This is the final part of the article entitled, “Is Tithing a Biblical Requirement Today?” Although the subject of tithing may be controversial, the Bible tells us to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
If a Christian runs into financial difficulties and is unable to feed their family or pay their mortgage, they are under no obligation to continue giving 10% or any amount to the church. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” This is ones first ministry. The problem is that some pastors and clergy teach that if you don’t honor tithing, you will be “cursed with a cursed,” and I cannot find any scripture that supports this premise for New Testament Christians.
If a Christian has set aside money for family needs but do not use it for them and instead pay it to a church or a ministry as tithes, or as an offering of seed “to get out of debt,” I believe that Christian is not a good steward. The Bible does not teach to give more than you can afford, nor give so God can give you more. There was no mention of the poor becoming rich in the gospel. “For there are many unruly, vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucere’s sake” (Titus 1:10-11). Their motivation is money. It has been said that, “He that serves God for money will serve the Devil for better wages” (Roger L’eStrange).
We have this example in the early church (Acts 4:37). It is to be the “love of Christ that constrains us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). For it is the heart of God to help those in need, in money if necessary. As a Christians, we should be looking for opportunities to give to those less fortunate around us not to those who already have it all.
Jesus did not teach to give to his ministry but to help the less fortunate “Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail” (Luke 12:33-34). Zacchaeus understood this and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:8-9). Do you want to be blessed, don’t give to get more, give from your heart to others that are needy because it is the right thing to do.
Christians should not be supporting false teachers and those who abuse the money and the gospel for gain. We should be looking to support those who are sincere and are in need of help in doing Gods work. Those who are involved in full-time ministry are to be supported by the people they serve (1 Corinthians 9:7-14, 1 Timothy 5:17-18). Our contributions should not only support our local church and ministries, but also to meet the basic needs of our fellow Christians (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-37; 1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8:1-13; 1 Tim. 6:17-19).
There is no example of the early Church on “tithing.” In Acts 4:32-37, there were many wealthy Christians who sold portions of their assets and put the money at the Apostles’ feet. Was it for the Apostles? No, but for those in need. The Apostles distributed it. The only time we find a judgment having to do with money is in Acts 5:1-11. Ananias and Sapphira were condemned for lying because they held back part of the proceeds from the sale of the land that they had promised along with everyone else. This had absolutely nothing to do with “tithing” as much as it had to do with keeping their word.
Our giving is to be voluntary, willing, and cheerful as an offering. As Christians we are to be generous by sharing our material possessions with the needy and support authentic Christian ministries. Of course, every Christian should give to the place they are fed and support the work that is taking place in their own community by the church they attend. We should be giving to our church, missionaries or wherever we think the need is greater or where the Holy Spirit may put on our heart. Tithing ten percent may very well be a good goal for some. The only requirement in the New Testament is to give cheerfully and willingly (Romans 12:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Tithing to get out of debt is not the answer for relieving anyone of any money problems; it’s not a Biblical practice but a myth started by the prosperity teachers of seed faith. We need to teach responsibility in handling our money.
The New Testament when it speaks about giving goes against “tithing” as a doctrine. 2 Cor. 9:7 says, “Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.” We should be happy and joyful to give to expand God’s Kingdom. If someone has convinced you or forced you to give by making you feel guilty or promised you a greater return, then you are no longer a cheerful giver.
Under the conditional covenant of the Old Testament tithing was a necessity and a requirement under the Laws of Moses. Based on the Biblical research I have conducted on the subject of tithing, it is my believe that tithing is not a Biblical requirement in the New Testament. We give out of love, from the heart because we are under a new unconditional covenant not the Old Testament law.
As previously noted, pastors and other clergy teach Christian tithing as though it were a divine, compulsory law. There is no such thing as a “Christian tithing law” in the New Testament Scriptures. Many pastors and other clergy warn Christians that failure to pay this 10% tithe will cause them to be “cursed with a curse!” I believe such teaching is heresy (e.g., belief or opinion contrary to Christian doctrine).
I do not oppose tithing, just the way it is taught. One way that pastors and other clergy could justify tithing that would not conflict with scripture is by teaching that: “Tithing is an Old Testament Law but at our church, we have embraced the ten percent tithing concept as a model for giving. We also recognize that giving should come from the heart because God loves a cheerful giver,” but that’s just my take.
If you are interested in developing a silver portfolio click here for free information.