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