2015: Advent Religion: Ten Percent of Dill and Cumin

by on December 20, 2015

Tithing is an odd beast. It seems to me to be fairly widespread among the sorts of churches I was raised in. I can’t speak to how often you’ll find it elsewhere, not having the same personal experience.

Tithing is odd because it is simultaneously expected, and abolished. We are not under Law, but under Grace, and therefore rules like “give ten percent of your income to the Temple” don’t and can’t apply. But all the same, you really should be giving ten percent of your income to the Church. It’s important to have be a cheerful giver, and to have a heart for God, and after all when you look at everything God has done for you, giving ten percent of it back doesn’t seem so much – and yes, this conflation of salvation and currency happens.

Churches differ in how they go about expecting tithes. Some, I trust and devoutly hope, genuinely do not expect tithing at all. Some claim not to expect it, but preach about how tithing is good spiritual discipline and tell the membership off from the pulpit if the income has been down recently. Some require it as a condition of membership, even to the point of requiring evidence of what your income is so they can check they’re getting the right cut.

There are sincere and serious debates over whether you calculate your tithe before or after tax.

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