This morning one of my favorite bloggers (and authors) posted a review on tithing and the church. One particular statement got me excited because I was making similar statements during the '08 elections.
Ron Sider himself put it, “If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Can you imagine the response of those outside the Church if Jesus followers stepped up to the plate here? We would probably here people say crazy things like, "Christians may be dumb, but they sure are legit. Who in the world would ever give up so much for other people?" To which we could respond, "Your Father in heaven." The unthinkable might happen as well, people may actually start looking to the church for help when they're in need (and not just financial need). Would that not be amazing?
Regardless of whether you believe it is a NT mandate for the believer to tithe (10%) or you believe tithing was an OT tax, what is mandated and cannot be argued is the responsibility of the covenantal family of God (a.k.a. the church) to the world. Accepting the forgiveness that comes through Jesus means also accepting the Spirit that draws us into the work of redeeming the rest of creation. We become an embodiment of the hope of the world.
How do you think those outside the church would respond?