I could afford to give more than I do but I don’t, money is tight and I’m not very good at budgeting. I do give at least £1 a week at Mass as well as some change. Doesn’t sound like a lot does it? I survive on a student bursary as a student nurse, working on hospital wards, and it works out that I earn about £1.75 an hour.
Someone wrote on this forum: “Then in which scripture is it said to give 10%? I do believe the verse in Malachi, however, as inspired scripture.”
The verse in Malachi IS inspired Scripture. But that doesn’t mean Roman Catholics are obligated to follow it. We are not obligated to follow ANY of the Old Testament teachings on tithing. For example, in Sirach: “Glorify the Lord generously, and do not stint the first fruits of your hands. With every gift show a cheerful face, and dedicate your tithe with gladness.” - Sirach 35:8-9 (RSVCE)
Jesus Christ dispensed us from all of the Old Testament disciplines(circumcision, Sabbath (Saturday Celebration,) eating kosher food, tithing, etc.); these are replaced by the disciplines and Sacraments of the New Testament. So Malachi, and tithing, are firmly out.
“It [the holy Roman church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally.”
Council of Florence, SESSION 11, 4 February 1442.”
This is the ultimate condemnation of tithing: “Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions (in this case, tithing) and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally."
The Church thus teaches very specifically that to believe that tithing grants salvation is a mortal sin. Tithing will not save us. Maintaining otherwise would be to equate the Old Testament teachings with those of the New. This really WOULD be a mortal sin.
Thus, it is a mortal sin to practice tithing as something that grants salvation. The above statement from the Council of Florence should put this issue to rest once and for all. If someone wishes to tithe out of their own arbitrary free will, that is fine. He/she would simply be exercising his/her own subjective, personal opinion on how they feel they should give, and nothing else. Nobody is obligated to follow such opinions.
But believing in tithing as a saving doctrine or as an official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church would be flatly wrong. Tithing does NOT grant us salvation. We do not have to practice tithing to be saved. Anyone who claims or practices otherwise “sins mortally,” according to the Council statement. This could not be more clear.
You are right, one doesn’t need to tithe for salvation. The Lord does say a person will be blessed if he or she tithes, which is also a good reason to. I do understand that in the New Testament one is saved by grace and not by the law, so you are correct in that one cannot be saved by doing this as we are all saved by grace. At the same time, the law is not nullified, and I try to live by some of the laws of the Old Testament, not to be saved by them, but to make an effort to follow them for my own good. For instance, one of the Ten Commandments I like to keep is, Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain, because I feel I am hurting myself and God if I do, and our relationship, not to mention the other ones also.
Sorry a lot of this sounds like a big cop out for not giving or giving very little.
Sad to say, Catholics as a group are among the lowest in terms of percentage of income giving to the poor or to the Church.
Not that there is any set prescription for giving, just remember what Christ says,… where were you when He was hungry or homeless or without clothes. What you do for the least of His brothers, you do for Him.
There used to be a saying for fund raisers " Give until it hurts," But I like the revised version of it … “Give until it feels good”.
Catholics as a group give less than 3% of income, other Christian groups give a bit over 3%, Mormons give around 13% or more.
No, you can not buy your way into Heaven, BUT it would not surprise me IF there may be a lot more Mormons going there than Catholics come judgement day… BTW wasn’t that supposed to be last Saturday ??? or did they already rapture a bunch of folks away and we are all left behind ???
YOU WROTE: “Sorry a lot of this sounds like a big cop out for not giving or giving very little.”
A person who has never struggled morally with this issue will often give very, very bad advice on it. Precisely what I see happening here. We give according to how our conscience moves us to give (Corinthians 2). THAT is official Church teaching. If you disagree with this, you are flatly wrong.
YOU WROTE: “Sad to say, Catholics as a group are among the lowest in terms of percentage of income giving to the poor or to the Church.”
For every statistic that says that Catholics are among the “lowest givers,” there are other statistics that state they are among the highest.
Statistics in the Catholic Register newspaper, for example, indicate that the average Catholic gives about 65% MORE money away than the average Protestant. In truth, no one knows for certain how much Catholics really do give, since such things are left by the Church to the individual’s conscience.
This is not a contest to see who can give the most money away. Such a thing would be materialistic, legalistic and crude. It is not official Church teaching. I cannot understand why you even brought it up at all. It is completely pointless.
YOU WROTE: “There used to be a saying for fund raisers “Give until it hurts,” But I like the revised version of it … “Give until it feels good.”
Mother Theresa coined the statement “give until it hurts.” And she was talking about how SHE gave until it hurt. She was NOT talking about how everyone else was obligated to give. It is ridiculous to asset otherwise.
Mother Theresa also said: ““It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
She further said: “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
She went ever FURTHER, saying: “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?"
The point is love. Not how much you give. You have it completely backwards. God will not reward you for giving a lot just to get into Heaven. It is the height of selfishness to do something just because you expect to be rewarded for it. I do not educate my kids to think this way. It is the ugliest morality I have ever seen. You might as well not give at all, with that mentality. The result will be the same. No reward.
YOU WROTE: “No, you cannot buy your way into Heaven, BUT it would not surprise me IF there may be a lot more Mormons going there than Catholics come judgment day.”
So you are saying that we can’t buy our way into Heaven. But you are saying that Mormons can, and that Catholics should try to do the same. This is very weak reasoning. It is contradictory and ridiculous. The Catholic Church does not officially teach that you are judged based on the percentage of money you give away. Thus it would surprise me VERY MUCH if “a lot more Mormons (were) going there (Heaven) than Catholics come judgment day.” The statement is simply ridiculous.
Mormons give because they are FORCED to give. Not because they love others. Not because they are moved by their conscience. Their Church says that if they don’t give 10% of their income to their Church, they are not going to Heaven. Simple as that. I could not feel morally comfortable belonging to a religion that contains reasoning like that. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Morally, or logically.
I’m not trying to be insulting toward Mormons in any way. This is merely how I feel. I am simply attempting to be honest. I give the amount I give simply because I LOVE GOD. Anything else would be dishonest to my conscience.
YOU WROTE: “BTW wasn’t that (judgment day) supposed to be last Saturday ??? or did they already rapture a bunch of folks away and we are all left behind ???”
Are you genuinely implying that the rest of us will not get into Heaven if we don’t give huge amounts of money away (like the Mormons do) in order to avoid Hell? Absolutely disgusting.
I cannot understand why this bizarre view of “paying one’s way into salvation” continues to occur among Catholics. It is not officially taught by the Roman Catholic Church at all. It is not in the Catechism. It is not in Canon Law. No papal publication or encyclical contains or endorses this odd view in any way whatsoever. And absolutely no Catholic is obligated to believe it.