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June 11, 2006

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I do not feel tithing should be compulsory. If someone does not understand the benefits of tithing then that person should not be coerced or preached into tithing.
I have only just started tithing again.There was a time I was tithing but I felt forced to do it.Churches were preaching pay your tithes dont steal from God, quoting Mal 3. Then I stopped because I was tithing out of fear.
Now I have started again, because I WANT to tithe. I want to honor God with my first fruit, since ten per cent was used in the old testament I give ten per cent.
I feel in Mal 3 it was compulsory to tithe and it would have been stealing from God not to have, the Levites needed it, the temple needed it.

Wow, what a great discussion. A couple of years ago I did a complete study on tithing in the new testament. I couldn't find anything that applied. I did find much about giving generously, giving to the poor, supporting those in need etc. When the church leadership spoke to Paul to be sure they were all on the same page, they did not say be sure to give 10%. No, in Gal. 2 Paul says they told him to remember the poor, which he was eager to do. Sometimes as Christians we have been taught something that we desperately hang on to as right because it has been taught to us with sincerity. I would encourage everyone to look at the scriptures for yourself and decide what you think the bible is saying.
A few years ago before exploring the scriptures on giving my husband and I were giving 10% first, before we did anything else. We had enough because we paid nothing for our housing and utilities. Then when we moved, we still continued to give as we had done before. We found ourselves barely getting by. Rent, utilities, food, gas and a few extra bills (no credit card debt) We were giving almost $400 a month to church so they could pay the pastor, the gas and electric bill on a building that sat empty most of the time except on Sundays, Wednesday night and possibly another few hours a week. I realized then something was wrong. My 20 year old daughter came from out of town to stay with us. While she was there she got sick and did not have any health insurance or money (she was pregnant)We had no money to help her because it all went to the church. We finally put her bill on a credit card so she could get the care she needed. After that, we decided that something is seriously wrong with demanding 10% across the board. We stopped giving to the church and started to give to those in need, like my daughter, our friends who didn't have jobs, etc.
The last thing I want to comment on is why do people keep saying that the bible says we are to give out of our wealth, if you are in debt you don't have any wealth! God is able, God does not need our money he needs our hearts. He wants us to be responsible and live up to our obligations, give to Ceasar what is Ceasars.

I suggest all of you read the book on "Should the Church Teach Tithing" by Russell Earl Kelly, Ph.D. (279 pages) or if you don't want it free buy it.

Also another book that is a good read is "The Great Tithing Scam, Damned if You Do, and Damned if You Don't" by A.Bruce Wells.

Tithing was an ordanance...it was nailed to the cross.

I suggest you read the history and understand the Old covenant and the New Covenant. Divide the word of truth...you will have a clear understanding of the truth about tithing.

Rick Morrison

you can email me at forex87 at gmail dot com if you would like the verses. at this moment i don't have the time.

In the OT, God was talking about tithing of crops, livestock, etc. in these same verses, the Bible brought up if all this was too much to carry then convert it to money. use this money for your own desires.

in the NT, paul was talking about ministers receiving from the offering since they feed you spiritual things, it's ok they receive from your carnal things.
in these same verses paul then says, i could have done this. but i didn't want to receive anything of you unless i would become a burden.

study the bible and stop using key verses.

i'm still praying and studying to find out the truth about tithes, but i find these verses interesting. especially the OT one. Here they are, carrying their tithes, God said they can convert it to money and use it for their own lusts.

Rightly divide the word of truth.
if you have a thompson bible, look at the Tithing chain and you'll come across the OT verse.

Tlange,

It's wonderful that you have been giving 10% of all your income. Especially if you do it because you want to honor God and feel that is what the Spirit of God is directing you to do. Jesus said the Spirit would lead us into all truth, so if we walk by the Spirit we will know the will of God. The will of God is not the same for all. Each of us has a different path to follow. Giving is only one small part of a life poured out for Christ. Giving money for some is easy, they have plenty. Giving 10% doesn't equate godliness. We are not saved by good deeds are we? We are saved by grace and mercy. Putting God first is far more than giving 10%. It's how we treat our neighbor, wife, child. We are to be known by the fruit in our life. Patience, love, joy, peace, longsuffering. These are the things that show we walk with God. Since you are a seminary student you probably know that the 10% was for the widows and orphans and aliens in the land. In Malachi, God was angry at the Levites for neglecting the poor. It was not directed at the general population. The Levites were neglecting the very ones they were suppose to be protecting, that is why God was angry. In the NT when Paul goes before the church leaders to be sure he is not running his race in vain, the one thing they told him was to remember the poor, does that seem incredible. Of all the things they could of said, they asked Paul to remember the poor, which he says he was eager to do. What would happen if we stopped worrying about 10% to the church building, programs, and pastors salaries and started giving to the poor, now that would speak volumes to the secular world.

Wow... Seems like a lot of people here take issue with how the church and pastors/preachers have used and taught the concept of tithing. How about we set aside personal biases and historys (as much as possible) and discuss what God said about finances, tithing and giving in the Bible. That way we're on the same page and can actually discuss the concepts and what they mean in a Biblical worldview - Not dismiss God's teachings because man has abused them.

Of all of the commandments given to Israel in Moses's day, besides the 10 commandments (which all of us have broken at least one of) why is tithing the only other commandment that we still hold today?

Why did all of the law die with Christ, except tithing?

When does the Bible specifically say to give money?

For me, I was raised Baptist and was TOLD that we had to tithe 10%. And the first 10%, though if you look at Abraham you'll clearly see it's the tenth tenth, not the first tenth.

I have decided to move the $5200 that I give to my church to debt. I'll be out of debt by Dec. 2008. We still give to a Faith Promise, a church building fund, and to a church plant in Kentucky (total of 4200). I will continue to "give" as we have been blessed, which I believe is what Scripture teaches.

