I was surprised to see how many Christian blogs are dedicated to opposing the tithe. The one I found today was denounced the tithe, but they mainly focused on denouncing those people who would bully people into tithing by declaring that those who do not tithe would basically loose their salvation.
I have to agree, that those who make claims should be stopped. That message is harmful and puts people into a place of fear of God. Why would you do that to someone?
I have written about tithing before and let me start out that there is no requirement that the Christian much tithe.
Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart, not with regret or under compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. (2Co 9:7)
The New Testament principle of giving is to be cheerful and give what it is that you want to give. If you want to give a little, then give a little. If you want to give much, than give much. Let what ever you give to the Church be given cheerfully or do not give at all. Easy enough isn’t it?
So the legal requirement of the tithe(s) established under Moses is not required of any Christian. Now the Book of Hebrews makes reference to the tithe given by Abraham.
Now this man Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, met Abraham and blessed him when he was returning from slaughtering the kings. To him Abraham gave a tenth of everything. In the first place, his name means “king of righteousness,” and then he is also king of Salem, that is, “king of peace.” He has no father, mother, or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life. Like the Son of God, he continues to be a priest forever. Just look at how great this man was! Even Abraham-the patriarch himself-gave him a tenth of what he had captured! The descendants of Levi who accept the priesthood have a commandment in the law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their own brothers, even though they are also descendants of Abraham. But this man, whose descent is not traced from them, collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the man who had received the promises. It is beyond dispute that the less important person is blessed by the more important person. The men who collect the tenth die, but we are told that he keeps on living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, for he was still in the body of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. (Heb 7:1-10)
The writer compares the tithe that was required under the Law to the tithe that was made by Abraham. Just as the covenant under Moses was inferior to the covenant under Abraham, so is the tithe under Moses inferior to the tithe that Abraham gave. There was no requirement for Abraham to give then and there is no requirement for us to give now. If we give, we give cause we want to give and not out of compulsion or legal requirement, in the same manner that Abraham gave to Melchizedek.
So why do people push for people to give a tithe or 10%?
Sometimes people just want money. There are several pastors and televangelist who are fighting to keep their career going and need your money to survive. They know that people want to be obedient and want to live for God, so they play on their fears and hopes in order to secure the resources that God has not provided them. It is a horrible practice that should never be condoned. This is why believers need to educate themselves on what God really says instead of being passive and just trusting whoever they are listening to.
Other people give because they feel that is what God wants them to do. That is why I give.
Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. (Deu 10:14)
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. (Psa 50:12)
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts. (Hag 2:8)
God is the owner of everything. There is not my things and God’s things. There is only God’s things. He will allow me to steward certain things, but they still belong to Him.
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Pro 3:9-10)
Produce here is the Hebrew word tebuah. It means fruit, gain, increase, and revenue. This is not a law, but it is principal that if you honor God with the materials that He has entrusted to you, He will bless you with more. Now this isn’t give to get rich, because we do not know how much God has entrusted to us. This is give because you want to honor God.
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. (Hag 1:4-10)
When we honor ourselves before God, what we have comes to waste. Our needs and wants are never satisfied.
I think that the principal of why should be taught to believers. No where did any of the New Testament writers say the tithe went away. Paul removed the legal requirement from it and said it has to be cheerfully given.
We are also encouraged to give generously, so the 10% tithe is not the requirement of what to give. We are told to support those who minister to us, so it makes sense to give to the church that you attend.
For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then the righteous will say to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you something to eat, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ The king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, in that you did it for one of the least important of these my brothers, you did it for me.’ (Mat 25:35-40)
We are called to continually give to others when there is a need, so the tithe is not the extent of what we are asked to give. This is still option and not legally required. My personal stance is that I attend who actively participates in outreaches to the local community and prisons as well as international. If your church does not, you need to ask the leadership why not. In addition to the tithe, which I know will be used to aid others I give in addition. This is my choice. I give to both Christian and secular groups, but these offerings are in excess of my tithe.
Remember that what we give should be from what we are moved to give. There is not to be compulsion or guilt conveyed to those who choose not to. There could be negative repercussions from not giving, but do not ever threaten people for not giving. God will deal with the hearts of all of us and how we deal with money, resources and every other thing we are given stewardship over.