Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

Is it still considered a tithe if you control it?

 
Posts: 1829
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
121
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our church is very small and we love it for the sense of community. The problem is that while we are very fiscally responsible, and some of the other members are too, some of the people in charge are just not. We don't agree at all with where they want to funnel money (mostly out of the church to things that make little sense for our church to be doing). We have a lot of needy in our direct tiny area but they want to feed the hungry and the homeless shelter in the city and spend money doing mission trips. Now keep in mind the church is dying. Seriously, 90% of the members are quite old and will probably be gone within 5-10 years. As my husband, and Dave Ramsey, say, "The poor can't feed the poor, only the rich can do that." Our church is essentially poor with 7 families contributing most of the money that keeps it going, 5 of those families being in the quite old category.

I know you are supposed to give freely to the church but we are in need of some repairs and modifications. In the past my husband and I have forgone our monthly tithe to instead buy things the church needs, like cabinets in the bathrooms for the brooms, handicap bars for our elderly members in the bathroom and a baby changing table because we're having a baby yo. Things we brought up to the people who allocate money but that they did not seem to think were needed. We aren't the only ones to do this, one of the other members also buys things instead of giving her full tithe.

So we may get a very big mineral rights lease. MAY. It hasn't sold yet. If it does our tithe will be rather large from it. So, the ceiling above the entrance needs replaced. They fixed the roof but never fixed the water damage inside the church. It drives me nuts when I go in. Also, they need a lot more storage in the fellowship hall. Something they talk about but will likely never do as they funnel money out of the church. As my husband and I see it we need to attract people to the church. I believe we can do that by doing workshops and community building events in the fellowship hall. So getting additional storage and cleaning up all the crap piled on the walls because there isn't any storage, would be important.

We've discussed simply using our tithe check from this lease to buy storage and fix the ceiling. Does this count as a tithe or can you not control what your tithe is used for for it to count?



Also, they want to help at the Wind River Reservation. I think that's great but no one knows how to help. Any ideas what we could do?
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11176
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
663
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Personally I think what you're doing counts a lot.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 441
Location: South of Capricorn
118
rabbit food preservation homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
it's my opinion that it's all about your intentions and how you can explain it to the Being Upstairs.
In my book, you're doing good directly for people, that has more value. But I have trust issues with church people, and do not trust them with my money (since we're speaking frankly). When I lived in the US we twice thought we found good church communities and then they suddenly changed with the departure of a person or two and it all turned sour real fast. When you're investing in structure for a church that you may no longer be welcome at, it may be hard to feel like you're doing the right thing with your money. If you're doing something directly to help people, it seems a bit harder to go wrong. Just my two cents (and no i'm not bitter any more but I was for a while there. LOL I miss the community but not the drama)
 
pollinator
Posts: 186
Location: East tn
42
hugelkultur foraging homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, technically speaking, tithing is old covenant. It is adminstered by an intermediary, the high priest.

Under the new covenant, we have been disintermediated (from Roman and hebraic authoritirs) and we all have one ruler (our new high priest who is seated in heavenly realms).

You will see in new restament books, references to giving. Not tithing.

So, do as you feel led by your conscience without guilt or condemnation. (Ro 8.1)
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1829
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
121
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks all. I feel like it kind of goes against the spirit of the whole thing. It's supposed to be about faith, right? A show of faith. So I feel like when we do it how I want instead of just giving the money it's not a real show of faith. At the same time, crap needs done man and we will have the money to do it so....
gray area, I feel.
 
pollinator
Posts: 263
64
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Elle,

If the Church isn't doing their duty, taking care of the closest needy, or the sheep of that flock, before helping others abroad; then what you give to those needy close by, and what you give as special gifts, counts as service to the Most High: of course keeping in mind, not to do these things to receive praise from other people, but rather to Glorify the goodness of the Most High.

This lack of wisdom in stewardship, is a big problem in todays churches, as the blind often leads the blind. In many cases wisdom in stewardship is completely lost, and those who should be good stewards of their flocks, have in some ways, become like the hording cat lady: who without taking proper care of the cats she has; then goes out to gather more cats, where in neglect, they all together perish faster. You must first take care of what you have, before expending resources to gather more. The great commission wasn't just about spreading the word of redemption, it was also about spreading the wisdom of all scripture, teaching about taking care of each other in love, and being good stewards of the flock. People forget the church isn't a building, it's the people of the congregation.

