Is Tithing Biblical? - Printable Version
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Is Tithing Biblical? - Tony R - 04-05-2011 09:23 PM
This past Sunday I attended a non-IFB church. I was very disappointed to sit through the message. It was was all about how tithing is biblical and that not tithing is robbing God and will bring a curse upon the non-tithing Christian. I believe this to be a false teaching and it has prompted me to compile the following. I thought I would share it on SFL Forum and see what kind of response it gets. So, here it is…
There are three types of tithes mentioned in the Bible: Abraham's tithe, Jacob's tithe and the Mosaic tithe.
Genesis 14:17-20 tells of Abraham's tithe to Melchizadek. Note the following:
• It was voluntary.
• It was a one-time event.
• Abraham didn't give 10% of his possessions; he gave 10% of the spoils of war.
Genesis 28:20-22 tells of Jacob's tithe to God. Note the following:
• It was voluntary.
• It was conditional. Jacob would tithe if God kept His promises.
THE MOSAIC TITHE (STOREHOUSE TITHE)
There are many Bible verses that deal with the Mosaic tithe; the one passage most often used is Malachi 3:8-10.
The Mosaic Tithe was required by Mosaic Law, included livestock and crops, was compensation to the Levites, and was given as well to those with no inheritance in the promised land. This included priests, widows, orphans, and foreigners.
The Mosaic Law, based on God's covenant with Abraham and his physical descendants, never applied to Christians.
Read some of what Paul has to say about Christians and 'the Law':
• The 'Righteousness of God' is now manifested apart from it. (Romans 3:21)
• It brings about wrath. (Romans 4:15)
• We are not under it. (Romans 6:14)
• We have been released from it. (Romans 7:6)
• It is a law of sin and death...not of life. (Romans 8:2)
• It is weak. (Romans 8:3)
• It is in contrast to grace. (Galatians 2:21)
• It is not of faith. (Galatians 3:12)
• It is a curse. (Galatians 3:13)
• Christ redeemed us from it. (Galatians 3:13)
• It was temporary, until the Messiah came. (Galatians 3:19)
• It kept us in custody until a later faith was revealed. (Galatians 3:23)
• It was a tutor to lead us to Christ. (Galatians 3:24)
• Seeking to be justified by it severs us from Christ. (Galatians 5:4)
Tithing, for a Christian, is as biblical as animal sacrifices!
Christians are not to “tithe”, but are to “give” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
TITHE = 10% of income; Paid grudgingly; Required under Mosaic Law
GIVING = Every man according as he purposes in his heart; Given cheerfully; Not of necessity.
Additionally, “Faith-Promise Giving” is unbiblical (See 2 Corinthians 8:12-13).
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - exIFB - 04-05-2011 09:28 PM
Tithe was more than 10% of income. It was 10% of increase - everything - land, animals, stock, food etc.
Nice post. No arguments from me here.
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - TomK - 04-05-2011 09:33 PM
I agree teaching tithing as a mandatory act for a Jesus follower isn't biblical.
Another aspect of the Old Testament tithe is that it was a national tax. Jews in Jesus' day were double taxed, they tithed and gave taxes to the Romans. In addition to this Jews also gave freewill offerings. I believe the freewill offering is a much better example of what a follower of Jesus today ought to emulate than the mandatory tithe tax as the freewill offering was given gladly as an act of worship.
Christians still pay taxes (tithes), not to a theocratic religious system, but to our government. We also give the equivalent of a freewill offering to our place of worship. Not as a command, but as an act of worship.
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - leaving - 04-06-2011 07:00 AM
This is what I hate about trying to find a new church home. If we attend a church, it doesn't matter how nice everything else is, if they look at us or treat us like they are curious as to how much tithe we'll generate, we're not going back.
We don't even give an offering every time we get a paycheck, because we believe that God wants us to pay our bills to be in good standing as a Christian. We've been actively seeking more work (my husband does have a full time job), and praying. God hasn't provided work for us yet and so we wait. He's aware of the circumstances. We do give offerings when we have extra to do it, when God does provide the work. But tithing is unBiblical. The last church we attended for almost a year wanted all members to tithe, which is why I think they didn't approve our membership, because I answered the membership questionnaire honestly when it asked if I believed in tithing. We've also been told, and we know people still believe, that we are having it rough financially because we "robbed God". Thing is, we were told that so much that we started tithing, and our financial situation got much, much worse, as if God was telling us to use our brains and figure it out. When we had a car wreck and lost our car, we were told that "God is just taking what is His that you refused to give Him". Now, when we do tithe, we do it in cash, not check, or anything else that can be traced. It's none of the church's business how much we are giving. And don't lecture me about the tax receipt, because I know many churches that would still do it anyway, many that require members to tithe by check so they can keep track of it. I'd rather lose out on the tax receipt than have the church know what I am giving so that they can criticize it.
I also have a problem with the concept of "well, you can only support missionaries and ministries that your local church supports". No, I don't care who my church supports, I am NOT sending money to Mike and Debi Pearl nor will I pay tithes so you can buy their crap to distribute it to the church members. I am NOT sending money so that you can support 1,2,3 pray after me and you're saved and now we can put another tally on our chart missionaries. I will support those that I am lead to, whether the church supports them or not.
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - pastor's wife - 04-06-2011 07:27 AM
(04-05-2011 09:23 PM)Tony R Wrote: TITHE = 10% of income; Paid grudgingly; Required under Mosaic Law
The only thing I would disagree with you on is that while the tithe in the OT was mandatory, I do not think it was necessarily paid grudgingly. God wanted a heart that obeyed Him out of love, not one that was simply going through the motions.
Mal. 3:3-4 says, "He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years." The giving alone was not enough; their heart needed to be right.
