This series is inspired by a letter a pastor wrote to his church member (one of our YouTube subscribers). In each lesson we address a point and/or argument the pastor makes for explaining why he believes Christians should tithe.
Here is the exact quote from the pastor’s letter:
The Apostle Paul spoke about giving a lot throughout the New Testament. He didn’t specifically mention the word “tithe” but he was very clear on the concept of the importance of giving. Not buying items but simply giving money to the church.
The Apostle Paul & Giving
The pastor is correct in stating that the Apostle Paul speaks a lot about giving. The pastor cites the following verses in his letter as an example:
1 Corinthians 16: 1-3 and 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
In citing these verses the pastor goes on to say:
Again Paul is talking about the giving of money! He commends the churches in Macedonia for how they gave even beyond what they were expected to.
There is no disputing that New Testament Christians collected and gave money. The real issue here is that, according to the Bible, tithing and giving are NOT the same.
Tithing versus Giving
The pastor states that the Apostle Paul doesn’t mention the word “tithe” in his epistles. However, the pastor does not explain WHY the word “tithe” is not used. The Apostle Paul and the other New Testament Christians in the Bible knew that tithing and giving were not the same. Unfortunately, many preachers use the words tithing and giving interchangeably, which is scriptural error. Not only is it incorrect it also confuses Christian believers.
The Bible says God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33, NKJV). God obviously knows the difference between tithing and giving. The Christians in the Bible knew the difference. Now it is time for the Christians of today to know the difference.
While the word “tithe” means a tenth or 10 percent this amount does not refer to money. The biblical tithe NEVER consisted of money. The tithe was 10 percent of agricultural produce and cattle. God only commanded tithes to be paid according to the Law of Moses, and only ancient Israel was commanded to tithe.
The practice of biblical tithing ceased when the New Testament was established after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
New Testament Giving
Giving in the New Testament does consist of money (keep in mind that it is not LIMITED to money). New Testament giving is Spirit-led and involves free-will offerings. Free-will offerings are always voluntary.
Throughout his letters, the Apostle Paul never commands the Christian believer to give money nor is there a command to give specific amounts of money. Christian believers are encouraged to give voluntarily, according to the Spirit, and within their means (ability to give).
Even though the churches in Macedonia gave beyond what was expected, they did it because it was in their heart to do so. They did not do it because a religious leader pressured or manipulated them into giving.
A Final Word
Preachers are responsible for speaking the truth to God’s people. When preachers tell believers they must tithe they are not speaking biblical truth. Furthermore, they are placing the Christian believer under the curse of the Law (Law of Moses). It makes no sense to place Christians under the authority of the Law by promoting so-called tithing when Jesus the Christ gave his life to set the believer free from the Law (Law of Moses).
As a believer you are to follow the Spirit – not the Law. Giving is of the Spirit and tithing is of the Law. As long as you follow false teachings that tell you to so-call tithe you will be bound by the curse of the Law and you will not enter into the fullness of New Testament Grace that is essential to your Christian faith.
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