The Church and Tithing

What is the Church’s stance on tithing? A Protestant said that it’s Biblical based on Malachi 3: 8-10 as well as Matthew 23: 23-24. He also said Jesus tithed based on the one in Matthew. I read Matthew 23: 23-24 and I came away with the opposite reaction: Jesus condemned the Pharisees for levying tithes and neglecting the weighter things of the Law (v. 23) and in fact Jesus saw tithing to be a strain on the people (v. 24) rather than a help. So what is the Church’s stance on tithing?

[quote=Milliardo]What is the Church’s stance on tithing? A Protestant said that it’s Biblical based on Malachi 3: 8-10 as well as Matthew 23: 23-24. He also said Jesus tithed based on the one in Matthew. I read Matthew 23: 23-24 and I came away with the opposite reaction: Jesus condemned the Pharisees for levying tithes and neglecting the weighter things of the Law (v. 23) and in fact Jesus saw tithing to be a strain on the people (v. 24) rather than a help. So what is the Church’s stance on tithing?
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I have heard that The Church suggests 10% - 6% to the individual parish and 4% to the poor. However, I heard a good comment the other day by Dr. Ray. He said that Jesus tells people “if you have 2 coats, and someone has none, give them one.” and various other things of splitting 50-50. So by that he suggested that Jesus is saying 50%. Then he used the example of the poor woman who put in all she had, and thus Jesus meant everything. Then he said Jesus’ point was to give what you could.

I thought as well that Jesus’ point was to give openly, or with an open heart, rather than a fixed amount (10%), so He saw the tithes placed by the Pharisees on the people to be much more of a burden (and hence the woe on them).

[quote=Milliardo]A Protestant said that it’s Biblical based on Malachi 3: 8-10…
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Not to change topics, but if that same Protestant believes Malachi about tithing, you may ask what they make of Malachi 1:11

For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;

Malachi is 1) the last book in their OT and 2) a prophet. Since this is a prophetic verse, the fulfillment should be readily visible in their “New Testament church”. At this point, you may ask them where their “incense” is, and what their “pure offering” is (hint: it’s not the Eucharist, and they have probably never used incense in worship). BTW, “incense” and “pure offering” are how the KJV renders the passage. :wink:

God bless,
RyanL

Protestant Churches often really push the idea of tithing because it is the only way they can survive financially. This is not to say that their is malicious intent on their part by any means, they’re just trying to get as many people to give as much as they can reasonably afford so that they don’t have to close the church down (because, honestly, not many people are going to give more than a dollar or two on Sunday unless they are encouraged to do so). This is why a lot of Protestants will often talk about tithing a lot: their ministers talk about it a lot.

I had heard that the tithing “requirement” is OT law, which we were free from on Calvary. (Not saying OT isn’t important, or we should forget the Ten Commandments, etc.)

However, we are required to love our neighbors as ourselves and knowing that faith without works is dead, we should be mindful to always contribute everything we can. One parish priest I knew suggested 5% monetary and 5% works as a good starting point for anyone.

Our bishop suggests 5% to the parish, 1% to the diocese, and 4% to charity, plus a proportionate amount of time and work.

And there is this from the Catechism:

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2043 The fourth precept (“You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.") completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.

The fifth precept (“You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities. **

[quote=RyanL]Not to change topics, but if that same Protestant believes Malachi about tithing, you may ask what they make of Malachi 1:11

Malachi is 1) the last book in their OT and 2) a prophet. Since this is a prophetic verse, the fulfillment should be readily visible in their “New Testament church”. At this point, you may ask them where their “incense” is, and what their “pure offering” is (hint: it’s not the Eucharist, and they have probably never used incense in worship). BTW, “incense” and “pure offering” are how the KJV renders the passage. :wink:

God bless,
RyanL
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let’s stick with this topic then… if you (as i do) believe in the prophecy of Malachi 1, then why does the church not push
the tithing command (and the promise of God that is attached with it) from Malachi 3? i don’t think Jesus’ point was to abolish the tithe but to open people up to giving sacrificially. to some…10% is very, very doable (if they are willing to make a few sacrifices) while for others… they could do even more. some others (and, to be perfectly blunt), especially in this country think that 10% is too much for them to be able to give, because they have kids and bills and debt…etc. there are very, very few people who would have serious trouble in their life if they gave 10% and those should give what they can. but most of us are just afraid and don’t really trust God when He says to give sacrificially (He goes so far as to say “test Me in this” that He will give back even more). i don’t think an exact amount is commanded but i think 10% is a great place to start trusting God. my wife and i (and, keep in mind that we don’t make much money, we have a house payment, and i am currently coming home to the catholic church and am not sure how exactly that will affect our finances) give a little more than 10% and they are the first checks we write each month. so far, we have had enough money to meet all of our needs and even to go on a date once in a while. if we kept the money, we could find a use for it, but we give it to God first thing and He always seems to reward us.

Yes - I don’t think is emphasized enough when the subject comes up in homily. That God will reward us for giving sacrificially - not that we should seek rewards, but that by trusting in Him, gratefully giving to Him what truly is His, He will always provide.

Certainly God will provide and we know from scripture that He loves a cheerful giver. But we also have to keep in mind that God doesn’t want our money as much as He wants our hearts and our souls. That is why God does not mandate or tax His people a certain % of their income to be a part of His family. The point is that we should give. The Church recognizes it is not right to legislate a particular amount.

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