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It is permissible to stop tithing while paying off debt. Paying debts is a duty; tithing is "optional" for the simple reason that the command to tithe was part of the Mosaic Law, and Christians are...
Tithing is no longer applicable to us today. Giving however, is something that the Lord calls us to do. The amount that we give? That is between you and the Lord. What you give is entirely between you and the Lord. It's a matter of the heart, and it's something that you need to pray through. I think acting on anything you read here is a very bad idea. Are you commanded to tithe? No. Can you use that as an excuse not to give? Sure. Should you give during times of financial instability and lack? I don't know, and nobody here can tell you yes or no - for the answer will be different for different people. Best thing you can do is pray about it, and strive to be completely honest with what you feel the Spirit leading you to do. It can be all too easy during times of lack to rationalize to ourselves the suspension of giving. It only makes sense not to spend money on anything that's not a bill, right? But the Lord is the one who provides, not you. So pray about it, and do your best to follow the Spirit's guidance.
My husband and I were newly married and deep in debt when we first began following the Lord. We learned the Biblical principal of tithing didn't have as much to do with money as with trusting God. We took a leap of faith and started tithing. Our finances were hand to mouth for over a year. We were not comfortable financially, we made lifestyle changes and paid our bills on time. Within about two years we realized we were seeing the scriptures as our living reality, with God providing for all of our needs. I believe initially we were challenged by Malachi 3:10. However, I believe we felt the fullness of God's love, delivered and substantiated by Jesus in Matthew 6:19-33. Sounded too good to be true, actually we found out that God wants so much more for us than just financial security. Finances were at the top of our list at that time, I believe that's why He showed us such grace in that area.Since then He has shown us grace in other areas (i.e. the salvation and healing if our loved ones, our marriage, ministry needs) that have kept us in pursuit of Him to meet all of our needs, and that's mostly to remain close and in communion with Him.
Yes, we are to tithe no matter what. Debt is something that we have put upon ourselves, and the Bible is clear in its warnings about debt (see Proverbs 22:7, for example). Not that all debt is bad, but when it gets to the point where your decisions are ruled by your debt vs. What God instructs us to do, then you may find yourself serving money and not God. If we have put ourselves in a bad position financially, I think it's wise to continue to give to God, even if you have to start small and work toward the goal of getting to where we believe God wants us to be. Our pastor challenged our congregation on our giving. We go to a church that is very careful about how they address tithing and money, so this was an infrequent topic for him. He challenged those of us who were not giving to start giving something, no matter how small. For those giving little, to give a little more. My wife and I were in debt, but we started small and progressively increased our level of giving over the last 2 years. We have been able to pay our debts down anyway, and even give above and beyond in special cases for needs near and dear to our hearts (food drives, orphan care, etc.). Ultimately, I think if you start giving, because you feel that it is important, and that you wish to give back to God out of what he has given you, then you will find that you'll look back and marvel at what he was able to help you do in terms of making a budget and sticking to it. As far as some of the other comments here, let me just add my thoughts. There is nothing in the New Testament, especially in Jesus' teachings, that tells us tithing is optional. Just because something was mentioned in the Old Testament, or is considered part of the law does not mean that we are not to heed the instruction. Yes, Jesus spoke more about love and caring for our neighbors. But he never intended for us to stop giving to the church. We are called to be cheerful givers, to give without making it known about the size of our gift, or that we were giving at all. Yes, tithe in the Old Testament was designed to supply food for the Levites. But what exactly are we providing our ministers today if we do not tithe? They work on our behalf, and on the behalf of our community, supporting God's kingdom. How are they to do this work, and feed their families, if we do not tithe? I'd encourage you to both pay for your debts, and continue to give to the church. Then ask God to lead you and bless your efforts, and I think you will be surprised how he helps you make it work. God bless.
All that we have,has been given to us by God. It is His. Our debts are ours. Giving back to Him first honors Him and then shows our trust that He will meet our needs. Setting a budget : pray, offer to Him as He directs, meet your basic needs, pay your debts, then see what is left. God has promised He would provide. He will do His part. Tithing is another way of saying, "I know you are bigger than my mess and You will take care of me." It's all about priorities.
