Originally Posted by beansmama
You are misinformed. Very FEW churches actually REQUIRE tithing... As far as i know, Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists are required to tithe? I think??? I'm not sure what the churches do about low income families - Mormon churches, from what i know from my mormon SIL, do not pay their pastors - so that means they have a LOT of money somewhere since everyone is paying 10% and it's a huge church.
I'm sure they help their needy members.
I'm LDS/Mormon. Tithing is not "required," it is an offering that is freely given. Yes, 10% is considered a full tithe, however how much a person gives is entirely up to them. I do know that not everyone chooses to tithe, and not everyone pays a "full tithe." As with all commandments we are free to make the choice for ourselves. Our clergy is not paid, with the exception of very few people who dedicate the remainder of their lives to church service, such as the President of the church & the Apostles. Their living is "room & board" basically a small apartment & living expenses.
Yes, we have 12 million members (still relatively small compared to other major world religions) however, since the LDS church is a global church and most of the members are outside the United States, many in 3rd world South American countries please keep that in perspective when visualizing money available.
The LDS church financial records are audited yearly by an independent auditing firm, and the report is published annually. In addition to the construction, furnishing, and operating expenses of church buildings, temples, tabernacles, & conference centers nationwide, tithing funds are also used for things like:
Maintaining the largest family history research program in the world
Supporting 3 large Universities
seminary & institute buildings (religious education for HS students, the teachers are primarily unpaid volunteers teaching classes at 5 or 6 am which students voluntarily attend.)
Room & board allowances for senior adults supervising the proselyting & humanitarian missionary programs
Construction & maintenance of church visitors centers and museums at important church history sites
Additionally voluntary fast offerings are used for humanitarian & local member welfare needs. The church also has a perpetual education fund to help people who would otherwise be unable to afford it better their lives through higher education.