I have heard people say that Jesus condemned the payment of tithing and use the story of the widow's mite as justification for that claim. On the other hand, I believe it's interesting to look at the story of the widow's mite, since it says something most people completely overlook - and speaks directly, I believe, to the concept of it being the condition of the heart not the amount that matters.
Jesus did NOT condemn the system that
accepted the widow's mite, nor did he dismiss or chastise in any way the
widow who paid it. He also didn't say she shouldn't have paid it. In
fact, he praised her for paying it and condemned the rich man for not
paying more. In a very real way, Jesus praised the widow for being
willing to live the Law of Consecration, and he chastised the rich man
for not being willing to pay tithing (comparing his percent to hers).
Jesus didn't condemn tithing or any other payment of a lesser percentage than consecration would require; he framed it as the lesser commitment than
the widow's willing contribution. From strictly a conceptual
standpoint, that's important to recognize and consider.
don't care personally how someone else interprets tithing or how they
choose to calculate their own tithing. That is between them and God,
and I refuse to try to sit in a judgment seat. Ain't happening.
However, I also will not condemn or criticize any church for teaching
tithing - and for having other areas where contributions can be made.
principle, in my opinion, is to give as much as possible (money, time, talents,
and everything with which God has blessed me) to God - however I define
and calculate that gift. To me, buying a house that is much bigger than
needed, buying an expensive car when a less expensive one will do just
fine, buying high end clothing, etc. is "grinding the faces of the poor"
- because the extra money spent on something that is nowhere close to a
need keeps me from donating that money, in some way, to help the poor
and/or build a community infrastructure that will help all alike. Such expenditures literally keep me from full participation in the establishment of Zion, even if I pay a full and honest tithing.
while I am completely open to people calculating amounts and
arriving at definitions differently, I am opposed to the idea of doing
it just to keep more money for themselves - over and above real need,
which I also leave up to them to determine. I love the concept and
principle of the law of consecration and its modern component parts
(tithing, fast offerings, charitable and humanitarian giving, service,
etc.), so, even though I won't try to dictate how someone participates
in and implements that concept and principle, I believe strongly that
everyone should look seriously at how they can try - and be willing to
give up wants to provide others' needs.
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