I recently saw a video of two women discussing the power of tithing, and how God began to open up doors and prosper their business after they started doing it. I decided to post a blog on this site about this subject, and it goes something like this:
First let me say this: If you are able to give 10-15% of your income on a regular basis, and your other needs (savings, debt elimination, retirement, etc.) are also being taken care of, then I’m all for it. It’s good to give money to God out of abundance. God has blessed you, and it’s good to give back.
BUT, if you are ‘tithing’, and your home’s basic needs are not met, and your finances are in disarray, the Bible says that you are worse than an infidel. I know this is a strong word, but I HATE the way churches try to ‘sell’ God to people, like if you tithe, He will bless you, and if you don’t, He’s going to make your life miserable. God is not a mob extortionist looking for His ‘cut’. Could it be that what these young ladies were testifying about was God’s plan all along, whether they ‘tithed’ or not?
Churches need to stop tying so much of what God wants to do in their lives to the amount of money they give. It’s destroying lives and families through false hope and inadequate planning (Imagine thinking God is going to do all the work if we just tithe).
Now before you get all hot, I understand the problem. Churches need money to operate, just like every other organization. But for far too long, churches have failed to teach the kind of giving God wants us as Christians, to do. And they may be somewhat justified, because many Christians are so immature, greedy and hungry for prosperity and material wealth, that if you tell them God wants them to give freely, maturely and responsibly, they will take that opportunity to shortchange the work of God by giving $20 a month to the church, and consuming the rest. That is the nature of sin: Me, me, me, and mine.
My message has always been a strong one, and I have lost a few friends and even a customer or two over it, and I probably will lose a few over this message, but I believe that today’s man-made, financial tithe is a perverted, illegal version of what God established out in the Old Testament (or Old Covenant). When applied to finances, it becomes a completely unfair system of trying to please God (poor people suffer even more/rich people may be relatively unaffected), and that’s why Jesus nailed it and the rest of the laws to the cross.
There is so much that is NOT taught correctly about tithing that it makes my stomach turn. For instance, In Malachi, it was the corrupt priests of the day that were being addressed, NOT us. They were offering God the blind, lame, crippled offerings and keeping the good stuff for themselves. People couldn't just walk up and tithe; they had to give it to the priests, which mean he wasn't talking to the people, who by the way weren't Christians because Christ hadn't come in the flesh yet. And churches are not ‘storehouses’; there were actual tithe barns spread about the cities where tithes were to be kept and distributed when needed. There are many other things that contradict what we’re taught today, but to list them would make the post too long.
Even if tithing were still applicable, we’d STILL be doing it wrong:
Deuteronomy 14:22 -26 Make an offering of ten percent, a tithe, of all the produce which grows in your fields year after year. Bring this into the Presence of God, your God, at the place he designates for worship and there EAT THE TITHE from your grain, wine, and oil and the firstborn from your herds and flocks. In this way you will learn to live in deep reverence before God, your God, as long as you live. But if the place God, your God, designates for worship is too far away and you can’t carry your tithe that far, God, your God, will still bless you: EXCHANGE YOUR TITHE FOR MONEY and TAKE THE MONEY to the place God, your God, has chosen to be worshiped. Use the money (don’t tithe the money, it was not a tithe- able resource even back then) to buy anything you want: cattle, sheep, wine, or beer—anything that looks good to you. You and your family can then feast in the Presence of God, your God, and have a good time. (Not give it to the priest/pastors so they can live in big fancy homes and drive the best cars and wear the best clothes and be treated like royalty.)
(I understand this is only one of several types of tithes, but you have to ask, why THIS ONE isn't taught too. Have you ever heard a sermon taught from this passage?
THE REASON SO MANY CHRISTIANS’ FINANCES ARE JACKED UP
Galatians 3:10-14 says “those who depend on the law are under God’s curse, because the scripture says ‘those who do not observe and obey ALL of the commandments are cursed.’” Galatians 3:24: “the law was our guardian until Christ came, and it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that Christ has come, and is risen, we no longer need the law as our guardian.”
As Christians, this tells us that tithing is neither an act of obedience, an act of love, nor is it an act of faith, as it is frequently mistaught. And by trying to hang on to that ONE law, you are sabotaging yourselves.
