Christianity and the Law of Tithing

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (II Corinthians 9:7,8)

-

Tithe means tenth or ten percent. It is the ten percent of our total income from a single period of our work. Almost all religious leaders in Christendom teach that this portion of our income is holy and belongs to God, thus they persuade their members to set it apart and bring this to the Church as part of religious responsibilities. And despite the fact that we have over two thousand different religious organizations enlisted in Christendom and that they themselves were often engaged into dialogues and hot doctrinal debates, they seemed united standing in a single platform when the system of tithing is concerned. However, tithe also becomes the reason why several Churches ended into sudden fragmentation. I’ve been told that there was an evangelical church divided into three petty independent groups, each pastors still asking their members to tithe. Not surprising, because its all about money and money can destroy brotherhood.

The system of tithing is a part of God’s oracles, thus we must not be against it or we should blame it for the corruptions and chaos happened in Christianity. Rather, we should blame those religious leaders who used the words of God for their own interests. Because of love of money, these preachers misused the words and the commandments of God. Paul said;

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; (I Timothy 1:8)

The law of tithing is a righteous law, but many preachers of religion are using  it to benefit their own selves. In fact, preachers become rich because of their greedy implementation of this system. I say greedy implementation because when they talk about tithe in front of the members, they always acquainting they preaching with insinuations or often threatens their members with curses if they neglect to give their tithe. They will also say that the blessings of God are exclusively for those who pay their tithes . There were also preachers who freed their members to do sin and remain saved as long as they never forget to give tithe, if they don’t wish to be called “robbers”. So their members will give their tithes with a feeling that they serving God, but in reality, they just serving the belly of those greedy religious lords.

Tithing is a commandment given by God to the House of Israel. Among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of the Levites are the least in the division of territories, because God ordained them not for these territories but to live as ministers of His sanctuary and become priests in Israel. And to sustain the needs of  His priests, God commanded the rest of the tribes to give their tithes as a portion belong to the Levites. The book of Hebrews explained;

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:(Hebrews 7:5)

The Levites are those who have the commandment to receive tithes from their brothers, so how come that  Gentile ministers of religions are also asking tithes from their members? By misquoting the words written in Malachi 3:8-11, these ministers are binding their Gentile members into an obligation never assigned to them by any law of God. Malachi 3:9 states;

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (Malachi 3:9)

“THIS WHOLE NATION“, He said. God did not say, “NATIONS“, but He said, “THIS WHOLE NATION“, in which He speaks only about a single nation, and that is Israel alone. Nowhere in the Scriptures that the tithing system was repeated or re-established in a Gentile nation. He only given this command for the Levites who administered the sanctuary of the Old Covenant. Now, in this New Covenant, the Levites ceased from becoming priests. When the priesthood was given to Jesus, the Priest according to the order of Melquisedec and not according to the Aaronic priesthood, the line of priesthood in the house of Levi ceased. So, if there’s no more Levite priest at all, by what command and to whom we will give our tithes, since the Levites are the only persons in the surface of the earth who has the commandment to take tithes according to the law? Did Christ needed our financial supports to sustain His basic needs? Definitely not. In the time of the New Testaments, we have only one Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord. Those preachers of the gospel are His co-workers, and they should work for the gospel without expecting benefits or salaries whatsoever, but they must work  as it is a burden assigned to their shoulders with the feeling of necessity to carry the ministry of God. Ministers must bear in their mind the same principle planted in the mind of Paul;

Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

For though I be free from all menyet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more(I Corinthians 9:13-19)

They should not become ministers-for-rent but they must do the work of salvation with love and desire to save their fellowmen.

Giving tithe is a good thing, but since the gospel never taught us to make it as a responsibility or an obligation, preachers should not implement this system as a church doctrine. Paul, the apostle to the Gentile, was very knowledgeable about the teaching of tithing but he never implemented this in the Church or advised any members to do this for him. Rather, Paul used his own hands to sustain his personal needs. He worked as a tent-maker and didn’t made himself a burden to his brethren.

