The Theology of Tithe

Speaker: Categories: Nov 11, 2006

 

[56min, 15sec / 55min, 47sec]

ABOUT THE TOPIC:

Members of SDAF have enjoyed numerous presentations with the term theology in the title or inherent within the speaker's comments. But it seems almost too far a stretch to see that term associated with tithe. More often we think of such terms as"the necessity of tithing,""bring ye all ...", and even"sacrificial giving."For the most part we've accepted what we've been taught or heard preached. Occasionally some have raised questions about directives stating where such funds are to be deposited. Few questions, however, have been audibly expressed as to how such funds are actually spent and at/in what level(s) of the storehouse. David Dennis will help to expand our understanding on November 11 .

He writes,"The promotion of tithing is the single greatest fund raiser of finances to support the world church of Seventh-day Adventists. The payment into church coffers of ten percent of one's income has long been considered an obligation on an equal with the Ten Commandments. The tithe is separately accounted for and additional offerings are expected from faithful SDAs. Indeed, counting the tithe Adventists are rated at the top of all religious organizations in charitable giving. A rather complex and rigid policy has evolved over time regarding the use of tithe by the church at all levels. None of the tithe remains for use by the local church and it is divided into arbitrary percentages for the support of the local conference, the union conference and the General Conference. It is forbidden to pay tithe to any ministry other than through the local church. Questions are being raised with greater frequency as to the soundness of this doctrine and the purity of the theology. For example, how can more funds be made available for use by the local church? Should church members be allowed to select the recipients of their giving? How can change come in setting policies relating to the use of the tithe? And, finally, how can the privacy of members be protected in regard to their giving practices? These and related issues will be discussed at the November meeting of San Diego Adventist Forum.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:

Dave Dennis currently operates a full-service public accounting firm, together with his son, Sam, in Maryland. A life-long member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he was educated through college in mostly parochial schools in the mid-West where he spent his early years. Shortly after graduating from Union College in Nebraska, Dennis was appointed by the church to serve its institutions abroad. For the next fourteen years, together with his wife, Charlotte, and their two children, he worked in areas of finance for the church living in both South America and Asia. From his last foreign assignment as director of internal auditing for the Far Eastern Division of the church in Singapore, he was invited to serve in the auditing service of the General Conference in 1975. The following year he was appointed director of the department, a post he held for the next 18 years. Dave Dennis was ignominiously terminated as director when his role as a whistle-blower touched at the highest levels of the church hierarchy just six months prior to his scheduled re-appointment at the 1995 session of the world church in Holland. Dennis has an MBA from the University of Kansas and is licensed to practice as a CPA in both Colorado and Maryland. This is his second presentation at the SDAF. In July, 2005, he dealt with the topic ofDenominational Internal Control and Conflicts of Interests. Since he has given considerable study to the topic ofTithinghe has been invited back to address this issue and its relevance to the church today.

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