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Should Christians Tithe?

Updated on May 30, 2018

Is it mandatory for Christians to tithe as stipulated in the Old Testament books? If we don't tithe, are we robbing God as specified in the Old Testament book of Malachi? "Will a man rob God? Surely not! And yet you have robbed me. 'What do you mean? When did we ever rob you?' "You have robbed me of the tithes and offerings due to me. And so the awesome curse of God is cursing you, for your whole nation has been robbing me." (Malachi 3:8-9). Are we under a curse as outlined in the abive verses in the Book of Malachi if we fail to tithe? This is a question that troubles many Christians. However, interesting question to ask in order to know where Christians stand pertaining to the Old Testament is: Are the Old Testament books still relevant to us Christians?

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A number of Old Testament books apply to us Christians as they were for the Israelites. First, they teach us lessons we should never forget lest we fall in the same traps as the Israelites. Second, the O.T. books have served as an invaluable tool in backing up science and answering many questions that bother us in the modern era e.g. the ancient archaeological multi-structures discoveries, the origin of multi-languages, the evidence giants and dinosaurs used to exist, the origin of human beings, Satan and demons. The O.T. books contain wise sayings, songs we can use to praise God, they teach us more about God e.g. attributes of God, and contain numerous prophecies some of which have been fulfilled.

What about the Old Testament laws? Are we required as Christians to observe them?

Should We Follow Old Testament Laws?

The answer is partly yes and no. Not all Old Testament laws apply to us Christians. The moral laws still play a role in our lives as Christians because they never change. 'You shall not kill, You shall not covet, You should not use the name of God in vain and other moral laws are still effective in the modern age as it was then. Nonetheless, not all laws are relevant to us e.g. ceremonial rules such as offering lamb sacrifices. Other laws are not applicable to us due to their nature e.g. ‘a tooth for a tooth’ and ‘an eye for an eye’ are no longer plausible because Jesus said when a man hits you on the cheek, offer him the other cheek.

There is no condemnation in following such laws nor is there any condemnation in not following the O.T. laws. As we will note later, Apostle Paul remarked following Jewish laws won't make us acceptable before God or observing the laws will make us right before God.

Apostle Paul urged the Roman Christians unot to tire themselves with observing Jewish laws for the non-Jewish people are not bound to obey them. He reiterated the laws in themselves are not bad but they paint a somehow sad picture that no human can ever obey every law of God without breaking one of them. This is the reason Jesus died on the cross and rose again so as to fulfill the Old Testament laws in its entirety. We are no longer led by the O.T laws but by the Spirit of God. Paul emphasized we are saved by the Grace of God not by obeying Jewish laws.

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Romans 3:20

Now do you see it? No one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what the law commands. For the more we know of God's laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying them; his laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners.

Romans 3:21-22

But now God has shown us a different way to heaven --not by "being good enough" and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago).

Now God says he will accept and acquit us--declare us "not guilty"--if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.

Romans 5:20-21

The Ten Commandments were given so that all could see the extent of their failure to obey God's laws. But the more we see our sinfulness, the more we see God's abounding grace forgiving us.

Before, sin ruled over all men and brought them to death, but now God's kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source

Romans 3:9-16

Now then, the question: Is this blessing given only to those who have faith in Christ but also keep the Jewish laws, or is the blessing also given to those who do not keep the Jewish rules but only trust in Christ? Well, what about Abraham? We say that he received these blessings through his faith. Was it by faith alone, or because he also kept the Jewish rules?

For the answer to that question, answer this one: When did God give this blessing to Abraham? It was before he became a Jew--before he went through the Jewish initiation ceremony of circumcision.

It wasn't until later on, after God had promised to bless him because of his faith, that he was circumcised. The circumcision ceremony was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him just and good in his sight--before the ceremony took place. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who believe and are saved without obeying Jewish laws. We see, then, that those who do not keep these rules are justified by God through faith.

And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those Jews who have been circumcised. They can see from his example that it is not this ceremony that saves them, for Abraham found favor with God by faith alone before he was circumcised.

It is clear, then, that God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was not because Abraham obeyed God's laws but because he trusted God to keep his promise.

So if you still claim that God's blessings go to those who are "good enough," then you are saying that God's promises to those who have faith are meaningless, and faith is foolish.

But the fact of the matter is this: when we try to gain God's blessing and salvation by keeping his laws we always end up under his anger, for we always fail to keep them. The only way we can keep from breaking laws is not to have any to break!