After we're out of debt? We'll probably go back to giving 10%.

But tithing is like drinking. People make their mind up on what the Bible says, then back into as little Scripture as possible to prove their point.

I've read the Bible. I try to follow the ENTIRE Bible, not just bits and pieces.

Paul,
What are God's teachings on giving in the bible?
Much is said in the old testatment about giving but that can hardly apply to us today. We don't live by the law (Christ shed his blood so we need no more animal sacrifices) and we most people don't have animals and crops. There are no more Levitical Priests (at least for Christians). So looking to the New Testatment, what are the teachings on giving?

cw823, I think that your plan is awesome. Pay what you owe, take care of your debt first. How can you honor God by not paying what you promised and legally agreed too?

My husband and I have decided to give where our heart leads us. We meet people in need, or know of different ones through people in the church. Most of the time we say, O that's too bad, or I'm sorry for them, or I'll pray for them. We don't have enough resources to give to the church (meaning supporting a building mortgage, utilities, pastors salary, assorted programs) and give to those in need. We choose to give to those in need. To the single mother, or the family has a sick dad, or some other situation. That's were we feel God leading us and that's is what we have decided to do.

While reding the above comments,i came to the conclusion that people like to discredit the OT, and just take to the NT. Tithing is not only honouring God with what he blessed you with, but it is also a case obedience, and last but not least,were would you go on sundays if there were no churches and no pastors, because every body decided that we would rather give to the poor, or pay of our debt?
The old saying ``if the shoe fits``can apply to a few of the above comments.
Me and my house,we will serve our God and be obedient to him,and his word.

First of all God tells us to obey the law of the land, thats paying your debts first, second the temples and priest are all gone,we are now the temples christ was the ultimate offering for our sin. It does tell us to sell everything we own and give to the widows and orphans and feed the hungry. We do that, in fact we feed over 400 families a month. This wasn't with tithes. The people, many who aren't members of our little church, donated and give to this fund. God lays it on your heart whats right and wrong, when to give and when not to give, who to pay and who not to pay. If you can't pay your tithes happily then GOD does't want your money, anything you do for him should be in joy, if not then don't do it. He doesn't want anything from you if you feel its a burden or a chore, right down to cleaning the toilet.

The more that I read the Bible, the more that I wonder what is truly written
as inspiration from God, and what is written to manipulate the people.

Does God worry more about you giving 10% of your salary, or does he care more about whether you are living a good Christian life.

It appears to be a pay-off donation-
protection money given out of fear --
buying God's favor-- Anticipating the
ten-fold return -- Isn't this like
gambling.

There is nothing wrong with donating money to a needy cause. As long as the
pastor is not misappropriating this
money to get rich from it.

I unwittingly acquired >$100k debt (my dad named me as a strawman when I was 18 y/o for a failed business; then, the interest was capitalized, so now I'm paying interest on interest). Flash forward 10 years, and I'm still paying off the debt. (Why I didn't file bankruptcy is another Christian issue...).

Anyway, despite this burdensome 30-year debt that weighs on my heart just about every day, I believe in tithing. Over the past 3 years, I have slowly been moving towards the 10% goal, and still have a ways to go, but every time I get an extra 2 cents, I increase the amount of my automated donations.

To me, tithing is about obedience. It's not about ‘what is worth more’ - time or money - or whether the church is getting rich or whether the orphans need shoes or whether the poor need food. It's about OBEDIENCE. (Btw - If time is worth more than money, then what's the problem with tithing money anyway??). The reason why some would rather donate time than money is because people are funny about their money. Income is very personal; we’re not supposed to talk about it – ever. Not how much you make, not how much you paid for the car or the house. It’s uncivilized to discuss such things. Money is so personal; it affects lifestyle, creature comforts, every single one of Maslow’s basic needs. But what better way to show obedience than to freely offer your firstfruits to God?

Yes, tithing can be considered a hardship. My flesh would much rather spend the extra cash on getting out of debt (or vacations or asparagus). But I believe it’s about putting God first and foremost in your life over and above everything else imaginable. By putting God first - you are inherently blessed already.

If you cant pay tithes with money you could try giving time clothes food anything that you have can count as tithes not to always be given instead of money but its something when you dont have the money to give.

Tithing should be done according to your ability and conscience. Read the scriptures and ask God for wisdom and understanding. Don't live your life according to someone else's beliefs and understanding. After all, God knows more what's really in your heart than what people see. Hypocrisy is a sin.

A lot of people are saying that tithing is Old Testament. And a lot of people are saying that God wants our hearts, not our treasures. The bible says that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also.(Look it up..it's not the other way around) Where you put your money is where your heart is. God wants your heart, therefore, God wants your tithe. Also Jesus does support tithing in Luke 11:42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone."
Why wouldn't Jesus have said to just forget about the tithing and focus on love and justice if tithing wasn't right. The fact is...Jesus didn't say that. He said "without leaving the former undone". If Jesus said it, that's enough for me.

Yes, Luke 11:42 does support 'tithing' but with herbs and rue and all types of herbs; but not once is money mentioned. Again, there is no mention of tithing with money within the Old nor New Testament of the Bible in any translation.

This is a pretty classic example of selection bias. You pay attention and talk to the successful people who happen to tithe. Those who live in trailer parks and blow everything on the local evangelist or television kind, or old laddies who blow theirs and their late husband's like savings are generally outside your sphere of attention.

100,000 people go to a self improvement seminar. There, they are shown sides and told stories of people who took big risks and came out on top. The message: to be successful, you're going to have to take risks. 10,000 take the message to heart, they mortgage the house, invest in a business, and 9,995 loose it all. At the next self improvement seminar, the five who made it big have their pictures up, and their stories are told. Selection bias.

