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How Churches Can “Fire” Washington

March 28, 2013 at 12:25 am / by

About Tina Drake

Arizona PolitiChick Tina Drake has been teaching and mentoring Junior High and High School students, in churches where she has been active, since her time as a college student, over twenty-five years ago.… More
tithing

Have you ever been a part of a project at work or maybe part of an organization, where you just came to a point with your partners and said, “Thanks for your participation, I’ll take it from here”? You just knew, deep inside your gut, you could do the job more efficiently and effectively if everyone else got out of the way.

In America, we are in that time and place.  The partners (our government) in this project called “the economy” just aren’t right for the job.

To most Americans it appears we have no control over the way money is allocated or spent.  On any given day, lobbyists saunter into offices on Capitol Hill sharing the stories of their client’s “needs” and “dreams”, while promising long term support for those whom they are making deals.  The people making these decisions don’t care or aren’t interested in using our money morally.

For those of us who follow the words of Jesus, we believe we are to “Render to Caesar (pay taxes) the things that are Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21 NAS), at least most of us are rendering.  In doing this, we think we are at Washington’s mercy and behave as though there is nothing we can do to correct the financial path we are traveling due to Washington’s radical spending.

Recently while reading Robert Morris’ book, The Blessed Life, I realized with a grassroots effort, conservative Americans can make a difference financially at the community level, which just might put Washington out of business.  The social services business, at least.

The Blessed Life discusses the principle of tithing to God.  Tithing is the offering of the first of our labors, a tenth of what we have been blessed with in life, a continual offering to God, not just once or once in a while.

From the beginning of time, God asked His people for only the first 10 percent, the best of their best, directly given back to Him.  Any additional giving to others was and remains to this day, above and beyond that ten percent.  This giving is done today in our local churches.

Imagine the potential, as a nation we have to lessen the portion of the Federal Budget, which manages items for helping those in need, if our participation in local churches and its financial giving would render the need for involvement of the Federal and maybe even State governments unnecessary.  What a picture, to envision our faith communities as truly serving those needs, without Federal and State aid and thus eliminating the need for taxes being directed to those line items and in turn helping to reduce our budget problems.

In a 2010 Pew Research poll, 78.3 percent of Americans distinguished themselves as Christians.  The American population at that time was approximately 311,000,000 calculates to approximately 245,000,000 people aligning themselves with Christian faiths.  (I realize that for many, the topic of money in church is like the sound of nails dragging down a chalkboard, but stick with me.)

Mr. Morris’ book sparked the idea with me, that for conservative Christians, who are regular attenders at their local church, we may actually hold the key to putting the government out of the business of taking care of our communities and states in a number of potential ways.

A 2004 survey of church attendance in the U.S., done by Dave Olson, director of church planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church, Christian churches surveyed (i.e., evangelical, mainline and Catholic) showed 18.7% of Americans regularly attended church.

If we use the 2010 population survey and the 2004 attendance survey (using approximations) we could estimate approximately 50,000,000 Americans attend a specifically Christian church service regularly.  According to America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2010 from the United States Census Bureau in 2010 the average house size was 2.59 people per family.  This gives us approximately 20,000,000 families attending church regularly.  The 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) from the US Census Bureau reported the real median household income in the United States to be $50,502.

Realistically, there are families regularly attending church who make beyond the real median household income, but just working off this number, if each family gave the base tithing of 10 percent, it amounts to only $5,050 a year in giving to their local church.  Then hoping that family gives an addition 10 percent to the same church and its community outreach activities, there is an additional $5,050 per family, totaling a family’s annual contribution of $10,100.

The first ten percent, or tithe, given in honor of God and how He has blessed our families and nation and the second as an additional step of faith, that churches and people of faith can reach into our communities more effectively and efficiently than the government, targeting money to those in need in the immediate community.

Here is where this experiment puts Washington out of a job.  If at these numbers and minimal rates of giving not only back to God, which is what is asked of Christians, but an equal amount of additional giving “above and beyond” this produces approximately $190,000,000,000 which can be used in our communities to fund projects the government is “managing” today.

Dream of what could be done with well-intended people, who have a laser focus of using the money specifically for those in need, without all the added pork Washington includes in their bills.  While at the same time, those who are giving the money also have the opportunity of working hand in hand in serving their community and seeing the benefits firsthand of their financial aid; seizing the opportunity of being a steward in the community.

The concept of stewardship hasn’t reached Washington D.C.  Congress may believe they are being stewards of our money when in fact, they aren’t.  A steward, defined by Dictionary.com, is “a person who manages another’s property of financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others”. Stewardship is an action, something that should be taken seriously for the betterment of the one who has entrusted the finances, not for the betterment of the one who is managing the finances, in this case our government.

