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Narcah

Withholding Tithe vs Other Sins

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Narcah

Why is not paying tithe through your local church a worse sin than gluttony, gossiping, working Friday evening after sundown (non medical) attending a Kid Rock concert on Sabbath, having an abortion for convenience, gambling, having a porn addiction, etc?

The reason I ask if if you do any of those other things, you can still be elected to church office, including head elder, but if you don’t pay tithe (at least $1 a year) you cannot be considered for any elected position. 

Is it time to review our pay-to-serve mentality and realize that unless we are going to be consistent across the board with sins disqualifying from office, requiring a $1 a year tithe payment is a little ridiculous?

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Gregory Matthews

Local congregations can elect whomever they wish to positions of leadership.  Local congregations do elect  such.

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Narcah

Certainly not according to the church manual, and every nominating committee I’ve been on were absolutely not allowed to elect someone who didn’t pay tithe the previous year.  The treasurer was tasked with providing a list of who was eligible to be nominated. 

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B/W Photodude
46 minutes ago, Narcah said:

Certainly not according to the church manual, and every nominating committee I’ve been on were absolutely not allowed to elect someone who didn’t pay tithe the previous year.  The treasurer was tasked with providing a list of who was eligible to be nominated. 

As a church treasurer, that is one task I would not cooperate with. Because someone's tithe does not pass thru my hands on the way to the church bank account, it does not mean they do not pay tithe. So, it is not my job to determine whether someone gives or not and I am not going to waste any of my time worrying or wondering about it. One of my rationales for this is that the previous church treasure talked several people she knew (family and friends) in to sending their tithe money to our church. And they have continued to do so after she was no longer treasurer. I imagine there may be a committee somewhere looking down on these people and not letting them be active in church life because "they don't pay tithe."

Providing a list is also a bit unethical as the donations of the members is supposed to be confidential.

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The Wanderer
37 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

Providing a list is also a bit unethical as the donations of the members is supposed to be confidential.

our Adventist List systems never turn out well. I am reminded of an unfortunate event where an elder was removed from his role for "not paying tithe," and all it was is that he had some unfortunate circumstance and had to be on welfare for a few months.  I still can hardly believe what they did to him

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Narcah
5 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

As a church treasurer, that is one task I would not cooperate with. Because someone's tithe does not pass thru my hands on the way to the church bank account, it does not mean they do not pay tithe. So, it is not my job to determine whether someone gives or not and I am not going to waste any of my time worrying or wondering about it. One of my rationales for this is that the previous church treasure talked several people she knew (family and friends) in to sending their tithe money to our church. And they have continued to do so after she was no longer treasurer. I imagine there may be a committee somewhere looking down on these people and not letting them be active in church life because "they don't pay tithe."

Providing a list is also a bit unethical as the donations of the members is supposed to be confidential.

I’m curious if you have been church treasurer and refused, or is this hypothetical?  I agree it’s a rotten process and the church manual needs to be fixed on this issue. 

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B/W Photodude
44 minutes ago, Narcah said:

I’m curious if you have been church treasurer and refused, or is this hypothetical?  I agree it’s a rotten process and the church manual needs to be fixed on this issue. 

I am a church treasurer.
I have not encountered this scenario, but it is still what I would do if faced with this situation.
If a pastor insists on it, he can go thru the "pink sheets", and find out for himself who gives and who doesn't.

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Gregory Matthews

Narch said in the quote below:

Well you have demonstrated the limitations of you knowledge of Adventism.  Perhaps you have not served on a nominating committee for some years.

I do not argue as to what you say you have experienced.  I can think of an individual congregation where it is done as you have stated.  But, I can tell you that what you report is often not what is done.

Today, it would often be considered highly unethical for a local treasurer to provide information from such a list as you have said is done.

In addition, as I stated, it has been established that a local congregation has the absolute right to elect to positions of leadership whomever they would chose to elect.  I am knowledgeable of situations in which people were placed in leadership positions who were not SDA members.  The local Conference can expel such a congregation from membership in the denomination, only by voting that such happen, in a vote that is taken at a legally called meeting.   Such simply is not done.  but, it can be done.

Certainly not according to the church manual, and every nominating committee I’ve been on were absolutely not allowed to elect someone who didn’t pay tithe the previous year.  The treasurer was tasked with providing a list of who was eligible to be nominated. 

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B/W Photodude
On 5/11/2019 at 3:44 PM, The Wanderer said:

I am reminded of an unfortunate event where an elder was removed from his role for "not paying tithe," and all it was is that he had some unfortunate circumstance and had to be on welfare for a few months.  I still can hardly believe what they did to him

I have finally lost the ability to be shocked or surprised about what anyone does to anyone else anymore. Oh yeah, I still get horrified about the things I see happen to people and often even by "good church people."

