I believe strongly that every single person on the planet should tithe to some organization or cause, somehow - and that everyone who can't afford to tithe should do so anyway and then receive assistance from the communal pot, if that is possible. In other words, I believe in the concept of tithing and fast offerings, and I think everyone should make a conscious choice to donate to the "cause" of their conscience.
My tithing recipient is the LDS Church, and my lifetime payment of tithing and fast offerings has been a big part of my willingness to accept and not feel bad about receiving church assistance when I was unemployed for far too long and had used up all of our savings. I've been on both sides, and I really believe in it.
I believe in the principle, but I believe in it for the earthly benefits - chiefly the ability to detach from the natural (wo)man tendency to see things as "ours", help build the kingdom and truly succor those who need succoring. I don't view it as fire insurance; I think that was a justification to prompt members to start paying it when the Church desperately needed increased funds. I don't have any problem with that, and I don't begrudge that need to tie it to an eternal reward, but I don't like to look at it that way.
I prefer to see it as a way to draw closer to the type of person Jesus was and to bless the greater community in the here and now, rather than as a way to increase my chance for personal reward in an objective, measurable way.
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