Friday, 14 September 2012

Why Christians Should or Shouldn’t Tithe, Part 1

Tithes and Offerings are not the same
There's a blessing for tithing and there's a blessing for giving, the two are not the same. The blessings for tithing are (1) Open doors of blessing (2) God rebukes the devil for the "tither's" sake, (3) God prevents Satan from destroying the fruits of our ground (i.e. fruitfulness in our various endeavors such as education, business, etc), (4) We receive recognizable blessings; the scripture says, "And all nations shall call you blessed!" (See Malachi 3:10-12).

The blessings for giving on the hand had appeared in several places in the scriptures. One of it is 2 Corinthians 9:7-8. My favourite scripture about the blessings of giving, however, is Luke 6:38 where God said, "Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again"
Tithes and offerings are not the same thing. The Tithe is one-tenth of our income while offering is anything that we cheerfully give to God after honouring Him with one-tenth of our income. God himself in his rebuke to the Israelites stated that they have robbed Him both in tithes and in offerings (see Malachi 3:8).

Does all who tithe receive blessings from God? The answer is a bold YES! God is not a liar and He always stand by His Word to perform it. Any ‘tither’ who is not blessed is probably not "counting his blessings" (see Psalm 103). Blessings come in different forms – both small and big. Sometimes it takes real humility to recognize our blessings and accept that they're coming from God.

The new covenant objection to tithing
Now, I want to talk about the “new covenant” objection to the principle of tithing. Many of us are tempted to hide behind this ideology to object to valuable and fundamental aspects of our most cherish Christian faith. As Christians, it is our duty to embrace the Bible in its totality. The New Covenant, also known as the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ does not in any way do away with the old covenant. The New Testament came to complete the Old Testament. In football, we have two halves; the New Covenant is the second half of God's relationship with mankind. There would've been no New Covenant if there was no Old Covenant. Jesus himself said emphatically that He didn't come to put away the Law (the old covenant), but instead to fulfill it (read Mathew 5:17).

In the Old Testament there were laws like "do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not worship any other god, and, respect your parents" (see Exodus chapter 20). Can we say that it's okay to kill another person, commit adultery, worship idols, or disrespect our parents, because as it is we are no more under the old covenant? Similarly, in the old covenant God complained that His children (Christians) were robbing Him in tithes and offerings, and even went further to tell them that if they do not repent and pay their tithes then they will be cursed. But if they repent and honour Him with their tithes then He will open heaven's windows and bless them greatly.

Dear friends, God does not change. In the Old Testament God's children were called Israelites, and today they're called Christians. Our identity had changed but our God hasn't. And God's Word about tithing applies to every Christian today. Christians who refuse to tithe are stealing from God and amassing curses on themselves. And Christians who tithe will receive the blessings of God just as He has promised (Malachi 3:8-12).

So, instead of arguing about the principle of tithing and trying to find scriptures to justify our disobedience, we should rather pray for God's mercy and His grace. This will help us to be obedient to our loving God and be able honour Him with our tithes and receive the blessings that come with tithing.
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