I really appreciate the concept in this article about the "abundant consciousness", the same I read in Jesus' teachings and parables.
this appeals to me because of my background in history and religions of the world...and my sense of loss in connection with abundance, and of course the corruption we see in the world from people who have lost their common sense and the sense of the common good.
Let me know what you think...
Tithing is a decent concept, but is being misused by people praying on the poor who want to get richer. I'm not sure whether that was what you were trying to discuss here though.
Just that those 'tithing pyramid schemes' really get to me. I mean - it's using religious feelings to trick people into leaving their hard earned cash, that they probably need to pay the bills, in the faint hope that they may get something back.
Seriously sad and criminal stuff IMO.
Ultimately I think tithing originally was simply a method of taxation. That had a place when taxes weren't being collected by the government: money needed to take care of orphans, education etc. But these days we pay taxes already.
I briefly glanced over the article, so I might not be quite on your track in my comments. Hopefully, it is what you were looking for in the thread.
The doctrine of tithing is sacred economics for us. Many scorn religion for teaching the doctrine of ten percent tithes of one's gross increase. It is easily seen as a rip off. However, tithing dollars are sacred. The Lord gave us all we have, and all that is asked in return is a mere tenth in order to build up the kingdom on Earth and to uplift those in need. We are asked to sacrifice that which we hold most dear. What would that be? Most of us cherish money above all else, and that's where the miracle is. Tithing is the ability to look beyond the $$ and rely and grow in faith, that your needs will be met if you remain faithful to the principle of tithing. Rip off? No. Instead, sacred economics and faith in that which is not seen, yet remains true.
Tithing preys on people's fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of ghost/spirits, and on their desire to be part of a community... typically a community that sinks its roots deeply into one's sense of well-being as pegged to superstition/faith, making them vulnerable to suggestion via the awe of god/gods, which is akin to how children will do as their parents tell them. God is typically referred to as "Father" or "Mother" depending on the religion, etc.
Money collects into fewer hands, power increases with accumulated wealth, often given by people who can ill-afford to give it, forgoing things like health care or braces for their kids or even just adequate retirement savings. In some religions, if you don't hit the full 10%, you aren't "as good" of a member as the ones who do. The worth of your soul and your corporeal self dictated by your obedience to the "we love you if" tax.
Meanwhile the power grows and the spiritual enterprise begins to exist for the maintenance of the spiritual enterprise (at best) and at worst, and inevitably, power corrupts because it is not god managing the money, it's men.
It's a bad, bad idea in my opinion.
I am completely annoyed by church tithing. I think feed the hungry, help a destitute find a home, pay for an addict to get treatment. They think build a church next door to another church to compete and bring them into the new church, add an addition to the building, send a pastor on a vacation to Israell to enhance his spirituality.
Maybe I'm more than annoyed.
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