Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Prove Me Now Herewith

Since I was young I always remember hearing this line about tithing from Malachai 3:10. The stress was always that the Lord is telling you to go ahead and test him here, just try it and you will be blessed. The blessings spoke of seemed to focus mainly on the material. That in this life you will magically have things happen that will bless you in terms of materialism. You will never be in need was always used. I was an honest tithe payer for my whole life (34 years), and I honestly can't remember a dime I made that I did not pay tithing on. Last year it came to me that if I was to truly test the Lord I would have to have a control group. Since I already had tested the paying side, to truly test the Lord here I had to test the not paying side. I am now a 1 year non tithe payer. The test results are in, and the promised failed. While I was a tithe payer we struggled, when I was a child my family struggled, when I was married but still in school we really struggled. True we always had what we needed but was that the windows of heaven? If so there was still plenty of room left to receive. Since I have stopped paying tithing (just 1 year mind you) I have received 2 promotions and 6 raises. 6 raises in one year! I am now making about twice what I was making a year ago. I am by no means suggesting that not paying tithing means you will be blessed materially, but my test results clearly show that I wasn't blessed more, materially, when I was a full tithe payer.

16 Comments:

At 9:24 PM, Blogger nxtOracle said...

Congratulations on the promotions and raises. While interviewing a Jehovah's Witness for a paper I was writing, she mentioned how they don't pay tithing because the practice is part of the Old Testament laws, and not practiced by the primitive church. Interesting, eh? Maybe this is why the windows of heaven didn't open for you before.

 
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At 4:34 PM, Blogger Wayne said...

Not only did you get the raises but you got to keep that 10%.

And the church does not seem to be doing too bad without your money.

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to wonder...the whole time you were paying tithing did you think it was to help you get rich? I bet not. Considering most of the wealthy people in the world don't pay tithing (many get rich at the expense of others, and many live moral lives) wealth doesn't seem to be dictated by God so much as by economy. So it's strange that you make this point now. Plus, the Jehovah Witnesses are bible literalists. Odd to use them as a defense for agnostic thinking. Though it's true they don't pay tithing because it's not mentioned in the New Testament they also insist that the Old Testament name for Christ is the only valid way to recognise him and that he authored both laws, including the higher law that requires that you give all you have to follow him...a much bigger sacrifice than tithing.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Rob said...

The Jehovah's Witness comment wasn't made by me, but by someone commenting on my post.

To answer your question, no, I didn't think It would make me right, but we are told to trust in the Lord and you will not have room to receive all the blessings (repeatedly referred to as material blessings by General Authorities). The logic then follows, if you do A, B will happen. It is suggested that if you don't do A then B will not happen. It has proven to be the opposite to me.

Plus I don't understand this whole material blessings thing. Are we supposed to believe that God blessed me with money, but he didn't bless somebody in El Salvador with money. Does that mean he likes me more? That thinking boggles my mind. It is akin to athletes thinking that God blessed them with a win. God must love Boston right now, with the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics.

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

My husband ad I are still members of the church, but we're waning...big time.

We stopped paying tithing sometime the past summer. Before then, you could say our motivation was pathetic at best. We were doing it for much the same reason we're told to say we *know* the church is true: to gain a testimony by doing so.

Since all of this, my husband landed a last minute teaching job - as an intern - when it seemed things were looking iffy. Even after landing the job, other offers started coming in.

Then we found a house to rent in our new town that is compartively cheap. Much less than we thought we'd have to pay.

He also just got "promoted" (if you want to call it that) from "temporary" to "probationary" - doesn't sound like much, but it means they'll probably rehire him after next June. Given the economy, this is most definitely a blessing for two cats who've been less than faithful. Very cool. :D

So yes, we're pretty much in the same "soooooo....?" spot.

What's funny is we'd be totally testifying to the principle of tithing right now if we'd paid it. But we didn't.

It's very interesting. While we never paid to get those promised material blessings, we always attributed our ability to get by and even have a little extra to our tithing. Hm!

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People just do not get it. TIthing is more than temporal.

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Rob said...

but by saying it is "MORE than just temporal" you are agreeing that it is at least in some respect temporal. That is what is trying to be measured and that is where it failed. Arguing that spiritual blessings also exist is moot since they are subjective and not measurable. Just listen to almost every tithing talk given, even though they talk about spiritual blessings as well, temporal blessings is very often and usually very strongly emphasized. So by you saying that I just don't get it, because it is more than temporal, is incorrect. I do understand what is claimed, but I am trying to measure only that which can be measured empirically and that is the temporal blessings promised.

 
At 6:59 PM, Blogger Jen and Shane said...

we quit paying tithing about four years ago. although i won't deny that i was blessed during my paying tithing years, i definately have not been punished since quitting. my control group says all things are equal either way.

if rain falls on both the good and bad alike, then the sun shines on both the good and bad alike, which spits in the face of the idea that paying tithing is the path to monetary success. mormons naturally connect paying money to the church with receiving blessings (money) from god. wrong.

if the church pays attorneys to oppress gay rights advocates in california (just one example), then they're exercising unrighteous dominion with your money. you'd be better off donating to united way, unicef, red cross, etc yourself. choose a different middleman to help feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and the non-temporal blessings are still the same.

 
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