Author Topic: The Non-negotiable Tithe  (Read 60082 times)

arebelspy

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #200 on: February 22, 2017, 09:49:54 PM »
I don't see how this is much different in effect than me be non-negotiable on paying taxes (which I am, less because of a moral belief and more because jail sucks).  Taxes cost me more than 10%.  To say me paying my taxes then makes cutting too tough or early retirement impossible is a cop out.
Taxes are not optional -- in the sense that there is a physical authority that will compel you to pay them. They are quite different from tithes in that regard.

The premise of this thread was the "non-negotiable" tithe (i.e. mandatory)--it's in the thread title.  :)

Sure, for some people they're optional. The person you're quoting was addressing the people who they aren't optional (by choice, yes).
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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #201 on: February 23, 2017, 05:54:33 AM »
I don't see how this is much different in effect than me be non-negotiable on paying taxes (which I am, less because of a moral belief and more because jail sucks).  Taxes cost me more than 10%.  To say me paying my taxes then makes cutting too tough or early retirement impossible is a cop out.
Taxes are not optional -- in the sense that there is a physical authority that will compel you to pay them. They are quite different from tithes in that regard.
Maybe I used the wrongs words with "in effect", I'm just saying that if say congress today raised everyone's tax obligation by 10% we wouldn't jump straight to conclusions like in the original post:
"the OP is left with two options.
1) Be ruthless with the rest of the budget. $10 flip phones, rice and beans budget, much cheaper housing, etc.
2) Admit that FIRE is not in the cards for them, at least not on the timeline that others on here have."

Emerald

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #202 on: February 23, 2017, 08:42:46 AM »
Well, you could just give all of the money donated, and disband the church part. Since I don't think you'll like that solution because you think the church provides benefits to its members (though not others in need), here's another idea.

-Please don't put words in my mouth. Our fellowship absolutely does provide benefits to others in need, both financial and material (see below).   

Collect dues to be a part of the club church. Don't call it charity.

-I see where you are confused.  Pledging is not charity, though pledge money certainly does support fellowship charities. 


Collect charity, and give 100% of it.


-We do.  At every service we collect money and food specifically for local charities and the food bank.  Our building provides a free meeting place for many local community and social organizations.  We have a social action committee focused on creating and increasing charitable opportunities. 

And this does not include the many hours of time our members give to helping our community. Cook meals for the homeless- check.  Volunteer at the women's shelter- check.  Organizing the local crop walk- check.  Building homes with Habitat for Humanity- check.  I could go on and on. 

We come together as a fellowship because we want to improve the world we live in, and we honestly believe we are better together than apart. 




   




Debonair

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #203 on: February 24, 2017, 03:57:07 AM »
Is 10% normal for Christians?

Or is that Abrahamic Religions?


It makes the burning money for the ancestors or gods seem cheap.

10% is normal for Christians as the target.  I agree few get there.  Why is going to get you as many different opinions as you have answers, so not providing mine, as I could only answer what our excuse was before we got there.

My response to those who are trying to interpret above in creative ways is that there are other passages that indicate that all scripture is profitable for learning and should be used to direct our own actions.  Hence Jacob giving 10% is not just an agreement between God and Jacob.   It is an agreement between all of us and God.  You can chose to not believe that, but those who tithe look at it through that understanding.

OK, Thank You!!!!!!

kayvent

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #204 on: February 24, 2017, 02:50:38 PM »
I saw this thread yesterday and read many of the posts. Since then I have been thinking and stewing over this topic.

Imagine an individual posted their budget and wanted some advice. To your shock you see a massive 30% of their gross income (43% net) go to one item. An amount far greater than any other expenditure. So you tell them that if they want to get out of debt or invest more or retire early, they need to stop putting money into that category. They look at you puzzled and explain that they can't simply choose to not pay taxes. The government is owed taxes by her citizens.

To a Christian of the certain proclivity, the tithe is not their money to decide to allocate or not (this is why a tithe is calculated on net income and not gross: they see the tithe as being the first-class stakeholder in their income).

Just Joe

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #205 on: February 24, 2017, 03:26:59 PM »
That is correct. There is a local church of a certain common variety that requires members to bring in their tax returns so the church can set your tithe for you. I hear there is another church across our small town that something similar. Both have had big building plans over the years to pay for.

We choose to volunteer at various charitable events and make donations closer to the needs that will be helped. Not through a church.

Txtriathlete

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #206 on: February 24, 2017, 03:54:37 PM »
I saw this thread yesterday and read many of the posts. Since then I have been thinking and stewing over this topic.

Imagine an individual posted their budget and wanted some advice. To your shock you see a massive 30% of their gross income (43% net) go to one item. An amount far greater than any other expenditure. So you tell them that if they want to get out of debt or invest more or retire early, they need to stop putting money into that category. They look at you puzzled and explain that they can't simply choose to not pay taxes. The government is owed taxes by her citizens.

To a Christian of the certain proclivity, the tithe is not their money to decide to allocate or not (this is why a tithe is calculated on net income and not gross: they see the tithe as being the first-class stakeholder in their income).

This.

norabird

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #207 on: February 24, 2017, 04:12:52 PM »
I do think if my church wanted to force me to tithe for their new building I would find a new church! But for the right community, one that really is a space that welcomes and helps all, there's no point in pushing on the non negotiability.


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Spork

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #208 on: February 24, 2017, 05:01:20 PM »
I saw this thread yesterday and read many of the posts. Since then I have been thinking and stewing over this topic.

Imagine an individual posted their budget and wanted some advice. To your shock you see a massive 30% of their gross income (43% net) go to one item. An amount far greater than any other expenditure. So you tell them that if they want to get out of debt or invest more or retire early, they need to stop putting money into that category. They look at you puzzled and explain that they can't simply choose to not pay taxes. The government is owed taxes by her citizens.

To a Christian of the certain proclivity, the tithe is not their money to decide to allocate or not (this is why a tithe is calculated on net income and not gross: they see the tithe as being the first-class stakeholder in their income).

