Monday, July 7, 2008

Is Tithing Biblical?

I've said it before and I will say it again...I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Yesterday, we had a fantastic...and mind-boggling...Sunday School lesson.

We discussed giving. No, Don't leave, keep reading, you might like what you read!

We looked at the Old Testament scriptures concerning giving. These are the ones that talk about the tithe...the 10%. If you want to, look up the verses and read for yourself (Deut 12:4-5, 12:11, 14:22; Num 18:21, 26; Neh 10:37, 13:4; Malachi 3:10). These verses discuss that it was Mosaic Law to give 10% - much like our taxes of today.

Then, we looked up John 1:17, Romans 6:14, Galatians 5:18. These verses basically state that the aforementioned 'taxes' were paid by Jesus. He fulfilled the law!

What does this mean? That the tithe, the 10% does not pertain to us!

So, the New Testament way to give is this:

1. In Response to a need - think about that...Is a bowling alley in a church a need? (Acts 11:27-29) 2. Secretly and humbly (Matt. 6:14) 3. Cheerfully (II Cor. 9:7)

These 3 are pretty self-explanitory, but hold on to your hats!

4. According to what you have (II Cor. 8:12). If you have debt, do you have the money you are paying on that debt? It is not your money...you owe it to someone. Should you pay off the debt before you give to the church? Is 'tithe' based on your gross or net? After all, if the government takes your money, it is not yours.

Notice, none of the New Testament verses mention a 'tithe' or 10%!

I know, all of you die-hard Baptists are having a hard time breathing right now! Sit down, it will be alright.

Although the tithe is not New Testament, you have to decide what you and your family need to do. Maybe your financial giving is less...but maybe it is more!

This is what my husband and I deduced from this lesson...

1. A tithe is not biblical, it is just ingrained. Remember, there is a difference between tithe and offering. 2. We should get rid of our debt before donating money to the church. During the months we are paying on the debt, we will give our time to the church more so than we do at 'normal' times (for more on this, go visit Lana. She states it rather well.). 3. We will give according to what we have. 4. Whatever amount we decide to give, we will do it with a happy heart, not just do it in order to 'check the box'.

This guy says it well.

Go ahead. Research, re-evaluate, decide what your family should do!

12 comments:

~LL~ said...

Hmmmm.....my hubby and I tithe....I think we are called to do so. I think if we wait until all debt is paid off, then we never have enough to do what we think we should do in tithing.

Just because is is under the Mosaic law, I don't believe it is wrong to follow. Jesus fulfilled the law, however, I know I shouldn't lie or steal.

In Malachi, God encourages us to test him and see the blessings he grants us in relation to our "cheerful" givings. My hubby and I have had many times in our lives where financially, the numbers don't add up. by that I mean, we couldn't afford to live, yet we still have the means to do what we needed to do. That is our way of "letting go and letting God."

Though TECHNICALLY we may not be called to tithe, I think it is an easy way for a Christian to have an excuse to not give...."I'll give when I'm out of debt." I don't know that my hubby and I will EVER be out of debt....we own 2 homes and will have kids to put through college...plus we have our past financial mistakes to pay for.

we trust God's "challenge" and tithe FIRST THING and have had every financial need met.

Just my 2 cents.

Georgia said...

Ooh, you're gonna hit a nerve! My husband and I have come to the same conclusions that you have. Frankly, I'm surprised that such a hot-button topic was discussed in a Baptist church!

Cammie said...

Hi Girls,

Thanks for your comments.

LL, My first thought on your comment is regarding your statement, "...an easy way for a Christian not to give...". I just think that if they are looking for an excuse, they aren't giving cheerfully anyway. Does God want that money? Secondy, I need to clarify what my husband and I are calling debt. We have 2 credit cards and a personal loan that we are calling debt. We do not have a car payment and do not feel led to wait 30 years until our house is paid off to give of our money.

Georgia, I knew this would be a hot topic, but it was so eye opening to me that I had to share. I always thought it was biblical to give 10% and as I dig deeper, I realize that is is not. The 4 things that I stated in my post are what is biblical. Also, let me suffice it to say that I do not think all of the Sunday School teachers in the building came to the same conclusions or taught the same way yesterday. Even our pastor stated from the pulpit, 'You do not have to give...but you should want to give.' It was an interesting day!

Now, again I say, this is not how all families will approach the money situation...and they shouldn't. Just like drinking, dancing, divorce...you have to pray and do as the Spirit leads you. Maybe you give less, maybe you give more...do as God speaks to you.

lana said...

First I want to know...did you teacher get out of the building with out being tarred and feathered? It is great to have such open discussion. I LOVE your verses and LOVE when we research the Bible and don't just do what we have always been told. I think one good point that LL made is putting God to the test regarding His blessings for us. But that test will be different according to your heart and your hold on your finances. Are you greedy, are you stingy? Do you give to those in need? These are important factors and have so much to do with the heart... the part of us that only God knows.
THanks Cam for challenging us to think and pray!

