Question / Comment - Is tithing commanded for the churches today?
Hi,
I've been using your bible study for the past 1month and it has helped me immensely.
My question is, where do u stand on the issue of tithing in the church today?

Regards
JPN Reply:

 

Hey,
 
thanks for the email. Glad you have enjoyed the studies that you've read.
 
Tithing... I'm on the leadership team of a small non-denominational church. We don't teach tithing. But then we don't have anyone who is paid anything either! (But that is not because we see that as being wrong... it just that as a small fellowship everyone commits their time freely and we would rather see any money that comes in going out to mission organisations.) Anyway...

My personal belief is that tithing in not commanded for a New Covenant believer in the church at all. Look up all the references and you will not find it commanded to the church or those under the New Covenant (which believers are under). Free will giving should be taught for
 
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

And as Paul says in 2 Cor 8:
 
2 Corinthians 8:7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.

But here is the thing... giving comes from a grateful heart in response to need. It is NOT a law (which automatically makes it under compulsion and therefore negates the command of 2 Cor 9:7 above).
 
The fact is, there is not one command in the Bible to a believer under the New Covenant to tithe. I realise that their were commands under the law of Moses to tithe but I am a believing gentile who was born in the 20th Century. I'm not under the Mosaic covenant. And there was plenty of opportunity for Paul or one of the other church apostles to teach it to the gentiles if it was still in force. Please read 2 Cor 8 and 9... there is plenty of instruction on New Testament giving and this should be encouraged. But tithing is not enforced on the church in the Bible. We are not under the law.
 
Now having said that, if a believer knows these things and feels that they want to give a tenth, fine. That is between them and God. There is Christian freedom in these things. Just as there is freedom in one believer setting aside one day of the week as being more special than the others. But there is no law that states they must do so (nor all the curses that some like to dwell on if you don't tithe either!) 
 
A full study of tithing is quite interesting. Especially what they tithed in the Old Testament (it wasn't money), what the people did with the tithe (part of it they got to eat themselves!), what it was used for (the nations government, religious and welfare needs much like our tax), and what the full tithe percentage was (it wasn't 10%).
 
But that goes beyond what I can write in this email and I'll direct you to a couple of interesting pdf's if you are really interested.
 
http://www.tithingdebate.com/EatingSacredCowsDownload.pdf
 
http://www.truthforfree.com/files/PDF/REK-Tithing3.pdf

In closing, there is no law for a Christian to tithe. But as Christians we need to learn to be good free-will gracious givers. A lot of us have been given a lot, and there are a lot of valid needs, so we should be asking God what we can do with the resources He has given us (be they time, money, talents and giftings etc).
 
Hope it helps. Feel free to tell me why you ask or what your thoughts are : )


Their Reply:

I got your reply and it was very helpful. I am a 32yr old Christian in Nigeria. I asked the tithe question because in my country there are very many churches of many different denominations here and all of them advocate strongly for tithing; with many of them making "non-tithing" a sin. I have often wondered about that; I believe we are no longer under the law and so the tithe should no longer be mandatory for us. Once again, thank you very much for your answer, it fully confirms my belief.