References for Conclusions on Biblical Giving

May 8th, 2009

Conclusions With Supporting References

The Bible teaches us that:

  • Christians should regard everything they have as coming from God and being owned by God. (Deuteronomy 10:14, Psalm 50:10-12, Deuteronomy 8:17-18)
  • Christians should give generously, sacrificially, cheerfully, and as God leads them to give.  (Second Corinthians 9:7; 1 Timothy 6:17)
  • The Old Testament tithe was of agricultural products only. (Those who made a living through commerce did not tithe on the portion of their income that came from commerce.)  (Deuteronomy 14:22, Deuteronomy 26:12-13)
    Or see http://www.setfreetogive.com/b31.htm#moses
  • In Old Testament times, the largest portion of an individual’s tithe was not given to the priests or the temple. Instead, the largest portion of the tithe was consumed by the person (and his family) giving the tithe and/or was given to the poor and needy.  (Deuteronomy 14:22-29, Deuteronomy 26:12-13)   Or see http://www.setfreetogive.com/b31.htm#moses

Historical writings teach us that:

  • The Pharisees taught a form of the tithe that went far beyond the tithe set forth in the Scriptures, including tithing on all forms of income, not just agricultural income. (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus, The Messiah, Book III page 312;
    http://books.google.com/books?id=EyGls9iGbSgC&pg=PA312&lpg=PA312&dq=Alfred+Edersheim+tithe+pharisee&source=bl&ots=PPdsddwYr3&sig=TK61UTGpjcvlsMnM59ieJPCYxLE&hl=en&ei=Mzn4Sd2gIqakNdv1haoP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA312,M1
    )
  • The tithe was not a practice of the early church.
    See Set Free To Give page 110 http://www.setfreetogive.com/b107.htm
  • The tithe was ordained by the church hundreds of years after Christ to support the church’s infrastructure and building programs.
  • See Set Free To Give page 110 http://www.setfreetogive.com/b107.htm
    or The Catholic Encyclopedia at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Tithes or  http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Tithes

How to Remove Mildew From Hunting Boots

May 5th, 2009

Last October I hunted the early West River deer season in South Dakota and had a great time.  The only thing that marred the experience was that on the last day of the hunt it rained heavily and my almost-new Irish Setter hunting boots with 600-gram Thinsulate and Gore-tex linings got soaked inside because I neglected to wear waterproof pants which allowed my long underwear and the insides of the boots to get very wet.

When I got home I made the mistake of setting the boots aside and promptly forgot about them until mid-November when I got them out for another hunting trip. To my dismay the boots had an overpowering smell of mildew. I didn’t have time to deal with the mildew before I left on another hunting trip so I just put up with the smell until hunting season was over.

After hunting season ended, I emailed W.L. Gore and asked them for recommendations on ways to get remove the mildew without damaging the gore-tex.  Gore’s customer service department recommended soaking the boots in a solution of Lysol. I just couldn’t bring myself to do that so I spent a hour or so with Google, searching for other solutions.

Google turned up several recommendations for a product called Mirazyme. I ordered two bottles and gave it a try.

Mirazyme by itself didn’t eliminate all of the mildew odor, but it helped a great deal.  What the Mirazyme didn’t get rid of was removed with Silver Scent Eliminator with Colloidal Silver.

Here’s the process that I followed that eventually got rid of the smell of mildew.

1. I soaked the boots twice for 10 minutes in a Mirazyme solution consisting  of about 1/2 oz of Mirazyme to 8 gallons of water.  Each time I dried the boots over a heater vent. The first soaking rid the boots of about 50% of the mildew smell. The second soaking got rid of only a little more of the smell.

2. Next I followed the advice on the McNett web site for dealing with very stubborn odors.  I soaked the boots twice for five minutes in a Mirazyme solution consisting of about 2 oz  of Mirazyme to two gallons of water. Again, after each soaking I dried the boots over a heater vent. After the first soaking in the stronger solution the boots smelled much better.  After the second soaking, most, but not all of the smell of mildew was gone.

Unfortunately, there was just enough smell of mildew left to still bother me.

3. Finally, I sprayed the inside of the boots until they were wet to the touch with Primos Hunting Calls Silver Scent Eliminator with Colloidal Silver (Model No. 58001).  Then I set the boots outside in the sun to dry.

I’m pleased to report that the Silver Scent Eliminator removed the last vestige of the odor of mildew!

