Category Archives: Church

CAC’s 3D Visualization for New Construction – HD

3D Visualization (modeling & animation) for new construction – prepared for Christian Apostolic Church, Clarksburg, West Virginia, by Pastor Doug Joseph at Design8Studio.net

Here are a couple of still shots made from the same model:

Portfolio - 3D visualization (modeling & animation) for new construction

Join us in DC for the CUFI Summit! (Special Group Rate)

The annual Summit of Christians United For Israel is always amazing, and this year looks to be better than ever. Your voice is needed! Join us in DC for the CUFI Summit!

Special Deal for CUFI’s DC Summit

In defense of tithing

Ryan French, a fellow Apostolic minister, recently posted a wonderfully helpful article, “How to Hurt Your Pastor,” in which (among other things) he mentioned tithing. As you might imagine, someone started taking pot shots at tithing (in the comments), in obvious opposition. Both he and I responded in the comments, in defense of tithing. As Ryan explained his thoughts (in a reply to a comment) he defended tithing as a practice of faith for believers:

First, Abraham chose to tithe because he recognized that everything was God’s in the first place (Genesis 14:19). This is a common thread throughout the Bible… that God has entrusted us as stewards of his goods (…the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof).

Secondly, When Abraham and Jacob began tithing it was … before the Law of Moses had been instituted. This places tithing firmly in the category of timeless moral law. For example, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY is Old Testament law but it is timeless and moral and carries over into the New Testament (consider Genesis 28:20-22).

Thirdly, Leviticus 27:30-31 shows that the Israelites could either give 10% in produce or 12% IN CASH. When it came to livestock, a shepherd had to set aside every tenth for God. In other words, if they were going to give actual money God required 2% more than if they were going to give in produce or livestock. Beyond all of that, produce and livestock were considered currency in the same way that cash is considered currency today. People bartered with produce and livestock because it was often all they had.

Fourth, Numbers 18:21 establishes God’s precedent that tithing would be for the work of the ministry. God has always considered spiritual things to be worthy of full-time attention.

Fifth, over half of Jesus’ parables talk about money and yet Jesus never once mentioned the earth-shattering fact that tithing is obsolete. In fact, he did the opposite in Matthew 23:23… he rebukes the Pharisees for neglecting weightier things than tithing but then carefully tells them that they should in fact tithe. Another time, Jesus uses a poor widow giving her last penny to the temple as an object lesson for his disciples. Why didn’t he run to her and say you don’t have to do that anymore? Because the principles of tithes and offerings are timeless and moral in the kingdom of God.

Finally, the early apostolic Church, as far back as history records, understood that tithing is the means by which the Church provides for the work of the ministry. I suppose if we wanted to really be like the early New Testament saints we would need to sell everything and give it to the Church. Such was the custom in their zealousness.

Regarding Ryan’s fourth point (“Numbers 18:21 establishes God’s precedent that tithing would be for the work of the ministry. God has always considered spiritual things to be worthy of full-time attention”) I added:

The Apostle Paul specifically linked New Covenant support for gospel preachers to the “same manner” (the “same way”) the Old Testament priests were provided for, which of course referred to tithing and offerings. This is clear in 1 Corinthians 9, especially take note of vv. 13-14.

KJV: {13} Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? {14} Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

NIV: {13} Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? {14} In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

Notice the KJV wording “Even so…” (we ought to ask “how so?”) and/or the NIV wording “in the same way” (we should ask “the same way as what?”). The answer is clear: tithes and offerings.

The same way that provision was made for priests in the Old Testament is how it is to be done for full-time gospel ministers in the New Testament. Can a minister forego this right and not accept? Certainly, as Paul himself chose to do at some points. However, that does not permanently waive the right for that minister, nor remove or bar the practice for others.

1 Corinthians 9:14 directly links with Numbers 18:21, i.e. the New Testament gospel minister is connected to tithes the same way Old Testament priests were connected to tithes.

