Here is #16 of 31 Questions in 31 Days! To learn more about this 31 Day series, just search "31 Questions" in the search bar above or click here!
Q: If you designate on your check a portion to go to missions, building fund, etc., is that considered part of your tithe? or is it an offering?
The idea of a "tithe" is a tenth that is given as a block to one central place. The idea of the tithe comes to us through the practices of the children of people throughout the Old Testament. Because a designated offering to something like missions or the building fund would predetermine the use of the money, it wouldn't be considered part of your tithe, as "tithes" in the Bible were gifts freely given for the person or persons to whom it was given to decide how they should be used.
In our context today, tithes would be thought of as a tenth of one's paycheck that is given freely to one's local church, entrusting the leadership there to decide how to best spend that money. Missions, building fund, etc., is an offering that goes beyond the 10% given in the "tithe". That's why, when referring to our offering on Sunday morning, we often employ the term, "tithes and offerings".
Check out more posts from the 31 Questions series on subjects as varied as marijuana, infidelity, 666, the eternal destiny of children who die, dealing with discouragement, cremation, co-habitation, baptism, suicide, prayer, the origins of scripture, hell, work, the third heaven, and even speaking in tongues!
Labels: 31 questions, Church life, discipleship, financial stewardship, giving, offerings, spiritual disciplines, tithing