Sep 09, 2009
The Tithing Dilemma
I recently had someone email me, asking me what scriptures I could produce that would prove that tithing is an Old Testament law that no longer applies to the New Testament. Though there are many scriptures that can prove this point beyond a shadow of doubt, I chose not to give them to this man. In fact, I rarely give scriptural references to back up the things I preach or write about. If I am right about the things I say, it should speak for itself. The truth of my words should stand on their own. This is especially true when it comes to the subject of tithing. I honestly feel that any Christian who has love in their hearts can simply reason their way through the idea of it, and come to the conclusion that it’s not New Testament. The reason why so many Christians today need a bible verse to back up something is because they don’t have love in their hearts; and hearts that are void of love, are blind.
Imagine, you’re standing outside of a beautiful three-story mansion that is owned by God Himself. Way up high on the third story is a window. Behind that window is a room full of all the blessing. Now imagine you have a hundred pebbles in your pocket and it’s your job to hit that "blessing window" with ten out of a hundred of those pebbles. Once the tenth pebble hits the window, the owner of the house comes and opens the window and pours out blessing on you.
This is obviously a picture of tithing as we have been taught in Church today.
The difference between the Old Testament and the New, is that now YOU OWN THE HOUSE! Not only that, but your room is the blessing room, and you’re the one in charge of opening the window and heaping out blessing. You’re still standing in front of the window, but now you’re on the inside looking out. People in New Testament times look pretty silly standing on the inside of that window hitting it with ten of their pebbles waiting for it to open.
You might be asking, “Well then how do I get the blessing for myself?”
This is the part that is invisible to the vast majority of Christians today. In the Old Testament, God would bless someone who gave. If they gave a gift to someone, they could go home and wait for a blessing to come to them. God was teaching them that there is a blessing that comes with giving. He was preparing them for the New Testament times when giving IS the blessing.
Sadly today, because so many Christians don’t love, they give, and then wait for a blessing to come back to them just like the Old Testament people did. They don’t feel the blessing in giving because they don’t love the person they gave to. When I give my wife a new dress or a piece of jewelry, I don’t walk around the corner and say to myself, “I can’t wait to see what kind of blessing I’ll get for this.” When I give to Angie, I walk around the corner and thank God that I was able to make her eyes light up like that. I thank Him for giving me the blessing of being able to touch her heart in that way. The moment it leaves my hand, I feel a shower of blessing all over me. When I see her face get excited and tears come to her eyes, I am blessed!
Sadly, today's teachings on giving and tithing are all based on selfishness. It’s heartbreaking to hear people exchange the beauty of giving for something so ugly and self serving. It’s sad when people today give with the mindset of planting a seed. It’s no longer giving when there’s something in it for you. It’s also sad when someone says that they give because God told them to. God shouldn’t have to tell you to give. If you love, you’ll give no matter what. I have found that all modern-day Christian mindsets concerning giving are based almost one-hundred-percent on a loveless give-for-gain mentality.
The concept of tithing is directly against the spirit of love. It is anti-intimacy. The first time I read in Genesis where Jacob told God that he would give Him ten percent of his income if God did all that He had promised Jacob, I remember getting a sick feeling all over my spirit. It actually made me laugh out loud. I thought to myself, “This guy is both stingy and stupid.” First of all, God is telling this guy that He is going to give him all this stuff, and bless him with blessings bigger than anything anyone has ever seen. Then the guy has the audacity to say, “If you do this, I’ll give you ten percent back.” It just comes across as silly to me.
Could you imagine if my wife and I had separate bank accounts and whenever I got a paycheck, I put ten percent of it in her account and the other ninety percent in my account? When we dated, we had separate bank accounts, but when we married we share an account. Everything I have belongs to her! I don’t give her ten percent of anything; I give a hundred percent of everything. There simply is no “hers” and “mine” in LOVE.
I think the very concept of paying ten percent to God is an anti-intimacy mentality. It’s like having a business relationship with God. All accounts are separate, and at an allotted time, you pay Him for blessing. In my book “The Misunderstood God” I basically show that modern-day Christians believe God is a mafia godfather whom they pay for His protection. This is indeed how thousands of Christians view Him today. Nothing could be further from the truth about God’s heart.
The entire concept of tithing in today’s church is based on our carnal nature. We’re taught to do it or bad things will happen to us. Most people I know who participate in tithing, do so out of fear of what might happen if they don’t. Many others act all happy and excited about tithing because of all the financial blessings they claim they’ve received since they started. It’s a mine, mine, mine attitude that works ONLY on a loveless generation. To a person who loves however, 10% is offensive. Giving to get is insulting. The concept of “seed faith giving” or even "giving in faith" sounds crude and selfish. Love does not keep track of what’s given. This is precisely why Jesus said "don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing." You can't follow Jesus' words and still be a tither.
I’ve also found that when a person loves people, they are less likely to take 10% of their income and pour it into an institution that eats up the first 85% of that money on expenses, and ends up having 15% left for helping hurting people. Lovers of people usually see right through this, and they decide to cut out the middle man and give directly to the people who need it.
One of the latest statistics on tithing in America shows that about 8% of Christians pay their tithe. Most pastors will tell you that this is a sign that people don’t love. I disagree. I think this is a sign that people DO love. Church is simply not set up for a giver to receive their blessing as they give. There is no feeling of blessing when you drop money in an offering plate that speeds by you and disappears into an office. I’ve found that when people give to people, they’re inspired and blessed right then and there, because the intimacy of such an act is inspiring. That’s real difficult to get, when your money is being put into a machine.
You don't need a series of bible verses to prove that tithing is Old Testament and not for today. Just look at someone you love with all your heart and imagine telling them that you will only bless and protect them if they give you 10% of their income. Look at one of your children and imagine making that deal. The very thought of such a thing is sickening. You don't need biblical proof of something you already know.
Love proves it.
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