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Financial Hard Times

I have a lot of credit card debt. I'm considering a debt consolidation loan. With summer here and the economy, food and gasoline are more expensive making it harder to pay off the credit card debt. Does anyone have any useful financial advice as well as some Biblical advice during these hard times?

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 ---tommy on 6/25/09
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I used to help my aged Mom from my heart and it happened that sometimes I forgot. Thinking one day on Thiting, concluded that whatever aid my Mom would get, that it will be afixed. We mutually arrived at a figure. I have daily, weekly and monthly needs, Mom does too and having an assurance in this life, it could be nothing but good. My advice, if you love someone enough to help them, don't be forgetful, rather make a fixed commitment to them.
---Nana on 7/3/09

Roberta - That is correct. The New Testament teaches generous giving. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were required to PAY the tithe. In the New Testament we GIVE. There is a big difference. Paying doesn't come from the heart but giving does.
---Gary on 7/2/09

Interesting take on tithing, since tithing is explicitly mentioned in the Old Testament does that mean that the Ten Commandments don't need to be followed too? What about
<< Luke 6:38 >>
New American Standard Bible (1995)
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." While I fully agree that we are no longer under the law, thank God, we still need to keep our hearts in check and realize what God has done for us and give from our hearts like never before.
---Roberta on 7/1/09

OK Susie. Where did God tell us to stop tithing? Right here: Hebrews 8:13, Colossians 2:13-17, Galatians 3:23-25 to name just a few. Since the law ended at the cross, and the command to tithe was law, tithing ended with the rest of the law. Abraham's tithe, and Jacob's vow to tithe, were free-will and not required so if they are still valid, that is free-will giving, not a command to tithe. Malachi 3:8-11 re robbing God is referring to the law (Malachi 3:7) and therefore, no longer applies. Pastors always start with Malachi 3:8 to hide the fact that Malachi is referring to the law.
---Gary on 7/1/09

Gary...You didn't answer my question. How dare you!!!! LOL
---SusieB on 6/29/09

Leslie - OK, we are the priests today. And our body is now the temple. The tithe was paid to the Levites to keep up the temple. So now I guess we pay the tithe to ourselves?
Susie - where did God tell us to stop sacrificing animals? Problem is, Susie, WHERE DOES GOD TELL US TO TITHE? God only told the children of Israel in eleven tribes to tithe, and they gave the tithe to the twelfth tribe, the tribe of Levi. Where did God tell you is was alright to give His tithe to the church? God said the tithe belongs to Him, and He gave it to the Levites. How dare you give something that belongs to God to whoever you choose!
---Gary on 6/28/09

Leslie - Another point. Since WE are the priests now, and you believe that Malachi is addressing us (remember, a no-brainer), then since the tithe was paid to the Levites, and the Levites gave a tenth of the tithe to the priests, and then the priests took the best of that tenth and used it as an offering to The Lord, just as soon as a Levite gives me a tenth of the tithe I will gladly give the best part of it as an offering to The Lord. THAT'S what robbing God was all about - NOT the tithe that was paid to the Levites. The people's tithe NEVER WENT TO THE STOREHOUSE. Only the tenth of the tithe from the Levites went to the storehouse.
---Gary on 6/28/09

Trish ... It's becaause some think that tithing is the way out of debt.

They appear to think that God willl give us a financial reward to us if we tithe.

