I stumbled on this article for another thread and I found it interesting. It is about 14 years old, but I haven’t been able to find a more current study (if you know of one, please reply with a link). Basically, the study found that as a percentage of income, Protestants give more than Catholics.
Anyone have any idea on why this is, other than those offered by the article? Do you think it is a problem?
It is fact that the Catholic Church is the most charitable
“organization” in the world. We give in so many
other ways than simple tithing. Take a looky see at
your Church bulletin. Most are filled with requests
to volunteer for one charity or another.
Most Protestant denominations don’t actually tithe, that is give ten percent. They ask for donations to support the church and some people give ten percent, most do not. Congregants who belong to lower income churches are more apt to give ten percent than those who belong to wealthier churches.
If churches got rid of the collection plate, where people throw a few bills, and ask for monthly or quarterly donations by check or credit card, then donations would increase. People would see it as the charitable expense it is.
Synagogues can’t pass the plate because they can’t collect money on the Sabbath. They use the pay us by check or credit card method.
Are we members of competing sports teams, or something?
Tithing is part of the Mosaic covenant. Christians are not under the old covenant.
Tithing is a work and Catholics do not believe in works salvation.
Tithing is sacrifice and our Lord desires mercy more than sacrifice.
Just as pastor depends on tithing for his paycheck, someone supports each and every parish on earth, each Priest, Bishop, religious brother ad sister, and every convent, abbey, seminary and shrine, as well as each Church employee and program - in every nation on earth. That money does not come from a government subsidy.
A large chunk of conservative protestant pastors teach mandatory tithes, and they do so very effectively with the carrot and stick method. If you tithe, so they say, you’ll be blessed, if you don’t tithe you are robbing God and will be cursed. They overlay the Mosaic tithe onto the church by comparing the church to the local granaries. It is this type of teaching that drives a lot of the giving.
I’ve studied tithing, every mention of it in scripture, and it is not mandated for the NT Church. My position is supported by the other half of conservative protestant pastors; freewill, God-lead giving. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, and it is a part of His nature to be kind, merciful, giving, etc… so we want to let that character come out in our giving, especially since 100% of what we have is God’s. So, the tithe was a foreshadowing and a taste of how it should be; open hands, and an ear to those in need. This is, I believe, closer to what the RCC teaches; CCC 2043 The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.
In short, one or the other teaching is featured in conservative protestant circles, so our pastors talk freely about tithing and/or giving usually on a routine basis. Gratefully I don’t think it is a competition either.
Some local Baptist churches actually require a copy of your W-2 to join! They know exactly how much you earn.
Mormons are very strict about advancing in their temple only if you have the cash.
I believe the Jewish religion is also rather strict. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the formula for how much a rabbi is paid figured based on the salaries of the top ten percent of the Jewish community? Now, that being said, look how long rabbis go to school.
Catholic priests go to school for quite a few years as well. However, poverty is a virtue. Some priests do not take vows of poverty, but their salaries are still modest. Do we take advantage of our priests that take vows of poverty?
Referring to St. Justin the Martyr’s description of the Mass to the Roman Emperor, 154 AD, only the wealthy were asked to support widows and orphans, but then they were to give freely what they themselves chose to give.
In past times, it was the laity who would provide gifts of bread and wine for the Mass.
There are missions and drives to support certain causes, but no one is asked to give 10%.
On the other hand, the Catholic parents whose children attend parochial schools have to do alot of fund raising and physical support of their schools.
The Church traditionally has not practiced tithing. People give what they can.
Today, if you ask a household to contribute 10%, for a married couple without children it is workable. But when you have a family with children asking them to give 10%, that is a burden, and it costs so much now to raise a child as well as having a job, hard to find for many people.
If there are churches closing, many times it is lack of members to maintain the buildings.
At my church, the congregation is encouraged to tithe but nobody is forced to and nobody looks at anyone’s W-2. That seems kind of extreme and invasive if any church really does that.
Our pastor gives a sermon on giving around once a year. Every now and then before an offering there is a also pre-recorded testimony across the big screen from a congregant or family on how the Lord has blessed them since they started tithing, like getting an unexpected raise or promotion at work or some other unexpected blessing.
I’ve been a tither for over 20 years. Ever since then I have continued to tithe - not because I have to – but because I want to be a blessing in the lives of others and I think God sees and honors that.
For example, our church has an ‘Essentials Closet’ which is essentially a food pantry and clothes shop for church families in need and for those who come in from off the street who are in need of such essentials. We even contribute food to a local inner-city school to provide snacks for after-school activities.
Am I rich? No. My family is probably classified as “middle class”. However, the Lord has been good to us and there is a trust factor that has developed. I believe God blesses those who take a step of faith and tithe to Him out of love, not expecting anything in return – even though we have been blessed at times, also. Plus, the church staff and missionaries benefit from that extra money to provide more to those in need, also.
One of the practical benefits of tithing for us is that we are now more financially wise and we waste less food and money than we did before we tithed because we need to make the most out of the remaining 90% and God has used others both inside and outside the church to teach us (like Clark Howard, etc).