The Unbiblical Christian Tithe

Introduction

The purpose of this hub is to demonstrate from scripture that the current received wisdom on the subject of tithing taught in many sections of the Church is in error. At best, these sections have a complete misunderstanding of the whole subject of the tithe, and at worst, the tithe doctrine is used as a method for extracting money from its members.

The prophet Malachi is often used as justification for the Christian tithe. I have published a previous hub on this subject here:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Malachi-Abused

I acknowledge that much of the Church does not hold to this tithe doctrine. So for the purposes of this hub, all references to the Church pertain only to those sections of the Church where this doctrine is held.

Many sections of the Church today hold to a doctrine of tithing. This doctrine states that there is a requirement on members of the New Testament Church to give 10% of their income to their local fellowship or church organisation. This requirement is usually stated as a compulsory act of worship, and in some organisations the leadership warns the members of curses that will follow if they do not comply. Other leaders will apply the doctrine by coercion teaching that it is the Christian’s duty to support their church in this manner.

Applying a 10% ‘Church tax’ on an individual is no small matter, especially when the usual commandment is that the tithe must be given on a person’s gross income before all living expenses are paid, (often referred to as the first fruits). Considering that in the UK for the average taxpayer pays 42% of their income to the government by way of Income Tax, National Insurance, Council Tax, VAT, and duty on fuel: is it right for the Church to insist on a further levy of 10%? This leaves the poor hard working individual taking home less then half the money they earn. Out of this they must pay for their bills, food and clothing. Is it any wonder so many in the Church are struggling with debt with precious little of their hard earned left over to spend on those things that bring some cheer to their lives?

So is this tithing principle valid today? Is it reasonable to expect all members of the Church to give up 10% of their income regardless of salary? Or is this nothing more than a fraudulent fleecing of the flock?

Common Objections

Should someone question the validity of the tithe doctrine, there usually follows a range of objections including:

Quotations from the prophet Malachi:

Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings.

While others who can find absolutely no scriptural authority for Christians to tithe, invent doctrines like this:

"Tithing was a form of worship to God, and since we still worship God, we must still tithe."

Perhaps then since burnt offerings were a form of worshiping God, and since we still worship God, must we still offer burnt offerings to God? ... This of course is nonsense.

Or perhaps we hear this one:

Jesus acknowledged that the Pharisees tithed and stated that this act should not be left undone. Therefore as His followers, we should also tithe”.

But when asked if Jesus taught the disciples to adhere to this doctrine, we hear statements like:

It was the accepted practice in those days that they tithed, so there was no need to talk about it”.

Other common phrases are:

All members of the Church must tithe. It is their duty before God.”

The tithe must be brought to the local storehouse, the local church in which you attend fellowship.”

The tithe is God’s portion of your salary. When you tithe, you are only giving back to God what belongs to Him in the first place.”

If you give, you are only giving after you have tithed.”

God only blesses the tithers.”

The tithe protects your finances. God will rebuke the devil on your behalf and prevent him from stealing from you.”

Some Biblical Truths about the Tithe

We usually receive a quotation from Malachi 3:8, and sometimes the one from Matt 23:23 where Jesus was berating the Pharisees, but why is it we don’t hear scriptural quotations on the subject from anywhere else in the bible? Perhaps this is because if we were to have a look, we might find out some biblical truths that expose this doctrine for what it is – a false teaching:

  • Abraham never tithed on his own personal property or livestock.
  • Jacob wouldn’t tithe until God blessed him first.
  • Only Levite priests could collect tithes, and there are no Levite priests today.
  • Only food products from the land were titheable.
  • Money was never a titheable commodity.
  • Christian converts were never asked to tithe anything to the Church.
  • Tithing in the Church first appears centuries after completion of the Bible.

What is the Tithe?

Ask this question and the usual response is that the tithe is the first fruits of the harvest that must be returned to God. The harvest can be anything and so the tithe can be levied on any kind of increase. As we live in a modern society, our increase is usually financial, and therefore the New Testament Church must pay this sum to their local fellowship’s bank account.

Some TV ministries do not lead a regular church of their own, so they have adapted this teaching to state that the believer must tithe where they are fed, and thereby such ministries can claim someone’s tithe.

To find out whether the above statements are valid, the we must look further than Malachi.

The following sections list all scriptural references to tithing with commentary following each:

Abraham

Gen. 14:20, “And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him[Melchizedek king of Salem, the priest of the most high God, Ver. 18] a tenth of everything”[all the goods of war, Ver. 16]."

This same event is recorded in the book of Hebrews:

Heb. 7:1-10, “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, their brothers—even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

There are a number of things that can be learnt concerning tithing from these sections of Scriptures:

  • This is the first mention of tithing in the Bible. Abram (Abraham) gives to Melchizedek (a priest of God who was also the king of the City of Salem)
  • The tithe is of the plunder taken in war. Notice that this was not wheat, corn, wine, oil, or cattle from Abram’s personal possessions, but rather possessions taken from conquered nations.
  • The tithe cost Abram nothing.
  • There is nothing stated here that would cause us to conclude that Abram ever tithed on a regular basis on his own person possessions. Although Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of the booty of war, he told the king of Sodom that he would take none of it for himself.
  • In this same account recorded in Hebrews, we learn that the priests of Levi, from the family of Aaron (although far inferior to the priestly order of Melchizedek) also receive tithes from the people according to the law. This tells us little more about the actual tithes other than they received tithes.

Gen 14:20-24. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself." But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.' I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.

So Abraham also went to war on behalf of Sodom to rescue his nephew Lot. He then gave 10% of these spoils of war to Melchizedek, and allowed Sodom to keep 90%. He himself kept NOTHING!

The Church often claims that Abraham’s tithing of the spoils of war predated the Law of Moses, and therefore even if the Law of Moses is done away with, tithing is still binding on Christians because Abraham predated the Law of Moses. Is this true or just an assumption?

How can these two individual one-off events be Scriptural proof that Christians should give 10% of their regular annual salaries (not the spoils of war, but their money, their salaries), not once, but year after year after year, not to Melchizedek, but to their local church or favourite TV ministry? There is absolutely no similarity here.

Jacob

Gen. 28:20-22, Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."

Jacob is the grandson of Abraham, the father of the faithful, whom God also blessed tremendously. Not only did God approve of Jacob’s tithing proposal, but, He made it the foundational principle upon which all future tithing would be based.

This one Scripture pretty much contradicts many sermons on the subject of tithing! This is the very first Scripture in the Bible that gives an account of someone giving a tenth or tithe of his personal possessions back to God. Notice how it is very different from the teachings of many churches:

  • First Jacob begins to proposition God. He states that "IF" God will do this and "IF’ God will do the other things, "THEN" Jacob says, "shall the Lord be my God."
  • Should God meet all of his requirements, by saying that of all the things that God will first give to Jacob, Jacob will give God back a tenth.
  • God honoured Jacob’s proposition, and furthermore, God continued to honour this same principle of tithing all through Israel’s history.

This is another example showing that Israel was not to tithe on what they did not first possess, unlike those today who teach that it is required to tithe on that which one does not already possess – the requirement to tithe before all stoppages for example.

This proves that God doesn’t expect a tithe until He blesses the tithe payer first.

Just how did Jacob actually give a tithe to God? Did he personally hand it to God? No, no one has ever even seen God. Did Jacob tithe to an angel? No, angels do not need and can’t use tithes. Did he take it to the local church? No, there was no local church. Did he take it to the Temple? No, there was no temple. Did he give it directly to one of the Levitic priests? No, there were no Levites as yet. Well how then did Jacob tithe to God? Was it even possible? Yes, there were actually two different ways that Jacob could tithe to God:

Deut. 12:5-7 “But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.

