Before you tithers get your panties in a wad and go all hormonal on me, get some tissues out to wipe your tears away. Here are a few reasons that should convince you pansies to trade in your skirts and begin giving sacrificially through freewill, Spirit led giving.
Spirit-Led Giving Takes More Guts
Tithing is easy because you’ll never have to give to people you don’t feel comfortable giving to. Yeah, I’m talking about those people you don’t think deserve any handouts. It’s easy giving to your nice pastor all dressed up in a fine suit and his classy henchmen with gold-plated name tags. Any pansy is comfortable putting their money in the offering plate knowing that reputable, nice-smelling people with combed hair are in charge of their money. By tithing every Sunday, you never have to worry about anyone being in charge of your money with no teeth, bad breath, nasty hair, B.O, or a history of alcoholism.
I’m sure many of us have a hard time finding ways to give outside of our circle of comfort. Most tithers feel uncomfortable with the spontaneity and radicalness of freewill, Spirit-led giving. The fact that their money is not in the hands of someone wearing a nice suit with french cuffs overwhelms them. If we randomly come across an opportunity to give to someone in need, we start rationalizing what they’re gonna do with it. The hypocrisy is how conservative we get with our money only when we’re giving it away, but on Black Friday, ‘conservative’ is crossed out of the dictionary.
Deuteronomy 15:7-11 If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the LORD against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him
The Holy Spirit will ask you to give what’s most valuable to you. I don’t know what that would be. Maybe it is money; maybe it’s a job or family, maybe friends or even a hobby. Everyone is different. There is example after example in the bible where God is seeking a valuable sacrifice. We treat tithing as if it’s a one-size-fits-all guide to stewardship principles. Most of us come across Luke 14:26, where Jesus states that if you do not hate your family you cannot be my disciple, and treat this passage as a hypothetical situation because we’re so pampered by our consistent tithing routine we’ve got going on.
Our spiritual hands are soft as baby skin because we’ve not done hard work for the longest time. We wear tithing like a rune around our neck to ward us off from evil spirits and that is the extent of our religious gesture towards generosity. We don’t become involved in the battle, nor do we wish to risk anything that is of value to us. We don’t want to bear a cross, and don’t feel a necessity to present our whole lives as a sacrifice. We are comfortable with giving our 10% donation every week in order to cleave to a false sense of protection to stop the curse devouring the other things in life we actually value more than our tithe.
Luke 18:22-23 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
Genesis 22:2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Spirit-Led Giving Takes a Bigger Effort
Tithing is practically effortless. If you got past 3rd grade, anyone can probably figure out how to give 10%. you don’t even need a calculator. Come on now, just move the decimals 2 spots to the left, and that’s what you give God. So easy; nothing to it. No thinking, no questions, no interaction with others or even God. Once you get that paycheck, immediately write that check and place it in the offering plate, basket, bucket, box . . . whatever.
Unlike those tithing sissies, it takes hard work for those of you man enough to give sacrificially through Spirit-instructed giving. It takes prayer. it takes fellowship, communion and interaction with other believers and non-believers. You have to understand their needs. You can’t just blindly write checks to those you think need it. Spirit-led giving is not a blindfolded game of darts. Most people, including myself, don’t want to do the work it requires to listen to God and also understand the needs of those around us. We are so consumed with our own lives that it’s best to just fill out that check week in and week out without much thought, interaction, or fellowship with God or others. With tithing, I can avoid all the hassle.
Spirit-led giving requires a lot more than money. It takes sacrifices from other areas of our life as well. Our time, talents, treasures, families, friends, leisure and entertainment will all experience the effects of Spirit-led giving. As I stated, tithing is simple since it is calculated. It only takes a signature on a check. Sacrificial Spirit-led requires communion with God, believers, and non-believers.
I don’t know about you, but many times I am comfortable with keeping God and others at arms length. We create this sphere to protect us from being interfered by others, but can still be penetrated when ‘I‘ could use some help.
2 Corinthians 8:3-7 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.
Spirit-Led Giving Takes Stronger Faith
Tithing puts pulpits at ease and puts the pews on the squeeze. So, it’s the leaders and the elders who are the sissies in this case since they don’t mind putting everyone else under the jurisdiction of the law. Tithing helps church budgets from being desperate at times. Who wouldn’t have peace of mind with a few safety nets in place? Tithing is simply a form of insurance so we don’t have to know what it’s like to need God. If everyone gave as the Spirit led, then as a pastor, the sense of helplessness and lack of control would overwhelm me. To rely on God’s movement on others for support is a malignant concept to most pastors. It’s not our liberty that bothers us, it’s the liberty of others that we fear. As the wise master Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Paul mentions that the early church struggled with control in Galatians stating that false men were infiltrating their fellowship in order to spy out their liberty and then bring them under bondage. As stated, fear ultimately leads to suffering, and in this case, it’s bondage.
