Black Christians : Beyond Tithes and Offerings...

Discussion in 'Christian Study Group' started by NyneElementz, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. NyneElementz

    NyneElementz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ...What do you believe that the Bible says about money and the way you should handle it?


    I want to explore this because in the last 5 years, I've really begun to see many things that many of our church leaders do not discuss that could free us financially. I began learning about money from a Bible-based course called Financial Peace University, which taught me several things right out of scripture.

    Here's a few that made me take a serious look at scriptures about money:

    Proverbs 21:20 (NIV)
    "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has."

    Belief: Wise people who save a portion of what they earn consistently become wealthy. Foolish people (Solomon's words, not mine) spend everything they make without saving anything.

    BTW, I've been on the foolish side of the coin, too.

    Proverbs 22:7
    "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

    Belief: Borrowing money enslaves you spiritually on one of the deepest levels possible. It is not wise and it will rob you of the wealth you could have as a blessing from doing smart stuff with money consistently. More importantly, borrowing robs you of a majority of your spiritual peace.

    Anybody else care to share tidbits of what they believe?
     
  2. Proverbs31Woman

    Proverbs31Woman Be kinder than necessary! MEMBER

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    Yes indeed and I will be back later today with my input. Thanks!
     
  3. Chevron Dove

    Chevron Dove Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I love this topic and I am still in a learning phase on this issue. I don't know if I have real input but I do have some thoughts and questions I think about some times on this subject in regards to the Bible. I wonder what you think about and/or how you would apply what you wrote to what Jesus spoke about in terms of 'the Beattitudes'; When he spoke about how 'the poor in spirit shall inherit the earth' and i wonder about other things in terms of 'poor people'. For example when Peter said 'silver and gold, I have not, but in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk'. I don't have any answers at this point, just trying to work out some thoughts.
     
  4. Proverbs31Woman

    Proverbs31Woman Be kinder than necessary! MEMBER

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    Greetings. I'm late in my response, but nevertheless...

    I believe that tithing in the old testament was obeyed as an obligation or duty and in the new testament we uphold it as an honor or privilege. The Lord is not only looking at how much we give but what we do with what we keep. What is are our intent with our valuables? Is the focus to be a good steward and build up our individual empire OR to help build up His kingdom. Last, I do not believe tithing can only be done in the form of money. You can tithe with your time, your home, your car..anything of value that can be used for His glory. Many people do not have money, but have other ways to provide an offering.


    Leviticus 27:30

    King James Version (KJV)

    30And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the Lord

    I Corinthians 16:2

    King James Version (KJV)

    22Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come

    II Corinthians 9:7

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

    Blessings:heart:
     
  5. NyneElementz

    NyneElementz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Interesting question. BTW, a small correction:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:1

    Here's how I would address it.

    When you see that particular be-attitude about about the "poor in spirit," this verse is not referring to people with a certain amount of money. That be-attitude is referring to people who get the God-inspired idea that their service to God and fulfilling his will is more important than anything else, period. I believe this to be true, without question. I value God's will so much that I will search out God's instructions for every aspect of my life, including money.

    Many people try to address this be-attitude as though it is referring to the idea that the only people that God considers to be righteous are those who remain in poverty. So not true. In Proverbs, there is a verse that states directly that the rich and the poor have one fact in common: the Lord made BOTH of them.

    Not only would I have people consider Jesus' sermon about the attitudes you are supposed to have, but also his parables. Over 75% of them, if you pay attention, has something to do with the way you handle money, on top of having the right heart and the right spirit. The Good Samaritan could not have taken care of the robbed Hebrew man ( in the manner that he did if he had no money to have him taken care of. That parable ties money with loving thy neighbor as you would yourself. One of my favorites is the prodigal son. Part of it shows what happens when a son has provision given to him and the son with the inheritance ignores godly financial instructions - he spent the inheritance on wild living, wasting it on partying and with women who only wanted a part of his wealth.

    Some people will immediately point to the parable of the rich fool who built up his barns or the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus to drive into people the concept that money is evil, but that concept is a lie. Both of those rich men were condemned for their selfishness, not for their wealth. The rich fool wanted to be flashy with his wealth rather than generously giving to those who were in need. The rich man would not even so much as feed morsels to his servant, but wanted to oppress him out of selfishness and greed. The biblical proverb that applies here is that he who ignores the cries of the poor will himself be ignored in his time of need. There is no indication in any of those parables that money is the problem. Nowhere in the bible is there any indication that money, in and of itself, is evil. As a matter of fact, the last thing in Genesis one that was mentioned as good was gold. Further, the bible says that "the love of money is the root of all evil," not money (I Timothy 6:10). And the verse before the one I mentioned speaks of the temptations and sorrows that befall the greedy, the arrogant, and the selfish.
    An arrogant, greedy, or selfish person is not concerned with what God wants, and thus cannot be "poor in spirit."