So God's blessings are given to us by faith, as a free gift; we are certain to get them whether or not we follow Jewish customs if we have faith like Abraham's, for Abraham is the father of us all when it comes to these matters of faith.

Paul asserts that Abraham received the God's promise before he was circumcised. The circumcision acted as a seal, a treaty God made to Abraham that he will be the father of nations. Through his seed, Israel, God will reach to other nations that they may know there is only one true God that exists. Abraham was termed as righteous not because of his works but because of his faith - trust - in God.

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Romans 7:1; 4-6

Your "husband," your master, used to be the Jewish law; but you "died," as it were, with Christ on the cross; and since you are "dead," you are no longer "married to the law," and it has no more control over you. Then you came back to life again when Christ died and are a new person. And now you are "married," so to speak, to the one who rose from the dead, so that you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God.

When your old nature was still active, sinful desires were at work within you, making you want to do whatever God said not to and producing sinful deeds, the rotting fruit of death.

But now you need no longer worry about the Jewish laws and customs because you "died" while in their captivity, and now you can really serve God; not in the old way, mechanically obeying a set of rules, but in the new way, with all of your hearts and minds.

The new way Paul refers to is not by observing the laws but letting the Holy Spirit lead us. If our hearts convicts us what we are doing is not right it implies it's the Holy Spirit convicting us to stop carrying out such deeds which aren’t pleasing to God.

Tithing is not for Christians 1 of 2

Tithe or Not Tithe?

I believe every Christian is at liberty whether to tithe or not. We should not be bound or made to feel guilty because we don't tithe. The early Christians used to give, each contributing what he/she could give or afford to support the servants of God in sharing the Good News, to help the poor, to feed the ministers of God and through their financial assistance the Gospel was spread to distant regions of the world. They were in the habit of contributing whatever they could afford for the welfare of the Christian family and for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

So I have asked these other brothers to arrive ahead of me to see that the gift you promised is on hand and waiting. I want it to be a real gift and not look as if it were being given under pressure.

But remember this--if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.

Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don't force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes.

God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others.

It is as the Scriptures say: "The godly man gives generously to the poor. His good deeds will be an honor to him forever."

For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest.

As evidenced in the above verses, we should give willingly. We should give according to our hearts' desire. Furthermore, it's important to note there is a law that is operative in the world and is not limited to God's kingdom. This fact is backed by science. ‘When you give you will receive in return. The more you give the more you receive.’ This is undisputed but again you shouldn't give because you've been forced to give.

Your Take: Tithing

Should Christians Tithe?

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When we give we should do so cheerful. We should feel happy when we give because we know the importance of giving, not necessarily to receive a reward as a favor. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong in expecting a return. God has promised that when we give we can expect a return. In Hebrews 11, Apostle Paul lists men of faith who believed in God beyond any doubt. God never failed them. He blessed them in various ways. For instance, Abel's offering which can be likened to giving to God resulted in God accepting his burnt offering. "It was by faith that Abel obeyed God and brought an offering that pleased God more than Cain's offering did. God accepted Abel and proved it by accepting his gift; and though Abel is long dead, we can still learn lessons from him about trusting God." It is God who gives us everything. When we give God a part of our income, harvest or anything else that's acceptable; we are acknowledging His Providence, thanking Him and playing a role in advancing all that represents the Kingdom of God. "For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest." (2 Corinthians 9:10)

Why Christian’s Shouldn’t Tithe

2 Corinthians 8:7; 12

You people there are leaders in so many ways--you have so much faith, so many good preachers, so much learning, so much enthusiasm, so much love for us. Now I want you to be leaders also in the spirit of cheerful giving.

If you are really eager to give, then it isn't important how much you have to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you haven't.

In Luke 6:38, Jesus said, "For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give--large or small--will be used to measure what is given back to you." This is a universal law that never changes: 'Give and it shall be given to you.' The amount you give determines the amount you receive.

Let no preacher, pastor, teacher or minister of God force you to give. If you don't give willingly, God will not accept your gift. The most important thing to observe is that we give as a form of gratitude to God, to aid in the spread of the Good News, and to help the needy and destitute. God doesn't need our money because He owns everything and He can do all these things by Himself. But, He wants us to share in this glorious redemptive work.

Conclusion

Whether you tithe or not doesn't matter. What matters is whether you give. Giving doesn't necessarily mean giving money. It can mean giving some of your time, some of your harvest or anything else as long as it will assist in one way or another in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:1-6

So Christ has made us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get all tied up again in the chains of slavery to Jewish laws and ceremonies.

