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Tithing Down 62% in the Past Year

Discussion in 'Deeper Fellowship' started by Bruce S, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. Bruce S

    Bruce S Well-Known Member

    936
    +27
    Protestant
    Online Source: Barna Research Online Site

    http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=139&Reference=F
     
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  2. stumpsitting101

    stumpsitting101 Senior Member

    491
    +6
    Protestant
    Very informative article Bruce, Thanks, Will pass this to my pastor. (I guess that will mean another one of them Tithing Sermons) :D
     
  3. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Hmm, I'm an independent voter living in the midwest and a born again Christian not associated with a Protestant church, and I still tithe.

    Guess I'm unusual, huh?
     
  4. fieldmouse3

    fieldmouse3 Contributor

    +58
    Christian
    Single
    US-Republican
    I just started tithing again! :)
     
  5. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    :clap:
     
  6. bravesaz

    bravesaz Regular Member

    149
    +2
    Christian
    I tithe. Maybe not the recommended 10%, but I still tithe. At this point in time, I am unable to give as much money as I would like. However, I do a lot of volunteer work that more than makes up for it.
     
  7. boughtwithaprice

    boughtwithaprice Legend Supporter

    +601
    Catholic
    Private
    Tithing is a tax, and I belive that it grieves the Holy Spirit everywhere it is preached. It is used as a lithmus test for determining whether a person is born again or not, but this is not the way it should be. God's word says in 2Cor9:7

    Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

    A tax is compulsory, and this is how the tithe is treated in the churches that preach it. They say that it is not really a free will offering unless you give more than 10%. 10% of what? Most say your gross salary. Well lets see, if the government takes 50% of my salary and the church wants 10% then that means I have to give 20% of my income in order to tithe? 10-5=5, 10% of 10 is 1, 1/5 = 20%. Federal tax, state tax, social security tax, sales tax, property tax, now church tax?

    Tell me how this upholds the spirit of the Gospel. People should be free to give as they are lead by the Lord, not compelled to give 10%. Just as the word says as a man has purposed in his heart. Giving to the church is to be between a believer and God alone. I thought that the church leaders were to be our servants, not kings that demand tribute.

    But each one must examine his own work and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
    Gal 6:4

    From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own sons or from others? From others, Peter answered. Then the sons are exempt Jesus said to him. Mat17:25-26

    Those that desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to tithe simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those that tithe do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you tithe so that they may boast in your flesh.
    But may it never be that I may boast , except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:13-14 modified for emphasis, but I believe the spirit is the same.


    Think people aren't persecuted for not tithing, try to admit it openly in your church or lets see the responses, if any, to this post.

    I am not against tithing if that is what God has laid on your heart. Praise Him if He has given you a joyful heart to tithe. I am against compeling others or judging someone's salvation by their pocketbook.
     
  8. Senta

    Senta New Member

    26
    +1
    I really agree with you boughtwithaprice. I work with poor people helping them with depression and other issues. Often as I have the reputation of being a Christian, I get people wanting Christian Counseling. I can't tell you how many of the people I work with tell me that they don't want to become active in their "old church" because they can't tithe. Most of them can not pay their bills each month and eat. I tell them about how the woman gave something like a penny and how the Pharasee spoke against that to Jesus and what he said about it.

    I remind them of the passage listed above about a cheerful giving.

    I personally don't tithe. I give regularly but not even every week. I don't track how much I give at all. I give in cash only.

    I refuse to tell the church that I will be giving them a certain amount every week for the year. (A pledge.) Since they demand this for membership, I refuse to join. I attend. I worship God. I am active. I evangelize. I am a born again Christian. I don't think that tithing should be part of what identifies me as a "good Christian".
     
  9. boughtwithaprice

    boughtwithaprice Legend Supporter

    +601
    Catholic
    Private
    Thank you for your agreement and your shared thoughts Senta,

    I have been thinking of some scriptures which I believe apply to this situation:

    From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. Mat11:12

    Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Rom14:13-14

    People do violence to the Gospel when they tell believers that they have to or should tithe to be "good" christians. It is a matter of conscience, and it is between a believer and God alone. It is obviously a stumbling block to those that you are ministering to, Senta. This makes me sad for them and angry at the situation. I think that all believers should be welcomed into the body regardless of their finances. I believe that is what Jesus did during his time on earth.

    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Gal5:1

    You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? Gal3:1-4

    I believe that everyone should be encouraged to give as God has laid it on their hearts. Those that believe in tithing should tithe and not judge others. Curches should stop keeping track of members finances. I don't believe in pledges either. The pledges serve as a line of credit for churches which causes them to go into debt, the indebted churches then cry poor and demand tithes from their membership. This puts an incredible strain on new believers or members, and that is not what God intends when He says,

    Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For my yoke is easy and my burden light. Mat11:28-30

    Churches should only spend money that is entrusted to them and not go into excessive debt. I believe that if the tithing tax was lifted and the Holy Spirit allowed to work on the hearts of believers, the church would see an incredible rise in revenue. Every gift would be received with thanksgiving and rejoicing instead of judged by wether or not it is 10% of someone's income. I will continue to look for a church that does not require a tithe, until then I will attend but not sign a membership roll.
     
