The Bible And Tithing: To Give Or Not To Give – Part 1

A couple of weeks ago I came across an interesting discussion on rocketfinance.net about tithing. Specifically, he was discussing whether or not it was OK for a pastor to look at tithing records of congregants when choosing deacons for the church:

I heard a pastor say that when his church members are nominated for positions of leadership like deacon, trustee or elder – he checks their giving records. If they are not faithful givers, he asks them to withdraw their name from consideration. I think that it makes sense that those who are in leadership of a particular organization also be those who are also financially supportive, but the thought of a pastor checking giving records is unsettling to our usual way of doing things.

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I have to admit, the idea of the pastor checking the giving records was a bit unsettling for me too, and I’m not sure I think it’s a great idea. The whole question got me to thinking about the subject of tithing and giving in general.

I started this blog recently after beginning to attend a group called Bible Study Fellowship. If any one is looking for a good bible study to attend, I would definitely recommend it. BSF has really been helping me to focus my life and to re-discover my faith. As a result I’ve been convicted of a few things in my life that need to change. One of those areas where I realize I’ve been woefully inadequate is in the area of giving.

titheTithing, and money in general, can be a very touchy subject to talk about at church. I’ve seen some very heated discussions revolving around the topic, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to resolve those debates here. But tithing is a huge issue.

According to Giving USA Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization in Glenview, Illinois, Americans gave an estimated $97 billion to congregations in 2006, almost a third of the country’s $295 billion in charitable donations. So as you can see, this is a huge amount of money being given – and thus a huge issue.

Some of the most heated points of debate surrounding tithing are these; Is it a biblical principle to give 10% of our gross income to the church? Should it be required for membership or be a free-will offering? If it isn’t a biblical principle, should we still give?

After scouring the web for opinions on the subject, I can’t tell you how many resources there are out there. Let me begin with some of the PRO-tithing crowd and their argument.

Tithing Is A Biblical Mandate

From Pathlights.com, they begin their argument for tithing by quoting from Malachi 3:

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, . . . and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing… ” Malachi 3:10

They argue that God is the creator of all, owns all, and purchased us through his death on the cross. Because of that we are only stewards of God’s bounty, and as such must be “faithful and wise stewards”, of what we have been given, whether it is a little or a lot. They go on to explain what a tithe is in their estimation:

What is the tithe? The tithe means one tenth. If a man earns $1, his tithe is 10 cents. If he earns $100, it is $10. If he earns $1.000, his tithe is $100. God requires the tithe. What a man gives above that is his offering, or gift.

So tithing is required by God, and the tithe is 10% of what we have been given by God. Anything above that is a free-will offering. When we are good stewards of what we have been given we will be rewarded by God.

In their conclusion Pathlights.com boils tithing down to this statement:

The system of tithes and offerings was intended to impress the minds of men with a great truth-that God is the source of every blessing to His creatures, and that to Him man’s gratitude is due for the good gifts of His providence.

All-in-all the points that they make seem to be well reasoned, and certainly made me think.

Tithing Is Good For The Church: Act of Faith, Gratitude, Respect

tithingAnother pro-tithing opinion at Nansemond River Baptist Church explains that tithing is good for the church. Dr. Piland writes:

Is tithing good for the church? Of course, because it is fair, equitable, and, when all the members do it, it is always enough! I cannot envision a time when it will not require financial underwriting to carry out the church’s mandate. Money is a part of life, even in the life of the church. For the better part of 2000 years now, it has been tithes and offerings that have provided the supply, not bake sales, bazaars, or cookbooks!

He goes on ask:

Is tithing a Jewish legal requirement or does it apply to Christians who are not under law but under grace? Although I always want to be biblical, I fear that the arguments against tithing tend to come more from materialistic inclinations rather than a desire for doctrinal soundness. Still, the issue remains in most churches, and it does no good to ignore it.

He explains his position on the subject:

[tithing] seems to have always been an expression of deep respect and gratitude to one’s benefactor. When you come to Malachi, it is also a matter of trust, believing that when God’s people provide the “supply,” He provides the “blessing.” That is not a matter of law, but of faith!

So we tithe out of faith, as an expression of gratitude and respect for our creator. Not tithing in his opinion often seems to be out of a materialistic worldview, instead of a true need to search God’s word.

Tithing Allows God To Bless Us

Joseph Mattera gives the reasons and verses why he thinks tithing is still a part of Christian life and law, and then sums up his arguments on his website saying:

if you do not give what God wants you to give, then God cannot give you what He wants you to have!

