
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
RE: Tithing - Mark - 02-17-2009 07:59 AM
(02-16-2009 07:06 PM)Vic Wrote: Mark,
I am not trying to blame anyone and you are right about the Pastor being accountable for his actions and his teachings. It becomes a real problem because my wife is very "sold-out" on the Oneness Pentecostal doctrine including their plan of salvation and tithing. In fact we had a somewhat heated debate because currently we are operating on one vehicle and I am not able to go to a church that I choose to go to so I have not gone in a while and she thinks I am running away from God. i tried to tell her that I am trying to run TO God because I feel that He is trying to show me the truth. She doesn't buy it however because she feels that I already have the trutha nd jsut won't accept it.
Anyway, thank you for your response. I will dig deeper into the articles you ahve recommended and into the Bible along with them. Just keep our family in prayer if you would. Thanks!
RE: Tithing - sheep wrecked - 02-17-2009 12:13 PM
(02-17-2009 07:59 AM)Mark Wrote: I am not trying to blame anyone and you are right about the Pastor being accountable for his actions and his teachings. It becomes a real problem because my wife is very "sold-out" on the Oneness Pentecostal doctrine including their plan of salvation and tithing. In fact we had a somewhat heated debate because currently we are operating on one vehicle and I am not able to go to a church that I choose to go to so I have not gone in a while and she thinks I am running away from God. i tried to tell her that I am trying to run TO God because I feel that He is trying to show me the truth. She doesn't buy it however because she feels that I already have the trutha nd jsut won't accept it.
It's difficult when couples have a difference of opinion as to what they believe, especially when the church you go to has convinced one or the other of a doctrine that they agreed is Biblical.
Having been part of the pentecostal movement for a number of years, I understand their specific dynamics of tithing. There is a higher expectation for giving, but also for what they will get in return. If that fails, the person must just keep trying harder to "line" up their faith better in order to be blessed by God. This is called "magic"
I know of many people who have suffered financially due to the pressures of tithing in this manner, so that the pastor or the church can continue to be financially solvent. There is just no scripture to support that. I cannot tell you of the ways that I pushed my agenda with the whole tithing system and how it put me on the brink of financial ruin. The pressure from the church that I had "no faith" to "receive" what was "rightfully" mine, took it's toll on my marriage. It was a vicious circle, so I totally compute where you are coming from.
I would encourage to read what God has to say. It's the only way to fly
RE: Tithing - Mark - 02-17-2009 02:12 PM
Thanks again! I am feeling very encouraged and have printed out the tithing studies to read and learn. Yes, I will have my Bible open as well!
May I ask what church you currently attend? I need to find one, not for my own beliefs, but mostly where God wants me to be. I'm not looking for easy beliefism, just somwhere that I can really pour myself into and know that I am serving God the way I should be. Again, thank you for your encouragement.
(02-17-2009 12:13 PM)sheep wrecked Wrote:(02-17-2009 07:59 AM)Mark Wrote: I am not trying to blame anyone and you are right about the Pastor being accountable for his actions and his teachings. It becomes a real problem because my wife is very "sold-out" on the Oneness Pentecostal doctrine including their plan of salvation and tithing. In fact we had a somewhat heated debate because currently we are operating on one vehicle and I am not able to go to a church that I choose to go to so I have not gone in a while and she thinks I am running away from God. i tried to tell her that I am trying to run TO God because I feel that He is trying to show me the truth. She doesn't buy it however because she feels that I already have the trutha nd jsut won't accept it.
RE: Tithing - Vic - 02-17-2009 09:10 PM
Hi Mark I think you may have mixed up who wrote the last post to you. Sheep Wrecked mentioned about having been in the pentecostal beliefs.
I am glad you are encouraged and we will pray for you and your family. We are in between churches at this time. It is very difficult to find one that doesn't promote the things like Alpha course, Purpose driven, the Passion, etc. We attended one recently, and while the fellowship was nice, I felt compromised because of the various programs. It's kind of hard to explain, but even though many were sincere in living for Christ, we saw many of those things they said they were against, were being promoted. :what:
I think I just confused myself.
I think we are at the point of being comfortable not having to seek out a church, but rather knowing this is our ministry and fellowshipping this way and then through personal contact and as outreach. Maybe that is part of what it is to be equipped and doing what we are supposed to do in obedience to Christ in our lives. I don't think it is for everyone, but, until/unless we find a fellowship where things are not compromised I doubt we will be able to call one home. We keep looking as time allows, but it is no longer with a sense of urgency, but rather, waiting for God to show and prompt us to be where we are supposed to be and when.
I think the issue of spiritual things can divide a home and it really shouldn't. Even IF you were lost, a wife's role is to support and show by example and prayer the way to Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:12-17 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 17. But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
In this instance, if I am understanding what you have said, you allow your wife to take the car to go to your old church and that hinders you from seeking another church home.
Mark, the role of the husband is as head of the home, just as Christ is head of the church. You are probably very familiar with these passages.
Ephesians 5:19-29 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Just some thoughts as I think about your situation and what we understand in our home. Taking spiritual leadership doesn't mean hammering your beliefs into your family but taking the God-given leadership and showing by example, and taking the steps necessary to help your family grow in Christ. I am speaking as a woman here and see things from that perspective. Perhaps a compromise needs to be made where you take your children and ask your wife to accompany you in search of a new church home and allow her to have alternate Sundays if she is so inclined, until you know where God would have you. :3942:
Just some ideas, because sometimes it is hard to see things when deeply involved, and with seeking answers we can miss things. You probably have already thought of that anyway.
