Chronicle of Tithing
The origins of tithing can be traced to the Bible, still it is customary among many non-Christians as well as Christians to do some kind of tithing today.
Tithe is conventionally a Christian term that signifies the contribution of one tenth of one’s earnings as donation to one’s Church as a type of Church giving. However, every other religious system has similar practices within itself. In Islam the word used is ‘Zakat’. In the Sikh religion of India the name for it is ‘Dasvandh’ which again signifies setting apart a tenth of one’s earnings for pious acts. It was Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru who started the practice. The sacred texts of Hinduism like the Bhagavadgita and the Upanisads state that ‘true alms’ is that which is given as a part of one’s duty in the right place and at the right time to a worthy individual, from whom nothing is expected in return.
The word tithe is derived from the Hebrew word ‘asair’, which means to give the tenth part of something, often of a person’s income. Today, tithes (or tithing) are normally voluntary and paid in cash. However, there are still European countries that allow the church to mandate tithing and enforce it by law.
Denmark is a case in point where a church tax is mandatory for members of the Church of Denmark. The tax varies in different municipalities. It is mostly about 1% of the taxable income. And in Finland members of state churches have to pay a church tax ranging between 1% and 2.25% of their earnings and the Church taxes are included into the general national taxation process.
However the practice of regular tithes was not established until after Exodus. Tithes were common throughout the ancient Near East, as well as in later Lydia, Arabia, and Carthage.
The Hebrew custom of giving tithes finds mention in the Bible, starting with the gift from Abraham to Melchizedek, the Canaanite king and priest (Genesis–:20). Tithing was also common in former Lydia, Carthage and Arabia. The practice of tithing was espoused by the early Christian church, and was discussed in councils at Tours in 567 and at Macon in 585. Formal recognition to these was given under Pope Adrian I in 787.
Tithing in some Christian churches is controversial because it applies an Old Testament process to a New Testament organisation (the Church). No evidence exists in the New Testament for the tithe to be applied to Christians. Indeed, only Jews living in the promised land were required to pay the tithe in the Old Testament, as it was actually a form of income tax used to support not only the government of Old Testament Israel, but also the temple and the priesthood.
Current day Tithing
Despite it’s origins in the Bible and ancient Christianity, today it is a special way to give every time you receive. Giving EVERY time you receive is such a powerful form of giving because it allows the giver to experience something incredibly powerful – more on that later.
Let us have a little more of history. Malachi 3:10 is the section of the Bible that Christians hold in importance when they deliberate on tithing. Many Christians do tithe to their church as they feel that they are duty bound to do as per the rules of the Bible. Many Churches have all throughout maintained that their members should tithe to the church to help it conduct its activities. The core of giving is its voluntary nature and its delightful experience, without which it does not get its ideal effect – if in fact you are hoping to create an ideal effect by giving.
Disagreements about Tithing
Tithing has often been a contentious topic. The issue whether a Christian should pay tithe is often argued in many Christian congregations.
In a Wall Street Journal article about tithing titled ‘The Backlash Against Tithing’, Suzanne Sataline writes, ‘As Churches push donations, congregants balk; ‘that’s not the way God works’.’
Unfortunately, the potent mix of ideology, power equations, and a narrow perspective, can often give rise to a Jekyll and Hyde situation – the perfection of giving being lost in the mishmash and mix-up of mysticism. Despite the conflict, tithing is still a complete and amazingly forceful action that anyone can carry on to turn their lives around to come face to face with a more plentiful direction.
For those who wish to understand a Christian perspective in tithing there is no limit of materials to read. For those who want to understand the reason WHY tithing is so powerful read on.
Why is Tithing so powerful?
This is indeed a powerful question because if you just mindlessly follow something without knowing some key background pointers you may be heading in the wrong direction.
If more of the people who do regularly practice tithing knew exactly why tithing is effective when done in the full spirit of a perfect gift, then it could possibly release a better yearning to give even more. And for those who give not on a regular basis, it could motivate them to give every time they get something.
