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Old 07-20-2010, 05:56 AM   #1
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Default Tithing Question

How does tithing work?

If your parents need money, do parents come first before the church or does the church come first?
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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I think tithing is giving 10% of your income to the church.

Since you're giving back to God what he has given to you, I think tithing would come first. At least, I think that's how it works.

Pretty clear, huh? <:/
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:11 AM   #3
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I always pay tithing first before I even pay my bills. After payign tithign and bills are you able to help out your parents or can the church help?
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:27 AM   #4
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We always tithe first
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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I think God would understand if you needed to help your parents. Think of all the things that your parents have done for you in your lifetime - how could you not put them first? Then resume tithing after you have helped them....I guess. I personally do not tithe, my family comes first.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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I am not religious. I was asking because of a family situation with relatives who tithe, but don't have enough $$ to assist in joint sibling support of their widowed mother.

We are not having a dispute or even a discussion about it. We let it go and just ponied up more money. However, now I must admit that I feel like I'm paying part of the tithe that my relatives are paying to their church instead of helping with their mother.

I think I am wrong for thinking this way and was just curious how tithing works...
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:47 AM   #7
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I am not particularly religious either, but In My Own Opinion, I would give to my sons and my Mother before I would tithe. When my grandmother passed, my uncle and Mom paid for her funeral. Their sister (my aunt) said she would pay 1/3 of the funeral costs, and then backed out with no reason. My uncle had to get a loan to pay the rest. I don't think you are wrong at all. Again, my own opinion, but I think some people tithe because it gives them a self-perceived status and they think it will get them to Heaven faster.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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I think tithing in the Bible is different than tithing today. Tithing in the Bible is about food and feeding people and was only done by farmers, shepherds, etc. Today, it seems to be a blanket rule of giving to the church. I'm not against giving money to your church or ministry that is spiritually supporting you. Those people need to eat and survive, but if it's that or taking care of your parents I think you need to take care of your parents. You can donate time or services the church if money is that tight. This is, of course, my opinion.
Hugs, Joan! I'm sorry you're having to shoulder the burden all on your own.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:48 AM   #9
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we are not shouldering the burden of my MIL by ourselves. There is another sibling who is also sharing. But the only sibling who is actively religious is not.

Seems odd to me, but I am so not going to cause a rift in my husband's family over this. Just thought I'd ask here on SCS about how churches view tithing...
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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Family always comes first.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:58 AM   #11
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Joan, it may be that your in-law has pledged a certain amount to the church as a tithe, and views it as a non-breakable contract with her church.

Be that as it may, I think all the children should share in the costs associated with caring for a parent who can no longer care for him/herself (not that it often happens that way.....).

I'll go one step further...........if they don't share in the care, they shouldn't have a share in the inheritance (if any).

I'm in the sidelines of some very messy situations right now, which may be influencing my thinking!!
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan B View Post
we are not shouldering the burden of my MIL by ourselves. There is another sibling who is also sharing. But the only sibling who is actively religious is not.

Seems odd to me, but I am so not going to cause a rift in my husband's family over this. Just thought I'd ask here on SCS about how churches view tithing...
I also find that odd. I personally disagree with the way most churches view tithing so I'm not much help there.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:08 AM   #13
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not sure what the 'official rule' is here.... but I would say I'd think of it like the Muslims do- they are expected to make a pilgrimage to Mecca... but ONLY after they have helped thier family/ community , if there is money left over THEN they travel to Mecca.
In other words, the religion is importnt, but not more important than family.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:12 AM   #14
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In my personal opinion, if a person is truly committed to following tithing in their religion, the tithing comes first. That's where faith and trust in God come in.... that He will provide for all needs. But, Joan, I would recommend that the person who is tithing and not financially helping in the support of the parents talk to their own clergy about what is 'right' and 'not right.' They may feel there are no alternatives to tithing while, in fact, there may be.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:12 AM   #15
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My pastor always explained tithing as this... 10% of your time, talent and treasure. The entire 10% didn't necessarily need to be monetarily to the church. For instance, if you donated X% to a charity (a family in need can be a charity!), X% of your time volunteered and X% of your talent (maybe singing in church or making cards for soldiers, etc.).

I'm sure others might not agree with this, but it made sense to me!

I'd help the family first. It's between the person giving and God anyway and no one else's business, kwim?
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:51 AM   #16
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Tithing should be the "first fruits" so to speak - comes off the top before anything else. It's giving back to God what He has entrusted to you. Let's face it - it's all His anyway. God provides. Sometimes people might think that is a pat answer. But I believe it with every fiber of my being. When I was laid off from work for over a year and couldn't find a job - we continued to tithe. On paper we should not have been making it financially - but it seemed like our checking account was the bottomless pit! I have no idea how we made it - but we always did. Yeah, there were some bills that we had to just let go and our credit has suffered because of it. But we always had a roof over our head and food on our table and clothes on our back. There are still times when I cringe writing the check to the church because I know we could use that money elsewhere - but how can I ask God to provide for my needs or bless my family when I don't have enough faith to put Him first. Don't mean to sound preachy here....but this is just something that I have lived and believe with all my heart.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:19 AM   #17
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tithing is supposed to come first...and it is supposed to go to those less fortune by way of the church or ministry...the belief is that you'll have what you need..not necessarily money mind you...given back...karma kind of thing...i'm not a church goer...got faith tho and God knows it...and i give to charities rather than churches...and ya know what?.. it works...i have/get what i need..if you need something ask God...pay your tithing...it will usually balance out
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #18
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all of your answers are very interesting to me.

We would never bring this up to our tithing relative. It would cause a rift/hard feelings and we would not want that to happen over money. Some day, as things get tighter, this may become an issue, but I would never bring up the tithing issue to them. It just wouldn't be right.

I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #19
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here's how I see it... The commandments come first. One of the commandments is to Honor your Father and Mother. By not taking care of them in their time of need is not honoring them and therefore a sin. Recently, when my parents were going through a rough time, we spent every Sunday for 3 years working on their situation. Church was postponed and I think God understood we were doing His work.

And, we had miracles happen in the past 5 years that no one thought would happen.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:09 PM   #20
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also, in Judaism, there is a belief that God forgives for the greater good. For example, if a Jewish doctor breaks the Sabbath to help an injured person, God forgives because the greater good was performing Doctor duties. Jewish law forbids the eating of pork, during WWII the Nazis would often only provide pork as food in the Concentration Camp (note- this is When and If they provided food at all). Rabbis would tell fellow prisoners to eat whatever they could find, that God would forgive, because survival was the greater good.
Now, I gave the short version of the Muslim and Jewish standpoints, as I understand them, though I have no religion.... I'm not sure how Christianity works, and I apologize that I can't technically answer the question.
However, 'Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, Render unto God that which is God's'... I translate into 'know when the money/ help needs to go to a particular place'. So buying a homeless, hungry person a lunch IS sort of rendering unto God, as you are doing God's work.... instead of giving money to the Church to do God's work. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong, please correct me if Tithe is different from Charity.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:32 PM   #21
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Tithe is a tenth of what you have been given. I've always said that giving a tithe and offering is like paying insurance...it's a guarantee that if I trust God with a tenth (or more) of my income, He will make sure my needs (not necessarily my wants) are met....and they always have been.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:22 AM   #22
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Tithe is a tenth of what you have been given. I've always said that giving a tithe and offering is like paying insurance...it's a guarantee that if I trust God with a tenth (or more) of my income, He will make sure my needs (not necessarily my wants) are met....and they always have been.
So does this mean that you would pay the tithe to your church even if it meant not helping to support a parent?

I'm not asking to be snarky. I'm truly curious. Is the idea that if you pay your tithe, you believe that you get a guarantee of sorts that your material needs will be met? Am I meeting my BIL's material needs by paying a larger share of support for his mother? If so, I want a recount!! LOL

Since I am not religious, I am totally clueless!!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:23 AM   #23
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I am not religious, and I do not tithe.

But logically, I would think take care of your family commitments first. To me that would be at the core of being Christian (in deed, not just in name).
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #24
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Wouldn't following the Commandments [in this case Honoring your Parents] come before tithing? That's how I would understand it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
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So does this mean that you would pay the tithe to your church even if it meant not helping to support a parent?

I'm not asking to be snarky. I'm truly curious. Is the idea that if you pay your tithe, you believe that you get a guarantee of sorts that your material needs will be met? Am I meeting my BIL's material needs by paying a larger share of support for his mother? If so, I want a recount!! LOL

Since I am not religious, I am totally clueless!!!
Joan, you've asked a rather complex question. In response, I would respond that yes, I would pay my tithe first, even if it meant not helping to support a parent. However, I'm quickly coming (and perhaps jumping) to the assumption that the BIL is using his "tithing" as a convenient excuse and that is not right. Let me explain.

1. God expects His children to give. A tithe (better known in the Old Testament law as a tenth) was to be given. Since we are no longer under the old law, a tenth is now used as an approximate figure to base an offering/tithe upon. Some no longer use this figure. Some use a higher percentage, some lower, and then there are some who give a flat amount regardless of their income.

2. Based upon Malachi 3:10, Christians claim the promise that God says he will bless His people who give. There are some (Christians) that believe that God blesses His people according to the amount they give. I do not hold to that idea. I believe God blesses (or gives back) to His people what He feels they need, deserve, or can handle.

3. Finally, the reason I'm jumping to the conclusion that your BIL is making tithing as an excuse is that it sounds as if he is not willing to sacrifice to support the parents. By sacrifice, I mean, earn extra money by taking on another job, selling personal items, or however one would earn extra income. Yes, it's inconvenient! But the idea of having my family members in need of my financial assistance is not something that I can shrug off nor should he. The Bible says that family needs to be taken care of first. I Timothy 5:8 gives warning that anyone who does not provide for his family is "worse than an infidel". Now, having stated that, I must also say that I don't know the entire situation. Important questions (that you really don't need to answer on a public board) still remain...Why are the parents in this financial situation? Why is the BIL acting this way? Are the parents part of a local church and if so, is the local church doing anything to help ease the situation? and the questions go on and on.... So, if I have jumped to the wrong conclusion, I stand corrected and apologize.

Does God owe me anything in return for my tithe/offering? Absolutely not! My tithe/offering is a gift back to Him for what He has blessed me with, and I deserve absolutely nothing. All I have, in essence, belongs to Him, however, I claim His promise that He said in Matthew 6:30 "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Yes, the principal of tithe/offering is an issue of faith. Can I trust God to do as He promised? As I stated before, all my needs have been met for the last 41 years and I have no reason to think He won't meet the needs of the next 41. - Thus my little insurance example.

I know my response was lengthy but I hope I've shed a little light on why I responded the way I did.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53queenbee View Post
here's how I see it... The commandments come first. One of the commandments is to Honor your Father and Mother. By not taking care of them in their time of need is not honoring them and therefore a sin. Recently, when my parents were going through a rough time, we spent every Sunday for 3 years working on their situation. Church was postponed and I think God understood we were doing His work.

And, we had miracles happen in the past 5 years that no one thought would happen.
This makes perfect sense to me.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:02 PM   #27
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Joan I'm sorry your in such a sticky situation. I can see why it might be hard for you to understand the tithe since you don't participate. Does you BIl have other options. We all spend our money differently adn our neccessities are not the same as others. Wishing you the best of luck
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:32 AM   #28
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Joan, I don't have a definite answer for you.

Here is one link to tithing that I thought was fairly good.

Should we tithe off our gross or net income?

I think it depends on the church that your sibling goes to, and how that sibling interprets tithing.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:35 AM   #29
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Here is another link that might help you with the tithing question.

If you have a lot of debt, can you temporarily stop tithing while paying off the debt?
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:22 AM   #30
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Well, very interesting and thoughtful info!

As more of an explanation, my BIL did NOT use tithing as an excuse. It's just that we know he tithes and then said he didn't have enough $$ to help out.

I appreciate the feedback and can see that there are a variety of views on this.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #31
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IMHO, it is God, family, everything else. This is a tricky question because there isn't a specific place in the Bible to find an answer. Yes, tithing is an Old Testament law but most believers still follow it. Yes, we should honor our father and our mother but God also commands us to put nothing else ahead of Him. If it were me, I would tithe, help my parent, and tighten the financial belt in other areas.
I could see if your BIL was short on cash for a month or two but not consistently. He needs to find a way to do his share. If he can't give more money is there a way that he can help relieve burden elsewhere? Home upkeep (yardwork, etc), chauffering?
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:17 PM   #32
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Is your BIL willing to pay "his share" of your MIL's care in other ways? What I am thinking of is he willing to take her to appointments, do home maintenence and repair, balance checkbooks, hold her hand during treatments, or make other sacrifices for her care and well being? If he truly tithes and is the good Christian he makes himself out to be, he should be willing to creatively pick up the slack that his titheing creates.

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Old 07-26-2010, 06:24 PM   #33
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Is your BIL willing to pay "his share" of your MIL's care in other ways? What I am thinking of is he willing to take her to appointments, do home maintenence and repair, balance checkbooks, hold her hand during treatments, or make other sacrifices for her care and well being? If he truly tithes and is the good Christian he makes himself out to be, he should be willing to creatively pick up the slack that his titheing creates.

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Old 07-27-2010, 03:53 PM   #34
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If he is not willing to help even when faced with his own mother's hardship, then he's a weasel. Not that this label is helpful, it's just a fact. If he really cared, he would find some way to help out, no matter how small the amount. Maybe he has the "It's not my problem", or "you and so and so make more money, so I'm dumping my share on you' point of view. Let's face it, some siblings are just more willing to jump in and help for many different reasons. Your BIL is shivering on the edge of the pool, without eeven sticking his toe in the water.

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Old 07-28-2010, 12:36 PM   #35
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In my eyes family always comes first, never the church or God. I was raised that the church gets 10% of your Gross income no matter what, well thats ok if you are Wealthy, but I am not... we live comfortable. My family will always come first - I feel any church that makes members feel that the church is more important then the Love ones in your life is acting more like a Cult then a true church!! If God can't understand that I am helping out family or in-need families before paying the pastor then send me to the other place...Family is #1 and will always be #1 in my life.

Sheena
Sheena74 is offline  
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