More thoughts of mine followed:

The most common errors of those who claim tithing was “Mosaic Law” and “done away with,” involve:

  • mistaking New Testament verses about emergency relief effort giving as a supposed substitute for tithing (a notion which cannot be supported, biblically),
  • and (the above then often leads to such) wrongfully thinking they know what is /supposed/ to happen “instead of tithing” under the New Covenant,
  • and finally, missing/overlooking the significance of New Testament links to Old Testament mentions of tithing, forming a functional biblical model for people of faith.

Here are a few questions for anti-tithe people:

Since you are professed to not be against giving, but rather against basing one’s giving on a set percentage of increase (which is a biblically based model and enables important functions of the believer’s family life, such as budgeting / financial planning), then what biblical model for giving do you appeal to as a substitute for the biblical model of tithing?

Whatever biblical model you claim as a substitute for the biblical model of tithing, are you sure you have not simply mistaken emergency relief effort giving as something else that it was never intended to be?

Is your biblically-based model absent any set percentage, making forecasting and budgeting extremely difficult if not nearly impossible? Or are all percentages acceptable except such that are prominent in Scripture?

Do you accept that any believer is free to choose a percentage-based plan, and then free to choose any percentage of increase they wish as their basis for regular giving? Or are you just “put off” by the 10% figure and/or an old word for “tenth” (tithe, aka 1/10th)?

If you accept that a believer is free to choose a percentage-based plan for their giving, do you accept that the same believer can in faith derive from the Bible a long-standing example of 10% as support for their choice to use that percentage?

Given that preachers / pastors who view tithing as an act of faith then teach it as such (not a bondage or entrapment or burden) why vilify or criticize them for doing do?

A certain anti-tither responded with the following:

You would have tithe more than 10% according to the law. I believe it is 23%. You are debtor to do the whole law you if you are going to tithe that includes the Old Covenant sacrifices.

What follows was my reply:

  1. Many aspects of a faith-based life predate the Mosaic Law. This includes tithing.
  2. The word “tithe” literally means “tenth” as in 10%. One cannot have “one-tenth” magically become 23%. One could possibly owe a “convenience fee” on top of the tithe, or give an additional offering beyond the tithe, but a tithe (a tenth) cannot be anything other than one tenth. This is common sense.
  3. Because biblically-based tithing in based on increase, the frequency does not affect the percent. Tithing once a week versus once a month does not increase the percentage from 10% to 40%, because if the the increase stays the same, so the percentage stays the same. This also is common sense.

Finally, I asked:

What policy do you practice regarding giving? Does your policy have a biblical basis? If so, what is that basis?

IRS Form 990 is NOT for churches!

Sometimes an accountant — or even an IRS employee — will misinform a church employee or church member, falsely claiming that the church supposedly must file a troublesome document called IRS Form 990.

Such accountants are simply mistaken. Put simply, they are wrong. (We once even had an IRS employee tell us wrongly about this matter.)

How can we say so with such authority? Because official IRS statements back us up on the matter.

According to IRS documentation (here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990.pdf) churches don’t ever need to file Form 990.

The question of whether to file can seem confusing, because at first the document sounds like the answer is based solely on how much revenue a non-profit entity gets in a year, and its overall holdings in a year, but those criteria don’t even apply whenever the entity is listed among those that are completely exempted from filing Form 990.

To verify what we’re saying here — to confirm that your church does not need to file Form 990, just click the above link to access the IRS documentation in PDF format. Then scroll to page 3, and look at Section B, which is quite unambiguously titled “B. Organizations Not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ.” There you will see that a church or church-related or religious type group does not have to file form 990.

Being that is the case, why is there all the earlier wording, explaining that a non-profit organization is exempted from filing only if certain conditions are met? It’s simple: that other wording applies to non-profit entities other than the exempted ones, such as a Food Pantry that has its own EIN (tax number).

