Poll: Charity

Whether you simplify, ignore or embrace it, the time of year is upon us that exemplifies the co-existent beauties of giving and receiving. Our desire to know that we are worthy of receiving (love, redemption, gifts of the heart…) nudges us to want to give equally.

When based on Christ-like love within the heart, it’s true that charity never faileth. But the word has come to mean so much more in a world that thrives on monetary transactions. Donating to the poor and afflicted is the most commonly accepted form of charity, and the best way to quickly help remove economic inequality (at least for the short term). But how does tithing relate to charity? Is this all that God expects us to do with our money for others?

How do you view tithing? Do you consider it charity? Do you consider it a commandment, or more of a suggestion? Do you donate in other ways and to other organizations besides the church? Why, and in what ways? Please take this opportunity to share (anonymously if you wish) your views of tithing and charity and how they relate to each other.

Corktree

Corktree is exploring life and spirituality in new ways and new environments while studying midwifery, reiki, yoga, homeopathy, herbology and evolutionary nutrition. She has 3 daughters and one son, which add up to what now feels like an enormous family of 6.

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8 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    My husband and I pay a full tithe and fast offerings. And in the past we’ve given large chunks of money to LDS humanitarian as well. Personally, I’d kind of prefer all of our tithing $ to go the LDS humanitarian, but my husband wants to do it traditionally, so I go along with that. I did, however, win the gross vs. net debate. We now pay on the net, and I feel free to donate to other charities of my choice.

  2. Jenne says:

    I’m with Caroline that I have been pondering putting all of my tithing money to the Humanitarian Fund for a year.

    I once read a blog conversation where someone suggested the entire church giving a year of tithing to humanitarian services and I thought that was brilliant.

    To guide me in my “extracurricular” giving, I use the guidelines and information on The Life You Can Save (http://thelifeyoucansave.com) If I do my part of 1% or more, and then tell as many people as possible about it, then I hope that many people will decide to give at the minimum amount or more. For us, we’d give an additional $500 a year and that seems so do-able. I also appreciate that site for the referrals to organizations that are known and trusted to do good work.

  3. Stephanie2 says:

    I don’t feel that tithing is charity. Tithing is my obligation to the Lord. I pay a set amount to fast offerings and the PEF fund each month (tied to our income, so as our income rises, we increase our offerings), and to the humanitarian aid fund when I feel impressed to. Besides that, I donate time, money and goods whenever I can to charities and service projects. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can think of five that we have been involved with so far. All involved my children so they can learn to give and serve.

    I don’t really think that any of the options on the poll really reflect the idea of giving both to the church and to the community.

  4. Stephanie2 says:

    Actually, I guess that if the question is “What is your primary method of giving”, then I would have to choose 3 because that most closely reflects my consistent giving (although I feel like it leaves out a lot of what I do).

  5. jks says:

    I voted for more than one. At least, I thought it was letting me vote for more than one. Tithing (always) plus other stuff on the tithing slip plus time and resources elsewhere when I can (of course based on family needs and the fact that it is my husband’s money too so he gets a say).

  6. Vada says:

    We pay a full tithe, and give a generous fast offering, and often donate to the humanitarian aid and perpetual education funds. I also like to donate to a few non-church organizations, like local food banks or shelters, organizations doing autism research, or Heifer International. And at Christmas I always like to find someone we know locally who could use a little bit extra and give them some. I guess I like to spread the giving around. 🙂 Of course, this hasn’t always been possible, but while we have enough, I like to try and share what I can.

  7. Syphax says:

    I pay a tithe and a fast offering. I wanted to do more but I am a musician and student (double whammy) and my wife supports us both. So I tried to find out about volunteer activities I could pursue.

    I found out about a refugee resettlement agency in my town, and I found out that you can volunteer and teach English to refugees. Well, “I speak English,” I thought. And so I got signed up to teach a family of Nepalese refugees. It’s literally an hour a week (and usually a free extremely spicy meal) and I feel like I’m making a huge difference in someone’s life. All I have to do is speak English. I am extremely happy that I looked outside the Church to find a community resource where I can use my limited skills. If you want to help people in the community, one way you can help is to find out if there are any resettlement agencies around.

    I know this sounds like a huge plug for refugees but there’s a big need and it might be right around the corner for someone reading maybe?

  8. Stephanie2 says:

    That’s really cool, Syphax.

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