Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tithing & Giving

Giving To Get?

Q. At our church, Malachi 3: v10 is often quoted when they talk about giving. If they would just say that you are to give 10% and let it go, I would be ok, but they quote Mal. 3: v10 and say test God and see if the floodgates will not be opened. I think I have tested God and in my opinion the floodgates have not been opened. I understand that you are supposed to give out of grattitude of what God has done for you and not because of what you will get from God. My question is, why do churches use Mal. 3 v10 as a tool for encouraging people to give?

A. I agree with you that if not used properly, Malachi 3:10 puts the emphasis on what we’ll get in return for our giving, which is wrong. I think Luke 6:38 is a much better example. Our generosity toward others affects the Lord’s generosity toward us. I really like Proverbs 11:24 too.

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

Any time we find ourselves giving with an expectation of return we spoil the process. Giving has to be done solely out of gratitude for what we’ve already received.

First Fruit Giving

Q. I just heard of first fruit giving, I don’t mind giving and even giving as a first fruit giving, just don’t know enough about the subject and would like to know more about it. Can it still be used for today in a biblical principle? Will God honor it like in the old testament times? Is it wrong?

A. First fruit giving is really tithing, since in Old Testament times the tithe was given off the top, not out of the remains. Yes I believe that God still honors this kind of giving, but only when done in a spirit of gratitude. Luke 6:38 provides the confirmation for this.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Many New Testament Christians oppose tithing as being legalistic, but I’ve found that by and large they’re the ones who’ve never done it. No one who has experienced the blessings associated with tithing would ever think of giving it up. The enduring principle of tithing is found in Proverbs 11:24.

“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”

Another Question On Tithing

Q. I’m confused when it comes to a church and tithing. We are being preached to on tithing (giving our 10% to the church) as if its something that will qualify us for eternity. You get such teaching even from TV. I’m having confusion when my thanks giving to God would be limited to 10% to the church (according to the preaching we often get in our area) hence I’m inquiring this from you.

Please explain it to me. Do I have to give tithing (10%) strictly to my church as a thanks giving to God or its fine if I give generously and exceedingly to the destitute. I ask this because I hear preachings all over about tithing to your church but not enough clarity is given to the relationship between generous giving to the impoverished and tithing (10%) to your church. Secondly, please tell me if its fine for me to give generously to the houses of impoverished on monthly basis (or as often as I can) rather than limiting my giving to 10% tithing?

A. Local churches have historically laid claim to the tithes of their members, but there’s no Biblical requirement for this. In Old Testament times there was only one religious organization, so the tithes of the whole nation went there. Today there are many, so we’re encouraged to support the places where our needs are being met. If this is the local church, then that’s good. But in cases where it’s not, or when we want to give above and beyond our contribution to our church, we’re free to support the Lord’s work in other ways as the Spirit leads us.


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