Even though I disagree with the tithing (10%) command, I’ll be the first to admit that there are ways tithing may seem to be beneficial. Although, I’ll also admit that a ‘good’ thing doesn’t make it the ‘right’ thing. I will attempt to be as unbiased as I can with the comparison of the pros and cons of tithing
The Advantages of Tithing
- No questions about what to give – There is no need to wonder each week what we should give.
- Helps churches budget – It would be a bit overwhelming if a church had to form its budget based on the feelings of people
- Motivates people to give more than they would normally – If we weren’t commanded to give 10%, most of us would give much less
- Equality – No one gives more or less than 10%. Everyone gives the same proportion no matter their income level
- Exercises discipline – Doing it week-in and week-out takes a lot of financial discipline and dedication
- Consistency – This makes everything easier when giving isn’t so sporadic
The Disadvantages of Tithing
- Deters discourse with God – Why communicate with God about what and how you should give; it’s already spelled out for you.
- Deters discourse with others – Why should we try to understand and interact with others about their struggles and their needs? Give your 10% to the Church and they will figure it out for you.
- Encourages false preachers – All you have to do to take 10% from anyone’s bank account is tell them that you’re called to preach. Automatic support for your false calling.
- Can mask your true heart – Pharisees. Anyone? need I say more about how well they tithed?
- Can accrue debt or rob widows – The poor in the OT received tithes. And if you’re a poor steward, then staying in debt to give to God doesn’t make a wrong a right.
- More burden on the poor than rich – I said equality was a helping attribute, but what’s 100,000 if you’re living off 900,000? but $3,000 when you’re living off $30,000 may mean shutting off the electricity to the house.
As I looked over the two comparisons something stood out to me. Besides “exercising discipline”, there is almost nothing in the benefits of tithing that improves your spiritual growth. All the reasons mentioned on how it helps are either external, physical, or carnal effects of tithing. Please believe me when I say this but this was not my intention when writing the article to inject my biases here.
I’ve heard so many arguments to encourage tithing, that I thought to myself, I would actually write an article that was completely unbiased and shared the pros and cons of tithing. Looking at all the benefits to tithing I’ve heard over the years, there’s not a single benefit that improves your spiritual walk with God or your relationship with others – it actually deters it.