Stop Tithing & Get Out of Debt

There it is, I said it. I think this is the first i’ve ever heard myself go straight out and say it. Stop tithing, and Get out of debt. I don’t want you to give another dime until all of your unsecured credit is paid off. I’m not talking about your house, or your car, or your school loans. I’m talking about all the store and credit card debt. Get out of Debt!

“No one can serve two masters”. Although that statement in context of scripture was not referring to debt, i believe it is applicable as a stewardship principle. It’s hard to serve God with your money while you are still a slave to debt. It’s also hard to serve God with your money while you are a slave to possessions as well. I know there are some legitimate people who are not slaves to possessions, but have some debt lingering over them. In those cases the simple answer is get out of debt and then your can give God your money.

Do not bow to the pressure of the tithing threats. God does not judge a person by what they’ve given; He judges them by what they’ve kept. You need to be a wise steward, and part of that is making the decision to get out of debt, and then give to God. Actually, here’s a thought that just ran through my head. Who said that paying your bills and striving to get out of debt is not giving to God. The misconception is that paying your bills or striving to be debt free is not a spiritual way of giving. Are you somehow dishonoring God if you pay off your debts? Why would God be more honored if you paid the parishioner, but was late on your bills? Where is the honor in that?

God judges us based on our stewardship. I’ve stated this so many times as an example, but it is so relevent: The servant who gave 100% back to the master when he returned, was the one considered a bad steward. A good analogous word for “steward” is “investor”.

At the end, the truth is we will be judged by our investments. Whether we are in debt or not, If we’ve invested in the worldly things, then God will burn up our works like wood, hay, and stubble. If you are struggling financially, and cannot get out of debt no matter what you’ve done, then stop giving it away and start investing in the plan to get out of debt. If you have trouble with debt because of self control, then get some accountability, get some instructions, follow a plan to stop spending; and start investing in a debt-free life. Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial offer good programs to help you get out of debt. Don’t feel guilty about putting your money towards debt instead of in the offering plate. God will honor your decision for being a wise, investing steward.

Remember, God’s blessings are reaped naturally by a cause and effect more then they are reaped miraculously, such as money falling from the sky. You will reap what you sow. So if you sow a debt-free life, you will reap the rewards that come from it. The natural reward of a debt free life is not money falling from the sky. Although i wouldn’t pass that up.

There are only two paths you can take towards Godly stewardship. One leads to debt as your master, and the other path leads to financial freedom as your master. Which path are you going to choose?

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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115 comments on “Stop Tithing & Get Out of Debt
  1. bill Mack says:

    There is one question of imminent importance in all of this discussion: Who gave New Covenant church leaders the authority to say to the Body of Christ “God demands a tithe (tenth of your monetary income)?   Or a tenth of anything else, for that matter!  Apostle Paul stated in Gal. 1:8 “But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed”.  He then emphasizes his point by repeating the very same thing in verse 9.  Well, Paul never even mentions the word tithe in all the NT epistles which he authored (unless he happens to be the author of Hebrews; authorship is uncertain).  But read and understand the reason Hebrews was written.  So preachers today who insist that God demands a tithe are preaching another gospel.  Why was tithing in the church not practiced from Apostolic times until about 1880?  Who was wrong, the apostles, early church fathers, and preachers prior to circa 1880, or modern day preachers who have reached back into the old covenant to place new covenant believers in bondage?  Why not mandate Sabbath observance, circumcision, etc?  Maybe because there would be no money involved?  Instead of exercising faith that the Lord would move the hearts of the congregants to generously give to supply the needs, they fear, and seek to control them by intimidation and coercion.  Study to show yourself approved and you won’t be taken unfair advantage of.  Let God be true and every man a liar.

