Many Christians especially those who claim to be ‘independent’ of ‘corporate churches’ are convinced that tithing is not because they don’t want to send money to an organization they don’t believe in. Others still wish to remain faithful, but have tithing questions of their own. SheSpell.com last Sunday raised this question and today we compile some of the questions/statements various people contributed.
Tithes are needed to support the ministry of the Word of God is a New Testament command which cannot be denied by those who claim to follow Christ and the early Church. The Church today still has a commission — that commission must be financed. It takes money to reach the modern world by modern methods of mass communication. It requires funds to finance the physical facilities necessary to convey that message, to train ministers to pastor the flocks which are produced as a result of the preaching, and to maintain local congregations. The Work of God has grown large and the cost of preaching the gospel and feeding the resultant flock has become prodigious!
Tithes and offerings don’t enrich God at all. He has commanded His people to support His Church for their own good. They learn the give way of life, they grow in spiritual character, and they become better prepared to rule, partly through their support whether financial contributions, labor, encouragement or prayer of the work is being done.
Every Christian who is growing spiritually has his heart completely in the work God has given His Church to accomplish. Our “works” include our part in supporting the work God is inspiring His Church to do preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the whole world as a witness. God’s Spirit-begotten children are His instruments in fulfilling His great commission to His Church in the end time! The members’ spiritual character growth and the work of the Church are inseparable.
If any member stops supporting the work being done, that member will stop growing. But as the members support the Church, they will also grow spiritually! And as they please God, He will bless and magnify the effectiveness of the work being done.
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD” (Leviticus 27:30-31). This says that all the tithe of the land is the LORD’s, it says it includes fruits and seeds but does not say that is all that it includes. Also notice the following: Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine (Proverbs 3:9-10).
Most Christians ask it is my money, so why can’t I keep it?
This is what the bible says. “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, 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” “(Malachi 3:8-10).
God thus expects both tithes and offerings. It takes faith to tithe, and many do not have real faith (see also Faith for those God has Called and Chosen). Can you believe God and truly show that you believe His word? Do you really trust God (Proverbs 3:5) and let Him direct your paths (Proverbs 3:6)?
Tithing provides a blessing that many do not realize–it tends to make people have to put together a budget. And while some would do that anyway, tithing helps not only our finances, but helps us “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” which comes with the blessing that ” all these things,” meaning physical needs (Matthew 6:31-32), “shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Tithing is not a heavy burden. If you have faith and will live as a Christian, over time, you should see that you can handle it. But you need to have faith and believe Jesus.
Should we tithe on the Gross or the Net?
While one is welcome to give more, the Bible teaches that one was only required to tithe on the “increase” or profits from farming or other ventures. Tithing on the “increase” is mentioned in Deuteronomy 14:22 and 26:12 and is also consistent with the teachings in Proverbs 3:9-10 (also previously quoted). A person’s pre-tax income is not in fact his income; it never “comes in” to his possession or bank account. The fundamental biblical fact, although generally overlooked, is this: each individual head of household in ancient Israel was responsible for making his own decisions, before his God, as to what constituted “increase.” Nowhere in all the Bible are specific details or regulations given in this matter.
It depends upon one’s individual financial circumstances. Some have to shoulder financial responsibilities that others do not. With every nation having its own tax laws (which are constantly changing), there is no possible way for the Church to make a definitive and equitable decision applicable to everyone in the matter of tithing before or after taxes. Such should be a very personal, private matter between the individual and his God, knowing he can never be in God’s Kingdom unless he is truly a generous, giving, serving, sharing Christian.