Why I Don’t Teach Tithing

When it comes to talking about giving in the Bible, the first thing most Christians think of is tithing. In fact, we often use tithing as a synonym for giving. But as I’ve studied Scripture and people’s ideas about tithing, I’ve come to the conclusion that God’s desire for Christian giving is a bit different.

So I’ve written quite a bit against tithing on my own site. I did an eleven part series last year that looked at every instance of tithing in the Bible with the goal of understanding the passages in context and comparing them to what is taught today. Because of those articles, I’ve been accused of being greedy, stingy, making excuses for people not to give, and telling people they shouldn’t give to their local church.

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My reasons for not teaching tithing actually have nothing to do with being greedy, not wanting people to give, or trying to stop people from giving to their local church. Actually, I’ve never written anything to support any of those ideas. But I’m not sure I’ve ever clearly stated why I don’t teach tithing. So I thought it might be helpful to discuss it here on Bible Money Matters and get some feedback from you all. Here are the reasons why I don’t teach tithing (and why I teach against it).

1. Christians Are Not Under the Law

The first danger I see in teaching tithing is that it’s an effort to put ourselves back under the Law. As Paul writes in Colossians 2:13-14:

(13) When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, (14) having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV)

And in Galatians 2:19-21:

(19) For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. (20) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (21) I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:19-21 (NIV)

When we see to put ourselves back under the Law, we are acting as if Christ died for nothing. We are essentially ignoring God’s grace and denying Jesus! When we look to tithing to become our rule and strict standard for giving, we ignore the freedom we have in Christ – not to stop giving, but to base our giving completely on love motivated by God’s love for us.

The main area this is a problem in tithing is with those who teach that you will be cursed if you do not tithe. Nothing could be further from the truth! Paul wrote in Galatians 3:13:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13 (NIV)

The curse that is spoken of in Malachi 3 is the curse of the entire Law of Moses. That curse came upon anyone who was guilty of breaking a single command in the Law – not just tithing. For us to say that Christians today will be cursed if they don’t tithe is the same as saying we are under the entire Law. I’m not going to go into more of why that’s a problem because it should be obvious to most Christians. But if you would like to study it more, please read all of Galatians and Colossians as they deal with this subject thoroughly.

2. Tithing As It Is Generally Taught Today Is Not Biblical

Even if the Law did apply to us as Christians, the way tithing is taught today resembles nothing that the Bible actually says about it. We’ve warped it so that we use the example of tithing but add our own meanings of what tithing is and methods on how to do it correctly.

Now this is more of a nit-picky thing. I wouldn’t discount tithing as an example or rough guide for giving based on these things, but I merely point them out to show that we can’t really claim today’s teachings on tithing as “biblical”. I don’t want to dwell on it, so let me give you three quick examples of how tithing in the Bible is different from tithing today.

  1. Amount: There were actually three tithes in the Bible that would equate to 23 1/3% annually – the Levitical tithe, the Festival tithe, and the Poor tithe.
  2. Use: The Festival tithe was eaten at great feasts, the Poor tithe went completely to support the needy, and of the entire Levitical tithe only 10% went the priests (a tithe of the tithe).
  3. Contents: The tithe was always and only ever food products – agricultural produce and livestock. And regarding the livestock portion, it wasn’t the “best”.

If you’ve never realized any of those truths before, I’d encourage you to read my articles on tithing in the Bible just so you’ll know what the Bible actually says on the subject.

3. Jesus’ Example Is a Better Motivation for Giving

Finally, and this is my ultimate reason for not teaching tithing, Jesus life and example is a much greater motivation for our giving than tithing can ever be. In fact, I think one reason we don’t see as many generous Christians as we should expect is because we fail to point to God’s love enough when we discuss giving. Instead, we focus on rules and regulations (the Law). It should be profoundly clear why basing our giving on Jesus Christ’s teaching and sacrifice for us is the ultimate motivation for generous giving.

Tithing did not suffer for us.

Tithing did not die for us.

Tithing can never give us eternal life.

Tithing will never love us.

Consider how powerful those statements are when contrasted with what Jesus did for us. Think about what it would look like to base your giving on Jesus instead of tithing. I think then you’ll see why I don’t teach tithing as a guideline for giving. It was only a mere shadow of the things to come once Christ revealed God to us. Why wouldn’t we want to let Jesus be our example for giving?

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Last Edited: 11th February 2014

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  1. says

    Paul, thank you for your thoughts on tithing.

    I don’t take exception to what you’ve stated with regards to the Law and how Christ’s death and resurrection have freed us.

    What I do take exception to is the fact that in your commentary, you ignore where tithing started. Tithing as an example was performed by Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 14:17-20. In this passage, Abraham gives Melchizedek a tenth of all that he had. The Law was not given for another 500+ years later.

    In addition, in Hebrews 7, the writer ties in the priesthood of Melchizedek with Christ’s even greater priesthood and also mentions that Abraham gave a tenth of everything. So if Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth *before* the Law was given and Christ is a far better priest than Melchizedek, then a tenth should be the *minimum* amount Christians should be given.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, TC. If you actually study both of the examples you mentioned, you’ll see that Abram gave a tenth of the war spoils – not all his possessions. He had left his stuff behind, gone out to war with some of his men, and was only returning with what he recovered. Also, if we use this logic for tithing, we’d also need to continue circumcising all males.

      As far as Hebrews goes, the writer uses the tithe, Melchizedek, and the Levites in comparison to Christ in order to show how the Law has been annulled as far as Christians are concerned. I’ve written on this in detail on my site, so check out that link to the summary (in the post) if you want more information.

    • LA SHAY says

      OH, SO TRUE! THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING. FROM ALL THE NEGATIVE STUFF I’VE READ FROM “CHRISTIANS” TODAY ABOUT TITHING, I’M JUST AMAZED! IF YOU LOVE GOD, WHY NOT JUST OBEY HIS WORD–WHY QUESTION IT? WHY DOUBT IT? WHY TRY TO DISCREDIT IT? EVERYTHING YOU HAVE (AND EVEN YOU) BELONG TO GOD. IF HE JUST WANTS YOU TO SHOW YOUR LOVE BY GIVING BACK 10%, WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT THAT? TOO MANY CHRISTIANS TODAY ARE “LOVERS OF MONEY” AND THEY WANT TO KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES!

      • says

        La Shay, have you considered the possibility that maybe the Bible does not say that God wants us to show our love by giving back 10%? That maybe not everybody here is trying to find excuses or are “lovers of money”? That maybe we have honest and straightforward disagreement about the proper interpretation and implications of some parts of the Bible.

        There were some very good comments but a lot of the participants are also arguing on the basis of a very uninformed understanding of the Bible and the issues involved. I say this as an observer from the sidelines. I don’t want anybody to feel offended. Nor do I intend to further explain my words. You don’t have to agree with me, nor do I have to agree with you. But we do need to at least consider the reasons why our opponents think differently. If I just assume that you are wrong or that you don’t want to see the truth or are not smart enough to see it, then there is absolutely no point in discussing.

        I see a lot of such presumptions in the current discussion. Ravi Zacharias, the renowned Christian apologist, often says that if you think your opponent’s views are just funny or stupid, then you definitely haven’t understood them…

        I personally find this discussion very helpful in showing me what are some of the reasons specific views are held with such fervor.

        Greetings,

        Andy

      • says

        @La Shay,

        Please show me scripture where God wants us to give back to Him 10% of our income. It isn’t there. Those of us against tithing has nothing to do with “lovers of money” but has everything to do with lovers of truth.

        You discredit God’s Word when you give a tenth of your income to the church and CLAIM that it is paying the Biblical tithe.

        Do YOU obey His Word? Which of the THREE different tithes commanded by God do you obey? Have you ever looked at your Bible and read all three of the tithes commanded by God? Fact is, you don’t follow any of them. It is impossible.

        You are following the teachings of church leaders INSTEAD OF God’s Word and then call those against this false teaching “lovers of money.” You are in great error. If you think I am wrong, GIVE SCRIPTURES to show the tithing commands you follow.

        • LA SHAY says

          First define “tithe.” Lev. 27:32 says that it is a tenth. Malachi 3:10 says to bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse. John 14:15 says “if you love me, keep my commandments.”

          Tithing works! God cannot lie. I have been blessed so much because I tithe, give offering, and sow seed—not just financially, but in every area of my life. Jesus, our great High Priest gave the greatest gift believers will ever receive, so tithing or giving beyond the tithe is the least we can do to show our love and appreciation.

          • says

            BEFORE God gave His definition for His tithe, the word tithe is merely a mathematical term meaning a tenth.

            Leviticus 27:32 does not say the tithe is a tenth. First of all, God defined His tithe in Leviticus 27:30-33:

            Leviticus 27:30-33 (KJV)
            30And 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.
            31And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
            32And 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.
            33He 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.

            God defined the tithe as a tenth of THE SEED OF THE LAND OR FRUIT OF THE TREE. Those are FOOD from crops. AND, every tenth ANIMAL IN HERDS AND FLOCKS. No other animals, just those in herds and flocks.

            God’s definition is specific, not general. He spelled it out for us. You are adding to God’s Word by adding “income” to His definition. The Biblical tithe was NEVER money, and NEVER came from anyone’s income. It was ALWAYS assets, FOOD, from God’s miraculous increase of crops and animals.

            Malachi 3:10: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house…..

            That there may be MEAT in mine house – FOOD.

            Nehemiah 10:37-38 (KJV)
            37And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
            38And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

            In Nehemiah 10:37 we learn that the firstfruits were taken to the temple for the priests, and the tithes were taken to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities. Therefore, we see that firstfruits have nothing to do with the tithe.

            In Nehemiah 10:38 we learn that the Levites would take a tithe of the tithe to the Temple. It is this tithe, the tithe from the Levites, that went to the storehouse, not the tithe from the people. This is important to remember when we study Malachi 3:10.

            Furthermore, Malachi 3:7 says that God is referring to His ORGINANCES, which for tithes and offerings is in Numbers 18 where God is specific that His tithe is to be taken to the LEVITES, not the church.

            Read Numbers 18:29-30 and then read Malachi 1:14. Those verses explain robbing God of the offerings. The PRIESTS, not the people, robbed God of the offering by giving to God the worst instead of the best.

            In Nehemiah 13 we are told that the priests stole the Levites portion of the tithe; therefore, they had no food to eat at the temple, and they went back to their own fields.

            Therefore, taking the Levites portion of the tithe is the robbing God of the tithe. Or to put it another way, THE LEVITES WERE ROBBED. God said He was robbed because the tithe did not go where God directed.

            Either the tithe ended per Hebrews 7:18, OR those who take God’s tithe to their local church must be robbing God since God gave clear instructions where to take His tithe. There is nothing in God’s Word to show that God ever changed those instructions. Therefore, the only conclusion I can reach is that taking a tithe to your local church is NOT paying the tithe to God. It is giving it to man. Nowhere in God’s Word does He give permission for the Christian Church to receive His tithe.

            You haven’t given even ONE complete verse that you are following.

            And IF you are following God’s commandments, then you must also be paying the Festival Tithe and the Three-Year Tithe. There are THREE tithes commanded by God, and NONE OF THEM are on income, and NONE OF THEM were commanded to be taken to any church.

    • Guest says

      To All Tithe enforcers and Grace Robbers figure these scriptures out.

      Galatians 4:24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.

      Galatians 4:30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”

      Galatians 4:31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

  2. says

    Useful article. I agree with your reading of the Biblical material (I have been teaching the same for several years now) but disagree with some of the conclusions. Nothing in the Biblical material implies that tithing may not be a useful and good personal discipline even today. The fact that it has been twisted out of proportion by most in the church today does not necessitate its complete banishment. Reacting against wrong teaching or emphasis should not result in overcorrecting. :-)

    • says

      My reasons for not teaching tithing are not only related to the wrong teaching that’s out there today. As I said, I believe we have a much better example (Jesus) and reason (love) for giving, so why stick to a lesser example?

      Giving 10% can certainly be a good personal discipline – I didn’t say it wasn’t. But too often it becomes a point of legalism and check box Christianity. That’s not healthy for a relationship with Christ.

      • says

        I completely agree with your point that “too often [tithing] becomes a point of legalism and check-box Christianity.” At the same time, we as humans are creatures of habit and deciding on a certain amount to set apart every month for giving to Kingdom causes may be a very useful discipline. Wrong attitudes are not going to be changed by attacking the practive but encouraging (and teaching) the right attitudes. It’s obvious that you are trying to do exactly that. I simply thought you could state it in a clearer way.

