Malachi 3:9 - 10
ESV - 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
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Followers of the lord Jesus are not under the O.T. tithing laws of the Old Covenant. However, we are to give generously as we see anyone in need of our help. We are not limited to giving just 10 percent. We can give as much as we are able to do and do so with a willing heart. God loves a cheerful given and indeed when we reflect on all He has given to us we are motivated to give generously to others. If you see or know someone in need don't send them away empty handed, give as much as you are able to help them.
...While there are Christian denominations that command a tithe for members in good standing, for the most part, it is generally understood that tithing--per se--is an Old Testament requirement that was instituted to perpetuate the priesthood, and fund temple worship--which included the sacrifices that were commanded. It was also part of the plan to actually feed the priests! The priests were not farmers! Or hunters! A significant chunk of Christendom actually give more than that 10% standard--without slavishly weighing out "...mint and rue and every herb." In many other instances--far too often--giving in Christian denominations has been on the decline during the last four decades. There are a lot of reasons for this... First, church scandals have eroded much of organized religion's occupation of "the high ground." As people flee the scandals, giving drops precipitously. Second, traditional church activity is seen in some quarters as lacking relevance in today's world. Third, the electronic church in many ways supplants local congregations, and the operators sometimes collect incredible amounts of money that never reaches a local community or contributes to solving problems at the local level. There are many more problems that could be listed here... However, the solution is simple. A local congregation, in order to avoid dying out, will need to reinvent themselves in order to serve the community. This in no way means changing the belief system; it means finding how to reach the people on a level that the community can understand. Find out what needs are; construct programs to meet those needs. Is the need to have food to eat? Figure out how to feed them! Is the need to help with child care--in order to prevent the children from running loose and getting into trouble at a young age? Then devise a plan to aide in helping with the community's children... Again... Like there are Many other problems not listed here, there are also many solutions to human problems we have not discussed in this space. Churches must identify those problems and offer effective solutions. Do that with an EMPHASIS on voluntary giving without trying to resort to an Old Testament commandment that was nailed to the cross... Do that and your local church will no longer face financial problems!
I am certain that many a scholar, leader and members have something to say regarding this topic. Firstly may I mention this topic was never a problem in times of old when the church started to assemble. Churches were organizations that were organized and set up by a committee of leaders who were in charge with all the finances that were brought to the church. Churches' lands were given by the state for worship purpose. Tithing was never mentioned nor an issue even though there was not much teaching on this subject. Today there is a move, move by individual preachers to buy land and buildings to house members. This move is by individuals who own everything in the name of The Lord. A ten percent tithe will help to keep them moving. Even though I believe that every believer must give more than ten percent, but it is these individual owners who live beyond their lifestyle that are causing doubt in the hearts of members. Tithing has to do with trusting God. By giving of our ten percent we are confessing "in thee oh lord we put our trust". Our ten percent or more speaks of our faith in God. It is true we are taught to give, the giving must start with us first giving out ten percent. As mentioned tithing has nothing to do with the law, it started long before the law. Giving speaks of honoring God. Throughout history people of all faith are taught to bring an offering when approaching God. Honoring God speaks of esteeming God, respecting God....and placing a value and worth on Him. When we place value it speaks of currency. Currency speaks of money. There were two gentiles who were rewarded by God because of their giving. Imagine they were Gentiles not Jews, both were centurions, one whose servant was sick (Luke:7:1-). Jesus made it clear he came for the lost sheep of Israel, yet he was on his way to the centurion's home. The question we ask is why...it was because he helped and gave to the work of God. The other is found in the book of Acts(10:15)..this Italian gentile, the bible says gave alms, he was a giver and God noticed his giving and God reached out to him. He and is household were saved. If you read the book of Mathew the sixth chapter there are three things mentioned in this chapter, firstly it is giving, then prayer and then fasting. If we notice giving is mention before prayer and fasting. When we start giving firstly our tithes and then support other ministries within the body of Christ, we are being partakers of his kingdom. If the tithing and giving is done spiritually I believe we are on our way to see the glory and understand the majesty of God. Stay blessed
Upfront it must be said that some people do not agree with the following concept. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that there were three different tithes in the Old Testament; this assertion is well supported by early writers in Israel’s history. The first tithe was for God’s workers (Lev. 27:30-32) The second tithe was for a community meal (Det. 12:12,22-23) The third tithe was for the needy (Det. 14:28-29) If the interpretation here is correct, then the total of three tithes in the Old Testament adds up to more than 20% per year. There was 10% for the Lord’s workers, 10% to be used within the family celebration and 10% every three years for the needy. These were the mandatory offerings, it must be noted that there were other voluntary/freewill offerings. Considering that New Testament believers are not obliged by the Law, offerings by percentage do not apply. Including the traditional assertion that 10% is a good standard to apply. Those that agree with this statement revert to the principle of generosity. However this may not be very helpful either. Biblically the principles that underline the tithes are repeated in the New Testament. Therefore, God’s people are to give towards God’s workers, in celebration as a family in the presence of the Lord and in support for the vulnerable amongst us. In précis, what is clear is that the emphasis is not on percentage, but on principle.
Before the Law, Abram in Gen 14:20 only tithed ONCE to Melchizedek. And it was 10% of the booty that Abram had taken from Lot's kidnappers...he didn't give anything from what he owned... In Gen 28:20-22, Isaac said he would tithe IF God provided for him...that also was a one time event. As per the law of Moses the Israelites had to tithe according to the Law. Christians are not under ANY Law we are under the Grace of God, Rom 6:14, just as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were. So we don't have to tithe. If we're realistic about it, I'm sure we can all agree that God DOESN'T need money to do whatever it is he wants to do! What God wants us to do is to help others in need, the poor, the sick, the elderly and the disadvantaged. When we do that it shows that we love God... 1 Jo 4:20 IV - Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. Mat 25:40 NIV - "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for ME' As to the pastor of a church he deserves to be provided for... Gal 6:6 NLT - Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. 1 Ti 5:17 IV - The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. Paul gives us clear instructions on giving in 2 Cor 8:12-16 We're also supposed to be "good" stewards with money and everything God gives us... So it behooves us to give to organizations that are very efficient. They ones that use 80 to 90% or more of the contributions to help those needing the help. Some use a lot of the money to pay themselves exorbitant salaries and bogus expenses... All Glory to God!
There is great debate today in many Protestant Churches if we should tithe or not tithe. Most Christians who argue against the tithe system usually refer to the lack of guidance in the NT and not being under the OT law. It that is true, then the NT is very explicit about the early church doings in regard to financial contributions to church: they were selling everything and the proceeds were being donated to the church. So, if someone feels to much of a burden to give 10% of their income to their church, should follow the early Christians example and sale their possessions and give it to the church instead. However, many times when I hear someone saying that we are under no obligation to tithe and we should give whatever we have or feel; that usually means we should give nothing. In addition to the verses mentioned by others from Acts regarding these financial issues, there is a very sobering story about Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). Both were struck down by God for lying about money; money they supposed to give to God. Their selfishness cost them their lives. The tithe we pay today are for the upkeep the church we attend. To pay the bills, mortgage, pastor's salary, outreach ministries, etc. This is the same concept of the OT tithe where people were bringing their tithe to the temple. Nothing changed, God's Church needs money today to keep going just as God's temple needed money then. And if someone believes that their church is not preaching God's truth or mishandling finances, my advise is to find another church rather than withholding tithe. In Matthew 17:24-27 we read that Jesus paid the temple tax, even though he knew the temple leaders were planning to kill him. Jesus had the best reason in the world not to pay anything to the temple, but He did it anyway.
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