There is a reason in scriptures, those who went out abroad in the great commission, or missionary work, were commanded to take nothing with them: as that would show little faith in who they serve, while also taking away from the local flock. Also in scriptures, those who when out on the great commission, where mature enough in there faith, to teach wisdom and faith: by knowing the Most High who they serve, can bring water from the rock, mana from the Heavens, coins from a fishes mouth, oil and flour from empty jars, also multiplying fishes and loves. We again need this kind of faith, the faith of a mustered seed. Everyone in these times puts their faith and understanding in man, not understanding what it means to put faith in the Most High. Ironically we're on a permaculture site, and for those who have faith know, permaculture teaches the Most High knows better then man, as we learn to go back to the systems in nature He created, many for agriculture even written in scriptures, for those who have knowledge in the word. Thats why people are also eating Ezekiel bread again, because it's very healthy.

It was always meant to take proper care of the flocks as first priority, an unspoken common sence, while scriptures gives many clear examples of this. A good shepherd has strong healthy flocks. A good shepherd leaves his flock on good pasture, whith adequate shelter, water and protection from preditors: before he leaves the 99 sheep, to find the one sheep thats lost. Sadly this wisdom has been lost, and good stewardship is no longer understood amongst the leadership in these times. It's become more about gathering sheep to sheer their wool, to make more money, to gather more sheep, to also sheer their wool, excetra. All the while, those sheep are left scattered and neglected, perishing in preditor infested over grazed pasture, only gatherd for the shearing.

Now remember regardless what men teach, tithe as it was written, is 10% of your best first fruits, in due season, as outlined in scriptures: anything else is considered a special gift, in service to the Most High. Your described intentions could also be considered loving your neighbor, unless your going beyond your neighbors, and doing what the church stewardship has neglected, in taking care of the body. You can direct your special gifts to the purpose of your choosing, and if the leadership isn't being good stewards as it was written: your service in undertaking that responsibility of stewardship, will also be as a special gift in service to the Glory of the Most High.

So much wisdom has been lost, because most people don't know whats in their Bible; however, if you write it all on your heart, searching out that wisdom like your greatest treasure: knowing the Messiah is also the Word which always was spoken; then wisdom starts to reveal itself, when people rely not on their own understanding, and look to understanding as it was written, even in the hard sayings which perplex mankinds own understanding.

If some of that seems discouraging, let me share the good news: everything will be restored, the path will again be made straight, every vally lifted up, and it was all written.

Blessings to you, I hope that helps!
 
pollinator
Posts: 681
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
83
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
J Davis is correct. Tithing (meaning a tenth) was a giving back of what had been provided to an Israelite that was donated to and managed by the Levitical system. According to the New Testament, the model now is what I refer to as “free-will offering.” As JD wrote, it is a matter of what you are led to do. You may be led by the Holy Spirit to return back more or less than 10% (tithe) of what you are provided. This goes beyond gross or net income. What portion of what has God provided to you is what you consider returning back. In part, it’s a demonstration of your faith in God that He will provide. It doesn’t have to be actual money. It can be any part of what God has provided, including your talent/expertise (not referring to spiritual gifts here), something you produce, or providing for a specific need.

Now, concerning church structure. Much of what happens in many churches is based on what their “charter” or “by-laws” describe as the leadership structure. Whoever is at the top of your local hierarchy structure is where “budgetary” input is needed to be made. But, then those decisions are in the hands of those at the top of the structure. However, some churches operate where the “membership” is the top of the hierarchy and by vote, the membership can determine budgetary decisions. This is often on an annual basis. If your little church has by-laws or something similar that describes its leadership structure, get a copy and study it. Then, provide your prayerful thoughts on where budgetary allocations should be made. At the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable with working in the structure of that church. If not, then you have a choice to make.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11176
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
663
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like you will have extra money in the future (God willing), in which case you can give more.

 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1829
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
121
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dan Grubbs wrote:J Davis is correct. Tithing (meaning a tenth) was a giving back of what had been provided to an Israelite that was donated to and managed by the Levitical system. According to the New Testament, the model now is what I refer to as “free-will offering.” As JD wrote, it is a matter of what you are led to do. You may be led by the Holy Spirit to return back more or less than 10% (tithe) of what you are provided. This goes beyond gross or net income. What portion of what has God provided to you is what you consider returning back. In part, it’s a demonstration of your faith in God that He will provide. It doesn’t have to be actual money. It can be any part of what God has provided, including your talent/expertise (not referring to spiritual gifts here), something you produce, or providing for a specific need.

Now, concerning church structure. Much of what happens in many churches is based on what their “charter” or “by-laws” describe as the leadership structure. Whoever is at the top of your local hierarchy structure is where “budgetary” input is needed to be made. But, then those decisions are in the hands of those at the top of the structure. However, some churches operate where the “membership” is the top of the hierarchy and by vote, the membership can determine budgetary decisions. This is often on an annual basis. If your little church has by-laws or something similar that describes its leadership structure, get a copy and study it. Then, provide your prayerful thoughts on where budgetary allocations should be made. At the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable with working in the structure of that church. If not, then you have a choice to make.



So our church has committees. There are 2 particular people that have this idea about where the money should go (outside the area). Anyone not with their plan is pretty much ran over. I don't attend these meetings as my husband does and one of us has to watch our kids. Hubs really really wants me to go to the next one as these 2 people are women and he believes they'll find their match in me. I believe that's his nice way of saying I'm just as stubborn and outspoken as they are. There are lots of other reasonable people in leadership, but again, they're ran over. So buying stuff instead of providing money is a great way of working around these 2 people without any conflict. I can do conflict, if it's needed. It might be needed.

This makes the church sound bad. It really isn't. It's a great little country church and we enjoy it very much. We even enjoy these 2 people on a personal level, they just have bad leadership ideas. I'd be sad if the church died or if we decided the best thing to do was leave.


We do pretty strictly give a 10th exactly. We do it up front off the net and not gross income. The oil money is kind of God given anyway (it was a mistake that we ended up with our mineral rights) so any income we get from it we give a 10th off of.

I realize we could give elsewhere. Before we found this church we gave to other charitable organizations. This church could use the money though, if only it were spent wisely.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1829
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
121
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

R. Steele wrote:Hi Elle,

If the Church isn't doing their duty, taking care of the closest needy, or the sheep of that flock, before helping others abroad; then what you give to those needy close by, and what you give as special gifts, counts as service to the Most High: of course keeping in mind, not to do these things to receive praise from other people, but rather to Glorify the goodness of the Most High.



We actually had a church come from a neighboring state to do mission work for our church members. They did so much for the people in our area that we could do, but aren't. It makes me a bit angry to be honest. Not that I don't find feeding the homeless honorable, but we have people in our church that need the help too.
 
J Davis
pollinator
Posts: 186
Location: East tn
42
hugelkultur foraging homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

elle sagenev wrote:Thanks all. I feel like it kind of goes against the spirit of the whole thing. It's supposed to be about faith, right? A show of faith. So I feel like when we do it how I want instead of just giving the money it's not a real show of faith. At the same time, crap needs done man and we will have the money to do it so....
gray area, I feel.



I understand the sentiment, but a show of faith in "who".

Giving how you feel led shows faith in God and faith in his ability to direct you. Delegating administration of funds to men is faith in human men and human systems. Ask anyone how that turns out..
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3419
753
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What J Davis said....

What did Jesus do? He came to earth to help PEOPLE, and that is what we are; Christians...which is a word that means trying to be more Christ-Like, so I always advocate being Glocal...Global and Local, but always in helping people.

It is actually written in the second chapter of Acts. It specifically says that the early church was "giving to the people as they had need", AND THEN they came to know the Lord. This is why Katie and I give to those that are homeless and addicted to drugs; you meet their immediate needs first, THEN they will realize their greatest need, and come to know the Lord. It really is spelled out in Acts Two if you read through it. And I can say this with authority, because its not my words, but scripture.

We are free by the saving grace of Jesus, so all you have to do is give as you are led too. 1%, 10%, 20%, 90%...it does not matter, it is all God's money anyway. All God wants us to do is give up our silly control over to him.

But what if you give 0%?

Nothing, that too is spelled out in Second Timothy where it says even if we fail, God is still faithful to his promises, and will take care of us. But good gracious, when God is so loving and faithful, who would want to keep it? You cannot out-give God, and he even says in Malachi..."test me on this", which is the only plac in the bible he says to do that. So the real question is not how much do you give...0%, 10%, 20%...net or gross income, but what do you want to be blessed with? 10 fold on the net, or ten fold on the gross, or ten fold on the 1%, or ten fold on the 20%? The point again is, you cannot out-give God.

But this is NOT Prosperity-Preaching which says you will get abuntantly if you give abundantly. That is based on what WE do, and God does not work that way, he will not be manipulated because then he would not be God; it is about the giving-heart.

I hope you get a sense of freedom from this post because all you have to do is do as you are led with your money. And if you wonder what that is. ASK. Satan is about secrets, God is not, so when you pray and ask, YOUR VERY NEXT THOUGHT will be God's will. Then rest, and be still, and know that God is in control.
 
Posts: 195
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
23
forest garden trees tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are a few other relevant Scripture passages, if we want to discuss Old Testament.

Haggai chapter 1:
"2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

They had wrong priorities. They had the resources to build up God's house, but instead they chose to spend those resources on upgrading their own houses.

Leviticus chapter 19:
"9 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God."

