Tithing Opponents Throughout History

Tithing Opponents Throughout History


Update – 1/25/2015: Please see our new page with quotes and links to resources found here

I came across this information at http://russkellyphd.blogspot.com/. I haven’t verified all of this information, but this is a very extensive and powerful list of historical opponents of tithing.

Tithing opponents throughout the years as compiled by Dr. David Croteau, Liberty University, You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe?, p271-292. www.slaveoftheword.blogspot.com/ See Footnotes for transcript evidence.

Clement of Rome 100
Didache 100
Justin Martyr 165
Tertullian 230
Origen 255
Cyprian 258
Waldenses 1150+-
Thomas Aquinas 1275
John Wycliff 1384
John Huss 1415
German Peasants 1520
Anabaptists 1525
Erasmus 1536
Otto Brumfels 1534
Martin Luther 1546
Philip Melanchthon 1560
Separatists Amsterdam 1603
John Smythe 1609 Baptist
John Robinson 1610
English Parliament 1650+-
Puritans & Plgrims Mass 1650+-
John Cotton 1652 Puritan
Roger Williams 1636 Baptist
Little Parliament 1653
Oliver Cromwell 1658
John Milton 1658 Puritan
Particular Baptists 1660
John Owen 1680 Baptist
Francis Turretin 1687
John Bunyan 1688 Baptist
Quakers 1768
John Gill 1771 Baptist
John Wesley 1791 (my site)
Adam Clarke 1832 Baptist
Charles Buck 1833
J C Philpot 1835 Baptist
Charles H Spurgeon 1832 Baptist
Parsons Cooke 1850
Samuel Harris 1850
Edward A Lawrence 1850
John Peter Lange 1876
Henry William Clark 1891 Engllish
S H Kellogg 1891
G Campbell Morgan 1898 Congregational
Albert Vail 1913 Baptist
Frank Fox 1913
David MaConaughy 11918 Episcopal
William Pettingill 1932
John Harvey Grime 1934 Baptist
John T Mueller 1934 Lutheran
H E Dana 1937 Bapt Historian
R C H LENSKI 1946 Lutheran
Lewis Sperry Chafer 1948 DTS Foundeer
W E Vine 1949
James F Rand 1953
Francis Pieper 1953 Lutheran
Ray Stedman 1951
L L McR 1955 Catholic
Paul Leonard Stagg 1958 Baptist
Hiley H Ward 1958 Baptist
Roy T Cowles 1958
Elizabeth P Tilton 1958
R C Rein 1958 Lutheran
Robert A Baker 1959 Bapt Historian
Wick Bromall 1960
John Byron Evans 1960
Norman Tenpas 1967
James Edward Anderson 1967
Alfred Martin 1968
Jerry Horner 1972 S Baptist
Pieter Verhoef 1974
Dennis Wretlind 1975
Jack J Peterson 1978 Pres
Donald Kraybill 1978
Jon Zens 1979 Baptist
Richard Cunningham 1979 S Bapt
Gary Frieson 1980
Paul Fink 1982
George Monroe Castillo 1982
Tony Badillo 1984
James M Boice 1986
Michael E Oliver 1986 Rest
W Clyde Tilley 1987
Scott Collier 1987
Ronald M Campbell 1987
R E O White 1988
William McDonald 1989
Charles Swindoll 1990 Dallas Seminary
Rhodes Thompson 1990
Jerome Smith 1992
CRAIG BLOMBERG 1993 Denver Seminary
J Duncan M Derrett 1993
Walter Kaiser Jr 1994 Gordon-Cromwell
Moises Silva 1994
Benny D Prince 1995
Brian K Morley 1996
Linda L Belleville 1996
Ron Rhodes 1997
Ernest L Martin 1997
Michael Webb 1998
R Johnston 1999
Mark Snoeberger 2000 Baptist
Stuart Murray 2000 Eng
George W Greene 2000
Old Line Primitive Baptists 2000
Jaime Cardinal Sin 2000 Cath Archbishop
Jonathan Kitchcart 2001
Frank Viola 2002
George Barna 2002
Michael Morrison 2002
Elliott Miller 2003
Matthew Narramore 2004
David Alan Black 2004 Baptist SEBTS
Andreas Kostenberger 2007 Baptist SEBTS
Danny Akin 2007 Baptist SEBTS
Jehovah’s Witnesses
New Worldwide Church of God

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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19 comments on “Tithing Opponents Throughout History
  1. Freewillgiver says:

    Wow now this is a great list. I did not know Chuck Swindoll was against tithes and Now I am more sure that the Roman Catholic Church is against tithes. The Greek Orthodox Church might also be added on that list. Certainly there are many Orthodox leaders who do not preach money tithing.

