Majority of Pastors Don’t Believe Christians Should Tithe 10%
While many Christian churches encourage tithing – giving 10% of one’s income to the church – as a biblical commandment, only a minority of pastors subscribe to this traditional view, according to data from a new Barna study.
Data from Revisiting Tithes and Offerings, the latest version of Barna’s The State of
The Generosity series published in partnership with Generis and Gloo, revealed that only a minority of Americans who identify as Christians also donate 10% of their income to the church in practice.
Researchers surveyed 2,016 U.S. adults from Nov. 12-19, 2021, coming to the most recent finding showing no consensus among pastors on the practice high-level pastors such as televangelist Creflo Dollar have renounced. month.
While most pastors in the study don’t view giving outside of the church as tithing, 70% said tithing doesn’t have to be strictly financial. And when it comes to how much financial giving would be an acceptable tithe, only 33% favor the traditional 10%.
Another 21% of pastors did not recommend any particular share of income Christians should give, but suggested it should be “enough to be considered sacrificial.” An almost similar proportion of pastors, 20%, said Christians should give as much as they want.
The study also found that the concept of tithing was also not well understood by American adults or even Christians in particular.
Only about two in five American adults who participated in the study said they knew the term “tithe” and could provide a definition. A similar proportion said they knew the term, while 22% said that although they knew the concept, they could not provide a definition.
Among Christians, in general, less than half could say with certainty what tithing is. More than half of practicing Christians, 59%, had a greater awareness of tithing and what it means, while 99% of pastors understood the traditional concept.
The study further noted that only 21% of Christians gave 10% of their income to their local church while 25% did not give to their church at all. Among practicing Christians, the study found that 42% gave at least the traditional 10% to their church.
“Church leaders and Christians may wonder if it matters if tithing falls out of the mainstream. After all, giving to the church should not be reduced to an equation, and sincere and respectful generosity can be accomplished with or without a thorough knowledge of tithing,” Barna noted. “Yet as a fundamental, scriptural idea of Christian stewardship becomes a fuzzy concept, it rightly raises questions – about how modern ministries approach funding and resources, and, more importantly, about the wider culture of generosity fostered among Christians”.
A recent study showed that only about 13% of evangelicals engage in traditional tithing and half donate less than 1% of their income annually. The study, “The Generosity Factor: Evangelicals and Giving,” by Gray Matter Research and Infinity Concepts, a brand communications agency, shows the average evangelical gave $1,923 to church and $622 to charities. charities over the past 12 months, for a total of $2,545 in donations. At the median level, however, evangelicals gave just $340 to the church and $50 to charity, for a total of $390.
The study found that people who were more committed to their church and their faith tended to give more to their church, and vice versa.
In July, controversial televangelist Creflo Dollar, one of America’s most flamboyant proponents of the prosperity gospel, renounced tithing and all of his previous teachings on the subject as “not correct.”
He also urged his followers to “throw away every book, every tape and every video that I
ever done about tithing,” but added that he would not apologize for his mistake.
In a sermon titled “The Great Misunderstanding,” the founder and senior pastor of
World Changers Church International, which has nearly 30,000 members and is headquartered in
College Park, Georgia, said he was aware his statement would lead him to
losing friends and invitations to speak in other churches.
In an op-ed for The Gospel Coalition in 2017, Thomas Schreiner, the James
Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean
for Scripture and Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Louisville, Kentucky, outlined several reasons why tithing is not a requirement for
“The commandments set forth in the Mosaic Covenant are no longer in effect for
believers. Some appeal to the division between civil, ceremonial and moral law
to pay tithing. Yet these divisions, I would observe, are not the basis that Paul uses
when it comes to how the law applies to us today,” Schreiner explained in part.
“And even if we use these distinctions, tithing is clearly not part of the moral law.
It is true that the moral standards of the Old Testament are still in force today, and we
discern them from the law of Christ in the New Testament, but tithing is not among
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