The Use of the Tithe

Many are wondering what course they should pursue, in regards to paying their tithe? Should they continue to pay their tithe to the SDA Church, inspite of the fact that the Adventist Church is supporting Abortion and is in deep Apostasy and Worldliness? Is it true that we are only responsible for paying it, we are not responsible for how the Church uses the tithe? I hope the collection of statements below will help you find answers to these and similar questions.


“There are fearful woes for those who preach the truth, but are not sanctified by it, and also for those who consent to receive and maintain the unsanctified to minister to them in word and doctrine.” 1T 261, 262.
“If God pronounces a woe upon those who are called to preach the truth and refuse to obey, a heavier woe rests upon those who take upon them this sacred work without clean hands and pure hearts. As there are woes for those who preach the truth while they are unsanctified in heart and life, so there are woes for those who receive and maintain the unsanctified in the position which they cannot fill.”2T 552.
“It would be poor policy to support from the treasury of God those who really mar and injure His work, and who are constantly lowering the standard of Christianity.” 3T 553.
“No man should be set apart as a teacher of the people while his own teaching or example contradicts the testimony God has given His servants to bear in regard to diet, for this will bring confusion. His disregard of health reform unfits him to stand as the Lord’s messenger.” 6T 378.
“Some, who do not see the advantage of educating the youth to be physicians both of the mind and of the body, say that the tithe should not be used to support medical missionaries who devote their time to treating the sick. In response to such statements as these, I am instructed to say that the mind must not become so narrowed down that it cannot take in the truth of the situation.” MM 245.
“The tithe should go to those who labor in word and doctrine, be they men or women.EV 492.
“Canvassers must go out into various parts of the country. The importance of this work is fully equal to that of the ministry. The living preacher and the silent messenger are both required for the accomplishment of the great work before us. R & H, 4-1-1880
“The silent messengers that are placed in the homes of the people through the work of the canvasser, will strengthen the gospel ministry in every way; for the Holy Spirit will impress minds as they read the books, just as He impresses the minds of those who listen to the preaching of the word. The same ministry of angels attends the books that contain the truth as attends the work of the minister.” 6T 316.

“Calls are coming in from all directions, not only from persons of our faith, but from those who have become interested by reading our publications; they say, Send us a minister to preach to us the truth. But there is a great want of laborers. We have to answer, There is no man to send among you. Many are obliged to be content with the silent preacher until God shall send them the living messenger. Let all our brethren take this to heart, and by personal effort in faith and hope contribute to the Signs of the Times; for in sending matter that is alive, in speaking by the pen words bearing the holy unction, they are preaching to thousands. Long, dry articles are not wanted for this paper. The great lack of men to go from place to place and preach the word may be in a great degree supplied by tracts and papers, and by intelligent correspondence.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, pg 111.


“Pharisaism in the Christian world today is not extinct. The Lord desires to break up the course of precision, which has become so firmly established, which has hindered instead of advancing his work. He desires his people to remember that there is a large space over which the light of present truth is to be shed. Divine wisdom must have abundant room in which to work. It is to advance without asking permission or support from those who have taken to themselves a kingly power. In the past, one set of men have tried to keep in their own hands the control of all the means coming from the churches, and have used this means in a most disproportionate manner, erecting expensive buildings where such large buildings were unnecessary and uncalled for, and leaving needy places without help, or encouragement….

For years the same routine, the same ‘regular way’ of working has been followed, and God’s work has been greatly hindered. The narrow plans that have been followed by those who did not have clear, sanctified judgment has resulted in a showing that is not approved by God. God calls for a revival and a reformation. The ‘regular lines’ have not done the work which God desires to see accomplished. Let revival reformation make constant changes…. Let every yoke be broken. Let men awaken to the realization that they have an individual responsibility. The present showing is sufficient to prove to all who have the true missionary spirit that the ‘regular lines’ may prove a failure and a snare. God helping his people, the circle of kings who dared to take such great responsibilities should never again exercise their unsanctified power in the so-called ‘regular lines’. Too much power has been invested in unrevived, unreformed human agencies. Let not selfishness and covetousness be allowed to outline the work which must be done to fulfill the grand, noble commission which Christ has given to every disciple…. The Lord has encouraged those who have started out on their own responsibility to work for Him, their hearts filled with love for souls ready to perish…Young men, go forth into the places to which you are directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Work with your hands, that you may be self-supporting, and as you have opportunity, proclaim the message of warning…God grant that the voices which have been so quickly raised to say that all the money invested in the work must go through the appointed channel at Battle Creek, shall not be heard. The people to whom God has given His means are amenable to Him alone. It is their privilege to give direct aid and assistance to missions…. Spaulding Magan Collection, 174-177.


