After going to church this Sunday, I started thinking more about tithing. I decide to research and see if tithling is required of Christians today.
Should Christians tithe? Christians are not required to give 10% to their church. But, the Bible does call Christians to give generously. Christians should seek God and ask Him how much they should give.
Let’s jump into what the Bible says about tithing.
What the Bible Says About Tithing
Giving throughout the Bible is an important concept. We consistently see examples of people giving to the church.
Tithing specifically means the giving of a certain percentage of your income to the church.
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.Malachi 3:10
In the Old Testament, tithe was required under the Mosaic law.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;Proverbs 3:9
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.Proverbs 11:24
We can see in the book of Proverbs we are also encouraged to honor God with our tithes. The world may hold onto their riches, but they suffer want.
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”Mark 12:41-44
Jesus commends the widow compared to those who were rich, not simply because they were rich, but they gave out of necessity and out of their abundance, whereas poor widow gave even though it would be a leap of faith.
The Bible tells us that we should give. All that we have is God’s.
Tithing is giving back.
Generosity is an important quality of a Christian and can be a representation of our thankfulness to God.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.2 Corinthians 9:7
Giving to the church through tithe, or in any situation should be something that comes from a personal decision to give, and to give cheerfully and not in dread. We should have confidence that even if giving for us is a leap of faith, God will take care of us.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.Hebrews 13:16
Our actions, how we treat others, and what we do with what we have should all glorify God. This verse says that what we do with time and resources matters, and when we use them to glorify God, they please him.
Why Do Christians Tithe?
Tithing, giving to the church, is something commonly spoke of and commonly done in churches all over the globe. Why is it that people tithe at church?
Tithing began in the Old Testament. We read about Cain and Abels offering to God, and Abraham’s 10% giving to Melchizedek.
We then read about the Mosaic covenant given to the people. They were required to give their 10% of what they had.
Today when we tithe we are still giving back to God. Many people give 10% of their gross income because they believe that God should get the first of their money.
Through tithe, we can honor and worship God as well as help the local church we are apart of.
Tithe supports the local church that you tithe to by funding the community and global work your church is a part of as well as helping keep the church building maintained, and salary for the church staff.
As I mentioned before, Christians do not tithe simply to be blessed themselves but to bless others.
If we decide to tithe we should not expect anything, or think it is leverage with God, but instead be sure that God will care for us even when giving outside our comfort zone.
Tithing is a joyful task of giving back to God what is His. Our joyful giving is a representation of the thanks we have towards God for all he has given to us and done for us.
Like the widow in the above parable, giving can be a trust exercise, but it is a good consistent reminder that God is working, and will work in our lives. Even when we give more than we think we can we can have confidence in God.
We should keep this heart of trust in all areas of our life, knowing if we give time or possessions to God even if we do not know if we can, God will work.
If we live here and now surrendering what we have to God even if they are little steps of faith, in the future when God asks us to take even bigger leaps of faith we will be more prepared and trust God to work in everything.
Different Viewpoints On Tithing
The two main views on tithing are 1) you must tithe and 2) you are not obligated to tithe.
We Must Tithe
Some Christians believe tithing is for all Christians today. They believe the command to give 10% remains.
From Genesis, we see the people of God tithing, and it continues through the New Testament. Many people take this as an indication that we should tithe today.
Everything belongs to the Lord in the first place, when we are giving we are giving back a portion to God.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.Matthew 23:23
In this passage, Jesus says that tithe is not as important as other things of the law but still says that we should remember things such as caring for the orphans and widows, while not forgetting the things in the law such as tithing.
Those who believe that we are still under the law and should be giving tithe as it was done in the Old Testament look to passages that emphasize the importance of giving.
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.Malachi 3:8
Looking at this passage it makes a clear point that when we do not tithe, we are robbing from God. This is a serious offense against God and we should be careful to hear and follow what God says if it still applies to us today.
The tithe is very important for the church, giving will help keep the staff and resources available to all who would need them. Knowing we are a big part of the church’s ministry should keep us giving.
Since the time of Abraham, and even before, we see those who fear the Lord bring offerings to him. Under the Mosaic covenant, the Israelites are told to give 10%. The importance of tithe throughout God’s word should be an indication that it is not something we should give up today.
Those who believe that tithe is something we are still required to do in the church see no reason to stop tithing constantly 10% to the church today.
We Are Under No Obligation To Tithe
There are many who look at scripture, including the passages that discuss our need to tithe, and believe that they do not apply to us today.
First and foremost, we are not under the Mosaic covenant anymore, when Jesus came and died on the cross and rose again he fulfilled the law. We must be careful if we are to enforce tithing because there are many other Old Testament laws that we do not enforce today.
Even when looking at tithing through the eyes of the law, tithe was to be given to the priests within the tribe of Levi. We no longer go to a temple where the Levitical priests work, so when we are giving today, we are not tithing like the Israelites did.
Whenever Jesus talked about the tithe in the New Testament like in Matthew 23:23 and Mark 12 41-44, it was before the onset of the New Covenant, so they were all still required to tithe under the Mosaic law.
When reading the letters that were written by the apostles about giving, tithe is never mentioned, it is only commanded that they are to be generous.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’Acts 20:35
In this passage giving is highly encouraged. Aiding those who need help is very important, but tithing itself is not mentioned. The word tithe is not given with a commandment throughout the letters written after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Those who do not think tithe is required any more of Christians still acknowledge the importance of giving. It is our responsibility to love and help those in need, and this should be acknowledged by all Christians.
Some do not see tithe as a ridged way to give 10% to the church regularly but giving generously generally.
Giving generously generally can be a good plan, but there is less structure to your giving making it easier to forget to give, or you may have a hard time keeping track of what you give to who.
God loves us when we give and when we don’t give. Tithing isn’t a way to earn God’s love—because we already have it. In fact, in Matthew 23:23, Jesus warns against focusing too much on the rules of tithing without paying attention to the more important things like justice, mercy and faithfulness.Dave Ramsey
Tithing As God Calls Us
Some Christians stick to giving 10% every week, whereas, other Christians do not believe they are obligated to tithe.
Other people are in this middle category, they acknowledge what the Israelites gave under the Mosaic law, 10%, but do not feel legally bound to giving tithe.
Instead, they feel lead as a Christian to give to the church regularly a regular amount, but also help those in need generously.
We know that giving to the church is important, the church has an amazing ministry of reaching out to people globally and locally as well as discipling and teaching believers.
When tithing to a church it is so much more than simply your pastor’s salary.
We should give to our church because of all they do for us and all they are doing for their community. Some people find that 10% is the easiest way for them to give. It is a nice even number that helps them know exactly what they want to give.
Those who listen to the calling of God to give may find themselves often giving more than they think they can in addition to regular giving.
God works in amazing ways when we surrender our plans and what we have to Him, even though giving above your budget might seem uncomfortable.
We know by reading it again and again in God’s word that He will provide for us. We are told that when we give, God will bless us.
Seek God and ask Him about giving to your local church.