Do you pay tithing?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6787
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Dec 2013, 13:30

Roadrunner wrote:Leaving spiritual blessings out of it, I feel that my family and I do get financial benefits from attending church. Scouts, activity day girls, Enrichment nights, girls camp, playing basketball in the gym, etc. I feel obligated to contribute towards those expenses. I also feel that my tithing does help others, even if I don't see or understand how.
No doubt there are benefits almost all members (any member who attends any activity) benefit from, and the building did cost money to build and it does cost money to maintain. And we do benefit from "free" activities that one might be charged for in other churches (things mentioned by RR for example). I believe in the principle of tithing just for that reason, and I like that it's a "flat tax" in that theoretically we pay according to our ability but equally benefit. I also don't mind subsidizing BYU since two of my children have benefited from that subsidy to date, and like public school I don't mind subsidizing others. (I do think another church school is not out of the church's financial reach, though, and would like to see that east of the Mississippi.) I do recall the days of "building funds" and I am glad to be rid of that and actually pay less for the same benefits. I don't consider any of those things blessings, however.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Kipper
Posts: 286
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by Kipper » 04 Dec 2013, 16:19

Joni wrote:...I really think we need to get away from the "if you do X, you will be blessed with Y" mindset in this church. If I hear one more of those "We lost our job but because we paid our tithing we were offered a new job the next day that paid 50% more!" stories I swear I am going to hurl something. Or just hurl...

I did recently mention to my husband something I learned from this forum - that it isn't Church doctrine that tithing is paid on your gross....However, I don't think he would ever agree to tithe on his net pay - or even, say, the gross of his salary and the net of his commission - because we are conditioned to think that the more tithing you pay, the more (nebulous) blessings you receive...
How many times have you heard in F&T meeting "If you just pay a full tithe everything will be all right..."

At the end of tithing settlement with spouse I said "I have a question..." I asked about paying tithing on gross vs. net. Bishop rightly said the handbook says to pay tithe on your increase. You need to define that yourself and be comfortable with your choice. He also said Pres. Hinkley once made a lot of money and wrote a check to pay tithing on it all at one time. It was hard and he paid it grudgingly. His resolve was to write another large check until he felt good about himself for the amount he paid. What the heck was that supposed to prove to me?

My feeling, and this is what I said, I should pay tithing on what I have been given and what I have. If I lease land to farm 100 acres of corn but the land owner wants 30 acres of the product before I even see it I don't consider it mine and I don't want to pay someone else's tithe.

Spouse said she would rather error in favor of God. Pure levity in my eyes. She said she "was taught all her life to pay on gross". I asked taught by whom? She changed it to "I have understood it that way all my life".

When I looked at the settlement papers there was about 6 thousand dollars above my 10% annual income. That as a result mainly missionary for funds (my son is on a mission), of fast offerings and other charitable contributions. That didn't even count Scouting. What a bunch of hooey. I thought tithing was based on what you are blessed with and a show if faith and obedience, not necessarily money. Now it is all about the money and proving your righteousness. I feel as if I am giving money to the church not paying tithing to God.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6787
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Dec 2013, 17:14

Kipper wrote:I feel as if I am giving money to the church not paying tithing to God.
In my view you are. What does God need money for?
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Roy
Posts: 5864
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by Roy » 04 Dec 2013, 17:21

Joni wrote:we are conditioned to think that the more tithing you pay, the more (nebulous) blessings you receive. So paying more tithing than you actually have to, I don't know, gets you to the Celestial Kingdom sooner or something.
Kipper wrote:Spouse said she would rather error in favor of God.
I remember a lesson from my institute instructor. He asked if it was ok to pay more than 10% in tithing? 11%, 15%, or 20%? His lesson was that the principle was obedience. "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22

He said that to pay more than is asked is not obedient and is as much of a problem as not paying. He emphasized that it is our heart that matters. If we refuse to obey or if we puff ourselves up for our compliance - both of these might indicate deficiencies in our heart.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16679
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Dec 2013, 18:00

Tithing is money to the Church to fund its operational costs, not money to God.

Fast offerings and humanitarian aid is closer to money to God, imo.

Both are necessary, if one wants to worship with a religious community in any way other than sitting in an open field (which I wouldn't mind on good weather days) - and I actually like the fact that the LDS Church builds cookie-cutter meetinghouses and buys the furnishings in bulk to cut down on the construction costs.

If I ever stopped paying tithing, which I am sure won't happen, I would pay the same amount in fast offerings and humanitarian aid. Like I said, I believe in the principle and concept of giving away a tenth of our income/increase/whatever, but I think everyone ought to follow it in whatever way makes sense individually - putting the money into whatever cause makes sense personally.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Bds4206
Posts: 25
Joined: 30 May 2012, 04:21

Do you pay tithing?

