Are we obligated to Tithe?
There is no New Testament admonition to pay tithes. The reason is that we are not under law; that is, we don't "have to" pay tithes. However, Jesus taught us to love God and to love our neighbor. If we do this then tithing, it would seem, would be a natural response in the freedom that we have been Christ rather than a requirement of Law. Why? Because the tithe that we give to the church can be used for furthering the Gospel, the presentation of Christian literature, support of missionaries, and, of course, pastors. Regarding the latter, let's take a look at what it says in 1 Cor. 9:3-10.
"My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? 8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops."
Paul is teaching us here that those who work at something have the right to make a living from it. This is a basic and simple principle that is found in the Scriptures. In 1 Tim. 5:18, Paul says, "For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages."
Clearly those who work in the ministry are allowed to make a living from the ministry. How can they do this if they are not supported by tithes from the very congregation that the feed? This becomes more obvious when we realize that ministers often work more than 40 hours a week and are usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, it seems fair to say that tithing is, more or less, expected in the New Testament, but we would not say that any Christian is under obligation to tithe. It should be done out of the kindness and generosity of the heart as an act of worship before God.
Debate: Does God Exist?
I will be debating a well known atheist Eddie Tabash on the topic Does God Exist on Dec. 5, 2009, 6-8 p.m. at the Boise State Student Union Building, Grand Ballroom, 1910 University Dr., Boise, ID 83725 (208) 426-4636. Please pray for this debate. If you are planning on attending, let me know via email at [email protected] and if you go, come up and say "Hi" to me afterwards. Please please realized I'm not good with names; and it will, hopefully, be crowded.
Want a toolbar that is catered to CARM? Get easy access to podcasts, videos, CARM articles, forums, chat (soon), and more at a click of a button. If you download it and use it for a few days, CARM gets a little donation from the toolbar developer. That way you get something and help support CARM--for free! It isn't intrusive on your system and doesn't cause computer problems. I've been using it with absolutely no problems. It works in FireFox and Internet Explorer.
If that sounds good, then download and install it at http://carm.OurToolbar.com/ This is what it looks like (broken into two parts to fit on this page)
Ustream.tv on Homepage
We are now streaming the radio show live on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/carmorg from 6-7 p.m., MST. Also, there are prerecorded shows you can check out if interested. Click on the link and you can see past shows.
And, we are working on making the show viewable on the CARM home page during the show's airing.
Also, we have a toll free number for the radio show. It's 877-207-CARM. That's 877-207-2276.
Last Wednesday, I went out witnessing again at one of the local colleges here in the Charlotte, NC area. As I strolled around campus looking for a conversation, I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to a group of a dozen or so guys who were hanging out. As I proceeded to share the Gospel with them, some of these students raised objections. One guy asked me, “How do you know Jesus rose from the dead?” I proceeded to give him various lines of evidence such as the empty tomb, the numerous appearances of Jesus, the transformation of the disciples, etc. He seemed to appreciate the response.
As we continued our discussion, one extremely vocal student objected to me saying that Jesus rose from the dead. He said that it did not happen and Jesus never really existed. I politely responded to his objections to Jesus’ existence which were extremely misguided showing that we have more textual evidence for the existence of Jesus than many Roman emperors. He argued that the Jesus story was borrowed from the Osiris Egyptian myth which I then refuted showing that the Osiris myth does not explain many of the historical facts surrounding the resurrection including the early resurrection belief of the disciples, the transformation of their faith, etc. (For more, see my article: )
As our conversation continued and he frequently interrupted me, I realized that there was a deeper underlying issue with his objections. This issue came out as he indicated that he thought it was ridiculous for there to be only one way to God. I responded to his objection by emphasizing that the question is not whether we like it that there is only one way to God, but whether there actually is one way to God. I stated, “If Jesus rose from the dead and He taught that there was only one way to God, then there must be only one way to God.” Nevertheless, please pray that the Lord will open this young man’s eyes to the gospel as well as the other people (Christian and non-Christian) who were hanging around and listening to our conversation. Despite our disagreement, we ended our conversation on quite friendly terms.
