As Christians, we are taught that we are not under the law but under grace. Tithing was one of the many laws in the Old Covenant that was to be followed by believers at that time.
The Bible is very clear that we are under the New Covenant and that means we are not under the Law of Tithing or Law of Harvest, which is to give the tenth of agricultural harvest or produce.
It is clear in the New Testament passages that it is not an obligation but a responsibility of every Christian to help if the capacity to give is available. Obligations to help are part of our Christian living. As Jesus said it is better to give than to receive.
Helping comes in many ways and not only about money.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” —Winston S. Churchill. “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” —Maya Angelou.
Giving generously without compulsion makes us feel better and very happy. We feel so much better about ourselves when we give to the needy. Generosity comes from a loving heart and it is natural to humans with knowledge of who they are, why are they here with better lives than the others who are seeking assistance to live and know what is the purpose of their lives.
We are more confident that our faith made us that way. It is better to extend to help the needy than to be the needy asking for help. We should be mindful that there are less fortunate that need our care and be thankful to God that we are given the capability to help.
When circumstances happen and we are asked, which do we prefer?
To give our tithes to the church where we enjoy the Word and the fellowship with other Christians or do we prefer to give directly to our relatives that are in need (relatives, household, and neighbors can be translated as the needy).
And of course, when ask with spiritual matter, we should respond the matter according to what the Bible says.
It is not about feelings, it is about stewardship, and how we manage our spiritual calling. As it is written “Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help” Isaiah 58:7 (NLT).
It is very clear from the Scripture that we have to take care of our relatives, who also mean as our own flesh, our own blood which is also a Christian obligation. Help them if you could afford it! Many institutional churches do not preach this to “help first the relatives that is in need” before the church.
What is common is that they preach tithes or giving to the church as an obligation and do not teach the members to take good care of their relatives that are in need. The Bible provides verses that will encourage us and might give us freedom from the doctrine of compulsive type of giving than the authentic giving.
Just imagine the chain reaction it will bring, that those relatives that we rendered help become better, then they will help others and it will go on and on.
As the Bible says; when we pour down blessings, time will come until there is no more need.”
There will never be new if there is no old. The new make some references from the old. If we make a deeper look of our New Testament, the characters are all born under the law. The same thing when Jesus came to the world born by a woman (physical) and born under the law (spiritual) likewise. Paul, who wrote more than half of the New Testament (if it includes the book of Hebrew to be his work), was a learned person who really knew the Old Testament very well. There are more or less than 300 Scriptures from the Old Testament that the writers of the New Testament referenced in their work. They change the words, twist a little and add a little and end up the same meaning but it looks that it is their own original work. That is not how it is intended, they referenced the Old Testment for confirmation of thngs that happened and things that is coming.
The desire to prosper in life has no exception either the rich who want to have more or the poor who wants to have a better life. The poor are more susceptible to lies and deceptions and can easily give up even their soul to make a change in their lives. They have nothing to lose and anything to give, unlike the rich who can even buy the leaders through their tithes.
The commitments of the less fortunate are still needed and we hope to save their souls and not only for headcounts, they are vulnerable to be snatched to live in darkness. Some rich people give more than the teachings of tithes with belief that the more they give, the more they will receive or maybe because of fear that if they will not be obedient to the doctrine of tithes they may lose their wealth.
How can tithes be a blessing if there is fear involved? How can it be a blessing if you know that your tithes are being spent on the personal gain? How can it be a blessing when you just want to look big shot? How can it be a blessing when you just want to impress someone or a group of individuals?
Blessings come even without the tithes; it is how our hearts and souls dictate us to do a righteous act and focus solely on Him and submit humbly and follow the path to final sanctification.
Who among us really understands the doctrine of tithes? Why tithes are more used in preaching than giving or offering? What is the purpose of giving tithes?
If there are fears of not giving tithes, we should also fear that giving tithes to the wrong person or group will cause a negative impact on the giver? Especially when the receiving end is already rich as stated in the books of Proverbs “giving to the rich will result in poverty.” It is more a godly act to help our needy relatives than ignore it because, in the end, we are worse than the unbelievers. This being said is very clear that disobedience to this word might affect our salvation.
It’s not about the tithe that will cause or affect our salvation, but it is about our generosity to help that counts.
There is no way that our tithes are our ticket to heaven. We cannot bribe the gatekeepers. They will not be gatekeepers if they are corrupt. Money becomes a master of its own and is a divider of faith.
Tithing is not recognizing it as good work when the givers are aware that it is not being used for its purpose; which is supposed to be helping the poor. When we give tithes and expecting a godly result, without a doubt the results will be met here on earth.
When we try to make our own salvation and failed, there will be a redirection to make it right.
Eternal joy is not for sale but it is through hard work to earn it.
It is not because some are rich and can give more than the required tithes will be saved, it doesn’t work that way! We all have to work for our own salvation and giving tithes is not one of them but generous giving does.
