Should a Christian Tithe?

by Wes Bridel on October 20, 2009

in Stewardship, Tithes & Offerings

To tithe or not to tithe?...that is the question

To tithe or not to tithe?...that is the question

Let’s add a few words about tithing that have come up since we last wrote on the subject. We’re going to address a couple of issues which have come up where maybe we didn’t fully cover them before. We’ve had a few people asking two major questions and while we’ve somewhat answered these in previous posts, we’re going to look at these two questions again…

1) Isn’t tithing an Old Testament Law that was replaced by Jesus’ work on the Cross?

2) Where should my tithe go?

Many believers today feel that the tithe is an Old Testament Law which has been done away with.

The New Covenant does bring freedom from the written Law. Therefore, someone who is very mature and able to fully submit to Him, does not need to worry about any written Law that prescribes 10%. However, through God, His Law can now be written on our hearts and taught to us in a living and personal way as we go through life. However, this requires a great deal of maturity. Are you fully mature in the Spirit in order to hear and follow Him in these matters? Many people carry huge wounds from the enemy surrounding the issue of money and will call themselves mature and say that tithing is not necessary for them, when in actuality, they are holding fast to the world and loving Mammon instead of God.

The Law which we have inherited through the Spirit comes to us through a series of Covenants which trace back to Abraham. He is our Father of Faith! And he proved this faith by tithing to Melchizedek, of whose order you are called to be a Priestly King. If then, this spiritual bond was sealed with a tithe (which was long before the Law of Moses was written) , isn’t it likely that this spiritual principle is alive and well within the Spiritual Law passed on to us?

Again, when one has been established in a high level of maturity in the Lord, I do believe that the strict letter of 10% might not be so important. However, when you reach this point, it is also likely that you are giving more than this amount. If this is the case, you are truly free in the Spirit.

A spiritual principle that proves true time and time again in the Life is that wisdom comes through obedience. When you submit in obedience to the wisdom of the Lord (even when you don’t understand it), you will come to new wisdom and understanding that goes beyond words. He will teach you through your actions and the results bring more than any teaching can ever teach you.

Still, each person is in a different place and what is possible for one person is too much a burden for another. Feel free to ease into tithing if that is all that you are comfortable with. We have spoken about the many people who are blessed for jumping in to tithing when they were very uncomfortable to do so. But if what you are able to do today is only in part, we believe that the Lord will honor your efforts.

Thursday, we’ll speak more about where to give your tithe.

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Even More on Tithing - from Kingdom Calling Advisors
10.22.09 at 5:04 am

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony Isaac 10.21.09 at 4:38 pm

“He is our Father of Faith! And he proved this faith by tithing to Melchizedek, of whose order you are called to be a Priestly King. If then, this spiritual bond was sealed with a tithe (which was long before the Law of Moses was written) , isn’t it likely that this spiritual principle is alive and well within the Spiritual Law passed on to us?”

Hi there, am sorry but I beg to differ with your above statement. What you said cannot be found in scripture at all. It is simply what you will like it to be in order to support this alien doctrine of the tithe.

There was no spiritual principle in Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek and no where are we told in scriptures that Abraham proved his faith to God by tithing to Melchizedek. He proved his faith by circumcision (Gen 17).

Did any of the apostles require tithes from the early church? Did Christ himself ever ask His disciples to tithe? Going by your statement tithe is 10% but you have no qualms with anyone giving more. If you give more than 10%, it is no longer a tithe and besides the tithe was never 10%, it was a tenth. A completely different thing altogether.

This doctrine is just a strong arm technique employed by today’s church as a sure safe way to raise funds. It is dishonest! Scriptures never commanded today’s church to tithe instead we are all enjoined to give what we can afford cheerfully.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9: 7

Wes Bridel 10.21.09 at 10:52 pm

Thanks for coming by Tony. Why are you so feverishly against tithing? I see that you have a website dedicated to only this one topic. Have you ever considered this question in your time with the Lord? You did not respond the last time I wrote you a lengthy answer, so I do not want to spend too much time here on something when my expectation is you won’t read it. I assume you look for any blog on the web that endorses tithing and slam it based upon your understanding.

I’ve addressed many of these things you’ve said in other posts. If you would like to read them, I would be happy to have a conversation. One thing that you incorrectly state (and it appears to be the basis of your argument) is that Jesus never endorsed the tithe, but as I’ve written, He did specifically tell the Pharisees that they should tithe (after first saying that matters of the heart are far more important.)

2 Cor 9:7 is often quoted by those wishing to keep all the money they have within their clutches. The spirit that encourages this in men’s hearts is often called Mammon in English. Jesus told us it’s name. I agree with this scripture (as we’ve addressed before and will again tomorrow), someone should not feel forced to give. But if they will trust God, He will bless them. This is not just in the area of money, but in all areas. If all your focus is on one specific point of the faith, how can you possible grow in Christ? I don’t know you well enough to offer suggestions, but perhaps ti would be best to feel settled about not giving a tithe. Feel free to have no guilt about this subject at all. And begin to seek the Lord in other areas. The tithe is not so important as to obsess about it, in that you are correct.

