Discussion Starter:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that donations dropped 11 percent at the nation's 400 biggest charities, yet donations to ECFA member charities stayed strong. An empty tomb, inc. report found that evangelicals give churches about 4 percent of their income (and all Christians only 2.43 percent), far less than the biblical 10 percent tithe.

"For Christians in the richest nation in history to be giving only 2.43 percent of their income to their churches is not just stinginess, it is biblical disobedience—blatant sin. We have become so seduced by the pervasive consumerism and materialism of our culture that we hardly notice the ghastly disjunction between our incredible wealth and the agonizing poverty in the world. Over the last 40 years, American Christians (as we have grown progressively richer) have given a smaller and smaller percent of our growing income to the ministries of our churches. Such behavior flatly contradicts what the Bible teaches about God, justice, and wealth. We should be giving not 2.4 percent but 10 percent, 15 percent, even 25 to 35 percent or more to kingdom work. Most of us could give 20 percent and not be close to poverty."

"While some evangelicals are very generous, many are not. The concept that giving to God's work (local church, ministries/missions, the needy) should be a person's highest financial priority is embraced by very few Christians in today's materialistic, consumer-driven, and debt-ridden society, even though Scripture is clear on this teaching. I feel that part of the problem is many churches have made their teaching focus on generosity being the "budget" instead of the Bible. If the "budget" is okay, many churches won't speak on the finance/generosity ...

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February 2011

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