The Truth... What is it?


  I Don't Give to the Church Because I Disagree
With the Way They Use My Money

According to the concept of stewardship, everything is God's and we have some amount placed with us to utilize during our time on earth. The parable of the talents suggests that God is interested in how we manage what he makes available to us. We cannot take any of it any where after we die.

Should I give 10% of my money income? Is that just salary or all sources of income? Is it pre-tax (gross) or net income? Is it my other stuff and my time and attention? Is it my very life?

Does the parable/story of the widow's mite (giving the last she had) apply to tithing?

Verse 3:8 in the book of Malachi indicates that God considers it robbery if we fail to give him 10% of our "increase" each year. Then it suggests a test of God: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." (Mal. 3:10) This challenge by God has actually lead a number of USA churches to declarea 90 day tithe challenge period with a money-back guarantee to the tither if they don't feel blessed by God at the end of that period. Generally, it is said that less than 1% as for their money back! Rev. John C. Maxwell may have originated this "test me" approach in the late 1980s (Christianity Today, July/August, 2016).

Keep in mind that a proper attitude of stewardship means that members of a church or organization (and donors) pay some attention to what is going on. In doing so, remember that at least 10% has to go somewhere into God's work. According to the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, no man or body of men can know enough about God's plans in order to reckon whether a tithe is properly used or not. On the giving of the tithe, one will have a more positive and fulfilled outlook if one trusts the donation "to the control and oversight of God" once it is given. Interval evaluations, prayerfully considered, allow one to redirect the recipient of a subsequent tithe, if one chooses.

It is also fairly easy for someone to monetarily tithe & feel pretty puffed up and proud. So, there is a more comprehensive view one might take. In speaking to the Pharisees and the Greek Jewish Christians (Herodians), Jesus points to the denarius coin and asks (Matthew 22:15-22): "Whose image is this?" And, he follows shortly with: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Mankind was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26..." Our image..."). So we may not notice readily that God might be asking each of us (1) to give ourselves over to Him by trusting him for our "daily bread", (2) to truly desire and pray for His will for our lives, and (3) to depend on His Son to help us into righteous behavior (right relationships...righteousness). Have you ever ALSO considered that God readily utilizes the gifts of finances, time talent & "self" (toward stewardship of His creation) of those people of his creation who are not Christians with guaranteed salvation because of His love & grace.

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(posted about 2005; updated 2 July 2016)