There is a favorite Bible verse that many Christian leaders tout when the monetary is needed to fill the coffers of the church. The pastor will say that this is a form of worship and that God has commanded us to faithfully tithe; if we do not, we will not receive God’s blessing and His work cannot continue to function as it should. The tithe speech has been done in so many different ways you would think that they used the same marketing tactics as a used car lot.
The pressure and coercion concerning tithing has put many into unnecessary pressure and bondage. The problem is that the money that is given goes towards paying the large overhead costs of the church building which include the salaries of the pastoral staff.
The church could not function without these two most important things, right?
Fortunately, for those who feel that tithing to the modern church does not feel quite right, you are correct. The tithe has been abolished and if Scripture is truly heeded as God has intended, there would be no one in the church today practicing the abolished Biblical tithe of the Old Testament.
The history of the tithe comes from ancient Israel where God instituted a three part taxation system.
A portion from the products of the land were to support the Levite priests because they had no inheritance in Canaan.
For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.” – Numbers 18:24
A tithe from the produce of the land would go towards a festival tithe to sponsor religious festivals that were held in Jerusalem.
“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose… - Deuteronomy 14:22-23
Thirdly, a tithe from the produce from the land would go towards widows, orphans, strangers, and local Levites every third year.
At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow… - Deuteronomy 14:28-29
God commanded three tithes:
On that day men were appointed over the storerooms, the contributions, the first-fruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the Law for the priests and for the Levites according to the fields of the towns… - Nehemiah 12:44
There is a similarity of the Biblical tithe of the Old Testament with the taxation systems we have today. Their purposes are quite similar; tax money goes towards government personnel instead of the Leviticus priests, monetary goes towards holidays instead of Jewish festivals, and programs for the poor and unprivileged have the same purpose as for the widows and orphans.
Then Jesus Christ died on the cross, the ceremonial laws that the Jews were obligated to uphold concerning tithing were abolished, that is why there is no evidence of tithing in the New Testament.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. – Colossians 2:13-14
It should be clear that tithing belonged to Israel when they were under the old covenant. In the Early Church there was a different kind of stewardship when it came to the monetary, which was not out of duty and compulsion, but out of a cheerful heart and one’s own ability to do so.
When a leader in the church starts preaching this verse from the pulpit, it is important to be able discern it in the right context.
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 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. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. – Malachi 3:8-11
…their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means… - 2 Corinthians 8:2-3
So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. – 2 Corinthians 9:5
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
From these few verses in the New Testament, it is clear and distinct that tithing from the Old Testament has no connection with the practice of the Early Church. A closer inspection of the verses in Malachi reveal who the recipients of the tithe are.
Is the tithe to the salaried pastors and clergy of the modern church, or was it intended for the poor, widows, and orphans?
The tithing message is a corrupt man-made tradition to coerce the masses into emptying their wallets to promote the corrupt man-made traditions of the institutionalized modern church that is run like a business. The purpose of giving in the New Testament was never for salaries and business costs.
The modern church has corrupted what cheerful giving is all about by suppresses the love of what giving generously to all believers means. If a pastor demands a tithe, then we are to give to each other, not to his agenda for the congregation. The tithe is not a legal requirement or is it obligatory.
Why do many ministries make others feel that they are not following God’s command by not tithing?
It is no longer a command of God, and is not binding on an individual. The corruption of God’s Word has oppressed many in the modern church today. Many who are struggling with their finances feel obligated to give beyond their means because they are being told that they are robbing God, or feed into the delusion of the Prosperity Gospel. Even in the Old Testament, the tithe was a blessing to the poor, not a curse. Many are being thrown deeper into poverty all in the name of the “Good News,” while the wealthy and prosperous Christian somehow believes that they are being “blessed” by giving ten percent or more. Tithing makes the wealthier person feel good about themselves, but gives the poor a guilty conscience. Unfortunately, both are in delusion believing that they are obeying God and being “good” Christians. The reality is that tithing has nothing to do with devotion to Jesus Christ, but is historically proven as a means to pay the salaries of those in the institutional church offices.
Salaries run against the new covenant of Jesus Christ because it takes from the flock.
I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:33-35
When there are professional paid clergymen, the modern institutionalized church immediately elevates them above the rest of the believers. They are considered paid professionals within the brotherhood of believers in Jesus Christ. All believers are “living stones” and functioning priests in the body of Jesus Christ; therefore, a salaried minister is not needed, and occupies an unnecessary position and unknowingly interferes and stifles God’s plans for His church. It is time to wake up from this man-made delusion that salaried pastoral positions are Scriptural.
To be blunt, most salaried pastors are slave to the masses as "people pleasers" who are always in fear of saying the wrong thing, especially to the heavy tithers in the audience because their jobs may depend on giving the people what they want to hear. The collateral damage on those who are under the bondage of the modern church system can be seen in the members of their immediate families. The idolatry to this system has wreaked havoc on marriages and their children as well as their congregation of believers.
Tithing is an Old Testament practice that no longer applies to the church today. It is an old and obsolete practice. It is time to break free from the oppressive system that is being promoted in the modern church.
There is freedom in a group of people who want to freely and cheerfully give to one another with no strings of guilt, obligation, or manipulation attached to it. These are the principles that define the true body of Jesus Christ.