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Tithing and Giving: What Should I give? And Who Should I Give It To?

The Question/Comment:

----- Original Message -----
From: Name and Address Withheld
To: reborn@oraclesofgod.org (Paul Stringini)
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 1:06 PM
Subject: Biblical question.

Hi,

Sorry if a blank email went through to you.  I am using a new program and messed up.  Iím not a student of Shepherds Chapel but I used to watch his show and I ordered some tapes from him.  After a while I stopped watching because some of the things he said didnít match with the bible.  In fact I canít find any church that I believe matches what the Bible says completely (not that I know a lot about the Bible).  Thatís why I wanted to ask you what you believe about tithing.  Obviously there are no more priests to give it to, and Iím pretty sure that none of the churches Iíve run across qualify to receive the tithe.  Would you tell me what you do about this?  I had an idea that donating money to an organization like ďSave the ChildrenĒ which feeds and provides for the needs of the worlds poor children might be the right thing to do since Jesus said ďwhen you do it to the least of these you do it to meĒ (he was referring to feeding and clothing children, may not be exact quote).  What do you think?

Fred

My Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: reborn@oraclesofgod.org
To:   xxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 12:08 AM
Subject: Re: Biblical question.

 
Hi XXXXX, nice to hear from you.
 
Consider the way Jesus taught the law on the sermon on the mount:  To paraphrase:  You have heard that it was said "Thou Shalt not _____________" but I say whosoever ______ etc. etc. is still a sinner.   Jesus raised the bar higher.  In Christianity we do not give according to the tithe.  The tithe represents a minimalist, "What is the least I can give to please God."  A lot of pastors push the tithe because it forces people who are stingy to give perhaps more than they would.  I reject it, I don't wear fringes on my garments or phylacteries either.  Plus, some in the church receive, such as the poor. 
 
I'm supposed to be giving everything.
 
Mark 12:44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
 
Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
 
Some things have to be discerned by the spirit, for instance, the above statement, "sell everything"
 
1Tim5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel
 
I have six children, if I sell all I have I will fail to provide for them which would mean that I have denied the faith. 
But Jesus said this
 
Matt19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
 
So what gives?
 
This is where the spirit guides us. Consider the following consecutive verses:
 
Prov26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Prov26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
 
How do you know when to do what? One verse says to do a thing and the other says not to do the same thing.
 
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
 
There is a time to sell all you have, and a time to provide for your own.  We have to be ready to do either, as and when directed.
 
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
 
We can always give a little more. I would say that if you deo not have a teaching ministry to give to, then you need to create one; give all of yourself to your own instruction in the word of God, that is something you lack.  
 
If you give to one of those "Help the Kids" organizations make sure you check them out through an independent watchdog group,  I thought that "xxxxxxxname withheldxxxxxxxxxx" was rated highest.  In any case don't just do that, it is not enough.
 
1Cor13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
 
In order to love your brother, you need to have brothers to love (and I don't mean neighbors, I mean Christian brothers)  In order to fulfill God's commands you need brothers, this is something you should give yourself to in prayer.
 
Anyway, I hope that helps some, If you have a specific point about this that you'd like me to address I'd be happy to.
Sincerely
Paul

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