For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: (II Thessalonians 3:7,8)

The teaching of the gospel is this,

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (II Corinthians 9:7,8)

If we feel we want to give tithe, then give it. Giving must be depend on what our heart purposed. Not grudgingly or of necessity, because God loveth a cheerful giver.

The Offering that God Abhors

.

Giving offering is an essential part of a religion. Through this mean, we have the opportunity to bring back the blessing that God has given to us. Although the Bible explains that God cannot be served by the hand or by the things of man, He recognized the importance of offering so that His blessing might also be shared with others. The offering came from a willing and clean heart has the most pleasant odor in the sight of God. The Bible declared;

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalms 51:17)

But what if the offering that we are going to offer to God comes from a sinful act? Are we glorifying Him by bringing those abominable things of His adversaries like what the Catholic Church says? Philippine’s Jaime Cardinal Sin said that he is “willing to accept money even from Satan as long as it could help his flock. ” (Maricel V. Cruz, Reporter) This statement was seconded by a news in Mexico where Bishop Ramon Godinez confirmed that the Church receives the offerings of the drug lords. He argued that the money is “purified” once it passes through the parish doors. A priest, Father Jose Raul Soto Vazquez, said Catholics should be more generous, like the drug traffickers. Church leaders fiercely deny condoning drug trafficking. But this scandal has focused attention on how some of Mexico’s most violent, ruthless men have gained public acceptance and protection–and how the Catholic Church may have contributed. In the Philippines, the national government displayed greater hostility towards illegal gambling, and in fact, a former President was ousted because of illegal gambling. Nevertheless, we have been told by the news that even the Church is receiving money from this illegal game of chance. So it is not wondering why the programs of the government against illegal gambling are so unsuccessful because the gambling lords feel like they were being sanctioned by the most “reverend” priests in the country by sharing with them their illegal income. The Bible said;

“I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.” (Jeremiah 23:14)

Gambling is an abominable deed in the sight of God, thus children of God are forbidden to participate in such games, more so in the selling of drugs. Since thousands of lives are being ruined every day because of drug addiction, we can’t describe how abominable are these enterprises in the sight of the Lord, and yet the Church accepts offerings from this kind of business and considered their masters as saints because of their generosity. Had these priests forgotten how God rejected the offering of Cain? The offering of Balaam and Balac? The offering of Saul? Of the sons of Eli? They were rejected by God because they are all evil. But drugs and gambling lords are more evil than them, yet the Church is very grateful to their offerings.

The notorious phrase “the end justifies the means” is the moving principle why the Catholic Church accepts the offerings of the wicked. It validates all wicked deeds if the Church would benefit in the end. Since the Medieval Age, this principle was used by the Jesuits to justify killings, conspiracy, theft and violence in order to reach the goals of the Church. They even quote stories and verses from the Bible to justify their deeds. According to them, since Christ Himself ate the foods prepared by a sinful tax collector, the Church may also accept offerings from gambling and drug lords, and as the Philippine cardinal said, even from Satan himself.

Money can paralyze the senses of man and blinds every channel of understanding. Because of money, the Church misrepresented the character and the ministry of Christ. Christ came into the house of Matthew, not to receive offerings from him, but to call them to repent. (Luke 6:31-32). And Matthew repented and gave up his own occupation. Can we compare this ministry to the relationship of the Church and those criminals of the country? No! The Catholic Church accepts the offerings of a  wicked person, and that wicked person leaves without any shadow of repentance that they will never repeat again  their sinful enterprise. For this thing, God said;

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.” (Proverbs 15:8)

Yes, God loves a cheerful giver, but cheerful giver must possess in his heart the worthiness of being a bearer of offering to the Most Reverend and Holy God. He never accepts offerings from anyone, except those persons who have a pure heart and clean hands because God will never suffer to have both iniquity and offering.

“Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;” (Isaiah 1:13-16)

And Christ, during His ministry on earth, commanded;

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. “ (Matthew 5:23-24)

The offering has a godly lesson for those who have been commanded. It was not given to cultivate corruption or to make the grace of God available with silver or gold. It was not given to sanction wickedness or to empower the hands of the wicked people to continue their vile enterprises, because if we will use it as cover to justify sin, plague and wrath of God will fall upon us.