It's a reversal of cause & effect. People tithe because the vast majority of those who do can afford to do it. They don't have money because they tithe.

Occam's razor, anyone? (Wikipedia has a good entry on that, if you're not sure what it means.)

Richard --

"People tithe because the vast majority of those who do can afford to do it. They don't have money because they tithe."

The first sentence is simply your opinion -- there's no proof for it (as there's not much for most of the comment). My experience is completely different. I tithed when I couldn't afford it, but I did what people do in those cases when they want to do something -- cut expenses in other areas.

In the many cases I've counseled, most of the problems arise when people "need" their vacation homes, big screen TVs, boats, etc. more than they "need" to tithe.

My wife and I are in debt and we tithe. We always gave to the church but it was $30 here and $50 there and $25 there when we could afford it.

We decided to start tithing a 10%. I see a lot of the posts here and I really think that people are being legalistic on either side of the issue.. Yes we are free from the curse of the OT law but we should still strive for it. The law in the OT is God's perfect will for man, about so many things(Swearing, giving, marriage, pornography, loving your neighbor, etc.). Are we required to Tithe? No. Are we required to attend church on the first day of the week? No. But this is a way of saying to God, "I put you first". I offer you the first day of my week through fellowship with believers (and hopefully I offer you the first part or some part of each day for prayer and study of the Bible), and I offer you the first part of every increase I get as my way of worshiping you.

So tithing is a form of Worship. Are we "required" to give 10% for salvation? No... Are we required to give that much or be removed from fellowship with the local church body? No... Those aren't reasons not to give.

For us, we decided to start tithing around March of 2007. This year saw my wife finish school and instead of going to work she is staying home with our 2.5 year old (and we are now expecting another this spring). This year also saw my highest earnings ever (by a large percentage). We are still making payments to try and come out ahead of our debt. Preliminary looks at my taxes show a sizeable refund coming which combined with some consulting money will have my CC debt paid off. (and yes I will give a 10th of my refund, not because I am obligated or because it is the right thing to do but because I want to honor the true source of all my increase).

The funny thing is, we don't even miss the tithe. Tithing actually forced me to start a budget this year and I just took the 10% number monthly, and put it right under the mortgage (it's the second highest expense on the budget) and we pay it. We are forced to save in other categories and be more wise with our money. So by tithing, I now have a better handle of my finances also.

This tells me that before we gave 10% (actually rounded up to over that) we were wasting a decent amount of money each month that we can't even account for. I would much rather give that money to continue the work of the Lord through my local church (which funds the local services plus local, national and worldwide missions, supports many struggling families, generously supports a pro-life crisis pregnancy center and helps spread the Gospel).

"I tithed when I couldn't afford it"

You mean you put it on a credit card, or stole from someone else? Otherwise, you're simply saying that you placed tithing as a value ahead of other things -- perhaps even contractual obligations you let go for the sake of giving where you feel or believe yourself subject to a commandment, but where there is no obligation in the sense obligations are normally incurred, i.e., as a mutually agreed trade.

That's your business, of course, but I see no reason in the world why people who don't hold similar values ought to necessarily believe that tithing, at the expense of other values -- many of them obligations agreed to -- will actually benefit people financially rather than make them worse off.

Of course, being in the debt-settlement business for 15 years, I've encountered countless people who rationalized their delinquencies, defaults, and eventual bankruptcies by blaming it on god. It's nothing new, and I suspect it has a lot to go with the underlying motivation of some to tithe when things get tough. If you pull through, then tithing is the cause. If you don't, then tithing is the cause, but with a "moral" out.


People tithe because the vast majority of those who do can afford to do it. They don't have money because they tithe.

"The first sentence is simply your opinion -- there's no proof for it"

It's simply logically self-evident (see Occam's Razor). But you and anyone else is certainly welcome to think zebras whenever you hear the beating of hooves, if you like. See if I care. Although, when you find yourself in financial distress, you might want to examine your thought processes and tackle the problem head on, rather than employ the same hopeless logic in in a cause/effect reversal. And when some poor soul shows up a lottery winner after tithing in spite of all reason to the contrary, you ought to pay attention to the other thousands who didn't and how many of them are worse off.

Richard --

I'm not really in the mood to debate a post that's 1 1/2 years old. I suggest you read the other ba-zillion posts I've written on tithing and debt since then, and then you can come back with a more informed view of what I'm saying.

BTW, I've been counseling people in debt for almost 20 years myself, so don't think that I'm making this up on my own. I have actual experience in this area and know what people in debt can be like and the decisions they face.

"Love The Lord with all your heart, soul & strength" The tithe the christians pastors use is a $$ raising scheme. Be a cheerful giver!! Christians like to quota the law (actually the correct Hebrew translation for law is instructions) but they dont follw it. Jesus (Y'shua) said in Matthew 5:17-19 "do not think i came to abolish the law or the prophets but to full fill (bring to life) & I tell you the truth until Heaven 7 earth pass away, not one yod or tittle from the law shall disappear until all is fullfilled. & anyone who teaches others to break the law will be considered least in the kingdom & anyone who teaches others to obey the law will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven. for I tell you the truth unless your righteousness excedes theat of the pharissees & teachers of the law you will mot enter the kingdom of heaven. The messiah said this!!!! do you eat swine flesh? do you follow the roman shabbat (sun day)Do you follow man man roman pagan based holidays or do celebrate the festival GOD mandated in HIS WORD. Please dont give me that "nailed to the cross" crapola. when someone was crusified his crimwes were to be nailed to the cross. What was Jesus crimeS? "It said King of the Jews". He was your Passover lamb, your blood atonement (to be honored on Yom Kippur" So the pastors teah you a man made false doctrine of rules & worship & condemn you to extract $$. Christians are grafted into the vine (Israel) thru Yeshua.. but the church picks & chooses what you should follow or try to follow. Try to follow THEM ALL.. G-d said "it wasnt impossible" & Jesus sacrificed for you if you fail... but continue to try... This is the WORD OF GOD, not thee doctrine of Rome (when christianity started in 300+ AD) If you follow the Jewish Messiah, then live, act & walk as HE did... Follow or at least try to follow His Fathers Instructions.. preach this truth on sunday 7 you;ll clear out 3/4 of the members. BUT It's G-d's WORD not MAN. AMEN

