41: Why Should Christians Stop Tithing Immediately?
Another way to ask this question: Should Christians tithe? This is a great question.
The word “tithing” can easily seem completely foreign to many people. But to some others, it’s a perfectly normal part of their lives and budgeting.
Should Christians tithe? The tithe was a component of the Old Covenant and today Christians are no longer under the Old Testament law therefore Christians are not legally bound or expected to tithe. But the New Testament does indeed encourage generosity and financial giving. This helps to keep our hearts right; it helps us to fight against our own propensities toward greed.
The topic of money is a controversial topic within Christians circles, but it is far too important to ignore. This topic demands a quality Biblical response and examination.
In this episode, Kenny tackles the topic by making it clear that Christians should not ever tithe, but rather we should cheerfully and sacrificially give generously; giving to causes that spread the Gospel.
Kenny dives into the actual meaning of the word “tithe” and the Hebrew words that we translate into English as “tenth” or “tithe” throughout the Old Testament. He then examines the Old Testament Law that required multiple types of tithes from the land, not general income; he also explains that those monies were generally earmarked for these three items:
1- One tithe for the Levites
2- One tithe for the use of the temple and the feasts
3- One tithe for the poor people
The tithe laws only applied to those in the land of Israel, and they were a part of the Old Covenant, therefore they do not apply to Christians today. But the principles and lessons that we learn about giving certainly still do apply to all believers today. In fact, Kenny believes that Christians ought to be the biggest and most generous people around.
In New Testament we are never told to tithe, but there are many times that we are expected to give. Many times in the book of Acts people brought money to the Apostles and we also see this alluded to multiple times in the epistles as well. In Acts 5 we see a story of a couple that sold their land and claimed to have given all the proceeds to the Apostle (they lied and God struck them dead); but it is important to note that it is clearly apparent that large extravagant gifts to the church were common in that time period.
In Mark 12:41-44, we see Jesus being more impressed with a poor woman who gave a few pennies than those who gave big amounts, because Jesus is not impressed when we give from our abundance.
The Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians about giving regularly and cheerfully (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). He also wrote to both the Corinthians and to his protege Timothy about collecting and using monies to pay pastors and church leaders as needed (1 Timothy 5:18; 1 Corinthians 9:3-10).
In this episode, Kenny also talks about how church leaders must be responsible with those funds, being above reproach, and how those funds are to be used for building the church and serving other churches and ministries.
Kenny talks extensively about how we give, why we give, and how much we ought to give. He closes the episode with a great quote from one of his favorite authors Randy Alcorn: “When God blesses you financially, it is not to raise your standard of living, but to raise your standard of giving.”
Leviticus 27:30: Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’s; it is holy to the LORD.
Numbers 18:26: “Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.
Deuteronomy 14:24: And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there.
2 Chronicles 31:5: As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
Malachi 3:10: 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.
Mark 12:41-44: And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 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. 44 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.”
Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
1 Corinthians 16:2: On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
2 Corinthians 9:7: Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
1 Timothy 5:18: For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
1 Corinthians 9:3-10: This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife,[a] as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? 8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.