Georgia said...

Something I am becoming very aware of is that there are many questions that have multiple answers. With that, it can become very easy to assume that what is right for you is right for everyone. I have had my thinking challenged lately and the issues of my heart scrutinized. I think this is one of those issues. I think if people tithe 10%, that's okay. Even if that's part of the Old Testament law and that portion of the law was fulfilled. It's the heart that matters and as long as the heart is pure...I think there will be blessings because of obedience. Even if it might not be technically necessary.

Kendra said...

I LOVE THIS!! My bible study just did several months on giving and it was so great. Those who truly want to give and those who are willing to listen to what God is calling them to give will truly understand it and truly be blessed.
This topic is THE ONLY place in the bible where God says "test me." (Otherwise, it's very important to NEVER test the Lord.) God says 'go ahead, see if you can outgive me!' If your giving in the right state of 'heart' and mind then God will give you back more. Always. There was a story I heard about a billionaire. He figured he needed to give to the Lord and since the Lord said to test it, he did just that. He started at 10% and gradually kept giving more. It got to where he was giving up to 90% of his income (a billionaire) and God kept giving him more monetary gain than he could handle..so he just kept giving! How AWESOME!! (If anyone can find the details of story or where it came from I would love to have a link (possibly??)

Missie said...

Cammie, I hope you remember me from college! Anyway, I found Lana on facebook and followed her links to you. Our church is non-denominational. Our pastor teaches on giving often, and it totally changed everything for me. He wrote a book that covered what he believes is biblical. It is called The Blessed Life and his name is Robert Morris. He says the Bible teaches that your tithe should be the FIRST after you get income. It should be your first check you write each month. Anyway, he has a ton of verses about it and it goes all the way back to Cain and Abel and why one of their offerings was accepted by God and why one wasn't. God asks us to test Him on this issue. I would rather 90% off my income be blessed and redeemed than 100% of it not. There have been so many times that my husband and I should not have made it through the month, but somehow we have. God has blessed us so much since we started tithing! I no longer live in fear. Money does not stress me out. God wants it to be first because it shows we trust Him to handle the rest. Technically, it is all His anyway and the first 10% is just what He asks us to give back. God speaks about tithing a lot in the Bible because He knows that money can have such a hold on us. Giving back to Him what is His anyway releases that hold it has on us. It is a heart thing. I want God to know that I know where all my blessings come from. I want Him to know that I trust Him with everything and especially money. I would love for you to read the book he wrote. However, in a couple of weeks he will be speaking on giving again. You can see it live or taped on our church's website. gatewaypeople.com Anyway, I hope you join facebook. I didn't see you on there.

Cammie said...

Missie,

I knew a few Missie's in college. Which one are you?

I just want to say that there is a difference between a 'tithe' and an 'offering'. We have come to think they are one in the same. Make sure to check the verses and see which ones state 'tithe' and which ones state 'offering'.

Lastly, I want to reitterate that this concept is not for everyone. You and your family have to pray and discern what is best for you. We feel that if we do this now, we can come back in a year and give more than 10%!

Missie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cammie said...

Hi Missie,

Yes, I remember you!

When I read your comment, I thought it would either be you or 'Burns'.

Do you keep in touch with the 'girls'?

Please email me at osuhpu1@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

If your debt exceeds your gain, then you might have a point. I'm assuming that you and your husband make about $30,000 per year or less if you've decided that the Lord will have you give nothing.

Honestly, if a family brings in over $100,000 per year, lives in a quarter of a million dollar home but has $20,000 in personal debt and then believes that they should not give regularly (notice I didn't say tithe - that I agree with), then they're not really listening to the Lord. IF that is the case, then THAT is SIN. That is nothing but pure greed.

Again, I am guessing that is not the case with you. I do believe that we are all called to give regularly based on our gain - no matter how small.

Cammie said...

Anonymous,

Damn! Thought I had that 'anonymous' button turned off! Would love to hear more from you, but please own your words :)

Thanks for commenting..

First of all, my family does not fall into the parameters of the 'over $100,000 per year, 1/4 million dollar home, and $20,000 in personal debt'...

Secondly, my point is, how can you tithe on money that isn't yours? If someone falls into these parameters, I agree, the money is going somewhere and it should be accounted for...either to the outstanding bills, so you can give soon, or to the Lord because you aren't using it wisely.

BUT, even if this is the scenario is true for some...it still comes down to a happy heart...the Lord wants a cheerful giver...if this person is begrudgingly giving becasue he feels guilted into it (or whatever), God doesn't want that money either!

Anyway, thanks for sharing...

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