Contradictions on Tithe


In 1896 Mrs. White wrote:

"Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe, to use according to their own judgment. They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord's work." (Testimonies Vol. 9, p. 247)

Notice she said "none" are at liberty to appropriate tithe money as they see fit, even in what they regard as the Lord's work. Now notice how she disregarded her own testimony nine years later:

Mountain View, Calif., Jan. 22, 1905.

Elder Watson:

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.

It had 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. (Signed) Ellen G. White.
(Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 215, 216)

Analysis

A Testimony of God's Spirit?
In 1896, it was wrong for anyone to appropriate their tithe money, even in the Lord's work. Nine years later, in 1905, we find Mrs. White doing exactly what she said not to do! In fact, she even "commends" some of the "sisters" who have ignored her 1896 testimony by giving their tithe money directly to sister White.
If Mrs. White does not follow her Testimonies then why should we?
In the Didache, an early Christian document believed to have been written around the first century A.D., the author advises early Christians on how to identify a false prophet:

If any prophet teaches the truth, yet does not practice what he teaches, he is a false prophet. Didache, 11:10. (see also Deur. 18:22) website editor


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