For those who attend the church I pastor, my view on giving is… “You Don’t Have To Tithe.”
The first reason is because of what Jesus taught. In The Gospel of Luke, Jesus affirmed several different things about financial giving. I’ve come to the conclusion that if we don’t understand giving the way Jesus taught, these passages will confuse us. Consider…
In Luke 18:18-30 Jesus tells the Rich Young Ruler to sell everything he owned… give it to the poor… then follow him.
In Luke 19:1-10 Jesus affirms Zacchaeus when he gave 1/2 of everything he owned to the poor and then promised to give back four times what he took from anyone he had defrauded.
In Luke 21:1-4 Jesus affirmed a poor widow who gave all she had, two copper coins, saying that everyone else gave out of their abundance (What they had left over) while she gave out of her poverty (All she had).
If you’re a careful reader you’ll ask… “Which is it? What should I give? 10% of my income? Sell everything I own and give it to the poor? 1/2 my possessions? Or just give all I have no matter what my condition is?” My answer is… YES! The point is not about the amount that is given, it’s what motivates the person to give… the condition of their heart! Keep reading…
The second reason is because of what Paul taught. Paul explained the principals Jesus laid out in Luke.
In 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 Paul points out that the Macedonians gave in spite of the their extreme hardship and deep poverty. They did this because of their joy over being saved. They were able to give because they gave themselves first to the Lord then they gave according to God’s will.
Then in 2 Corinthians 9:6-12, 15 Paul points out that our blessings and provisions from God are the result of our generosity… or lack of it. Not only that, he also writes that “God loves a cheerful giver.” If/when a person gives because they feel guilty or forced to give… God Himself isn’t pleased. The awesome contest for all this is that when Christians give… generously… God then supplies all their need in over abundance with the base being that our giving springs from and is motivated by God’s precious gift.
The baseline for Christian giving is the tithe… 10%.
Under grace Christian giving begins at 10% and goes up from there.
Christians who are captured by the love and joy of salvation give generously.
Christians who give under Grace have their needs supplied by God’s awesome power.
The Christian’s ability to give is it’s self a gift from God.
Christians who give generously are happy and joyful people!
Because of all the Scriptures above (I hope you read them), I have come to the conclusion that to tell those who attend church where I pastor that they must tithe is to hinder them in their giving AND God’s blessing them for how they give.
Because I want those I serve to be blessed, I encourage them to go beyond the tithe… as God leads… according to His will… not under compulstion… but joyfully and cheerfully in response to the love God has shown them.