    It is human nature to forget history. Christians in America need to stop paying leaders who expect and demand through false doctrines 10% of their fellow priest incomes. Would a friend do this and really make love increace?

    Moneytithing is an unloving burdensom tradition that entitles some priest as middlemen to ten percent of the money of other priest who should be giving more directly to the poor and lost.

  2. Jason Lewis says:

    When are you going to add my name to this list? Charles Spurgeon responded to the question of tithing much better than I ever could have; he said…”But you are not under a system similar to that by which the Jews were obliged to pay tithes to the priests. If there were any such rule laid down in the Gospel, it would destroy the beauty of spontaneous giving and take away all the bloom from the fruit of your liberality! There is no law to tell me what I should give my father on his birthday. There is no rule laid down in any law book to decide what present a husband should give to his wife, nor what token of affection we should bestow upon others whom we love. No, the gift must be a free one, or it has lost all its sweetness.”

  3. Freewillgiver says:

    Thank you Jason Lewis are you related to my current favorite Radio Conservative talk show host out of Miniappolis Minisota? I was researching Spergeoun with a jadded eye becase I was not sure if he was a tithe taker. Now I will spread this information to others with Joy. Thank you Jason

  4. Stephen Davis says:

    If you read the various encyclopedias, religious and otherwise, you will find the names, John Selden and H. W. Clarke. Both men wrote books on the history of tithing with the conclusion leading to the evolution of the practice going from free-will giving to the great oppression of the use of law and force to take the tithes from the people.

  5. Crystal Whitfield says:

    I must admit I was REALLY flabergasted/shocked and somewhat AFRAID when I first started learning the truth about tithes and offerings. But, the more I’ve studied, the more the blinders are falling from my eyes. It’s amazing how you can be in the dark (blind) all those years and then start finding out the truth. But, for those who TRULY want to please/know GOD; he BLESSES with the TRUTH. Monetary tithing is SIMPLY not a biblical practice.

  6. Mike says:

    Although I agree that tithing is ceremonial in nature and not binding upon the believer- do people really need another excuse to neglect their duty to ministers and those laboring in the word?

    It’s worth reading John Owne’s commentary on Hebrews 7. Perfect perspective!

    • Jared Brian says:


      Since you don’t believe that tithing is binding, don’t you think God set up an alternative way for ministers to be taken care of?

      – jared

      • Mike says:

        Of course I do. John Owens, Hebrews 7 commentary :) I could just restate it- but he says it sooo well (as Owens always does!!) :)

        I will say it’s not entirely ‘free will’ – as if you have a choice in giving (not talking about tithing) to the work of God. The apostle Paul makes it crystal clear- believers have a DUTY to supply for the needs of those who labor in the ministry on their behalf. If my pastor didn’t have enough for his needs, I’d pull double shifts all day and night to help. Not for his sake alone, but for the sake of Christ and what I’m convinced (from scripture) is pleasing to Him in obedience to His word. Tithing- so what! Every true believer ought to reserve out of his substance a part for the work of Christ (in the language of Owens).

        The reason I wrote what I did is because  I know people who neglect their responsibility to care for the elders of their assemblies- all the time comforting themselves with, ‘I don’t have to tithe’ Christ gave us everything; it’s hard for me to believe a true believer can’t/won’t- whatever his reason- give to the work of Christ.

        I think you and I are on the same page- but if not, I’m ready to scripturally defend my position :)

  7. Jared Brian says:


    Just because some pick up the anti-tithing torch to excuse their greed, doesn’t mean that we should let the scriptural manipulation of tithing slide under the rug. Regardless of how it can be abused the requirement of tithing is still unscriptural. Abusing the grace of God to excuse sin is nothing new. This was addressed in Romans 6.