Last things. I’m not sure what you meant by saying the tithe is not 10%. Surely for one who studies the subject so much, you would know that it is exactly that, so I don’t know what you mean. Also, you said that the tithe is a trick of the greedy churches to get your money, but we have never accepted a tithe, and don’t represent a “church” in any way. My fellowship accepts no tithe (because it is a small home fellowship without need of one), and yet, over time, I’ve understood very well how important this principle is without anyone preaching it to me, but simply by seeking the Lord earnestly. i pray you are richly blessed in Him brother.

Tony Isaac 10.22.09 at 12:19 pm

And what if they decide to keep their money to themselves, what is it to you? Are you the one going to bless them?

I never received your “lengthy” answer. I would however like to see it though.

Of course wrong doctrine has to be frowned upon. This scandal of the tithe has held too many children of God under bondage and I thank God that I have been liberated because I too was under that grip. Hence I speak against it with all of my being. Tithing being the “only” thing one my website has blessed several lives.

Please read your scriptures carefully and put them in context. Jesus was addressing a nation who were already given the command to tithe and not a gentile nation who were never commanded to tithe. The subject of the discussion was not the tithe BUT their attitude. So to say that Jesus’ statement to the pharisees is a charge for today’s church to tithe is completely untrue.

And of course tithe was never 10% but a tenth. For instance if a farmer had 9 sheep, he could not pay tithe because there was no tenth. And God’s charge unto the children of Israel was that they should separate every tenth one as the tithe. They were not permitted to look to see if it was good or bad or exchange it for another. Hence money can never be tithed.

I am not opposed to people giving but people should give what they can afford and that is what we are admonished to do in scripture.

Anyways, I will leave you in peace and hope you also take some time to study this topic carefully.

God bless

Wes Bridel 10.28.09 at 10:48 am

Thanks for the comment Tony, although I’m not sure why you would think that I said I’m going to bless people for tithing? You asked to see my previous response, so it’s here…

I believe we have all that we’ve written on tithing under that category on the right side of the page (although I went there first to find this and didn’t find it, so I had to go in and find it and discovered we had two which were not categorized properly. That should be fixed now.)

I’m not going to argue back and forth. Obviously we disagree. I can see that you came from a church congregation where the minister preached a “prosperity” gospel that treats God like a slot machine and says if you simply give to the church you’ll be rich. This is ridiculous and hurtful, and it has been perpetrated many times. I’m sorry you were under one such as this. That however does not make tithing wrong. It makes that preacher wrong. If you’ll read all of what I’ve said in the 10 or so posts on the subject, you’ll get a fuller picture of what I believe to be the truth after much study and prayer.

Actually, my background is much different. I’ve been a part of two churches who are so careful about not hurting people such as yourself that they very seldom bring up money and when they do, it is with many apologies. Still people get upset in these times because there are many with this same wound. So I was going to church for years giving very little before one day I realized that they actually needed money to operate and to help the community in the many ways that they were. I was shocked that they needed my help and I was glad to give.

Still, I have no understanding of the tithe because they weren’t teaching it and it took me longer to come to give a tithe and longer still to offer to God above that amount. Have I been financially blessed since then? Absolutely. But a tithe is just a part of the transformation in my spirtual journey. I’ve given a whole lot more of myself to Him then just some money. The money was in some way the easy part. Although, our heart goes where our money goes as Jesus taught and so there is a very powerful reason to be obedient in this. As we are obedient in all the ways that He calls us, we do experience bountiful blessings. Sometimes those blessings come with tremendous sacrifice and suffering. It’s not all “prosperity” roses walking the narrow path….but it is very good! Thanks for coming and go in peace brother. wes

Tony Isaac 11.16.09 at 6:41 pm

Hi Wes,

I have eventually seen your response to me previous comment and boy I forgot I wrote that.

I am not trying to split hairs but my passion is for believers to walk in the liberty that Christ has procured for us. And as much as I do not agree with the ten percent business, I am not in anyway opposed to giving towards God’s work.

To be candid and from a scriptural perspective, if we promote 10% we in fact introduce a law which everyone has to stick to and anyone who genuinely cannot meet this law would feel guilty and believe they have sinned and this becomes a stumbling block. Hence scriptures say where there is no law there is no sin. In Christ, there is liberty and all that God requires from us is a relationship and this relationship differs from obeying some sets of rules in a bid to please Him.

Truth be told, God does not require 10% but a 100%! Everything we own is His and we ought to use them to bring glory to Him. Hence the book of Proverbs enjoins us to honour God with all that we own. Holding unto a 10% rule would set limits on some believers and burdens others. There are people who can give much more than 10% and there are also people who cannot give up to that as well! If we insist that all must give 10%, we overburden some, while others get off lightly and there will be no equality. This we see in 2 Cor 8

11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say,

“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

Paul never promoted a 10% rule! From the first verse he talked about the people’s relationship with God before he talked about their giving because that is the most important thing.

