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Study: More Than Half of Christians Are Counting Secular Charity Donations as Tithing

Study: More Than Half of Christians Are Counting Secular Charity Donations as Tithing

While more than half of American Protestant Christians report tithing at least 10 percent of their income, not all tithes go to the Church, according to LifeWay.

A report from LifeWay found that many Christians believe that donating money to a non-church entity can count toward their tithes. Although 98 percent of Christians say that their tithe money goes directly to the Church, nearly half (48 percent) say it’s fine give it to Christian ministries instead, and up to 34 percent say that their tithing funds can instead go to a person in need. And notably, 18 percent say that donations to a secular charity are considered a part of their tithe.

Thomas Schreiner, professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently argued in a 2017 column for The Gospel Coalition that tithing is no longer necessary for Christians at all.

“The commands stipulated in the Mosaic covenant are no longer in force for believers,” he stated. “Some appeal to the division between civil, ceremonial and moral law to support tithing. Yet these divisions, I would observe, are not the basis Paul uses when addressing how the law applies to us today. And even if we use these distinctions, tithing is clearly not part of the moral law.”

Pastor J.D. Greear, of The Summit Church in North Carolina, refers to tithing 10 percent of what God gives us as a “good guide.”

Overall, 83 percent of believers think that tithing is a biblical command that still applies today, and only 8 percent disagree.

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