Tithing still remains a controversial issue in the church, even though I straightened everything out two weeks ago. Boy, I wish more people would read this letter.
Amidst the many comments I received from â€œForget About Tithingâ€ was one from T___.
â€œâ€¦ I did read what you said about tithing but it has been pounded into my head by the church, other Christians and my in-laws, so I didn’t fully comprehend what you were saying.Â I did understand yet I didn’t.Â Does that make any sense to you?Â My husband and I are having a tough time financially with the economy the way it is and my husband being a General Contractor but we’ve been tithing even though we need more money to pay our bills and mortgage.Â We do have some commitments to on-line Christian messengers (here she names a list of online newsletters and ministries she supports) When I have spoken to R______ at P_________ (one of the online newsletters: â€˜partnerâ€™ fee: $10 – $25 monthly) he was adamant about us tithing first no matter what bills we had or if we couldn’t make our house payment.Â I’m so confused and distressed about this because I want to do what the Lord wants me to do and I’m afraid NOT to tithe at least 10%.Â I’m going to go back and re-read your article in hopes that I understand it better and also hoping that I can use that info to explain to others, like R_____ at P_________, that they are not correct in insisting that I make that 10% no matter what.Â Would you have any other scripture that would both make me more comfortable with this concept and also help me to discuss this with the others that insist we MUST tithe?Â Thank you so very much, Mr. Spillman, for taking time out of your very busy life to answer my questions, it is so appreciated.Â God Bless You.Â Your Sister in Christ, T______.â€
Hereâ€™s my answer to T____:
Just because your church, your in-laws or a guy with an internet newsletter says it, donâ€™t make it so. Opinions are like bellybuttons; everybodyâ€™s got one. Godâ€™s opinion is the only one that matters. Test what they (we â€“ Iâ€™m a guy with an internet newsletter too) say against Godâ€™s Word â€“ all of Godâ€™s Word and in context of who you are â€“ a new covenant Christian, not an old covenant Jew. If what they (we) say is confirmed by Godâ€™s Word and His Spirit, great. If not, itâ€™s toxic waste â€“ walk away.
My opinion? Youâ€™re free. Forget about tithing. Youâ€™ve been born into a new covenant that makes the old covenant obsolete. Whoever wrote the book of Hebrews was trying to explain this to the Jews. Here are a few excerpts from chapters 7 and 8.
â€œThe former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.â€ (Hebrew 7:18-19)
â€œBecause of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.â€ (Hebrews 7:22)
â€œBy calling this covenant â€˜new,â€™ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.â€ (Hebrews 8:13)
The Jews (to whom the book of Hebrews was addressed) were steeped in the Law of Moses and the traditions of men. They couldnâ€™t get past the old covenant because it had been pounded into their heads all of their lives (sound familiar?). Thatâ€™s why the writer of Hebrews had to explain the new covenant in terms the Jewish people would understand.
Moses gave 613 laws to the people of Israel to obey. Tithing was one of them.
Two things Iâ€™d ask R____ at P__________: a) if heâ€™s dead set on following the law of tithing is he dead set on following the other 612 laws as well? â€œâ€¦ all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.â€ (Romans 2:12) b) Does he consider your $10 – $25 monthly â€˜partnerâ€™ fee to his newsletter part of your tithe, a donation or a subscription fee? If he says itâ€™s part of your tithe, heâ€™s wrong; weâ€™ve already covered that and you can stop paying it. If he says itâ€™s a donation or a subscription fee, then you can include it or remove it from your monthly budget based on your current financial obligations and value received from the newsletter.
If youâ€™re still confused about tithing and your obligation as a Christian to Jewish law, hereâ€™s your next step. Ask God to reveal His truth to you through His Word and His Spirit. Open your Bible to the book of Hebrews and start reading.
As I said a few weeks ago, the new covenant doesnâ€™t reverse the old covenant; itâ€™s supersedes it, making it irrelevant. Itâ€™s like a water-use law in a drought stricken city. During a drought certain laws about water usage come into effect â€“ â€˜donâ€™t wash your car,â€™ â€˜donâ€™t water your lawnâ€™. When rains are abundant, the drought laws are irrelevant. Theyâ€™ve been superseded by the reality of rain.
What the law of the old covenant was powerless to do (make men righteous) the law of the new covenant through Jesus the Messiah has already accomplished.
â€œâ€˜This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,â€™ declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, â€œKnow the Lord,â€ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,â€™ declares the Lord. â€˜For I will forgive their sins and remember their wickedness no more.â€™â€ (Jeremiah 31: 33-34)
Spiritually speaking, thereâ€™s no drought, the drought laws donâ€™t apply, the rain has come. Tithing is an old obsolete drought law; thereâ€™s a new law written on your heart that supersedes the old â€“ give freely, as He leads.
The most profound and simply explained teaching on this subject outside of the Bible that I know about is David Pawsonâ€™s â€˜The Five Covenants of God.â€™
Itâ€™s a two part audio series (two hours of teaching). And itâ€™s available through Purpose Weekly as an Mp3 download or on two CDâ€™s; hereâ€™s a free sample: â€˜click hereâ€™.
If youâ€™d like the full two hour teaching session just contribute any amount God leads you to Purpose Weekly.
Whatever you give, itâ€™s a contribution; not a tithe or a fee â€“ that way youâ€™re free to do what He wants. (If you think He wants you to have them for a penny, remember that I have to buy them from David Pawsonâ€™s audio distributor; CDâ€™s, of course, cost more to make and ship than MP3â€™s â€“ do whatever honors God, and yes, I sent a complimentary audio download to T____ .)
For MP3 download of â€œThe Five Covenants of Godâ€ by David Pawson, click here:
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For audio CDâ€™s (2) of â€œThe Five Covenants of Godâ€ by David Pawson, click here:
Dear Steve, Our Pastor just told us last Sunday that with people going on vacations all summer that the board had informed him it was difficult to pay the electric bill, and all of the other bills that were coming to the church. I guess that I still believe that we are to tithe in order to bless others in the Body of Christ. Perhaps when we seek His kingdom first,then all of these other things will be added unto us. Not law, just a principle that is difficult to grasp. Sometimes we have given until it hurts, but somehow God miraculously sees us through the toughest of times. I will pray for this lady. God is so faithful. On July 29, I will have walked with Him for for 36 years. He has never failed me.
Great post. People need to take care of their family first. If you are giving money away AND behind on bills, you are not giving anything away. It’s NOT your money. Taking Citibank’s mortgage payment and giving it to your church doesn’t make you charitable.