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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Tithing "Money-Back Guarantee"

Money2From the “We thought it was a good idea” department… check out this article from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.  It seems that Bay Area Fellowship decided to offer a ‘money back guarantee’ on tithing to show that God WILL bless you when you tithe.  It worked well, until a disgruntled member asked for her $21,000 back! 

For Jan Smith donating to the church always has been a given, but when funds were scarce and paying bills was difficult, she felt giving 10 percent of her income, or tithing, was too steep for her pocketbook.

"I can remember when my children were little and my husband had just gone into business, and we had four children to feed," Smith said. "I went ahead and gave the money I could."

To encourage their congregation to tithe a full 10 percent, leaders at Gardendale Baptist Church recently challenged their members, including Smith, to tithe for a three-month period and in return, God would bless them. If not, a full refund would be provided.

Gardendale, on South Staples Street, is not the first church to offer a tithing challenge. Bay Area Fellowship on South Padre Island Drive also has offered a guaranteed tithing program during the past six years but plans to discontinue the money-back guarantee after one congregation member recently became disgruntled, said Bay Area Fellowship Pastor Bil Cornelius.

Cheryl Brooks, Bay Area Fellowship member and former employee, said the church owes her a refund of $21,000 for her contributions made during the past three years, the duration of her membership at the church.

Cornelius said his tithing challenge was only for three months, and the church never promised to return contributions spanning years. Despite the three-month time frame, he did offer Brooks a refund of her 2004 contributions totaling $2,694 to settle the dispute, which Brooks refused.

At Gardendale, administrative pastor John Gilbert said members accepting the challenge must fill out a commitment form, which acts as a contract requiring them to tithe a full 10 percent for three months. It is not until after the three-month period that one can request a refund.

Gilbert said the church has such strong faith in God's promise to bestow blessings that they are confident their members will not ask for refunds.

"God will bless you if you do what he asks you to do," Gilbert said. "At the end of the three months, if they don't feel they've been blessed, and they want their money back, they can have it. What we're trying to do here is not raise money, but what we're trying to do is grow people."

Texas Christian University religion professor Jim Atwood said that although he is not aware of churches offering money-back guarantees, churches are becoming more creative with their fund-raising efforts.

"There have been campaigns forever in religions," Atwood said. "One of the things churches are doing is looking for new ways to raise money to fund their ministries because they have more ministries now than in the past. The more services you have, the more money you need."

Churches have offered variations of tithing challenges with refund guarantees for years, but usually it's always accompanied with a requirement that members also adopt responsible financial principles, said pastor John Smith at First Family Church in Calallen.

"Most pastors will say if you will take all financial principles into place, then if you're not financially better off, they will refund your money," Smith said.

Smith, of Gardendale, who now plans to tithe 10 percent, knows that life is never certain, but she said tithing and her faith are constant.

"I think we grow as a Christian whenever we tithe," Smith said. "That's one of the things God wants you to do, and if you're obedient to him he will bless you."

Brooks said she will never again donate such a large portion of money to a single organization, but does plan to spread donations among several charities in smaller portions.

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Comments

Give her the money back. I know you don't have to, but if she is that dissatisfied with the church and God, then let her get what she thinks she wants.

I think church leaders should be careful making promises that they cannot no the result. God may not want to bless this woman financially in American terms. He may be wanting her to learn how to depend totally on Him. Too often American churches use modern Western success as the measurement of Biblical fulfillment. God has a total worldview and in most of the world, the views about blessings are distorted.

Posted by: Keith Duncan | Apr 6, 2005 11:37:18 AM

Teach and preach God's word and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. Tithing and offerings will always be a heart issue. God does not need or want gimics. If the church is in God's will and obeying his word, he will provide for the ministries he has called the church to do. Pastor Keith Thompson, 5-mile Community church, Spokane, WA

Posted by: Keith Thompson | Apr 6, 2005 11:41:05 AM

If the "church membr" wants the money back, she gave it for the wrong reason. I guess being able to live in a free country, and having a healthy body, and family, and a Bible teaching and preaching church has no value. Does'nt everything we have belong to God anyway? He is allowing us to be stewards of 90% of it already. Also the 10% factor to consider, are we not instructed in the New Testament to give of our increase, not just 10%. The basic 10% is baby Christian stuff, we should trust God with everything and be willing to give whatever He asks us to give, including our complete selves. How shallow we can be as humans.

