My 84 y/o mom is frantic over me handling her finances because I have not tithed to her old church off of her social security. Her finances are very tricky as it is. We are Christians and tithe ourselves but are struggling with this. Any opinions?

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Been there, had that argument. As a Christian who attends church every time the doors are open (not bragging, I just see how this can be important to her) in my opinion she is a poor saint in need herself. Secondly, a poor widow once gave a “mite” and that small amount was considered great. If nothing else, give a $1.00 a week to the church (her “mite”) and tell her that offerings being made. God knows what she wants to do & what she is able to do.
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Reply to mollymoose

I LOVE all these answers here. I continue to be amazed by how much people really care here.

As someone who was a pastor's wife for 20 years, I personally never expected tithes from those on fixed incomes of any sort, or those in the clutches of hardship. A free will offering is more than enough and in that way, a "mite" does cover it entirely. Even then, that mite can be whenever reasonable to individual in need.

In my view churches that prod and push those already in need to make "sacrifices unto the Lord", when it was difficult coming up with gas money to make it to service in the first place, are at fault. Would they rather have empty pews because the last 5 dollars was tithed and now no one can even come and hear the Word of God and are sitting at home hungry. Absurd.

God knows the heart and I am sure she has His grace through her faith. Someone mentioned having the minister comfort her. If there is one that truly will do that, and it helps great. Just be sure wherever she was tithing has the right views and will not burden her later. I divorced as a result of seeing abuse in such ways and more. The average minister should be very supportive and in fact seek to aid her. Sadly, too many feel entitled and forget to whom they were called to serve and aid.

One side thought. Do you get her mail? I ask because many church organizations send mailings to people to "contract" or "pledge" funds. If she ever signed one they will keep mailing her "notices", "reminder", or "encouragements" to trust and bless the household of faith, etc. Such notices would likely distress her and some churches know that pressure works. The same for text and email reminders that may chime on her devices. I put my foot down when auto-drafts entered the finance structure of religion. But its there and growing.

Thinking of you and grateful she has an advocate even in such spiritual matters. Heaven is not based on tithing. "Be of Good Cheer Mom"
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Reply to OctoberAngels
AT1234 Dec 31, 2018
Thank you isn’t enough. My mom is deeply distressed over this. I believe she has some deep insecurity about her salvation. Some denominations are more abusive in this way than others. .
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If your mom has Medicaid, it is against gifting rules so it cannot be done. A church is a charity and her money goes for care.

If she needs some sort of Biblical justification to understand. Humans are no longer under the Mosiac Covenant, but the New Covenant. Tithing is no longer required or "law" but neither is circumcision or animal sacrifices. When Jesus accepted tithing, it was also Mosiac Covenant...which was accepted until death brought about the New Covenant.

The church is not a building or a minister that guilts people into giving money but a calling to a belief. Its not right they prey on peoples fear of damnation if they dont give.
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Reply to tacy022
jacobsonbob Jan 1, 2019
Thanks, tacy022; my response above (under Sendhelp's comment) also reflects this. A lot of religious teaching doesn't point out this distinction.
In my opinion only, tithing is a portion given to God Most High, ultimately. He initiated that to avoid greed or thinking that it is we who provide for ourselves. It is for our soul's benefit really, and we have the freedom of choice to where to give to in helping others.

God sees; He knows. His compassion for widows in their distress is HUGE. He is not going to then add any more weight upon her by expecting a tithe from her! He is a God of great compassion and mercy to those such as your mom.
I know that she might not comprehend all of that, but there must be a thought in her thinking of 'appeasing the wrath of an angry God' if she doesn't tithe something. So sad, as He is not angry. He does have wrath against unrighteousness ( wrath is a better word.... it 'flares His nostrils' Hebraically: as unrighteousness should flare our's too. )

Anyway back to your question... it is not unrighteous to say to mom, "God knows your desire is to please Him with tithing.... it is OK." and leave it at that. I would repeat that phrase to her whenever the subject comes up.
If she insists, then indeed - the widow's mite ( smallest coin back then ) is greater in God's sight than any huge amount others may give out of their abundance. It need NOT be '10%' for her. That would not be justice for her either, in God's sight.

May you receive His wisdom on what is pleasing in His sight... alone.
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Reply to RedBerryFarm

the church should be giving to her instead of the other way around. With "Christians" like those money grabbers, who needs religion. Disgusting. In my opinion it's taking advantage of the elderly and disabled.
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Reply to cetude
AT1234 Jan 1, 2019
cetude, I said the exact thing.
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This is an interesting subject you've brought up, AT1234. My very devout father has always tithed, but stopped after his spinal cord injury. He still makes regular modest gifts to his church, which I help with as his POA.

I haven't talked to him about it, but I would imagine he feels as I do, that tithing is just not appropriate or expected by God for a completely dependent person such as my dad (and your mom). Persons who are weak and vulnerable and needing all of their income or savings for their care, don't need to worry about tithing. I hope there is some way you can reassure your mom about this.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
AT1234 Dec 31, 2018
I’ve tried to reassure her, and yes I am her POA. There have been some great suggestions here but after her tears and great distress I’ve written the last check to this business. To me, that’s what it is because a church would not do what they’ve done to her.

Thank you, for you response.
Perhaps it would help your mother to remind her that tithing was originally to help the Christian Church to support those in need of help, as well as to provide an income for the leaders. Social support was an important part of the early Church's mandate. Your mother is now in the situation where the early Christian Church would be providing her with help, not demanding it from her. Your mother can request her beneficiaries to provide funds to the Church when her estate is settled, but accept that it is better not to complicate a complex tax/ medicaid/ care situation at this point. And you can provide her with that assurance, if you wish. Best wishes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

I would not tithe! I don't believe in that. The church has plenty of money plus they are a 501C corp and pay no taxes. If you're struggling, why give the money to someone else. Doesn't hold water.
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Reply to DDaniels

1) Increase your tithe, tell Mom you are tithing for her because you need the tax deduction and she doesn't.

2) Render to Caesar what is Caesar' is gov't funds, not meant to give away, but meant for basic needs. Tithe by giving of oneself, one's heart to the Lord's work. Isn't there a retirement of tithing after age 90?

3) The christian church has a plan to support widows and orphans. It does not include taking their money from them...common sense. The Lord is merciful.

4) Tell Mom to be gracious and receive.
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Reply to Sendhelp
jacobsonbob Jan 1, 2019
Tithing was something bound upon the Jews of the Old Testament and before Christ's resurrection. Christians are asked to set something aside to give as they have prospered (I Corinthians 16:2), with no specific percentage or value prescribed.
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Is mom private pay, or is she on Medicaid?

Is there a chance that she will need to apply for Medicaid funding for AL or NH in the next 5 years? You might need to consult an attorney, but my assumption is that titheing, like all charitable donations, would be looked upon as gifting and thus subject to penalty.

How would you feel about telling mom a "therapeutic fib" that the tithes have been "taken care of"?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
AT1234 Dec 31, 2018
She is private pay now, but we’ve been down this road before with husbands parents and the private pay won’t last long. Her desire is never to live with us, a sentiment I’ve come to agree with. Our options are limited and Medicaid is not far off especially if we can’t qualify for LTHC.
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