Wait! Let’s Look at That Again: Tithe

(Part of a sporadic series that takes another look at aspects of Adventism.)

Tithe is purely an Old Testament concept. It is not a Christian obligation.

“And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers… Now if perfection had been obtainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise… For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well” (Hebrews 7:5-11, emphasis added).

Tithe is described in this New Testament passage as a “legal” aspect of the Levitical priesthood of the ancient Jews. But the text also says that the law, from which tithe was derived, had to change as well.

Tithe was an integral part of a unique social and religious order in ancient Israel. Then an entirely new order emerged. And the financial system of tithe did not carry into Christianity.

As a general rule, virtually nothing Jewish carried forward into Christianity.

Jesus came. Everything changed. The priests were gone. The sacrifices were gone. The feasts were gone. The dietary restrictions were gone. The law was gone. Circumcision was gone. The temple was gone. The tithe was gone. The whole thing — gone.

“But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.’ The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter” (Acts 15:5, 6, emphasis added).

And after they deliberated, they said:

“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality” (Acts 15:28)

The “Jerusalem Council” decision refuted the demands that deluged new Christians to keep the law of Moses. The disciples and apostles did not acquiesce to the demand of “the party of the Pharisees.” So, everything else? Gone.

I have a hard time imagining that the fledgling church would have extracted tithe out of the law of Moses as something to be continued. The New Testament is replete with tales of extensive conflicts with Jewish factions who insisted the law of Moses had to be kept by Christians. But the Jerusalem Council rebutted that demand and, further, did not include tithe in the things they did hold onto.

But instead of a new priesthood to be supported by tithe, Peter writes that “you yourselves are…to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). There was no longer a priesthood to support!

Seven references in the New Testament refer to tithe. Four are in the Hebrews passage excerpted above. The other three are in conversations between Jesus and Jews that focused on the Jew’s hypocritical scrupulosity about works. And after Jesus? There is no other mention of tithe except in the opening text in Hebrews cited above.

And yet, and yet… How many preachers, evangelists, church administrators, and teachers have told you that tithe is a divine mandate? How many have you heard quote Malachi 3:10 in order to place you under obligation? How many have told you that if you don’t pay tithe you are robbing God? Further, how many have implied that paying tithe is kind of like a prosperity gospel, citing the other half of Malachi 3:10 which promises bounty and protection in return for tithe? Are these people “the party of the Pharisees” mentioned in Acts 15, working to convince you to keep the law of Moses?

There’s more. How many times has someone told you that the “storehouse” mentioned in Malachi 3:10 is the Seventh-day Adventist Church structure, you know, conferences, unions, divisions, and General Conference?

All these things you’ve been told are made up, whole cloth. There is no scriptural basis for these assertions in the Christian Era.

What we can find from scriptural writings in Christian times is pretty simple.

“…let…the one who contributes, in generosity…” (Romans 12:6-8)

“So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:5-7, emphasis added).

These two texts indicate that giving in the early churches was not a matter of obligation. There was not a mandate or law. Giving was a matter of the heart and a desire to give. This motivation is in keeping with the law of Jesus: love God and love man.

The aura that surrounds tithe in our fellowship carries the sense of obligation with accompanying implications of moral and/or legal failure if tithe is not paid. If someone tells you that you must pay tithe in order to avoid robbing God, they are also telling you that tithe is an obligation, a debt, and that failure to pay tithe is a legal and moral failing. This is wrong.

But… Wait! Let’s look at that again!

Every organization, institution, business, or home has a financial model. It has ways of generating income so that it can operate the enterprise and keep the doors open.

A church is no different. It needs a financial model. It happens that in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the financial model turned out primarily to be a tithe model.

Paying a tithe on income is not a bad thing unless it becomes obligatory. It is merely a conscious decision to participate in a particular financial model that keeps the engine running. It is a method of systematic giving. And systematic giving was the grail which early Adventists sought.

An article containing an excellent history of giving in Adventism was published by Spectrum in February 2018. It was written by Brian Strayer, Professor Emeritus of History at Andrews University, and is titled “The Untold Tale of The Tenth: A Brief History of Adventist Benevolence in Historical Context.” I recommend reading it by clicking on the title.

In short, Strayer writes that after trying other financial models, only to have them fail in times of financial crises in the United States, the church gave tithe a try. They liked it because it generated a more reliable income stream and so they kept it.