Please excuse my typos, I peck away 7 hit enter b4 checking speeling. But please understand the message... Praise Y'shua (Jesus) our Messiah. i have seen too much corruption in the church & not enough "feeding the poor, widows, homeless & the needy in your congregations... remember"the Levites (priests) has NO inheritance of their own" Israel provided for them with their tithes & offering.. they OWNED Nothing!!!!!!! G-d was their inheritance!!!! they didnt live in lush homes, have cadillacs, fat bank acct, IRA, Land, expensives suits, huckster tapes, books for profit,own big churches & fat ministries.... Believers beware!!! Darkness appears as light, even the adversary knows the word of G-d.. You w'wanna be rich? Go for it, go into biz, real estate, mfg, start a company, invest.. .. but HOW DARE YOU USE HaSHEMS Name or Y'shua name.. to fleece the flock & then condemn them with bits & pieces of the Torah & Tanackh that you know nothing about... with love, Lou .. a messianic follower of Y'shua (Jesus)

Thank you, Lou!

Will typos and all, you certainly hit the nail on the head and this message was right on!!

I would like to throw in my two cents: I cordially disagree. I know couples who are frugal with their money and tithe from their gross income first and yet are still in a position where they have had to buy baby supplies with their credit card. The only option for them was to give to their church after they took care of their financial obligations first. The viewed it this way, God provides this money for me and I will use it as a good steward and as I have "increase" I will give. I think they are compatible with NT giving on every level.

Kev --

Are they following all of the Bible's other teachings on how to handle their money? (spending, savings, investing, etc.)

Thank you for answering this. I am in the position where doing my annual budget if I tithe a strict 10% I won't be able to meet my obligations. I beleive to not honor my obligations would be to dishonor God.

It is a sad state for the Church when we do not pay our debts, when we are no different from the world in how we handle our finances.

Notice the passage in Proverbs 3 says to honor God from your wealth, not from your need.

By no means do I advocate not tithing. What I'm seeing is a need to balance our budget. Pay your debt and support those in need with your wealth.


Sticking to a legalist view of tithe while going further into debt is neither wise nor is it honoring to God.

I believe tithing is an old testament law that is done away, but preachers and priest use it to get money out of their members. It also mentions in the bible to pay our debts. Also to save our money. Its funny how non-tithers are as just as blessed or even more blessed than "the tither". Its non-sense to give this church your rent money and not have a place to live. Who will you live with, the pastor? Don't listen to the half truth and research the scriptures for yourself and find out what GOD is really saying. Thanks for hearing my point of view!
"His mercy endures forever"

Also to add, when I was tithing, "faithfully for 5 years", nothing changed. I still was struggling. So those who are trying to make me believe that tithing is the way to blessed, sorry didnt work for me. My faith, common sense (saving my money and not giving it all to the preacher/pastor) helped me to have abundance. I give if i am spirit-led. But I will not give my debt money. Also what does that look like to non believers.
If your in debt and their debt-free. They will run from our GOD. Please use common sense.

TWWB --

1. You can't ignore all the other money principles the Bible teaches (many of which you'd probably call "common sense") and expect to have plenty left over to give.

2. "What does that look like to non believers.
If your in debt and their debt-free. They will run from our GOD. Please use common sense."

I'm not really concerned with what it looks like to anyone on whenyou think "common sense" might be contrary to the Bible. What I do care about is what the Bible says and doing it.

why is everyone using the excuse that since tithing came from the Old Testament, it does not apply to us anymore?

Remember what Jesus Himself said in the New Testament in Matthew 5:

17"DO NOT THINK I HAVE COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to FULFILL them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Jesus also said...

" 19 ANYONE who BREAK ONE of the LEAST of these commandments and TEACHES OTHERS to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus said He came to FULFILL the LAW, because He knows that it is impossible for humans to PERFECTLY observe the laws such as failing to give back to God or by tithing by Him dying on the cross for you and me, so that even though we fail over and over again and regardless of the weight of our sins - be it murder or failing to tithe, He is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess our sins and repent.

now, if you CAREFULLY read the teachings of Jesus in the four Gospels, you'll notice that Jesus in fact spent more time in discussing about the importance of FAITH and EARTHLY TREASURES than He did on sexual immorality, homosexuality, murder, etc, which the Pharisees thought were "weightier" sins. why? because God knows that money is the hardest thing to let go! He even said, you can't serve two gods: the other "god" is usually our money and/or physical resources and indulgences.

in the law of giving, tithing or 10 percent may be "outdated" because in fact, the New Testament commands us to give even MORE THAN 10 PERCENT of everything we have.

Jesus said in Luke 12:48"

48 When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

And Paul said:

“Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

It's all about FAITH and honoring and glorifying God with everything you have: with your family, with your hobbies, with your relationships, with your jobs, with your time, with your money, etc.

Now for those people who feel like they have been "victimized" by their churches' get-rich-quick scams, remember that nonetheless, the Word of God remains unchanged and because I know about His Word, especially about giving to church, I am even more accountable to obey. I don't give my tithes and offerings because I want to please my church organization. I give because God said so; I give out of love and obedience to my God who died the most imhumane, humiliating death on the cross just so I can spend eternity with Him.

