“Bring what you have. Take what you need.”
I spoke with Big Span Structures about the idea of setting up a quick building t
o accommodate the beginning stages of the community. In this huge building we would be able to hold large community meetings, store donated materials and equipment, store and protect plants and trees until they were planted, etc.
The first and the most important principle that the economy of asset based economy is based around is the storehouse.
“Bring all the tithes into the STOREHOUSE that there may be meat in mine house.” Malachi 3:10
Many churches use this scripture to mean “donate money to us so we can pay our expenses.” However, true idea of a tithe was to bring your “first fruits” to the storehouse. This storehouse was to be full of food and supplies to make sure that there was abundance for ALL. God promised Malachi that if they would bring to the storehouse the first and best of the things they produce, there would not be enough room in the storehouse to contain it all. It would be more than they would be able to receive. What a small price to pay for abundance for all. All you need is a storehouse!
If you make dresses, and you have the materials to make 10 dresses, the tithe idea is to bring one of those beautifully hand-crafted dresses to the storehouse. While you are there, freely take what you need. So you drop off one of your beautiful dresses and pick up more material to make more dresses. Earlier that day the cloth maker dropped off that bolt of lovely, hand-spun, colorful fabric and took the loom that she needed to make a new kind of cloth she hadn’t tried before. The loom was designed by an innovative machinist that had the cloth-maker in mind as he dropped off the loom and picked up a few tools for the next project he has in mind for the furniture maker. The baker comes later in the day to pick up the freshly ground flour from the miller to make the fresh bread that he bakes in the early hours of the morning the next day. Everyone gives their best and everyone gets what they need. It’s a “gift economy.”
What was your tithe supposed to be used for? Answer: To create an economy that creates abundance for ALL.
What is the tithe money spent on in reality? Building church buildings? Putting new carpet in the foyer of the sanctuary? Building temples? Beautifying the temple grounds? Buying the pastor a new car? or a used car? Flying the church president to and fro around the country? Investing in missionary efforts to build up the numbers of the congregation? Buying sound equipment or video equipment to televise Sunday morning services? Is it for the printing of pamphlets or handouts to give to each attendee so that they each have the church’s contact information and the address where to send your tithes and offerings by mail? Is it to be deposited in the church bank accounts to pay their own bills, while the financial burden of their congregation is left squarely on the shoulders of its tithing members?
Spending tithes on the “operations” of the local church gives the indication that the purpose of a tithe is to support and the church and its leaders. This has never been true and you will not find this doctrine in any teachings found in the Bible or any other scripture on earth. Tithes are, and will always be, intended to create abundance for all. If church leaders were living as their own scriptures taught, our church leaders would be doing something completely different with the funds they collect.
If we capitalists suppose ourselves to be “successful” while our neighbors go without, whether they live next door, in other neighborhoods or in other countries , we have a God that is far different than the God Americans say “we trust.”
We need higher goals that include the well-being of every human on earth. Many of my fellow Americans often replaced the dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” with “life, liberty and the pursuit of money.” We need to better clarify the original concept by adding the words: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, with liberty, justice and ABUNDANCE for all.”
Is there another way to interact on planet earth? I believe there is no other way if we hope to co-create utopia.
We of this affluent society often misunderstand why we may have been so “blessed.” I personally believe wealth is a “gift” that we can offer to benefit others who have not been blessed in this way. This is the most basic concept of a “conscious” spiritual person. If we take our blessings and gobble up the profits, we have lost sight of what the enlightened masters taught.
Jesus said “what you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me.” The reverse of that is sobering. “What you choose not to do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you choose to withhold from me.” Read Matthew chapter 25. Today’s believer is more apt to spout the man-made philosophy that, “God helps those who help themselves,” a quote that is not found anywhere in any scripture. I challenge you to find any quote from any religion that remotely implies that God won’t help you until you have helped yourself.
Do you remember when God asked Cain where his brother Able was? Cain selfishly replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The correct answer in God’s economy is, “yes, you are your brother’s keeper.” The entire Bible is build around this one theme.
“Sacred Commerce” sounds like something you might find in a church, yet those who are reaching for sacred commerce are not the church leaders of the world. Most often you see the concepts of abundance for all and sacred commerce and a gift economy implemented among those who have moved away from organized religion for this very reason.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” separates the truth that Jesus taught from man-made falsehoods taught by our church leaders today. Churches are full of believers who have been taught by “the doctrines of men”, not true principles of abundance. For this reason they have largely failed their congregations as well as those in the local community who should have been supported with abundance. They have separated “church” and “finances”. They believe that their only requirement on planet earth is to take care of their own interests. The jews of the Bible were always wealthy because they were interdependent and well-supported by their tight-knit community.
We are taught by well-meaning parents and mentors that our life’s energy is supposed to be aimed at one goal FIRST, if we want to be responsible, up-standing citizens. That goal is defined to mean “set up the security of income.” If and when this task is completed, THEN we have the right and privilege of thinking of the needs of others.
Is it true that your first concern must be your own income before you can think of others? Is this what the masters have taught us?
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things, (food, clothing, shelter) will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33