Tithing


#1

I get into arguments all the time about this topic with some non-denominational friends of mine. I do not tithe the Biblical 10% that they proclaim. By the way that is before taxes!! I’m curious, from Catholics and Protestants on this board. Do people on here abide by that. I am in the middle of buying a house a kid on the way and right now Tithing 10% of my gross income is basically impossible. I mean it’s about time, talent, treasure. Not jsut treasure isn’t it??

My non-denominational friends admit, they tithe 10% before they make a house payment. Do we as Catholics need to be that strict?? Thanks for your time.


#2

I tithe more than 10%…it always comes back to us. I was in your situation before, and I couldn’t give as much, so not to worry…give what you can and vow to give more when the finances improve. I am playing catch up now.

Interestingly enough, the more I give the more comes back…it truly is amazing!


#3

Check out this link, for an answer from Catholic Answers:

catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9205qq.asp

No, we don’t need to be that strict. As Catholics, we are obliged to support our parishes, but the percentage amount is not fixed. As the answer in the link points out, demanding a fixed percentage is “extortion”, not “giving freely”.

The amount you give includes not only what you give to your parish (in money, time, or talent), but what you give to charitable organizations, as well.

There have been other threads on this topic, and I’m afraid that some posters act in an extremely uncharitable way when it comes to this topic – just because they can afford to give 10%, they think that everyone who can’t is just making excuses (as if they could see into our wallets and checkbooks!)

Please ignore the uncharitable ones; you are not bound to the 10% figure (by the way, unless I’m mistaken, the 10% figure was from the Old Testament, not the New Testament, and belongs with the old dietary laws we no longer follow :slight_smile: ).



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#4

[quote=CarolAnnSFO]you are not bound to the 10% figure (by the way, unless I’m mistaken, the 10% figure was from the Old Testament, not the New Testament, and belongs with the old dietary laws we no longer follow :slight_smile: ).

[/quote]

Correct…If you remember, I think the tithing discussion is in Liviticus and is sandwiched somewhere in there between the discussion of Burnt offerings which “smell is pleasing to the Lord” and pitching the tent of God’s presence. I’m not saying that it wasn’t the case, but those actions are no longer practiced.


#5

England has something in the 1400s to about 1700s or so that was the 10 and 15. I don’t remember the exact details of it, but 10% of a certain area’s income (or 15 in some cases) would go to the parish, and then 10 or 15% of that would go to the king.

In Christ,
Rand


#6

I used to attend an Independent Baptist Church.Although my expastor assured my husband and myself that we would never be judged for not tithing, there was a tremendous amount of pressure put on church members to tithe. There were sermons on the subjects and church members and guests talked about how God would provide if we simply trusted him. It became an issue of how strong your faith was, people with strong faith would tithe. Because we were struggling to make ends meet, I found myself strongly resenting this particular teaching. I still do. I remember asking my pastor if I could give part of my 10% to some worthy cause like the Salvation army, my reasoning was that helping poor people is helping God. My pastor said no, we had to give that 10% directly to the church.


#7

[quote=deb1]There were sermons on the subjects and church members and guests talked about how God would provide if we simply trusted him. It became an issue of how strong your faith was, people with strong faith would tithe. Because we were struggling to make ends meet, I found myself strongly resenting this particular teaching.
[/quote]

I have a problem with this teaching, too. Somehow, it makes me think of the members of that sect who handle poisonous snakes, drink poisonous liquids, and stick their fingers in electrical light sockets, believing they won’t be harmed if their faith is strong enough. I don’t know exactly what those beliefs are called, but I don’t think they’re Catholic. :slight_smile:



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#8

I was told that there is no set amount that the Catholic Church requires us to give. You give what you can with no regrets in givng. Always give before you pay bills and so on. If you don’t have much money or are in financial bind, you give what you can and make sure you give from the heart. The returns are great in the long run. I donate as much as I can everytime regardless of what it is for, I ask no question of the Church.


#9

When Jesus drew the attention of the disciples to a poor woman who gave her last 2 pennies while others who were rich stuck rigidly to the tithe, I think he was telling us to give from our hearts not from mere duty.

Each person/famiy has to decide how much money they will give to their parish. Some give a lot and others cannot, but give more of their time and talent. There is no hard and fast rule for Catholics to follow since all that we have and are belongs to the Lord. We give back to him what we want to, not what our leadership tells us to.


#10

Since Catholics on the average give less than 1% of their income, and about *half *as much (percentage wise) as Protestants, I get really cranky when people quibble about the 10% issue.

