Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tithe or Tip....What would Jesus do?

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day here in Ottawa. My awesome wife and I decided to go for a walk in the market. We stopped by a favourite pub of ours to have a pint and do some people watching. We had the pleasure of being served by a wonderful hostess named Angela. Before she returned with our drinks we talked about how friendly she was and how it seemed that this person had a pretty hard life. We all talked when she got back and found out she was 27yrs old with 11 and 6yr old boys. There was no mention of a father and we got the impression she was going at it alone. She was joyous with all people who came in. A treat for sure. We decided to give this women a great tip for the goodness she shared with us. This led the wife and I into a discussion on Tithing and Jesus. We thought that Jesus was a man of the people. He would frequent market places, share his heart with others and give all that he could to make his immediate world better. His humanity was evidenced not by being in a Church and giving his Tithe. It could be seen by the very fact that he was a man of the people and for the people. When Christians sit in a pew and listen to someone preach on how G-d expects them to give 10% of there salary, does anyone actually get to see where most of that money goes? Over 80% of it is used to take care of the expenses of the Church. Heating, hydro, salaries, maintenance. The bulk of the money is used to finance a structure. Now who is this for? Are the people who are starving or just making ends meet getting the bulk of this money. NO WAY. The wife and I were given an opportunity this day to see how our sharing can actually make someone elses world a better place. Sure we didnt get the band and singers, we didnt get an inspirational story from a preacher, we didnt get to hear how G-d will bless us with abundance. What we did get, was our hearts warmed and our spirits lifted knowing we shared something with a fellow human.

I think Jesus would have been a BIG TIPPER.


practicallyhealthy said...

Hi honey,

Thank you for the wonderful afternoon and for your generous heart. I love you and am proud to be your wife.

mac said...

Agreed :-)

IF Jesus were real, he would have been a great tipper.

As to tithes: Why does god need my money?
I mean, if he needs money, why doesn't he call Bill Gates or Donald TRump or someone else. I'm sure he has their numbers ;-)

Luke said...

Jesus was a great tipper! just think of all the tips he gave us like "Do unto others" and "Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk".

golden rules i'd say if ever i done heard!

Anonymous said...

Tithe's blow - I hate payng for property - but that's just me...I won't be owning that building or using it for equity (lol). I am more into the personal aspects of helping people in real and easy ways - like u just did! Must be a Canadian thang lol - and a northern USA thing too? (me being all territorial lol)

Jesus had no use for money - that's my opinion. Money cannot buy you love or make you feel better about yourself. Love just has no relational connection it can provide. In fact, any talk we find on Jesus concerning money - is usually not good.

So for me, money is just money and nothing more...a tip is nice to give - but the true meaning is 'why you did it and how it effected someone'. How it effects you to do such a thing. The greateness of is relational - and money is just the means used.

Do you serve God or money? In the case of tithes and tipping - it all depends on one's motive?

Gary Means said...

and the worst tippers in the world . . . Christians on Sunday afternoon. Ask any waitperson.

Tit for Tat said...


Lol, can you blame them, they just got bled an hour before lunch. You'd be pretty tapped out too. ;)

Anonymous said...

Always best to cut out the middle man I reckon.

Sounds like my perfect afternoon - a pint and people-watching.

Bar L. said...

(I had to make my blog invite only and would like to invite you, can you email me at so I can send you one, that is if you want to keep reading. In case you don't know, this is Barbara from Prodigal Daughter. Thanks!)

Anonymous said...

