Preaching Articles

Tithing—I believe every Christian should do it.  But can I preach that?  Like you, I’m committed to preaching only what the Bible clearly teaches.  Unfortunately, I’ve always found the Bible’s teaching about a believer’s responsibility to tithe to be fuzzy around the edges.  Off the top before taxes?  Off the bottom after taxes? All to the church (ours in particular!)?  Off of income or off of possessions?  Of course, the problem isn’t with Scripture.  The problem is me. 

When it comes to giving, my own preferences, opinions, and training make it hard for me to approach relevant texts with a clear and teachable mind.  On the one hand, I know that the tithe is “law” and that, in Christ, we’re no longer under the Law.  Still, it’s hard for me to fathom how anyone can honestly taste the sweetness of God’s grace only to turn around and “Scrooge” God by giving Him less than 10%.  The very idea makes me want to raise my voice, pound my pulpit, and thump my Bible!  Which is exactly why I’m not yet ready to preach that sermon on tithing.  But I’m getting closer. 

On a recent jog, I began to think again about the issue of tithing.  It occurred to me that there’s more than one way to tithe. In fact, three distinct forms of tithing are practiced in the Bible. Only one is legitimate for the believer. 

The form of tithing most often addressed in Scripture is “tithing as covenant.”  This practice of tithing was specific to Israel as the covenant people of God.  It was part of the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:21-32; Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Under the Covenant, God promised to materially bless Israel for obedience and, conversely, to judge them (strip them of their prosperity) for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28 and Malachi 3:8-12). 

This model for tithing has no direct relevance to us as New Testament believers.  In Christ, we live under a new covenant.  Our lives are not governed by the written code but by the indwelling Holy Spirit who writes His “law” on our hearts (Galatians 5:18; Hebrews 8:7-13).

The Bible also describes a second kind of tithing that is both condemnable and, I fear, far too common—“tithing as legalism.”  In Jesus’ day, it was the religious leaders who practiced this perversion of Israel’s covenant tithe.  Christ’s condemnation of legalistic tithing was absolute:

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.  These you ought to have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew 23:23-24)

In His relationship with Israel, God intended the tithe to be an avenue to blessing.  The religious manipulators of Jesus’ day turned the blessing into burden.  Instead of expressing faithfulness to God—and oneness of heart with God for ministry and the poor—the tithe became little more than a means to satisfy “religious obligations.”  Such satisfaction leads to pride (Luke 18:9-12) and, in the end, restricts giving.  After all, once our “obligation” is satisfied, what more could God want?  It’s no wonder Jesus so strongly denounces legalistic tithing. 

Yet, how easily the sin of the Pharisees can become our sin, too!  Effective ministry requires money—money that comes from God’s people.  Believers need to give—for both their own sake and the sake of the Kingdom.  Since they need to give, we need to preach about giving.  When we do, however, we must be careful not to turn blessing into burden.  We must refuse to preach “tithing as legalism.”  So what’s the alternative? 

Tithing as worship!                

In Scripture, “tithing as worship” was practiced prior to both the establishment of “tithing as covenant” and the perversion of “tithing as legalism.”  The principle of “tithing as worship” is “pre-Law.”  It’s established in Genesis 14:17-24 where Abram gives a tenth of his plunder to Melchizedek, King of Salem.  Melchizedek, in turn, blesses Abram.  Hebrews 7:1-10 defines the significance of these acts, declaring that it is the superior who blesses the inferior, and the inferior who pays tithes to the superior. 

“Tithing as worship,” then, is first an act by which we acknowledge that God is both our superior (the Sovereign Lord) and the source of all blessing. 

But “tithing as worship” does more than acknowledge God. It expresses our personal allegiance to Him.  We see this in Genesis 28:10-22.  Here, God reveals Himself to Jacob in a dream.  In response, the patriarch vows, “the Lord shall be my God…and of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”  For Jacob, the “tithe as worship” became a natural expression of his decision to follow the God of His Fathers.  In the same way, the “tithe as worship” becomes an almost instinctive way for us to express our allegiance to the God of our Salvation.       

A third, and critical, element of “tithing as worship” is thanksgiving.  “Tithing as worship” expresses overflowing gratitude toward God.  It breaks free from guilt as the motivation for giving.  Its ultimate focus is the condition of one’s heart—not the percentage of one’s income. 

