Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

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DarkJedi
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Dec 2013, 19:01

To be fair, Nibbler, I also know a former SP who thought scholarships should be tithed (that's what he says he did).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Dec 2013, 22:07

Yeah, DJ, I also know people who believe stupid stuff. :roll: :silent:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Joni
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by Joni » 04 Dec 2013, 12:47

nibbler wrote:
Ray Degraw wrote:If I never have the money, there is no way in heaven or hell I'm paying tithing on it. That's not just wrong, imo; it's stupid - and I don't care who said it.
Ha. Look at it this way. You paid your tithing on the money you received from your employer. If the government didn't pay tithing on the money it received from your employer that's their bad. ;)
That is fantastic. And really, it's a great way of looking at it! I don't know that we need to pay our tithing in the same manner today as the Saints did when they were a mostly-agrarian economy without a federally-mandated income tax.

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nibbler
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by nibbler » 08 Dec 2013, 13:40

I sat in on gospel principles today. Today's lesson was on ***drum roll*** tithing. I guess because it's that time of year and on everyone's mind. I thought, great here's my opportunity to maybe provide a small course correction from the hard line stance that all tithing lessons have taken in this area.

The lesson inevitably veered into the calculation realm... it always has, does, and will. The instructor brought out the pen and paper, ok here we go.

The instructor led off with:
Mark 12:17 wrote:And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
Placing extra emphasis on the fact that Jesus said render unto Caesar first and God afterward. For a minute there I was a bit shocked because I thought that it was leading up to a discussion about net, which would have been a first. It didn't. It quickly veered into the traditional gross calculation method, complete with mock pay stub examples.

Unfortunately the word "increase" as in Abraham paid a tithe of one-tenth of his increase was interpreted to mean interest one earns on a savings account in the bank. :crazy: Abraham was a member of First Melchizedek S & L 8-)

I did what I told myself I was going to do from now on. I brought up the 1970 letter, which has a very small reference in the manual:
Gospel Principles manual wrote:The First Presidency has explained that “one-tenth of all their interest annually” refers to our income (see First Presidency letter, Mar. 19, 1970).
The manual doesn't go beyond that to include any other information from the letter, namely
First Presidency letter, March 19, 1970 wrote:No one is justified in making any other statement that this. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.
I filled in the gap to explain how it is a personal thing between us and the Lord and how that determination would be made through personal revelation.

The teacher then said (paraphrase):
Brother Nibbler makes a very good point. That said I have an obligation to you (referring to the class) to teach you that an honest tithe means pay on gross.
I didn't want to argue, that's not me. And a gospel principles class with investigators and new members isn't the place to do it either, besides, I love the teacher. I felt like I did what I could given the circumstances and maybe that's all I should ever do. Bring up the correct policy and let everyone come to their own conclusion. I think I'm going to include this letter in my set of scriptures so that it gets read in full for all future tithing lessons that I am a part of.

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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Dec 2013, 16:44

You did what you could do - and you discovered it's hard to attack what you say if you are sharing official statements from the Church or what an apostle or President has said. After that, some times all you can do is fall back on your love for the person who just doesn't get it.

Good job.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by Joni » 09 Dec 2013, 06:26

You know, I've thought about it some more and I'm not convinced that the early Saints were paying a 10% tithe on their gross. There wasn't a federally mandated income tax in, say, 1878 but farming has an overhead cost just like everything else. Were they paying 10% on everything they earned or were they paying 10% after their land and their farming tools and their seed corn for next year was accounted for?

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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 09 Dec 2013, 09:18

or on their "increase"

Absolutely, most farmers don't pay on their gross - and neither do most other small business owners, if my own experience with them is representative. (Independent farmers are small business owners.) They have to exclude what they are required to put back into their business, at least if they are sensible and not dogmatic about one narrow wording choice.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by On Own Now » 30 Dec 2013, 10:42

nibbler, thanks for the synopsis of your activity in the GE lesson, and thanks for the attempt to spread the word. It's the best WE can do. What drives me nuts is that WE have to educate, rather than the CHURCH doing it.

Some here have had experiences with 'net' being accepted in the areas that they have lived. It's good to know, but my experience has been the opposite. I have lived in multiple states and countries, have been a member of more than a dozen wards (not counting the mission), and have never personally heard 'net' preached or taught as acceptable, though I have frequently and repeatedly heard 'gross' taught. I taught it as a missionary. I heard other missionaries teach it. I never taught nor observed another missionary teach anything that wasn't 'gross'.

I love many things about the Church, but I will not apologize for the Church hiding its own policy, and by so doing, reaping the rewards from its own struggling members.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Roy
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by Roy » 30 Dec 2013, 10:51

On Own Now wrote:Some here have had experiences with 'net' being accepted in the areas that they have lived. It's good to know, but my experience has been the opposite. I have lived in multiple states and countries, have been a member of more than a dozen wards (not counting the mission), and have never personally heard 'net' preached or taught as acceptable, though I have frequently and repeatedly heard 'gross' taught. I taught it as a missionary. I heard other missionaries teach it. I never taught nor observed another missionary teach anything that wasn't 'gross'.
That has likewise been my experience. I believe that net is accepted as a sort of don't ask don't tell. It is accepted as long as you keep it to yourself.
"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

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mercyngrace
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Re: Tithing: a Costly Leap of Faith

Post by mercyngrace » 30 Dec 2013, 18:14

Okay - I read up through page 7 before my comment was just bursting to come out ;) Hopefully, I'm not repeating something that has already been said.

In addition to the problem with income (as we moderns use the word) being equated to interest, flawed interpretations have been presented by the brethren when they get too specific on tithing. The example I have in mind is that a wage earner is supposed to pay 10% of his gross wage (per some of Shawn's quotes), while a farmer or business owner pays only on his net. The farmer is explicitly told that what he produces which feeds his family needs not be tithed.

Why is it that the farmer is told to not tithe what he produces while the cubicle dweller is told to tithe on everything. Is the seat of the tractor different than the office chair? To the child at the dinner table who prays over his meal, isn't the source (dad's job) exactly the same? Further, as one who is self-employed, I could find legitimate ways to exempt a lot of my income as work related expenses. I require electricity, internet, phone, my office space, etc... Why should the hired employee be tithed at a higher rate because he is not able to either (1) grow his own food or (2) own his own business?

What this tells me is that the brethren are offering personal interpretations rather than prophetic statements. A comparison of their remarks demonstrates how poorly thought through many of the "definitions" of tithing are. The scriptures are the standard and they speak of interest - according to JST, above and beyond the needs of one's family (Gen 14).

Regarding those who tell the poor to pay tithing and then depend on the church for their care - this is in express violation of scripture. See 2 Corinthians 8:13-15. It's also in violation of specific statements by early church leaders who acknowledged that some years, a member may have losses and pay no tithing.

Much like the WOW, the 14 fundamentals, the extension of the law of chastity/modesty to a dress code for 4 year olds, we now have a law of tithing which is the philosophies of men, mingled with... well you know the rest. Just my .02
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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