Rick Warren on Tithing

Rick Warren on Tithing

Rick Warren on tithing in his blog post completely and utterly manipulated and twisted scripture to defend the tithe. You can read it here in his blog post. Or just read the excerpt below

Rick Warren, Saddleback Church“The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.” Deuteronomy 14:23 (TLB)

Tithing is the spiritual habit of giving back to God the first 10 percent of all I make.

If I make $100, I give $10 back to God; if I make $1000, I give $100 back to God. I get to keep 90 percent, but I give 10 percent to him.

Why do that? Because God says so, and that’s reason enough. If you don’t do it, you’re disobeying God. But there’s another reason. Jesus says, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21 NLT). …

… Today’s verse explains that “the purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first” in your life (TLB). If I say, “God, I want you to be number 1 in my life,” but he’s last place in my budget, that’s a contradiction.

The issue here is where you place God in your list of priorities. Your finances simply reflect what those priorities are. What do your finances reveal about the priority of God in your life?

The first obvious blasphemy was using the TLB translation (if you could call it that) of Deuteronomy 14:23. Let’s read the difference between the NIV and the TLB

NIV –  “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
TLB –  “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.

The Living Bible is suppose to be a paraphrase of bible passages. This isn’t a paraphrase, this is a flat-out lie. The author of the living bible wanted to rewrite the bible to fit his own version of how he saw God.  In other words, he created his own God. Could you imagine what our lives would look like If we translated scripture into a bible that fit what we wanted God to be?

On another note, Rick Warren is completely ignorant about what the bible says on tithing. First error is Rick Warren says tithing is giving back the first. Hmmmmmm, sorry Rick, the tithe was not given from the first, nor the best of the increase. Please read Leviticus 27. Next, Rick Warren states that the tithe comes from “ALL” that you make. Really Rick, Really – “All?” This certainly wasn’t the case for Israel. Only the tenth of increase from the fruit of the land and the animals were to be given. No. Carpenters did not tithe from their income. You can exclude any other occupation that did not include growing food or raising animals.

Rick goes on lying some more. He gives false reasons to why tithing is required.  The first reason Rick Warren states why we should tithe is that “God says so“. God said a lot of things Rick, one of them being that you should stone your children, require circumcision, worship on Saturday’s, and beat your slaves. No Rick, i don’t think it’s the fact that God said so, i think it’s the fact that you said so. God never required tithing for gentiles, never required tithing outside of Israel, never required tithing from anything but food, and most blatant of all, God never said tithing was required in the New Testament for the Church.

The second reason Rick Warren states why we should tithe is that “Jesus says, wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be”. What does Jesus statement have to do with a 10% standard? What’s ironic to me is that we are talking about putting your treasure where your heart is, and Rick’s example is giving a measly 10%? How does giving 10% an example of putting your treasure where your heart is? Are we only devoting 10% of our heart?

The final error is that Rick Warren says tithing teaches us to put God first in our lives. I’d like to know how well that worked out for the pharisees since they were so good at tithing?

Jared Brian is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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15 comments on “Rick Warren on Tithing
  1. Lenny says:

    I still have a problem with Spirit-led giving because it does not specify the recipient, while the word of God does. Whether you are tithing or are doing a freewill Spirit- led giving, you are still giving to the same church and ultimately to the same person. That leaves the ones the Lord seriously wants us to give still in need. All we are doing is continue giving to those who already have and denying those who really need our giving. Read the book THE TITHING DILEMMA AND THE TRIUMPHS OF LOVE  to see what I mean.


  2. Chris says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with this article one bit.

    Firstly, I imagine that you have not seen this video:

    Rick Warren actually tithes 90% of his income and lives off 10%.

    The way I see it is this:

    We should tithe not because the bible says so but because we know it to be the right thing to do. We want to support our church in their ministry and we do this through money. Yes the Old Testament says you tithe food, not money, does that then mean that in this day and age, only farmers should tithe? And what on earth would a church do with livestock…

    I think 10% is a good place to start with your money as that is the level stated in the bible but you should give what you think is right upwards from that.

    If you wait for the moment where you’re financially secure enough to tithe, it will never happen. But, your heart needs to be in the right place.

