As we continue our ‘Tithing on Trial’ series, we will evaluate the most common tithing arguments used to defend its practice.
Argument: Tithing is a Good Starting Point for Young Believers
I believe it was Randy Alcorn who stated that tithing was the “training wheels” of giving. This argument is easily refutable through examples in scripture. I’ll give a few responses below with some explanation.
1. There was no mention of a starting point in the bible:
Let me know if you can find a verse or example that states tithing is the starting point? This is the most basic question – if tithing is the starting point, where does the bible say that it is? Tithing wasn’t even the first offering given from Israel’s increase.
2. There were no tiers of giving for young and old Israelites – 10% was the set amount:
Neither the young nor old; neither the wise nor the simple gave any less or any more than a 10% tithe. The tithe was the beginning and it was the end. There was no advancement above the tithe and neither was there working up towards a tithe.
3. The first fruit offering was given before the tithe was:
The very first offering given from the increase was the ‘first-fruit’ offering. The tithe and first fruit offering had nothing to do with one another. They both had unique quantities, unique qualities, unique meanings and were given at separate times.
4. The first recorded gift to God in the bible was NOT a tithe – Gen. 4:4:
The very first example we can find in regards to giving towards God is found in Genesis 4:4. In this example, Abel gave the firstborn of his flock – not a tithe.
5. Tithing was never mentioned in the bible for growing Gentile Churches:
The Gentile churches were very uneducated with the infrastructure of Jewish philanthropy. If tithing was for anyone, it was for them, or us for that matter; but there’s not a single instruction about tithing to the Church.
6. Old believers have a hard time tithing:
It may be just me, but old believers don’t seem to have conquered tithing any more than younger, more passionate believers have.
7. The only time tithing is mentioned in the epistles is during a mature discussion:
Hebrews 7 is the only chapter in the Epistles that mentions tithing. A few verses earlier the author stated that he was, “leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ”
8. Only farmers and herdsmen (land and animal owners) tithed on their income:
If you did not own land and a farm, or if you did not own animals then you simply were not required to tithe on your increase. Land owners and farmers sound like mature, responsible people to me.
9. Many Israelites did not tithe
As stated above, if you did not grow crops or own animals you did not start your giving at the tithe.
So What is a Good Starting Point for Young, Christian Believers?
Besides surrendering your whole heart, I have to say, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, ‘Each man should give according to his heart’. Paul didn’t know either. Only God knows the heart. The only thing i do know about your giving is that it should be liberal, cheerful, willing, sacrificial, and continuous; just as Christ gives towards us.
You Be the Judge
Now that the evidence has been given in this court of law, it is your turn to decide
Otoniel Rocha says
while the world goes to hell – we Christians called to save the world lost precious time in discuss ways of donations
Jared Brian says
You are right. I don’t know why Jesus spent so much time talking about money more than any other topic. I’m not sure what he was thinking either. I think we should omit the verses in the bible where Paul talks about giving also. It’s so unnecessary to discuss any of that stuff. Actually, the bible is just too long period. I think we should just have the story of the crucifixion and his resurrection and just throw away the rest of the book cause that’s all that really matters, right?
I have recently come to believe our societies particularly in the west have become so self centered and uncaring of those less fortunate than themselves. People walk past those begging with judgmental minds …. they deserved it, they will misuse the money if I give them something ……..to justify not giving.
If everyone who can and is able to gave 1/10th of their income to those in need and/or gave 1/10th of their time (36 days in a year) to help those in need rather than sitting in their recliner watching sports or playing video games i.e. participating in helping in their own community (locally or globally), what a better more Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist etc world we would be in.
Jesus showed us how by helping – not with money – but by physically helping those in need. THAT was his message and the majority of Christians and others think that they do not have to do anything but give money to the church to be blessed. That is a lazy, convenient cop-out and denial of Jesus’s message.
How many people really follow this?? To me Tithing is not just about giving money but giving my time and effort to help others. That is what makes a better community and brings people together.
Karleen Greenidge says
I truly believe that we are called to tithe one-tenth, of that which comes from God and belongs to God. It is god who gives us the power to get wealth. Further, God requires some of our time and talent. If we really love God, those three will come naturally.
It means that we will not be caught into the trap of wanting to sow seed into the prosperity religion of those who want to live on the backs of the poor, but rather, our churches would be able to capably take care of the poor, by implementing programs of training, and empowerment, which would bring the poor out of their despair.
Kenyon Heintz says
I have been a christian for a long time, and sometimes not the best one.All I can tell you that it is important to give your time and
efforts in the church spreading Gods word. And being in a generation where we always pay the minimum amount on everything,
credit cards,shopping ,vacations.I have always followed a rule of 10% of my earnings, even the bible is not specific about the amount,it just says everyone give what that will.I do think that everyone needs to find a specific guide line to follow, because i know that your money is the hardest thing to give to God. I can tell from so many experiences in my life , that my tithing has been an abundance of blessings for me from God. After all, does he not know our heart?