Questions on Tithing

QUESTION ON TITHING
BY JOHN NASH

QUESTION:
I need an answer concerning tithes. What position does the UPC hold as far as ministers receiving 100% of the tithes? The pastor from our former church would not take the tithes, he received an amount from the church to provide for his family, etc. In our present church it is preached hard and heavy that the minister is to receive all the tithes. Yet a “good” minister will not “keep” all of it. ??? That doesn’t make sense to me. To make it make it more confusing he and his wife control the book- keeping and during financial  discussions there is no mention of the tithe since it is “non of your (the congregation’s) business”. This seems unethical. This plagues me and I’m tired of feeling guilt and frustration even though I tithe. Please
answer my questions.

ANSWER:
I will first answer the question that you did not ask. If you feel that you cannot trust the Pastor where you are, then you need to find a church where you can trust the Pastor. I do not know how you can possibly trust a man with your soul if you cannot trust him with your finances. Since we know that guilt does not come from God, you may wish to reassess your feelings and their sources to see if you are over-reacting or acting for the wrong reasons. Frustration comes from wanting things to be one way, but knowing that they must be another. This can be either that you are frustrated about the wrongdoing that you feel is ongoing, or because you cannot have your own way. I suggest that you discuss the tithing matter privately with your
Pastor, and with no one else. In particular, do not discuss  it with other church members or people outside the church – whether your Pastor is right or wrong that would put you squarely in the wrong.

As to the question that you did ask, the Levites receive all the tithe. They  in turn tithe to the priest.

(Num 18:21-27 KJV) And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. … {25} And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {26} Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. {27} And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing floor, and as the fulness of the winepress.

Once you have given your tithe, your participation in the matter is ended: the Levites are the stewards of the tithe, not the people who gave it.

The tithe is for the work of the ministry, and the Pastor is the steward of that tithe. Typically this includes the salaries of all church workers: assistant pastors, secretaries, evangelists, custodians and whatever other
ministerial labor is needed. In all but the very smallest churches the Pastor will not take anywhere near the whole tithe for his personal wages, setting his own income at just a little more than that of his average saint. You would probably be surprised if you knew how much of even that income that he gives back.

Some churches use the tithe to also cover the costs of the building maintenance and utilities, while others follow the Jewish tradition more closely and request an offering (of about 5% of all income) in addition to
the tithe for the purpose of supporting the “temple.” Most ministers feel that they must control the finances or else the Pastor is no longer fulfilling his Biblical duty to freely lead the church and he has become a
hireling – he is dictated to by whoever does control the money and cannot minister freely in the Holy Ghost.

I have never lost money by tithing or giving to missions, and the Lord usually increases my income so that all required bills do get paid on time. If money is tight for you, I suggest first that you examine your heart. When you are certain that you are right with God then be certain that you are faithful in attendance, daily personal prayer time, obedience to the Word and your Pastor, and your tithing and offerings. Next, try to give a little, whatever you can somehow give without failing to pay your necessary bills, to missions. If you stay right with God and are faithful, then adding some missions giving will permit the Lord to add to your income (Luke 6:38). The Lord is particularly fond of missions giving, especially if you give up something else that you want so that you can give (2 Sam 24:24).

I Hope this Helps!

–Bro. John Nash

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