Those who think Tithing is not in the Bible have not read the Bible! They just want to rationalize their own spiritual betrayal and disobedience…
View your promise to give to God that which is referred to as your tithe, like an income tax. Although it is not mandatory, it is a reflection of your character and response to His grace. As the government so nicely swipes away your hard–earned money from the top of your paycheck, consider joyfully setting also the top 10% of your net, or better yet, the gross income, for the Lord’s service– before the bills, expenses, and entertainment. Do not include the tithe in your budget. Make your budget on the net assets you have after the tithe and taxes. Then, you will have a more realistic budget and keep yourself from getting into debt. That way, it is done and out of the way. Then, carefully decide to whom it should go. The primary responsibility is first to your local church, and second to ministries that are doing the Lord’s work. Remember, the people who set aside the first fruits of their resources to God are dedicating themselves to God, and not themselves to themselves.
The tithe was fair and is still fair today. Every one is on the same playing- paying field. So the rich paid more and the poor paid lees.
If our taxes worked that way we would have a balanced budget and be a nation out of depth and not even have to pay income tax, if we went to a 10% national tax on all goods and serves sold! All you have to do is divide 10% from the gross national product and compare it to what the IRS gets annually and what the national depth is.
(Reference and History from “History of the Christian Church” by Schaff; “A History of Christianity Vol. I &II” by Latourette, “The IVP Bible Background Commentary,” by Keener, and “The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church”)!
Tithing is a very misunderstood as is Stewardship. Postmodern thinking in Evangelical Christianity is to, think we “give.” But in actuality, we “bring!” it is about being obedient to what God has told us clearly, He bless us and we in turn are to bless others. It is all His to begin with, so we must adjust our thinking and lifestyle to correspond to a deeper spiritual formation in our thinking and behaviors.
The answer is no–as a forced obligation. The answer is also yes–if it is a response from the heart.
We are not obligated to give any amount. But, when we have the right mindset, based on the Word of God and a heart that flows with gratitude for what He has done, yes, we will want to give all that we are able to. I believe that in the debates, occurring over the centuries since the early church, and now to the classrooms in seminary, and to the message boards I pursued, money and religion have always gone together.
Money and religion have always fought each other in people’s pride and inclinations.
Just as Jesus’ anger with the money changers in the temple and Luther’s outrage with the selling indulgences in the pre-Reformation period, to the TV preachers we have today saying, “if you give to me, God will give to you ten times as much,” it all comes down to motivation, greed, and the idol of money. We will bow to money or we will bow to God. The question is what do you truly worship? Where is your motivation? Where is your heart?
And, so the controversy continues, as the presumptions and feelings of men take over sound reasoning and dialog. I call you to search the Scriptures and see for yourself what God requires of you. As for my family and me, we will give all we can with our time, talents, and treasures for His glory. What about my opinion of ten percent? I agree with the Puritans and the early church. Give what you can, but not as an obligation; it all belongs to Him for His glory! Ten percent is a good place to start! Good stewardship is where we start! Sometimes you may not be able to give much. When I was in school I could not give most of the time, so I augmented more volunteer time. Today I am a missionary and struggle day to day. God has provided for my family, but not in any kind of abundance or what we call in the US, “discretionary income.” So, I volunteer in areas in my church outside of my pastoral responsibilities and give what I can of the treasures the Lord has given me. Even in my poverty, after doing my taxes, I realized I did give just over ten percent, and I do not know how I did! He provided