In looking at the action of tithing from a historical perspective, Mr. Morris’ book focuses on Hezekiah.  Hezekiah was the twelfth king of Judea and was the son of Ahaz.  King Ahaz had been condemned by the prophets as being a godless leader.  (Might there be a correlation here?)

When Hezekiah took the throne, Judea had declined to the lowest of political and spiritual depravity. To give support for the priests and Levites in Judea, Hezekiah sent out a command for the people of Judea to commit themselves to the practices of the Law of the Lord.  (You can read the entire story in 2 Chronicles 31:4-10 NIV).

The result of God’s people turning back to Him and giving as God directed them was a phenomenal. As the people gave to God, He gave back to them and the storehouses (which today could be compared to food banks at churches and within our local communities, clothing distribution centers for those in need as well as job training centers and homeless shelters) were overflowing with supplies. (See 2 Chronicles 31:10 NIV)

There was no longer a population of needy people in their community.

The government didn’t create this success.  King Hezekiah didn’t try to take the credit.  It was the people responding to God and in turn God blessing His people. As a blessing from God, the people had enough to take care of their own and lessened the government involvement in everyone’s life.

Sounds good, right?  So would God allow this to happen in America?

If we still believe we can be a Christian nation, we need to look at the words of God.  God is telling us to test His words.  “Bring in the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room for enough of it”.  Malachi 3:10

There are churches all over this country whose absolute focus is on helping others.  That support needs to come from conservative Americans who follow the path set out by God.

I am truly convicted that if we give to God and our churches, we will be able to take care of many (and maybe eventually all) of the social entitlement programs the government believes they need to be in charge of and put the government out of the social services business.  In turn, those areas of the budget can be cut because we take care of each other directly, not through government channels.

The Gateway church where Robert Morris is the Senior Pastor, last year alone gave $10million dollars to outreach programs.  With 5 campuses in the Dallas area and 22,000 people attending regularly, they gave $10million dollars.

What could we do as the American citizens I know we are and can be, with over 48,000,000 church going Americans, if we set it in our heart to no longer entrust the government with this portion of “their duties”?

Just imagine if we could tell Washington, “Thanks for your participation; we will take it from here. You’re fired!”

 

 

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Tina Drake

Arizona PolitiChick Tina Drake has been teaching and mentoring Junior High and High School students, in churches where she has been active, since her time as a college student, over twenty-five years ago. Tina believes politics and religion can, and should, be discussed together. She says she is a “lifelong follower of Christ and believer in the true significance of God's power in each and everyone's life” and she believes in the absolute need for God and Christ to be honored and included in the decisions made for our country. Tina continues to mentor students in this age group, along with her husband, multiple times each week. She believes that encouraging people, especially students, to see the need for a relationship with God and Jesus Christ in their everyday life, is an absolute need in her life. Tina volunteers weekly in her children's school, allowing her to witness how today's students are learning and developing in their social, educational, political and spiritual beliefs. Witnessing how students experience life, during the timeframe of Junior High through College, is immensely important to Tina. She believes this age group needs to be mentored, so they will have the tools with which to navigate today's societal pressures to live life without God, rather than with Him. Tina has also been a teacher to women in churches, teaching small groups, as well as speaking to large groups on a variety of spiritual topics. In addition to Spiritual Formation, Tina has been actively following and discussing the many facets of politics. Tina is a graduate of the University of Arizona, having earned a degree in Communication and a minor in Political Science. After college, she worked in the field of Advertising and Marketing, specializing in Media Buying and Planning, as well as directing entire Marketing and Sales departments. She has been a writer for PolitiChicks.com since 2012 and says she “enjoys the opportunity to encourage Americans to live out their faith in Jesus Christ, while they stand firm on the principles set forth by our forefathers in their political beliefs”.

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13 Comments

  1. I love this article Tina! I’ve often wondered what this nation would be like if churches were able to do what they were always meant to do, helping the poor, needy and the widows. American churches and communities used to do this. We can do it again! Even those of us with very little income, like the widow putting her mite in the tithe box, God will bless it to be used for His good. Thank you for a positive and great article! Well said!

    • lorlan4 says:

      What a big IF! Yes, we can do it again. Many people that claim to be Christians are only thinking of theirselves. You cannot be a Christian and believe that abortion is OK. You cannot be a Christian and believe gay marriage and homosexuality is OK. You cannot be a Christian and believe that the Bible or God should or can be changed. You cannot be a Christian and lie about your inability to work, unless you are disabled or mentally ill. As you can see, it is not easy to be a Christian without complete belief and faith in the Bible and God’s teaching. Some of these so-called Christians had better wake up! And they know who they are!!!

