Saturday, July 4, 2009

Top Ten Reasons not the Tithe

I originally posted this list way back on May 18, 2008 when I had a reader base in the low to mid single digit range. Still, it continues to be in the top 5 topics that shows up in Google Analytics under keyword searches. And since, try as I may, I don't seem to be offending near enough people on this blog, I figured a good tithing post would most certainly do that. Talking about God and money tends to rub people the wrong way sometimes. I will say that different folks have different views about tithing. Feel free to express your opinions here openly. (Like you don't do that already.) But for me, I honestly believe what it says in Luke 12:48:

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
And while this particular verse does not pertain to tithing in particular, there are many places in the bible that do. I personally think tithing is biblical, and that to trust God over finances is a true leap of faith. Now, on to the list:

Top Ten Reasons not to Tithe:

  1. I'm trying to pay off my credit cards.
  2. I'm not completely comfortable with how the church chooses to budget its funds.
  3. I'm sick of hearing sermons about tithing. It's like we're being pressured into giving, and that makes me uncomfortable.
  4. I tithe my time. I work in the nursery/kids church/donut committee every week.
  5. I give to other charities.
  6. I'm confused about whether 10% means "net" or "gross".
  7. I'm unclear about how the money is spent and where the church tithes their money.
  8. I'm working towards the 10%; I'll get there eventually.
  9. The church needs to spend money on (insert need here) instead of wasting it on (insert unnecessary ministry here)!
  10. I just don't see how giving money to church equates to giving money to God. God doesn't need my money.

    Why You Should Tithe:

    - It's all His anyway. It's not about you.


Lianne said...

This is great. I seriously want to print this out and hang it up on the bulletin board at church.

Anne L.B. said...

Katdish, you just keep getting better and better. Since it IS all His, I figure EVERY dollar spent should at least get His nod, if not spent directly on the kingdom.

And as far as tithing time ... I figure if there's 24 hours in the day (gross, not net, regardless of how little I sleep), then the first 2.4 belong to him. It's not how I actually live every day, just a mark to aim at.

Beth said...

I have known many people that use these lovely top ten not to tithe. A lot of those people used to be named me, myself, and I! But I'm glad God really changed my heart on this. It's not easy to write that check sometimes, but being obedient really has opened my eyes to how God provides for us and how every cent really DOES belong to him, even though that might sound a little cliche.

katdish said...

Lianne - Thanks. I've heard all of these and more. Money's such a touchy subject, but I really believe it has so much more to do with your attitude about giving than actually giving. If you give grudgingly and with a bad attitude, I wonder if God honors that. If you do post it, don't put my blog address on there, they might excommunicate you or something.

Anne - Thanks for that. But since I wrote this post when I first started blogging, I wonder if I'm getting worse and worse...

Beth - God does and will continue your sacrifices.

Joanne Sher said...

Excellent. And I really like Anne's idea about the time too! Giving to God what is already his seems so sensible anyway :)

Kim said...

here`s a thought for you:
there is no command to tithe in the new testament.
There are commands to give, to take care of the body and so forth, but none whatsoever to tithe.

Anne L.B. said...

Kim, you are right on. That's why I LOVE the New Covenant. Since I'm not under the law, I don't have to tithe because it's a command like those Old Covenant people. I have the freedom to tithe for no other reason than I want to.

Annie K said...

I also think tithing is a very personal thing as well. For me, it's about obedience and there are more months than not where I selfishly think I could use that money more than the 'church'. But WHAT IF my tithe helps keep a families utilities turned on or buys food to feed someones kids for a month. And I don't feel it's my right to question God for convicting me about tithing.

But that is just my personal opinion.

~*Michelle*~ said...

"It's all His anyway. It's not about you."

I love that...

I will be honest and be the first to admit that some weeks I am not a "cheerful" giver. Not that many people will admit that, but I am keeping it real.

But I am reminded that if God cannot trust me (in tithing) with the finances/blessings that He has given me can He trust me with the multitude of blessings He has in store for me?

great post!

Rachel said...

Amen. Thanks for being brave enough to share! It stuns me how few people truly obey this biblical principal. I'm with you!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love tithing posts. They're so much fun!

I'm a generosity guy. One, there is no command to tithe in the NT (but if you, like katdish, come down on the side of tithing, cool). Two, tithing is a burden for some (specifically the poor). Three, tithing is a "loop hole" for some (specifically the rich). Four, I'm not sure the issue is tithing vs. generosity in the first place.

I'm not so sure the "weekly offering" as we know it here in America is biblical. Yeah, I know what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16... but that example says nothing about giving to support the "machine" of the church. Nothing about building programs, nothing about staff salary (those passages that seem to indicate paid staff, I think, refer to itinerant church planters who stay no longer than a few years in one place), nothing about office expenses, etc.

What we see is that churches saw a need, and for a period of time would collect money to meet that need. The Corinthians were collecting for the needs of the church in Jerusalem. The Philippians wanted Paul to quit his day job for awhile. But no example of a weekly offering week after week until Jesus comes back to pay the light bills, build new buildings, and hire a minister-to-children-with-red-hair-and-glasses.

Have I mentioned I love tithing posts...

katdish said...

Dang Aaron.

Remind me never to get into a theological argument with you. Oh just did.

You and Koffijah make my brain hurt sometimes, but in a good way. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys.

Billy Coffey said...

I'm sorry I missed this the first time around. I've known a lot of people who've used one or more of these excuses, but none of them seem to be able to get past that one reason they should!

Kim said...

Just to clarify, I never said I was looking for a loophole, that one should not give or that I do not give.
I simply said it was not a new testament command.

Giving for a new testament Christian comes from our love for the Lord and our church family and it's needs, not from some legalistic set of rules enforced by man.

Tithing seems to be something every Christian grows up with, heard a million sermons on and just believe because we were told to do so...I never think that that is a wise way to live

Anne L.B. said...

Kim, it's taken me a while to find a happy balance between paying attention to the wisdom and experience of those Christians who have gone before me, and listening for the leading of the Lord in their words. Wherever I've done something for only the former reason, it's brought the burden of legalism into my life without me knowing it. But wherever the Lord has asked something of me, He's given far more in return.

That's why I spoke earlier of the freedom to tithe (or do anything else) because I want to. "If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed."

Katdish, I can't imagine that you're getting worse. You've had some pretty AWEsome posts lately.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout the often used/misused as a blunt instrument text of Malachi 3:10?

lexaboy said...

I am trying to loose weight, and the donuts sound good to me right now. Kind of like the preacher who likes the sound of tithing. Can hardly blame them. But we have our liberty. Don't plan to give it up for their misguided principles.