Deut. 15:10 applies to giving to the poor not the tithe itself, but I think it shows that God wanted cheerful givers even under the law: "Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do."
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - caramelcreme777 - 04-06-2011 08:29 AM
WOW!!! This post is so ironic - I was just thinking about this on the way to work!!!
ust like Leaving, my husband doesn't have a job, either - in fact, he's been unemployed for over a year now, though fervently searching. I'm employed full time, however, and in spite of our drastic reduction in income, the Lord has provided for us in so many ways, I could tell you stories all day!
So.......we have not been tithing. My fundy reaction to this statement is complete and utter shame. I come programmed to feel that way. My understanding of tithing is that that's what "faithful Christians" do, and if you're not, God can't bless you and he's going to let you fail financially to teach you a lesson.
God can bless you any way he sees fit, and he often chooses to do so.
God disciplines us and chastens us, but he's not a vindictive father lording over me with a wooden spoon, ready to strike when I screw up.
I still struggle with guilt when the issue of tithing comes up, but I'm not sure it's Spirit-induced. It may be faulty thinking on my part. Of course, that doesn't mean we don't ever give $$$, and we give huge amounts of time! It's just not 10%, and it's not regular. I've never heard a sermon on the subject at our church, however, and we've NEVER been approached by and leadership about tithing. Those little faith promise giving evelopes are noticeably absent from the backs of our pews, as well.......wierd.
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - pastor's wife - 04-06-2011 10:23 AM
On the practical side, most churches in America are under 100 people. That amount of people can't support a pastor and a building unless people are giving more than $5 in the offering!
I agree that the New Testament church is not under the law and forced to tithe. However, human nature makes us tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. That's why most people say they're "above average"! That means that people many times think they're giving more than they are.
Even talking about money sounds unspiritual, and certainly we cannot let money keep us from obeying the Bible, but God does want us to be wise and to good stewards. Thus if we have a church building, we must pay for its upkeep and the heating, electricity, etc. If you want a full-time pastor, he has to be able to support his family. (That's one reason probably why Paul said it's better NOT to marry!) It's more than a house and food and clothes in today's culture. Pastors need insurance. They need to pay for their kids' school fees (sports, field trips, school pictures). Medical visits and trips to the dentist and eye-doctor are astronomical when you're paying for it ALL completely out of pocket (no co-pay). Pastors need to have a safe vehicle to drive and be able to afford the gas. Maybe a pastor shouldn't be full-time, but if he's working a nine to four job, he can't do all the visiting and one-on-one counseling and planning that people want him to do. If he weren't "there" for them, they tend to leave for another church, but he can't be there if he's working two jobs.
Anyway, just throwing some thoughts out there! I do not think NT believers are REQUIRED to tithe. However, the tithe tends to be an organized way to make sure one is giving.
(BTW, it's SO embarrassing knowing that the few people in our church are paying our salary. It makes me feel like I have to make sure people know that if I'm wearing a "new" dress that I got it at a thrift store and that my furniture is from craigslist. Also, I feel guilty if we go on vacation, but I can't help it that we moved here from out of state and that everyone else has grandparents who live down the street but my children's grandparents are far away.)
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - leaving - 04-06-2011 10:32 AM
(04-06-2011 10:23 AM)pastors wife Wrote: Thus if we have a church building, we must pay for its upkeep and the heating, electricity, etc. If you want a full-time pastor, he has to be able to support his family. (That's one reason probably why Paul said it's better NOT to marry!) It's more than a house and food and clothes in today's culture. Pastors need insurance. They need to pay for their kids' school fees (sports, field trips, school pictures). Medical visits and trips to the dentist and eye-doctor are astronomical when you're paying for it ALL completely out of pocket (no co-pay). Pastors need to have a safe vehicle to drive and be able to afford the gas. Maybe a pastor shouldn't be full-time, but if he's working a nine to four job, he can't do all the visiting and one-on-one counseling and planning that people want him to do. If he weren't "there" for them, they tend to leave for another church, but he can't be there if he's working two jobs.
I don't see anywhere in the New Testament where the pastors or elders were paid by the church. They had regular jobs. A pastor is a servant, no better or with a higher social status than anyone else, and should have his own job to support his family. Pastors in other countries do it very well, it's the US pastors that seem to think they are entitled to being paid by others to read, study and deliver a sermon. The rest of us have to pay if we want to to study, not the other way around.
Insurance would be taken care of if a pastor has a regular job. If not, he can do what other families do and purchase his own insurance. If he doesn't have insurance, that's his fault. Or he might qualify for Medicaid. The pastors kids can go to public school like everyone else, that's relatively free. He doesn't need to be snotty and send his kids to some expensive private school and claim it's a "need". A lot of things people think are "needs" in this country are not.
A pastor can purchase or rent his own house like everyone else is expected to. We really need to provide him a house for standing up and delivering one to three sermons a week? And a car? Really? Most people know that they need to provide these things for themselves. My husband works very long hours to provide those things for us, a pastor can do the same.
It's just not that hard, and pastors aren't above the rest of the general population.
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - Scorpio - 04-06-2011 10:45 AM
(04-06-2011 10:23 AM)pastors wife Wrote: ".....That's one reason probably why Paul said it's better NOT to marry!..."
Could it be the Catholics were right?
Seriously though, pw I so wish your attitude was present in the church I was part of. You truly are humble and have such a serving spirit.
RE: Is Tithing Biblical? - TomK - 04-06-2011 10:45 AM
(04-06-2011 10:32 AM)leaving Wrote: We really need to provide him a house for standing up and delivering one to three sermons a week? And a car? Really? Most people know that they need to provide these things for themselves. My husband works very long hours to provide those things for us, a pastor can do the same.
I work 50+ hours a week as a pastor. The idea that a pastor gets paid to deliver a few sermons is a myth.