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Giving what's 'right' not what's 'left'

Spotted on Angela Almond's blog (and rewritten slightly)...

One night a person had a terrible nightmare - they dreamed that God saw what they put into the offering at church, multiplied it by ten, returned it to them and said 'live on this for a week...'

As Angela observed they would, strictly, have to live on nine times the offering, not ten, but the story works because, out of the ten times, they would give a true tithe.

Of course the story is over simplistic, I don't give 10% of my income to my church (or I'd be paying 10% of my own wages!) and many people split their giving over several causes, as I do in fact.  But if in our churches we all gave half a tithe of our net income, my suspiscion is that most churches would have far less financial worries.

I do know one or two ministers who give nothing to church, and a few who even argue that they have 'given up to God' the earning potential they had in past lives (e.g. if they could now be earning £40k and are now paid £18 they have 'given' God the £22k difference).  Whilst that is their decision, it troubles me because it assumes we have a 'right' to some level of income, not that it is all something for which we ought to be very grateful.  Whilst I can get very angry that there are ministers with children who have to have state benefits to make ends meet, I also know that most of those give very generously to their churches, and that compared with most people in most countries we are all very wealthy.

Could I live for a week on 9-10 times what I literally 'give to God'?  Yes, I could and I do - at least by my definitions of what constitutes giving to God.  That does not make me more righteous than other people - I could be deluded about my giving! - it just serves to remind me of the choices I make and their implications.


  • A recent visitor to church observed that the average giving is £5 a week for church -
    2 people give at least 25% of church's income which reduces it to just over £3 a week for the other 38 - one person gave 25p one week in their envelope!
    The local rag which most take costs 40 a day, 7 days a week: £2.80!

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