Yes, I agree that some pastors abused the teaching of generosity for self-interests but let them be held accountable for their own sins, but as for me and my family, we will continue to obey God's Word... because the Bible also says that there will be a judgment day when we will be asked to give account of our each and every deed, and when God asks you, why didn't you give, we cannot given Him an excuse that our pastors abused or duped us because He'll say to you in return, "but you heard and know MY Word."

Therefore, once I drop that offering in that basket, i really could care less where that money goes or whether it is used responsibly coz that is not the point of God when He asks us to give; instead, I trust God that He knows the motive of my heart: to please and obey Him.

Also, remember that God's blessings are normally hindered due to many factors, not just whether you tithe or not. this is exactly what Jesus pointed out among the Pharisees who were careful to observe the law of tithing yet fail to observe God's two greatest commandments: (1) love your God above all (2) love your neighbors as you love yourself.

so if you're tithing faithfully and still don’t seem to be "blessed," carefully evaluate the other areas of your life. Remember that SIN is the biggest hindrance to God's presence and blessing (greatest example is when Adam & Eve disobeyed God, they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden)

do you have a bondage of sin(s) in your life or in your household? have you forgiven others lovingly and gracefully as Jesus have done for you? if you can honestly say sin is not a factor, it could be very well because God is simply testing your faith as He did on Job.

remember that "FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of WHAT WE DO NOT SEE." (Hebrews 11:1) how can you have FAITH if you're so certain? yet, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

so when you give your tithe, don't give because your church/pastors said so or you want to get rich; give because you have faith in God and, therefore, will obey His Word.

by the way, just to clarify, our SALVATION or GETTING INTO HEAVEN is NOT DEPENDENT on our faithful TITHING or HOW MUCH YOU GIVE.

nonetheless, as a Christ-follower, we are called to obey to His commands. plus, as an incentive, our rewards and crowns in heaven ARE dependent on your OBEDIENCE to GOD'S Word.

Pay the debt first. What is even worse than not tithing is pressuring a person to tithe. Jesus was ticked off when the Pharisees were doing this and basically went on a rampage and knocked over tables in the temple. It's between the person and God and there is no need to sermonize every week on why everyone needs to tithe. Everyone is going to read the Bible and the Holy Spirit is going to lead them thier own way. No need to reinforce your personal beliefs over and over and try to guilt everyone else who isn't doing what you are doing to do what you are doing. Give it a rest already! Personally, when searching for churches, if I find that the church is going to pressure me to do ANYTHING, I already make my decision at that point not to go to that church.

wow, it's amazing how a post can keep generating comments 2 year later!

We give because we feel it is an obedience thing. We just happen to use the 10% rule because it makes things easy. We are also getting out of debt and we feel that giving 10% for now is acceptable. We have only done a 1 time gift above 10% in the last 2 years and that was for a first fruits offering for our building campaign. We also are going to be pledging a very low percentage to the campaign next month because of our debt. Once we are out then we will start to give more and will be able to because we will be out of debt.

I was really convicted of this a couple of years ago when I was making great money and yet I was not tithing regularly. I had just gotten married and for some reason I just kept finding ways to spend that money that we set aside. I had a friend who just lost his job and was having a hard time finding work. We were sitting next to him in church one Sunday and he dropped a check into the offering plate. Now I don't know how much the check was for... could have been $5... be the fact was that he was giving. In his hard times he still trusted God and wanted to be obedient. I thought "you bastard!" (that is what i call myself sometimes :-) "How could you be so prosperous and yet here is he giving the 'widow's mite'".

Since that day we have been very faithful to the 10% and through that obedience we show our worship. I do not expect nor do I measure prosperity based on that I think it is fallible to assume that God will bless you IF and only IF you give. God blesses you whether you tithe or not, it's just are you going to show the obedience to Him.

Ryan --

Who said anything about pressure? I'm just talking about what I think is right and what I would do myself.

First of all, the actual Mosaic tithe was not 10 percent but 22-23 percent. That is because there were two annual tithes of 10 percent each and a third tithe every third year. The total averages out to 22-23 percent. On the seventh year of Jubilee no tithes were collected. (So if the church is to follow the commands of tithing why don't I ever hear I can dispense with the tithe every seven years.)

Second, the tithing itself was aimed strictly at the farming community, which most Jews were a member of at that time. They had to tithe from what was grown and what was raised such as flocks. Anyone else outside the field of farming would simply pay the annual half shekel at Passover. (Since I don't grow any crops I can just pay the 1/2 shekel to the church once a year.)

Third, tithing was part of the Mosaic Law and therefore was only in force as long as the Mosaic Law was in force. The Mosaic Law came to an end when Messiah died on the cross.

Fourth, the biblical principle for today's giving is not based upon tithing but based upon giving as the Lord has prospered. From week to week the percentile might be different depending on the obligations we might have.

Fifth, the Bible nowhere says we are to give our entire offering (not tithe) to the local church. On the contrary, we are told that we should lay it in private deposit and strictly distribute our giving as necessary. The certain things we are required to support would include the local church, but that does not mean they get the entire amount of our offering. There are other ministries we are obligated to support such as whom we learn the Word from (Galatians 6), Jewish ministries (Romans 15:25-27), and others we give to as we are led to give. There is no need to feel guilty if somebody tries to get on your case for not tithing specifically to the church. The verses they use are verses that deal with the Mosaic Law. The storehouse was in the Temple Compound where the food was stored and not the church treasury.


Bad advice.

I have personally gone into the red whilst still tithing (and I mean tithing *first*) twice. Ended up borrowing off my aged mother and then feeling akward about my choice to tithe on that as well.

At 35 years old, borrowing off Mum us hardly "He'll fill your barns and vats to overflowing".

