Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

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Roy
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Roy » 31 Dec 2015, 10:53

SilentDawning wrote:And was Wilkerson ever censured for FIRING the people who didn't meet up to his own definition of a full tithe? I would expect that an organization that was truly committed to its statement of what tithing is, would impose some kind of discipline (not formal church discipline, but some kind of verbal censure, or reversal of the harsh firings).
I found this interesting article about a 1966 student spy ring organized by Wilkerson to report on the views and comments of liberal staff members.

https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/ ... 01_175.pdf

He initially covered up his involvement but later admitted it. Very cloak and dagger. Was "investigated" the Board of Trustees (including H.B. Lee). No word on what, if any, censure might have come from this. Wilkerson seemed to feel that his way of doing things was in line with COB desires and he continued to run BYU for another 5 years after the spy ring incident.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by SilentDawning » 31 Dec 2015, 13:32

It doesn't sound like there were was much censure, then. I read the article -- didn't see much there about tithing enforcement, but there seemed to be some sneaky tactics in rooting out and baiting liberally minded professors.
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Roadrunner
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Roadrunner » 01 Jan 2016, 17:13

I know many members who tithe on what I'd call a net tithe but they call it a gross tithe. They basically pay: (gross - retirement investments) x 10%. After retirement Social Security, 401k investments, and pensions are not tithed at all but they still count it as "gross." In fact some of these people are hardcore orthodox and would be upset if I told them they were really paying net tithe. I think this speaks to the extent that members in the mormon corridor really consider "gross" as the true and living tithe.

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Orson
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Orson » 05 Jan 2016, 14:20

Excellent historical summary OON!

Also, when Abraham paid a tenth of "spoils" to Melchizedek this is understood to be plunder or assets/wealth captured in battle or similar activity. I would say it is ambiguous whether this term will correspond to the "surplus" spoken of in the article. For example the spoils may be used to feed the soldiers and there is no mention of gross or net in relation to the tithe.

In the end I agree that it is a personal decision, and most useful to our spiritual growth when we have to deal with some ambiguity as we decide what to pay. I personally believe there should be plenty of room to allow everyone to give as they see fit, and a proper side-effect of this flexibility is those who give more generously need to fight their feelings of spiritual superiority.

There are infinite ways to view the calculation of tithes. When you get to the very rich end of the spectrum - think Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg - men who have pledged the bulk of their wealth to charitable causes, another perspective may emerge. I have heard some say "I pledge everything I now own or may own to the work of the Lord." And even though they may technically still control the assets they only look at what they draw for personal consumption as income that they currently tithe on.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Jan 2016, 20:48

Any thoughts on paying or not paying on health insurance? Not the benefit, the premium. Our premium is about $400 per month (which is about 20% of the total cost, my wife's employer pays the rest). Do those who pay on net normally pay on insurance premium? How about federal and state/local income taxes that are deducted?
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Orson
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Orson » 06 Jan 2016, 08:06

I believe most members will not tithe on the employer paid portion of health insurance or other benefits, even though it is compensation for their work just the same as a paycheck. We seem to have a special category for cash. I often see children taught to tithe on cash gifts that they receive, but never on non-cash gifts. To me there is little difference, value is value. I suppose liquidity is the factor.
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Minyan Man » 06 Jan 2016, 09:49

What if you had medical expenses that exceeded the insurance premium paid by your employer?
Would you deduct the excess from your tithing?

Personally, I don't believe that the Lord meant this to be that complicated.
It is (us) the humans that make this process more than it should or has to be.
You could drive yourself crazy. Should I tithe on birthday & christmas gifts?

That is why I make it as simple as I can. Pray about it. And leave the rest to God.
Even if I gave all that I have it wouldn't compare to the blessings I've received.

Roy
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Roy » 06 Jan 2016, 12:18

Orson wrote:We seem to have a special category for cash. I often see children taught to tithe on cash gifts that they receive, but never on non-cash gifts.
This is why I require that the grandparents now send the obligatory Christmas card with a gift card instead of cash... so that my kids do not have to pay tithing on the gift. J/K ;)
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Jan 2016, 21:46

What Minyan Man said. We are the ones who complicate it - and I mean leaders and members who try to make it one standard AND members who agonize over innumerable options.

Personally, I pay on the money I actually take home - and on monies I receive that I know have not been tithed already. I intentionally don't make it more complicated than that.
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Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Post by Rob4Hope » 07 Jan 2016, 17:13

I once heard something about taxation and this idea of paying on gross, probably fictitious, but a good story.

It would seem at times in Israel, the people were taxed 90% of their gross. If they paid on gross, they would have zero net income into their pocket each month. So, if they back off and begin to pay on only their net income, their remaining 10%, then they would end up with taking home about 9% of their total income.

If they are starving because of that payment, then they would have to depend on others to help,...probably the church [assuming a hypothetical Jewis LDS church over there]. If their requirements to live are more than they tithed, there is a problem--money is being moved around BECAUSE they are not allowed to decide for themselves, without being evil for not paying.

This thread moved a little. Originally, the idea was paying on what is considered surplus, which was AFTER expenses. And now we are back to paying on net, AFTER taxes, and perhaps non liquidity on things like gifts or employer premium payments for insurance.

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Got a friend who's life changed significantly after divorce. AFTER he paid for child support, alimony, insurance, he barely had enough to live on (actually, he didn't have enough to live on). He was required, however, to pay that money for tithing--AND he was required often to account for the money he paid to his EX because she complained regularly to her bishop, which called his bishop, and he got called in. When he needed help from the church, it was slow and difficult to get...because after all, HE was the one who didn't pay his tithing because if he did, the blessings would most certainly be forth coming. Debt began to mount for him--serious debt.

And, the legal system certainly (in the Utah area) is pro-woman,...so he ended up spending thousands of dollars trying to get things adjusted, just to end up going deeper and deeper in debt: totally hopeless situation.

So, when it comes down to it and you are in debt, is the money you bring home after you pay for tax, and before you pay for food, housing and DEBT, considered NET income that you tithe? What happens if bill collectors come after you and seize assets and garnish your wages....I suppose it is no longer NET income. So, do you push it until the bill collects come and do that? You want to keep your temple recommend,...right?
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This stuff,...well, I have to say it like it is...it frustrates me. It puts faith out there like it is some panacea for all types of problems, but negates the situation where the ram isn't in the thicket,....the blessings is not forthcoming....the medicine didn't work,...the blessings didn't produce results. We spend a lot of time talking about the 3 Israelite who were thrown in the fire in Babylon when they didn't worship the image...but we forget a whole village in Amonihah was burned alive...and THEY WERE BOTH RIGHTEOUS. And then we step back and say: "Well, they were blessed, even though they went out badly."

What about the people in the middle who aren't bad, but not quite as good as prophets and those who are super INCREDIBLE? What about them when they are hurt because of a policy that puts faith before common sense reason, and the blessings they hope for don't happen? Are they blessed because they slowly starve, they are evicted, the medicine they needed was sacrificed because they needed to pay tithing?

Where does reason fit into this?

I STRONGLY agree that what is paid is self determined. However, there is cultural pressure, sometimes intrusive (like BYU and COB interference -- which I think would be a really good case for a lawsuit IMHO) that messes with the definitions. If everyone started to pay on only their income AFTER expenses, the church would croak...so in a way, they themselves have created part of the problem: their expenses have grown accustomed, IMHO, to the influx of money--which comes from the saints primarily.

I believe in the principle of tithing. I disagree with how it has been taught and how it is generally enforced. When I start to pay tithing again, what kinds of problems will I get if I pay on my income AFTER expenses? I'm sure I will get spoken to.

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