Posts Tagged ‘tithing’

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 3:6-12)

The Old Testament

The scripture above is the favorite text given by most Christians to ‘prove’ that we should tithe. Now when interpreting scripture, we should always look things such as the context. Who was it written to? What was the culture? Because even though all scripture is FOR us, not all scripture is TO us. So if we look at the scripture above, who was Malachi writing to? Was it to everyone? Well we only have to go to verse 6 to see the it was the children of Jacob. In other words, Jews. It was not a blanket command to everyone.

The first mention of tithing was in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham ‘gave tithes of all’ to Melchizedek. but notice how Abraham did this freely and it was not a commandment from God. Then in Genesis 28:22, Jacob decided to give a tenth, again not a commandment from God. Then the next mention of tithing is in the mosaic law in Leviticus 27.

Now exactly what was the tithe? Well according to the Levitical law, the children of Israel (apart from the tribe of Levi) had to give 10% of the increase of their land and livestock, to the Levite priests and this would also go to help the poor. As a matter of fact, they would have actually tithed around 23.3% annually because they were required to present two tithes yearly of 10% each of agricultural produce and livestock (Numbers 18:21-32 and Deuteronomy 14:23-27) , and a third of 10% every three years of agricultural produce only (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) ….but I don’t see many churches or Christians rushing to tithe 23.3%!!!

All the scriptures about tithing are either in the old testament or refer to the old testament laws and was mainly about agriculture. Hence why it talks about the storehouse (NOT your church) which was simply a room in the temple. (See 2 Chron 31:11, Neh 10:38-39; 12:44; 13:12). And the opening of ‘the windows heaven’ simply meant that God would let it rain abundantly on the crops and he would not allow the devourer (i.e locusts) to destroy those crops. That is it. Nothing super spiritual about it. All you have to do is look at the context and read it for yourself.

So what happens when you take Malachi 3 out of context? You get video ‘challenges’ such as the one below

Malachi 3 DOES NOT mean that if we give a tenth of our income, God is guaranteed to rain down monetary or any other blessings on us as some teach. Some even teach that nothing will ‘devour’ your finances as if tithing was some sort of insurance policy.

I did a previous post called ‘What do we do with those old testament laws today which you can view here where I broke down the various laws in the old testament. Tithing would come under civil law and is not binding on us today.

The New Testamant

So what about the new testament? Is tithing mentioned? Well we can see Jesus apparently endorsing tithes in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42……or did he?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Matthew 23:23)

These scriptures are the ones that people use as proof text that Jesus commanded that we tithe today, but while Jesus was alive he was still operating under the old testament laws and the new testament had not fully been ratified. How do we know this? I would say for two reasons.

Firstly, when Jesus healed people, one of the first things he told them was to show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Luke 17:14). This was part of the levitical law (Leviticus 14:2) and we do not have to do this today.

Secondly, Hebrews 9:15-17 makes it clear that a new testament can only come in place after the death of the testator.

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

The other references to tithing are in Hebrews 7 which just reference the old testament stating historical fact so again, they are not a commandment to us.

So what is the new testament pattern for giving?

2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 give us the principles for giving today.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (which tithers do); for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7)

In a sense, it is harder to give from the heart as God sees the motives for why you are giving.

Many people are living in bondage to tithing, giving out of what they don’t have and as a result, get into real debt.

Here is an example of the type of advice that you should NOT listen to

So basically Pat Robinson has told this writer to keep tithing at the risk of losing their home and being unable to pay their bills. This is very bad advice and if your church or Pastor gives you the same advice, do not adhere to it.

I think the bible says something different.

11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality , that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. (2 Cor 8:11-14)

If you are in serious debt e.g. arrears in loans, then you should be doing what you can to pay back that money to the loan company and then when you can, then give . This is called good stewardship and should not be seen as ‘not putting God first”. If you don’t have, you can’t give and should not be made to feel guilty for ‘not paying your tithes’. As the scripture above says, there should be equality, but that it not what we see these days. A lot of churches are getting fatter financially and their members are suffering as a result.

For those of you in debt and are still tithing. Please watch this video and do not live in bondage to tithing. There is so much freedom in Christ.

