Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For Those of You Who Tithe

Tithing is something that wasn't really stressed as I was growing up in the church.  Oh, every so often the pastor would have a sermon on the importance of giving...usually right around the time that the church's yearly budget needed to be balanced.  But,  I pretty much grew up with the 'give what you can when you can' mindset.

It wasn't until I married my husband that I really took a close look at the idea of tithing.  It was something that he had learned and considered very important.  As a married couple we made the decision to tithe and, as hard as it is to write that check sometimes, we have seen God's faithfulness and provision over the years.

But, this isn't a diatribe on whether or not you should tithe.  I believe it is something that each family needs to prayerfully consider and then move in the way God is guiding you.  But, I do have a question for those of you who do tithe.

My husband has always felt very strongly that the full tithe should go to your home church, the church you are a part of.  Any other giving (to missions, to charities, etc.) should be in addition to the tithe.  

I sometimes feel like, after our tithe and our bills we have very little left over for additional giving.  There was one year that we were able to give generously to a couple ministries near and dear to our hearts.  But, typically we haven't been able to do that.

I have suggested splitting our tithe check....giving half to our church and half to various ministries.  My husband isn't comfortable with this.  I know ultimately this is an issue that my husband and I need to work through with God's guidance.  Bu, I am curious about how other tithers handle this.  

So, if you are a tither and you are willing to share, could you tell me a little about what your family does?  


  1. We give a set amount each year in a lump sum according to our budget. I know this is a little strange and some might argue that we should give over the year {and we do in a way} but this allows us to give a little more if we have some left over. This set sum goes directly to our local church. They divide it up as needed.

    Throughout the year we give to other causes in our community. They might be disaster relief, the food bank, the cancer society or anything else we happen to donate to.

    I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do it. I think it's what works best for your family. We've given ourselves some flexibility by having a set amount dedicated to the local church and then other things are separate from that.

    I don't know if this helps but it's what we worked out after struggling a few years back to see where our money should go. :)

  2. I give a little each week. It is not nearly enough. I wish I could give more and sometimes do sometimes can. But I do also write out check for the special programs and give to other charities and people throughout the year. I wish I had millions of dollars.

  3. For me there are two terms...the tithe goes to your home church, where you are fed spiritually, an offering is anything you give above and beyond your tithe...so missions, charities, other para-church organizations, or even others in need. I feel you need to be a cheerful giver and offerings are something you do with complete joy.

    I know when we gave beyond the tithe we survived in abundance...maybe not on paper, but things just always worked out. Our CPA once said, "I have no clue how you all make it, it doesn't make sense, until I look at your giving and then I can't question God."

    Blessings as you find your way in this area...it is one that is very important to me and it isn't to my hubby, so each person has to find what they feel God puts on their hearts.

  4. We, too, believe the tithe goes the local church, and any other love offerings or thank offerings go to whatever God lays on our hearts. There have been years when the tithe was all we could do (and even that was painful!), and other times when it's been so much fun to have a little extra to give to other missions or organizations we appreciate. One thing I have learned is that you can't out-give God. Just when I think there's no way we'll be able to make ends meet after writing the check to church, God supplies. Every time.

    I love Janette's CPA's comment -- what a testimony!

  5. My husband & I do it this way:

    He gives 20% of his net pay(an amount he always has given) to the church.

    I keep 10% of my gross pay (before taxes are taken out) in a separate savings account. We then use that account to give to people in need & support our 6 Compassion International children.

    It works for us. We always have money to give to others and use it freely. We gave some to the neighbors who lost everything in the fire a few months back. We give the youth group who just had a dinner at the church to raise funds for a trip. We gave some to my sister who needed to go to the doctor but doesn't have insurance. It is their for those in need.

  6. You should always give according to how the Spirit leads. If the Spirit leads you to give a tenth of your income to the church, then you should do it. If the Spirit leads you to give somewhere other than the church, do as the Spirit leads.

    The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

    NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

    Leviticus 27:30-33 defines this tithe as a tenth of crops and animals in herds and flocks.
    Numbers 18 gives the ordinances, or instructions, for this tithe, and commands this tithe be taken to the Levites.
    Purpose of this tithe: to support the Levitical Priesthood.

    Deuteronomy 14:22-27: aka The Festival Tithe - a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.
    Purpose of this tithe: “that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always”

    Deuteronomy 14:28-29: aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe - a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.
    Purpose of this tithe: to feed the poor.

    God never commanded a tithe of money, nor did He ever command anyone to tithe on their income. God commanded a tithe from HIS increase of food from crops and animals. Nothing else. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus did not tithe. Paul did not tithe. Peter did not tithe.

    In the US, no Christian Church taught anyone to tithe on their income before 1870. Tithing on one's earnings is a man-made doctrine not supported by the scriptures.

    To be clear, the Biblical tithe was a payment, had nothing to do with the heart, and had nothing to do with giving. Don't confuse Biblical tithing with giving.

  7. I agree with Gary. Although we do tithe to our church, partially because that's what we have been taught, but also because it was part of the membership agreement with our church. Not every member does that, but to me it is a matter of integrity.

    The only real New Testament guideline is to give generously, cheerfully, WITHOUT compulsion. Now I cringe when I hear a pastor say you have to tithe because that contradicts the Bible's teaching. A tithe is a helpful guideline, but there are some who can't afford that much, and others who can afford much more. Unfortunately too many churches make God out to be an ATM that we give X amount and He gives back Y amount. God blesses us because of what Christ has done. All OUR righteousness is as dirty menstrual rags as the Apostle Paul says.

    Oops. Gotta go get my daughter at the bus stop.


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