Deut. 14:29 “so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

That’s how God acknowledged a tithe from Jacob: By partaking of a portion himself and his family in communion and thanksgiving to God, and by sharing his fortune with those who were unfortunate, poor, strangers, etc.

The Law

Leviticus 27:30-33 “'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod—will be holy to the LORD. He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.'

We learn a great deal about tithing in this section of Scripture:

  • The tithe comes from the "land," not the air or the sea. Fishermen were not required to tithe fish.
  • It was the "seed" or agricultural products from the fields that was holy to God and titheable.
  • Products from "trees" were to be tithed. This not only included the fruit, but oils, etc.
  • Money is not included.
  • Of "herds or flocks" it was the "tenth" that passed under the rod that was holy and dedicated to God.

Here is exposed another falsehood of modern tithe doctrine. It was not the first tenth as insisted upon today, but rather the tenth tenth that belonged to God.

Another interesting point is this. If a herdsman had only nine cattle, he didn’t tithe his cattle at all! Also notice that God did not even require the best of the cattle, just the tenth one to pass under the rod even if it was the mangiest runt of them all. This is the tithe, NOT the sacrifice where animals always had to be without blemish.

Numbers 18:24-28 “Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.' "The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Levites and say to them: 'When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering. Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest.”

Could just anyone claim to be a representative of God and therefore have Israel pay tithes to him? No, it could only be paid to the Levites. Further, in order to be a priest one not only had to be of the tribe of Levi, but he also had to be of the family of Aaron. In fact, if one could not trace his genealogy back to the family of Aaron, he could not be a priest of God. This is the whole point of Hebrews 7. Jesus Christ is a priest of the rank of Melchizedek because Melchizedek predated the law which stated that only sons of Aaron could be priests. Therefore Melchizedek’s genealogy is not given in the Scriptures, and Christ, who according to the flesh is of the line of Judah, can and will be God’s High Priest in the Kingdom of God.

With regards to the New Testament Church making a claim on the tithe:

  • There is NO temple of God being officiated in Jerusalem today.
  • There is NO Levitic priesthood to officiate at such a temple.
  • There is NO NEED for such a temple or priesthood at this time.
  • Only Levites could collect tithes at the temple.
  • If one cannot historically trace back his genealogy generation by generation with no lapses to the family of Aaron, he IS NOT and CANNOT be a priest authorised of God at this time to collect tithes for the temple services and sacrifices. (Of course Jesus IS our Sacrifice, and therefore that whole system funded by the tithes of the law is no longer applicable).
  • These are God’s rules with regards the law and He hasn’t changed them.

The whole system changed under the New Covenant. Jesus said the temple would be utterly destroyed.

Matt. 24:1-2 “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings."Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

When was this prophecy fulfilled?

The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was a decisive event in the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by its Jewish defenders in 66 AD. The city and its famous Temple were destroyed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(70)

All theologians know that when the temple ceased, the priesthood officiating at the temple CEASED! Each individual believer under the New Covenant forms a NEW priesthood:

I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

How then, under the New Covenant, does a believer give a tenth, when he is supposed to give his all (Rom. 12:1), to a priesthood that does not exist, but now he himself is part of a priesthood (I Peter 2:9), at a temple that does not exist (Mat. 24:1-2), but rather he himself is the temple wherein God dwells?

At this time in history Israel owes no tithe to anyone, and, we Gentiles (who are a new creation and the true Israel of God, Gal. 6:16) were never instructed to tithe in the first place. Read all thirteen books of the apostle Paul to the gentiles and find one verse where he instructed Gentiles to pay one penny of tithe money to anyone.

Deut. 12:6, 7, 11, 12, 17, 18 “there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you……Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD. And there rejoice before the LORD your God, you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns, who have no allotment or inheritance of their own……You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose, you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns, and you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to.

Who was to partake of all these tithes and good things of the herd and of the land and of the trees? Everyone (yes, the Levite was also included) was to rejoice before the Lord. Did anyone see "money" in the list of things they were to bring before the Lord to rejoice? Was it just the ministers (the Levites) who were the recipients of these tithes and offerings, or was not everyone to partake of these things? Rejoicing and eating one’s own tithe before the Lord was a very personal and reverend act of worship and communion with God. Not unlike prayer. Others may share and profit from our prayers, but we offer them to God, not to men.

The following verses deal with a practice initiated by God Himself to accommodate those travelling long distances to the Festival Sites where they were to eat and rejoice before the Lord to learn to fear Him. They could sell their tithes of the land for MONEY, and carry that amount of money rather than the bulky and heavy tithes themselves, to the Festival Site. There they were to purchase whatever their hearts desired and to share it with the Levites and the less fortunate.

Deut. 14:22-29 “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

This is the only scriptural mention of money in connection with the tithe, and the purpose of money in this regard was in order to transfer the substance of the tithe over long distances. On arrival at the location where God had chosen for the celebration, the money could not be given in place of the tithe. It HAD to be used to purchase titheable goods, and the celebration to the Lord was in the consuming of those goods.

This third year of tithing is mentioned again below:

Deut. 26:12 “When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

Again we notice that Israel never tithed from their poverty, but on their INCREASE.


Historical Narrative

This next section tells us the same things we have already seen concerning what products were to be tithed and who could receive them.

II Chronicles 31:5, 6, 12 “As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the first fruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps……Then they faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts……

Nehemiah 10:37-38 “Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work. A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury.

Nehemiah 12:44 “At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites.

Nehemiah 13:5, 12 “and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests…… All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and oil into the storerooms.

Again, no mention of money, only agricultural products of the fields, and only the Levites and priests could have access to these tithes and offerings in the house of God.

Amos 4:4 “"Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years.

Nothing new here for the purposes of this document.

Matt 23:23-34 ”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Luke 11:4 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

There are some who argue that these passages are proof that as Jesus acknowledged the Pharisees for their tithing, tithing still stands as a principle for us today. Clearly the tithe was not the point of His berating of them. His issue was that they did not or did not want to understand the principle of the Law. They understood the letter of the Law, but failed to see that the purpose of the Law was to bring justice, mercy and faithfulness. These things they neglected.

Was Jesus impressed with their tithe? What could tithing of mint achieve? A tenth of a mint bush wouldn’t make for many cups of tea for the high priest. Yes Jesus acknowledged their tithing and rightly so. They were the Lawgivers, and subject to the law. Mint, dill and other herbs are land produce, so technically they should be tithed. However, this tithe is insignificant, compared to the great sin of neglecting justice, mercy and faithfulness. Jesus was not concerned with their tithing but with their hypocrisy. They were straining out gnats from mint tea, but swallowing camel trains of neglected widows, the fatherless, the poor and orphans.

Jesus Did Not Tithe

Some may claim that Jesus tithed as this was the custom of His day. So did Jesus tithe or not? No, he was a carpenter not a farmer? For every ten chairs that Jesus made, did he tithe one to the temple? No, the tithe consisted of land produce only. Did Jesus sell every tenth chair and give the money to the temple? No, money is not a titheable commodity.

Jesus followers did not pay tithe to Him from farm products or herds; neither did His followers pay Him ten percent of their salaries from other sources of income. "Christian tithing" is an oxymoron - it is a contradiction of words. "Christian tithing" is about as Scriptural as "Christian burnt offerings," "Christian stonings," or "Christian synagogues." Many church leaders have managed to convince millions of unsuspecting laity into believing that "Christian tithing" is a Scriptural command from God Himself, and can easily be found and supported in the pages of Divine Scripture. Is this true?