Matthew 23:4 “For they [scribes and pharisees] bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.“
Sissies run to tithing for protection. As long as we are tithing, we should be protected from the curse. If your car breaks down, or there’s a sudden medical expense, you can immediately blame it on that one time, 15 years ago when you didn’t tithe. If you’ve never missed a single tithe on any single Sunday, then you can relax . . . you’re not on God’s naughty list. If you’re the type of person that tithes on birthday money, then you REALLY are in God’s favor.
For those of you making hundreds of thousands and millions each year, all you need to do in order to keep raking in the dough is give your 10%. For you, it doesn’t take much sacrifice to keep God happy. Heck, you can even throw in 11% to cover your bases just in case you overlooked some extra cash you had laying around.
If you practice Spirit-led giving you understand that spiritual accountability doesn’t end once you hand your tithe in. Spirit-led giving keeps you constantly on your toes and in tune with God and others about ways to give and help. Hey, dummy . . . It’s not what you give that protects you, it’s the constant fellowship with God that protects you. Runes and charms are for little sissies who think they just need some formula to ward off any evil curses. A real warrior trains constantly to learn how to protect his life. A real warrior doesn’t use charms to protect him in battle; he uses his sword, shield, and battle tactics he learned while training.
Ephesians 6:16-17 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
P.S. Read more in the “Tithing is for” series
Tithing is for Pagans
Tithing is for Sissies
Tithing is for Dummies
Tithing is for Liberals
Awesome! Love it! That’s making it plain. Keep up the good work and spread the truth.
Acts 4: 31-37
31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Stephen Brace says
I am not sure I agree with the labeling. Sometimes the tithe is sacraficial giving to some and could be right close to their means. Let’s think about the level of poverty to the level of upperclass. When I look on the US Census website, the total number of people below 125 percent of poverty level in 2008 was about 53,805,000 people making up about 17.9 percent of total population
Now according to the 2004 top wealth holders with an asset of $1.5 million dollars or greater total was 2,728,000. Now I am not sure what it is current today with the economy slowed down, unemployment is high, and the proposed or going to be proposed taxes on the wealthy. But from what I see, if there are any Christians in the 17.9 percent in 2008 making tithes, I’d say they were very sacraficial. If you want to pin blame on the preachers, so be it; educating the poor is noble, we don’t want them to suffer from lack of wisdom–but if their conscience before God is clean… let’s not make labels and call them sissies. Now for that 2004 assets of greater than 1.5 million dollars, it is a different story, I am sure 50% taxes from the government isn’t hurting their pockets and it sure is not being diverted to expand their small businesses for more job creation as these are probably the job creators… not at all it is all a big lie and we are not class enviers. I’d say the Church needs to continue taking their pound of flesh from what the government has yet to debone. What is a fair means of the Church taxation on these wealthy? I say we invert the tithe and make it 90%, we need to punish them and make them live in the same kind of housing most of us live in; after all the axiom is true–misery loves company.
Jared Brian says
Stephen, are you suggesting that we should punish the rich for being rich?
Stephen Brace says
Apparently, Steward, you didn’t hint my sarcasm. I am probably not as good as Jonathan Swift in his “Modest Proposal” with his sustained irony. When I leave off with “misery loves company” I was ripping into those people who in general cannot state when enough is enough in regards to taxing the rich because of their own class envy. There does seem no end of some people wanting to take from the rich to give to the poor so long as it is the government doing it and no specific requirement of when it becomes “fair.” The other point comes to a sort of hypocrity in dealing with Church affairs. A “tithe” may or may not be fair depending on the amount of income and what one does with that income. I think the idea of this website of “free will giving” as being sacraficial is the high moral ground, so long as we leave up to each individual what that mean of giving is rather than having our “police.” If a rich person leaves that money dormant just to hoard a storehouse here on earth, then they are clearly in the wrong; however, if that rich person is expanding and helping create jobs rather than feeding the money into the bottomless pit of poor people then that rich person is contributing to the overall welfare of the county. I don’t think we should want a rich person pooring their wealth into a welfare program of dependency because some poor would rather stay on welfare because they get more than going to work at a minimum wage taking a cut in pay from recieved benefits. I say some poor, not all who are genuinely disabled, are contributing to three of the seven deadly sins and possibly a fourth with sloth, greed, and gluttony and possibly pride (and perhaps even slight few in adultery making babies to get more from the government). The Church as a collective provides a last resort, we should avoid class warfair within the Church and allow the spirit of volunteerism.
Have I left enough rope to hang myself yet?
Stephen, I don’t know your heart, so I won’t presume to know what really is there. I can, however, say that your words have more in common with a certain political party than with the Word of God or the example of Jesus Christ. It’s quite easy to demonize the poor. It makes it easier for us to despise and ignore them. You classify the poor into only two possible categories: that motley crew of parasites, and the disabled. Are there not any others? Of the roughly two billion people in the world who live on less than two dollars a day, are they either parasites or disabled? Are there no tens of millions who are poor because of governmental actions? war? natural disasters? or other actions, external forces?