The interesting thing is it was D. M. Canright who posited that Malachi 3 applied to Christians like it did to the ancient Jews.

Strayer writes,

“In a series of articles in the Review in the spring of 1876, Dudley M. Canright now called Malachi 3:8-11 ‘The Bible Plan of supporting the Ministry… God requires that a tithe, or one-tenth, of all the income of his people shall be given to support his servants in their labors,’ he wrote. ‘Notice,’ he added, ‘the Lord does not say you should give me a tenth, but he says one-tenth is the Lord’s.’ Therefore, since the tithe already belonged to God, believers merely returned it to Him.

“With the stroke of his pen, Canright thus reversed all previous Adventist thinking on tithing. Believers do not pay the tithe as a “church tax,” but return it to God as His own. Furthermore, they should not give one-tenth of their increase from one year to the next, but one-tenth of their total annual income… But Ellen White repeatedly stated in her Testimonies that by whatever name it was called, “Systematic Benevolence [or Tithing] should not be made systematic compulsion” (Brian Strayer, Spectrum, February 2018, emphasis added.)

Isn’t it interesting that a person who abandoned Adventism and became one of its severest critics nearly single-handedly created instant theology by bringing forward one part of Mosaic Law? He simply asserted something and people bought it. And he lit a spark that created a sense of obligation to pay tithe.

Perhaps Canright’s key phrase is “God requires…” This statement set a tone within Adventism. But isn’t it also interesting that Ellen White kept saying this financial system should not be “systematic compulsion?”

According to Strayer, the theological noose kept tightening around the financial model of tithe.

1932: First Church Manual states that local church officers cannot be elected if they don’t pay tithe

1932: Tithe enters Fundamental Beliefs

1935: Pastors to be fired for not paying tithe

1951: Paying tithe becomes a baptismal vow

1985: GC publishes extensive guidance on limitations of Use of Tithe.

Could we say that within today’s Adventism the theology of tithe has officially become something akin to systematic compulsion?

I have three issues with our financial system of tithe.

First, I do not believe that tithe is clothed with a mantle of divine requirement. I don’t have a problem with tithing as a financial model, but I find the use of language implying obligation and compulsion to be either misguided or disingenuous.

Deep in our hearts, the collective church must know that the theological underpinning of the tithe obligation is shaky since paying tithe is not a “test of fellowship.” Further, if not paying tithe was truly theft of God’s assets, wouldn’t that qualify as the worst kind of stealing? Wouldn’t we disfellowship people who persisted in being thieves, especially thieves of God’s assets?

Second, our method of allocating tithe is upside down. Distant people in distant buildings meet and decide how to divvy up the tithe.

One of the most important functions of any organization is to decide how to use its scarce financial resources. There are always more demands for money than there is money. The question then arises, who will decide on priorities?

In our fellowship, these financial allocation decisions are made far, far away from we members in the pews. We, the ones who actually provide the money, are apparently just supposed to pay up and then forget about it and trust that the best thing is happening. Well, fewer and fewer of us are willing to do that. Our financial allocation decision process is upside down. These decisions should be made closer to the source of the money. But that is a subject for another day.

Third, I don’t think we ought to consider a tithe dollar any more sacred than any other donated dollar. The alleged sanctity of tithe flows naturally from the idea that we are under divine obligation to pay tithe. But money is money is money. It is fungible. The gyrations we go through to transmogrify tithe by laundering it is ridiculous.

So, participation in the financial model of tithe is a personal decision whether to voluntarily support a particular method of financing church operations. It says something about your desire to support the mission of the church in a certain way. But it is not a divine requirement. You may have a preferred alternative way to support the gospel. Fine. Just do it.

Of course, the person who wishes to contribute to the gospel in non-tithe ways is faced with a dilemma. Tithe is the source of pastor compensation in our financial model. So you, like me, may want to support our pastors while, at the same time, you do not want to support the Church bureaucracy. You may feel that the bureaucracy is bloated and that the only way to hack away at it is to starve it financially. These opposing imperatives make it tough. But that also is a subject for another day.

In the final analysis, our financial support of the gospel should rest on our personal sense of wanting to be like our Savior. Divinity is gracious, giving, and generous. Our financial support of the divine mission ideally flows out of a desire to step into the flowing river of divine generosity ourselves. That impulse is far removed from obligation.

Previously in the series: “Wait! Let’s look at that again: Baptism.”

