martes, 18 de diciembre de 2007

The Backlash Against Tithing

In accordance with my earlier post, I found this article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, The Backlash Against Tithing, and I decided to comment on it from the prospective of a Latter-Day Saint. The article is about the question churchgoers are asking as the tradition of tithing -- giving 10% of your income to the church -- is increasingly challenged. Opponents of tithing say it is a misreading of the Bible, a practice created by man, not God. They say they should be free to donate whatever amount they choose. In response, some pastors have changed their teaching and rejected what has been a favored form of fund raising for decades. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe the Bible indicates that God’s people followed the law of tithing anciently, and through modern prophets, God restored this law once again to bless His children. To fulfill this commandment, Church members give one-tenth of their income to the Lord through His Church. These funds are used to build up the Church and further the work of the Lord throughout the world.
In replying to the WSJ article, as I have posted before, it is so weak to change your teachings so that it fits better with the crowd's lifestyle.
Secondly, in the article, John Magrino, a New Jersey lawyer, says he regularly donated money during the weekly collection at his Catholic church, but tithing was a different story. "It's my money to do with what I want," says Mr. Magrino, 39, a father of two. Saying, "It's my money to do with what I want," is a pretty scary thing to say in my opinion. We have God to thank for everything we have including the money that we make, he only requires that we give 10% back and in return The Lord says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).
Would any of us intentionally reject an outpouring of blessings from the Lord? Sadly, this is what these people do when we fail to pay their tithing. They say no to the very blessings they are seeking and praying to receive. Especially the story of Kevin Rohr, the employee for the church that was concerned about providing for his family on his $32,400 salary. He would have been able to better help his family by paying the tithing and relying on The Lord than he will ever be able to by quiting his job and driving trucks.
Tithing develops and tests our faith. By sacrificing to the Lord what we may think we need or want for ourselves, we learn to rely on Him. Tithing also teaches us to control our desires and passions for the things of this world. Payment of tithing encourages us to be honest in our dealings with our fellowmen.
The Apostle Robert D. Hales said, "My beloved brothers and sisters, the eternal blessings of tithing are real. I have experienced them in my life and in the life of my family. The test of our faith is whether we will live the law of tithing by our obedience and sacrifice. For, in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”

lunes, 17 de diciembre de 2007

Apostle Urges Students to Use New Media

From the Newsroom at – “Two hundred graduating students at Brigham Young University-Hawaii were urged today to use the Internet — including blogs and other forms of “new media” — to contribute to a national conversation about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Elder M. Russell Ballard, a senior apostle in the Church, told the mostly Mormon student body that conversations about the Church would take place whether or not Church members decided to participate in them.

“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches,” he said.

“While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”

“Church leaders have publicly expressed concern that while much of the recent extensive news reporting on the Church has been balanced and accurate, some has been trivial, distorted or without context.

“Elder Ballard said there were too many conversations going on about the Church for Church representatives to respond to each individually, and that Church leaders “can’t answer every question, satisfy every inquiry and respond to every inaccuracy that exists.”

“He said students should consider sharing their views on blogs, responding to online news reports and using the “new media” in other ways.

“But he cautioned against arguing with others about their beliefs. “There is no need to become defensive or belligerent,” he said.

Why I like this: I like how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints understands the impact of “new media” like blogs (and the concept of “The Long Tail” of conversations online: “While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller… there were too many conversations going on about the Church for Church representatives to respond to each individually”) God has inspired people to create these new mediums with the purpose of further spreading his Gospel and doing good. We should be active in keeping up to date and understanding the news and then respond to it through the perspective of a latter-day saint.