Several years ago, I visited a slum in Bangalore, India. After walking through the slum and trying to serve some of the people that lived there, the team I was with happened upon a beautiful brick church building, complete with steeples and stained glass. I was a little surprised to see such a building in the middle of such poverty, and asked several of the people in the slum about the church.
A Wonderful Church in the Slum
They had only good things to say about the church. It was a good church. The church tried to offer food, clothing, and basic healthcare to the people of the slum. Those who attended the church said that they liked going. The music was beautiful. The pastor was kind. And they said that the church was cool and clean, and attending the church gave them some reprieve from the heat and filth that surrounded them. Some said that the church gave them a glimpse of what heaven must be like. It was a little bit of heaven on earth.
The people needed love and hope, and this church was offering it to them. For that, I praise the church. Helping and serving the poor in such tangible ways should be a high priority for every church.
The Tithes of the Poor
But as I talked with some of the people more, I found out that almost all of them tithed to the church. And they were happy to do so. Not a single one complained about it. When I expressed surprise that they would give from their poverty, they reminded me of the story of the Widow’s mite, in which the woman who gave her last two pennies was praised more by Jesus than those who gave from their wealth. They told me about the principle of tithing, that if we gave to God generously and joyfully from what little we had, He would multiply what we gave, and give back to us from the overflowing storehouses of heaven. They told me about the principle of the tithe, that the first ten percent of what they earned went directly to God.
And I went away amazed at their great faith.
Is Tithing Biblical?
In recent years, however, I have begun to wonder about the practice of tithes and offerings. I have begun to question the teaching of giving ten percent. I have begun to seriously study what the Bible teaches about the tithe.
In the next several posts, we will look at the history of the practice of tithing, the biblical basis for the practice, and also discuss some alternative methods for churches to fund their ministries.
You should stick to safer topics, like gay marriage, the role of women and whether or not the Bible is inspired, cuz you’re messing around with people’s paychecks and the church mortgage payment here! Ha!
Seriously, after years and years of hearing these and other topics discussed and debated, nothing upsets some people as much as this one. In the 70’s, 80’s and even into the 90’s lots of groups made huge commitments to huge properties and huge staffs. The multitudes may be disappearing from many of these “churches”, but the mortgage hasn’t disappeared. Nor are staff who lose their jobs due to declining giving exactly being deluged with job offers.
Jeremy Myers says
Ha! I know. I’m trying to approach the subject graciously, but we’ll see what happens…
‘Can’t wait to read your upcoming blogs regarding this matter. A lot of churches have been practicing this but I believe the Biblical principle about tithing is not being taught to the people.
Jeremy Myers says
I read those links you sent me. They are very good and I was writing something along similar lines. Thank you!
Saater iorsaa says
You just freed me from the bondage of tithe, I call it bondage because it’s a law and in this part of the world ( Africa ) where poverty reigns many churches tell you if you don’t pay your tithe you can never prospers and while we see a lot of unbelievers like Muslims etc becoming rich. I like this revelation Abraham paid tithe not to be rich, for he was already rich and not from his income etc. I think am free today. Tithes here are used to build churches, universities etc that the poor can not attend.
April Holloway says
I was brought up to believe in the tithe. But as i got older, i realized there was much manipulation in the church which had me questioning everything i was taught, the tithe being one. I do not believe tithing is relevant today. I do believe in giving and being a cheerful giver. The old testaments was under the old covenant, the new under the new covenant. Even when the tithe was brought up it was food they brought in. In the new testament the leaders in their defense speak on JESUS mentioning the tithe, but yet, even then, the man who bragged about it was still tithing substance, mint etc and still NOT money and at that time they had money. Im over it, im done and im very disappointed. Im going to be in prayer and fasting as I plan to open a wellness/learning center that will OOZE with the LOVE of GOD and we will come together to praise, worship pray and learn of GOD as a whole unit as opposed to one person being OVER the people as a dictator.