ONE OF THE basic teachings of the modern-day tithe doctrine is that you must pay God first. Preachers make that plea in a variety of ways: Give God your best. Give God that first 10 percent of your income. Pay tithes from your gross income, and so on.
Gross vs. Net
The “pay God first” teaching implies that you should pay from your gross income. In fact there are Christians who have asked whether they should tithe from their gross or net income.
When you get beyond the religious rhetoric and think about the facts, it become apparent that there is no such thing as tithing from your gross. In other words, paying God first doesn’t exist.
What is Gross Income?
- What you make BEFORE taxes, insurance, child support, etc. is taking out of your paycheck
What is Net Income?
- What you take home AFTER these deductions are taken out of your paycheck
When folk pay so-called tithes, it comes out of their net income. In other words, by the time they “pay God” that 10 percent, Uncle Sam has already taken his money off the top. God is getting what is left over after Uncle Sam takes his share which blows the whole “tithe off the top/first fruits” doctrine out of the water.
Many tithers really think they’re doing something, but the truth of the matter is that when it comes to that dollar dollar bill, Uncle Same comes before God. So don’t let any preacher hoodwink you into tithing on the basis that the first 10 percent of your income belongs to God.
The bottom line is that preachers use “paying God first” as a religious Jedi Mind Trick to make sure THEY get paid before you spend your net income on your household and living expenses.
Think about it!