68—How complicated guessing whether someone was tithing would be
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute
On another day, I have spoken about why physical tithing money is not part of the New Covenant, replaced by a believer desiring to give all of one’s life to honoring Jesus. I might say that if 10% is truly sacrificial to you and you find it a personal goal the Holy Spirit is allowing you to be at peace about at this time, then that’s what you should be doing.
Some organizations hold it as a mark of spirituality—if you don’t give 10%, you cannot do certain responsibilities. If they don’t ask you to show paperwork, and my understanding is that that is a little overt, how would one know? In the time of Jesus, weighing out 20% of your crop wasn’t all that complicated. In most work in our culture, you don’t know what another person beside you doing the same job is making, and it’s a big rule that you don’t talk about it. Further, here in the U.S., we have withholding out of one’s check, and a roughly equivalent amount that doesn’t appear, but goes toward Social Security, which in theory you’ll get back someday if you live long enough. Which number would you figure yours on? The only answer I’ve heard on that has been a joke, “Which do you want, a gross blessing or a net blessing?” For people with various discounted benefits, which are based on future events, the calculation becomes impossible.
The answer is not attempting to figure 10 or 20 or 23 1/3 percent, but giving all to follow Jesus in every way we can. If you make so little that you can’t give anything, no human needs to look over anyone’s shoulder. For the believer, the Holy Spirit can convict in a person’s heart better than any person. Conversely, if you make a lot, 10 or 20 or 23 1/3 percent isn’t a true sacrifice. It is wrong for any leader to play on people’s minds about money, and he or she needs to repent. Besides, the costs of buildings, payrolls, and anything not specifically directed by the Holy Spirit is not of God.
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.” While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better. I comment on that in blip 94.