Tithing Questions are Frustrating

tithing questionsMy website receives thousands of visitors every month, so naturally i get emails from people who have been struggling with giving, and need a question answered. If the typical question was about seeking the basic facts, i wouldn’t be as frustrated in responding as i typically am. But the typical question usually has to do with a quandary that makes an individual choose between tithing and debt, or tithing and paying bills, or tithing and giving to other ministries.

The Tithing Dilemma

I would say that many of these people know already what they should do, but their conscience has been deceived about tithing for so long that their guilt becomes a stumbling block for doing the obvious thing. On one end, they have tithing. On the other, there’s common sense, which wants to avoid debt, pay bills, or provide for one’s family. On some occasions a desire to give to other ministries outside of their church contradicts the teaching that a tithe must go to your local church.

So i asked myself the question, why do so many people not know what they should do? I don’t know if this is the answer but I believe the main reason why i receive these questions is because their giving abilities have been trained on tithing, but not Spirit led giving. Being guided by the spontaneous characteristics of Spirit led giving is foreign to most, or at the least bit, still in its immature stage. Giving 10% of your gross income seems cut and dry, but when a unique circumstance comes up, tithers freeze and do not know what they should do. Questions, such as, “should I tithe on their retirement money”, or “can I give to a charity”, are just a few questions that many ask. The thought of hearing and listening to a personal God about spontaneous instructions on their giving is foreign to them, because they’ve been spoon fed about what they should do with their money for so long. Tithing has turned many believers into a tamed lion that forgot about its natural instincts.

Spiritual Instincts

Tithing has made us into baby Christians, which is antithetical to the philosophy that it trains us into mature Christians. Children, who are initially trained through Spirit led in their giving, don’t freeze up with difficult questions. Those who are led by tithing, are examples of wild animals caged up and tamed, and have developed no survivable instincts outside of their little cage. Tithing believers have lost their natural, Spirit-led instincts. They are being tamed by a giving instructor that dictates their move, and it satisfies them because of the security and consistency it brings in their life. Assuming, with tithing, there seems to be no doubt or questions about what you are doing until a bizarre situation comes up.

Unfortunately, many believe that tithing is commanded for the New Testament Church. New Testament children are born again to be free, and not caged up like a circus lion. The Spirit of God is meant to be our guide – not tithing. Our spiritual instincts naturally guide us when we are in the wild because we are naturally free and wild creatures. God didn’t give us spiritual instincts so that the tithing tamer could control us. Break free from your bondage. Get out into the wild, and let the Spirit be your guide.

We have created a huge dilemma. We want to build Christians who eventually will be free to be Spirit led with offerings above the tithe, and yet our training is performed in a cage? How does all this make sense? Why do we train our children how to tithe when their destination is to give with Spirit led offerings?

Basic Training

Training is a crucial experience in a believers life. For so long, we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that tithing is the “training wheels” or the “baby steps” in regards to stewardship and giving. But when we are thrown out into the wild, which requires us to be at the peak of our instincts, we don’t know how to feed ourselves and survive on instincts. We have not been trained to be Spirit led, we’ve been trained by tithing.

Most of us, when we figure out offerings above the tithe, we automatically begin calculating, and it sounds something like this, “1 or 2 % sounds like a pretty reasonable offering to give”. So, is  Spirit led offerings much like throwing darts? Is this is what tithing exercises helped us figure out?

For so long we’ve been told to tithe, and it’s been fairly simple to figure out what to do with it. Once we get our paycheck, just cut out 10% for God. As far as the offering is concerned, i would dare say that most add 1% or 2% and place our gift in the same offering plate every week. Some of us might go out on a limb and actually take the liberty to check mark the offering envelopes to designate if our offering should go towards the mission, building, or benevolence fund. If checking a box would be the biggest spiritually financial decision we would have to make, then we have seriously failed in our training.

Many of us have heard the pun that our wallet is usually the last thing to get saved or be baptized. Well, i agree in a different way. Most Christians recognize our new birth in Spirit led living, but when it comes to giving, we are still attracted to the old life under the law. For some reason we are attracted to the way, Abraham, Jacob, & Israel gave. On top of that, the old covenant curses and blessings on the tithing law attract our attention even more. We have been baptized out of this system into a new system. It’s time to start living and giving like it.

