Hi, I have heard various answers to question in regard to tithing. My family believes in tithing (10% of our income) and usually offers it to the local church that we are part of. Occasionally, we give an offering to people who are doing God’s work (mainly missionaries or ministries that we like/ benefit from) out of our tithing. I heard some pastors having a strong opinion about how that’s not appropriate as it is not our decision on how the tithing should be spent/ proportionate. Others say if it is being spent on God’s people, then it is fine. Some say we need to give offerings to others outside of our tithing and tithing should only go to church. Any advice or biblical principles that we need to keep in mind when offering our tithing?
From my understanding tithing came into play when the Levitical priesthood was established (Numbers 18:26) (Leviticus 27:30). They didn’t do normal jobs so because of that the people were to give 10% of their income to help provide financially for the priests. They also gave a tithe to the temple if I’m understanding it correctly. Now that we are under a new covenant we are not obligated to do that. But you do see people giving financially to the body of Christ in the New testament.
Conditions Among the Early Believers
32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 34 For there was no one needy among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling them and bringing the proceeds from the sales 35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and placed it at the apostles’ feet.
So it’s not wrong at all to help churches or Christians financially. And if you can I think you should do so. But it’s not a requirement in my opinion. You see this in the next chapter in Acts 5. Ananias and Sapphira had the choice to give whatever they wanted. They chose to lie about it because of their motives behind their giving. Them lying and presenting something as something it wasn’t is where they failed. You see the new testament has this going theme of revealing that God cares more about the heart than he does the action itself. A small amount goes far with the Lord vs a large amount from someone who doesn’t really want to give it.
Here are some more passages on tithing if you want to do more research.
I hope this helps some, God Bless
This is a controversial topic to the point of being taboo to some degree. But i believe that it should be openly discussed in the church so that we can have clarity on both the competing sides of this issue. I belong to a non-denominational church which was established around 2004 or 2005. I got converted in this church in 2007 and I practiced tithing since. But as I grew in my faith and read more and more of the Bible and studied the doctrines and listened to the many preachers and theologians and apologists out there, I came to the conclusion that tithing has no firm biblical basis in the New Testament. There is no command for the church to practice tithing, more so to apply the tithe only to the church and not to other ministries or outreach. There is no biblical basis for that teaching.
But what i would encourage you with is first to study on your own and not just rely on other people’s opinion. And secondly, take it to your heart that giving to the ministry is very important. If you are not involved in any ministry in your church, your financial participation is the one area where you can help. Don’t mind the numbers, count your money and give as you are able. Pray about it, the Holy Spirit will help you.
When Moses was handed down the Levitical laws, it had set a benchmark on giving, especially tithing. The Israelites and the Jews contemporary to our Lord Jesus Christ were deeply inculcated and have (presumably) practiced this laws to the letter. However, practice and tradition alone does not sufficed since they have altogether forgotten, due to historical invasions of other nations, scattering of the Israelites and subsequent repatriation as cited in Malachi texts.
Abuses by temple officials and the rise of various sects in Judaism giving rise to stringent “man made laws e.g., " corban”, diluting/ confusing many followers that giving should be ungrudgingly, freely and lovingly since it is intended for the Lord YHWH after all…
Paul, reiterated the original intentions of the Scriptures in giving freely and lovingly as what may make the heart joyous when sharing with what one has and what one has not.
It is my practice, as I have understood and (presume) what is, that the tithe is a benchmark, the standard, in which one should give cheerfully because we love GOD_2 Corinthians 9:7. Offerings, as well, something with what we decided freely in our heart to give.
And as to who should receive, appropriately, is where we serve or do our service ( local church/fellowship). And wherever else our heart lead us to generously give, in the form of offering/pledges.
I hope this would further you in your quest. GOD’S love for us motivates us highly to love HIM back and cheerfully and generously give back and pay tribute even if it means our whole life in return.