Giving As Any Has Need

Current Blog Series : Biblical Vision Explanation

If you really want to be a biblical tither, you have to give 30% of your income and not merely 10%. – Stuart Rothberg (my high school pastor - Istrouma Baptist Church)

A Godly Gospel Community gives as there is need. In many churches you may find envelopes to give to missions, evangelism, tithing or benevolence, but what does Scripture say we are to give to? Simply put, we give to what needs financial support, or we give physical help, emotional support, or Spiritual support for whatever need may arise. I believe our narrow minded view of giving is only a tenth has squandered the ministerial potential of our churches.

I won’t focus on the spiritual giving in this post. I want to discuss the financial supporting role of a dedicated believer. As a parenthesis, we are called to support Biblical needs. If your church is dying financially may I suggest that you analyze the ministry and ask if it is 100 percent Biblical, and a good steward of God’s resources. At times churches over reach their ministerial capability just to compete with a larger mega church down the road. The call of any church is to work within their means, for it is the challenge of God to be faithful to what is given to you.

But what about the Tithe thing? Isn’t that the standard of giving for Christians?  It means a tenth.  Isn’t a tenth required?  No.  The first time a tithe or tenth was given was by Abram in Genesis 14 in the incident I mentioned.  This was voluntary, not mandatory.  The Law of Moses didn’t exist yet.

So too with Jacob’s offer of a tithe to God in Genesis 28.  But where did they get the idea of a tenth?  Giving a tenth was a very common practice in the ancient Near East as a token of respect or in response to a blessing. 10% of the produce of the land was given to the landowner.  What Abraham offered was voluntary, not mandatory.  The tithe was not made mandatory for Israel until it was given as a commandment in the Law of Moses.  We read about this in Leviticus.

So then, the tithe was given to Israel as part of the Law of Moses. In fact, it appears that there were 3 tithes commanded under the Law of Moses.   The first 10% was to be given to the Levites and priests; the second 10%, known as the Festival Tithe, was collected on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th years only; the third 10% was the tithe for the poor and was to be collected on the 3rd and 6th years only.
"So if you really want to be a biblical tither, you have to give 30% of your income and not merely 10%."


You would think that, if the practice of tithing was meant to continue, a clear command to tithe would be given, especially to new Gentile converts who would not be aware of Jewish law. 
But Paul does not even mention the words tithe, tithes, or tithing in any of his 13 epistles.  And neither does Peter, James, John, or Jude in any of their epistles. 

Why not?  Because tithing was part of the Mosaic Law and was not meant as a principle which Christians are subject to.  So then what is the principle of giving for Christians?  It is this: Christians should give out of a willing and thankful heart for the blessings God has bestowed. 
The N.T. principle on giving is pretty simple:  Matthew 10:8…freely you received, freely give.
Under the Law, tithing was required; under grace, giving is voluntary.  It is from a thankful and trusting heart.  That’s why Paul, in 2 Cor.9:7, tells us to be a cheerful giver; not a cheerful tither.

We don’t give because God needs our money.  In fact, He gives us the money we give.  We give as there is need, because we were blessed by the Gift of Christ which we needed. May we be a giving people who realize our role in being like Christ here on earth until he returns.

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