It first begins with training ourselves to be Spirit led. To clarify,  being Spirit led is not about neglecting the Word of God, nor is it following your emotional whim. Most people are afraid that their emotions will get in the way, and that’s why they calculate their giving every week. Not to say that creating goals, or a set amount for our giving is bad, but unless the Holy Spirit is really setting a consistent standard for you, then that’s not Spirit led giving.

Definition of Spirit led Giving

Figuring out Spirit led giving is much like deciding where you should live, where your children should attend school, who to marry, what job should you take . . . etc. Are there direct commands in the bible that tell you where to live, or attend school? Well, yes, but no. I’m sure you can find commands intended for Israel to live in a certain place, or who to marry, but how are these commands practical to us today? If i were to disregard these old testament commands intended for Israel and make my marriage a Spirit led decision, most would agree with why i am free to do this. Yes, we know about these Old Testament commands, and we know there’s nothing wrong with living our life by some of them. The problem is when we’ve incorporated these laws into New Covenant dogma, and discourage all other viewpoints.

Why?

Once again, why are tithing questions frustrating? I think it’s the realization that we shouldn’t be struggling with these questions any more. I guess the next frustrating thing is that tithing is enforced by those who say it’s suppose train you make the right decisions, but all it’s done is create us not know how to make any Spirit led decisions.

Although i am tired of baby Christian questions, i will still answer them. So, keep em’ coming.

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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6 comments on “Tithing Questions are Frustrating
  1. Congratulations Jared!!
    You really hit the tithing nail on the head! Spirit Led giving is where the blessing is and is a fruit of a Spirit-Filled Believer. This really dove-tails with the importance of not only believing but Receiving the baptism of God’s Holy Spirit! I’m sorry if I’m sounding too religious, but I believe the Lord has been really showing me how important it is to be filled and surrendered so we can be in fellowship with Him fulfilling our very purpose for being alive! Here’s the link to a video my wife and produced on tithing the we encourage you to watch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQLd6xOJ6fg
    Thanks and God Bless,
    Michael

  2. valjean says:

    We do not live under the law, but under Grace. We are not in bondage we are free to give as God puts on our hearts. Since the beginning of the 20th century tithing has been enforced………….churches practice nepotism, to pay/hire friends/family. The church is not a organzation but a organism. We are suppose to be the salt of the earth, not doing fundraisers, filling the pastors pockets with fine homes, cars and lots of gourment foods. But to help the needy and the oppressed to fight for unjustice in the world, to be Christlike,,not money changers!!!

  3. first we must understand that most of the ones ask pastors were not called by the holy spirit, i can quanrantee that no where that they studying that the holy spirit say to anyone that they were to be put side for the ministry, second the word said that says:

    the people choose to be like the rest of the nations and have a king, did this country not learn from the other nations about choosing kings, and not letting the lord be their king, it is time the church wake up of the sleep, a soldier that called does not entangle his self in the affairs of this world, voting is of the worlds system, we only pray for them, not vote, the word said to cast down their imaginations, also we are given a two edge sword to bind up kings, when will the church use it if it is the true chruch, all israel is no israel,

  4. um, HUH? Where is that last comment coming from? Who is talking about elections here?

  5. shell says:

    The scriptures I am not in a building built by man hands further more if the church are the people and since god is not a building and the church suppose to be you why are you paying tithes in a building to man and another thing all the people is doing is takeing their church to a building witch is you since tihing is government taxes let me explain how this works when get paid you are already tithing when taxes are taking out of your check which the taxes goes towards roads bridges prisons ect. since you live in a house that you are leasing from god because no one owns anything what god means when he say pay 10 percent to the church shouldn’t it be were you reide because you are the church so to me that means take care of evreything in your house and what ever is left over then you give to some one in need that is what god looks at is giving and if man have a relationship with god why cant he depend totally on god to bail him out if he has christ like he saids god said seek the kingdom first and all these other things would be added god does not have members relegion does and that is man law but then again you will here people say god say asssemble themselve he is talking about his elect not part of the church he is looking for some of them are half steppers and the other half are elects which elects are not in buildings and follow no one but god not so called pastors deacons elders they depend on no one but god not man but god

  6. Chuka says:

    As a fixed salary earner, am I supposed to calculate my tithe from net salary or gross salary?

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