Edward Reifsnyder is a healthcare consultant. He and his wife, Janelle, live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Photo by Christian Dubovan on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10060
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Now… Come on! Why are we trying to rescue her, instead of pointing out that she was wrong on that? This is one of the most problematic concepts that she was wrong on, as she kept riding that Malachi passage into sunset as she applied it to everyone and anyone… Even non-Christians!

“The impression is becoming quite common that the sacred disposition of the tithe no longer exists. Many have lost their sense of the Lord’s requirements.”–Ms 82, 1904.

“God lays His hand upon all man’s possessions, saying: I am the owner of the universe, and these goods are Mine. The tithe you have withheld I reserve for the support of My servants in their work of opening the Scriptures to those who are in the regions of darkness, who do not understand My law. In using My reserve fund to gratify your own desires you have robbed souls of the light which I made provision for them to receive. You have had opportunity to show loyalty to Me, but you have not done this. You have robbed Me; you have stolen My reserve fund. ‘Ye are cursed with a curse’ (Mal. 3:9).” 6T 386, 387.

“Man, finite man, though using for himself the talents which God has reserved to publish salvation, to sent the glad news of a Saviour’s love to perishing souls, and hedging up the way by his selfishness, inquires, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” God answers, “In tithes and in offerings. Ye are cursed with a cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” The whole world is engaged in robbing God. With the money He has lent them they indulge in dissipation, in amusements, revellings, feasting, and disgraceful indulgences. But God says, “I will come near you to judgment.” The whole world will have an account to settle in that great day when every one shall receive sentence according to his deeds.”

She is absurdly applying the tithing requirement to the WHOLE WORLD using Malachi. So, let’s not pretend that evil and critical Canright done this to our denomination.

"Those who withhold from God His own make these complaints. The Lord asks them to prove Him by bringing their tithe into His storehouse, and to see whether He will not pour them out a blessing. But they cherish rebellion in their hearts, and complain of God, and at the same time they rob Him, and embezzle His goods. When their sin is presented to them, they say, “I have had adversity; my crops have been poor; but the wicked are prospered. It does not pay to keep the ordinance of the Lord.”

That doesn’t sound like “systematic benevolence” to me that church began with. They needed to build a powerful organization and the original plan wouldn’t do. So they took God into their own hands and shifted to guilt and threats.

I can go on and on and on quoting, but the response would get too long.

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Some more “light” from Ellen White regarding the unsavory practice of “guilting” and “ruling” people toward tithing:

Our God is not a taskmaster and does not require the poor man to give means to the cause that belongs to his family and that should be used to keep them in comfort and above pinching want. 3T 410.3

The burden of urging and pressing individuals to give of their means was not designed to be the work of God’s ministers. The responsibility should rest upon every individual who enjoys the belief of the truth. “Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” Every member of the family, from the oldest down to the youngest, may take part in this work of benevolence. 3T 411.3

God designs that the exercise of benevolence shall be purely voluntary, not having recourse even to eloquent appeals to excite sympathy. “God loveth a cheerful giver.” He is not pleased to have His treasury replenished with forced supplies…The plan of redemption was entirely voluntary on the part of our Redeemer, and it is the purpose of Christ that all our benevolence should be freewill offerings. 3T 413.3

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Wow! What contrast in the two sets of quotes above! It almost prompts another article to explore apparent contradictions.

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I’ve found that when EGW starts writing about a topic, the longer she writes about it, the more shrill, extreme and hysterical her comments become. She goes from Defcon 1 to Defcon 10 in short order.

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There are quite a number of Denominations which promote
“Tithing” as a systematic method of financing support needs.
At least one I know encourages a systematic giving entry
level at 2-5% to begin with for those not used to the idea.
Then increase the %-age as feel comfortable with the
giving plan.

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It has to do with historic growth that required progressively increasing cash flow for organizational support. On top of that, this article avoids discussing details of Systematic Benevolence. If we trace the history, these quotes will make more sense.

In 1959, when Systematic Benevolence was launched , the leaders were under no illusion that it was an OT “tithe”. It wasn’t promoted as such.

The parameters were something like a 20c to a $1 / month per every male of 18-60. And around half that for females. In modern value, it would be around $20-$40 / month for males. So, this was even affordable to the poor. And the purpose was to have a fund for travelling ministers.