Why would a Food Pantry operated under a church need or want its own EIN? Because of external donors potentially having their own privately-established rule that they won’t donate to an entity or ministry unless it has its own EIN, separate from a host church’s EIN—which is the case for our Food Pantry ministry. Each year, a private individual makes a sizable donation to our Food Pantry ministry, and their employer matches their charitable giving. However, that employer has its own policy in place requiring the ministry receiving the matching funds to have its own EIN and be listed in a federally maintained list of non-profits.

Our Food Pantry ministry (which has its own EIN) does not have to file Form 990 because it has less than $200,000 received in a year, and is not ever worth more than $500,000 at the end of the tax year. Instead of filing the tedious Form 990, our Food Pantry files a very short, very easy “e-postcard” version, which allows the ministry entity to keep its own EIN, even though it does not file the full Form 990.

Recently, one of our churches that operated a TNT fireworks tent as a fundraiser last year, was misinformed by their accountant, who said that because their overall revenue (note: not proceeds after paying for fireworks product, but all incoming revenue) put them over an arbitrary line, they supposedly had to file Form 990. The accountant is wrong. Because the entity in focus is a church, it does not matter how much revenue is received in a year’s time, the church still is not required by the IRS to file a Form 990.

Note: This article is not intended to serve as a replacement for tax advice by a professional, nor as legal advice. It is written by a pastor and presbyter, citing a clearly stated policy of the IRS. The weight of the statements here is simply the strength and clarity of the IRS statements in the service’s own documentation, linked above.

Obituary: In Memory of Jeannette Corbitt Joseph

Jeannette Corbitt Joseph
March 18, 1936 – March 31, 2017

SHREVEPORT, LA — Jeannette Corbitt Joseph, 81, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was promoted to Glory on March 31, 2017, while surrounded by family, after a final, third appearance of lymphoma. The homegoing celebration will take place Monday, April 3, 2017, with a visitation at 12:00 Noon, followed by the funeral at 2:00 pm. Both the viewing and funeral are to be held at The Pentecostals of Bossier, 2833 Viking Dr, Bossier City, Louisiana 71111.

Jeannette was born in Gillett, Arkansas on March 18, 1936 to John Allen Corbitt and Ethel (Bitely) Corbitt. She was one of nine children. Her family experienced a sweeping baptism of God’s Spirit as they searched for a church that practiced the fullness of biblical truth, which they found in the Apostolic doctrine and Pentecostal experience of the Holy Ghost with fire and water baptism in Jesus name.

Sam A Joseph
Oct 27, 1932 – Apr 19, 1986

Jeannette graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1955. She began working in the Post Office. At this job, she met the man she would marry. She married Sam A. Joseph in November of 1965. Their union bore five children, twelve grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Jeannette worked as a legal secretary at several law firms, as well as the Caddo Parrish District Attorney’s Office, from which she retired after 29 years. She was a precious saint of God, whose faithfulness in service included years of attendance at King’s Temple United Pentecostal Church, followed by years of attendance at The Shreveport Pentecostals, followed by years of attendance at The Pentecostals of Bossier, where she was a member at the time of her passing.

Sam A Joseph
Oct 27, 1932 – Apr 19, 1986

She was preceded in death by both her parents, loving husband Sam A. Joseph, sisters Ina Hampton, Laverne Williams and husband Bob, Mildred Corbitt, brothers Roger Corbitt and Orville Corbitt, and nephew Timothy Corbitt. She is survived by her sons Jason Joseph and wife Shari, Douglas Joseph and wife LaDonna, Warren Joseph, daughters Janet Joseph Woods, and Laura Joseph Newman and husband Drew, her sister Velma Brown (widow of her late husband Buddy), her brothers, Reggie and wife Mary, Jeff and wife Renée. Furthermore, she is survived by her grandchildren, Dixie Marie Woods, Reno Alexander Woods, Samuel Alexander Joseph, Brent Avery Woods, Amber Nechelle (Joseph) Jennings, Hannah Jeannette Joseph, Joshua Aaron Joseph, Elliana Megan Joseph, Kieran Judah Joseph, Benjamin Corbitt Joseph, Adena Faith Joseph, and Gavin Isaac Joseph, as well as her great-grandchildren, Miguel Lewis Romero Joseph, Brantley Cade Jennings, Elias Cruz Romero Joseph, Cristián Alexander Joseph, and Ariel Grace Jennings, and a multitude of nieces and nephews and a host of church family and friends.