        Also, I am using the term tithe to refer to any amount (not just 10%) that one has decided to regularly set apart for giving to Kingdom matters. I am glad to see what you are doing.

        • says

          I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t decide on an amount to give and set it aside each month or week. I’m just saying that decision shouldn’t be based on an arbitrary amount (10%). We should determine it by prayerfully seeking God’s desire and will for our lives.

          I don’t like to use the word tithe to refer to giving because it literally means “a tenth” and because of the ideas so many have attached to it. But I see what you are getting at and agree with the principles you brought up. Thanks again for commenting!

        • Joseph Cole says

          Some influential church member told me that I could not become a deacon if I did not tithe. I looked diligently in the scriptures to find this reference, but could not.

          This exclusion of the body of Christ is most alarming to me and reminds me of the scriptural warning James gave about partiality /showing favoritism between the poor of your church and the rich; here, sit in the place of honor, and you, sit here at my feet.

          Tell me, where in the bible, do churches have the right to elevate a member of the body of Christ because he adheres to the tithe.

          I find this discrimination of the body, most offensive, and displeasing to God on so many levels.

          This has crept into many churches bylaws, and has no scriptural basis for being there.

          There are so many things wrong with this doctrine for the New Testament believers; it is of the Law, and we are not under law, but grace.

    • Guest says

      Please cite one bible verse where tithing is a law for Christians after Jesus said It is finished from the cross? You can’t find it so be honest.

  3. says

    Many good men differ on this. Continue to be convinced in your own mind as you scour the scriptures.

    Personally, we’ve found tithing to be helpful. Proportional giving is mentioned in the New Testament, so we don’t see it as discontinued. Generosity is always encouraged. As we plan our budget for next year it commits us to conscious deliberate living. Given our natural tendencies we’d easily find 101 ways of spending it, if it weren’t set aside off the top. And being on the other side of things (my husband is a pastor), we know God uses physical means to promote the preaching of the word. Tentmakers can’t throw themselves into the work with the same intensity. “That you may be free from worldly care” was in his call, and as it’s followed, we have one less thing to burden us, and as it’s not, we are left scrambling.

    As you pointed out tithing could easily become our benchmark for justification before God. The Pharisee compared himself to a tax collector, “I give tithes of all I get”, the tax collector compared himself to God. Only the tax collector came away justified. We so easily make idols out of good things. We’ve got that little Pharisee in us fighting to take over.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful answers.

    • says

      Thanks for your comments, Olivia. I think we actually agree more than you realize. I’m not against proportional giving or think it should be done away with. But I don’t think 10% for all people is exactly proportional. Here’s a quick example: two families, both making $40,000, both the same size, but one has severe medical expenses due to health problems. Would it be proportionately burdensome for both to give 10%, or might one be under much greater strain under such a standard?

      And I would never encourage people not to give to their local church. There’s clear biblical mandate for that (without having to resort to commanding believers to tithe to the “storehouse”). I am a pastor as well (though just very recently), so I can identify with what you are saying. But as I’ve said before, I’d rather use a greater example for giving (Jesus) than stick to something which was only a shadow of the great things to come.

      Your observations on the “little Pharisee” inside us are very accurate. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately – how the Church today has many tendencies to do just what the Pharisees did. It’s a dangerous path to go down. Jesus didn’t have any kind words for them!

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I look forward to talking with you again!

    • Guest says

      Tithing a tenth is good but demanding and enforcing it as a law under a threat of a curse for the saved redeemed Christian is tantamount to fraud and baring false witness cause the redeemed Gentiles were never at any point under the Leviticus law.

  4. says

    I think God couldn’t care less about the percentage or dollar amount that we “tithe” or “give.” We are told to live a life that reflects Chrst, and when we REALLY do that, I believe that we can be the greatest givers or ‘tithers’ in the world. After all, we are following the example Christ, who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life.

    Good post Paul!
    Tim

    • says

      Exactly, Tim! As we seek to follow Christ and obey Him, I don’t see how our lives can produce anything but extreme generosity. There’s simply no room for greed or selfishness in the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ.

      • Guest says

        You and others don’t get it. No one is against GIVING JUST THE MANIPULATIONS LIES AND FEAR TACTICS THESE GRACE ROBBERS USE TO ENFORCE TITHING.

    • says

      To say God doesn’t care at all about percentages I think is a stretch. In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus discussed the widow’s offering. At least in this example percentage did matter.

      The Widow’s Offering

      41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
      43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

      • says

        If that’s the basis you want to use, Chuck, then 100% is the correct percentage – not 10%. So are you giving 100% of your money away? I haven’t heard many people advocate that as our giving standard except in a philosophical sense (“It all belongs to Him and comes from Him, so we owe Him 100% anyway.”).

  5. says

    Great article, Paul.

    I’ve been teaching this same material now for the past couple years.

    Ten percent for everyone is NOT proportional giving as you have pointed out. The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

    And as you pointed out, the tithe was NOT the best. We also need to point out the the tithe was NEVER the first. It is clear in Leviticus 27:30-33 that the tithe was a tenth of the crops (NOT the first tenth) and every tenth animal in herds and flocks (the LAST of every ten). Pastors have mixed firstfruits with the tithe and they have nothing to do with each other. In Nehemiah 10:37 we learn that the firstfruits were taken to the temple for the priests, and the tithes were taken to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities.

    Furthermore, pastors want to equate firstfruits offerings with income when in fact it had ONLY to do with the first of the crops. For those who disagree, then be consistent in your interpretations of the following:

    Old Testament: Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

    New Testament: 2 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

    The tithe was not the first nor the best.

    Being Spirit led instead of using an OT guideline, I find myself giving far more than a tenth of my income.

    One last point: Nowhere in the scriptures are we told that God ever gave His permission for any pastor or church to receive His gifts.

    The gospel is FREE to everyone. There is no charge for the gospel.

    When you go to a seminar, you usually have to pay to attend. When you go to a concert, you usually have to pay to attend. When you go to social events, you usually have to pay to attend.

    Why does one “go to” church? Maybe for the following reasons:
    1. For instruction / education of God’s Word
    2. To worship The Lord
    3. For prayer and/or to pray
    4. For entertainment (the music, etc.)
    5. For fellowship / socializing

    WE go to church so that WE can get instruction and education in God’s Word, so that WE can worship The Lord, so that WE can participate in prayer, so that WE can be entertained and enjoy the music, and so that WE can fellowship or socialize.

    WE benefit from going to church services. When WE give our offerings, is it not to PAY for what WE have received from the service? Is that giving to God, or is that paying for a service WE have received?

    Who is getting the money? Is it God? Or does the money go to PAY for salaries, the building, utilities, etc., ALL of which WE benefit from?

    In the Old Testament, God commanded the tithe be paid to HIM, and HE directed the Israelites to take HIS tithe to the Levites. HE gave HIS tithe to the Levites. Offerings to God were heave offerings, or burnt offerings, or wave offerings.

    In the New Testament, God does not tell us HOW to give to HIM other than to give to the poor. God did NOT direct HIS gifts be taken to any church.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Gary. I can see you’ve thoroughly studied this subject. I would encourage you, as I try to do, to point to our ultimate example for giving (Jesus Christ). I think we do more to show people the truth about giving when we focus on Him than we do by making logical (although biblically correct) arguments against tithing.

      Regarding money going to a church, I think many churches could be better stewards of the money that comes in the offerings. But I do not think it is wrong to support those who minister to us in the Word (and not just because I’m a pastor). It seems to me that Jesus was clear that “the worker is worth his wages” and the rest of the New Testament supports the idea of providing aid to those who work to spread the Gospel.

  6. says

    I agree with you, Paul.

    Those who attend church services are morally obligated to pay for those services, or to put it another way, to pay their fair share of the bills. I also believe those who are able should pay MORE than their share so that others, less fortunate, will also have the opportunity to attend the services.

    I have the exact same problem you do, Paul. I am accused of trying to hurt churches, being stingy, etc. etc. when the fact is, I am the opposite.

    • says

      When you shake up people’s understanding of giving, I think you should expect to get some misunderstandings. Whenever I have people question my motives about teaching against tithing, I try to point them to the many articles I’ve written calling Christians to be much more generous and to learn to set aside their wants (deny themselves) so they can give more. It just takes patience and kindness to get the point across that I’m not advocating stinginess at all – just a better standard and reason for giving.

    • says

      Hi, Jenna! I think you can teach children about giving without needing to use tithing as your primary example. In fact, I think you’ll get much farther by discussing Jesus life, teaching, and example with them to lay a foundation for giving than by referring to the Law of Moses. Children seem to really pick up on how generous Jesus was and the simple truths of His teachings on giving.

      I’ve heard many stories showing examples where we could learn a lot more from the children about giving than we can teach them. (Obviously not true of all children, but kids can often get to the heart of the matter much quicker than we can when it comes to helping the needy.)

        • says

          A few remarks in response to you, Gary… :-)

          First, I am the Programme Director of Crown Europe, the European branch of Crown Financial Ministries. (I am also the one who trains all our trainers in the 20+ countries we are presently active in.) And I’ve never taught that one is obligated by law to give necessarily 10%. Some people who are affiliated with Crown in the USA tend to come across teaching something similar. However, none of my colleagues in Europe does that. (I’ve noticed that Americans have that unusual preoccupation with principles and regulations. In Europe, generally speaking, we tend to be much more nuanced.)

          Here’s the statement about tithing from “The Bible on Money” – our one-day seminar that introduces some basics of stewardship:

          “Abraham (before the law of Moses) gave a tenth to Melchizedek, the priest of God. Mosaic law required tithes and offerings. The New Testament principle is to give generously: Jesus praised sacrificial giving…”

          “We are convinced that a tithe is the minimum amount we should give to the Lord, desiring then to give more than the tithe as the Lord prospers us or directs us.”

          Is it an ideal statement? No, I don’t think so. There is nothing there about proportionality (which is a concept I definitely agree with). It also fails to point to the significant differences between the various giving dynamics present in the example of Abraham, the law of Moses and the New Testament church. These are things that I always explain in my teaching. However, I doubt the above statement could be fairly described as a case of “false teachers putting Christians back under the law”. :-)

          The fact is that we are all at different stages in our understanding of the Bible. My background is in linguistics and literary studies, which gives me a definite advantage in interpreting texts, including the Bible. I’ve also been involved in academic theological settings for about ten years now. Therefore I find glaring inconsistencies, outright misinterpretations and wrong emphasis with most of those who teach or write on stewardship. In evaluating them however I try to take in mind all of what they are trying to do as well as their knowledge and apparent intentions. Does it make sense?

          • says

            I am glad you don’t teach tithing as being a requirement.

            However, to say that tithing, or a tenth is the minimum, or starting point to give is not Biblical.

            Abraham gave a tenth of war spoils that didn’t even belong to him and kept nothing for himself. Biblical historians agree that Abraham was following the custom of his day. The Lord didn’t even want a tenth of war spoils as evidenced under Moses where God required only 1.1% of war spoils. NO ONE follows Abraham’s example today.

            God’s commands to tithe affected ONLY the twelve tribes of Israel. Eleven tribes inherited the promised land, and they were to take God’s tithe to the twelfth tribe who inherited the tithe instead of the land. NO ONE ELSE tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus did not tithe. Paul did not tithe. Peter did not tithe.

            There were THREE tithing commands in the Old Testament, and averaged over a 7-year period, it comes to 20% per year. Why not teach that giving should start at 20%? If you are going to use the Old Testament tithe as a “giving principle” it should be 20% not 10%.

            ONLY those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND with everything on it were commanded to tithe. They had NO mortgage to pay. They were GIVEN their land, homes, etc. NO rent to pay.

            How can you possibly equate that with Christians today who have to either pay a mortgage or rent plus pay income, property, and sales taxes which, for me, just the taxes far exceeds 20%.

            Giving didn’t start at 10% or 20% for everyone under the Old Testament. ONLY the farmers and herdsmen who INHERITED the promised land.

            To use that as any type of guideline today makes no sense.

  7. says

    Good for you Paul! I have taught against tithing for the last three years once I searched EVERY scripture talking about it. It is OLD Covenant and when we mix the two we get ruined bottles and garments But when we keep both in their proper place then they (the two covenants) are preserved.

    I suffered a lot of mean words too trying to free people from these “get rich quick” schemes of the men of the cloth. The churches and ministries I oversee we don’t do it at all.

