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
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
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."