Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tithers, Retithers and Nontithers

There are three categories of people who gather at most church fellowships. Those who do not pay to be there, those who pay to be there, and those who are payed to be there. Generally speaking for each group there is a temptation to have one of three distinct attitudes.

The tither has a sense that they have some ownership in the organisation and ideally would like to see the fellowship in alignment with their convictions.

The retither relies on the income of the organisation to pay for for all their daily needs and wants and would like to grow it's income thus enabling them to retithe more and more as their personal income and standard of living grows.

The nontither is generally blissfully unaware. 

What happens when a fellowship is in debt and the current leadership is at odds with the the tithers? Chaos! The tithers can not be good stewards of their money and give to leadership who have chosen a direction that is contrary to the tithers convictions. The leadership needs the income to live on and begins a desperate attempt to get cash from anywhere and everywhere. The fellowship begins to be in danger of defaulting on the debt.

The leadership digs in as the tithe continues to shrink. Everyone is let in on the situation that has been obscured from the general population some times for years and everyone takes a side. The tithers demand new leadership. The retithers refuse to give up their income. This drags on in a most disgusting display until the retithers offer the tithers an opportunity to give them a large sum of money to vacate the heavily indebted property.

If they get their money they move on and quite likely repeat the cycle with another group. If they do not get the money they cause further chaos bringing everything to the brink of disaster. They are eventually starved out and end in disgrace while the people they were there to serve are left to salvage what they can and presumably try again with the hope of avoiding the same result.

Does the Gospel get out? Yes in spite of us it does, but in the process of all of our money grubbing we become a stumbling block to the community at large and all we had to do was serve others with our resources instead of serving ourselves. If we were doers of the Word we would never live outside our means. We would never indebt ourselves to move ahead of God's provision.

Leadership uses the old testament verse Malachi 3:10 to compel the faithful to give. The fellowship I used to attend uses it as well. The verse starts by encouraging people to bring the tithe into the storehouse. The modern church has taken a mortgage out on the store house and now they are in fear of losing it altogether. You do not have a store house if you do not have surplus.

Those who claim the God given authority (anointing) maintain they are always doing God's will. The issue always comes down to the followers who are never giving enough to meet the demands of the debt, salaries and last of all outreach.

Matthew 6 Give in secret and do not store up for yourself treasures on earth !