Tithing - Old Testament Obligation or New Testament Freedom

Giving 10 Percent to God

Have your ever asked, "is tithing a New Testament principal?" This is a good question to ask yourself. Too often because we have heard something preached over and over again, we believe it has to be true. But even in the Church, some teaching may be passed down, year after year without being questioned or challenged.

For over thirty years, I had been a tither. It is a good thing to give to the Lord, for without His blessing on our lives, we would have nothing. When I began to study tithing I discovered some things I had not been taught about the practice.

If you are a tither and believe that God wants you to do so, continue to tithe, but know that you are not commanded under the New Covenant, to do so. God will receive your tithe as your gift, but you may lose the blessing of 'giving from the heart', rather than giving out of fear and a human mandate. Aren't you tired of being lied to, and told you are going to hell if your don't tithe?

Is tithing a part of the new covenant?
Is tithing a part of the new covenant?

New Testiment Giving

Since it has been revealed to me in scripture that tithing is not commanded of the New Testament Church, I no longer tithe.

I did not say I give less, but rather I give, and give very freely. I will give a family that I know is in need, or to a missionary cause or to bring Jews back to Israel, or to the church. When I give, I know that God is pleased, because I give where the burden of my heart it.

2Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.


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Using Scripture to Produce Guilt Rather than Conviction

I recall how often, Malachi was used to threaten the church, when it was time to give. The scripture was used to remind the people, if they did not give tithes,they were curse and going to hell.

Malachi 8. Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Telling someone they are under a curse, if they don't give you money, is not an effective way of, motivating people to give. I always noticed, when the minister used the scripture this way, the anoint always dropped in the church, every time. This is the scripture is used incorrectly.

I always felt this approach to giving grieved the Holy Spirit, and robbed God's people of the joy they should receive by giving. Why? It is condemnatory, legalistic and not scriptural for the New Testament Church,who are living under better promises and under a better covenant.

Hebrews 8:6-9 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not,saith the Lord.

Is Tithing Scriptural?

Quest for Truth

I actually started out to prove someone wrong, who to me, that tithing was not for today. As I studied the scripture, I began to actually see what God's Word actually does not say concerning tithing as a part of the New Covenant.

Having been in ministry for many years, I went to several friends of mine who were Pastors and Apostles. I went to people who I knew were very well versed in the scriptures and whom I trusted to tell me the truth. I asked them why the Leaders of the Church were still teaching and compelling the people tithe. You may not be surprised at the answer I received. It was about the money.

The truth is, many Pastors and spiritual leaders fear, if the people were taught, the New Covenant church was not commanded to tithe, that they would lose 10% of the income coming into the church, and they would not be able to run their ministries the way they do when the members tithe. The church has been accustomed to receiving tithes, offering and free will offerings and did not want to give up the tithe!

Abuses Concerning Tithing

I met a Pastor who takes the tithes as their personal income. The justification for this was they were a New Testament Levites, and the tithe belongs to the Levites! Using scriptures like Numbers 18:24

Num 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Misrepresenting Scripture

These gross misrepresentations of scripture are dangerous and have brought many Christians under bondage. Did you know that today, devout Jews do not tithe? They give something called, 'tzedkah', which means charity or judgment.

The highest form or tzedkah is anonymous giving to to a charitable cause. Not only are they to give tzedkah, but they are to first check the financial credentials of the organization they give to, to assure their gift will be used wisely.

I encourage you to search the scriptures yourself, looking up words like, tithe, tithing, and giving. Look at it in the Old Testament and the New Testament. You will notice that every scripture referring to tithing, uses an Old Testament reference. If you search the scripture for yourself, and pray, the Spirit of God will reveal to your his heart.

Tithing was a way of worship and showing devotion to the Lord. It was apart of God's covenant of protection and blessing to those who practiced it. Israel was commanded to bring, tithes to the storehouse. The storehouse made provision for the Levites who owned no land and to care for those in need. Provision made for everyone to participate in giving, certain years. Even the poorest has to bring a pigeon or dove.

The tithe was never financial, it was the fruit of the land or cattle livestock. Try to give your Pastor a bushel of yams instead of money! You can not have it both ways, either the tithe is to be given, just as it was under the Old Covenant or it is not legitimate at all.

No Longer under the Law

We are not under the Law of touch not taste not; but we have receive the grace of God thorough the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:2-4 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Thanks God for Grace

Under grace, we are free to hear the heart of God:

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

We are free to give and to give abundantly and God's promise to us is that what measure we give, will be giving back to us. As New Testament believers, we are free to give and to give abundantly and God's promise to us is that what measure we give, will be giving back to us.

