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.