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The paying of tithes
Roderick R. Mckenzie Sr.
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The Paying Of Tithes
Tithes is the tenth part of produce or other incomes paid voluntarily or under the compulsion of law for the benefit of religious institutions, for the support of priests and pastors, and the relief of those in need. Due to different local circumstances, tithes can be derived from various sources of income. For example, secular and ecclesiastical tithes personal and real tithes - that is, tithes on income from personal trade, profession, or property. There are also tithes on fruits of the soil. In days of old tithes were based on the value of the crop or animals taxed. This type of tithing was common to substitute a money payment for payment in goods.
The very first indication of tithe paying to God in the Bible is found in the book of Genesis chapter 4 verses 2-7, which reads, “And she again bare his brother Able. And Able was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground and offering unto the Lord. And Able, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Able and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
The scripture further indicates that because Cain was jealous of Able because God had accepted his generous offering, he killed him. Since Cain killed Able, God cursed him and God told him that his brother’s blood cried from the ground and that Cain was cursed from the earth, which had opened her mouth to receive his brother’s blood from his hand. Whenever Cain tilled the ground it would not henceforth yield her strength to him and a fugitive and a vagabond he should be in the earth. My brothers and sisters, one of wisdom can see the spirit of Cain has passed on through the generations in many persons in this earth as can be seen today. Many persons are being killed because of their blessings from God and jealousy from their fellow man.
The paying of tithes is not a popular topic to discuss even for some Christians. Though many in the world do the principle of paying tithes on a daily base, it is not always seen that way. This is attributed to Ecclesiastes chapter 11 verse 1 which states, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Every day monies and other material items are given to poor persons, charitable organizations and persons who may just need a helping hand. The persons, or the organizations giving items or money, from a world standpoint are usually doing it for a favor in return, a kind deed for the community or even as a tax right off from the Government in some countries. Whatever earnings are being given out, God must receive his tenth first, for it is holy unto Him and it must come from the heart specifically for Him.
The confusion for many Christians in this venture is misinterpretation. Many Christians live above their means by going to the extent of borrowing money to pay their tithes and sowing seed offering, with the concept of “proving God”, in expectation of receiving monitory and material gains. Yes! God did promise to supply your need, not your want. God’s blessings are not always material gain or money. One can also be blessed with a spiritual gift to be able to bring others to Christ. The power of tithing should not be used for God to fulfill a financial or material agenda. God already knows our needs. So many Christians are in debt running after material blessings that many are unable to pay the one tenth of their earnings, therefore being looked at as robbers. Malachi chapter 3 verses 8-10, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and in offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that shall not be room enough to receive it.” When one robs God of His tithes he puts himself in debt and will not receive his blessing from Him. The same happens as interest grows when one refuse to make a loan payment to the bank.
Governments use the word tax in collecting money for the running of a country. Churches use that word tithes to maintain itself and to spread the word of God for the edification of His kingdom. In some countries tithing has been abolished and has been gradually replaced by other forms of taxation. The paying of tithes is one of the commandments of God given to Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai as mentioned in the book of Leviticus chapter 27 verse 30-34. Many Christian denominations do not believe in tithing with the notion such Christian practices have been done away with in the Christian faith. Many persons feel uncomfortable putting money in the church due to allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. As Christians such thoughts should be unthinkable, for God watches over what belongs to Him and also those who are in charge of what is His.
There is a question in the minds of many with regards to persons who spread the word of God setting a price to do the same. The Apostle Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 9 verses 16-19, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; Yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” Preachers, teachers and all others responsible for the spreading of the word of God are compensated through the paying of tithes and free will offering. There is no need for congregational members to go on the streets begging with sponsor sheets for the Church building fund and other church needs if the members are paying their tithes on time.
Man has invented many ways to improve one’s personal economic empowerment. There are various institutions to teach one the different concepts of investing for the future and becoming financially stable. There are books to teach one how to get rich quick, all in hopes for a better more comfortable life. Persons are investing in stocks, bonds, ‘asue’ and other mutual funds to attain financial and material gain. I pray that having been educated on the ‘paying of tithes’ one can invest in a spiritual blessing from God, through the paying of tithes and not depend on the blessings that man has to offer. God bless you all.
Roderick R. Mckenzie Sr.
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