10% of 10% x 3 Tithe Rule

Posted on May 18, 2013

9


Money and ChurchAuthor: Ken Lytle

There are hundreds of homeless and extremely needy people who do not have homes, families, food, clothes, etc. on a regular basis.  Many of these people are addicts, parolees, war veterans, and/or mentally disabled. 

I was recently disappointed by my local conference when I contacted them to cast a vision for reaching the homeless and needy people in our city.

As a caseworker working this city, I do not provide the items these people need.  It is my job to point homeless and needy people in the right direction… helping them find the things they need.  I help people fill out applications for housing, locate food banks, and so much more. 

Here is the catch ———–>>>  Many of the community resources are provided by local churches.  The Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Unitarians, and Non-Denominationals are some the main contributors to the homeless and needy in our city.  Did you notice that Seventh-day Adventists are not included?  That is because we have little to no presence in this city.  If our local churches and conference office were to close their doors, almost no one would even notice.  Why?  Because we are to busy play Christian and play church, instead of being the Church. 

The local conference took one look at my proposal to open an Adventist Community Service Center in the heart of the city and said, “This will never happen.”  This is after presenting a clear plan on how the local conference could pay a stipend for the Adventist Community Services director and that the local churches could pitch in and cover the cost of renting a building and other expenses.  We are talking about five or more Adventist churches working together to open one community service center… and the conference said it would never happen. 

Some of the excuses were, “we already sponsor a couple food banks once a month” (in middle to upper class neighborhoods where homeless people could never get to),  “we are more focused on evangelism” (pushing traditional evangelism without truly preparing the soil before the harvest and seeing very little growth/retention), and “we cannot afford a community service project like this” (but we can afford to fund local conferences, unions, and divisions).     

I am sorry, but we are nowhere near fulfilling the mission Jesus clearly teaches in Matthew 25…

  • Feeding the hungry
  • Giving water to the thirsty
  • Providing shelter to the homeless
  • Giving clothes to those in need
  • Taking care of the sick
  • Visiting those locked up in prison

“Then the King shall say to those on His right hand, Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then the righteous shall answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink?  When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You? And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brother, you have done it to Me.” — Matthew 25:34-40

We know that we are not saved because we serve others… it is because we are saved that we serve others.  If we are not serving others on a regular basis, then we are most likely not saved. 

If our local churches do not have the funds to sponsor real mission work in their communities, then something is wrong. 

I believe it is time for the General Conference to rework our tithing system.  Churches should be allowed to do one of two things…

  1.  Stay with the current method of sending the 10% tithe up the line to the local conference, union, and division
  2. Follow a 10% of 10% x 3 Tithe Rule – Churches give 10% of the 10% to the local conference, union, and division… adding up to 30% of the 10% tithe. 

Churches that follow the 10% of 10% x 3 Tithe Rule would then be free to fund their own pastors (which would need to be cleared through the local conferences) and sponsor local mission projects (Friendship and Traditional Evangelism).  Healthy churches could then afford to open health food stores and vegetarian cafes, schools, and community centers in their local communities.  That way, when the government begins to legislate morality and close down our church in the end of time, people will take notice and say, “Where are those wonderful people… the Seventh-day Adventists?” 

I do not know about you, but I am tired of playing church.  Let us get serious about Jesus and the commission He gave us in Matthew 28 to GO into all the world making disciples. 

We are not to be idle spectators in the stirring scenes that will prepare the way of the Lord’s second appearing. We must catch the enthusiasm and ardor of the Christian soldier. Everyone who is not for Christ is against Him. “He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. Inactivity is registered in the books of heaven as opposition to Christ’s work, because it produces the same kind of fruit as positive hostility. God calls for active workers.  {CH 35.2}    

Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”  {GW 363.2} 

Please become an Adventist activist for Jesus.  As the Spirit leads… please contact your conference, union, and division leaders, asking them to reform God’s end time Church.