    • RODNEY says:

      Tithing is found all the way through the Bible from Genesis to 1 Corithians 16 :1-2
       If it is  just a Jewsih Law Than why did The aposle Paul ask them to set aside  at the first Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.” (1 Cor 16:1-2) The principles of Giving is sowing and reaping Tithing is just training wheels to being  a real giver You will never out give God It may not come back to you in cash It will come back favorably Cast thy bread up on the water … Give and it shall be given unto you God loves a cheerfull giver Squabbling about percentage is so trivial in the scope of eternity Men and women Need Jesus . The Gosple needs to go forward Just use descernment and prayerfully give to the right ministry and Know them which labor among you

      • bill Mack says:

        Rodney, no disrespect intended, but in reading your comment, it appears to me that you havn’t done your homework.  Your understanding of what the scriptures require concerning the tithe is lacking.  In I Cor 16 Paul was not talking about tithing.  We cannot freely use the words “tithing” and “giving” interchangeably.  To tithe would seem to always mean to give; but to give does not always mean to tithe.  Today the concept of tithing always refers to God’s command to OT Jews in connection with the Law of Moses.  The objects to be tithed were livestock, grain, wine, oil, etc.,not money!  The reason for tithing was because the tribe of Levi (the priesthood) received no land inheritance with which to grow crops and raise livestock in order to provide for their sustenance.  The tithe was God’s provision for them.  There are many valid criticisms of New Covenant forced tithing in this thread based on solid scriptural research.  Have you read them with understanding?  You should understand that my opinions and your opinions will not hold up against God’s opinions and His ways.  We need to base our arguments on what the Word of God says: nothing added and nothing taken away.  May God be praised.

    • Joy O. says:

      I agree. First of all the body of Christ totally misses the point about tithing. The reason for tithing in the Old Testament was to raise welfare funds for the fatherless and widows and to rebuild and maintain the synagogue. The church today builds monumental churches but neglect to assist their members who are struggling to live. Some churches even tax members to buy their pastors a brand new Benz to show appreciation. America was founded on the bible and that’s why a 10% deduction is taking out of your check every two weeks and sometimes more. So if you have to deduct another 10%, then what’s left for you?

  2. Don Castleberry says:

    Should I tithe on my student loans that isn’t enough to cover the courses I must take?

  3. Nate says:

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to chime in on this subject as I have some pretty strong convictions on the subject.

    Like many of you I grew up in a Christian home and church that taught tithing as a law. The commands of the old testament are brought forward into the new covenant while other old testament commands are simply excused as part of the old covenant.

    After studying the subject of tithing and money extensively I have come to the following conclusions:

    1. Tithing is not mandatory for New Testament Christians
    2. Churches are guilty of focusing on one element of Biblical Finance – namely “Tithing”

    yet

    I still practice Tithing as a biblical principle and I disagree in part with the premise of the above article.

    I think churches and preachers have missed the boat in the fact that they rarely teach the whole counsel of God on the subject of finances. Here are just a few examples of Biblical principles from the book of Proverbs.

    Principle #1 – Give God your first and best

    The old testament tithe was not just about giving 10% it was about giving God the best of your herd, the best of your crops, the first of what you have. This does not make logical sense and you would naturally keep your best animals for breeding, however, the process required “faith” which God is always looking for. Not to mention that giving is a form of worship.

    Proverbs 3:9 “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

    Principle #2 – Stay away from Greedy people
    Proverbs 1:13-15

    Principle #3 – Wisdom is more valuable than Gold and Silver
    Proverbs 3:13

    Principle #4 – Pay your bills on time and do not postpone payment
    Proverbs 3:27-28

    Principle #5 – Don’t co-sign other peoples debts
    Proverbs 6:1

    Principle #6 – Work hard, save and prepare for the future
    Proverbs 6:6-11

    Principle #7 – Illegal, immoral gain will not profit
    This would include cheating on taxes, reporting hours not worked etc.
    Proverbs 10:2

    Principle #8 – Diligence and hard work will make you rich
    Proverbs 10:4

    Principle #9 – Quick money dwindles – slow and steady wins the race
    Proverbs 13:11

    Principle #10 – A good man leaves an inheritance to two generations
    Proverbs 13:22

    Principle #11 – The borrower is slave to the lender
    Proverbs 22:7

    Principle #12 – Lack of self control will be destructive to your life (and finances)
    Proverbs 25:28

    I could go on and on.