Most of us would do better to think about stepping up to the plate and delivering the goods.

I make less than the average income in our parish (according to the demographic surveys), and I give 10% of only my take-home pay (i.e., about 5% of my gross income)*, *and it *still *comes out to about four times as much as the average envelope-giver in my parish. If everyone in our parish gave only 2% of their gross, based on our income statistics, that would be about $25/week per family. Conservatively calculated (VERY conservatively), our weekly collection would go from about $8000 to $12,500. If people all gave 5%, our weekly collection would be $31,250.
.


#11

The pastor at the parish I often attend gave a 5-week talk on the precepts so that he could talk about tithing… even went so far as to say not giving is a grevious (mortal?) sin. The response… some gave more, some lessened their giving, and some pulled out entirely. Not just for this issue, but it was the straw that broke the back.

Now usually the Tuesday night talk/sermon is on obedience and money. Sunday’s vary, but money is often intertwined. Admittedly, we need more… we are overextended cuz we spend first, collect later. Thank God for bequeths - I think.


#12

In this country Catholics are more wealthier on average than other denominations, however Catholics give less than other denomonations. Not good.


#13

[quote=Joey1976]In this country Catholics are more wealthier on average than other denominations, however Catholics give less than other denomonations. Not good.
[/quote]

Catholics as a whole would probably give more than other denominations but for some reason our Faith has a lot of what I would call them Part-time Catholics. The ones that only show up on Christmas or Easter. At our Church on those 2 days you better be there early if you want a seat because it’s standing room only.


#14

[quote=On my way]Catholics as a whole would probably give more than other denominations but for some reason our Faith has a lot of what I would call them Part-time Catholics. The ones that only show up on Christmas or Easter.
[/quote]

If all of these Catholics would show up every Sunday, the money problems would be over. :smiley:

But seriously, uofl19, just give what you can. Don’t be bullied or cowed by the holier-than-thou types who have no idea what your financial situation is. It is poor stewardship to write a check for the total amount remaining in your checkbook, knowing that several bills coming due will therefore go unpaid. Then, like the snake-handler, you’ll just have to pray that God will fill your wallet in the next 24 hours (sorry if I sound irreverent here). That’s almost like “daring” God.

Ten percent isn’t the same for everyone. The multi-millionaires could give away ten percent and not even notice it missing. As for the rest of us – some of us don’t have luxuries we can give up, like movies, restaurant meals, or vacations. Some of us have huge medical bills. Some of us are already buying and wearing the cheapest clothing we can find. Yes, we can probably do a little better, and stuff some more dollars in the weekly envelope – but there’s no need to beat yourself up if it doesn’t amount to ten percent. Only you can make the decision of what you can afford to give – pay no attention to statistics, many of which are seriously flawed.



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#15

First of all, great topic! I hear about tithing from my Evangelical friends all the time, most of whom admit they don’t actually give 10% all the time, but they still insist that that’s what God expects. As a Catholic, I’m not really sure what the right answer is, but here are my observations:

  1. The New Testament is relatively quiet on the topic, unlike the Old Testament. There are ample verses in the Old Testament that “Bible Christians” use to support this practice, which is ironic, since the laws that tithing was included in don’t apply anymore.

  2. Although Catholic parishes rely on the contributions of their parishioners, I think that Protestant churches, especially independent churches, absolutely must have the financial support of the congregation. Their survival depends on it. I’m not knocking giving to the church, far from it. I’m simply pointing out one reason I believe giving 10% is so important to Protestant pastors.

  3. I believe that God will honor a cheerful giver, regardless of how much he gives. After all, everything we have comes from God, so we should strive to give as much as possible back to Him, not only of our money, but time, talents, gifts, etc.

In Christ,
JU


#16

[quote=jusher7281]2. Although Catholic parishes rely on the contributions of their parishioners, I think that Protestant churches, especially independent churches, absolutely must have the financial support of the congregation. Their survival depends on it. I’m not knocking giving to the church, far from it. I’m simply pointing out one reason I believe giving 10% is so important to Protestant pastors.

[/quote]

Good point. The very small church just doesn’t have a huge base of people from which to get financial support, so they may need more from each family. In addition, if their pastor is married, with several children, there’s an additional need for more money.

Then you have my church – the priests aren’t married, but the church building is very old and very huge – very expensive to maintain. How do we manage? Well, with all the pennies, nickels, dimes, dollars in the collection plate, and some very lavish donations from those in the parish who have been financially blessed. There are also many generous donations made in memory of the beloved deceased. Those who have more, give more; those who have less, give what they can.

