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10THAmendment

I'm beginning to have a tithing problem, only not in the traditional sense

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Hey all,

Recently I have really started to struggle with the issue of tithing. Not as a fundamental principle of the Gospel, but as an administrative policy. The more skeptical I have become of the church and its leaders, the more I really don't want to give money to it or them. It has actually started to make me sick and have a really bad feeling each month. I would much rather donate 10% of my income to organizations that actually help people. 

The church is very disproportionate to other churches in how much of their resources they use for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church is secret with their finances. I don't like that they build shopping malls. I don't like that they bring in tens of billions of dollars each year and only use $40 million or so for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church lobbies governments to make policies that I vehemently disagree with. It feels more like I am donating to a political organization that goes against every core principle I believe in politically.

 

Thoughts?

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29 minutes ago, 10THAmendment said:

Hey all,

Recently I have really started to struggle with the issue of tithing. Not as a fundamental principle of the Gospel, but as an administrative policy. The more skeptical I have become of the church and its leaders, the more I really don't want to give money to it or them. It has actually started to make me sick and have a really bad feeling each month. I would much rather donate 10% of my income to organizations that actually help people. 

The church is very disproportionate to other churches in how much of their resources they use for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church is secret with their finances. I don't like that they build shopping malls. I don't like that they bring in tens of billions of dollars each year and only use $40 million or so for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church lobbies governments to make policies that I vehemently disagree with. It feels more like I am donating to a political organization that goes against every core principle I believe in politically.

 

Thoughts?

I’d suggest that if you think all your tithe is is giving money to the church you don’t understand the principle of tithing.  I’d invite you to ponder with an open heart and when you’re 100% committed to follow the direction you receive, consult with Deity.

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I put my tithing in a investment account.

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

I’d suggest that if you think all your tithe is is giving money to the church you don’t understand the principle of tithing.  I’d invite you to ponder with an open heart and when you’re 100% committed to follow the direction you receive, consult with Deity.

What is the principle of tithing then, as taught in the church?

Edited by 10THAmendment

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47 minutes ago, bluebell said:

My thoughts are, if tithing is a true commandment, then one must pay it if they are trying to follow Christ. 

Spending 10% of our money on charity is not keeping the law of tithing, so if we want to tithe, that (as great as it is) is not an option. 

Once we know whether or not God expects us to tithe, the next step is to ask Him what church is His so we know who to give our tithing to. 

Whether or not we agree with how the money is being spent does not, from my perspective, matter. If tithing is a commanding and this church is His church, that is all that matters. God will deal with how people are using His money. 

Just curious - why do you make the absolute statement that money not given to a church cannot be acceptable to God as a tithe to Him?

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5 minutes ago, 10THAmendment said:

What is the principle of tithing then, as taught in the church?

It’s there for you to discover.  My experience is that a principle is more often valued and retained by those who diligently search it out, ponder it, and make it the subject of their communion with Deity.

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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't mean that money not given to a church can't be acceptable to Him, I mean that money not given to God is not tithing.  People (atheists, agnostics, satanists, protestants, catholics, etc.) give money to charity or other good programs every day.  Millions of dollars.  Those people are not paying tithing.  They are giving charity but charity and tithing are not the same thing.

Tithing is money that we owe God, that God or His representatives get to decide what to do with it.  When we decide what to do with the money, we aren't paying tithing.  That doesn't mean God isn't glad or that we aren't blessed for it, it's just not going to be the same blessings that come from paying tithing.  

I get where you are coming from but I think I have to respectfully disagree with this mindset. I think giving either charity or directly to people in serious need can be, and maybe should be, considered a tithe to God. It seems consistent with the eternal truth, :Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto ME." Taken literally, giving to our brothers and sisters in need is the equivalent of giving it to God. 

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1 minute ago, 10THAmendment said:

I get where you are coming from but I think I have to respectfully disagree with this mindset. I think giving either charity or directly to people in serious need can be, and maybe should be, considered a tithe to God.

It's fine if you believe that, but that isn't supported anywhere.  Tithing is not the same thing as charity.  That's why the church asks us to tithing AND also give money for charitable donations.  We are responsible before God for doing both.

Quote

It seems consistent with the eternal truth, :Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto ME." Taken literally, giving to our brothers and sisters in need is the equivalent of giving it to God. 

Doing what we want to do with the money, even if it's something good, is not tithing.  It can serve His children and in that way serve Him, but it's not tithing.  

