(This is not here to say we can be stingy in giving or looking for an excuse not to give. This is to present relief to those feeling the strain of trying to keep this law. Tithers often gave more than 25% of the fruits of their labor. By today’s rules, the tithe is easy for the rich and burdensome for the poor who aren’t even supposed to be required to tithe since the tithe was supposed to help the poor.)
Most churchgoers are familiar with time of tithes and offerings. (No, they aren’t considered the same.) By today’s teachings, tithes are 10% of your gross income that is required by God. Tithes are to be set aside first because they belong to God, first fruits are taught, and offerings are anything above and beyond the tithe. However, since the tithe was instituted in the Old Testament, the question should be asked, “Are Christians required to give tithes?” In short, from what I’ve learned, the answer is “no”. I have no problem with anyone that voluntarily chooses to set aside 10% of his or her income to give, but it is not mandatory. If we’re going to tithe “Biblically,” then we should be bringing food and not money.
– The tithe is said to have originated with Abraham giving Melchizedek (Gen 14:20) tithes. However, Abraham (then named Abram) gave 1/10th of the spoils of battle and is not recorded as having done this again. He did not give of his increase for laboring. Abraham was not blessed because of the tithe. God had already blessed him.
– Jacob is recorded as having promised to give 10%.
– There were different tithes that were required. The tithe was never money and was used to give to the Levite priests, poor and widows. Contrary to popular teachings, they did have money. If the tithes were too much to carry, Israelites were to sell their tithes for money, go to the area for which they were to be offered and repurchase the tithe so it could be eaten (Deut 14:22-29).
– Malachi 3:6-10 is actually about food (bring tithes into the storehouse so there may be FOOD). Rebuking the devourer dealt with providing what was essential for crops and holding back those things that would eat or destroy the food.
– 2 Cor 9:7 “7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” A tithe is a compulsory payment. People use fear tactics with the tithe to make people contribute to the church (or pastor and staff) when giving is meant to be a heart matter. Members have tithed themselves into poverty trying to keep a law that has been distorted, abused and not meant for Christians.
– Jesus acknowledged the tithe that Pharisees stated they were giving because mint & cumin come from seeds and grow, but He never commanded us to tithe.
– The tithe is under the old covenant and part of the law of Moses. Christians as under a new covenant of grace which means that we are not obligated to struggle to keep this law. Some pastors and leaders are well aware of this and opt to keep this part of the law for their own purposes. Many others have been following in the tradition of the church and do not realize this is not mandatory.
“30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord‘s: it is holy unto the Lord. 31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. 33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. 34 These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.” – Lev 27:30-34
Here are some of the problems:
– The NT command is to give sacrificially as purposed in our hearts without being compelled. Tithe is mandatory and directly conflicts the command under the new covenant.
– God required tithes of anything that grew from seeds and in herds, oil, and drinks. Whether the seeds or animals grew or died was due to God supplying rain, food, and increase. Those who worked with their hands did not tithe because the products were from their hands (ex. blacksmiths).
– Not everyone tithed in the OT, but churches demand everyone (including the poor who are supposed to benefit from the tithe) give 10% of every financial increase.
– The storehouse would be a pantry, and the temple or tabernacle would be similar to church. We are a royal priesthood, so the Levitical priesthood is not needed for our intercession. The tithe was NEVER changed to money, so all of the changes made to demand a tithe are man-made.
– When the church is driven out of the public eye or people must work all day to earn one day of food for the family, are pastors going to insist 10% of that food go to the local underground tunnel?
– You cannot tell people they are “blessed” by God and not required to follow the Law of Moses and then threaten them with curses and command them to go back under the law according to your rules (everyone pays 10% off the top of whatever money he receives). It’s dishonest. If you want to teach setting aside 10% is a good practice, that’s fine, but you don’t get to change God’s requirements because you prefer money to a canned good.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving to ministries and helping to spread the gospel! This is not meant to give permission for us to live beyond our means so we have nothing to give or share of our resources. We are to be good stewards of our money. However, I don’t believe anyone should go bankrupt or into debt trying to fulfill an obligation that isn’t his or made to feel as if a curse will plague his family if he doesn’t tithe before paying rent. What you give and how often is a matter between you and God.
Creflo’s tithing manipulation
Should you be tithing?
Truth about Tithing – Pastor Antonio Thomas
Tithing – facing the truth – page
Tithing Is Not a Christian Doctrine