From: The Barna Group, New Study Shows Trends in Tithing and Donating, April 14, 2008
Tithing Since 2000
The percentage of adults who tithe has stayed constant since the turn of the decade, falling in the 5% to 7% range. The Barna tracking reported that the proportion of adults who tithed was 7% in 2006 and 2005; 5% in 2004 and 2003; 6% in 2002; and 5% in 2001.
Origins of Tithing
Strangely, tithing is a Jewish practice, not a Christian principle espoused in the New Testament. The idea of a tithe – which literally means one-tenth or the tenth part – originated as the tax that Israelites paid from the produce of the land to support the priestly tribe (the Levites), to fund Jewish religious festivals, and to help the poor. The ministry of Jesus Christ [actually, the arrival of the Holy Spirit – editor], however, brought an end to adherence to many of the ceremonial codes that were fundamental to the Jewish faith. Tithing was such a casualty. Since the first-century, Christians have believed in generous giving, but have not been under any obligation to contribute a specific percentage of their income.
Amazingly, the disinfo continues in American churches. Notice the reasoning used in the following article, while considering the state of churches today—where the money comes in no matter what—where people aren’t being taught to be led by the Holy Spirit and common sense in the crucial issue of $money$—the love of money being the root….
Many pastors aren’t currently qualified to lead—so shouldn’t be getting any money. The money shouldn’t automatically come in. The law of tithing was set up so those who were born into the Levitical priesthood would have provision to be able to perform their old covenant duties.
Now we have “a better way”—Hebrews 7.
From: Pioneer Press, June 23, 2008
“The pastor should tithe, the church should tithe, and everybody that attends should tithe,” Matthews [pastor of the 1,200-member New Life Interfaith Ministries in Bessemer, Ala] said. “It’s fair for everybody, high income or low income. It’s still the first dime out of every dollar. It’s a management system. Do I trust God? If I can’t be trusted with that, how can I be trusted with more?“
Many [pre-new covenant/pre-Pentecost – editor] passages in the Bible cite the command to set aside the first 10 percent of the harvest for God.
“It’s something God insti-tuted even before the Bible, with the tree in the Garden of Eden,” Matthews said. “You have every tree, but of one tree, don’t touch.” [This is even farther out there than the more commonly taught, if-pre-law-then-must-also-be-post-law fallacy, which states that because tithing happened before the law (once with Abraham & Melchizedek) it must apply after the law – editor.]
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.”