I have noticed over the years a sad phenomena. If I write a Scripture study blog on any subject having to do with the tithe, the number of "views" for that blog will be DRAMATICALLY lower than the "views" I get on a blog written on ANY other Scripture subject. I wonder why...?
Just my opinion ,,,,,, but over the years I have noticed leaders/teachers tend to beat people over the head on a continuous bases asking for money . They act as if they are the only people in the world who have a need for money . Especially in the messianic movement where most are/have left a church , where begging for money was/is the norm !!! I don't think the word ( tithe ) is appropriate for any teacher ! scripture is very explicit to the definition of a tithe . I have no problem giving money to help out certain organizations, and do so to several groups/teachers . Face it , a lot of people need every cent they earn to live, and from what I have seen they DO NOT have extravagant life styles . If one decides to teach it should be incumbent on that person to have a partial income to some degree . I have also seen teachers whom are very blessed by G-d and never ask for money yet their needs are always met .I personally am a little tired of teachers who feel they are deserving of everyone's money . I am 64 and by the grace of G-d have managed to retire , the money I do get has to be shared , not having an income now makes me pause to be very sure every dollar I give away to someone is being treated with the respect it deserves for the betterment of our G-d's view not mans convenience !
I can only tell you my own experience. I'm 69 years old and have been attending tithe-teaching churches since I was 26 years old. I have only heard tithing taught the way the church teaches it but when I studied it myself, I found some things that the churches avoid teaching.
* If you tithed on the gross through your working years, you have already paid a tithe on your Social Security and retirement savings. (Churches and ministries want elderly people to tithe regardless.)
*In the days when the Bible was written the "storehouse" was actually the Temple. Churches and ministries do not provide a roof over the heads of their elderly members, nor do they provide food, nor do they provide the co-pays needed when the person must see a doctor or buy medicines.
When I realized this I was devastated remembering that we tithed while our elderly mothers made do on a shoe-string. We could have helped them so much more than we did, because we thought that 10% was to be set aside for G-d. How sad.
So thus. I give an offering as I can. I no longer let anybody guilt me. In addition to this. I have an elderly husband with Alzheimers. One of these days he will need to be in a nursing home. My financial guy told me that I will need to get a part-time job to help with my expenses because we do not have enough savings to last me till the end of my life--even though we saved as much as we could when we were in our working years.
Maybe others are in the same boat and that's why they don't read or respond to tithe blogs or financial appeals. ?
You explained my people might not tithe, but not why they would have an aversion to even reading a study on that topic alone, but having no problem reading studies about any other topic.
You are largely correct in regards to your first point about Social Security. However most people take out of Social Security more than they put in in their lifetimes, so there is a "net increase" though I am not sure anyone could ever know how much their net increase will turn out to be. However when you say:
>In the days when the Bible was written the "storehouse"
>was actually the Temple. Churches and ministries do
>not provide a roof over the heads of their elderly members,
>nor do they provide food, nor do they provide the co-pays
>needed when the person must see a doctor or buy medicines. "
The Torah says that the Tithe belongs to YHWH (Lev. 27:30) and Paul says that those who "labor in the Word" are entitled to the same support as those who labored in the Temple (1Tim. 5:17-18 and 1Cor. 9:6-14)
As for the upkeep of the poor, widows and orphans, that was from "offerings" (above and beyond the tithe) and from funds taken from the second tithe two out of every seven years (yes there was a second 10%)
Now before moving on from the Mosaic Torah we should also cover the second and third tithes. Some lump these together as “the second tithe” because they are never paid on the same year.
There are actually two tithes in the Mosaic Covenant which were tied to the seven year cycle of the Land. The first tithe (Masserot) is due every year.
The second tithe (Maaser Sheni) was converted to money and used to make a personal pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The “pilgrim” could spend this money however he liked on the pilgrimage but was expected to treat the Levites to a feast as well upon his arrival and any surplus was given to the Levites (Deut. 14:22-27). Every third year however the tither used this second tithe (some all this third year tithe as a “third tithe”) to feed the needy and local Levites (Deut. 14:28-29). Thus the Mosaic tithing schedule goes like this:
1. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites
2. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites
3. First Tithe: Levites; Third Tithe: Feeds the needy and Levites
4. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites
5. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites
6. First Tithe: Levites; Third Tithe: Feeds the needy and Levites
7. The Sabbath of the land, only the First Tithe was paid on any volunteer crop and on other non-planted produce.
(The first tithe could only be converted into money by paying a 20% penalty (Lev. 27:31) however the second tithe was generally converted to money as a matter of course (Deut. 14:25).)
The three Tithes are laid out in the book of Tobit as follows:
6 And I went to Yerushulayim at the appointed times as it is written in the Torah of YHWH concerning Yisrael in firstfruits and tithes and firstlings.
7 To the priests, sons of Aharon and new wine and fat and labors and pomegranates and from all fruits of the ground to the sons of Levi, ministers before, the presence of YHWH in Yerushalayim, and the second tithe. (8) And the third tithe to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow. And I would go in every year with all these, to Yerushalayim by the commandments of YHWH and according to that duty upon me, Devorah mother of my Father.
(Tovi (Tobit) 1:6-7 HRV
Thank you for the good teaching on the tithes.
I feel that the reason people don't read posts about the tithe is that they have had so many teachers tell them so many different things, they either are 1) tired 2) confused 3) tithe already and are tapped out by the deluge of requests for offerings by many ministries 4) all of the above.
As to Social Security--I don't know about most people, but my husband taught school for 41 years. He retired 12 years ago. He has Alzheimer's and I doubt he will live long enough to get back what he put into Social Security over 41 years of teaching. I know a lot of seniors in the same boat. Social Security is not enough to pay rent on a small apartment where we live.
"... a two-earner couple receiving an average wage — $44,600 per spouse in 2012 dollars — and turning 65 in 2010 would have paid $722,000 into Social Security and Medicare and can be expected to take out $966,000 in benefits. So, this couple will be paid about one-third more in benefits than they paid in taxes."
Its probably the Medicare that makes that increase.
At any rate, while its an average 33% increase, there is no realistic way to know if or what the increase will be for any given individual.
We were not a two-earner couple. I was an at-home mom and my husband worked as a public school teacher in a district that still believed that teachers were "public servants." I do not know how politifact gets their figures but we won't receive anywhere near the amount stated above.
the problem in talking about tithe is that people are confused because there is no way they can find the "temple", the "levites", and the land produce, subjects and causes that no longer apply in the current reality.
it takes a *prophet* to explain these things with certitude.