    God bless!
    Ricardo Butler

    • says

      I think that understanding the difference between the Old and the New Covenants is very important to our concepts on giving (but really, on everything as it relates to our relationship with God). Thanks for your comments!

  8. says

    Let me as some more shocking truths about ‘Christian’ tithing:

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

    The Church would prefer you not know the following:
    · The tradesmen who made the baskets for harvesting, did not tithe.
    · The cobblers, who made the shoes for the servants of the field, did not tithe.
    · The carpenters, who made the wagons used for harvesting the fields, did not tithe.
    · The potters, who made the jugs for carrying water to the servants in the fields, did not tithe.
    · The women, who made the garments for the field-workers, did not tithe.
    · And certainly, the servants who worked in the fields for wages, did not tithe.
    Here are the simple facts regarding the Biblical teaching of tithing:
    ONLY LANDOWNERS TITHED
    ONLY PRODUCTS OF THE LAND WERE TITHED
    ONLY LEVITES COULD RECEIVE THE TITHES
    TITHING WAS A LAW OF MOSES
    CHRISTIANS ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES!
    Does anyone have a Scripture that contradicts what I have just said?
    By the way, Jesus Christ was a carpenter by trade, and as such, JESUS DID NOT TITHE!

    The tithe in the Old Testament was not 10% of their total income, but 10% of this and 10% of that, right on up to as much as 40 to 60% of their total income. I don’t know anybody who truly tithes according to the Law of Moses.
    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, that the church established in the wilderness, was now 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:
    “In that he says, A NEW covenant, He has made the first OLD. Now that which DECAYS and waxes OLD is ready to VANISH AWAY” (Heb. 8:13).
    But the Church today doesn’t want the New Covenant to replace the Old. They want to put the New Wine (of the New Covenant), in the Old Bottles (of the Old Covenant). And they want to put the New Cloth (of the New Covenant), on the Old Cloth (of the Old Covenant). And what did Jesus tell us would be the result of such an unharmonious and unequal yoking?
    “And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled and the bottles shall perish [be ruined].”
    However, in two thousand years, the church is still trying to put the Old and the New together as One, and the results are always disastrous.
    Just why is it that they like the Old covenant better than the New? Here’s the answer from the lips of our Master Himself:
    “No man also having drunk old wine [lived by the Old Covenant] straightway ['immediately'] desires new [the spiritual New Covenant]: for he says, The old is better” (Luke 5:39).

    • Shawn G says

      First, Cain and Abel were the first to give God offerings. In fact, that is why Cain killed Abel, because Abel’s offerings were his firstfruits, where as Cain’s were not. God was pleased with Abel’s offerings (I understand that as his cheerful giving) and not with Cain’s offerings (which were probably given out of obligation).

      Second, the people did give to the “church” in New Testament times. I will agree that the formal tithe as we know it did not come about to much later, but there was generous giving in the early church. Look in Acts 4:32-37 where it says that people sold their lands and houses and put it at the apostle’s feet to be distributed among them – so much so was given that there was not a needy person among them.

      Having said all that, I believe in tithing or giving or offering or whatever you want to call it because of what God has given me. God has blessed me with free grace in Jesus Christ, and because of that I want to give back to Jesus through his body (the church). You may disagree with that, but I believe it something that mature Christians do. We are the body of Christ and we should be serving him wholeheartedly.

      • says

        I can’t speak for Ricardo, Shawn, but I don’t disagree with what you’ve said. However, I would not limit my giving to the church exclusively. Giving directly to those in need also honors God and shares His love and compassion with the world. Neither would I exclude the church from my giving.

        • Shawn G says

          Paul, I completely agree with you. While I tithe regularly to my church, I also give directly to those in need. I come across people constantly who need aid of some sort, and God guides my giving to them.

  9. says

    To Andrew at Crown Ministries

    Your own statements tell me that you have serious problems with the way Crown teaches tithing in the U. S. A. and try to apologize for that in Europe.

    You may not teach tithing, but I will guarantee you that Larry Burkett and his replacement both seriously teach it every chance they get in every thing they write and every church they visit.

    Yes, Americans have that “unusual preoccupation” to teach error when it comes to tithing. First they put Christians under the Law of Leviticus 27:34 and Malachi 3:10 although that same Law defines tithes 16 times as only FOOD from inside Israel.

    Why did Abram (not Abraham) tithe spoil of war? Genesis 14:21 suggests an existing pagan Canaanite law of the land at work which REQUIRED such.

    Yes, the Mosaic Law required tithes –but only from food producers who reaped them off God’s HOLY land of Israel –and from nowhere else!

    Yes, Jesus taught tithing in Matthew 23:23 but that was while the Law was still in full effect as in “matters of the law.” Jesus could and tell either his Jewish or Gentile disciples to tithe to Himself.

    Yes, Hebrews 7 connects Jesus with Melchizedek, but only with his ORDER as a king-priest and ot with his PERSON.

    Your own REQUIRED statement is: “We are convinced that a tithe is the minimum amount we should give to the Lord, desiring then to give more than the tithe as the Lord prospers us or directs us.”

    Rather than call this “less than ideal” why don’t you repudiate it and call it wrong? The only persons in the Bible REQUIRED to tithe were food producers who lived inside Israel –and you cannot refute that from God’s Word.

    You said: “These are things that I always explain in my teaching. However, I doubt the above statement could be fairly described as a case of “false teachers putting Christians back under the law”.

    Call it what it is! Stand up and be counted! Christians never were under the Law and cannot biblically be “put back under it.”

    You said: “My background is in linguistics and literary studies, which gives me a definite advantage in interpreting texts, including the Bible. I’ve also been involved in academic theological settings for about ten years now.”

    Not impressed. This does not justify deliberately presenting Crown’s official statement and then trying to explain it away as you admit.

    You said “I find glaring inconsistencies, outright misinterpretations and wrong emphasis with most of those who teach or write on stewardship.

    So you do know that most of what you read is wrong. Act on it.

    “Does it make sense?”

    James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    Russell E Kelly, PHD

  10. Tina Portis says

    I am so glad I saw this post on twitter. I have been praying for some time for revelation about tithing. I am going to read this post, the others and the comments and study to show myself approved. I enjoy giving yet I want to live a life of love and not feel afraid not to tithe to the church. I want to be completely free to give to my church, community and single parents. Thank you.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Tina! I am glad you found this post as well, and I’m confident God will grant you wisdom as you seek to give generously to honor Him. Please understand that this post is not meant to defend selfishness or greed. We all ought to be giving what we can because of God’s great love for us and because it is a clear and obvious way we share God’s love with others. As we deny ourselves and seek to help those in need, the world will see Christ living in us and know that we are His disciples.

  11. says

    I am a big believer in tithing. When I see people shrug off the tithing plate in church, I get a little sad inside. I can only hope that they sent in their 10% on a previous Sunday…we can be very greedy with our money. I remember reading in a book, I believe by Dave Ramsey saying, God doesn’t want your pocket change (meaning, He truly deserves more) and that has stuck with me since reading that.

    I am amazed at what I have seen in my own life since tithing. Everything that we have given has come back(and then some!) just like it says it would in the Bible. I know that I am where I am at today, financially, because of tithing. If He trusts us with money and we do the right thing with our finances, give to the poor, give our 10%, He trusts us with more and therefore continues to bless. My cup runneth over–but I believe that I get more, only because I am to give more.

    There are too many stories where we have given a certain amount and in the next few days to come, a check has arrived in the mail for the exact same amount–or even a little more. Checks that aren’t expected, money that is not expected.

    I owe it all to Him and I hope he continues to bless us so that I can continue to give to those that need it more than I do.

    • says

      Hi, Frugal Free Gal. I’m not saying Christians should give God their pocket change or be greedy. In fact, I would push most Christians in America to look at giving beyond 10% because we are so filthy rich compared to most of the world. Is it right that we should waste money on useless, extravagant luxuries when our brothers and sisters around the world are dying of hunger? How can we say God’s love lives in us if we are not moved to deny our own wants and help those who are truly in need?

      I would be careful of building a foundation for your theology on anecdotal evidence rather than Scripture. I am not saying those stories are not God working in those people’s lives and blessing them, but I believe He will provide for our needs as we seek to follow Him anyway. Plus, there are just as many stories of people who tithe and end up in a much worse condition than before or people who have tithed because a pastor told them to just to find out that the pastor was not truly following God himself. I promise that you can find one bad story for every good story without much effort.

      Again, I’m not advocating stinginess, greed, or selfishness. I’m not saying we should not give to local churches. My point is that tithing as part of the Law is only a shadow of the that which has already come – Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate example for us in everything, so I would rather base my ideas and theology of giving on Him, His life, and His teaching than a mere shadow.

    • carole says

      I thought we were to give as we prosper, not to give a certain amount. And as for those who make you sad, when you see them “shrug off” the “tithing” plate, you shouldn’t be watching to see what others are giving, anyway. Lots of people are paid every two weeks, so when you are watching others give or not, perhaps they give every two weeks. In my case, I don’t have a job, and my husband is not a Christian, and does not give. So, I give out of my household money. So, if you see someone like me only give a few dollars, well that’s why.
      I appreciate Paul telling the truth about the subject, that we are not under the old law of tithing, and like those who try to say we should keep the Sabbath, and do other things that were under the old law, they should be putting on the whole law, if they want to hold on to it. Including animal sacrifice. Thanks, Paul, you are one of the first that I have seen actually speak on this.

      • says

        I think you’ve made a good point about the danger of watching what others give or don’t give and making assumptions about them. There are situations that we may not know about affecting their ability to give.

        And you’re welcome, Carole. I’m just sharing what I’ve found in Scripture, and I think it’s important to share because the misconceptions are so prevalent.

    • GaryM says

      The Frugal Free Gal,

      If your tithing did all of what you say then you prospered because of tithing and not because Jesus graced it to you. Put another way: either you have a right to prosper because Jesus became poor so you might be rich (2 Cor 8:9) or you prosper because you kept the tithing law–but it cannot be a combination of the two. Sounds to me like you are mixing law and grace which most churches seem to do these days where the tithe is concerned.

      God honors faith and when you give trusting Him to provide for your needs then that pleases Him. But your giving–or tithing–is not the foundation of your prosperity; Jesus’ becoming poor for your sake is your foundation.

      Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

  12. Ryan says

    I disagree with what you’re saying… We should give God our best always. Our money comes from God; why would one who believes in God not give Him the first 10% giving our Lord His deserving recognition.

    By tithing, one shows his or her dependence on the Lord for all their needs.

    • says

      I didn’t say we should give God our best. I simply pointed out that biblically-speaking the tithe was never the “best” as so many say it was. That was the firstfruits and that’s an entirely different concept.

      What is it about the first 10% of your income that makes it “best”? There’s nothing particularly special about that first dollar bill compared to the next nine. It’s simply the first.

      By relying on the grace afforded to us through the blood of Jesus Christ, one shows his or her depended on the Lord for all their needs…

  13. says

    Paul it’s okay. You are like a Financial Moses trying to lead the people out of EGYPT (BONDAGE TO THE LAW) but they are in their little wilderness (ON THE SAND, INSTEAD OF BEING ON THE ROCK) loving to go back to Egypt, because they have never tasted the MILK and HONEY (like freely giving as you have freely be given) of the Promise Land.

    They will not be ready to go into the land until a Financial version of Joshua takes THEIR CHILDREN there while they spiritual (financially) die in the wilderness.

    God bless you Paul and continue to set people free with the NEW Covenant.

    Love
    Ricardo Butler

    • says

      Well, thanks for the encouraging words, Ricardo. I’ve never thought of myself that way as there are many others teaching the same thing. I just want people to see how joyous and radical giving can be when we focus on Christ as the foundation rather than tithing.

    • GaryM says

      You know it’s funny…people are trying to get the windows of heaven to open up with their tithes when Jesus has caused us to sit in heavenly places with Him and has made us joint-heirs with Jesus. This was all done through Calvary, How can we complete that which only Jesus could do?

      If we are seated with Him why are we still trying to open up heavens windows when we are seated far above them? Giving is the FRUIT and NOT the ROOT of your prosperity.

  14. says

    I’m not a bible scholar, but after years of studying the Bible I’ve come to one clear conclusion about it: it isn’t a rule book, but a call into a relationship with God.

    As human beings, we like rule books–especially when we can use the rules to make others do what we like. We aren’t so good at relationships though, maybe because they don’t come about through a 12 step plan.