So in conclusion, there is no where in scripture that expects or commands New Testament believers to tithe

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

Ten of my favorite blog posts on Real Christianity

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Christian Living, Evangelism, False Doctrine, False Teachers
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I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over five years beginning with How Important is Doctrine and as of today, have written 619 posts, this being my 620th. Every now and then, I go back to my old posts and re-read some of them, if not for anything else to re-encourage myself. So out of these 600+posts, below are ten of my favorite posts in no particular order and my reasons why. Just click on the titles to read the posts

1. The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching - OK, I am going to cheat on the first one as it was my first series (11 parts in total) called The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching starting with A Form of godliness. I saw so much foolishness in churches and on Christian TV and I knew that a lot of people were beginning to question a lot of things but were afraid to say anything. I just said what they were thinking. So I wrote the series and gave my reasons for doing it as I know a lot of people would think that I was just a heresy hunter. If you want to read the full series, just follow the links at the bottom of the posts

2. To tithe or not to tithe - Tithing was one of those things that kept me in bondage early on in my days and I know keeps many in bondage today. Many preachers use old testament scriptures like Malachi 3:8-12 to manipulate people into giving money and making them feel that they have robbed God if they don’t give their 10%.  That was until I searched the scriptures for myself only to find that the new testament principle of giving is proportional giving and giving out of what you have and not out of what you don’t have thus getting yourself into debt. It is also about a person giving what THEY purpose in their heart (2 Cor 9:7) . I wrote this to make it plain why Christians are not under any obligation to tithe anymore under the new covenant.

3. How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian)? - I really enjoyed writing this blog because it became very apparent to me that many people thought that they were Christians but they were actually self-deceived. This troubled me so I wanted to have some kind of ‘test’ whereby a person could measure up themselves to. Luckily the books of 1 and 2 John has such a test and has been one of my most popular posts that is found when people do searches, which tells me that a lot of people really do want to know if they are a Christian or not.

4. So you think that you’re a Christian. Power testimonies from former false converts - This ties in to number 3. When I heard these testimonies, I knew there were countless amount of people in this situation and I wanted to share it because I wanted others to see if they could see themselves in the mirror and if so, do something about it. The worse deception ever is to think that you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not

5. Spending Quality Time with God - This post always comes to haunt me because I know that this is something that I am constantly guilty of not doing but it is a constant reminder of where our priorities should be  

6. When your children don’t want to follow God – This post was and still is a very personal one to me. It hurts me to know that my children (so far) have decided to not follow Christ. I can only pray that God orchestrates the events in their life to point them to him.

7. Every Man’s Battle - I wrote this because it is a taboo subject amongst Christian men but can be a deadly poison if not dealt with….especially when it comes to the summer.

8. The Money Challenge - If anything, this is a shame on most of us as Christians about what motivates us to share the  gospel with others. I never want to be  Christian that as the gospel group, Commissioned, say in one of their songs that we “tend to find security in our salvation. We should constantly think about the lost”

9. Should we ever question what the man of God says – This post goes hand in hand with the post of Touch not the Lord’s anointed. Say goodbye to the untouchable preachers. The reason why I started this whole blogging stuff is because I questioned everything that I had previously heard and decided to go back to the basics of the gospel. You know, things like the cross, salvation, sin, repentance, faith, discipleship and NOT breakthroughs, blessings and divine favour which seems to be so prevalent in churches these days.

10. Christ is the only way, now you choose - I have posted many videos over the years but I love this video because it puts everything in perspective about what Christ has done and how he has provided a way out for those who have repented and put their trust in him

As you probably know that I am not a believer of tithing and think that it is unbiblical for us as new testament
christians to be under any compulsion to do so.

But here is a thought anyway. Is giving freely harder than tithing. Why do I ask? Because if a certain percentage is not specified, then surely what you do give, or if I am more specific, HOW you give exposes more about your heart. You see, you can have a person who pays his tithes every month without fail and it still can be unacceptable to God, where on the other hand, you may have a person who gives less than 10% and it can be totally acceptable to God because he gave with the right heart and the right motives. So I would argue that it is harder to give freely from your heart than a person telling you an amount or percentage to give and I believe that this is at the heart of why God has chosen this method of giving for new testament believers rather then tithing. Its all about our hearts. How we give and our motives for giving reveals a lot about our hearts.

Your thoughts?

I saw this article on a website which seems to have gone now but I found very helpful and I hope you do too

1. In discussing the two covenants, we are not refering to the division of the Bible into two sections, but to the periods of the two covenants on ground.