    Don’t do it because you think you should, feel guilty or because it’s what the bible says, do it because you want to support the church, and give back as you will be a cheerful giver and it will not be a chore.

    • Jared Brian says:

      i just watched video, although i have heard all that before. I would like to address a few things.

      As i have mentioned previously, bankers, carpenters, blacksmiths, doctors, cooks, farm workers, and tax collectors did not tithe at all. Only farm OWNERS and herd owners tithed off their increase.

      I didn’t say that the temple was only supported through the tithe. There was a collection for the temple as well. you will see an example of this with the woman with the 2 mites. You will also see that the work of the temple was supported through freewill offerings as well.

      This does not mean that in this day and age only farmers should tithe. What it proves is that tithing was not a universal requirement that applied across the board as some are claiming. This realization should be setting off light bulbs in your mind right now. If the tithe was not required for everyone under the Law, than how would it even make sense to implement a universal application in the Church, under a completely set of rules with even more liberty and freedom?

      I wouldn’t argue with you in saying that 10% is a good place to start. i wouldn’t know. but the fact of the matter is in the Old Testament a carpenter didn’t have a starting point, and a banker have a minimum.

      There is no indication in the bible that God chose animals and crops since they were an agrarian society. If he did, that would mean God made his decision based on convenience rather than with purpose.

      I’m not trying to discourage sacrificial giving. I’m just trying to shed some light on the issue in hopes of breaking the bondage of legalism and embracing the Spirit of greater giving.

      – jared

    • Anil says:

      @Chris you should read the book of Galatians again; this time when you see ‘circumcision’, understand he is referring to the Law – which includes tithing. The Law no longer applies to Christians.

  3. Chris says:

    I think we need more distinction between tithing and giving. Having read more today, it seems a lot of churches in America say you will be cursed if you don’t give your money and if you don’t give us money then you’ll be asked to leave. I do not agree with this one bit and, living in the UK I’ve never been in or come across a church that puts giving across in this way.

    My church doesn’t actually call it tithing and we don’t emphasise giving 10%…

    I agree that we aren’t called to tithe but we are called to give everything by Jesus and that’s the difference which I think needs to be more widespread.

    • Lenny says:

      Yes Chris, this has been many believers’ concern. The Bible has been changed and filled with substitutions. In the name of being spiritual we have envented certain things to suit our understanding. My challenge to everyone who tithes is: How many times did the Lord seriously teach tithing? How many times did the Lord passionately teach giving alms? how many illustrations did He give in support of this? What are the consequences of not tithing in the New Testament period and in heaven? What are the consequences in the world to come of not giving alms?

      The other thing that worries me is that Christians have developed a pick and mix kind of attitude towards the word of God. I believe very strongly that the ALL-KNOWING Christ knew very well well that certain buildings would replace the temple or the synagogues. But the Lord in all His teaching never mentioned giving to buildings of any kind, but to the needy. Check the Lord’s teachings. The idea of giving to the church is devised by men due to the fact that church has been institutionalised. That was not the Lord’s desire. It is man’s creation. The new Testament giving is demonstrated by the Macedonians who first gave themselves to the Lord before they sent their gift to the needy brethren in Jerusalem. That helped to cement the oneness in the Lord. But as long as we continue to have institutionalised churches and their structures, we shall always be obliged to give, thinking we are giving God while ignoring the ones Christ wants us to give. (Matt. 25:31-46). Whom shall we obey, CHRIST THE WORD or whoever?

    • Lenny says:

      But Jesus did not just teach giving all, but also specifically and demonstrably picked the recipients. Therefore, even the idea of giving all to church is certainly questionable too. The scriptures are clear on this.

  4. ClifClif says:

    The Law of inheritance in Gods Word meant that ‘Tithing’ on land / animals was doomed and had an end. Each parent ( Land owner) with kids ( big families then, no contraception), left an inheritance. First up, was eldest son who got a ‘ DOUBLE PORTION’ as he would be resposible for looking after the widow and younger siblings. Then others got bits.
    So This Son, when he died, did same. ..generation after generation….
    So over time the inheritance / land holdings got smaller and smaller until all you could do was ‘Tithe ; garden herbs ‘ on them !.
    This is custom in 3rd World to this day, my Muslim neighbours own land in Pakistan, its about the size of a Postage Stamp.
    End of inheritance, end of Temple, end of Levical priesthood.
    New Temple, New Alter, New Priesthood, New Jerusalem.

