is tithe teaching for the church, or is it error? Part 1

I have been asked by several people to tackle this subject so here goes!

It will have to be in parts because it is too vast to cover in one post. Suffice it to say, I believe the current teaching on tithing in many churches or possibly the majority of churches, is a huge error and requires a response.

There is a world of difference between Spirit led giving, which I may address in a later post, and Law tithing.

I am specifically addressing the tithe teaching of  “mandatory, starting point at 10 percent, if you want God to bless you and not be under a curse”. {Or any teaching close to it}.

The deception is in the teaching, not necessarily the teacher, although I believe those who would desire truth will be led into all truth, including this truth.

The resistance to open discussion among church people about the possible problem of tithe teaching says volumes about the dismal lack of love for truth in comparison to the love of money.

If you believe God requires New Covenant believers to tithe and you aren’t willing to consider the fact you may be wrong, this teaching is not for you.

If you are brave enough to consider the possibility you may have been “tithing” money for years in a manner that is not scriptural and therefore not pleasing to God , keep reading.

If you have secretly resented the fact that the pastoral staff in your church or ministry live very comfortable lives from the mandatory tithes you “contribute” while you struggle with a car that won’t start, your family wears clothes from the local thrift store and you have out dated bread on your table while working two jobs, its probably not because you’re “under a curse”.

More likely it’s a result of “my people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge”.

Let me be clear, I thank God for balky cars, thrift store clothes and stale bread. It is provision when you have nothing else!

When I tithed it was always for the “advancement of the gospel” of course, but there was a lot of my tithe that found it’s way into funding other people’s extravagant lifestyles! I could definitely see that!

That”s where I was in life when one day when I opened my Bible to Malachi chapter 3 and said, “Ok Lord, this isn’t working! I’ve been tithing faithfully for years and I have a lot of empty space to put those blessings you said you would pour out and that I wouldn’t be able to contain! Something is wrong here and I want to know what it is!” I was serious and meant every word.

How much truth might God be able to show us if we would just admit what we are doing isn’t working for us? If we weren’t afraid to ask Him honest questions when things don’t make sense. If we didn’t have such a need to be spoon fed and be so prone to follow man!

If you are dependent on the teaching of the 10% tithe for your salary and all the wonderful perks that go with it, you are probably going to have a difficult time with this article.

If the teaching of the mandatory tithe is what keeps the lights on in your wonderful new state of the art sanctuary, you are probably not going to like this post but I challenge you to seek God and keep reading.

To get started, it will help to break the Bible down into three parts for the purpose of this study. Very loosely, the three parts are:

  1. Before the Law of Moses = the book of Genesis and up to Exodus 20.

  2. During the Law of Moses = started in Exodus 20 [Ten Commandments] and ended on the cross.

  3. The Church Age = started in Acts and ongoing today.

So let’s begin with 1. Before the Law of Moses. There are only two times “tithe or tithing” is mentioned in this time period. Genesis 14 and Genesis 28. Let’s look at Genesis 14 first. The account of “Abraham’s tithe”.

Ah ha! you say, Abraham tithed to the Lord. No, he didn’t.

The truth is, there is no scriptural record or hint of Abraham ever tithing one thin dime from his own pocket! Or shekel, or whatever they used in those days.

The stuff Abraham tithed was heathen spoils of war from Sodom and Gomorrah. God never commanded Abraham to tithe from his own stuff or his own “increase”. As a matter of fact, God never commanded Abraham to tithe, period!

There is however, ample historical evidence there were customs in middle eastern countries that demanded such tithes from spoils of war. Abraham was most likely observing such a custom. It was a well known pagan practice of the area, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia and Canaan.

There is no record of Abraham tithing anything to anyone ever again in his very long life, nor any record that God ever even once spoke to Abraham about tithing.

The only other mention of tithing before the Law of Moses was when Jacob made a vow in Genesis 28. Basically he said, “God, if you will bless me, and after you have blessed me, then I will tithe.”

I’ve never heard anyone preach from those scriptures to support tithing! I suspect you haven’t either! They would definitely not fit.

Again, no scripture record of Jacob being commanded by the Lord to tithe and no mention of who Jacob would have tithed to. Remember, there were no priests and no temple yet in Jacobs time. The Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments  were still centuries away!

I find it interesting that God Himself never refers to either of these two tithing incidents as a basis of support for His commands to tithe during the Law of Moses. When Moses gave the Law, he never referred to Abraham’s tithe or Jacob’s vow as a basis for tithing.

Yet Abraham’s tithe is quoted repeatedly as one of the very foundation stones for this teaching today. If you question it, you are labelled as robber of God and greedy with your money.

Most who teach the tithe as mandatory will declare, “The tithe did not start with the Law of Moses and therefore did not end with the Law of Moses!”  Well, I beg to differ. According to scripture, it did just that!

There was no command from God to tithe before the Law of Moses and no command from God to tithe after the Law of Moses. Only during the Law of Moses.


About Geneva

The road in my rear view mirror is marked by hard places. My Guide has been faithful. He came into my life and I was branded. Marked. Labeled. Ridiculed. Judged. Stoned. But the road ahead always looks grand and full of light! The furnaces from the past have only caused the fire of His Spirit to burn hotter. The edicts of man have tried many times to make me bend in worship to him, yet I have met the true Flame who delivers me in every furnace!
This entry was posted in encouragement for the Body, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles, liberty and sacrifice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to is tithe teaching for the church, or is it error? Part 1

  1. Tracy Earley says:

    can’t wait to read more!

  2. Pingback: Kingdom Relationship: About that Tithe | Black Write & Read

  3. Pingback: is tithe teaching for the church, or is it error? Part 2 | eatinglocusts

  4. Awesome! I’m so glad to see more people discussing this… keep them truths coming!

  5. Geneva says:

    Thanks Joyful Christian! I needed that! “Them truths” as you call them aren’t very well accepted by some so it’s great to hear from those who like my posts!

  6. Pingback: facts about tithing under the law of Moses, [Part 3 of series] | eatinglocusts

  7. Pingback: you’ve quit tithing, now what? | eatinglocusts

  8. Chris says:

    God bless you in your pursuit of truth…the end is FREEDOM….and I believe you will set many free as you tackle this issue….and all its tentacles which are strangling the church today


    • Geneva says:

      THANK YOU so much for your encouraging words Chris! My hearts desire is exactly that, to see many people set free from religious ideas and wrong teachings of all kinds in the church today! I hope my additional posts on the subject of tithing are a blessing to you as well! Blessings!

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