The family extends special thanks to Christus Highland Hospital, Christus Grace Home, and Sister Verita Rone, for their assistance in care, and to The Pentecostals of Bossier and many other friends for their kindness in hospitality, and to all the donors to the Jeannette Joseph Memorial Fund. Online donations are facilitated at http://cac.wvupci.com/give/memorial/

She loved gardening, was very active, and enjoyed travel worldwide.

Please visit www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com to leave online condolences for the family.


Click below to view the multimedia presentation shown at her viewing / visitation.

Jeannette Corbitt Joseph – Homegoing Slideshow

Mama’s Pastor prayed for peace in her journey, and instantly….

Dear friends:

She was hanging on by a thread, but knew she wanted to get that Last Will and Testament finalized, so she rallied yesterday, and God gave her the strength to last long enough to scrawl a weakly signature a bunch of times before an attorney and witnesses, and to love on her family and kiss her kids, grands and greats.

Yesterday evening the nurse asked if she wanted any medicine to “calm” her slightly elevated breathing, which was labored.

She said, “No, I’d like to try to avoid that if I can.”

“Ok.”

(Throughout the whole process, whenever she was asked if she had pain, she always said, “No, I’m OK.” Regarding pain medicine, she was this way the whole while as a massive lymphoma onset escorted her from this life to the next.)

During the night she weakened. This morning when she was called upon, she opened her eyes, yet was too weak to respond. As the day wore on, she could not manage to open her eyes.

A social worker came in this morning and announced that her status has officially been changed from “respite care” to “hospice care.”

Today at about 2:30 pm (central time), her dear under-shepherd, Pastor Jerry Dean, walked into the room. He was given a brief update, stepped to her side, and prayed, “Lord, give her peace in her journey.” Instantly her mortal frame stopped breathing, and our dear Mama started dancing on streets of gold. God is good — all the time.

Her estate is quite modest. The family is asking for memorial gifts in lieu of flowers. Any surplus beyond funeral costs will go to missions through her local church…

Jeannette C. Joseph Memorial Fund

With mixed tears of sorrow and joy,
Pastor Doug Joseph

Never again!

My oldest daughter, Elliana, and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Israel (February, 2017). While there we learned some amazingly beneficial bits of context for the Holy Scriptures, and we experienced many meaningful moments.

In one of those meaningful moments, we were atop Masada, where, in ancient times, Jewish families in a besieged mountain fortress chose to end their lives rather than suffer rape/abuse/slavery/murder at the hands of Roman soldiers. Josephus, a Jewish historian, described the incident (see chapter 8, here).

I was moved to tears all over again (I had heard him say so before) as I listened to our Jewish guide, Ralph Lewinsohn, explain how the Masada incident has become part of the Jewish national ethos, and how that, in light of the determined efforts of the Nazis in WWII to wipe out every Jew in existence, now the Jewish people are determined that, “Never again will we allow ourselves to be put in a position where our only choice is death or slavery. Never again.”

“Never again” is not just a heart-cry of Jewish people everywhere. It’s actually a prophecy about them, made by God Himself:

{14}  and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.

“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. {15} I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,”

says the Lord your God.