So then. Which is it...
1) I don't exist? (I assure you I'm real, as is my financial situation)
2) The Bible is full of lies.
3) God is winking at me, singling me out as a special person who is exempt from tithing?
4) You've misinterpreted the passages.
5) ??? (write your own here)

I found your page googling for insights to my current situations and experiences.

Looks to me like it's up to God whom and how He blesses. Sure wish it was as easy to twist His arm in the "test Me on this" stakes, but personal experience tells me that ain't the way.

Lance --

My personal experience from working with people in debt for over a decade is exactly the opposite of what you're saying.

What can I say? Someone's wrong.

Of the 5 possible reasons I posted, the first three were meant to be ridiculous... option 4 was the most likely, unless you could shed light from another angle as option 5 (hey, I can learn from surprises!).

...I was kind of disappointed then, that your answer leaned towards option 1 (that I don't exist).

I did get some money yesterday. Mum insisted on offering me $300. Here's what my bank balance looked like yesterday before accepting that extra $300 from Mum:

http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=redscreenshotlc0.jpg

I've also scored some very short term jobs. The reason why my finances are low is because I've been a student for the past year (just finished the study). It's hopefully a lull that will rise now that I can again work. Nevertheless, it does IMO refute some of the views stated that somehow tithers will never literally hit the below zero mark. I have twice now. I've been tithing for some twenty years. I've usually struggled financially.

Maybe it's time you updated that "my personal experience from working with people in debt for over a decade" testimony of yours?

"It worked for me" is an incredibly short sighted testimony when you now know there are others out there like myself who can testify otherwise.

BTW: I'm going to put $30 into the tithe.... I haven't stopped tithing.

Lance --

What worked for me and for others I've taught is that they've applied everything the Bible has to say about managing your money -- how you should spend, how you should save, how you should earn, how you should give, etc. (if you want to know more details, read my past Sunday posts.) Certainly, if you only tithe and ignore the rest of the Bible's advice you're going to go backwards.

But I'm not ignoring the rest of the Bible's advice. In saying so, have you learned nothing from Job to Jude?

I have fully "applied" everything you have written above. Your articles logic is misplaced. It would not matter if you had a thousand followers claiming things turned out well for them. As long as one person finds it does not work, then your formulaic rule cannot be the key you say it is.

Would you have me list the ways I am actually following what your other articles have said? I think you would be surprised if you knew. I can even add to your list of ways to save. Alas, perhaps you only want to sidestep the issue?

Your question (and I quote) was: "So, what do you think? Did I give the right counsel?" In answer to your question, here is what I think...
>> I think you were right to say they should tithe.
>> I think you were wrong to suggest this would result in them becoming financial benefactors; implying as absolute that they would nevermore be in debt.

My experience, which you are now sidestepping, proves that.

Lance --

This is going nowhere. Obviously you have a point of view that you're holding on to and are not really open to consider the alternatives. Here's my final word to you:

1. I have no idea what you mean by "have you learned nothing from Job to Jude".

2. If you applied everything else the Bible says about mananaging your money (developing your career, spending less than you earn, not getting into debt, etc.), it's mathmatically impossible not to have plenty left over to both tithe and pay off any extra debt you have. Problem solved.

From Job to Jude:

Job was a blameless and upright man (Job 1:1,8). Was he tithing? Probably a higher amount than required. Certainly he was partaking in the sacrifices of the day without holding back; even extra on behalf of his loved ones (Job 1: 5) Despite this, God allowed Satan to wipe out Jobs fortune. First was everything he owned, including the lives of those loved ones he had sacrificed for (chapter 1) and then what was left of Jobs health just short of taking his life. (chapter 2)
How would you counsel Job? Would you tell him that his predicament doesn't add up to what you and your ten other friends have experienced? Was Job only really pretending to give what he did? Would you declare that Job must be sinning in some other area for such calamity to befall him; that there must be other areas of his life he can't be addressing? These things you are saying of me and they are the same things Jobs associates said of him, and yet God reprimanded them for it.

You see, God isn't Santa Claws. He does look after us, and this goes well beyond the financial realm, yet it is not outside of His ability to give or to take from us... whether or not we happen to be tithing. It is His discretion as God to do so.

I referred to Jude because you accused me of ignoring "the rest of the Bible's advice". That's quite an accusation right there. I had been raising an opposition to the view that tithing equates to never again seeing debt, and you responded by avoiding the issue and pointing a finger against my character. My reference to Jude was to remind you that such judgements are dangerous ground (Jude v9) and that I wanted you to address topic, not the person.

So, you see, it was in light of your accusations against me that I cited "from Job to Jude".

As far as advice on your website goes, I'm already doing pretty much every one of those ideas listed on your "The 10 Most-Hated Money Saving Tips" page, simply as common sense / necessity more than anything else (exceptions for 9 because trips out from New Zealand are something I can't afford and 6 because I can't affort a house either). This is a side point against the focus on this page however, which is about what people believe comes of tithing.

I am a strong believer in tithing, although my posts here have been to point out that those people who are using tithing as means of personal gain (I'm going to tithe because then that will make God stop me going into debt, the Bible says so) are mistaken...

Let me put it another way (true story): The other month I found five dollars on the sidewalk. Given my low financial stature, I was grateful for this. Despite my wanting to get to a store in order to have 50c change ready for the offering, circumstances prevented this and come the morning service I was faced with the offering going around, that same five dollar note still in my pocket. Sometimes in the past I have tended to pray "okay I'll speed up in future, I promise" and then get the change asap after the service, ready to put aside for the next opportunity. On this occasion, I felt more convicted about it being "first fruits" of my income and certain scriptures about holding back on giving. Whatever my reasoning, I decided to put the full amount that morning into the offering in order to have it given in good time. Now then: How tempting to be thinking, "look at me giving the whole of what I received this week. God better be making my bank fortunes rise for this one." You think God would be obliged to insure that I should then win Lotto (even though of course, I never buy Lotto tickets)? Of course not... and definitely not if that's what He sees in my heart. I'm giving that five dollars for whatever cause... period. The money I picked up that day was never a cent of personal financial use to me. As far as personal gain goes, I could almost say that in hindsight, there was no reason for me to even bother picking it up from the sidewalk. And it was not long after this that my bank balance for the first time ever, hit rock bottom.