  10. Hunter

    Hunter Socratic gadfly

    18
    +1
    Christian
    Tithing is going to continue to remain at low levels until organized religion can regain some semblance of public confidence in the integrity of their leaders. So long as scandals continue to rock the Catholic church and protestants such as Pat Robertson behave like...well, like Pat Robertson, then individuals within various congregations will find it hard to give cheerfully.

    Hunter
     
  11. PuppyforChrist

    PuppyforChrist Loyal and obedient to its Master

    +409
    Lutheran
    Single
    This might be a stupid question, but what exactly does tithe mean? :confused:
     
  12. andrewbee

    andrewbee Junior Member

    32
    +0
    Christian
    I don't tithe. We gave regularly to the church we went to, and it was a lot of money (for us) but not 10%. Last year, I lost my job. I asked the church for financial help to get through the crisis. The pastor let me know clearly that I was less deserving of the church's help, since many of the other people tithed and we did not. In fact, he didn't even acknowledge the giving that we had done (which amounted to thousands of dollars over the 3 years that we had attended there, and we are not wealthy people by any means). That, to me, laid bare the true nature of that particular church, and left a very bad taste in my mouth. It left me feeling like we would have been better off putting the money in a savings account.
     
  13. JesseB.

    JesseB. Praying for healing......

    383
    +5
    Baptist
    I admit, my donations have gone down within the past 5 months. However, I pray and hope to change that. I am now donating $5.00 for 1 month through my mom's credit-card to CF.com. :)
     
  14. Yitzchak

    Yitzchak יצחק

    +1,313
    Charismatic
    Married
    CA-Conservatives
    My opinion is that the church leadership has been very selfish over the past few decades and are simply getting the results of that.
    The congregations are following the examples of the leaders , just as children somehow intuitively get to the root of their parents motives and follow them as well.
    The loss of confidence is unfortunately well founded. Look at the average evangelical church budget. 70% (sometimes more) goes to the building and the staff and 30 % to the actual ministry (with large portions of that going to overhead as well) . This revivals the pathetic ratios in such charities as the united way where the president of united way receives 470,000 a year salary plus perks while only 30 cents of every dollar actually makes it to the charity work after overhead is taken out.
    Unfortunately the money is only a part of the problem. The selfish and carnel attitudes extend to all facets of ministry it seems.
    Take for example in the average evangelical church the ratio of pastor's salaries. The head pastor will make more than the assistent pastor and him more than the children's pastor, etc. My understanding of the scripture is that the rationale for a pastor getting paid is so there is no worldy distraction of other jobs. That way they can put full attention to ministry. So my question is since children's pastors and head pastors are both full time ministers, then why does one need more than another?? Unless it is run like a corporation rather than a ministry. And the esteem given is equal only in lip service.
    when we return to biblical methods of fasting and prayer, hospitality, evangelism, etc. and stop relying on mass marketing and glitzy presentations then we will see ministries people can believe in enough to sink major cash into.
     
  15. ms_lizzie

    ms_lizzie New Member

    43
    +0
    Protestant
    It seems that everyone is missing the POINT!!! It is our responsibility and command to tythe and it has little or NOTHING to do with what others are doing, how they are behaving, or what the world thinks of them. Giving of money is for two reasons: without God we would not have anything (our health, our homes, our friends, our countries) so he asks us to give out of that which he has give us. Secondly, we give because it teaches us to be servants.

    Why is everyone so hung up on what other people have done to diminish tything. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY! Where is the joy in "well, my life is hard so I didn't give as much and then I didn't get anything in return". What about the parable of talents?

    Let us encourage each other to stand up and be strong and CHOOSE to give (for it is better than receiving).

    My first step to help this out (cause yes, I am pooooooor) is to get myself out of debt...till then, I tythe my income b/c I want to learn how to give (it isn't my nature).
     
  16. ms_lizzie

    ms_lizzie New Member

    43
    +0
    Protestant
    I totally agree with your last point.
     
  17. Knight

    Knight Knight of the Cross

    +111
    Calvinist
    Married
    US-Republican
    I believe it is also our responsibility to make sure our tithe is used for God's work. This is more of a personal conviction though.
     
  18. ms_lizzie

    ms_lizzie New Member

    43
    +0
    Protestant
    Yes, that is how we choose WHERE to send the tythe. It just seems that people were more concerned on whether to tythe at all! :shrug:
     
  19. andrewbee

    andrewbee Junior Member

    32
    +0
    Christian
    The point is tithing is too darn expensive for the majority of us who weren't blessed with upper-class incomes. It is a luxury, like country club membership. Unless of course God can prove that there is a good return on investment and that I am getting some value for my dollars, in which case I might consider it.
     
  20. ms_lizzie

    ms_lizzie New Member

    43
    +0
    Protestant
    I am glad you are honest. Myself, being below the poverty line, and having debt, still find tything to be a responsibility. I suppose I am just surprised at how bitter people seem to be when it comes to money.
     
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