This was the form of social welfare in those days. Poor people could go in behind the harvesters and pick up what was dropped on the ground. What would it be like if this was the law of the land in modern times? It might relieve some of the taxpayers' burden in paying for the welfare they complain so much about.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1829
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
121
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:
Nothing, that too is spelled out in Second Timothy where it says even if we fail, God is still faithful to his promises, and will take care of us. But good gracious, when God is so loving and faithful, who would want to keep it? You cannot out-give God, and he even says in Malachi..."test me on this", which is the only plac in the bible he says to do that. So the real question is not how much do you give...0%, 10%, 20%...net or gross income, but what do you want to be blessed with? 10 fold on the net, or ten fold on the gross, or ten fold on the 1%, or ten fold on the 20%? The point again is, you cannot out-give God.



I don't know that I really want anything back from God. He seems to take care of us without us deserving it anyway. I think it's a show of appreciation for what he has given us. Plus husband does the budget so I don't see the money go anyway. lol
 
pollinator
Posts: 2992
Location: Toronto, Ontario
352
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi trees rabbit urban wofati cooking bee homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let's consider this god a permaculturalist. He's designed and implemented the system, and we hear that there were instances of intervention and maintenance earlier-on, but overt intervention seems to obviate our free will at this point, in a way it didn't earlier, so we don't see that as much. Maybe he doesn't want to disturb the perennials with earthworks?

Consider the whole system. While outreach outside the community is certainly laudable, if the community itself is incapable of caring for itself, any perceived "surplus" is decreased. The corollary to that is that if you can build the community up, it becomes increasingly less in-need of assistance, and more capable of rendering that assistance effectively to others without again returning to a state of needing that assistance.

The Second Timothy is relevant here. You aren't being greedy by taking care of the needs of the community, recapitalising it so it can grow more, so more can be invested in it, so it can grow even more, so that when your community is finally ready to do the kind of outreach your loftier-minded members crave, it can do so and remain strong.

-CK
 
gardener
Posts: 1348
Location: Los Angeles, CA
287
hugelkultur forest garden books urban chicken food preservation
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would say that ultimately, you are the one who holds the responsible for your tithe and are accountable to steward it with wisdom and grace.  If your church leadership isn't being wise with those resources, you should assume greater control.

Perhaps a solution would be to give a percentage of your tithe (half?) into the normal offering.  That supports all the things that need ongoing support: salaries, budgets, supplies, etc.

But the other half, set aside in a special fund that you would control.  That would go toward projects like painting and repairing that ceiling in the entryway, purchasing and installing those cabinets in the fellowship hall, scholarships for kids to go to camp who may not be able to afford it, etc.  And if there is a local ministry that is going good work to support people in your community, give to that ministry.

If and when your mineral rights provide your family with a windfall, perhaps you might consider those funds as something separate from the normal tithe you faithfully give.  You might wish to hold those funds in a separate account and use them to support ministries and causes that your church does not wish to support.  It might be for one-off projects (cabinets, repairs) or it might be to support a new program that people say "We just don't have the money for that this year."  Well, now we do.

If the word "control" is something of a hangup for you, consider the word "steward".  God has blessed you with that money.  You'll be held accountable for your wisdom in how you steward it.  And it's nobody else's business.  You needn't discuss it with them.  You and your family are accountable before the Lord.  Your faithfulness is to Him first and foremost, so don't twist yourself into knots trying to please people whose judgement has already been demonstrated to be poor.
 
Travis Johnson
master pollinator
Posts: 3419
753
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

elle sagenev wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:
Nothing, that too is spelled out in Second Timothy where it says even if we fail, God is still faithful to his promises, and will take care of us. But good gracious, when God is so loving and faithful, who would want to keep it? You cannot out-give God, and he even says in Malachi..."test me on this", which is the only plac in the bible he says to do that. So the real question is not how much do you give...0%, 10%, 20%...net or gross income, but what do you want to be blessed with? 10 fold on the net, or ten fold on the gross, or ten fold on the 1%, or ten fold on the 20%? The point again is, you cannot out-give God.



I don't know that I really want anything back from God. He seems to take care of us without us deserving it anyway. I think it's a show of appreciation for what he has given us. Plus husband does the budget so I don't see the money go anyway. lol



I feel the same way, and probably did not state my thoughts very well. But in my defense, money is kind of like that, and why it is the most talked about topic in the bible with over 2000 versus discussing it.

Why?

Because we do such a crappy job with it. When it comes to money, we need a lot of guidance!

But you and I have learned a lot about Dave Ramsey, so I know you will do well.
 
This looks like a job for .... legal tender! It says so right in this tiny ad:
Solar Dehydrator Plans - Combo Package download
https://permies.com/t/solar-dehydrator
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!