Amos 9:14-15 (NIV)

Some Christian believers have succumbed to a false doctrine known as Replacement Theology, which claims that collectively, adherents to Christianity have supposedly completely replaced natural Israel in the mind of God. Those who hold to that notion may think that earlier ancient Jewish returns from exile would qualify as concluded fulfillment of various prophecies that God would bring the Jewish people back to the Land He promised them. However, take note:

  • God foretold a return of the Jews to their land that would be completely permanent (see Amos 9:14-15, shown above). Regarding the Jewish ethnicity of those prophesied to be returned, see also Ezekiel 34:13 (note “their own land”).
     
    God Himself indicated that the same nationality of people that was exiled would be brought back by God’s own hand to the same Land from which they were exiled, and that from thence forward, they would never again be uprooted!
     
  • God foretold a return of the Jews to their land that would be come from every direction, north, south, east, and west, i.e. “from the ends of the earth” (see Isaiah 43:5-6).
     
    Earlier ancient returns from exile that were localized (such as from Babylon) cannot qualify as fulfillment of such a prophecy. By contrast, the astounding, ongoing return of Jews from all around the world to the State of Israel reestablished in 1948, certainly could qualify.
     
  • God foretold a return of the Jews to their land that would be accomplished by God’s own hand (see Ezekiel 20:34, and other verses already cited).
     
    For anyone to resist such a “return migration,” and/or the accompanying necessary right of Jewish people to dwell securely in their own ancestral homeland is to resist God Himself.

As Christian I support and defend the Jewish national declaration that never again will any situation be permitted in which Jewish people are denied their right to exist securely within their ancestral homeland. As a Bible believer, it is the only logical choice.

Is regulation of abortion “evil,” as some pro-life people claim?

Let’s start with a fair portrayal of an alluring, albeit radical, position taken by some within the pro-life movement. The following real conversation actually happened recently on social media:

A friend posted a reasonable comment about the fact that the US Supreme Court panel in 1973, which handed down the Roe v. Wade opinion (in a 7-2 decision) had several justices who had been appointed by Republican presidents. Underneath his post, came this:

Now, a quick word about why I’m continuing my response here, instead of there, and who I’m trying to convince with this post (hint: it’s not the radical guy arguing with me on my friend’s wall).

First, any comment you make (on social media or anywhere else) that someone else has the power to delete, is one you may well see disappear, because it means you’re playing on someone else’s turf, not your own. The above conversation was under my friend’s SCOTUS post (which means he could delete my replies, though I doubt he would), and it was also under the radical person’s comment, and he’s more likely to delete my comments if either he thinks I’ve trounced his argument or he gets tired of me replying (i.e. continual one-ups in a battle over who has the last word).

Second, in any controversial issue, there will be a bell curve, in which one extreme consists of the few on the right side that agree with you and could never be convinced otherwise, and the other extreme consists of the few on the wrong side that disagree with you and could never be convinced otherwise, and the cherry, so to speak, is the huge group in the middle of the bell curve, who are open to reason/persuasion, and could potentially be convinced either way. The radical guy (arguing in the screenshot above) is clearly beyond the reach of my reasoning. Why do I say this? He’s already found what he thinks is a solid argument, and long before he ever encountered me, he had already made his argument so often that he’s what we might call “doubled down” on it, such that he’s personally vested in its validity. For him to ever hear reason and turn back now, would be, according to his words (not mine), “silly,” and committing a “sin” of adopting a position with those who “do not care” about aborted babies. His mind is already made up, don’t bother him with facts. Can someone turn back? Yes, but it’s rare. A Saul who becomes a Paul is powerful, but very scarce.

Why the radicals are wrong

If you were able to read all the way through his replies, you saw the comparison to the Holocaust against the Jews, and you hopefully felt the weight of the radical argument. You sense the allure of it, yet something does not quite sit right. I hope to help you put your finger on exactly why the argument does not sit right.

Since he already pointed to the Holocaust against the Jews in a comparison to the Abortion Holocaust of pre-born humans, please allow me to argue from that comparison, despite both Holocausts being a nightmare of grim historical reality.

