Post Number: 94
|Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 6:04 pm: || |
Good points! For many, ten percent giving is not sacrificial nor sufficient in any way. For high- income and middle-income people, tithing can often restrict and/or limit one's generosity. After tithing, many people feel that they have completed their fiscal obligation to God.
On the other hand, for many low-income persons, ten percent giving would mean the difference between buying groceries or going hungry. Still others ought to be ashamed to only return a tithe on their incomes. One of the churches in my city doesn't even collect offerings or tithes during the worship service. Worshippers can drop their financial donations in a special box located in the back of the church (by the literature rack). They have a brand-new church, so they are doing well with this methodology.
All in all, Sabra, tithing is too restrictive and limiting for Christians who are on fire for the Lord. Generally speaking, Christians certainly can do much better than merely modeling their stewardship after the restrictive laws of Moses to finance the Great Commission.
For example, Bob George's church in Dallas, Texas is very successful without teaching tithing. His entire PEOPLE TO PEOPLE international radio ministry is the result of Spirit-led giving. People rally to Christian needs without the shackles of the law.
Dennis J. Fischer
Post Number: 610
|Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 9:03 pm: || |
At very Seventh-day Baptist church I've attended the offering box is on the table in the back of the church. It seems a good method for them. The Lutheran church I attend does not have a tithe doctrine yet they regurally give the income/expense summary and generally the income is greater than the projected expenses were. However, there is something about Lutherans that strikesme as being exceptionally giving. I think it is because as a whole they have such a profound spiritual peace in their understanding of grace. This understanding of grace has the effect of making a person from the dephs of his soul want to give so much out of an appriciation of what Jesus has done for him. It's a different concept of giving than one gets in the SDA. In the SDA it's, "I'll give so I can make sure I won't burn up in the lake of fire". In the Lutheran it's, "I'll give as much as I can because Jesus gave his life for me and I know I'm saved through grace and out of appriciation I want others to have this joy in Jesus, too." That's a BIG diffrence.
Post Number: 82
|Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 6:34 am: || |
PW, I see you were in Haiti for a mission trip. I'm leaving next Monday for a mission trip to Haiti! Could you contact me please, at email@example.com
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 9:16 am: || |
I sent you an e-mail as you requested.
Post Number: 105
|Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 6:36 pm: || |
OK, well I feel better about that. I agree totally that 10% is the OT law and with the law of the Spirit we are to be led by the Spirit.
I think as former "law keepers" we can see that more than say a new christian. Maybe they are the reason a lot of pastors feel the need to preach the tithe.
One of the very first things God told me when I was coming out of that was "In all you do, do it to the Glory of God." That puts major pressure on what you spend your money on, even if it is at the grocery store.
Now here is my issue: The first church I attended after leaving adventism, where I was baptized, did not preach tithe. Said it was OT. They took up an offering. Now this was a church in a barn! Quite humble to say the least.
I feel like God dealt with me to pay tithe there. I was feeling it for a few weeks and asked the pastor what he thought, he told me it was OT. Then it seemed every preacher on TV was preaching tithe, the radio, etc. Sunday am I got up, had already sent the mortgage in the mail, no 10% left in the checking account.....I turn on the christian channel and there is a preacher, yep, preaching tithing. Oh, I had just read Malachi too, the tithe part.
So I said, OK, God, I got it, thank You. Went to the ATM, withdrew the tithe, and the deposit slip had either way too much money left if the mortgage had gone through or surely not enough it it hadn't. I called the 800# and the mortgage had already gone through and there was 300.00 extra in there.
Called the bank Monday, they had no idea what it was, said there was a credit to my account for 300.00, took them until Tues to figure out the problem.
Some months earlier they had deducted money from my account twice and I didn't catch it---highly unusual, I always keep up with my bank.
Turned out, they had some fees attached to the mistake and ended up crediting another 300.00!
600.00 extra for obedience. I believe that.
