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For week ended June 06, 1999 Posted 19 Jun 1999

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Churches Find It's the Tithes That Bind

Summarized by Eileen Bell

Churches Find It's the Tithes That Bind
Los Angeles Times 5Jun99

Almost all Latter-day Saint children can you tell what tithing means to them... Ten percent of what they receive... If your allowance is a dollar, a dime goes back to the Bishop. It's a precept that doesn't seem up for negotiation, right? Right? Well, the article looks at how other faiths interpret the commandment to give the Lord ten percent of your increase.

Pastor Carlos Tejada at the Alliance Christian Church in Simi Valley, California, figures about 80 percent of the 40 members in his congregation pay a full tithe. "The Bible says that we're to pay 10% of our income." However, new members sometimes start with a five percent donation.

Catholic Charla Mooney and her husband in Camarillo, California, decide from year to year what part of their income will go to church donations. "My church offering does not come from what is left over. It comes from what my husband and I feel is the right amount of support we should give, and then we budget it in."

John Soyster, pastor of Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Camarillo, says some of their tithes stay local to cover bills for the congregation. Some cash goes to overseas missions. As for how much, "It is up to you. How much you give is between you and God. A person can start with half of 1% off the top at first, the next year pay a whole percent, the next year 2% and work their way up."

Latter-day Saint Lynette Snyder of Thousand Oaks was also interviewed and says she's paid a full ten percent tithe all of her life. "When I was a child, my parents taught me to tithe my allowance believe that everything we have is the Lord's, and he's just asking for a tenth of it back."

At All Saints Episcopal Church in Oxnard, California, ten percent can be the starting point. Assistant pastor Dave Davidson says, "We don't require people to give a 10% tithe, but we strongly encourage people to work toward that as a goal, since the Bible sets 10% as a minimum standard."

Different methods are discussed. At a Buddhist temple in Oxnard, an annual membership fee is charged.

The blessings of tithing are summed up by Mike Tolbert, pastor at Bethany Chapel Assembly of God in Oxnard. "I get along better on 90% of my income with God's blessing than 100% with God's curse."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information