This post is clarifying my thoughts from my Is Tithing a New Testament Requirement? post.

Today it was pointed out to me that my post about tithing was not as clear as I thought it was. When I took a closer a look at it, I was appalled at everything that I had left out. The pieces were all there in my head, but I did a terrible job of converting them into words. In the process, I’m afraid I hurt feelings and conveyed the wrong message about tithing.

The following is part of a response to an e-mail I received some time ago concerning this post. The writer voiced some concerns, but even then I did not see everything that I left out. I can’t publish the e-mail because I don’t have permission, but I think that my side of the conversation will still help to clear up what I meant.

I totally appreciate what you have said and I agree with it, too. God has always provided our most necessary needs (regardless of our finances). And I appreciate everything the district leadership does. I’m sorry if I came over too strong about the banquet. It’s one of the VERY few things that bother me in this district. Overall, I absolutely love all our district leadership. I really appreciate your willingness to take time with me. The district superintendent is wonderful and if I ever have the chance to talk to him, I will try to remember to tell him my frustrations about the banquet. I have found him very easy to talk to, but since being frustrated about the banquet, I haven’t talked to him and I don’t feel like its such a big issue (even though it may have sounded that way) that I should take up his time by calling or talking to him about just that. As far as the pay, I think whatever the district leadership get paid is probably perfect or too little. I know its a big job. I passionately disagreed with my mom’s saying they made too little.

As far as the tithe, I will continue to look into the topic. I have enjoyed my blogging experiences of late. They have made me read more of others’ blog and therefore think more about these issues. I wholeheartedly agree that we should give as much as we are able. For us, that is 85% of our tithe to the district, 15% of our tithe to the church and an additional 10% of our income to missions. We can’t wait to give more! I’m only saying that maybe the term “tithe” is not the correct way to approach the subject of giving. I don’t really know yet. It just seems like what Travis and others are showing me is that we need to give, but that we are limiting God’s blessing by putting a number on it. I think 10% should be our minimum. Travis and others may disagree, but I think that we can never out-give God and it is good to have a starting point and a goal. Chris and I had the goal of giving 10% to missions, as well as tithe, since we got married. He gave more than that before we were married. We have just gotten to the point of giving 10% to missions, this May at District Council when God challenged Chris to give $25 to each missionary we personally support. He couldn’t believe God was telling him to do that. Where was the money going to come from? But God provided miraculously. Chris is directing the music of a play right now. He found out that he would be paid for it! The pay covers one year of missions giving plus $300 that we gave to my sister-in-law for her missions trip to Spain this summer. Praise God! He is great!

I REALLY appreciate your thoughtful e-mail. Thanks!

Elaine Hooton

That is the e-mail I sent in reply to her concerns about my post. I really did not realize that it was so unclear what position I was taking. So, to be clear, I believe that we must tithe, but that 10% is only a starting point, not an ending point. I also believe that our district officials, if anything, should make more than they do. I hope they make lots, they deserve it. As basically the CEO of the Assemblies of God, Michigan District, the district superintendent should make as much as any other CEO of this size corporation or as much as Luis Palau, who’s income was a matter of contention during his recent crusades in Omaha, NE. I don’t have any idea what the district officials make, but I hope and pray that it is what they deserve according to the rest of the world’s standards. I was debating against my mom who was saying that they make too much.

Really the only thing that should have been controversial is my questioning, not of giving tithe, but using the word “tithe” to describe giving God all of our selves and all of our finances. It’s not about the 10% percent, but about giving sacrificially back to God. I may write another post on this later.

More than anything, I want to apologize to any district officials who were hurt by my previous post. I really did not mean what came across. I thought that I had written my thoughts out completely, but I was very wrong. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings and once again apologize for the badly written post. I love you all! I’m happy for the new grandparents and sad for the recent losses of district officials’ family members. I feel like you are family that I don’t know very well yet, but that I can’t wait to know more. This is really the best district that my husband and I have ever been in and that previous post makes it sound awful. That is not the case! Please forgive me! I love you all!