Is is time to rethink the tithe?

With tax day right around the corner, it’s not surprising that finances—and in particular, tithing—is on people’s minds. Out of Ur is talking about this important, but often awkward to discuss, topic. In particular, they wonder if the notion of the traditional Christian tithe is due to be re-thought. The discussion springs from a CNN report that suggests that tithing is seen as increasingly optional in many churches:

There are a lot of different, related questions lurking beneath the simple “Is tithing mandatory for Christians?” The Bible clearly and repeatedly stresses the importance of generosity—but what does that mean in practical terms? Here are a few questions to mull over as you consider the issue of tithing:

  • Do you think the 10%-of-your-income tithing ratio is mandated by Scripture? If not, is there another formula mandated?
  • Should we consider outside-of-church giving to be separate from our tithe to church, or are they all part of the Biblical tithe?
  • Have you ever been torn between tithing to church and giving to other worthy, but non-church, causes?
  • How seriously does your church take tithing? If you went a month without giving anything to church, would your church take notice? Would they leave that entirely to your own discretion, treat it as a matter of church discipline, or something in between?
  • What formula or style of giving feels most appropriate and Biblical to you?
  • That’s a lot of questions, and I’d like to unpack some of them in future posts. But for now, watch the CNN video above and stop by Out of Ur to follow the discussion there.

    5 Responses to “Is is time to rethink the tithe?”

    • Ana says:

      Pastors who lack faith in God’s provision beat their congregation with tithing every sunday. They do not believe they can do with what is given to them and they do not believe Jesus can multiply what is given like the bread and the fish. They accuse the congregation of lack of faith when they don’t tithe, but they are the ones who lack faith.

    • Natalie M says:

      Ever since my husband and I started changing our attitude toward tithing and giving more and spending less on frivolous things, we have been blessed with more money from unexpected places, such as an e-Bay sale, or a side job here and there that really takes the edge off of our monthly struggle to pay bills and debt we are trying to pay down. That is the spiritual side for us, we pay in faith. The practical side is if you are going to attend a church and be a “taker” and not donate supplies or money for upkeep as well as taking care of the missionaries and the needs of other Christians in your church than how much faith do you really have? God has promised that if you give up that which you love, and I don’t mean sell everything, but maybe give up season tickets, or eating out all the time or buying Starbucks, or a new ballcap, or anything that you turn to instead of God to satiate your cravings for what looks good, what tastes good, and what makes you feel significant, and use that money to tithe than you will be taken care of; all your needs will be met, not all your wants. I have given up much in the last year in frivolous spending, ie, scrapbooking, crafts, clothes, shoes, books,amongst other things and that which I still do, I have dedicated to God. I have seen miracles in my family life and I don’t regret giving that money to God and his church for one second!

    • Mario Mia says:

      The Bible is very clear that in the last day many will be lovers of money instead lovers of God. That’s why many christian today aren’t living by the standard or by the Word of God (Malachi 3:10)instead they want to justify themselves to their own opinion….

    • Jorge says:

      For people who think about things between the old and new testament, let´s see what Jesus said about that,
      Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

    • Larry says:

      The average churchgoing American “tithes” less than 3% of his or her income. The tithe is an Old Testament concept, with the New Testament focus being on “giving cheerfully” (or exuberantly) and “give as you have been blessed.”

      One question our pastor used to ask, in the context of the tithe, is: “Have you been more (or less) blessed than the average Old Testament believer?”

      Imagine what God would do if Christians simply became obedient and tripled their average giving. How much more quickly would the gospel be shared with every people group? Imagine the human needs that would be met by this generosity.

      We are missing out on an enormous blessing because of our faithlessness in this area!