I wouldn’t like to come across as one blowing my own trumpet or one validating scripture with my personal experience but ever since I came to understanding that God owns everything I have, my life has changed. God has asked me to give out a whole month’s wage before and I have done it. God has asked me to give people ridiculous amounts of money even when I barely had enough and I have done it. If I held onto a 10% style of giving, I may not have been that responsive to God’s promptings. So my opposition to the10% rule is not to avoid giving but that it stands in the way of our freedom to give, hence I blog about it! And giving never commends us to God!

Some people believe that those who promote freewill giving are trying to avoid giving, that’s not true. Anyone who does not decide of his own freewill to give should never be made to give because if they do, it would half hearted like Cain and Ananias and Saphira’s offering and God would not be pleased.

Anyways, I will get out of your hair now before I overstay my welcome. God bless you.

Wes Bridel 01.10.10 at 8:27 pm

Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to this Tony. It’s pretty low on my priority list since I see no point in arguing. A couple last points I’ll make….
1) it’s not accurate to say that livestock is not money. It is far more historical money than the Dollar. It is not a currency, which is a government approximation of money, but it is certainly money which holds its value over time far better than any fiat currencies. (Addressing a point I believe you made earlier, but not directly above.)
2) The mature man of the spirit is free to follow God in His giving as I’ve said and this will often lead to giving over 10% which makes the number not so useful. However, God set the number up for a reason and money is an extremely important tool God uses to teach us. If we allow ourselves to only give 10% when we feel like we have enough, we are probably passing up many opportunities the Lord can use to grow us. In the difficult economic times ahead, most will feel that they don’t have enough to tithe, and they will suffer for it. It would be better for them to trust the Lord and give out of obedience to Him and be amazed at how He provides for them, both physically, but more importantly spiritually. Amazing times are here brother, but most are missing them because they are focusing on those things which are not what the Lord is about.

Tony Isaac 04.15.10 at 7:51 am

You know what Wes, I have done a bit of studying since the last time I visited your blog and I did find some very interesting things in scripture.

I re-read your post including your comments and see that you failed to see my point as well as what the bible promotes and hold staunchly to a 10% as an absolute minimum standard to give. According to you, God set that number up and that is untrue. We cannot find that anywhere in the bible.

A spiritually mature man would not need a man-made benchmark as a guide to give but he would know God’s mind and speedily obey the promptings of the Spirit because by reason of use his senses have been exercised. Galatians 4 tells us that if the heir is a child he is no different from a servant but he is put under tutors until he matures and that’s exactly what the law was, a school master to bring us unto maturity. Your 10% rule cannot be mentioned amongst mature people, it is indeed quite immature and so is the reasoning of giving money to God in order to invoke His blessings.

Am quite amazed at your take on livestock as money. The context of our discussion was not what has been used as money in history but what items God commanded one could give tithes on in the bible. That point is quite arbitrary with no relevance to the issue at hand. No matter how spiritual you try to make your 10% giving standard sound, it is outside of the bible and quite man-made. And because today’s church keeps trying to mix law and grace, the gospel we preach packs no punch because it’s been weaken by man-made philosophies. Same thing Jesus told the Pharisees; “You make the Word of God of no effect because of tradition.”

Giving more money or less money has no bearing on our relationship with God but humans being what we are find it difficult to accept that we do not have to earn God’s benevolence so we keep introducing some elements of works to the entire salvation experience.

I will leave you with this verse of scripture Roman 4, “When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” You hold tenaciously to your 10% rule because you believe it gives you a reason to earn financial blessings from God and that is a bit immature.

Wes 04.15.10 at 9:00 am

Hello Tony,
I’m sorry that I do not have time for a well considered response. I’m tempted to ignore this because it is so unimportant in these days. however, you have come to my blog and so for your sake, I will provide a response. For other readers sake in this area of my stewardship, I must provide some rejoinder.
You are making the same point over and over again. It would be absurd for me to continue to do the same. Are you unaware of the season that we are in? Why are you obsessing about this point? It is so small and outside of the thing that God is doing in the world today. We write about many things here. Many of which are hugely important. The tithe was something we needed to expound upon at a time, but I have no desire to keep banging the drum of tithe. I am not as fanatical about a number as you appear to believe I am and yet I continue to say that you are mistaken to believe it is in scripture as some cosmic accident. But the Lord is pouring out HIS LIFE in these days!
Again, I would recommend you forget this issue and seek the Lord so that you can receive what He is doing. In fact it does somewhat relate to tithe. Long ago, His remnant people in this day were foretold. Some consider these a Tithe company. Most are ignorant of these things. But days are coming where you will not be able to keep your eyes closed.
After everything you hold dear has been ripped from you (this will happen within these next 3 years), then come back and argue about the tithe. Right now it is a distraction for you and for me. Seek the Lord and what He is doing. We’ve always been told this, but in these days it’s critically important… we must all be willing to set aside those things that we hold onto as Godly things, but are actually tools of the enemy to keep us from having clean hands and a pure heart before the Lord. Seek Him. Lay everything else aside. These are not the times to obsess about things outside what the Lord is doing. I pray you are blessed.

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