Tom Gilson

Matching Game Answers: What Could We Do If We Tithed?

Here are the answers to my June 17 “Fascinating Matching Game.” I encourage you to go back to that post and try your hand at it before you look at the answers here.

Main Section
A1. Amount spent on entertainment and recreation AG. $705 billion
A2. Amount spent on state lottery tickets AC. $58 Billion
A3. Amount spent on pets AE. $31 billion
A4. Amount spent on jewelry AD. $65 billion
A5. Amount given to all overseas ministries (denominational, interdenominational, independent) AH. $5 billion
A6. Amount required to lift the world’s poorest one billion people out of extreme poverty AD. $65 billion
A7. Additional amount required to supply primary education to every child in the world AB. $6 billion
A8. Amount required to bring clean water to most of the world’s poor AI. $9 billion
A9. Additional amount required to provide basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world AF. $13 billion
Bonus Section 1
B1. Percent of American households who tithe BA. 5%
B2. Percent of American evangelicals who tithe BC. 24%
B3. Percent of church revenues sent to overseas missions BB. 2%
Bonus Section 2
C1. Additional money that would be given if all American churchgoers tithed CB. $168 billion
C2. Total U.S. government foreign assistance budget CA. $39.5 billion
C3. Amount that would be left over if all American churchgoers tithed; and if that money were used to eliminate the most extreme poverty on the planet for a billion people, provide universal primary education, bring clean water to most of the world, and provide basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world CC. $75 billion

Repeating what I said about this last time: wasn’t that fun? Well, maybe not. If American churchgoers all tithed, we could do everything listed in C3 completely independent of government, and have $75 billion left over to spend any way we wanted. Here’s one suggestion: find some additional way to give to the rest of the world, to match the amount of foreign aid our government sends to other countries. Twice.

Doesn’t that sound like it would be a good idea?

It’s not entirely clear from the source I used, by the way, whether the $65 billion figure  for eliminating extreme poverty includes or is in addition to some of the other items listed here. I’ve listed it as in addition to; if it includes those items, then the American church, if we tithed, could accomplish this and have considerably more than $75 billion left over at the end.

Source: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World by Richard Stearns, pp. 216-218

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