Of the 613 laws contained in the first five books of the Bible written by Moses, why is it that aside from the Ten Commandments, "tithing" is virtually the only other law that the modern Church tries to retain? They retain it in name only, however, since there is nothing similar between Moses’ law of tithing" and "Christian tithing" except the aspect of ten percent. Christian tithing is an extra-biblical concept and doctrine - aside from the ten percent it has nothing in common with the tithing law of Moses, and was never practiced by the New Testament Church.

Not only is Christian tithing taught to be needful; it is taught as if it were a divine, binding law. But there is no such thing as a "Christian tithing law" in the New Testament Scriptures. It is a heresy, used by the Church, independent cults, and charlatans, as a club to beat and threaten parishioners into surrendering ten percent of their salaries in obedience to this phantom law. Many are forewarned that failure to pay this 10% Church tax will cause them to be "cursed with a curse!"

The Church of the Apostles Did Not Tithe

We have Scriptural proof that no such law or custom as Christian tithing was taught or practiced in the Church by the early apostles. Their epistles are totally devoid of any such tithing custom or law. Gentile converts were never taught to tithe to anyone. Although the temple and priesthood in Jerusalem remained until 70 AD, not even Jewish converts were taught to give their tithes to the Apostles rather than to the temple priests.

In the Acts 15 Jerusalem Conference we find outlined what the apostles all agreed was necessary for the newly converted Gentiles to practice, and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, tithing is conspicuously missing. Some believing Pharisees wanted the apostles to teach the Gentiles to keep the Law of Moses (which certainly contained the law of tithing, Acts 15:5), but the apostles headed by Peter, James, and Paul would not hear of it (Acts 15:28-29)! Yet, what is one of the very first legislated duties taught to Gentile converts by the Church today? It is that they must tithe their annual salaries to the Church. Where did this unscriptural law of Christian tithing come from?

According to the on-line Catholic Encyclopaedia:

In the Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live by the altar (1 Corinthians 9:13), provision of some kind had necessarily to be made for the sacred ministers. In the beginning this was supplied by the spontaneous offerings of the faithful. In the course of time, however, as the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy. The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the canons of the Council of Maçon in 585. In the course of time, we find the payment of tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all the countries of Christendom. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14741b.htm

According to the on-line Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Despite serious resistance, tithing became obligatory as Christianity spread across Europe. It was enjoined by ecclesiastical law from the 6th century and enforced in Europe by secular law from the 8th century. In England in the 10th century, payment was made obligatory under ecclesiastical penalties by Edmund I and under temporal penalties by Edgar. In the 14th century Pope Gregory VII, in an effort to control abuses, outlawed lay ownership of tithes. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/597211/tithe

It is clear then that the doctrine of tithing money was not present in the 1st century Church but was introduced by the Catholic Church in the 6th century. As this doctrine is not ordained by God in scripture, it is unenforceable upon the Christian. If someone joins a local golf club, he is bound by the rules and regulations enacted by that club’s committee. One might therefore have an argument that members of the Catholic Church must submit to the authority of the Pope even if its ecclesiastical laws are not ordained by God in scripture. However, the member is free to leave at any time and thereby be no longer bound by its statutes.

In the same way, if other sections of the Church wish to bind its members to a law on tithing, then their leaders are duty bound to formalise this law and incorporate it into their articles of faith. However, it is also incumbent on the leadership to make it abundantly clear that such a law is not the Law of God, and has no more merit than the membership fees that one might pay to a golf club.

Paul was inspired by God's Holy Spirit to declare that "God loves a cheerful giver" (II Cor.9:7). Why was not Paul inspired by God’s Holy Spirit to declare that, "God loves a cheerful tithe-payer?" In fact, why does not Paul mention the words tithe, tithes, or tithing in any of His thirteen epistles - not once? (Paul did not write the book of Hebrews, 2 Thes. 3:17). Why does not Peter, James, John, or Jude mention tithing in any of their epistles? Why didn’t the early Christian Fathers mention tithing as a doctrine of the New Testament Church? Therefore, why are innumerable thousands of evangelists, theologians, teachers, preachers, and clergymen teaching the world that if they don’t tithe ten percent of their salaries, that God will curse them with a curse?

Here then is the bottom line: Neither, Jesus nor His apostles tithed themselves or taught tithing to others. And within a generation God pronounced to the entire world by the total destruction of both the nation of Judah, and their city of Jerusalem with its temple, to be superseded by the Church of Christ. The nation of Israel was gone, the temple was gone, the priests were gone, the Levites were gone, and concerning the very Law of Moses containing the law of tithing, we read this:

Heb. 8:13 “By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

A More Excellent Way

The New Testament teachings on giving are unpretentiously simplistic involving the heart and not some law:

Matt 10:8b “Freely you have received, freely give.

Matt 5:42 “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

II Cor. 9:6-7 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

There is another very important Scripture that should go in this group and that is I Tim. 5:8,

"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

If the Church teaches that everyone should give 10% to their local fellowship regardless of their salary, financial commitments or personal circumstances, then there will be a significant number of people who will be hard pressed and unable to meet the needs of their families. It’s no use claiming that their lack is due to their lack of faith or sin in their lives. The bottom line is that many people simply cannot afford 10% of their gross income. If they pay this out of compulsion or guilt, then in contradiction to the verse above, they will not be able to provide for their household.

How to Pay Your Church's Bills

How are your Church bills paid if the people don’t tithe? All your Church leader has to do is ask the members to contribute something. Simple.

So why don’t leaders just ask? Because although they expect the congregation to live by faith, they themselves don’t wish to. It’s so much easier to manage the church departmental budgets, plan that extension, think about funding that outreach, if they can predict what the church income will be over the next financial year.

Or perhaps they just don’t trust the congregation to give generously out of love. They believe that by setting a minimal level of giving at 10% will result in a greater income than asking people to give what they want to give.

If only they would be honest with the congregation, and show them how Jesus taught us how to give. There simply would be no need to invent a tithing doctrine.

What a radical solution that would be. The onus would be on the minister to find out exactly what programmes God wants his Church to be involved in, then get the buy in from the congregation. By trusting that the people will support the effort financially out of love, the minister really has to step out in faith. Perhaps some man made ideas that would be funded by tithing would fall away. Is that such a bad thing?

The Apostle Paul Versus Christian Tithing

The Apostle Paul never tithed, never taught Gentiles to tithe, never collected tithes, and never accepted tithes. Imagine what Paul would have said had someone come up to him and offered him £50 saying: "Paul, here is my payment according to the tithing law with regards to my £500 wages." We don’t know what his exact words would be, but perhaps it would be something like this:

"Sir, MONEY is not a titheable commodity and tithes can be paid to the Levitic priests only, and I am not a Levite, I am from the Tribe of Benjamin. Furthermore, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you are also freed from the Law of Moses. Jesus Christ has taught us that, ‘FREELY you have received, FREELY give." One cannot give ‘freely’ that which is demanded by law. I am sorry, but I cannot accept money that is given out of obligation to a law. Jesus has freed us from carnal ordinances, and whom Jesus has freed, ‘is FREE indeed.’"

Now give that same £50 to some Church leaders, and one might receive this retort: "Well, if this £50 is your tithe, where is your offering? Don’t you know that the tithe belongs to God and you have only given what you have to give back to God anyway? You have not really given anything until you give money in excess of your tithes"

Should be obey the commandments of Jesus or the rules of men?