At the start or the Church of Acts, they were so inspired to serve the Lord that they gave everything. And what was received, what used for the common good. Everyone had their needs met. You don't always see this in the church. Believers tithe for years, and when they can't pay their mortgage or the light are turned off, they can not get help.

Acts 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold; and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was mad unto every man according as he had need.

The Just Shall Live by Faith
The Just Shall Live by Faith

New Testament Grace

We are no longer under the bondage of the Law, which no man could keep, but we are under the Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in reference to healing, salvation deliverance and yes, giving. We are free to give with an attitude that will give glory to God.

2 Corinthians 9:6, 7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

If we give according as we purpose in our heart he will use other to bless us:


Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

We all Must Live by Faith

Pastors and spiritual leaders have an obligation to trust God and teach the whole truth concerning giving.

They also must learn to live by the same faith, they charge their members to live by. Perhaps they will not able to live as lavish as they would desire, but God has promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory.

He will not fail the church, when the truth is told. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32.

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Comments 32 comments

2besure profile image

2besure 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Cat333, also struggled with this issue. As I began to study this, I saw that, I was following what was taught to me, rather than way God was saying for us today. I felt like I was going against the who church, because most evangelical, pentecostal, charismatic church teach that tithing is for today. But it is much better to obey God than man. Jonestown is a sad proof of that!


Cat333 profile image

Cat333 2 years ago

Thanks for writing this important article! It confirms what the Spirit was saying to me, but which I didn't feel certain about because of too much misguided teaching and self-doubt.


2besure profile image

2besure 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

tgds932001, you have made some excellent points that are not in this hub. I will keep them in mind the next time the subject comes up with one of my Christian brothers or sisters. It is so hurtful to see people being condemned to hell for not doing something God has not commanded them to do.


tgds932001 3 years ago

You know, its funny how we are told tithing is for today, but tongues aren't. We are told we aren't Israel when it comes to Matthew24 with Jesus talking about the end of the age, but we are to be like Israel and tithe, when Israel was told to tithe. No other nations were told to. There were actually 3 tithes which totaled 33% of ones increase (which btw were animals and food, by landowners only, no one else. So, why don't we hear about that. Mainstream Christianity isn't teaching tithing correctly or completely. On the 7th year they were instructed not to tithe at all , so the land could rest. Why aren't we told to not tithe in the 7th yr. You see god wants us to give what he puts on our hearts to give. It be 50% this week and 5 the next. Tithing back then also took care of the civil responsibilities such as judges. It financed the entire country of Israel. They also could not give their best because they had to give the tenth lamb. That lamb may have been blemished, but they had to give it anyway, yet today we can give our best, by giving out of our heart when God directs you to. We should support the church when and if we can, but the poor did not tithe. Go study it. If you did not own land or animals you did not tithe. People. You need to study to find the truth, dont just believe any teaching cause some preacher said it.


2besure profile image

2besure 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

nyamburamwangi, I suggest you study it for yourself. Not until I began looking at the scripture did I come to my conclusion concerning tithing. After speaking with a few a few friends of mine who are Pastors, They all admitted, tithing is an extras sources of income that the church would not give, if you told the people, tithing is not scriptural for the New Testament church.


nyamburamwangi profile image

nyamburamwangi 3 years ago from NAIROBI, KENYA

please feel free to comment to the debate I have initiated on tithing.http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/What-is-it...


2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

ThussaysNanaMarie, you made some great ponts. There are too many churches out there to remain in one you don't agree with or that is not meeting your needs! Religious thinking keeps people trapped in these situations. eg. I am waiting for God to tell me to leave, etc.!


ThussaysNanaMarie profile image

ThussaysNanaMarie 4 years ago from In my oyster

Great hub! Interesting angle. I domntthink one should tithe if they can't rather they should be the ones supported by the church.

Am I being naïve? Don't the governing bodies decide on the salaries for the pastors to live on and use the rest of the money for God's glory?

A wise person oncesaid that if the spiritual element is not being nurtured there then your giving to that church will not fulfilyour needs.

There are many churches. if one is not meeting your needs you can leave. The church has to meet your needs.It is a two way street.


2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Fed Up, I have heard this story time and time again! Sounds like COGIC; but. could be any Pentecostal or non-denominational church. These are hirings who go into ministry for the purpose of gain. They are opportunists rather than servants


Fred UP 4 years ago

Many churches are filled with lords and hireling NOT Servants of the Lord. Thought Jesus said the greatest among us is the greatest servant, not those who lord it over people and their wallets.