    – jared

    • Mike says:


      • freewillgiver says:

        Thank you for your debate. Steward you have dicipled so many please continue and in many years you will see the great fruit! Mike the history of Church tithes was very surprising to myself. It is a form of Christian slavery.

        • Mike says:


             NP. I appreciate the exchange of thought and the sharpening we can be to one another :)
            I think tithing has unfortunately resurfaced because so few people give at all. Compelling people to tithe certainly wasn’t the answer, but Christian America’s love for materialism is certainly still a problem.
             That’s why John Owen’s Hebrew’s 7 commentary was so wonderful. He really deals with heart issues and scriptural issues about giving. That’s why I still think the ‘believer’ who doesn’t at least desire to give- It’s hard for me to believe they are the Lord’s. One of the first fruits of one who has acknowelged Christ’s sacrificial gift for us is a desire to sacrifice ourselves for Him (ref..our reasonable service..) Time and money are the two big indicators. 

            All the best to you guys. May the Lord be your help as you serve Him.

  8. Jeremiah says:

    Tithing is very scriptural. Abraham symbolized the Salvation God offered in Himself by JESUS. Abraham did that in his offering Isaac for sacrifice.

    No manipulation should take the place of WHAT GOD SAID! YEARS ago and even recently, the lies that miracles don’t exist was floated.

    God miraculously healed me here because He, JESUS, is still TRUE.


    If JESUS says it, no other persons word should be taken as true, even if such a person is Paul the Apostle, not to talk of Spurgeon.

    GOD said it, I OBEY! THAT’S IT

  9. Jeremiah says:




  10. Robin says:

    My husband was a Bi-vocational Pastor and in every church he pastored he never (not once) preach, reprimand, admonish, encouraging tithing. His belief was if you exalt and lift up Christ, then hearts will be touched and moved to give. The offerings and gifts of the people doubled and the treasury increased a 100%. Now I don’t say this boastfully, but to be coersed, manipulated, guilt tripped into giving is not grace giving. It is giving from a legal spirit.

  11. Ronald Robey says:

    God never commanded anyone in His Word to tithe money to a Church or a Temple. Yet, so many In Churches around the world today are lied to every time the offering plate is passed. “God requires you to tithe your money” is spoken from the pulpit. “If you don’t tithe, you are a God-robber! You are cursed!” Is often shouted to put the laity in a state of guilt and condemnation. Relax Saints of God… Fear not. God never authorized that pastor to speak those deceitful and unkind words to your ears.

    Let’s examine the Scriptures and see what they say concerning God’s commanded tithe, shall we? But first, let us visit two sons of Aaron at the Tabernacle…

    Leviticus 10:1-2 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

    In the above text, two of Aaron’s sons were struck dead because they offered “strange fire” to God upon the altar of the Lord. What exactly was this “strange fire” that they offered that so displeased the Lord? We are not told. But we are given a special insight as to how precise God wants our offerings to Him be.

    Nadab and Abihu had offered something that God had not commanded. Now, one would think, “Hey, at least they were offering something to God. What wrong can be in that?” But God said they offered something that was not commanded.

    A lesson should be learned by all from the reading of the account of Nadab and Abihu. That lesson is, “Do It By The Book”.

    God has given us His Word as an instruction manual. This “manual” tells us what God expects of us as His dear children. If we are disobedient, God’s chastening hand will be upon us. It surely was upon Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire upon the altar.

    The manner in which we are to live is laid out for us in the New Testament section of the Holy Bible. Now, please don’t go off on a tangent, saying I don’t like the Old Testament. I do. I cherish both the Old and the New. I read them both and learn from the both.

    But the fact is, the New contains the pattern by which God wants us to live today. Hebrews 8 tells us that in AD 66 the Old Covenant was ready to pass away and that God was bringing us into a New Covenant. We cannot live in the Old Covenant promises, curses, edicts, laws, statutes, and ordinances. God doesn’t expect us to.

    In AD 51, the Apostles met in Jerusalem with the religious leaders of the day. Their order of meeting was to discuss Gentiles who had been recently converted to faith in Christ. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were insisting that the Gentiles had to keep the Law of Moses or they could not be saved.

