Thoughts on Tithing

 My wife and I received our annual tithing statement from our church the other day. The amount was admittedly much less than it should be, and we were convicted of our need to give more. Accompanying the report was also a generic form letter that challenged us to give more, parts of the letter didn’t sit well with us. I want to share a couple of paragraphs from the letter and some thoughts on the parts that bothered us. ( I wonder if they send out 2 letters- One to those who give 10% and another one to those who don’t??)

Along with my thanks and encouragement I would also like to challenge you. As Christian we are commanded to bring our tithe into the storehouse. The Church you attend is a your storehouse and you tithe is 10% of your first fruits or income. Many times I will hear people say “I’m just not sure what God wants or expects from me” In the principle of tithing God makes it very clear, your tithe is 10% and he wants it given tp the place where you worship.

At the bottom of your tithing statement you will see a total amount. This represents all the monies you have given towards General giving, building funds, missions, etc. When you receive your W-2 you will also see a box that says total wages. If your total is not 10% of the amount then your giving is not at the level the Lord commands. If this is the case then I ask that you make it a matter of prayer and fulfill what the lord mandates in His Word.

What happened to being under grace and not under the law?

Malachi 3 is often given as the proof that God commands us to give 10% to our church. There are a couple of problems with that. Malachi was written to those who were under the law, and if I am reading the passage in it’s proper context the passage seems to be speaking directly to the Jewish priests.

Malachi 3:10 also says “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.”

It seems that the purpose of the tithe in question was to distribute food to the needy. Some of my growing frustration with the institutional church may be coming out here but if I were to give 10% of my income to the church. How much would go directly to providing for the needy in our community? or to bringing the Gospel directly to those on the outside? And how much would go to pay mortgage on the building, utility bills, maintenance of the building and grounds, internal programs, and supplies, etc?

I want to say clearly that I see nothing wrong with giving 10% directly to the church if that is how the Lord leads you. However I do believe to say that if someone isn’t giving 10% directly to their church they are not giving as the Lord Commands is legalism at its worst.

I don’t think that God is as concerned with the exact percentage of our income that we give as much as He is as the condition of heart as we give. I do believe that he wants us to give generously, not out of fear of being cursed, or because we are supposed to. God wants us to give out of love for him and love for those around us.

I also believe that God doesn’t just want 10% of our income. He wants us to give 100% of ourselves to Him and to those around us.

What do you think?

Does God command us to give 10%

Should a persons tithe be given only to the church?


13 responses to “Thoughts on Tithing

  1. My Husband and I studied the whole tithing debate when we left our group here in May. He – a Southern Baptist Seminary taught boy and I a true legalist had ALWAYS tithed. We found a small book that you can download for free at It is the 3rd or 4th link down on the main page. It is entitled “Eating Sacred Cows – A Closer Look at Tithing.
    It blew us away. Please read it.
    After we figured the tithe was no longer demanded of us I had to struggle through feeling like God was not going to be pleased with us if we didn’t tithe and would actually let us come to harm if we didn’t. I have one blog entitled, “The good fruit of not tithing,” on my webblog along with others as we walked out of that.

    That said, I cannot believe the letter that came in the mail to you. God help us.

  2. I like 10% because it’s a great equalizer. Whether you earn $100 a week or $1000 a week you are both giving the same thing. But the local church being the ‘storehouse’ is pretty weak. It’s a long held myth but it’s just a myth as far as I’m concerned.

  3. I think 10% is a good number as well, but to say if you are not giving 10% of your gross income or not giving it directly to your local church you are not giving as the Lord commands is legalism.

  4. Legalism is a nice word for what that is. But sadly people come by that approach because they’ve been told it’s so by others and some people are happily giving without even thinking.

  5. when you have tithing on one hand and feeding your children on the other hand which one wins?I know the church needs to provide for its staff and maintnence, But honestly I’d rather give to people that are out of options .like my mom , she dosent have heat right now..single moms that are evicted from their apartment because of their stupid boyfriends,and their are some people that are just in need! I’d feel lousey if i gave my 10% to the church and watched my neighbors and friends suffer needlesley.

