The State Journal Register released a news article outlining research and giving statistics released in October 2011 by Empty Tomb Inc. Here are some short points taken from SJR about the research below
“Parishioners gave about 2.38 percent of their income to their church . . . Only 0.34 percent of parishioner income went to what Empty Tomb calls “benevolences,” such as charities and seminary training beyond the four walls of the church. Those are new lows, at least going back to the first report in 1968.”
The diatribe you hear about tithing and all the bantering you hear about health, wealth, and prosperity all comes from those who give 2.38% of their income?! All i can think about is how is it that my character is the target of scrutiny for opposing the tithe. I’m not the hypocrite.
“previous research identifies no clear pattern that shows donations dropped during past recessions. In other words, the recession is only partly to blame, if at all.”
Excuses…excuses…excuses. It looks like the obvious scapegoat just got shot dead. Sorry pastors, you can’t use the “bad economy” line anymore.
This year’s report represents the fourth consecutive annual decline in benevolences. Put another way, American churches are spending more on themselves and less on beyond-the-church charities.
Dare we say that selfishness and greed be preached from the pulpits any longer? I say we hew down every pulpit and rebuild it into a pew, and in turn, transform the pews into pulpits.
Ronsvalle even goes so far as to suggest “if a church is turning inward and valuing the happiness of its members” over service to others, “it is moving on a spectrum toward pagan values.” The bottom line: U.S. churches seem to be more concerned with their own needs and their own desires over the needs of others.
Can we blame those sitting in the pews? Partly – yes, because their ignorance is stubbornly patronizing the pagan values being practiced from leadership. But what about the leadership that rants and raves about their right to keep the general mass ignorant? Can administration simply say that it’s our duty to give and not to ask, or God forbid, influence what is done our contributions? Granted, on a micro level, every individual is responsible for their personal decision in regards to giving; but in the communal aspect of giving, the mass population is threatened into tithing with fear of being punished by a curse.
The Salvation Army has seen its contributions increase by 5 percent in the U.S. over the last fiscal year
You know what? The Salvation Army practices what they preach and there aint no surprise there.