(Series: "Christian Greed")

HOT TOPICS for (TV shows, Internet shows, etc.). These topics are the passion of Bernie Dehler. Please comment and let us know your opinion on these short articles.

My Photo
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon

Bernie Dehler is the Executive Director of To learn more about Bernie and the ministry, click here.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Should Christians "tithe" today? No! Give? Yes!


In today's Evangelical Christian Church, we are (sometimes) told that we should tithe, at a minimum. This means give 10% of our income to the Church. Should we do this as Evangelical Christians? I say no. Should we give money to the Church and other needy ministries? Yes, and please be generous! What do you think?

What do I recommend for giving?:

1. Realize that you are a STEWARD of your money, possessions, etc. (it all belongs to God, and is a gift from God, and you will be held accountable).

2. Don't focus on percentage. In the Old Testament, it wasn't a straight 10% anyway, there were multiple tithes, per the Faussett Bible Dictionary. Sometimes there were up to 3 tithes (approaching 30%). However, only agriculture and livestock owners were tithed, not other workers, such as artisans.

3. Pray to God for guidance in how much to give. It's only between God and you. The tithe is part of the OT law, like circumcision and the sabbath, which are no longer requirements for Christians. But do push yourself to be generous, from the love of Christ for the poor and other needy.

4. The money should support your local church (what you feel is reasonable), and also to help others who need it (whether it is tax-deductable or not). I don't recommend giving it all to the local church... there are many needy ministries doing great work! Just give the local church their share, what you feel is appropriate.

Reason why we should not tithe:

1. If you can't or don't give 10%, you'll feel guilty. If you do give it because of demands, you may be resentful. The Scriptural rule is to be generous, and to be a cheerful giver.

2. If you give 10%, you may feel satisfied. Give 20%, and you may feel that you are twice as good as others. However, maybe you make a lot of money and should give away 90%? It's much easier for a millionaire to give 90% than it is for a poor man to give 10%. Watch out for false pride and religiousity coming from a dedicated tithe-- after all, God wants your heart, and doesn't really need your money!

3. Make sure you take care of yourself, so you are self-sufficient and not a drag on society (needing government help, etc.). God wants your devotion, not your money, although where you spend your money is a sign of where your devotion lies.

More on tithing, from scholars:
Article by Steven Gregg (click on "articles," then "tithing")
Article by TruthOrTradition


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that we should give to worthy charities, to those who follow Jesus' mandates to love enemies and to care for the poor, thirsty, naked, hungry, imprisoned. I give generously to charities trying to help release the Palestinians from the cruelty of the Israeli occupation. Did you know that just now, the Israeli government is confiscating all Palestinian property in East Jerusalem, using their awful law called "Absentee Property" to just kick all Palestinians out of the East Jerusalem homes and shops they have had for centuries? Without compensation?
They are also building settlements in the area between the Green Line and the Wall that has taken large parts of the Palestinian West Bank, at a rate of 10 times the size of existing settlements there?
And they are now destroying the villages of the Bedoin in the Negev next to Israel's Dimona nuclear plant, without compensation or discussion, unlike the heavy compensation packages being given to illegal Israeli settlers in Gaza, even though the Bedoin are also Israeli citizens.
This is outrageously cruel behavior on the part of the Israelis. Check it out for yourself on, the large Jewish daily in Israel.
June Forsyth Kenagy
Albany, OR 97322

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I became a born again Christian 4 years ago. I used to be Catholic. But all this talk about tithing is really ticking me off. When I was Catholic I never heard about tithing. I heard about giving, but not tithing. Back then I thought the church was rich, but I'm beginning to see that when it comes to money the Protestant churches are no better, if not worse. I'm sick of hearing about tithing. I'd like to find a good baptist church in CT where the Pastor never talks about tithing, but its hard to find that. I know that historically the Baptist church didn't start preaching tithing till after the civil war. So why the change? I'm sure there is plenty of greed involved in much of the tithing which is preached in Protestant churches. I can't understand why rich ministers are telling poor people to give them 10% of their income, or God will curse them. It's like saying: "Gimme your money so I can be rich or God will punish you". That sounds like a lot of garbage to me. It's over matters like this that the Reformation started. I thought Jesus said blessed are the poor in the Gospel of Luke. And in the Epistle of James it says woe to you rich. And Paul worked with his hands so as to not be a burden to his new converts. He told people to decide what they will give and do that, but not to tithe. So why all this talk of tithing and a prosperity gospel? Jesus said that as Christians we will have trials, but these guys are preaching wealth and prosperity. It sound like a bunch of heresy to me.

10:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home