On the topic of percentages, I find the words of John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill to be practical.  They write,

“How are we to show our gratitude to God other than by giving back a portion?  If 10 percent was considered an acceptable portion by God as an expression of gratitude then, why should we view it any differently today?  We might consider 10 percent as a benchmark just as we consider 15 percent a benchmark for tipping.  The extent of the customer’s gratitude and appreciation is demonstrated in the size of the tip.  It would be considered the ultimate rudeness or the consummate insult to leave no tip at all.  So it is to God if we return no portion to Him.  In addition, there are occasions when the situation calls for a contribution exceeding the benchmark.” (Old Testament Today; Zondervan: 2004, 270-271) 

Again, it must be said—ultimately, “tithing as worship” isn’t about percentage of income.  It’s about the overflow of one’s heart.  Second Corinthians 8:5 is clear.  When we first give ourselves to the Lord, any act of giving pleases Him—whether above or below the “benchmark.”  “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12)     

How, then, can we preach the tithe?  First, we recognize that “tithing as covenant” has no direct relevance to New Testament believers.  Second, we acknowledge that “tithing as legalism” is just plain sin—both for those who practice it and those who preach it. Only the principle of “tithing as worship” remains.  That’s the tithing we can preach!  “Tithing as worship” is our opportunity to acknowledge that God is God.  He is ruler over our lives.  He is the source of every blessing we enjoy.  More than that, “tithing as worship” expresses our allegiance to God in a very personal and concrete way.  And finally, “tithing as worship” manifests a heart overflowing with thanksgiving toward God. 

With this in mind, perhaps we should be less concerned with whether people tithe and more concerned with why they tithe.  Ultimately, tithing isn’t about percentage of income or money in the plate.  It’s about worship! 

Tithing as worship—I think that will preach!

Find biblical answers to money questions you’ve been wondering about for years.
Buy Scott Morton's book, What the Bible Actually Says About Money: 31 Mediations, and receive FREE shipping!

Dean Shriver obtained his M.Div. from Western Seminary and his D.Min. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Shriver is founding pastor of Intermountain Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah where he has ministered for 20 years. Dr. Shriver lives in South Jordan, Utah with his wife Nancy and their three children.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...


commented on Feb 8, 2012

That is really a great teaching on tithing.Thank you

Carlos Martinez

commented on Jun 13, 2019

Neither Jesus nor the apostles commanded New Testament Believers to tithe If tithing was an important matter to God then Jesus or the apostles would have given a direct command to Believers about it in the New Testament God loves a cheerful giver, he that sows generously will reap generously, that's all we have to remember

Keith B

commented on Feb 8, 2012

My first impulse was to say "No...we shouldn't teach tithing, as the OT model of tithing was a tax of sorts to support the priestly system and was actually more than 10". But I think the writer makes a good point that it's about being aware that God owns it all anyway--and our dependance on him.

Mark A. Teets

commented on Feb 8, 2012

If the tithing is an OT practice that no longer applies to NT believers then how much of the OT applies? None of it?

Joshua Welch

commented on Feb 8, 2012

Personally, I think tithing is a good benchmark. However, it is only a part of Old Testament law and I cannot, in good conscience, teach it. Nevertheless, I can teach what Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, "unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Should we have a lower or a higher standard for ourselves than the scribes and Pharisees? Secondly, I feel as though you have misrepresented what Jesus actually taught in Matthew 23. He never condemned their tithing the mint, anise and cummin. He condemns paying attention to these minute details while neglecting "the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith." He even says, "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." The phrase "without leaving the others undone" indicates they were right in keeping the tithe but wrong in ignoring so many other concepts behind the law. Finally, giving "as he may prosper" may be less or more than ten percent depending on the person. We are to give "as a matter of generosity" as "cheerful givers" (2 Corinthians 9:7). God is more interested in the motivation of the mind than hitting the 10 mark. 2 Corinthians 8:12 says, "...if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have." Does the sacrificial 8 giving of a poverty-stricken Christian mean less to God than the 10 giving of a multimillionaire? I'd feel guilty patting one on the back while kicking the other in the shins.

Reverend Daniel Forster

commented on Feb 8, 2012

As for me, I am not ready to preach on this issue either. Just a thought though...what about in acts 2:43-47? I realize this does not fit our culture..yet one is prone to question, should we still follow this model? It is after all the model Jesus really pre-set for us and the apostles. Just a thought.