2. The Old covenant is the same as the Law, and the New is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:1-18)

3. The Old Covenant was targeted at only one nation – Israel. No-one outside of Israel was/is bound by the Law (Ephesians 2:11-12)

4. The New is NOT a continuation or extension of the Old. It is a replacement. (Hebrews 8: 7-13). Why? The Old was never intended as a permanent solution (Galatians 3:19-25)

5. Under the Old God spoke to people by prophets; but under the New He has spoken by His Son (Hebrews 1: 1-2)

6. The person who accepts one aspect of the Law is under obligation to keep the whole Law. Not doing so is condemnation (Galatians 5:3)

7. Submission to any aspect of the Law removes a believer from under grace and back into death (Galatians 5:1-4). Submitting to the Letter (the Law) kills a person spiritually (2 Corinthians 3:6), while doing away with the Law and living under grace (the Spirit) gives life.

Looking at this subject in details revealed major flaws in the teachings and practices of a majority of professing believers, including but not limited to:

a. Observance of tithing

b. Observance of firstruits and the other myriads of offerings

c. Submission to guidance and revelation from prophets

d. Seeking and depending on extra-Biblical revelations

The most shocking thing about this is the huge number of professing believers who are clearly not under grace by their many practices and beliefs – yet their leaders keep giving them a false assurance of salvation. It is both sad and shocking.

Related Posts:

What do we do with those old testament laws today?

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 10 – The misuse of old testament scriptures

Remember when Paul Crouch said this?

I never thought I would see this. John Macarthur on TBN but being the trooper that Johnny Mac is, he did not waver in his message at all.

I wonder what Paul and Jan Crouch thought of what he said. I also wonder if the same people who were agreeing with John MacArthur are the same people who agree with the pimps who are normally on TBN

Courtesy of Bro Melvin of Pulpit Pimps, this is the new publication from P.I.M.P Ministries that we have all been waiting for. Click on the thumbnail image to get a look at the new book, “Pulpit Pimping for Dummies [Third edition] from P.I.M.P Temple Press.

Pulpit Pimping for Dummies

Take your ministry to the next level. Walk in divine prosperity. Get the break through you keep promising the sheeple. Drive the best cars, live in the biggest house, fly the best planes and patronize the best restaurants.

The Dummies guide tells you how to convince people to give you more money than they can afford to give you. But not only that, it teaches you how to make those people to think you are doing them a favor by taking the money. We give you the secrets for convincing people to pay you their tithes BEFORE they pay their rent or electric bill. Do you want to make people financially dependent on you? We’ll tell you how.

You want to be worshiped as if you are the Christ? The Dummies guide teaches you how to walk, talk, and threaten so that even the most stubborn (though stupid) sheeple will be willing to quote you rather than the Bible.

Are there people in your congregation who regularly disagree with you and base that disagreement on an accurate understanding of Scripture? The Dummies guide gives you foolproof instructions on how get them out of your congregation and how to make the sheeple believe they are being obedient to God when they turn their backs on the rebel.

Once you begin to read the book and practice the techniques it promotes, you should see an almost immediate increase in your income. Tip toeing around you should increase by at least twenty percent – from the first week of practicing what the book preaches.

How do you intimidate without appearing to be doing so? It’s in there.

How do you get the congregation to buy you a house bigger than the apartment buildings most of your congregants live in? It’s in there.

Maybe you want to be the top earner in your state? Just like the rest of the stuff you want to do – it’s in there.

“Pulpit Pimping for Dummies” provides you all the information, and all the guidance you need to apply the information to get to where you want to be, to get what you want out of life, to rake in as much money, cars and other stuff as you want.

There’s even a special Scumbag section that has tons of information on how the best of the scumbags get away with sexual harassment and abuse, spanking, raping, incest and just plain fooling around with some of the Gospel groupies. We tell you how to intimidate folks to keep silent, what Scriptures to use to keep the sheeple thinking they should feel bad about doubting whatever you tell them, and how to make sure you are repeating “touch not God’s anointed” often enough to be effective but not often enough to lessen the impact.

What are the five characteristics of a worship leader that will make sure your offering always grow? They’re in there.

How do you pick the right men as deacons or elders to make sure you can take the church in whatever direction you want? Yep. It’s in there.

Want to know how to talk your way around the clear teaching against co-pastors, female pastors and bishops, or female elders? You guessed it. It’s in there.

