Christian Financial Counselors V. Tithing

I’m sitting here right now trying to think of a way to transition all the thoughts going through my mind, so this post might get a little bumpy and random. I have Google tithing alerts sent to my email every day. Whenever someone in the news or on their blog mentions tithing, i receive an email of a list of those websites. I try as best as i can to visit as many blogs and news sites as i can to place comments that refute tithing, and support Spirit led giving.

I am somewhat picky about the blogs i will comment on. I try to comment on blogs that seem to get a little more traffic because i don’t have much time to comment in the first place, and wish to share my thoughts with as many as possible. There are certain types of blog posts that i  usually do not write on regardless of their website traffic – and that is blogs that give personal and emotional testimonies about tithing.

Trying to reason with someone about their personal experiences with tithing is like trying to take a child away from a mother who has carried for nine months and has given birth. You cannot take those experiences and emotions away from people. They will take those emotions to their grave. The best thing i’ve found is to state a few verses to counter-balance their emotions, plant a few seeds in forms of questions, and then be on your way. Side note about internet debating – you have no personal rapport with anybody. They don’t know you, so you aren’t going to change their mind anyway.

History proves over and over that you cannot persecute or beat ‘faith’ out of anyone. It only makes them more stubborn, stronger, or turns them into martyrs. Many people believe tithing out of emotional faith, and not because of reason. This is one of the reasons why I try to stay away from the tedious, long, relentless banters towards any ‘opponent’. If you stay in an argument too long, both you and your opponent will be going around in circles while placing more and more bricks on each of your castle walls.

(So here’s one of those weird transitions :| ) This is going to seem awkward to say but we need to take these emotional experiences away from people. I first was thinking about all this when i was reading Dave Ramsey’s website. On there it had someone’s testimony about tithing and then getting out of debt. It made me think that when they’ve gotten out of debt and the emotional relief they felt was all attributed to tithing. Unfortunately, this is false advertising for tithing because Dave Ramsey is a financial counselor not a tithing counselor. People have to change their buying and saving habits in order to get out of debt.

Tithing never got anyone out of debt, and yet you hear of thousands of testimonies every year who attribute financial success to tithing advice from a financial counselor. You will always hear a testimony such as this – ‘We were in up to our necks in debt. We met with a Christian financial counselor. Someone challenged us to tithe. In one year we paid off $20,000 in credit card debt.’ Even hearing the story, we get so caught up in the astronomical achievement that we don’t even wonder what tithing even has to do with spending, credit cards, and materialism?

(another awkward transition) Since i want to take the focus of financial success stories away from tithing, here’s the bottom line –  I wish to support Christian financial counseling ministries that does not support tithing. We need stories that include financial success while people gave freely without tithing.

Your Help is Needed

All of this encouraged me to go on a practical but seemingly unrealistic journey to find a Christian Financial Counseling Ministry that does not support tithing. My search has almost come up empty, so i am going to ask all of you if you are familiar with a christian financial ministry that does not support tithing in their counseling plans. I was fortunate to accidentally come across http://www.providentplan.com/.  They provide great Christian Financial Counseling services, but we need to find as many others as possible.

Crown and Dave Ramsey are great counseling tools but they both support tithing in their financial counseling plans. I am looking for a company that provides similar services, but I want to partner with or promote a Christian financial organization that does not support tithing. If we are to eliminate the false teaching through tithing, we need to promote organizations that do not teach tithing in their financial foundations. We need to create Christian financial success stories that show tithing is not a magical formula that gets you out of debt.

If we do not support the ministries that teach the right thing, then Dave Ramsey and Crown will still pump out people who will be permanently rooted in the tithing doctrine. If we can get people to see that it is sound financial principles that creates good stewardship, then there will be less and less work for us to do in the long run. We have to get people at the roots. Crown and Ramsey’s converts makes their pupils into tithers for life.

If we can all band together and promote a third financial ministry, one day it may turn out to be a huge competitor to crown and ramsey. This will be a great way to get the truth about tithing out there.Yes, I think my vision is somewhat idealistic, but we’ve gotta be realistic that every one that ramsey and crown covert to tithing will be near impossible to change back.

THE GOAL: Find financial counseling ministries that do not teach tithing and post them in your comments. I would like to compile a list of all these organizations in a blog post.