Firstly tithing was an Old Testament law given to the Jews of that time. Christians are not under any laws but instead are under the Grace of God... I believe Paul plainly tells us that if we need the money God has given us to meet our needs and have no more than that, then how are we able to give? You can't give what you don't have! In the OT Lev 27:32 it says that every "tenth animal that passes under the shepherds rod, shall be holy to the Lord" So if you only had nine, there was no tenth for the Lord...you kept nine for yourself... 2Co 8:12-13 NLT - 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to WHAT YOU HAVE, not what you don't have. 13 Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and HARD for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality... I agree with those that say the primary thing we are to do is LOVE others... Jesus commands us to do just that...John 13:34 NLT - 34 So now I am giving you a NEW commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. In line with that, I agree with those like Frederick above, that basically say that the way we love Jesus/God is by loving others...Matt 25:35-40... Here Jesus says that when we give to those in need (when we love them) we are actually giving and loving him! That takes me to... 1John 4:20 NLT - 20 If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD, whom we cannot see? Again I agree with those that say that the bulk of what we give should be given to the needy! We should give it directly or through a Charity designed specifically for that purpose... Many local churches are terrible with finances! Most of the donations go toward inflated expenses, especially high salaries...And I'm sure we've all heard about someone at a church stealing money and buying all sorts of luxuries. So as GOOD stewards we should make sure God's money is used as efficiently as possible... I believe we should contribute to Charities that are rated highly by rating services such as Charitynavigator.org, where you'll find charities that use over 90% of their donations to help the needy! I am also confused by those that believe they have been "rewarded" in some way for tithing. Someone wrote that their debts were cancelled... The message that sends is that Grace is not Grace..it is works (tithing) and performance based... For if someone is unable to give or gives less than 10%, then God will do less for them? Is it a "Give to Get" system? I don't believe that God is a financial investment opportunity! What many pastors will not tell you is that there are many people that have tithed and have lost their jobs, homes, IRa's, etc... If you google "poor" in the bible you find many verses that emphasize the importance of helping the needy! if you are able to, give to the needy! Be a GOOD steward and make sure your donations are being put to the best use! But getting back to the question asked, my answer is, "If you don't have enough money to cover your household expenses, you obviously don't have anything left over to give. And you can't give what you don't have! Praise God!
Christians are not obligated or commanded to tithe. Tithing (10%) is a good round number to use as a guideline but a Christian's conscience shouldn't be troubled with temporarily ceasing to give to the church so they can put food on the table to feed their family while trying to chop down the mountain of debt hindering their ability to freely and joyfully give.
Paul, a man of the Law, did not rebuke anyone with the Law of 10% when there was a problem with financing leaders. He did rebuke them when they claimed that you must be circumcised (Gal 2). I believe he would have rebuked them to pay 10% to the Church if it was relevant, but he did not. Instead he said to give what one has “Purposed in your heart”: 2 Co 9:7 "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver". 2 Co 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 2 Co 9:13-14 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. Where are our “cheerful givings” going to? Knowing this will motivate us to purpose in our hearts to give generously, especially when it is used the way it was subscribed by Paul the Apostle. But too often we see the poor people’s needs are not properly met. T money used to enrich the many, many rich leaders of the Church while the poor members get “soup and bread”.(by comparison). The intention of 10% may be good to force a culture of giving, but it can bring condemnation to some and wrong motives for giving. So we should leave that principal of the Law, Commandment, or Ordinance. In Acts when they preach thousands got saved at a time. They had church in their houses and shared their food. They had each other’s well being at heart, but today, we have abandoned the proper principle of CARING for our brethren. Now, the care for the buildings and enriching the ministers is priority, instead of the entire congregations needs. There is NO COMPROMISE when it comes to spending the collection. The poor believers come first, fully attended to according to their needs that include the unemployed ministers. Or, the wise Christians (wise stewards of their finances) should stop giving their money to the Church treasury to handle, but give it directly to the poor and needy. 2 Co 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only FULLY supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 1 Pet 5:2 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must (if you do it because you must then you want payment for it), but because you are willing, (but when you do it willingly then you do it with a passion and not for the money) as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; (don’t let the greed for money be the reason why you serve, rather let your serving be driven be your eagerness.) This problem de-motivates Christians and the unbelievers when they see this rip off by the Shepherds. They taking more then they suppose to, that means taking the poor Christians share also. On the biblical financing of the church: What Church? The building or the members or both? The members come first because we we’re not ask to build buildings, but we we’re ask to build the Church of God and care for each other. We can have a building, but the needy members including the unemployed leaders must get priority contribution from the intake. If the Church collection does not go back to the needy members and the surrounding community then where is it going? Don’t give your money if you don’t know where it’s going, because we should be good stewards of God’s money. Who is the “money collection for? For God? How does God get it from the Church treasure? Matt 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matt 25:45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
No it is not possible the moment you do you never stop being in debt. The bible says seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you... elijah also told the widow to give him first then she was to eat later but it is stipulated that was her last meal it shows me the Elijah knew that God was going to supply her with food but what she had to do was trust him with what she had. same with you my dear trust God by believing his Word of putting him first and see what will happen for God is not a liar if He says give and it shall be given to you a good measure pressed down shaken and running out will be given to you the put you trust in Him and see what happens. The bible tells that God told the children of isreal that they had holes in there pockets and handbags because they paid no attention to the house of God so put God first.