    A direct money principle that relates to being poor in spirit is the biblical truth that God owns everything in existence (Psalm 24:1). So being poor in spirit really means that you care more about what God says than what your stewardship to God (handling an array of affairs as one of His representatives) can earn you. That attitude in no way negates what can be earned, however. It is a biblical principle that if you work, you have the right to eat. The converse of this principle is that those who do not work should not eat. Keeping these principles in mind and living by them because they are part of the way God wants you to live is being poor in spirit.

    Hope that answered your inquiry.
     
  6. NyneElementz

    NyneElementz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    If there is one thing I love, it's good healthy dialogue. So thank you, Proverbs31Woman for stepping to the plate.

    You make an interesting point, but I would like to take that further, because I do not believe that God has a problem with you having a position of ownership (personal empire) as you have the character to carry it. I think a lot of what the Old Testament teaches us is how to build that personal empire, but for His Glory. If you recall the book of Job, whom the bible illustrates as the Bill Gates of his time. Not only was he rich before his trial, but God doubled his empire afterward. But if you notice, even when Job was speaking out of place, he never put himself in a position over God. I think that too many greedy, prideful, and selfish people with money often do place their own will above God's, which to me is the core of the problem. Even Solomon's aim was to rule in the way God wished. The result is that he was not only the wisest man who ever lived, but was also one of the richest who have ever lived.

    Jesus operated the same way. Remember when Jesus was in Capernaum and he gave one of his disciples instructions to collect money from the mouth of a fish to pay taxes as a foreign visitor? How could he have done that unless he recognized that as the Son of the God who owns everything, he had the same access to all wealth if he wished, as long as it was for God's glory?

    And regarding tithes, I don't believe that was changed from the Old Testament. When Jesus condemned the Pharisees, Saducees, and the other jerk-traditional religious leaders who were oppressing the very people that they were meant to serve, He said that it was good to keep the tithe, but that it was bad to ignore the other "weightier matters of the law" like "justice, mercy, and faith." (Matthew 23) In Luke, the story of the widow with two mites says it all. When Jesus saw it, he knew that the two mites was all the woman had, but Jesus did not stop her from giving or give any of what she gave at the temple. He remarked to his disciples that she gave more than everyone else, because it was all of her financial substance.
     
  7. Proverbs31Woman

    Proverbs31Woman Be kinder than necessary! MEMBER

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    Greetings and you're very welcome--we are to edify one another and this certainly fits the bill! I agree with your assessments of the parables offered. In regards to personal empires, I agree that God's will is for His children to prosper (3 John 1:) as the lender not the borrower and believe intent is another piece of that. Unfortunately, not every empire we see is built on the Rock.

    My introduction about the differences in tithing in the old versus the new testament isn't to say that anything has changed, but rather to illume this as one of many ways people would try to be holy and acceptable in obeying a set of rules. Now that we are cleansed by the Blood of Jesus, tithing isn't just out of obedience but what we do willingly and cheerfully.

    Thanks again for the study and as things marinate, I may be back!

    Blessings:heart:
     
  8. NyneElementz

    NyneElementz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I feel you Nebedjer, I really do. And I'm sorry that you ended your blind streak not with a guide or even with a quest for knowledge of what and why you were engaging in, but you chose to quit. It's your choice of course, and I respect that. I too have challenged many churches on what they believe, and now can say, after both research and revelation that the many churches I challenged didn't even read the Bible thoroughly, and were indeed blindly leading the masses. This is not true of every church, however.

    One thing that both God and Jesus, together, have condemned is the blind leading the blind. One of their students has also directed fellow Christians to study that they may show themselves proven. One of the Old Testament Scriptures states that he will plow down the blind guides. In that same scripture, either in the book of Jeremiah or Isaiah, he also states that he will give those who seek God shepherds after God's own heart. Considering the number of blind guides out there, I consider myself extremely blessed.

    I am a tither, and I can honestly say that I am not making another man rich. My pastor earnes everything he makes. And scripturally, he is supposed to have 10% of all tithes given as our spiritual head, but he refuses for the sake of not letting good be spoken evil of.

