The Tithe Debate Is Heating Up
By Edwin & Sophia Christiaan | www.instituteoflove.net | Copyright @2012
The year 2012 will be the year where the false doctrine and teaching of Tithing, meaning giving 10% of your money gross income as a mandate and obligation to the church, will be exposed as one of the greatest lies that the church has embraced and been thoroughly indoctrinated with for decades.
Those who have been openly opposing this false doctrine, including the many Bible scholars and teachers, will be vindicated. They have been bad-mouthed, rejected, ridiculed, and called heretics by those who impose tithing on people.
The other day we saw a pastor of an evangelical mega-church in Texas, who was teaching his congregation how they are supposed to give their tithes to his church. He had a gigantic banner with the number 10 hanging from the stage, symbolizing the tithe being 10%, and on a big screen he displayed a check, on it instructing the people how to authorize his church to automatically withdraw tithe money from their bank accounts.
This pastor manipulatively went on to say, “If you need financial blessing; tithe! If you need college tuition; tithe! If you want your marriage restored; tithe! Give what belongs to God! The tithe belongs to God, otherwise you will be robbing God,” as he quoted the frequently used passage of the Old Testament to justify the false “must tithe” doctrine for Christians:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,“ Says the Lord of hosts; “and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:8-12 NKJV
Even though we have addressed this issue of tithing on several occasions on this website, we want to give an even deeper explanation of the above passage in the book of Malachi. This text was directed at the Israelites (NOT US CHRISTIANS) in the Old Testament, who were commanded to give ten percent, which is one tenth of a portion of their harvest crops (NOT MONEY) to the Levites, which was a requirement from God. They had to bring a tenth of the grain from the fields or fruit from the trees to the storehouse, which is NOT THE CHURCH!
“One tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. If you want to buy back the Lord’s tenth of the grain or fruit, you must pay its value, plus percent. Count off every tenth animal from your herds and flocks and set them apart for the Lord as holy. You may not pick and choose between good and bad animals, and you may not substitute one for another. But if you do exchange one animal for another, then both the original animal and its substitute will be considered holy and cannot be bought back.” These are the commands that the Lord gave through Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites. Leviticus 27:30-34 NLT
There was a second tithe prescribed in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy to fund the journey to and from the yearly feast in Jerusalem.
“Now when the Lord your God blesses you with a good harvest, the place of worship he chooses for his name to be honored might be too far for you to bring the tithe. If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds, put the money in a pouch, and go to the place the Lord your God has chosen. When you arrive, you may use the money to buy any kind of food you want—cattle, sheep, goats, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your household.” Deuteronomy 14:24-26 NLT
Then there was a third tithe that was commanded to be given, which is the one the Malachi passage is talking about, which had to be given to support the Levites, widows and orphans every third year of the seven-year cycle;
“Every third year you must offer a special tithe of your crops. In this year of the special tithe you must give your tithes to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows, so that they will have enough to eat in your towns. Then you must declare in the presence of the Lord your God, ‘I have taken the sacred gift from my house and have given it to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows, just as you commanded me. I have not violated or forgotten any of your commands.” Deuteronomy 26:12-14 NLT
According to the Malachi passage, the Israelite priests failed to give their tithe portion to the Levites, and therefore they were accused of robbing God.
Because Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead and He has set us free from the Law, that is why these Old Testament Laws do not apply to us believers. They absolutely do not benefit us in any way! What is important now is that we live by faith that expresses itself, NOT BY KEEPING THE LAW, BUT IN LOVE!!!
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” Galatians 5:1-4 NLT
“For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” Galatians 5:6 NLT
If Jesus Christ has set us free from the bondage of circumcision, which means being under the law of Moses, why are so many Christians keeping a fabricated law of tithing 10% of their income to the church and thinking they are going to be blessed by doing so, when it clearly says in the Word of God that when we keep the law we are cut off from Jesus Christ and have fallen away from God’s grace?
It is no wonder that so many Christians are seriously struggling financially and in other areas of their lives despite tithing faithfully to their churches. They do not experience any window of heaven being opened with blessings pouring out on them. It is interesting to see that the so-called big-time pastors, who are teaching this false doctrine of tithing, are the ones who are benefiting from you tithing money to them. They get away with living lavishly and buying anything they want. Since they do not trust God for taking care of them and their ministry, they are banking on the secure tithe income coming from you. That is why they have every reason to keep this deceptive tithing message going, as they falsely promise those who tithe to them that God will abundantly bless them financially. They absolutely hate it when anyone speaks against it. Many of these pastors are crafty businessman, who, instead of taking good care of the flock and feeding them, are busy buying and selling properties and merchandising and selling the Word of God for profit.
It is not these false teachers, who gladly wants to tell you how much you should give them, but it is the Bible that truly teaches us how to give our money.
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 2. Corinthians 9:7-9 NLT
“Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” 2. Corinthians 8:11-14 NLT
“I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2. Peter 3:17-18 NLT
- Therefore, do not allow a pastor to tell you how much money you should give to his church, whether it is 10% of your gross income or any other amount.
- Don’t let any pastor tell you that you are robbing God if you don’t tithe.
- If a pastor tells you that 10% of your gross income belongs to God, do not listen to him!
- Do not allow any pastor to tell you that there is a bottom or minimum where you can start giving your money to his church, which is actually a crafty way to say to you that you have to tithe ten percent of your income.
- Don’t allow any pastor to tell you to disclose your finances.
Jesus Christ, who set us free from the Law, which includes the law of tithing, (“He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations.” Ephesians 2:15 NLT) said the following:
“But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:3-4 NLT
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 NLT