Did Jesus Teach Tithing? What Did Jesus Say about Giving?

Corey —  January 10, 2014 — 50 Comments

       I’ve written extensively about tithing in the bible, New Covenant giving, and New Covenant giving guidelines for Christians. Not too long ago, I wrote that tithing is so Old Testament. I explained that I don’t hate tithing, but I’m against teaching it because we have a much better example for giving in the life of Jesus Christ.

       But to make my point a little clearer on how New Covenant giving differs from Old Testament tithing, I thought it would be helpful to look at Jesus’ teaching. I’m going to divide this into two sections. First, we’ll look at what Jesus taught about tithing. Then, we’ll look at his other teaching on giving in general. This will be the verses only – no commentary.

What Jesus Taught about Tithing

       Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

Matthew 23:23 (WEB)

       But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

Luke 11:42 (WEB)

       9 He spoke also this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others. 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (WEB)



       And that’s it. That’s all Jesus said about tithing.

What Jesus Taught about Giving

       23 If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24 (WEB)

       Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

Matthew 5:42 (WEB)

       Give to everyone who asks you, and don’t ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.

Luke 6:30 (WEB)

       35 …for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ 40 “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:35-40 (WEB)

       32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.

Luke 6:32-35 (WEB)

       But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you.

Luke 11:41 (WEB)

       33 Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12:33-34 (WEB)

       12 He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. 13 But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 14:12-14 (WEB)

       In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Acts 20:35 (WEB)

       For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ’s, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.

Mark 9:41 (WEB)

       33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’

Luke 10:33-35 (WEB)

       1 He looked up, and saw the rich people who were putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 He saw a certain poor widow casting in two small brass coins. 3 He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them, 4 for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.”

Luke 21:1-4 (WEB)

       1 Be careful that you don’t do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don’t sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does, 4 so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:1-4 (WEB)

       21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions. 23 Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many will be last who are first; and first who are last.

Matthew 19:21-30 (WEB)

       21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.” 22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” 26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus, looking at them, said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to tell him, “Behold, we have left all, and have followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, 30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first.”

Mark 10:21-31 (WEB)

       22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was very rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” 28 Peter said, “Look, we have left everything, and followed you.” 29 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for the Kingdom of God’s sake, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life.”

Luke 18:22-30 (WEB)

Note: I didn’t include Luke 6:38 in this list because when I read it in context Jesus seems to be speaking about giving forgiveness and mercy rather than money.

       I’m seeing a pattern in Jesus’ teaching and it’s not tithing. I wonder why so many churches spend more time talking about tithing than Jesus did…

Corey

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Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

50 responses to Did Jesus Teach Tithing? What Did Jesus Say about Giving?

  1. Excellent article. Basically Jesus taught nothing on tithing (as it relates to our responsibility to give), and only used it in his illustrations on the sin of the religious leaders.
    .-= Khaleef @ KNS Financial´s last blog ..Should I Cosign For a Loan? – What the bible teaches about pledging yourself for another’s debt. =-.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Khaleef! You’re right that Jesus’ teaching on tithing doesn’t really cover our responsibility to give. When He taught about that, He focused on generosity and not percentages.

  3. Very interesting observations. Well done. It puts a spotlight on Christ’s desire that we not ignore the spirit of the law in our zeal to follow the letter of the law. I appreciate also your comment about not ‘hating’ the idea of the tithe, just that most teaching leads people away from a focus on the Biblical spirit of giving.

  4. Thank you, Roger. I’m glad you found it useful. I really do think the biggest danger in teaching tithing is missing the big picture of what Jesus taught about giving. There are other problems with it as well, but I think we can lose out on so much just from that one aspect alone. Thank you for commenting!

  5. YES. An excellent observation, and oh so true.

  6. I think some points are often missed regarding the old testament rules on tithing. First off tithing was only only on agricultural items (wheat, barley, first fruits, grain offering, etc) Second the tithes were in support of the festivals that Jews were required to attend or to support the Levitical priests. As you can see in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 Pharisees tithe mint, dill, and cumin and rue and every herb which are all agricultural products. Note there is no mention of income, interest, dividends, wages, etc or any other form of money. Why? because money was never part of the tithe. If it was then Jesus would of brought up that point to the pharisees and scribes.

  7. Thanks for your comment, Lupe. You’re right in that most people who teach tithing seem to miss those points in the Bible. I’ve outlined them in my study of tithing in the bible. Just quickly scanning through those items will show you that modern teaching about tithing is based almost entirely on man’s ideas and not God’s Word.

