I read this on another blog this morning at http://morningswithbrant.com
Thoughts anyone? No arguements…just opinions please.
Why I Don’t Tithe, and Why I Can Be Shot for Just Typing That
Posted: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:46:13 +0000
(The following is only Brant’s opinion. You can punch him straight in the eye for it. Blame no one else at the radio station. In fact, they may punch him straight in the eye, as well. Opinions and comments are welcome, but be kind to each other, and — did we make this clear? — don’t blame the station. Blame Brant.)
I don’t “tithe”.
There. I said it. Smack me.
And okay, I’ve said it before, but I typed it this time, and am putting my thoughts in one, convenient, text-based, useful-for-lawsuits, eternally-on-the-web, package.
I’m emboldened, perhaps, because more people agree with me. In fact, a survey last week of evangelical leaders found the majority of them agree: Tithing is not a requirement for the Christian.
This fires people up, of course, and they’ll accuse me, and them, of an assault on scripture, or some kind of liberalism. But it’s neither. Fact is, you simply can’t find Christians “tithing” in the Bible. It’s not there. I know, because I was a believer in tithing once (when I worked at a church) and I looked it up, and it wasn’t there, and I kept looking it up, and it still wasn’t there, and I’ll be darned if I still can’t find it.
So, I’ve got good news! God does NOT own ten percent of your money, and leave you with only 90 percent!
And oh yeah — one other thing. He owns 100%. All of it. And leaves you with zero.
And now we’re getting somewhere.
I started writing some scriptural arguments and counter-arguments here, but deleted it all, because plenty of people have already done that. Here’s one link to get you started. (And that link’s got links, too! And those links have links! It’s like a big “world wide web”, if you will…) Please read the arguments fairly.
Of course, I should explain, as a baseline issue, that I don’t think we’re under the O.T. law at all anymore. I should explain that, because while the New Testament is chockfull-o’ explanations that we’re no longer under law, many American Christians disagree. I know this, because I’ve talked with them for years. Shoot, I even took a poll once. They believe we’re still under O.T. law. Paul believed we are not under the law, which is likely why he wrote that we “are not under the law.”
He wrote that in Galatians 5. If you’re led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the law. But, like I say, not everyone buys that.
So I’m one of those “freedom” people. Truly free. In other words, kinda dangerous. And I feel kinda cool typing that. Kinda Top Gun-y. And it IS dangerous to be free. Prisons are hard, too, but some people want to stay there. You know what to do, how much to do it, and when. There’s something in us that likes that. I just don’t think it’s the best part of us.
Freedom isn’t easy, either. Oh, it’s more fun — make no mistake — but it’s not easy. So now NONE of my money is, you know, “my” money? I’m to give freely? I’m called to RADICAL, everyday generosity? Christians aren’t given precise instructions on when and where and how much to give? That’s…scary. And exciting.
And now, I’m telling you, my love for God, expressed through money, has become a relationship thing. And an everyday thing, too. I find myself asking God, “Please show me what you want me to do with this,” and boy, does He ever. I think He likes that, honestly. Now we’re talking relationship.
It’s pretty simple. Here’s what’s happens when I realize I’m free:
First, I’m thankful.
God shows me, in scripture, His heart for the poor.
I ask God for direction today with my money.
I see a need.
I thank Him.
I love Him more.
I see how He takes care of me.
I’m thankful again.
And I repeat as desired. But here’s what’s weird: My desire has increased. My desire for HIM has increased. And now, you’re talking about adventure. Life becomes about playing a role in the Kingdom of God. A lot of other scriptures and stories start to click. Now, I’m thinking, all the time: What about the fatherless? What about the widow? What about the rejected, the alien, the stranger, the homeless and sick and…? And I’ve got the means to do something about it.
Thank God. I love, love, love that. And, increasingly, Him.
People like me who no longer believe we are bound to tithing are not arguing for less giving. Oh no. We’re arguing for more, for those who have it. Much more. (Like the early church, there is no burden, no law, for the poor to give. They shared so that there might be equality.) And, while I’ve seen our financial situation improve as we’ve grown more generous, there’s no guarantee that will continue to happen. Do not desire God for what He can give you. Desire Him for Himself.
But understand, you are truly free. Free indeed. Freedom makes you dangerous, and folks will get angry, and not just the people who are afraid you’ll start giving less. Some are afraid you’ll start giving more.
And, strangely, freedom will not only make you dangerous to them, it’ll make you dangerous to you, too. It will also reveal who you are, and to Whom you belong. You’re freely choosing where to put your money, and that’ll tell YOU, if you’re honest, what you really value.
Scary, huh? Certainly not safe, this whole relationship-with-God thing.
But good. Really, really good.