Thursday, 2 April 2015

I know someone who "double tithes"

and he does it because the church he belongs to tells him he "must" do it. Of course they also require that he gives the money to them.
He sometimes struggles to pay his bills. I found him in the supermarket yesterday looking for the cheapest loaf of day old bread...well, several days old. It was "all (he) can afford". There was not a lot else in his trolley.
"I'll have to ask you how to cook some other stuff," he said.
"No you won't," I told him. 
I'd had enough. His "church" is bleeding him dry. That week they had asked for more "donations" for an "outreach" project for Easter.
I didn't have much time yesterday. My brother and his partner have been here for a few, all too brief, days to see Middle Cat. (Middle Cat is still in hospital.) I am worried about the way the Senior Cat is worrying about Middle Cat and I am concerned for Middle Cat. Perhaps I was less sympathetic than I should have been for the Tither.
I blew up. I did it quietly but I pointed out that he does not earn a lot. Tithing made sense when there was no form of social security and when people needed to share in order to survive. If people wish to tithe now then that is their affair but "double" tithing when you earn very little or have very little and need to go without basics makes no sense to me. 
He looked at me and I could see he was frightened. 
"They wouldn't like it," he told me.
"Who wouldn't like it?"
"The people at church. Everyone does it."
"Do they? And where does the money go?"
He hesitated and I pointed out that I know where their "pastor" lives and what sort of car he drives.
"You're funding his fancy life style."
I held my hand up and said, "Think about it. You aren't eating properly. Did you keep the house cool in summer? Did you water the garden? When did you last go out except to church? Are you still in contact with any friends outside church?"
"It's none of your business!"
"No - not unless you ask me how to cook something," I told him looking at the home brand baked beans and three day old cheap white sliced.
I went off to get the milk we needed.
At the check out a little later he was ahead of me. He ignored me - but in his basket there was some good wholemeal bread, some sausages and milk among other things - and there was a small packet of chocolate eggs as well. 
I went off to get some fruit and vegetables at the greengrocer. When I returned there was a small chocolate egg in the bicycle basket. 
I think I know where it came from.


Jan said...

Cat, I am a Christian and the practice you describe here makes me really cranky. As you say, he is funding another's lifestyle. Were you to do a search, you would find many references as to how tithing is no longer required. In fact, in one sense when Israel was a theocracy, it was the means of taxes and went towards upkeep of nation an temple. Not the local synagogue. Not only that, but it was a tithe of the increase, not a tithe of general income or goods. Some of it was used every few years to hold a massive celebration, party if you like.

I am not against giving. It is not only needed to fund various things but is also a good personal discipline. I give to the church and have planned giving to several charities not church based. I am against this policing of giving by some churches. It comes from poor exegesis of texts and total misunderstanding of the original reasons for the tithe.

I hope your sister improves. My mum was a worrier, as you have said your father is. Bad enough when there is really little to worry about but worse when there is due cause. Thank you for helping that man. I hope he pays attention and is not coerced into impoverishing himself financially, spiritually, and bodily.

Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan said...

Sorry, I somehow posted the comment twice. Almost as bad as double tithing! LOL.

Helen Devries said...

Tithing used to be practised in England where farmers were forced to cough up even during the depressions.

Anonymous said...

As you know their "pastor" lives across the street from my mother. He and his wife have just come back from a trip to America. He went for "pastoral" reasons but they seem to have stayed at some very nice hotels. Ros

Anonymous said...

Charity begins at home ... and certainly must begin before anybody goes without decent food!