  8. Paul thanks for your heart in this. If Pastors would only teach that it is all about the heart, always in every every situation. Tithing teaching seems to get people wrapped around numbers and guidlines and if we let it, it leads us back under law. Jesus never got wrapped up in numbers, he got wrapped up in the condition of the heart. Think about it, when denominations get wrapped up in there way is the right way, or churches get wrapped up in what color to paint the sanctuary or what carpet to use, is this important to JESUS? I really see more and more people going to non denominational churches or groups, they are seeing through the traditions and ceremonies. If we gave from the heart, taught from the heart, helped from the heart, did all from the heart and got away from junk that leads us back to law, we would be much happier in JESUS.

  9. why do you really think so many pastors still push tithing?

  10. Paul, i was directing the question to you about why pastors still teach tithing. Also, I have studied the scriptures that you have on here. I support a cheerful giver as GOD leads. On anther site that supported tithing, they said JESUS himself said, give to Ceasars waht is Ceasars and give to GOD what is GOD’s. Does this verse support tithing or not? Please explain. What is GOD’s in this verse?

  11. I think many people teach tithing because they worry people won’t give while others teach it because they think it’s right.

    As to what is “God’s” in that verse, I can’t say I know for sure what Jesus meant. However, within context, I think it would be a stretch to say it is a support of tithing.

  12. God calls us in matthew 25:31-46 to give to others. It’s not a matter of tithing…it’s a matter of obedience even though that is are duty matthew 22:15-22 also shows us not to question it. It is command of God. Tithing is how a servant of God lives. If he is not being rewarded for his spiritual work the word of God cannot be proclaimed. As the bible says God is owner of all silver and gold but God relies on man to be obedient and in return God gives back to man.

  13. Thanks so much for this article! I have been going back and forth with this for a year now with my husband…in love of course! I could never get a straight answer from anyone about why in Deuteronomy chapter 14 it goes from discussing the law of clean and unclean meat directly into the law of tithe without missing a beat, how can we call one as being under the law and the other not under the law, but still effective today?! People get mad when I bring this up!! Also, how some things werre written for the Jews only and I am not a Jew…and in 1 corinthinas 9:7 it states “so let each person give as he purposes in his heart, not grudingly or of necessity”, the word necessity means “an imperitive requirement.” So, we are not to give out of requirement. Again, people get upset! I am not against tithing per se, but I am against teaching God’s people that He will withhold from them or curse them for not giving 10% of their money. It places a horrible burden upon people, and teaches them to hate giving instead of becoming a joyful giver. If we walk in Christ we give naturally, and much more than 10%!

  14. You’re welcome, Elizabeth. And your last sentence says it very well. If we walk in Christ, we will indeed give naturally and generously – no need for the promise of a blessing or the threat of a curse.

  15. I have been taught my whole life to tithe so is it wrong of me to do so maybe its just me but when I tithe its of cheer to be giving back to God in a small way and if I do not I feel convicted.

  16. Hi Paul

    thank you so much on your study of Tithing. It now makes sense. I have a question for you. I know that in the old testament war and killing was pretty much an ongoing thing. I am confused on since Jesus do will still kill the enemy or love the enemy. The Hilter topic always comes to mind and now Osama Bin Laden. Do we pick and choose which enemy to love and which ones to shoot in the head? I just heave a hard time seeing Jesus pulling the trigger of the M-16 and killing. I know we are all about America and the hoopla of supporting our troops, but how does a christian soldier pray each morning before killing those who are trying to steal our oil. I think thats why we are there. Would appreciate your comments. thank you so much!!!

  17. Hi, Stan! That’s a complicated issue that actually encompasses a number of areas. You brought up one – patriotism vs. nationalism. Another aspect is our citizenship – are we ultimately citizens of the kingdom of God or of the “kingdom” of America?

    I’m convinced that as a follower of Jesus I’m called to love all of my enemies. And I have a hard time to see how loving my enemy can include killing them. I would rather personally suffer a wrong (even my own death) rather than take the life of another person – especially if that person has not chosen to follow Jesus. This is why I will not join the military and will not rejoice in the death of anyone – even Osama Bin Laden. I’m not saying it’s good that people are doing evil, but Jesus calls us to answer evil with good – not more evil.

