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?