An Offering for the Jerusalem Church

In 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul was writing to the Corinthian church about an offering being taken up to aid those fellow believers in Jerusalem. He was boasting about their generosity in beginning this offering the previous year, and in order to encourage them to complete the work, he boasted about the generosity of the Macedonians. Now the Church usually teaches that this event confirms that all giving must happen after tithing. However as we have seen, tithing in the Church is unbiblical.

There are some key features in Paul’s discourse that we can pull out and use to guide our principles for giving today:

2 Cor 8:1-4 “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.

Notice that the Macedonians gave willingly, joyfully and entirely on their own initiative.

2 Cor 8 10b-12 “Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

The gift was to be in accordance with one’s means, according to what one has, not what one doesn’t have.

2 Cor 9:5 “So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given

No giving should be given grudgingly.

2 Cor 9:6-7 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Our level of giving will be reciprocated back to us in the level we receive, and each man decides for himself what he will give. Therefore, no one can tell the giver that he must give a minimum of 10%. As soon as we are told what to give, we are giving under compulsion, not freely.

Conclusion

The doctrine of Christian tithing is a false doctrine. It has nothing in common with God’s law on tithing bar the value being a tenth. The differences are summarised below:

  • The OT tithe was for produce of the land only. The church tithe is money.
  • The OT tithe was levied on landowner farmers only (not fishermen for example). The church tithe is levied on everyone.
  • The OT tithe could be collected by Levites only and there are none left today. The church tithe can be collected by any church startup or TV ministry.
  • The OT tithe was for a celebration of the Lord's goodness. The church tithe is to prop up a ministry.
  • The OT tithe was consumed by the tither, the Levites, the poor, the widows, the stranger. The church tithe is consumed by the ministry.
  • The OT tithe was ordained by God. The church tithe was ordained by man.

So many in the Church are weighed down by feelings of guilt because they can’t or won’t tithe. Others are puffed up with pride because they do tithe their 10%. Still others go along with it because they never hear a dissenting voice raise a challenge.

To insist that the Church tithes its 10% is to take a law of Moses, twist its meaning into something else, enforce it upon a people for whom it was never intended, then promise that they will be cursed if they disobey. This isn’t just a heresy, it’s a SIN.

If the Church really wants God to bless them in their finances, (this is a reasonable request if the blessing flows out again), then it needs to abandon the laws of men that are unsanctioned by God, and instead be obedient to His direction. Generous joyful giving, that is freely given out of love is God’s desire. It is this that He will bless.


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Comments 51 comments

rafken profile image

rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

Very good hub. I learnt a lot. Thanks.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Thanks DH, you saved me a whole lot of writing that I had been trying to get around to but have been too busy, and you did a better job also!

One addition.... When a church leadership promote tithing they tie Gods hands in effect, for they state that they prefer to stand under the OT law than Gods Grace and Mercy.

In doing this they curse their own members, as nobody in NT churches actually keeps ALL of the law, and if you slip back into the OT laws on tithing, then you are stuck with ALL of them.

I have always stated that where God guides He provides and seen it to be 100% true.

If we trust God, and obey His commands, we will NEVER be short of the resources to accomplish what He has commanded us to do.

Indeed, a litmus test on being on target with God is when the provision arrives exactly when needed, not a second early, not a second late, just right on time.

Having the trust in God to stand on that, is what keeps today's churches in bondage to the law and subjected to the whims of Satan over their finances, and unable to receive what God wants to provide for them.

Don't get me wrong, tithing will provide an income, but will never be sufficient to meet all our needs.

It leads to insufficiency and temptation.

Great hub brother, well done.

John


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Outstanding teaching. If you don't mind, may I link this hub to one of mine on this subject? I have to tell you, I try to listen to Christian radio stations during my commute (whether preaching or music) and had to just shut off all four stations this past week, for ALL were as a telethon, asking for money morning and night. I'd like to know of ANY church that doesn't teach tithing? I certainly haven't found a single one. Can one who is seeking the Lord's salvation by visiting a Church, who would like to attend regularly, AFFORD it? Many churches won't accept an ongoing 'visitor', yet to become a member, you are bound to the tithe.

Jesus overturned the money-changers' tables and said His Father's house is to be a house of prayer. Prayer is free. Jesus preached freely and never required money from those who followed Him. In fact, He fed the thousands that came to hear. I could just go on and on. Thank you for a dynamic teaching. Blessings.


Desmond 6 years ago

Great teaching on the tithe but you state: And within a generation God pronounced to the entire world by the total destruction of both the nation of Judah, and their city of Jerusalem with its temple, to be superseded by the Church of Christ.

I totally disagree with this. In many instances in the Old Testament, the Jews are told that God will "Never leave you nor forsake you" for "I have loved you with an everlasting love" etc. etc. He made a covenant with them and God is not a liar or a cheat. Even though they never all kept their side of the covenant, He will keep His. The Covenant is NOT void.

When did God destroy the nation? He allowed them to be dispersed and persecuted because of their constant unfaithfulness, but MANY prophecies state that the Jewish nation would again live in the land God gave to them. It became a fact in 1948 after most nations agreed to the re-establishment of the State of Israel, and God has protected Israel several times since then by miraculous victories over their attacking enemies.

The "eklesia" which followed after the death of Jesus consisted mostly of Jews, albeit a very small number of all Jewry, then joined by gentiles.

Gentiles then hijacked the "eklesia" and instituted a new body they called the "church" many centuries later and then claimed direct lineage from Peter as Pope. They also threw out the Jews, assisted by the main body of Jewry (the rabbinical Jews) who wanted nothing of this small group.

Today we have true believers in Yeshua in the person of Messianic Jews. They have taken back their true faith, brought about by their Messiah Who came "not to destroy the law but to fulfil it". They are the true believers, not the many heretical movements calling themselves "Christians", most of which hate the Jews. Remember what Yeshua said about them: "Whatsoever you do to the least of THESE My brethren, you do to ME". His brethren are the Jewish believers and anybody GRAFTED IN to the true Olive Tree, of which He is the Root.


bjphill 6 years ago

I completely disagree with you, but I won't go into great detail. It sounds like you have already made up your mind on the subject, and I doubt anything I have to say will do any good. One thing I will dispute with you is what the tithe does.

The tithe doesn't just prop up a ministry. Part of it does pay for the pastor's salary, which is very much deserved. Many people have no idea how hard a pastor works. Part of it does pay for the building. They need a place to meet. Part of the OT tithe was consumed by the tither. The NT tither benefits from their tithe through spiritual leadership from their pastor and use of their church building.

Just a few of the things our church does... we have a food pantry that gives out food to thousands of people every year. We have a toy ministry that gives out toys to hundreds of families every christmas. We have a coat ministry that gives out coats to those in need every winter. We have a thanksgiving dinner free of charge and open to the public. We have a prison ministry, a group of people going to the prisons to share the love of God as the Lord commands us. These are just a few things that the tithe supports.

I could go on and on, but I will leave it at that. I respectfully disagree with your philosophy on tithing.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

bjphill, if I may, all of this would fall under NT giving. It's the obligatory 'law' of the 'tithe' that has been imposed upon members and the compulsion/guilt that goes with it. Givers give cheerfully and they give out what they do have, not what they don't (2 Cor 8:12; 9:7). If any of these less-fortunate people ministered to by your church outreach came to your church and wanted to get involved in helping, but had no money to give, would they be shunned? Would they be denied membership, if they couldn't afford to 'tithe'? That's what happens in many churches.

It's wonderful your church members are givers and your church reaches out to the needy. There's no disputing that ~ that is what God calls the Church (the people) to do.


bjphill 6 years ago

Judah's Daughter, I actually like the NT giving doctrine. People in the early church did more than just give ten percent of their income. They sold their possessions to help others in need. There are those, such as me, who can't give so much. I pay my tithe, not out of guilt, but as an act of praise to God. Do I believe I would be disobeying God if I did not tithe? Yes I do.

