Read: 2 Cor 9:6-7 |
The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
– – Hada Bejar
Many years ago, I recall a Pastor switching from tithing to free-will giving. The members were anxious to hear his sermon series and understand why!
In his opening statements, he acknowledged that he had always taught and supported tithing as the Church’s direction. By teaching members to tithe, the Church could encourage members to act in obedience to a biblical guideline of 10%. Also, even if a member fell short of the guideline, they might give more than they might otherwise.
The Pastor’s step of faith to support free-will giving was rewarded. The Church prospered and the offering totals rose. Possibly, other churches are at the same cross-roads of faith and practicality today. They may wonder, will the Church coffers be empty if members have the freedom to give as they “feel” led? (2 Cor. 9:7)
Let us close out our study with the top reason that believers do not give an offering – they do not believe that the tithe is biblical.
This is the go-to argument for those who know the difference between the Old Testament (OT) Mosaic laws and the New Testament (NT) age of grace. They adopt a righteous tone and might say ….
I really think that churches have it wrong when they teach tithing. The tithe was an OT Mosaic law. We live under the NT; we are in the age of Grace. So you see, the whole notion of telling folks to “tithe” isn’t consistent with what the Bible teaches. How can I trust them with any of my money if they get such a basic truth wrong?
Another might say, … When I joined a church they asked me to give them a copy of my income tax return. Now wait a gosh-darn-minute, why do you need that? Are you seriously going to check to see if I’m giving 10%? It seems like they are hiding behind the scripture of “will a man rob God” (Malachi 3:8) versus living in the age of Grace.
Someone else might say, … Do you know what they asked me the other day? Somebody up at the church wanted to know if I am giving based on my gross or my net income. It is none of his business! I give as God directs me. As he directs my heart and I’m able to see a way to give what He directs, then I do. Why do I need a church member to monitor me to see if I’m a good or naughty giver? He ain’t God. Only God can do that.
Firstly, I acknowledge that many churches still practice “tithing” and yet fully recognize that we live in the New Testament age of grace! Like the Pastor in my illustration, God may still be working on their hearts. [Is Tithing a Rule, Ritual or Routine for you? link: http://3dbeliever.com/2014/03/18/is-tithing-a-rule-for-you-part-2-of-4/]
Secondly, when we recognize that we have the freedom to give as God leads, the challenge should not be “How much do I have to give?” but rather, “How much can I give?”. After all, the whole Bible encourages giving:
Finally, we cannot rely on any one of these Top Ten reasons for not giving an offering. If we do, we are ignoring God’s clear message. In this case, if a believer’s primary reason for not giving is that the tithe is not biblical, then they must search their hearts. They have to be careful that their “free will” does not overcome God’s will with their “free-will” offering.
As we said last week, faith is a noun and a verb. Have faith, but by your faith act on God’s word. Seek God’s direction and recognize that giving is a part of every Believer’s life and growth. Our giving is our way of actively worshipping God and helping to grow His kingdom.
- I don’t believe the Tithe is Biblical for the New Testament Church
- I’m afraid to trust God with my offering
- I don’t know where the money is going
- I don’t agree with where the money is going
- I don’t trust the Preacher
- I think the Church is always begging for money
- I give elsewhere
- I give when I want to give
- I only have a little to give
- I don’t have anything to give
1. Discover –
A. What does your Church teach? The Tithe, free-will giving or something else? What scriptures do they use to support their approach?
B. Has this reason ever caused you to stumble or others that you know? What is a good response?
2. Develop –
A. What is the biggest hindrance to generous giving among Christians? In your own life?
B. Should we give out of obedience even if we don’t feel like it? Isn’t that legalism?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Are you prepared to answer this honest question if a member approached you with it? If not, prepare yourself because as a member we should stay ready to be a witness!
B. What personal habits have you developed so that you follow the precepts taught in I Cor. 16 with setting aside your offering? Share this with your prayer partner.