    Here is the thing. Preachers tell you that you can tithe your first and best (which is certainly a principle from scripture) and ignore all these other principles and God will magically make everything go well for you. This is simply not true. If you do not work hard, use self control, pay your bills, stay out of debt, save for the future – things will not go well for you.

    Many Christians who are in a financial hole are there because they have disregarded these principles – or at least many of them.

    I agree with the author of this article in this: GET OUT OF DEBT! The borrower is slave to the lender.

    My question is simply this – If you are in debt because you disregarded some of God’s financial principles for your life in the past, is the solution to ignore another of God’s principles in order to correct it?
    (namely first and best – note: this does not have to be tithing but it should be sacrificial and regular – not just after all the bills are paid)

    EXAMPLE: If I lack self control and buy things I do not need on my credit card or lose my job because I did not show up when I was supposed to — should I now stop giving regularly to God until I have made up the deficit?

    Interesting Note:
    As a board member of a local church – I can tell you firsthand that people who give as the “lord leads” – RARELY – even come close to giving 10% of their income. Many people who oppose tithing (often for good reason) spend more money on their hobbies or cable t.v. than they give. I am not judging anyone – just simple stating the facts as I have seen them in action. It is peculiar that God rarely leads people to give 20 or 30%. We do see this in the book of ACTS.

    Nate

  4. Non-Tithing Christian says:

    Nate,

    God doesn’t need our money to accomplish great things in our churches. Giving is a principle, that when followed, transforms the heart of the giver to be more like God, the ultimate Giver. This is the main point of giving for Christians. Unfortunately though, when churches receive money they don’t always carry forward the same spirit of faithfull stewardship in how money is allocated. That’s how we end up with uber rich pastors living high on the hog or extravagant buildings to worship in. As I have stated in this discussion before, 10% is NOT a number for giving that we Christians should be judged by for either being seen as “more faithful” or “less faithful” depending on which side of that number we regularly fit into when we give. For me, personally, I don’t have cable TV, we have one old paid for car shared by the whole family, and we don’t take extravagant vacations and we probably still don’t give like some church leaders think we should and are judged for it…Not everything is always how it seems. Be careful when you are in a position in church where you can be tempted to judge in a way that would have negative, yet unintended results…

    • Nate says:

      I hear you and I agree. The point I was trying to make was simply that I believe the principle of giving first and best is a scriptural one and cannot be ignored. This does not have to be 10% as you have so carefully pointed out. If we do not give to God off the top … He is essentially getting left overs. I think each person needs to prayerfully consider what that means for them, and give it first! That is the only point I am making.

      I do not judge what people give because it is none of my business. There are as you say, many pastors who abuse scriptural teaching on money to their own advantage. There are also countless people who say they cannot give to God while they spend large amounts on their own luxuries. I am glad that you are not this type of person, but I in no way inferred that you were. My concern has been that many such people who are looking for a reason NOT to give could use your well meaning reflections to their own advantage (which may really be their disadvantage). If they don’t want to give … why are they anyways?

      I am not looking for a debate. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents into the conversation.

      Regards.

      • Julius says:

        I think too many believers have been manipulated by the misuse of the phrase “giving to God”.

  5. Brett Gordon says:

    God does not need our money, so when he commands that his people tithe, He isn’t looking for money… He doesn’t need our money… He is looking for faith and obedience. When we are asked to give him our first fruits – off the top – He is looking for trust in His word. By not tithing, you are not trusting; you are not being obedient. You are saying, in effect, that God is unable – or unwilling – to provide, so I must push Him aside and fend for myself until I decide when I am ready to trust and obey him (or at least, when my financial situation eases up enough to let me reconsider my tithing position). In my experience, tithing is a no-brainer. Even when I was laid off for 6 months, I tithed. I am where I am today because when I remembered Him, He remembered me – He promised to, after all. If you’d like to hear about my story with respect to tithing. Blessings