So I tell my sister and she tries it and gets 400.00 extra the following week. (Note, I am a baby christian at this point)
Few months later God tells me to give my last 17.00 to Joyce Meyer. A check comes in the mail for 664.00, totally unexpected from a profit sharing acct. my employer closed.
Then about a year later He tells me to increase the partner amount with Joyce. 2 days later a check in the mail for 850.00+ this time a 401K that was supposed to amount to 200 or 300.
There have been other times we tithed when we couldn't buy groceries and we got money out of no where.
Then there is my car. 160,000 miles, no mechanic work whatsoever other than maintenance.
I feel God honors my desire to do what I think He wants me to do. Whether or not He wouldn't bless me if I didn't, I don't think that, I just wanna bless Him.
Well, it's 100% His, we are just stewards. Praise God for His grace, He deals with each of us individually, and as we are ready for it.
Post Number: 96
|Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 8:01 pm: || |
Being you mentioned Joyce Meyer, perhaps you would be interested in the factual details of her theology at www.equip.org. Simply type "Joyce Meyer" in the search box. You owe it to yourself to check it out.
Dennis J. Fischer
Post Number: 613
|Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 8:09 pm: || |
My kids have never in their lives paid tithe or even an offering. In Hawaii the Hawaii'ians call it The Aloha Spirit. Hawaii'ans are not from their hertiage Christian. They do though have a big sense of communiy and of sharing. So, my three youngest children were living in Hawaii and they were a few of the only Haolies in the area. So one day my youngest son was in the market looking at the food, then looking at his $5.oo bill, nodding his head and then going to look at something else. A Hawaiian lady came up to him and asked him if he was hungry. He told her he had to buy dinner for himself and his two brothers and all he had was $5.00. She handed him her ATM card, told him her pin and told him he could get up to $50.00 on her ATM card and after he paid to find her in the store and give her card back to her because she should have her groceries in her cart by then. We were totally amazed! Then several weeks later my older son went to the police station over there to turn himself in and because he'd never broken any laws in Hawaii the Hawaiian cops refused to arrest him unless he called his parole agent over here and the parole department over here agreed to cover his expenses while he would be in Hawiian custody. He was homesick and he was getting island fever, if you know what I mean and he wanted to come back as he'd been on the run for over six months. He called the parole department that he ran from, was told the state is broke and all his warrents had been cancelled and he could come back and not face a violation of his parole. He was all happy and ran stright from the Hawaiian police station to the gas station across the street and told some Hawaiian man, "Here's $10.00, please get me to the airport. I'm free! I can go home!" The man said "Are you going to the mainland?" My son told him he was but he had no money but his little brothers were at the airport just about to leave for Honolulu and he at least wanted to tell them he'd catch up with them later. The man handed my son a $100.00 bill and told him that would cover the airfare from where they were to Honolulu and he could figure out how to get airfare from Honolulu to here once he at least got to Honolulu. He got to the airport running and screaming for the plane to wait for him because his little brothers were on it and he wanted to go home with them. I guess he made such a big scene that the plane waited and he got on and he came back to the mainland with them and all his warrents had been cancelled because the state is broke so all he needs to do is just finish off his parole. Another time over there we got stranded around 30 miles from our camp late at night and in the rain. I was sitting crying my eyes out and a lady came and asked me why I was crying. I told her the whole sad story of what happened and she handed me $60.00 and told me I could either get me and my sons a motel for the night or get a taxi to take us home. I went across the street to the gas station and found a lady who took us home. We have had so many miracles in our lives. I am in a position now that I try to be a miracle provider to those that I am able to help. I really don't think it is a reward of paying tithe but I do believe people who help others then when they are in a bind God sees that they are helped too. Me and my kids have had so many miracles in our lives that I could write a book, it's just amazing. I pray to God everyday that if He has a miracle that day that He can use me for then to just give me the opportunity and hopefully I'll be bright enough to not pass it by but to act on it for Him.
Post Number: 83
|Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 5:36 am: || |
Dennis, I did as you said and didnít come up with anything on the equip.org site. One time I visited a Word of Faith church and found it to be doctrinally just what one would expect from their theology. Because of that, Iíve never been back. But I personally donít see the same degree of emphasis within Joyce Meyerís teaching.
