(RepublicanInformer.com)- A majority of Christian pastors no longer support the idea of tithing, a report found, according to Faith Wire. Barna’s Revisiting the Tithe & Offering, a section in its The State of Generosity series, showed that pastors are divided on support for tithing.
Tithing is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax, especially for the support of a religious establishment.” According to the report, however, 70% of pastors do not believe that giving outside of the church as a form of tithing needs to be financial, whereas 33% believe in the traditional 10% of one’s income.
21% of pastors believe that proper offerings are based on whether it is sacrificial, whereas 20% said that Christians should give as much as they are willing. But the report also shows that of the 2,016 U.S. adults surveyed, most Christians did not clearly understand what tithing meant.
Only 43% of self-described Christians and 44% of churchgoers could “decisively” define tithing, whereas 59% of practicing Christians said that they knew the meaning of the term. But 99% of pastors said they knew the meaning.
As Barna’s press release writes, the latest findings prompt new questions into Christian giving and whether it matters if tithing falls out of the mainstream.
“After all, church giving should not be reduced to an equation, and heartfelt, reverent generosity can be accomplished with or without deep knowledge of the tithe,” the research firm stated. “Still, as a fundamental, scriptural idea of Christian stewardship becomes a hazy concept, it appropriately raises questions—about how modern ministries approach funding and resources, and, more importantly, about the broader culture of generosity being nurtured among Christians.”
In a study published November 2021 by Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts in, “The Generosity Factor: Evangelicals and Giving,” it was reported that “13% of evangelical Christians tithe and half give less than 1% of their income annually.”