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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18 comments on “Christian Financial Counselors V. Tithing
  1. Thanks so much for mentioning Provident Planning, Jared! My website is still small, but I’m working to provide great personal finance teaching backed up with Scripture.

    I don’t advocate tithing because I spent over two years scouring the Bible for every single verse I could find about personal finance. (Partly because everyone says there are over 2,000 verses and I wanted to verify that.) I ended up finding nearly 1,200 Bible verses on personal finance. I found very little emphasis on tithing. Most teaching in the Bible about giving discusses generous, freewill, sacrificial giving that’s motivated by the love of God.

    I agree we need to find more ministries focused on this without the emphasis on tithing. Crown has some strange teachings in “The Treasure Principle” (bordering on unbiblical), and Dave Ramsey is only tangentially a Christian financial counselor. My goal has been to focus on how the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ should affect our finances and I try to keep my emphasis on that aspect.

    Thanks again! I don’t know of any other ministries, but I’m hoping some of your readers do.
    .-= Paul Williams´s last blog ..Is Being Frugal a Waste of Time? =-.

  2. We wish you well in this effort. Finding people who are competent in the financial arena and who share our core values is indeed the challenge. And, many who we think share our core values have been misled with the tithing doctrine and other aspects of wealth accumulation.
    .-= Steven and Debra´s last blog ..The Love of Other People’s Money (Covetousness) is the Root of All Evil =-.

  3. Khaleef says:

    I am glad to have found your website along with Paul’s (providentplan.com). I started a small Financial Advising business recently, and I share your views on tithing and giving. I just started my website this year and so most of the article that you will find there will be about taxes (we also prepare taxes), but I am now trying to find the time to write about more broad financial topics from a biblical viewpoint.

    I pray that we all can urge people to look toward the bible for answers and not to just accept something as fact just because that view has been held for years.
    .-= Khaleef @ KNS Financial´s last blog ..Should I Cosign For a Loan? – What the bible teaches about pledging yourself for another’s debt. =-.

  4. Bonnie says:

    I have taken courses from Crown Financial 10 years ago and in the time since I have checked into other Financial type ministries. We have our own business and so a lot of what they teach doesn’t always apply because our income is not the same or stable from year to year or from month to month. I also took classes in order to teach/coach the program to others. Then our church was doing a different program called Good Sense. So, I took a class to teach that one, too. I think it was then that I really started to rethink the whole process. While I agree with so much of what is taught and all of the Biblical advise, I was uncomfortable with (when teaching others) “requiring” the tithe portion. We were headed into the “recession” time and we had a big reduction in our own cash flow (being in real estate). Although there was a time we tithed, I came to realize if we kept it up we would not be able to make our agreed payments to entities we promised to pay. Being in debt
    and not being able to pay it back is certainly, in the Bible, much worse than not paying a tithe. The choice became whether we would be faithful to pay those as agreed and keep our integrity or we would pay Christian ministries. Be aware, I in no means recommend cutting off giving entirely, I only mean not being required to make it exactly 10% or more. It was during that time I came across Russell Kelly’s site and others who teach about New Testament giving as opposed to the Old Testament Levites tithe (mostly quoted from Malachi). I also read some about when in the history of the church the “Tithe” became such a common thing. I found it to be only in fairly recent history has this been taught so strongly, and mostly by churches that believe in the Name it and Claim it Gospel.
    It was quite interesting, which in your search I will imagine that you have found, that the financial teachers with a Christian emphasis usually teach tithing, and one reason it may be hard to find one that does not is that they usually have publications (books or teaching materials) which are published by Christian publishers. What do you think are the chances a Christain publisher (who wants to be promoted at churches or Christain schools) will dare to print that tithing is not biblical for New Testament believers. This might be how you might find such a teacher. If they know a publisher which believes the same way, they might have
    a chance. If a person decides in their heart to give 10% and they are also becoming debt free and not using credit any more and not upside down in their mortgage GREAT! Just so they don’t think that it is required of them. Shame on the Churches that teach that and put more of a burden on people. For one thing, tithing is not even a Commandment for the Old Testament Jews. If it was such a huge thing, don’t you think it would have been one of the BIG 10?
    Just another thought, too. When you mentioned people who believe the reason they are out of debt is because they tithed, I think there must have been some other reasons as well, right? Testimonials are heart felt and really helpful to people as God provides. Sometimes we have to remember the advertisements for products and especially diet programs. If you notice, many if not all of them have a disclaimer “Results are Atypical”. I guess we all know that things work one way for some people and another way for other people. What we don’t hear about is the people who gave away all and then they were broke and dependant upon their relatives or welfare. Or worse yet were a very bad testimony and kept giving 10% while they declared bankruptcy or had their home go in foreclosure. Now thats really a great testimony, right???
    Thank you for your website.