What a reason to give to God ... to get money back! I'd rather give for God's work, not for my own financial gain.
---alan8566_of_uk on 6/28/09

took me a lifetime to learn not too use credit.
---tom2 on 6/28/09

Gary - I do NOT quote man but the Bible. Who are called the PRIESTS of today? If your answer is WE (Christians) are (which we are), then Malachi is addressed to US (Christians). This is a no-brainer. As the Priests of today, we are commanded to tithe. This is NOT a suggestion to God, but a COMMANDMENT. Anne - I give my 10% to my church which is a non-denominational, spirit-led, and whole Bible believing/teaching church. My church lives only by the whole Word of God and the Holy Spirit. The money I give goes directly to serving others (where it should go), and this is what Jesus taught how we give to Him (giving to others).
---Leslie on 6/27/09

If you want to get a thorough understanding of biblical a perspective on money matters, I highly recommend Crown Financial Ministries. You can google the name and find them on the web. I have taken and taught the CFM program and have found the biblical basis of managing my finances provides the most rewarding results. Understanding that money and materiel possessions are a temporal aspect of our existence, releaves us of the power they have over us. More importantly understanding that we are merely stewards of the "money and things" God has entrusted to us, keeps us mindfull that God has an expectation of our accountability.
---Storyteller on 6/27/09

Gary...When did God tell us in scripture not to tithe?
---SusieB on 6/27/09

Trish9863 - I can appreciate your concerns. However, if a person does not properly understand what the Bible says about tithing, that person will not understand what the Bible says about finances. The second person to blog here brought up that Tommy needs to be tithing. If you understand what the Bible teaches about finances, you will know that stewardship is the answer to finances. Since poor stewardship has resulted in this problem, you first need to pay off all credits cards little by little, and NOT charge any more unless it is a real emergency. Be careful before consolidating debts because you might wind up paying the consolidation company more than it's worth.
---Gary on 6/26/09

It is interesting how a few people have taken this discussion from helping Tommy work on repairing his damaged credit, to who is going to win the debate on tithing. Why not take the tithe argument to a separate thread of its own, and let people here just help Tommy figure out what is best for his credit card situation?
---Trish9863 on 6/26/09

Leslie~ Do you give all your tithe to one specific church or how do you divide out your 10%?

If you mostly give to a church, what type of church is it? (denomination etc.)
---Anne on 6/26/09

Leslie - You need to study the entire book of Malachi. Starting in Chapter 1 God addresses the PRIESTS. Follow it through and you will see that Chapter 3: 7-10 He is still conversing with the PRIESTS, not the people. It was the PRIESTS who were robbing God of tithes and offerings. Malachi 1:14 is where God shows the PRIESTS they were robbing Him of offerings. Nehiamiah 13:10 is where the PRIESTS robbed God of the tithes by stealing the Levites portion. You need to study the whole book of Malachi to get the complete picture instead of taking scripture out of context. Show me where in the bible God said you could tithe with money instead of animals. Give me SCRIPTURE, not your own words.
---Gary on 6/26/09

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Leslie - You say a lot, such as, "...they were told NOT to touch the Tree (First TITHE)..." but you give no scripture references. There is no reference for such nonsense. That came from books written by Ellen White, NOT from the Word of God. You need to quote SCRIPTURE and not from some books written for your denomination. Stick with the SCRIPTURES and you will find that there is NO reference to Adam and Eve tithing. You will also find that every point I have brought out is DIRECTLY BACKED by GOD'S WORD, not some books written by man.
---Gary on 6/26/09

Definitely cut up all of your credit cards. Pay them off, and then get credit counseling to learn to budget your money. There are many agencies that offer such services.
---Trish9863 on 6/26/09

Gary - Again you are WRONG. The Bible teaches that when you do NOT tithe you ROB (steal from) God. Are you guilty of this? The Bible also teaches that when people in the O.T. could not give grain or animals as tithe, they were to give money (corbin). Look at the Garden of Eden (Adam and Eve) - they were told NOT to touch the Tree (First TITHE), but they did and sin entered into mankind. This is how serious the tithe is to God. Man did not start it, God did. The Bible says that when you do NOT tithe, you are putting a curse on your finances.
---Leslie on 6/26/09

