Is tithing feasible in modern society?


#1

By the time one gets passed housing payments, student loan payments, utility payments, retirement savings, taxes (federal, state, and/or local), real estate taxes (included in rents), etc., is there really 10% left these days?

To do simple math, let’s look at $100,000.00/year (the much aggrandized 6-figure salary). Max deferred comp is ~$18,000.00, so that’s down to $82,000.00. Toss in say ~$20,000.00 per year in mortgage payments and you’re down to $62,000.00. Take federal/state/local taxes out at about $15,000.00, and you’re down to $47,000.00. Toss in student loan payments at about say $10,000.00 per year and combined utilities at about $5,000.00 per year, and you’re down to $32,000.00. Out of that you have food, fuel, medical care, life’s little “Oh expletive” moments, and stuff like that.

Is tithing supposed to include income that is simply reinvested more-or-less in perpetuity? If so, then, people with decent 410K accounts, Roth IRA’s, and regular IRA’s have the nastier position of having more “income” per year that can’t really be touched, but supposedly being expected to tithe a portion of their income.


#2

you will get many different responses. on CAF, you will usually get a lot of opinions stated as facts, with few quotations to back them up. Some will say not to look at what is left over, but to take the tithe or gift from the top. I think everyone’s circumstances are different and it is impossible to lay down hard rule. I seem to recall, though, that in scripture it says not to appear before the Lord empty handed.

there are so many in need around the world and at home.


#3

The LDS asks members to tithe, and I believe that in order to receive a Temple recommend, one has to prove that 10% of your income has been paid to the Church. There are forms that members must submit. It’s just a given. 10% off the top goes to God. It puts many of us to shame when we give our small offerings.

Think of Marriott, JetBlue, Bain Capital, and all the other businesses owned by Mormons. That is a lot of money going into the Church. From the Widow’s mite to Mr Marriott, all give 10%.


#4

If you are going to tithe, it should be taken out first, and it doesn’t include things like retirement accounts. I would say that it is harder to tithe today than it used to be, but would probably be doable if you made up your mind that you were going to tithe and arranged your lifestyle around that accordingly. It seems from reading the NT though tithing is a part of the old covenant, although you should still give gladly within your means. My family personally does not tithe, but we give an offering and are very active in our parish with various ministries and we volunteer a lot.


#5

Don’t forget, some of the 10% can go to charities and other groups as well as the Church.


#6

As far as those in need abroad go, many of those situations will not resolve without complete destruction of the existing government (if you can call it that in some places), and the replacement of it with something reasonably more capable.

Was just looking at how investments work, etc., and trying to figure out how the tithing concept is supposed to work these days. Let’s say that our hypothetical $100,000.00 wage earner gets $100,000.00 that year in “income” through 401K’s, IRA’s, deferred compensation, etc. Our hypothetical wage earner is, more-or-less, screwed.

Back in the day, when agricultural products were a big measure of wealth, they had a finite life span. Sorry, but I can’t imagine middle eastern wine getting “better” with age under those storage conditions for example. Oil goes rancid. Grain can mold if not properly stored. And, if you slaughtered animals, better do something fast with the meat because “aged” doesn’t even begin to describe the results after a day or so in the sun over there.

Now days, you have all sorts of restrictions on what you can do with certain types of investments, when you can access the funds, how the proceeds are treated, etc.


#7

The LDS(Mormon) church practices tithing pretty successfully, so it can be done. The Catholic Church does not require tithing, but talks more generally about the obligation to support the Church.


#8

We often have very little left over at the end of the month and are trying to pay off debt. There’s no way we could tithe 10%. That amount of money simply isn’t there unless we want to be evicted or go hungry.


#9

Mostly true… LDS do not need to prove that they’ve paid a full tithing, but they do need to declare to their bishop at the end of each year whether they’ve paid a full tithing, and temple recommends can be conditional on this declaration. I’ve never brought in evidence of my income in order to show that my tithing was indeed one-tenth


#10

This.