Our church would not turn anyone away. Tithing is not a mandatory act for people to attend our church. It is encouraged, but nobody is ever singled out for not tithing, and nobody will ever be turned away simply because they don't tithe. You would have a hard time finding a church where one hundred percent of the membership tithe. In fact, 24% of evangelicals tithe, and that is the highest percentage of all christian denominations. Most churches will encourage christians to tithe, but will certainly not remove them from the congregation for failing to do so.

God has called his people to give, call it NT giving if you want. It doesn't matter what you call it as long as you are in obedience to God. The best thing to do is ask God what he would have you to give, and joyfully obey. God has blessed me for it. I don't have much money, but since I began tithing, what I do have tends to go further. Mathematically that is impossible, but with God all things are possible


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Thanks for dropping by Rafken.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Hi Aguasilver. I have held back from publishing this one for almost a year as most of the comments I've seen on Hubpages on the subject in that time told me that I might be just preaching to the converted. To be honest too, this work is mostly a summary of what I pulled together from various other websites last year and as they say in school "I put it in my own words".


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Auguasilver, you make a very interesting point there with regards to the law. If we break one, we've broken them all. Paul also warns about the believer returning to the law in Hebrews does he not?


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Hi JD. I know we disagree on a few issues, but it's good to see that we don't disagree on everything. Thanks for your extensive comments here.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

bjphill, I'll leave you in JD's capable hands.


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

It is unbelievable how pastors and spiritual teachers have conspired to lie the the people of God concerning tithing. If you studied and the truth was revealed to you. They have access to and believe know the same truth.

Pastors have to teach the truth concerning tithing and trust God for their needs will be met, just as their members have to!


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Oh yes 2besure, I was lied to for many years and in those times the tithe was a major contributing factor to our familly debts as I was not left with enough to live on. Of course I was also told that when we tithe God stretches our money to go further and I had to have faith. So to some people 2+2=5.


george r 6 years ago

very good teaching on the tithe. it was very helpful as i myself have always wondered about this.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Thanks George R.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

This is an excellent hub. I will use your link in my latest hub on false doctrine. Thanks!


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Thanks Faithful Daughter. I'll look forward to your hub on false doctrine as I think there's a lot of it about.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Disappearinghead, here is the link to my hub:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/deceptiona


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

Meaningful and well written.


Guylaine Fortin 6 years ago

hello


Guylaine Fortin 6 years ago

@ Corinthians 8 verse 11

Give whatever you can according to what you have. If you are really eager to give, it isn't important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don't have. Of course, I don't mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little.

New translation Bible.

Personally I believe all this money asking is giving God a bad name. It is stopping people from hearing God's word for a lot of people don't trust people today, especially those who promise joy and comfort by giving them money.

I can only say. People of God read your bible and let God teach you through reading and asking in prayer to understand. Don't believe everything someone says, just because they say it. Look it up yourself if ever in doubt.

Yes, God wants us to give with a happy heart not what we don't have but what we have to give.

Read your Word. It is there and so easy now with concordances and search engines, so easy to understand.

God bless you in all in truth and love and peace and joy,in Christ Jesus the Lord.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Thnaks RunAbstract for dropping by.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Hi Guylaine Fortin, I absolutley agree with you. If people studied the Word of God or themselves, church would not be so full of myths, superstition and false doctrines. The church has always wanted to control what people think, hence the persecution of those who wanted the bible in English. Yet the church body itself has become so dependant on the man at the front giving them his interpretation of it. Those who died to give us the bible in English, would be ashamed of the church today.


exjwlaurie 6 years ago

Once again--I commend you on an outstanding teaching Brother.

This is an extraordinary--and it is such a necessary message these days.

Personally--I give what I can, when the Holy Spirit moves me to give. Then it is done cheerfully--not under compulsion.

Really--if each Church has God's blessing upon them for their work, and teachings, their motives and for what is in their hearts--no "begging" would be necessary!

God owns the whole Universe! He will provide richly, beyond all need--if He is pleased with the leadership of His sheep...the Church. No Church, which is putting God's interests in first place, will ever lack what funds they need!

Well done! God Bless you!


Baileybear 6 years ago

yes, it's funny how all the OT laws are abandoned except tithing. The prosperity churches/leaders are the worst - eg Benny Hinn with private jet & excessively materialistic lifestyle (and wife filed for divorce because tired of being neglected)


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Thankyou exjwlaurie for your positvie comments.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Yes Baileybear, I've never understood how these pophets of profit could justify cooperate jets with their huge support and maintenance costs.Even if they travelled 1st class everywhere, they would never spend as much as they must do of their own private jets.

They claim perhaps that the airlines will not fly them to where God wants them when He wants them. However, God sees the beginning from the end, so I would imagine that He takes the airlines' flight schedules into account if He really was sending one of these peddlers of the Gospel somewhere.


Christina A profile image

Christina A 6 years ago from Australia

That would have been a lot of work to put together! Well done - very informative.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Thankyou Christina.


Debradoo profile image

Debradoo 6 years ago from Cocoa, Florida

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

The tithe is not about money. The tithe is about serving God and obeying God. It pains me to see such teaching (actually anti-teaching) as this. When we make the tithing practice (or teaching) to be about the money (and/or the greediness and personal gain for wealth), we are taking scriptures out of context and placing money above God. Ask Abraham if it was about money. Ask Jacob if it was about money. Yes, today's tithe is tithed with our current means of trade and barter which happens to be money. But the motivation of the heart, is not about money. Do some teachings make it out to be about money? Yes. Does that mean we should no longer teach on the tithe? No. Only God can know the heart and the intent of the tither and the teacher. If you believe in your heart that you are doing a disservice to God with a tithe, then by all means, do not tithe. But, if you believe in your heart that God has placed upon you the importance of the tithe (or teach in support of the tithe) then by all means do as God has lead you to do.

bjphill said .. I don't have much money, but since I began tithing, what I do have tends to go further. Mathematically that is impossible, but with God all things are possible.. end quote Amen!!


dutch84 profile image

dutch84 6 years ago

This is very thought-provoking. I did, however, feel that you were tearing down a harmless ritual. Sure, some church leaders do use scare tactics and some people tithe for the wrong reasons, but tithing in itself is not a bad thing.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Debradoo since when was the tithe when defined as giving 10% of your income ever a commandment of God? Since when did anyone in the OT ever tithe non-agrucultural products or money on a month by month or weekly basis? Since when did fishermen tithe fish or money? Since when did the church ever teach the tithe in accordance with the definition given by God? Since when did God ever say that the first 10% of your earnings belonged to Him and you must give it to your church minister?

The true tithe as taught by God has been twisted in its meaning by the church in order to cajole people to handing over money they don't have. The tithe you support was never taught by Jesus, the apostles, or the early church, but was invented by the 6th Century Catholic Church. It is null and void as a practice.

Your argument that God somehow stretches the remaining 90% is also a nonsense. 2+2 always equals 4 and never 5 no matter how much faith you attempt to apply to it. Sure God does want to meet our needs, but are you really suggesting that He only does this if we hand over 10% of our money in the name of a false doctrine? I've seem plenty of people weighed down with this financial burden they can't afford, and no God does not mysteriously pick up the debt incured. I used to wonder why, but then it occurred to me, that if God did make your 90% go further, then He would be also condoning a false doctrine which He just won't because that is sin.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Hi Dutch84. I'm 'tearing down a ritual' because it is used and abused by the church to extract money from congregatinos who very often just cannot afford it. The church often threatens people with curses from Malachi if they fail to cough up. God taught us to give as we have decided in our own hearts to give, not under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.


