In any faith-based community, there is an important aspect that isn’t spoken about a lot and that is Monetary Stewardship (Stewardship in general comes in many forms, so let’s just worry about money for now). Many non-faith friends I have view the monetary pledges made by parishioners, or mosque or temple members as a “cash grab” and will usually tell that bad joke about throwing your money in the air, and what God wants, he’ll keep, that’s fine. All communities whether faith-based or not, need monetary support, so I have no big issue with giving to my church, and the fact that it is tax-deductible is good too. I have some friends who refuse to take the Tax break, they view this as ruining the spirit of giving, I have no such views. We are not talking about Fiscal Fasting.
If the government wants to give me money back for giving money to my church, or non-profit community organizations, who am I to argue? As long as you give with a good heart, I think taking the tax breaks is just fine.
I am going to look for Muslim and Jewish blogs today, to see what they say about giving (just for a little spiritual thrill seeking).
Cajun Man – I’ intrigued by your proposed research. If you end up developing it into a post, would you e-mail it to me? My website is part blog, part corp, website, so not sure I could fit it in there, but if you’re willing, I’d love to include your findings (crediting you and a link to your blog, of course) as an article in my e-zine, Money Savvy, which has a solid following.
That’s unfortunate, it is important to give, but give what you can, and what you feel comfortable doing. If I have to force you to give, who is that helping?
I have heard the tithing argument, but I haven’t figured out how to do it myself, maybe one day.
A church that I belonged to (past tense) was the Worldwide Church of God.
Their tithing policies were:
1st Tithe: Give 10% of your gross income to preach the gospel
2nd Tithe: Give 10% of your gross income to save for activities such as Feast of Tabernacles, Day of Atonement, Passover etc.
3rd Tithe: This was given every third year to help fund the women children and poor of the church.
The church proved over and over that these were biblically based. However they were more mandated than “of personal choice”.
After not tithing for a few months (because were starting off in our career with a new family) the minister mentioned that we would have more faith in god if we started to tithe again.
I was disillusioned with that comment.
Since then, I’ve learned that it IS better to give than to receive, but on my own time, and in my own space.