Tithing = Fire Insurance

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Heber13
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by Heber13 » 16 Sep 2015, 08:24

Well said, Grudunza and Ann.

I don't want to be a freeloader.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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LookingHard
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by LookingHard » 16 Sep 2015, 10:38

Ann wrote:
Grudunza wrote:
To me, it is like the annual fee you pay to belong to a gym. Merely paying the fee does nothing for you but allow you access to the facility and equipment. Where you get the blessings of it is when you apply yourself and actually exercise and use the equipment regularly. That is demonstrating faith and service and effort and should indeed show results over time. So sure, paying tithing is important to help that gym remain open and its equipment available and maintained, and it's part of your agreement to be part of that gym, but the mere paying of it is not going to bless you, necessarily. It can give you the impetus to want to work out, though, knowing that you're paying for the right to use the gym. But then again, a lot of people pay to belong to gyms and never really go.
That is such an interesting take on it. Thank you. What comes to my mind next is that going to the gym religiously doesn't mean you won't get cancer, either. But it means you have a clean, functioning, friendly place to go to make your body the strongest and healthiest it can be under the circumstances.
And the Gym doesn't ask you to come in a few times a year to clean the gym! :-)

JAC
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by JAC » 16 Sep 2015, 10:50

My motivation for paying tithing has evolved throughout my life. Here's a rough timeline of my progression:

Age 8 - 21 : I paid tithing to be obedient to God's commandments.
Age 21-34 : I saw tithing as an investment. I expected to receive tangible temporal rewards greater than the value of the monetary contributions I was imparting. I often cited the promise in Malachi to remind me of what I was going to get in return.
Age 33 : I had a faith crisis and my paradigm drastically changed. I began seeing tithing more as an act of gratitude. The only blessing I expected in return was improved character attributes and faith that come from willingly imparting of a portion of my substance for what I believe in.
Age 35 (my current age): I still see it as an act of gratitude, but as my paradigm has continued to evolve I now see it as a way of taking ownership of the church. When we pay tithing I believe we become partners with God in His work. Whether it's money or time, those contributions bless us directly in the fact that we get to be apart of His work and His glory. That, in and of itself, is reward enough for me because my greatest desire is to become like Him.

In reflecting back on how my motivation has evolved overtime it is reasonable to expect that it will continue to evolve.
Last edited by JAC on 17 Sep 2015, 10:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Heber13
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by Heber13 » 16 Sep 2015, 12:00

JAC, I love it. Great summary.

I wonder at times if God and the universe don't even notice tithes...maybe tithing is really just for me.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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SunbeltRed
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by SunbeltRed » 16 Sep 2015, 12:27

I've made significant changes to how I think about tithing over the last year, and how I pay it.

My "10%" is probably not what the church would like my 10% to be. During this adjustment period I got a new job and got a raise. As my tithing decreased, I was blessed (go figure). We have some of our tithing set aside each month to donate to different things or people where it seems appropriate.

For example the HONY (Humans of New York) FB feed was in Pakistan over the summer and highlighted a woman who has been fighting the brick kiln owners over working conditions and essentialy labor slavery. We donated to her cause and used it as a lesson to teach our children about some of the other trials and circumstances people face, and about gratitutde for our situation and our blessings.

I feel perfectly comfortable saying "Yes I am a full tithe payer". I believe I am, I feel much better about my contribution now.

JAC
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by JAC » 17 Sep 2015, 10:22

Heber13 wrote:I wonder at times if God and the universe don't even notice tithes...maybe tithing is really just for me.
I know we'll be blessed for being charitable whether God is keeping score or not. I believe that many of the blessings we receive for keeping God's commandments are simply natural (positive) consequences of implementing wise council.

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Heber13
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by Heber13 » 17 Sep 2015, 11:10

Sometimes I'm blessed for not doing things other people think are wise, but it is killing me.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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SilentDawning
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Re: Tithing = Fire Insurance

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Sep 2015, 16:56

I used to do it out of obedience and expectation of blessings.

Later, I realized I expected some minimum reciprocity from the church experience such as access to certain non-financial services the church provides, and civility in relationships from members and leaders. When I realized I expected that from God's church, and found it sorely lacking at different, critical times, I lost my tithing mojo.

I do fund other causes - but they are causes I feel passionate about. Some of them I have created and it's good to know that 100% of what I pay goes to the cause.

I find it easier to give to causes that make no claim to divine commission. Divine commissions fall off their pedestals pretty hard. For temporal organizations, I have low expectations.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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