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Tithing isn't and has never been about a person's money.   It is about God's granting us 90%, trying to help us remember that He is the source of all.   OP is falling down a trap rabbit hole, because he is thinking that instead of trusting God (not just to get the right done, but also to hold whomever accountable for messing it up), OP should decide what to do with the Lord's money.   There is nothing better to divide yourself from Him than taking over decisions He has assigned to others.

Paying tithing binds us to Christ.  Shows our commitment to Him and our Heavenly Parents.   When we make tithing all about spending our own money, we've completely missed the point.

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32 minutes ago, rpn said:

Tithing isn't and has never been about a person's money.   It is about God's granting us 90%, trying to help us remember that He is the source of all.   OP is falling down a trap rabbit hole, because he is thinking that instead of trusting God (not just to get the right done, but also to hold whomever accountable for messing it up), OP should decide what to do with the Lord's money.   There is nothing better to divide yourself from Him than taking over decisions He has assigned to others.

Paying tithing binds us to Christ.  Shows our commitment to Him and our Heavenly Parents.   When we make tithing all about spending our own money, we've completely missed the point.

If tithing isn't about money then why would God care where one pays it?

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12 minutes ago, 10THAmendment said:

If tithing isn't about money then why would God care where one pays it?

Just a thought for you to consider....

My understanding  is that one of the purposes of a law of tithing is to prepare us to live the law of consecration, which is the higher law. How would your current thoughts about tithing translate to living the law of consecration?

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24 minutes ago, 10THAmendment said:

If tithing isn't about money then why would God care where one pays it?

You mean, why would He care if you ignore His instructions and consider it your money to do with what you please?

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Posted (edited)

Tithing is money given to build up the Kingdom of God. God has claimed it for that purpose and He is not accountable to you or your sensibilities about how He uses it. Giving it to charity is being generous with money that belongs to someone else by divine covenant.

You can refuse of course but then you lose the promised blessing. Seek communion with God as to what you should do.

Edited by The Nehor
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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, 10THAmendment said:

If tithing isn't about money then why would God care where one pays it?

Money was scarce at certain times during our history, especially after arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.  Most people were farmers, and when they harvested crops they frequently "sold" them to others by trade / barter.  "Money" as such was not common, until commerce became more established.  And even then it wasn't always available.  So tithing was paid "in kind", meaning, if your 10 cows produced 10 calves, you gave one calf to the Church.  If your chickens laid a hundred eggs, you'd give ten to the Church.  If you were a blacksmith and made ten plows, you'd give one to the Church.  The Church at that time had tithing offices which were there specifically to deal with donations of "in kind" items.

It's not money, but "increase".  If you don't have an increase, you have nothing to tithe.

Now, if you are so worked up about what you think is the Church's misuse of tithing funds, then perhaps you can treat yourself as if you were excommunicated.  Excommunicated members aren't permitted by the Church to pay tithing to the Church.  But excommunicated members are sometimes advised that if they want to pay tithing, just save it if they desire, until they are re-admitted; then they can pay that savings into the tithing funds of the Church -- though the Church does not make that a condition of readmission.  If you do this, of course you cannot claim to be a full tithepayer in an interview, because you still have control over the funds.

I kind of understand where you are coming from.  When I was still employed (I'm retired now) I could not make myself tithe the money that I paid in federal income tax.  Because to me that was money that I had no choice about whether I would pay it, and it was, in effect, a cost of doing business, just like a business person does not count as income every cent that comes in from customers, since he has to buy goods, pay necessary fees and services and so on.  His profit was his increase, and not his gross receipts.

But while I "kind of" understand, I don't really.  When Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20) did he demand to see Melchizedek's account books first?  Did he worry that Melchizedek might not use the money properly (i.e. as Abram saw fit)?  No, he didn't.  Why would that be, do you suppose?  Because maybe it was his obligation to pay it, and the burden of responsibility for proper use was on Melchizedek, and with God?  I'd say that is exactly the case.  So my advice is to pay the tithing to those who are appointed to receive it, and leave accountability to God.  Then your burden of responsibility is lifted.

It's just like the burden of warning -- in Mosiah 2:27-28 we read: "Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you."

In other words, King Benjamin has done his part in warning his people to repent, and he can no longer be held accountable for their sins. What they do with his warning is now their responsibility -- but he has absolved himself of culpability for their sins.  By the same token, God requires of you that you pay tithing.  So pay it, and let the fault, if there be any, fall to others. Then you are clean before God.

