About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Should You Tithe?
"New Testament Christians And Tithing"
The following account stirs up great emotion for some
people. Itís hard for them
to sit at the table of friendly and logical debate.
For others the topic makes little difference either way.
Then thereís some people who just donít care.
Well, we should care about all Biblical subjects.
I care and thatís why I write what I do.
topic at hand concerns tithing as being an Old Testament concept.
I state why New Testament Christians arenít obligated to tithe
and give a Scriptural explanation for my thinking.
I then proceed to explain what the New Testament says about the
giving of money.
tithing is the central topic of discussion in this account, much of what
I say concerns the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and
how New Testament Christians should understand the Old Testament,
especially the Law of Moses.
To me this is one of the most important and fundamental subjects
a Christian can and should understand.
Suffice to say, itís my opinion the vast majority of Christians
know little about this Biblical topic.
Hopefully for those who read what I have to say, my thoughts will
be both informative and inspirational.
Hopefully it will answer questions for you, and hopefully it will
help you as you walk with our Lord Jesus Christ, because life as New
Testament Christians is all about Jesus and little else.
So begin to read. Donít stop reading if by chance you do not agree with what I have to say. Read it through unto the end and then judge my thinking when you are finished. Just remember, the foundation for all that we believe should be firmly founded in the Bible.
Friday I sit down at my desk and figure out our money situation.
No wonder Iím losing my hair. Iíd calculate how much money to
deposit into the bank and then pay some bills online. Iíd stuff some
money or a check into a preprinted envelope
that Iíd routinely drop into an offering plate as it passed me by the
following Sunday. From these
preprinted envelopes the church would know how much to receipt me for at
the end of the year. The
receipt helped lower our taxable income.
The receipt would also show the church leadership how committed I
was to them. Many churches
determine your commitment to them based on how much money you give.
is often the case with all aspects of our lives, giving had become very
routine. We gave to the
church each week without giving it much thought.
It was something we always did.
Sometimes I wonder if such routine isnít a demon in disguise,
attempting to put us in a deep spiritual sleep.
was taught from an early age to tithe.
One method employed to teach me this was to give me the
opportunity to take up the offering.
This made me feel important because being young I got to do an
adult thing. When the
feeling of importance was associated with tithing it taught me to tithe
because that would make me feel important too. Thatís an interesting
way to teach a young person to tithe.
those days we used a wooden plate with a felt insert to collect the
money, which in turn gave way to a nice shiny silver plate.
Now-a-days we use other things like baskets or small cloth
pouches with wooden handles, and of course, the debit machine.
These pouches are interesting.
Iíve heard one offering collector expert say that he has seen
some people actually put their hands into the pouch without depositing
any money. This gives the
appearance of giving without actually giving and removes the
embarrassment from an awkward situation.
also remember the yearly camp meeting as a child. Usually on a Sunday
morning the offering was preceded by a very long-winded appeal for
funds. The plea was as long as the sermon that followed the multiple
collections. Yes, I said
multiple collections. By the time the plate came around the second or
third time Iím sure any
cheerfulness in giving was replaced with a desire for lunch.
thereís the method some churches use today in which
there are no ushers to collect the tithe. You simply walk up to
the front and deposit your money into a basket.
Of course, if you had nothing to deposit youíd looked pretty
conspicuous sitting back in your seat while others went forward. I
often wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind this practice.
One friend suggested to me that to avoid the embarrassment of
staying in your seat you could walk up to the basket and deposit an
empty envelope. No one would
know the difference.
every Sunday Iíd give money with little thought of how it was spent
after it left my fingers. As
long as I gave, that was the important thing.
The Lord would have to worry about how it was spent.
I did my part by giving. My conscience was clear. But
whoís really responsible for how our tithe is spent anyway?
Is the Lord responsible? Is
church leadership responsible, or does the ordinary giver have any
responsibility in considering these things before he gives?
suppose if youíre a pastor of a traditional church youíd believe in
tithing because its Biblical. You might quote from Malachi 3:8 where God
pastor told me that if he didnít teach on strict tithing then his
people wouldnít give and his church would fold. I wonder how he knew
that his church would fold since he had never tried teaching anything
else but tithing to his church. So
thereís another reason why
tithing is taught, and maybe thatís the most important reason of all.
can only be properly understood with sound Biblical interpretation
practices. Good hermeneutics
(Biblical Interpretation) is often neglected when talking about this
subject. As a matter of
fact, I believe that how you understand the Old Testament in light of
being a New Testament Christian is the fundamental issue to this whole
youíve never seriously thought tithing through from a Scriptural
stand-point. Maybe youíve simply accepted the general consensus
preached from many pulpits. Well,
hereís what I believe the Bible teaches about tithing.