The radical approach above is a straw-man argument because it presupposes that the Allies’ war against the Axis powers—the fight from without, if you will—was the only kind of war that could be waged, and furthermore, in his argument, the radical guy actually claims that was the only kind of fight that was waged! When I read the lunacy of statements such as “Abortion is legal because we do not care, just like the Germans did not care if the Jews were being murdered,” it makes me want to say, “Did you never hear of Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Have you never read of the heroes, some Christian, some Islamic, some German, who risked their lives trying to save what few Jewish lives they could, from within the Nazi system?” It would do the radical guy some good to read/watch Schindler’s List, about Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German businessman, who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. Far be it from me to point out the history, since it’s only a click away from anyone on social media.

So, imagine with me, if you will, that war can be waged on two fronts simultaneously, one working under the best strategy possible for how to abolish abortion (in WW2 parlance, defeat the Axis powers), i.e. a full frontal assault, but not one devoid of strategy, and another to undermine from within the reality of the existing system, using whatever means, regulation laws, acts to defund, prayer walks, sidewalk vigils, life chains, counseling centers, ad campaigns and social media memes, etc. (in WW2 parlance, subvert and resist the Axis powers). The radical approach claims the latter of those two is evil, because it somehow legitimizes the system, since it’s not the full frontal assault happening from without and because a lot of people are still dying. That’s just wrongheaded.

Just as the radical guy was wrong to pretend that no one in Germany cared, that none under the boot of the Nazis was working to subvert the forces of evil, and wrong to ignore the precious lives their work saved, by focusing his argument solely on the ongoing death around them as proof of their failure, so also the radical argument is simply fallacious to claim that no lives have been saved during the past 43 years of the pro-life movement fighting against the scourge of abortion. How can he ignore the evidence of some 11,000 lives saved because of the ban on partial birth abortions? Who is he getting his information from, the pro-aborts?

There is an old saying that “you only have one chance to make a good first impression.” Well, all those on the pro-life side in the current culture war should be aware that any given legal argument only has one chance for the Supreme Court’s “first glimpse” at the argument. That first glimpse, if the case gets taken up by the court and an opinion handed down, will result in a precedent being set. Contrary to what some people think, the worldview of a Supreme Court justice matters! Put simply, we need to have a pro-life Supreme Court empaneled before we have a case to abolish abortion come before them, or the case will just see the effort overturned.

Contrary to the radical’s argument, we are winning.

When I told the radical we are winning the culture war, that we’re succeeding in changing the hearts and minds of society, he expressed a state of denial and responded saying that is “so so not true.” Again, the facts contradict his argument. Just Google “millennials are more likely to be prolife” and you will get this:

Millennials increasingly oppose abortion, even if they don’t identify as …

www.washingtontimes.com/news/…/millennials-increasingly-oppose-abortion-even-if-…
Jun 30, 2016 – The survey found 53 percent of millennials believe abortion should be … to 48 percent who said they were more likely to identify as “prochoice.

Millennials’ abortion views trend pro-life despite self-identity, research …

www.washingtontimes.com/news/…/millennialsabortion-views-trend-prolife-despite-…
Jun 30, 2016 – Majority of millennials support tougher abortion restrictions, but … with 48 percent who said they were more likely to identify as prochoice.

Why Are Millennials More Pro-Life Than Parents? – The Daily Signal

dailysignal.com/2016/03/04/why-millennials-lean-prolife/
Mar 4, 2016 – Millennials lean more prolife than the generation preceding them because of advances in medical technology and science, leaders in …

Surveys Show Young People More Pro-Life Than Ever Before as …

www.lifenews.com/…/surveys-show-young-people-moreprolife-than-ever-before-as…
Jul 11, 2016 – … People More ProLife Than Ever Before as Millennials Oppose Abortion. … are less likely than their older counterparts to identify as “prolife.

