Recently, I heard a pastor on national television state that not tithing ten percent is a sin. Around the same time, I had read on either my FB news page or maybe Instagram something along the lines of this:
When you sow bad seeds by mistreating others than you reap a bad harvest yet at the same time these same people get mad when givers should give but not expect anything after they sow good seed. Givers should expect good things if they are obedient in where they give.
I really wanted to clear some of this up for Christians. A lot of people are going to be mad at what I say. But before you get mad read through the entire post and seek those answers out for yourself.
We must start with the right starting point because if we don’t we will have the wrong perspective to accurately look at the topic we are talking about. One of the first things we must realize is there are two different relationships we are talking about. One is the horizontal relationship we have with other humans in this realm on earth where sowing and reaping happen. The second relationship is vertical with God who lives in the heavenly realm where there are no more tears, no more pain, and is outside our timeline here on earth.
The second thing we must understand is that within our timeline the Cross occurred and changed everything about the way God deals with humanity who believes in him now versus when Moses came down with the Ten Commandments. I talk a lot about this in my upcoming book.
Many in the church have either been taught or have taught from Malachi stating:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”Malachi 3:10 NKJV
The problem with this promise is it lies in following the law, otherwise known as the Ten Commandments. We, since the Cross, no longer live under the law but under Christ. There is no longer a requirement on our behavior only our belief in who Jesus is. So do I say the law is bad, certainly not. Like Paul, I know it served it’s purpose for us believers today and still serves a purpose who are not yet believers today. As a believer though I also understand I have good things happen to me and bad things happen to me. I have a place here on earth in which I have relationships with people and come in contact with strangers daily. Each of those moments holds a potential to either have a positive or negative impact on each other’s life. Even the unbeliever understands the sowing and reaping for it was the deep magic placed in the earth’s realm. We also though, as believer’s have access to the heavenly realm. Not because of what we have or haven’t done but because we believed what Christ has done for us.
When I hear today that “not tithing is a sin”….well it definitely is not part of the Ten Commandments but was a requirement for those living under the law (Even Abraham (pre-law) tithed to Melchizedek out of his bounty once and began instituting animal sacrifices to God.). Doing so would provide a blessing from Father God under the law. The blessing would be the opening of the windows of heaven. But we, no longer live under the law of Moses (Old Covenant) or even the Abrahamic covenant, but under Christ’s Covenant. So…..what about tithing. Tithing or giving no longer holds the promise of blessing from God. God doesn’t need your money to provide you with a blessing because he already opened a DOOR to heaven with his son—more on this in my upcoming book. Also, tithing in the Old Covenant was to feed all the workers (priests in the Temple) whose JOB it was to take care of the temple. They were required to make the daily and annual sacrifices to keep both the temple and the people of Israel clean and holy before God. The priests were providing a service to the people of Israel which they were paid for in food and money which were the tithes and offerings. On this side of the Cross, Jesus has taken care of all of this for us. We are now the temple. People are the temple.
What about reaping when you are obedient to where you give? I understand the thinking. I had to be obedient in tithing, otherwise I was scared I would not have enough money and certainly wouldn’t be blessed in this lifetime. My belief was completely based in FEAR not love. In the New Covenant Love drives out fear. What I have found is when we are truly the church we will look more like the early church and what they did with their extra money. When we look at the New Testament (which really means New Covenant), we find the early church was gathering money to help those who had not had a good harvest, along with true widows and real orphans. Tithing and giving from the Old Covenant had become one of giving or sharing in the the New Covenant. No longer was there a need to take care of an earthly building with people whose job it was to keep us clean and holy. Instead it had shifted to helping one another in times of need, along with the widows and orphans. Paul asked those who had plenty (a good harvest) to send to those who were struggling that year. Each group of people fully knew that there would be others who would help them in their time of need. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 16:2-4:
“On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.”NASB
Note the words above italicized: Put aside and save, as he may prosper. Paul said as he may prosper. The wording doesn’t mean you will prosper by giving. What it actually means is what one has prospered at. This isn’t a sacrifice, it is what you have prospered in, you can set aside for those in need. Not for a church building but for the church people in their time of struggle.
Giving like this is the New Covenant way. The church was never meant to be a building but bodies. God wants us, as we prosper, to be able to save up, set aside and be ready to give when the Holy Spirit prompts us. It is a son or daughter relationship we have with God; not a slave relationship built on the premise if I do something then God will help me. Even when we choose not to give, God is not mad at us. Remember he lives outside of time and already knows all your choices and he is not mad at you or waiting to punish you. Neither is he sitting up in heaven waiting for you to make a good decision so he can bless you, he has already done that. Our choices in this earth realm hold consequences because we live in the earth realm (horizontal relationships). But our consequences in the heavenly realm have already been taken care of by his son (vertical relationship). I will show you my faith by my actions, doesn’t mean we must perform for any reason. What James was saying is what lives inside us can’t help but be seen (James 2:18-26) You simply can’t separate the two. I am the church, the body of Christ. Christ lives in me and I in him. This fact will naturally be seen, walked out when our focus is on what he has already given us. More about this in my upcoming book. It really is this simple.