I'm not sure that is 100% comparable.   You are likely to get a ton of advice on how to optimize income to legally pay less taxes.

cbr shadow

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #209 on: February 24, 2017, 05:26:43 PM »
I don't think anyone that is non-religious can grasp the tithe item without first accepting the premise of the OP that God is real and active in their life. If this is true, and they believe that God has asked them to give, then He will naturally provide for them in their adherence to that. However if He isn't real and that isn't true, then of course the tithe line item is ridiculous giving to a bunch of greedy non-profit organizations.

I don't really like pets. I've had a dog and I enjoyed it when I was young, but I have no desire to own one at this point in my life. But when people come on the board with 3 large non-negotiable dogs, I get it. They're never going to be my 'family' but I understand that that person sees life differently and then I try to think of other ways that they could make cuts.

It's not a great analogy I admit, but for me it's just a matter of accepting that people are different and have different priorities. I think that keeps things interesting around here, which I like.

Really good post.  Thanks.

Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #210 on: February 24, 2017, 05:44:09 PM »
There is a local church of a certain common variety that requires members to bring in their tax returns so the church can set your tithe for you. I hear there is another church across our small town that something similar. Both have had big building plans over the years to pay for.

That is horrible, and actually in direct conflict with the bible:

Quote
2 Corinthians 9
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So they are trying to compel, and also deciding for the individual. I've actually never heard of this - would you mind sharing what church does this

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #211 on: February 27, 2017, 12:52:05 AM »
I see tithing and giving to charity the same way - if you are in debt (with the exception of mortgage and possibly car loan, though I really dislike the latter), then I don't think you can afford to give money. That is my biggest issue with case studies that spell out that tithing is non-negotiable. Some of these case studies have people with massive debt, yet they're giving away 10%+ of their income every month. That just boggles my mind.

If you have zero debt and/or very little debt and want to tithe and/or give to charity, have at it. It's your life and what makes you happy. Especially if you have zero debt and have the higher income levels that the majority of these forum members tend to have - you probably don't even need all of that money for you personally anyway, so it might give you happiness to help others.

This is the key difference. If you are in debt that you are struggling or unable to service while tithing, you are not giving away your money: you are giving away the car loan person's money. If you have high interest debt that you are able to service, you are not giving your 'first fruits', you are borrowing to give. You do not have the money to buy all the things you wanted in the past, the things you need now and give.

I can't get on board with any organisation that would encourage people who are struggling financially to borrow at high interest in order to donate, even if the organisation is also providing services to those struggling financially.

I can only give something that is mine. If I take or steal something from you and hand it to another person, I'm not giving it, I'm fencing stolen goods. If you believe that the first part of your income already belongs to your religion or your god - you've made a mistake or sinned by overspending in the past: acknowledge it, make a plan to fix it, confess it if that is your style but don't make it worse by borrowing more (or failing to pay back a debt) in order to give.

Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #212 on: February 27, 2017, 02:07:41 AM »
This is impossible. WE CANNOT TITHE so this thread is a misnomer.


Sadly, this farce is often pushed to fleece the sheep. Money intended to line greedy men's pockets, men who refuse to get real
jobs to support their families like ALL MEN did in the bible. Including Jesus, who was a Carpenter. Only extenuating circumstances such as physical or mental issues would prevent any man from working a trade in the BIBLE.

Only Missionaries (like Apostle Paul) are to be supported for obvious reasons.

They cannot just set up shop in a new town expecting to support themselves.

The church is not a business, it is a church.

And we are not Pharisees, Abraham, or Old Testament Isrealites. <-- the ONLY three groups this OT law is given to. Majority  didn't tithe.

Malachi 3:10 is taken out of context so the leaders of the church can fleece the congregation, aka steal.

ALL MEN worked in the bible, including Jesus, or they are considered to be infidels not supporting their families.

Except the obvious, if mental or physical issues disallowed working a trade (demon posession, blindness, etc..)

Malachi is a Prophet speaking to Old Testament Israelites living under Old Testament Law. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH US

We are to give cheerfully to those in need.

And Elders aka bishops run the church. They are NOT PAID unless you want to take that verse out of context and ALSO PAY the widows of the church who also deserve "honor". Many men run a church, there is no pyramid scheme in the bible in which there is one Pastor and other men below this one man. That is not how Apostle Paul instructed the church be set up.

Missionaries such as Apostle Paul are rightfully paid so they can meet their basic needs. Even though Apostle Paul discouraged Missionaries taking $$, he explained he had a right to be supported. Yet even PAUL, like every man, WORKED for a living. So he supported himself AND sometimes those with him, much of the time.

The problem is...just like in the OLD & NEW Testaments, those who call themselves Christians are far from it. hypocrites who cherry pick a law while ignoring all other OT law. Trying to apply it to others to obligate them to throw away their hard earned money.

Some people are just mistaken due to lies being pushed onto them, often by preachers,  but for many or most people, it is unmistakable. Their father is the devil who was a liar from the beginning so the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Ignore those who push this lie while ignoring all of the rest of the OLD TESTAMENT LAW. Greed is powerful

2 Cor 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

This command is not to ^^ give to an organization such as a Charity.It is for Christians to DIRECTLY give to someone in need. So you both can experience the blessing. To fund a secular organization (and all are secular, as there is no such "organizations" in scripture) is to expect others to do your obligation on your behalf. Doesn't work that way. Next time you see a poor person in church, hand them some money. Give them a ride to the doctor or church, clean their house, cook for them. That is all a form of giving. Especially do this for the Elderly. You have just cheerfully given as commanded by your God. You did not throw away money to a charity, which was rightfully designated by God, to go to a person in need. Directly hand your cash aka cheerful giving to a Missionary.






« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 02:34:36 AM by Erica »

arebelspy

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #213 on: February 27, 2017, 02:34:10 AM »
I like that philosophy way better.

Too bad more don't subscribe to that interpretation.

Money is a powerful allure, I suppose.
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Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #214 on: February 27, 2017, 02:42:15 AM »
I like that philosophy way better.

Too bad more don't subscribe to that interpretation.