Money cannot buy everything but it can buy you a Pastor that has nothing to do with your salvation. It’s true that in any congregation, it needs believers’ support but not to the extent that the money for our food will be taken away from our mouth to feed their lifestyle.
Let your fear be fear and fear itself. Nothing is going to happen if you will not give. It is only a matter of adjusting our thoughts to overcome fear. Remember if Pastors are richer than we are, he should be the one helping, which is the main purpose of giving tithes. Then if the needs arise, the ministry should be there and be able to help.
If the ministry cannot help the needy, what good would it be to entrust them to our tithes? When we can directly give it to someone who needs more of our help, we must just do it our own. God sees our hearts not how much we give. Another school of thought is to remember, we are the steward of God and we are His masterpiece. We are responsible for our own mishandling of our stewardship.
The seniors living from government’s check must be spared in these fearful teachings of tithes which are actually not consistent if based in the Bible. The Bible is not teaching tithes for nothing. Abraham and Jacob gave tithes with condition.
If the conditions have been met then we are vowed to give.
Malachi is not teaching anyone to give for personal use, but the harvest to be stored in the storehouse. Remember he mentioned “try me” meaning you give and make requests.
If the request is not fulfilled we already know it next time who is the speaker at that time.
The Law of Tithes was once enforced by Ecclesiastical Law and Secular Law many centuries ago but due to resistance by the farmers it was abolished years later; that was before and it is an error that we followed now.
We must never compromise the word of God by our misinterpretation or commonly called our own understanding.
It is often used to scare people that if we will not give we rob God; what it really means that if we will not share some of our blessings; we rob what belongs to the poor.
If God gives us more than enough, we should use that gift of help. God protects the poor and Jesus confirmed also His love for the poor.
Most of the churchgoers still think that what they give to their local church are tithes, when in fact it is an offering. Some Christians have in mind while going home after the Sunday service that they fulfill what their Pastors told them.
To give more to Jesus hoping that the tithes they give will return a hundred folds. Many have a burden in their hearts because they cannot afford to tithes. These are the people that should be taken care of by the ministry.
Sometimes we don’t see what is within our own backyard when our eyes are focused miles away. When you give tithes or donations of any kind and you claimed it as your tax expense; can you still call it tithes or just one of those expenses? You give and you take it back! that is how it looks.
Tithing was commanded to the Israelites to give 10% of their harvest and brought to their storehouse or as we call it now, warehouse. They stored this for their future consumption or when famine strikes. This is the Law of Harvest, and if we analyze and compute this thoroughly; it is more, including the interest for late givers and borrowers.
It will sum up to 23%. If we follow the rules of tithing this is how the rules on collections must be: 23 % giving and if missed, there is a penalty. If a member needs to borrow from the tithes, there will be an interest on top of it. Check your Bible it is there, but if you have the new version it might already be omitted.
If tithes are an obligation to some and not to all Christian denominations, this leaves a space where we can squeeze in some questions or have a second thought that might as well look for another church where our giving will be gracefully accepted.
Is tithing a part of salvation? If tithing is an obligation, isn’t it violates our free will to give?
Since the purpose of tithes is to save the collections for future use, emergency use, calamities, some unexpected needs, and helping the poor, we should have access to how much the collection has been saved after the fixed expenses. That is how the organization should be transparent to its members. Like this pandemic, there are members that need help.
Did the leaders ask the members if they need anything? If they need prayer, respond most likely will be quick. With many out-place with their job, they need more than prayer. Will they be quick to respond?
There are few denominations that keep track of your income and ask you why you missed giving the exact tithes. Tithes do not measure our faith but our good works.
Some leaders push the members by implying fear of stealing money from God. Give what belongs to God, they say, is of course giving bad feelings. No one wants to steal money from God.
Our God is rich and does not want our money. He knows our hearts as well as our pocket. Witnessing the lifestyle of the Pastor and their relatives will definitely give us a feeling and suspicion who are really stealing money.
There is one incident that a running president of the United States of America got exposed for not giving tithes to his congregation and that denomination he belongs to kept track of what he owes on tithes which amounted to more than $2 million. He paid the tithes but still lost the election.
What does it tell you? He was not forgiven or it doesn’t matter if he paid the tithes he owed or not
When we give tithes or any amount coming from our hearts that make us happy, we do not have to wait for the reward for we receive it as soon as we felt the happiness in our heart.
Giving will not give us a pass to the gate of heaven but brings happiness to all parts of our body at that moment.
Happiness is the reward and anybody can testify that when you give and you feel the joy that is the reward of giving by itself. The more we give the more we are happier and we give because we are called to use our gift of help and every time we use our gifts is added to our lists of accomplishment in this journey.
God will replace whatever we give.
I will bless those who bless you, that is a promise from our Father in heaven.