Here are some of the questions and comebacks I get from people when I challenge the practice of tithing. I find that the questions are usually biased towards not changing the norm rather than from the perspective of someone who truly wants to understand what the truth is. If you are someone who is genuinely seeking to know the truth about this doctrine and how I came to know and be so confident that it is unbiblical, then I would recommend you read my article on it first, and then come back and check out this post.
So, for those who are just curious about what all the fuss is about, I sure hope this helps you understand and to take a stance one way or the other. God bless you.
1. Aren’t there more important things to talk about in Christianity?
I find this question to be a brush off. The person is basically saying, I am not interested. It doesn’t matter. But the truth is that this topic matters a great deal. The truth matters a great deal.
When you are in Church and the Pastor is telling off the congregation for robbing God, how many of you go up to him or her afterwards to ask, “Why do you keep going on about tithing? Aren’t there more important things to preach about?” Maybe you should try it! Then your Pastor will tell you why tithing is significant to him and his Church. Not God’s Church, however, because any man of God knows that the children of God are FREE from such (Matt 17:24-27).
The reason it is important for me to speak about tithing and to correct what you are being told on the matter is because THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE (John 8:32)! If they were telling you the truth about tithing, I wouldn’t need to preach a counter sermon. If I leave well enough alone, it means that either I support them, or I don’t care. Do you not care if you are being lied to? In the name of God?!
So until the matter is resolved, and Churches start preaching true doctrine, challenging the tithe is one of the things I am going to keep doing…so that you and I may live as free children of God.
2. But didn’t Jesus say He came to fulfil the Law, not abolish it?
Gbam! You have said it all. If the Law is fulfilled, by Jesus and Jesus alone, what are you doing trying to fulfil it still? It is fulfilled, and it is finished! Did you read that part of the Bible? Did you read how Paul said that the Law was like a School Master? Let me quote that for you:
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:24-26).
Trying to use this argument to justify tithing is really a faulty approach, because if you can use it to justify tithing under the New Covenant, then it can also be used to justify 8th Day Circumcision, Sabbath Day observance, stoning of disobedient children to death, continuation in various animal sacrifices and feasts, and basically every single law Moses gave the Israelites to keep, otherwise, they would be cursed! There were very particular rules about all these things, so you would have to really know them to keep them, to the letter! How good are you doing obeying all these laws, because Jesus didn’t abolish them, only fulfilled them? Is it only tithing you care to keep – or that those who seek to deceive and enslave you care for?
3. So, are you trying to say that we shouldn’t obey our parents because the Law is fulfilled?
Now, you are picking at straws. This is what we are told, in the New Testament:
“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:7-10).
So, do you owe your parents respect? Give them their due respect. Love all people, and exalt God the highest. And no, you do not owe God tithes. Tithes served a special purpose in the Old Covenant, as they were set apart for the Levites and the poor, and to use in worshiping God.
In the New Covenant, Jesus tells us to give as freely as we have received from God (Matt 10:8). We should be kind and merciful as our Father in Heaven, even to our enemies (Matt 5:44-48). Giving is loving. You don’t need to prescribe it when you are living by faith and being led by the Spirit of God.
4. But isn’t tithing like a principle that predates the Law? Didn’t Abraham tithe?
No, Abraham did not tithe. Not according to the practice of tithing in the Jewish Law. And not according to the practice of tithing in Modern Day Christianity. There is actually no Biblical example of modern day tithing. It is absolutely fictitious and a made-up doctrine, and the one incident of Abraham’s free will offering recorded in the Bible is used to give it a backbone, but the whole thing falls apart under closer inspection. Even the Jews do not tithe today, because the rules on tithing were very specific.
Yes, Moses and the writer of Hebrews referred to Abraham’s giving as a ‘tithe’, but it was only a symbolic reference. I shared a post on Instagram about this last year:
In practice, a tithe is never a one off. And by Law, a tithe is from your first fruits of increase through labour, and never from War.
Abraham did not tithe EVER from his labour, but gave a #freewill #offering of 10% of SPOILS OF WAR to #Melchizedech ONCE – AFTER Melchizedech blessed him! It was not given to obtain #blessing!
Abraham’s ‘tithe’ was symbolic. He was a type of #Christ, as the Hebrew’s writer said that through his one-time, free and uncoerced offering, the Levites, who did not pay Tithes according to the Law of Moses, paid tithes to #God! Abraham prophetically #redeemed them from the #Covenant of #Jacob, where Jacob promised to tithe IF God would #bless Him! And after #Jesus came and died to deliver us from #Sin and #Death and to fulfil the Law of God, the #Jews were ALSO delivered from this covenant!
Abraham did not tithe in #obedience to ANY law, whether written or unwritten. He gave #freely, by #faith, and retained NOTHING of the spoils of war he had gotten. He gave away 100%, for he said: “lest the king of Sodom think he had made Abram rich”. He gave by the #Spirit and not by #Law, fulfiling the requirement of Faith in God.
You can read the complete post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BclxebanYkg/?taken-by=ufuomaee
5. Why should God care if we tithe or not? As long as we love our neighbour…
Here is the last ditch attempt to end the argument without changing your mind on the issue. If you think God doesn’t care whether you tithe or not, then I think you don’t know God at all. Is it not your Pastors who use Malachi 3 to threaten you to tithe? God spoke powerfully in Malachi, because the tithe was important to Him and His covenant with the Jewish people! It mattered to Him that they tithed. Likewise, it mattered to Him that they circumcised their young in keeping with His covenant. Wasn’t it because of this that God wanted to slay Moses?
