Tithing

For those deep thinkers out there.
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FredS
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Re: Tithing

Post by FredS » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:01 pm

michigander wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:59 am
FredS wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:00 am
Fainn wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:35 pm
. . . There is neither Temple nor storehouse today. . .
Au contraire Pierre. The modern church has expenses just as the ancient one did. Even when paid off, our buildings need new roofs, toilets, coffee makers, toilet paper, and electricity. Where do you suppose the money for that stuff comes from? And storehouses are still very much in demand. I wouldn't care to be involved in a church that can't or won't help the poor. Whether that's a winter coat drive, or backpacks full of school supplies, or sandwiches for the guys who live under the bridge, we're still storing up goods for those who go through lean times.
...and most ministers like to eat too.
I wrote about that in my post but I deleted it. I've always figured church staff should earn a wage that's competitive with the rest of the world. Every pastor I know is smart enough to earn some serious dough in the real world and they should be compensated accordingly. If the pastor isn't earning at least the median wage of his parishioners he's being underpaid. In fact, I think he should be around the 80th percentile. Of course their income includes a parsonage and probably should include an automobile or at least mileage reimbursement. This sort of pay scale insures the pastor can actually afford to live in the community in which he preaches.
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Re: Tithing

Post by Fainn » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 pm

I don't disagree that staff should be compensated. Most studies indicate they aren't. However, I disagree with the idea that God is under an obligation bless people who tithe
'You, sir, are a Japanese Eggplant."
----AFRS

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michigander
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Re: Tithing

Post by michigander » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:00 pm

Fainn wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:36 pm
Jocose wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:33 pm
Fainn wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:31 pm
Jocose wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:29 pm
Not being nasty. Why would you want to give to get?
That's kind of my point. Shouldn't it be done because its the right thing to do or out of thankfulness?
Does anyone think differently? Besides televangelists?
Pretty much every pastor I have seen in person.
redacted comment

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FredS
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Re: Tithing

Post by FredS » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:36 pm

Fainn wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 pm
I don't disagree that staff should be compensated. Most studies indicate they aren't. However, I disagree with the idea that God is under an obligation bless people who tithe
You've got my head spinning in confusion here.

Do you really mean that most studies show that church staff is not compensated? Even the dinkiest backwoods church should pay the pastor. I understand not paying all the way down to Sunday school teachers, but anyone who's in the building more than two days a week should be paid. A healthy church takes care of those who work for it. A sick one tries to run solely on volunteer help.

I think I'd get up and walk out of any church that teaches God is obligated to, or will, bless people who give. I don't know what to tell you Fainn, but if "Pretty much every pastor you've seen in person" is teaching that then you've been in some really bad places. Your comments here indicate that you don't believe that and I hope you're bold enough to call BS and get out of there when you see it preached.
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"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

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Re: Tithing

Post by Fainn » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:23 pm

ryland wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:09 pm
The last figure I read but can't find is that if someone makes $32,500 or more a year they are in the top 1% of the income earners in the world.
According to this, I am in the bottom 70 %.

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/ ... dit-suisse
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Re: Tithing

Post by Hovannes » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:17 pm

Fainn wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 pm
I don't disagree that staff should be compensated. Most studies indicate they aren't. However, I disagree with the idea that God is under an obligation bless people who tithe
God gives you your next breath.
What is the justice we owe to God for those breaths?
We don't have anything to give God but ourselves back.
I really made a mess of Aquinas and Augustine there, but that's kind of the gist of it.
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Re: Tithing

Post by Cleon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 am

Is your question about the literal 10%? If so, I would encourage you to just focus on giving cheerfully. Forget about percentages, and then go from there.
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Del
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Re: Tithing

Post by Del » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:09 pm

Fainn wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 pm
I don't disagree that staff should be compensated. Most studies indicate they aren't. However, I disagree with the idea that God is under an obligation bless people who tithe
I firmly believe that God will not be outdone in generosity.

But we are very narrow if we believe that God's "blessings" come in the form of money.

In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5), the Beatitudes list the blessings that come to us in the form of suffering, poverty, and persecution. The paradox of the New Testament is that salvation is not the end of suffering -- salvation comes to us through suffering. Salvation comes when we take up our cross.

In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius complains that evil people seem to get all of the blessings, while men of goodwill seem to receive all of the suffering. (Boethius is in a prison cell, awaiting execution after being falsely accused of treason against the emperor>)

Lady Wisdom responds that God's ways are wiser than our understanding. God may give the greedy man some measure of wealth, so that he does not become a robber and a thief and a scourge upon humanity. But the greedy man is not happy with what he has, suffering with worry about losing his wealth.

The poor man may struggle every day to survive, but he does not suffer from attachments to the things of this world. Poverty is hard, and it is difficult to see the blessing in it. The best reason for folks to tithe, if we have enough to survive, is to cultivate our poverty of spirit and the blessings that are promised.
Mt 5:3 wrote:“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

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Re: Tithing

Post by Hovannes » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:26 pm

Image <redacted_emoji>
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Re: Tithing

Post by FredS » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:48 pm

Cleon wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 am
Is your question about the literal 10%? If so, I would encourage you to just focus on giving cheerfully. Forget about percentages, and then go from there.
Yes, of course it's supposed to be done gratefully and cheerfully.

One wonders though, whether this should rightfully be a sacrificial act. Should it have an adverse affect on ones lifestyle? If I can give a full tithe without much difficulty, does it put me in a right relationship? God doesn't need my money (or His, depending on how you view it) after all. Does He desire that I feel a little sting or hardship in giving up the money or time or whatever I give?
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

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Re: Tithing

Post by Winton » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:00 am

Here is my perspective on tithing, as the treasurer of my church. (Actually, I rotated off last month. Training the new treasurer is harder than doing the work.) Our congregation is smaller than it was a few years ago, maybe 80 people. Also, several of the men retired. Layoffs affected other men, including me. But the building still needs maintenance and lots of other expenses to keep the doors open. The pastor still needs a paycheck.

If the people of the church don't give, then the church will fold. Obviously, God's work will continue, but. . . . .

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Re: Tithing

Post by michigander » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:16 am

FredS wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:48 pm
Cleon wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 am
Is your question about the literal 10%? If so, I would encourage you to just focus on giving cheerfully. Forget about percentages, and then go from there.
Yes, of course it's supposed to be done gratefully and cheerfully.

One wonders though, whether this should rightfully be a sacrificial act. Should it have an adverse affect on ones lifestyle? If I can give a full tithe without much difficulty, does it put me in a right relationship? God doesn't need my money (or His, depending on how you view it) after all. Does He desire that I feel a little sting or hardship in giving up the money or time or whatever I give?
I've been pondering this for a while now. The first scriptural example I can think of is the "Widow's Mite" (Luke 21:1-4). However, is Jesus really teaching that "we should give 'til it hurts"? I don't believe so because in his words "she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on."

Is this our calling? To give everything?

I believe the teaching is directed at not being prideful of how much you've given, and to not consider that what you've given is all that may be required of you.

There's a lot of room between 10% and 100%.

Perhaps we are called to be open to giving more and not thinking of whatever we don't give as "ours". However, I don't believe that means we are all called to "give 'til it hurts".

I'm not sure I really said anything there....

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Re: Tithing

Post by Cleon » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:39 am

michigander wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:16 am
FredS wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:48 pm
Cleon wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 am
Is your question about the literal 10%? If so, I would encourage you to just focus on giving cheerfully. Forget about percentages, and then go from there.
Yes, of course it's supposed to be done gratefully and cheerfully.

One wonders though, whether this should rightfully be a sacrificial act. Should it have an adverse affect on ones lifestyle? If I can give a full tithe without much difficulty, does it put me in a right relationship? God doesn't need my money (or His, depending on how you view it) after all. Does He desire that I feel a little sting or hardship in giving up the money or time or whatever I give?
I've been pondering this for a while now. The first scriptural example I can think of is the "Widow's Mite" (Luke 21:1-4). However, is Jesus really teaching that "we should give 'til it hurts"? I don't believe so because in his words "she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on."

Is this our calling? To give everything?

I believe the teaching is directed at not being prideful of how much you've given, and to not consider that what you've given is all that may be required of you.

There's a lot of room between 10% and 100%.

Perhaps we are called to be open to giving more and not thinking of whatever we don't give as "ours". However, I don't believe that means we are all called to "give 'til it hurts".

I'm not sure I really said anything there....
Sorry. I didn't mean to imply that giving should only be done cheerfully. There is an element of duty or sacrifice. I know if I only gave cheerfully, I wouldn't give as much. Sometimes it's out of duty, because I know it's the right thing to do, much like other things that I do in life.

I am also the treasurer at church. I can empathize with Winton. A lot of time the spiritual health of a person\church can be measured by how they give. I can tell when a regular giver is having problems, dollars to donuts, because a lot of times they either stop giving or cut way back. It doesn't have to be financial problems either. They can be mad at the pastor. Dislike the music. Whatever. Then, when things start going their way, they pick up again. Sad to say, I've done it myself before.

I wouldn't want someone who is struggling with giving to get hung up on 10% though. IMO, there are more important matters than percentages to deal with, and maybe even the giving itself should take back seat until other things are addressed.
Last edited by Cleon on Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tithing

Post by Cleon » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:42 am

Winton wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:00 am
Here is my perspective on tithing, as the treasurer of my church. (Actually, I rotated off last month. Training the new treasurer is harder than doing the work.) Our congregation is smaller than it was a few years ago, maybe 80 people. Also, several of the men retired. Layoffs affected other men, including me. But the building still needs maintenance and lots of other expenses to keep the doors open. The pastor still needs a paycheck.

If the people of the church don't give, then the church will fold. Obviously, God's work will continue, but. . . . .
hear, hear.
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

"More people need to put their big boy britches on." - JMG

"Dang, a pipe slap." - JimVH

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Winton
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Re: Tithing

Post by Winton » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:42 pm

Cleon, I pay the bills and Ryan (Financial Secretary) handles the offerings. I think he has the harder job, since he knows what everyone gives. "Why does Bob give $10 a week when he drives a BMW?" That is not the type of info that I want to know.

Ryan thinks my job is harder.

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