I Am Not the Man I Want To Be

May 4th, 2009

Our adult Sunday School class is studying Romans and this week we are in Romans chapter 5.  Romans chapter 5 is very rich in doctrine, but verse 17 seems particularly relevant to me at this time.  Romans 5:17 says

17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

William R. Newell, in his excellent commentary on Romans “Romans Verse by Verse” wrote: Let us refuse to be content with a Christian existence that cannot finally be summed up as “He reigned in life through Jesus Christ,” — over sin, Satan, the world, difficulties, adverse surroundings and circumstances.

David Livingstone early wrote in his diary, “I have found that I have no unusual endowments of intellect, but I this day resolved that I would be an uncommon Christian.”

I think most of the time I’m a pretty common Christian.  I pray that from this day forward my life will be one of uncommon Christianity.

Personal Conclusions On Biblical Giving and Tithing

April 20th, 2009

Without references, here are my conclusions on the Bible’s teaching on giving and tithing.

The Bible teaches us that:

  • Christians should regard everything they have as being owned by God.
  • Christians should give generously, sacrificially, cheerfully, and as God leads them to give.
  • The Old Testament tithe was of agricultural products only. (Those who made a living through commerce did not tithe on the portion of their income that came from commerce.)
  • In Old Testament times, the largest portion of an individual’s tithe was not given to the priests or the temple.
  • The largest portion of the tithe was consumed by the person giving the tithe (and his family) and/or was given to the poor and needy.

Historical writings teach us that:

  • The Pharisees believed that a tithe should be made against all forms of income, not just agricultural income.
  • The tithe was not a part of the early church.
  • The tithe was implemented by the church sometime around the third century to support the church’s infrastructure and building programs.

Summary Conclusions

  • The Bible does not teach that Christians should tithe.
  • It is wrong to say that the Bible teaches that Christians should give 10 percent of their gross income to their local church.
  • God wants to be in control of our finances, just like He wants to be in control of every facet of our life.
  • For any given Christian it may be right or it may be wrong to tithe.  It depends on what God wants them to do with His money.
  • It is wrong to say that not to tithe is the same as robbing God.

In the next few posts, I’ll restate my conclusions and give references in support of each conclusion.

Online Resources on Biblical Giving and Tithing

April 19th, 2009

It’s been quite a while since my last post but in the interim I’ve finished my Bible study of tithing and giving.  I’ve decided not to go into the details of the study because I found several good resources on the Web that do a much better job than I ever could in covering the Bible’s teaching on tithing and giving.  In this post, I’m going to list the Web resources and in my next post I’ll tell you what I’ve concluded as a result of my study.  If you want to study tithing in detail, I encourage you to check out the listed resources for yourself.

Note: this article is in response to the common belief among Christians that the Bible teaches that Christians should give 10 percent of their gross income to the local church (a practice commonly referred to as tithing). For many years I thought the Bible taught the tithe.  It was only recently, after studying the issue in depth, that I became convinced otherwise.

Resources on Tithing and Giving

1.  Will a Man Rob God
Andreas J. Kostenberger and David Croteau, Southeastern Baptist Seminary
http://www.biblicalfoundations.org/pdf/pdfarticles/bbrtithing1.pdf

2.  Reconstructing a Biblical Model for Giving
Andreas J. Kostenberger and David Croteau, Southeastern Baptist Seminary
http://biblicalfoundations.org/pdf/pdfarticles/bbrtithing2.pdf

These two articles by Southern Baptists Andreas Kostenberger and David Croteau are the most scholarly, yet readable material I could find.  Highly recommended.

3.  Tithing: Is It New Testament
Elliot Miller, Christian Research Institute
This article by the editor-in-chief of the Christian Research Journal was on the CRI web site when I began my research, but seems to have been removed from the CRI website since then.  A copy of the article is here:  http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=36937

4.  Set Free To Give (Online Book)
Brent J. MacDonald
http://www.setfreetogive.com/bindex.htm
This is a fairly complete treatment of the Bible’s teaching on tithing and giving with excellent historical information included.

5.  Should the Church Teach Tithing
http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/index.html
Russ Kelly’s web site is the most complete compendium of information on tithing I could find.  Unfortunately, Russ can be very strident on the topic of the tithe.  (I suspect Russ is extremely frustrated with the South Baptist Convention’s refusal to re-examine the case against tithing.)  Sadly, Russ can be so strident that you may be tempted to dismiss what he has to say.  There’s a lot of good information here if you can filter out the emotional heat.

6. Toward the Tithe and Beyond
John Piper
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/1995/923_Toward_the_Tithe_and_Beyond/

A respected pastor and Christian author explains why he believes Christians should tithe.

