One thing is clear, we are closer to the coming of Christ than when we first believed (Rom.13.11). With the growing importance of social media and the internet in our lives it has become easy with the click of the mouse for any Tom Dick or Harry to pass, correct and incorrect information, across to large numbers of people.
Unfortunately, this includes things that pertain to Christianity. In recent times, there has been a lot of interest in the issue of tithes. Whenever there is controversy regarding God, His Word or His people, it is always best, not to turn to people, (even God’s people), but the Word of God.
Surely God has not left this important matter without fully making known His will! The Bible is given to be a lamp unto our feet (Ps.119:105) and therefore He cannot have left us in darkness regarding any obligation or privilege in our dealings with Him or His with us.
Using a Q&A format, this short article tries to investigate the controversy of tithe: Should I pay, Should I not pay? Please check out Bible references and know your God’s mind about His tithe and tithing. God bless you.
What is the Tithe?
The tithe is defined as a ‘tenth part’ of your increase. It is holy unto the Lord. God reserves the tithe to Himself, as His exclusive right. It was a practice among believers before the Old Testament laws were given by Moses, (Gen.14.19-20) as well as during the time of the Law (Lev.2:30, 32). The Lord Jesus Himself reaffirmed paying tithes. (Matt.23:23)
What is an Offering?
An offering is a financial gift of any amount given over and above your tithe, as God has prospered you.
What is the Purpose of Tithes and Offerings?
The purpose of tithes and offerings is to support the ministry and the ongoing work of your church. (Num.18:21, 1Cor. 9:13-14)
Where Should I Tithe?
To the ‘storehouse’. The storehouse in Israel was the temple and cities of the Levites, but today it would be the place where you receive spiritual food and help. This is the local church where you are a member or attendee. (Mal.3:10, Deut.12:11)
What Happens if I don’t Tithe?
God calls you a robber and your disobedience causes you to live under a curse. (Mal.3.8-9)
Isn’t Tithing Old Testament Law? Hasn’t Jesus Christ Freed Us From all That?
No, tithing was introduced in the Old Testament, but still was observed and practiced in the New Testament. (For more study read Matt.23:23, 2Cor.9:7-14, 1Cor.16:2, Gal.6:6, Heb.7:1-10)
Seriously, if tithing is so important why doesn’t the Bible say something definite like ‘Thus saith the Lord’- thou shalt pay thy tithes or something?
While it is perfectly true that today we are unable to take the Bible, and place our finger upon any positive commandment from God that His people, in the early Bible days, should either offer sacrifices to Him or keep the Sabbath or give the tithe (there is no definite “Thus saith the Lord” recorded concerning any one of these three things), nevertheless, from what is recorded we are compelled to assume that there must have been such a commandment given, particularly if you read Gen.26.5.
More important than giving tithes, is knowing and understanding God. He expects us to study about things so that we know Him particularly and what He likes or dislikes. (Please see Prov.25:2).
Did Jesus Mention or Infer We Pay Tithes at All?
Yes. Two places stand out
- 23.23 ……where He told the Pharisees that they paid tithes but left the weightier issues such as judgment, mercy faith. They should have done both.
- 22.15-21. Pharisees’ disciples and the Herodians asked Him about paying tax to the Roman government. Should we pay or not. His answer? Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar, and unto God the things that are God’s. The tithes belong to God!
- He did not come to destroy or alter the law. He came to fulfil it (Matt.5.17). He did not come to destroy the laws of tithing, but fulfil it.
Is there Anything Else in the New Testament that Encourages Tithes?
There is one other passage to be looked at, namely Heb.7: 5 & 6. We are told that the sons of Levi, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law. (√.5). We are also told that Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedek. (Gen.14:19-20). However, Levi also paid tithes to Melchisedek, while in the loins of Abraham. (Heb.7:9-10).
Melchisedek is a type of Christ because he had no father or mother, nor do we know his beginning but is like the Son of God – Jesus. (√.3).
Abraham, the father of faith, God’s chosen people, acknowledged the greatness of Melchisedek by rendering tithes to him. If Abraham, the father of the faithful, paid tithes to a ‘type’ of Christ, should we Christians not pay tithes to Christ also since he is our father in the faith. (Gal.3:9).
It is interesting to note that the last place (Heb.7) tithes are mentioned in the Bible, it links it directly to Christ, the Head of the Church.
Should I Tithe on the Gross or Net income?
On the gross!
So, as an example you earn £1350 a week, tax and NI deductions come to £230. Your net income is £1120. Your tithe is £1350 divided by 10. This is £135.
I Heard that Tithing was Only for Jews (Abraham’s seed), and Not Applicable to Christians Today. Is This True?
In the New Testament, all Christians are considered spiritual Jews and children of Abraham. (Please see Gal.3:7, Gal.26-29, Rom.4:24, Rom.9:7-8, Rom.4:11-16)
We hear of lots of Pastors and Christian Ministries who use the tithes to support their ostentatious lifestyles, buying cars, clothes, Jets etc. instead of using it for God’s work. What is God’s Word on This?
On the day of judgement (Rom.20:12) every word uttered will be accounted for. (Matt.12:36). Everyone will give an account of what he has done with God’s money also. (Rom.14.12). Every man’s work will be made manifest. (1Cor.3:13), every secret, whether good or bad (Ecl.12:14, Rom.2:16). Remember though, that you will also be judged on whether you obeyed God by tithing. The excuse that Preachers use it wrongly will not fly with God.
Can I borrow the Tithe and Use it to Help Someone in Need or Support a Ministry that is Truly Hard Up?
One can ‘borrow’ God’s tithe, but it becomes more expensive paying back, as you have to pay 20% extra on top of what was borrowed. (See Lev.27:31)
I am not Completely Sure What to Believe about Tithing. What advice can you give?
Pray about it asking God to reveal His counsel to you. If you are sincere about following His will, he will direct you accordingly. Also, why not prayerfully try the 90-day rule (Heb.11:4)
Tithe for 90 days and see if He will be faithful to His Word (Mal.3:10-11) to rebuke the devourer for your sake and bring increase into your finances.
God bless you!
If you need more information or have a question, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org