the New Jesus and his teaching on tithing

"New Jesus Tithing" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“New Jesus Tithing” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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I have a story. The last local church I pastored, the previous pastor taught tithing. I was on staff while he was the pastor. We enjoyed really good offerings that help support the extensive ministries and charities of the church, its staff, and the building. Nothing wrong with what the money was used for, in my opinion.

But when the pastor moved on and I took his place, I taught that I didn’t believe in the law of tithing and that we would depend on the generosity of our hearts to continue what we did.

It was effective and the results were dramatic!

We experienced a drastic decrease in offerings.

True story.

I welcome you to join The Lasting Supper! Yes, it’s $7/month (you can read why here), but that’s a lot cheaper than tithing 😉

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14 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    So are your saying that the ministries, and charities suffered because the congregation were less generous without teaching about tithing?

    That preaching from Micah that I heard in the Vineyard about 10% for tithing always seemed tenuous. There was acknowledgement made to the scripture that talks about giving what you decide to give but there was pressure to make you feel you were not giving a you should to the church if it was less than 10%. However there is also that thing about being obedient to leaders.

    I agree with what you taught by the way rather than the previous pastor.

    I does make me wonder though to what extent am I being generous enough with giving of my own volition or do I need to be told and made to give like a government does with paying taxes.

    Hmmm thought provoking.

  2. Bernardo says:

    Keep in mind that the Mormon religion became rich via such tithing and continues on this track today emphasizing its definition as a business cult fronting as a religion.

  3. Chris says:

    For sure the law of tithing has be done away with by the new covenant, but so has going to temple/church. No temples and priests, no need for a tithe. You are the temple of God where God now resides and you are the priest of your very own temple, You! Give generously with joy to your local food pantries, homeless shelters and widows as a family member of the Ekklesia and as the Spirit of God would lead you.
    A church is nothing more that a religious club that have membership fees to support the building, the staff and the do good programs . Why can’t they be honest and upfront about that?
    Peace!

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    I actually lean towards Chris’ statement. I like the emphasis on the poor (per Paul’s statement in Galatians, it was the guiding remark of the Jerusalem super-apostles).

    I am all in favor for the community of church, and the good programs for the youth.

    I have no problem with subscriptions (and scholarships) for attending.

    ‘You like church? Then, $20 a week per family.’

    ‘You like youth programs? Then, $10 a week per family.’

    ‘You need professional licensed counseling? We subsidize your payment.’

    ‘You have little income? Apply for a scholarship. We have people that give money for scholarships.’

    It is the World Vision approach… you sponsor a person that is poor (and that needs the programs).

  5. I have absolutely no problem with communities supporting themselves with building, staff, and programs, and organizing themselves financially for charitable efforts.

  6. purvez says:

    Here is another example of a kind of tithing that is extremely effective.

    Amongst the various Muslim sects is the Agha Khanis. They are taught to give a percentage of their income to a common fund. Each country runs it’s own common fund which is overseen by the Agha Khan’s office (current Agha Khan being Karim). The Agha Khan doesn’t benefit from the donations and it is ALL used for the community.

    One of the MOST educated, peaceful, progressive community amongst the Muslim sects is the Agha Khanis. Coincidence? I personally think not.

  7. Chris says:

    Nakedpastor,
    “I have absolutely no problem with communities supporting themselves with building, staff, and programs, and organizing themselves financially for charitable efforts.”
    I have no problem with this idea either. The problem I have is the scripture twisting and proof-texting done to the audience of their stage to support them as though this “church” thing is God’s idea of Kingdom living and are guilt-ed into their man invented program under the false notion that this is what God prescribed to be His gathering (Ekklesia) in scripture. By all means, go ahead and meet that way if you choose, but be honest and call it what it is, a Christian club, not God’s Ekklesia. God’s people are the Ekklesia not a man made church building with an institutional religious structure running it. God will gather His Ekklesia when He is ready to in the end times. Gather with your local Christian family as much as you can to share meals and Spirit life, but there is no requirement or scripture that models you to do it in an institutional religious manner.

  8. Not all people who use money, including Christians and Churches, scripture twist and proof-text.

  9. Ducatihero says:

    I do like what you are saying in principle Chris, the idea of ekklesia being gathering of God’s people. There’s something broader about that than meeting in a building on a Sunday which may or may not be an authentic representation of ” the body of Christ ” to different degrees imo.

    I’m glad to affirm that what you say is true about not all twisting scripture and using it as proof text for their own prejudices David.

  10. Bernardo says:

    More on the Mormon business cult:

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

    “The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the tithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. “By Monday,” says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City “know every cent that’s been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks.” There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in tithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons.”
    “The Mormons are stewards of a different stripe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodigious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples’ companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranch land in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah’s largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church’s nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. ”

    “Members of the church celebrate the Lord’s Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church’s historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God’s sanctioning of polygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church’s President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. “

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “Let them in for free, then charge them to stay”?

    It’s FREEMIUM!

  12. Bernardo says:

    And my analyses of Christian Economics and Greed 101:

    Christian Economics and Greed 101:

    The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the “dunking”. The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added “healing” as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

    Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and “Gentilized” the good word to the “big buck” world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

    Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them “free”. Major greed on his part!!

    The Holy Roman “Empirers”/Popes/Kings/Queens/Evangelicals et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today’s richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

    “Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”

  13. Chris says:

    Nakedpastor,
    “Not all people who use money, including Christians and Churches, scripture twist and proof-text.”
    I find your comments back to me odd. I agree with your comment but I’m not sure why you think that needs to be said. Your article nor I was talking about “all people”, and not all Christians and Churches, scripture twist and proof-text but it is my experience and opinion that most do.
    Peace!

  14. No it was just a clarification. I would agree with your word “most”. Although not sure. Also, I don’t know of anyone who would fight to the death that the church isn’t the people. I just don’t have a problem with the fact that communities of people would like and perhaps even need buildings, staff, and programs. I don’t think we’re in disagreement.

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