Are Christians Required to Tithe?

One of the pet doctrines I was always at odds with as a Christian was the tithe. Just out of curiosity I looked up what "Christianity Today" has to say about the subject. Since they are fairly mainstream, at least Evangelical mainstream, I find it interesting what I find there.

For instance, this question and answer:

"Q: The tithe is clearly taught in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament it seems to be downplayed. Are those of us who give 10 percent of our income doing something not required?"

"A: A simple yes or no to this question would be horribly misleading. (D.A. Carson)"

Well is it yes or no Mr. Carson? Christians are continually saying that true Christianity is not about money, but is that really true? Here is a little more of what good old DA had to say:

"...the New Testament provides no passage with the same explicit conclusion. (that 10% should be given)"

So, then that means Christians are not required to give 10% off the top of their incomes to their respective churches then right DA?

Nope, not that easy. As Mr. Carson meanders his way around the question without giving a real solid answer, he finally rests on this conclusion: "So, why not aim for 20 percent in your giving? Or 30? Or more,.."

That's the rub isn't it. Since the New Testament does not obligate Christians to give 10%, somehow it is logical in the mind of a full time paid clergyman that what is intended in the BIBLE is that Christians give MORE than the 10% - MUCH MORE!

These people should be ashamed of the way they heap bigger and bigger burdens on the backs of innocent people.

Just remember kids, it's not about money, it's about giving, and giving and giving...

The embarrassing thing is, that though I would never fall for other types of scam artists who use misleading language to take funds from unsuspecting people, I often felt under condemnation for not being more faithful in my church tax paying. (Tithe=TAX)

I have an opinion as to why Xtianity continues to preach tithe tithe tithe, other than the greed factor of course. I am sure that if the CHURCH ever stopped pushing the tithe thing, they would find that their operating funds would begin to dry up, as generous people gave to other more useful charities, or even used the money improving the lifestyles of their own families. There is quite obviously a lack of FAITH in the Holy Ghost to provide support for all the full time clergy out there who live off the labor of others. A good guilt trip a month or so can predictably bring in more $ than the omnipotent Spirit, or so it seems.

Anyway, if you want to save 10% this Sunday, just stay home from Church.



Rob Davis said...

I think that a lot of Christians are giving their money to worthless causes, i.e. most churches. But, there are a lot of churches that are doing a lot of good things, and actually limiting operating expenses (salaries, etc.) as much as they can. When I see a church move into an urban context, pay one or two people the least amount they can pay (while most of that church's leaders' time is volunteer, much more than 40 hours per week), walk hand in hand with local organizations to do some good things in that community, I have absolutely no problem with giving a church like that my money.

Unknown said...

Tithing-do some good study and research. You will NEVER find the example of people giving on a continual basis of their income to God. Even if we were all Jews under the Law, only farmers and livestockers (people that raise animals) would be required to tithe. And they did have money back then, but God actually taxed people (12%) who tried to give silver or gold. Most of us still wouldn't be required to tithe under OT Law. The entire concept of giving money on a regular basis is completely absent from the whole of scripture. It is commonly pieced together from many different ideas and different scriptures, that if you ever stop to read them in any detail, they don't support tithing at all. What about Malachi 3? Well let me ask you: How many tithes are there under OT Law? And which one of the three tithes is Malachi referring to? How often is that tithe collected? And is there really an OLD Testament curse under NEW Testament Christians, even though Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law? All these questions and many more are explaine in much detail in a book. A good book for an in-depth stufy is called "The Children Are Free" by Roger Sapp. You can find it at

Anonymous said...

I have started looking into this very subject, and that is how I came across this site.
From what I have researched so far (and that isn't a lot at this point), the big arguments are: (1)tithing under the law which Christ released us from with his finished work on the cross, (2) tithing because Abraham did it before the law which argues that the tithe came before the law so we are required to tithe even though we are not under the law any more. My argument to this would be that the Sabbath also came before the law and if tithing is still required then the Seventh Day Adventist Church must also be right and the rest of th eProtestant divisions are wrong, along with the argument that we are then relying on faith plus works for our salvation rather than faith alone which would indicate that Jesus' work on the cross was not sufficient. (3) the weak argument for tithing in the new testament where Jesus was scolding the Pharasees - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices. … But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former" (Matt. 23:23, NIV).... At this point I argue that Jesus was talking to Jews about their hipocritical actions as jewish leaders and how they obey part of the law and not other parts ("neglected the more important matters of the law"). He is clearly talking about matters of the law to someone that claims to be richeous under the law. jesus is not talking to or about his disciples or telling His disciples to go out and teach any of this to the people. This is more of a reference to the law and tithing than anything to do with requiring or enforcing it. (4)failure to pay the tithe was nothing less than robbing God (Mal. 3:6-12)... This is still discussing the law in the old testament and scolding those that are not paying under the law which does not apply to Christians today. (5)"Honor the LORD with your wealth,with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine." Proverbs 3:9,10... this is a great passage and it should definitely not be overlooked. I believe that we can rely on this as truth, however it does not require you to give any certain amount as a "tithe". It merely states that if you honor the Lord and give from your first fruits then the Lord will bless you a great increase.
In closing, I feel that it is free will giving that we are to do under the new testament covenant, not required tithing as in the old testament. As with many other things, if you are forced to do something then you naturally rebel against it and are bitter about having to do it against your will, but when you do it out of your heart you may well end up giving more than you would, and being happy about it, and I think that is something to be considered when thinking about the passage in the Bible that says "God loves a cheerful giver".
Todd A.

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