Interesting article on CNN about tithing in which evangelical leaders say the Bible does not requires a church member to tithe.
Tithing has always been one of those lightning rod issues that people have a core belief about but when faced with difficult financial times they sometimes abandon church rather than face the perceived shame of not being able to tithe. I’d much rather see people maintain their strong bond to their beliefs and religion than abandon that at their time of emotional need.
But for some, the guilt of cutting back on tithing leads to shame and isolation. It just does not need to be that way.
In the story published, 58% of the evangelical leaders survey said the Bible requires the believer to tithe.
The injunction to tithe comes from the Old Testament, or what Jews call the Hebrew Bible, which tells of Abraham and others giving ten percent of war spoils, a harvest or other goods as offerings to God or religious leaders.
Dan Olson, a Purdue University sociology professor who has studied tithing, says the new survey doesn’t mean Christian leaders think those in the pews shouldn’t give.
“Most of those leaders would probably say, ‘you really ought to tithe, but the term ‘requires’ gets at a theological point,” he said.
“Most Christians would say the laws of the Old Testament are not what save you – you’re supposed to be giving out of a spirit of freedom, not because you’re bound to laws,” he said. – CNN
When it’s not possible to tithe financially, there are other ways people can give. They can donate their time to work around the church, mow the grass, watch over events, or just donate services in other meaningful ways. Not being able to give cash should not make anyone feel guilty.