12 April, 2008

TurboTithe: Not a Penny More Than You Have To

It's that time again. It is Saturday afternoon and you are beginning to prepare your heart and mind for the Lord's Day. The house is completely in order. You have already prepared enough food for tomorrow (it only needs heating in the microwave.) Everyone in your entire family has ironed his clothes and found matching socks. All Bibles have been found and placed on the foyer table. You have read your Sunday School lesson.

But you know there is one thing more that you must do. The clock is ticking. Will you have enough time? You try not to think about it, but you must... you must... you must... Yes, you must do your tithes.

If doing your tithes makes you cringe, why not let TurboTithe ease your fears? TurboTithe makes calculating tithe simple. Some may even call it fun. The whole process can be explained in 3 easy steps.

First, choose your tithe bracket.
1. Pocket Changer
2. Random Small Bill
3. Random Small Bills
4. Random Large Bill
5. Random Large Bills
6. Approximate Tithe on Net Pay, Large Bills
7. Approximate Tithe on Gross Pay, Large Bills
8. Exact Tithe on Net Pay, Checkbook
9. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay, Checkbook
10. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay plus Benefits, Checkbook
11. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay plus Benefits less retirement contributions not paid by your employer, Checkbook
12. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay plus Benefits less retirement contributions not paid by your employer, plus the net of all the net increases and net decreases in the value of all of your assets (including mutual funds, stocks, bonds, cars, home, furniture, computers, lawn equipment, major appliances, perishable food items, subprime mortgage derivative securities, mint and cummin) minus the net of all net benefits and costs in the value of services you have rendered to the Lord (including meals you have prepared for "Dinner on the Grounds" less the value of the helpings you have eaten or partially eaten, including estimates for various amounts of Honey Baked Hams, Up Yonder Rolls, and green bean casseroles).
13. Same as #12 above, but using "Married Tithing Separately" status to split the values of net increases (decreases).

Second, purchase the TurboTithe Edition that is correct for your needs.
*If your tithing status is 1-5, we suggest TurboTithe EZ Platerattler Edition. This edition comes with free advice on techniques for subtly making noise while dropping money in the plate.
*For categories 6-11, the TurboTithe Advanced Edition is probably best. This edition is only for those of you who have the time to actually obtain, and look at, your pay stub.
*For categories 12 & 13, you must have TurboTithe Beyond the Righteousness of the Scribes & Pharisees Edition. If you know the meaning of the word anise, this is the right edition for you.

Third, download your TurboTithe Edition and answer the step-by-step questions.

That's all there is to it! Make doing your tithes fun. Get TurboTithe today, and never pay a penny more than you have to.


Amanda said...

LOL this is great stuff - classic TBNN!

Casey said...

This is one of the funniest and most clever posts that has been placed on here in a long time. It really highlights the legalism in regard to tithing that so many people aspire to. I'm guessing this is going to get a lot of people angry....

Robert said...

I cannot tell you how funny that was! I'm gasping for breath!

(Where do I get a copy?)

Stefan said...

Well, the whole article is brilliant, but this little gem did it for me:

"TurboTithe EZ Platerattler Edition...comes with free advice on techniques for subtly making noise while dropping money in the plate."

Midwest Lawyer said...

legalism? I know nobody who aspires to legalism. Quite the contrary. I know many who toss some money in the plate and call it good. We could use more 'legalism' -- take the Bible at its word 'Test me in this, and see if I don't open the flood gates of Heaven' -- God says to tithe the first-fruits, which pretty obviously means gross pay (otherwise Uncle Sam gets the first, and God gets the second fruits). And if you think that simple obedience is legalism, I guess it's legalism to think that adultery or any other sin of selfishness is wrong in every situation.

Robert said...

Midwest Lawyer,
I'm not sure if you're making a joke or not but here goes:

What makes you think that a passage meant for the Israelites at a specific time and situation is meant for us?

This is a common passage quoted in favor of tithing...when in truth, it has nothing to do with us.

Did you quote the rest right after "I will open my storehouse?"

It goes on to say:

"Then I will stop the plague from ruining your crops, and the vine will not lose its fruit before harvest,” says the Lord who rules over all. “All nations will call you happy, for you indeed will live in a delightful land,” says the Lord who rules over all.