Money is a powerful allure, I suppose.
Glad to hear it.
My husband is not a Christian but he studied this topic when I started attending church years back.
I also studied scritpture and came up with the same conclusion. And with the internet now, it's really easy to google or youtube the subject.
So I don't feel it is an interpretation but what the bible actually says, aka teaches. Cheerful giving is what is commanded of Christ followers in the New Covenant (New Testament) in which we live. I better get to sleep, goodnight for now

marty998

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #215 on: February 27, 2017, 03:04:39 AM »

Snip!


I am always surprised by what I learn from this forum. I thought I heard every argument from every side on tithing, but you've put forward a very well reasoned, and original case.

I give about $250 a year to my local church which I attend Christmas and Easter mass only. It's not because the bible or the church instructs me to. Rather I recognise the good work that the priests and lay people do so I'd like to support them.

Would prefer some of the donation is not sent to Rome where it is spent on fancy frocks and frivolity, but once you give you don't necessarily get that choice.

Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #216 on: February 28, 2017, 04:13:30 PM »
Thank you Marty, I'll take that as a compliment :) !

I learn much more from this forum than I contribute.


FIreDrill

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #217 on: February 28, 2017, 04:48:26 PM »
The thing I've always wondered about Tithing Mustachians is what they plan to do during early retirement. Give 10% of total investment income (whatever it may be that year)? Give 10% of annual spend? Give nothing because you have no "earned income'?
Late to the party but I thought I would share my decision on this particular scenario you bring up.

We give 10% of our net income, or take home pay.  This number does not include 401k Contributions, HSA contributions, or medical deductions out of my paycheck.  Mainly, this is just an easy way to tithe for us and takes a lot of the guess work out of it.  I also feel it is an appropriate amount for us to give.  When we start withdrawing that money in early retirement I plan to give 10% as a tithe as well, since technically our retirement contributions haven't been tithed on.  We will most likely have side jobs that will being in decent money which will make our tithe more though.

I know for a fact that our donation is not wasted.  We go to a very small church and get detailed expense numbers from the church every year.  Most of the tithe goes to paying the pastors modest salary.  If we went to a larger church that was gushing with cash our plan may change so we could give more directly to individual causes.  But I believe our tithe goes to good use right now.

Regardless, I don't really think there is a certain percentage everyone should be giving.  It's between you and God, just because I believe God instructed me to give how I give doesn't mean you should do the same.  I also believe Christians need to get off their asses more and actually do things for people in need.  Our community has a pretty bad homeless problem so we are looking how we can help those people out.  Our community would be a much better place if churches spent more time on helping people outside the church walls.


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caracarn

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #218 on: March 01, 2017, 09:24:23 AM »
This is impossible. WE CANNOT TITHE so this thread is a misnomer.

(Shortened for brevity)

Here is some food for thought from some church information.  Sharing for consideration as a counterpoint to these views.

Why Tithe?
The giving of a tithe is a recognition that everything you possess actually belongs to the Lord.

Scripture requires CONSISTENT giving.
2 Corinthians 8–9 presents a method of giving that is well–planned and consistent, rather than haphazard. 2 Corinthians 8:12 teaches that you are to give according to what you have, not according to what you don’t (or what you hope to) have. Hence, God’s desire is that you put what He has already provided to good use.

2 Corinthians 8:13–15 goes on to teach equality in giving—not each member giving equal amounts, but each member making equal sacrifice. Not everyone can give the same amount, but everyone can give. Like the believers in the city of Corinth, your giving should be well–planned and consistent.

It is natural for other priorities to crowd out your giving to the Lord—God won’t send you an overdue notice or disconnect your phone if you don’t pay Him. Further, many people determine their giving based on how their finances are looking at the end of the year—they give just enough to get a good tax break. Yet, Scripture teaches that giving to the Lord should be your first priority. He is deserving of—and demands—“the first of all your produce,” and not your leftovers.

In Genesis 14, Abraham won a great military battle, and along with it, the spoils of battle. As Melchizedek, the priest of the Lord, came to greet him, Abraham offered him a tithe (tenth) of all He
had obtained (v. 20).

Many people have suggested that the tithe is not valid for today because it was a part of the Old Testament Law. Indeed, the tithe appears most often in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. Yet, Abraham’s tithe in Genesis 14 (and Jacob’s in Genesis 28:22) was “pre–Law”—the Law wasn’t given until Exodus 20. So the tithe supersedes the Old Testament Law.

Further, Christ condemned the Pharisees for the hypocrisy of tithing even of the smallest portions, yet ignoring the major commandments of Scripture. However, notice His conclusion concerning the tithe: “these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others” (Luke 11:42). Christ commended their tithing but rebuked their hypocrisy. The New Testament generally teaches consistent, joyful giving without mentioning the word tithe. For the New Testament believer responding to God’s gift to us, the tithe is a good starting point!

“Hold the Sprinkles, Please.”
The story is told of a boy who visited a restaurant and asked his waitress how much an ice cream cone would cost. After she replied that it would be 20 cents, he asked how much it would be with chocolate sprinkles. Irritated and in a hurry, she snapped that it would be 25 cents. After considering his options for a few moments, the boy quietly asked for a plain cone. The lady’s spirit softened when she returned to the place where the boy had finished and paid for his cone and found a 5 cent tip.

What is the lesson from the boy with the ice cream cone? Tithing doesn’t just happen—it is the result of intentional planning and determination to live within that plan. In other words, budget and stick to it. The math is simple (10% of your income), but the practice often is not. Discipline yourself to give the first 10% of every paycheck to the Lord’s work. Then live within your means (the remaining 90%) and determine to increase that percentage as the Lord allows you to prosper. You may need to do without some “sprinkles.” Yet, honoring and obeying the Lord is worth making small adjustments to your lifestyle.

Suppose you had ten lollipops…
Many Christians reason that 10% is simply too much to give, yet forget that everything they have has been given to them by God. To be very mundane, if Johnny gives Joey ten lollipops, Joey is not being overly generous to give one of them back!

Practical Suggestions about Giving
The following practical suggestions answer some commonly asked questions concerning giving and the local church.

