Many Christians today were apprehensive about the word Tithe. Some were of the opinion that Christians are not obligated to pay Tithe. While scores of others frown at paying Tithe because the Church Pastors are misusing the proceeds of the Tithe. To avoid this controversy, some religion organization has devised another means of raising money for crusade and evangelism without tithing. However this article will help the public about Tithing and Offering in the Christian era.
God said, “my people are perish for lack of knowledge and He will reject their children also for lack of knowledge”(Hosea 4:6) To avoid been rejected by God it is a matter of do or die to know whether a modern-day Christian should give tithes and offering to promote the interest of God’s kingdom.
Tithing predates Mosaic Laws. Four hundred years before the birth of Moses, Abraham his ancestor paid 10% tithes to the king of Salem Melchizedek. (Hebrew 7:1-3) Jacob also vowed to pay 10% Tithes on all his belonging. Who taught him to do that? Since Abraham is a friend of God probably God told him to do pay tithes. I reason that tithe may have started from the Garden of Eden, when God commanded Adam not eat from one tree but the rest of the fruits. That forbidden one tree may have represent God’s portion and authority over his creative works.
The Mosaic Law requires the people of Israel to pay 10% of their yearly harvest to the Leviticus Priests so that there would be food in God’s house. “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. Whoever would redeem any of their tithes must add a fifth of the value to it.”(Leviticus 27:30-31 NIV) that is 1/5 of 100% is 20%. But if you wants to monetize it, you must add 20% to 10%, that is 30% total. (Numbers 18:21, 26 Leviticus 5:16, 27:13, 30, Deuteronomy 14:22-28, Genesis 14:20)
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven. And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts;”(Malachi 3:10-11 NKJV) According to the divine instructions in Deuteronomy 26:12; 14:29 10% of their increase should be paid in the 3rd year, The Year Of Tithing. That is 10% of Farm produce and flocks or herds. However, if you decide to monetize it, you must add 1/5(20%) to the 10%. Which was a total of 30%?
Are Christians obligated to give tithes and offering? Since Christians are under the grace, are we still required by God to use our resources to promote God’s kingdom interests?
The answer is YES.
How did Jesus and the early Apostles financed their missionary work? How should the proceed of the tithe and offering be used? How did Jesus financed his earthly ministry?
In Luke Chapter 8:1-3 Jesus and his disciples were supported by many people who used their substances, such as real estate property and other material possessions to support the ministries of Jesus and his disciples. During that period anyone who own property and sell it will bring the money to the Apostles and the money will be share based on the need of individual. Only Ananias and Sapphire his wife refuse to donate 100% of the proceed of their landed property. They lied to the Holy Spirit and kept part of the money for themselves. And instantly, Holy Spirit killed them. They pay with their own lives for lying to the Holy Spirit (Act 5:1-11).
Under the Mosaic laws tithe payment is mandatory by law but Christian are under the grace of voluntary contribution and offering. Giving to God should be done voluntarily. There should be no treat or duress. Giving to God’s work should be done voluntarily and with joy. The giver should enjoy the happiness that comes from giving. Jesus says, there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. Any giving under duress or giving by grudge is not acceptable to God. God loves a cheerful giver.
In Mathew 5:17-18 Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or little will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.(Matthew 5:17-18 NKJV)
In compliance with the laws, Jesus commanded a leper who got healed to go and show himself to the priest and make an offering as Moses Commanded in Deuteronomy 16-16-17 (Luke 5: 13-14). Again Jesus paid the temple tax for himself and for his disciple in compliance with Mosaic law. These are the examples to show that Jesus was not a law breaker but he came to fulfill the law.(Mathew 17:27)
Apostle Paul, an Apostle to the Nations(Gentiles) also recommended giving as part of our worship. He said, “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel(I Corinthians 9:13-14 NKJV).
Also, Apostle Paul liking giving to someone who sow seeds, if you sow small seed, you shall harvest small crops. However if you sow plenty, you shall reap plenty. “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly nor of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”(II Corinthians 9:6-7 NKJV) Key points. God will not force anyone to give, because God loves a cheerful giver.
When you compare what the Mosaic Laws says about paying 10% tithes in farm produce an additional 20% if you want to monetize it. To what Jesus said about a widow who gave 100% of all what she had, the difference is that you give voluntarily not by force and you can give up to 100%. If you trust God to that level.
When “Jesus sat down at the opposite of the offering plate and watched the congregation putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their surplus wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.(Mark 12:41-44 NIV) This poor widow gave 100% of what she had. Jesus commended her that she gave the most. She empties her wallet. It is like someone who gave all the money in his/her bank count to the church
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.””Luke 6:38 NIV Jesus encourages us to give freely to both the work of the Lord and to the poor people generally. He says, give that people may give to you in return. That the measure you give will be giving to you and overflow”(Luke 6:38)
Many people have done this and they receive the miracle from God. You too can give 100% as a sacrifice to God like the widow that Jesus mentioned in (Mark 12:41-43).
How should the Tithe and Offering be used?
The tithes, offering and voluntary donations should be used to promote the kingdom of God, such as crusades, evangelism, then to pay full-time evangelist and preachers and to assist actual widows, the strangers and the poor. God want his workers to be well compensated like a good employer of labor but this rights and privilege should not be abused. Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14 NIV)
In Summary, Paying tithes and offering are still part of Christian obligations.
God said, in Genesis 8:22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.(Genesis 8:22) These are fundamental law of prosperity and it is not limited to any religion. Whether you’re Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or non-believers you shall reap what you sown
Based on my Bible Knowledge and my love to promote God’s kingdom, and my obedience in giving to the poor and widows as part of my worship to God. I will continue to pay my tithes and offering. Tithes and offering remain God’s way of alleviating poverty among the poor and to promote his Kingdom.
As regard people who are stealing tithe money. Jesus is the appointed Judge of all persons and he will bring them to account for their entire misdeed (Mathew 7:1—5; John 5:22).