  5. RobS says:

    I appreciate the ideas here… and am familiar with some of Dave Ramsey’s work. His teaching with financial counseling methods are rather good. He does use the word “tithe”.

    I think Dave’s major thing is that he wants people to be givers. Maybe the word ‘tithe’ is incorrect or debatable by some. However, I think encouraging people to be givers of some kind and in some way to some bigger cause is valuable. I can only imagine how God could impact the world if people rose up and gave to worthwhile causes that really impacted His world more for His mission.

    So, on a wording technicality, Dave might not be winning, but I think on the concept of encouraging people to be able to give away some of what they earn, Dave provides a good message to be less greedy and leave a legacy changing the world.

  6. Yevette says:

    Acutally Dave just encourages you to give 10 – 15% each month, to church, a non-profit organization, education etc, unless I overlooked it, I didn’t see ‘tithe’ listed anywhere on his online budget planner.

  7. Yevette,

    Um, you don’t have to search very hard to find that Dave is a staunch advocate of tithing for born again Christians.

  8. I was never a tither, always a giver. I have not been cursed. I’m a author/poet/writer, and the Lord shows that He takes care of my financial needs, and I’ve closely watched Him work in my life and provide for me every week for the last 10 years that I’ve been self-employed. I could elaborate more, but I’d have to share well over 1000 personal testimonies (at least two or three a week or more for 10 years). And it’s not all about testimonies, but moreso about what the Word of God says. In Jeremiah 44:12-18 there were people of Jerusalem who God plainly told not to go back to Egypt or else destruction, but they said about their past in Egypt, “then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.” (“left off to” means “stopped”). So by their own logic, they decided to disobeyed God because they trusted their own testimonies and experiences more than God’s word. They went to Egypt and worshipped the “queen of heaven.” That’s why I don’t pay much attention to pro-tithers’ testimonies, and would rather place more emphasis on what God’s Word says than on what I’ve experienced. Yes, He has taken care of me, but that’s not the validation. The validation is His Word. God is known for letting people get away with their mess for a long long time, allowing them to get comfortable and confident in their sin before He finally gets fed up and brings judgment. So we can’t be fooled by what you see and hear.
    At first I didn’t tithe because I respect God’s principles enough to learn about them and what they are before trying to practice them. When I did study it, I studied in depth and I learned that for me to try to tithe would not be Biblical, and I follow the Bible. Therefore, I do not tithe. I cannot. If I were to tithe, conviction would overtake me and cause me to repent, because I know better.

  9. Christian O. Bosah says:

    This is a worthy goal to pursue. I would like to be associated with this effort in so far as it’s in the spirit  of 2Cor 9:5-12. Please keep me posted for I can’t wait to join in this effort to revoulutionize the church with His TRUTH. Remain blessed.

  10. Courtney Thorne Smith says:

    The church I go to preaches about tithing and offerings all the time, not a service goes by without this type of preaching.  There’s a lot of guilt and a huge burden placed on people if they don’t tithe and give their offerings.  The church is not that large but it has multiple services a week, at least a dozen people work within the church and there’s some sort of tv ministry a few times a week, I think all this amounts to that heavy burden.  We’re constantly being told to give and give and give, there are certain times when we’re told to give everything we have as a sacrifice to God – pretty much emptying our bank accounts so that we can get God’s attention.  I live in a bad place and I wish I had a down payment for a house.  But after giving away close to $20,000 to my church in a little over a year and I’ve only been attending for about the same time, I find that I’ll have to get a second job so I can have some savings, should anything happen.  I tried talking to my pastor about it, but it was clear to me that he didn’t want to hear it.  I even sent him an email about it, which he answered by saying we need to talk but when the time came to do so, that very same day he had preached on not talking about your problems.  I did go to the pastor, but again, he wasn’t interested, it was like he was just going through the motions of not being able to say no because a member of the congregation was talking to him.  I think the awful thing is that the pastor always tells the members of the church to only talk to God about our problems, and not to talk about them with people.  So, in a sense, you’re being kept in “isolation” concerning important matters and no one will truly know that you’re going through hard times and so we don’t and can’t compare notes.  If you’re told not to engage in meaningful conversations with other members of the church, then people remain in the dark with themselves and regarding others.  But even worse, is that the teachings seem to focus so much on material comforts and prosperity and not the love of Christ.