  6. Tom says:

    @Barbara: I (am from Germany) was also a tither and giver and gave (from my standpoint of view) huge amounts of my money away. The results were always material and financial poverty, lack of means and the inability to seize opportunities. Even my colleagues at work were wondering what was the matter with me, what in the world was I doing with my money that I couldn’t afford some new clothes. Did I have some hidden children to provide for? Only after years I changed my mind, stopped tithing and invested my earnings in renovating my life, buying new clothes (no designer clothes), some furniture and a computer I was desiring so much. That was in 2001. Never, never did God curse me for that decision. But instead of being cursed by God because I didn’t tithe any longer, I felt happy and got blessed and He enriches my life in small steps. Now in 2014 I still live in very modest conditions, I do my job, seek the Lord, but am allowed from Him to do certain things which none of the leaders ever would allow me to do. He showed me that there are lots of other things you can do to do His will. Christianity isn’t just money. Instead of giving money You can give a lot of other things which often those people who tithe have unlearned to do, because they were so focussed on money. God wants your money, they say! No, He wants of you to give Him an hour of prayer in the first place, then to get His Word into your heart, which takes time, because His Word covers incredibly many topics, then to be friendly to other people, to help an old man cross the street, to help your pastor do some copies, to think the right thoughts, speak friendly words and so forth. This is also giving. Get back to the right things. Get back to love amoung each other. Get back to Jesus. That’s how I see the situation today. Barbara, I haven’t forgotten on how to give money, but I do it today, as the Holy Spirit leads me. I give to the poor and the rich get nothing.

  7. Denise says:

    I was paying tithe faithfully, and recently stopped due to mounting medical bills due to my spouse’s very serious health issues & inability to work, as well as a pay cut at my job. We also had fallen into using credit cards to buy things & although I continued paying tithe, I was having to take money out of savings to cover the tithe. I felt terribly guilty about not paying tithe, however, since reading Dave’s advice re: tithe & debt, I feel somewhat better. We are not using credit cards now, and are slowly chipping away at our debt. God takes care of us in spite of our mistakes & poor decisions.

  8. Tom says:

    Hi everyone, I have a request: Are there any churches who do not teach tithing and yet prosper (people get saved regularly, services prosper, people prosper)? In reverse: Are there any churches who strongly teach tithing and fail or peple get poor?