I have researched the tithing issue very deeply, noted world renowned bible scholar John Macarthur believes very strongly that we are NOT required to tithe. Also i asked the one biblical group i trust the most, Radio Bible Class for their opinion and they concur with Macarthur. The Lord calls us to be a cheerful giver and I find it unfortunate that churches feel compelled to gain revenue through false doctrine and then use most of that revenue for overhead building and staff expenses while children starve across the world.
We can't afford to stop tithing. If we stop tithing we are cutting off our finance increase which will bring you out of debt. Now there was a famine in the days of Elijah. Elijah asked a poor widow woman to make him a cake of meal. She replied I had not enough for a cake all I have is a handful of meal in a barrel and little oil.She made a small cake and gave it to Elijah first then to her son and herself. Because she gave her household did eat for many days 1King 17:12-15. One of Jesus's mission on this earth was to deliver the poor. he taught on the story when people that were rich gave much money in the treasury, but when it came to the widow woman Jesus said that the poor widow gave more than they all because she cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark 12:41-44 Not only did he preach to the poor he also show them how to prosper.Jesus stood in front of thousands of people to feed them with only a few fishes and 5 loaves of bread. Then he began to break and give with the little he had of fish and the bread. Then fish and bread began to multiply. There is no difference today when we have a very large debt with little money in the bank. Break off Tithe ten percent of that money and see the increase.Continue ten percent as the money increase. Remember faith is acting on what you believe. Are we going to believe God or not? In Malachi 3:10 God's covenant to the people who tithes said I will open you up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Money don't fall out of the sky God need something to multiply with.It starts with you,give your ten per cent and see the multiplication of God. As long as God is with us we have nothing to fear.
The Pharisees took money from people so that they had no money to help their parents in their old age. They said it was corban. Jesus condemned them for it. He said they used one law to over ride another law that was more important. In effect they were stealing from widows an orphans. So if you give all your money to the church and have not saved up to take care of your parents in their old age you are sinning. God instituted the family before He did the church. God wants us to take care of our families first. He said if we do not provide for our families we are worse than an unbeliever. So be careful how you use your money. Help those in need when you can. God does not expect us to spend more than we have. But God does expect us to work and earn a living. We are not to presume on God that we will always have money and it is good to save for those times we may have no income through no fault of our own. Farmers know that they have good years and lean years. They save up for the lean years so they do not have to beg. But if you sow sparingly, you will also reap sparingly. So plant liberally even if someone else reaps the harvest. God has a lot to say about money. It can be a blessing or a curse. If we have to much we begin to trust in our riches instead of God. If we have to little we might steal. God knows exactly how much He can trust us with. We are to be content with what ever He sends. Churches are not to put burdens on the backs of the people that God never intended. To many are fleecing the flock and they may lose their reward in heaven. Gods ways are not burdensome. If they are there is something wrong and we should find out what it is so it can be corrected if possible. If there is no repentance we are to leave that church and find another. Our hope is that they would repent. But if you are not in leadership of the church you do not have much clout and it is better to leave than to be a party to evil.