Where tithe comes in … was a rather bizzare form of “wealth tax” that wasn’t attached to the income. It was initially suggested in 1859, but then emphasized as preffered form of monetary contribution by James White. He suggested an estate-based valuation in money divided by 10, which would be considered an estimated income. And then 1-2% of that would be given every week. Ellen, of course, like any good wife would, supported the plan with her writing in which it was still not quite the tithe, but the systematic benevolence rendered as a kind of tithe.

The church grew into a larger organization in 15 years, and required more resources, for which ministers would be sent to churches to encourage fundraising and collect the allocated funds every quarter… And it seemed to peeve Ellen when she would come to any given church and the money wouldn’t be sufficient.

That’s reflected in her encyclical in Review and Herald written on Jan 1st 1975, in which she still calls the giving concept Systematic Benevolence, but complains about people holding back when they shouldn’t, yet paradoxically labeling it as tithe… but ending that it should be voluntary. So, it wobbles back and forth between “You should want to do it”, but it’s voluntary, but you are robbing God by not giving it, but it’s voluntary.

The problem was that some people didn’t have a lot of property, but they may have earned considerable income that they were spending.

If you really read into historical context of all of this, it’s more a complaint that she has to travel and motivate for something that should be automatic for a believer, and that churches are “embarrassed” because there are no funds that were previously pledged, and there’s not much to collect when management arrives every quarter.

Of course, at this time it’s still a system of her husband’s tithe schema. Since this publication is on 1st day of the year, it’s clear that there’s a top-down concern that adequate money is not raised for plans that leadership were drawing.

It didn’t seem like the publication worked, so it was a dominant concern for a conference a year later. In that conference, Canright suggests income-based tithe instead of estate one. James White makes a big speech about it, and it gets approved. James White was well aware of the proposal and implication of tripping collected revenue.

Tithe is shifted to income-based metric, with 10% of income adopted in 1976 and, by 1978 there are some parameters specified to those who thought that it’s “income after expenses”.

The records from that conference should be infuriating to read:

*It is our conviction that our people have robbed God of more than one-half of the tithes which are His, while acting upon the defective plan of paying S.B. to the amount of only one percent per annum on their property…

By the defective plan, those who had little or no property, and at the same time had considerable income, in some cases robbed the Lord of nearly or quite all the tithes of their actual income.*

Since then, Ellen’s tone progressively shifts to endorsement of that tithe scheme, and it gets less and less optional, but of course it’s still voluntary.

Likewise, she gets progressively restrictive as to what that tithe fund is for. Early on it was more of an emergency fund that churches could dip into if it was still there. It progressively turned into a conference fund that would be collected every quarter and wouldn’t be touched for any local needs. By 1880 it was structured into official language.

Some of the voluntary language has progressively shifted to more stern imperatives. By 1904 she writes:

“The impression is becoming quite common that the sacred disposition of the tithe no longer exists. Many have lost their sense of the Lord’s requirements.”

In using my reserve fund to gratify your own desires, you have robbed souls of the light which I made provision they should receive. **You have had opportunity to show loyalty to me, but you have not done so—you have robbed me: for you have stolen my reserve fund.” “Ye are cursed with a curse.” **

“Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year (shall we not say a quarter?) open upon you as men honest in their deal with God. Let those who have withheld their tithes, send them in before the year 1904 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again run any risk of being cursed by God

So, it would be a typical tithe narrative one hears from the pulpit today before tithes are collected.

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Ellen White talked a lot about the law, but understanding it was never her long suit.

  • Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster…but… .we are no longer under a schoolmaster. *(Galatians 3:24,25 edited)
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I got fed up with all the guilting and shaming that went on, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, on this topic quite a few years ago, and gave it up as a bad job.

We give, but not once in the intervening years has there been an amount ever appear on our little envelopes on that one particular line. Never. Many times our giving is not even to the church, but to other organizations that work in service to humanity. When we do give via those little envelopes at church it is always either to the local church budget, or to a specific appeal or cause like “Kindergarten Felts” or Youth Room Trip” or something.

It feels soooo much more rewarding when we give in this manner. Forget the biblical or SOP induced horror. Let’s give to worthy causes out of our abundance and from our heart.

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Not just that, Carol, Over the years she spoke out of both sides of her mouth. She is the reason that confusion is varied on many subjects in SDAism. As long as she is lifted up a a prophet these issues will never be resolved, if even they ever could. At best, she can only be accepted as a messenger, one subject to error just as the rest of us are capable of, that gleaned much of her literary content from others that were not free from errors in their writings either. Much of what she passed on to us is excellent information in support of our spiritual journey, but not everything. The Bible is ultimately our only safeguard.