Post by Bds4206 » 04 Dec 2013, 19:30

This was a hot button in my home recently. I Am a convert and about two years old in the church. My wife is born and raised LDS and is blindly obedient to the church and church leaders. I paid 10% gross for a while and even though I'm a skeptic I readily admit that our life financially did get better while we were paying the full 10% gross tithe. I did this for about a year. Neither one of us were making much so the tithe wasn't too large between $100-$200/ week. In that time I got the opportunity to quit my job in order to work on my own. My immediate income took a severe hit. It ended up working out though and 8 months later I'm now making double what I was, while working from home on my own schedule. The gas and daycare savings make my income closer to a 125% increase. While my income suffered at first however I cut my tithing down to what we could afford with three kids in the house and one full income and one very low income. Needless to say it wasn't much. I felt it was reasonable however for what we could afford and what we used in resources at the church. After my income rebounded I continued to pay the same smaller amount. Frankly because there wasn't a difference in blessings or anything like that. There was really no discernible difference except we had an extra several hundred dollars per moth in disposable income for car repairs, new appliances that were desperately needed etc. Not only that but the position has been brought to me a few times by church members that those that are the most righteous are the ones that prosper the most financially. This is obviously laughable and couldn't possibly be true. There are plenty of a holes out there with much more money than good folks. That's a ridiculous concept that I can't stand. So when that belief was expose to me, along with the time paying a "full" tithe and the time paying a lesser tithe and not seeing really any difference convinced me that the 10% gross tithing rule in the church is an invention from the people collecting the money. So I do pay a tithe but I pay because I feel we should all pay something to help maintain the space we use. Not because I feel I owe it to god or because it's in scripture or because the church says so. I refuse to pay a 10% gross tithe. It's too much and I couldn't in good conscience cut a 5 figure check to the church every year. I know people that pay 15-20k a year to the church. That to me is not justifiable and I wouldn't do it. I feel that my offering of money weekly along with the volunteer work I do in the church in a young men's leadership position is a lot and I'm proud of my contribution. My wife gets scared that we won't be taken care of by god without paying a full 10% but I have convinced her to trust me for a while and she will see that it's not all that she thinks it is.

P.s. In my tithing settlement meeting a few weeks ago I was asked if I was a full tithe payer and said yes. My wife asked not to go to the settlement meeting. She said she didn't feel well but I know she felt like I wasn't being honest with the bishop. I feel that I was. My meeting though felt more like a shakedown than a meeting and I know he was skeptical of my claim of a full tithe payer. He didn't question me directly, but he took more than 1 look at my statement while we talked. Lol. I feel I pay a full an fair tithe though. The shakedown image I got from my meeting was the final nail in my tithing coffin. It'll never ever ever for any reason go back to paying what they want me to pay.

User avatar
Cadence
Posts: 1180
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 21:36

Do you pay tithing?

Post by Cadence » 04 Dec 2013, 23:26

I have not paid in a couple years. First of all I figured I have paid plenty to cover me for the rest of my life. Secondly I think it is irresponsible to give money to a charitable organization with no accountability. Finally paying tithing says I agree with the church. I do not for the most part so why should I support it. People can whine and complain about the church and it does little, but if enough people stopped paying things would change. Of course if you love the way the church operates then you should pay. But not out of fear that is irrational, and superstitious.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

Kipper
Posts: 286
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by Kipper » 04 Dec 2013, 23:46

Ray Degraw wrote:Tithing is money to the Church to fund its operational costs, not money to God.

Fast offerings and humanitarian aid is closer to money to God, imo...
I thought the scriptures said that not paying tithing was to cheat God. Meaning paying tithing was acknowledging God's hand in everything you have by giving back. I know we can't literally pay God but we do symbolically by paying to the church which does God's work. No?

About the word "increase" as in "paying on your increase", that is not synonymous with income. That implies a delta. I need some understanding here only because what it means to me isn't what we are taught.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16679
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Dec 2013, 00:15

Malachi says that not paying tithing is robbing God - and I can accept that if someone believes God gave them everything and giving 10% to someone / something / some purpose is required to show appreciation for having what they have. That is a powerful, empowering belief, and it's why I have no problem with people who have that belief and give 10% in whatever way makes sense to them. It's one reason I pay tithing - to avoid attachment and because I understand the need for monetary funds to do what churches do. I would rather pay tithing than have a plate passed in our meetings, for example, or have the Bishop lean on more well-off members whenever there was a need. I just like the principle, especially applied to all.

I don't think it is robbing God in the classic sense many others read it, but I do believe hoarding one's money absolutely contributes to not serving and helping others - which, within the Social Gospel, is robbing God in a practical way - especially if "ye are gods" and "the kingdom of God is within/among you". Therefore, as I've said, I believe in the principle and concept of tithing, even as I don't care much how someone practices it.

On the other hand, Malachi is from the Old Testament, and we don't accept a lot of things from that record. I also believe scriptures are a people's best understanding, not Eternal and Inerrant Truth. For that reason, I'm not going to bind myself to something solely because someone anciently thought about it in a particular way. I'm going to accept it if it makes sense to me.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6787
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Dec 2013, 04:32

Kipper wrote:
Ray Degraw wrote:Tithing is money to the Church to fund its operational costs, not money to God.

Fast offerings and humanitarian aid is closer to money to God, imo...
I thought the scriptures said that not paying tithing was to cheat God. Meaning paying tithing was acknowledging God's hand in everything you have by giving back. I know we can't literally pay God but we do symbolically by paying to the church which does God's work. No?

About the word "increase" as in "paying on your increase", that is not synonymous with income. That implies a delta. I need some understanding here only because what it means to me isn't what we are taught.
I think that whole "increase" thing is vague, too, Kipper. I don't think it's really so cut and dried as to equate it with income. I remember having a conversation on the subject with my companion when I was a missionary. My view of tithing even then was not fully orthodox (pay on your gross), and I pointed out that at the time the revelation in D&C was given, increase probably had a different meaning because most people did not actually pay tithing with money, but instead paid with goods - much of which was stuff they produced. So, if a farmer planted 100 pounds of corn and harvested 1000, his "increase" was really only 900 because he had 100 to begin with and he needed at least 100 for the next year (which could make the increase only 800 depending on your point of view). Not clear to me that increase=income.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Post Reply