    Also REMEMbER CORBAN…He that fails to provide for members of His family ( FIRST) denys the faith and is WORSE Than an UNBELIEVER. Thats Tithe talk for you, gets you under the Law, not grace, and as such, judged by the Law and end up dead and in the Lake of Fire,….a great sacrifice to Molock and Baal who these Tithe Teachers really follow. You were warned about decivers and wolfs in sheep clothing and thats why.

  5. Anil says:

    It is sad that God allows lying preachers and teachers to prosper and prosper.

  6. Tom says:

    May I ask what you are doing to share the love of Jesus? It seems that your purpose is to cause division among believers masking it under the idea that you are exposing false teachers. I clicked on several of the links listed on your website and they all seem to have a similar theme of stirring up controversy.

    Do you have any other websites that give hope or encouragement or share the Good News of Jesus to those who have not heard about God’s love? If you do please share.

    I’m just concerned that you have become so consumed with your agenda of exposing false teachers that you have missed the greater calling of sharing God’s love.

  7. Cynthia Nickky says:



    My name is Cynthia Nicky from Canada, the greatest testimony i have ever seen in my life i want to use this great opportunity to thank Evangelist Warren Rick the man of God.i was having a breast cancer over 5months, everyone around me run away from me even my husband who i think he loves me so much told me is over i cried and cried no body could help me out i went to the best hospital in Canada no solution, all hope was lost, on one faithful day as i was going online i saw a testimony of this great man of God Warren Rick (warrenrickprayermailbox3@gmail.com) that people sharing about him how he has been helping people i never believed that this will work out but not withstanding there is nothing God can not do, so i decided to contact his Email: warrenrickprayermailbox3@gmail.com i explain all my problems to him he told me not to worry about if really i believe in God the most high i shall be healed. he told me what to do i quickly follow up with his instruction i never let money be my problem. within the next 2day my illness and pains were healed, my brothers and sisters there is nothing God can not do if you have not given your life to Christ please try and do so once again his email: warrenrickprayermailbox3@gmail.com if you have any problem similar to this you can contact him and your problem shall be solve, i will not stop sharing his name as a testimony because he brings me joy and happiness now i am happy my husband is back. any problem regarding as follow you can contact him God almighty is great
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (7) If you have any spiritual challenges
    (8) If you want your business to be going well
    Kindly email him: warrenrickprayermailbox3@gmail.com

  8. Joseph iso says:

    Im Joseph iso I love to give on 10 % but have decided to incresae my giving to bring my heart back to God, even living on 10% is not a problem.How will I kill a giant call the spirit mammon, love of Money, the root of all evil. 1st Timothy 6.10. in order to kill this giant,icrease in giving, so all evil may come to an end in our lives,
    live only for Jesus.

    Rick Warren, I salute you, you have taken the right step. The LOrd bless. Joseph Iso, Papua New Guinean.

  9. S. Adams says:

    I was hoping for inspiration before reading this text and sadly discovered otherwise. If anything I agree wholeheartedly with Rick Warren and wonder why you would pit yourself against God’s anointed preacher? Enjoy your poverty is all I can say. The Bible makes it clear “tithing” is new testament and old testament. “But, my people perish for their lack of knowledge.” I strongly suggest you read Malachi and Deuteronomy 28 to 30.

  10. Anil Philip says:

    @Adams I laughed when you quote, “But, my people perish for their lack of knowledge”. I think you need to learn more about what the Bible teaches about the tithe. I suggest you read the whole book of Malachi and understand that God was condemning the priests (not the people) for stealing the tithe.
    Search for Russ Kelly’s free online book; “Should the Church Teach Tithing?”.
    You should read the book of Galatians again; this time when you see ‘circumcision’, understand he is referring to the Law – which includes tithing. The Law no longer applies to Christians.

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