Glenn Hawkins

commented on Feb 8, 2012

It's interesting when one looks at the whole scope of church history. For the first 800 years of the church's existence, tithing was never an issue. It's my understanding that the poor in the church were not expected to give at all--it was those who were well off--and they gave because they wanted to, not because the church demanded it. I believe it was the pope who began to mandate tithing for everybody. And let's not forget proper exegesis: we don't take doctrine from a narrative--only as it's backed up by didactic functions of Scripture. Just because Abraham gave 10 of the spoils of war to Melchizedek, does that mean God has commanded it? and why stop there? God told His people through Malachi to bring the WHOLE tithe into the storehouse. Wasn't that somewhere around 30, when we take everything God told the children of Israel to give? It's true that Jesus never condemned the Pharisees for tithing per se. But neither did He condemn homosexuality--which is the very argument of the gay community to justify their sin. What are we to make of that? As a pastor, I've told the members of my congregation to NOT tithe. I told them to be generous--God commands that. But if we are saved by grace, why do we go back to the law to find out how much we should give? We are a new church (about 4 months old), but so far, we've always made budget. And even should there come a time where we don't, I'm convinced that the Lord will provide. And here is the challenge, I believe. If we as pastors demand the tithe, which in my mind has no direct mandate in Scripture for the New Testament believer, where does trusting in the Lord for the ministry come in?

David Richardson

commented on Apr 29, 2019

Excellent - I did the same thing before - destroyed every tithing envelope and had them replaced with giving from the heart.

Harry Bratton

commented on Feb 8, 2012

Just as we take on some of the personality and characteristics of natural parents, when we are born again into the family of God, we should naturally take on some the of traits of our Heavenly Father. God is a giver. So it should not ever be a problem for Christian to give. It just becomes part of our new nature. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation the old has passed and all things become new." We as Christians should always want to and with great joy give our Time, Talents, Testimonies, and Treasures to honor our Lord Jesus Christ. I have leaned the only people who have a problem with tithing or giving is those who do not tithe or give.

Rusty Watson

commented on Feb 8, 2012

Two issues with this article: a. Jesus did not condemn the Pharisees for tithing, as a matter of fact, He said they ought to have tithed. b. We often forget that Jesus said we should give to God what is God's and to Caesar what was Caesar's. Indicating that God's part was still a tenth which what the word "tithe" means. For those who claim they are NT Christians to find what is God's part will force them to look backward into the OT which they may have some trouble doing. Personally I am a whole book believer.

Daniel Peloquin

commented on Feb 8, 2012

Thanks for the article, I appreciated it. To Mark A. Teets, I think the intent of the article is that we are NOT under the Law, therefore teaching Tithing as delineated in the Law is not necessarily what needs to be done. But the principle of tithing certainly as a principle of relationship with God and as an act of worship is still very valid. We may no longer teach the dietary law, we certainly don't teach the practice of the sacrificial law, but the moral law and relational principle of worship and the moral law are very valid; in those, God does not change! They were pre-Law, and remain in this time of Grace!

Perry Ford

commented on Feb 8, 2012

While the article was initeresting, I cannot agree with the idea that we should not tithe.

Gordon Besel

commented on Feb 8, 2012

I like the distinction on the three types of tithing. I also find it helpful to speak of percentage / proportionate giving for the worship tithe based on 1 Corinthians 16:2. I believe closely tied to that is First-fruit giving because it requires us to trust God to provide for the needs of life.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Feb 8, 2012