    As far as the Old Testament goes, I’m still learning about that. So far my understanding is that of progressive revelation – with Jesus being the full revelation of God and His will for us. Another way of looking at it is to see that Jesus was inviting us to live in the kingdom of God now and for eternity. That means living in full awareness of His reign in our lives and everything that encompasses. Israel refused to lived under a theocracy and desired to have their own king like other nations. Don’t take any of these as the best explanation though. I’m still learning and there are much better resources out there on this question. I’d recommend John Howard Yoder’s book The Politics of Jesus.

  18. WELL, ALL OF THIS IS VERY INTERESTING BUT MY UNDERSTANDING ABOUT GOD IS HE’S THE ALMIGHTY. AND HE DOES NOT NEED ANY GOLD OR SIVER OR ANY RICHES OF ANY KIND BECAUSES GOD ALREADY OWN EVERYTHING. MAN THE ONE THAT WANTS MONEY. GOD TOLD HIS DECIPLE WHEN HE LEFT TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL AND GIVE TO THEM THE SAME WAY I GAVE TO YOU.[ FREE] MAN GET THE WRONG IDEA ABOUT TITHE. IT’S OK TO GIVE TO THE CHURCH. BUT DON’T FORCE PEOPLE OR PRESSURE PEOPLE, BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO GOT TO CHURCH BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT.

  19. Hi, P. Coop. It’s definitely a sad day when people don’t go to church because we make them feel like they can’t afford it. Consider how ridiculous that sounds when we read that Jesus came to proclaim good news for the poor!

    P.S. Try not to use all caps next time you comment. It’s easier to read that way. Thanks for commenting!

  20. Vincent E. Summerlin July 14, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Grace and Peace Paul. I totally understand your position, I use to have the same understanding. But thru revelation thru the Holy Spirit I was enlighten to the truth that tithing is neither Old or New Testament. It has to do with relationship. Gen. 14:20 Abram gave Melchizedek King of Salem a tithe. That would have been 400 hundred year before the Old Testament law of tithing. Its all about relationship. God Bless

  21. Vincent, thank you for your comment. But Abraham also circumcised himself and all in his household. This was also before the Law. Should we not continue and teach that as well if your logic holds true?

  22. This is a very sensitive topic and my concern is that believers try to justify a way out of giving. I do agree that we should not give out of fear or need, but a true believer who has the discernment of the Holy Spirit will give whole heartedly. Mr Williams I implore you not to lead people into a democracy or rebellion against the bible. Take it for what it is. Mark12:44 is the scripture most people find themselves at this present time. Let us not forget that Jesus still sees the treasury. He knows how much, and from what motives, men give to his cause. He looks at the heart, and what our views are, in giving alms; and whether we do it as unto the Lord, or only to be seen of men. It is so rare to find any who would not blame this widow, that we cannot expect to find many who will do like to her; and yet our Saviour commends her, therefore we are sure that she did well and wisely. The feeble efforts of the poor to honour their Saviour, will be commended in that day, when the splendid actions of unbelievers will be exposed to contempt In efforts of actions and service.

  23. What makes you think I’m trying to justify a way out of giving or take a democratic or rebellious approach to the Bible? I am doing none of those things and would agree with what you’ve written concerning motives of giving and the efforts of the poor.

  24. Good conversation…

    Psalms 3:9-10 says…”9) Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; 10) then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

    It’s not “law”…it’s “wisdom”.

    The same book and chapter says “5) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6) in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalms 3:9-10

    Again…great “wisdom”.

    God is not looking for our money…he wants our trust (faith). God’s desire, that we trust him, is neither New Testament nor Old Testament. The God we serve today…is the same God that spoke in Malachi 3:10 saying “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter, says the Lord who rules over all, to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.” He is not asking for our money…he is asking for our faith…and he has promised to bless us.

    I agree with the post from “Just A Man”. Be careful how you lead others. To suggest tithing is not worth of teaching, simply because it was an Old Testament law, is inaccurate. The Old Testament teaches the coming of Christ…should we disregard that because it is “so Old Testament”? In grace…but with salt…I believe you are leading the flock astray.

    God does not change. Old Testament or New Testament…he simply wants us to trust and believe that he is God…and that he is in control. To all of those seeking wisdom in this area I recommend…”Test me in this matter, says the Lord who rules over all, to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.”

    Trust God…not man. Lean not on your own understanding.

    Until the nets are full….

