What About Tithing?
Dear Brother Thomas:
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We have heard it preached over and over that anybody who does not tithe (at least 10% of the Gross received) is a God robber according to Malachi 3. It was said that one might even lose their salvation if he does not tithe! We do not believe that we have to tithe. We do believe that everything we have is the Lord’s and we do believe in giving from the heart. But we can’t be cheerful givers if we are told we must tithe. We see many who are struggling with this, being obedient to the pastor, and letting other bills go because they just do not have the money. Or they put gifts to evangelists on credit cards when they do not have the money simply because they are told that they will receive money back from God if they just give. We care about this pastor. In other areas he seems to be trying, but we are disgusted with this one area and feel we don’t want any more to do with that church. Do you think it is right to leave a church because of this one area? There are some other areas we question too, but we can overlook some things where we feel the pastor is still growing. Will you tell us your view on tithing please?
On behalf of Bro. Thomas, greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus!
Whenever any spiritual principle is taught with a legalistic spirit, the results are as you describe. Legalism conveys to people that their standing before God depends on their measuring up to whatever standard of duty and behavior is being taught. Our standing before God is 100% by grace through faith! The foundation is based 100% on what Jesus did on our behalf. We can neither add to nor subtract from his perfect work!
What believers do should be the expression of heart faith brought about by the grace of God. Eph. 2:8-10. Giving is certainly one of those areas. II Cor. 8 & 9 are wonderful chapters on the subject of the grace of giving. In particular, II Cor. 9:7 states a wonderful principle. I don’t believe any of God’s children have ever lost out by giving to Him in faith.
These principles have been seriously abused by legalizers and “blessings” preachers. It is important to seek the Lord and move in faith not only as to the amount of our giving but also to whom the gift is given. There are many religious “rat holes” down which people have poured out hard-earned money in an attempt to obtain “blessings” from God.
Many of our people give far more than 10% yet we don’t even pass an offering plate and rarely is the subject mentioned. God has blessed us abundantly over the years and though we are small, we are debt free and supporting a worldwide outreach without resorting to begging. We give God the glory!
I believe that giving 10% is a serious step of faith for many who are perhaps ignorant of the Lord’s ways. It certainly is something that needs to be a conviction of their hearts and not a law imposed on them. It is something to prayerfully consider that if people under the law were instructed to give 10%, ought we to excuse ourselves from cheerfully giving to a God who has promised to supply all our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus? Phil. 4:19.
Although it is often said in a trite way it is still true that we cannot outgive God. When believers learn to give to God in real faith they enter into an area of grace and blessing that will spiritually strengthen them and make them a blessing. Christians are cheating themselves in this and in many other areas when they fail to learn the Lord’s ways and enjoy the unsearchable riches of His grace and the benefits of His great covenant.
As to your church affiliation, this is an area in which you need to seek the Lord and be fully persuaded in your own mind. He will not steer you wrong. Christ is the Head of His body, the church. I fear that much of Christendom has become detached from the Head and is moving in other spirits that are starving and abusing the remnant of the Lord’s sheep. This should be an area for serious prayer and desire for the Lord’s will, yet we need to move in faith and not in haste and presumption.
I hope that this will help to answer your questions. Certainly in all things I would point you to the Lord! Feel free to write again as you desire.
May God richly bless you!
Midnight Cry Ministries