Has the lord been ruining our crops? Am I to believe that If I tithe, then I will have crops?

And as for "first fruits"...same goes here...

The word first fruits is also translated "increase" and so as long as I have an "increase" then what do I give? It can't be 10%, the burden on Israel was more like 40%...so am I to give 40%?

As long as we are talking about simple obedience and casting aspersions on those who's hermeneutic teaches them otherwise on the tithing issue...then tell me...are you keeping the other 613 OT laws also? :)

Daryl said...

Well said Robert.

Great post Dr. Bro. Slawson.
I Loved it!!

Jerry Boyce said...

Robert- Are you a stingy and tight person that does not believe in tithing?

Brother Slawson said...

Seriously, I kinda sorta actually believe that we kinda sorta actually know from Matthew 23:23 that, according to the Lord Jesus, anyone who wants to please God would automatically tithe on the things such as paychecks and herd increases. I really believe such tithing, as the verse implies, would be the bare minimum for any follower of Christ and we would strive to do much much more than simple tithing.

I kinda sorta believe that John 14:15 implies that we'll keep the commandments if we love Jesus. I like what Piper says about John 14:15..."Don't get that verse backwards!" Meaning, focus on the loving the Lord Jesus and the keeping the commandments will naturally follow. Don't focus on keeping the commandments, which leads to Phariseeisticablenesslike tendencies.

Robert said...

So the only two choices are:

1.)Those that believe in tithing.

2.)Stingy tight fisted people.

How about a third category? Those that give for a different reason?

I was just objecting to the reasoning and tone that the lawyer brought...that's all.

The fact is that the OT laws, even on tithing, are not binding on us...

Now...does that mean we don't give? No...in fact the NT makes giving greater...but the REASON we give is a higher standard...that was my point.

good enough?

Jerry Boyce said...

Good enough- Only you narrowed the choices though. I simple asked if you were stingy.

OT laws are not binding- yet through them we get the mind of God. Slawson hit around it some. Are we to disregard the laws pertain to things such as people laying with beasts, just because it was OT law? Someone out there correct me if I am wrong ( haha, do I have to ask) but there are OT laws Jesus never spoke of, such as the above mentioned. If this country, or those we minister in, give the OK for men to lay with beasts- what are we going to quote? Will we go to Lev. 17:13, 18:25, 20:15,16? When the native in Africa asks what is wrong with his former lifestlye, what shall we say then?

While we are not bound to the Law, through it we know what the mind of God is.

He seems to get His 10%. Out of the 120 followers, Jesus kept how many close with Him?

Food for thought..........

Robert said...

The point of my comments was lost...it's not about being stingy, or generous...I was commenting on the fact that Midwest lawyer came and started throwing around OT scriptures concerning promises to a different group of people...no more, no less.

I made no comment on how many give, how many don't give, nothing like that...just questioned the basis of his argument.

Good enough?

Midwest Lawyer said...

Stingy? Someone advocating tithing a full 10% is stingy?

I know the arguments against tithing (OT Law, Jesus was talking to the Pharasees, etc.), but if modern evangelicals (I am one of them) are good at one thing, it's having nice hermeneutical reasons not to bother doing anything that derives from "law" but also happens to be (i) good stewardship and servanhood, and (ii) a pain in the neck to practice.

I seem to notice that nobody uses your arguments to justify giving MORE than 10%, which makes the arguments just a little suspect, don't you think? If someone actually practices the aggressive giving that the early church apparently was rife with ("they shared all things in common", etc.), then I say that person need not tithe. That would be a stronger NT interpretation of tithe - such giving is to tithe as looking hatefully is to murder - the OT law was outward and easy, NT 'law' (if I can call it that) is internal, and hard. But we're selfish and we'd rather use the arguments to reduce our giving. Christ came to fulfil the law, not abolish it. I read somewhere that if every professed Christian did tithe, all world poverty and hunger could be alleviated.

I don't know the truth of that, and certainly you'll have some sophisticated argument about how that wouldn't work because of economic theories, but the guys with the 'it won't work' theories aren't the ones feeding the poor, I've noticed.