Debradoo profile image

Debradoo 5 years ago from Cocoa, Florida

God does want to meet our needs, but are you really suggesting that He only does this if we hand over 10% of our money .. ?

Yes, I am saying just this! When we hand over the 10 percent we are allowing God access into our finances. The tithe is not to enrich God. He needs no money. The tithe is to enrich us. We could all use enriching, eh? And He enriches us to take care of His Kingdom. To spread the Gospel. To feed the poor. To clothe the naked. To house the homeless. Etc etc etc. These things require money.

All your questions are answered in the Bible, head. The only ones who twist scripture are those trying to gain. Yes, that could include some dishonest preachers and teachers that use the 'tithe teaching' to line their pockets. But, this also includes those that want to hang onto what money they have and they use these 'dishonest' teachers to make excuses to go against the Word of God and reject the tithing principle and insult those of us that know tithing to be an act of obedience.

Tithing will be tough for anyone that has decided to begin to tithe. The enemy will make it tough. But, if tithing continues to be a financial burden weighing you (or anyone)down then stop tithing! Discuss the matter with God and regroup. The tithe should always be done in 'joy' and not some burden. People can find it a burden to preach. People can find it a burden to pray. People can find it a burden to brush their teeth .. but not brushing will bring on cavities and eventually , the loss of teeth! Being a burden does not mean it is to be rejected as truth.


algiles profile image

algiles 5 years ago from California

wow! That was a great piece with so much research it is incredible. Thank you for all your hard work on this.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 5 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Tithing is not an act of obedience because tithing is not a commandment upon the church.


Mark Mantle 5 years ago

I like your web page.

I thought you might want to know the word mistake in your writing.

Look for this: Should be obey the commandments of Jesus or the rules of men?

You meant to write we but accidently wrote be.

Thank you for posting the truth thus reflecting the true revelation of Christ.


pastorross 5 years ago from Hart, MI

Very interesting thoughts here, both in the content and the comments.

I believe the foundation of your discourse is valid, which is this: we need to focus on the principle of Biblical giving rather than the specific practices. By confining ourselves to the "law" of giving, we rob God of that which he desires from us and ourselves of the blessings which God desires to give us.

The real question should not be about how much of our money (or anything else we "own) we are giving to God, but how much of what is truly God's are we keeping for ourselves. Remember, we are only stewards of what rightfully belongs to God in its entirety.

I agree that we cannot give what we do not have. But consider the example of the Macedonians, who gave out of their extreme poverty to support ANOTHER LOCAL CHURCH (Jerusalem) because there was a need there. They did not give because their pastor required it of them; they gave because they considered it part of fellowship with fellow believers in meeting their needs. In fact they BEGGED for their gifts to be received even after being told that they were not expected to participate in the collections because of their extreme poverty.

The point here is that God gives to us so that we may give to others. We are to be channels, not sponges. When I consider my own needs above the needs of others, I am living totally outside of the principle of true Biblical love, which is to be at the core of my giving in the first place. If I love myself, I will think of myself and my needs first--if I love God, I will think of the needs of others first above my own. That includes the needs of the pastor of my church who has devoted his life (hopefully) to meeting the spiritual (and other) needs of those under his teaching and ministry.

If I teach or feel that giving is an obligation, then God is not pleased with my giving, no matter what the percentage is. But if I use that argument to justify my lack of giving, then I am guilty of the same thing as those who are confined by the law of tithing: a lack of true love. And it is very clear in scripture that those who do not love the brethren, do not love God, and those who do not love biblically in self sacrifice, do not know God.

The whole discussion of tithing starts with a proper discourse of what true love is--then whether to tithe or not would not be an issue, because our primary concern would not be about how much we have to keep for our own needs.

Just my perspective based on the underlying principles of everything that Christ taught in all aspects of life.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA

I was taught that the 10% that the Jewish people paid was more like the taxes we now pay to our government. It supported the temple etc.

My husband and I personally have tithed and the truth is that when we did it, our income just kept increasing and we ended up with more money.

I have had times in my life though that my kids would have gone without food, if I had tithed. God's answer to me was that he didn't want my money, he wanted me.


Tricia Ward profile image

Tricia Ward 4 years ago from Scotland

A very interesting hub- the truth is that you should really refect on your attitude to giving for some 10% is too much and for others they could give 90% and still have enough to live on. It is more about asking God what to give. I know some people that give far more than 10%.

We should not be legalistic about this. Most can give 10%. We should not think 10%...and the rest is MINE!!!

Truth is all of what you have is provision from God. There is a lot of unreleased money in our churches.

We should give and give generously with a joyful heart...not as a tick box exercise job done.


Victor Dhayalan 4 years ago

Really Nice, Wake up from the false belief My concern every one need to think about this. most of them are still blind. In My church our pastors are forced us to give tithe. every Sunday before offering they give a short message about tithe & force people to give money from there income. if some of the non-givers they Handel in different way by making them scare telling definitely you suffer lot from poverty, disease etc.. They threatening people this needs to be stop. god only change them all.


kayla 4 years ago

In response to those who have said that their church 'encourages' but does not 'require' tithing....that may be true for members, but my experience has been that anyone considered 'in leadership' (deacons, elders, sunday school teachers, etc.) are REQUIRED to tithe. You don't get to minister unless you are a tither.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 4 years ago from Wales, UK Author

Hi Kayla, thanks for your comment.


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SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

I remember my concerns when my wife gave our food money to the church because our ex-pastor spoke about the curse in the book of Malachi. Our ex-pastor told us to test Him (God), and we saw NO rewards. We left that church and its tithing system, and God gave me and my wife good paying jobs. I seriously believe that anyone who says they enjoy paying tithes and encourage others to do so, have a bad religious spirit in them.


Chris 4 years ago

Jesus came to set us free...from BONDAGE of the Law. (Luke 4:18, Mat 11:29-30)

Jesus says tithing is LAW...as does Heb 7:5. Peter says that it is TESTING God to put the yoke (burden) of the Law on the Gentiles (Acts 15:10) ie teaching 'tithing' to the church today.

Paul warns us about trying to keep the Law

Gal 5:1-5

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. NKJV

Brethren we as God's children are FREE (Mat 17:26)....if you believe the New Testament...rather than false teachers

Freedom means there is NO command or compulsion or requirement to give...or it would no longer be FREE

2 Cor 9:7

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. NKJV

Chris


Marci 3 years ago

Most of the Christian RELIGION [as opposed to the true remnant of born again believers] demands tithing and will NOT hear differently! I have tried to 'enlighten' many of my Christian friends, only to be dismissed, ignored and thought of as a backslider or heretic. I doubt the tithing "Golden Calf" will ever be uprooted. Sad but true. Thanks for the excellent article!!


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livingit4real 3 years ago

As a young, newly born-again, single Christian woman with a small salary I had promised God to tithe if He would bless me with a new job. I struggled trying to be obedient to this legal requirement and was led of God to the truth in Hebrews 7. I believed the Word and still struggled with the teaching of the church for years, trying to reconcile the two different teachings. Even after many years of God revealing Himself and His truth I still struggled with the teachings of the church on this issue. So I really appreciate people like yourself who reinforce the truth I have known but had no other witness to it for so long. Thank God for all of the brave Christians who stand up and tell the truth regardless of the church's false teachings.