Posted by: Brian | Apr 6, 2005 11:47:10 AM

Luke 4:7 "Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test'" (citing Deuteronomy 6:16).

Also, Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

What matters to God is our hearts. We should not give to get something in return, or test the promises of God. We should give because we want to give - and then be amazed and delighted when God blesses us.

Posted by: Julie Gibson | Apr 6, 2005 12:00:00 PM

Anybody who teaches tithing is teaching incorrect theology. First off, did you know that Jesus never paid a tithe? He was exempt. Tithing was only done by those in agriculture and livestock. And the agriculture was only from that grown in Israel. The Priests also tithed on their 10% they received. Jesus was not a recognized Priest, in the Jewish system. (Don't confuse tithing with Jesus paying the Temple Tax.)

These churches are giving out false promises based on faulty theology, and unfortuantely, most churches perpetuate this based on, primarily, a faulty understanding of Malachi.

To learn the truth about tithing and what it is, read this book:
"Should the Church Teach Tithing: A Theologian's Conclusions About a Taboo Doctrine" by Russell Kelly

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0595159788/qid=1112808060/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-5736630-7093557?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Church leaders should be teaching "stewardship," not tithing. Stewardship is a much higher calling... and it affects all of our life, not just financial...

Here's a good (short) article on tithing:
http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=161

...Bernie
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/247

Posted by: bernie dehler | Apr 6, 2005 1:29:14 PM

I want to respond to Julie comment about not testing God. If she would refer to Malachi 3:10 The Lord says to test Him in the area of tithing and to see the results that He will give and if He doesn't He gives a list of things He will do. One of the main problems that we have in our churches today is we keep asking for peoples money instead of showing them through God's word what He says He will do if we are faithful to Him.

Posted by: Benjamin | Apr 6, 2005 1:35:16 PM

I believe you've mentioned that here before Bernie. Thanks.

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Apr 6, 2005 1:58:38 PM

The idea of a "money back guarantee" suggests that it isn't the church member who doesn't understand biblical stewardship, but the church and its leadership.

Nowhere in the Malachi passage encouraging people to "test" God in the tithe is there a suggestion that if God's promise "doesn't work" that the tither can claim a refund. Somehow the idea sounds like an echo of Medieval indulgences: God's blessings are for sale. The price is the tithe.

Posted by: Craig Loving | Apr 6, 2005 2:11:07 PM

You are correct about not being able to claim a refund, but He does promise that if you give it to Him faithfully and you don't recieve the blessing that He will rebuke the devourer and pour out a blessing on you. (Malachi 3:10-12) It isn't all about a refund it is about faithfulness and the ability to get beyond the theogical jargon and move on to seeing the work of the Lord done and His will carried out.

Posted by: Benjamin | Apr 6, 2005 2:35:07 PM

I grew up in a church that did this every year. We never had a problem. I always wondered if someday somebody would actually ask for the money back. I know I probably will never issue this challenge. Thanks for the input.
Money is such a touchy subject. Maybe that is why it is talked about so much in the Bible.

Posted by: Jade | Apr 6, 2005 3:03:47 PM

Craig wrote:
"Somehow the idea sounds like an echo of Medieval indulgences: God's blessings are for sale. The price is the tithe."

If only it was that bad... It's actually much worse and sinister-- now it's give-to-get, the way to riches. Indulgences were just to get one out of Pergatory, now they are teaching that tithing is the way to material wealth. They are teaching that it is God's will that we be rich, financially.

And the saddest thing... the church at large seems to be buying into it. The Church of Laodicia (Revelation 3:14-22)...

...Bernie
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/247

Posted by: bernie dehler | Apr 6, 2005 3:57:28 PM

I have always found it incredibly interesting as a pastor to see that the people who seem to be most consistenly opposed to tithing are para church organizations. They always seem to teach "giving" & seem to support that the believer needs to give wherever...and I am almost sure they would have no problem with a person dropping 10% of their income on them, and would never dare tell them that giving 10% was not necessary.