If you are seeing the error of the pentecostal oneness beliefs then much prayer and study --even with your wife--is a must in order to allow God to give understanding through the Scriptures. it is not about what someone has taught you or your wife. It is fully about what the Scriptures hold and the Holy Spirit can and will teach you and give you understanding on. Everything we believe must stand the test of Scripture. I think you likely know these things and these Scriptures.
1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Earnestly seeking Him, His will, and studying the Scriptures and much prayer is what will reveal all that you need to know in order to serve Christ with your whole being. He just wants a willing heart. He will do the rest. Blessings to you and your family as you seek His most perfect will for your lives.
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 4:9-16 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
RE: Tithing - Mark - 02-18-2009 01:32 PM
Sorry about the mix up who responded to my post. You are correct that I am familiar with the verses you mention regarding the place of the husband and wife. This is something that our marriage hasdealt with since the beginning. My wife is very independent and has always had a control issue. We have had many discussions and even the former pastor (whom I had mention previously) and his wife spoke to her in detail about the role of the wife. Believe me when I say that I am not looking to be the dominant husband who needs to give her permission for everything. We had an issue regarding thithes during one of our financial lows. I asked her to hold off until some bills got taken care of. She told me she couldn't and the pastor backed her of course. I brought up several scriptures, but they were "misinterpreted" by me of course and I had "taken them out of context".
Even though the Oneness Pentecostals don't believe in divorcing, I ahve heard enough discussion to realize that they would rather a woman leave her husband if it will prevent her from tithing. That does not sound scriptural to me. My wife and I made a vow that divorce would never be an option in our marriage and we have kept that vow.
I do feel somewhat trapped in our marriage. It is either the Oneness way or no way with my wife. She will not budge. There has been no youth group for 3 years now because our children are the only 2 there. I asked if I could take them elsewhere just for the sake of keeping them close to kids their age regardless of what denomination (within reason of course) but ahve been denied. They are spiritually suffering too and our oldest (14) is putting up quite a fuss about continuing to go to church because there has been nothing there to reach him at his level. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the youngest (11) follows suit.
Again, my wife is firm and will not budge unless it's another Oneness church that they go to.
So, to summarize, yes, I feel that I am not in the role of husband that God has planned me to be and it is mostly due to the fact that I do not agree with the Oneness doctrine and therefore, as my wife tells me, I have denied the truth. So, I jsut continue to pray and ask God to help me. Yours prayers are much appreciated. I thank God (and you!) for this website. It really helps to be able to talk about these things.
(02-17-2009 09:10 PM)Vic Wrote:Quote:Vic,
RE: Tithing - sheep wrecked - 02-18-2009 03:51 PM
(02-18-2009 01:32 PM)Mark Wrote: Hi Vic,
Mark, my heart goes out to you. I was once in the same position, except I was the wife that pushed my husband into following after what I believe. I also accepted the doctrine that I must tithe above everything else, and it almost caused financial ruin. There was nothing my husband could say that would change my mind. I truly believed that if I didn't tithe, I was in major disobedience to God.
Back in those days, I was under extreme delusion and believed everything I was told. I read and studied from the pentecostal viewpoint and truly accepted that as the total truth, thinking I had been deceived by my former denomination. The pentecostal system puts extreme pressure on adherents - if you don't believe those doctrines you are doomed aka not saved - it can be pushed as an underlying threat or expounded straightforwardly from the pulpit. I believe that your wife probably believes that she needs to keep the kids in line, and by doing so, you will follow along and this all leads to keeping her family in truth so that they are not lost [there is also the feeling of great fear which causes a bit of paranoia that my family would fall away from truth - at least that is how I felt at the time].
It's difficult to approach this delusion because it feels so right and so many others accept it as truth. For me, I began to research deeply into the beliefs and the origins of the pentecostal system and that's when God began to take off the blinders. It was then that His Word became more clear and I could see that it was the pentecostal system that had changed what His Word said. So I encourage you to keep pursuing God's Word for truth.
The Seek God site is full of information on the origins of the pentecostal and charismatic denomination. It's a lot of reading, but it really helped me get a grasp. The fact that many of the doctrines within that whole system are based in error because of their claim of who Jesus is, rooted out the falseness for me. Please keep praying for God's truth. And stick around, cause we would love to help. We are putting our heads together to give you some solid Biblical assistance - stay tuned .........
RE: Tithing - Mark - 02-18-2009 04:21 PM
Thanks Sheep Wrecked!
I do not feel alone in this. That is the awesome thing about being a Christian. You can always be assured that you have friends all over and that even though you may never meet them face to face in this world, they are there. I can't express how much lighter my heart feels in just the couple of days I have been checking out this website. I thought for sure it was only me that had these questions about my faith. Knowing that God has led others to the truth of His Word and brought them out of the delusional doctrines they were trapped by is so wonderful. God is so good. Thanks for your help. I will be here for a while!
(02-18-2009 03:51 PM)sheep wrecked Wrote:(02-18-2009 01:32 PM)Mark Wrote: Hi Vic,
RE: Tithing - sheep wrecked - 02-18-2009 04:30 PM
(02-18-2009 04:21 PM)Mark Wrote: Thanks Sheep Wrecked!
Cool, Mark! And we are not going anywhere either! Glad to be of help!
Also, just a quick forum techy thing! When you reply to a post, sometimes all the extra quotes show up and it's real easy to delete. Just high-light what you don't want to show in your post and hit delete - it helps clean up the post a bit so there's not so much to read through to find your response! If you need help, just say the word, or one of us can edit out the "overages" as well - whatever works for ya!