Robert Munyui Kamaunyu 22 months ago

Tithing was under and is under the law with a curse for Christians seeking salvation under the law, Galatians 3:3-13, Malachi 3:1-18. When pastors and priest quote Malachi 3:1-18, under the law IN OLD COVENANT , how many Christians line up to be served with food when tithes and offering under the law are given? Is the storehouse pastors' and priests' house or the Church? Saved Christians by grace IN NEW COVENANT , lead by the Holy Spirit are ministers of the new testament born of love with exceeding glory which surpassed the glory that was in law in Moses and we have been redeemed from the curse of the law to adoptions of sons in Royal Priesthood ( Pastors ,Priest and Bishops who are servants of God cannot subject sons of God in Royal Priesthood to tithe taxes- absolute illegal) and are not under the law, Galatians 5:1, Galatians4:4-5,2 Corinthians 3:1-18 . Salvation under the law one attains it at last breath on earth having done all that pertains to the law which is hard for one to accomplish. Even the tithe which was given by Abraham was under the law of sin and death from the fall of Adam and Eve. Those who cheat would like to deceive Christians that tithe was before the law but before which law. When Christ was born He was given gifts and not tithes Mathew 2:11-12. Salvation under spiritual law of love by grace is freely given and attained with free miracles from God our Father, Ephesians 2:4 -9, Ephesians 2:13 -20. Under Leviticus priesthood tithes were given for the tribe of Levi and tithe of tithe to the high Priest for they shared no land apart from the walled towns they were allocated to stay in for their continuous sacrifice to God, Numbers 18:20 -29.Widows, strangers ,fatherless and orphans benefited from tithes and offerings given to Levites, Deuteronomy 14:22-29. In Christianity widows were asked to be catered by close brethren to ease burden to the Church. There were also tithes of different kinds in Israel. There was also a tithe where a family had to eat all before the Lord, Deutreronomy12:6-7. In Christ Jesus we are saved by grace to adoptions of sons in Royal Priesthood of Christ and not by works of law ,Galatians 3:8-13,Acts13: 38-39, Galatians 4: 4-5, Galatians2:16-21, Galatians 5:18. Sons have direct access to the Father and free common inheritance not bought or worked for from the father. For servants ( Pastors and Priest) are servants of God worthy all respects and due help . NEW TESTAMENT two priesthood are compared Hebrew7: 7-28, Hebrew8:6 -13, Hebrew 9:6-9, Hebrew 10:8-23. Leviticus priesthood under the law with tithes, death, discontinuity and its acceptance under glory of law without the great commission was done away in Christ and the holy priesthood of Christ without tithes, death and discontinuity with exceeding glory under which Christians are in salvation being a Holy nation and Loyal Priests to preach to the world GOD being their Father in new covenant ministry. Tithing weakens the Royal Priesthood of Christians in Christ where Christians are supposed to give themselves as living sacrifice in mission fields. The Christians Royal Priesthood in Christ Jesus is internally weekend from within ,fought and economically drained mostly for indoors ministries under revival of Leviticus priesthood by pastors. The Royal Priesthood is internally spiritually emaciated and trodden upon.2 Corinthians2:1-13, 2Peter 2:5-9. Priesthood involves sacrifices. The priesthood was changed from the old covenant( Leviticus Priesthood) to the new covenant (Loyal Priesthood of labor in Christ without tithes allocations which is not appreciated) and the law governing it was changed. Jesus Christ told Peter look after his lambs and later to look after His sheep ( service) in clear shift from Leviticus priesthood John 21:15-17. Under Leviticus priesthood un animal for sacrifice was alive between the alter of sacrifice and the Levite priest holding the sacrificial knife. Sheep remained alive for a period of time only when they were delivered many animals for sacrifice and the alter could not hold them all for sacrifice .We are dead to sin and alive in Christ who live in us being a living sacrifice to God. Levite Pastors and Priest are comfortable with brethren who live like dead sacrifice. Levite priests were to labor to sacrifice and not tendering the flocks. Pastors and Priests who revive the Leviticus priesthood removed by Christ and merge it to the Loyal priesthood of Christ do so for personal gains in mass cheating for self tithes allocations. Leviticus priesthood under law remained hostile to the Ministry of Christ and His disciples who suffered in their hands even after Christ death. Levite priests beat and wanted to kill all disciples of Christ whom they told not to preach in His name. Acts 5:17-42. What pastors are not telling the Church (the bride/sons/ children) is the reason Christ had in choosing the twelve disciples ( under new covenant in Grace ) and opted not to use the Levite Priests ( in old covenant under law) that were well established and placed had they to be chosen preach to the world. LET PASTORS , BISHOPS AND PRIESTS HONESTLY PURGE THEIR HEARTS AND SPEAK THE TRUTH ON TITHES. CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW IN THE OLD COVENANT. The intrigue of doctrinal falsehood on tithes smartly engineered by them worldwide cannot be justified or be cleansed by their religious social status. Let Bishops ,Pastors, Priests and Church Elders handle the Church of Christ within Christians doctrines established by Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles in the mission field vision. CHRISTIANS MUST FACE AND ADDRESS THE MASS SWEEPING AND SOOTHING FALSEHOOD TAUGHT BY SOME WELL EDUCATED ELITE CHRISTIANS ABOUT TITHES IN A SOBER SPIRITUAL REALITY FACE OUT . The Royal Priesthood in grace is quite different from Leviticus Priesthood under law. Leviticus Priesthood in the old covenant belonged to the Levite tribe among the eleven tribes in Israel but the Royal Priesthood in the new covenant under oppression and suppression belongs to all brethren in the world in Christ Jesus ( the body of Christ) who are commissioned to preach to the world. The Royal Priesthood is well placed to reach the world effectively at close quarters in Christ love. It is quite unfortunate that Christians unknowingly are victims of systematic unmarked professional intellectual falsehood commercialization cover up in tithes teaching by learned Christians brethren. But Christians have been warned not to be fools Ephesians 5:15-16. Tithing impoverish the Royal Priesthood of Christ which make the Great commission less effective. When all saved Christians are in Royal Priesthood, to whom do you tithe to in the new covenant?

A fountain cannot produce sweet and bitter water the same time. James 3:8-18. We Christian are saved by GRACE IN CHRIST LOVE(Spiritual Law) for we cannot be subjected to law of sin and death crucified and done away by Christ on cross of Calvary. We are subjected to spiritual law of life in Christ Jesus and ought to have the spiritual understanding of the Word of God in liberty without corrupting the Word of God. Roman 8:1-2, Colossians 1:9-10. As God has blessed us in common inheritance of the saints, we should give sacrificially as we have purposed in our hearts in liberty and in love, Galatians 5:1, 2Corinthians 9;6-7, Galatians 6:6-7, Hebrew6:6-12,Hebrew13:11-16. Christ taught spiritual giving to God and to our parents, Luke 6:8 ,Matthew15:5-9. Paul also taught the same .2Corinthians 9:6-14, Philippians 2:4-5. Aaron was given unto Moses, the Levite tribe was given unto Aaron, the eleven tribes of Israel were given unto Levite tribe to serve them but we Christians are purchased through the blood of Christ we are no man servants but servants of Christ 1Corinthians 7:21-2 , God is our father and our readily help in times of needs and not men. Numbers 3:9-15. No servant can hinder children access to the Father and His blessed inheritance.

Those under the law are under curse and the law kills 2Corinthians 3:6. Those lead by the Spirit are not under law and curses. Gal


Robert Munyui Kamaunyu 21 months ago

FGM PROSTITUTION ON WOMANHOOD BY PARENTS- THE BUTCHERS OF WOMANHOOD ( THE COVENANT OF THE FLESH).