While it is true that we are no longer under the Law, that certainly doesn't nullify the principles of the Law. Many who criticize the Bible use examples such as Lev. 19:19 "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee." Thy say these laws are silly and Christians are silly for believing the Bible. But what they don't understand, and sadly many Christians don't understand, is that God was teaching separation from the world. And while we are no longer under the Law legalistically the principle is still in effect. (2 Cor. 6:14-18). If the principles of the Law are no longer in effect then is Lev. 19:29 no longer in effect? "Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredome, and the land become full of wickedness." Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. (Matt. 5:17) He fulfilled the sacrifical law so that we no longer have to sacrifice animals, He is our rest so we are no longer under the Sabbath, He fulfilled the dietary Law so we no longer under it. (Col. 2:16, Acts 10:9-15, John 1:29). But the principles are still in effect. So if we are no longer under the Law then are adultery, stealing, lying, coveting, etc. OK? Jesus said in John 14:15 "If ye love Me, keep my commandments." (Also John 14:21, 15:10, 1 John 2:3-4, 3:22, 24, 5:2,3) This is the difference between Law and grace, we do not keep the law to make ourselves righteous, we do not keep the Law to be saved, we keep the law because we love Jesus. Christianity is not rules it is relationship, and when we love someone we should want to please them. If the only reason I don't commit adultery is because the law says I shouldn't then what does that say about my relationship with my wife? I shouldn't want to commit adultery because I love my wife and do not want to hurt her. Same with Jesus, He wants us to do right, follow His commandments because we love Him, but the commandments are still there, they still need to be followed. In fact, there are consequences if we don't. Both the Old and New Testements are for us today. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good WORKS." ALL Scripture is profitable for us including the Old Testement. We simply need to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15). Everything we have is a gift from God (Eccl. 5:19, James 1:17). To think that because we are no longer under the Law tithing is no longer in effect is to say that the wealth I have belongs to me and I will decide what portion to give back to the Lord. If God used the principle of tithing in the Old Testement, saying that people were robbing Him if they didn't tithe (Malachi 3:7-11) what does that say about the Christian who doesn't feel lead to give to God? Christians need to understand that God's house needs money to keep the doors open. If people don't tithe then how are the bills going to be paid, how are the staff going to get paid, how are ministries going to continue without funding, how are missionaries going to stay on the field without the support that comes from churches? Christians need to understand that God expects at the LEAST a tithe. If the tithe was needed to keep the Temple running, then the Church needs the tithe for the same thing. We give to the church because we love Christ and want to see the gospel message continue to reach souls for Christ. The principle of tithing is still in effect today even though we are no longer under the Law.

Jack Justice

commented on Feb 8, 2012

tithing predates the law......

Steven Long

commented on Feb 8, 2012

I agree with giving completely, but not tithing! If the bible cannot contradict itself, why does everyone stop clear of 2 Cor 9:7? Maybe because it totally conflicts with the teaching on the tithe, as well as the fact nowhere in scripture can you find where one church was taught the tithe, they were taught to give out of a generous heart. Your correct in the fact that giving isnt about a number, its about the heart. Maybe if the church didnt have so much overhead, it would spend more time raising up people of generosity, instead of bill payers. I had a pastor tell me once that with no tithe there would be no church. I beg to differ sir, with no Christ, there would be no church! You say that effective ministry requires money. I shoot to lead at least one person to Christ a week as well as walk along side of them and disciple as many as I can, and sir, it doesn't cost me a thing. Have a Blessed Day!!!!!

Steven Long

commented on Feb 8, 2012

I agree with giving completely, but not tithing! If the bible cannot contradict itself, why does everyone stop clear of 2 Cor 9:7? Maybe because it totally conflicts with the teaching on the tithe, as well as the fact nowhere in scripture can you find where one church was taught the tithe, they were taught to give out of a generous heart. Your correct in the fact that giving isnt about a number, its about the heart. Maybe if the church didnt have so much overhead, it would spend more time raising up people of generosity, instead of bill payers. I had a pastor tell me once that with no tithe there would be no church. I beg to differ sir, with no Christ, there would be no church! You say that effective ministry requires money. I shoot to lead at least one person to Christ a week as well as walk along side of them and disciple as many as I can, and sir, it doesn't cost me a thing. Have a Blessed Day!!!!!

Dean Shriver

commented on Feb 8, 2012

I really appreciate everyone's input. I benefit greatly from it. I actually wrote this article about six years ago. Like most of you, I continue to wrestle with the issue. In my series through 1 Corinthians, I came to 16:1-4 this week. Here's what I said about tithing on Sunday. It represents my present thinking on the topic. So how do we decide how much we should give to God? Paul says, we should decide what to give based on how God is prospering us at the time. In verse 2, the NIV puts it this way, Each one...should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income... Notice what it doesn't say. It doesn't say, Each one of you should tithe. Please understand that there's nothing wrong with giving a tithe of your income to God. No matter what our income has been, Nancy and I have always used the tithe as our starting point for giving. But here's the danger. Tithing too easily becomes legalistic. As believers we're under grace not law. You can give God 10 legalistically without ever giving Him your heart. What good is that? But not only can tithing be legalistic, it can also become an excuse for being stingy! If you make $1000/month, a tithe is most likely a sacrificial gift for you. If you make $10,000/month, a tithe is likely no sacrifice at all. For some people, stopping at a tithe is stingy! That's why, when it comes to giving, there's no set percentage of income that applies to us all. The New Testament is clear-God owns more than 10 of our money! God owns it all! That means He alone has the right to tell you how much you should give. Ultimately, what you give is between you and God. If your heart is right, He'll let you know exactly what you should do. Whatever that is, if you do it, you'll be blessed! Thanks again for the input and the chance to wrestle through these things together!