    I think it’s pretty clear that God wants our hearts more than our behavior. Jesus covered our behavior, past, present and future, but his sacrifice doesn’t cover us if our hearts are far away. Every thing in the Bible points us to that relationship, even as we debate the finer points of the “rules” it seems to lay our for us. But if the heart is right the rest will follow.

    As to the tithe–another rule–we have a priority set: “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6, but reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 9:13) So here we have God saying that he prefers us to show mercy to others and give acknowledgement to Him(conditions of the heart) over our sacrifices and burnt offerings. In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus gives us further instruction:

    “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

    Again, we see the clear priority given to matters of the heart over the giving of offerings.

    I’m not saying that tithing is a bad thing in itself, but that it may be another perceived rule that we cling to as some sort of faith litmus test. But it can also be like a tax, a “God tax” if you will, and that has the potential to turn our relationship with God into a business deal (which not conicidentally is how it’s preached in some corners of Christendom). In 2 Corinthians 9:7 Paul tells us of the need to be a “cheerful giver”–is that how we feel when we’re paying a tax?

    Still another possibility–we can come to believe that our faithful tithing is our ticket to salvation and start thinking “Of course I’m going to Heaven–I tithe!” It maybe even hints at the indulgences called for by the Church in the Middle Ages. We’re human and prone to think in this way.

    If you feel lead to tithe, then it’s the right thing to do. For some it’s about letting go, and giving 10% of your gain faithfully is a way to break an addiction. Is it for everyone? Highly doubtful. I completely agree with those in the thread who have said that we’re no longer under the law. If the law is what gives us salvation–and tithing is an apparent part of that law–then what was the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice???

    Another point: there were many who continued to keep the law while rejecting Jesus even as he walked among them and shortly afterwards. Keeping the law didn’t bring them salvation then, and it won’t do it for us today. We can keep the law (at least in our minds) but still be far away from God. At that point does it matter how much we give in His name?

    • says

      Very well put, Kevin. Your point on salvation being thought of as a ticket to salvation reminds me of the Pharisee who boasted that he gave tithes of all he got while he was praying to God. Didn’t do him much good as far as justification went according to Jesus…

  15. carole says

    I feel that what we are to do now, is better than the tithe. When I give, I pray for God to use the little I give to help spread His Word. I feel good about giving, it makes me feel like a cheerful giver.
    I heard stories from people whose denominational churches ask them to fill out a card stating just how much they will give each week, and then ask them how much more they will give, if they don’t think that’s enough. To me, that makes their church seem very greedy. I don’t think they need to know how much someone gives. God knows what they gave.

    • says

      It sounds like you’ve got the right mindset, Carole.

      I’m not too comfortable with how some churches push their giving cards/pledges. I’m not saying it’s bad to encourage Christians to give, but like you said – it can come off as being greedy or just worried about people’s money. I’m sure some churches do it with good intentions – trying to plan and budget for the year to figure out what can be funded. But they still need to think about the approach and the appearance it may give.

  16. Muriel says

    I just had to put my 2 cents worth in on the subject of tithing.

    Have we forgotten that the church needs to be supported like any other organization? The air conditioner or heat needs to be maintained (just like your own home) the secretaries need to be paid – those that clean and maintain the beautiful sanctuary that you attend each week need compensation for their time and effort. The pews you sit on and the doors you open probably were not donated.

    God has given us a way to support his program which is through tithes and offerings. Yes it is difficult and I must say for a while I let the lust of the eye for things get the better of me and did not pay tithes as I should. Let me just tell you I wish I could have taken every day back that I didn’t because it seems as though God started just blowing on my money and things just started happening that I could not have ever conceived. In my disobedience God still loved me and kept dealing with me about this issue. God has finally blessed me with a job which I will start in about 3 weeks and I am soooo happy. Paying tithes will be the first order of the day. Please read Malachi 3:8

    Lots of things in the Bible I would like not to do but I’m finding out more and more If you be willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:8. Just my 2 cents worth.

    • carole says

      Perhaps some churches have too many hands in the pot, so to speak. Our church does not have secretaries. All maintenance is done on a voluntary basis. If a person has skills, such as hvac, he helps to fix them. We don’t owe for any of the pews or anything else, we also do not ask for outside donations, only members are asked to give as they prosper, never visitors. And we still bring enough from people giving as they prosper, to pay for everything, including the preacher’s salary, as well as helping missionaries who are in other countries, and need funds.

      As for the reference to Malachi, we are not under the old law. I think a lot of people don’t really understand what that means.

    • says

      Muriel, I’ll ask you as I’ve asked others – where have I said that we should not support churches? The Biblical truth about tithing has nothing to do with whether or not we should support our local churches. People merely assume that it does because tithing has been pushed as the way for people to give to their churches.

      This is not about not wanting to do something in the Bible. I am not saying we should not give. I am only saying that our typical model for giving (tithing) is weak and useless compared to modeling our giving on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

    • says

      Muriel,

      If you are going by what is said in Malachi 3:8, you are going by the Old Testament ordinances which were nailed to the cross.

      Start with Malachi 3:7 – God is referring to His ordinances. Then read Colossians 2:14 – the ordinances were nailed to the cross.

      Using the Old Testament laws is denying what Jesus did for us on the cross.

    • Wes says

      Muriel,

      Maybe the reason so many Christians struggle with Tithing is because God’s not behind it?
      Matthew 15:9
      They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

      We need to be very careful about what we believe and practice. So let’s examine the Bible and see what it says.

      1) The Church is not a building that needs to be maintained. The Church is the people inside the building.
      Acts 7:48-50
      “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’

      2) The modern Tithe does not go to the Church (the people inside the building). The Tithe goes to the Pastors and is used to pay their salaries, maintain the building, and so forth. This violates several scriptures. Among them is:
      Numbers 18:20
      The LORD said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.”

      3) Anyone receiving Tithes MUST be a Levite, CANNOT own land and cannot have ANY OTHER source of income.
      Numbers 18:21
      “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.”

      Nor can Tithes be used to maintain the building, support His program, or pay for air conditioning. It was to go to the Levites as their pay.

      4) The Temple (with all its furnishings) was built through through voluntary donations (Exodus 35) and maintained with the Temple Tax (Matthew 17:24). Tithes had NOTHING to do with either.

      5) The Tithe was restricted to food grown/raised in Israel (Lev 27:30-32), a COMMAND from God to the Israelites (Lev 27:34), and went to the Levites as their Inheritance (Num 18:20-24).

      6) Only the firstfruits, donations of grain, new wine and olive oil, and a tenth of the Tithe (or 1%) went into the Storehouse. (Neh 10:37-39). And the firstfruits were NOT the Tithe. Israel had to give BOTH firstfruits AND Tithes (Deu 26:2,12).

      7) And as carole and Gary Arnold have said, Malachi is part of the Old Covenant. Isaiah is also part of the Old Covenant. God has given us a New Covenant. The Old Covenant does not apply.
      Heb 8:7
      For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
      Heb 8:13
      By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

      8) Trying to obey ANYTHING in the Old Covenant or mixing the Old Covenant with the New Covenant actually REJECTS Christ and places themselves under bondage of the law.
      Galatians 3:3
      Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
      Galatians 5:4
      You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

      And whoever places themselves in obedience to the law of the Old Covenant must obey the each and every law, not just one.
      James 2:10
      For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

      9) Nor is the New Covenant based on obedience, as was the Old Covenant. Instead, we have a Covenant based on faith. Obedience has nothing to do with it.
      Ephesians 2:8-9
      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
      Romans 5:1
      Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

      10) Supporting a Church (which is a body of believers (Col 1:24) and not a building) that believes in and teaches the Bible is fine. But when a Church can’t even properly identify itself and teaches people things that are not in the Bible, then it should NOT be supported.

      Galatians 1:8
      But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

  17. Olivia says

    Wes is right about the building not being the “church”. The early church met in people’s homes. But they must have been pretty big homes because at Pentecost 120 were gathered together in one place for prayer.

    I disagree with Wes on other issues. The New Testament is quite clear that those who preach the gospel are to get their living from it. It may not be directly from the congregation they are serving but Paul himself pointed out that he being a tentmaker was an exception. “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing out the grain”, Paul quotes to Timothy. ” A workman is worthy of his hire.” There are God created differences within the body. God appointed some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors, teachers….in His church. Each member has their gift and is to use it to build up the body. Just because someone gets their living from their gift does not make it wrong. The Levites got their share from the altar. This is a connection Paul points out to justify pastoral compensation. Peter, Timothy and Titus, even Paul at times, got their living from the gospel. And this came from the offerings of His people.

    Secondly, If obedience to the Word is not evidence of faith, then what is? Faith without works is dead, being by itself alone. Obedience from the heart was always a result of faith, in both testaments. The bare works in the Old Testament did not justify anyone. David said in Psalm 51 that the sacrifice of bulls did not gain God’s favor but a broken and contrite heart did. Old Testament people who believed God, acted in faith and did stuff. They prayed, they fasted, they sacrificed animals. Just because unbelieving comtemporaries did the same stuff outwardly, didn’t mean their works justified them. God sees the heart. There’s wheat and tares in the current church too. Christ will sort it out in the end.

    The Old Testament is based on grace as well as the New. God was not obligated to reveal Himself and force us to face the ugly truth about ourselves. He did not have to give a promise to Adam and Eve. He did not have to punish them in the way He did. He could have righteously zapped them then and there and be done with it. He did not have to promise man a Saviour. He did not have to save Noah’s family, or call Abraham, or send Moses to deliver Israel, or appoint David as king, or send prophet after prophet. The Old Testament’s purpose is to drive us to Christ, to show us the futility of trying gain His favor on our own. To be our schoolmaster. It proved no earthly king was good enough, no sacrifice worked forever but had to be constantly redone, no works perfect enough, no priest/ mediator lived forever. And yet there were those who sought him during the Old Testament time however imperfectly and He counted their faith as righteousness. That should give us immense hope as we fail in the same ways as they did. As Hebrews points out their examples of overcoming faith to our current generation. When we get puffed up it’s a good dose of the Old Testament to bring us to the realization we desperately need a Savior outside of ourselves to mediate, pay the punishment for our sins, and cover us with righteousness.

    To make false distinctions between the testaments is tossing aside 2/3 of God’s Word. Yes the ceremonial law was fulfilled in Christ. Sure, we no longer sacrifice animals. Sure we no longer circumcise on the 8th day. Many things that pointed to Christ have been fulfilled in Him. But to toss aside the whole Old Testament as a bunch of rubbish is wrong. It’s a precious thing because God wrote it. It is His love letter to us to draw us closer to His Son. If it’s obsolete, why is it quoted so much by Christ and the New Testament writers? To remove the Old Testament from the New is to strip it of the gospel.

    Thirdly. And this seems to be an underlying assumption on Wes’ part. Faith itself is a gift of God, not of ourselves lest anyone should boast. It’s not something we work up or “feel”. We don’t earn it and certainly don’t deserve it. And we weren’t born with it. Our hearts are naturally at emnity with God. Dead in trespasses and sin, as Paul writes. Unless God intervenes and breathes on our dead bones. That’s true through all human history. He gave faith to Old Testament people and He does that today.

    • Wes says

      Olivia,

      The size of the homes had nothing to do with it. Col 1:24 clearly says that the body of Christ is the Church. The Church is not a pile of wood and stone that will be knocked down someday. The needs of the Church is not air conditioning or soft seats. The needs of the Church are things like food, clothing, a place to sleep, clean water.

      Other than that, I disagree with most of your post.

      The Bible does say those who preach the Gospel should earn their living from the Gospel (1 Cor 9:14). But the Tithe has nothing to do with that because the Tithe has ended at the Cross.

      The Tithe was an Old Covenant command from God to the Levites (Lev 27:34). The Tithe was food grown/raised in Israel (Lev 27:30-32). The Tithes went to the Levites to distribute (Num 18:20-24), and only a tithe of the tithe (or 1%) went into the storehouse for the Priests (Neh 10:38).

      Since Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin (Rom 11:1), he could not receive Tithes. Since he said that those who preach the gospel should earn a living from it, and he could not collect Tithes, he obviously was not talking about Tithes. To do so would simply be telling the people to NOT pay him or any other gospel preacher who was not a Levite.

      Your next point seems to be that we must obey. As I’ve already said, we do not have a covenant of obedience, but one of believe in Jesus Christ. As it says in one of the most famous Bible verses, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

      This does not say we must obey, but simply that we must believe in Jesus. And what did Jesus do? Jesus said what he did himself. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17).