I was in one church where there was Pastor's Anniversary, Pastor's Birthday, Pastor's Wife Birthday, Pastor's Anniversary, Expensive Tickets for Banquets and endless cost to attend expensive Conferences, Pastor's Appreciation, Founder's Convention, The Church Building Fund where you had to pledge money to expand the bldg. plus Tithes and Offerings. The Pastor said cut back and give more but bought a brand new car and another vacation house. This appeal for money for some new thing went on every other month ( and this Church was in a lower income area). I finally was so tapped out. I had a choice between feeding my family, or continue being a member of this church.

It took one whole year before they sent me a post card wondering why I was not tithing any longer. I called and told them I had given my notice of withdrawing my membership months back. I was promptly hung up on without so much as a pretense that we miss you and not your tithe money.

NO thanks to organized religions anymore! I can pray and read my bible at home

Sincerely,

From Fred Up

PS Orthodox Devout Jews no longer tithe but give Free will offerings in their Synagogue since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD and there is no longer a Tribe of Levites to maintain the temple with it's animal sacrifices. Looks like we gentile church goers have been duped.


Fred UP 4 years ago

Many churches are filled with lords and hireling NOT Servants of the Lord. Thought Jesus said the greatest among us is the greatest servant, not those who lord it over people and their wallets.

I was in one church where there was Pastor’s Anniversary, Pastor’s Birthday, Pastor’s Wife Birthday, Pastor’s Anniversary, Expensive Tickets for Banquet and endless Conferences, Pastor’s Appreciation, Founder’s Convention, The Church Building Fund where you had to pledge money to expand the bldg. plus Tithes and Offerings. The Pastor said cut back and give more but bought a brand new car and another vacation house. This appeal for money for some new thing went on every other month ( and this Church was in a lower income area). I finally was so tapped out I could not afford to be a member of that church anymore and feed my family.

It took one whole year before they sent me a postcard wondering why I was not tithing any longer. I called and told them I had given my notice of withdrawing my membership months back. I was promptly hung up on without so much as a pretense that we miss you and not your tithe money.

No thanks to organize religion anymore. I can pray and read my bible at home.

Sincerely

Fred UP


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

True, good point!. There is nothing wrong if a person has a desire to give 10 percent of their income. Under NT principles we are at liberty to give as much as we desire, as an act of worship to the Lord. Spiritual leaders don't trust the membership to give liberal so they cling to tithing as a mandate, to make it obligatory in the eyes of the people.


Tymon 5 years ago

You've got it in a nutshell in this line: "The problem lies when spiritual leaders take an OT principle and mandate it for the NT church or condemned to hell." That, I think, is the problem at the heart of this tithing-antitithing divide in the Church. Unfortunately, many who oppose tithing just ignore the problem and argue altogether to proverbially throw the baby out with the bathwater! An OT principle is not necessarily an anathema for Christians - afterall, the apostles taught New Testament Christian doctrines directly from the Old Testament.


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Yes, I agree, tithing is a principal. It is an Old Testament principle. The problem lies when spiritual leaders take an OT principle and mandate it for the NT church or condemned to hell. Totally unscriptural and used to manipulate.


Tymon 5 years ago

I think tithing is a principle - if we are to understand the meaning of a 'principle'. There's not a single verse in Scripture forbidding the giving of a tithe (or tenth or 10%) or one's income and/or resources towards the interest of God's Kingdom. The difference is that the principle is not a legalistic or rigid law.


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Linda, thanks for taking time to comment!


lindatymensky profile image

lindatymensky 5 years ago

This was an informative, well written article. Thank you. Linda


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks for taking time to leave a comment and the helpful links!


christ4ever profile image

christ4ever 5 years ago from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia

Great work 4sure... 2BEsure!

I referenced your article above as well as the following material by Dr. Gary Arnold on the same topic: http://www.newtestamentgiving.com/book.htm in the recent article: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Well-Done-...

May the truth prevail! and thanks for the excellent due diligence on this topic in service to the Word of God. With blessings... Rev.Ted


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks for stopping by Michael. I am also glad about the Christian presence on HubPages.


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Amen, AnythingArtzy. Many a night I should have been at home with my son, instead I dragged him to church because of that same type of teaching. Also as a single mom, giving away money I could not afford.


Michael Adams1959 profile image

Michael Adams1959 6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

Glad I found your hub, I really like your writings!It is a blessing finding Christians on here that actually have convictions!


