Trusting The Church With Your Tithe
So what if you don’t take issue with the concept of giving or even the concept of giving 10%? What if you, like many of the commentors, take issue with those you hand your money over to: the Church. Those who express this concern reveal two potential problems that need to be addressed:
1. This individual’s trust isn’t in God . Or
2. This individual is attending an untrustworthy church and should consider finding a new one.
The truth is, church leaders are responsible for using church money in a responsible way – they have more accountability for that than we do. And as mentioned previously, most of them do a pretty good job of this. Still, it’s worth bearing in mind that our accountability as believers is simply to give and trust that God will take care of the rest. Hopefully you are in a church where you can trust your leaders to do what is right. If you are unable to find such a church, then it would be beneficial to work on your trust in God, asking Him to help you trust the leaders He has placed you under . But just remember, you’re responsible for what you give and for your heart, and the church leaders are responsible for how to use it.
In The Old Testament Tithing Was Focused On Maintenance And Today Were Focused On The Great Commission
Israel tithed to maintain and supply the needs of the tabernacle as well as the Levites who managed it. During the Old Testament, Judaism wasnt aimed or even focused on spreading its influence on other nations. Israels goal was to keep itself from being contaminated by everybody else and follow the laws God had instated. As a result of this, the law of the 10% tithe was followed to maintain what had been placed under their care.
However, after Jesus came, He showed us a much greater vision and purpose for our giving.
Jesus commanded His followers to,
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
The Churchs vision should no longer be limited to recollecting funds just to have enough for the maintenance of a church building our focus should be giving for the sake of the Commission of Christ.
Giving to expand the message of Jesus around the world should be the vision that drives every believer to give.
If we are being limited by the idea that we must give 10% because the Israelites gave it for the maintenance of a building, then our vision for giving is missing the point.
The ministry of Israel was about maintaining everything, but the ministry of Jesus Christ is to multiply the Gospel everywhere.
Are Christians Required To Participate In Tithing
Over the past 2,000 years, many different opinions have surfaced concerning biblical tithing. But basically, most Christians today align with one of these two views: They are commanded to tithe or they are commanded to be generous.
Letâs take a brief look at both of these positions on tithing in the bible.
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Old Testament Scriptures On Tithing In The Bible
Living A Generous Life
Tithing was used by God in the Old Testament to take care of his people. Today, Christ works through your offerings to advance his kingdom and bless others. To participate in Christ’s work, itâs essential to live a generous life.
A generous life includes serving with your time and talents. But for the sake of this post, letâs talk about three ways you can become a generous giver:
- Study the Bible
- Seek counsel
To live for Christ, you have to know what Christ asks of you.
To do this, you have to study the Bible. When it comes to a generous life, itâs essential to study these topics:
- Bible verses about tithing
- Stewardship in the Bible
Studying these topics is the foundation of living a generous life for Christ.
After studying the Bible, the second best thing to do is to pray about your situation. Praying through what youâve studied is one of the best ways you can receive guidance in your life from Christ. He will guide you through his Word, and give you the grace you need to live a generous life.
Even though you have to take personal responsibility for your life, Christ doesnât call you to do it alone. He invites you to seek counsel in your life.
When it comes to your finances and your thoughts around tithing in the bible, getting advice from a friend, pastor, or financial advisor can make a significant difference. Someone looking at your situation from the outside can provide new insight or confirm what youâre already thinking.
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Billy Graham On Tithing
It comes as no surprise to me that Billy Graham has a succinct, yet powerful quote about tithing in his life that I believe to be 100% true as well:
We have found in our own homethat Gods blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing. Rev. Billy Graham
Do Most Christians Tithe
A lot of the confusion around the topic of whether Christians tithe comes from the terminology. Throughout the Old Testament, Israelites were expected to give 10 percent of their resources to God. That tithe or âtenth partâ was a requirement of the law. And thatâs already a little misleading, because when you factor in all of their required giving, Israelites actually gave around 23 percent of their income.
Today, many Christians would say that tithing was part of the law that Christians are no longer required to participate in. This doesnât mean that they donât believe that generous giving isnât necessary it means that they donât believe that Christians are required to give a specific percentage. In fact, some of these people would say that given the model of the early Christians, a tithe asks far too little of us.
The conversation gets a little messy when many Christians use the word âtithingâ to denote any sort of giving. Christians who have grown accustomed to thinking of all giving as tithing can struggle with this biblical concept. So itâs essential that weâre clear in our terminology.
We can give 3 percent, 5 percent, or 8 percent of our income to the church, but we canât tithe it. To tithe is to give 10 percent. The statistics around tithing indicate that fewer than one-quarter of any congregation tithes. And on average, Christians give around 2.5 percent of their income to churches. So in that sense, no, most Christians do not tithe.
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Deuteronomy 1: 11 Kjv
Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there thither shall ye bring all that I command you your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord:
Bible Q& a: What Does The Bible Say About Tithing
Our Bible Q& A series explores the questions youve asked us about the Bible.
This article represents the authors personal view. It accords with Bible Societys values, but is not intended to express our position as an organisation.
