Tithe – A BIG FAT DIRTY LIE EXPOSED
Before you start shaking your head read my full biblical explanation and get free from this bondage and false teaching. If in the end, you disagree you can reply with a non-man-made theology/response using scripture.
Why Am I So Stuck on This? I am tired of people (and church leaders) jamming non-biblical religion down our throats and turning the masses away from God because they feel unqualified when they can’t meet the religious standards created by men (not God).
Am I Anti-Giving? Absolutely not. Giving is part of the natural Christian life. But note, giving and donating are non-required amounts, from the heart, by choice, but a tithe is a forced mandated legal requirement of 10% and not done from the heart, but rather by fear of the consequences from God if you don’t do it.
You heard it before. First, there’s the fear – If you don’t tithe you won’t be blessed. You’re robbing God. You’ll be cursed. Then there’s the motivation via very poor translations of the bible – tithe and God will pour out blessings that you can’t handle. Call it what it is…whatever spin they put on it, it’s “buying God’s favor”, and it’s just not biblical.
Some might argue that TITHING WAS BEFORE THE LAW AND IS THEREFORE AN ETERNAL MORAL PRINCIPLE. A tradition is not automatically an eternal moral principle merely because it is very old, very common, and very widespread.
For those that have a fair understanding of the bible and are wondering if all this nonsense about a ‘required’ tithe of your money is really from God, then you’re in luck. I’ve taken the time to attack this, from the old to the new covenant, and let you see the truth about how God really wants you to give.
We know that tithing occurred in the Old Testament. They tithed spices, grain offerings, and a portion of their income IN ORDER TO SUPPORT the Levites (Priests of the Old Testament).
We live in the New Testament so let’s start with this question. Is tithing in the new testament bible, and if so where is it and what does it tell Christians to do? Let’s start with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). You’ll note that NOWHERE in the Gospels does Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John mandate a tithe to Christians. In fact, there are ONLY 3 TIMES that tithing is mentioned in the Gospels, and in Matthew and Luke it’s accompanied by Jesus slamming Jewish people (law lovers) who do tithe, and none of those verses contain commandments be given to tithe.
[MATTHEW 23:23] “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
[LUKE 11:42] “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
Note that Jesus says tithing IS a “matter of the law”, and the bible clearly says Christians are not under the law (Romans 6:14), not supervised by the law (Gal 3:25), dead to the law (Gal 2:19), and not bound to the law (Rom 7:8).
In Luke, we see a Pharisee that is bragging because he tithes and he’s not like the other people.
[LUKE 18:11-12] The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
Jesus tells us the tax collector was humble, knew he was guilty of not doing all those law-based things the religious leader bragged about, and he asked God to have mercy on him. Who does God favor here? The arrogant religious man who tithes faithfully or the self-professed sinner who calls on God for forgiveness. Jesus, Himself answers my question in verse 14.
[LUKE 18:14] “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
The point is Jews are bragging about their tithing and God is apparently not impressed. That’s the ONLY time the tithe is ever mentioned in the Gospels, so how do we get the idea from these 4 books that Christians are commanded to do it? The answer…..Man-made Religion.
Then we move over to the epistles with letters from Peter, James, John, and Paul, and again you can’t find a single verse where tithing is mandated for Christians, and while there are a ‘couple’ of references to tithing most of the books don’t even mention it once. NOT EVEN ONE TIME! You would think if God required Christians to tithe, less they be cursed, that the scriptures would be overwhelmingly clear, possibly even to the point of bluntly saying “even as a Christian God requires you to tithe a tenth of your income”. But no, you’ll never find anything even close to it, though religious people will twist a verse here and there to make you think so. Let’s look at the mentions in the epistles.
Hebrews 7 is the place that most people (church leaders included) use to suggest a required tithe. Keeping in mind that Hebrews are Jewish people and therefore it was written to JEWS, not gentiles (which are non-Jewish people), and only Jewish people were under the law – See Romans 2:14 & Eph 2:12. But even still, this book is seriously misinterpreted because it’s not about mandated giving at all.
Hebrews 7 has an Old Testament story in it about Abraham going to war and tithing a tenth of his SPOILS OF WAR to Melchizedek. This story is what most people use to impose force and guilt to tithe. First, note, Abraham didn’t tithe a tenth of everything he owned. No. He tithed what he forcefully took from others in a war. Further, even though Abraham tithed to Melchizedek there was NEVER a mention of him being required to do it. So what’s the writer of Hebrews trying to do by telling us this? It’s actually more simple than you might think. It’s a picture of Jesus being greater than the law! Follow the simple logic here.
1-Levi came from Abraham (a descendant still in the loins of Abraham)
2-Levi was a priest in Israel – a Priest of the law
3-Melchizedek was called “a priest of God” (see Gen 14:18). A type of Jesus.
The Jewish people would have understood this and asked “why in the heck is Abraham tithing to this Melchizedek guy”? You see, Levi is not our Priest, Jesus is. We don’t have a priest of the law, but rather we have a Priest of the new covenant. So in Hebrews 7, we are seeing that the lessor honored the greater (see Heb 7:7). The lessor priest (Abraham/Levi) honored the greater priest (Melchizedek/Jesus), and the greater priest blessed the lesser priest. So we see from this story that Jesus is greater than Levi because Melchizedek is greater than Abraham.
Also, this perfectly fits with what Jesus said in the Gospels calling tithing “a matter of the law”.
Hebrews 7:7 confirms tithing is law-based – “And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the LAW to collect a tenth from the people,
And even if you disagree (or just don’t get it) there is still not a single verse in all of this story that commands Christians to tithe. So again, where do we get this idea of a command to tithe in Hebrews 7? Again, man-made religion.
Side Thought: Don’t get sold by the legalistic line of “why would anyone give less under grace than under the law”. That logic is really just saying if your under grace you should be even more under the law and therefore give more. It’s just not biblical, but it’s a great way to get money from the congregation.
Then we like to say things like “it’s all Gods anyway” and we cite Acts 4:34-35 where some will quote that people gave ALL of their money and it was distributed as they had needed and they ALL received it BACK as needed. People, we just seem to miss the obvious sometimes. This story clearly describes a ‘commune’ where everyone shares everything and everyone GETS BACK what others give too. We don’t live in one commune. And again, you still don’t see a command to give all (or a tenth) of your money in this story either.
Takeaway – tithing is a matter of Jewish law. You are a Christian, free from the law, free to give freely from the heart, not under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver!
Here’s your verse on how God wants us to give…
[1 CORINTHIANS 9:7] Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
HOW TO EASILY DEBATE LAW-BASED GIVING (10% Tithe)
TITHE – An EASY way to debate “God requires you to give 10% of your money”
The next time someone tells you that you’re required to tithe tell them this….
“I would be more than happy to tithe in the exact way that ANYONE in the bible tithed”.
Then ask them to point out an example. There are ONLY 3 people or groups of people in the bible who tithed. Abraham. Israelites (under the OLD Testament law). Pharisees.
If you were to emulate any of them this is what it would look like:
ABRAHAM: He ONLY tithed 1 TIME. He was rich in silver and gold (see Gen 13:2) but did NOT tithe ANY his own money. He ONLY tithed one time from the SPOILS of WAR. That’s right, someone else’s stuff. So if you want I’ll go to war, take some stuff, and then give 10% of it to the church. Obviously, the church has taken Malachi 3:10 and totally twisted its meaning to support the idea of Christian tithing. Not to mention Abraham was NOT commanded to do it. He did it FREELY.
ISRAELITES: Do I really need to address this one? Clearly, the Israelites were living under the old testament law. Under law if you broke one law you were guilty of it all. DEATH. No mercy.
Some will say “Jesus commanded us to tithe”. This takes us to the Pharisees.
PHARISEES: First of all Jesus did NOT command Christians to tithe. What He did in Matthew 23 was commended the Pharisees for doing it because they were under the LAW, and since Jesus had not died they could not be freed from the law (see Hebrews 9:16-17). The Pharisees had tons of money but did NOT tithe even one penny, but instead, they tithed the way Old Testament LAW required them to, which was the tithing of agricultural products and livestock. Therefore Matthew 23:23 says they tithed SPICES, MINT, DILL, and CUMIN. So if you want I’ll start a garden in my backyard and tithe just like we see the Pharisees did.
If you are going to tell someone to tithe as the Pharisees did then you’re also telling them they need to obey the WHOLE Old Testament law because Jesus certainly never told them otherwise. However, AFTER Christ died we learn we are free from the law (Rom 8:2), redeemed from the law (Gal 3:13) no longer under the law (Rom 6:14), and Christ is the end of the law for all who believe (Rom 10:4).
There you have it. Free from the bondage of “you better give 10% or God will curse you”. So now what? Forget the percentage. Give from the heart, not under compulsion. Give freely and where there’s need. Don’t worry, God’s not pulling out a calculator waiting for you to mess up and violate an OT law.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.