Does our tithe all have to go to our church or can part of it go to a Christian ministry?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Mini Shanna Duck "Let a search be made in the royal archives..." Ezra 5:17 NIV
Brother Houdmann, as usual, has an incredible answer to this question. We also do not believe that a Christian is bound by tithes. Here are a few other things to consider as well: 

1. The early church was a very different entity; it had very little “overhead” as such. The money they received went for providing basic necessities for pastors and evangelists, and for supporting indigent widows and suffering Christians in other areas. Now, a Christian has to use a lot of discernment. 

It is a sad fact, but some “para-church” ministries are exercising better stewardship in teaching, evangelism, and charity in the name of Jesus than many churches, where the focus may be on providing luxury and entertainment in an attempt to attract the world. In some churches, giving money is like giving money to the government, you may not be sure exactly WHERE it’s going and sometimes where it’s going may be questionable. I have been honest shocked lately at some of the things going on in some “youth groups.” 

We are commanded to support our ministers and help fellow-Christians in need; we’re not commanded to help our church build a $10M building, put on a Broadway-style musical every week, or fund a youth group where kids lick each other. (You can mark your checks to restrict your gifts to certain funds/programs if you feel that’s appropriate.) Of course, while one certainly shouldn’t leave a church lightly or because of a single disagreement over funding, if the overall theme and purpose of the church you are attending is NOT in accordance with sound Biblical doctrine and evangelism, you may have to rethink your membership. 

Just like with the individual Christian, a church’s TRUE faith & purpose is revealed by looking at “the books.” Where’s the money going? What’s shown in black (or red) on those pages is a powerful witness to what the church REALLY considers important. 

2. We know with certainty that early Christians gave to the poor THROUGH the Apostles & deacons. There were no “para-church organizations” as such. Yet, we DO know that early believers such as Dorcas sometimes gave directly to the poor. 

I think James 2 also supports this idea: 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Yes, if you know of a need you can bring it to the church’s attention if appropriate, but nothing absolves you personally of the responsibility of wisely and judiciously helping those who God puts in your path. 

I'm a woman, and cannot teach authoritatively. BUT a lot of this comes from my husband, a non-profit CPA. Trust me, a church may fool itself, but its CPA, book-keeper, and financial committee know the truth if a church is really about serving the crucified Son of God or simply being a baptized country club.

September 14 2014 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
This is a difficult issue to discern biblically because the Bible does not mention "special offerings" for Christian causes or parachurch Christian ministries. The Bible simply tells us to give to ...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
Before answering this question, let me present my view on tithes which is different from Michael Houdmann's. 

Tithing is a timeless biblical principle that preceded the giving of the law and cannot therefore be rejected or considered an Old Testament legal rule so that the church can simply discard it. Of course one will still go to heaven even if they do not tithe but they will miss the blessings on earth. 

Abraham gave the tithe (Genesis 14) and so did Jacob his grandson (Genesis 28:22).

Later the Levitical law entrenched this practice as a requirement for the Jews. Malachi makes it clear that the tithe is the source of blessing and that the people of his day lived under a curse for disobeying God in giving the tithes (Malachi 3)

In the New Testament, Jesus did not abolish the tithe but in fact commended it. What he condemned was the practice of the Pharisees in extending the requirement of this law to irrelevancy (Matthew 23:23). 

The writer of Hebrews connects Jesus with Melchizedek whose priesthood was considered as a foreshadow of Christ's High Priesthood. The mention of Melchizedek receiving a tithe from Abraham is instructive (Hebrews 7).

The most quoted scripture for opponents of the tithe is 2 Corinthians 9, but this passage addressed the collections for the Judean church and did not expressly obviate the requirement for tithing. 

Nowhere in scripture do we find any express biblical command or teaching that waters down the tithe to insignificance as has been argued by some. The whole issue, in my view, may have to do with the convenience of the opponents who do not wish to be "burdened" with the giving. Tithing is an act of worship and brings joy to those who yield to its practice.

The modern attitude of convenience is perhaps the reason so many biblical principles are ignored by the modern church and could explain why the church is financially weak and has to resort to the "world" for financial support. 

To answer the question in view, I believe that the tithe belongs to the priesthood ministry to which the believer belongs and that is basically the local church. Those who desire the blessings of God in this area of giving should try Him through obedient giving of the tithe.

Many believers who tithe faithfully have testimonies of God's faithfulness and abundant blessings.