But back to the topic though...

It the original blog for this page, you said...
"I take these verses to mean that the 10% tithe goes to God first, before anything else -- debt payments included. That's what we're called to and that's what I'd recommend for you.
Then, if you do this, you can expect God to work financially in your life. He's promised that if you're faithful, He'll fill your barns and vats to overflowing. He's even said that you should test Him by tithing and see if He won't open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it!"

I have said that I've been doing this and I'm concluding that based on my own experiences, you are mistaken. I don't think you are mistaken for the long term, but in terms of short term, you certainly would be. God can still allow you to go bankrupt whenever and whyever He chooses, and He can do it even as you are tithing.

...I take it you are now revising your view to...
"Then, if you do this PLUS A BUNCH OF OTHER UNDISCLOSED THINGS, you can expect God to work financially in your life."

Yes? or No? Because that's what you're now saying to me. If so, then it's quite a change to how many would read your original post.

Pressuring a person to tithe. paying debt first... A bible believer understands that its not about " pressuring " it is simply about obeying the word. I get that many of you think you can only do one of these at a time. Why are we not to owe anyone, I believe that would be more of a character issue, just like our bodies are the temple we are to treat it as such, we are not to judge others, or be loving in all we do , those are CHARACTER issues, we are to pay tithe is a command from God, its about being obedient. And God never said we would not struggle just because we pay tithe. The word does not say tithing takes away any struggle we could possibly have. Its simply about obedience and the key is doing it in the right spirit. Thats where the problem lies, if we do it like oh I have debt and I need to pay bills and I will not have any money if I pay but I am going to pay then how do you think God receives that.... How would you if someone gave you something begrudgingly, you would tell them to keep it, you don't even want it. I can not imagine Jesus on that cross saying look at them they are a bunch of ungrateful, whining, unbelieving, unkind etc people, I don't want to do this BUT.... he asked his father was there any other way.... yet, not MY will but THY will.... and because of his LOVE for us he willingly went on that cross, he could have called a thousand Angels but he did not. let us be mindful also, that Job was not going through what he went through because of something he did or did not do. There are times where people will suffer for the good and testimony of others. Gods ultimate goal is to save us, ALL of us, wether you agree or not, believe or not, he wants to save us ALL, and if that means we suffer for him now to live with him forever then that is what he will ALLOW. Job suffered yet came out victoriously in the end, and he was even more strenghtened in his resolve to serve God. If you are tithing and still going through things, look at the decisions you are making wholistically. We all have major growing to do, yes you may be tithing but you also may be the biggest gossiper this side of Mississippi, you may be in an adulturous relationship, a thief, a lier, very cold and mean person, judgemental, two-faced, ungrateful, selfish and the list goes on. God does reward, and he rewards us more then we could possibly imagine, he cannot do it the way we would like him to if we are not ready for it. And rewards does not always mean financial. If you are struggling it is because you have not learned the lesson God is trying to teach you.
Please just obey, yes, those who do not pay thithe still are receiving blessings, we look at them like why are they still prospering, but thats just a testament of just how good and merciful God is. Someone said as soon as he let go of christianity he began to prosper, I know its not because of his no longer believing, he will see in the end every knee will bow and tongue confess, and his spirit evidently was not right for God to bless, we can ALL be ready for what the world has to offer which is nothing, material is nothimng to what God is trying to instill in us.... Anyway..
Be Blessed in obedience.

Wow, comments have been pouring in for over 2 years. Wow. Anyway, here’s my two cents. I decided to start off with a story J

There were once 2 farmers, farmer John and farmer Joe. Who decided to purchase land that would sustain all of their flock and family. Each purchased plenty of land and had large families (about 10 members in each). Farmer John decided that he would raise crop and sale in order to pay off his debt and have food for his family. Farmer Joe decided that he would go out and get a job, take that money and pay off his debt. Both plans sounded great for a while. Farmer John knew that in order to have food for his family and have crop to sell to pay off his debt, he needed to plant (seed) a certain amount back into the land, knowing that if he sowed it, he would reap a harvest in due time. So he and his family would go out and work in the land. Farmer Joe never did seed (which is unlike a farmer). He continued to work towards paying off his debt. All of the money he made went to paying on his debt. His family would go days without eating. He said within himself, if only I could just have enough left over to buy seed, then I would be able to plant it and have food for my family. Each time he got paid from his job, he had to pay on his debt, leaving little, if nothing for his family to eat. He was paying on his debt, but his family was lacking. Of course he was giving money to whom it was due because he had an obligation, but his family were going without. Farmer John would take in a harvest, he would take a percentage out in order to seed back into the land, with the rest he would divide it up into what his family would have for food and what he would sell in order to pay off his debt. Even though he would seed and had to wait for the harvest, he knew that if he didn’t plant any seed back into the ground, he wouldn’t have anything to sell nor eat. So he would diligently plant seed back into the ground, even when times were hard and the harvest took a while, he still planted a portion back. Farmer Joe then asked a favor of farmer John. If he would let him have a portion of the harvest and in return, his family (farmer Joe) would go over and work the land and till it. Farmer John agreed and when farmer Joe got that portion, he sowed into the land and still worked to pay off his debt. Now once it was time for there harvest, what do you think would have been the best thing for farmer Joe to do?
A.) Take in the harvest eat and go on about their business (later ending up in the same state) or
B.) Take a portion of that harvest and sow back into the ground for latter harvests.