Actually, Iíve come to greatly respect Joyce because of the huge number of people Iíve met in all denominations who attribute Joyce as being the catalyst who started them into developing a relationship with Jesus. To me thatís a key point in her favor, whether or not I believe exactly as she does.
From whispers Iíve heard, there seems to be a lot of controversy going on right now about her personal lifestyle. I donít want to become a critic, not knowing whether she drives a fancy car because it was a gift, for instance. (Iím just using that as an example as I donít know.) I do know that she supports lots of orphanages, a Dream Center and each year is inching up the percentage which they use to bless other ministries. There is a church in our area (not Word of Faith) that she supports with $5000 a month according to the pastor.
Coming out of Adventism Iíve tried to develop an inward peace to accept that weíre not all going to agree theologically. Iím no theologian. I donít know Greek or Hebrew. I used enough lexicons to study myself out of Adventism, but Iím still not to the place where I can say Iíve arrived at ěthe truth.î Iím just so happy to bask in my growing relationship with Jesus and his completed work on the cross while I continue to walk in the Spirit day-by-day.
Post Number: 353
|Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 7:05 am: || |
Try searching joyce meyer...no s.
Post Number: 97
|Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 5:34 pm: || |
I just checked the website at www.equip.org (Christian Research Institute) and it DOES bring up Joyce Meyer's assessment theologically. You need to scroll down and then you will will see her name to click on. Try it again!
Dennis J. Fischer
Post Number: 109
|Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 6:03 pm: || |
Joyce started out in the Word of Faith movement years ago and has since denounced many of their teachings. She has said many times that she was wrong and the Lord showed her so.
We are all learning on this journey. There is no perfect church or member.
She actually did receive her car as a gift. I think the average wordly person gets a little jealous when anyone is blessed without considering that to whom much is given, much is required. I couldn't imagine the schedule
of seminars that she does and at age 61 and they are all free, by the way.
If you do not currently listen to her you can not go by the people who have nothing to do but find fault. Gossipers and slanders are an abomination.
She does a lot more for the spreading of the Gospel than I do.
I do appreciate the warning but have followed her ministry and know many of the details and since I am a partner I receive information of the funding of the ministry.
She also tithes 30% minimum.
Maybe you can check out her website:
Post Number: 597
|Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 8:14 pm: || |
Dennis, I guarantee you that you can find negative comments about ANY Christian organization via the Internet. I've seen absolutely absurd things said about the church I'm a member of....stuff that I'm in a position to know is outright falsehood. Seen garbage written about such groups as Promise Keepers and people like Billy Graham. It's a shame.
I dont' need to read what someone else has to say about her theology. I have read several of her books, read her magazine, listened to her on the radio, watched her on TV. So I've head about her theology directly from her. I don't always agree 100% with anyone. I would have to say that when I first left Adventism, I would have immediately rejected most of what she had to say.
But as time has gone on, and I have examined more closely what she has had to say, taken it to the Word and compared, taken it to the Lord and asked Him, I end up coming away having to admit that she's right about one heck of a lot of stuff. Some of it was teachings I had just never considered before, some of it was stuff I was just so sure I was right about. I can tell you that the Lord has used her teachings in a huge way in my life, and I know of many others personally who will tell you the same thing. She always has something to say that challenges me to trust God, to be open to God, to grow in the Lord, and points me to the scriptures.
The problem that unfortunately comes up with great regularity in the church is that someone from the very traditional end of the Christian table takes a look at someone from the charismatic end of the table and screens everything that is said through their traditional theology filter. Hanegraff is among them. Automatically they reject things they hear because they aren't truly listening to what is being said. This is unfortunately very often even more the case if the person speaking is a woman. The same thing is too often true with the charismatics listening to the traditionals. Both sides have good stuff to say. We need to learn from both sides of the table. We are not dangerous to each other.
It's the matter of not rejecting true teachings because there is a false. In the case of Joyce Meyers, the traditional side of the table is familiar with the errors of the Word of Faith folks. Unfortunately, they think that anyone who says anything that they think sounds similar is identical. They hear her say something for instance, about needing to not let go of a request in prayer until you see an answer. And they stop listening. So they never hear the part where she says something like, "If we don't get the answer we want, we need to remember that God is more interested in our spiritual life than what happens to us physically. Maybe He just has a better answer in mind than your idea. Or maybe His answer is no. That doesn't mean you stop following Him or stop trusting Him."
Post Number: 84
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 2:49 am: || |
Good post Lydell,
Wise and balanced.
Post Number: 84
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 3:17 am: || |
Thanks Lydell and Sabra. I repeat what I said on the other thread. I've seen the fruits of her ministry in the lives of people who are now solid Christians in various denominations--all because of the initial contact with Joyce. None of them are in Word of Faith churches. By their fruits...
My heart's desire is that we do more bridge building between the charismatic/pentecostal camp and the traditional mainline camp. We don't all need to agree on theology. But as we respect and love other streams of Christian faith, we can better work together to share the gospel in our cities.
Because of so many years of having Adventist "truth" and being so arrogant toward other churches, I now am adamant about what can happen as we respect our Christian brothers. Any one ever seen the Transformation video?
Post Number: 86
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 3:56 am: || |
I have seen transformations 1 and 2, they were a great encouragement to me.
The division between the churches and also within churches is pretty bad here (Hungary). I have been thinking and praying about "unity" so I would just like to throw in a couple of ideas I have come up with to see what you think.
It seems to me, that there are two extremes (as is often the case), and neither is right.
One is the ecumenical way, that we can all just be together and love one another, and not worry too much about what we believe. This leads to things like not mentioning Jesus in prayer, because it might upset the Muslims - OK, that is extreme, but it can be observed.
The other is the elitist way, that we are right, and there will be unity when everyone joins our particular movement - so the answer is for everyone to become SDAs (for example). Unfortunately, there are thousands of groups who have this attitude, so which one does "everyone" join?
Both of these seem to me to be "forced" unity, based on human effort or worldly thinking.
I think (and have also experienced) the only way for it really to work is if everyone really seeks God for the truth, and the Holy Spirit starts to lead. Then people, or groups, realise they are being led in the same direction, and can start to cooperate. As this is a process, it does not mean all questions will be answered at the same time, or even ever.
Of course, the problem is, that not everyone is interested in really seeking God for the truth, as they prefer to be the followers of some big star who has already done all the thinking.
I personnally think the unity that the Holy Spirit produces is much more likely to happen between individuals than between "denominations" or "movements," which are often motivated more by self-interest, or maintaining the status quo, than they are by the truth - sorry if that sounds a bit hard.
Having said that, I like the attitude on this forum, where it seems to me there are a lot of people who are really genuinely seeking God for answers, often coming up with the same ones, and not really wanting to fall out about side issues. Very refreshing.
Post Number: 310
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 12:02 pm: || |
I agree with your observation, Adrian, that the unity of the Holy Spirit seems much more likely to happen between inidividuals than between denominations or movements. When people rally around Jesus and make Him central in their lives, they have the essence of life in common with all others who also rally around Him.
Styles of worship and living with the Holy Spirit vary from person to person--partly, perhaps, because of the differences between the gifts the Holy Spirit gives each believer. No matter on which end of the charismatic/traditional pendululm we find ourselves, we are all vulnerable to temptations to rally around our preferences and to feel less comfortable/accepting of those on the other end. The true test, I'm increasingly convinced, is where we put Jesus and how we view the Bible.
I'm reminded again of our pastor's personal position which was a powerful example to me. He is most certainly not on the charismatic end of things, but he openly loves and honors Jesus, and he is one of the best Bible expositors I've ever heard. He believes, however, that the liberal churches in our community have ceased to keep Jesus central in their lives and theology, and they do not view the scriptures as the inerrant word of God. Consequently, he does not fellowship with them in their pastor's association. Instead, he meets and prays with the more charismatic pastor's association.
Outwardly, he appears to resemble the liberal pastors more than the charismatic ones. He is quiet, a man of few words unless preaching, educated, and deeply thoughtful. He identifies spiritually with the charismatic pastors, however, because they hold Jesus to be the center of their teaching and living, and they honor the word of God. With them he experiences the unity of the Spirit Adrian describes above.
Fellowship in the body of Christ is completely opposite from the fellowship I experienced in Adventism. True fellowship is a deep, core identity that is the Spirit of God while externally we may appear completely unlike each other. In Adventism, fellowship was also based upon a shared identity, but it was the external denominational peculiarities instead of the indwelling Spirit. Externally, we resembled one another much more than the body of Christ resembles each other externally. Yet the bond of the Spirit is so much more powerful than the bond of a shared church!
Praise God for making us His children and giving us His body on earth!
Post Number: 110
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 6:35 pm: || |
Jesus said if they aren't against us they are with us. If the focus is Jesus, the Gospel will be preached and that is the doctrine that brings the lost to salvation, not denominational doctrine.
We are commanded to preach the gospel, not doctrine. This is my main problem with Adventism, they preach the Sabbath before Jesus. I have corresponded with many Messianics who also are Sabbatarians and they don't do this. They don't tell me I'm lost if I don't keep the Sabbath or that I must do so. Even though they are Sabbatarians, Jesus is the central of thier belief.
I think we can test every preacher with that. I just don't like speaking out against anyone who is trying to preach Jesus. I know I have been so wrong in the past and who knows what damage I may have done with that wrong theology but I know better today and I'll know better tomorrow and it's from glory to glory that we grow and learn.
If we, as the Church, had resolved to put our denominational difference aside long ago and just concentrated on unity in Christ and preached Him crucified we would probably be fellowshipping together with Him now.
Post Number: 598
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 8:14 pm: || |
I was struck by something in a study I attended this week. The subject was the church and the author began by defining the church. He made the observation that we need to always keep before us that our local congregation is only truly "church" if it is united with the universal Christian church. That the early Christian home churches were "church" also. The different congregations during the Reformation (and yes they made some big mistakes and did some really strange and even stupid stuff) were also "church". The people on the other end of the table are "church" also (speaking of Christian churches only, of course!). If we can keep that in mind, then we have to recognize that all those things that are "denominations" or "local church name" are really just different movements or streams, can't think of a better word, that are ALL equally importantly a part of that work that the Lord is doing on this earth.
The analogy is with the gifts of the Spirit, I think. The arm isn't really a part of the body, and useful, unless it is united with the rest of the parts. It isn't personally directly connected to the head, but to the body. It takes all of the good characteristics of the different varieties of Christian churches, and Christians, to even begin to come close to representing what Christ's ministry is to be. That doesn't mean we ignore the problem areas....but that we try to recognize the stuff they are doing right, too.
Post Number: 133
|Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 8:49 pm: || |
The Christian church which I attend encourages all members to join a small group where one can get to know others better. Every one that wants to be baptized has to take their Starting Point class. In the class we are divided into small groups. A person is baptized into the body of Christ, not the church. Then they are encouraged to take the DiscoveryE class to further their knowledge of the Bible and to join a small group. While in this class they are divided into small groups to study the lesson.
That way a member can fellowship with others on a very personal level. Every one is also encouraged to do some type of volunteer work. I like to meet people and am gregarious, so I asked if I could be a greeter. As soon as I am baptized
I will become a greeter.
Colleen, I really understand what you say about the fellowship between Adventists and what I am finding in the Christian Church God has taken me to. I can see the love and in the way they greet people and me. Thank God for the Christian Church he found for me.
God ia awesome.
Post Number: 33
|Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 12:37 pm: || |
I just finished reading your stories of miracles. Jesus spoke God's promise to us, "Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy." It is a kingdom law and we can count on it. I also believe that we can count on God's promise to bless those who bring their tithes and offerings into his house. But that does not mean that He withholds blessings from nontithers. God is merciful.