Friday, 27 November 2015

Must I Tithe?

This is another irksome matter which Christians wrestle with. Some preachers quote Malachi 3:10 and insist that it applies today. Others say it's been superceded by the New Testament era. So who's right?

After much thought, I conclude that giving should be voluntary and according to one's resources. Forcing people to tithe is unfair to impoverished people who are living deeply in debt.

Another reason I dislike tithing and see it as unchristian is that it becomes a way to brag about one's holiness. The gospel writers tell of how Christ saw rich people putting money into the collection box. Then a poor widow, wishing to buy a blessing, put in two very small coins. It was all the money she had. John MacArthur rightly pointed out that the religious system of the day ripped off people every which way. It's why Jesus trashed the temple court twice during his ministry. The sellers were profiting off the holy offerings which devotees wanted to offer.

Since God loves a cheerful giver, how can tithing be forced upon people? While ten percent is a worthy goal to aim for, it's not a hard and fast rule. In fact, prudent bill paying and spending can allow people to give even more when the need arises. Instead of giving a fixed amount and feeling put upon or proud, we should hold our possessions loosely in the event that we may be Christ's hands to the destitute.

I used to fall for the pride-inducing tithe doctrine until I couldn't pay my bills. I wrote about this in my How I Was Razed memoir. Contact me regarding purchasing this wondrous story of God's providence.