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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tithing and Giving

Probably the sorest point for some believers, and more so for non-believers, is the practice of the church to take up collections. Lets be clear on that, that's a collection of money. The practice is regarded, by these two groups, at best as unspiritual and at worse, greedy.

Among believers the result is some participate in the church collection with reservations while others abstain altogether. Furthermore, this lack of understanding and the attitude which it fosters reflect on how a lot of people regard their giving to businesses and government their due. The justification behind this robbery is that these are not people. This, of course, is yet another falsehood, because like the church, businesses and government are made up of and function with people.

It needs to be said much of this is due to a lack of preaching and teaching on the subject of tithing and giving. Contrary to aspersions cast on tele-evangelists who call on their listeners to give, teaching on the subject is in the form of an annual message for many congregations, typically. Preachers feel uncomfortable expositing the subject, hence, a lack of understanding.

The practice of tithing, (tithing is ten percent of the whole) as commanded to the nation of Israel by God through Moses, predated the nation of Israel. Abraham, who lived many centuries prior, is found giving tithes to King Melchizedek. Israel was commanded to pay their tithes as this was for the livelihood of the priests.

Today, while tithing is taught and expected of members in many churches, it is not a commandment to the church in the New Testament. There is nothing said against its practice by an individual, but the apostle Paul does write about the giving of a particular congregation. He says first, "they gave themselves to the Lord", that every one should "give as they have purposed in their hearts" and "God loves a cheerful giver". Clearly, there is an absence of a specified amount, but a clear spiritual accent on the church's practice of giving.

Working Mannequin believes as one learns to give one can then build their business, our churches, communities and government, because they are each made up of people. People are built up when we give.

Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Take his words. Understand them. Live by them. Teach them.

What are your thoughts?

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