If you order “Pulpit Pimping for Dummies” today, you will be on your way to becoming the top dog in your community. And before too long, you be reaching Bid Dogdom in your county and state. With a consistent application of the material, you could even end up on TBN and other venues for increasing your fame and ability to rake in money.

Here are some unsolicited testimonies from folks who have followed the advice in my book:

“I was having trouble getting the congregation to just buy me a new suit. But once I started following the advice of “P-P for Dummies” they not only buy me suits now, they even buy me cars. I had to build a new garage to handle all the overflow.” – Bishop Gary Hawkins

“I thought Pastor Melvin was crazy the first time I read his book. But after growing the church from eight people who wanted to follow Christ to 5,600 people willing to follow me any where, and give me anything, I recommend the book. Sure Melvin’s crazy – crazy like a fox.” – Bishop Eddie Long

“I went from a traditional Baptist church with two hundred families housed in a dinky little building in the center of Glenarden Maryland, to more than 7,000 members housed in mega church structure costing more than $55 million dollars. And I convinced everyone to build it in the middle of nowhere. Thanks “P-P for Dummies!” John K. Jenkins

“It’s hard to believe that people can be manipulated so easily. The stuff Melvin shared in the book works on television and over the internet just as well as it does in a church building. I would never have been able to get that second jet, the Citation, without his advice.” Ken Copeland

“Melvin helped me to understand that it doesn’t matter what you preach, whether you deny the diety of Jesus or the effectiveness of His death on the cross. He showed me how to get a really great business jet, residences in several cities, including New York City, and a load of cash like you wouldn’t believe. If you want to be the best Pulpit Pimp you can be, buy Melvin’s book. It will pay for itself by the next time you take up an offering using his advice.” Creflo Dollar

These are just some of the testimonies people have written in, proving that “Pulpit Pimping for Dummies” is a valuable tool for you to add to your preaching toolbox. With the added income practically guaranteed, you’ll be able to buy all those other book (commentaries, bible dictionaries and crap) so you can impress the one or two sheeple you occasionally allow into your house.

Order it now. Get your break through. Be the best pimp you can be with no more effort than it takes to go out to dinner.

I had this post in my draft for some time but after listening to Doug’s Podcast where he mentioned tithing, I have decided that I will put my case forward (hopefully in really simple terms) why I do not believe that we, as new testament believers, are obliged to tithe today. I will try and refrain from going into too much details about how Israel was to tithe

Tithe

I will break this down into the Old and the New Testament

The Old Testament

The first mention of tithing was in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham ‘gave tithes of all’ to Melchizedek. Notice how Abraham did this freely and it was not a commandment from God. Then the next mention of tithing is in the mosaic law in Leviticus 27. I did a previous post called ‘What do we do with those old testament laws today which you can view here where I broke down the various laws in the old testament. I believe that tithing would come under civil law and is not binding on us today.

The New Testamant

So what about the new testament? Is tithing mentioned? Well we can see Jesus apparently endorsing tithes in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42……or did he?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Matthew 23:23)

These scriptures are the ones that people use as proof text that Jesus commanded that we tithe today, but while Jesus was alive he was still operating under the old testament laws and the new testament had not fully been ratified. How do we know this? I would say for two reasons.

Firstly, when Jesus healed people, one of the first things he told them was to show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Luke 17:14). This was part of the levitical law (Leviticus 14:2) and we do not have to do this today.

Secondly, Hebrews 9:15-17 makes it clear that a new testament can only come in place after the death of the testator.

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

The other references to tithing are in Hebrews 7 which just reference the old testament stating historical fact so again, they are not a commandment to us.

So what is the new testament pattern for giving?

I believe that 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 give us the principles for giving today.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (which tithers do); for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7)

In a sense, it is harder to give from the heart as God sees the motives for why you are giving.

There are many people giving tithes to the church out of what they don’t have and as a result, get into real debt. I think the bible says something different.

11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality , that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. (2 Cor 8:11-14)

If you are in serious debt e.g. arrears in loans, then you should be doing what you can to pay back that money to the loan company and then when you can, then give . This is called good stewardship and should not be seen as ‘not putting God first”. If you don’t have, you can’t give and should not be made to feel guilty for ‘not paying your tithes’. As the scripture above says, there should be equality, but that it not what we see these days. A lot of churches are getting fatter financially and their members are suffering as a result.

So there you are. That is my case for why I believe that we do not have to tithe today. God is not so much interested in the amount you give but more the heart and motive in which it is given, whether that be 10%, 1% or 20%.