Does it matter where my tithe is given?
The biblical pattern is for you to support financially the ministry that serves you spiritually (1 Corinthians 9:11). Further, the local church is the primary means through which God is working in this age. Therefore, your tithes and offerings should be given to the local church. Further, you should normally give your tithe to your church’s general fund, then make an additional offering for any
designated gifts (e.g., building fund, benevolence fund, etc.).

Am I required to give a tithe of money that I obtain apart from my normal income (i.e., a gift)?
First, remember that giving is a privilege to be enjoyed, not a burden to be borne. Compare your situation to Proverbs 3:9. Of course, a gift is additional provision from the Lord. You may not need to claim it on your tax forms, but you still should honor the Lord for it.

What if I’m in debt? Should I still tithe?
The first step to getting out of debt is a recognition that— with few exceptions—poor stewardship got you there. If necessary, confess your lack of discipline to the Lord as sin. Next, determine to “honor the Lord” with what He gives you…starting now! Don’t wait to obey. Delayed obedience is really disobedience. Begin tithing now, and trust the Lord to be true to His Word. Next, determine where you can decrease your spending to allow you to pay off your debts.  Emulate the boy with the ice cream cone: “hold the sprinkles!” The quickest way out of debt is simply to stop
spending! Finally, prayerfully seek the Lord’s help, both to provide for you and to work in your heart to control your spending.

Does the money I pay for Christian education or for Christian books count as part of my tithe?
Again, this question misses the spirit of biblical giving. Money given for a service rendered or an item purchased should not be considered a gift unto the Lord. This is an attempt to find a loophole, not a tithe or offering. Notice David’s spirit in 2 Samuel 24:24: “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.”

What if I miss a week of giving due to illness or vacation?
Enjoy your vacation from work. However, don’t vacation from obedience and worship. If you miss a week of giving, make it up as soon as you return. Determine to be conscientious about the Lord’s money. Don’t spend it elsewhere.

Is it legitimate to spend the Lord’s money on buildings, vehicles and equipment even though the early church didn’t have them?
All three of these things are tools for ministry. They must not become an end in themselves. Many churches raise edifices as monuments of their greatness, not God’s. Yet, these items are legitimate to the extent that they enable and facilitate spiritual ministry
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 09:26:50 AM by caracarn »

Cassie

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #219 on: March 01, 2017, 05:25:28 PM »
Ares: we do the same as you and give to charities. Some churches pressure people to tithe and that makes me sick. People should give what they want and can afford. Giving of your time is a great way to help others too. I do both but see no problem with people of lesser means giving time only instead of $. The thinking that give your $ to the church and God will provide makes me shake my head that anyone does this.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #220 on: March 02, 2017, 07:23:21 AM »
All of this sounds very cultish to me.

In Poland where my family is from ( I was raised Roman Catholic) the members of the church live lavish lifestyles while the poor are told to tithe what little they have. Over there, the church is involved in constant scandals and has control over many parts of the government. It's a very toxic and oppressive life for those people.

Maybe things are different here. 

wbranch

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #221 on: March 02, 2017, 10:59:23 AM »
That explanation from the church a few posts above reminds of insurance salesman recommending whole life policies or financial "advisers" selling high expense ratio mutual funds with front load fees. Of course (many) churches think giving 10% is a great idea, thankfully they are not deciding for me.

We do not go to church but do give some $ to charity and volunteer quite a bit of time. Increasing $ going to charity has been one goal we have not been good at achieving, but we are working on improving.

exmmmer

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #222 on: March 02, 2017, 11:09:31 AM »
We *must* tithe.

We *CANNOT* tithe.

It is always based on the interpretation, which morphs to fit the viewpoint of the interpreter. This is true for the concept of the tithe just like it is for every other doctrine in the bible.

Even while we were still believers our views on the tithe shifted. For the most part we just gave the standard 10%. Later on, we ended up giving 10% of our *gross income* which caused our tax prep software to red flag us. Evidently this put us in the top 5% of charitable givers (as a percentage of those who used that software). Later still, we gave most of our money directly to those in need. An ex-nanny who had raised my wife got the bulk of that. Out of all those gifts, that was the one that felt like it matched a biblical view the most.

Now we give in a much more targeted fashion, and totally avoid any religious organizations. Just reading this thread kinda gave me the heebie-jeebies...

Cassie

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #223 on: March 02, 2017, 12:02:38 PM »
My DIL is from Poland and her family still lives there so I will ask her if it is the way you describe in the town where they live. It definitely is not a rich country at all.

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #224 on: March 02, 2017, 01:02:38 PM »
I find it interesting that those of us who pay more taxes (Canada, Australia, various European countries) are quite cheerful about it.  Possibly because we agree with most of where the money gets spent?  While the few posts about "the gun to the head" form of taxes seems to be by an American.  Which, I have to say, totally blows my mind when I look at how low American income (and most sales) taxes are.  Try looking at some other country's tax scales and figure out how much more you would be paying.  Anyway . . .

Kiwi ex-pat living in 'Taxachusetts' USA here.

For what people get from their tax dollars, I can understand the resentment. I don't share it but I understand.
In NZ I had interest free student loans, free ambulance services, and health care where I paid a total of $30 NZD for a doctor's visit (NZD is worth about 30% less than USD).

Here I have to pay $10K USD annually for health coverage/treatment (admittedly, I now have an High Deductible Health Plan (1.5K deductible) with lower premiums and Health Savings Account so 6.5K of that is savings - which may or may not be spent by year end and earns interest). It costs something like $30K to give birth in a hospital (on the lower end) without insurance. The school systems here are lagging behind the rest of the OECD countries (I don't have kids, though), public services are always on the chopping block no matter who's in power and there's a general feeling of 'I could do it better if I just got to keep my tax dollars' - I see that sentiment on the MMM forums frequently.

That said, my husband is on disability (Social Security Disability) and in the USA his payments are not impacted by my income - only his assets (of which he has none). If we lived in NZ then he would be means tested against the household income - meaning his and my income combined - and would be eligible for a grand total of $0 of NZ governmental disability assistance. And keep in mind that I don't even make the median state income for Massachusetts.

