Can You Buy God's Blessing?

Beliefnet members discuss this and other important questions about money, charity, obligation, and faith.

Nearly as controversial as the amount of income we give to the government is the amount we give to religious institutions. Beliefnet takes a look at the religious equivalent of taxes--tithing.

The practice started in biblical times with laws about giving a tenth of one's harvest to the poor. Today, people interpret tithing to mean everything from a strict 10% weekly religious donation to any gift of money or volunteer time.

Is tithing an old-fashioned way of mandating charity, or is it a spiritually beneficial practice?

Respond to these posts by clicking on the member name, or by joining the discussion on the main Beliefnet tithing board here.

What's the right amount?

"I for myself try to give on a "progressive" system like with taxes. That means that the more I earn, the more I give. So if I am barely struggling to make ends meet, I might give less that 10% and if I land that cool job, I give a lot more that 10%. Really I just try to be free with it and not worry about exactly how much it is, then it is a joy for me."

--sharktacos

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"Why the 'Moses math'? I know many who tithe and are under so much bondage it's awful."

"Tithing is good, and in some ways necessary. Now that diocesan priests usually have to manage a whole parish without other priests they can't spend time at jobs, and they need tithes to support them. It doesn't really matter if you give 10% of your "net" or "gross" but you should give 10%, in my opinion. I took it to mean 10% of what you earned in a week/what you earn with each paycheck, or whatever. Remember, churches require heavy taxes. The Church needs her members to give a little. And it should be enough that someone would truly miss. Not chump change. If you are poorer, the gift is all the greater."

--Gnort
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