Oun Kwon

commented on Feb 8, 2012

Tithing was something of the Old Covenant, effective for Judaic people. So the answer to the title is No. It was similar to taxation to support political-religious governing authority. It has no place in the New Covenant. One may give all or none to one or all. Tithing as worship? - Sounds like baloney.

Rusty Watson

commented on Feb 8, 2012

I too enjoy these conversations. Much is gained from them including insight as to where some may be coming from and their particular denominational influences. I would say to one of the guys that I do not avoid 2 Cor. 9:7. A wise old preacher once said, "Text without context is pretext." The context of 2 Cor. 9:7 is not at all about the topic being discussed here but rather about the heart Paul had for the saints in Jerusalem and the offering being received from the saints to be given to the church in Jerusalem. This is why he would say that they were to give as they had been given to by God but has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject of tithing!

Robert Sickler

commented on Feb 8, 2012

It is a good thing to challenge our traditions, and tithing is just that: a tradition. As you pointed out, tithing was brought to fulfillment in Christ. In fact, tithing is really a form of tax more than it is a form of giving. I recommend we drop the use of the word tithe and replace it with giving. There is plenty of New Testament scripture to teach us the importance of giving. There are three NT points I recommend we consider. Start with the first two: 1) the condition of our heart when we give; and, 2) regular scheduled giving. Forget about percentages, yep I know it is scary for a preacher to do this! When we have mastered the first two points (at some consistent level) then we can move on to the third point: 3) generous giving. If a person cannot master the first two points there is no way they their giving will ever be any more than a filthy religious rag. If we can teach the people these three points we will have covered the NT basics of giving.

Gene Speight

commented on Feb 8, 2012

About Abraham. Where did he get the idea to give a tenth? Did he tithe on all of his income or just the spoils? Did God give him the idea of the tithe? We have no word on these questions. If we are not careful we can get into generalizing regarding his giving method. I, too, have been struggling with the tithe. It is not because I am necessarily against the idea. My concern, as it has already been mentioned, I believe the concept of tithing has gotten completely away from what giving is all about. Again, this has already been touched on in varying degrees. It seems to me that teaching the tithe has led church members down a path that ignores the greater implications of giving. It is easier to give the tithe and think duty has been done. However, Jesus placed great emphasis on abiding in Him, using our time and talents for the building up of His church, ministering to the needs of our people and those within the community and missions around the world and at home. But most of all for God's glory. And what brings God glory? Abiding in Christ, growing spiritually, winning the lost to Christ, using our time and talents in ministry and discipling new converts. As a pastor for almost forty years my problems have not been with those fitting into this criteria but with those who have the most money to give (tithe). Also, the church should comply with the teachings of Christ first, set its goals and plans and challenge the people (true followers of Christ) to support the goals and plans to do God's work. Sorry to have rambled but I had to get my two cents worth in. Thanks for all of your comments. This is indeed a very serious but touchy subject.

John E Miller

commented on Feb 9, 2012

Paul's Gospel to the Gentiles did not include tithing. It is not referred to in any teaching or preaching in the New Testament. Paul makes it clear to the Galatians that if you insist on one part of the law (i.e. circumcision) you must keep the whole Law. Christianity goes much further than tithing. We must be ready to place all our possessions and even our own lives on the altar. If we preach tithing we are holding back and teaching others to hold back.

John E Miller

commented on Feb 9, 2012

I suggest that you might be interested to look at Robert Sickler's (#19) sermon on "The Prosperity Gospel etc.