This is a debate that has existed for generations. I say go to Scripture, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.

Someone said earlier that Jesus never tithed, let me point out that is an assumption. You might say that because there is no record of that in Scripture...

BUT...there is no reference to Jesus doing a lot of things in Scripture. Just because Scripture is silent on the issue does not mean Jesus didn't do it.

Just my opinion!

Posted by: Perry | Apr 6, 2005 4:35:17 PM

Perry said:
"This is a debate that has existed for generations. I say go to Scripture, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it."

Exactly my point. Go to Scripture and understand it. The people who know the Scripture best, Seminary Professors, can instruct you correctly about how inappropriate it is to claim that Christians should tithe. You have to understand, in context, what the tithe actually is. You can't fulfill the law if you don't know what it means. On tithe teaching, it's amazing to note how ignorant it is from most pulpits. It's only gotten much worse from the "name-it-and-claim-it" folks. You need to read commentaries, but not from those of the "health & wealth" gospel ilk, who are polluting the gospel.

The ironic thing is, if churches would teach stewardship rather than tithing, they would likely get more activity (financially, etc.). That's God's blessing.

Just my 2 cents. (It has nothing to do with being in a parachurch org, but rather from theology.)

...Bernie
http://freegoodnews.blogspot.com

Posted by: bernie dehler | Apr 6, 2005 6:47:33 PM

Christ came and set us free from the law. As Christians, we are no longer under the law but have become children of grace. The tithe is always presented wrongfully in that we must give to be blest. Truly, a crime against the body of Christ and one that many will answer to at the judgment seat of Christ. The moment I accepted Christ as my savior and Lord I became a joint heir with Christ which made available to me everything my Father has. Jesus said all that my Father has is mine. Lets us think deeply on what it means to be a joint heir with Jesus Christ. We have nothing in this life that was not given to us including the air we breath.

The tithe in many cases is used to place guilt on the children of God whom Christ came to free from the curse of the law. Stewardship is always far superior to tithing in that the tithe works through the law and stewardship through love. We are blest when we give, but our giving should be based on our love of the Father and not greed.

Posted by: Daniel Zepeda | Apr 6, 2005 8:43:49 PM

I must say that we sure do like to dodge this by saying "Law, Law, Law" and that Christ came to abolish the law. Remeber the first commandment? Did He come to get rid of that as well? Just because it is in the law doesn't mean we are excused from its principles and teachings. Further, we need to think in terms of what the tithe is. It isn't just about our money. It was initiated in a time of grace long before the law (see Abraham), God spelled it out in the law and in several places throughout scripture including the New Testament. This is not an offering or a gift, that tithe belongs to God, it is holy and He just wants to see if we will give it with joy. It represents a right heart toward all He gives us everyday. I love those that say "teach stewardship" and not the tithe, how can you do that??? Christ knew the law that notes that the tithe belongs to God and when He said give to Caesar the things that are his and to God the things that are His, do you think He forgot? We all tithe, W.A. Criswell notes, "some of us bring it to the storehouse, and God collects it from the rest." Christ did come to set us free from the curse of the law, but the holiness of God did not change nor did His ultimate desire for us to recognize Him in our finances, after all they are all His anyway. Here is my challenge, do it your way and see what God does for you, or do it His way and see. We can argue till we die and the fact is that we will still die without ever coming close to paying the debt we owe Him. Let us not guilt those into giving what they cannot do joyfully, let us rather make sure in our own heart that we have brought our gifts in worship of our King. And let us make sure that they are worthy of that worship. David even said that he would not offer anything to God that cost him nothing. This whole money back thing is a gimmik to get people to do what they should be doing anyway. If the church of today will remind people that they are filthy sinners destined for eternal hell and that God secured a place in His eternal presence for them through the sacrifice of His own Son, then let them figure out how much they owe, I trust it would be plenty. Just my take.