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The Wanderer
4 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

I have finally lost the ability to be shocked or surprised about what anyone does to anyone else anymore. Oh yeah, I still get horrified about the things I see happen to people and often even by "good church people."

and always, of course "in good standing."  Religious pecking orders are one of the great hindrances to the gospel.

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Narcah
17 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Narch said in the quote below:

Well you have demonstrated the limitations of you knowledge of Adventism.  Perhaps you have not served on a nominating committee for some years.

I do not argue as to what you say you have experienced.  I can think of an individual congregation where it is done as you have stated.  But, I can tell you that what you report is often not what is done.

 

That is wonderful if it is not common, apparently I am attracted only to churches where it is common (California and Tennessee) and my last experience was this year.  It did not effect me personally because I was not on the black list, but people I know very well were.

That being said, church manual page 78 states "Setting Tithing Example—All officers shall set an example in the matter of returning a faithful tithe to the Church. Anyone who fails to set such an example shall not be elected to church office."  The way that worked at multiple churches I have been to is either a list of disqualified people or a list of qualified people to hold church office provided by the treasurer and / or the Pastor (who would have gotten the information from the treasurer.)  

Then again page 137 "Elders and other officers, as well as the pastor and conference and institutional employees, are expected to set good leadership examples by returning tithe. No one shall be continued as either a church officer or conference employee who does not conform to this standard of leadership."  You can and will get fired for not returning tithe, but not for any other long list of sins... 

Good discussion! :)

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, Narcah said:

That being said, church manual page 78 states "Setting Tithing Example—All officers shall set an example in the matter of returning a faithful tithe to the Church. Anyone who fails to set such an example shall not be elected to church office."  The way that worked at multiple churches I have been to is either a list of disqualified people or a list of qualified people to hold church office provided by the treasurer and / or the Pastor (who would have gotten the information from the treasurer.)  

I remember fights about this 22 years ago. Its about time they did something to stop the financial profiling. Nice way to "promote" an example.

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Gregory Matthews

Narcah, said in the quote below:

The Church Manual is updated every five (5) years and  occasionally in between those years.   It is for this reason that I request that everyone who quotes from the Church Manual, cite the edition from which they are quoting.

It is clear that Narcah is NOT quoting from the present edition of  the Church Manual.  I do not challenge that he is quoting from a previous edition.  but, I am not able to determine  the exact edition from which he   quotes.

I am looking at pages 164 & 165, of the 2005 edition of the Church Manual. The passage that I am reading differs considerably from the passage that Narcah quoted.  But, as that   edition is not the current edition, I will not quote from it.

This, below, is Narcah's quote:

That being said, church manual page 78 states "Setting Tithing Example—All officers shall set an example in the matter of ret

urning a faithful tithe to the Church. Anyone who fails to set such an example shall not be elected to church office."  The way that worked at multiple churches I have been to is either a list of disqualified people or a list of qualified people to hold church office provided by the treasurer and / or the Pastor (who would have gotten the information from the treasurer.)   

Then again page 137 "Elders and other officers, as well as the pastor and conference and institutional employees, are expected to set good leadership examples by returning tithe. No one shall be continued as either a church officer or conference employee who does not conform to this standard of leadership.

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Gregory Matthews

As a separate note on the Church Manual:

The Church Manual, is widely used as a set of recommendations.  In actual practice, it is not a binding, locked in concrete, set of rules.  Those who see it otherwise, simply do not understand how it is used.

If want to understand how the SDA Church operates, you need to obtain a copy of the Working Policy.  Such exists on the General Conference, Division, Union and local Conference levels.

However, these are just about impossible to obtain.  So, it probably is not worth you time to attempt to obtain one.

But, the bottom line is that the Working Policy is what actually governs how the various levels of this denomination operates.

 

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B/W Photodude
10 hours ago, Narcah said:

church manual page 78 states "Setting Tithing Example—All officers shall set an example in the matter of returning a faithful tithe to the Church. Anyone who fails to set such an example shall not be elected to church office."

again page 137 "Elders and other officers, as well as the pastor and conference and institutional employees, are expected to set good leadership examples by returning tithe. No one shall be continued as either a church officer or conference employee who does not conform to this standard of leadership.

Inside the ledgers (old system it seems) there is a note to treasurers regarding confidentiality. Pastor get pink sheet copies of the paper work sent to the conference. If they wish to divulge that sort of private information, it is on them. I have found it necessary to reprimand ("You can't do that!") my local pastor for things attempted regarding church funds. I think somethings he gets around it thru his other church. I don't know and don't want to know!

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