Yet, Paul fought a good fight against the practice of circumcision under the New Covenant – which by the way is the only religious practice that can be said to be “Abrahamic”, because it started with Abraham! Someone could have told him, “God doesn’t care if we circumcise or not” or even “Circumcision predates the Law, Paul!”, to end his quest to liberate the Jews from their bondage to the Law…and to stop them from enslaving the Gentiles in their minds too. Of course, when they are in their gathering, circumcising themselves and compelling the Gentiles to be circumcised, the same people that would shout – “God doesn’t care if you circumcise or not” – are the ones who will either keep quiet, or assist in the circumcision, or even compel others to do so, just to keep the peace!
These people do not know God nor fear Him! If they did, they would know that such rebellion grieves Him deeply! Do you think God doesn’t care that His people are being deceived and cheated? IN HIS NAME??!
Is it loving to lie to people? To cheat people? To enslave people? To turn a blind eye when you see people being deceived??? No, it is wickedness and God won’t stand for it!
Do you know what it cost Him to set you free? It cost Him Jesus’ blood! And you trample it, when you say that it doesn’t matter if you continue to do the things Jesus has liberated you from! You spit in His face and say His sacrifice was meaningless!
And so Paul spoke strongly to the Galatians:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal 5:1-4).
This is true also for you, if you continue in tithing; if you practice it, condone it, encourage it, or collect it! You will bear the curse of the Law…unless you repent! It is not all who call Jesus “Lord, Lord” that will be saved (Matt 7:21-23). It is those who continue in His word – in the Way, the Truth and the Life – not turning back to the former things, that are truly His disciples (John 8:31-32, Gal 3:10-13, Heb 10:38-39)!
And if you are wondering why Paul made no issue of tithing in the New Testament, it is simply because IT WAS NEVER PRACTICED by the Christians. They were all very clear on it being an old Covenant practice, and it didn’t even get a mention when the Apostles met in Jerusalem to agree on what the Believers should hold to going forward (Acts 15: 19-29)! If there was ever a time to mention tithing, that was it. Tithing was brought back centuries later by sneaky wolves in sheep’s clothing! It continues today by the power of tradition and the greed and wickedness of men!
6. How then shall the Church be funded if people do not tithe?
This sounds like a good question, but it really is an insult. It is as though they have not heard anything you have said. But it helps to remember that they are still operating from a legalistic mindset, and do not understand their liberty and EMPOWERMENT in Christ. Also, many people are distrusting of other people’s sincerity, so they feel that even if they don’t need a law to help them give, that others do! But get this, the Law is for the lawless (1 Tim 1:9-10)!!!
It is unbelievers, those without the Spirit of God, who need the Law to compel them to do what is right. Children of God have God’s Spirit and His generous heart, and they are givers! You only need to teach and encourage them to give, in cases where they may be in doubt or want. That is exactly what Jesus and Paul did. They preached and taught on giving not tithing (Luke 6:38, Matt 10:41-42, Luke 12:33-34, 2 Cor 9, 1 Cor 9:1-14). And the disciples obeyed, and they gave!
It is actually recorded that when they started out, everyone who joined the Church sold off everything they had and laid them at the Apostles’ feet (Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:32-35). And when a couple tried to deceive God, because they really didn’t believe or have His heart, and just wanted to see how they could take advantage of this new “craze”, this was what Peter said to them before they were both struck dead:
“Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:4).
Note Peter’s words: While it was still in your hands, was it not in your power? God has given you stewardship over all that you have – all that He has given you. He has also given you enough wisdom to know how to multiply it and if you have His heart, you will have compassion for the poor, and you will support the ministry of the Gospel. As long as it is in your hands, it is yours to disperse. But don’t lie to any man or God about how much you are giving or willing or able to give. Give by faith, as you are led and empowered.
If the Body of Christ is truly made up of people with God’s Spirit, then the same situation, where there was no lack among them, will be experienced today in the Church! People would give, and they would give over and beyond what is expected of them. Because they have God’s heart! They wouldn’t hoard wealth so that few are rich and many are poor!
The continuance in tithing is because of insincerity in the hearts of men and a lack of faith in God to build up His own Church! Why would you want to collect tithes from someone who has a heart of stone? Who is just living by the Law? Who is probably criminal or corrupt, and thinks there is magic in giving, because you promised them God’s blessings? God doesn’t want their tithes nor their offerings! What God wants is their heart!
7. Okay, I hear you, but what about Matthew 23:23? Didn’t Jesus validate the tithe?
After all this, you still get this wild card thrown in your face! Often, they just quote the verse and run away! While shutting their ears of course. The thing is, they just can’t fathom how they have been preached this teaching a thousand times, they have finally made peace with it, and taught others to give their tithes too, and here you are scattering all their foundation!
Well, someone did the “drop verse and run” on me, and I gave him my response on Instagram. Here it is:
I have a few questions for you;
1. Who was #Jesus talking to? If you stop and consider, you will realise that He was talking to the Pharisees.
2. When was Jesus saying this? Before His death, when the Law of Moses was still in effect.
3. Why did Jesus say this? He said it NOT to tell them that they ought to tithe which was right in light of the law, but that they ought not to ignore the WEIGHTIER matters of the Law.
However, like a typical #pharisee, you seem to be straining at a gnat, tithing, which is inconsequential, while ignoring the VERY point of Jesus’ quote here. Jesus referred to tithing in passing. He validated its practice within the law. This should be no confirmation nor validation for those in the #NewCovenant to continue in this. Please pray for #wisdom.
I think I will leave it on that note. Pray for wisdom. I am really not trying to divide God’s Body. Like Paul, I desire your liberty, and the liberty of those who are listening to you and may be persuaded to give tithes, just because everyone is doing it…or worse, because they think God will curse them or not bless them.
If you’re in Christ, you are already blessed! And whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36)!
Live free in Jesus’ name!
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
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