There's been so much talk in social media in recent times about the issue of tithing. It's not been pleasant too. But I guess it's because we Christians have made a big deal of a small matter, and so the backlash. Here are a few points I shared on a live radio program about the subject and I wish for every Christian to take note. Please note that I'm trying my best not to be seen to be on any side.
1. Many times that Christians disagree on an issue, they disagree only in the letters or the outward practice, but generally agree on the spirit of the matter.
2. Every law has a spirit, and Paul taught us to walk by the spirit of the law (Gal 5:14,17). Love for God and for the brethren is the spirit of every law. So whether you believe in tithing as a commandment or not, we are all agreed on the spirit of it. The spirit is:
A. Take care of the ministry of the word and the ministers thereof. Honour these workers in God's vineyard.
B. Take care of the needy.
C. Celebrate the goodness of God in your life.
3. We should be able to disagree on the fine details on how to go about these things. To one man 10% must be calculated, but to another you do not need to calculate. Paul said to us in Rom 14 that we should still get on with one other despite the difference, and not make it a big deal in our relationships. He used the matter of meat eating and Sabbath days to say this.
4. FACT: Tithing is not one of the weightier matters of even the law. Jesus told us as much, and He was actually the only person who talked about it in the NT. (The reference in Heb was only a story being told about Abraham and Melchizedec, used to tell us who is superior between Moses and Christ.) All the other writers never spoke about whether Christians should do it or not. Total silence. It is NOT a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, and so we should be able to disagree and still get along with each other fine. It is therefore very wrong for some of us pastors to insist it is the passport to prosperity or that if you do not tithe you are condemned or under a curse, or you can't work in their ministries, or even that one should not marry someone who is not a tither. C'mon, if it was that important, we would have been warned by the apostles. Don't forget that they spoke extensively on money matters.
5. CAUTION: We must not fall for this subtle accusation against churches and the pastors.
Fact: Only a handful of pastors own or use private jets. Most pastors cannot even afford one private car, and many can hardly pay children’s school fees. We must not let the devil trick us into not actively giving to our churches and supporting our ministers. We MUST give to our churches and on a regular basis too. If you a tither, please go ahead and do it. And if you are not, then use your free-will to do what we all agree is the will of God.
6. The principle of storehouse in the Bible as recorded in (Mal 3) cannot be used to justify “Your tithe belongs to your local church.” It is rather essentially an agreement we may reach because we like it so as members of a church. However, the biblical storehouse was the place the poor, the needy, the strangers and the priests could get free supplies. But we MUST support our churches as a matter of duty.
7. You are not cursed for not being a tither. You will not go to hell. There is no condemnation for those who are truly in Christ.
8. God collects His gifts and offerings through various means. A church, a ministry, preachers, the needy, giving to your parents and everyone else you are to honour are all valid. Do all these things. O, even the thanksgiving parties in which we ‘blow money’ in celebration of His blessings, in which we gather with all categories of people to eat and drink; these are all ways He accepts His offerings.
9. God loves a cheerful giver, and not a cheerful investor. An investor is watching out for what God will give him/her back for giving to the Lord. A giver is occupied with the thoughts of blessing someone else. We are supposed to make giving a habit without checking what it is producing for us.
10. We are already blessed in Christ Jesus.
To read the book, "So Who Will Pay For This?" by Pastor Bankie, please navigate to the BOOKS page
Please read also the following:
Blog post: CAN I GIVE MY TITHE TO SOMEONE?
tract: CHEERFUL GIVER
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