Biblical explanation of tithing

Tithing is a concept introduced in the Old Testament law and refers to 10% of gains in crops and herds given to the use of God (Numbers 18:24-28 and restated in Deuteronomy 12:6-12, 14:22-28). One prior mention of tithing stretches back to Genesis 14 in Abraham’s tithe to King Melchizedek after his victory over the Mesopotamians.

Tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament Epistles for the church. Importantly, Christ said He is the end of the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4). Therefore, the law is discontinued and does not govern the church; Christians do not have to follow it (Hebrews 7:12-22).

The New Testament does state in 2 Corinthians 9:7, however, that each individual should choose to give to God’s work, without sorrow, because God loves those who give joyfully! The Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:8 provides us an example when he states that he counts all things loss for Christ. Importantly, everything we do as Christians is done by faith, including the extent and manner of giving (Romans 14:23).

Many who adhere to Reformed Theology believe the church was mysteriously present in the Old Testament and so we must obey the law, including tithing. However, no one obeys all the law, so this application is selective and inconsistent. If the church was present in the Old Testament, it is not mentioned specifically and is there spiritually, and not as a structure that requires money.

In summary, tithing is based in the Old Testament law which New Testament believers are not required to obey because they follow Christ. In contrast, we have the opportunity to serve Christ with all our mental and physical possessions in faith as guided by the New Testament and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

 

Data – There were 548 responses.

 

What is tithing?

Answer Choices

Responses

Donating at least 10% of my before-tax income to the church

35%

Donating at least 10% or more of my after-tax income to the church

23%

Donating any amount of money to the church

13%

Donating any amount of money or services to the church

13%

Donating any amount of money or services to any organization that helps people

11%

 

Do you tithe your income to your local church?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes, 10% or more of my before-tax income

25%

No, I give less than 10%

24%

Yes, 10% or more of my after-tax income

17%

No, I do not donate any income

11%

No, I do not give any of my income to the church

7%

 

Can you count giving time or material possessions as a part of your tithe?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes

60%

No

40%

 

Are Christians commanded to tithe?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes, Jesus commanded it in the Gospels

40%

Yes, it is commanded in the Old Testament law

17%

Yes, it is commanded by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament

12%

No, it is commanded only in the Old Testament law which does not apply to New Testament believers

7%

 

What percent of your possessions belong to God?

Answer Choices

Responses

I consider all my possessions to belong to Christ, not limited by a tithe

90%

The amount I give to the church no matter what percent

3%

My 10% tithe

3%