Modesto Mercado

commented on Feb 9, 2012

John E. Miller, I agree with you. I teach my church that if you give yourself to God, you give from the heart, but you also do it as a way of worship. As you said and I agree with you Paul makes it clear to the Galatians that if you insist on one part of the law (i.e. circumcision) you must keep the whole Law. Christianity goes much further than tithing. Nobody wants to preach how the church was giving in the new testament because we will have to do the same. Can we do just as the church used to do in Acts 4:32-37? Why the prosperity preach don't preach it? I stand with John and I preach it when I talk about tithing in my church We must be ready to place all our possessions and even our own lives on the altar and we should do it for Jesus.

John E Miller

commented on Feb 9, 2012

If we preach on certain practises or customs we must have a sure biblical foundation for it. To justify instructing a Christian fellowship that tithing is a divine requirement because it predates the Mosaic Law is clearly in conflict with scripture. The issue of circumcision that Paul deals with in Galatians proves this. Circumcision predated the Law. It was initiated by the same man who give a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek, Abraham. God commanded him to circumcise Isaac when he was eight days old. If we justify the insistence or even the custom of tithing on this basis we are therefore in conflict with the word of God because Paul will not allow it for circumcision. How therefore can we allow it for tithing? The hidden agenda behind all such suggestions is to lay unscriptural burdens on the people of God, therebye implying that a superior Christian status can be attained. When we examine the principle of tithing in the Old Testament we discover that it was to provide an allowance for the Levites, the priestly family. Who are the priests today? When a man stands up in a pulpit and is called a pastor or minister does that make him a priest? If someone was born again spiritually this morning is he not a priest? We need to rid ourselves of Judaistic thoughts and practises and realise the Divinely taught superiority of Christianity.

Ed Ethridge

commented on Feb 10, 2012

Could it be said that "IF"our people,His sheep understood grace that the tithe or giving would not be an issue? Also,I am pursuaded that the issue at hand is not really giving or tithing but the Biblical principal of stewardship.As we all know the word steward means house manager.We are resonsible for the whole not the part(10).If the true ekklesia understood and practiced good stewarship because they understand grace resources inn our churches would never be an issue.The Gospels speak much about a man and his gold,around 80 of the parables speak about money.Three widows gave it all flour,oil and two mites and God GAVE His only son should we shrink from preaching and teaching on the subject that began at the cross.

Donald Simmons

commented on May 31, 2020

Thank you, Ed. I have been a financial advisor (not a pastor) for the past 30 years. I have observed that in general, Christians do not handle financial affairs in any way that is significantly different from non-Christians. The issue that needs far more robust teaching is stewardship. A steward is a manager of another person's resources and is tasked with accomplishing the purposes of the true owner. I teach seminars on stewardship and "missional investing" all over the world and I will start by asking the following 3 questions. 1. "What are God's purposes "goals" in the world?" The obvious and most frequent answers are the great commission (make disciples), the great commandment (love thy neighbor, which includes issues of justice, mercy, care for the vulnerable, etc, be my witnesses, etc.) After discussing God's purposes I will casually ask, 2. " As an investor, what are your primary goals?" The obvious and most frequent answers are competitive rate of return, minimize taxes, save for retirement, kids college, etc. After some discussion, I will ask, 3. Why then, if we are stewards, mangers of accomplishing the true owners purposes, that our money management goals do not align the master's purposes? A steward is a fiduciary. A fiduciary is legally bound to to try to accomplish the goals and purposes of the true owner. A fiduciary who uses the owners resources to accomplish personal objectives is an embezzler. Don't we need to examine how we handle all financial resources in light of our role as stewards and ask the question, do my money management decisions reflect those of a fiduciary or those of an embezzler? Tithing is simply one action that can indicate whether we think the we own the financial resources that pass through our hands or if we understand that we are simply managers for God, the true owner.

Ed Ethridge

commented on Feb 10, 2012

In my comment the (10) is 10 percent and the 80 is 80 percent of the parables...symbols did not show up for some reason.

Oun Kwon

commented on Feb 10, 2012

Ed, it's true that the real issue is stewardship. For that reason, the word <b>tithe</b> should better be unmentionable from the pulpit.

