Tithing….Is It Really for Today?
by Bill Sitter
I am privileged to address the topic of tithing because it is one of our favorites. Tithing is extremely vital, just as life blood is to the human body. Before going any deeper, I would like to share our observations from 20 years of teaching Biblical Principles for Finance. Maureen and I have seen hundreds of people complete the seven week small group course and begin to faithfully tithe. The fruit has been absolutely amazing, time and time again. And, we have Never seen or heard of these tithers wishing they had never learned about tithing on their first fruits, their increase, to the Lord…..Never!
Malachi 3: 8-12 tells us that tithing keeps us from robbing God and positions Him to rebuke the devourer (the devil) on our behalf. God then pours-out huge blessings on us; which is what He longs to do. Okay, but that’s the last book of The Old Testament. Good News: in Matthew 23:23 Jesus personally reinforced the ten percent tithe when He rebuked the Pharisees for tithing on their garden plants (being legalistic) but neglecting the weighty matters of justice, mercy & faithfulness. They were neglecting to show love and compassion to others, even including their parents. Jesus basically said: (my paraphrase) “you should have tithed, but that’s no excuse for neglecting these other Kingdom Principles”. This same message is also stated in Luke 11:42.
Some may say that tithing is “under the law”; it is good to reflect on the fact that Abraham set the example of tithing ten percent of the spoils of war to Melchisedec (a representation of the coming Lord Jesus). It is essential to note that Abraham’s full ten percent tithe occurred long before Moses was even born, and prior to the Old Testament laws ever being written. (Hebrews 7:1-4)
I believe the case for tithing today is very clear: tithing is validated in (the above referenced) Scriptures, by Abraham – before the law, under the Mosaic Law, and then by Jesus’ reinforcement in the New Testament.
I realize that many readers of this article are committed tithers who are not seeking excuses to avoid tithing. However, you may be able to refer to these scriptures when faced with tithing questions. Hopefully these Scriptural references will prove helpful as you witness to others, so they can enjoy the benefits of being able to (not forced to) tithe a full 10 percent of their “increase” (which for most normal wage earners is their gross pay, before deductions for anything).
Chapter Two in our small group workbook: “Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus…Legacy Edition” is devoted to the topic of true Biblical Giving. It emphasizes tithing and gives examples of how to properly calculate “increase”. This chapter also addresses a three part Biblical Giving Plan which includes tithes, freewill offerings to spread the Gospel and alms for the needy.
So, the answer to the title question is….YES! Tithing is really for today!