Taxes here are very low but services also seem to be very low - unless you're extremely poor or disabled. That's how some people like it, I guess, otherwise they wouldn't have voted how they did. The people who benefit from the system the most don't pay income tax (because they don't have work income or don't have enough work income to enjoy a living wage). Which, for the record, I feel is as it should be. But this does make the people in the middle (lower middle class) feel squeezed. However, it's dead easy to legally evade taxes. Interest free retirement accounts, interest free health savings accounts, health premiums are tax deductible - the list is pretty much endless as the tax code gets more complex every year. But if one doesn't have the time or wherewithal to figure out the tax code (or pay an accountant) one may not realize this...

Again, I don't agree but I do understand after living here a few years.

~

As for tithing - I have no opinion on that specifically. I'm a life-long Atheist, raised by Atheists and married to an Atheist. I am dubious of predatory 'mega churches' but realize that not all churches are such and at the end of the day it's not my decision for make for others.
I agree with the sentiment that MMM is about prioritizing your spending. If you want your life back from the corporation you work for then you'll save more so you can retire early. If you want the warm-fuzzies of donating (to a church or otherwise) you'll do so. I second the idea that if advice about reducing that non-negotiable budget item is ignored then all one can do is make other suggestions and wish them well.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:06:27 PM by Kiwi Fuzz »

Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #225 on: March 02, 2017, 11:55:58 PM »
We *must* tithe.

We *CANNOT* tithe.

It is always based on the interpretation, which morphs to fit the viewpoint of the interpreter. This is true for the concept of the tithe just like it is for every other doctrine in the bible.
With all due respect, :) it's not interpretation.
It's an OLD TESTAMENT law given to a specific group of people.
It is not a "concept" anyone can just follow

« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 12:43:46 AM by Erica »

Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #226 on: March 03, 2017, 12:12:53 AM »
Anyone who questions this just ask these so called "tithers" this one little question :)

"Please give me an example of someone in the bible I can follow regarding tithing"

They won't know what to tell you.

And if they do answer you by showing you an example, very soon you will have a be-willdered look on your face

Because even if we are delusional enough to falsely apply the Old Testament tithe to ourselves, we still have another problem.

Though there was currency as early as Genesis 47:14 (in the form of silver and gold) the Tithe required by GOD is NOT CURRENCY

Be prepared to offer up a few farm animals, a donkey maybe, or be well versed in growing your own food.


Also....in the New Testament, aka the new covenant, don't assume a measly 10% of your crop or animal(s) will suffice anyway. Again, the command isn't referring to currency. The contribution may be more or less $$ depending on Jesus words to you (via the holy spirit) and your personal circumstance. Also the condition of your heart

ALL JESUS' WORDS -

 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Or
Mark 12: 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Notice the widow "gave out of her poverty" ^^so Jesus said she contributed FAR MORE than the richer folks because her divvy was all out of her poverty. So it's not a specific amount of money or percentage GOD is counting as righteous. The poor widow gave "out of her poverty" versus "Out of her abundance" as the richer people did. As a Christ follower, these are Christs words. What he expects. Christians could easily be called to donate MUCH MORE than 10% or possibly, MUCH LESS.

Another example- Jesus words
Luke 18:18-24

The Rich Official. 18 An official asked Jesus this question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother.’” 21 And he replied, “All of these I have observed from my youth.” 22 [a]When Jesus heard this he said to him, “There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard this he became quite sad, for he was very rich.

So this rich man says he adheres to all the commandments (which is impossible so this tells you off the bat he is not saved) yet he endures sadness when he is told to give all of his money to the poor and become a Jesus follower on earth spreading the gospel. Only until he is saved, aka becomes a Chrsit follower, will he be viewed as adhering to the law (commandments) because Christ fulfilled the law


« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 01:48:00 PM by Erica »

expatartist

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #227 on: March 03, 2017, 01:41:38 AM »
Fascinating discussion, went in directions I wouldn't have imagined from the original post.

My father's a conservative catholic theologian, but tithing was never discussed considered or practiced by us. Sure, we donated $ every week at church, but nothing like 10%. As with the story of Adam and Eve, we were brought up to believe these were moral tales told at particular point in history to our ancestors, but not to be taken literally. These stories were instructive and interesting but not practically applicable to life in the developed world where our economics and social situations are so different.

norabird

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #228 on: March 03, 2017, 08:46:37 AM »
The last quote of the rich official kind of makes me think of the Jain religion (if any of you are familiar with it).

exmmmer

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #229 on: March 03, 2017, 09:30:38 AM »
We *must* tithe.

We *CANNOT* tithe.

It is always based on the interpretation, which morphs to fit the viewpoint of the interpreter. This is true for the concept of the tithe just like it is for every other doctrine in the bible.
With all due respect, :) it's not interpretation.
It's an OLD TESTAMENT law given to a specific group of people.
It is not a "concept" anyone can just follow

No, it's 100% interpretation. No one has the original Hebrew (or whatever Babylonian language ) the original might have been written in. No one can know *for sure* exactly how it was implemented. There are even indications there was more than one 'tithe'...

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1958/09/the-three-tithes-of-the-old-testament

Thus, my reference to the tithe as a 'concept.' Sure, it was intended for Judaism. They called it a 'law,' fine. I get that.

Keep in mind I'm approaching this from the viewpoint of a lifelong fundamentalist who is now an atheist...YMMV

Turkey Leg

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #230 on: March 03, 2017, 09:34:10 AM »
Though there was currency as early as Genesis 47:14 (in the form of silver and gold) the Tithe required by GOD is NOT CURRENCY
Tell that to the widow. (Mark 12:42 "Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.") She wasn't a coin-maker, yet contributed her tithe as coins.

Interesting discussion here. I can't believe some of the churches out there. Wow. Ours certainly does not require a tithe, and much of what our church collects supports local people who need help, as well as missionaries abroad. (And some of it goes to pay for electricity and the woman who cleans the church, and the other staff.)

There are many bad examples of Christians and Christianity out there, and that is very sad.

Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #231 on: March 03, 2017, 12:11:08 PM »
Though there was currency as early as Genesis 47:14 (in the form of silver and gold) the Tithe required by GOD is NOT CURRENCY
Tell that to the widow. (Mark 12:42 "Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.") She wasn't a coin-maker, yet contributed her tithe as coins.
Good afternoon MacNerd. I am the one who posted that with the very explanation you are re-iterating, maybe I am reading it incorrectly but it appears there could be some confusion.
The widow was following Jesus instructions to be a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Contributing currency which is one form of giving in the New Testament. She lives in the New Covenant just as we Christians do therefore she cannot tithe. Even if she was alive in the OT, it never applied to her. She is not an Old Testament Isrealite under Old Testament Law. My guess is she doesn't have a large crop or raise farm animals anyhow so would not have that to give. Animals were regularly used as offerings, including sacrificial offerings, in the Old Testament. Until the ultimate sacrifice arrived to die once and for all, for those who accept him as their Savior.
.
A Christian is a Christ Follower. They have a desire to follow their Gods instructions to them, not commands given to others. Nor disobey our Lord by deluding themselves into believing they are heeding old commandments given to a select group of people hundreds of years ago whether legalistically or in the form of "a concept" This makes no sense. Especially in light of there are direct commands given directly to them to cheerfully give without being under compulsion or obligation.
Quote
Interesting discussion here. I can't believe some of the churches out there. Wow. Ours certainly does not require a tithe, and much of what our church collects supports local people who need help, as well as missionaries abroad. (And some of it goes to pay for electricity and the woman who cleans the church, and the other staff.) .There are many bad examples of Christians and Christianity out there, and that is very sad.
I agree. I don't see where your example of giving a few dollars to help out with a volunteers electricity bill is forbidden in scripture. Good on you for being a part of a church that helps people in need, including supporting missionaries abroad.

For the Record, and you may know this already but for everyone, church is from the the Greek word ecclesia. It refers to a group of people, Christ followers, not a building. There are very few Christ followers. Most people who join churches have no desire to follow Christ. They choose what they want to believe, whether it actually pertains to them or not. And sometimes in the face of rebelling against the commands that do apply to them.

People who cling to old commandments, OT LAW, which doesn't apply to them in the first place while rebelling against Gods commands  to be a cheerful giver, are not Christians by definition. Everyone falls short and sins at times, but an absolute refusal to believe the Word of God, aka the truth, to turn and believe lies, this is what sets believers and non-believers apart.  Saved versus unsaved.

In the Old Testament (OT) God destroyed everyone except 8 people who were related to Noah (who built the Ark). They were the only righteous people on earth at that time. Noah built an Ark, a command given specifically to him. No one else is commanded to build an Ark. Yet so many pretend they are commanded to tithe.

God destroyed entire towns because of their wickedness,- Sodom & Gomorrah saving only Lot and his family. Multitudes of people are saved in the NT, and will be saved, especially in the last days. It will be the largest revival in history. Example- 1/3 of the Jewish people (Zechariah 13:8) will be saved in the last days leaving 2/3 to perish. Also Old testament saints resurrected. To wrap this up to tie into the subject of mustachism, we arrive with nothing in this world and will leave with nothing. Yet in the afterlife for some, it will be different.

Jesus said....

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 
Sorry for being so long winded. Better sign off for now. Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 03:12:07 PM by Erica »

shelivesthedream

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #232 on: March 04, 2017, 03:40:32 AM »
No, it's 100% interpretation. No one has the original Hebrew (or whatever Babylonian language ) the original might have been written in. No one can know *for sure* exactly how it was implemented. There are even indications there was more than one 'tithe'...

Whaaa? There are numerous ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible from various places in the world. Admittedly not from the year dot, but there are HUNDREDS of academic biblical scholars all over the world collating the differences between the manuscripts and working out what the "original" might have said and using their knowledge of the ancient world to work out what that would have meant. Different translations into English aren't the same as not knowing what the ancient Hebrew said.

arebelspy

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #233 on: March 04, 2017, 03:49:24 AM »
I tend to favor the 1631 version.

It's just more fun!
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exmmmer

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #234 on: March 04, 2017, 04:59:38 AM »
No, it's 100% interpretation. No one has the original Hebrew (or whatever Babylonian language ) the original might have been written in. No one can know *for sure* exactly how it was implemented. There are even indications there was more than one 'tithe'...

Whaaa? There are numerous ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible from various places in the world. Admittedly not from the year dot, but there are HUNDREDS of academic biblical scholars all over the world collating the differences between the manuscripts and working out what the "original" might have said and using their knowledge of the ancient world to work out what that would have meant. Different translations into English aren't the same as not knowing what the ancient Hebrew said.
I did not make any reference to translation. However, as to scholars, there are consensus issues...

https://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?ArticleId=725

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exmmmer

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #235 on: March 04, 2017, 05:01:09 AM »

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #236 on: March 04, 2017, 05:57:09 AM »
I just posted about this topic on my journal if you are interested.

Erica

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #237 on: March 05, 2017, 04:56:14 PM »
I tend to favor the 1631 version.

It's just more fun!
Blasphemous! :)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 05:05:22 PM by Erica »

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #238 on: March 06, 2017, 09:41:10 AM »
Guess I am glad to be Catholic, where tithing is negotiable.  I have never felt pressured by my church to give any amount.  Yes, they ask, and yes some give way more than others, but the fact that they don't pressure me makes me more inclined to give larger amounts, after FI. 

runewell

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #239 on: March 06, 2017, 10:11:51 AM »
I"m not sure why people think the 10% tithe should be on the net income - I have always given 10% of the gross.
Shouldn't you give money to God first?  By tithing on the net income it sounds like you are giving money to Uncle Sam first, and God only gets 90% of what Uncle Sam doesn't take.  That doesn't seem like "firstfruits" to me.

Also, I once told a wise friend that tithing was an Old Testament concept. 
He told me I was right.  Under the New Testament, we give ALL of our money to God. 


Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #240 on: March 06, 2017, 12:14:53 PM »
I"m not sure why people think the 10% tithe should be on the net income - I have always given 10% of the gross.
Shouldn't you give money to God first?  By tithing on the net income it sounds like you are giving money to Uncle Sam first, and God only gets 90% of what Uncle Sam doesn't take.  That doesn't seem like "firstfruits" to me.

