Wednesday, March 03, 2004

tithing like a fat boy

I just had a thought and needed to get it down. What if "tithing" was meant for the world and not the church? Typically we think of giving a tenth of our income to pay for the "upkeep" of the church. But what if the church gave what they could. Some may be able to give only 5% others 40%. But in the end, similar to Acts 2 and 4, the income was given to those in need. Not just those in need within the body of Christ but also those outside of the community. Imagine the impact that the Church would have on a broken world. Imagine what that kind of giving would do to transform the housing projects, the poor families, the homeless teenagers. Instead of sacrificial giving being for the Church, it becomes for the world. Finances change from being a way for the church body to "maintain" to being a way for the church body to "transform" the community around them.

For this to happen a few things within the church would need to change. Buildings wouldn't be built. People would meet in homes and apartments and maybe rent out a public space once a week on Sundays. Middle class folks would have to give well over the usual 10% tithe. The mindset would have to change from "what do I have to give" into "what should I keep." Finally, pastors and other leaders would not get paid to do their "job." Everyone would work in the "secular" world and likewise everyone would have to take on pastoral responsibilities of various forms. At most, pastors would be part-time employees of the church. Then with the pot of income that develops, the money would be used transform society.

Ahh, yes, an idealistic seminary student strikes again!


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