In my next post, I’ll summarize my conclusions on giving and tithing.

The Old Testament Tithe

March 2nd, 2009

What is the tithe? Some Christians use the word tithe as if it means little more than a regular offering.   Bono (lead singer for U2) used the word tithe in this fashion when he spoke at the 2006 National Prayer breakfast.  Bono said, “I was amazed when I first got to America and I learned how much some church-goers tithe.   Some tithe up to ten percent of the family budget.”

Strictly speaking, a tithe is always 10 percent.  According to Easton’s Online Bible Dictionary a tithe was “a tenth of the produce of the earth consecrated and set apart for special purposes.”

Some Christians believe the Bible teaches that we (Christians) should give 10 percent of our income to the local church and they refer to this practice as tithing.   Does the Bible teach that Christians should tithe? That’s one of the questions I’ll try to answer in the next few months.

Beginning an Examination of Biblical Patterns of Giving

February 25th, 2009

I’m rereading the book “Set Free to Give” with the other deacons and pastor in my church.  Reading the book is part of our process of studying what the Bible really teaches about tithing, offering, and giving.

Between now and April I’ll be posting articles on this topic.  In regards to the book “Set Free to Give” I’ll be writing about the facts, interpretation, logic, and conclusions of the author, (Brent J. MacDonald), and any questions his book has raised in my mind.

The book is available as a PDF file and can be downloaded from the author’s web site for the very reasonable price of $5. Clearly Brent isn’t trying to make a lot of money from the book because the $5 entitles you to give one copy of the PDF to someone else and Brent has posted the full text of the book on his web site, allowing you to read it without spending a cent.

I have to mention that some parts of “Set Free to Give” seem somewhat strident  (perhaps reflecting the author’s frustration at the evangelical community’s lack of reasoned response to many of issues he has raised). When I read those sections of the book I have to make a conscious effort not to let the strident tone interfere with my understanding.

Bushmaster.com: it’s better to order over the phone.

February 24th, 2009

On Sunday, I ordered a set of scope rings for a hunting rifle from www.bushmaster.com only to discover today (Monday) that Bushmaster doesn’t process Sunday Web orders until Tuesday!

The customer service representative politely informed me that you’re usually better off to order over the phone on Monday instead of ordering from the web on Sunday.

Strange. Very Strange.

A Fever for Flashlights Part 2: Tactical Flashlights

January 31st, 2009

What is a tactical flashlight?  My definition of a tactical flashlight is a small, lightweight flashlight with an intensely bright light that can be used to startle, disorient, and control anyone on the receiving end, and is tough enough to survive hard use in potentially dangerous situations.  Wikipedia’s article on tactical flashlights has lots of good information worth reading.

I believe the original tactical flash was the Surefire 6P. I bought a 6P at a Dallas gun show many years ago and never regretted it.  At the time there was nothing else that provided such an intense beam of light in a small package. The 6P is still being manufactured and it is still a good flashlight, but I can’t recommend it unless you don’t mind paying too much money for too little flashlight.  The LED version, the Surefire 6PL might be OK, but to my mind, it also seems to be a bit too expensive for what you get.

I haven’t purchased any real “tactical” lights since getting my Surefire 6P, so I can’t recommend any from personal experience, but there are many places on the web you can go for more information. Here are three sites worth checking out.

  1. Candlepowerforums.com
  2. Lights For Law Enforcement
  3. FlashlightReview.com

Unfortunately, FlashlightReview.com hasn’t been updated since  June 2007 so it’s usefulness is going to decrease with time.

Instead of buying expensive tactical lights, I’ve been collecting less expensive LED flashlights can can serve the typical householder in a tactical role.  I’ll review several of those in my next post.

A Fever for Flashlights

January 28th, 2009

I have a fever for flashlights.  The fever started 25 years ago when I bought my first Mini-MAGLITE, it jumped a couple of degrees a few years later when I got a high-intensity police flashlight (a Streamlight SL-20X Halogen) and it began to rage out of control when I saw my first quality LED flashlight.

The LED (Light Emitting Diode) is the best thing to happen to flashlights ever.  LEDs have many advantages over other types of flashlight bulbs. LEDs are almost unbreakable, they are much more efficient in their use of battery power (more light for less power, so batteries last longer with LEDs), and they can deliver almost as much light for lower cost.

Every home, every car, and every keyring should have a good quality LED flashlight.  Here are some flashlights I have used and can personally recommend:

A friend has asked me to recommend a flashlight for home/tactical use, so I’ll be writing more on flashlights in the days to come.