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I got really disheartened over this issue when I took on community services leadership in our church about 10 years ago. It really opened my eyes as to hypocrisy of it all.

We spent about 3k on monthly church expenses. Probably sent twice that in tithes. The number dedicated to community services was $50. I would meet with various local churches of different denomination for some coop projects, and I was sweating embarrassment. These people would raise 1000s for these local causes, and asked how much we could contribute… and I had to deflect to save face. I couldn’t say $50 is all the budget I have.

I stopped paying both after a while, except for a few ministries I really cared about. We instead send it to various children’s charities overseas, and help individual members in need in the local church.

I treat both our local church and conference … as they instruct to treat drug-addict asking for money to buy food. I will donate proverbial food as time and skills, but for money they’d need to earn some of my trust back and begin providing support for local members first, community second, and broader causes that keep our kids out of debt as they go off to Adventist colleges, or engage culture instead of building bunkers.

Otherwise, it’s money down the drain on songs&lecture and tea& sympathy. My attempts to communicate these ideals failed, so starving that institution while supporting members in need is the only option for me as I see it. Hopefully, the less it eats, the weaker its grip, and eventually in desperation it will finally take a look in the mirror.

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Edward Reifsnyder,

Your views are revolutionary, refreshing and highly rational.

Yes, of course our BUREAUCRACY IS BLOATED!

In NAD, the conferences were set up in the horse and buggy age, pre automobiles, pre- freeways, pre even Greyhound buses, and certainly prior to air travel.

Travel was arduous in those days, so having a conference structure close to the local churches made sense.

In the very recent digital era, with internet, Skype, telephones and faxes, a stock broker no longer needs his / her office on WALL STREET. A Caribbean Island or Costa Rica would be just as efficient a location, with preferable weather! In fact, one of my financial advisors, though American, is based in Costa Rica.

These new electronic era facts make our bloated bureaucracy appear even more costly and ridiculous.

Problem is every entity has a vested, self preserving interest in maintaining the status quo.

The CONFERENCES and UNION CONFERENCES are duplicative
— one or the other should be abolished. It is not merely the salaries of the bureaucrats that are of concern —- each bureaucrat is backed by a secretary / stenographer and all these excessive employees occupy office space that needs to be heated / cooled / lighted / insured.

Add in employee pension plans and health insurance and the costs balloon !

For decades now, I have not wanted to fund these excessive layers of administration, so I have never labelled my church donations “ tithe “ , even though my total giving was way in excess of ten per cent of my income.

In the Ted Wilson era, my revulsion to his policies has authenticated that I wish none of my hard earned cash to fund his General Conference compliance committees.

Furthermore, although ADRA does good work, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS is the stellar humanitarian agency on the planet, so I donate preferentially to them.

I own several homes, and in some locations, the local SDA church is not pleasing to me— so preferentially I attend sublime
worship hours at Sunday congregations. Of course I donate generously to those non Adventist congregations which are so rewarding to my spiritual life.

There are many admirable charities that are not SDA or church based and my charitable dollars are dispensed over a broad network of worthy causes.

I do not believe God will look disdainfully on my giving because It does not adhere to spurious rules set by the church hierarchy.

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Go for it! Another excellent essay may be written. :+1:

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Just imagine for a moment having the Bible, only the Bible, as the only source of our beliefs. Think how much controversy and fighting could have been avoided. And the number of hours wasted for 175 years just dealing with the controversies brought in by EGW’s writings. We all , too,could have used lots of time for something else than discussing EGW on Spectrum… :wink:

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For many years now I have contributed to the K.I.N.D.* project created by Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC), via UNICEF, to provide desks to children’s schools in Malawi, and to support girls in school because in that country the education of girls costs lots more than education of boys.

The desks are made in Malawi, which generated lots of jobs as well. A true blessing to the people of that poor country.

*K.I.N.D. - Kids In Need of Desks. Over $20mi were already raised over a few years. Just last Tuesday (giving Tuesday) over $600K were raised again. It’s a marvelous project!

Check it out:

https://donate.unicefusa.org/page/contribute/be-k-i-n-d-to-a-student-in-malawi-donate-a-desk-or-scholarship-16081?utm_campaign=20191106_Eoy&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_content=kind1responsive&ms=cpc_dig_2019_Eoy_20191106_google_kind1responsive_delve_E2001&initialms=cpc_dig_2019_Eoy_20191106_google_kind1responsive_delve_E2001&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3fz0ud-e5gIVR77ACh1JXggPEAAYASAAEgKZPfD_BwE

Just imagine investing $177 to fund one girl’s education for a full year!
(How much is the tuition in one of our SDA academies again???)