Listen to me, for this is serious: if you are counting on circumcision and keeping the Jewish laws to make you right with God, then Christ cannot save you.

I'll say it again. Anyone trying to find favor with God by being circumcised must always obey every other Jewish law or perish.

Christ is useless to you if you are counting on clearing your debt to God by keeping those laws; you are lost from God's grace.

But we by the help of the Holy Spirit are counting on Christ's death to clear away our sins and make us right with God.

And we to whom Christ has given eternal life don't need to worry about whether we have been circumcised or not, or whether we are obeying the Jewish ceremonies or not; for all we need is faith working through love.

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      I agree, God is Good, All Good and always has been. Any story depicting God as Evil (Jealous, Vengeful, Wrathful, etc.) is a Projection of the author and is Not of God. There are many stories in the Bible which Blaspheme.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      2 months ago from Kenya

      People have developed wrong conception of God because of the nature of our world but as the Bible says, God created everything good. He did not create evil. It is the created things that decided to commit evil. If God was evil I don't think anyone of us would be alive by now.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Yes, it is not the nature of God to be Jealous, Vengeful or Wrathful. All stories in the Bible or out which depict God with these negative emotions are Blasphemy. Now read the Bible with this in mind. What do you see?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      2 months ago from Kenya

      I agree any violence in the name of God is blasphemy. It is not only blasphemy but it isn't in line with the nature of God. Our fight is not against flesh but against the evil spirits as detailed in the Book of Ephesians.

      And we should support people, churches or organizations who work for the common good of people and in advancing the Kingdom of God.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      3 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      I agree with Alianess, however we should be on guard with the OT that we not be misled. The most disturbing question in the OT (to me) is that The Lord authorized violence. Today, we should know that violence is Not of God, but is a Projection of an imperfect person.

      We should Tithe (support) only those institutions who teach:

      One God

      One Humanity

      Peace

      Equality

      Integrity and

      Cooperation.

      All violence in the name of God is Blaspheme

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      3 months ago from Kenya

      You are correct Jay. There is something that seems to work within them. I think it has to do with the fact humans are made in the image of God. Therefore, we have that sense of wanting to help others like God. As you've correctly said it, Religion is Progressive. We are religious by nature, whether an atheist or a religious person. Even atheists believe in something - not believing God exists - so it is a form of religion.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      3 months ago from Kenya

      Charlie, you are proving what I have already written. Nevertheless, the Old Testament is still relevant to us Christians. It has aided me a lot in finding answers to a number of disturbing questions

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      3 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Alianess: Yes, even atheists are involved in charities, but isn't that a good thing? If an atheist knows to help others, does that mean that something is working within him?

      Government led social services are a projection of the people. Something is working within an entire society.

      There seems to be a theme both charlie and Alianess have addressed: Religion is Progressive. People have changed their view of religion over time. Is this correct?

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 

      3 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      the age of the Israelites was fulfilled by Christ and IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT AT ALL. all things become new in Christ. The current age in which we live is governed by Christ alone as he is God's delegate authority during this age until He returns all authority to God at the judgment.

      This article is totally unscriptural there is NO TITHE in this age as it was only for the Israelites and only for their age (until Christ fulfilled the law)

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      3 months ago from Kenya

      I agree with you Jay C. OBrien. We don't need magnificent cathedrals. As long as we have a place to meet and fellowship is all that matters. A church is not a building.

      I can't really say charities are religious because even atheists are involved in such activities. It's part of human nature, to help others who are in need. It's part of humanity.

      I believe the government doesncarry out the activity because it's something required of them. Giving is part of life which is not limited to religious institutions. Although it matters why a person or government gives.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      3 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      "The moral laws still play a large role in our lives. 'You shall not kill, You shall not covet, You should not use the name of God in vain and other moral laws are still effective in the modern age as it was then. Laws such as ceremonial laws are of no benefit to us Christians e.g. offering sacrifices. Other laws such as a ‘tooth for a tooth’ and ‘an eye for an eye’ are no longer plausible because Jesus said when a man hits on the cheek, give him the other cheek."

      I agree with the above paragraph. I suggest that money Not be a part of a religion. Take money out of religions and what do you get? We do Not need big cathedrals or churches or synagogues. We do Not need to pay to build them or maintain them. We can meet anywhere in small groups. We could congregate on a plain or mountain side.

      Are charities religious? Do government programs carry out the purpose?

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