To see the actual ‘why’ of how proper gifting gives rise to more we have to learn something about Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics. The rules that govern these disciplines are unlike those in our physical or Newtonian world.
The picture ‘What the Bleep’ paints the quantum world through easily graspable examples. The link to the movie here gives some details about how matter gets converted into waves and behaves like liquids when seen from a quantum physics angle:
The movie paints the picture of a startling world visible from a quantum space. When a line of electrons is fired through a plate with a cut in it onto a wall – predictably, it would hit the wall straight across the cut in a single line.
If the same experiment is done using an energy wave that has the properties of a water wave, again one can get an expected outcome. As the surge hits the plate the tendency for the wave is to ricochet but still because of the cut, some parts of the wave goes in through that cut. Emerging from the cut, the wave spreads out in an arched way, thus resulting in a new wave more or less similar to the old wave. It is exactly like the experiments one would have done in smaller classes regarding the behaviour of waves. It hits the wall opposite with a lot of force at the point just opposite the cut and hits with lesser strength all around the wall. This is just like the pattern the electrons create.
If we created one more opening in the plate, again the upshot would not be totally unexpected while experimenting a wave – two smaller waves would be formed through the openings and when the waves come into contact, they would dissolve each other and make an intervention pattern. Many waves would now strike the wall across, giving a stripped effect. These are standard patterns of wave behaviour and so there is nothing unexpected in the result.
Now this is where the quantum experiment gets interesting. With the two slits in place if electrons were fired at the plate we would expect to see two lines to be created on the wall. But guess what – instead a stripped affect appears – an interference pattern is created! This is totally unexpected. Somehow the matter had changed into a wave. You would think that electrons were bouncing off each other creating a wave; so then if you fired the electrons one at a time and then see what happens. The result is the same! This can only happen if the electrons leave as a single particle, splits into a wave of potentials when it hits the plate, passes through both splits and then interferes with itself on the other side of the plate. This is simply amazing – matter behaving like a wave – or solid behaving like a liquid. Maybe the world is different to what we think it is after all!
Though the overall properties of the world appear to be solid in nature, it does seem that it has enough of properties of a liquid as well – flux or liquid energy, which behaves like fluids in the physical world. The laws of physics clearly state that liquids that are alike in nature are attracted towards each others, while those which are unlike each other has a tendency to segregate and form its own group. The ineffective combining of water and oil is an example of this. Chromatography shows clearly the dispersion in clear bands of one substance into the many substances of which it is made of, just like larger collections of human beings split into smaller groups of people sharing common passions, strengths and interests.
The secret of it all is that when we give we feel delighted and know utmost joy. As a donor we get the best of gifts, which is the gift of contentment. Often we think that it is the one who gets a gift that gets the thing and thus overlook the fact that the giver is the real getter. If anybody is in doubt about this equation, then look at yourself with kids around and observe how intently you feel when you give to them and how much you enjoy irrespective of how they respond.
When we recognize that it is to we ourselves that we are giving when we make the gesture of giving and we do it for the gratification we feel, we have the clue. This clue opens the door of comprehension of giving. And when we give repetitively the force builds up with a snowballing effect enlarging more and more the more we pour to it with our continuous gifting.
The fact that we feel joyful when we give changes our energy literally – we feel better and in that moment we are more attractive to other people. Have you experienced someone on the street selling something that you don’t want such as tissues and normally you do not buy, but one day you do and the only reason why is because the person is happy and smiling? You may have experienced the same with buskers playing music on the street.
A contended individual radiates a natural magnetism that draws others to him and in doing so he enriches himself. It is clear-cut. They pull towards them both those who are desirous of experiencing that feeling as well as those who have already known the richness of it.
So just like water and oil, givers and non-givers gather in separate areas. And the best place to receive something is in a place where givers hang out! But of course you can only stay in the giving group while you give! Givers love to give to those who give.