    I’m very disollusioned and stuck.  There are some people and members of the church who are seeking and want a relationship with Christ and it’s not easy to just up and leave these people.  Many times, I think they too are stuck.  It seems that we’ll never measure up, we’ll always be made to feel guilty and to blame if we don’t constantly tithe and give over and above what we can.  They tell us that if we don’t prosper, it’s because we don’t have enough faith and we’ll continue to be in debt.  But some people are in debt because they can’t pay their bills – in a way they’ve been conditioned to turn it over to the church, if you don’t, you might just go to hell.  It’s all very sad, really, it’s a vicious cycle.  Meanwhile, there’s nothing in the bank, you’re in fear because there’s nothing for a rainy day.

    Courtney

  11. freewillgiver says:

    (NET) Deuteronomy 14:26 Then you may spend the money however you wish for cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or whatever you desire. You and your household may eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and enjoy it.

    Please Courtney discuss this verse with others
    Whom you pray and seek Jesus with. Those
    Who really question find deeper answers

  12. Courtney Thorne Smith says:

    Hello Freewillgiver,
    I’m not sure what you mean……  Are you saying it’s okay for a church to guilt someone into emptying their bank accounts so they can do whatever they wish with that money?  Then that person has to find a second job to re-build some sort of savings for a rainy day?…..  And so if a person doesn’t give everything they have, then they won’t have God’s attention?
    Will you explain your response in more details?
    Thank you.
    Courtney

    • freewillgiver says:

      No just the opposite. The tithe is not for today. Giving
      Is voluntary in Jesus. Tithes were not money but food in
      The law. The food tithes and beer tithe eaten by families is
      Almost never preached because it proves
      That tithes are not money.

  13. Hello Courtney

     I think if you follow what Eric Farrell said in his reply, you would do well. It isn’t a requirement to tithe but rather to give according to your mrans and as you purpose in your heart.

    God does not require us to ‘pay taxes’ to b in fellowship with Him. The work we do is to provide for our needs and whatever we have in excess of that we can give freely to support the work of the church and God will bless us for our cheerful, sacrificial offering. 

    Don’t be guilt-tripped into a lifestyle of lack. Choose to follow the wisdom of God and not the avarice of man. As you say, the church is needy because of its church programmes. If you can help with offerings, well and good. Whatever you do do it cheerfully and unto God. He has no problem receiving hat you can give from your heart.

    I pray you will be freed from an ungodly sense of burden to give beyond your means, along with other members of your church. I pray that you will be a positive influence on others to come into biblical alignment on freewill offerings, for truly that is where the blessings of God lie. 

    There are times when you may give all that you have (after giving to Caesar what is due to him – your bills/rent etc.) There may be times when others might/ought to give to you if you have lack, for none in the church should have an abundance while his brother has lack. 

    And there is the nub of the problem: the pastors of the church often live in an abundance while the members live in lack. It’s a kind of slavery and the church needs deliverance from this kind of bondage.

    Don’t be discouraged; God is in the business of deliverance and you will be free – if you want to be. Amen.

    In God’s love

    Janet

     

    • freewillgiver says:

      Thank you for that post it made my day. I have a question though friend. Would Jesus truly look at somebody like Crefflo dollar and people like him, as pastors of his flock? Please don’t  sully the name Pastor with those will not lay their lives down for the sheep of Jesus!

      • Freewill Giver

        I guess you’re right, we should call those who fleece the flock, ‘hirelings’ as to them preaching is ‘work’ from which they earn a very pretty penny! It is a crying shame that the ‘sheep’ put so much trust in these merciless shepherds.

        But I believe their time is running out…justice begins in the house of God.

        Janet 

  14. Don Smith says:

    3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4 NIV

    I think it’s pretty straightforward.

     

  15. Daniela says:

    The concept of tithing has become a helpful tool in the community and the church. Through it, unimplemented government programs are realized and put to action. Because of the circulation of tithes in the church fund, the church has become a major financial partner with different organizations who have the desire to reach out to our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Without it, truly there would be a difficulty in materializing the desire of helping those who are in dire need

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