Skip to comments.Romney's tithing raises issue in other churches
Posted on 01/26/2012 9:34:45 PM PST by WilliamIII
Mitt Romney's tax returns reveal that the Republican presidential candidate does something fewer Americans do these days: He tithes.
Romney's 2009 and 2010 tax returns, released Tuesday, show that he and his wife, Ann, gave 10 percent of their income, about $4.1 million, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The couple reported income of about $43 million for the two years.
LDS church members must tithe to participate in temple rituals. Nearly 80 percent of Mormons tithe, a poll released this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows.
While tithing among Mormons is high, it is at an all-time low less than 3 percent among many faith groups, according to an October report by Empty Tomb, a Christian research organization. The theology behind tithing is also being questioned, with many saying the mandate to contribute 10 percent is not biblical.
Tithing has its roots in the Old Testament "Bring all the tithes to the storehouse," from the book of Malachi and means one-tenth of income.
"The New Testament says a Christian is saved under grace and it does not teach tithing," said Russell Kelly who argues against it on his website, www.shouldthechurchteachtithing. com. "A lot of people would rather stay home than go to church and hear about it. All it does is make them feel as if they're cursed for not giving 10 percent."
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
This follows on to the Old Testament practice, but isn’t something actually commanded in the New Testament. All New Testament giving is free will. Many churchgoers feel 10% is a fair amount to share with their church. Some give more, even a lot more. Some give less. It ought to be a private thing between you and God, and maybe the financial stewards at your church (who are sworn to silence) and the IRS (who are also sworn to silence). This privacy does become a pickle if one has been deducting from Caesar then becomes a political candidate.
Is tithing supposed to be 10 percent of what you have left after government has taken its share? Or is it 10 percent of your gross - before government lays into you?
A Christian feels compelled to serve Christ. A strict 10% tithe of income reminds me of the Pharisees. They were apparently very good at following the letter of the law without understanding its intent.
Without listing the relevant scripture (it is easy enough to research separately), the New Testament says the Church is made up of all sorts of different people. Some people are teachers, some pray, some give, etc. Whatever one feels led by Christ to do, they should be very generous in that regard.
I do not feel led to give 10% to maintain a beautiful building that’s rarely used outside of Sunday. I do feel compelled to serve Christ in other ways.
For what it’s worth, the conservative, sometimes lecturing Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey suggests after-tax tithing. I.e. on take home pay. That would be like tithing on profits.
Some churches have modest or even shabby buildings, and use the money to help out needy people by way of representing Jesus Christ, and/or for more direct evangelism outreaches. Not all flavors of Christian congregations agree that all approaches are proper and will spend hours arguing about it sometimes, but it’s not necessarily “to maintain a pretty building.” If you wonder what a particular church congregation is using their offerings for, ask it. Most will be tickled to show you.
Dave Ramsey says tithe 10% and he isn’t Mormon.
First harvest IE off the top.
According to another post on this thread, Ramsey says 10 percent of your after-tax income. ?
I agree with your thoughts.
Trying to remember from Financial Peace University but think it was left up to the individual but Dave pays tithing on “the bigger number just in case”.
PS I’m Mormon but could never get myself to tithe until going through Financial Peace University.
If you believe that God gives you everything, you show gratitude by giving something back. Give what is in your heart.
Dave isn’t a Bible scholar either.
Actually I don’t remember now whether it was Ramsey, or the sometimes controversial Christian psychiatrist Dr. Meier. Some might actually have legalistic rules about it. And some might follow on to Old Testament illustrations such as “first fruits” and want it to be done before taxes. But if giving based on personal profits is meant (i.e. as if you sold goods for which you paid $9 for $10 and kept $1, which is your profit), after tax is as good as any a reference point. Since deducting it will increase your after tax income, you might have to do some algebraic calculations if you really want it to be exactly 10% or X%. I say why not just donate a tithe on your resulting tax refund and call it a wash.
If giving what’s in your heart, maybe donate blood? (duck’n & runn’n)
Actually many Christians spread a tithe or X% giving around, and give some to their church, some to the Salvation Army, etc.
I didn’t mean to impugn all churches with my comment about church buildings. However, some spend nearly everything they take in on themselves. As I type, there are Christians who are being oppressed, even murdered, for Christ, and there are also billions of unbelievers at risk of eternal damnation. I’m not saying it’s wrong to worship in a comfortable building. One should do what Christ directs them to do, to the best of their ability. That includes even tithing 10% to build a nice church if that is how they are led. The challenge to do what Christ wants applies to me, too.
If everyone shared your view there would be no churches or pastors to lead them and help those in need. God loves a cheerful giver, so I don’t think he really wants your money anyway...at least not right now.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.