Tithing

 

I am on the quest to understand Tithing better. Not because I’ve never been in a church that taught it, but because I want to make sure that the beliefs I have been taught, are my very own. Churches are ALWAYS talking about tithing.. I mean, I get where they’re coming from, and why it’s important, I just want to make sure that I personally believe what they’re saying. I don’t like thinking about the amount of money we make (and waste) in America, compared to people in other countries… that being said, I want to be VERY responsible with the money I have been blessed with, and make sure I’m using it how God wants me to.

So starting out, I guess I’ll lump together all my basic thoughts on tithing

  • It’s important
  • God wants us to do it. We will  be blessed in Return
  • 10% is the standard, unless you feel God leadig you to give more (Deut 14:22-29)
  • We give our first to God, even when it’s hard
  • It’s all God’s $ anyway, so whatever happens, He is in control (Lev 27:30)

But I got to thinking…

  • Where should it go?
  • Does scripture back up every part of the bullets above?
  • Does God expect it to go to my home church?
  • Does all 10% have to go to the same place?

Things I learned: (disclaimer: I cannot guarantee the answers are correct..these are just my own opinions)

Q: Where should it go?
A: To God, not ootbwc

Plain and simple. I shouldn’t write a check to OOTBWC bc that’s my church, I should write it to OOTBWC because it’s Gods and I’m giving it back to him. I am NOT giving it to the church.. I’m giving it to Him. Him. A church is simply the outlet, or distribution path to the end user. It’s the responsibility of the receiver to make sure it’s used according to God’s will.

Q: Which church should I give it to?
A: The one that’s feeding me.

If you eat in restaurant A, you don’t pay in restaurant B – you give your money to the restaurant you ate in. I read a website that said the same is true with tithing. But what if the restaurant you’re in is serving really crappy food? Shouldn’t you tithe at the place that is feeding you spiritually? (side note: if your church isn’t feeding you spiritually…find another one. Unless God clearly tells you to stay for another purpose of fulfilling his will) So maybe that answers my question. Maybe God doesn’t expect it all to go to my home church, if my home church isn’t feeding me? I don’t want to pretend like I know what God wants, haha. I could be wrong.

Q: Does God expect it to go to my home church?
A: Not necessarily.

Use it wisely. Give to the place that’s feeding you. If that isn’t your own church, maybe that’s not where your tithe should go? I read a website that said if I give my tithe to prop up a dead ministry (or according to Revelation 2-3, a dead church), then my tithe is wasted in poor spiritual ground. Hm. Maybe another reason why it wouldn’t HAVE to go to my home church, if that was the case.

Other Thoughts:

It’s a seed: It’s not the end-product. It’s one domino on the table, one seed that will help grow the entire harvest. That being said, I have to make sure I’m putting my seed into good soil to make sure
the best harvest is sown.

See where God is working, and join in: I should look around me. If I see God working in a certain ministry, I should pray about giving to that ministry.

Obedience is better than sacrifice: When I’m obedient, blessings will come. When I’m disobedient, I will have to sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:222 says “obedience is better than sacrifice.” We must trust God. If we can’t live off of 90% of our salary, we probably can’t live off of 100%.

Pray First, write later: Don’t jump the gun. Don’t write it because I THINK I’m supposed to. Stop. Pray. See where God wants the money. I need to exercise prayerful judgment, not my own worldly judgment.

I still think tithing is expected of us. I think what I learned most from this little breakdown is to give to the place that God is using to feed me spiritually.  Figuring out where I am being fed, coupled with the direction God is giving me through prayer, is how I will decide where my tithe goes. Bottom Line: trust the Big Guy. Give where He wants me to give and don’t stress because He’s always going to take care of me.

1 Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

What do yall think?? Any thoughts? Feel free to disagree with me.

Freebie: here’s a great tool to help with your own budget

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11 thoughts on “Tithing

  1. I sure hope that You’re being fed at your church because it’s my church too. Here is food fir thought. I have talked with many people who don’t tithe to their church because the don’t feel they are fed there spiritually, or they don’t like the pastor and many other reasons. I always say and I would do this myself. God says bring all the tithe into the storehouse, I take that to mean the chur h where hopefully we are being fed. If a person feels they cannot tithe where they are a member or attending regularly then they should leave there and go where they can b fed well. Again I hope you are fed well at OOTBWC .
    Your pastor

  2. I haven’t been tithing because I have not being attending church regularly. I haven’t been attending church because I don’t feel “fed” spiritually. I feel more spiritually encouraged by serving the poor and needy in the community. Going to church has turned into a hassle, to be honest. Tithing in a place I don’t feel spiritually strong does not feel right.

  3. Great thoughts. Definitely agree to give where you’re fed, but also think it’s OK to give to places that are feeding others (overseas missions, international Christian relief agencies, etc.) I used to hear the term “tithes and offerings.” The tithe was what you were obligated to give to your church. The offering was the amount above and beyond 10 percent to give to other ministries. Never really agreed with that. Also, while obedience is important, Paul said “Each one should give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Yeah, I don’t have it all figured out either.

  4. I agree! That’s why I said “(side note: if your church isn’t feeding you spiritually…find another one. Unless God clearly tells you to stay for another purpose of fulfilling his will)”

  5. oops! Simon, I just saw your comment. My first reply was to Ronnie. I agree about it being ok to give to ministries that support others and not yourself.. I was just in a dilemma trying to decide where my actual 10% should go on a regular basis. (Key word being regular. haha, maybe that’s why I put the disclaimer about if God is directing you to give it somewhere else?) idk. I think bottom line we should trust the spirit leading us… and regardless of where I THINK the money should go.. I should always stop and ask God about it.