Question: What does the Bible say about tithing?
Tithing is the practice of setting apart one-tenth of ones earnings as an offering to God. The Israelites, after they had left Egypt and were being established as a new nation led by Moses and the high priest Aaron, were instructed by God to tithe all of their produce, whether grain, fruit or livestock. Numbers 18 tells us that the tithes were to be given to the Levites, the Israelite tribe who were set apart as priests. The Levites were allocated no land to cultivate they were supported by the gifts of their fellow Israelites instead. Given that there were 12 tribes of Israel, the gift of one-tenth of everyone elses produce seems disproportionately large, but the Levites were instructed to give part of the tithe the best of it as their offering to the Lord .
Deuteronomy 26.1213 says that the tithe should be given not only to the Levites but also to orphans, widows and resident foreigners in the land. So the practice of tithing ensured that the priesthood and other members of the community who might otherwise have been without support did not go hungry.
All Bible quotations are from the NRSV.
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What Does The Bible Say About Paying Tithes
The Bible is very clear in Leviticus 27:30 where it says âA tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lordâs, and is holy.â And Proverbs 3:9 says, âHonor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.â Itâs critical to recognize that tithing was central to Godâs law. The Israelites didnât wait to feel inspired to tithe, it was expected.
Youâre probably thinking:
That was good for them, but what about now? Do I have to tithe?
This is a fair question, and thereâs no shame in asking.
Itâs not every day an organization asks you to give 10 percent of your income, right?
Does Tithing Bring Blessings
Many of these verses about giving offerings to God also mention getting blessings from God, as if God is favoring people as a result of their tithing. Prosperity gospel teachers often take this to mean that Christians who give generously will gain material comforts from God. However, its important to consider the context of these verses and what blessings mean in the Bible.
We discussed earlier how tithing is mentioned in the books describing how the Israelites were to govern themselves as a nation. These laws were given by God as part of the covenant that the Israelites made with God on Mount Sinai . In Ancient Near Eastern cultures, covenants were binding legal contracts with conditions and benefits. So, having made a covenant with God, the Israelites knew if they followed the covenants conditions , God would bring protection and blessing. Breaking those conditions would have negative consequences because it meant the Israelites were breaking the contract. This helps to partly explain the give-and-take nature of God blessing or punishing the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. Since this covenant changed after Jesus death and resurrection, the exact way God favored Israel based on whether or not they tithed does not apply to Christians. We will get more into this idea when we consider whether Christians should tithe.
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Tithing In The New Testament
Should We Tithe Under The New Covenant
Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are Gods.
A recent hot topic in a Facebook group Im in was about tithing. Specifically, whether Christians are required to tithe under the new covenant of grace. And let me tell you, it got very heated. Its obvious people have definite beliefs about tithing.
But at the end of the day, it doesnt matter what we believe. All that matters is what the Bible says. Since the Bible is the complete, infallible word of God, then it trumps everything else like it or not.
I wrote about tithing several years ago , but it seemed time to revisit the subject. My Facebook group is talking about it, and even my church was preaching on it all through February. Surely, God is trying to tell us something.
So, lets take another look at what the Bible, particularly the New Testament, says about tithing and how it fits into our finances. But first, a bit of review.
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What Does The Bible Say About Tithing
The Bible talks about tithing in two contexts.
First, there are three tithes that the Israelites were required to give on a regular basis. In Numbers 18:8-30, God instructs the Israelites to give an annual tithe to support the Levites, who served as priests in the tabernacle and unlike their fellow citizens did not have a property inheritance . Then in Deuteronomy 14:22-28, there is a tithe the Israelites set aside each year to eat in a celebration meal at the Lords dwelling. The passage describes the tithe being from your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks , but also sets provisions so that Israelites who cannot take these supplies to the celebration location can exchange those items for silver and buy food when they arrive . The same Deuteronomy passages talk about collecting a tithe every three years to provide for the Levites, the widows and orphans, and other helpless people. This third tithe functions as a sort of social welfare net to provide for Israelites who had no one to provide for them. The fact that widows in ancient Near Eastern societies generally had no one to provide for them comes up again in the Book of Ruth, where Ruth must gather scraps from the field to feed herself and her mother-in-law.
Malachi 3:10 describes God telling people to give their tithe and see if he does not open the floodgates of heaven.
What Moses Said About Tithing
In the second year of the Exodus, Moses informed the Israelites that they would be giving a tenth of their seed crops, fruit trees, and every tenth animal to the new Tabernacle. These instructions were Godâs commands and not just suggestions or best practices.
Itâs critical to recognize that tithing was central to Godâs law. Israelites didnât wait to feel inspired to tithe, they were expected to titheâand on top of that, they were encouraged to give freewill offerings.
3. THE TITHE IS INTRODUCED AS LAW
Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lordâs it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsmanâs staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy it shall not be redeemed.â
Here we see Moses giving the tithe as a law. The first 10 percent is called âholy,â or set apart, as belonging to God. The Israelites were to return to God what was already his, and in doing so, recognize the Almightyâs provision.
4. TITHES ESTABLISHED FOR THE LEVITES
To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting
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