Even though tithing is not commanded in the NT we need to tithe. By tithing we put our faith and trust in GOD who gives us the seed. There is no percentage for tithing given in the NT, but the LORD Jesus told the rich young ruler to go and sell everything and give it to the poor and then come and follow HIM. This was difficult for the man to do because he trusted his riches more than he trusted GOD. It is the same for us who do not tithe today. We trust in our money more than the GOD who gave us the money. Ever since I was found by the LORD I have been tithing. I keep a minimum of 10% but I have given more. I tithe on every cent I get. It can be a birthday gift or a profit on a sale or even if somebody gives me a gift I put a value to that and tithe. Because the Word says that we should tithe on our increase. By doing so there have been times when my debts have been cancelled and many more wonderful things have happened to my family. Just as the LORD said, "Its a blessing to give" or "give and it shall be given to you" If you have not done this do it now. Put the LORD to the challenge, because HE says in the book of Malachi, "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 be no room enough to receive it." Pay your debts and pay your tithes. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to GOD the things that are GOD'S" Matthew 22:21 GOD Bless you all
Tithing as a concept developed when Abram gave a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek as recorded in Genesis 14:20. Then in the Law given through Moses it was simply reiterated. In New Testament we are exhorted to give to The Lord in proportion to our financial prosperity 1Cor 16:2. And money thus collected is to be used for the saints 1Cor16:1. As per New Testament principle we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifice to The Lord Romans12:1. We are also bought with a price as per 1 Cor 6:20. Therefore all our resources belong to The Lord.It not the 10% of our income. A christian is not supposed to over stretch his/ her borrowings to the extent that repayments become difficult. The Bible clearly says that we are not to keep any loan outstanding Romans 13:8. Therefore borrowing beyond ones repaying capacity is against the Word of God. The loan defaulters are categorised as wicked persons as per Psalm 37:21. I personally believe that we should give to The Lord more than 10% as all our resources are His now. Therefore before borrowing we should as Christians see that we are able to give more than 10% or at least 10% for Lord 's work. I would add my personal testimony - before I was saved I never tithed but after salvation I started tithing and The Good Lord has blessed me in everything and all my needs (not wants) have been taken care of by Him wonderfully and while earlier I used to remain in debts now I am debt free. Therefore my dear even if the financial burdens are overwhelming yet after being born again start tithing at least and you will be blessed. The Lord is faithful and He says in 1 Samuel2:30.......For those who honour Me I will honour. As such even though the debts are more please tithe, suspend some of your worldly comforts and The Lord will honour you.
Giving is an act of worship. When we give to God we are expressing our praise for who he is and our thanks for what he has done in our lives (ie. Salvation and lots of other blessings). Abraham gave a tenth of his plunder to the priest of God to express his thanks for God giving him the victory over his enemies. How does God feel when we stop praising and thanking him? Giving is an act of service to God's people. In the Old Testament law, giving was prescribed to take care of the needs of God's people. Firstly, the needs of administering the faith through the priesthood (ie tabernacle or temple) and then to meet the needs of the community (poor, sick, disabled, etc). God prescribed 23 1/3% of their annual incomes to meet these needs (2 annual tithes of 10% and another 10% tithe once every three years). Following this example, we would give 10% to our local church to administer the faith and the other 13 1/3% to meeting community / worldwide needs (ie. World poverty, preventable diseases, sending the gospel around the world, etc). If your local church is not administering God's money wisely, then find another church that does and support that local church. Giving is an investment in the kingdom of God Jesus gave us parables that illustrate this point. The master gave his servants various amounts of money to invest (ie. The 10-5-2 and 5-2-1) and then came back to find out how well they had invested it. God expects a return on his money by us investing it in his kingdom purposes. When we don't give are we being like the man who buried his money in the ground? All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. The bible contains over 2,300 verses that deal with money and material things. God has a lot to say on this subject and we have a lot to learn. When the Old Testament provides guidance on a subject and the New Testament provides no further guidance then we should obey what the Old Testament says because this is God's best for our lives. But when the New Testament speaks to a subject then we should obey what it says rather than the Old testament because it represents God's New Covenant with us. Two examples are; 1) OT says do not commit murder but NT says do not hate your brother because you will have murdered him in your heart,. 2) OT says make your oaths and vows and be sure to keep them, NT says let your yes be yes and your no be no - show integrity. When it comes to giving, the New testament lays out 4 attitudes of the heart that should guide us: Give cheerfully - we give because God has given so much to us, we love because God first loved us Give regularly - we give weekly to our local church because salaries and expenses have to be paid every month. Our faithfulness is a huge encouragement to everyone who works for the local church. Give generously - we choose to give spontaneously when we become aware of a need (ie. Natural disasters, refugees, poverty, sickness, local homelessness, home cooked meals for unemployed neighbours, etc). We "see a need - meet a need", we "pay it forward", we do "random acts of kindness". Give sacrificially - we choose to give up things this world has to offer - houses, cars, clothes, toys, vacations, etc to invest this money in the kingdom of God with a promise of a 100 times return on our investment. When does debt become a problem that hinders our giving? In almost all cases we have violated God's principles for handling the money and material things he has entrusted to us. We may be ignorant of these principles or because of selfishness, covetousness or greed, our sinful nature says "I want what I want". In any case, it is time to confess our sins and repent. Start asking God for his wisdom in managing these debts. Start learning God's bible finance principles and faithfully apply them to our lives. I recommend www.biblefinance.org for a great course and free budgeting materials. God always rewards faithfulness, Trust Him!