And just to give you something to roll your eyes at, I actually think if Jesus was telling us that tithing is out with the Old, he would have said so to the pharasees (did he pussy foot around them generally? No). He'd have said they tithe even their spices, but do not practice justice mercy, and faithfulness, and that they would have been better TO NEGLECT the former in favor of the latter as an internalized, conscience guided fulfilment of the meaning behind the tithe. I am of course referring to Matt. 23:23.

Jerry Boyce said...

Well spoken.

OK, that makes two lawyers I like. HAHAHA

Jerry Boyce said...

Robert, just because the promise was to a group of people does not mean it cannot apply to others. Are we to disregard Proverbs 23:13 just because it was written to someone other than yourself?

I hope you are not one of those that only believe about 3 pages of the Bible apply to us.

What if I came around throwing promises from the Psalms, Proverbs, etc etc ( OT passages )? Would you feel the same then? I ask this to simply see where and how do you draw the line?

Robert said...

to ignore the context of scripture is to not be honest with the text...if you're saying that we are to give equal weight to everything stated in scripture and not take into consideration who it was written to and for what reason, then by all means...start obeying all of those 613 Levitical laws!


Give me some rationale why you wouldn't be doing that...and then let me turn the tables on your comment and say to you: "Oh your not one of those who thinks the Levitical laws don't pertain to us do you??"

And how would you answer that? Would you begin by saying that those laws pertained to a specific time/people/situation?

For a SCRIPTURAL TREATMENT of this subject, not conjecture, not emotion...go to this link and read.

Once you're done, tell me EXACTLY WHY this particular article is incorrect. And again...not from emotion, but from sound scriptural reasoning.


Robert said...

Midwest Lawyer,
Why do you keep drawing the conclusion that because someone has a sound hermeneutic that doesn't mix covenants, and commands, then they are not giving to God biblically?

Isn't it possible that someone has an alternate hermeneutic that allows them to understand "giving" as it's laid out in the NT and not be "robbing God?"

The fact remains, that you don't tithe correctly based on the OT requirement either I'm guessing!

Read the link that I posted and tell me what's misinterpreted and why it is.

Midwest Lawyer said...

Robert, I am not sophisticated or experienced in biblical textual criticism, so I don't intend to go head to head on that, or to put some of your more hyperbolic examples in their place. I have two main points:

1. This one is squishy - I am making a tonal objection to the tone I hear from many fellow Christians: I object to the ethos, if nothing else, or the goals and lifestyle of the comfortable Christians who don't believe they need to abide by a whole myriad of rules, mores, doctrines, etc. -- everything from tithe to dressing well for church -- blithely saying that God looks only at the heart, and rules are old covenant. Since God looks only at your heart, they say, I can wear cutoffs and flipflops to a conservative church, and they better accept that, or they're shallow (and I might point out that, although less common, someone wearing a suit to a campground church could have equally self-serving motives). Or, "I don't have to give this week when money is tight, because we're free, as Children of God."

2. This one isn't so squishy, but may be controversial (and may be something about which reasonable minds may differ). Christians must live a considered life, and it is all too easy to say "no creed but Christ" in answer to many well reasoned positions with respect to doctrine as well as other more social issues (which I was touching on above). A considered life to me means believing the inarguable fundamentals of doctrine (Jesus is the Christ, for example), and then thinking good and hard about dispensing with any of the other traditional beliefs, rules, habits, etc. before doing so. Christians have been doing things, and thinking things wrongly, but I believe that as a generalization, the status quo ought to remain until it becomes disproven/outmoded/etc. We aren't starting with a blank slate, and shouldn't act like we are.

Incidentally, you ask if I myself tithe like the OT required. I'm not sure I understand what you mean, but I tithe gross pay, birthday gifts of cash, etc. I guess I don't tithe appreciation of assets, non-cash gifts, etc. as amusingly suggested by the original story that got us all so far down the comments list. I don't do so out of fear as you seem to think I must, but because I believe that unlike your intentionally silly other examples, there is enough of a NT hook with Jesus telling the Pharasees not to neglect it (the contrary arguments I don't find particularly compelling) that I should do it. And really, why not? It helps me every payday, when my mind is on getting ahead, to remember that I serve a Master other than my financial welfare. So I might short change the cable company, but tithe comes first as a sign that my faith comes first.