In addition to this interesting conversation on Jesus’ resurrection, I have to say that the most striking conversation that I have ever had with someone occurred that same day. During my previous discussion mentioned above regarding the resurrection of Jesus, another 30-year old or so black guy came up and started participating in our conversation. We started talking about moral absolutes. This guy refused to admit there were any absolutes. I asked him if the holocaust was morally wrong. He replied something to the extent of, “I cannot say. People were taught to act that way.” I then asked him the clincher question, “Is slavery morally wrong?” Without hesitation, he replied, “I cannot say. That is what people back then were taught to do.”
I was utterly shocked by this man’s response. As a black person, he could not say whether slavery was morally wrong! I have never heard this from any person in my life, much less a black person. This was a sad testament to the utter foolishness and irrationality that many people believe today. Please pray for this relativistic thinking man.
- Family Teaching Course--Working on it again. It is tough, takes lots of work, lots of concentration, etc. Whew! But, it'll be worth it. The FTC is a course designed to be used by Mom and Dad and their 2.4 children after dinner to ground them in the Word of God, logic, evidences, theology, critical thinking, etc., so they do not lose their faith when they go to college. It is, after all, hostile out there for the Christian.
- Radio Support--Would anyone be interested in trying to make calls to the local Boise, Idaho, area in order to help raise advertiser support for the radio show? If so, email me at [email protected]
- Publish Book--I've written a book called The Garden, that is, basically, an evangelism novel. While in his garden, Mark, an unbeliever who is grieving over the unexplained death of his son, is manipulated by a demon and almost commits suicide. An angel named Sotare rescues Mark at the last moment and is later permitted to appear to him and dialogue with him on the purpose of life, God, the nature of evil, and God’s sovereignty. The demons are watching and fighting to destroy Mark and others. Under Sotare’s guidance, Mark is given visions of the demonic realm, hell, heaven, and ancient spiritual history. The battle over Mark unfolds in both the spiritual and physical worlds as the reader sees the demons and angels war over his soul.
So, we need help getting it published. Temporarily, orders can be obtained from http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-garden/4324501
- YouTube Videos--We have been uploading more videos--with more to come. Go to www.youtube.com/carmvideos. Check out "Dark Story" which is our latest upload.
- TV opportunity on a TV network: http://www.lyngsat.com. This is not DirectTV or Dish Satellite. It is Lyngsat, a different network. Last year, 3 million receivers were sold for this network, and the network has been up for years. It is worldwide. We don't know how many people would be watching each show, but it would be broadcast with millions of potential viewers in North and South America. So, we need support. If you are interested in this, please contact me at [email protected] and let me know. Don't send any money, just let me know if you'd like to support it when the time is right. The cost will be $100 per hour to broadcast. That is a great deal.
- Amazon Wish List. Last week at the debate, I spoke with James White of aomin.org. He debated Dan Barker in the morning, and I debated Dan in the evening. James told me about the Amazon wish list and how useful it is. So, I set one up for CARM. Just go to amazon.com and do a search in the wish list area for carm.org and you'll find it. James White uses The Kindle and tells me how very useful it is to be able to purchase books in electronic format, download them, and have them be searchable. That would be a huge asset. People like projects, and they often want to help with those. So, there's the carm.org wish list.
- Debate with Atheist Edward Tabash--Our debate is set up for 12/5/2009 at Boise State University. The debate topic is "Does God Exist?" More info to come.
- Prayer Support: If you would like to pray specifically for CARM, then please check out http://www.carm.org/christianity/prayer-ministry/carm-prayer-needs.
- Feedback and Suggestions. We have a feedback form for CARM now; so if you want to give us some feedback (we'd love to hear it), please go to http://www.carm.org/submit-feedback. We want to hear your ideas!
- Corrections Feedback. If you have a correction you want to see made on CARM, we have a form for that, too: http://www.carm.org/submit-correction.
- WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! If you like what CARM does and want to support it, we have some options.