  6. Dear Friend,
    As a former Baptist pastor, I’ve preached many a sermon on tithing. I have since repented of that false teaching. Tithing is nowhere taught in the New Testament. It is Old Testament Law, not New Testament Alms-giving Grace. Modern institutional churches have to teach tithing because without it, they wouldn’t survive. Fact is, if we’re going to start teaching and practicing ANY Old Testament law, including tithing, then we have to start teaching and practicing ALL Old Testament Laws, including circumcision. There are many of us today who have questioned such false teachings, and who have left the organized moder institutional church in favor of smaller fellowship groups. We meet in restaurants, homes, and where ever else the Holy Spirit leads us at the time. I applaud your asking those questions. Keep asking them. Don’t believe everything you hear from the pulpit. For more on these and other thoughts on similar topics, see my blog,
    See also
    Bless you,
    A Fellow Pilgrim

  7. Andrew Wallace, Newcastle Australia

    Hi Everyone,
    I strongly recommend Grame Carleys book “Eating Sacred cows a new look at tithing” I have produced an article based on the book and another persons writings. At the bottom of my article a friend has put a link to his article where he talks about NT giving

    I trust it’s a blessing


  8. This topic is quite trendy in the net at the moment. What do you pay the most attention to when choosing what to write ?

  9. @barb – I’ll check out “Eating Sacred Cows”. Thanks.

    Re: tithing. I just use a percentage as measure of my giving. But I always check with the LORD if that’s how he’d like me to give.

  10. God does not ask for your tithe becasue he needs it, He asks us to do this, becasue he wants to see where your heart is. It requires faith to trust God in your giving, and by doing this people are reached in ministry. It is with a glad heart I give, understanding that the abilities I have, and the resources that were given me, are things I need to be a good steward with.

  11. We all hear it claimed that God says we must tithe. The questions we should ask are

    1) where does God say this (Only under the Law)
    2) who does God say must tithe (Only to the Israelites Lev 27:1 and 34)
    3) what does He say they must tithe (Food and produce of the land of Israel only …and NEVER money or income earned by ANYONE…check every reference you like)
    4) who does He say they must tithe to (only the Levites can receive tithes ..a Lasting covenant Numbers 18 :21-23….because they forfeited their rights to inherit land!)
    5) who does the bible say does not have to tithe (anyone New Testament gentile believer….ie Acts 15:5&24-29)
    6) what does God say we must do with our tithes (Deut 14:22-27…for two years we MUST eat them in celebration of God’s blessings…and in the third year we give them to Levites (Deut 14:28-29 and Deut 26:12-13)

    God has NEVER authorised changes to HIS Law in the above areas. Jesus says that anyone who changes one ‘jot or tittle of the Law’ will be LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!

    Tithe teachers are making their lifes work of NO REWARD!

    NB Jesus says tithes are a ‘matter of the Law (as does Heb 7:5)
    This refutes claims that tithing is a ‘pre-law’ requirement or spiritual principle or revelation. The Spirit of Truth does not contadict the Word of Truth.

    regards in Christ

  12. You may change your mind about mandatory tithing once you understand the jewish purpose and the correct content of the tithe. It was never money. Do a word study on tithe and money and you’ll find out the truth that a tithe is and has always been food, eatable items. Peruse this study to begin your research at

  13. I also read “Scared Cows- a closer look at tithing” and it also blew me away. It was actually the start of a whole new look at the law and new covenant Christianity. I’m fully convinced now that people who tithe are actually the ones under a curse. see Galatians.3-10 (exact opposite of what a lot of churches teach via Malachi). If you are still trying to to live under the law, then you are rejecting the work Christ has done for you. Truth is God owns all our money and we need to be led by the holy spirit what and where to give. We are slowly increasing the number of 3rd world kids in poverty we sponsor. A child dies every 15 seconds coz he doesn’t have enough food to put in his belly. I know where I’d rather my “tithe” went.

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