So even though we can run to quantum physics for our answers, they also lie right in front of our face. Like attracts like – simple. Everywhere you look you see this happening. Lions hand out with lions, students hang out with students, women hang out with women, guys hang out with guys, ‘poor’ people hang out with ‘poor’ people and ‘rich’ people hang out with ‘rich’ people. And yes – givers hang out with givers.
So those who give out of remorse cannot benefit from it – it will only help in attracting to him others with similar guilt complexes who are not able to sense joy or ecstasy. Guilt is very close to anger in the ladder of negative emotions; for those who give out of a sense of self-reproach anger might be their next step in understanding things. Joy is very near the pinnacle of human sensations – you can graduate from there only to love – something that everyone is trying to do.
So when you start giving you are two steps away from love – pretty amazing to think that isn’t it. Especially seeing most people are desperately seeking love. Now we know the answer is simple – go get giving! And of course giving money is just a small part of giving – giving in general will create a space of joy for us, no matter how ‘small’.
There is also a psychological aspect to giving regularly. Even though at first this aspect doesn’t seem connected to the emotion of joy – in the end it directly connects us to the feeling of joy.
When we give something – especially something we don’t feel we have much of – then we send a powerful signal to our brain that life can be trusted. When we give something and later on we look back and we observe that all worked out well we connect with trust. The opposite of trust is fear. So again, a party of fearful people would not be a happy and joyful one so their attraction point would be pretty darn low. However, a party of trusting people would be a joyful experience and would attract others seeking that experience. So in the end when we trust it converts to joy and again we are only one step away from the number one thing that most of us are seeking – love.
So the essence that has been forgotten over the ages is right here today for anyone to connect with simply and easily. My son received a lot of money for Christmas and I asked him what he was going to do with it. He said he was going to save most of it. I asked him how much he was going to give. He had not considered that an option until I shared it with him. What would happen if the first thing we did when we received was to give some away – do you think we would experience more joy
Transaction based charity – or transaction based generosity
This takes us to the force of transactional giving. Many enterprises give when they have enough of money to give. When they do not have much they do not prefer to give. So their possible levels of joy fluctuate depending upon market variations – they do not have any restraint. But whoever gives EVERY time they get something is in charge and has their relationship with perfect joy forever.
Transactional giving rather than single payments is connected with the ups and downs of profit so it is an easy way of giving. The rule is that whenever you get something you give proportionately – easy. If you have a bad season you might give, but less depending on sales. And when business is better one can give more.
One of the key powers of transaction based giving is that you can share the joy of giving so easily with all stakeholders – customers/community – staff – and business. Because a customer knows that when they buy from you they get to give without it costing them anything except the energy to choose and shop with you they feel ownership of the giving – hence traditional CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility, coverts readily to Customer Social Responsibility, with your customer being able to powerfully respond to the giving by talking about you and have an additional emotional albeit intangible reason, for choosing to continue shopping with you.
Your staff also get to share in the joy of giving because every time they are personally involved in creating a sale, they know directly they have helped give something to someone in need. This experience is powerful within a team because it can be used in so many ways such as team motivation and staff incentives.
Any business, including startups with no profit, can do Buy1GIVE1 transaction-based giving – there literally are no barriers to entry and the business controls everything. The contribution amount per transaction starts from just one cent and goes up to thousands of dollars with each business choosing their own level of giving and charity cause project to support depending on their business type and profitability. There is simply no reason not to give this way when the benefits of giving are so numerous. Businesses who are currently giving to a cause can usually convert very quickly and easily to Buy1GIVE1 transaction-based giving while still supporting the same cause providing extra tangible benefits to the business.
At the end of the day transaction-based giving is a modern form of tithing that is easy and effective for anyone, anywhere. Now that we know it is not about the amount that we give such as one-tenth, but simply about the fact we are giving that makes the difference. When we enter the club of givers we move into a special and privileged world that only those who give are privy to. And unless you get giving today, you just simply don’t ‘get’ giving and never will till you start. So start now.
‘We’re not here to donate to ‘get back.’. We’re here to give more and more.’
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