No Financial Commitment
Solidarity does not exist only with the commitment of one person. It is a thing of beauty demonstrated when a group of people move in unison. It is not an easy thing to achieve. If it were, they wouldn’t award Olympic metals for synchronized swimming.
It requires a lot of discipline to develop and much courage to execute. The military attempts to instill solidarity in basic training so fewer people die in battle and it also multiplies the total effect. Small groups of soldiers have been known to effectively retard the advance of forces several times their size because they fought in unison courageously. The WW II Battle of Lanzerath Ridge is a case in point. There is great power generated when a group of people, large or small, act in unison.
The only option to solidarity is disunity which eventually becomes disparity. Solidarity is another word for unity and there is no question that each group of believers (local church) is to have unity (solidarity). Solidarity is not “agreeing to disagree.” Solidarity occurs when each member of a group demonstrates the same level and type of commitment to a common cause. People who have solidarity agree on the goals they wish to reach and the things they’ll do to achieve them. These people trust each other, depend on each other and have agreement on important issues. This type of relationship requires more than just words. It is never superficial.
Solidarity was another issue Jesus emphasized in the Sermon on the Mount and the one way He taught we could demonstrate solidarity with God was through the proper management of mammon (material resources). Jesus referred to God and mammon as two different and diametrically opposed masters. We must choose one over the other. To love one is to distrust the other. To serve one is to enslave the other.
According to Jesus, a primary obstacle to solidarity with God was money. Therefore, money is also a primary means of expressing solidarity. And whatever you do must be consistent. The key to effective money management is regularity. If your retirement plan is based on saving then you must save consistently and regularly over an entire life time to realize the desired goal. Whatever you do to honor God with your money must also be done dependably, regularly and consistently over an entire life time.
All of that is to say that tithing consistently and faithfully is an important way to demonstrate your solidarity with God. When others do this also, the solidarity includes a larger group. The power on a human level is multiplied and God’s blessings are as well.
How you relate to God determines how you relate to God’s people. If you have learned to trust God with your finances you will not be very comfortable working closely with Christians who haven’t. You might love them and wish to include them but when there is no financial commitment then there is always a question.
Entire nations never have solidarity. Large percentages of any nation rarely have it. Agreeing to disagree is what they do because they cannot establish solidarity. God’s people, however, must have it and Tithing is one way to catalyze it. In fact, it isn’t solidarity if it doesn’t include finances.
In Tithing, Douglas Leblanc provides much more than a narrow discussion on a traditional issue. It isn’t the same old arguments presented the same boringly technical way.
Instead, and probably because he is “no theologian or exegetical writer,” Douglas has found an intriguing way to cut to the real heart of the issue. He shares the experiences of eleven different couples and one lone Monsignor, all of whom endorse tithing for a very similar reason: selflessness.