When God told Abraham to sign the covenant of the flesh, he circumcised all the male children and he was circumcised. The message was direct and in plain language. GENESIS 17: 1-27. The agreement was strategically initiated and the male child grew beholding daily his agreement with God at every call of nature throughout his married life.. The covenant of the flesh for a man is with ease to behold with no ill feelings or regrets without medication required afterwards in life. When God told Moses that the Children of Israel shall not circumcise their girls, the message was given in a spiritual language and bore two warnings. The Israelis parents shall not sexually mutilate their daughters and fathers were commanded not have carnal knowledge (incest) of their daughters making them prostitutes. Fgm prostitution is a satanic sacrifice for a woman, of secrecy with miseries and constrains of disgrace to behold accompanied by many cases of traumatic child delivery requiring medication. There is no fold of a fore skin in a sexual organ of a woman to cut round that hides dirty stuffs that stinks. There is no part of her sexual organ that rots as she grows old from childhood. There are blunt lies of those women anointed by satan to propagate fgm when they claim women that are not cut stinks. Homes ,cities and countries where fgm is not practiced would have been stinking hell if their claim is true which would have been an open truth known by all. The devil is the father of lies and his accomplished the falsehood. Fgm is the most horrible heart breaking satanic sacrifice in parenthood accepted and appreciated by many communities. They have given fgm prostitution a satanic religious positive face value with wholesome none existent cleanliness which is mockery to wisdom and Word of truth. Today those who favor fgm feel their marriages are under attack and endangered with the unfolding truth on falsified physical and spiritual beneficial issues acclaimed in fgm. All they have is to tell epic of lies to keep their husbands mentally caged in culture and remain relevant to their husbands. Parents pay homage to satan in fgm. During fgm initiation ceremonies immoral cultural songs are accepted and openly sang.

Let men love those ladies who have under gone the awful unkind cut in Christ’s Love that bonds on love Let those ladies not condemn themselves . Let them abound in liberty that is in Christ and enjoy full life and do away with satanic barbaric fgm for their daughters. The devil has his own even among the smart elites in every society that will justify evils under all costs. Fgm is a demonic act associated with the existent of parenthood and the devil who has given it a religious backing a cover up of deception acceptance. There are women who have undergone fgm and they hold and tell the bear truth on issues based on fgm. May God Almighty shower them with blessings of fortitude of grace to forbear the deprivations done in fgm. In fgm prostitution persecution parents are engaged in a clear active respectable satanic open sacrifice. They indulge themselves in orgy of mutilating the very womanhood of their own girl child for none existing morality for God. Fgm is the satanic strategic morality sacrifice hidden tragically and endorsed by many parents across all social status around the world. Parents have their own zeal of faith in fgm and have established their own righteousness not according to righteousness of God in the knowledge of his Word. Roman 10:1-4. Parents spearhead the immoral act in fgm which is a covenant of flesh and blood with satan for society morality. Many fathers are bonded and bound by it and sink to abyss of solemn silence even when children and youth raise a protest the battle of minds against fgm. Satan has for generations perfectly cushioned fgm in many families parenthood which is un institution of tender care and love as the acceptable way of life. It is the time Satan tragically prevails in honor in parenthood. Fgm is the parental dear paradox regarding girls chastity. On fgm sin enslavement , fathers play the pivot role in sexually crippling their daughters behind the scene having been entangled and snared by Satan as it were with Eve and Adam in garden of Aden. There are parents comfortably settled down on mutilating their young girls for community social acceptance and honor at families managed alter of satan. This defeats any iota of holy love and care for the girl child under fgm, bawling for mercy when heaped on her shoulders empty promises bearing the burden of the family and the society morality placed on her very womanhood In fgm operation . In fgm operation, parents are heartless and lack ornaments of a holly heart. Fgm defines parents in demonic world of culture gripped by satan but not in God. They are faithful dependable apostles and ministers of satan bound in perpetuating fgm with willing evil hands . Parents and close relatives continuously taunt young girls on their uncut status which is a state of social mental torture for some hard to bear. Finally some face the martyrdom of womanhood in fgm for demonic cultural purity cleansing acceptance . To them, immorality is put to an end. The devil’s strike on womanhood is immortalized in a cultural religious ceremony given a cover up of wholesome acceptance by elders present us custodian pillars of demonic culture sexual slavery. Love cannot fathom the era of zeal outburst in fgm prostitution castration ordeal that ravage the garden of love and joy enhanced in agony of cultural honor by parents in chopping and tearing the helm of womanhood. What is left is a figure of womanhood.

Girls who face the evil cut become prostitutes on alter of satan sadly without their consent which pollutes the land. Magicians and witches in the world do not make girls prostitutes. But parents by subjecting girls to fgm make them prostitutes and are worse than them. Parents have soiled their hands in fgm honorary .Humanity has been subject to satanic celebrated sacrifice in fgm prostitution beyond imaginations in many families among generations. The evil cutting is done in honor of the dead. Leviticus 19:28-29. This type of prostitution cannot be cleansed in marriage life . She bought her prostitution with her flesh, bone and blood on alter of Satan while still In her flower age when facing all evil forces under her parental care. Unless she gets saved (call upon the blood of CHRIST to cleanse her.John3:16-18, Isaiah1:18) she shall go to her grave a prostitute. Thus there were no sexual mutilations among the Israelis women. The Girl child was bought up in divine order leaving the petals and stay of love intact for a beloved wise husband core co-benefits. She remained a garden fenced , a spring shut up and blessed in sealed divine state. A woman to man she is a garden and a fountain. The man plants a seed and a child grows in the womb and is born. The man quench his marital thirst with her in shared joy for woman is a keeper at home. A fountain with a cover has more flesh safe water than uncovered well. A fenced garden has a defense and is a safe comfort. Song of Solomon 5:1-2. Song of Solomon 4:12, Proverbs 5:18-19. The banner of love is at even state over the garden of love at Divine state when his hand lands at the garden of love to prop it up undisturbed in the great rift valley. Song of Solomon 2:2-3.

Circumcision in man does not destroy his body integrity and his sexual ability remains intact. In Church of Christ, ever where parents force their daughters to face the evil cut, the parents having given the devil the first sacrifice should not be ashamed to remove the blanket of etiquette and prepare their daughters to play wives (incest) to their husbands to give the devil a complete sacrifice. Let mothers have the final honor and pride themselves in remaking the conception beds of their daughters and prepare their husbands to know their daughters and give satan a due complete sacrifice. It is not a


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Kiss andTales 12 months ago

You bring out some very good points in your hub, especially when tithing really started,

Another thought is gifts to our heavenly father has, always been the case from the time of Cain and Able.

But The Father has not always accepted gifts of offerings on his end.

Cains was rejected before he killed his brother Abel, The Father was watching his heart condition before he gave his gift.

It was not right , and counsel was given to

Help him change his thinking.

(Ge 4:7 If you turn to doing good, will you not be restored to favor? But if you do not turn to doing good, sin is crouching at the door, and its craving is to dominate you; but will you get the mastery over it?”)

The point is that has not changed, many gifts given to God the Father should not be assumed accepted just because it is given.

The Father is holy , many people are not in their lifestyles, and worse is the thought you can buy salvation. No you can not.

Only the clergy seem to take advantage of their church members.

One last thought it is very interesting that

The Israelites gave their best to the Father

By works, contributions, and also notice this was a gift as well.

Le 7:13 He will present his offering along with ring-shaped loaves of leavened bread and the thanksgiving sacrifice of his communion sacrifices.

So if people really want to get technical where is this bread, the answer !

Jesus was the bread from heaven already presented in our behalf.

Joh 6:51 ,I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and for a fact, the bread that I will give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world.”

Jesus made this better that the old laws was better and updated.

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