  9. Robert Munyui Kamunyu says:

    Tithing was under and is under the law with a curse for Christians seeking salvation under the law,Leviticus27:1-34,Malachi 3:1-18.When bishops, pastors and priests humbly lie by quoting tithes in Malachi 3:1-18,under the law IN OLD COVENANT which was a prime contribution for the Levite tribe and Leviticus Priesthood, how many Christians line up to be served with food when tithes and offering under the law are given? Is the storehouse pastors’ and priests’ house or the Church being the bride and body of Jesus Christ? Saved Christians by grace IN NEW COVENANT who are lead and taught by the Holy Spirit are not under law or in generation curse in the law. Tithes in Malachi 3:1-18 were primarily for the tribe of Levi which was not allocated land for sharing among themselves , Numbers 18:20-28 . Those who simply imply Christians are under curse for not tithing put into question about unfinished work of redemption (SALVATION) by Christ Jesus on cross of Calvary which is bought and maintained continuously in tithes paid to them. Yet Christ is not ashamed to call us brethren whom He has sanctified. Hebrew 2:9-13.We have been redeemed from the curse of the law, Jesus Christ being made a curse for us : for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree. Galatians 3:8-13. Christians saved by grace are able ministers of the new testament born of love with exceeding glory which surpassed the glory that was in law with Moses. Offerings made in Christian Churches are for ministering the Body of Jesus Christ. We have been redeemed from the curse of the law to adoptions of sons in Royal Priesthood from the time the curtain partitioning the Holy of Holies was torn apart in into two when Jesus Christ was crucified and gave us free access to God our Father, Mathews 27:50-52. Pastors ,Priest and Bishops who are servants of God cannot subject sons of God in Royal Priesthood to tithe taxes which is absolutely illegal for we are not under the curse of the law, Galatians 5:1, Galatians4:4-5,2 Corinthians 3:1-18. Sins sacrifices ,offerings under the law, curses, and generation curses under law in the old covenant remained up to death of Jesus Christ on Calvary when He fulfilled the prophecy and requirements of the law. Salvation under the law one attains it at last breath on earth having done all that pertains to the law which is hard for one to accomplish. Even the tithe which was given by Abraham was under the law of sin and death from the fallen state of Adam and Eve at the garden of Aden. Those who lie would like to deceive Christians that tithe was before the law but before which law. When Christ our High Priest was born He was given gifts and not tithes Mathew 2:11-12. Jesus Christ our High Priest and Apostles of Jesus Christ did not ask for tithes. To whom do they pay allegiance to for them to justify asking for tithes today? Salvation under spiritual law of love by grace is freely given and attained with free miracles from God our Father, Ephesians 2:4 -9, Ephesians 2:13 -20. Under Leviticus priesthood which belonged to the tribe of Levi, tithes were given to Levites priests for use by the whole tribe of Levi and tithe of tithe to the high Priest for they shared no land apart from the walled towns they were allocated to stay in for their continuous sacrifice to God, Numbers 18:20 -29. Widows, strangers ,fatherless and orphans benefited from tithes and offerings given to Levites, Deuteronomy 14:22-29.In Christianity widows were asked to be catered by close brethren to ease burden to the Church. There were also tithes of different kinds in Israel. There was also a tithe where a family had to eat all before the Lord, Deutreronomy12:6-7. In Christ Jesus we are saved by grace to adoptions of sons in Royal Priesthood of Christ (for Christians saved by grace )and not by works of law under curse ,Galatians 3:8-13,Acts13: 38-39, Galatians 4: 4-5, Galatians2:16-21, Galatians 5:18. Sons have direct access to the Father and free common inheritance not bought or worked for from the Father. For servants ( Pastors and Priests) are servants of God worthy all respects and due help. Much preaching is done in grace and love to Christians at early stages who are later sleeking entangled and enslaved in fear under the bondage of law in tithes emphatically taught by many in seeking dwindling fortune entrenched in tithes falsehood, Galatians 3:3-13d,. The Church of Christ is founded in love by grace and a worker is worthy his labor. The Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ understood from onset of Christ’s Ministry that they were not under Leviticus Priesthood and had no share in Leviticus Priesthood allotments. Thus questions were raised of their take and benefits in the Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ Ministry in the New Covenant, Mathew 19:23-30 . Leviticus Priesthood which was upheld under the glory and the righteousness of law without partiality had allotments which existed before well-known and were already defined in obliged tithing. God had also to deal with wayward priesthood and a rebellious nation under the law. Malachi 2:1-17, Malachi 3:1-18. Christians were never left under leadership of Leviticus Priesthood. Christians are humbly called upon to support tithes sweetened falsehood purposed to enhance good glorious intentions communicated a smart way which forms practically some mega success which should not divert Christians from free spiritual giving. The essence of Christians righteousness in salvation by grace in the Loyal Priesthood of Jesus Christ is more falsely tied to tithes by the clergy and the bar raised often higher as they become masters of confusion in tithes falsehood teaching cover up. Even Judas Iscariot is not recorded asking for tithes. We firmly stand by the truth our mouths being boldly louder and we faint not as we manifest the truth to man’s conscience to God without honoring personality clout in uncovering tithes falsehood taught,2Corinthians 4:1-2.They keep asking what is wrong with us to be at pains on tithes forced falsehood treasured? There is nothing wrong with us and we have wronged no one except those who stumble on the plain truth who want to appease in altered falsehood. Isaih5:18-24, 18Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: 19That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him. Those who want to justify doctrinal falsehood on tithes for Christians have successfully done it.

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