I think I am going to go mad if I hear Ann Romney and that crowd crow much longer about how generous Mitt is. After all, he tithes a whopping 10% to his church! I am supposed to be impressed. Guess what? I'm not.
A few days ago, I actually heard Ann – on NBC or one of those networks – say that Mitt actually gives 10% to “charity.” She knows this is untrue, as do I. Tithing is not giving. All Christian denominations know this. But, obviously, the general public – including the well-informed media – does not.
The Bible says: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this. ...And see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10)
I have heard a gazillion sermons on this topic over the years – and have preached a few myself. The tithe is a command. It is not an option. The tithe belongs to God, and withholding it is stealing from the Almighty himself. Giving does not begin until the eleventh percent. In fact, the donor does not own the tithe, so it is not his or hers to give.
The Mormons are perhaps the most fastidious tithers of all sects, as their church keeps accurate records and knows exactly how much each individual and family owes the Church. The tithe is certainly not charity. It is used for administrative purposes.
Mormons do not give to the poor. They use their excess funds for proselytizing and house welfare. Most other denominations do likewise. A Mormon friend of mine once told me, rather boastfully: “Well, we don't do soup kitchens. But you have to admit, we do take care of our own!” I was not impressed. That kind of self-support is not at all what I read in the words of Jesus.
But it gets better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). Lately, even proselytizing has taken a back seat to designating funds given above the tithe, to political causes. This trend is echoed in both Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations as well. The damned will have to wait to hear the Gospel message. It is far more important to influence the political climate in America to favor all the interdenominational megachurches of every stripe.
The best example of this was Proposition 8 in California. All the “Christian” groups around the country were apoplectic about the specter of marriage equality. Obviously, the gays were getting just way too uppity and totally out of hand, demanding equal rights. It simply had to be stopped, and the line seemed to have been drawn in California.
A Mormon friend of mine in Sacramento told me that the local church bishop, elders, and other mucky mucks paid him and his wife a “home visit” for the purpose of fundraising, to fight the repeal of Prop 8. They were not asked to give, he told me; instead, they were told what they could afford. Their personal finances were known to the church computers, and in the end they emptied their savings account.
Neither he nor his wife were willing givers. They donated out of coercion – not out of a cheerful heart as the Bible encourages in 2 Corinthians 9:7 ... Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Well, since Mitt has been unwilling to disclose his offshore assets to any of us, perhaps he is likewise unwilling to let the LDS computers know exactly how much he has stashed away, lest he get a “home visit” as well someday. (End)