Tony Sago

commented on Feb 11, 2012

I think the nt is about love and grace alot of pastors teach tithes with guilt that most people are giving grudgingly seem like most pastors dont care as long as they get the money know body really talks about 2 corinthain ch 9 exspecially those who teach tithes most pastors have put the yoke back on the people that GOD took off us I can say more but the fact of the matter pastors have to be more intune with the spirit to understand that the devil is really behind this if they would teach free will giving not forcing giving it will be much better its a grace thing

Steve Aaron

commented on Apr 9, 2019

Hope these scriptures help that tithing was before law and we ain't under law. blessings, I always love reading your articles it's been a long time reading your articles again keep writing :) Genesis 14:19-20 KJV And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [20] And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. Galatians 3:14-18 KJV That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. [15] Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. [16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [18] For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Charlie Roberts

commented on Apr 12, 2019

Tithing like everything else God ask us to do, involves trust. Malachi God says trust me, The Word goes as far to say try me and see if I will not keep my Word and pour out an uncontainable blessing. My level of understanding is not high enough to confidently say, that was for then and this is now the way it is concerning giving. What I know in my heart and believe is Gods Word has never returned void. I trust this scripture and all scripture in all things, even in giving to be true in Gods opportunities and guidance to His abundant Grace and Giving nature. Our ability to live, to earn a living, to feed ourselves, to take care of others and to receive blessings all stem from Gods willingness to give and His law of ( reciprocity ) seed time and harvest. To not preach on tithing is to cheat someone who may not know from receiving Gods great blessing! I can honestly say from experience, “I started living when I started giving to God!” One last thing, my pastor told me when I struggled with giving many years ago, “try tithing for 6 months and if God doesn’t keep His Word and Bless you above and beyond what you’ve given, I make up the difference out of my own pocket!” I innocently asked him, did you ever have to help God with someone experiencing lack when tithing? He said to me, never one time did I ever have to pay Gods promise. Preach the word by living by example, it makes it so much more relatable when people can see a visual to go along with what is being preached!

Keith Brich

commented on Apr 12, 2019

Tithing is not Biblical. Sorry but it just isn’t.

Andrew Shields

commented on Jun 21, 2019

Just this week, God and I were talking about the idolatry of our symbols, buildings, traditions, etc. "The symbol of deliverance has become a snare of bondage," He said. The picture that I saw in my mind was the bronze serpent that Moses had raised. "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” Obviously, Jesus interpreted the serpent symbol to point to him (John 3:14-15), yet the God's people had twisted it's meaning and worshiped the bronze image instead of the God who had sent the deliverance. So did you come to Christ at a certain type of service, with a certain style of music and preaching? Are we expecting the same to work today without the devotion and life-change of a Christ follower? Perhaps we are worshiping the method of a former deliverance rather than loving the One who sent it? The tithe can also be an excuse to not give our cloak to those who ask, or share food from our fridge to our neighbor. We isolate ourselves in our religious formula and neglect the ones we've been sent to love. How rude of them to want to be involved in my family time! Sunday is my God time--I can't help you fix your mower and mow your grass. Really? What did Jesus do walking with those guys for 3 years? Anyhow, I can't believe that this conversation among preachers about tithing with comments dating back to 2012 has not mentioned Melchizedek! (Though one did mention Abraham.) The principle of the tenth supersedes the law, because Aaron, Moses, Levi all gave to the greater who is Jesus, the king of righteousness and the king of peace (See Hebrews 7!) Do you think the early church neglected the tithe? They went all in and shared all they had! (Acts 2:44-47) I think we need a change from our comfortable, safe view of consumer Christianity. But how should we preach this? We could shy away from the subject, not wanting to offend anyone. We could do as many pastors and jam our preferences and "high-calling ideals" on everyone else. But, has God called us to be the Holy Spirit? (Ouch!) Perhaps the best approach in this generation is to open discussion about the principles of money, the tenth and beyond. Let's talk about what the bible clearly states and allow the tension of controversy. Let's spur one another onto good works AND worship God in spirit and in truth! He gave everything for us, does he deserve anything less than our everything?

Timothy Carignan

commented on Jul 8, 2019

It seems funny to me that people are trying to defend the Old Testament commands by going to 2 Cor 9:7. The Jews under the Old Law were commanded to give 10% at several stages for the temple and for the civil government (which actually came out closer to 32%); Christians under the New Law are commanded to give as they have been prospered (1 Cor 16:1-2), purposely and not of necessity (2 Cor 9:7). Different standards, different laws.

