20 Tithing Questions

We give because….

1.) What is tithing?

Giving a 10th of income or property was part of Mosaic Law (Lev. 27:20). Detailed in Leviticus 27:30-32.

Practiced in Israel’s history: Numbers 18:21-32; Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 11-12, 17-18, 26:12-15;

2 Chronicles 31:6. In Malachi 3:8-12 Israel robs God by withholding their tithe. There is a promise of deliverance and abundance tied with obedience.

2.) Isn’t tithing an Old Testament concept?

It is a timeless practice tracing back to Genesis 14:17-20.

Jacob promised he would give a 10th (Genesis 28:22) prior to the giving of the Law. Genesis 14:20 outlines that Abraham tithed 10% to Melchizedek (who was a Christ figure in the Old Testament). Abraham’s actions reveal tithing is a Divine concept that it goes beyond Old Testament and New Testament. (See Romans 4:12 for New Testament application.)

3.) Does the New Testament address tithing?

1 Corinthians 16:1-2

1 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

4.) Does Jesus say anything about tithing?

Matthew 23:23 (Luke 11:42)

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Jesus addressed the issue of tithing in Matthew 23:23 & Luke 11:42. By the fact Jesus did not spend a great deal of time discussing tithing reinforces the idea that it was an understood concept of life, much like prayer.

5.) What types of giving are there?

Giving can be categorized under: Tithing, Alms/Gifts, and Missions.

6.) What is the difference between Tithing, Alms/Gifts, and Mission giving?

Tithing specifically is attached to money and property. Us giving a percentage of what we have been blessed with back to the

storehouse of God. No strings attached. We are practicing letting God be the one in control. We are practicing the discipline of release.

Gifts is us choosing where, when, and to whom our above and beyond tithing money goes to. This type of giving can also be called Alms. This is a one-time gift.

There is also another type of giving that is specified but is not a one- time gift. We call this Missions Giving as it is disciplined or regular gift that goes to a ministry we choose. This type of giving is above and beyond the tithe as well.

7.) What does ‘giving sacrificially’ mean?

2 Corinthians 8:1-7

1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they went beyond our expectations; having given themselves first of all to the Lord, they gave themselves by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Does this mean we must give whenever there is a need regardless of our budget? Do we give bill money and trust God to pay the bills? Note the Macedonian’s first gave themselves to the LORD. 1 Timothy 5:8 instructs us to take care of our families or we are worse than nonbelievers. We tithe as a spiritual discipline. We give in response to our relationship with the LORD. We give when we hear Him instruct us to do so. This is what is called an inner witness. We respond, usually with compassion, to a need presented. We ‘feel led’ to do something. We pray about what that something could be. We hear Him say “Go” or “Do” or “Give”. It may be more than we could have imagined. It can scare us. It takes sacrifice on our part to accomplish what He is asking. It may mean we sell something. It may mean we postpone buying something. It may mean we choose to live at a lower standard of living so we can invest the money He has blessed us with into His work.

8.) Does tithing your time count as a scriptural tithe?

No. Scripture does not support this. Once again, if we followed this line of thinking we are choosing how we want to honor God instead of trusting Him by being obedient to what He has outlined in scripture. 1 Samuel 15:22.

9.) What if you are married and your spouse objects?

Following the direction 1 Peter 3:1-3 we encourage women to honor their husbands request until he can embrace the discipline of tithing. Some women have found tithing from their earnings a suitable answer to this question. If it is a wife that objects, we suggest a trial approach. Begin with a 5% tithe and when God shows Himself faithful, increase the tithe to the 10%.

10.) Do we support other Christian groups out of the General Fund?

Yes. Maranatha supports other church and organizational request for Benevolence on a situational basis.

11.) What is Maranatha’s philosophy on where the tithe should go?

Under the law, proceeds from the tithes were directed primarily for the support of the Levites and priests who provided religious leadership (Numbers 18:21-29) and for the relief of the needy (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Whole tithes were to go into the storehouse (Malachi 3:10) to be used for the general populace.

12.) What does Maranatha do with the tithe money?

The tithe money goes into the General Fund. The money from the General Fund underwrites the ministry at Maranatha.

13.) Who decides where it goes?

Overall, the Trustee Board works with Pastor Mike on budget planning. Department Pastors and Staff oversee their individual budgets. Each year the budget is outlined at the annual church business meeting which is held the last Monday of February.