Robert said...

I'm a little disappointed that you didn't do the two things I requested that you do:

1.)Allow for the possibility that there could be someone who gives to God, but not as a requirement from the Old Covenant.

2.) Read the very well done link from my web page...and tell me why the person who is arguing 180 degrees from your position is incorrect.

You're the one that said:

take the Bible at its word 'Test me in this, and see if I don't open the flood gates of Heaven"

As if to say that those that don't tithe per the OT (and you are one of them) then they "don't take the bible at it's word."

That's a false either/or fallacious choice as I pointed out.

I'm NOT saying that Christians do not give, as I said..they do...it's just that you stated a few things and all I'm asking you to do is defend your statements with scripture and you have yet to do so except to repeat your beliefs as if repeating them over and over is some how making a good arguable position, and it's not.

Jerry Boyce said...

Robert, one more and I am done. This is simple. Very easy. If this country did away with the laws that man cannot lay with beasts, would it be wrong and why/why not? Please defend with Scripture.

Robert said...

I will give you an answer...just as soon as you answer my questions in my comment post, I'll paraphrase:

"Why should we not read scripture in context, letting each type of literature be read as it should be: historical narrative, Prophesy, Didactic, etc..."

Second question:

Why, if you defend the OT command to tithe, do you NOT obey the tithe as is was laid out in it's entirety, and the other 600 OT laws?

Once you've done that...then I'll go down your rabbit trail, but don't answer a question, with another question.

That was my question to Midewest Lawyer from the beginning, and that's my question to anyone who holds onto this OT law as if it was part of our covenant also.

Jerry Boyce said...

Question 1- Reading is fine. Now we can apply. All Scripture is given for the following things: doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction. There is still a reason we have the OT, and part of that is to get the mind of God. IT seems you are one of those ones that only believe 3 or so pages really apply to us.

Question 2- I tithe because it is a NT principle.

There, your turn. Sorry I answered a question with another question. I figured because Jesus did, I could too. I guess that doesn't apply also.

Robert said...

To my question:

"Why should we not read scripture in context, letting each type of literature be read as it should be: historical narrative, Prophesy, Didactic, etc..."

Your answer was:

"Reading is fine"

What kind of an answer is that to my question?

Do we or do we not read scripture in it's own context allowing the author to dictate our understanding based on his intentions?

This question is in reference to your earlier statements:

Robert, just because the promise was to a group of people does not mean it cannot apply to others. Are we to disregard Proverbs 23:13 just because it was written to someone other than yourself?

I hope you are not one of those that only believe about 3 pages of the Bible apply to us.

What if I came around throwing promises from the Psalms, Proverbs, etc etc ( OT passages )? Would you feel the same then? I ask this to simply see where and how do you draw the line?

Until that is cleared up, then this discussion can have no basis to move forward. You're statements do not reflect a proper hermeneutic.

If your answer is now "Yes, we allow the author to dictate the meaning based on his intention, his audience, and cultural/historical/grammatical considerations" then it renders invalid all those statements and your argument at this point is nullified.


Jerry Boyce said...

Robert, you disappoint me. I had popcorn, party hats, and family over to see you stumble and fumble over explaining my question. It is clear to everyone you did not uphold your end of the stick. I really don't expect you to now either. Even if I answered the way you want me too, I bet you would STILL not answer the question. That is fine, though. The silence is deafening.

Robert said...

As funny as that is...and I have a good sense of humor, I did laugh...

Unless you answer the first set of questions on how you view the interpretation of scripture, then we have no basis for discussion.

The fact is that you made a statement about my hermeneutic waaaaaay back up the comment chain, and I'm challenging you to back it up with something more than funny stories.

You never addressed it and that's what I'm asking.

You asking more questions does not answer my questions does it?

Let's at least go in order instead of bringing up and abandoning thoughts as fast as we can?

See my last post. The point is that I had asked a question for a reason; if you don't understand the literal/historical/grammatical method of interpretation of scripture, then you are right, this conversation can go no further.