    Noel, thanks for your comment as well. I definitely can relate with being spiritually fed through serving others. are you from around here?

    • I am from Florida. Still looking for a church (or any other means to grow more spiritually). my problem is that I have been disillusioned with churches. They pretty much serve themselves (which is why they emphasize so much on tithing and use the Bible to justify themselves). But the true giving happens when we cheerfully do so to the poor, not when someone preaches that it is a commandment, which is instilling fear, not love.

  6. Truth be told, the general premise of today’s church on the tithe is rather unbiblical. The tithe is not 10%, nowhere in scripture did the bible define the storehouse as the “church you are fed”, it is not the first and neither does it bring about any blessing of any sort.

    I will start with the first. The bible defines the tithe as the TENTH PART of agricultural produce and livestock from the land of Israel alone. People assume that this was because the children of Israel practised a barter system; that is false. Money was widely available but was never something God commanded the children of Israel to pay tithes on. In order to determine their tithes, the children of Israel grouped their farm produce into 10 equal parts and separated the tenth part as the tithe. They determined the tithe of animals by counting off every tenth animal and separating it as the tithe. If there was no tenth, no tithe.

    The storehouse being referred to in the book of Malachi was not even the temple but a physical granary or armoury where the tithes of agricultural produce were kept. And God’s house in the New Testament refers to people and not buildings. The tithe was never defined as the first as the word itself is gotten from the Hebrew word “Ma’asher” which means tenth and this word too was gotten from the Hebrew word “Asher” which means ten. This proves what I said earlier that the tithe was the tenth in a group of ten and not 10%.

    The blessing, if any, derived from tithing only applied to the children of Israel in the Old Testament. The New Testament church is already blessed and has not been commanded to tithe as a means of securing any blessing.

    When it comes to giving, the New Testament does not give us an absolute minimum as a giving standard instead 2 Cor 9 tells us that anything we give is acceptable as far as it is given willingly and cheerfully.

    God bless.

    • Tony, very interesting explanation. If you are right, then all of the churches in the history of Christianity have been misguided and misguiding its followers. Sad.

    • The strange and yet untapped truth of the matter is that God doesn’t want or need your money. He wants and needs you. All through the New Testament, Christ challenges us to give 100%…of ourselves. By recieving the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to give our all. If that takes the form of giving or service or missionary work, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is “called” to something if their ears are sensitive to the moving of the Spirit. In the book, Radical by David Platt, he speaks of givng up everything for the cause of the gospel. I wrote a commentary on the book, and agree with him on some levels. All of our giving, service, mission work, all of it is vanity if it is mot grounded in the love of God and a close relationship with Him. Our relationship starts one-on-one, and then progresses from there…Without the love, it is an “unworthy” sacrifice. But once we are filled by “living waters”, we begin to let that overflow into other people’s lives. If every Christian took the time to actually reach out to people in a personal way, they would see a new horizon and be blessed by a melting heart. To give money is like saying you love someone, but to touch a person by giving of your time is showing them that you love them.

  7. Hi I happened to come across your blog while hunting around for decorating ideas and saw your post on tithing. Here is some information I found on the topic taken from our issue of the Watchtower dated 8/1/2009 “Our Readers Ask”. I hope you find this information helpful. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Take Care!

    Our Readers Ask
    How Much Should I Donate?
    “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Those words are known by millions throughout the world. However, some churchgoers may feel obligated to donate beyond their means. In fact, some religious denominations require that their members donate a fixed sum. The practice is called tithing, that is, giving 10 percent of one’s income to the church.
    Does the Bible really require that we offer a fixed sum as a donation? Put personally, how much should I donate?
    Requirements and Voluntary Donations in the Past
    The Bible contains clear instructions to the nation of Israel about the amount God required them to give. (Leviticus 27:30-32; Numbers 18:21, 24; Deuteronomy 12:4-7, 11, 17, 18; 14:22-27) These requirements were not excessive. Jehovah promised that in return for obedience to his laws, he would make the nation ‘overflow with prosperity.’—Deuteronomy 28:1, 2, 11, 12.
    In other instances, the Israelites could voluntarily donate as much or as little as they desired. For example, when King David planned to build a temple for Jehovah, his subjects donated “gold worth five thousand talents.” (1 Chronicles 29:7) Contrast this with what Jesus observed when he was on earth. He saw “a certain needy widow drop two small coins of very little value” into the temple treasury chests. How much did her donation amount to? Only 1/64 of a day’s wages. Yet, Jesus said that this small sum was acceptable.—Luke 21:1-4.
    Are Christians Required to Give a Set Amount?
    Christians are not under the Law covenant given to Israel. Thus, they are not obliged to give a set amount to God. However, in the true Christian congregation, giving is a source of much joy. Jesus Christ himself stated: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses support their worldwide preaching work through voluntary donations. These donations are used to print literature, such as the magazine you are reading, and to build and maintain their places of worship, known as Kingdom Halls. None of the funds collected are used to pay salaries. Some who devote themselves full-time to share in the disciple-making work do receive assistance to defray their transportation costs and other personal expenses. But no one demands such help. In fact, the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not receive any financial assistance to support their preaching work. Instead, most work secularly to support themselves, just as Paul did when he worked as a tentmaker.—2 Corinthians 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:9.
    If a person wants to make a donation toward the work accomplished by Jehovah’s Witnesses, how much should he give? The apostle Paul wrote: “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 8:12; 9:7.
    [Footnote]
    In 2008, the average price of gold was $871 an ounce, making this contribution worth some $4,794,855,000

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