Galatians 3: 21: “I refuse to reject the grace of God. For if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”
By tithing, Christians are ignoring the grace that is granted to them and the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to deliver us from the law.
There is a difference in believing something because you believe it, and believing something because that’s all you've ever heard. Some people will read this and their blood pressure may rise because it challenges what they've heard all their lives. They don’t WANT it to be wrong; they've invested too much. But, we are all entitled to speak the truth and this is what I believe God wants me to speak to His church. The Bible needs no defense. I've just shown it to you in black & white.
I even heard a pastor state that tithing was before the Law and therefore our spiritual obligation, and he gave reference to Genesis 14:18-24 for his reasoning. First, you must take time to read the entire context of Genesis 14:8-24, plus also read Hebrews 7:1-10. After reading these passages, you should take time to go through them, and determine who paid tithes, where did the tithes come from, to whom were they given and why.
Genesis 14:8-12 The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah (Plus their allies) fought a battle against king Chedorlaomer king of Elam (plus his allies). Chedorlaomer king of Elam and his allies won the battle and took all the food supply and other goods from Sodom. They also took Lot, Abram's nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he (Lot) was living in Sodom.
Genesis 14:9-17 The incident was reported to Abram and he took 318 of his trained servants and defeated Chedorlaomer king of Elam. Then Abram brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people.
Genesis 14:18-20 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer, Abram was met by Melchizedek king of Salem and a Canaanite priest of God Most High, refreshing them with bread and wine and he blessed Abram. The blessing was given to Abram, a very important fact to remember. In response, Abram gave ONE-TENTH (10%) of all the goods of Sodom that were stolen by Chedorlaomer to Melchizedek. Abram did NOT tithe from his own possessions, an essential fact to refute tithing practices in the new covenant.
Genesis 14:21-24 The king of Sodom offered to give Abram all the goods of Sodom that were recovered for himself, but Abram refused, taking not one single item, to give honor to Yahweh, lest people say this pagan king of Sodom made him rich. This is a very important point, because Abram took NO INCOME and the tithe he gave to Melchizedek did not come from his goods, but those of the Sodomites and 1/10 of Lot’s recovered goods.
CONCLUSION: If Abram’s aforementioned encounter is used by your pastor to justify the practice of tithing from one’s gross income, then he is justifying Christians paying 10% of goods and money they do not own! Even worse, paying tithes this way means they have to find someone who has been robbed and recover the stolen goods. For example, if jewelry was stolen in a burglary, the tithing Christian must first return the stolen goods to the rightful owner, who must not be a Christian, (in keeping true to the symbolism of Abram and Melchizedek) and then use 10% of the recovered goods as a tithe to the church. This is an outlandishly absurd example and it ought to be ample proof for rejecting this false doctrine of church tithing. There are a few other reasons why Abram’s tithe to Melchizedek cannot be used to justify church tithing as a practice.
LISTEN: The modern practice of church tithing is not supported by the teachings of scripture. Church tithing began in the late nineteenth century when a Wesleyan Church in Cincinnati hosted multiple fund-raising events to erase its enormous debt. Fledgling on the brink of bankruptcy and devoid of options, a layman came up with the idea of, “storehouse tithing.” It was an instant success and soon the news spread like wildfire throughout Christendom and the practice of storehouse tithing caught on. At the time, it seemed the answer to the debts and financial woes of churches whose church members gave indiscriminately. Look it up for yourself!!!!
I'm taking the liberty of posting a video from Pastor Craig Lewis of Ex Ministries who teachings are lined up to biblical Christianity and of whom I approve:
Today storehouse tithing is a deep-rooted tradition that is promoted on a regular basis by pastors that misuse the context of Malachi 3:8-11. Pastors insist that every church member is obliged to pay 10% of his or her gross income. For example, if someone’s job or career earns them a gross (before taxes) $2500 per-month (as wages or salary), he or she is obligated in scripture (Malachi 3:8) to tithe the minimum 10%, which amounts to $250. In addition to the tithe that church members give, most churches teach that a, “freewill offering,” over and above the 10% tithe should be given to any charitable cause, with the stipulation that his or her “local church house” is always to receive the “tithe.”
It is time for Gods people to wake up and study the word of God themselves. Jesus has paid it all. Stop trying to buy yourself a relationship with the Father of creation.
Be sure to read Part 2 of "The Truth about Tithing"