I have no argument with the principle of giving. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What I am balking at is the Pharisaical tendency of some to make tithing to be a rigid and minimum 10% of one's gross income. In some circles, this has become akin to a "Golden Calf", whereby one's spiritual state is measured and even salvation itself rests upon whether one gives 10% of their gross income. So the formula for salvation has been modified and the requirements are: repentance, faith and tithing. In many of these circles there are other "standards" as well, e.g., no alcohol, no dancing, no card playing, no movies, no TV, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

If tithing of 10% of one's gross income is a commandment of the Lord, then to not do so is a sin. And if one continues to live a life of sin, then they will not be saved for it shows that they were never truly converted.

On the other hand, if . . . as I believe is the Biblical teaching, one gives whatever one has to the Lord with a cheerful heart, it is pleasing to the Lord. One may barely be able to make ends meet even though they are living frugally. But if that person where to give, let's say, $10 (cf. Widow's mite) with heartfelt thanksgiving, that would be far more acceptable to the Lord than a rich man who gave $300 (for him a drop in the bucket) and/or for reasons of esteem, pride, etc.

In summary, I reject the idea that a believer's giving must revolve around and be governed by this alleged "10% of one's gross income". If a solid biblical argument can be presented that defends this figure, I'll gladly concede. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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