If you aren’t faithful to God’s law, you are forsaking the blessings that he wants to give you.

So there are a few views of why tithing is good, and why it is required by God’s law.

Part 2

In the next part of this series I’ll be looking at the viewpoint that tithing isn’t biblical, and that requiring a tithe isn’t good.

The Bible And Tithing: To Give Or Not To Give Part 2 – Tithing Not A Mandate – Click Here

Related Pro Tithing Links

Before moving on to part 2,  take some time to read up on the websites mentioned in today’s post, as well as the links below. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Last Edited: 11th February 2014

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  1. MARIA says

    TITHING WAS ONLY GIVEN TO THE LEVI AND THE PRIEST FOR UP KEEPING OF THE TEMPLE. THEY GAVE OF THERE LAND AND IT WAS NOT MONEY…

    HERDS, OIL, GRAIN, AND SO ON. FOR SACRIFICING..

    bUT CHRIST BECAME OUR SACRFICE.. AND GOD DOSNT WANT OUT 1O PERCENT.. HE WANT S US A HEART REPENTIVE BEFORE HIM.. IN THE TEMPLE WHEN THEY WERE BRINGING LAME AND SICK OFFERINGS WAS ONLY SHOWING THE CONDITION OF THEIR HEARTS..

    WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.. AND THERE IS NO CURSE FOR THE NEW CHRISTIAN TODAY… CHRIST BECAME THAT CURSE FOR US.. AND THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN THAT THEY TALK ABOUT IS CHRIST COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN THE BREAD OF LIFE..

    • John Campbell says

      Amen Maria!!! Beautiful short, to the main point summary!!
      In deed, tithing under the law, all 613-(they are a complete with a curse and/or blessing attached to each law) was simply a land tax only for owners of land; it specifically pertained to livestock and produce so the Levites, priest’s and poor could eat and maintain sacrifices. We are not to play politic’s with God’s word by declaring REQUIRED tithing of $ while disobeying one of the ten commandments every week…
      Hebrews 7 latter on down actually teaches that the law “tithes” into grace..God is chiefly concerned with us entering into communion with Him through Christ. IE—- Melchizedik offerring the bread and wine….The blood of the New and Everlasting Covenant. His blood is a hugh “game changer…”

  2. Sandie says

    In my opinion, if you are attending a church and are a member you should tithe for the simple reason that you are receiving spiritual nourishment from that church and it doesn’t run on water. If they require 10% then 10% is what you should give. If you are not attending a church then to me tithing is not a requirement. It was the law in the old testament but Jesus came to abolish the law. You should give based on your level of gratitude so that God will bless you in return. You can’t give with doubt or uneasiness in your heart because then God can’t bless you back. You would be wasting your time.

    What you receive from God is based on what you give. Basically, you give depending on your faith. The more you feel able to give, the more God gives you in return for the simple fact that that is where the level of your faith is. God can’t give you above and beyond your level of faith. If you tithe the 10% based on the rules of the church all the while thinking you don’t have it to give to begin with and worried about where the money is coming from to make up for it then God can’t bless you. Where is your faith? If you are going to tithe you will have to find a way to rejoice in your tithing and trust God for the rest.

    • Larry S. Gooden says

      Hello Sandie;
      I find you opinion interesting, but I have a question: Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus came to abolish the Law? I did a search to see if I could find that and I could not. I did find the following:
      (Mat 5:17 KJV) “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

      If you could find you reference and share it with me, I would be interested in that information.

      What I do understand and believe about Mat. 5:17 above is this. We and all other men could not keep or fulfil the law and the Prophets because we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity which disqualified us from the origin of our birth. Therefore; God had to send his sinless Virgin born and Only begotten Son who would take our place on Calvary’s cross and die in our place and he was fully qualified to do that for us because he was sinless (he did not destroy the law or the Prophets he came to fulfil them).

      But I have a problem following the reasoning that he came to destroy the Law. God’s Law is like God it is eternal. It is unchangable. It is good. It is right. It shows us God. The Book of Galations tells us the the Law was our school master to bring us to Christ? The reason many know so little about God today is that they do not like his school master which is the Law (The Ten Commandments). No mortal human being will ever really love God and see a need to die to himself and live in Christ until he realizes how horrible sin really is. To God it is so horrible that we were utterly condemned and headed to hell until Jesus the Living Son of God came as the sinnless lamb of God and paid our sin debt by taking the old sinful man’s place and Nailed our old lawless
      and sinful lives to Calvary and Offered us a new life in Christ Jesus which is Christ in you the Hope of Glory. So from that judicial transaction God offer us not a permit to go on sinning and breaking God’s law, but to live a new life of victory over sin and transgression over breaking God’s law.

