Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Should Christians Tithe?

No, Christians do not have to tithe; give a certain, prescribed amount away to the church and others. Some think we should still tithe because of what Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone" {Matthew 23:23}. Remember, Jesus was speaking to Jews who were still living under the Law. He had not died and fulfilled the Law yet. They were still in bondage to the Law.

Paul teaches a whole new teaching after Jesus fulfilled the Law for us; thus we died to the Law. "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God" {Romans 7:4}. We are no longer living under any burden of the Law. If we still lived by the Law, we would be living under the punishment for breaking the Law; stonings, etc. Just as Christians no longer have to keep the Sabbath, we no longer need to tithe.

Now we are commanded to do this instead, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" {2 Corinthians 9:7}. God wants us to give because we want to give, not out of a sense of duty. He wants us to live lives that give; lives that are living sacrifices and are known for being generous. In order to be an elder, one must have the quality of generosity. We are all called to be servants for others in every way; not just giving our money but our time and talents.

God wants us to walk in obedience to Him because our greatest desire is to please Him, not because we have to and out of a sense of duty but because we want to! We have already been saved from the wrath to come. Jesus fulfilled the whole law so that we can walk in newness of life! Paul tells Philemon concerning giving; "but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will {Philemon 1:14}."

Therefore, don't let the burden of tithing and keeping the Sabbath weigh you down anymore. We are living under a brand new covenant that was given to us when Jesus died on the cross and rose again. He freed us from the bondage of the Law and put His Spirit inside of us so we can be transformed into the likeness of Him. What a Savior!

2 Corinthians 9 is a wonderful chapter on giving and generosity that every believer should study. Paul states, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully  shall reap also bountifully!" Notice that none of the New Testament writers, after Jesus' death on the cross, ever command us to 'tithe.' Study Hebrews 7. However, if you enjoy giving 10% of your income away and feel cheerful about it, go for it! If you want to give more than 10% away, please do for God LOVES a cheerful giver! For there is now NO condemnation for those who love Jesus.

Here is a fabulous article about the origins of tithing and why it is 
no longer applicable for today.