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Theological Thoughts on Tithing (Part 2)

By now I am sure you can hardly wait to read this second installment on tithing [insert laughing to tears emoticon]. So far, we’ve looked at two frames of reference. First, the Bible really does command us to tithe; and it is a command that comes with the promise of blessing when we obey. Second, the prevalent biblical theme of firstfruits teaches us the reason God commands us to tithe is to help us remember that all of our wealth really belongs to Him. This month we will conclude with our final viewpoints on tithing: stewardship and worship. Stewardship: Tithing teaches us more than just tithing.Like many wonderful theological truths, the idea of stewardship is woven into the Creation story and the resulting Covenant: "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the s…

Theological Thoughts on Tithing

Four years ago, I had to respond to an IRS inquiry into a tax return that I had filed two years earlier. The inquiry was not an audit per se; it was focused on only one area of my tax return: charitable contributions. In order to answer the inquiry, I had to gather check records and receipts that supported my charitable contribution deduction and put them together in a 30-page document that I faxed to the IRS. It may have been fifty pages, but I am trying not to embellish the story. Other than an acknowledgment of receipt, I never heard anything more about it so I assumed my submission of information sufficed. Since I am painstakingly honest with my taxes, I wondered…what triggered the inquiry? I can’t be sure, but it may have been because the percentage of my income given to charitable contributions is higher than the average U.S. taxpayer, and that is because I tithe (that is, the giving of 10 percent of my income) to the church.  Let me be clear: Tithing does not make me a super sai…