All that Tithing is Apparently Not Working…

Religious traditions income affluent poorer

All that Tithing is Apparently Not Working…

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has charted the income data of various religions in the USA, showing which religious traditions tend to be more affluent and which tend to be poorer (see the writeup in the NYT here).

Religious traditions income affluent poorer

Various religions graphed by percentage of college graduates and percentage with an income above $75k

As you can see from the chart, Reform Jews come out on top, closely followed by Hindus and then Conservative Jews and Anglicans. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pentecostals are at the bottom of those listed. Not surprisingly, higher income numbers bear a pronounced positive correlation with higher percentages of college graduates. Also noteworthy is how those Christian traditions that tend to emphasize tithing to the church—and push that as a means to blessing—fall on the lower end of the income spectrum. Shocking, really.

Of course, that modern emphasis on tithing is just that—modern (as can be observed in George Müller’s teaching on giving).

  • tom sheepandgoats
    Posted at 08:14h, 21 May Reply

    If members of a faith strived to apply the Bible in their lives, would that not, in itself, put them at the low end of the spectrum? Any number of passages advise living simply. For example, from 1 Tim:

    “For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 11:28h, 21 May Reply

      It wouldn’t necessarily put them at the low end of the income spectrum, no. I would hope it would put them at the low end of the extravagance spectrum, however. The point I was trying to make is that the rhetoric so often used in the calls to tithe is that if one tithes, God will give one more income in return, while the numbers show otherwise.

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