Gregory Young

commented on Jul 20, 2019

Your motivation for the subject matter as stated in your article underlies the problem at hand. You wrote “Effective ministry requires money—money that comes from God’s people.” Therein lay the misconception. The ministry that you and I have inherited was based on the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit effectively accomplishing the will of God (Acts 2:47). You conclude your article by stating that “Tithing as worship” is our opportunity to acknowledge that God is God. He is ruler over our lives. He is the source of every blessing we enjoy. More than that, “tithing as worship” expresses our allegiance to God in a very personal and concrete way. And finally, “tithing as worship” manifests a heart overflowing with thanksgiving toward God.” I argue that all you have noted above can be done by simply worshiping God in spirit and truth. Isa. 55:1-3. Rest assured, I have no problem with giving. But I have a big problem with alienating, minimizing or undermining the worship of those who for whatever reason can’t give/tithe. Furthermore, the convictions that you have articulated above are yours and should not be used as a means to justify an end. With that said, I agree with you in principle but would not do it in practice for fear of alienating someone who He has died to redeem.

Dismas Obuya

commented on Jul 31, 2019

its sad to see many rush to displace the scripture claiming its the Old covenant, when people abolish the law when even Jesus Himself said He has come to fulfill the law, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17-20) 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Lets meditate on this scripture here, we see Jesus Christ citing that they(people) think that he has come to abolish the law but he tells them No, He has come to fulfill it to accomplish it. which many of us according to the comments are spoken of by Jesus, they abolish the law, furthermore the issue of tithing was there before the law, someone said the fact that Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek the King of Salem does not mean that we tithe, But the bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, first Paul ALL SCRIPTURE is breath out by God, secondly it says it PROFITABLE FOR TEACHING, FOR REPROOF which means we have to learn from this scripture not to side line it. third the scripture is left to us so that we correct what we are not doing right and lastly TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. Those saying they cannot teach their congregation Tithing simply mean they are considering it as important, someone said since Jesus did not talk much about it means its of less importance which I disagree. whoever relaxes on one these commandment and teaches others to do the same shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven but whoever dose them and teaches other the same will be called great. Its your choice. Math 5:20 Jesus says "...unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven: what did they do? (Math 23:23)Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You see sharply Jesus rebukes the scribes and pharisees because they pay tithes but disregard the weightier matters of the law, which is Justice, mercy and faithfulness. why can't you say mercy and faithfulness and justice are of the law so they don't fit you in the New Testament era? Jesus was not against their tithing but against their way of giving and he advised them on what to do YOU SHOULD HAVE PRACTISED THE LATTER, WITHOUT NEGLECTING THE FORMER, this exactly what most of us are doing practicing the Latter and neglecting the Former. Many have had a tendency of ignoring the scriptures claiming its Old and they are in New covenant, when in reality it touches our money, wealth and material possessions, lets be honest and do justice to the Word of God. God says in Malachi can a man rob God? but these people have robbed me and they asked how have we robbed God, and God says in Your Tithes and offerings. Someone will tell me this was for the children of Israel not us today, then the Bible would be for Israel and jews only, because the point we make when we say He (God) was speaking to the the I sraelites not us we loose the whole meaning, the scripture had us in Mind too. God said bring the whole tithe in the house of God that there will be food in my house.

Francis Ndopu

commented on Sep 6, 2019

Hebrews 7:1 - 28 helps us understand the transition from the old to the new by making to reference to the levitical priests. Melchizedek in this sense is a form of Jesus christ a priest forever. In Vs 8 it says and i quote " In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; (meaning priests) but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. (meaning Jesus Christ). So under the new testament we are encouraged to pay tithe because the one who collects it is still living and this is Jesus Christ.

Ope Coker

commented on Dec 27, 2019

Thanks so much for this, Dean! God bless you.

Stephen Williams

commented on May 14, 2020

HERPES CURE IS REAL: Indeed Doctor Disu has a cure for Herpes Virus, I was once victim of the herpes virus with many epidemics on my body, I was cured of the virus thanks to the help of Doctor Disu herbal medicine. I have met most of his patient testimonials on blogs and social media pages, cured of various illnesses. I contacted him with his email address to which he replied and asked me a few questions and the preparation method for which I paid, he sent me herbal medicines and with his prescription I drank herbal medicine for 21 days and the epidemics on my body were healed after concluding herbal medicine, I went for the test and my result was negative with no trace of virus in my blood. You can also be cured, contact him on his official email; or WhatsApp him on +2348167485904. He said he had an herbal remedy for Diabetes, cancer, PENIS ENLARGMENT, heart disease and liver disease and many more. website:

Join the discussion