Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tithing Not "Required" for Christians?

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals shows that a majority (58%) of evangelical leaders do not believe that giving 10 percent of one's income to the church is "required" by scripture. The research, which polled the members of the NAE board of directors, also included comments which related to the topic of tithing. For example:
  • "It is about how we give our whole selves to God, which includes money of course, but also our time and gifts," said Dr. Kurt Fredrickson, director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.
  • "A stewardship worldview would include a sense of gratitude toward God as the source of our goods. If we are trying to express our gratitude toward God, I don't think our words are enough," said Dr. John Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. "Still, the 10 percent standard in the Old Testament can serve as a 'benchmark'," said Walton.
  • "Anything less [than 10%] seems like an ungenerous response to God," wrote David Neff, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today.
According to research from the Barna Group in April of 2008, just 5 percent of American adults give 10 percent or more of their income, and among Christians who are born again, 9 percent reported giving 10 percent or more. And, the research organization Empty Tomb, reports that evangelicals give an average of 4 percent of their income to the church, and among all Christians, the average is only 2.43 percent.
Interestingly, 95 percent of those responding to the NAE survey said they personally give at least 10 percent of their income to the church.
The NAE conducts a monthly Evangelical Leaders Survey among its board of directors, which include the CEOs of denominations, missions organizations, universities, publishers and churches. For further details about the study, click here.

So what do you think?  What does your church teach?

1 comment:

Paul Schafer said...

Depends on what a person views the discontinuity/continuity of the Old Testament scripture. I have come across Southern Baptist professors say that tithing is old testament practice that has ceased, other ministers have said it still continues today.