Tithing Is Rare

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    According to this article, 12% of Born Again Christians Tithe,

    - Tithing Is Rare


    While many Christian churches teach the biblical principle of tithing – that is, giving 10% of one’s income to the church – relatively few people follow the practice. One out of every six adults (17%) claims to tithe, but a comparison of the amount that people gave to churches and their household income revealed that just 6% actually donated one-tenth of their income (pre-tax or post-tax) to churches. The level of misreporting among born again Christians was just as prolific: 32% reported tithing, yet only 12% actually did so in 2000.

    Even so, born again Christians were about four times more likely than were non-born again adults to tithe (12% vs. 3%, respectively). The Barna survey also discovered that a large proportion of adults claim to be interested in tithing in the future. Two out of every five born again adults who admitted to not currently tithing stated that they hoped to do so in the future, with the remaining one out of five indicating no interest in or intent to tithe in the future.

    http://snipurl.com/jg49
     
  2. Andy T.

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    What's sad, I bet if you gathered statistics from the church in the Third World, their giving, percentage-wise, probably exceeds the American rate. We live in a land of great wealth and opportunity, yet we cannot even give 10%?
     
  3. PJ

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    Sad indeed, but I'd say pretty close to the mark. I was recently in a business meeting where a woman said if she had a few dollars left over at the end of the week, she'd toss them in the plate (and she wasn't kidding!). :eek:

    My family's been at the same church the past 24 years, with the same pastor the last 10 years. I'm sure I could count on one hand how many times our current pastor has even mentioned tithing, and, we have many first generation believers. We recently identified the problem and are striving to do better. That's not to say it will make a great difference. We'll know in time ...
     
  4. Gina B

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    That's probably because at even just 10%, that's still a lot of money.

    Take a married couple with two toddlers. Mom stays home with the babies. Dad makes $24000 a year. Even at very conservative estimates, $15,000 of that will go to housing and a car. About $6,00 for food, $1200 for electricity/heating/cooling. Take about $2000 out for soap, detergent, toilet paper, garbage bags, clothes for four people, diapers, etc.

    It's already gone, and nobody's had a medical checkup, or immunizations, or needed antibiotics.

    And the church is saying that if they haven't handed over almost $3000 of that, they're selfish and in sin.

    I tithe now because I know it's right and I know I have support. However, I spent a lot of time NOT tithing because it was pointless. What's the point of tithing and then having to ask the church to help you pay your bills, when you could have paid them if you wouldn't have tithed?

    What I find sad is not that people aren't tithing, but that our technology has risen so much and our family lifestyle decreased so much that we now have to drive miles and miles from home to get to work or to live far away from anyone but our immediate families, then we have no babysitters or anyone else in the family to help out and then we have to pay more money because we get all stressed out and sick and then we still get pushed to continue to pursue "wealth and opportunities" and everyone calls this success.
    How pathetic is it that someone can make $24,000 a year and still have to worry about whether or not the kiddos will be able to eat if you tithe 10% of it?

    So no, I don't find the lack of tithing sad. What I find sad is that there is anyone in this land who can't tithe because they have nobody to fall back on if they hit hard times, and that someone can work their tail off and still not be able to afford the basics of shelter, food, and a way to get to work. And then people seem more worried about them not tithing than about them not surviving.
     
  5. bubba jimmy

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    In the OT people were instructed to bring the tenth sheep, goat, etc. that passed unde\

    Leviticus 27:32 tells us:

    "And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD."

    The tithe was given to the priests because they had no inheritance in the land. Jesus told us "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

    So does what does it mean to give to the Lord? By contributing to the building of the new church library am I giving to the Lord? Or when I adopt an orphaned child and provide for it as my own, am I then giving to the Lord?

    I think some folks have taken some scriptures to build a doctrine of tithing that was not intended by God. There is nothing that is not His to begin with. The penny had Ceasar's inscription on it so Jesus said to render to Ceasar what was Ceasar's and to God what is God's. What is God's? Is there anything we have that we have a right to withhold from Him?
     
  6. Seth&Mattsmom

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    If you give it to God, let Him do the spending. And about the poor family...what about the widow and her 2 mites? I think even the poor can find some way to give, even if it is a dollar a week.
    Water and electricity and church supplies don't come free.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    [A non-Baptist friend asked me to post this and I think it worthy of adding to the discussion]

     
  8. Mexdeaf

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    I don't want to start a debate on this, but we have 'been there, done that'. We learned the problem was not a lack of money with which to tithe, but a lack of faith in God's promises. We went over $16,000 in debt (95% was medical bills) when we stopped tithing ('The money just isn't there, etc...') and ONLY when we began to tithe again did we make progress and in less than three years, we paid back every penny that we owed and never declared bankruptcy.

    God cannot lie. He promises to provide our needs and just asks that we trust Him and give Him back a portion of what He has given us.
     
  9. Gina B

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    Mexdeaf, I've got the opposite story. I had faith that even if I tithed when I didn't have enough for basics, God would still provide. It didn't happen. And it also shook my faith to have had believed the preaching that we'd never go without the basic needs if we tithed and were faithful, and then not have it happen. I remember having great faith that God would come through in that regard, and he didn't.

    I think what most churches miss is that if you teach that God is going to provide for people who give when they can't provide for themselves is that you also have to be prepared to have God work through you, because he doesn't magically rain down Chef Boyardee on the faithful hungry. He works through humans. I'm sorry to say I've heard pastors preach the importance of tithing, give it, even give it all and God WILL provide, then if a church member comes to them for help, they bad-mouth them for being so poor.

