Tithing - Fact or Fiction?
Giving 10 Percent to God
Have you ever asked, "is tithing a New Testament principle?" 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?
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.
Do you Tithe
Using Scripture to Produce Guilt Rather than Conviction
I recall how often, the prophet Malachi was used to use condemnation to make members pay tithes. The scripture was used to tell church member that they would be cursed with a curse if the didn't pay up.
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.
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 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 a part 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, but we have received the grace of God through 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.
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.