    And contrary to your belief, my friend, I do not embrace anarchy as a source of freedom. To be responsible and free, there should be limits, so that others are not harmed by one's actions. This is not the knowledge resulting from some concocture of white supremacy, though caucasians have used it as a tool of slavery. Maybe that's why many of us fought and died to read the Bible, to end the trickery. The Bible speaks against all injustice, beginning with the rejection of God's precepts. It does not subject me to hear and obey Jimmy Swaggart, TD Jakes, Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, or any televangelist you speak of. What it does prompt me to do is to reject being religious and to get in touch with who I am and to live a lifestyle that will take me where I am truly trying to go, sharing enduring love and its many benefits with others. And even if I chose to sell you something, all you give me is money while what I give to you in exchange would enrich your life far more than the money you would offer me is capable of doing. Otherwise, I wouldn't sell or share anything with you. By the way, the Bible teaches that principle, too.

    Again, I feel both your anger and your pain. But as you can see, I respectfully and emphatically disagree with you.
     
  9. NyneElementz

    NyneElementz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No, the Bible did not. What people have done is to remove many of us from our lands through the usage of trickery, murder, oppression, etc. As a former Christian, I'm sure you can name how many of the first ten commandments were broken in the Slave Trade and that neither tactic used was supported by the Bible.

    If you think you have no right or control over the resources you have or the resources available, then that's half of the problem...your thoughts. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 6:23 This same principle, also known as part of the law of attraction, is the explanation of half of our problems, our thoughts. Whatever negative thoughts we cling to, we often attract and see the results, often mistaking the results as the truth, when the truth is your thought patterns and your lack of action.

    All the instruction and awareness of the tools to take the control over your life and over your share of the available resources is in the Bible (speaking as a Christian, of course). Unfortunately, too many people blindly stuck in the enslaved thought patterns confused as black Christian traditions say otherwise. Have you read what it says in the 8th and 28th Chapters of Deuteronomy? One of the promises in chapter 28, specifically, is that we shall lend to nations, but we shall not borrow. These promises are contingent on our obedience to the commands and precepts listed in scripture, not to the "boss on the plantation". And they came to a people whom God released from oppression. The failure of the first generation of the children of Israel wasn't the fallen oppressors they were freed from, but the slave mentality that they clung to. Who rejects a guidebook that leads them to a better life, except a slave who is not willing to stop being a slave?

    I say this not to anyone's shame, but the story of Israel's release from a corrupted ruler and his oppressive regime (No I do not blame Egypt as a whole, historically) and their travels through the desert is not about emancipation (mere transfer), but training a nation to be a nation before inheriting the land and wealth promised to them. I believe that the training was important because without it, no one of them would have the character to carry the wealth God wanted them to have. The same is true about us as a people. Without the character necessary to carry wealth and the many other promises due us as a people, we cannot obtain it.

    I suspect you will disagree. But allow me to offer another scripture that gives you something to think about.

    "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." - Proverbs 21:1

    This is helpful to you if you are a believer, but if you do not, then men master you, and you do not master yourself.
     
  10. NyneElementz

    NyneElementz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My brother, if you wish to blame those in the past who have done those things, then do so. But by trying to assume things about me that you do not yourself know is a measure of you not taking your own advice: speaking things you know nothing of.

    Did all of those do that and enslave us and take away our lands? Yes, they did. But your quote was that the Bible supported it. So sorry to appear as though I am attacking your pride, but the truth is that the Bible itself DID NOT condone such actions. Not one jot within the Bible itself told anyone to enslave any other race because of bigotry or for the sake of oppression. There are only three forms of slavery mentioned in the Bible as lifestyles, and NEITHER support the idea of oppression: 1) as a result of war, 2) as a result of debt, and 3) as a result of one's own will. Neither of those historical facts you mentioned fall under those three categories.

    As you speak against me personally, and disrespectfully, I might add, you only make yourself shown more as a man without integrity. I have no white masters. I do not seek to control or imprison anyone. As a matter of fact, my tenure both before and after becoming a christian has been to explore the truth to free others. My over 85% of my poetic scribes has been dedicated to this cause. But here is another thing that I discovered, and perhaps that you had not. Nelson Mandella said it best: If I had not left the hatred and bitterness behind, I would still be imprisoned. Notice how he said that hatred and bitterness still imprison you.

    If you wish to promote your opinions and wish to discuss our differences in beliefs, which I would welcome, may I suggest we do it elsewhere. This is a study forum, and I'm sure that we would all appreciate the absence of belief-bashing here.
     
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