I vote for the tip. Grew up being told that if I didn't tithe I would be on the first train to hell. Then I realized, while still wrapped in the fundy mindset, that Christians do not live under Old Testament Law. The law was not for us (I fully recognize that this language sounds really right-wing-fundy-cornball-ish but it was my thinking at the time a couple years back when I came to understand this issue a bit better. My apologies.). It was for the Jewish nation during a particular point in time. So why was I allowing myself to be shamed into tithing by a theology that was picking out rules for me to follow to keep its institution alive? Ridiculous. So I quit tithing and instead have focused on just being generous. I have instead given to the YMCA. A couple of other groups that are really trying to help others. Some specific individuals in need. And some other things including the different church that I now attend. And giving has become more joyous and less of an obligation. Jesus would vote for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Kind of amusing that bits and pieces of Torah are retained when they're convenient, such as making sure people fork over money, but discarded when inconvenient, such as not eating pork or shellfish....

I haven't done much studying on tithing lately, but from what I remember it was given for more reasons than upkeep of the Temple, which no longer exists, btw, thus eliminating the tithes dedicated to it. Other tithes were used for a kind of community barbecue with the family that gave, the priests and their families, and the poor of the community all included. Not exactly the same as plunking money in the offering plate to keep an entity afloat.

Jewish tradition is that 10% should be given to charity, not to support a religious institution, but to charity. Obviously we can't have offerings taken at shul; we instead are charged dues. 2% at my shul up to a maximum of $5000. There are other charges throughout the year, but no way do they add up to anything close to 10%, probably more like 3% in my case. Thank goodness no 'storehouse' sermons from Malachi! We always get a funds appeal on Kol Nidre, but it's a few minutes message from the shul president, which most of us tune out anyway, and we're on to other things.

Church teachings on tithing is just another case of Torah misunderstood and misapplied, IMO.

Tit for Tat said...

Church teachings on tithing is just another case of Torah misunderstood and misapplied, IMO.(Yael)

I agree. The real challenge is that Im sure people in authority arent misunderstanding, they are just misappropriating.

I heard a good one.

"If you truly want to test a man's character, give him power"

Anonymous said...

Power buries those who wield it. (Babylonian Talmud 86b)

Anonymous said...

oops. Missed part of the reference. Babylonian Talmud Yoma 86b.

Anonymous said...

I really don't give much to anything these days - but God knwos I have given 'pressed, shaken, and overflowing' and all that fluffy jazz. Now I am taking time for myself and my wife - and we deserve it (selfish of me...not really - I have given to those who asked of me - and I feel okay about that level of giving).

I really should find a charity to help out - but giving my money means less to me than giving my 'time' - my personal resources - myself. Plus I don't trust charities - someone always taking something off the top and I am never sure how much of money is being used and for what...those details are always kind of vague.

I started a charity group called the Action Group which never caught on - but the idea was to not use a single dime on ourlseves but only on the help of those in need - and it was frickin awesome - greatest thing I have ever done!

Zandra said...

Hmm...I thought all the comments on here were pretty interesting. While I'm not trying to shove theology down anyone's throat, here are my two cents:

Jesus was (obviously) the greatest example of living a lifestyle in complete accordance with his convictions. He reached out to the heart of the city. And yes, I would imagine he would tip very generously.

But reconsider tithing. If you trust the church you attend (and if you don't, it might be time to do a little re-evaluating of why you do attend), you can trust that they will handle your tithes wisely. No, not all your money will go directly to a needy family, but think about the "care ministries" pastor, for example. His job is generally to counsel people and help them out emotionally, spiritually, and materially when needed. And the preacher - without him, who would teach us God's ways? Jesus himself was a teacher.

To reiterate, none of this would make sense if you do not agree with the church organization which you consider "your" church. But a well-functioning church has departments focused on giving back to the community - being the hands of Jesus.

Not saying you're going to hell if you don't tithe. Personally I think that's a load of crap. But I do think God will bless you for it. Just maybe not in the ways we expect (or demand?) it. It's not likely that he'll plunk a check down on your kitchen table, but maybe he'll arrange for your boss to see your extra efforts and give you a pay raise. But hey...knowing you're making an impact in someone's life is an incredible feeling.

So...I'd say Jesus would tithe and tip. I bet he would tithe his 10% and then give what he could to those who need it.

Thanks for taking the time to read another opinion. :)