      Consider this; The new testament tells us that if a man looks on a woman to lust after her in his heart that he is guilty already. In light of this statment we need to consider that what God has really done in the New Covenant is to place the blame for law breaking right where it lies; in a man’s heart. Under the Old testament the law was in tablets of stone and man being born in sin could not keep the law because his heart was not right with God. God in the Old Testament promised to give man a new heart. Much teaching and preaching today does not change or convert the heart it leaves man still violating and transgressing God’s law. Much teaching tries to do away with God’s Law. but you know What? The more I have observed man with out God’s law down here on earth the More I am amazed that God truly only gave us 10 Simple Commandments to Follow and we despise and refuse to live by them and we think that we are smarter than God. Just look at all the foolish laws that man has come up with and can we live by them and do we have peace and Blessing on us because of them or are we cursed because of man’s law. I have to ask this question: If God’s has no law to live by them who is a man trying to make a law and require others to live by it? I know that is foolish thinking; but we need to be real. Man needs good and just laws to govern his life; and without a law to live by how could we survive as a nation? We would not. Men can only walk together and have peace among themselves when they have agreement (a law) among themselves to guide them.

      I really hate being so wordy, but this is an important question.

      So; why does every thing in this physical world obey laws except the one thing that God make in his image and in his likeness which is man?

      It is because we are still ignorant of God’s Law and we are still sinners and we should be figuring out that God is smarter than we are and since he is that His Law is so much better than ours and we need to be living by it and if Calvary work has been acomplished in our hearts like Jesus came to do then the old man with the stony heart who was a rebellious sinner from birth was put to death in Jesus and if we have been truly repented and been born again and found the new life which is in Christ Jesus we know that the law that was not in the old man’s heart but on tablets of stone is now written on the table of the new heart which has been given unto us being born again in Christ Jesus. So In Christ Jesus we do not go on breaking God’s law but we like him who now live our lives in Him will obey his law. So it is this we understand the New Testament did not do away with the Law it just took our deliverance to the Jesus Level and pointed out that the reason a man is guilty of adultery when he looks on a woman to lust after her in his heart is because till his heart is changed he will never obey a law because he is lawless like the devil that subverted him.

      I hope that I did not bore you.
      I enjoyed your comment, and If you can find your reference to Jesus coming to abolish the Law; I certainly would love hearing from you.

      Thanks; In Christ Jesus,
      Larry S. Gooden

      • Edward says

        Instead of writing, I would ask that you go to http://www.bibleinsight.com. I too have my thoughts on it after reading the Word. Does it send you to hell for not, I don’t believe so. But, giving is required and it is not always in the form of money. In all, it’s a heart issue. My desire is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. I want to know the truth for understanding and teaching/ministering. Whether or not it is required, I will still be a cheerful giver. My giving is out of love and support for the gospel and not for what God can give me. Solomon could have asked for anything, but he asked for wisdom and God gave him more because of his heart. Then in Matthew 6:33, he says seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…

        Be blessed and a blessing!

        With the Love of Christ,

        Edward

  3. anonymous says

    Col 2:14 said Christ blotted out ordinances (requirements of the law) taking it out of the way & nailing it to the Cross. Also Abraham only paid a tenth one time. Read Acts 15:10 Acts 15-29 Ephesians 2:14
    Corinthians 9:7 give as one purposed in ones own heart not out of duty or grudgingly. Christ fulfilled the law for us. Favor is included in salvation. He Freely gives us all things Romans 8:32 !

  4. anonymous says

    sorry it is 2nd Corinthian 9:7 Where is it that Apostle Paul said to tithe?
    everything is voluntary since the Cross provides grace in all this
    Christ has blessed us with every Spiritual blessings & His favor is free!

  5. truthfullyspeaking says

    Just a few Scriptures to Support Mandatory Tithing is no longer required because Christ has fulfilled all Laws and requirements of the law by His death on the Cross: Giving to support the Church is Voluntary & in light of what Christ has given us for free Voluntary giving should be
    more than 10 percent but if not our favor & blessings is our Legal right & inclusion in our package of Salvation when Jesus is our Lord & Savior

    Colossians 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of Ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. The word Ordinance (requirements was used in Malachi 3:7)

    Ephesians 2:15 “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity even the law of commandments contained in ordinances for to make in himself of twain one new man so making peace”.

