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Posts Tagged ‘to tithe or not to tithe’

giving

 

I know that we are told that we are to tithe 10% of our income to the church. As Christians, we are bombarded with church leaders “reminding” us that it is our duty to tithe to the church. But, where do these tithes go? What does the church do with the money? Unfortunately, all too often, our tithes go into maintaining buildings, property, programs and salaries. Our tithes aren’t going where God intended them to go: to those in need.

The question is: Are we still under the law to tithe 10% or are we to follow the Holy Spirit and give as He leads? I am not saying that we are not to give. Jesus tells us to give generously. I just don’t believe that we are still under the law to tithe 10%.

The other question is: Are we required to give our tithes to the church?

The answer to the first question is in the following verses:

 

Galatians 5:18

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Matthew 23:23

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

As Christians today, we are led by the Holy Spirit. We are not under the law, like the teachers of the law and Pharisees, in Matthew 23:23. We are to give as the Holy Spirit leads us to give. Be warned though, that the Holy Spirit often leads us to give more than 10%:

2 Corinthians 8:3

For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 

They gave even beyond their ability. They gave entirely on their own. Yes, sometimes we are asked to give even more than we are able. Matthew 6:19-21 tells us:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I attended a church for several years and had questioned some of their practices. I had come to care about these people, but some of things being taught raised some red flags for me and what I believed to be biblical. I was sitting in our bi-monthly after service lunch and business meeting, when the subject turned to the church savings account and the amount $28,000. They were discussing a purchase or some such. They ultimately decided against the purchase so they could “store up their treasure” in case the roof leaked or the furnace gave out. Their decision was to keep saving for a rainy day. I was dismayed. $28,000 sitting in a bank account, being saved for a rainy day, when there were so many people in need that could have used some help. I attended another church right after they moved into their large, brand new church building. I was overwhelmed by the non-stop plea for money. The entire service was one giant commercial to support the church. I did not return.

My second question was: Are we required to give our tithes to the church?

I believe the following scriptures answer this question:

Matthew 19:21

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Acts 2:45

45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Acts 4:32-37

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

I don’t believe we are under any obligation to give our tithes and offerings directly to the church. I don’t feel it is good stewardship of my money to give to maintain buildings, programs and to pay salaries, when Jesus made it clear that we were to give to those in need. I know that if church leaders actually read this post, I will hear about it, but God cares about people. The buildings could go up in flames tomorrow and what do you have left? You have people who still need to be cared for. Give to those in need. This is the most important thing.

These scriptures also, provide an answer for question number one. They tell us to sell our possessions and property to give to those in need. The early believers didn’t hold anything as their own. They gave as there was need, sharing EVERYTHING they had. They were not greedy. They were not selfish. They didn’t care about having the grandest church building or the most programs. The early believers cared about each other. They cared about everyone having enough. WOW! What a concept! Where is that spirit in the American church today? Unfortunately, almost non-existent.

If you are reading this post, I want you to feel the freedom from the guilt trip you may be under to tithe only to the church. I want you to be free from the guilt of having to tithe 10% and no less. Give as the Holy Spirit leads. What you give is between you and God and no one else. If the Spirit is leading you to tithe 10% to your church, then by all means, do so. I just know that there are many people who feel like I did. You aren’t sure what the truth is. I hope I’ve helped. If you still aren’t sure, do your own research. Dig into the truth, found only in the Bible. You can always contact me and we can search together. If you need prayer, I am always here to pray with you. My priority is that my readers know the truth of what the Bible says. You will ALWAYS find the truth here. That is my promise!  God Bless!

 

 

 

 

 

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