Hope you had a great Labor Day, and thanks for all the cool comments from Sunday. I hope to hear from more of you about it, especially because so many of our people were out of town for the holiday weekend, and because it was such an important day for the future of CITN. Here's a partial repost of something I ran in the early days of this blog that I think is pertinent to where we are right now...
As I have already alluded to on this blog, when you visit the websites of some of the experts on ultimate reconciliation or “Christian Universalism”, you’ll see that they nearly all have articles posted about how tithing is not required of New Testament Christians. Now, I not only agree with most of all they say on the subject, I have said the same things at CITN…and yet I, personally, am a tither, and always will be. I started tithing on my first little paycheck when I was fifteen, and I believe that that is the reason that I am prosperous today. I don’t believe that I would be under a curse if I didn’t (and I don’t tell anyone else that they are cursed if they don’t), but I do believe that I am blessed because I do.
I don’t beat people up with Malachi 3:8-12 any more, and I don’t accuse non-tithers of being “God-robbers”. I understand why these webmasters/ministers that I have mentioned want to liberate people from the letter that kills. But I want people to give to the church because they love God and want to worship him completely, because they understand the concept of sowing seed for their futures, and because they believe in the vision of the CITN community and want to be investors in it.
I refuse to argue about what the Scriptures say or don’t say about prosperity through tithing, because I think it’s a bigger concept and idea than what the Bible says about it. Please listen carefully, and understand this with your heart…I love and follow Jesus, but “Christ” is a bigger concept and idea than “Jesus”. I worship and honor God, but the “I AM” is a bigger concept and idea than “God”. I trust and believe the Bible, but “truth” is a bigger concept and idea than “the Bible”. I trust that my readers can grasp what I mean by that.
When you google “tithing”, you find access to hundreds and hundreds of articles, both pro and con, on the subject. There are all the old school preacher sites telling you that you are under a curse if you rob God, and there are just as many sites supposedly “exposing” those preachers for taking the Scriptures out of context and manipulating people with them for their own selfish agendas.
But what I see and say is that when Abram/Abraham initiated the whole thing by tithing to Melchizedek in Genesis 14, he was not instructed by God to do it, and he never made it a rule for anyone else to follow. Abraham, the visionary “star-counter” somehow tapped into a law of the universe that we now call tithing, 450 years before the law, because what he did that day transcended law...it was a spiritual revelation! If you study it out, you’ll see that there were people like him in every ancient culture who practiced tithing, and got results from it, and they knew nothing of the Hebrew Scriptures.
In their best-selling book, The One Minute Millionaire, Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen discuss proven techniques and provide useful tools, which they refer to as “Ahas”, for becoming an Enlightened Millionaire (TM). One of these “Ahas” is about tithing, or “sharing the wealth” in layman terms. They define the act of tithing as when a monetary donation (typically a tenth of one’s income or tithe) is made to a charity and/or church. Enlightened Millionaires follow two rules of thought regarding tithing. First, that abundance comes from making others better off. Second, the primary reason for obtaining wealth is to be able to give more of it away. In fact, Enlightened Millionaires DO commit to tithe the first 10% of their income.
Here are some quotes from Hansen and some other success-oriented authors who are not coming from a solely biblical paradigm...
“Every individual’s purpose in tithing is to open up his/her awareness of universal laws. Tithing opens you, to you. You are an unlimited individual, deprived of a fuller, richer life partly because of lack of the tithing experience and expression in life.”
"Why is tithing something that so many already successful people believe in? It could be because they recognize the cycle of the universe that says that in order to make room for more, we have to let go of some of what we have. It’s a classic Win/Win for everyone involved. Many children practice this, and here's an example. Let’s say Sue and Jane are playing. They both come inside for a drink. Jane runs outside, trips and spills her fruit punch. Sue takes the remainder of her punch and pours it into her friends' cup. Her mom sees this act of kindness and brings her a full glass of punch. Sue has just been rewarded for her selflessness and in fact received more than she gave. Tithing is based on the same principle, substituting money for fruit punch, of course!"
“As a tither you automatically become solution-oriented rather than problem-oriented.”
- Mark Victor Hansen
“If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues, and civic causes, your children won't either. And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.”
- Marian Wright Edelman, American Children’s Rights Activist
“I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.”
- John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (1839-1937), American industrialist and philanthropist
“You hear a lot of strange things about tithing. Some say it is a church tax, and they expect me to pay it and that is the end of it. Others say that when I give God one-tenth of my income, He blesses the nine-tenths that is left to the extent that the nine-tenths now goes as far as the whole thing used to go. This isn’t really true, is it? Suppose a farmer had 100 bushels of corn in the barn and he decides to plant 10 bushel in the ground. What multiplies? Is it the 90 bushels that he has left in the barn? Oh, no. All of us ‘farmers’ know it is the 10 bushels you put in the ground that multiplies. Similarly, it is the 10 percent you give to God that multiplies.”
- Stanley Tam (1915-), American businessman and philanthropist and author
"Over the years I have found that many of the richest people in the world began their lives with the habit of tithing."
- Robert Kiyosaki, motivational speaker, author Rich Dad, Poor Dad
"I absolutely believe in the power of tithing and giving back. My own experience about all the blessings I've had in my life is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works, and that is the way energy works."
- Ken Blanchard, author The One-Minute Manager
"I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counseling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who tithed than among those who didn't."
- Sir John Templeton, Chairman of Templeton Funds
That's what I posted before, and I stand by all of it...but I also want to reiterate something I said Sunday, and this only comes by revelation, and it transcends theology... THE TITHE IS HOLY.