Why do they ask for it?
Confused churchgoer

Clarksville, AR

#1 Jan 26, 2013
I am a new churchgoer and from what I gather the "ten percent" tithe
is not relevant to todays church, nor was the tithe necesarrily money, nor was it in pursuit of the wages of the Old Israelites. They why do pastors continue this practice.?? First ten percent is too much for the average worker (without supreme sacrifice). Second, the compliance is maybe 5 percent at best. Are the balance dishonest, disobedient and barred from slavation or favor as I have heard in sermons?? Something is wrong here.
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People put bills and coins and coins in a church collection plate. Congregants give an average of 2.58% of their incomes instead of tithing, giving 10%, studies say.


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By Greg Garrison, Religion News Service
Linda Pateo of Gardendale, Ala., says she and her husband, Robert, try to give 5% of their income to their church and 5% to Christian charities, but it's difficult with three children in college.
"I have strong feelings that God expects first fruits," Pateo said. "Sometimes we fall short. It's something we are all called to do."

A recent poll by pollster George Barna shows that only 5% of Americans say they tithe, or give at least 10% of their income to religious congregations and charitable groups.

According to other studies on church giving, congregants give an average of 2.58% of their income to their churches. That's down from 3.11% of their income in 1968, according to studies published by Empty Tomb, a ministry that studies church finances.

"Tithing is in decline," said the Rev. William Hull, a research professor at Samford University and a Baptist minister. "The older generation was taught to tithe. It's not being taught very much any more."

Decades ago, the church was a focal point of philanthropy. Now parachurch ministries, schools and charitable agencies compete for those dollars, he said.

"The church has been losing market share," said Sylvia Ronsvalle, executive vice president of Empty Tomb. "That concerns us. There could be a crisis in the very heart of the church."

Many major mainline denominations are suffering budget shortfalls. "The churches don't get enough money to send on to headquarters," Hull said.

Donors and local churches may also reduce the amount of money they forward to denominational headquarters because of disputes over national church policies on divisive issues, such as homosexuality. "In many cases it's a boycott," Hull said.

Pateo recalled how tight finances were when her children were in day care and her salary barely covered the costs. But she believes it's a religious duty to tithe to her church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

"It's not easy," she said. "But other blessings come to you if you are faithful."

Mixx
Posted 5/31/2008 5:00 PM
Updated 6/2/2008 2:15 PM

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