Also, I once told a wise friend that tithing was an Old Testament concept. 
He told me I was right.  Under the New Testament, we give ALL of our money to God.

I don't think first fruits really has much to do with pretax and after-tax. It was probably just a reminder, at the beginning of the season, that everything after that belonged to God. I would be very suspicious of any church which declared that tithing was "meant" to be done pre-tax because we really don't know. Why would God make tithing so much more difficult on western Europeans than on Americans?

WGH

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #241 on: March 06, 2017, 12:29:40 PM »
There is a local church of a certain common variety that requires members to bring in their tax returns so the church can set your tithe for you. I hear there is another church across our small town that something similar. Both have had big building plans over the years to pay for.

That is horrible, and actually in direct conflict with the bible:

Quote
2 Corinthians 9
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So they are trying to compel, and also deciding for the individual. I've actually never heard of this - would you mind sharing what church does this

Personally I have attended a Baptist church and a Catholic church who both stressed that the 10% was to be pre tax and not post tax very specifically. Both churches also reminded me not to tithe was a sin and my soul would be damned to not do so. These were two different churches in two different states.

The last time I attended the Catholic church a couple was brought up who told a sad tale of medical bills and a fear of not being able to pay for a needed treatment. Rather than helping themselves and getting another job or selling extra possesions they prayed apparently and somehow an anonymous check arrived in the mail. This was decided to be a proof of their faith and the miracle of God working through his devout. I understood that the church was teaching the 1,000 or so people attending that day when you have a problem it can simply be solved by prayer and disregard your own responsiblities in the matter.

I think I will go pray for my stache to grow an extra zero at the end.....

kite

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #242 on: March 06, 2017, 02:20:47 PM »
There is a local church of a certain common variety that requires members to bring in their tax returns so the church can set your tithe for you. I hear there is another church across our small town that something similar. Both have had big building plans over the years to pay for.

That is horrible, and actually in direct conflict with the bible:

Quote
2 Corinthians 9
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So they are trying to compel, and also deciding for the individual. I've actually never heard of this - would you mind sharing what church does this

Personally I have attended a Baptist church and a Catholic church who both stressed that the 10% was to be pre tax and not post tax very specifically. Both churches also reminded me not to tithe was a sin and my soul would be damned to not do so. These were two different churches in two different states.

The last time I attended the Catholic church a couple was brought up who told a sad tale of medical bills and a fear of not being able to pay for a needed treatment. Rather than helping themselves and getting another job or selling extra possesions they prayed apparently and somehow an anonymous check arrived in the mail. This was decided to be a proof of their faith and the miracle of God working through his devout. I understood that the church was teaching the 1,000 or so people attending that day when you have a problem it can simply be solved by prayer and disregard your own responsiblities in the matter.

I think I will go pray for my stache to grow an extra zero at the end.....

Catholics are not required to tithe.  I'm not suggesting your recollection is faulty, only pointing out that pre or post tax % is irrelevant because there isn't a requirement for Catholics to give a certain percentage.  Whoever said so was incorrect.  Your salvation is not dependent upon handing over 10% to the Church.
Neither does Catholicism teach that your problems can simply be solved by prayer, disregarding one's own responsiblities.  Again, I'm not saying your recollection was faulty or that the sermon didn't include a tale about medical bills, etc.  More likely they were a tangible example of the people helped by charity, and a reminder to the 1000 or so in attendance of whom they help with their charity. 

WGH

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #243 on: March 07, 2017, 09:04:50 AM »
Catholics are not required to tithe.  I'm not suggesting your recollection is faulty, only pointing out that pre or post tax % is irrelevant because there isn't a requirement for Catholics to give a certain percentage.  Whoever said so was incorrect.  Your salvation is not dependent upon handing over 10% to the Church.

This is what I love about religion. You make all these bold statements as if they were facts that you could prove. Like it's a math problem and 2 + 2 = 4 and any other answer is just wrong. Except what you state is merely an interpretation likely based on what you were taught, studied, or believe. Other Catholics would tell you that you are flat out wrong as I have sat in a pew and heard a sermon that the bible states I must hand over 10% of my pre tax income.

That self righteousness is easily the most offensive part of organized religion.

Neither does Catholicism teach that your problems can simply be solved by prayer, disregarding one's own responsiblities.  Again, I'm not saying your recollection was faulty or that the sermon didn't include a tale about medical bills, etc.  More likely they were a tangible example of the people helped by charity, and a reminder to the 1000 or so in attendance of whom they help with their charity.

Again that is your interpretation. I know what I heard and what I heard was not this is the power of charity it was this is the power of prayer. If you just believe, just have faith then all would be well. That was the message as I interpreted it.


kite

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #244 on: March 07, 2017, 02:30:06 PM »
Catholics are not required to tithe.  I'm not suggesting your recollection is faulty, only pointing out that pre or post tax % is irrelevant because there isn't a requirement for Catholics to give a certain percentage.  Whoever said so was incorrect.  Your salvation is not dependent upon handing over 10% to the Church.

This is what I love about religion. You make all these bold statements as if they were facts that you could prove. Like it's a math problem and 2 + 2 = 4 and any other answer is just wrong. Except what you state is merely an interpretation likely based on what you were taught, studied, or believe. Other Catholics would tell you that you are flat out wrong as I have sat in a pew and heard a sermon that the bible states I must hand over 10% of my pre tax income.

That self righteousness is easily the most offensive part of organized religion.

Neither does Catholicism teach that your problems can simply be solved by prayer, disregarding one's own responsiblities.  Again, I'm not saying your recollection was faulty or that the sermon didn't include a tale about medical bills, etc.  More likely they were a tangible example of the people helped by charity, and a reminder to the 1000 or so in attendance of whom they help with their charity.

Again that is your interpretation. I know what I heard and what I heard was not this is the power of charity it was this is the power of prayer. If you just believe, just have faith then all would be well. That was the message as I interpreted it.

