Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tithing

An controversial subject.
According to Wikipedia
A tithe (from Old English teogoþa "tenth") is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a (usually) voluntary contribution or as a tax or levy, usually to support a Christian religious organization. Today, tithes (or tithing) are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes could be paid in kind, such as agricultural products. Several European countries operate a formal process linked to the tax system allowing some churches to assess tithes.

<strong>Tithing in the new testament
According to Catholics, as those who serve at the altar should live by the altar (1 Cor 9:13), it became necessary for provision of some kind to be made for the sacred ministers.
Some claim[citation needed] that as tithing was an ingrained Jewish custom by the time of Jesus, no specific command to tithe per se is found in the New Testament. References to tithing in the New Testament can be found in Matthew, Luke, and the book of Hebrews.
For Catholics, the payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience, rather than any direct command by Jesus Christ.
Some Protestant denominations cite Matthew 23:23 as support for tithing.
Away with you, you pettifogging Pharisee lawyers! You give to God a tenth of herbs, like mint, dill, and cumin, but the important duties of the Law — judgement, mercy, honesty — you have neglected. Yet these you ought to have performed, without neglecting the others.
(Albright & Mann, Matthew, Anchor Bible, Vol. 26 (1971))
and its parallel Luke 11:42
Woe to you, Pharisees! You tithe mint and rue and every edible herb but disregard justice and the love of God. These were rather the things one should practice, without neglecting the others.
(Fitzmyer, Luke, Anchor Bible, Vol. l, 28A (1985))
Most New Testament discussion promotes giving and does not mention tithing. 2 Corinthians 9:7 talks about giving cheerfully; 2 Corinthians 8:3 encourages giving what you can afford; 1 Corinthians 16:2 discusses giving weekly; 1 Timothy 5:18 exhorts supporting the financial needs of Christian workers; Acts 11:29 promotes feeding the hungry wherever they may be; and James 1:27 states that pure religion is to help widows and orphans.

My first tithe
I have never ‘tithed’ in my life. I also never believed that a significant number of Christians actually tithe till last year, when I learnt the following;

Tithing opinions• A female colleague who once gave all her savings to tithe, and soon lost her job. She later got another job and appears to be doing well
• A kenyan man whom I met in Uganda while on some international assignment. I came to regard him as the most corrupt person I have ever met; going by the way he ran a patronage system of kickbacks in procurement against behind his employer’s back. I later learned that, despite his shady deals, he was indeed a very committed Christian and gave his 10% to Church without fail every month.
• Tithe need not necessarily be 10% every month but should be a consistent amount committed every month
Now am about to tithe for the first time, end of this month….and I honestly believe this will improve my relation with God

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