  25. Clay, I’ve never said that tithing is worth teaching. What I’ve said is that tithing is not worth teaching by itself. Tithing is not the end all be all of giving. If Jesus Christ is the full revelation of God (who He is, what He desires, etc.), then any teaching must have His commands and approach as the pinnacle. I am not opposed to teaching tithing as an example of how the Israelites were commanded to give, how it required faith, or how God promised to bless the Israelites through it. I am, however, absolutely opposed to ignoring the ultimately better way that Christ brought to us. My point is that we need to stop clinging to the shadow (the Law) and cling to the One who has come!

  26. I think the question Jesus was answering was regarding Taxes not tithing. (rendering to Caesar)

  27. My apologies Paul, I read the beginning of this article where you said. “Not too long ago, I wrote that tithing is so Old Testament. I explained that I don’t hate tithing, but I’m against teaching it because we have a much better example for giving in the life of Jesus Christ.” In that statement, you clearly indicate “…I’m against teaching it…”. If elsewhere you detailed your position that “is not worth teaching by itself”…I did not see it. That’s likely the case with other readers as well.

    Obedience it better than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22 ) God doesn’t want our money…he has called us to obedience. Obedience is trust. I think we both agree on those points. I would encourage you to embrace both perspectives…tithe and giving…and avoid even to potential (maybe even in a poorly crafted sentence) of leading some away from the blessings of God. Leadership is the ability to influence the decisions and directions of those around you. It’s obvious you have found an opportunity to lead via this blog. Please consider how your influence might affect those needing to trust God. I fully agree…tithing can be “abused” from the pulpit…but it is also one of the simplest ways, for those struggling in their faith, to demonstrate obedience. I see no good purpose in distracting from God’s instruction to tithe.

    Regarding your comment about “clinging to a shadow”…remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    The “law” is still with us…but we are not saved by the law as were the Old Testament saint…we are saved by grace…through Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with “the law”…it is still Gods word. Christ’s death did not abolish the law…his death removed the punishment of the law (assuming we have accepted his free gift). I caution you not to lead people away from any of Gods words. It is not your place, or my place, to diminish the Word of God.

  28. Actually Jesus did abolish the law not just the punishment of it.

    14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

    15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

  29. You’re right, Clay. I should have been more clear in that sentence. But I think my point comes across in my other articles on giving. I’m not opposed to giving at all, and I’m not opposed to obedience to God. In fact, I probably would emphasize that more than many others. But the kind of obedience I’m emphasizing is not bound to the Old Testament Law specifically written for the Israelites. It is still “good” in the sense that it is God’s Law, but I think we must never forget what Christ came to proclaim – the kingdom of God, or the rule of God.

    Read the Sermon on the Mount as one whole “talk” and try to get the point of it. Jesus was not laying down a new set of laws for us. He was proclaiming that the rule of God is available for all who want to live under it and the things He tells us describe what it looks like to live in His kingdom. Jesus is the Way to become the kind of person who lives that way – not just out of obedience because “God/Jesus says so”, but because we can actually become like Christ through the transformation of the Holy Spirit.

    I think the biggest reason so many people object to what I say about tithing is because we’re coming from totally different approaches to the Bible and God’s Plan for us. And I suspect that my approach is going to sound heretical and just plain wrong to those who only look at the Bible as a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s much more than that, and that’s how I’m approaching it. I hope that it doesn’t lead people astray simply because I don’t constantly rehash other things I’ve stated or because I fail in clarity.

  30. This will be my last post on this subject. What was said in Malachi 3:6-12 was said by God. The New Covenant did not do away with Gods instructions. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Please listen to God’s words (below)…not mine. Trust God’s word…not man’s.

    Malachi 3:6) “I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7) Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9) You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11) I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. 12) “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

  31. Clay, don’t mistake God’s character with his methods. God’s character(love, grace, all knowing, all powerful, etc) is the same and never will change but his methods change.

    Hebrews 1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

    Hebrews 7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

    Hebrews 7:18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

    Hebrews 8:7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

    Hebrews 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

    Hebrews 10:1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.

    Yes the new covenant has done away with old instructions! God has made the old covenant obsolete! In times pass he spoke through prophets but now he speaks through Christ(Hebrews 1). This is a new method. Now there is a new priesthood and new covenant and he make the old covenant obsolete(Hebrews 8:13). Can you see that God changed his methods but his loving character remained the same?

