Another week, another question for the members of our Coming Home Network community. This time around, we wanted to know what standards your former Christian community held in regards to tithing before you became Catholic. Was it 10% before taxes, or after? Was a specific percentage mentioned at all? What kind of accountability was there in regard to giving?
Some of your answers made us laugh; others made us stop and think very hard about our own level of generosity. Here’s a sampling:
“In my background, the ideal was 10% before taxes. My tradition also feared being legalistic so the reality rarely came up to the level of the idea.”
Jim Anderson, Manager of Clergy and Ministerial Members, The Coming Home Network
“I was brought up nothing, became a kind of street Christian at age 27, by 30 was Reformed – and became a Catholic at 53.
When I became a Christian, I was challenged – not by a denomination but by another ‘street Christian’ to tithe – a literal 10%. This was before tax, etc – after all, tax was just another expense.”
John J., CHN Community Forums
“Not a Protestant pastor, but the daughter of one. Most of the churches I attended taught the 10% tithe was a starting point. Everything thing we have belongs to God and the offering you make on Sunday is a token. Your time and talent also belong to God. The tithe wasn’t compulsory.”
C. Smith, CHN Community Forums
“The first time I heard about tithing was actually in a very evangelical Anglican church (Episcopalian for you Americans). They were discussing giving in a round table setting after services, and people were talking about 10%. Now in the Toronto area, very high cost of living, this is not easy to do. But one fellow stood up and said that John the Baptist mentioned that if a man has two cloaks he should give one to the poor, and that equaled 50%. The room fell silent.”
Jennie, CHN Community Forum moderator
Please add your thoughts on tithing in the comments section below, or join the conversation in our Community Forum!