    The Apostle Peter spoke before them all, rebuking them for placing a yoke upon the Gentile Brethren that neither the Jews of that day, nor their ancestors could keep themselves. Peter told them they were tempting God in their demands. The Apostle James said the Judsizers were overthrowing the souls of the Gentiles.

    At the close of the meeting, James wrote a letter to the Gentile Believers and sent it to them by the hands of Paul and Barnabas, telling the Gentiles that the Apostles had given no such command that they keep the Law. He also sent Judas and Silas with the same words, but not written… they were to speak to the Gentiles, telling them that they were not commanded to keep the Mosaic Law.

    The Mosaic Law was part of an Old Covenant that was soon to pass away. It was given to the Israelites living in the promised land.

    In many Churches around the world today, there is a doctrine being taught that could be called “strange fire”. That doctrine is the monetary tithe requirement doctrine. Pastors will stand in their pulpits and preach from the Old Covenant the command to tithe that was given to Israel. But, they replace the tithe God commanded, an agricultural tithe, with a tithe consisting of money. It no longer is the tithe that God required of Israel. It has become “strange fire.”

    No longer the agricultural tithe that was commanded by God for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai, (Leviticus 27:30-34) it is now a monetary tithe.
    No longer a tithe that was to be given to Levites, to widows, to orphans, to strangers in Israel, (Numbers 18:21,24,26,28; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Nehemiah 10:37-38) it is now given to pastors of Churches around the world.

    The “tithes” were good when God had control of them, but modern-day Nadab’s, modern-day Abihu’s have turned them into a “strange fire” which God never commanded. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Many pastors today are tempting God and putting a yoke upon their congregations that God never authorized them to do. Search the Scriptures. When you do, you will find that God’s holy tithe was never carried to the Church, never commanded of the Church, and never controlled by the Church.

    Pastors would do well to set aside this sin of preaching a strange fire and offering it to God in the Sunday prayers. Seek out what the New Covenant says concerning the saved and their giving. They are not to be coerced into giving, they are not to be made to fear a curse from God. Rather, they should be taught to give simply because “they love Jesus.” Teach them as the Apostle Paul taught the saints and brethren at the Church in Corinth… as they purpose in their hearts to give, give cheerfully and willingly God will be honored more by a loving offering than by “strange fire”

    Do it by the Book

    People, If you insist that God requires you to tithe, that you are being obedient to God and His Holy Word, at least have the decency and respect for God and His Holy Word to do it in accordance to what He has written in His Holy Word.

    When you tithe, don’t take it to a Church in a Gentile land. God never commanded such. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and take it to the Promised Land. ( Deut. 12:1,10-11 )

    When you tithe, don’t give it to a Gentile preacher. God never commanded that. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and take it to the Levite, the widow, the orphan and the stranger (which would include yourself) in the Promised Land. ( Deut 14:22-29 )

    When you tithe, don’t tithe money. God never commanded such a tithe. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and tithe agricultural products that are grown in the Promised Land. ( Leviticus 27:30-33)

    If you insist on tithing, don’t tithe that which comes from Gentile hands on Gentile soil. God never commanded it. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and move to the Promised land Israel so you can cultivate the land and have the tithe that God required in the Mosaic Law.

    But remember…

    .Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

    If you are not going to “Do It By The Book”, don’t try to convince me that you are being obedient to God in tithing. It is just the opposite… you are being rebellious to what He decreed concerning how His Holy tithe was to be observed and kept.

    Maybe it’s best you stop offending in that point of the Law and just submit to God’s will concerning your giving today.

    2 Corinthians 9:6 (KJV) 6 But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

    2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV) 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

    God does not require tithe of your money. Instead, He wants you to give simply out of your love for Him. Not as others dictate, but as you choose in your heart. Give with a willing heart and He will be pleased.

  12. neisha samaroo says:

    thank you for this insight it is true what you said the pastors only take out what they want from the old testament we as gentiles don’t keep all the laws and feast why do we have to pay tithes. that was for the Israelites. As gentiles we give from our heart. I believe in giving. So I will give to my church not tithe.

  13. Tantely says:

    Please, John Owen is not baptist.

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