Posted by: RLHand | Apr 7, 2005 12:37:24 AM

Let's don't forget that tithing was a process Abraham was involved in, long before the Law came. Melchizidek (a type and shadow of Jesus) received tithes from Abraham and blessed him. Abraham's tithe was from the "choicest" of the spoils. Aside from that, as a pastor, most of the people who come to me for financial counseling or even just prayer are not tithers.

From my own experience it works! My wife and I started tithing in 1979 as an act of faith. God did prove Himself and His Word faithful. After we started as an act of faith we continued as an act of obedience.

Churches are non-profit, and it does take faithful "donators" to accomplish the mission. It's not about getting (even though from experience God will bless), but it's about a heart of obedience.

Posted by: Steve Hutto | Apr 7, 2005 10:59:26 AM

RLHand & Steve-

Abraham did not tithe. He gave a tenth of the spoils from war, one time, not every year. And he didn't keep the other 90% for himself. You are confusing the word "tithe." You want people to "tithe" like Abraham did? I don't think so. God gave Moses the tithe command, and how to do it. Now you want to redefine tithe to mean what you want it to mean. Why not teach it as God did, if you want to follow it? Did you know that part of the command of tithing was to eat part of it in celebration? Do you do that also? Why not?

...Bernie
http://freegoodnews.blogspot.com

Posted by: bernie dehler | Apr 7, 2005 11:09:47 AM

Hey Bernie, thanks for your input man! But you can't convince me not to "tithe the whole tithe" because it's worked for me too long. I get too much joy out of it to stop it now! I never had to redefine the word tithe. It seems that He had it all set up for me when I got saved! All I had to do was trust and believe. I've seen the heart of God in this for too long to back out now! God bless Brother!

Posted by: Steve Huto | Apr 7, 2005 11:45:00 AM

What most of us don’t understand is that the tithe enslaves us to giving a tenth of our increase. Once we give the tithe we are then freed to keep the rest for ourselves. When in reality all that we have belongs to the Lord. Once the tithe is given, our responsibility to God according to the current improper teaching of the tithe is complete and we no longer have any further responsibility and may spend the remaining 90% as we see fit. This is wrong and let me tell you why. As a Christian, you are no longer under the curse of the law but under grace. Being a steward of God of all your earthly possessions recognizes the fact that you really don’t own anything in this life. The tithe requires ten percent where stewardship requires meeting the needs of the body. Where as the tithe given is an act of obedience to the law, stewardship calls on the giver to be responsible to ensure that the needs of the body are met regardless of the amount. This is the essence of what Christ meant when he spoke harshly to the Pharisees Mathew 23:23 and Mark 12:28-34 The law working under punishment required the letter of the law to be fulfilled, whereas stewardship working under love strives to ensure justice, mercy and faith.

No one here is advocating not to give only to understand properly why we give.

Posted by: Daniel Zepeda | Apr 7, 2005 12:56:18 PM

Thanks for the comments, but how can Abraham give a tenth (tithe) and not tithe? Spoils of war or weely paycheck, whats the difference? The tithe from those spoils were probably more than most people make total in a lifetime. Abraham wasn't the only one who gave a tithe before the law. I agree that stewardship is at the core of this issue, but to ignore the standard that God set up is foolish. Again I remind you that the tithe is not a gift or offering, it is God's. To give above and beyond is a true test of the heart, and its gratitude for what has been done for us. Even the secular world understands that there must be a standard, or else people, who are basically selfish, would never give anything that did not help them in some way. Thus the reason for taxes. God knew this as well, 80% of church goers don't tithe, much less give anything above it. If you can get a person to tithe on a regular basis, you will have someone who is a good steward of all that God gives them. If you just say the tithe is not important, then you have dismissed something God mentioned several times in scripture as being important. I understand that you feel it is a bondage to the law issue. My take is that we don't have to worry about the punishment of the law, for Christ paid its penalty for us, so to follow it isn't about bondage it is about honor and respect for the standards God has given. If we are not to follow the principles in the law then lets go out and commit adultery, and idolatry, after all we are free from its bondage, right? Christ did not do away with the law, but came to release us from the punishment of death that it impossed for violations. If we were to stone every rebelious child, we would have all died long ago. It was the punishment that was done away with, not the principles given. I would love to see people give beyond the tithe, but lets be honest, most don't even give a tithe. What is wrong with God's plan? no matter when He gave it. You mentioned that a tithe releases people of the responsibilty of the 90% they get to keep, when in reality a proper attitude of what belongs to God causes us to be even more grateful and generous with what is left. The needs of the body are not being met, that is why we are discussing this, so whatever we are doing isn't working. Maybe we are all wrong, and we need to fall on our faces before God and remind ourselves and others what we trully owe. Again I ask, how can you teach tithing without stewardship, or stewardship without tithing? That's just the view from here.