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In Bull and Lockhart’s book “Seeking a Sanctuary” there is a discussion of tithe. On page 125 there is a graph that shows giving per capita as a percentages of U.S. income on a time line. The two highest years of tithing were 1945 and 1960. From 1930 to 1960 tithe giving hovered in the 5%s. From 1960 to 2000 tithing dropped precipitously from 6% to 2% of income. So members gave a percentage that never topped 6%, between 1930 and 2000, and the lowest rate recorded was about 2.3% in 2000.

The graph ends at 2000, but I cannot imagine that it began to rise again. If it continued at the rate that it had been dropping since 1960 the rate today could be expected to be between 1-2% of income given per capita.

Thank you for this article. Since my husband and I became contributing members of society we have felt the pressure from our local churches to give our 10%. Sometimes this pressure has been very pointed, as in when our pastor called me into his office while I was at the church working on the Primary Sabbath school room one day during the week. He told me that he had noticed we were not giving tithe. I told him that with my experience as a church worker’s child that I did not have confidence in how tithe was used and that we gave our tithe to ADRA. He was not satisfied and gave me a video and asked me to watch it with my husband. He never had the courage to speak directly to my husband about this topic. We studied the subject for ourselves, came to the conclusions that you have come to in this article and decided never again to be guilted in this particular area again. Going forward we’ve always given a small amount to tithe to avoid being harassed by our local church, but have contributed generously to local church projects and to the local SDA schools, when our children attended them. But over the years I’ve often heard church administrators and pastor’s wives complain about the lack of tithe giving. If they knew how ugly their words sounded maybe they would not say them. I don’t know. They are caught in a system that they do not control, with requirements put on them that they must meet. It causes a lot of bitterness all around.

Edit: My husband and I were both raised SDA and were taught to tithe starting from as early as we can remember. We have no issue with giving to our church or any other organization that we support. It is being asked using false premises that we find distasteful. Every denomination needs money, but the tactics that the SDA church uses are offensive to us. Additionally, as I mentioned, having observed the poor use of funds by the church over the years I prefer to support projects closer to home. I have also sent money to the conference designated for pastor’s salaries and pensions.

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Thank you, Arkdrey, for filling in additional historical context. This article was never intended to be a definitive guide to the internal history of tithe in the SDA Church. It just hit some initial highlights to demonstrate that there is a manmade history to the subject. And it definitely was not intended as a full history of Ellen White’s engagement in the subject. The purpose of the article was to take exception to the messages we hear about tithe, which I find to be extra-Biblical. So I was a little non-plussed when you said, “this article is being less than honest about historical context for all of this.”
I assure you no devious intent was involved. Just a very limited scope.

Why don’t you tackle a full history of the dynamics around tithe in Adventism? It sounds like you have made a good start.

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TALKING OF MONEY:

Those of you who buy on Amazon, remember that you can contribute to Spectrum every time you buy something. With no extra cost. Amazon will just donate to Spectrum a small percentage of your spending.
Just go to smile.amazon.com and enroll (simple, fast). Then every time you sign on to your account you will be reminded that you are a “smile” contributor. It does not change your account, it just connects the account to the “smile” automatic contributions from Amazon to the non-profit of your choice, in this case, Spectrum.

If you like Spectrum, go “smile.” If you don’t like Spectrum, go “smile” anyway!!! Even the “millennials” can do it!!! :rofl:

Note to the @webEd: I suggest that you guys promote this more often. You may be missing a great opportunity by not advertising it enough.

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When I was little, and my savings reached one dollar, I put ten cents into a tithe envelope. Since then, the amount has changed but I still put 10% into the tithe envelope, not because I have to, but because it is good business. It helps pay for our pastor and our church school teachers plus many other things. My church is my second home and I do not begrudge one penny spent there. Let’s not forget our offerings.

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Yes, desperation (or being forced by something/someone that is beyond the control of the .org) is the only thing that brings any change, or admission of any type of wrong doing. Some groups aren’t going to change to any great (or necessary) degree. They really can’t, unless they have a moment like the Worldwide Church of God had a few years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb76qyaC824.

An awesome documentary, and so relatable.

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