Is Tithing for the Christians?

Tithing was initially practiced by Abraham when he gave Melchizedek a tithe of the goods he recovered from the war. (Genesis 14:17-20). The Lord gave the law of tithing to the Israelite, so that they can imbibe the habit of giving to the needy. (Numbers 18:26)
I chose to write on tithing, because of the growing numbers of new converts in the church whose faith had being affected by the exaggerated teachings of some greedy Preachers. Tithing has nothing to do with your salvation in Jesus Christ.


What does the Bible Say about Tithing?

God adopted the strategy of tithing as a way of establishing abundance in the temple, and as a source of help to the poor Israelite. The Bible explained the full details of how tithing should be done in the Old Testament.


Deuteronomy chapter 26 verse 12 to 15 says: “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year-the year of tithing-and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before the LORD your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them…”
If you had spent more than three years in a church that believes in tithing, then the Pastor must not collect your every third year tithes from you. You are to share the tithing as described in Deuteronomy 26:12-14. Any contradiction to that law by anyone is a sin.
If you worship in a church which is under the law of tithing, then don’t allow greedy Pastors or false doctrines to put you into trouble. You must follow the law to the letter by sharing your every third year tithes among your pastor and poor people in your area.
The Bible also mentioned the importance of tithing in Malachi chapter 3 verse 10a: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house …”
God does not eat human food, but He does not want the Priests and their family to die of hunger in the temple.


The Promises of God to Tithe Givers

God understands that tithing must come from a joyful heart. So, He chose to reward every tithe giver as a way of encouraging them to do more.

Let’s read the promises of God to tithe givers in Malachi chapter 3 verse 10b -12: “…And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts…”

Tithing in the New Testament

My careful study of the Old Testament shows that tithing had been the major source of income for the priests. The tithes from the successful farmers are also the source of help for the poor in the community. I searched the New Testament to find out if tithing is a continuous law for the Christian, but I noticed something more interesting than tithe.
Tithing in the Old Testament was a peripheral of the act of giving generous offering in the New Testament. Jesus Christ did not give any teaching on tithing, unlike other commandments recorded in the book of Mathew chapter 5, 6 and 7.
Jesus made a reference to tithe when He scolded the Pharisee for practicing tithing without a righteous lifestyle. Mathew chapter 23 verses 23 says: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, 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.”



Generous Offering is more valuable than tithing

Tithing is giving one-tenth of your income. But, generous offering is giving more than one-tenth of your income. Jesus Christ did not frown at tithing, but He teaches generous offering.
Thus, tithing is a prerequisite to generous offering. Mark chapter 12 verse 41 to 44 says: “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrant. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Another teaching of Jesus that supersedes tithing is written in the book of Luke chapter 6 and verse 38 which says: “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
So, about the new rule from our Lord Jesus, if you give one-tenth of your income only, then the measure of your reward is limited. When you give half of your income, then your reward is more than the tithe giver. The more you give for God’s mission, the more blessings you will receive from Him.
The Apostles of Jesus did not generate income for the early church through tithing. Their financial source was through generous offerings and not tithing.

A true instance can be seen in the book of Act chapter 4 verse 32 to 37: “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common… Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”
Every Christian of the early church was not under the law of tithing, but they contributed more than tithe of their earnings.
The request of Paul to the Corinthians shows that tithing was not a form of raising money for the spread of the Gospel. 1Corinthians chapter 16 verse 1 and 2 says: “Now about the money being collected for the Christians in Jerusalem…On every Lord’s Day, each of you should put aside some amount of money in relation to what you have earned and save it for this offering…” (NLT)
I always feel uncomfortable when I listen to some Pastors who lay too much emphasis on tithe as the source of blessing to the congregation. Your greatest blessing is from the measure and quality of your offering.
God will never force you to give a specific amount of money in this generation. He expects you to give as much as you can freely release from your heart.
The first act of giving recorded in the Bible is offering and not tithing. I got this fact in the book of Genesis chapter 4 and verse 3 to 5: “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering…”
Many years ago, I gave all my income for the sponsor of an evangelical trip to a remote village. And I was overwhelmed by God’s multiple folds of blessings in my life. So, I chose not to stop giving generously to evangelical trips.
Tithing is not sinful, but Jesus Christ expects Christians to do more of generous offering. The cost of spreading the Gospel across the world is more expensive than the running cost of the temple (in the Old Testament). Thus, give more than tithing so that the Gospel could spread all over the world, and the measure of your blessing will be great.

About Ekundayo

I am an evangelist in the vineyard of the Lord since 2000 moving from one place to another to spread the gospel of Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *