I love politics and philosophical debates about it, so right off the bat, i am NOT apologizing – this will offend many of you (Republicans & Democrats, Liberals & Conservatives). If you are a pansy and can’t take logic and reason, then go suck on a pacifier.
Laws Are For Thee But Not For Me
Liberals want to put the people under a set of laws while they themselves would be under a different set. Take the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for example. They rammed that junk down our throats and made a bunch of promises they couldn’t keep. Heck, they didn’t even keep the most appealing and obvious promises to us. our healthcare costs went up and we lost our doctors.
They also put on restrictions for small businesses and threatened them with fines and fees. Of course, they exempted themselves and their staff from particular laws because they couldn’t afford the costs of it. Such a lovely thing to do!
Let’s transition to tithing. Particularly, those who preach about tithing. They stand behind a pulpit and quote bible verses calling out pestilence and destruction if they don’t give exactly 10.00% on the dot. I always gave 10.50% because I was worried I may have missed something and the tithing boogie man was going to come out of the closet and tear up my valuable baseball card collection.
Anywhoooo. So um. yeah back to tithing preachers . . . Here they are preaching about your requirement to tithing and how you need to support the pastor and the Church because it’s an obligation. While on the other hand, they have not once been under an obligation to serve God as a requirement. They are completely free to start a ministry and preach by the grace and freewill Spirit of God. No one pointed a gun at their head and told them that they must minister to these people otherwise the boogeyman will come and get them.
The church ministry itself is under the leading and calling of the Holy Spirit. If the church wanted to minister downtown, it can. If it wanted to minister to the homeless, it was free to do so. If the Church wanted to minister to rich people, then by all accounts and measure it was up to the leaders and the Holy Spirit to guide in that direction.
No one threatened the Church to minister here nor there. There was no obligation to do such and such. We also know that because, in all honesty, the Church is doing jack squat anyway. I put myself in that category as well. I am hardly doing anything to impact those around me.
Tithing Enables Jacka_ _ _ _
Tithing could be why there is so much Christian fraud out there. We are gullible sheep going into the slaughterhouse. Our motivation is fear, not joy. Obligation, not grace. Duty, not love.
There are televangelists who get on TV and demand your penance. They promise things that they have no authority nor power to promise. They fly in jets have huge mansions and pretend that your sacrifice is bringing glory to God and not making their wallet any fatter. They are not the only examples. Only the obvious ones.
All they have to do is declare themselves worthy of the office they tell you they were called to, and in return, you have no choice but to support God’s anointed.
Liberals Love Taxes
Tithing is a tax and we all know that liberals love taxes. If you study tithing in the Old Testament, you will know that it was a tax for Israel. Tithing was used to pay for the bureaucratic side of things as much as it was to pay for the religious.
The way I see it, there are three categories of people when it comes to taxes and tithing.
- The Enforcer: Responsible for setting the rules and enforcing them upon others. This would be a congressman or your pastor
- The Receiver: Those who are privileged enough to receive the benefits of the tax or tithe. This could be the enforcer or it could be the receiver and would resemble the poor and lower class.
- The Payer: These guys foot the bill. They aren’t in charge of setting the rules and neither do they benefit from them. This would be the middle class or it would those sitting in the pews.
The ultra-rich have no problem paying their taxes. They have the resources and capabilities to hedge against losses. They either have large tax write-offs or can protect their assets in other ways. In the same way, the ultra-rich love tithing. Only 10%? This would be a tax write-off anyway and they get to look so benevolent and great for donating hundreds of thousands or millions. Must be nice to donate a small percentage of your salary and get the most credit.
In 2008 a study on Giving Statistics was done on church spending to show that 85% of the money went to internal operations. Want to know something very ironic about a current liberal friend? The Clinton Foundation (a non-profit) raised 500 million dollars between 2009-2012 and consumed 85% of its donations on internal operations (source)? How do you like that my conservative, evangelical friends who abhor anything Clinton? The Church is using its donations no more wisely than the Clinton Foundation is. Just think about your own Church budget next time you criticize the Clinton Foundation.
Taxes are a mandatory burden and so is tithing. No matter how many different ways I hear it spun in sermons. IT IS STILL A TAX! Pastors will try to put some new age, progressive-sounding spin on it saying that we tithe under grace instead of under the law, or that the New Testament always raises standards, or that we get to tithing but we don’t have to. All of these statements are just placing the sheep’s wool over the wolf to trick you into believing that a rule that looks like the Law, smells like the Law, and acts like the Law, somehow is not the Old Testament Law.
Tithing = Anarchy
Any individual has the ability to stand up and say, “God is calling me to start a ministry”. At that moment, believers then would be required to tithe. Why? Because of the simple fact of their existence. Doesn’t this seem absurd? If you have not seen John Oliver’s example on Comedy Central, the absurdity of what I’m saying is not far off
Levites were required to serve due to their bloodline and in turn, the Israelites were required to give to them because of their own bloodline. Each were bound by the same authority, the same set of laws, and the same stringent legal system. The Levites were bound by the law to serve while being supported by a structure that also bound the givers.
Let’s take an example – The Constitution. The constitution gives authority and direction to Congress, while in turn, the constitution is also the authority that tells supporters how to pay and elect them. Congressmen can’t be free from the constitution to run the country however they please and yet use the constitution (that they themselves aren’t bound to) to enforce others to pay for their ideas. This dysfunctional model would reap major corruption and scandal. The same goes for the gospel. God’s Spirit gives authority and direction to ministers, while in turn, the Holy Spirit is also the authority that tells supporters how to pay and who to elect. Ministers cannot use the law (that they themselves aren’t bound to) to enforce payment for ideas that came from God’s Spirit.
The Bible says that the apostles lived from the Gospel because they preached from the gospel. What does this mean? Does it mean that they lived off the tithe? Did they invoke the Priesthood and Levitical covenant and then expected that they receive the same compensation that they preached upon? Maybe it just means they ate the paper from their scrolls? Or could it mean that they lived off the gospel in the same way in which they were called by the Gospel? A Levite was commissioned by the Law and received their living from the Law. A pastor was commissioned by the Holy Spirit and should receive their living from the Holy Spirit.
Allowing the Spirit to call ministers and allowing the Spirit to call supporters will promote accountability and deter corruption and scandal.
I apologize to all my liberal friends. I congratulate you if you’ve gotten through this post without having an anxiety attack. Go hug a tree and see a social worker for counseling services. You should feel better sometime tonight after you’ve eaten your soy dinner. For my conservative tithing friends. I congratulate you as well. You are now considered the thing you abhorred the most – a Liberal! You’ll feel better after watching a few episodes of Hannity tonight. Keep applying the rules to everyone but yourself, allow the jackasses to rule the media, and keep promoting anarchy since tithing is for liberals.
If you’re bored and want to read the other “Tithing Is For” Series. Here are the links
Hi Jared and others,
Would you classify preachers who are pro-tithing as false teachers?
I do. Therefore, we’re to avoid them (Romans 16:17). I see this as not attending a church which teaches tithing. I no longer do. I have gone back to the Baptist church.
My question is do you think this avoidance extends to not being involved with a Christian group who uses the tithe teaching church’s administration premises to meet on a weekly basis and is also under that churches insurance? This is a dilemma I face. I know many of my friends wouldn’t understand my discomfort with meeting there and would consider it ‘no big deal’. My group would not be owned or controlled by the church whose building we’d use, but the bible says we’re to avoid false teachers….
In anticipation of a considered reply.
The Masked MInister says
Dumby! The SBC does teach tithing! We just are not the charletons he previously listed.
And Romans 16:17 is about division, not tithing. Now i know why my atheist friend calls us Cherry pickers!
Hi Leonard (couldn’t seem to put this on other page on this website so hope you get this message)
I wanted to get back to you a while ago. I apologise it’s taken me so long to get around to purchasing your book. I ordered it through Fishpond several weeks ago and it arrived from England today (I live in Australia). I’ve just read the introduction and like the candid way you write – easy to read and flows. Will get back to you again (hopefully within weeks this time) after I’ve finished it. Then will be lending it to people I know who tithe! God bless, Andrea
EDWARD Bolduc says
Well I am a LIBERAL and who really cares there no such thing as pro life or pro choice. Just pro Christ. The only thing I am going to hug is my wonderful wife that the Lord gave me. And I heard there is safety in the counsel of many it is written somewhere. With all that I have not believed in tithes since I got saved although I did pay them for awhile. So with that I ended up church-less since not able to find a group of believers that believe in not paying Tithes. So I started a home bible study and prayer seems to be going find. As far as the government welfare system could use some adjusting but living in the bad lands of Philadelphia it is needed because the church is not there for them, and event if it where it wouldn’t be able to deal with the need so the gov. ain’t doing too bad for real unless you watch fox fake hate news then you would believe something else. One thing for sure it is what it is and God is in control. Oh America was never a christian nation and never will be God did not die on the cross for a kingdom of this world He died for His Church period which is global. Just saying.
Edward, how concerning that you found only Christian groups who believe in tithing…believers who should place their faith and trust in Christ alone – not in also trying to also be justified by works (such as tithing). I think it could be spiritually dangerous to think one has to tithe to please the Lord/be acceptable to him. In a sense, this undermines their professed faith. We are saved by grace through our faith in Christ alone.
I tried leaving a message on the other page for Leonard, but will leave it here. Leonard, I finally bought a copy of ‘The Tithing Dilemma and the Triumphs of Love’ (sorry it’s taken me a year to get back to you). I’ve just started it and enjoying the read so far. It will be a good resource to lend to others when I’ve finished with it. If I can, I’ll leave a message on this website after the whole read.
I agree it is sad that once God opens your eyes to a truth such as tithes. It makes it hard to sit in a church that practices it. Like I said can not find a congratulation that does not practice tithing. So I started a small home group and it is doing well we teach to give to those in need instead of paying tithes.
Randy Poole says
Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. In some churches giving is over-emphasized. At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing. Sadly, that is sometimes not the case in the church today.
Randy Poole says
Malachi 3:9-10 is often used to teach the need for Christians to tithe to local churches today. That passage reads, “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Does this teaching apply to Christians today?
First, the context of this passage concerns the Israelites not bringing their offerings to the temple. Because of their disobedience, God had judged them with a small harvest. The Lord challenged them to bring the “full tithe” of grain sacrifices (Leviticus 6:14-23) and see that He would bless them with an abundance of future crops. The “storehouse,” mentioned in verse 10, is a place to store grain in the temple.
Second, this passage teaches that the Jews were to give a tithe as part of the temple worship, but it does not teach that Christians are to give to churches. Malachi was written more than 400 years before the start of the first church in Jerusalem. Applying its command of temple giving to the local church takes these verses out of their original context.
Are New Testament Christians commanded to tithe or not? To be clear, a tithe is literally a “tenth,” or 10 percent. Abraham gave a tenth of all he had to the priest of Salem in Genesis 14:20. Later, the Mosaic Law included commands to give a tenth for tabernacle worship. Tithing is mentioned 18 times in the Law, as the people were to share their produce and livestock to support the Levites, the caretakers of the tabernacle. This same system of tithing would later be applied to the temple (2 Chronicles 31:5).
Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day, saying, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Luke 11:42). These Pharisees obeyed the Law of Moses in that they tithed scrupulously, yet did not truly love God. They were challenged to do both.
The Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:17). When the church began to grow beyond the Jewish people and reach Gentiles, leaders struggled with whether or not to command these new believers to follow the Mosaic Law. In the end, only a few instructions were given for the sake of peace, but tithing was not among them (Acts 15:19-21).
The principle in the New Testament is to give voluntarily to support the needs of others (Acts 2:45; Romans 15:25-27), support Christian workers (1 Corinthians 9:11-12; 1 Timothy 5:18), and expand Christian outreach (Philippians 4:15-16). No specific amount is ever commanded, and no percentage is suggested. While a tithe or tenth of one’s finances may be a good standard to use for Christian giving, it is clear the early church did not focus on a specific amount but rather on meeting needs. This sometimes included giving much more than a tenth, as some believers sold homes or land to meet the needs that existed in the church (Acts 4:34-37).
Great biblical points offered and appreciated. Tithing obligations in the early period of Mosaiac law ended with the ceasing of this, with the ushering in of the new with the birth of Jesus Christ whom emphasised that God loves a cheerful giver. So if giving 0 is cheerful for you, begin there.
One of the best explanations of tithing using biblical text in context is Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel Ministries.
John W Reed says
Just discovered your blog post. I write a blog on the goodness of God and the Radical Grace Jesus brought to the World and all who hear and respond in faith. I tackled the tithing under Grace/New Covenant in a few posts. I would love to hear your feedback.
Bob Teems says
The tithe in Lev. 27:30-32, was more than likely above 10% when you read after the tithe (comes from a Hebrew word that means 10),and add a fifth part (vs. 31). Not to mention just money, as is the case of today, they gave from crops, animals, etc. The apostle Paul says in 1 Cor. 8, 9, we are to give as we’ve been given. That probably equates to “more” than 10% for most of those living in America. We’ve not only been given much but he said to give cheerfully!The tithe has been replaced by grace giving.
Jared Brian says
Read examples of when giving was less than 10% . . .
Abraham gave from the spoils of war and not a tenth from his own wealth. (Hebrews 7:4)
Israel was only required to offer 1/500 of the spoils of war. (Numbers 31:9, 27-29)
The poor – They received but never gave from their gifts. (Nehemiah 10:38)
Occupational income (Not including farming and herding) – Doctors, Lawyers, Carpenters, etc didn’t tithe from their increase. (Leviticus 27)
First fruit offerings – This included a small portion of first of the crop. This was the first offering of the crops as well as the best and was less than a tithe. (Exodus 23:16)
High Priests – The Levites tithed to the house of Aaron, but what did the house of Aaron give from the tithe they received? As far as i know, it wasn’t a tithe. (Numbers 18:8-20)
Temple Tax – Only a half Shekel used for the maintenance of the Temple. The bible states, “The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less” (Exodus 30:13-16)
Herdsmen – Every tenth animal was given as a tithe, this means if a farmer had 9 cows, he was commanded to give 0%. If he had 19 cows, he gave 5.3% etc. (Leviticus 27:30-33)
Promised Land – The Israelites gave no tithes from animals or agriculture they raised outside the promised land of Israel (Deuteronomy 12:5)
Ian I. says
Um… last time I checked tithing is of the conservative churches, and most televangelists are right-wing. Indeed, televangelists and their supporters were pivotal to Trump’s win in 2016. I personally do not mind tithing because our local Methodist Church is extremely transparent as to where the funds go, and we see the fruits of our tithing, in building learning centers in far-flung areas and villages and disaster relief programs.