Posted by: RLHand | Apr 7, 2005 3:47:38 PM


Since the beginning of time God the Father had a plan to create man in his own image and to develop him in Christ Jesus. The Old Testament is a record of the intervention of God into the affairs of man as He sought a people after his own heart. Everything done in the Old Testament was done to prepare humanity for the coming of a better covenant in Jesus Christ our Lord. What God instituted in the law was a tool to show man his sinfulness and point to the need for a better covenant. The tithe was implemented to a people who had not known the Lord previously and it was meant to teach obedience, which has great reward. Prior to the law men did as they pleased and had not knowledge on how to worship God until Moses. Also the tithe was meant to be shared with the priesthood since they did not have a given inheritance. The principle of sowing and reaping, give and it will be given, are in fact intact in the New Testament in Christ our new covenant which is far better than the old. The best example of New Testament stewardship is found in Acts chapter 2: 42-47.

42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

This is our highest calling in giving, which can only be attained as we abide in Christ. The tithe had its purpose in teaching obedience, but now we are called to a greater worship and fellowship in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we are going to take time to teach about giving, let us teach to the higher standard of giving as given in the example found in Acts chapter 2.

The problem is that the majority of Christians have not experienced a personal and intimate Christ as those described in Acts chapter 2. This is where our focus should be, teaching our church members how to enter into the presence of God and how to continually abide in Christ, which is the source of every inspiration to do and sacrifice for God.

Daniel

Posted by: Daniel Zepeda | Apr 7, 2005 8:02:32 PM

Perry said:

"I have always found it incredibly interesting as a pastor to see that the people who seem to be most consistenly opposed to tithing are para church organizations."

And I find it even more incredible that those who derive their income from an Old Testament command are so closed-minded to the Scriptures, particularly the New Testament.

As one who serves in the role of a "pastor" of an organization, I can tell you now that I fully believe and teach that the tithe is an OT command that has no place in the New Testament church. No "para-church" organization here, although it appears that such threatens the institutionalized church.

Perry further states:

"This is a debate that has existed for generations. I say go to Scripture, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it."

Wow. This is amazing, especially in view of the fact that when the Church in Jerusalem sent a letter to the Church in Antioch regarding an attempt on the part of legalism to rear its ugly head (Acts 15:22-29), that the apostles and elders sent a letter stating that if the Antioch church would stay clear of just a few things they would "do well." Interesting that no where in the letter are the Antioch Christians told that they should tithe.

Had the Jewish Christians (i.e., Jerusalem church) believed that by neglecting the tithe that God would "be robbed," don't you think they would have included instructions for the Antiochians to tithe?


Perry finally said:

"Someone said earlier that Jesus never tithed, let me point out that is an assumption. You might say that because there is no record of that in Scripture...

BUT...there is no reference to Jesus doing a lot of things in Scripture. Just because Scripture is silent on the issue does not mean Jesus didn't do it."

I believe the greater assumption lies with Perry who seems content on building a New Testament doctrine out of the screaming silence of Scripture. Sadly, that is all too frequently seen in "churches" today. The crafting of whole "thus saith the Lords" on nothing but assumption.

The tithe died on the cross with Jesus and His resurrection ushered in a new way of life: the Spirit-led life.