I live in a HCOL area. I have a mortgage that is 45%-50% of household income before utilities. After utilities, medical and a cheaper than food stamps food budget, we’re spending 95% of our income to just survive. Even a small, 2 bedroom apartment could be upwards of 60% of my income…which would be an even worse place to be.

There’s no way to tithe from gross income…none.

However, we do pay taxes. Those taxes are a bigger percent than a 10% tithe. We do what we can. That’s the important part.


#11

As long as you’re looking at this from an accountant’s POV, contributions to churches are tax deductible and so the 10 grand in tithing would really deplete your family finances maybe only $7,000 - depending on what state you live in. (And I’m not saying tithing should be paid because of the tax break, either.)


#12

Interjecting a bit of relevant humor :slight_smile:


#13

I’d say investing in the Kingdom of God, giving back to the One who blessed you with the job and the abilities is at least as important as investing the 401K.


#14

Malachi 3:8-12 Can anyone rob God? But you are robbing me! And you say, “How have we robbed you?” Of tithes and contributions!

9 You are indeed accursed, for you, the whole nation, rob me.

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house. Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and pour down upon you blessing without measure!

11 I will rebuke the locust for you so that it will not destroy your crops, And the vine in the field will not be barren, says the LORD of hosts.

12 All the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,says the LORD of hosts.

The real question whether regarding tithing or any other commandment is if we believe that God will follow through on His promises. That’s where real faith comes in. Here in Malachi God challenges us to put Him to the test. The Gospel wasn’t meant to be easy, just worth it. Take care all.


#15

Tithing is a fixed amount set by church law. There is no tithing required by the Catholic Church.

It is, however, a tenant of the faith to support your the church at the local and upper levels to the best of your ability. This could be through money or volunteering.


#17

Assuming that along with the rest of your financial situation makes itemizing your deductions worth it. Otherwise, There’s no tax benefit.


#18

I don’t make anywhere near 100,000 and have a family so I can safely say yes its possible. It is not required to give 10% but we are required to follow the Precepts of the Church which include:

"1.You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation.

2.You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

3.You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least once during the Easter season.

4.You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.

5.You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

Now personally I think 10% is a good goal but that’s just me.


#19

If one cannot survive off $100,000 a year you need to seriously examine yourself because you must be suffering from severe materialism and consumerism and possibly narcissim.

My wife and I survive on a combined yearly income of $12,000.

I cannot even fathom the extravagant lifestyle I could lead with $100k a year - and if i had 100k a year, it’d be absolutely no skin off my back to tithe 10k a year.


#20

What?! It’s easier today to tithe than ever.
Do you know how much easier it is to live today than in the past? If you make 30,000 dollars a year, you are in the top 1% of income earners in the world. You are trying to say it’s difficult to do this with a 6 figure salary?! Let’s say you have 30,000 dollars to buy food and stuff. If you think that’s not enough I reccomend remortgaging or getting cheaper residence. Ok, now take 10 K off. That’s 20,000 dollars. Divide by twelve. That’s over a thousand dollars a month for food and gas. That’s not a little, but plenty enough.

But let us not forget that no one said tithing is supposed to be easy or just for “extra” money left over.
Jesus told the poor woman who gave two coins that she gave more than all the others, for she needed those coins much more than the others who gave their extra money they didn’t need.


#21

If you lived in my area you could not rent a 500sqft apartment for $12k a year. They run about $900 a month. Two bedrooms at around $1,500.

My family doesn’t make near 100k, but a family of 4 in some of the HCOL places barely make ends meet with 100k. In San Fran, it’s not uncommon for a small 2-bedroom apartment to be over $3000 a month and still owe for utilities and have a coin-op laundry.

The $ amount of money is very relative to where you live. In Iowa, you can own a 5000sqft mansion with 50 acres of land for $3k a month. There, a small apartment might be $200…

…so really one cannot really just say X amount of money is about narcissism.


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