A serving elder's take on the new "tithing" arrangement

by TTATTelder 120 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • leaving_quietly

    I think a comment on Ex 25 is most appropriate. I can think of at least three comments that could be made:

    1. Contributions were asked for by God, but not demanded... it was to be from everyone whose heart moved him. Today, we also ask for voluntary contributions to promote the worldwide work in all its facets, but it is never demanded of anyone. We never demand funds, pass around collection plates or anything like that. It is always "from everone whose heart" moves them.

    2. Contributions taken were to accomplish a specific purpose, the one-time building of the tent, tabernacle and the ark of the convenant. Likewise today, when a specific need arises, we may have funds set aside for that one-time need, such as a major repair on a kingdom hall project, the building of an assembly hall or something like that. Once the need is done, the brothers and sisters are not continually burdened with additional contributions that go beyond that specific need.

    3. In the days of the Israelites, Jehovah had his tabernacle and tent and that was the central place where Jehovah dwelled in spirit. Today, however, the situation is different. As Acts 7:48 says, "The Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands." This being the case, we could not imagine Jehovah today asking for contributions to be taken to build a building for him. True, we have Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls and branches, and these are built using voluntary donations "from the heart". But we would never take up a specific contribution to expand these contributions beyond what we voluntarily give on a personal basis.

  • jgnat

    Isn't there an answer for this sort of situation in the Reasoning book?

  • stuckinarut2

    Hey All,

    I agree with everything written above...I will just write those two scriptures on the slip:

    Matt 6:1-4

    2Cor 9:7

    But do not use your own handwriting! Type it in!!!

    Also, wasnt there a quote by Bro Russell in the very first WT that said something like: "we will never beg, nor petition etc for money...the lord will provide...and if he doesnt then we know its time to stop printing etc..."

    Can someone find that quote??

    I will just add that also on the slip!

  • fastJehu

    *** jv chap. 21 p. 340 How Is It All Financed? ***
    “Seats Free. No Collections”
    As early as the second issue of the Watch Tower, in August 1879, Brother Russell stated: “‘Zion’s Watch Tower’ has, we believe, JEHOVAH for its backer, and while this is the case it will never beg nor petition men for support. When He who says: ‘All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine,’ fails to provide necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication.” Consistent with that, there is no begging for money in the literature of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    What is true of their literature is also true of their meetings. There are no emotional appeals for funds in their congregations or at their conventions. No collection plates are passed; no envelopes in which to put money are distributed; no letters of solicitation are sent to congregation members.

  • TTATTelder

    Sooooo.....the slip thing happened....

    And.....It was a complete mess.

    The brother read the letter, got confused about the contribution boxes, passed out the slips, was unclear about what to write on the slip, and then gave no instruction whatsoever about what to do with the slip.

    It was a train wreck.

    What's weird is ..I just was not expecting that. I was expecting to be pissed.

    (It wasnt even clear enough to get pissed about) Clarification will be needed in coming meetings.

    So oddly anticlimactic. The relatively smart people were confused. The average dub didn't have a chance to understand it.

    Anyway, that's the update so far...


  • Stirred

    So I went to another hall tonight.

    I noticed that several people left before the local needs part. Hmmmm.

    This hall still has a mortgage. The first thing they announced was that the WT has closed or "retired" the loan along with all kh constructions project loans worldwide due to voluntary contributions received. This was pumped up quite a bit. What bank/co will do this for your mortgage?

    Next...."if we have to solicit or ask for money, then we would know that Jah has discontinued the work.....remember that statement about 125 years ago?"

    Then..."25 years ago we stopped charging for literature and we are still prospering today. Ps. 127:1. If Jah isn't behind this organization, then it cannot stand."

    1 Chron 29:11

    Per the 1983 (9/83) letter, kh building box started. Now it has been adjusted and in order to meet these growing global building projects, and adjustment has been further made to how they would be built. We need to pool our resources worldwide. Al congregations have the opportunity to support construction projects worldwide now by the congregations offering MONTHLY contributions from KH funds. No more loans. No more need to save for remodels (only for minor repairs). We thank you for your generous support of kingdom interests.

    There is a need for a great equalizing since brothers in poorer countries can use support for the building projects in their countries.

    2 Cor 8:12-14

    (Rather than a survey, the elders decided for the congregation that they would leave things as they were and offer a resolution). The resolution read from the platform to pay the same amount they had been for the mortgage for this purpose. The box for local KH support would now go towards local bills and the monthly donation. Excess beyond the resolution would also be sent. They went over the money very quickly and I could not understand it.

    Unless those members knew what the current bills were and all the other resolutions that still must be paid (except for the mortgage - now replaced), it was way to confusing. But they quickly asked for questions then called for a vote. Since no one asked a question or voted agains (even though many didn't vote, like me as I'm not a member there) it was unanimously passed. I don't think many understood the numbers and how this would change anything. I overheard some elders say that the amount proposed was all they could do.

    So....what will happen in my hall where I believe we have paid off our mortgage??

    I felt like doing anything but watching this would be like swimming against current.

    Quite confusing but no anger.

    Thanks for your update TE. That's all for me so far too.


  • goingthruthemotions

    I also agree, it was very confusing...slight of hand. didn't get angry though, i don't donate and plan not to anymore. i feel they get enough money for something that is free! as far as the halls mortgage debt being forgiven. really? it not like it's going to pay off a real mortgage anyways...it's just something to say to make the sheep feel warm and fuzzy.

    it's all slight of hand

    New light my A$$

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    Can someone post here a copy, scan or sketch of the WT survey that is being passed out to heads-of-households?

    Thank you.

  • TTATTelder

    Thanks Stirred and Goingthruthemotions for the updates.

    I talked to a couple of elders today from other halls and found out how things went at their meeting and how they were going to proceed with this new arrangement.

    It sounds like the elders are approaching this very cautiously and looking to report a conservative number to the branch regardless of what the members/publishers report on their slips of paper.

    I think that's funny. The branch is looking for an increase in revenue, but it sounds like they may not get as much as they are expecting.

    One of the elders said their body is just going to take the average of what they were sending last year to the kingdom hall fund and send that.

    They know they can't count on the publishers to meet their pledges. LOL

    It's interesting. When it comes to money, people tend to be able to think for themselves a little more easily.

    Doctrine...not so much.


  • TTATTelder

    Can someone post here a copy, scan or sketch of the WT survey that is being passed out to heads-of-households?

    Thank you. - JW GoneBad

    I would, but our hall just passed out a mini sized index card. It didn't have anything on it.

    Maybe some others can?


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