Do You Tithe?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by SandyM, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. SandyM

    SandyM Well-Known Member

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    As this is an investing forum, I am interested in people's thoughts regarding tithing. Do you give 10 percent of your income (whether net or gross) to your church, temple, or perhaps a charity? Do you believe in giving back this way? I believe that some religions call it giving alms. But traditionally, it is 10 percent.

    I understand in ancient agricultural societies, tithing makes sense for preserving the communities as a whole. If you bring 10 percent of your harvest to the community "storehouse" (which realistically would have been the temple), it's a good way to save up for time of famine and in need. It made sense from an anthropological standpoint. But in this day and age, a lot of church denominations believe that tithing is a direct mandate from God.

    I have a friend who is against tithing because they feel it was only a practice in BCE for the agricultural purposes above (in pre-Roman times). They feel that it only came back into practices in the Middle Ages so that kings and the Church could have a religious excuse to tax people an extra 10 percent during feudalism. And they feel that the only reason churches push it these days is that it's a great way to make a lot of money quickly. Who's to say that money isn't just lining the preacher's pockets.

    What do you feel about tithing to give back? If you're going to give 10 percent (which is actually a lot), would you give it to a charity or orphanage instead?
     
  2. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Well-Known Member

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    My mother instilled a healthy skepticism in me from an early age, and it led to me becoming an atheist, and tithing was one of the first things she railed against. Why give 10% of my earnings to the church? We're barely getting by as it is.

    Like you said, I would rather give that money to charity or some other cause.
     
  3. SandyM

    SandyM Well-Known Member

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    I really like this phrase healthy skepticism. I think it's important to teach kids to question and examine, rather than blindly follow other people. Just generally, whether you are religious or not, I think that goes for all aspects of life. Someone said this quote is from the Buddha (I don't know if that's true or not), but this is what it reminds me of: "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    I guess the biggest problem is, How are they using the funds? Are they being good stewards of it? Do you have a right to know what it's going toward? Like technically if you pay taxes, you can at least look up the appropriations in theory (although the documents are so dull, no one does that). Say a husband and wife makes $50,000 each, which is $100,000 annually, and then they pay tithes. That's $10,000 a year for a church, just from one couple alone! I wonder if people ever really think about it.
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Senior Investor

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    I am a devout Catholic and tithing is not forced on us unlike other sects of Christianity. My take on tithing is not the monetary resources. Tithing means another thing like time and effort. Besides, I do not believe in the accuracy of the 10%, it may just be a number to express something. Take note that the Bible has so many inaccuracies and even numbers are sometimes lying. By the way, we tithe to God and not to the religion per se, not to the head of the religion, not to the church that is plundered by the people inside it.
     
  5. Susimi

    Susimi Senior Investor

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    I don't follow it in the religious sense at all. What I do do however is try to donate to a local children hospice every year, and the way I donate is by taking lots of chocolate up there for the kids because I feel it will be much better received rather than giving money.
     
  6. Alex

    Alex Senior Investor

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    I know some churches still expect people to hand over 10% of their earnings, but these days are very different from the Middle Ages. Back then the church needed to survive, but they provided alms for the poor, sanctuary for those who needed it, it doubled as the place of records for births, deaths, and marriages and thus the funds paid for christenings, and burials when people could not afford them.

    Times have changed and the government has funds to pay for funerals, the homeless, and the starving. Naturally it can never be enough, but churches don't have the same role, and as thus donations should be what people can afford and if they wish to support the church.

    Those who do donate 10%, what do they receive in return?
     
  7. Susimi

    Susimi Senior Investor

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    Would the 10% be going towards the stuff needed for the foodbanks?

    Seeing the current climate I would not be surprised if it was, and also the people who donate during a service when the tin goes around, I wouldn't be surprised if their money is going towards it.
     
  8. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Well-Known Member

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    I wish she'd instilled skepticism in other areas of my life. But at least with religion, she was on the money.
     
  9. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Senior Investor

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    I think this is called "tax" in most countries. :D And if it would be only 10% then we would be very lucky!
    But yeah I get you mean voluntary stuff... who the hell gives away 10% of their income into charity voluntarily? Ok I get it, if you are super rich then you might be able to afford it but I really don't know many people who could realistically afford losing 10% of their income.
     
  10. Alex

    Alex Senior Investor

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    Who knows, but pentecostal church members have to sign over 10% of the earnings to support the church, not food backs. This is what the church down my road says on its website;

    "The Bible encourages us to live a lifestyle of generosity, including with our finances. It talks about giving tithes (10% of your income) and offerings (over and above the tithe) to the church and we give an opportunity during our services for people to give."

    I think the traditional donation tray and box is fine, and people shouldn't have to 'pay' to go to church. There are is a foodbank, but it's only been around for three years, and people donate to them.
     

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