Tech Stuff Needs
- We need Drupal and programming help--If you know Drupal and want to help, please let us know. Aaron will be working one day a week for CARM and MRM.ORG, and he would be the one working with you. If interested, please contact me at [email protected] and I will forward your e-mail to Aaron. We also need a new and better "Theme Design" for CARM where the html code has the text of the articles appearing sooner in the page than later!!
- Twitter--You can follow the CARM twitter stuff at https://twitter.com/carmorg. We post stuff throughout the day.
- Radio Show--We want to have the Faith and Reason Radio show on different stations. So, we're asking for some suggestions in your area. Send them to [email protected]
Love and Hate Mail
- Just a note on the hate mail. I noticed in the most recent newsletter that almost all of the hate mail was poorly written. The clearly upset mormons & Jehovah Witnesses obviously 'aint got no grammar'. I am a 15 year old homeschooler, and I can't believe people would actually try to present a point with so many grammatical errors. (Do they actually intend to get a response?!?) If they aren't educated or disciplined enough to put together a simple, well-written, comment (hate note) should we give them an opportunity to put into writing what they believe? Another thing, they get so offensive, that they almost fail to make a point at all, and the point they do manage to get across is made invalid by their nasty words. (I certainly don't want to meet those mormons!! Much less see them at church every week!!) When they start to attack your values, you have to wonder if they want to correct you at all. As a Christian, my heart aches when the mormons I know talk about what they do/believe. If they were misinformed about my faith, I would correct them with love. Because what I share with Jesus is available to them, and I want them to have the same relationship that I have with HIM. I haven't watched video yet, but I'm sure I'll find that it says the same things I have found in what little research I have done. Thank you for your time and research. I appreciate the work you guys do!! Sara
- Hello there, I just wanted to thank you for the great work you guys are doing. I find that the website is amazing, it helps me with my personal apologetic to others and despite all the threats and "hate" comments you guys still push the Word of God out. Some articles on the Trinity helped me figure out in an easy way how to explain the concept to non-believers. I encourage you guys to keep going and in the words of Paul, 2 corinthians 10, verse 4: "for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God." We have to be strong and be helpful to each other and your website is a great way to do it. Louis
- Matt, I wish I could send you $, but our business had a 27,000 loss last year with the housing market. I wanted to tell you as a former devout catholic, they truly believe what they are saying. You are so brainwashed as a catholic and are taught that the Bible has been rewritten so many times that only the pope and archbishops can interpret it. They told me that only they have the Holy Spirit. They told me to put down God’s Word and read the catechism or leave the "church." So I kept reading and am now a Bible believing Christian . . . . God bless you. Keep it up. In Christ, Francie
- Dear CARM, thank you much for the support and service your website has given me over the years. After 24 years in Christian Science, I finally was able to utilize rational thought thanks to the work of your and other ministries to logically counter the circular convoluted reasoning that had me trapped in a false faith in God. Even though life has been harder from the perspective of family, finances, and peace, God is finally able to use me as His instrument. I can see that the peaks and valleys that I've encountered these past few years and continue to endure are sharpening me into a threshing instrument for use by my Savior. Thanks again and God bless. Love, Bryan
- Christian Apologetics & RESEARCH Ministry? hahahahaha that's hilarious . . . really? you call this research? this is almost all wrong! and you have taken many quotes & scriptures out of context. Rename your website "Ignorant Anti-Christian Ministry Attempt (without correct research)" . . . because then, you wouldn't be misleading people.
- What kind of a pompous, pious outfit are you people running that you would be so full of yourselves to believe that you're so much better then others??? Your website is nothing short of appalling!!!
- WHO AND WHAT ARE YOU? I see that you are taking Gods job as being the judge. Of course you must be the real true religion by the judging and begging for money don't you think? Does it make you feel more comfortable by running down everyone else? Shame, shame. The very name Slick just about says it all.
- “Women in Ministry” What a joke you people are. Search your soul. I have heard God advise me, have dreams & visions for direction: avoid the likes of you MEN . . . Lula
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