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Question:
I am brand new to your site.
I learned about you through your post on Kayleigh’s web site. I think it was wonderful what you posted for the Freemans.
As I was reading some of the comments from those who have donated, I was a little concerned that a few of those who are giving are giving their tithe money. I truly don’t mean to judge, but I also don’t think you mean for people to take their normal money away from their churches, either. I also don’t believe the Freemans would want that. I’m not sure how you want to handle this, if you even want to say anything, because maybe God is leading them in this. What do you think? I honestly want your biblical feedback.

Answer:

To clarify, I wrote a post over on Adam Freeman’s blog – kayleighannfreeman.blogspot.com – asking people specifically to donate money to help them through some extraordinary financial and physical crisis they are in.

There was nothing in my post that mentioned tithes or even implied tithes. It was about giving to a Christian familiy in desparate need. The reason I don’t mention tithing is simply because of one thing: New Testament Christians are not commanded to tithe. At all. In any way.

We are commanded to give with a cheerful heart as God has prospered us.

2 Co 9:6-7: But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. (NKJV)

1 Co 16:2: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. (NKJV)

That’s the commands we have as New Testament Believers concerning giving. “Tithing” has traversed the Old Testament into the church for various reaons: poor teaching, tradition or for “clergy” to claim authority over making people give a certain amount.

I write more about tithing here in previous answers:

I get a lot of pastors and church leaders hot at me for daring to breach this sacred cow, but it is a form of spiritual bondage, legalism and manipulation (innocent or otherwise) to continue to have Believers live under this idea (and fear) that they MUST tithe a certian amount to “the church” to be pleasing to God.

As well, there is no commandment that a certain amount or part MUST be given to “the church”. We are to give to the work of the KINGDOM, and yes, this obviously involves the ministry of the church, but also includes ministry and good work that we come upon personally separate from the church. The only rule is that we give cheerfully, give willingly, give as we have prospered, and obey God’s leading to give no matter what the personal sacrifice.

We live under grace now. Does that excuse us? Heavens no. In fact, our responsbility to give and be a “living sacrifice” is all the more greater. Under “tithing”, I could give my percentage and be legalistically justified. Under grace, I give when God says give, with a cheerful heart, knowing that if it is my last penny, God will provide.

It is concerning that our churches have become a tremendous overhead with large staffs, huge facilities, tons of programs and resources… sometimes that is bad depending what the church is doing and teaching… and in some churches it is all being legitimately used to support and further the Kingdom. It is not for Brent Riggs to decide which churches are “wasting” money and which are wisely using God’s treasure. That is for each member of each church to decide.

To be compelled to give because of the concept of “tithing” is simply not Biblical. For Pastors and preachers to teach the obligation to giving under the banner of “tithing” may be innocent at times, but it is still a yoke and obligation that is not Biblical, and of dubious advantage to the “authority” that is claimed by “clergy”. This model of obligatory tithing was nailed to the cross with Jesus and should not be shackled to Believers today.

Now, having said that, if YOU, as an individual want to apply the principles of tithing as a personal standard, with a cheerful heart, as a way for you to personally measure and track you own giving, that is entirely a matter of personal liberty. But “tithing”, or any obligatory percentage of giving, should never be forced on other Believers if we want to stay true to the New Testament teaching on giving.

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