Monday, January 21, 2008

worse off now that when I started googling....

In looking for info about claiming tithes on your taxes, I found some interesting posts that are non related. Do not assume that the thoughts of other bloggers are something that I agree with, I simply link things that make me rethink stuff.

Here's another one I stumbled upon.

Another one, titled have you given it to God if you claim it in taxes.... ?

And the real mind boggler is here.

and, fyi, all this came about from this statement: i don't know so much that you're supposed to... but you're allowed to :-)
And here I go on a wild goose usual.

****ONCE AGAIN**** nothing in any of the above links necessarily reflects what I believe.


dean January 21, 2008 at 5:45:00 PM CST  

Shelley... first of all I'll come out of the closet and admit to your readers that I was the one who threw the monkey wrench into the works with "i don't know so much that you're supposed to... but you're allowed to :-)"

The whole thing about claiming your tithes (and any charitable contributions) on your income taxes is not really addressed in Scripture. It is a part of our tax code, and is therefore legal to do, provided the charity or ministry is 501c, and you do not receive goods or services for your money. The problem comes in Scripturally with the motives of your heart. Some people will give only if it is a charity or ministry that will afford them a tax deduction. Not what I'd call a Godly motive for giving.

After chasing the links you provided, I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with the principles put forth at the sites you linked to with the last 3 links. I have been researching this for quite a while, and at some point am (or was) going to post on tithing. However, the information at these websites pretty well sums up my position on tithing. I no longer believe that tithing is a New Testament model for giving. The tithe was about supporting the Levitical priesthood (with food items, NOT MONEY) who did not get an inheritance of land, and therefore could not (nor were they ever even supposed to) raise their own food.

Some people say that because they still tithed in Jesus' time that it is for the New Testament church, but you must understand that the Church was not established until after Jesus left here. Priests were still necessary to go before God for the people... not until Jesus died was the temple veil torn in two, removing that obstacle that prevented us from approaching God directly without the need for the priests. When Jesus became our mediator, the need for the priests was eliminated, and therefore the need for the tithe was also.

It is my belief that the New Testament model for giving is found in 2 Cor 8 & 9 (cheerful giving, grace and not under compulsion, what a man has decided in his heart to give).

I had actually written a little on this a while back, and some equated "no tithe" with "no giving." nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, since I am no longer under the constraints of tithing (something that I was faithfully sold out to for decades), I give now more than I ever have.

This is strictly my understanding of Biblical giving, and it is not my intention to try and change anyone's mind or giving habits, but only to spur folks to study up on it for themselves and come to your own conclusion concerning what God would have you to do.

dean January 21, 2008 at 5:55:00 PM CST  

...and while I'm at it, I want to briefly address the content of the first site you linked to. Congress is currently investigating certain ministries to see if the lavish lifestyles of the heads of those ministries constitutes fraud or at least mis-management of the money given to their ministries.

While I am no fan of prosperity gospel or the preachers thereof, I also do not believe it is the place of Congress to be pursuing this. They are the LEGISLATIVE branch of our government, charged with PASSING LAWS. We have a JUDICIAL branch of government who should be doing criminal investigations. Congress should butt out of this and tend to the business of legislating... as a matter of fact, this goes for their meddling in baseballs illegal substance problems as well. Again, if there is criminal activity, let the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT do its job.

K.T. is Mommatude January 22, 2008 at 7:30:00 AM CST  

I read all of these and they make very good points,I think I was party to an online conversation once about this very subject-although I think it swayed decidedly towards the other direction,alas,I cannot find the conversation now-

I think the one thing I do have to agree with is-doing the research,I know alot of times I come to a decision based on logic and gut reaction,and this reminds me that in matters of faith,logic and gut reaction mean nothing-so I must research.

Great Post,Shelley!

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