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February 03, 2013

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I think the problem with his post is he doesn't clarify much, especially with the "taking care of your family" bit. That can be kind of vague. I also agree with you on the whole testing God thing.

I would agree that for most here in the USA it is usually a decision between wants and giving. Very few are deciding between giving and groceries. Most are deciding between big screen TVs, eating out, new clothes, and giving. For those people, I agree with you.

But just because it's a small portion of people deciding between food and giving doesn't mean it isn't a valid concern.

Like Craig, I'm not convinced the New Testament mandates a strict 10% tithe. I think most people use that as a way to be stingy in their giving. In other words, they could afford to give more but choose not to because "God only requires 10%."

I think it is more of poor giving theology. I have heard all the excuses like is the 10% gross or net pay.

All I know is that when the people received a 2% pay cut the begining of the year due to tax increase on SS people are stating they need to cut somewhere.

How may will be cutting there charitable giving.

I think the Bible says the first 10% is Gods. We need to live on the rest. Pay your bills and your taxes out of the rest. But isn't everything Gods? We all live under his plan whether we believe it or not.

If we don't give, what happens then? Is God mad if we don't tithe? He loves us just the same. Whether we give $1 or $1,000,000.

Let's not debate the law. Remember it's been abolished. We live under God's love not rules.

I don't always follow the 10% donation for the church. Sorry but it's a tough life and my family needs it more.

I adhere more closely to 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Giving should not feel like a duty or obligation. It should be done with a willing attitude and thankful heart. In many churches I have attended, pounding the pulpit about 10% appears to me to be just another way to shame people in to giving more than maybe they want to in order for the church to buy extravagant things and build multi-million dollar expansion buildings.

We used to give 10% gross to the church, but got tired of funding the church's big screen TV's (and other big useless purchases). Giving wasn't making us happy. We cut back and started looking for real ways that we could give directly to individuals; putting 100% of our cash into the hands of those who might need it most. We continue to do so, and have expanded our giving to a couple of good charity organizations. We have recently started giving a small portion to the church that we go to in order to help with the costs of running the building.

Jon makes some interesting points above. When does the believer need to consider how the funds are used? I don't have the answers, but I think it should at least be considered.

When the pastors are living in gated communities and the members are struggling to pay the bills, should people continue to give 10%?

Many pastors make a better living than the majority of the congregation. Kind of seems strange considering how much Paul talked about working with his own hands in order to not burden the early churches.

Yes, Jon does make some great points. I live somewhat near a mega-church that I've visited a handful of times. When I was there last I was put off quite a bit by the opulence of the place. For example, the interior resembles a high-end shopping center, and their A/V capabilities probably rival many concert halls.

I’ve served as treasurer at our very small church and don’t profess to know what a budget looks like for a place like that, but I can say that you always have the option of putting a designation on your check. You can specify “missions” or “building maintenance” in the memo. I guess there’s always the danger that “building maintenance” might go to replace a big screen TV. I’d recommend talking to your pastor about your desire for funds to go towards needs versus nice-to-haves.

Oliver (and Jon, and Jeff) -

As far as the need to give as a believer, Jesus relates every action back to the heart behind it. Giving for the wrong reasons is worse than not giving. My wife and I ignore the percentages and just give freely of our abundance.

Secondly, though, we want our giving to have an impact. Now that we left the megachurch and attend a small church, we do give to our church. We know they operate on a shoestring budget and they (we! In a small church, each of us matters!) are making an impact in our community. However, the bulk of our giving is to a christian mission organization that we are deeply involved with. We know exactly where that money goes and have seen firsthand many of the literally millions of lives it touches. To us, a life is a life and a soul is a soul, and we want our resources to go as far as possible to saving both.

Oliver, where I come from people complain that the 10% tithe is WAAY too much and can barely scrape up 2 or 3%! It could be lack of finances or poor priorities, like some have mentioned. Either way, to me it represents a lack of faith and trust in the Creator and His ability to provide above and beyond what we can ask or think, despite our circumstances, and even our wants.

I don't think we should test God, we need to trust him. I believe that if we are faithful in giving in our 10 percent even when we don't have the money to give, God will provide for us financially. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." God blesses those who give out of a pure heart, and follow his word.

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