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Amen lionswhelp! Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Thanks for your comments.


lionswhelp profile image

lionswhelp 6 years ago

Can you believe 1st tithe, 2nd tithe and 3rd tithe. We did it for years. The ministry changed when the founder of that Church died. Now it is freewill offerings These things will be great when God's Kingdom is set up again. Lots of farmers and livestock and even well paying jobs. Now people are losing heir jobs and livelyhoods faster and faster. Money is hard to come by and Malachi 3:8-10 seems threatening but grace will win out in the end. Give what you can give the best that you can to God's work. If you have lots to give than give from the heart with a clear conscience. If you do not have much give with a clear conscience also.

The lionswhelp


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks so much for commenting on my hub, citilife! I will view that article on Biblical prosperity.


citilife 6 years ago

Check out the session about Biblical Prosperity in the course above, it is a comprehensive and eye opening study of what the bible says about money and tackles the tithing issue head on. As you say, it is surprising how people are willing to defend a position not necessarily based on the Bible but pragmatism!

http://www.jesuschrist.co.uk/spiritlife/lesson-mod...


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

"I sent my findings to my pastor, but never received a reply."

Your Pastor did not reply, because he knew that he has been lying to the congregation concerning tithing. It is so frightening, how Pastors and ministers, have conspired to continue to lie to God's people.

I am glad that you have found freedom through God's Word. It is important for believers to search the scriptures. Especially when something doesn't set right (grieves) with our Spirit. Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK

I'm just coming out of a Pentecostal church now and one of the reasons is that I just couldn't take it anymore. The continual banging on about tithing; being told that we are robbing God; not giving until we have given back our 10%, warnings about curses, etc, etc. Like a stupid sheep, my wife and I got sucked into this for years. Against our better judgement I dutifully doled out my 10% before taxes under compulsion and fear. As we began to slide into debt, I remember pleading with God, "Is it OK if I just tithe on my net income, after the taxman has taken his cut. Please let that be OK....." But no, the pastor kept reminding us that the tithe had to come off our top line. But the windows of financial blessings were never opened, and the so called miraculous stretching of my monthly salary never materialised either.

Eventually we had to remortgage the house to pay the debts accumulated through tithing. But still we carried on because we were just like those who perish through lack of knowledge.

Last year we had a church AGM and the treasurer had calculated that on the basis of the income and the membership, only a few faithful were tithing correctly. This was the final insult, so I went home and began to study. A month later I produced a document proving beyond reasonable doubt that tithing had no place in the church. I felt so free and liberated. I sent my findings to my pastor, but never received a reply.

We have left the church now, and no one has called to ask us why. I'm quite happy to name and shame if anyone is interested. The church is part of a very large UK based organisation, named after a desert location where Israel stopped off for a while after the Exodus.

The most pitiful thing though for me is that I'm an educated man with two engineering degrees. What a schmuck.

Thanks for the hub, and praise God for all those enlightened Christians who have discovered the truth themselves.


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks for taking time to comment on this hub. I thank God for His unconditional love for us. God allows the Holy Spirit to bring us conviction not condemnation and fear. 2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


AnythingArtzy profile image

AnythingArtzy 6 years ago from OHIO

Thanks for your great hub. I have struggled for a couple years about this very subject and many others that appear to be legalistic and man made "laws" if you will instead of Gods Word. I have since stopped goin for some of the teachings. I got tired of being told A good Christian is at every service, works in the church etc. if not I should examine myself to see if I'm really saved. This all coming from a pastor who says works are no good.????? I'm saved, and am right with God whether I tithe or attend every service, My health doesn't permit it. I don't want to hear the baptist way, the methodist way or any other denominatioal way of preaching I just want Gods Word. So therefore I stick soley to my King James and let the Holy Spirit guide me.

sorry for the long comment but I was so happy to find another sister who wasn't afraid to say tithing was under the law ans we are now under Grace.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Amen, sister! I don't even think the word "tithe" should be used at all, but rather "giving", "offerings" or "alms". A tithe is defined as a 10% payment, and it is an Old Covenant Law (Law of Moses). I love Galatians 2:21: "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."

Paul says in Galatians 5:3, "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision [as a requirement], that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law." Likewise, if one religiously keeps the Law of the tithe (which was indeed mint and rue), he is obligated to keep the whole Law. It nullifies the grace of God, the New Covenant! Let us only give, not out of compulsion or legality, but out of love and joy. Amen!


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

2besure, that last verse closed the deal. Great job. All things need to be done by faith, not by rule or ordinance, or obligation. It would be interesting to see how some churches would react if people started bringing in livestock and produce instead of money. I'm sure there would be a sermon against it the next week. Peace.

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