      This is exactly what happened. Jesus didn’t remove the law. He fulfilled it for us because we cannot do so. 4,000 years of Human history makes it very clear. You yourself admit that some people from the Old Covenant relied on God’s grace rather than the law.

      The law is still there. It hasn’t been removed. It is eternal. But Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4). Therefore, if we believe in Christ as it says to do in John 3:16, we will let Him fulfill the law on our behalf, then die in our place, and rise again to give us new life.

      Then we are free – free to do good works. But the works we produce cannot be our own, because as Paul said, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:20). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20).

      You’re right that faith without works is dead, but we cannot produce any good work that would satisfy God. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). It is not us doing it, it is God living in us, using us to do His work.

      The Old Covenant is definitely not based on grace. It was based on obedience to God’s commands. “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” (Exodus 19:5). “The LORD said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.” (Jeremiah 9:13).

      I do not make false distinctions, nor do I toss aside 2/3 of God’s word. What I do is read the Old Testament, but know that God has given us a New Covenant. “We are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

      I think you, like those of Jesus’ audience of Pharisees and teachers of the law, and those of the Apostles’ audience of Mosaic Jews, error in the purpose of the Old Covenant. As I already said, it was meant to lead us to Christ, to finally bow and admit that God’s requirements are too much, to do as Abraham and certain others of the Old Testament did, and rely on God’s grace.

      I acknowledge that God’s grace has always existed, and some few before the birth of Christ chose to fully lean on God rather than the law. As Paul said, does this mean that the law is bad, no but that the law does not lead to righteousness, it leads to death.

      But you seem to conclude by accusing me of what you yourself are doing. It seems to me that you have everything mixed up.

      You seem to believe that the Old Covenant is based on grace and the New Covenant is based on obedience.

      You seem to believe that the Tithe (which was never money) must go to support the Church (another non-Biblical use).

      You seem to believe that because I say we are no longer under the Old Covenant that I toss it aside. This isn’t true either. But I claim we are not obligated to follow it, because we have been given a NEW Covenant.

      You seem to believe that I make faith a little thing that comes naturally. I agree with you that it is very difficult and that we are naturally at enmity with God. Many people would rather follow the law than believe that Christ (and only Christ) fulfilled it for us.

      I also agree with you that God gave grace to us since the beginning of time. Many people mentioned in the Old Testament relied on God’s grace, including David. But the Old Covenant was not based on grace. It was based on obedience to God’s commands.

    • GaryM says

      Olivia wrote: It is His love letter to us to draw us closer to His Son. If it’s obsolete, why is it quoted so much by Christ and the New Testament writers? To remove the Old Testament from the New is to strip it of the gospel.

      Why don’t you ask the writer of Hebrew why its obsolete? After all, he wrote this not us. Besides, the Law was never given to a Gentile. How can the Law be your schoolmaster when it was never written to you to start with? Only Jews were under the Law and Paul made this clear in Galatians 3. Christ redeemed us (us who? Jews) from the curse of the Law that the blessing of Abraham might come on the GENTILES by faith. If both Jew and Gentile were under the law why would Paul write stating that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles instead of US?

      Food for thought.

  18. says

    @Olivia,

    The Levites did NOT get their share from the altar.

    First, the tithe was taken to the Levites WHO LIVED IN THE LEVITICAL CITIES. The tithe was NOT taken to the Temple. Then the Levites took a tenth of the tithe to the Temple for the priests. (Nehemiah 10:37)

    Are you aware that the priests and Levites only worked at the Temple about two weeks per year, on a rotational basis? NOT FULL TIME. The priests and Levites were divided into 24 “courses”. See First Chronicles 24 for the priests and chapters 25 and 26 for the Levites. Each course only ministered in the Temple one week out of twenty four (1 in 24), and, depending on how many families were in each course, each family only ministered in the Temple two or three days during its courses’ week of ministry.

    The rest of the time the Levites and priests were WORKING their regular jobs – many as farmers and herdsmen. Although they couldn’t own any land, they were given property to live on and farm on.

    The Temple Tax (or tribute in KJV) was used for the upkeep of the Temple, and the Temple was built from gifts, not tithes. The priests were also supported by offerings, not just a tenth of the tithe.

    Paul also ENCOURAGED the others to follow his example.

    The pastor has a RIGHT to be paid for his services. I have a RIGHT to keep all my money. The pastor wants to exercise his right to be paid while that same pastor wants the others to give up their right to keep their money.

    • Wes says

      @ Gary Arnold

      Well said.

      Too many rely on their Pastor’s teachings, and don’t bother to delve into the Word; except when they try to prove what they were taught by their Pastor.

  19. says

    Hello,
    I tithed for 30 years expecting a windfall blessing, giving more than I could afford on many occasisons, giving on gross and net income. The result was two bankruptcies. And I was heading to a third one, until I found the truth about tithing. Let me add some more to your information. I put together a study for people to examine tithing and do their own research.
    Please share this website: http://www.holytithe.com/TithingPresent.pdf

    • says

      Frank,

      When you say you were “expecting a windfall blessing,” it sounds like that was your primary reason for tithing. Would you agree that expecting something in return for giving (to God and others) is the wrong attitude to have?

      • Wes says

        Churches often abuse Malachi 3:8-12, Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 6:38, 2 Cor 9:6, etc to show that God gives lots of money to those who give lots of money. But that if you’re stingy and don’t give much money, God won’t give much money to you.

        Frank heard it most of his life. So did I. I think most people who currently or used to Tithe heard this sort of message.

        Sure, those of us who have stopped Tithing have done so partly because we learned that giving to get is the wrong motivation. But many Churches still run on greed, not faith.

  20. Tricia says

    I believe giving is taught in the NT after the cross – giving cheerfully for God loves a cheerful giver and giving generously, he who sows generously will also reap generously. It’s interesting to me the only things the Apostles told the church to follow from the law were to abstain from sexual immorality and abstain eating meat sacrificed to idols. Tithing was never brought up.

    Great article. Giving is good – living by the law is never good, for no one could EVER keep any of it – I think thats the point God was trying to make in the OT – WE can never of ourselves do anything to earn any of God’s favor. Blessings good post and I wish more pastors would really look at this issue more unfortunately I believe its due to fear of losing their own income.

  21. Wilfrid says

    I have read most of the comments and I can honestly say that I believe that God’s grace extends to those new as well as old believers that have not taken it upon themselves to truly study the word about tithes while continuing to give them. I have a good friend who was a true “soldier” for the Lord in every way (no he did have any hidden sins- for my religious folk) but still found himself without a place to live, he was paying his tithes, sometimes using part of his rent (he was not working a high paying job) money because he did not want to be under the curse so he let some of his utilities and other basic bills wait because of what he was being taught out of Malachi, after going back to the same church for benevolence he was told that the most he could get would be 75.00 which left him hurt and confused since he was a faithful member and served on several ministries there, he could not figure out why he was being evicted from his apartment when he never missed paying his tithes and gave offerings as well, after several months he relocated back to his home state and moved in with his mom, this was the beggining of a journey for him as he began to study the word about giving and he was blown away with what he discovered about the tithe and of course shared with me this newfound information which only caused me to laugh because I thought he had gone off of the deep end, especially since I had just gotten a new job making quite a bit more money, so there was no way the tithe could be related to agriculture. The bible is very clear in the new testament about new “babes” being on milk and mature christians digesting meat, like myself I fell in love with Christ, got invited and joined a church, began being taught that you pay God his 10 percent before anybody else, NO MATTER WHAT!!! and if you missed then you pay doulble the next week, and so thats what I did, I look back on those times and I can see where God had so much mercy & grace on my ignorance because my heart was all about wanting to be obiedient as well as truly believing that he would open up the windows of heaven for me after having paid my tithes with some of my rent money, I too had to make a couple of calls to my parents from time to time for a loan..LOL!! (borrower servant to the lender) still not having any idea that God wanted me to be a good steward FIRST over the lease agreement that I signed.The water has gotten so muddied up in the body of Christ today when it comes to money and I know of so many people that will never EVER believe that the tithe was ever related to agriculture because they have received increase in their life so they identify that as God keeping his word even though the Bible says that God is faithful even when we are not, why should I study to show myself approved when my Pastor does that for me???????? (being sarcastic) the “Americanized” God that’s being preached in so many churches today I’m sure is enough to make the prophets of old to turn over in their graves, messages that are friendly so that people will come back the next sunday, telling so many new babes that it is impossible for God to lie so if he promises to open up the windows then you need to “put God to the test” and sow some of that insulin medication money, who knows?? you just “might” get healed (from that diabetic coma) I believe that this is the last and greatest stronghold for the Church today because every issue that Jesus dealt with goes back to a “quality of life” issue, sickness, disease, family issues, poverty, etc. I do not know of any indiviual (in their right mind) that does not want to eat well, sleep well, have a nice home, car, clothes, quality education for their children and to also have enough money to help their friends and immediate family, Jesus was very clear about the warning of being on watch for false prophets and how so many would be decieved as well as how difficult it would be for rich people to enter into heaven, these are no coincidences, all of the uproar in the church today about money will only continue to manifest itself as more and more believers continue to allow themselves to be taught without studying the word and asking God to show them the truth about this principle.

    • Wes says

      Wilfrid,

      I’m glad you opened yourself up to learn the truth, even though it’s the opposite of what you’ve been taught in Church. Too many Church-goers let themselves be led by the Pastor, assuming that he must be right because he says he’s following God.

      Jesus has taken the curse away (Galatians 3:13). So we are not cursed if we don’t Tithe, nor are we blessed if we do. Instead, we have new, spiritual blessings (Matthew 6:19-21, Luke 16:13-15). Malachi does not apply because it was given to the Jews of the Old Covenant.

      I believe the Church has given up its love for God for love of money. They twist and distort the Bible to get money for things they do not need. As Jesus has said, “Woe to them! They place heavy burdens on people, but will not lift a finger to help them” (Luke 11:46).

      And yes, I do believe God is merciful. I believe God wants for us to seek after Him and read the Bible ourselves to know what it says. God wants to lead us; He does not want any Pastor to take His place.

  22. abeekal says

    Great blog Paul. This is a breath of fresh air more than you know.

    What I’m finding is people begining to search the scriptures for themselves and find truth beyond what they are being spoon fed on Sundays. So much error in local churches it’s become depressing.

    I’m also finding a lack of faith on the part of church leaders that the continue to lay a burdensome yoke on the necks of church members while negating any opportunity for ones faith to mature. It’s all Gods anyways.

    I’m hoping more will begin to preach this message of truth and free the sheep from these burdensome laws while allowing us to worship freely with our giving.

  23. says

    What did the Apostle Paul wish on those who wanted to force New Testament Christians under the law? (such as with circumcision and other laws?) He wished that they would go all the way on themselves and just cut the whole thing off!!

    Circumcision just like the Old Testament Tithe was never even one of the Ten Commandments, yet many preachers today love to elevate it to such status for their own benefit.

    I have added this link to my list of good references at http://isitasinto.com on why Tithing is not valid for today, we are to simply GIVE CHEERFULLY, whatever we have purposed in our heart. 2 Cor. 9:7

    ”do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” – Galatians 2:21

  24. Olivia says

    I entered this debate some time ago not because I agreed or disagreed with the views presented. I can make a Biblical case for either side. And I chose to show why tithing can be supported by the Old and New testament scriptures. (Suggest you read AW Pink’s little booklet on tithing.) My big concern was the violence with with the non tithers trashed those who do tithe. It was not necessary to say people were laying aside God’s grace in Christ and accusing them of being unbelievers. If they tithe and feel it’s an act of worship and obedience to the God they love. Doesn’t the bible teach us to be gentle with those who don’t have faith to eat meat sacrificed to idols (or those who do)? You are destroying your brother for whom Christ died. If you feel someone is in oppostion to a Biblical view you are to correct gently. Instead you are causing fellow pilgrims to stumble. By their own Master they stand or fall. Heart attitudes are God’s problem to straighten out. It’s very sad to see this kind of mob mentality in a Christian forum. And what does it prove? If you have a conviction in your own heart and stand before God and are open to being taught from the scriptures, isn’t that what Christ wants? But to club someone into submission to your particular view by de facto excommunicating them, what does that prove? I feel Paul Williams presented his view clearly and without animosity. It would have been best if we all had followed his example.

    • Wes says

      Olivia,

      Many people believe the Tithe is Biblical, but the Bible does not support Tithing as it’s taught in today’s Church. I believe that those who Tithe have forsaken God’s love, God’s grace, and even God’s free gift of salvation in an attempt to earn it themselves.

