Ted said:
Jeff, must we have a "mandate" in order to commit ourselves to God's will? Is not our faith and trust in God's grace-filled promises enough? Is not His precious love and grace enough to prompt us to drop everything we hold dear in this fallen world to follow Him?

Just what in the world are you talking about? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/dizzy.gif" alt="" /> This is where I get off the train since you are taking us into "never-never land". First you insist that tithing is a mandate of the Lord and spent how much time in how many replies trying to defend your view, albeit woefully lacking any Scriptural support, that Christians are mandated of God to give 10% of their gross income specifically to the Church. And now you are saying we don't need a mandate but only something called "grace-filled promises" to which we are to commit ourselves because they are, according to you, "God's will". Sorry, but I find your line of reasoning really too bizarre. And your refusal or inability to open the Scriptures and give a logical defense of your position only tells me it is time for me to shake the dust of my shoes and move on to something more productive. You didn't even attempt to interact with what I wrote to doulos, which you for some reason quoted in full in your reply above. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

Here's what I think.... the "tithe" (defined as: 10% of one's gross income given specifically to the Church) is for some a "Golden Calf"; it is the "11th Commandment" to which those who are of a superior and more mature faith practice. It includes some of the "prosperity gospel" ideas in that those who give a tithe to a Church will surely be blessed of God beyond what they give in this life. (I call this type of thinking the "Celestial Vending Machine Doctrine"). But the truth of the matter is that the "tithe" doctrine is nothing more than what Paul calls "will-worship" (Col 2:23) and can become a type of Legalism by which men's spirituality is judged and even their spiritual state called into question. If someone chooses to give a "tithe" (10% of their gross income to the church) that is perfectly legitimate and they are free to do so. But such a decision should be made from the heart and not based upon an obedience to a non-existent mandate of God nor with the idea that God will infallibly bless you more according to how much you are faithful in giving a tithe.

So, I bid you adieu and leave you to whatever it is you believe on this matter, which at this point is anyone's guess. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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