Which strategy sounds better? (Seeding, tithing) back in order to get a harvest for the future, or taking that money and paying for the now and not having an account for the future.

I personally know, in order to get out of debt, you have to do first things first. At least get that packed down. Then you can seek advice counsel, on how to budget, after the tithes of course, your money.

Someone also said previously that it seems like a fee-for service. NO, please don’t misunderstand. God says Himself to PROVE HIM. Therefore if He says that, then why don’t you prove Him on it?

I can speak for myself in saying that the tithes shall be given first and foremost. I have kept record for about over the past 8 years. I started tithing here and there. The tithe would be like $10 each pay period, then over time it increased as I begin to tithe faithfully, no matter what, it went to $50, then it increased to $90, then $100, then $500, then $900, then $1000 and now $1270 each month. Hum, now looking at my tithes increase is an indication of our income increasing. It took over 7 years to get there but we did. There were times when I had a bill due but I needed to pay my tithes. So which did I choose, I just made sure that the tithes were taken out and somehow, my bills got paid (whether someone blessed me with money or whether I worked something out with the bill company, they might have been late, but they got paid). They are about to increase again because of a raise. You see, you can’t out give God. It’s not our money but our obedience that He wants. I see that earlier someone said that it wasn’t money but other things that were given during that time. Remember, people would use different things for currency, it was more like a barter and trade. Back then, you could have probably bought a loaf of bread with a measure of corn and vice versa.

Throughout the bible God speaks to us about all of His many promises. Why is it that in Malachi when it comes down to the tithe, it is the only place mentioned where He said, prove Him? Because, He wanted us to see that when we willingly and obediently give the tithe, He will open up the windows of heaving and pour out blessings. I also see that someone stated that it was only for the Old Testament and only for the Levites. It is 2008 and I’m not a Levite and it works, it works for me. I may sound boisterous but I know that it will increase into the $10,000. Why, because I have put it into practice and know that it works. I can’t out give Him, so if I keep giving, He will and has to continue to give. Now I also can’t leave off having love, compassion, and mercy for my fellow brethren, giving to the poor, or any other things such as that. I can’t go out and lie, commit adultery, steal, cheat, etc, and expect to be blessed. Everything has to work together. I can’t just give and say God send me this or that, without getting up and working, no no. Everything should be done decently and in order. Remember the story, had Farmer John just planted and not have gone out and worked to till it and bring in the harvest, would they have had food? Remember in Deuteronomy, God tells us what happens when we obey and what happens when we disobey, it’s up to us to choose. The story (path and it’s consequences) has already been set out; it’s up to us to choose.

Remember, had the farmers not decided to seed a percentage back and work the land, they would have gone without. God is interested not only in our finances when it comes to tithing, but in our overall financial, spiritual, and physical state, (debt, not having enough, barely getting by, etc). I can keep going on and on but I will wait for a response from this comment. (to be continued) J

Ok i didn't read everyones comments, but for those of you saying time is more valuable than money, i'd like you to offer the cashier at the grocery store time instead of money next time you go shopping. Offer them your time for a couple of hours and see how they take it. Next time you go to a birthday party or wedding or something, don't get them a gift.....tell them they get a couple of hours with you :) i'm sure they'll be thrilled.

WHO ARE WE KIDDING!!!

We all know that money is extremely valuable and that we NEED it. God knows this. That's why he asks it of us. How can you not trust God to provide? I mean He's only the Creator of the whole universe, the Maker of man. If He asks for 10% of the money that HE has so graciously blessed us with, give it to Him!! All he wants is for you to do your part so in turn he can flood you with blessings!!!

So then... if I "prove God" (Malachi) by tithing for some 15-20 years (10% of all income including any giftings from individuals, any government grants / benefits etc all before tax)...

...and even so, I still get into debt, several times over...

...does this mean God has failed?

And if God fails *once* (for me) even while he provides billions of other "worked for me... can't outgive God" testimonies for others...

...He has still failed, right?


Personally, I would prefer to think that maybe some of you have misinterpreted the scriptures than to suggest God got is wrong somewhere or that somehow my individual case is too big for Him to handle. Suggesting that I might have "some other area" not in check is sidestepping the issue; it's the practice of tithing we're looking at here. No one has read what I have posted enough to explain how it is that in my circumstances, continued, long term tithing has resulted in debt nevertheless.

You do not see the light if you are not of the light . We were not put on this earth to get in debt in the first place but to be fishers of men by winning souls for the Lord . If you don't see the light it simply means your still drinking milk and are not ready for meat which is the true Body of Christ . And once both are in you and you see the true Light of God you will not make excuses but rather rejoice that you may bring your tithes into the storehouse . It's very simple : If there are no tithes who will pay the Pastor while he brings in the " Word of God ," Food " to you ? The word of God feeds your spirit like a loaf of bread from Food lion feeds your physical body . You do pay for bread at the store to feed your physical body don't you ? If you take the bread from the store and not pay for it your stealing right ? If you take the word of God from his house and do not pay for it your stealing point blank and you will never be blessed . Pay your tithes and God has promised that the windows of heaven will pour out more blessings than you can handle . That being said I believe God knows your heart and will take an i.o.u as long as you do pay God as soon as you get it . God Bless !

In Luke 6:38....where is says, 'Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you'(NIV version). No where within this verse does it mention about paying or giving 'tithes' it is talking about just giving in general. Pastors should be paid from a church budget as they do need to live but not from so called 'thithes'...again, show me where it says in the Bible of any version that people should tithe with monies. You can look throughout all eternity, but you won't find it...lol!

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