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.
Anil Philip says
Churches should switch to a different model that is biblically aligned.
The current model for pastor directed churches says that the senior pastor is the priest – this is Old Testament.
The New Testament model that churches should follow, says Every Believer is a Priest.
1. Structure: the structure of My Dream Church is based on the New Testament ‘Body Of Christ’
model and not on the Old Testament hierarchical model.
2. Anointing: Every believer is a priest in the new covenant.
3. Biblical: submission to the Word in My Dream Church will be at a higher level
than submission to leaders
4. Leaders should have secular jobs:
5. Finances: Giving not Tithing. Transparency in finances
6. Praise and Worship is congregational:
7. Looking sideways (practical love):
8. Women are not silenced:
This model is not original and is old – but it is appropriate for the megachurch and also for the persecuted church.
Thomas N Bellamy says
If one believes that all things come from God, it should be easy to give 1 (one) back to Him, because He allows us to keep 9 (nine). Tithing is one of the most critical believers’ act to strengthen his relationship with God. In Malachi 3:8-12 New Living Translation (NLT) tells us how critical tithing is to Christians. Here are the verses from Malachi: 8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.[a] Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Jared Brian says
Do you think that tithing helped the pharisees strengthen their relationship with God?
Tony G says
Maybe, maybe not. There is a difference in cheerful giving (tithing) from biblical obedience and giving (tithing) to be seen).
Wake up, everything from God is free, look at the Brits in the sky, the get everything they need from God free, by faith we belive, not buy works, tithes
Scripture twist malachi vs 3:3 righteous offering, not money, God doesn’t want money if he did it would be growing on trees and you could eat it, God does not want your money but the world does and the ruler of the word.
Robbing only if your a Levites priest, in the temple, number 18:26 mal 3:6 decedents of Jacob.
Never money it was from store products of the earth, money is evil , why you detest the lord with money.
Money and buildings, church buildings, everything involved is babaylon, Roman, pegan worship, Sunday sabdath defiles the lord, sun God worshippers.
Mark 14:58 I will destroy this temple made by hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.
Means one and olny Church of Christ Jesus (no hands, no money, but FAITH)
James 4.4 you adultorous Pepole, friendship of the world (CHURCH) is a ememy of God.
If you don’t know your Chutch you better know your bible, for the Bible tells you so.
I love ya I had to tell ya
Are you saying that Malachi was written to Christians? How many Christians were around 400 years before Christ? Read the _whole_ prophecy and understand. If you try to bind Christians to tithing, then go catch up on your bull and goat sacrificing. None of the Law of Moses survived the Cross. You are FREE!
Just don’t go to a Church of the world built by the hand of humans, with money, for money.
Simple IDOLISM, everything about a church of the world under the authority of Satan.
One church of Christ is all and all, atending physical churches of the world in abonination and forsaken adultry to the lord, all thithing churches are liars thieves and of the Antichist Rev 17:
The great prosititute.
A big problem often seen when studying scripture, is that many pull scriptures out of a storyline and then further pull it out of context or use it to justify a chosen position on a specific subject- Eisegesis. Tithe and tithing is one that gets pulled severely out of context, and yet even when expounded on correctly is scorned by its critics.
So as not to become confused by the intention of historical narrative and its application to the new testament era.I recommend: Fast forward to 2 Corinthian 9, the latter verses that state very clearly that God loves a cheerful giver. Begin there, if you are cheerful with giving 0, do so but do not expect to reap generously but sparingly, simple stuff really.
I do recommend the study on Tithing conducted by Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel Ministries. Scripture in context, solely to reveal truth, no agenda, irrelevant if it grates you or does not make wild claims from obscure text. Just pure Exegesis.
O heard this one God loves a cheerful giver ,
Yes he does, but he loves all, and giving .does not have anything extras
He loves all and shows no favoritism.
He loves all of us. By grace you are freely save.
Trust not in man,
If you don’t know your church you better know Bible
Verse is used for the going Sunday morning church snow job the old guilt trip.
Don’t fall for it, God loves all anyway you are. Giving money is a abomination to
The lord, root of all evil, kept your money. away from me Satan.
16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’
Daniel Stabler says
Off the top of my head I can think of some other spiritual benefits:
1) Reminding the believer weekly that all He receives is from God, and God has a claim on his possessions.
2) Emphasizing that God should be in control of my money. I don’t get to decide how much to give – He does. If I want to give more, that’s great, but there is a line He establishes over which I have no choice.
3) Learning about the faithfulness of God to those who obey. I’ve read and heard of many people who didn’t think they would have money for food, etc. if they tithed, but they did it anyway and God provided in time for their needs.
I believe these are why God asked for the tithe in the Old Testament and that as New Testament Christians we should be willing to go even further (Matthew 5).
I think your bias did affect your first list, at least a little bit.
But thanks for all your hard work in studying out this issue. It’s good to hear another perspective.
Tony G says
There’s a calling and responsibility of be an Under Shepherd (pastor, priest, etc) to God, and for the flock (church body).
Your outlook is great for provoking dialogue with God in prayer for biblical understanding and application, but defeats the purpose of church establishment and its functions.