    Why do you want to go back to the old law? It’s been nailed to the cross. God doesn’t require it anymore. Even today when a nation becomes independent and creates it’s own laws it no longer is under the old laws and just as we separated ourselves from England we don’t follow England’s laws anymore. So it is with Christ as believers. We are free from the old covenant and its laws. Do you still follow all the commandments not just tithing? Do you eat pork and break the law? Do you go to Jerusalem for the feasts? Where’s your lamb for the Passover? If God’s instructions never change do you still follow every last one? I think not…

    Speaking on the law, Peter says:
    Acts 15:10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?

  32. Thank you for your response, Lupe. There is so much more that can be said about this but I think you hit some of the main points.

    For me, I hear Christ’s teachings and I see Him pointing to a righteousness far beyond the Law and the kind of righteousness the Pharisees and scribes thought they had. Jesus points us to a righteousness that is inside and out – a complete transformation of our character, thoughts, and mind so that we become like Him. That’s my goal and it takes much more than Law to get there.

  33. I enjoyed reading the comments and reply. I’ve always broke tithing down this way. I have an invisible friend that I invite to church from Ethiopia who is hearing a pastor preach about tithing. The pastor states that in Malachi 3:9 “Ye are cursed with a curse for ye have robbed me” and the pastor makes reference to tithing as {money}. My invisible friend does’nt have any money but is seeking salvation. His question to me is ?Why do your church discriminate and alienate its people that want to serve the Lord with their heart.

  34. So Paul, bottom line . . . do you personally believe in the tithe or not? (I apologize if you covered this in another post)

  35. I have covered it elsewhere, Mike, but I don’t mind answering your question. No, I don’t personally believe in the tithe for Christians today. I think it’s foolish to continue looking to the Law to give us an example for giving when we have the Master of giving Himself to show us the way.

  36. Paul, I believe that if the Church taught more about giving in the light of all these scriptures Jesus taught us. We would and should be giving above and beyond the Tithe. So happy then. 

  37. Oh, I agree, but the church tends to spend far more time on tithing and then wonders why people don’t give more…

  38. God wants your heart in everything. If you give 100 bucks to the orpahnage each month and you give 50 bucks to the homeless shelter each month and you Love to do this so deeply in your heart, but you don’t give to the church on a regular basis, I totally know that GOD is ok with that. HE directs us individually in our surroundings. By the way, we as Christians are the Church and are supposed to take care of the widows and orphans. If another guy gives 500 bucks to the church each week, but does it out of obligation, not out of the heart. But the other guy does not give to the Church “building” at all but helps the poor out of HIS heart, who do you think GOD really honors in this. It is no different from Cain and Ables 2 gifts, 1 was from the heart. It is no different from the 2 men that went up to pray in the Temple, 1 was from the heart, the other was for show. So it is not about a tithing or even giving thing, everything, everything, everything is about the heart in the matter. I totally know that if a man that loved GOD decided to give his last 10 dollars to his son and not to the church building and it was from his heart, GOD would honor that more than a man that gave out of obligation to the Church. The Widow that gave 2 mites touched JESUS’s heart, the others did not. Religion is really what caused this whole thread on the site. It is about tithing vs giving. GOD does not care about this vs that, he cares about your heart in how you treat people, how you Love HIM, if you do everything with the right heart. if you are hung up on tithing, check  your heart and your motives. I LOVE you.

  39. just to make sure that you understand what I was trying to say above. I know the Church gathering is a good thing, supporing the church ministry is a good thing. BUT, yes but, GOD would rather have a person that gives from the heart to orphanages, homeless shelters, than a person that gives to the church building with his heart not in it. Again, we the Christian people are the church, not the building. so, yes, give to help the pastors, give to help the building fund. But don’t get so hung up on: If I am not giving to the Pastor or the church building that I am not in GOD’s will. GOD sees your heart, and I totally believe that when you give to the hurting, the poor you are giving to GOD, it does not have to be in a church building, GOD sees the heart, giving outside to help the needy is GOD’s work, it is the heart of GOD. Some say you need to give to the church builidng or organization first and then to others, give as GOD leads you to give, in your heart, not as a man directs you to give, look at what JESUS taught. Let’s not get hung up on lawful stuff, lets get hung up on the heart of GOD.

  40. GOD’s work should come first, helping the poor is GOD’s work, Loving your son is GOD’s work, Loving your wife is GOD’s work.

  41. Well said.

  42. Clay – Sir, you are I both read the same article by Mr. Paul Williams. But you are reading it out of context and you are angry.

