Rafael Cruz, the father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, often travels to churches and preaches. One of the topics he hit hard on during a 2012 message was tithing, a Biblical phrase for giving 10 percent of one's income to the church (video below).
Rafael referred to Malachi 3:7 and said that God equated not tithing to stealing, notes psychologist and blogger Warren Throckmorton.
Rafael asked the audience why God should bless non-tithers, and told people without any money that tithing "opens up the windows of heaven."
BuzzFeed News recently reported that Ted's personal tax returns, which he released when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012, showed that between 2006 and 2010, the GOP presidential candidate contributed less than 1 percent of his income to charity -- below the Biblical 10 percent.
In response to the BuzzFeed News article, and subsequent criticism from GOP candidates former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Cruz recently told CBN:
"Well, it should be no surprise that there are political candidates, other candidates running against me in this race who are launching attacks. That’s what happens in a political campaign.
"Listen, on the question of tithing, all of us are on a faith journey, and I will readily admit that I have not been as faithful in this aspect of my walk as I should have been.
"That article focuses on 10 years ago. I don’t have the ability to go back and change what occurred 10 years ago when Heidi and I were newly married and we were just starting a family.
"But at the end of the day, being a Christian is not about holding yourself out as righteous. It’s about beginning with the understanding that we are flawed sinners and we are saved not by deeds, but by Christ’s redemption.
"I am grateful that God is a patient and forgiving God and this area, as in many areas of my life I am working to do a better job walking in my faith."
Mediaite points out that the BuzzFeed article focused on Ted's income from 2006 to 2010, which means only one of those years, 2006, was actually "10 years ago." The news site also notes that Ted and his wife didn't have a child until 2008 and that they had been married for five years by 2006.
According to KeraNews, Ted's adjusted gross income was $347,716 in 2006 and $2,040,840 in 2010.