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Does God Want Your Tithe?

August 18, 2008

I read a story last week of a man who won $6 million in the lottery and tithed $600,000 of his winnings to his local church.  What makes this story unique is that his church refused to accept the money!  The church didn’t give a reason for their refusal, but I can only presume that they don’t agree with his participation in the lottery and that was the driving force behind their decision.  (You can read the story here.)

Tithing is done out of a personal relationship with Christ.  It is what the Bible instructs us to do by giving the first fruits back to Him.  It is God’s provision anyway, we are just giving His portion back to Him.  The local church is just the appointed steward of this money.

Should the church be in a position to prohibit us from obedience?
I don’t think so.  This man is obeying what the Holy Spirit has led him to do and the church is refusing to participate.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2008 12:34 pm

    Tithing is done out of a personal relationship with Christ.
    …..
    Comment: Sounds good but is not biblical. Tithing was pure cold legalistic and was not connected to one’s feelings.
    …..
    It is what the Bible instructs us to do by giving the first fruits back to Him.
    …..
    Comment: (1) Tithes were tenth-fruits, not firstfruits. (2) Tithes were only food from inside Israel and could not be accepted from pagans or even Jews outside of Israel. (3)
    Firstfruits were very small token offerings (Num 18:1-19; Deu 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-37).
    …..
    It is God’s provision anyway, we are just giving His portion back to Him.
    …..
    Comment: Jesus could not and did not command his Gentiles disciples to tithe. Again, it could not come from outside of Israel.
    …..
    The local church is just the appointed steward of this money.
    …..
    Comment: The Temple and priesthood were replaced by the priesthood of every believer. The church is never a building in the Bible. Buildings did not exist for over 200 years after Calvary. The “storehouse building” idea is totally wrong.
    Check out http://www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.com

    May God bless your study

  2. Tim permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:43 am

    Maybe he wasn’t paying child support or something like that. Trying to think of why it wouldn’t accept it.

  3. August 25, 2008 8:37 am

    So this is a very interesting subject, to say the least.
    I too have studied tithing a great deal, and my personal studies have shown that the actual act of “tithing” is an old testament principal created under a legalistic system, however giving is universal.

    So in our house we have choose to financially give on a weekly basis, but not always exactly 10%, it may be 20%, or in tough times 5% .
    But always giving out of our hearts and not mandated law.

    As far as your question goes, no I do not think that the church should stand in the way of someone who is trying to give. Its kind of legalistic and dumb for them to turn down money…they know they could use it!!

  4. August 25, 2008 10:47 pm

    I remember a couple of conversations at work about this subject with mike and a few others. My question was, Do I have to give to money to a church for it to be considered a tithe? I’d like to think that if I give my money to a organization, such as The Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity, out of the goodness of my heart, in the name of God, not for recognition or some such prideful feeling… does that count?

    I don’t attend a regular service. I do read the Bible and believe! I do believe in giving back! I also believe that there are a lot of very good-willed, Christian-based, charities that could do a lot of GOOD with my money. Is that my decision? Can I give to an organization that does something I believe to be the work of God? Can I give my money to that guy in front of Wal-Mart that can’t afford gas in the middle of a rainstorm? What about that guy on the corner who sign said he was hungry and has kids? I know they are smaller protion of giving, but how is it different? Does God not smile upon that moment!? I’m giving out of my love for humanity and my love for HIM!

    I wonder these things soimetimes… Can you help me out? Should I just give to a church randomly (since I don’t have a regular)? Should I give some to church, some to my charity? Am I way off here?

    I know that God wants me to give to others as much as possible… He gives me the opportunity almost daily. Is he telling me that’s what he would rather I did? At least this way I know (basically) that my money is going to a needy place. Just needed to ask, since you were on the subject…

  5. kathy permalink
    August 26, 2008 2:58 pm

    #1 It says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves. There is a great security in a relationship not only with God but with fellow believers. In any group of people there will be people who are not as far along as you and others that are ahead of you that you can hopefully look to for an example.
    #2 That group of believers will almost always have needs that you may or may know about or have made commitments to other people financially. If we only give as we see fit, it may miss the intended destination that God had in mind. It shows a willingness on our part to trust God not only in the areas we see, but also expands our vision past ourselves.
    #3 Having said all that, we are only stewards of God’s provision in our lives. We must look at everything around us as available for God’s use. I had a trauma in my life that left me far beyond my means financially. I had a heart to give and made a personal decision to give. To begin with, I could only give my tme and talent. But my heart’s desire was to give back to God the way He had given to me. So abundantly, so unexpectedly, so overwhelmingly that people would understand the nature of God through it. It took several years to get to the place where my husband and I can give with an assurance that God loves us to give with nothing reserved. There is nothing off limits for God to ask or for us to give. So, while we give much more than 10% there are business matters in the church that need to be taken care of and it is such a small part of our giving but don’t stop at 10%. Look around you and see a dying world that God says His goodness will lead to repentance. That goodness should come from His people, whether it is monitarily or financially or emotionally, as God reveals the need.
    #4 So, don’t limit God by looking at the legality of the 10% but as a starting point to a lifestyle of wonderful blessings that God bestows on those who don’t hold anything back

  6. Mike High permalink*
    August 26, 2008 11:13 pm

    John

    First let me say that, as you can see by the comments of this post, there are many different viewpoints on this topic. The bottom line is that you need to be sensitive to what God is telling you and be obedient in that and continue to seek His will for your life in this area.

    It sounds to me like you are on the right track with your attitude toward giving. One thing I would point out is that giving as you described and tithing are two separate things. You can be a generous giver and not tithe. By asking if you have to give to a church for it to be considered a tithe is being legalistic. In other words, you want your giving to “count” as a tithe. And that isn’t the point of a tithe. It isn’t done to satisfy a requirement. It is done out of obedience and thankfulness for God’s provision in your life.

    It is hard to address all of your questions in a blog comment, but hopefully that will give you a brief overview of what I think. Again, it sounds like you are on the right track. I would say to continue asking God what He would have you do in this area and be obedient in whatever that is.

  7. September 3, 2008 8:41 pm

    Mike

    Thanks! I didn’t intend to sound as if I wanted it to “count”… kinda did though. I really do give out of thankfulness for my blessings and Love for GOD! I will continue to pray for direction. It’s good to know that I’m at least showing the right attitude! Thanks again

  8. Christoph permalink
    July 30, 2009 7:07 am

    You can pray about where to send your money, but not about how much. Ten percent is God’s. Let’s say 100% is God’s and He gives 90% of it to us!
    If you ask Him where to give it to, He will put it in His work effectively.

  9. December 19, 2012 9:23 am

    Good testimony, Troy. From the moemnt we get our pay, 10% of it is already God’s, and God is looking to see whether we will give it back to Him, whether He can trust us to hand it back to Him and trust Him for the sufficiency of the other 90%. Actually, He is giving us the opportunity to trust Him by returning His tithe back to Him.Having a job is an assumption, but many right now are on unemployment benefits, while others’ benefits have run out, leaving them to make some tough decisions about their giving. Many tithers are trusting God for their future incomes and employment right now.

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