Tommy and Leslie - The bible teaches that we should give generously, according to what we have. Blessings come from GIVING. Many Christians today use the word tithe incorrectly. The biblical tithe was a law. It was PAID, not given, and was done so to be obedient to God (or the law). It was required. The word tithe means one tenth. You can't tithe 5% or 15%. By definition, it is 10%. There is no sowing when you pay the biblical tithe. Sowing comes from giving, not paying. IF you in fact are giving from the heart but incorrectly calling it tithing, then you are, in fact, giving and NOT paying the biblical tithe. Tithing does NOT show any love to God, but giving does.
---Gary on 6/26/09

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Tommy - Do NOT add words to the scriptures. Show me scripture where God commanded anyone to tithe on anything that man made or earned. God only commanded a tithe on miracles of God (crops and animals - items man could not make). In biblical times they had money, they had income (even though the word "income" does not appear in the KJV of the Bible), but only those who owned crops and animals tithed. There is not even one example where anyone making wages tithed, yet wages were also paid during that time. Show me scripture, NOT scripture changed by man. Also, you can't tithe "big." The word "tithe" means one tenth.
---Gary on 6/26/09

Leslie - You state "Plus God and His Word are the same yesterday, today, and FOREVER, they do NOT change..." Then DON'T change His word. God said the tithe belongs to Him, and He gave the tithe to the Levites. God said you tithe on the increase OF THE LAND (crops) and every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod. WHY do you change those words to tithing on YOUR income, and giving God's tithe to your church? Since God gave His tithe to the Levites, it must be a SIN to give His tithe to anyone who is not a Levite. The word is clear as to who the Levites are, and their requirements for working in the temple. Show me where giving to a church is giving to God. It is NOT. It is giving to man.
---Gary on 6/26/09

Pharisee - you have a good point. However, even God's tithe cannot be given to the poor. However, the Word does say that when we GIVE (not tithe) to the poor, we are giving to The Lord. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that when we give (or tithe) to the church, we are giving to The Lord. Tithing is a subject I have spent MANY HUNDREDS OF HOURS studying, and now The Lord is using me to teach pastors. So far, the three I have taught have STOPPED teaching tithing and now teach giving from the heart, not under compulsion. I've even written a book on the topic. It is called TITHING TODAY.
---Gary on 6/26/09

You want to tithe take all that you have and give it to the poor.
---Pharisee on 6/26/09

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Gary - You are WRONG. Tithing IS mentioned in the N.T. Jesus said to render to Ceasar what is Ceasar's (government) and unto God what is God's (TITHE). Plus God and His Word are the same yesterday, today, and FOREVER, they do NOT change - therefore what is good in the O.T. is also good in the N.T. The N.T. is added onto the O.T., it does NOT void out the O.T. We are COMMANDED by God to follow both O.T. and N.T. This is TRUE Biblical Christianity, anything else is FALSE doctrine.
---Leslie on 6/26/09

Are you saying Christians should not tithe? I definately do not agree with that. I'm always blessed after I tithe, especial big ones. Have you ever given a BIG tithe? Just to see what kind of blessing God will provide?
---tommy on 6/26/09

There is NO tithing in the New Testament, or the Christian Church. Tithing teachers are false teachers. The Lord's tithe was ALWAYS on the miracles of God and NEVER or anything man made or earned. Man decided to change the meaning in about 1870 and started teaching that you tithe on income from man instead of miracles from God. Don't fall for the tithing lie. Study the word carefully and you will find that God NEVER commanded anyone to tithe on their own income. Many people have ruined their finances by trying to tithe themselves out of debt. The New Testament teaches generous giving, from the heart. Good stewardship of your money is the answer.
---Gary on 6/26/09

First you need "plastic surgery" - cut up ALL the credit cards. Second you need to give your tithes and offerings - The Bible says to sow in times of famine (lack). Put God first in your finances, and let Him take control (live under God's economy, NOT man's). If you do this, you will be suprised at how much your finances change for the better.
---Leslie on 6/25/09

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I think a debt consolidation loan can be useful if used properly and within a set budget. Afterwards make sure you cut up those credit cards.
---zach8765 on 6/25/09

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