It’s a shame that your sentiments represent so many who name Christ as their Lord, but who are full of pride and contemptuous of the poor. Those who are well off got this way because of their hard work. Those who are not well off got this way because they’re bums or disabled. Incredible that Jesus’ earthyl parents were neither bums nor disabled and yet their offering of turtle doves designates them as poor. Isn’t it ironic that there are hundreds of scriptures in the Bible that defends the poor and tells us to care for them and many scriptures castigating the rich?
I don’t take this position because of poverty or envy. I’m not poor at all and have absolutely nothing against folks getting rich. Riches “can” be a blessing from God. They can also be the fruit of greed, covetousness, idolatry, lies, viciousness, or any sin imaginable. It is nothing but extreme ignorance, prejudice, and pride to denigrate the poor and at the same time claim to be a follower of Christ.
Lift up the cross, not the elephant.
Eric good challenge friend the poor are stereotyped too often myself am guilty many times of looking down on the poor. Jesus heal my pride! On Steve I have inside information. Steve is a complex funny lovable Catholic hero. I was a bad soldier in the 80s. Thank you Eric for speaking up with challenge. Wow challenge is an often unused tool the Body of Christ uses to make better disciples!
I can vouch for Mr. Stephen Brace he is a living miracle. His politics are all over the map. So are mine. He is so not down on the poor but he puts much faith in charitable institutions. I hate the trickery of tithe doctrines and false government charity. I love the institutional Church and i oppose it often. I despise whitewashing the past sins of U.S. racism and strange wars, done some Christian conservatives. However America I love. I defend us when we liberate nations like none other in history. We still abort babies but our charities help millions.Us Christians have many complex political choices. For me though judgment starts in the family of God and tithes is more huge than voting for President. Money tithe doctrines really hurt millions of poor like any war.
I am African American and so conservative I did not vote for our Wonderful President Obama. But i will vote for Mitt Romney again although he is a Mormon. However I have Obama T shirts and posters .Because I am proud of him and I like him more than any president. Steve Is an 2 tours of duty Iraq vet who constantly volunteers at soup Kitchens. Please friends vote no on compulsory church money tithe doctrines!
Christ in Us!
There does seem no end of some people wanting to take from the rich to give to the poor so long as it is the government doing it and no specific requirement of when it becomes fair.
My friends used to give me a hard time because every time we’d be downtown I’d always give one of the guys on the street a 5 or 10 dollar bill. They’d always say that they’ll just waste it on drugs and alcohol. Some will, but for some it means a hot meal instead and I’ll take a chance on them rather than sending my money to some far away land to help people I’ll never meet.
It’s a shame that your sentiments represent so many who name Christ his or her Lord, but who are filled with pride and contemptuous of the poor. Those who are well off got by doing this because of their hard work. Those people who are not well off got by doing this because they’re bums or disabled. Incredible that Jesus’ earthyl parents were neither bums nor disabled but their offering of turtle doves designates them as poor. Isn’t it ironic there are hundreds of scriptures in the Bible that defends poor people and tells us to care for them and several scriptures castigating the rich? I don’t take it because of poverty or envy. I’m not poor at all and still have nothing against folks getting rich. Riches “can” be a blessing from God. They are able to also be the fruit of greed, covetousness, idolatry, lies, viciousness, or any sin imaginable. It’s only extreme ignorance, prejudice, and pride to denigrate poor people and at the same time frame tell you they are an admirer of Christ.
Tithing is one way of sharing your blessing without personally appearing to someone who will be benefited your tithes. You need not to spend so much effort on giving and sharing your blessings. Bu whoever gives with too much sentiments will be surely a blaspheme on God’s name. If you feel like you don’t want to share then don’t share this is an absolute situation where lots of people are greatly affected.
It’s not that I am against tithing nor want to emphasize something but why people allow such obvious deceptions? I call it as a deception merely because you knew that those money weren’t for a good cause but rather will be given to the one who had even more than enough for a living. I think this must be clearly emphasize to people who used to offer such extra money from their pockets when there were people who need it most.
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We all knew that we are just partakers of God with all his creations. That means, we should acknowledge Him by giving the first harvest of our works. He deserves to be worshiped and glorified.
Arthur Tragg says
The teaching of the tithe is also racist and sexist, as people of color don’t make as much as White people, and women make less than men. The more you make, the less sacrificial the giving is.
I give NOTHING to my local church, yet the undeserved blessing from Jesus just keeps on keeping on. This can not be explained by the tithe teacher.
Today, I heard a pastor ADD to the bible. He ADDED to scripture. He added “after he or she gives 10% to the local church” to 2 Cor. 9:7.
Hey, by twisting scripture into a pretzel, you can teach anything.
Faithful Tither says
KJV 1 Corinthians 6:9 warns that the effeminate go to hell. People are not sissies for tithing. Your arrogant heart on the matter of tithing, is as ugly as your warning about being a Robot tither. I tithe because I want to. I tithe because it was explained and I accepted the blessing associated with tithing FIRST thing!
God bless you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ my Lord.