Comments 4

  1. I am not sure that the New Testament era that we are in requires the tithe. I believe that Christ’s teachings would demand more that 10 % for most of us and maybe less than 10% for the poor. I know of wealthy Christians who give 80% of their business profit to charity which includes the church, Christian education, and hundreds of other charities. Scripture promotes generosity and selfless engagement.

  2. It can be taken for what it’s worth, but sometimes the way things are treated in other areas can be instructive in our thought: as far as secular authorities are concerned, money paid toward tuition is not tax deductible, whereas offerings given to the church are. The key dividing line is whether we are paying for a service and who we hope to benefit with our spending. The government judges this as “detached and disinterested generosity.” This means something slightly different than what I read the plain sense of the words to say; basically, a true gift is separated from intent to control how it is spent or an expectation of a return of a substantial personal benefit.

    Giving to the church, then, is (or should be) detached from an expected further ability to manage the expenditure of those funds or the expectation that they will be spent directly for your benefit. (Although we obviously receive some indirect benefit when they, for instance, pay for a minister’s salary, allowing the minister to bring us the Word–a great benefit to us.)

    Paying tuition to a Christian school, admirable though the prioritization is, wouldn’t meet this definition because of the expected direct benefit of the education of your children.

    Again, I’m not saying that this legal distinction determines the theological question, I just thought it might help flesh out other instructive grounds for answering the concern.

  3. This debate between Christians will never be settled. It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t lay out an answer directly in the New Testament, though in the Sermon on the Mount, He certainly raises the bar in other areas of life (adultery to lust, murder to hate, etc). A small group in our church recently went through the Biblical Stewardship Series and wrestled with this question, and of tithing in general. I’d like to submit Austin Pryor’s (of Sound Mind Investing) response to this question of how much we should give: “How much do you want to give?”
    I think we’re asking the wrong question. It’s not “should”–it’s “want to.” If we want to acknowledge God’s lordship over the finances he has entrusted to our care, what does that look like? I think the tithe is a great place to start, not finish. 10% is a nice start to acknowledging God’s lordship. He doesn’t need it. But we have been invited to return some resources back to Him so that we can play a role in the advancement of His Kingdom. How cool is that?! And it’s how He wired/designed us to live! He created us to be generous (after His own heart), so that we could be used as His vessels in the advancement of His Kingdom and glory. And because that’s how we’re wired, we get so much fulfillment from doing so. And here’s the rub: even though God gave us those resources to begin with, designed us to experience fulfillment through generosity, and extended the invitation to play a role in His kingdom (He’s doing all the work so far), He then REWARDS us for that generosity with treasures in Heaven and uses His Spirit to cultivate a more generous heart so that we may have a closer walk with Him while we’re here on earth. Where is the losing part of that? It’s like a win-win-win-win-win. Best investment ever.

    We set savings goals, spending goals, vacation goals, retirement goals, etc etc. What about giving goals? Can I give more than I did last week/month/year?

    How much would you LIKE to give? Imagine the joy that can come from that gift being put to good use. Now remember that God can take that gift farther that your imagination can run. Here’s the full article from Austin Pryor: https://www.soundmindinvesting.com/articles/view/how-much-should-you-be-giving

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