      What we’re trying to do is warn those who have fallen into the trap of mixing law with grace. This is a REAL danger, and the Bible says that they risk losing everything in their attempt to do it themselves.

      That’s what Tithing is. It’s not Biblical, a Godly principle, or good stewardship. It another Tower of Babel, an attempt to earn our way to Heaven. Tithing is a perversion of the Gospel, and as Paul said, “If we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” – Galatians 1:8.

      This may be violent, but it is the truth. It is a warning to turn away from false doctrine, to compare what people say with what the Bible says, and above all, to let yourself be lead by God, not a man in a suit standing behind a pulpit on Sunday morning.

      • Orville says

        I do not subscribe to the idea that every person who decides to give 10% or any other specific percentage of their income gross or net has abrogated God’s grace. What if someone simply decided to give to The Church because they have felt God’s grace in their life; and feel blessed to have received The gospel, and they simply want others to have The same opportunity? What if there is no motive to obey, or obtain salvation to their giving, but a simple experience of joy and grattitude for what God has done in their life? When a judgement is rendered upon someone, based on our own ideas, I believe we are not following God’s higher calling of judge not so that you won’t be judged. And also we seem to be ignoring the fact that God is the only one who knows the heart.
        Exposing the biblical truth should not be the basis to attack the motives of people who may do something, of course with the understanding that by their fruits ye shall know them. Although there is abuse of the word and incorrect teaching, let those who give in any way, shape or form, as God impresses them; whether in the form of a percentage, or on any other format, be a relational experience with the Saviour of mankind from our filthy sinful nature.

        • Wes says

          Orville,

          I beg to differ with your opinion.

          I believe that the Church is not a building full of people who meet with God. I believe the Church is the people inside the building (John 14:23, Acts 7:48-50, Acts 17:24, Romans 8:9, 1 Cor 3:16, 1 Cor 6:19, Eph 2:22, Eph 3:17).

          If you choose to give a certain amount to a certain place, that is exactly what the Bible tells you to do. But I think it’s wrong to call it a Tithe, because the Bible is very clear on what a Tithe is, who paid the Tithe, and who receives the Tithe.

          I think it’s even more wrong for the Church to tell it’s members that they have to Tithe. Many Church(es) do so. Many Church(es) tell its congregation that they MUST Tithe or forfeit their membership. They MUST Tithe or they WILL be cursed.

          This is abuse of Scripture. This is what we stand against.

          You say that we should not judge, but I disagree with you on this point as well.

          The Bible says:
          Deu 18:22
          If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
          John 7:24
          “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
          Matthew 24:4
          Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”
          Acts 17:11
          Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
          1 Corinthians 5:12-13
          What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
          1 Corinthians 10:15
          I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.
          1 John 4:1
          Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

          I think you’re taking texts out of context. When you read “do not judge others”, you have to compare it to other verses to see if it is absolute truth, or if it’s part of a truth.

          Over and over, the Bible tells us to judge others. How else will we know who is the false prophet? How else will we keep from being deceived? Instead, we are told to “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

          I’m concerned that you may not understand God as well as you think. I’m also concerned that you seem to be doing that which you accuse others of doing. You’re judging us for being against the Tithe and questioning our motives, then you turn around and tell us to stop judging those who are for the Tithe.

          I urge you to pray and read your Bible, asking the Spirit of God to teach you.

    • Joseph Cole says

      Olivia

      Tithing is not only wrong for the New Testament believer, and none of the Apostles taught believers to tithe; but now, for years churches have discriminated in the choosing of deacons, by whether they tithed or not.

      I was excluded, in a conversation, because I believed that tithing was an old testament law and was not carried over to New Testament believers. So positions of service in many churches are based on whether you are a tither or not. This practice is wrong, don’t you think?

      However, I do believe that we should give generously as the Apostles taught, that God love a cheerful giver.

  25. Olivia says

    How tithing applies in our current situation after Christ’s death, whether it was fufilled in His death and resurrection is what determines our practice. We know circumcision and the maintaining of the sacrificial law to justify oneself before God is wrong, as those things cannot justify, and they were clearly and specifically mentioned as having been fulfilled in Christ in the epistles. But tithing is one of those oddball things, part of Old Testament practice, but not specifically singled out as fulfilled by Christ’s death in the New Testament. The first mention of tithing came before the law, before Moses, before circumcision. Abraham gave a tenth of all his spoil to Melchizadek. Melchizadek is a type of Christ. How this is understood is pivotal to what position one comes to on tithing as post resurrection believers. Tithing is never tied to the covenant of circumcision or animal sacrifices or feast days in the New Testament nor is it ever criticised by Jesus or the apostles. To elevate it to that position when the scriptures do not emphasize it that way is inappropriate. The one time Jesus criticized the Pharisees in relation to tithing was not because of tithing in itself but because they were so caught up in it they ignored simple mercy to others. He said “you tithe mint and dill and cummin and HAVE NEGLECTED the weightier provisions of the law, justice and mercy and faithfulness, but these are the things you should have done, WITHOUT NEGLECTING the others”. That statement is sufficiently clear to show their practice of tithing was not being criticized in itself, but they neglected the true heart of the law to love their neighbor as themselves. To love our neighbors as ourselves is still considered valid practice in our day.

    Some have made non tithing a law unto itself and choose to say those who don’t follow this theology are not believers. The lines are not so clear cut. That perspective is taught no where in the New Testament. I’m suggesting a course of moderation and reasonable discussion here. Paul himself said some cannot eat meat sacrificed to idols without defiling their consciences, others can. My point is there is a biblical line of reasoning to support either position. The main point Paul is making in his meat/idol anology is we have to deal gently with a person’s conscience before God, not immediately whack them upside the head because they don’t follow our particular position. Sure we are to hold our own convictions and seek to persude others from the scriptures if we feel it needs to be done. And like the Bereans we are to search the scriptures and lay our conscionces and practices under it’s light.

    Secondly. This is why I entered the fray. No individual has the right to declare someone an unbeliever. We can judge a person by their fruit, but even David, a man after God’s own heart who fell into major sin, and Peter who denied Christ and fell in with the judiazers didn’t always look like believers. So it takes a huge amount of discernment to determine where someone is in their walk. I do not believe in apostolic sucession and suspect you do not either, and for individuals on this forum to take the right of ex communication upon themselves is presumptious. If someone is caught in sin, as you believe tithing is, then you are to restore them gently, looking to yourself, but not to insist they castrate themselves right off the bat. There are procedures in place following Matthew 18 to deal with church discipline and ex communication. So for example, if you feel my theology is that off to warrant my being kicked out of Christ’s church and destined for judgment and hell, then you may contact the elders of the chuch I belong to and bring charges of heresy against me.

    The other thing I find disconcerting is that there is a great eagerness on some to assume they can read minds. I assume you are reasonable and have a clear conscience before God in how you order your giving. It is a personal act of worship. Whatever you put into the offering plate is only a token of your heart. I assume you have reasoned your position from the scriptures and give Biblical weight to each part of your theology. That to you somethings are far more important than your theology of tithing. Not that convictions on specific issues are unimportant. But it shouldn’t consume you. Jesus should consume our hearts. We should love Him more than anything. We are such continual debtors to His mercy and owe Him everything.

    I don’t know anyone’s position on the Old Testament on this forum, but when the New Testament says “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness,” it is refering to the Old Testament scriptures, and I take that very seriously. Since God wrote both Old and New, they are both “God breathed”, and He does not contradict Himself because He is God, there must be a way of understanding scripture consistant within itself. Some doctrines are clearer than others, some are determined only by comparing scripture with scripture, such as the Trinity. And like the Trinity some doctrines may take time and much careful study over many years to solidify.

    Finally the arguments many of the forum participants bring against tithing can be better reasoned. I feel many of the texts used by forum members were wrenched from their contexts and plastered onto things they do not belong to. That seeming disrespect for scripture really bothers me. So a possible line of reasoning can go like this. I believe the practice of tithing is no longer valid in our current times because Melchizadek was a type of Christ. Abraham was looking forward to Christ and showed his devotion to Christ and His future sacrifice by givng an offering. Or we could say the purpose of the tithe was to provide for the Levites as they had no portion in the land but were scattered within it. The Levites no longer exist and so the tithe is no longer needed for their upkeep. The New Testament now says those who steal should steal no longer but work so that they may be able to share with others in need. Those who are rich (and I daresay American Christians for the most part are hugely wealthy) are “to be generous and ready to share”. On the other hand in the support of the tithe, we may say that since Melchizadek was a type of Christ and Abraham is our spiritual father (since we have the faith of Abraham) we are to follow his axample because unlike circumcision his tithing action was not replaced by something else. So in tithing we are giving to Christ because of His deliverance. The duties of the Levites, devoting themselves to the word of God and prayer, is now the job of pastors or teaching elders and so tithing is the means God uses for their support. In either case, those who preach the gospel are to get their living from the gospel. And those who benefit from spiritual things are to “share all good things” with those who teach them.

    Whatever conclusion we come to on tithing or giving in general, I think it’s important we examine our motives. A non tither can just as easily fall into the rut of self justification as can a tither. We must allow scripture to search us as our hearts are so prone to self deception. One practical implication is this. It speaks really poorly of us as the people of God to see our ministers, the faithful ones, not the flashy TV guys, who labor in the word, who pour their lives into ours, who groan with us in our struggles, to be paid barely enough to keep it all together. It sickens me to hear people accusing their ministers of not “having faith in God’s provision”, or accuse them of preaching self, while they live very comfortably. It comes across as “be warmed and be filled”. We are to esteem them highly because of their work and pray for them. We are not to muzzle them while they are threshing out the grain. We are to obey the scriptures in providing for them. As some of our calls say, we are to keep them “free from worldly care”.

    Stuff to think about.

    • says

      The Abraham argument is faulty and just does not work to support tithing today.

      Let’s look closely at Abram’s tithe. First, the goods that Abram gave the tenth from didn’t even belong to Abram:

      Genesis 14:21 (KJV) – And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

      Notice in verse 21 the king of Sodom didn’t ask Abram if he would give back to him the people, but rather said GIVE ME the people and keep the goods for yourself. The way that is worded indicates that the king of Sodom was claiming that the people and the goods belonged to him, but he offered the goods to Abram.

      It would normally have been the custom that the victor owns the spoils, but normally the spoils would have belonged to the enemy. In this case, Abram was RECOVERING goods belonging to the King of Sodom.

      NOTE: The king of Sodom had an original right both to the persons and to the goods, and it would bear a debate whether Abram’s acquired right by rescue would supersede his title and extinguish it; but, to prevent all quarrels, the king of Sodom makes this fair proposal (v. 21).
      –Should the Church Teach Tithing by Dr. Russell Earl Kelly, pages 24-25

      Genesis 14:22-24 (KJV)
      22And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
      23That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
      24Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

      Notice in verses 23 and 24 Abram also acknowledges that the goods belonged to the king of Sodom. But the king of Sodam offered that Abram could keep the goods for himself. Abram declined the offer. He didn’t want man to take credit for his wealth. By not accepting any of the goods for himself, Abram was putting all his faith in God to provide for him rather than man.

      Therefore, it is clear that both the king of Sodom and Abram acknowledged that the spoils of war did NOT belong to Abram, yet he gave a tenth of the spoils to King Melchizedek. This would seem that Abram did something wrong, if not even illegal, but Biblical historians agree that it was custom in Abram’s day to give the king a tenth of the war spoils. Had Abram not given the tenth, he would have gone against custom.

      Conclusion: Abram did NOT give a tenth of his income, or his wealth. Abram gave a tenth of the spoils of war that didn’t belong to him and declined to keep the goods offered to him. That is NOT an example of tithing for Christians to follow today. By declining to keep any of the goods for himself, Abram showed his faith that God would provide. That is the example of faith that Christians should be following. Furthermore, the law did NOT require a tenth of war spoils to be given, so to say that tithing was before the law and then in the law is not true. What Abram did was NOT even codified into the later law.

      Furthermore……. Hebrews 7:7 (KJV) “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.”

      Abram, the lesser, was blessed by the King-Priest Melchisedek, the better.

      Abram gave the tenth to the better.

      1 Peter 2:5 (KJV) “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

      1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

      1 – According to the scriptures, priests do not tithe.
      2 – As priests, all born-again believers are equal. There is no better or lesser among us. God has not designated any born-again believers to collect His tithe.
      3 – To try and “tithe” today is denying that you are a part of the Royal Priesthood.

