Jump to content
Kingdom of Adventistan
pierrepaul

The Cost of One Soul

Recommended Posts

pierrepaul

Recent church political developments got me thinking. How should we spend tithe funds? One of the ideas that seems to be coming up is that North American tithe ought to stay in North America for the benefit of the North American mission field. Let's perform a thought experiment. Let's assume that there is a correlation between SdA church membership and "being saved". Let's therefore assume that gaining additional SdA members is a key objective of our evangelism and the "great commission". Let's assume that to gain one additional North American SdA member costs $x in tithe resources. Let's assume that to gain one additional African SdA member only costs $y in tithe resources (where x>y). Is it right to "waste" tithe dollars in North America where we could win more souls for the same money in Africa? Is it right to North American SdAs to value the souls of those close to them more than souls of those in far off countries? [Note: I'm not considering the subsidiary question that a new North American member will contribute greater tithe than will a new African member, and so therefore by converting a wealthy North American perhaps we might win an even greater number of African souls].

Is it right to be "selfish" in our concern for others' souls. For example, the destiny of my two children is of far greater importance to me than that of 100,000 people half way around the world. Is this attitude even Christian?

As a secondary question, what justice is there in God's universe if one's eternal destiny is dependent upon what some fallible human being does or does not do? Is there any justice if eternal souls are really won or lost based on where SdA General Conference administrators choose to allocate resources? But if how we allocate resources does not affect the eternal destiny of souls, does it even matter what we do?

These are my thoughts this afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you find some value to this community, please help out with a few dollars per month.

phkrause

My question to your post is, what is the tithe money for? Is it not for paying the pastors? At least that's what I've always understood!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellen

Tithe does not go to "missions", however mission offerings are shared throughout the world, I believe.  

A lot of our missions are not paid for, they are voluntary by the laity - witnessing,   The days of more money more baptisms do not hold up.

A member in our church says the church is not asleep it is in a coma!   Think about that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
B/W Photodude

I would like to see a breakdown of where tithe money gets spent. I suspicion it is partially used to fund political agendas of some of the "leadership."

As far as mission funding, I read an interesting statistic recently. Seems that back around 1900AD, for every $10 given in tithe, $6 was given in mission funding. Today, it was reported, that figure has dropped to 28¢. As my church's treasurer, I have no problem believing it.

I also recently posted an article regarding a member in the Oregon conference who sent his/her tithe to the GC. The Oregon conference demanded the GC return it to them! So, unless you need tax receipts, do it "anonymously" if you go that way!

The "coma" condition may be a bit generous. That suggests there is a little bit of life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R. G. White
On 10/18/2018 at 3:21 PM, pierrepaul said:

Recent church political developments got me thinking. How should we spend tithe funds? One of the ideas that seems to be coming up is that North American tithe ought to stay in North America for the benefit of the North American mission field. Let's perform a thought experiment. Let's assume that there is a correlation between SdA church membership and "being saved". Let's therefore assume that gaining additional SdA members is a key objective of our evangelism and the "great commission". Let's assume that to gain one additional North American SdA member costs $x in tithe resources. Let's assume that to gain one additional African SdA member only costs $y in tithe resources (where x>y). Is it right to "waste" tithe dollars in North America where we could win more souls for the same money in Africa? Is it right to North American SdAs to value the souls of those close to them more than souls of those in far off countries? [Note: I'm not considering the subsidiary question that a new North American member will contribute greater tithe than will a new African member, and so therefore by converting a wealthy North American perhaps we might win an even greater number of African souls].

Is it right to be "selfish" in our concern for others' souls. For example, the destiny of my two children is of far greater importance to me than that of 100,000 people half way around the world. Is this attitude even Christian?

As a secondary question, what justice is there in God's universe if one's eternal destiny is dependent upon what some fallible human being does or does not do? Is there any justice if eternal souls are really won or lost based on where SdA General Conference administrators choose to allocate resources? But if how we allocate resources does not affect the eternal destiny of souls, does it even matter what we do?

These are my thoughts this afternoon.

You ask some thought-provoking questions, some of which rather obviously belie your assumptions. I don't believe that God has made us ultimately responsible for anyone's salvation, but neither has He suggested that what we do makes no difference. That apparent contradiction is just the greatness of our God. What matters is that we do what we can, by His grace, to help others, and thus develop a character after His likeness. Needless to say, the selfishness that you describe has no place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JoeMo

IMHO, the idea that tithe goes to pay pastors is a church construct.  Who says that the "warehouse" mentioned is collectively pastors and Conference Leaders' wallets?

I manage my own tithes and offerings so I do know where my money is going.

