A secular case for tithing?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The “The New Tithe” (below) was the winner of this year’s Project Reason video contest. Project Reason is “nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society.”

The video light on hard facts and gets some fundamental things wrong about what most churches do with their money (ie it’s not all going to huge salaries and fancy buildings). For every church that misuses its money, there are thousands—if not more—who are transparent and responsible with their expenditures. All that said, I do think it’s interesting that someone would make a secular case for “tithing”:

I’d doubt this video will convince many Christians to stop giving to their church. Plus, as the blogger over at unreasonable faith points out in his thoughts on the New Tithe video, most tithing Christians find their local churches to be worthwhile endeavors.

However, it does make me wonder how people outside of my church perceive our churches. Should that change how we use our money? And thinking along those lines, are there guidelines for how a church should use its member’s tithes? Should 10% of everyone’s 10% go to missions for example?

What does stewardship mean to you today?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

What does stewardship mean to you? Christians have long considered that part of being God-honoring stewards of our possessions is giving away a portion of those resources—to the poor and needy, to the church, to worthy organizations and ministries. But with the weight of the current economic crisis pressing down on jobs and personal finances, how are Christians to approach the idea of financial stewardship and giving? Are we under a spiritual obligation to give to the church or other causes? How much are we “supposed” to give? Is the whole concept of “tithing” even relevant to the modern church?

A series of articles about stewardship at Discipleship Tools raises these and many more questions—and dashes some of the misconceptions we have about what financial stewardship means. The series begins by asking you to consider what stewardship means to you and goes on to look at what financial stewardship should look like in our everyday lives.

Whether you’ve been faithfully putting money in the offering plate every week for years, or have never really thought about what God would have you do with your money, it’s well worth working through these questions. (And if you’re looking for more reading material on this topic, these essays tie in well with some of the resources about spirituality and money that we linked to late last year.)