    You said, ” The Old Testament teaches the coming of  Christ…should we disregard that
    because it is “so Old Testament”? In grace…but with salt…I believe you
    are leading the flock astray.” This is flawed logic and you are aware of it. Let’s be fair.  No one here disputes the Second Coming of Christ. The entire Bible points to the fulfillment of Jesus  as the Christ.

    I hope you will revise your statement if this represents someone who exercises wisdom over judgment. Like you believe you ought to. Perhaps you are human just like the rest of us are and you were having a bad day. That’s what my pastor would say.

    Now I have just read you further postings and I do understand that you stated you have posted your last on this subject. So I am not going to ask you for a response to my comment here. Peace.

  43. ” Mr Williams I implore you not to lead people into a democracy or rebellion against the bible.”

    Sir, how is that a responsible statement? What rebellion?  In your statement above, you alleged the author of this blog of leading:
    1. a demoncracy _against_ the Bible;
    2. a rebellion _against_ the Bible.

    Can you support your view from the blog material? I am personally not as sensitive to the topic of tithing as I find such a falsifying statement as yours.

    On a completely separate note,
    “It is so rare to find any who would not blame this widow”

    I can think of no one blaming the widow in Mark 12, except to admire her or to be inspired by her generosity.

  44. Prov.21:27  states “The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?”      does a sacrifice done under threat of “if I do not tithe, then I am cursed…” really come from my heart, or more out of fear of being cursed ???
    I tend to agree with the position that under the New Covenant 100% of all of my wealth belongs to God, not merely 10%… and that I one day I will be acountable to God for 100% not merely 10%…
    So, if I do spread a portion of the 100% that comes from God, to do what He calls us to do, i.e. taking care of orphans, widows, destitute etc. and do this out of genuine love and not merely because I am “forced” to do it, otherwise  I am cursed or condemned…that Jesus would be happy.   Show me your works and you will see my faith, paraphrasing James…
    Anothing thing I have been personally confronted with recently, that a pastor told me, direct from the pulpit, since I attend various churches, that I must pay all of the tithe to his particular church… and yes he was quoting Malachi 3… the curse verse for not tithing..
    What doyou folks think of that?  What if GOD tells me to give a certain amount here and another one to another church… isn’t what counts, referencing Malachi, God storehouse ALL of HIS church ?
    I just feel that many pastors are misuing the Tithe and manipulating people in this manner, that really does not reflect the true loving and just nature of Jesus, as expressed in John 3:16 and in John 14:6… where He stated clearly that ” I am the way, the truth and the life…”

    Jesus did not say you shall not perish because you are old testament tithers…and thus you have life…. if you do tithe ….
    because if we are “cursed” for not tithing, curse brings death… so how could one have life and more abundantly  for having accepted JESUS as Lord and Svior and at the same time be cursed because of not fulfilling O.T. Tithing commands ?

     

  45. Jesus asked for a denarius and asked thePahrisee whose image and inscriptions is on the tax money. They answered Ceasars so it is rendered to him. We are Gods Images(Genesis 1:26) so so we should give/surender our lives back to Him.

  46. This was truly intriguing for me. I love the post and all the comments; whether the conversation got a little out of hand or not I don’t care, there is no better argument/debate to me than debating on the bible (neither attending any harm to anyone). I feel both Clay and Paul’s ideas about the bible serves a purpose. As a newbie into the kingdom of God (new to being saved) tithing can serve a purpose, it can teach you not to become a lover of money, and to not withhold any good thing from God; and to value, trust in God beyond your mind and pockets. As years and years go by, and the more you develop in Christ ( and become like Christ), tithing probably wouldn’t serve such a high purpose anymore. Because now you are a cheerful, generous giver. You give to your church because you honor God and love taking care of it, you give to those in need, you give cause it pleases God, you give cause it pleases you. You are more like Jesus, you are a giver.

  47. Dana, why not just skip over the tithing part and just go straight to cheerful giving? It teaches the same thing. “not to become a lover of money, and to not withhold any good thing from God; and to value, trust in God beyond your mind and pockets.”

  48. Paul and Lupe Rock! We are like minded and obviously the same Spirit has been guiding us in the truth. As a former investigator I researched and investigated the history of the teaching of the tithe in the American Church. I was able to obtain documented evidence on how the Tithe Teaching came about. Prior to the late 1870′s there were no churches in America teaching the tithe. The teaching of The Tithe as God’s requirement started to become popular and taught in the early 1900′s. I am currently writing a book about this discovery. If interested in more information contact me.

    antonio

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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