You can argue the minutiae of such things as shopping malls if you like -- although it has been shown to my satisfaction that tithing funds were not used to finance the one that all the enemies of the Church are continually up in arms about.  

It's another matter if you don't believe the Church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ.  In that case, maybe the best place for you is outside the Church where you will be more comfortable.  You can perhaps pay your tithing to the Roman Catholics, or to the Southern Baptists, or to whoever you think is closest to whatever it is you believe.  I'm not advocating you leave, understand.  I'm just telling you that if you have as serious a problem with the LDS church as you seem to, you really need to get straight about that before you start worrying yourself over the comparatively minor matter of how badly you think the Church is using donated funds.

 

Edited by Stargazer
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2 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

Hey all,

Recently I have really started to struggle with the issue of tithing. Not as a fundamental principle of the Gospel, but as an administrative policy. The more skeptical I have become of the church and its leaders, the more I really don't want to give money to it or them. It has actually started to make me sick and have a really bad feeling each month. I would much rather donate 10% of my income to organizations that actually help people. 

The church is very disproportionate to other churches in how much of their resources they use for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church is secret with their finances. I don't like that they build shopping malls. I don't like that they bring in tens of billions of dollars each year and only use $40 million or so for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church lobbies governments to make policies that I vehemently disagree with. It feels more like I am donating to a political organization that goes against every core principle I believe in politically.

 

Thoughts?

I believe that we are called to tithe by scripture and commandment from God. When I send my tithes to the Church of Jesus Christ I am fulfilling God's command and my obligation to him as both one of his children and as a disciple of Jesus Christ. How that money is spent is irrelevant. If God's tithes are not spent in accordance to God's will then those individuals responsible will be held accountable to God. It does not affect me or my obedience. 

What is apparent to me is that there is a degree of pride in your reasoning. You are letting your pride get in the way of obedience and submitting your will to God. The way of discipleship is submission to God's will for you. If  you hate the way the leaders of the Church are running things, it may be time to step back and ask God if they are really his prophets and apostles. 

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Anciently offerings were taken to the temple and BURNED UP ! That sure was a way to clarify that the offering was the Lord's to use as He sees fit. Imagine doing that today with cold hard cash. May I suggest , 10th , that you investigate what it costs to just Maintain one regular  church building for a year. Heating, cooling, paper towels ,toilet paper, trash bags, vacuums , cleaning supplies, light bulbs, semi-annual deep cleaning, photo copies, chairs , etc. Now multiply that annual cost by the 1000's of buildings world wide. Next figure out the cost of land and construction for new chapels, the insurance costs for everything the church owns. Who do you think pays for the arson of the new stake building in Southern Utah recently ?What might the Church be spending on the Missionary program every year?  One might complain that the church does not release such info , but it would take a person  knowledgable in building maintenance costs only a few days to gather info for similar buildings  to estimate pretty close. Personally I'm happy the Church puts up office towers. They can use the profits to offset the needed buildings etc that the poor people in African , Asia, and some of the Americas can't fund. I used to pay several hundred dollars a year to a " building fund " . I don't have that line item to worry about anymore. I wonder why ??

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3 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

The church is very disproportionate to other churches in how much of their resources they use for humanitarian aid

If you'd like to see the church spending more money on humanitarian aid then donate more to the humanitarian aid fund.

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3 hours ago, let’s roll said:

Just a thought for you to consider....

My understanding  is that one of the purposes of a law of tithing is to prepare us to live the law of consecration, which is the higher law. How would your current thoughts about tithing translate to living the law of consecration?

The doctrine and covenants clearly teaches that the law of consecration is about helping the poor. Tithing is not primarily used to help the poor. Those laws go in different directions.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

You can refuse of course but then you lose the promised blessing.

What blessings are you talking about?  Windows of heaven?

I stopped paying my tithing months ago, and my life has not changed for the better or the worse.

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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

You can argue the minutiae of such things as shopping malls if you like

It’s hard for me to consider a $1.5B investment ‘minutiae’ - especially in the light of $40M for humanitarian use.

Its more accurate to talk about using tithing to help those in need as ‘minutiae.’

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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

The way of discipleship is submission to God's will for you.

You are dead wrong.

Matthew 22:36-40

John 21:17

The Notion of obedience as central to following Christ (discipleship) is a false tradition of the LDS church.

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Posted (edited)

Can you love God and ignore him, ignore what he desires for you?

Edited by Calm
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