As many of you know, I teach a Sunday School class on occasion. I have theological differences with the Church I attend, but there are area's where what I believe and what I am supposed to teach intersect, and so these area are where I focus my lesson.
I personally feel it would be dishonest of me to teach something contrary to what the organization would have me teach, but also dishonest to myself to teach something contrary to what I believe.
Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's tricky. Today was a tricky one. In cases like these I try and teach as factually as I can, leaving personal statements of belief out of it.
The topic was tithing and there was a serious disconnect in the lesson between how this particular principle came into being in organization with which we were attending, and the actual principle itself.
Actual principle is that there are spiritual benefits to giving, and that God doesn't require it of us for his benefit, but for ours. I personally think that there are benefits to charitable giving. The benefit of thinking of someone other than yourself, helping another share in whatever success you have had, and above all know that it's not all about the money.
The organization I attend, instituted it (well it was always there, but no-one did it, so they started emphasizing it very strongly) because they were on the verge of bankruptcy.
The worst thing is, that as I'm teaching this, a George Carlin piece kept flashing through my mind.
I found a short, clean version of the idea on the Atheism page on About.com
Religion convinced the world that there's an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there's 10 things he doesn't want you to do or else you'll to to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But he loves you! ...And he needs money! He's all powerful, but he can't handle money!
[George Carlin, from album "You Are All Diseased"]
For those who can handle it... There is an excellent clip of it on YouTube, complete with facial expressions, expletives and more a elaboration explanation.