      Isn’t it odd that even though Abram gave a tenth directly to Melchizedek, the king/priest, that some Christians think they can give directly to God by giving it to their pastor?

      I find it quite offensive that pastors have appointed themselves to be the receiver of what belongs to God. After all, the pastor says the tithe belongs to God. Then he appoints himself to receive the tithe!!!

    • Wes says

      Olivia,

      What gives me pause for thought is that you’re not doing what you claimed.

      You said:
      “I entered this debate some time ago not because I agreed or disagreed with the views presented. I can make a Biblical case for either side.”

      I have not seen you do this.

      I have seen you debate frequently and in great detail why the Tithe is valid, but I have not seen you make a case against Tithing. I wonder why you make this claim, but continue to argue for Tithing, while dismissing what everyone else says as an attack against your spirituality.

      You display no respect for anyone, yet expect everyone to not only respect you, but agree with you.

      I am most interested in seeing you keep your word, and make a case against Tithing.

  26. Olivia says

    Gary,
    I have been considering your comments carefully these many hours and wanted to deal with them in a thorough manner. Honestly, we don’t disagree on everything.

    I will try to follow your reasoning here. It seems very complex and based on things outside of scripture I’m not at all familiar with. You are dealing with only two of many points I raised. I mentioned procedures for church discipline, who has the right to ex communicate someone, what exactly is heresy, the historical establishment of doctrine, the validity of the Old Testament as the word of God, people’s heart motives, how a pastor is to be paid, and tithing. They do tie together as they were addressed in previous posts, even though the original article dealt only with tithing.

    I am grateful someone is seeking to understand tithing from the scriptures that directly address it and not importing unrelated scriptures from other places.

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a poor experience with your pastor demanding money, to sour you on the whole thing. I have not had your experiences. My pastors have always been underpaid, over worked, underappreciated, godly men. It’s a safer thing when sinned against as you have been, to try not to react against it, but find what the Bible says and seek to do what is says. This is not meant as a pat answer. I think we all struggle with these kinds of things, it’s painful, and I really feel sorry you’ve been hurt by those who have abused their stewardship.

    OK As far as your line of thinking is concerned. I’ve never heard your reasoning before so will try to understand it. I’m not familiar with the man you mention as your reference, I don’t have his writing to look at. So let’s start with the scriptures. We can both open up the same passages and work through them. I’m looking at the passages about Melchizedek in Genesis and in Hebrews. We can both agree Abraham and Melchizedek were real people. That this is the first time the tithe is mentioned in the bible. That this incident occurred before the ten commandments, circumcision, instructions for the formal sacrifices. That Melchizedek came from a different priesthood than Levi and that he was like Christ in that he was both priest and ruler (significantly King of Shalom or Peace), and that Hebrews makes the tie in between Christ and Melchizedek, saying Christ was a priest “after the order of Melchizedek”. That in Abraham, Levi gave tithes to Melchizedek and so Melchizedek is greater than both Abraham and Levi.

    I don’t know anything about the historical practice between kings in that day, but assume since the scripture was written for all time and is sufficient for our lives, and we are promised the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, and God has a greater interest in us doing what is right more than we ever could, we can come to correct conclusions by examining the scriptures alone and comparing one part of the bible with another. (It’s safe to say neither of us want to base our theology on something other than the scriptures.) So let’s lay aside the point about the rights each king has to what specific goods, because it’s not mentioned in the Bible nor can it be inferred.

    The question you brought up about ownership is important though. If the goods did not belong to Abraham, they belonged to someone else, and since he gave them to Melchizedek anyway, isn’t that stealing? How could Melchizedek, as priest of the Most High God, receive stolen property? There’s got to be another explanation. It has to be that the goods Abraham gave really were his to give. Otherwise God would be violating His own law. And didn’t Abraham actually say to the King of Sodom that he would take nothing from him and would return everything that belonged to him except what the young men had eaten and what the other kings were due? So Abraham couldn’t have given Melchizedek anything that didn’t belong to him first.

    OK That still doesn’t clarify whether tithing as a current practice is prohibited. We established the idea Abraham did a good thing by tithing to Melchizedek , that it was acceptable to God, because it was received by His representative, and that it came from Abraham’s own property and not someone else’s.

    Who was Abraham giving the tithe to? He realized this man represented the God of the universe, as Melchizedek was called not only King of Salem, but Priest of God Most High. And Melchizedek gives further clarification to Who this God is by extending a blessing from “God Most High, Possessor (also translated “Creator”) of heaven and earth”. The scriptures refer to Melchizedek three times as priest of God Most High. The repetition is striking. Abraham also realized Melchizedek represented the same covenant LORD who told him to leave Ur of the Chaldeans. Abraham mentions a promise he made to the LORD God Most High in verse 22 in response to this deliverance. That same word Jehovah is used in his call in Genesis 12:1. Jehovah is the special covenant name God uses with His people. There is no doubt as to Who gave the deliverance and Who Melchizedek represents. Was Abraham giving this tithe as an act of worship in gratitude to God for a massive deliverance, or did King Melchizedek demand it from him? It was freely given. Melchizedek gave the bread and wine and blessings first. Abraham responded. Melchizedek gave glory to God for the victory, why should Abraham give glory to a man, even though he is a king?

    So Abraham gave the tithe to God via His priest in unforced worship. Abraham is a positive example of tithing. He didn’t do it to earn favor with God, as he already received the victory and blessing, but gave in response.

    About the priesthood. You make two points. Let me see if this is what you mean. You are saying because we are a royal priesthood and have taken over the office of priest, we do not tithe because Old Testament priests did not tithe.

    Is that what those verses mean in context though? What was Peter’s point in saying we are a “royal priesthood”? Aren’t we are made a royal priesthood so that we may declare His excellencies to those around us? That we can tell others about how God brought us out of darkness into light? In verse 11 we are to “abstain from fleshly lusts”. And further on in verse 12 we are to back up our talk with our lives, so our behavior may be “excellent among the gentiles”. We as “a royal priesthood ” do not offer blood sacrifices like the priests did, or wear special garments or officiate in worship the same way. We are to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What exactly are they? A reference to Hebrews13 may be helpful here. This is the cluster mentioned. We partake of the altar of Christ’s death, we seek another Jerusalem, we offer a sacrifice of praise to God, we do good and share sacrificially, and submit to our leaders. Perhaps 1 Peter isn’t the best passage to prove your point. Just because generosity is encouraged in Hebrews doesn’t mean planned giving is forbidden. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Your second point is that priests don’t tithe. In Nehemiah 10:37-39 it says, “We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns. And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse. For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil, to the chambers; there are the utensils of the sanctuary, the priests who are ministering, the gatekeepers, and the singers. Thus we will not neglect the house of our God.”

    Numbers 19:25-32 “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe. And your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat. So you shall also present an offering to the LORD from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the LORD’s offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the LORD, from all the best of them, the sacred part from them. And you shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat. And you may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the tent of meeting. And you shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have offered the best of it. But you shall not profane the sacred gifts of the sons of Israel, lest you die.’”

    Levites tithe. Looking over the scriptures in Leviticus, (and it’s quite extensive), this seems to be the gist of it. The specific offerings given to the priests– guilt, sin, peace, ordination are all divided in some way. A holy portion is burnt up before God and the rest of the offering is for Aaron and his sons. So a portion of the priest’s portion is set aside for God. “The best of it,” as mentioned in the numbers passage. The first fruits given to Aaron are not used for a burnt offering but seem to be given totally to him. When the Levites were given cities within Israel, they were only given pasture lands around them. Six cities out of the total number were open for the manslayer to flee to, so they were not really totally their own. The bread of the presence is for the priests who minister in the temple and is eaten after it is set out before the Lord. Even so, we see an example of what that means in merciful practice. When David came to the temple and was hungry, the priest gave him the bread of the presence. Christ commended him for it.

    Even though the priests received offerings, cities, tithes of tithes, they didn’t get to keep all of it. So technically you are right, the priests did not “tithe” on what they received, but they were required to give not only themselves to God’s service, but proportionally of the goods they received, the best portion.

    The things you have mentioned are thought provoking but don’t make your case for you. One thing has been helpful in our discussion, is it has forced me to examine scripture even more, and has convinced me even more of my own position. I’m not saying this to down you, only to encourage you to continue in the word. What I wrote you is only a thrid of what I’ve chewed over these last hours. For that I’m grateful.

    Wes,
    I have not declared you an unbeliever as you have done so freely to others, or taken the role of final authority in the church. I have not used violent language towards you because of your beliefs. It is up to you to do the spade work and defend your own position from scripture. That’s really your problem. I have dealt with you and Gary with kindness and consistancy. You, yourself, have not responded in like kind. You have made no effort to use biblical reasoning but have dismissed anything counter to your position without bible proof. When you take texts out of context that doesn’t help your position. You have written quickly with out careful deliberation. I have been considering Gary’s comments and my reponse to them. Giving him the respect I had hoped you would give any professing believer. You need to spend more time thinking and praying before shooting back . One thing you need to know. I will not be bullied into a position if I am convinced the scripture does not teach it. I’d rather die than deny the scriptures or Christ who gave Himself for me. God have mercy.

    • Wes says

      Olivia,

      All I did was attempt to refute you, as you have done with everyone here. Then you say you respect others but that no one respects you.

      Then you said that you could make a case for or against Tithing. I asked you to make a case against Tithing, yet you have not done so.

      You said you were not here to debate the issue of Tithing, yet that is all you’ve done.

      You said you respect others but that no one has respected you. But you have done the opposite. You’ve dismissed what everyone has posted simply because you do not agree with them.

      I again ask you what you ask of others: To think and pray about your beliefs before you start discussing the issues. And to at least consider what others post, even if you do not agree with them.

      I have given a great deal of thought and prayer to the issue of Tithing. I used to believe what the Pastors taught. I used to do what they told me to do, believing that they were right. But when I asked God for a deeper relationship with Him, God taught me that the Tithe is wrong.

      If you would like to discuss the issue of Tithing with me, I will gladly do so. If you say something I disagree with, I will tell you so and why. But I will not be like you, and disregard everything you say simply because I disagree.

    • carole says

      It is not violent or disrespectful to point out religious error, and I do not feel that any of the men here have been violent with their answers. I think that if I were so vehemently in favor of something like tithing, and then found out I was wrong, I would be grateful for being set straight. We are to give as we have prospered.
      Before I became a Christian, I was confused as to the Old and New Testament. I thought I was supposed to abstain from eating pork (hard here in the South). Yet, I couldn’t understand the rest of what I thought I was supposed to do. So, I found a wonderful preacher who did Bible lessons with us for a long time. He was so thorough with the Bible from beginning to end, and I will always be grateful for God sending him to us. It was because of him that I finally obeyed the Gospel.
      No one here is trying to hurt your feelings, yet it may hurt to find out the truth. I appreciate the love and respect you feel for God. Just remember, He wants good, righteous men to teach us the truth.

  27. says

    @Olivia said, “I’m sorry you’ve had such a poor experience with your pastor demanding money, to sour you on the whole thing.”

    Where did I ever say that? You made an assumption, as you do with the scriptures, that is not correct.

    Facts: I was a member of a church where the pastor asked me if I would teach a Sunday School class on finances since I have a strong background in accounting and taxation. I agreed. At that time, I had not deeply research the topic of tithing. While preparing to teach that class, I started doing an in-dept study of the tithe. It was then that I discovered everything I had been taught about tithing was incorrect. I went back to my pastor who disagreed with me, but he said he would do his own research. Weeks later, that pastor stopped teaching tithing as he determined, as I did, that is was not appropriate in the Christian Church. That study lead me to my own financial ministry. I have spend literally THOUSANDS of hours studying the topic of tithing.

    You make the assumption that Abram gave the tenth freely. The scriptures do not say that Abram gave freely, they only say he gave. The scriptures do not tell us WHY Abram gave.

    While you make the assumption that he gave freely, I use historical data to try and find the answer as to why he gave. You ignore that there would have been laws and customs during that time because they are not stated in the scriptures, and I understand that. But then you go and decide, on your own, WHY Abram gave.

    I’d rather take what Biblical historians say than make assumptions.

    Because Abram gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek, you again make the assumption that the spoils belonged to Abram; otherwise, he gave stolen property. But Abram wouldn’t keep any of the spoils for himself so that the King of Sodom couldn’t say that he made Abram rich. But if the spoils actually belonged to the Abram, how could the King have said such a thing? Biblical historians give us an answer that makes sense. Abram was following the laws and customs of the times. Your answer just satisfies your mind that Abram wouldn’t have given away something that didn’t belong to him. No where in the scriptures does it say the spoils belonged to Abram.