    So anyhow, my point is that God isn't personally going to deliver. People are, and that means you and me. It may be to the glory of God, and God's will, but it's still gonna have to come through us to the recipient. And far too many who preach on tithing don't seem to realize that.

    Now I'm sure there are many who do, and that's great.
    My posts are for those who do not.

    For those that do... [​IMG]
     
  10. Mexdeaf

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    Gina L,

    God is good! I am not going to fuss with you, just want to share what we have learned.

    One thing we learned in our financial 'wilderness' is how to humble ourselves and learn to accept whatever God allowed us to have. Quite frankly, sometimes it meant eating beans for a week. We also found out about food banks. We learned how to stay home more and borrow videos instead of renting them.

    Just so many lessons we learned where we were under the impression that we had to have 'it' or that we had to have whatsoever our hearts desired.

    I would venture to say, the problem is not a lack of funds but rather how we use them.

    And as you said- shame on those preachers who bad mouth those that come looking for help.
     
  11. Pipedude

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    I cannot judge another's personal testimony, but I can give mine.

    We've always tithed. It never occurred to us to do otherwise.

    In 1981 when I was in seminary (three hours away) and my pay was a parsonage, utilities, free tomatoes, and $100/week, we still tithed. It occurred to me then that I did not have two extra dollars to spend on medicine if we got sick.

    One night as we were sitting down for supper, the baby spilled a cup of milk. While cleaning it up, my wife and I hid our faces from one another because neither of us wanted the other to know that we were weeping.

    Somehow God always provided.
     
  12. Karen

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    Hello Pipedude,
    Just for the sake of discussion: (Yes, I know that God does always provide. And graciously.)
    How would you answer the person who would question that God provides when they look at your above experience?

    Many would ask that if spilling a cup of milk set both of you off emotionally, why were things so close to the wire? For example, when God provides, does He provide just barely enough? Or do you think you weren't grateful enough and aware enough of all your blessings?

    What do you think you might have done if the baby had gotten sick?
    Do you think that God would have been "obligated" to heal the baby directly or impress on somebody to send money, etc., because you had tithed?

    Or is your answer, perhaps, that you don't know, but that God would have taken care of it? Do you think He would have taken care of it in a lesser manner if you had not tithed? Do you think that you were sick less because you tithed?

    Karen
     
  13. Gina B

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  14. Alcott

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    Just to be clear, are you saying you 'tithed' on the monetary income, or did you include <= the value of the parsonage, utilities, and tomatoes? And if you don't mind answering, did your wife also have income?

    Another Q if you don't mind answering... since crying over spilt milk is obviously not any act of faith, did you have faith that tithing must be the right thing to do in spite of such need? Finally, have you since those times encouraged young people to be reasonably financially secure before they marry and have children? (or to just have families young and everything will work out as long as they tithe?)
     
  15. drfuss

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    Alcott writes:
    Originally posted by Pipedude:
    In 1981 when I was in seminary (three hours away) and my pay was a parsonage, utilities, free tomatoes, and $100/week, we still tithed.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just to be clear, are you saying you 'tithed' on the monetary income, or did you include <= the value of the parsonage, utilities, and tomatoes? And if you don't mind answering, did your wife also have income?

    Good question Alcott.

    I have heard ministers who say tithing on the gross income is required, i.e. before taxes are taken out. Yet they only tithe on their salary and not on their many benefits, i.e. Housing, utilities, green handshakes, etc.

    Also, ministers don't have ot pay taxes on their many benefits. I wonder if they take that into account when figuring their tithe. Ho Ho Ho.
     
  16. drfuss

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    An added note on my above post.

    I got my information from my relatives who were pastors for many years.

    It is not any of my business what or how ministers give. Nor is it any of their business what I give.

    My point here is that some do not practice what they preach when it comes to tithing.
     
  17. PJ

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    Not really. I've spent a lot more than 10% on sporting goods for my kids' ball teams, eating on the run and gasoline while traveling to their games. JC Penney would disagree moreso. He alternated tithing 10% one week and 90% the next. Wow, when I think of how the Lord blessed JC ...

    Tithing is an act of faith, obedience and self discipline. God's ways, God's timing is not that of mortal man. It's not sound to measure tithing in a practical sense.

    :confused: Pointless?

    Sure, we've been through hard times (some form or another), but the Lord has always blessed our efforts. Tithing has nothing to do with technology, opportunity, wealth or the distance we travel to church or work. I tithe, always did, because it's the right thing to do. And I thank the good Lord daily for all his blessings, since we deserve not one. Do I think we'll still be able to eat if we tithe? YES, I'm just simple minded enough to think that the Lord will provide.

    That's my 2 cents ... :D
     
  18. Mexdeaf

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    As a missionary, I COULD tithe on what I get taxed on (i.e. my personal support finds), but I choose to tithe on everything that comes in every month.

    And there has been some months when we ate a lot of rice and beans because the support didn't come in, but we would NEVER EVER consider not tithing again. We have learned our lesson.
     
  19. Joseph M. Smith

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    Speaking as a retired pastor who still has the sometimes dubious benefit of a housing allowance, I can tell you that I have always tithed on the full amount. I call housing allowance a dubious benefit because, although money spent on housing is excluded from income tax, nevertheless we are considered self-employed and must pay Social Security/Medicare tax at double the rate of persons who are employed in conventional jobs. Still, however, I gave on the basis of the pre-tax amount, and more than the tithe. Never regretted it at all.
     
  20. AresMan

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    Or is it your 1.8 cents? Remember, you "tithed" on this. [​IMG]
     

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