I am surprised at how many times these comments refer to tithing as being laid out by the law, and that we are now under grace and not required to tithe. The tithe was first used when Abraham tithed to Melchizedek in Genesis 14, after a huge battle against the four kings who stole Lot. Abraham was not under the law, as the law came 400 years later. And Abraham was living by faith of the promised seed to come, which is Christ. See Galatians 3. Then in Psalm 110:4 it was prophesied of Christ, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” This is referred to again in Hebrews 5:6. Melchezidek was not under the law, and Christ is the priest under his order. Melchezidek is a Priest of grace, and served Abraham communion, just as Jesus served communon to his disciples. Tithing is an ordinance of God, not an ordinance of the Law. God's ordinances stand, yesterday, today and forever. You will find that if you stop tithing to pay debt, you will be paying debt forever. The best way to pay debt is to continue to give your tithe as a sign that you are trusting God for your needs, stop buying unnecessarily and stop spending on your various lusts as stated in Titus 3. We should not pay tithes as a legalistic duty of "I must do this or God will not be pleased with me." We should tithe with gratitude in our hearts, as a "cheerful giver", because God has promised to supply our needs. God issues a challenge in Malachi. He says, "Test me in this, and see if I do not bless you."
Many of the answers argue that we are not under the law, so we don't have to follow it. I would just like to point out that we are not under the law, because Jesus loves us, died for us, and gives us grace. We follow the law anyway, BECAUSE WE LOVE JESUS. Not paying tithing because we have chosen to live beyond our means makes no sense to me, because the fact that we have decided we need more than what the finances God has blessed us with means we are telling God he does not know what is best for us and does not meet our needs. Also, Malachi 3:8-10 says that we rob God by keeping his tithing, and explains that paying tithing is how we can prove that God will bless us abundantly. How would we be proving his love, if we take what's his and add it to our pay off our greed? It seems counterproductive to me.
I'm blessed to say 'I was never under any law of God, tithing or otherwise.' I'm a gentile. The law was PUT on the progenitors of Judaism, the Jews. They agreed to it when it was offered to them. They were told repeatedly by Moses that they were a stubborn and rebellious people who would do more wrong after his death than they had under his leadership, and they still said that if they were careful to do ALL the Lord commanded "it will be righteousness for us"(Deut 6:25). That idea of "earning" God's favor is as popular now as it was then. I can't keep rules. I don't know anyone now, and have never known anyone who could. One mistake, one lapse, and you have to start all over from the beginning. It's like shooting free throws: eventually you will miss. Give if you like. If you don't want to or can't, don't. Sharing is a gift from God to those who have it in their heart. Selfishness is a burden born of sin. The answer to this burden is the same as if we carry the burdens of pride and /or guilt. "Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest"(Matt 11:28). Bragging about your willingness to give and share is the same as not giving and sharing at all. Our gifts are varied, but they are surely gifts. What do you have that was not given to you? (James 1:17, 1Cor 8:6) Learning to share is like learning to play the guitar. You can either try to teach yourself or you can take lessons from a teacher, but either way it will take plenty of practice. For who has known the mind of The Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to Him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Rom 11:34,35,36).
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