Monday

Money Mondays: The Coveted Tenth

I have wanted to address the topic of tithing (giving 10 percent of ones income to the church) for well over a year, but I have always been hesitant because it is one of those hot button topics for Christians. However, I decided there is no sense in avoiding the issue, lets take it head on. I will say that I have been on both sides of the issue so for that matter, I have heard it all and I have studied the subject exhaustively, so nothing you say here will surprise me.

In order to get this rolling we are just going to open the floodgates and let you speak your piece, because I have some future posts coming on the subject, but first things first -- Simple question: Do you believe in tithing? Why or Why not.

I found this cartoon caption and it was interesting. I won't say whether it expresses my current view or not, its just blog content at this point.




About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.

24 comments:

Lovebabz said...

I do believe in tithing. I believe if going to church is your thing, then you give according to your ability. My feelings are that as I am blessed with gifts in my life, I must then share my gifts with God by way of my commitment to my church. I tithe as do my children and we bring a nonpershiable food gift each week to support our local food bank.

We as a family volunteer once a month staffing the kitchen at the homeless shelter, cooking and serving the Sunday meal.

What people forget is that, tithing isn't just money, but your time as a gift too.

BeKinky_Paula said...

I was raised as a Jehovahs Witness. So Im on the fence about the issue. I get a little annoyed when they pass the offering plate 20 times and I think in general people get taken advantage and made to feel guilty. I dont tithe now because 10% of 0 is 0 LOL But of course theres the story of the woman that gave her little crumbs (not quoting lol)and thats always being told. Anyhow, sometimes I avoid the church because I feel guilty that I cant really afford to give much seeing as though I am POOR. In general I believe in tithing but its usually taken to the extreme like many things that Christians could see a personal benefit out of.

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

I believe that people should give. A church is a building that needs maintain and the light bill paid.

*I don't believe in passing the plate 19 times.
*Reverends getting paid off of poor folks.
*Using God to guilt someone into giving more than they can afford.
*Advertising what you can give.
*Making someone feel less than because they can only give a small amount.
*Telling someone what they should/better give.
*Keeping track of what your members are giving.
*Giving praise to a member who was able to give a large amount for all the congregation to hear/see.

When people don't go to church cause they feel too poor and embarrassed there is a problem. Who should God hold accountable for that?

Please don't preach the light bill needs paid, the building needs work, and money is needed for the pastor's anniversary dinner. . .when he is pulling up in a Mercedes I know I help buy.

Darius T. Williams said...

Touchy subject. I don't tithe like I should - so I guess I don't tithe.

I believe it's also more than just money. You time and talents are necessary as well.

But, you know, it's hard when your Pastor is rolling better than everybody in the church and you're struggling trying to put food on the table.

Rich said...

Considerations:

What if your Pastor came in the door rolling from his own job prior to Pastoring? Does the same hold true?

Wouldn't an investment of your time be considered "Serving the Lord" and not tithing?

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

*Coming through for the first time*

I believe in thithing, but I don't believe it has to be done in a church. For instance, I believe I can thith by giving to someone in need of food, clothes, etc.; I can thithe by giving to my alma mater; I can thithe by volunteering for a great cause. My good deeds won't be unseen just because they weren't done in the church.

Great Post!

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

@Rich's question. . .
If the pastor is coming from his job and lives a modest life. Within means I believe came from working. That is one thing.

However more and more (even in little churches on the side of the road) the pastor is coming in wearing fly suits, wearing gold on his neck and a pinky ring, driving a luxury car, coming from his house in the good part of town. And his Mrs. is wearing a new church hat every meeting, gold and diamonds, a mink shawl and she didn't drive Sunday but, her car is at home.
And he work delivering packages for UPS and she is a part-time bank teller. . .well, then church we got a problem.

I am evil.

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs said...

Hey Brother!

I struggled with tithing for a brief moment when I first became saved...I took a class that talked about tithing based on the word of God...and I still didn't get right to it...God woke me up one night and dealt with me around my disobedience...at one point I was tithing 15% (at least a year)....Anyway, I am a witness that obedience is better than sacrifice....God met all of my needs and some....He continues to do so as I continue to give my 10% in faith and obedience....

Some people argue that the Pastor and the church misuse the money...some probably do..but God will deal with them for that...People seem to forget that light bills have to be paid at church...the handouts they give out cost money to print..the events for the needy have to be paid for...etc.....there is a cost for all things..People who don't tithe and go to church every week are basically going to eat up the bread of life...for free...similiar to one who goes to dinner and doesn't pay for the meal or leave a tip....I say start somewhere if you are not tithing...you'll grow to be a faithful in tithing as you grow spiritually...

It's a matter of the heart too though...if you don't have any money but want to tithe....God honors that..similar to the lady in the bible who cheerfully gave a penny.....tithing with a bad spirit about it is just as bad as not tithing....I mean if you have a $10 and you tithe a $1...you have done what God requires...it doesn't matter what the person next to you gave...you did what you were required...

Also...the reality is...we wouldn't have nothing if it wasn't for God...no job...no money..no food..I think He's graceful for only requiring 10% of the 100% that he provided to us....it's all about perspective and most importantly obedience to God...Read Malachi 3...God wants us to trust him...so for those who don't tithe..trust him...and watch what HE WILL DO!!

Rich said...

@sharon - for those people who don't have the common sense to leave a church when they are clearly being taken advantage of, well...that's what they get.

12kyle said...

