Adventist Online

An Open Letter to Our Tithe Donors

http://hartland.edu/institute/

Jun 24, 2014


Dear Friends,


After providential leadings and prayerful consideration, our Board of Directors, with the support of our constituents, made the decision to no longer accept donations designated as “tithe” from known Seventh-day Adventist church members, effective July 1, 2014.


It is not an option for us at Hartland to negotiate on matters that involve eternal principles. We are committed to following God’s counsel and our convictions regarding present truth. Hartland has decided to forgo the acceptance of tithe in order to disarm prejudice and broaden our opportunities for ministry. As was the case with the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:12, we have concluded that although it is lawful for us to receive tithe to perform tithe-worthy activities, it is not necessarily expedient.


We have taken this step in order to “draw nigh to our brethren,” trusting in God’s leading and providence. The Seventh-day Adventist movement is God’s remnant church. Although it is imperfect and in a Laodicean condition, when the “work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world, God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands.”1


We are fully committed to following the Lord’s counsel in directing the institute. We believe it is God’s will for us to do everything within our power, without compromising principle, to work in harmony with His denomination. “Christ said, ‘Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.’ If you see that by doing certain things which you have a perfect right to do, you hinder the work of the truth, refrain from doing these things. Do nothing that will close the minds of others against the truth. There is a world to save, and we gain nothing by cutting loose from those we are trying to help. All things may be lawful, but all things are not expedient.”2


Our mission remains the same—to proclaim the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14, and to train an army of youth to live and spread this gospel effectively; and it is inspiring to see doors opening as we seek to fulfill this mission by sharing God’s last-day message with the world. Through health ministry, community outreach, literature evangelism, prison ministry, our farm, and the testimonies of students who dedicate their lives to serve God, souls are being transformed through the power of the gospel and are impressed to accept God’s principles into their lives.


We pray that God will impress your hearts to continue supporting Hartland with your prayers and generous financial gifts. The institute’s needs are the same as before. Here are some of our main funds: Where Needed Most donations may be used anywhere according to the greatest need. Evangelism covers our many evangelistic projects including Bible studies, health ministry, literature ministry, and so forth. The Ministry Fund supports our Bible teachers and those engaged in various lines of ministry work. Our Missionary Training Fund provides scholarships for worthy students to be trained as missionaries.


Thank you so much for your prayers and support.


In His service,





Norbert Restrepo

President, Hartland Institute


1 White, Ellen G., Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300 (1885)
2 White, The Southern Work, pp. 70, 71

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Replies to This Discussion

It is not lawful. what kind of letter is this? looks like this guy is very rebellious, i mean the letter is  

Jason, I am wondering whether you may have misunderstood the letter.

Mr. Restrepo is saying that in the past Hartland Institute has accepted tithe money from individuals [SDA's] who have wanted to support the Hartland ministry, but now Hartland has decided to decline tithe money.

They believe that they have the right to accept the money, but in order to "disarm prejudice", they have decided to accept it no longer. To me, the letter sounds honorable. They are an independent ministry, and don't want to be seen as 'parasites' living off money that belongs (as some see it,) to the SDA church.

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In the same way, the apostle Paul taught that it was lawful for him to accept tithe/support, but he laid that right aside because it was not "expedient" (i.e. profitable/ helpful). For the good of the church as a whole, Paul chose not to call on the brethren to provide for his support. Hartland has taken this as their precedent in making the decision.

The General Conference has said all along that NO independent ministry should accept tithe money 

Ok, so Hartland is now coming into line with the will of the General Conference. Isn't that a positive step on their part?

It is honorable that this independent ministry won't accept tithe-money anymore, but the much bigger questions should be, why so many people have doubts, that the official division or GC use the money the better and the right way. 

[when you know, that a division use it to send (force) the pastors to weekend-seminars of charismatic denominations for continuing pastoral education, when you know, that the heads of the division created a catalog with the topics they are allowed to preach in their sermons, when some pastors declare private rides as business once to receive gas-money, when a serious youth missionary congress are declared as "brainwashing" instead of encouraging the youth to join it, when it gets more and more common to welcome pastors from different denominations for the sermon in our churches, for professorship in our universities, when time, money and energy is wasted in this too long struggle between the left and the right wing of the church (cause we need both of them and both are important)]

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