Questions & Answers - Tithe

Feb 1, 2009

One of the major objections to Hartland is that it solicits tithe. In light of this, wouldn’t it be wise to not accept tithe?

A. This is a commonly asked question. Let me first explain Hartland’s practices. We do not solicit tithe, but quite a few of Hartland’s supporters do return tithe to Hartland.

Q. How do you explain Malachi’s command to bring tithe into the storehouse?

A. Many believe the only storehouse is the church. With this I agree, if the church is defined as the congregation of believers. This was the main translation of ekklesia in the early Protestant Bibles of the Reformation, e.g. the Geneva Bible and Tyndale’s New Testament. The Strong’s Concordance’s primary translation of ekklesia is “(a religious) congregation.” However, many Seventh-day Adventists use the term “church” to mean the Seventh-day Adventist denominational organization.

Q. Does not Sister White support the concept that the storehouse is the General Conference exclusively?

A. No. She writes:
“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.” (Letter 267, 1905, pp. 1, 2; To Elder Watson, Jan. 22, 1905, emphasis added.)
“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 be better 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.” (ibid., emphasis added)

Q. For what do you use tithe?

A. Only for those uses which inspiration indicates, e.g. ministers, Bible teachers, medical missionaries, Bible workers, evangelism, soul-winning outreach, and free Christian literature and media for those not able to purchase it.

Q. How do you justify your position on tithe?

A. God’s instruction is abundant in both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. My brother and I wrote a book: Tithes and Offerings, Trampling the Conscience. I encourage you to seek to understand this issue from the divine counsel presented in that book.

Dr. Standish responds to the following question and a series of related questions. If you have any inquiries about Hartland, please email them to sm@hartland.edu.