Hi! How have you been since my last post?
Hope it has been explosive! Good explosive I mean!
Anyway, today we will be looking into the matter of tithing as a Christian.
Here is the thing, am not really fun of digging into the legalities of the church system but this issue of tithing has somehow become a major one for some Christians today. Should I give my tithes or should I not?
Having said that, one of the things that really drove me to make this post is an incident that occurred earlier this week on Monday. While I was sharing fliers for a program currently happening in my church “the blessing summit” at a major junction, someone received it from me and then added, “This thing you are doing now, your pastor’s children will not do it oh”. And I looked at him, a little offended and replied tersely, “God is my Father”. That just goes to show you people’s mentality about the church that it belongs to a man.
Let’s dig into this issue of tithing. Please, this might be a little long as I would love to cover all the angles to tithing. So bear with me, it promises to be an interesting read.
The first argument I heard on tithing is “it is of the law not of grace and we are under grace”.
Now, tithing does not belong to the law and therefore cannot be pushed under the carpet simply because we are under grace. The first record of tithing was that Abraham gave tithes of all to Melchisedek in Genesis 14:20. And then again in Genesis 28:20-22, when Jacob in fleeing from the wrath of his brother Esau came to Luz and while sleeping, he had an encounter with God. God promised to be with him and keep him on his journey and to bring him back to the land. Jacob then wakes up and says “surely, God is in this place and I knew it not” and there makes an altar to the Lord and calls the place Bethel which means the house of God though it was previously called Luz.
Then he makes a vow there saying “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee”. There Jacob makes a vow to give God a tenth of all that God gives him.
The book of Genesis is properly called the beginning because it is the book that records things as they were in the beginning. Before the law came by Moses, Abraham gave tithes to Melchisedek and Jacob too from whom we have the twelve tribes of Israel vowed to give a tenth of all that God gave him back to Him if indeed He did as He had promised. And God said He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob meaning He is the God these men looked to and served and the God they gave tithes too and the God that we call our God. And like Rev. Glenn Arekion said in church yesterday, we claim the blessings of Abraham, we say we are the children of Abraham and yet we say we will not give the same tithes that Abraham was the first to give.
Then came Moses and the law and tithing was then institutionalized as a law for the children of Israel. Tithing was before the law and can remain even after the law is done away with.
These men tithed not out of compulsion so that you would say they “paid” tithes but rather out of a response to God’s faithfulness “gave” a tenth back to Him. Jacob said “and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee” and Abraham, after successfully winning the five kings gave to Melchisedek of whom the scripture says was the priest of the Most High God, of whose priesthood order Jesus follows – Hebrews 7:1-15.
The Levitical priesthood, the priesthood of Aaron which came by the law was done away with and replaced with the Priesthood of Christ which is after the order of the priesthood of Melchisedek to whom Abraham gave tithes.
How can we then say while under the priesthood of Christ out of whom came the grace we talk about, which follows the same order as that of Melchisedek, that we should not give tithes? Is that not just wrong if not evil and proceeding from the devil?
In fact, let me further drive this home.
Another argument I have heard which is as a result of our being under grace is “that the early church did not talk a lot about tithing as our pastors do now”.
First, if we were to practice what they early church actually practiced, what Jesus recommended, the church would become a mortuary especially in Nigeria. I will explain that.
The standard of giving (remember tithe is not just “paying” of tithes as in a commandment but giving of tithes) in the early church and which Jesus recommended is just too high for some of us. Now, whenever Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, He would tell them to leave their all and to follow Him. When the rich man came to Jesus, He told him the same thing to sell ALL His goods, give it to the poor and then follow Him. For then he would have treasures in heaven. And before you say, it was just for the rich, same thing Jesus recommended of the poor widow woman who gave two mites, ALL her living and Jesus said she gave the best.
After Jesus did that to the rich man, the disciples had to confront Him and Peter lamented on behalf of the disciples what their reward would be for such sacrifice. Mark 10:28-30 “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life”.
Now, let me jump to why I said the church would become a mortuary and then summarize this one before we move to the next and last argument for today.
The early church in Acts did what Jesus recommended. Acts 4:34-37 says:
“Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet”
And we know the story of Ananias and Saphirra his wife who sold a possession and both agreed to keep back a certain part of the price. They lied about the price to the apostles and immediately dropped dead and scripture says they died because they lied to the Holy Spirit, because they lied to God – Acts 5:1-11.
Imagine that happening today and like I said earlier, in Nigeria where we are too smart for our own good? Also, in that Acts 4 we see that the first person who sold his land was Joses surnamed by the apostles Barnabas and he was a Levite, of those that were to collect the tithes according to the law. He laid down all the money at the apostle’s feet.
Now, the last argument for today which is usually around the administration of tithes. “How it is making certain pastors rich”.
Hmm! This is 10% we are talking about how about when they dropped ALL at the apostles’ feet? I usually laugh at this one because like we have seen from the previous argument, a pastor that is worthy of being called one usually are people who have left ALL to follow Him some even making very terrible decisions to leave seemingly better options to serve the Lord. These Pastors do not only give themselves but their all. If you go close enough to them to know the manner of giving they do – all manner of giving even giving to the church work itself just that they too can be blessed completely separate from the church finances, you would go and pray for grace to give as they do. In some places they even set up a church committee to handle these finances and to pay them a certain sum agreed by the committee so that they too are living and serving God by faith to supply their needs.
Besides, are there not churches receiving tithes and yet the pastors are not “rich”? And speaking of rewards? Is it not Jesus that told His disciples that they would be rewarded a hundred fold in this time meaning on earth and with eternal life in the next life in Mark 10:28-30?
Does that mean we do not have some “pastors” whose calling is questionable? Who make themselves rich, rightly I should say make themselves poor from the tithes? How can you say you will steal from God and there are no consequences when Ananias and Saphirra tried to lie and keep back money and met with death?
Rather the scriptures warn us of them over and over again, wolves in sheep clothing that we ought to be aware of. And if you happen to be giving your tithes to one, is it anyone’s fault that you don’t know of the fruits of which you are to recognize such wolves. Scripture says by their fruits you shall know them. Your ability to discern spiritually is low and that is because you have practically no fellowship with the Lord or His word. Please, it is not only dangerous to be with such people because of your tithe they may be eating but because they may lead you to death and not life. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch. Get some eyes, some spiritual understanding.
Hmm! So much to say on tithing especially on the benefits of tithing, some other arguments like who should receive tithes and what exactly should tithes be used for? Look out for the next post that will answer these questions. But for today, lets stop here.
Share this. Tweet it. Tell a friend, especially those that have left church because of tithing not knowing they have led themselves into more troubles. Talk about it, preach it, encourage someone with it. Let the devil of wrong teachings on tithing not scatter the fold of Christ and in deed they shall not be able to do so in Jesus name. Amen!
Thanks for sticking to the end. God bless you!
You know I love you, but surely God loves you more!!!
Love and Blessings!
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