In a Writer’s group I belong to on Facebook, the following post link was posted and comments solicited.
**DISCLAIMER** while it is nominally about churches, religion, and tithing, it also holds some basic financial truths, but be warned it is framed in the context of churches, so if you’re not interested, you might want to stay away.
The orginal post is here: “Why isn’t my tithe enough again?
While I haven’t commented on my own religious opinions/beliefs/practices in this group or in this blog, I guess I’ll go ahead and add my 2 cents and probably reveal some things about myself in the process.
First, People are correct when they say that small churches need to do this kind of thing. Small, local, one-off churches just do not have the resources that “corporate” religious institutions have. That doesn’t mean you should feel compelled to give above your tithe, it just reflects the reality of their situation, which you must balance with the reality of your situation. If you can’t give more, you can’t give more. If the church can’t understand that reality, then maybe it’s not really the church for you. Chris Moore’s son was correct when he said that families cannot just have a fund-raiser or ask for money when they can’t pay their bills, so why can a church, which is really just a big family in Christ, so different?
Second, every organization of any size will have financial issues, running the gamut from residual debt incurred by previous administrators up to and including outright embezzlement/abuse of funds. That is not a statement about churches; it is a statement about humanity. However, since church funds come solely from the flock, it might be plausible, as a way of helping your church of choice, to suggest a quarterly financial report about the financial flow. This is not unreasonable and should not be seen as such, as it is your money that is being brought in and sent out of an organization you belong to. Any organization that refuses to provide such basic information is, again, perhaps not an organization you might want to frequent.
Finally, if I haven’t managed to anger anyone with this discussion, which is NOT what I’m trying to do by the way, let me add: since people are honestly and thoughtfully asking why a church can ask for more money to do things the flock doesn’t agree with or understand, even though they already give a lot toward such things, ask yourself how you would feel about the situation if the word “church” was replaced with “government.” Every principle is the same, financially speaking, and seems relevant given the current state of debate in America, and even more so in Europe.
How much of ourselves are we supposed to give — to our detriment — to support organizations’ goals? At what point do we accept that we must be responsible to our families FIRST, and then to those organizations outside our homes (and yes, God my dwell in our hearts, but his churches are up the street and around the corner)?
When, in any situation, is enough, enough?