14.) Is the entire 10% to go to the local church or can it be split up among the church, missionaries, and other Christian groups?

Scripture is definite when it describes the tithe as the means of support for the church. Alms and gifts are the means of support for Missions and other, non foundational, Christian groups.

15.) Does scripture specifically say we must tithe 10%?

If we are looking for THE one verse that says to live an obedient Christian life we must tithe 10% of our income, we will not find it. If we are looking in scripture to see how we must live to live as Christ, we will find many verses that instruct us to give Him control of all. This includes the money He blesses us with. There is enough direction threaded throughout scripture to define the disciplined standard of 10%. Deuteronomy 14:22-23; Deuteronomy 12:11

In the Hebrew “maaser” or “maasrah,” is translated tenth, or tenth part, and in Greek “apodekatoo” and in both, it means a payment or giving or receiving of the tenth.

16.) What does tithing have to do with Salvation?

Nothing. Tithing is a sign of spiritual maturity. It does not buy grace but rather is an outward sign of inward growth. Salvation is not attached to tithing. But growth is. Tithing is a spiritual principle. Just like gravity is a physical principle. The question we should be asking is what happens in the spiritual when we practice tithing?

17.) Does our attitude in tithing make a difference?

2 Corinthians 9:7

7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

18.) Are there blessings attached to tithing?

Proverbs 3:9-10

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Malachi 3:10

10 Bring the full 10 percent into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.

Luke 6:38

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

19.) What does Jesus say about money?

Matthew 19:21

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Jesus actually spent quite a bit of time talking about money. Why? According to Matthew 6:19-21 it becomes apparent that how we handle money is a direct reflection of the condition of our heart.

Jesus also taught us where our treasure is, there our heart will be (Matthew 6:20-21, Luke 12:33-34). After teaching on how to give, how to pray, how to fast Jesus moved to our heart…how to keep it from being owned by possessions. Don’t invest your money in things that will decay and disappear, invest the monies you have into kingdom priorities. Where we invest our monies, we invest us. He follows that with encouragement to not worry about the cares of this life for He will provide.

Matthew 6:20-21

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12:33-34 (lesson begins in vs 13)

33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

20.) Does Matthew 19:21 mean who should give away all our money and live poor?

Jesus is using an exaggerated form of speech to make His point. Things can own you and keep you from doing and from being what you were designed by God to do and be. Tithing helps keep money and possessions from being or becoming an idol.

Further Study:

Proverbs 11:24 * Matthew 6:19-21 * Matthew 25:40  * 2 Corinthians 9:6  * Exodus 25:2-8 * Romans 10:14-15 * Malachi 3:10-11 * Numbers 31:50 * Matthew 10:7-8 * Leviticus 14:30 * Deuteronomy 5:29 * Leviticus 27:30 * Isaiah 43:24 * 2 Chronicles 29:7 * Ezra 2:69 * 2 Corinthians 8:12 * Deuteronomy 13:22-23 * Isaiah 58:10 * Ecclesiastes 5:13 * 1 Chronicles 29:9, 14-18 * Deuteronomy 16:17 * Proverbs 21:13 * 1 Timothy 6:8 * Matthew 6:1 * 1 Corinthians 16:1-2A * Mark 12:42-43 * Luke 19:8 * Luke 18:22 * 1 Chronicles 29:7-9 * Romans 11:16 * Ezra 8;28 * 2 Samuel 8:10-11 * Luke 11:41 * Luke 12:15 * Romans 12:6-8 * Matthew 28:19 * Acts 5:1-2 * Mark 9:41 * Colossians 3:5 * Matthew 19:21 * 2 Chronicles 31:4-5 * Proverbs 28:27 * 2 Samuel 24:24 * Ezekiel 33:31 * Matthew 26:7-8 * Mark 12:41-44 * Acts 11:29 * Luke 6:38 * Proverbs 19:17 * Nehemiah 13:10 * Matthew 6:21 * Haggai 1:6 * Romans 10:14 * Acts 20:35 * Luke 12:33-34 * Isaiah 32:8 * Proverbs 11:25 * Ecclesiastes 11:1 * Matthew 26:6-7 * 1 Timothy 6:9 *

(Scriptures compiled by Rev. G. Mark Denyes)

Deuteronomy 14:22-23

22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

Deuteronomy 12:11

11 Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD.

Resources: Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster; Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey