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Author Topic: question about tithing  (Read 790 times) Average Rating: 0
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Victoria
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« on: September 13, 2011, 02:56:12 PM »

I have encountered number of people(in my old Evangelical church) who told me to give at least 10% of my income, even though I can't quite give that much because it will lead to financial strain if I do. When I said that, the individuals in question responded that "God will provide for you somehow".  At the moment I do contribute to the church, but definately nowhere near 10 %. If I do, I'm not sure I will have enough to pay my bills/rent. I was told that I need to "trust God and he will provide somehow" but I'm not sure I can. Any thoughts? And I guess is that the correct thinking on this matter? I'd like to think that I trust God but... Huh
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 03:19:31 PM »

God doesn't own 10% of what we have, it all belongs to Him. We are stewards of what he has given us. Anyway, while tithing is biblical and, as long as your income level isn't too low, 10% really isn't that much, below a certain point, it might not be practical. It is meant to be a sign of thanksgiving for what you have been given, not a legal requirement. If you give 10%, and it causes you not be able to feed yourself, or you end up harboring resentment or regret for having given it, then you shouldn't give that much. It would defeat the purpose of giving in the first place. Maybe you should try to figure out what you are comfortable with/able to give in order to give thanks to God and take a small but active role in participating in supporting your local church.

As far as trusting God to take care of you, Christ mentions that God takes care of the brids and the animals and in other places mentions that He does not have a place to lay His head. We are to accept that even in the lowest form of poverty, we are being taken care of and God is blessing us. The Protestant idea of "give and God will give back to you in return" is backwards and the complete opposite of "giving thanks to God for what you have already received".
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 03:21:00 PM »

I have encountered number of people(in my old Evangelical church) who told me to give at least 10% of my income, even though I can't quite give that much because it will lead to financial strain if I do. When I said that, the individuals in question responded that "God will provide for you somehow".  At the moment I do contribute to the church, but definately nowhere near 10 %. If I do, I'm not sure I will have enough to pay my bills/rent. I was told that I need to "trust God and he will provide somehow" but I'm not sure I can. Any thoughts? And I guess is that the correct thinking on this matter? I'd like to think that I trust God but... Huh

Victoria, I think this is one of those questions you might want to discuss with your Orthodox parish priest. As far as I know, usually, in Orthodox parishes there is no pressure on people to give exactly 10%. In my parish, for example, we have young folks who are students with virtually no income, and also some folks who are currently unemployed. I don't think our priest would ever demand that they paid the "tithe," that would be just heartless. But I don't know what the custom is in your parish (where you are an inquirer in Orthodoxy - if you are already with an Orthodox parish). Your priest will be a better advisor.
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Victoria
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 03:44:29 PM »

Thank you. I do attend OC church but I have to hear my MIL going on about how I don’t give enough(she attends Evangelical church) ergo my post about what the general idea about tithing. I’m married but we are in some financial difficulties already so that’s why I was asking how much is ok. I will def ask my priest when I have a chance.
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 04:04:25 PM »

Why is it your MIL's business? Your husband should be standing up for you both on that one. If she raises the issue again, tell her that you are impressed with her devotion. Then ask her if she fasts twice a week like the Pharisee who publicly announced his tithing (see Luke 18).
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Victoria
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 04:29:20 PM »

Why is it your MIL's business? Your husband should be standing up for you both on that one. If she raises the issue again, tell her that you are impressed with her devotion. Then ask her if she fasts twice a week like the Pharisee who publicly announced his tithing (see Luke 18).
This is a rather a long story (which I mentioned before actually) but the readers digest version is that my DH and MIL both attend the same Evangelical church. I was too until last year when I started going to OC. DH actually already gives to his church(a lot) and I don’t think he does because he really wants to, he just thinks its expected and he always has to hear this from his mother “Give everything away and God will provide, ect”. So if I want to give anything to the church I attend, it sort of a separate matter.  To be frank this whole situation has been a sore spot for me-I actually want to contribute whatever I can to my church but I don’t think my MIL really understands how tithing works. Her views are “give more than you can afford and God will give you in return”. Geez, seriously? That’s what it actually upsets me when DH listens to this and gives so much to his church, expecting something in return from God. What a surprise when God doesn’t give more money back to us! Forgive me if I sound upset but this kind of thinking makes me crazy.   Angry
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 05:44:46 PM »

Tithing is not an obligation for Christians, full stop.

Giving what one can is more important than fulfilling some 10% requirement (which can descend into pharisaism if one is not careful).
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 05:49:40 PM »

Don't forget, all your giving to the parish need not be monetary. Our parish has rotating food teams to help with coffee hour, church school teachers, those who volunteer to clean and sweep the temple, collect old candle stubs, etc.  Discuss your family's giving with your priest, if you can take on some small help effort in the parish, and leave the how much is enough stuff to God.
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 05:56:56 PM »

Why is it your MIL's business? Your husband should be standing up for you both on that one. If she raises the issue again, tell her that you are impressed with her devotion. Then ask her if she fasts twice a week like the Pharisee who publicly announced his tithing (see Luke 18).
This is a rather a long story (which I mentioned before actually) but the readers digest version is that my DH and MIL both attend the same Evangelical church. I was too until last year when I started going to OC. DH actually already gives to his church(a lot) and I don’t think he does because he really wants to, he just thinks its expected and he always has to hear this from his mother “Give everything away and God will provide, ect”. So if I want to give anything to the church I attend, it sort of a separate matter.  To be frank this whole situation has been a sore spot for me-I actually want to contribute whatever I can to my church but I don’t think my MIL really understands how tithing works. Her views are “give more than you can afford and God will give you in return”. Geez, seriously? That’s what it actually upsets me when DH listens to this and gives so much to his church, expecting something in return from God. What a surprise when God doesn’t give more money back to us! Forgive me if I sound upset but this kind of thinking makes me crazy.   Angry
Then it seems to me to be even less of your MIL's concern. Forgive me for sounding harsh. My heart goes out to you. My wife is still an Evangelical Protestant and I'm sadly aware of the tensions from ongoing experience. However, I am learning to work out my own salvation. It's not easy.
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 06:10:30 PM »

Giving precisely 10% of your income was a part of the Old Law. And anyone not attempting to follow the Old Law in its entirety (your MIL eat pork or shellfish recently? do some work on a Saturday?) has no business trying to bind it on anyone else.

What I have always been told by my clergy, and which I agree with, is that giving more than 10% is a good target. But as Melodist pointed out, 100% already belongs to God and as long as you are trying to be a wise steward of time and money bearing that in mind, you needn't worry about what anyone else thinks.
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 07:11:51 PM »

Why is it your MIL's business? Your husband should be standing up for you both on that one. If she raises the issue again, tell her that you are impressed with her devotion. Then ask her if she fasts twice a week like the Pharisee who publicly announced his tithing (see Luke 18).
This is a rather a long story (which I mentioned before actually) but the readers digest version is that my DH and MIL both attend the same Evangelical church. I was too until last year when I started going to OC. DH actually already gives to his church(a lot) and I don’t think he does because he really wants to, he just thinks its expected and he always has to hear this from his mother “Give everything away and God will provide, ect”. So if I want to give anything to the church I attend, it sort of a separate matter.  To be frank this whole situation has been a sore spot for me-I actually want to contribute whatever I can to my church but I don’t think my MIL really understands how tithing works. Her views are “give more than you can afford and God will give you in return”. Geez, seriously? That’s what it actually upsets me when DH listens to this and gives so much to his church, expecting something in return from God. What a surprise when God doesn’t give more money back to us! Forgive me if I sound upset but this kind of thinking makes me crazy.   Angry
Then it seems to me to be even less of your MIL's concern. Forgive me for sounding harsh. My heart goes out to you. My wife is still an Evangelical Protestant and I'm sadly aware of the tensions from ongoing experience. However, I am learning to work out my own salvation. It's not easy.

Oh, dear. May God be with you in your struggles for I know just how you feel:(
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 08:06:30 PM »

Personally paying a tithe is not doing enough.  What about 10% of your physical time in Service to your church and the vera icon of God (other men). Thinking you can pay 10% and have  done your requirement to support the Church is really limiting yourself. I know of some elderly and poor who do not have the funds to support it in tithes but give tithes of a more precious  gift ---of thier time to serve the chuch in ways that save the church money---yard work, janitorial,secretarial etc.

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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 08:21:00 PM »

Personally paying a tithe is not doing enough.  What about 10% of your physical time in Service to your church and the vera icon of God (other men). Thinking you can pay 10% and have  done your requirement to support the Church is really limiting yourself. I know of some elderly and poor who do not have the funds to support it in tithes but give tithes of a more precious  gift ---of thier time to serve the chuch in ways that save the church money---yard work, janitorial,secretarial etc.

Thomas
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 08:21:43 PM »

What one gives is one's own business. If the right hand is not to know what the left hand is doing, neither should it be a concern of anyone else. One should give what one can with consideration to oneself and also with joy. If one feels no peace about it, there's a problem somewhere--either one is giving more than one can afford or one could give more, or one thinks a certain way which is causing distress. But, if anyone other than me had a problem with what I give, I would tell him to mind his own business and tend to his own.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 08:37:46 PM »

While tithing is beginning to be talked about more in Orthodox circles, the important thing is to pick an amount you can afford (but not just the leftovers!) and give that amount regularly. Make it the first check you write out each payday.

Maybe you can't give 10% now, but 5% is doable. Give 5% and gradually work up to 10%.
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2011, 05:06:42 PM »

Don't forget, all your giving to the parish need not be monetary. Our parish has rotating food teams to help with coffee hour, church school teachers, those who volunteer to clean and sweep the temple, collect old candle stubs, etc.  Discuss your family's giving with your priest, if you can take on some small help effort in the parish, and leave the how much is enough stuff to God.

Excellent point!
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2011, 10:33:00 PM »

The Orthodox Church is not some Benny Hin entertainment show that presurises people to give 10 % nor do we expect or make such a requirement. Giving large sums of money is not seen as a requirement or fullfillment of the Church and never will it be.

If you would like to donate some money you can - usualy the Orthodox church gives the donated money to places like schools, old peoples homes, church up keep, Priests wage, etc etc but don't feel presurised to do so. You can also assist in other ways. Most churches have other ways that you can assist and if this topic is playing on your mind I would suggest you ask your priest how you can assist your church. Every Easter for example we have a food drive at our church where that food goes to the underpriviledged.

Anyway to sumarise - No - By no means does the Orthodox church require a 10 per cent donation and don;t let anybody tell you otherwise - (its usualy cults that presurise and say it is the right thing to do).
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TheodoraElizabeth3
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2011, 10:55:56 PM »

The Orthodox Church is not some Benny Hin entertainment show that presurises people to give 10 % nor do we expect or make such a requirement. Giving large sums of money is not seen as a requirement or fullfillment of the Church and never will it be.

If you would like to donate some money you can - usualy the Orthodox church gives the donated money to places like schools, old peoples homes, church up keep, priest's wage, etc etc but don't feel presurised to do so. You can also assist in other ways. Most churches have other ways that you can assist and if this topic is playing on your mind I would suggest you ask your priest how you can assist your church. Every Easter for example we have a food drive at our church where that food goes to the underpriviledged.

Anyway to sumarise - No - By no means does the Orthodox church require a 10 per cent donation and don;t let anybody tell you otherwise - (its usualy cults that presurise and say it is the right thing to do).

See bolded.

You seem to be mixing up giving any amount of money to the Church vs. large amounts.

1. Christians are expected to help their parish financially, regardless of amount in question. However, it's not terribly uncommon for parishes to have a set amount written into their bylaws that a person/household must give to be considered a "member in good standing" of the parish (for things like serving on parish council, voting at annual parish meeting, etc.). In the OCA, for example, parishes are required to pay a certain amount per person to the diocese, which then forwards on a portion to the national administration. In the OCA Midwest Diocese, that's $200 a person/year. You have to give your parish a *minimum* of $200 a year *before* the parish keeps anything a parishioner gives. To expect your parish to pay for the privilege of having you as a member, unless there are extenuating circumstances (long-term parishioner lost job), is over the top.

2. If everyone thought, "Oh, I can help in other ways besides giving money" a parish would soon have to close its doors. In addition to the priest's salary, there is a mortgage/building upkeep, utilities, etc. As someone else noted upthread, some people with more time than money perform janitorial duties, cutting the lawn/shoveling snow in lieu of a monetary donation (especially if the parish would have to pay for these services), but there is only so much "time" that can be donated in parishes.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:56:43 PM by TheodoraElizabeth3 » Logged
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