Millennials Across the United States are More Likely to Identify as Pro …

www.frcblog.com/…/millennials-across-united-states-are-morelikely-identify-prolife
Feb 8, 2016 – The study shows the decline is nearly equal in both the most prolife and prochoice states. The decline in the least prolife states: Vermont …

Millennials across the United States are more likely to identify as pro …

standamerica.us/millennials-across-the-united-states-are-morelikely-to-identify-as-pro
Jan 12, 2016 – Millennials across the United States are more likely to identify as … The only most prolife state on the list to see a rise in abortions is Louisiana.

Millennials: The generation most likely to oppose abortion – Red Alert …

redalertpolitics.com/2016/01/14/millennials-generation-likely-oppose-abortion/
Jan 14, 2016 – Although Americans are split down the middle on whether they identify as prolife or prochoice, abortion is viewed as less acceptable than it …

Survey: Millennials oppose abortion, yet reject pro-life title – Red Alert …

redalertpolitics.com/2016/…/survey-millennials-oppose-abortion-yet-reject-prolife-tit…

Jul 1, 2016 – Survey: Millennials oppose abortion, yet reject prolife title … 48 percent of millennials said they were more likely to identify as “prochoice.”

So, while I declined to try to battle for the last word in a futile argument with a radical, let me conclude with the last comment I made before breaking off with him:

It will take a lot of time and hard work to win over the culture by changing hearts and minds. We have the truth and all the science on our side. We’re winning. We’re on the same side. If we can avoid maligning each other, we will see victory.

Join me as part of the Pro-Life Generation that will see abortion ended within our lifetime. We’re in this for the long haul. We’re in this to save as many lives as we can along the way. If regulation spares even one life, it will have been wise and right. It has spared many lives. The thousands of babies who have been spared from death, even during the sad reign of “Planned Parenthood” funding and “Roe v Wade” opinions, declare that we are on the side of righteousness.

Tithing: 5 Key Answers | Interview with IBC Perspectives Magazine

Read more helpful content at IBC Perspectives Magazine.

IBC: Why is it so important for Apostolic Christians to tithe?

DJ: The Bible is clear that believers are to dedicate every aspect of their lives to the Lord. Dedicating all except the financial aspect is not all; it’s excluding something. While Christians disagree on what submission in this aspect may look like, the most common error by those who are against tithing is to mistake New Testament passages about “Emergency Relief Effort” type giving as supposedly being how all giving should be done by Christians, yet that type of giving is but one layer in a biblically modeled approach. One cannot ignore tithing and have a truly complete biblically modeled approach.

IBC: What happens if a Christian fails to tithe? Are they lost?

DJ: To presume to declare all such people as either saved or lost is to place oneself in the Lord’s place as judge. We can envision situations in which a believer knows better and willfully disobeys, and in which they don’t know better and are not willfully disobeying. The default position of fallen humanity is lost and cursed. If a believer is himself redeemed, yet he allows an existing curse to abide on his personal finances, might God allow that level of granularity? Save their soul even while their financial life is still cursed? He may well allow it in some and disallow it in others. He’s the Lord who knows the heart and judges rightly.

IBC: Should we tithe on our gross income or net income? Why?

DJ: The biblical answer, which is that tithing is to give 1/10 of all my “increase,” leads to a lot of sticky questions that various believers approach differently. In addition to gross v. net, what about inheritances, insurance settlements, birthday and anniversary gifts, or a litany of other windfalls? Consider Luke 6:38. Generally, the more I include as realized increase, the more room I grant in the “bucket” that God uses when causing future increase to come. Based on Romans 14, I grant fellow believers liberty in how they decide such matters, but I personally tithe on my gross. God has blessed us for it. In our assembly, saints tithe on their home garden’s produce. Our family enjoys every bite. Bottom line: tithing is to be based on all “increase.”

IBC: Offerings are given in addition to the tithe. What should a faithful Christian consider giving for offerings?

