I know you think I’m just out to poke holes in your faith. Sometimes I feel that way, but mostly I hate seeing good people, who happen to be Christians, taken advantage of by dishonest clergy who are only out for themselves.
Tithing simply means a tenth, and it is a term used in the Old Testament for offerings of cattle, grain, food, and sometimes money. These offerings of a tenth (10%) were used for the sacrifices of the Temple in Jerusalem and for special feasts throughout the year. It acted like a type of National tax that funded the Governing bodies of ancient Israel.
As a Christian growing up, I was consistently taught that Christian were supposed to tithe to their local church, just like the Israelites. I accepted this teaching at face value and began tithing in my late teens. Once in my early years of marriage I faced some daunting financial situations. Talking to my pastor at the time, his first question was whether I was tithing. I told him we were tithing and he seemed pleased and instructed us to keep tithing-even though we were in dire financial straits.
After many years of tithing, I decided to study the topic myself and was surprised to find that tithing is not taught in the New Testament. Not once are Christian believers commanded to tithe. I also realized that in ancient Israel, the tithe was more like a tax than a donation to a local body of believers.
Some Christians I knew had come to similar conclusions about tithing, but still felt obligated to give 10% of their income to good causes (missions, feeding the poor, etc…).
The problem I’ve learned, is that many non-profits have loose accountability, and many of the funds can go to expenses totally unrelated to the cause they claim to represent. So while you may feel good about giving to a poor child in another country, in reality, much of your donation may be going to the overhead of running a non-profit instead of helping out those in need. Not to say that there aren’t good non-profits out there-but do your research before turning over your hard earned money.
Take Care of Your Finances First
My own opinion on finances, is that you should always be able to take care of your own obligations before giving or tithing. What good does it do if you give money to the poor and then end up poor yourself?
It has been my experience, that church leaders who preach a hard and fast rule on tithing are abusive. They typically are quick to line their own budgets with conferences, expensive offices and church buildings, multiple family vacations, and are often content to preach about giving to the poor and not much else.
If you care about where your money is going…then don’t give to these sort of people.
In my opinion-stop tithing…. Best Regards-CA