  2. Watchman on the Wall says:

    I love this article and wisdom, Tina! However, I have to remind you that some of our denominations and non-denominational churches see the tithes of their members as more money in their budget to pay their pastors, associate pastors, and staff more or to build bigger sanctuaries and facilities! Many Churches have become like corporations and forgotten their mission and purpose and calling. I hate to have to say that many Pastors have become like our Elitist President. He thinks he’s entitled and deserves more vacations and perks, while the people he’s been entrusted with suffer. Someone once told me that more money will never help a spiritual problem. I suspect that our government and our churches are suffering from a spiritual problem, today… and more money through taxation or tithing won’t help. God doesn’t bless those who blaspheme His word. He doesn’t prosper a nation that turns from Him, either. I’m praying for a revival for our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a great place to start! God have mercy upon America!

  3. dHb says:

    The out of control government we now have with its share of
    liberals and socialists is certainly not the best thing for our country but just the same what we certainly do not need is a Christian Theocracy and another inquisition.

  4. That’s why I do my own act of civil disobedience… I stopped paying my income taxes to the federal government, filing as “exempt”. I put my money where my mouth is, and provide for those that need it around me. That way, the federal government is being cut off, and starved for money. If everyone in the USA did that, then Washington would no longer have the money they crave to exist.

    I remember, at one time, the USA did just that… those that needed help turned to the churches in their communities. Food banks, clothing, housing, etc, were provided by the churches. Unfortunately, the problem has been the “stewards” of the churches developed power-cravings… they turned those that needed it the most, away, souring those people against the church. If we did what the author and Mr. Morris wants us to do, then the churches have to put someone as steward who is not corrupt with power, as our federal government has become.

    • God bless you Rhonda. I’m 68 now and I did what you’re doing for 18 years back in the 70′s. In fact I conducted seminars in several different states as part of a national group, trying to get my fellow Americans to see the light and force the gov’t, to obey the constitution, restore the gold and silver standards to our money system and restore states rights by removing their paycheck as a lever. Alas, We the People still wanted to be sheep. They’d rather avoid the animating contest of confronting the gov’t. and bow down to lick the hands of those who hold the chains that bind them. Stay on course and do everything you can to remain in the civil arena and away from the criminal end of your quest. They went after us criminally because we were making a lot of noise back then, however, they’ll probably leave you alone because you’re only one and it would cost them more to prosecute than they could collect from you.

  5. TeaParty Patriot (TTP) says:

    The fly in your ointment is that the takers are not satisfied with 10% given to the church and 10% given to the community for outreach. they want to be supported in the manner in which they wish to become accustomed, look at the oppulance in which the affirmative action owebumm is demanding for running this country in debt. and with the affirmative action owebumm in absolute power in DC we have no choice, our assets and fruits of our labor are being taken from us.

  6. Sean Boal says:

    Very well said Mrs. Drake

  7. James Maxwell says:

    I can only speak for myself and my Family. We look at the issued up for vote on ballots,
    and the people running for office. If I feel they are acting in a Christina manner and
    not discriminating against Christians I will more than likely vote for them. Based upon
    the reaction I saw in the democrat convention last year when the did not include GOD
    nor Israel on their ballot and their booing the amendment when it was brought up I would
    not now nor never vote democrat again. I cannot and will not support those that seek
    to actively destroy my nation, the US Constitution, active seeing to promote acts that
    are against my religious values such as their stance upon homosexuality and other
    deviant acts.
    I discuss those issued with family and friends and let them know my convictions and
    reasons why I support one candidate over another and the people I know base their
    decision pretty much on the same value that I hold true.

  8. Mitch Reed says:

    A great suggestion, however with our Government currently, they would find a way to waste the money on something else and never reduce their budget…when do they ever reduce their budget Tina, I ask you?

  9. marineh2ominer says:

    The federal and state government , time and again have shut done charities with one excuse after another , the easiest is soup kitchens and homeless shelters with so-called sanitation and hygiene rules , policies and laws . But if you look into it you will find government fighting tooth and nail with private charities because without them they lose control over to many people and too many taxpayer funds .

  10. Tina, what great irony. My Pastor and I were driving to pick up his 45 pistol two weeks ago and he kiddingly asked me how I’d feed the hungry in America and my answer was almost word for word what you just wrote. He and I are both tithers at a local Baptist church where he officiates. You have very kindly pointed out, that if we’d give up our “money god” and served the living God with our substance, then we’d prosper. I feel vindicated being in agreement with a pretty lady from Arizona,…….you are now officially one of my grand daughters.

  11. steelmanmjw says:

    Bravo.

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