DJ: Since the needs vary, the amount or percentage could also vary. The New Testament indicates saints were called upon for longterm sacrificial giving due to needs as a result of emergencies, such as fellow believers starving in another region due to famine. Yet how much is too much? Each believer is free to make up their own mind on their gift (2 Corinthians 9:7). Both willingness and abundance are prerequisites for acceptance of offerings (2 Corinthians 8:12). One should avoid going into debt to give to other believers’ needs. A believer should not reduce himself to being in need while trying to meet another believer’s need.

IBC: How has tithing blessed you?

DJ: From my youth up I have always been as faithful as possible regarding tithing. God has honored His promise and has blessed me and my family abundantly. I am a genuine “testimonial” advertisement for the success that comes when adhering to a biblical model from God’s word for submitting the financial aspect of my life to Him.

A Pastor’s Statement Regarding Kim Davis

Kim Davis has done an admirable job of executing the portion of her job she could do, and respectfully declining on the part she cannot do, due to the legal chaos of the moment. The flawed and lawless decision of the SCOTUS in June has caused chaos. Between that lawless ruling, and the lawless command of the Kentucky governor to the state’s county clerks, and the lawless command of federal judge Bunning directly to Kim, she is between a rock and a hard place, yet she has taken a principled stand that is to be commended.

The Kentucky laws she is sworn to uphold have not been changed, and she is still upholding them. It would require a legislative response to the SCOTUS ruling to revise any Kentucky laws.

Furthermore, of the Kentucky laws that apply to clerks regarding marriage licenses, none of them pronounce any penalty for refusing to give out a license, but they do provide a misdemeanor penalty for giving a license to a couple who may not, per Kentucky law, constitute a marriage, and that includes a misdemeanor penalty for giving a license to partners of the same sex. Since the Kentucky legislature has not revised those codes, and no revisions or new laws by the Kentucky General Assembly have been signed into law by the Kentucky governor, it is simply too early in the process for same-sex couples to be demanding any licenses there, and it is wrong (see below) for either the governor or the judge to command such, given the current situation.

The state governor is sworn to uphold Kentucky law, which directs him (not just in some ruling, but in written, duly legislated and signed law — see the KY state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or KY RFRA) to seek out a method of enacting the government’s goals in a way that is “least restrictive” of Kim Davis’ religious freedom. Ordering her to violate existing Kentucky laws and at the same time ordering her to violate her conscience, is not the least restrictive means to enact what he is presenting as a governmental goal.

Similarly, the federal judge is bound to abide by federal law, which requires him (not just in some ruling, but in written, duly legislated and signed law — see the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or federal RFRA) to seek out a method of enacting the government’s goals in a way that is “least restrictive” of Kim Davis’ religious freedom. Ordering her to violate existing Kentucky laws and at the same time ordering her to violate her conscience, is not the least restrictive means to enact what he is presenting as a governmental goal. Jailing her is certainly not the least restrictive way.

Given the comparative ease of simply revising the marriage licenses by removing all clerks’ names from them, the accommodation she requested is quite reasonable, and both the governor and the judge violated existing laws in their actions and inactions. Since both were willing to abide by her being wrongfully incarcerated rather than accommodating her, I advocate for them to be impeached. I certainly urge protest over their violations against Kim Davis. In spite of calling for their impeachment, I have been fervently praying for them, and will continue. If you are not praying for them, you should be.

Ultimately, a pastor’s advice is of most value to fellow believers. Regarding believers, as per Romans 14, we are not to judge or condemn another believer regarding matters of conscience, even if, or rather especially when, his or her conviction of conscience differs from your own. The whole point of religious freedom is that not everyone’s religious convictions will match with yours, and we need to allow other believers, who may have stricter views than ours, to hold those views. That said, I don’t disagree with Sister Kim Davis on this. Even if I disagreed, I would still support her 100%.  Even if you don’t agree with her views and position, I implore you to study Romans 14, and grant her the liberty to have a conviction you don’t share. Don’t bash her on social media. Support and pray for her, as well as praying for her state, her governor, her legislature, the judge, and the SCOTUS whose ruling caused the chaos we’re all enduring.