Monday, January 4, 2010

10 Common Myths about Tithing

1) Myth - The New Testament never commands us to tithe.
Truth - Jesus expected it (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42) and Paul encouraged it (2 Cor 9:6, 7; 1 Cor. 16:2)

2) Myth - Nowhere in the Bible does it say to give a 10th of my income.
Truth  - The Hebrew word for tithe, "ma'aser" literally means "tenth" and can be correctly translated as such.  

3) Myth - I can't afford to tithe.
Truth - You can't afford not to tithe!

4) Myth - Tithing will make me rich!
Truth - Tithing may not make you rich, but it will make you blessed. (Jesus said blessed are the poor)

5) Myth - Tithing will make me poor!
Truth - God promises to bless the one who tithes.

6) Myth - All tithe money goes to the pastor.
Truth - The pastor has a set salary no matter what is gathered in an offering.

7) Myth - The Pastor knows the tithing records.
Truth - Not in this church, and not this pastor! (and I like it that way!)

8) Myth - If I do not tithe, I am not sinning.
Truth - God says you are robbing him, and that is a sin.  (Malachi 3:8)

9) Myth - It is ok for me to tithe from my net income and not gross income.
Truth - Your gross income is your true income.  

10) Myth - As long as I give my 10 percent, I can do whatever I want with the other 90 percent.
Truth - 100 percent of our money should be spent in a way that honors God.


tithe said...

1. Jesus lived under the old covenant and adhered to all of its practices. Paul never commanded '10%' or 'tithing' to any of the Corinthians or his other epistles.

2. Only those who farmed crops or raised animals tithed- Lev. 27:28-32. This means that a majority of Israelites did not tithe on their occupational income. This includes: carpenters, bankers, lawyers, doctors, blacksmiths, etc.

3. - Abraham only gave a tenth of the spoils of war, and not from his personal wealth heb. 7:4.
- Jacob only vowed the tithe once God blessed him first Genesis 28.
-The poor received the tithe in Israel.
-The Priests did not tithe what was given to them from the levites.
-Once again, only a small portion of Israelites tithed on their occupational income.

4. I definitely agree that giving does not make you rich.

5. I agree that tithing doesn't naturally cause poverty, but if blessings keep you from poverty, then it would seem that your blessing is money, which seems to contradict point #4. A bit of a quandary.

6. I agree with your myth

7. I agree with your myth

8. -Abraham did not tithe from his personal possessions.
-Jacob didn't tithe until God met his personal conditions.
-Only farmers and herdsmen tithed in Israel.
-The priests did not tithe.
-The poor actually received the tithe, and did not tithe.
-Are not the children free Matt 17:26?

9. I'm indifferent to this myth since i do not believe tithing is required for the Spirit led Church.

10. I agree with your myth

David M Crowe said...


Thank you for your interaction with my post! I appreciate the input and welcome open discussion. There is so much division today in the Body of Christ on the topic of Christian Stewardship. I do uphold Christian freedom on this matter, yet I see tithing as a biblical starting point for faithful Christian stewardship. Here is my response to your post, point by point.

1. I agree with you that Paul does not use the word "tithe." He only uses the word "give." You are correct that Paul never commanded 10 percent or used the word "tithe." He did encourage giving. Nowhere did Paul forbid tithing. But since Paul did not leave us with detailed information on this point, I believe that Christians should not expect to give less under grace than the Israelites did under the law.

2. The Malachi 3:6-12 passage about tithing addressed the entire nation of Israel. This would include the carpenters, bankers, lawyers, doctors, blacksmiths, etc.

3. As for the patriarchs and the way they sacrificed to the Lord, not much is known. The Levites and Priests, however, did tithe from the tithe they received.

Numbers 18:26 reads “Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—a tithe of the tithe—to the Lord as a sacred offering."

4. We agree!

5. God promises to meet our needs. As a pastor, this has happened for me in ways that were not financial.

6. We agree again!

7. We agree yet again!

8. Malachi 3:8 did say that the Isrealites were "robbing God." That is a sin. Though Malachi was writing to a specific situation in the history of Israel, is it not also a sin for us to withhold giving of a portion of our income to God?

I agree with you that we are free and not bound by the law. There is much division within Christianity today as to how much of the Law (and what sections of it) Christians should be encouraged to follow. Though we do not follow the cultural points of the Law, we can take principles from them and apply them to today. The moral law, such as the Ten Commandments, should also be encouraged. It is fitting therefore to see tithing (a 10th) as a biblically modeled example from which to begin Christian stewardship.

9. This myth addressed net income vs. gross income.

10. We agree again!

I am certain that what I have said here will in no way convince you or others of my viewpoints. I do however, greatly enjoy the discussion. Thanks again and God bless!

tithe said...

Thanks for your response. I do not like to battle out on others' blogs, so i will address only 2 points, and then move along. Although, if you respond i would like to read it.

2. The entire nation was addressed because if anyone also grew crops or raised animals aside from their occupation, then they were required to tithe from that.

It is an important to note that God only required the tithe of animals and crops because it is man that plants but God that gives the increase 1 Cor 3:7. Granted, other occupations need a divine intervention in order to be successful, but it is the miracle of creation that bring us increase and what God is solely responsible for. I hope you can see the significance in why God didn't want a tithe to come from the profit of man's handywork.

3. The Aaronic priests received their increase from the tithe of the Levites and were not commanded to tithe from that. Num. 18:26-28; Neh. 10:38

In conclusion, I do not wish to discourage people from giving. I believe that new covenant giving is sacrificial, liberal, and cheerful. I also believe that the new covenant is clear that our giving instructions should be Spirit led.

Is it hypocritical to believe that the Holy Spirit is responsible for instructing a pastor about beginning a ministry; and not believe that the Holy Spirit is responsible for instructing others about financial support? Are only pastors capable of forsaking the "american dream" week in and week out?

- jared

Hesought said...

I find it interesting that out of the 10 myth references, only 2 Biblical passages were provided. The remaining 8 conveyed a personal philosophy. It saddens me that our faith has been reduced to a revenue-generating entity. This mentality has enabled religious predators (i.e. millionare televangelists)to blackmail honest Christians into supporting their avaricious personas. A Christian's sincerity should not be determined by how much money he or she gives to the church, but instead on his love for his/her fellow man/woman. Too often, this is overlooked in the minister's/preacher's/pastor's quest for monetary gain. A sad commentary of the direction our faith is going.