If you do...then your statementment about my "only using 3 pages of the bibie" while very amusing, is rendered invalid and we have a new starting point for discussion.

Thats what I was trying to point out.

Can we start there? I'd be happy to answer questions once we get beyond why you think that every verse carries the same weight as every other verse.

Richard Boyce said...

Hi Robert.

Your blog presented a good argument against the practice of paying the tithe. Wouldn't say I agree with you, but the argument was indeed a valid one.

I was wondering, though....if this country did away with the laws that man cannot lay with beasts, would it be wrong and why/why not?

Please defend with Scripture.

Robert said...

Let me start my comment by saying that I appreciate you taking the time to read the post at my site. That's part of what I asked you to do.

The second part of that question was: "If you disagree, why is he wrong? and support your answer by scripture."

The other question that I had asked before and you still haven't answered in on the issue of your statements about interpreting scripture.

Answer these two questions that have drug on over 8 comments, and we can proceed...fair enough?

Asking more questions doesn't answer the previous questions asked.

Jerry Boyce said...

Brother Robert- please note name under the post. Richard is not Jerry and Jerry is not Richard.

Go ahead and answer Richard. I pulled my dog out of this fight when I knew you would never answer my question.

So what about Richards?

By the way Richard- I almost has a heart attack when I saw what you asked. Great question!!

Richard Boyce said...

Eh. I read his post. I reckon that entitled me to one question.


Robert said...

If you guys would quit using the same last name then I'd not make these kinds of mistakes! :)

I guess I overlooked the email alert that there was a new comment here...sorry for the delay.

My original point was that ML came in here throwing around some OT passages and said that unless we were on the OT tithing view then we were probably not tithing enough.

I simply challenged him to defend the idea that we are under that tithing agreement...no more no less...it never happened.

Secondly, When I said that a proper hermeneutic involves more than being funny, "JERRY" said:

I hope you are not one of those that only believe about 3 pages of the Bible apply to us.

I just challenged him on it and haven't gotten a good answer...if we can't even get that ironed out...then how can we even discuss the tithing issue???

JERRY'S next response which should have been to answer my question on his hermeneutical method was to ask a question about "laying with beasts"

JERRY'S next response was a half-hearted-vague "reading is fine" response that didn't answer anything.

Then RICHARD said that he'd read my post at my site, but did NOT tell me in what exegetical way this man erred by his conclusions...

So, my poor eyesight not withstanding when it comes to reading names...neither JERRY nor RICHARD has provided any good reason to think that the OT tithing is not for us today, simply restating a position, or asking new questions is not the same thing...so like RICHARD...I'm done with this dead horse. :)

And thanks to Richard, or Jerry or whoever you are for the interaction. :)

Jerry Boyce said...

And on top of all that- there is something missing. Oh wait- it must be the answer about the man/beast situation. You are most welcome Robert. I hope everyone had a good time and laugh. I know I did.
Plus it is good publicity for TBNN.

Richard Boyce said...

What a beautiful non-answer.

Look, I read your blog, acknowledged the validity of the argument, but also said I disagree. I didn't attempt to defeat your position exegetically, for two reasons. One, I don't have time. Two, even if I cannot support the idea of tithing based upon NT commands, I believe it to be an example set for the Church thousands of years ago that should be maintained for the purpose of paying the church staff, bills, etc.

Now, to my knowledge, I've answered your question.

If you'll do me the courtesy now of answering mine?

Robert said...

I will answer your question in the same way you answered mine. Remember I had asked to tell me why the argument was invalid with more than "I just feel that way." I never argued that you didn't feel that way...I just asked you to tell me WHY you did...and you have...you just believe that and no amount of well exegeted scriptural evidence will change your mind.

So now I'll answer your question about man/beast with the same level of interaction...ready?

I don't have an opinion, it's irrelevant to me or this conversation...I just "feel that way..."

Not much of an answer was it?

Have a great day...

Richard Boyce said...

Bet you loved dodge ball as a kid, didn't ya?


You have a nice day, too.

Jerry Boyce said...

TBNN, tomorrow you need to take 3.5 comments and place them in the plate. As of this count, that makes 10% of this post's comments. Or, you could give on offering with the tithe and make it an even four comments.