Posted by: Ricky Roubique | Apr 7, 2005 10:28:27 PM

Daniel, I agree and as I mentioned in both previous responses, it all starts with a proper view of God and what He has done for us. Believe me, I would much rather see a heart that is grateful and gives out of abundance without some % attached to it. Note: The tithe was instituted before the law on more than one occasion. If the law was the standard to show us how sinful we are and how far from God's standard of holiness we are, and the tithe was part of that law, then what do we learn from it? We recongnize the moral absolutes of the law, why do we dismiss the financial ones? Most cannot even meet that simple standard of a tithe. I don't really care what you call it, tithe, stewardship, spirit led giving, the fact still remains that most fall far short of God's standard. Ricky, the passage in Acts did not say that they should stay away from idols themselves, just meat offered to them, so is idol worship ok? In fact that passage does not talk about giving at all or witnessing or meeting the needs of the poor or visiting the fatherless or widows. So we are to stay away from meat offered to idols, blood, and things strangled (there goes chicken), and fornication and that's it. You said, "I fully believe and teach that the tithe is an OT command that has NO PLACE in the New Testament church." Show me that in scripture, sounds like a "thus saith the Lord" to me. The tithe did not die on the cross, my punishment for sin did. I do agree that the law was completed on the cross in that we no longer have to worry if we have met every item and fulfilled every requirement. I don't think we should burden people with a demand for them to tithe, they should give out of a willing heart and a joyful spirit. So how much does God require? nothing! It has all been taken care of. How much should we give? everything. It is the least we can do. Is the tithe a good place to start? Why not? Want to exceed the standards given in the law? By all means do so, it doesn't mean that you are more spiritual than someone else who has only gotten to the tithing stage of obedience. The law is not my master, Jesus is. I don't have to tithe, but I should, I should and then some. I am not a legalist, you can get to heaven without fulfilling any commandment except believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but get that one right and get it good, and the rest won't be such a problem. Even the tithe, stewardship, spirit led giving part. Malachi, after mentioning that Christ was the messenger of the covenant, said to bring the tithes into the storehouse to provide support for the house of God, and prove Him and see if by doing that He would not open the windows of heaven and poor out a blessing that cannot be contained. I will take His Word to be true and continue to tithe, and give beyond as is within my power. God has yet to fail me, and I don't expect Him to.

Posted by: RLHand | Apr 8, 2005 1:51:24 AM

I don't offer this as some kind of expert. I am just a humble servant of God who offers this opinion as what I have been able to establish in my heart and mind based on my study of scripture. Your articles made me think and I offer these to make you think as well. Believe me, I have far to go to understand the simple things of God, but I try to pursue Him everyday. He has the freedom to change my mind and heart, but that is His freedom not mine. I say, give. No matter how you define it, give. God loves a cheerful giver.

Posted by: RLHand | Apr 8, 2005 2:04:13 AM

In the 24 posts above this one I haven't read anything about the words 'tithe' and 'offering'. I've heard a lot about whether we should "give" a tithe.

1. Scripture teaches us to BRING the tithe into the storehouse... It's not about "Giving".... it's about "Bringing".

2. Tithe is separate from the word offering. Tithe is the 10% and first-fruits. The offering is what we BRING or GIVE above and beyond. Some on this thread have argued that giving a tithe takes away from the concept of good stewardship and caring for those in need. They play the card of "I don't want to tithe because it restricts me to just 10%. That is a bogus argument and the people who argue it know it. It sounds good but it's not acted out.

Lets go back to Malachi because some of us forget to mention verse 6. We pick up conveniently at vs 7. I wonder why?

Ohh... there it is... he first sentence. "I the LORD do not change."

6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty.
"But you ask, 'How are we to return?' 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'"In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me. 10 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 you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty. 13 "You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD ."Yet you ask, 'What have we said against you?' 14 "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.' " 16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.17 "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. [a] I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

It is apparent to me that we should understand the word tithe and the word offering before we argue whether we are to continue to tithe. We also have to remember that the "church" is not an organization. The "chruch" is in fact the gathering of God's children. “The Body” remember? The way God blesses his Church is by blessing it's people. The concept is simple. God blesses, we obey and we act as Jesus' hands and feet on this earth (even with... no... especially with our finances).

Posted by: Tally | Apr 8, 2005 11:03:51 AM

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