Many who will read this book are new Christians, or Christians with questions. It is my hope to help answer many of your questions.
In this chapter, the question is “should I tithe”. The answer? NO. NO. NO.
Tithing is not a part of the grace Gospel. Never has been, won’t ever be. Today’s prosperity gospel preachers have taken the Bible and perverted the scriptures to fleece the flock and enrich themselves. Paul describes them very well in Philippians 3:19 “whose end is destruction, their god is their belly”, and also in 1 Timothy 6:5. “perverse disputing of men with perverse minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, from such turn away”.
No where in the NT does Paul ever say to tithe. Paul does say in 1 Cor 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there by no collections be made when I come.”
This was a practical, COMMON SENSE matter of finances in the church, NOT a spiritual issue, as so many snake oil salesmen and cult leaders would have you believe. Also note that Paul says “so that no collections be made when I come”, so It appears this was a periodic collection, not routine. Paul was a pharisee, of the strictest sect of judaism. Had ten percent been a requirement, Paul most definitely would have said so. Consider this.
Paul’s only words are “give as the Lord hath prospered you”.
In other words, nothing is compulsory, as tithes were. Give as the Lord has prospered means what it says. If you can’t afford it, or cannot give cheerfully, don’t waste your time doing it. If you give with any expectation of return, or conditionally, you are giving for the wrong reason. If you take money owed to debtors, and give to the church first, you are giving in the wrong manner. Jesus said “render unto Ceaser what is Ceasers, and render unto God what is God’s. Note he said Ceaser first. Your debtors get priority over the offering plate. Pay your bills and taxes FIRST, then meet your needs, then give cheerfully, with no expectation of a return.
The Lord needs no help financing the church. The Lord doesn’t need your money, and in THIS dispensation of his Grace, He puts no financial requirement on anyone. He seeks those who will worship him in spirit and in truth.
Giving should be a RESULT and an extension of your faith, not obligatory, and contrary to the TV preachers, giving is not required of you concerning your salvation, or God’s Grace.
Now, I’m not saying you should not support your local church, or give to charity, and those truely in need.
I’m saying if you give only what you can easily afford, give cheerfully, with gratitude, from a loving heart, not from fear, obligation, or expectation of a return.
Read another of my posts, “66 signs you are a legalist” for more understanding.