Asian American Christians don’t talk about money?
Money gets talked about a lot in mainstream American culture because pretty much everyone needs to earn money for a living.
Some are able to accumulate wealth and doing that money making money thing. Then all this gets reinforced thru financial news 24/7, money-making books and seminars, plus you-too-can-be-an-entrepreneur courses.
And the donating of money to charitable causes gets talked about by the nonprofits doing fundraising. But what doesn’t get talked about is deciding how much money to give away and who to give money to. (to be clear, people can give away more than money, because time and skills and expertise can be given away too)
With this topic of generosity and philanthropy, it’s uncomfortably hard to talk about in mainstream American culture and churches. It’s even harder to talk about in Asian American Christian churches.
How Do You Think About Giving Beyond Tithing?
Found this question on a friend’s Facebook post and got permission to share it on this public blog:
I’m curious what your family’s charitable giving philosophy is, if you have one and are willing to share it.
It can be somewhat taboo in the Asian American culture to discuss money matters but I’d like to move towards being in a circle where it is less so. As a Christian, the Bible teaches tithing, so I’m also interested in that aspect if you subscribe to the practice of tithing.
Follow up question: Do you think tithing means just to the local church or does it include missionaries? I’ve heard many people say the Bible explicitly teaches to tithe to the local church but my question is… well did missionaries exist back then? Maybe one might bring up Acts 2 and “sharing to all who had need” and that may include missionaries. Feel free to PM me if you have an opinion that you’d rather not discuss in open forum.
That post has a privacy setting of “friends only,” so if you’re not her friend, you can’t see the comments thread. But, I can share what I’d replied with:
[DJ] amen, I’d love to elevate this topic into more public discussion; last September (2018) when I searched for the phrase Asian American Christian philanthropy, Google had 0 results. tragic. Now it has a couple because someone blogged about it.
When does giving by faith become foolish?
Ok follow up question, since I’ve read a few times that 10% is just a guide. How about saving? I’ve heard, Give 10%, save 10%. This is now going into financial planning, but what if you just simply can’t afford that? I love the idea of giving more but is it possible that giving more could be bad stewardship?
[DJ] generally, don’t give more than you can afford, many tragic stories there.. ideally, adjust your expenses to live within your means, then as you’re able to earn more money by God’s grace, then you can give more.. main principle when you earn more than you need to live on, all the extra becomes the opportunity to give generously as a good steward, blessed to be a blessing, for it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Tough Question: Is Tithing a Requirement?
MaryAnn Nguyen-Kwok gave this talk, “Is Tithing a Requirement? What’s the Criteria for Following Old Testament Laws?” at Coast Vineyard (San Diego) in a series, Tough Questions 2018. [mentioned in comment thread]