September 15 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Anupama Rajesh
Tithes must be given to the church..... it should not be broken.... if any person has extra, then he can give to the charity. God Loves cheerful giver, one should not even think of giving little here or little there. It is clear commandment from the beginning, it must be given to the LORD's house

March 31 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Eduardo Po
Giving your tithe to the church is what you really truly feel on your heart, not with condition to it. The tithe we give comes from our heart and we believe the promises of our Almighty God in our life is the most important. Wherever our tithes end up it is up to the responsible people. If our tithe ends up in good or bad hands, our Lord will always know their heart and surely they will have their own rewards too. Let us tithe true to our heart without any condition attached to it. Let the Almighty God judge to all of it. Amen

February 28 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Goodboy Kilian Kean Engineer
Matthew 6:19-21: This is a heart issue. Your heart and mine.

How many of us believers drive $50,000 cars, walk around with $1500 phones, spend $100 for dinner or untold amounts on sports events, private schools, Internet access, gaming, AppleTV or Netflix. Do any of us have a budget with the top line item "charity"? And do we work with that priority?

This issue cut me to the heart when I realized I was spending everything on temporal junk. Our fabulous CA home was burned to the ground in 2012 and God spoke one thing to me: "Keep a light touch on the things of earth!" I have food every day, I have a bed/pillow and everything I need, but contentment is fleeting. Why? Are we content with what we have now, today? Luke 3:14, Philippians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5 and many more deal with our restless heart. 

Jesus gave us all, 100%, nothing less, Romans 2:4. God's goodness & kindness to us leads us to repentance. Can we give Him in return 1% of everything? Not just money, but time, effort, strength, & mindshare? Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:30, Matthew 22:37

I don't want to be condemning in this area as it goes that way so often. But what is the Holy Spirit saying to you now? 1% of our day is 14.4 minutes. Could we not intercede in prayer for others for 14 minutes a day? Or how about just hanging out waiting upon God to speak to us by hearing the spoken Word, Romans 10:17. Not listening, not studying, not grinding at the Greek, just hearing; that's how faith grows according to the Bible.

Unfortunately, many of us vote for God with our wallet as it reflects the condition of our heart. How much of our heart does God have? I'm not perfect and don't make any claims, but when you lose everything, the stuff of the world becomes unfulfilling, 1 John 2:15-17. Have you suffered a business failure, lost a job, freaked out because you could not see where the next meal would come from? These things are to help us keep a "light touch." 

Please listen to me on this. I'm not saying you should do anything but listen to the Holy Spirit. Maybe the need to develop a budget and submit it to God would be a good start. I know one thing for sure, we can never "out give" God. And we can never earn our salvation, Ephesians 2:8-10. But let’s seek first the kingdom of God and see what God does, Matthew 6:28-34. Do we trust Him to provide? Really?

Money is a tool; it can be used for good or evil. Seek the wisdom of God on this issue, James 1:5-8. Discover what God has in store for you. Yes, it will be hard at times, but He will be there for you, Proverbs 24:16. Most of our time should be on our knees (spiritually) throughout the day. Colossians 4:2-4, Philippians 4:6-8, Romans 8:26, 1 Thessalonians 5:17

If you see someone in need (eyes of hurt or pain) at least pray for them, smile at them, and if prompted tell them about our great God and Savior Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is time well "spent" as part of our charity. But remember if you can't give freely or with joy, KEEP YOUR MONEY! God wants us to give cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

It's not always about money, but money is an indicator of our heart condition. As for how much to give and where, that is what you need to discover by hearing from God. Personally, I support those ministries that help me and my family. Most go to the local body where we fellowship, but I also support other ministries. Call it "godly diversification." How much do I give? That's between me and God. You need to figure that out as well. I don't support the idea we should be poor, but being rich is not good either. Proverbs 30:8-9

Lastly, be diligent to ensure that the money you give is being used properly. If your pastor drives a $80,000 car, maybe you should redirect your gifts. Pray about where and how much to give each time. We live in a day where false teachers are everywhere, 1 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:1-5. In the end, we give to God, but men receive the offerings.

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

May 04 2024 1 response Vote Up Share Report

1420713469 Olasunkanmi Adeniran
As Christians, there's an aspect of our faith that cannot be practiced in isolation. An average Christian would best serve as part of the body of Christ locally identified as a church. A church would have to sustain her functionalities with money which are sourced from the committed members. If one agrees to be part of a local church, then he or she has to contribute his or her quota to it. Some even give more than tithe. Now view it this way, what would happen if every member of a local church fails to bring their tithes to that church, that church would be impoverished while other recipients of such tithes would have surplus. I think it's a test of obedience and submission for Christians to the local churches the are identified with.

November 11 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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