When Giving Hurts…

The internet has been a buzz with a recent picture. The picture seen above is above a receipt with a certain special message to the server. The story goes that a minster went to a restaurant with a group of people. The policy of the restaurant is that when the party is over a certain size an automatic 18% gratuity would be applied to the bill.

Well the minister who was eating at this particular establishment did not think that was correct. In this case the minister scratched out the 18% tip, did not leave an additional tip and wrote “I give God 10% why should I give you 18?” Read more about it here.

Almost immediately when this hit the internet via Reddit, there was a host of opinion and calls that it was fake. Fake or not, it does raise some questions about this minister in question.

Christians for centuries have held to the practice of tithing; generally this is deemed by giving 10% of ones earning back to the church as a way of remembering that all thing come from God. While there is no direct command many Christians take this seriously, although many do not. A report came in in 2011 that stated that the average tither in churches only gave less than 3%.

If this minister was so firm on the notion that he/she will not pay more than 10% on anything, then I wonder if his/her salary is under $17,400 per year? Anything over that, would move you into the the 15% bracket and that just cant happen right?

Tax Bracket Married Filing Jointly Single
10% Bracket $0 – $17,400 $0 – $8,700
15% Bracket $17,400 – $70,700 $8,700 – $35,350
25% Bracket $70,700 – $142,700 $35,350 – $85,650
28% Bracket $142,700 – $217,450 $85,650 – $178,650
33% Bracket $217,450 – $388,350 $178,650 – $388,350
35% Bracket Over $388,350 Over $388,350

What about the Social Security tax- ministers pay that on their own and thus they have to withhold 15.3% of their income, should the minster write a note to the federal government and inform them that 10% is as high as he/she is willing to go? No, if this is the barameter that this particular person is going to use, then two things have to happen. Either this minister does not pay taxes on anything above the 10% rate or if the measure to God has to be bigger than everything else, then this minister will have to raise the amount of his/her tithe.

Basically this minister is insinuating that giving 18% to a server in a restaurant would upset the balance in God’s Kingdom and thus make the server more important to God.

The server in recent interviews has said that the computer system they have automatically puts the 18% on the ticket, it wasn’t her doing.

Sometimes giving hurts but all the time we should pay for the service we receive. Generally waitstaff do not make the federally mandated minimum wage but rather work for tips. When a party is large it takes time and energy way from smaller tables and thus they should be compensated for it. So this isnt an issue of giving to God and giving to Caesar, this is about fairness.

The issue at hand is the appropriateness of the ministers actions. Was the food bad? Was the service terrible? Why this lashing out against this server? Why invoke the name of God as a reason not to tip this server? While I have never worked as a server I sympathize with them. They are hard working people just trying to make a living; trying to a make living off the tips from patrons.

The pastor was extremely out of line. The pastor tried to use a relationship and understanding of God to save a few bucks. If this minister had learned anything from the gospels it is giving and helping others is at the core if the ministry of Jesus.

Unfortunately this event does not help ministers or Christians at all. Please note not all Christians are like this. I promise.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

UPDATE: The waitress that posted the image online has been fired because the minister heard about the online posting and demanded action from the establishment. Thats right he demanded that the waitress be fired for posting the image. Read more about it here.


3 thoughts on “When Giving Hurts…

  1. Evan,

    No doubt, the minister knew about the customary gratuity when he walked in the door of the establishment. I suspect that if he ever walks in to that establishment again, no one will want to take his order. I also suspect that he embarrassed some or all of the companions in his large party. Since they dined as a group, I hope the waitperson was able to give individual tabs. Otherwise, it would stand that the server waited on multiple diners and got stiffed by all of them.

    We Christians are held by onlookers to a higher standard. We may stumble, but this situations sounds deliberate, selfish and, worst of all, harmful.

    Rosie W.


  2. I always feel so bad for the people who get fired for posting such ridiculous photos. I can’t believe the pastor went and had her fired! What a terrible thing to do. She was working below minimum wage and now has… you guessed it: zero wages! Pretty pathetic….


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