Tithe Or Offering?
…….And you will know the truth and truth shall make you free (John8:22)
Compulsion for the tithing is preached very often in many churches by Pastors and ministers and for this purpose they keep the truth of the word of God aside. Due to financial reasons sometimes it becomes hard for a middle income class family and often it becomes harder for a lower income class family to give the tithe every month which is ignored by these so called representatives of God (Pastors, preachers ministers).We must know that the almighty, loving and the perfect God never compels us for anything.
In this article we would try to extract a conclusion on the basis of the word of God mentioned in the Old and the New Testament. For this purpose we would do three sections of the whole Bible:
- Tithing before the “Law”.
- Tithing during the Mosiac Law.
- Tithing in the New Testament.
Tithing before the “Law”.
For the first time In the biblical history tithe was offered by Abram to king Melkizedek of Shalem .Abram gave it by his own will .(Exodus 14:17-20)
Jacob wowed to offer his tithe to the God by his own will.(Genesis 28:20-22)
Tithing during the Mosiac Law.
Lord God commanded to Moses “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.(Lev.27:30)
Every tithe of the herd and flock–every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod–will be holy to the LORD.(Lev.27:32)
“I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.(Num.18:21)
Levites were one of the twelve children of Jacob and are one of the twelve clans of Judah. Lord God permitted them to take tithe so that they can bear the burden of iniquity of Israelites (Num.18:23).In this context if we see then we will find that today’s Pastors/Ministers are neither Levites nor they are capable to bear the iniquities of Christian people. Jesus who Himself was an physically Israelite and was from the clan of Judah bore the burden of iniquities of whole mankind and fulfilled this law for ever.
Lord God commanded Levites to give a tenth of their tithes to their preist Aaron (Num.18:25-28),because they were responsible to bear iniquity of the sanctuary and their priesthood.(Num.18:1).Our Lord Jesus bore the burden of iniquities of the sanctuary and of whole mankind and fulfilled this law for ever.(Psalm110:4, Hebrew7:17)
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?(Hebrew 9:11-14)
We thank the God for His servant Paul for revealing and explaining the precious truths of the word.
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year……………………..so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.(Duet.14:22-29)
Management of Tithe (in Old Testament)
Nehemiah appointed four trustworthy stewards for the distribution of tithes which receive in store rooms (Nehemiah13:10-13).Now-a-days, to encourage/pressurize the believers the give their tithes, the most preached word of God is Malachi 3:10.Have you ever noticed that in this very word believers are asked to bring their tithes in storehouse not in the pockets of the pastors or preachers. Is there any storehouse in your church? Are there any trustworthy stewards (as Nehemiah appointed) appointed to take care of the storehouse ? or all the tithes/offerings go in to the pocket of your pastor?
Tithing in the new Testament
You will be wondered to know that compulsion for offering the tithe is nowhere preached or mentioned in the new Testament. Jesus rather rebuked the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who pay their tithes but ignore the important matter of the law (Matt.23:23).As per Jesus justice, mercy and faithfulness are more important rather than offering the tithes but to become a true Christian, cheerful and generous giving , justice, mercy and faithfulness all are necessary.(read last portion of matt.23:23)
In the new Testament cheerful giving is encouraged in place of any compulsion for giving of tithes.(2Cor.9:7)
In the new Testament generous giving is encouraged (2Cor.8:2-3).
The offering which is offered without any compulsion and offered with joy can be less or more than 10% but it must be kept in mind that the earned money should not have had earned through unjust ways( stealing, robbery, corruption, exploitation, etc.)
To become a true Christian, our faith must be accompanied with the good deeds. Faith is dead without deeds (James2:17).Our generous giving shows our faith and love for the God.
We must give in order to :
- Fulfil the needs of the true servants of the God.(1Tim.5:18,1Cor.16:1-2,Philip.4:15-17))
- For preaching and spreading of the gospel, missionary work.
- To help the needy people of the church.(1John3:17).
- To help needy people of the society(Orphan, widows etc.)James1:27
Whichever church you use to go for fellowship and give your tithe/offering, ensure that it must go to the store house (as written in Malachi 3:10) not into the pocket of the Pastor. Trustworthy Stewards must be appointed to take care of the store house (Nehemiah 13:10-13).Learn to recognize the greedy and hypocrite pastors who think that the ministry is the gateway to earn money and become stumbling blocks for church.(1Timothy 6:5,10)
A Committee can be formed in the church to take care of all the tithes/offerings which come in the store house. A proper and adequate portion of the received offerings should be given to pastor and his family for their needs. Suppose that an amount of 1-1.25 lacs of rupees are gathered as monthly offerings in a church, should all the money go into the pocket of the pastor? Should the pastor keep the whole money? If it is so, then where from the money for gospel preaching, missionary work and charity work will come? God will judge very hardly these greedy pastors who use the whole money for themselves.(Matt.23:14, Jer.3:1-2, Eze.34:7-10)
Dear readers, we are never asking or discouraging you to not to give the tithes cause it will be un-biblical and against the word of God, our motive behind writing this article is that we should give cheerfully and responsibly, cheerful offering can be less or more than 10% but be careful that freedom for cheerful giving should not be a reason to rob the God. If you are capable to give the tithe and if you don’t then actually you rob the God.
It is not mandatory that you have to give all of your offerings to the church you use to go for fellowship; you are free to give some portion of your offerings to missionary, Christian charity organizations etc. Where ever you give your offerings, try to know where and how your hard earned money is being spent.
Form a committee in your church.The committee should take care of all of the church income and expenses, give an adequate and proper portion of the offerings to the pastor and his family and use rest of the money for spreading of the gospel, for helping needy brethren of the church,for charity work etc.(the word of God tells us to do so).
For any clarification and more information please contact on the numbers give below:
- Brother Radhe Shyam–9602606067
- Brother Pankaj Masih–8005721255