I've read that more than 80% of SDA mission money goes to missions and evangelism in places where Christianity is already the dominant religion; and only 20% goes to places in the 10-40 window.  So it appears to me that we SDA's tend to spend our mission money stealing sheep to make them Adventists rather than bringing Christ to people who have never heard of Him and probably need Him as much or more than us believers (no denomination implied).  I'd rather spend my mission offerings bringing those totally ignorant of Christ  to Him than bringing Catholics, Methodists and Baptists to Adventism.

That being said, I must admit that the numbers of Americans and Europeans that have never heard of Christ is rapidly increasing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Wanderer
1 hour ago, JoeMo said:

I manage my own tithes and offerings so I do know where my money is going.

Is that "your" money? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Wanderer
On 10/18/2018 at 3:21 PM, pierrepaul said:

Is it right to North American SdAs to value the souls of those close to them more than souls of those in far off countries?

Colonialism and religious imperialism is often done under the guise of "missionary" work, and it is the right thing to do to question about where the tithe is going and why. When I see "certain" leaders standing up and threatening others who dont agree with him to "with hold" tithe money; as if it was his money, all I see is a religious bully stealing money from the church for his own agenda, and that of his cohorts. Trophy baptisms abound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R. G. White
4 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

Colonialism and religious imperialism is often done under the guise of "missionary" work, and it is the right thing to do to question about where the tithe is going and why. When I see "certain" leaders standing up and threatening others who dont agree with him to "with hold" tithe money; as if it was his money, all I see is a religious bully stealing money from the church for his own agenda, and that of his cohorts. Trophy baptisms abound.

You make a good point. Concern for souls and trophy baptisms are two very different things, although only God can read the motives of individuals. It may be right to question the use of tithe funds, but withholding them (or threatening to do so) is a very serious matter. I'm not going to say that it would be wrong to do so under absolutely any circumstances, as if to tell other people their duty before God, but I'd not want to take such a decision lightly, myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JoeMo
23 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

Is that "your" money?

No; but it's not the SDA church's money either.  It's God's money. And I feel it is my responsibility to give it wherever I think it is needed the most.  That is not always the pockets of SDA employees. You can follow your own conscience.  Please allow me the right to follow mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R. G. White
2 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

No; but it's not the SDA church's money either.  It's God's money. And I feel it is my responsibility to give it wherever I think it is needed the most.  That is not always the pockets of SDA employees. You can follow your own conscience.  Please allow me the right to follow mine.

The right of conscience is inviolable indeed. This does not preclude the possibility of educating each other, if we have any insights into God's wishes or requirements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JoeMo
4 minutes ago, R. G. White said:

The right of conscience is inviolable indeed. This does not preclude the possibility of educating each other, if we have any insights into God's wishes or requirements.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:19-20)

Some people may have other priorities.  This is mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Wanderer
On 4/30/2019 at 1:26 PM, R. G. White said:

as if to tell other people their duty before God, but I'd not want to take such a decision lightly, myself.

From people I have talked to about this, as well as personal experience, when someone does decide to do this, it is usually a very painful experience for them to do, and I personally dont know of anyone who has done this, and feels good about it. All kinds of guilt trips become enacted, cognitive dissonance sinks its fangs in deeply, and it is an issue that many struggle with. Indeed, "one soul" can cost an enormous sum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
debbym
On 11/2/2018 at 9:10 PM, Ellen said:

Tithe does not go to "missions", however mission offerings are shared throughout the world, I believe.  

A lot of our missions are not paid for, they are voluntary by the laity - witnessing,   The days of more money more baptisms do not hold up.

A member in our church says the church is not asleep it is in a coma!   Think about that.

 

check out the Gospel Outreach organization.  Such amazing miracles are happening accompanying the preaching of the Gospel in the 10/40 window. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Wanderer
26 minutes ago, debbym said:

check out the Gospel Outreach organization.  Such amazing miracles are happening accompanying the preaching of the Gospel in the 10/40 window. 

what denomination is that? It seems the web site is hiding it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R. G. White
On 5/10/2019 at 1:10 AM, The Wanderer said:

what denomination is that? It seems the web site is hiding it.

Gospel Outreach is a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JoeMo
1 hour ago, R. G. White said:

Gospel Outreach is a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Do you know if they ever work with Adventist Frontier Missions (AFM)? I am a supporter of their ministry in many of the same countries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R. G. White
1 minute ago, JoeMo said:

Do you know if they ever work with Adventist Frontier Missions (AFM)? I am a supporter of their ministry in many of the same countries.

I don't know enough about their ministry to be aware of any connection between the two organisations. However, given their similar aims and loyalty to the church, it would not surprise me to see them coordinating in some way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


If you find some value to this community, please help out with a few dollars per month.



×
×
  • Create New...