    Acts 15:10 “So then why do you now want to put God to the test by laying a load on the backs of the believers which neither our ancestors nor we ourselves were able to carry?”

    Acts 15:19 ” We should not trouble the Gentiles who are turning to God.

    Acts 15: 28 “The Holy Spirit and we (the Apostles) have agreed not to put any burdens on you beside these necessary rules (instructions were given without commanding Gentiles Tithe)

    2nd Corinthians 9:7 “Each one should give then as he has DECIDED, not with regret or out of a sense of duty, for God loves a cheerful giver.

    Acts 20:33: You yourselves know that I (Apostle Paul to the Gentiles) have now wanted anyone’s gold, silver or clothing. You yourselves know that I have worked with these hands for everything that my companions and I have needed.

    1Thessalonians 2:9 “Surely you remember our brothers (Gentiles) how we worked and toiled!
    We worked day and night so that we would not be any trouble to ou as we preached to you the Good News from God.”

  6. C. Sykes says

    Wow. Once again, money talks. Telling people who don’t tithe that they can’t be deacons….if you tithe big, does that guarantee you the deaconship?

    Money and power….or rather, money is power.

  7. anonymous says

    Tithe teachers like to quote the Old Testament Malachi 3 but this which was before Jesus died on the Cross and paid in full for our favor healing, freedom from poverty, oppression, deliverance, etc. They slander you and try to put Old Testament curses on you for not keeping the laws Jesus fulfilled for us. There favorite word to slander you with is calling you a God Robber but they are the ones robbing God by stealing the glory due to Jesus alone not to them because the think they are paying God bribe money!

  8. anonymous says

    No Gentiles (not a Jew) were included in the Covenant of Moses and they could not partake in Temple sacrifices or Mosaic laws. God had not chosen anyone but the Jews to be in Covenant law. When Christ went to the Cross then who so ever will was grafted into a New Covenant of Grace thru faith in Jesus.
    To sum it up, the point is Moot on Gentile tithing. No Gentile was ever commanded to Tithe or be circumcised or keep any law of Moses they were aliens and outside of the Old Covenant till the New Covenant!

  9. Jasmine Lusk says

    I asked God to quiet my heart and open my spirit and receive His word in my life. I’ve been studying on have HOPE in the promises of the Lord. I’ve learned that a promise of Lord holds intent, assurance, and declaration. Which also equates to His Character, His Works, and HIs Word. One of the most prominent promises I’ve been studying is God’s promise to Abraham. Abraham’s hope in the promise of God allowed this promise to come to pass. Abraham hoped against all hope. He had H.O.P.E.! He was Holding On with Patient Expectation. He knew his descendants would be as many as the stars because he knew God’s character, was assured in His Works, and the declaration was in His Word. What is boggling my mind is how as christians we pick and chose what things from the old testament we want to carry to the new testatment. THis story of Abrahams’ hope is a story from the Old testament that has been so enlightening to me and has given me such strong faith and hope in the promises of the Lord. I take this story to heart and helps me walk the Christain walk. I would be remiss if I allowed myself to be inspired by the Hope that Abraham had and not by the sacrifices he made i.e. his tithes and offerings. I’m not a PH.D from a theological seminary, I just have my own experiences and insights from the Lord from which I live and learn. Bottom line, I going to tithe and give because it what I feel I need to do, not what the Church required of me. We cant want everything and every blessing without a sacrifice. In this day in age money is biggest of our sacrifices and offerings because we dont have burnt offerings, and sheep, grain and incense to give up. I love the lord and it makes my soul happy when I’m able to give Him anything when He’s given me so much. This argument will continue I will continue to let the Holy Sprit or my steps in His way.

  10. Al says

    2nd Corinthian 9:7 seems to this lowly Bible student (me) to be the key to giving rather than tithing.
    A tenth of agricultural harvest as well as livestock oil and wine were required to provide for the Lord’s Levite priests. The priests of Levi had no property rights and therefore no means of self support other than what was given/tithed to them. Were they not in the Holy presence of the Arc and the Lord’s Temple? Do we now have any priests or pastors with this sacred responsibility who are commanded to tend God’s Tabernacle, to the exclusion of all other work? Were not service type workers exempted from tithe requirements?
    Are the tithes required or demanded by many churches going towards feeding the poor, caring for widows and orphans as indicated in the Bible? In our search for a true Church, how many of us (me included) have given tithes or offerings that were misused and actually contributed to spreading of a false Gospel? Tithes or giving is good when the purpose glorifies God but by the same account it can contribute to destructive purposes when miss-used.

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