“In reference to our conference, it is repeated o’er and o’er again, that it is the voice of God, and therefore everything must be referred to the Conference and have the conference voice in regard to permission or restriction or what shall be and what shall not be done in the various fields…. We have heard enough, abundance, about that ‘everything must go around in the regular way.’ When we see the regular lines are altered and purified and refined, and the God of the Heavens mold is upon the regular lines, then it is our business to establish the regular lines. But when we see message after message that God has given has been accepted, but NO CHANGE, just the same as it was before, then it is evident that new blood must be brought into the regular lines… it requires minds that are worked by the Holy Spirit of God; and unless that evidence is given, unless there is a power that shows that they are accepted by God to impart to the responsibilities that have to be handled, then there should be a renovation without any delay. To have this conference pass on and close up as the conferences have done, with the same manipulating, with the very same tone, and the same order, – God forbid! …God forbid, brethren…. He wants every living soul that has a knowledge of the truth to come to their senses. He wants every living power to arouse; and we are just about the same as dead men. And it is time that we should arise and shine because our light has come, and the glory of the Lord has arisen upon us, and until this shall come we might just as well close up the conference today as any other day. Now the Lord wants His Spirit to come in. He wants the Holy Ghost king. He wants everything of the sharpness, that it shall not be exercised toward outsiders, it shall not be exercised toward one that is trying to serve God and trying to exercise all his power to serve Him, that is bringing his tithes here to sustain the minister. He has a treasury, and that treasury is to be sustained by the tithe, and that tithe is to be so liberal that it will sustain the work largely; each one to act in their capacity in such a way that the confidence of the whole people will be established in them, and that they will not be afraid, but see everything just as light as day until they are in connection with the work of God and the people…. There is to be no man that has the right to put his hand out an say, No, you cannot go there; we won’t support you if you go there. Why, what have you to do with supporting? Did they create the means? The means came from the people, and those who are destitute fields. The voice of God has told me to instruct them to go to the people and to tell them their necessities, and to draw all the people to work just where they can find a place to work, to build up the work in every place they can…” Spaulding Magan Collection, pg. 162-168. 1901.


The churches must arouse. The members must awake out of sleep and begin to inquire, How is the money which we put into the treasury being used? The Lord desires that a close search be made. Are all satisfied with the history of work for the past fifteen years? Where is the evidence of the co-working with God? Where has been heard throughout the churches the prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit? Dissatisfied and disheartened, we turn away from the scene. Our churches and institutions must return to where they were before the backsliding commenced, when they began trusting in man and making flesh their arm. Have we not seen enough of human wisdom? Shall we not now seek God in earnestness and simplicity, and serve him with heart and mind and strength?” The Kress Collection, pg. 120. (August 24, 1900).
“You ask me what you shall do in view of the fact that so little help is given to that department of the work in which you are working. I would say, “Trust it with the Lord. There is a way opened for you in regard to securing help for the Southern field. Appeal to the people. This is the only course you can pursue, under the circumstances. Send no statement of the situation through our religious papers; because it will not be honored. Send direct to the people. God’s ways are not to be counter-worked by man’s ways. There are those who have means, and who will give large and small sums. Have this money come direct to your destitute portion of the vineyard. The Lord has not specified any regular channel through which means should pass.” Spaulding & Magan Collection, pg. 498.
The arrangement that all moneys must go through Battle Creek and under the control of the few men in that place is a wrong way of managing. There are altogether too many weighty responsibilities given to a few men, and some to not make God their counselor.” TM-321.
Elder Watson: January 22, 1905 Mountain View, CA
My brother, I wish to say to you, Be careful how you move. You are not moving wisely. The least you have to speak about the tithe that has been appropriated to the most needy and the most discouraging field in the world, the more sensible you will be. { SpM 215.1 }
It has been presented to me for years that my tithe was to be appropriated by myself to aid the white and colored ministers who were neglected and did not receive sufficient properly to support their families. When my attention was called to aged ministers, white or black, it was my special duty to investigate into their necessities and supply their needs. This was to be my special work, and I have done this in a number of cases. No man should give notoriety to the fact that in special cases the tithe is used in that way. { SpM 215.2 }
In regard to the colored work in the South, that field has been and is still being robbed of the means that should come to the workers of that field. If there has been cases where our sisters have appropriated their tithe to the support of the ministers working for the colored people in the South, let every man, if he is wise, hold his peace. { SpM 215.3 }
I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice. I have been instructed to do this; and as the money is not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, it is not a matter that should be commented upon; for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best. { SpM 215.4 }
Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God has instructed me to do. And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so. I commend those sisters who have placed their tithe where it is most needed to help to do a work that is being left undone; and if this matter is given publicity, it will create knowledge which would better be left as it is. I do not care to give publicity to this work which the Lord has appointed me to do, and others to do. { SpM 215.5 }
I send this matter to you so that you shall not make a mistake. Circumstances alter cases. I would not advise that any should make a practice of gathering up tithe money. But for years there have now and then been persons who have lost confidence in the appropriation of the tithe who have placed their tithe in my hands, and said that if I did not take it they would themselves appropriate it to the families of the most needy minister they could find. I have taken the money, given a receipt for it, and told them how it was appropriated. { SpM 215.6 }
I write this to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up and give publicity to this matter, lest many more shall follow their example. { SpM 216.1 }
Ellen G. White.

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