It’s all about cheerful giving, not fearful giving. :slight_smile:



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#17

As my former Baptist preachers say, “you must tithe 10% off the top, anything over that is an offering!” They begged for money all the time. Of course all that other Old Testament stuff was “Nailed To The Cross With Jesus so we don’t have to obey it anymore!”

I guess they forgot the Ten commandments, one God, etc and ALL that other stuff in the OT would also be “Nailed To The Cross Too!”

Jesus taught ‘Almsgiving’! He did not give us a percentage to tithe just that we should give and be able to answer to Him in our judgment why we gave what we did. Almsgive too little and you might upset Jesus? Better to error on the side of caution and ‘Almsgive’ too much!

I guess Protestant preachers squeez out ever penny they can in manditory tithing and offerings so they can build so many churches, take their wives out to dinner, buy clothes for the family, pay for school and food for the family, go on vacations with the family to Disney World, go to conferences in Vegas or Rehma with the wife, etc… Oh yea, don’t forget they get tax deductions or pay no taxes! (In the US anyway!) In Anchorage Jerry Prevo, if he paid property tax on his home, which he didn’t, the tax alone was over $17,000 a few years ago! I say this only because I saw it in the newspaper and there was a big ta-do about it a few years ago when I lived up there.

Jesus taught those who preach for Him to give up EVERYTHING and go with Him. Scripture even tells us that it is better to be single as a preacher. Of course the Baptists I went to church with said that was written by Paul and thus was not from God and could be overlooked! How well they pick and choose what to believe in Scripture for their own convienence and then the way they justify it! And they claim Catholics don’t read the Bible or take it litterally!:whacky:

Catholics ‘almsgive’ so little because the Church today just doesn’t beg for money. (OK, maybe it did at one time?) One reason we have single priests is because we don’t almsgive enough to support a priest and his family! We can barely support what we have now. Of all the denominations I have studied the Catholic by far give the least.:frowning: Kinda sad I think.

I have even seen Protestant preachers that REQUIRE proof like a tax return to proove you do tithe!:crying:


#18

Guys, Thank you all the informative responses. Like one of the previous posters. You have to understand that a Protestant Church doesn’t have an Archdiocese of in most cases a school tuition that can pull them trhough and the Priest does not have a family to support like a Evangelical, Baptist, etc… etc…

I don’t want to sound like a cheap skate and after I wrote this post, I was afraid I came across like that. It’s just at this time of my life with our 1st child on the way in a couple of months, buying a new house and going to a 1 income family. For the 1st few months up to the Holidays, giving 10% GROSS will practically jeopardize the welfare of my new family. Thanks a lot guys, I will have another question for you here in minutes to post on a similar but different topic. It will all somewhat coincide.

God Bless Everyone!!


#19

United Methodists have conferences, bishops, general ministries, universities, colleges, and schools to support. Episcopalians have dioceses, bishops, general ministries, universities, colleges, and schools to support. So do Lutherans.

I guess Protestant preachers squeez out ever penny they can in manditory tithing and offerings so they can build so many churches, take their wives out to dinner, buy clothes for the family, pay for school and food for the family…

I don’t squeeze anyone. I simply say to folks that where they find their treasures, they’ll find out where their heart is. I encourage a tithe, just because I think it’s the least we can do. All that we have is from God; we are at best trustees. What we give to God, and what we’re willing to sacrifice, is in my opinion a spiritual matter, and not just an option or matter of opinion or comfort.

go on vacations with the family to Disney World, go to conferences in Vegas or Rehma with the wife, etc…

I’ve never been able to afford to take my family to Disney World, much less Vegas (I have no need to go to Vegas).

Oh yea, don’t forget they get tax deductions or pay no taxes! (In the US anyway!)

I pay federal taxes, I have to pay all of my social security/self-employment tax (clergy are considered self-employed per IRS ruling, even those who belong to a connectional church, and it is illegal for a church to pay social security on an ordained person). I also have to pay self-employment tax on the fair rental value on the parsonage. The only way a member of the clergy is immune from taxes is either by being a member of a religious order or by registering as a conscientious objector.

I live comfortably. I don’t take my wife and family out to eat that often. Malachi’s quote seems awfully prejudiced and caustic. It’s no wonder there is so much animosity between Catholics and Protestants - we pick out half-truths and untruths and see them as truths.

O+


#20

Mr. Luke,

Are you a Pastor??


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