@ Rich
Funny cartoon!

I always put somethin' in the plate. It may or may not always been 10%, tho.

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

I don't go to church.

I have to think about religion.

Mizrepresent said...

I don't believe in just tithing to the church...i believe that the act of tithing was in simple words "to give back" and that's what i do, to family, to charities, to the church, my time, my money, my gifts of love...Too many churches have taken advantage of this one deed and pretty much pimped alot of people, alot of poor people...and then when those same folks are in need, there is now help to be found. SMH...tithing is good in every respect, but if you are the receiver of these gifts, then you shall do unto others, as you will have them do unto you! JMO!

MysTery said...

It's crazy cause I just heard some church in the H have atms...that is RIDICULOUS!!

Do I believe in it, yes. If I am blessed to give, I think I should.

Be it financially or by voluteering or something like that.

CapCity said...

Like so many others I believe in giving of self - usually in TIME cuz that tends to be more valuable (just ask your chirren if they'd rather have your money withOUT your time;-). I also give dollars to the church i love so they'll have heat, lights & running water when i get there;-).

Girly_Girl said...

In Islam, "tithing" or what Muslims call "Zakat" is required. I try to give back in whatever way I can, but a person almost has to make it a priority. Once you think of tithing as voluntary, it kind of takes a back seat.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

sounds just as bad as the government to me

shelia said...

I believe in tithing. It is one form of me showing the Lord that I trust He will take care of all my needs. If it wasn't for His blessings I wouldn't have ANYTHING so 10 percent is just a small portion if you look at the bigger picture.

The Jaded NYer said...

Since you asked for my two cents, I'll come out of lurk mode lol...

My experience with Chritian churches has not been the best, and it kind of bothers me that my mom hands over what she hands over to her church a year, but I suppose if she's spending most of her time there anyway, might as well help pay the rent.

that said, I can't say I've ever been made to feel like a loser because I couldn't give, so PROPS to the churches I've attended for that.

should we have to give? that's up to the individual. the church, I suppose, is like any other non-profit... I don't have to give the Natural Resources Defense Council any money, but I do because I believe in what they do. So lets for a moment remove the stigma of an oppressive Judeo-Christian institution and see that this is an organization that probably needs support.

(and this coming from someone who would spit on the Vatican if given the chance!)

ON THE FLIP SIDE...

My question is- why do they even need money from the congregation, though? Doesn't the dioses or whomever is in charge already cover the church's expenses? and besides building maintenance, what expenses are there in a church?

all you need is a building with some chairs and maybe a decent PA system and an organ. What am I missing? and I'm asking in all honesty because I don't know.

Rich said...

@JadedNyer
I meant to respond earlier, but my wireless card isn’t working properly, so I’m not getting online in the evenings as of late.

Traditionally, churches attended by predominately black congregations are pretty much independent, and therefore need the offerings to maintain every little cost. Lights, water, gas, grounds maintenance, stationary, various goodies they give out to kids at children’s church, building maintenance, cleaning, etc. Also, most of the pastors of these congregations preach for a living. In other words, they are in “fulltime ministry”, much like the Levitical Priesthood and therefore depend on the tithes and offerings for their familial support.

Hope that helps.

The Jaded NYer said...

@rich- OK, that explains it. See I grew up in the Catholic church where everything is handled by the Dioses (is that how it's spelled??) so the alms or tithes aren't a big deal.

bbgcmac said...

I believe in GIVING - tithing income in America is different than tithing increase in the bible. Nevertheless I believe that we should financially support our houses of worship as well as any other organizations that we feel benifit the community and mankind. I say giving because it does not put a stipulation on an amount. In giving I am free to do more than 10%. I would not have that as a law over my head either if my funds are low for that time being. I think also that the place of worship that is really generous to its people will garner more support from those who see it benifiting the community. Some folk just want to see their leaders rich and have a nice building - but I believe service is the key. If an organization is providing a worthy service to a community - then that community should stand behind that organization financially and otherwise.

IntrospectiveGoddess said...

I have mixed feeling about this issue...as of lately I havent been going to church...its been about a month or a little less than that....since I had first started going back I only tithed once. I dont know money comes so infrequently to me even when I do have it I dont like just giving it away. I know its the church but honestly other than a few events for the youth in our church I dont see them do much in the "community" as a whole. The pastor has in the past mentioned money in a way that I thought was inappropriate....so that has given me apprehension at times.....I get nervous if I give a large sum of my money to the church...cuz like I said I'm broke so much I really like to try and hold on to my money....I dont know I'm still real confused about the whole thing

Verbal Vixen (T Caldwell) said...

I share Mizrepresent's sentiments on this subject.

I don't believe in tithing a fixed percentage of your income to a church. I do believe in giving back to the community however you can, be it via money, volunteering your time or skills, donating items, etc. And it doesn't have to be 10%. It can be less if you can't afford 10%, it can be more if you can.

In my mind, the God I serve isn't counting pennies.

Jewells said...

The comic...hilarium!

Ever since I started tithing a couple of years ago, I have not been without. Even when my checks weren't that high I gave my 10% every payday. I didn't agree with tithing because I felt like it was just a way for pastors to get more expensive cars (etc.). It wasn't until I changed my way of thinking and got in the Word (thanks to Creflo Dollar) that I started giving back because that is what the Lord requires of us. It doesn't matter what is done with the money. As long as I know in my heart that I am giving back to God suffices me just fine.

Good topic. I have a blog in the works on tithing.