It is not my interpretation.  Catholic Teaching IS defined, explained and documented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It's an actual thing, that you could look up and verify.  It doesn't bend to the whim of a particular priest who happens to be preaching on any given Sunday.  The Catechism is what it is, and isn't dependent upon a poll of what Catholics think or feel at a particular point in time.
If you are so inclined, you can find in the Catechism at CCC 2043, the fifth precept.  Literally, "each according to his own abilities." 
Catholic Universities and Catholic Hospitals around the globe don't just sit around praying all will be well.  You'd learn hard science at Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. Joe's, Fordham or Boston College.  You'd get actual surgery or chemotherapy, antibiotics or radiation, depending upon the need, at a Catholic Hospital.  I don't discount your recollection of what you heard, but the church doesn't ask the faithful to shut off their brains and have faith in the best outcome.  It's nonsensical.  Particularly for an institution that has witnessed death, wars, plagues and suffering over millenia.  It's possible, if one is already hostile to organized religion, to sit in the pew and think we're all believing and hoping like tinkerbell that we can fly. 
Have a dispute with the church or Catholicism on a genuine, debatable subject. There are countless legitimate causes.  But not tithes, and not a teaching that faith alone is sufficient. 

expatartist

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #245 on: March 07, 2017, 06:22:14 PM »
Catholic Teaching IS defined, explained and documented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It's an actual thing, that you could look up and verify.  It doesn't bend to the whim of a particular priest who happens to be preaching on any given Sunday.  The Catechism is what it is, and isn't dependent upon a poll of what Catholics think or feel at a particular point in time.
If you are so inclined, you can find in the Catechism at CCC 2043, the fifth precept.  Literally, "each according to his own abilities." 
Catholic Universities and Catholic Hospitals around the globe don't just sit around praying all will be well.  You'd learn hard science at Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. Joe's, Fordham or Boston College.  You'd get actual surgery or chemotherapy, antibiotics or radiation, depending upon the need, at a Catholic Hospital.  I don't discount your recollection of what you heard, but the church doesn't ask the faithful to shut off their brains and have faith in the best outcome.  It's nonsensical.  Particularly for an institution that has witnessed death, wars, plagues and suffering over millenia.  It's possible, if one is already hostile to organized religion, to sit in the pew and think we're all believing and hoping like tinkerbell that we can fly. 
Have a dispute with the church or Catholicism on a genuine, debatable subject. There are countless legitimate causes.  But not tithes, and not a teaching that faith alone is sufficient.

+1
While I have a lot of problems with the Catholic church, it's a top-down org. Everything's codified, though individual parishes may have a rogue priest or group of nuns.

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #246 on: March 08, 2017, 08:08:56 AM »
Thanks for great discussion!

Mainline protestant here...I served as a finance volunteer at my previous church, which was located in an affluent suburb of Cincinnati. Average giving per household was about $$4000 per year in an area with an average household income above $80,000. I cannot see how a mainline Protestant church would require the tithe without seeing a dramatic drop in membership, and I think this matters: the mission of the church is to serve these members, too.

I personally consider placing something in the offering plate to be an act of worship and attempt to do it with any bill every time I am in church.

Our church has a general fund, as well as a "Mission Fund", which are a set of ministries that church resources go to. At my old church, the Mission budget was about 15% of all the church budget. The programs in the "Mission Fund" are probably more akin to the causes that help people directly, although I would argue that the church's main programs still have significant spiritual value.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #247 on: March 08, 2017, 10:55:54 AM »
I don't see how this is much different in effect than me be non-negotiable on paying taxes (which I am, less because of a moral belief and more because jail sucks).  Taxes cost me more than 10%.  To say me paying my taxes then makes cutting too tough or early retirement impossible is a cop out.

I may not have exactly the same point of view, but I think we are both barking up the same tree!

I view taxes as my tithe, but with no religious expectations/compromises/obligations.  I personally feel that it is the local, regional, state, and federal government's job to care for the poorest among us, the sick, the orphans, the elderly.  I also vote accordingly. 

I don't mind paying higher taxes at all, as long as they are not used to create war or global strife (yes, I know, I know). Thus, we get things like the CDC (they do a great job!), FEMA (sometimes), the EPA (awesome track record for 50 years), MEDICARE (increased life expectancy by >10 years since the late 60's!), the National Institute of Health, Community Family Health Centers, Regional Public Hospitals, etc....

I worry about the non-profit status of religious organizations when I see how often the "top guy" lives a life of luxury and scandal. I also see bloated administration in many "charities" in which 10% or less of revenue is actually spent on the mission of the organization. Medicare administration expenses are about 3%, last time I checked.

JGS



retired?

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #248 on: March 10, 2017, 02:10:51 PM »
I don't attend church.  My wife is a non-practicing jew.  We don't attend any services at all so this is not an issue.

The 10% always struck me as like the diamond industry marketed the idea that an engagement ring should be two months of pay.

I know my parents adjusted the % they gave according to how much they earned.  As it went up, the $$ amount might go up but the % went down.  It was out of a feeling of obligation.  The church asked for a pledge at the start of each year.

I think the people who truly gain something positive from church will have no problem tithing.  It's those that attend church out of duty that will question the amount to tithe.

BUT, if I did tithe and were to request an analysis at MMM, I would cut that out of the data I presented.  It's too much of an easy target.

lastly, just like college savings shouldn't come at the expense of retirement savings, I don't think tithing should come at the expense of retirement savings.

lampstache

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Re: The Non-negotiable Tithe
« Reply #249 on: March 11, 2017, 11:46:13 AM »
My wife and I have been thinking about tithing vs. not tithing at our current church. The past few years we had been a one income household and it didn't make financial sense for us to tithe since we were on a tight budget as it was. Now that my wife has finished school and we have two incomes coming in, we still don't feel led to tithe to our church. What we're both in agreement with is that we have and want to continue to be charitable when individual cases come up.

For example, we have a couple who we're in a marriage bible study with and the husband will soon be donating a kidney to his ailing father. The husband will have to take 6 weeks off (teacher) and it will be a big strain on their finances. We've decided we would give them at least $1,000 anonymously to help them through his recovery. There are other one off instances where we've donated to teachers in need of supplies, camp scholarships, mission trips to name a few. We feel more comfortable with this type of giving personally.