The Tradition, Book One
Chung Hwan Kwak
Tithing is a biblical tradition referring to the practice of donating one tenth of one's income to God through the church or synagogue. The Unification Church tradition of tithing also includes offering an attitude of attendance to God.
In the ideal sense, in order to fulfill God's providential will, everything -- including our own families -- must be viewed as an offering or sacrifice. Therefore, it is important to give generously to the church. This is the principle of living for the sake of others. Our donation to serve God and the worldwide dispensation should be our first priority.
The Way of God's Will contains some of Father's thoughts on tithing.
Tithing is a basic duty of the chosen children. When you offer the portion of the number one, that is, the number of God, you set up the condition of having offered the portion of the number nine. Therefore, you must think more of this one-tenth than of the remainder.
Sunday is the day of tithing, not your own day. Thus, it is the day when you obey God as He commands. It is a sin to use that which belongs to God as if it were your own.
Amount of Tithe
It is an honor for Unification Church members to tithe; we have the opportunity to use God's belongings, which Satan can no longer claim.
Since originally all things belonged to Him, our minimal attitude of attendance should be to offer at least one-tenth of all our things to God. Through this conditional offering, the remaining nine-tenths of our possessions become godly. By doing so, our life, our family, our possessions -- the remaining nine-tenths -- are all brought to God. A
hundred percent of everything we own belongs to God. The external offering of one-tenth is only a small condition of sacrifice.
Hierarchy of Tithing
Ultimately, one-tenth of the total tithes a local church receives from its members should be offered to the state or regional church. The state or regional church should also tithe one-tenth of the total of all tithes it collects to the national headquarters. All national headquarters too should tithe one-tenth of the total tithes they receive to the international headquarters.
Types of Tithes
There are several types of tithes or donations which should be made by each Unification Church member.
Although time tithes are often thought of as the offering of a member's time in attending daily prayer services, Pledge service, Sunday service, and any other services/meetings held by the church center or department, these are of greater benefit to the member than to Heavenly Father. God does not expect only a ten percent time tithe. He anticipates a minimum donation of three-tenths of our time as a commitment to fulfill His will.
According to True Father's teaching, although a monetary tithe is important, to tithe our time is essential as we strive to share our lives with God. Members who have church-related missions may consider their missions a time tithe.
Home members should and home church contacts may also tithe time as well as contribute financially. The quantity of time should be discussed with the local leader, who can make suggestions as to projects or activities in which home members may participate, and who can invite the person to regular center meetings.
Whether a member (center, home or home church) receives a salary, a stipend, or a gift of money from parents, home church contacts, etc., he or she should donate at least one-tenth of the net amount to the
local church center or department as a minimum contribution, but may voluntarily contribute more.
When a person receives money for personal expenses, or clothing from a central figure, it is not necessary to tithe any portion of it.
Holy Day Donations
Members and blessed couples are also encouraged to offer donations on each major Holy Day (Parents Day, Children's Day, The Day of All Things, God's Day as well as the True Parents' birthday.) The amount of money given is an individual decision. However, it is recommended that amounts of providentially significant numbers be offered. The most important element is the heart with which the offering is given.
All members should have the attitude to offer the main Holy Day celebrations to True Parents and not expect that True Parents hold such celebrations for them. In this way, it is important to understand that whether or not one attends the main Holy Day celebration with True Parents (or their representatives), it is still desirable to give a donation. Therefore, as an unconditional offering, it does not constitute or guarantee "admission" to a Holy Day celebration.
The entire amount of money gathered as the Holy Day donation should be offered to the international headquarters in honor of True Parents.
Each major nation may gather donations from members (by center, department, etc.). Pioneer nations should also adhere to this tradition, even if the amount of the donation is small.
Individual members and blessed couples should not send their Holy Day donations directly to international headquarters.