Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is Automatic Tithing Biblical?

Tithing can be a very controversial topic, for better or for worse. In any case, for most church organizations, it's necessary to keep the lights on. That's why I think it was a brilliant business decision to start offering the ability to automatically tithe through automatic withdrawal from a bank account or by credit card. I'm sure it helps ensure more regular income.

I love paying bills this way. It helps me make sure I'm never late and lets me think less about bills and more about life. And I use automatic tithing myself so I don't forget.

Does applying this to tithing, though, miss the point of tithing? Leon Bloder wrote, "My tithe is the first check I write." There's a spiritual discipline element to help us focus on God and remember that all of what we have is God's. It's a way of dedicating our income and our lives to God.

With automatic tithing, we can easily lose that. It all happens unconsciously and relegates tithing to the dreaded monthly bills category. Is that what God really wants from us?

1 comment:

  1. Guess the issue here is whether tithing is mostly because the church needs the money or because giving is an act of worship and devotion.

    A good parallel would be whether coming to church is good because the church needs bodies in the pews to make it reach some church growth goals. Or is the bigger factor because we need and benefit from the experience of worship?

    If your catatonic body could be transported to a church pew at church time would that be a good thing? Or is it more important to be aware and focused on being in the presence of God?

    I'm voting for giving as a thoughtful, devotional act of worship. Kind of hard to do as an automatic payment.




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