    If you want to stick to the scriptures, do so. You accuse me of using Biblical historians to explain Abram’s actions while you use assumptions that go along with your own beliefs.

    I never said that priests could keep all of the tithe they received. But we, as priests today, don’t receive any tithe to use to make an offering with.

    I have made it clear that the New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. Being Spirit led, I find myself giving far, far more than a mere tenth of my income. But it is done according to my heart, and according to my means. And no where in the scriptures does it say when we give to the church we are giving to God. But Jesus did say when we help the poor or needy we are helping him.

    If someone wishes to give a tenth of their income to the church I am all for it. But I am against any pastor teaching tithing as being a requirement of God today, or even using ten percent as a so-called guideline. Neither is correct.

    Giving a tenth of one’s income to the church is NOT, in any way, following Abram’s example. Abram had income, but there is no scripture to show he ever gave a tenth of any of it. Using Abram’s example is nothing but taking Abram’s one-time action totally out of context in order to take someone’s money from them.

  28. Olivia says

    I assumed we could have a civil discussion on this forum. I was wrong. I assumed you had a difficult interaction with your own pastor because you said the church teaches what’s wrong. I was trying to understand why you’re so violently hostile, but that was a mistake. You are a contentious man and this discussion is over.

    • says

      Olivia, I don’t feel that Gary was being contentious in his last comment (#76). He was merely clarifying some of the misunderstandings between you two. I would encourage you to go back and reread what he’s said after putting aside your feelings about this conversation. I think you’ll find that you don’t disagree with him as much as you may think.

  29. says

    @Olivia said, “You are a contentious man and this discussion is over.”

    I thought we were having a civil discussion. I guess if I don’t agree with you, I am a contentious man.

    I merely teach the truth and point out false teachings. In my ministry, I have had meetings with many pastors, in person, and have found that most never studied the topic of tithing, but rather are merely teaching what they were taught. Most of those who listen to me, and then do their own study, stopped teaching tithing. One pastor who teaching that you are robbing God if you don’t tithe actually admitted to me that he knows that tithing is not supported by the scriptures, but that if he doesn’t make his congregation believe that tithing is required, they won’t bring in enough money to keep the church doors open. That is very sad.

    I believe that God has called me to preach this topic because of my strong background in accounting and taxation. The Holy Spirit has guided me throughout my studies. I don’t claim to be an expert on any other topic in the Bible – but I am an expert in the field of finances as taught by the Bible.

    There are pastors and Bible Study Classes around the world using my material to teach from. My ministry is 100% FREE. I charge nothing when I teach. My book is FREE to everyone that wants to download it. I accept NO free-will gifts. Whatever anyone wants to donate to my ministry I recommend they give to someone in need as I won’t accept it. God has already blessed me beyond my dreams. Some (but not all) who preach and are dependent on being supported by those they teach, may compromise their teaching if they feel they aren’t getting enough money to support their family. They spend time looking for ways to justify teaching tithing.

  30. says

    My, my, my! This tithing study has been a hot topic for the past months. I was one of the first to respond to this topic. And I have been just reading all the responses: those who are for or against it. I used to be for tithing until It was revealed to me by the Spirit that tithing was part of the old covenant and Jesus nor any of the early apostles ANYWHERE in the new testament commanded that tithing to a church be the standard and practice. Oh sure there is A LOT ABOUT GIVING AND FINANCING kingdom work, apostolic ministries, elders in the church, the poor and the week, etc. But tithing is mysteriously missing. And the few times where tithing was mentions in the New Testament, it was in reference to the Old Covenant and Not the NEW. You cannot take old cloth (tithing according to the law which requires no heart because it’s the LAW) and put it to the new (gifting cheerfully from the heart as God has prospered you).

    I will post again in short point was I mentioned before.

    SOME SHOCKING TRUTHS ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN TITHING DOCTRINE
    1. Abraham never tithed on his own personal property or livestock.
    2. Jacob wouldn’t tithe until God blessed him first.
    3. Only Levite priests could collect tithes, and there are no Levite priests today.
    4. Only food products from the land were tithable.
    5. Money was never a tithable commodity.
    6. Christian converts were never asked to tithe anything to the Church.
    7. Tithing in the Church first appears centuries after completion of the Bible.

    The Church would prefer you not know the following:
    · The tradesmen who made the baskets for harvesting, did not tithe.
    · The cobblers, who made the shoes for the servants of the field, did not tithe.
    · The carpenters, who made the wagons used for harvesting the fields, did not tithe.
    · The potters, who made the jugs for carrying water to the servants in the fields, did not tithe.
    · The women, who made the garments for the field-workers, did not tithe.
    · And certainly, the servants who worked in the fields for wages, did not tithe.
    Here are the simple facts regarding the Biblical teaching of tithing:
    ONLY LANDOWNERS TITHED
    ONLY PRODUCTS OF THE LAND WERE TITHED
    ONLY LEVITES COULD RECEIVE THE TITHES
    TITHING WAS A LAW OF MOSES
    CHRISTIANS ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES!
    Does anyone have a Scripture that contradicts what I have just said?
    By the way, Jesus Christ was a carpenter by trade, and as such, JESUS DID NOT TITHE!

    The tithe in the Old Testament was not 10% of their total income, but 10% of this and 10% of that, right on up to as much as 40 to 60% of their total income. I don’t know anybody who truly tithes according to the Law of Moses.
    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, that the church established in the wilderness, was now 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:
    “In that he says, A NEW covenant, He has made the first OLD. Now that which DECAYS and waxes OLD is ready to VANISH AWAY” (Heb. 8:13).
    But the Church today doesn’t want the New Covenant to replace the Old. They want to put the New Wine (of the New Covenant), in the Old Bottles (of the Old Covenant). And they want to put the New Cloth (of the New Covenant), on the Old Cloth (of the Old Covenant). And what did Jesus tell us would be the result of such an unharmonious and unequal yoking?
    “And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled and the bottles shall perish [be ruined].”
    However, in two thousand years, the church is still trying to put the Old and the New together as One, and the results are always disastrous.
    Just why is it that they like the Old covenant better than the New? Here’s the answer from the lips of our Master Himself:
    “No man also having drunk old wine [lived by the Old Covenant] straightway ['immediately'] desires new [the spiritual New Covenant]: for he says, The old is better” (Luke 5:39).

  31. carole says

    It’s like when I was a kid, the Methodist Church teaching me that Sunday was the Sabbath and that it’s okay to “baptize” infants. Neither is scriptural, yet those and others are still taught, regardless of what our only guide (the Bible) says.
    Almost all the television preachers teach tithing; to themselves, of course. Some teach that the more you give to them, the more you will prosper. Yet, they prosper, while the person who sent in their “tithes” to them wonders why they have not prospered. That’s kind of greedy, to me. I don’t expect anything back when I give; God has already blessed me with all I need, anyway. I only pray when I give my offering that it be used to spread the Gospel.

  32. mulwana says

    Thank you so much for that wonderful study have got your site today but i will be studying it may God give you more thoughts and teach the world. we are praying for you and always

  33. Wes says

    Well said, Ricardo!

    Those of us who stopped Tithing have done so not out of greed, selfishness, or lack of faith. We don’t twist Scripture, take it out of context, add to it, or distort it’s meaning. We wanted a closer relationship with God, and stopped Tithing as a result of spiritual growth.

    To grow, we knew we needed to change. We faced the disturbing thought that our beliefs were wrong in some ways and needed Godly correction. We had the courage to re-examine Scripture and asked God to teach us anew. When we were shown that we were wrong, we bravely admitted it, carried through with our new beliefs, and now share these beliefs with others.

    As Andrew Nedelchev said back in post #4:
    “Have you considered the possibility that maybe the Bible does not say that God wants us to show our love by giving back 10%? That maybe not everybody here is trying to find excuses or are “lovers of money”? That maybe we have honest and straightforward disagreement about the proper interpretation and implications of some parts of the Bible.”?

  34. Brad says

    Finances are extremely tight for me. I have given 10% through the past months where I was unemployed and God provided money in the most absolutely unexpected ways!

    However, after reading this, I am intrigued and to get back on my feet am going to cut the amount I give approximately in half. We will see what happens. I have noticed, and to the point of almost claiming it as fact that as I give, God has ALWAYS found ways to give even more back.. Its amazing. So, we will see if its 10% or what you can give, however, God loves a sacrificial giver, so I`ll be giving just a little more than I can bear to see go.

  35. Raymond says

    Hi,

    This is powerful stuff and the fact that it is not one sided makes it even more interesting to us new converts. The truth is, it has always worried me, especially here in Africa where we see some pastors prospering while the flock lives in poverty. Twisting of scriptures for personal gain have reached unprecedented heights and therefore this debate is most welcome.

    GOD bless

  36. Dennis says

    I’m glad that you have addressed this issue….This is an issue that at times has put me in a angry mood more than once….Some of the biggest cons in Christendom today teach the tithe….Copeland for example teaches the tithe with all the fervor he can muster and yet he can walk out of his home and board one of his own personal jets and sport around any where in the world and the church turns away form this type of behavior as if it didn’t happen..And he is not the only one that does this….Churches that follow this doctrine I believe are not so much interested in saving souls and solely their savings…..

  37. SSJ says

    It is obvious most of Christendom have no idea that Jesus words on the cross “It is Finished” means he alone was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets and that the words of Jesus on the cross, as in Paid in full does not mean Pay in full. Sad most so-called Pastors neglect grace and don’t want you to know if you are in Christ you have the Lord’s favor free of charge.

    TITHE LEGALIST NEED TO READ MATTHEW 23:23 WHERE JESUS DID NOT EVEN PRAISE THE TITHE PAYING PHARISEES AND THIS WAS BEFORE JESUS SAID “PAID IN FULL ON HIS CROSS. Get clue all you grace robbers!

  38. Lei Grant says

    I have often questioned whether titheing is applicable for the New Testament Church. For those who are willing to look beyond what “tradition” has taught, please read, “What Preachers Never Tell You about Tithes and Offerings by Eric Hill.
    Yes, I love God, follow Jesus and give all that I have, myself, time etc. I am a tither because it has been drilled that you must do it or you will not be blessed, there was a part of our Church litany that said you will be cursed with a curse if you do not tithe. First of all Jesus came and we are no longer under a curse. There are those in the Church who look at who is tithing and how you are treated is based on how much you tithe and whether or not you tithe. Yet, for those who tithe, the Church does not want to assist you if you have a difficult time,. Second, I tithe, pray and fast and do so in spite of the fact that my family has been struggling for years, holding on for dear life. For example by the time I tithed from my last paycheck, paid my utility bill, gas for my car and food, there was literally nothing left. I will need to borrow to have gas after this week to make it to my next pay day. Yes, I am thankful to be able to pay those things, but to have to borrow for gas after this week, is very hard. God’s love for me is not contingent on how much I give.

  39. Joyce says

    I am so happy I came across this site. It has been a blessing to me. I have been upset about the constant begging and gimmicks (paintings, books, prayer cloths, et.) used every Sunday in my church to obtain tithes and offerings. I am a tither and in addition, give to other ministries and help feed the poor by supporting financially the feeding and clothing programs in my church as well as other organizations as well. I do not, however, believe in the methods used at my church each Sunday. I have learned a lot by reading the different comments presented on this site. Thank you for so much and I intend to do more studying on my own. However, I have a question. I was particularly disturbed this past Sunday when the pastor announced that he had a banquet for the top 100 givers in the church. He said this represented about 38% of the people who gave at least $100 or more a week, which amounted to a little over 3 million given last year. I, of course, immediately thought about the widow who gave the two mites (all she had), and how Jesus recognized her above the rich who gave more because she gave all that she had. What is your take on a pastor honoring the “BIG” givers only?

  40. AW says

    Joyce,
    I would stay far away from that ministry as possible. How can you proclaim to be a man of God and be respective of persons. No true heart of God exists in that.

  41. Belvia Stevenson says

    Prayer should always be used when studying the Bible so that the spirit of the Word is revealed rather than just expounding on it as if it’s a history lesson or as theology. One cannot possibly ever understand how Jesus viewed giving if one does live according to the Spirit by instead according to the current social, economic, theological, world view. It has always been about motive not the amount nor a ritual. The law is the school master to teach. Set a standard. If I let the Spirit give revelation rather than using the natural man to explain or interpret spiritual issues, there is no private interpretation of the living Word that does not change, not one jot or tittle.

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