Friday, January 20, 2006
Why Teaching Tithing Is Evil
Giving to the "Lord's Work" is good and right.
Teaching giving to the "Lord's Work" is good and right, if done biblically.
Have I made the above clear? The Lord, and I, love a cheerful giver. Giving is a wonderful thing. And therefore, teaching giving is a wonderful thing. Giving 10% or 90% of one's income is fine, if done biblically.
But teaching tithing is evil.
It's not "neutral", it's not "O.K.". It is evil. But say that to some church leaders who teach tithing, and they will show you how evil they can act.
If you've been around the church for long, you've heard the nonsense many many times. It goes something like this:
"God expects you to give 10% of your money to the local church (the "storehouse"). This is your moral obligation. To not tithe is a sin. Only what is above 10% is your "offering". The 10% is minimum, and it must go to the local church. If you don't . . . according to Malachi, you are robbing God!"
Those who are consistent in their wrongly using Old Covenant Malachi will go so far as to say that those who don't tithe are under a curse from God!
You know the routine. This sad "Clubbing of the Sheep" is done weekly in many churches. Some do it monthly or quarterly, or whenever the budget calls for it. Then they will preface their remarks with something like, "Now you know we don't often talk about money, here at Blankety Blank Church. But today we are going to fulfill our biblical responsibility and Club you Sheep!"
Here is why it is positively evil to teach tithing:
1. It Is Utterly Unbiblical Under the New Covenant.
Tithing was a requirement for physical Israel under the Mosaic or "Old" Covenant Law. Even then it was not related to money, but produce and animals. Jesus spoke of tithing briefly, because He lived under the Old Covenant Himself. But otherwise, it is never taught to the Church.
Cheerful giving is taught and encouraged, but always as a response to the good news of Christ, with no compulsion or set percentages.
When today's teachers of tithing are given the above simple truth about the New Covenant, they often parrot the old mantra they've learned from other teachers of tithing, "If under the Law, one was expected to give 10%, then how much more even under Grace." I'm compelled to give them the benefit of the doubt in not judging their hearts regarding the love of money. So the kindest explanation I can give for that is pure open-eyed biblical ignorance. But that level of ignorance in a teacher of the Word of God is a sad shame.
2. It Puts The Sheep Under False Condemnation.
It's a well-know statistic that over 90% of born-again church members do not tithe. That means that potentially 90% of born-again saints are repeatedly put under condemnation by their shepherds. And for an unbiblical legalistic teaching! This is such a tragedy, because it's wrong and unbiblical in itself. But beyond that, it hinders the spiritual growth of the the saints, because when they are put under false condemnation, the Holy Spirit is quenched in their lives.
Even those who do tithe under such compulsion are often hurt in their spiritual walk for at least three possible reasons:
a. they still feel they aren't "offering" enough above their tithe.
b. they are easily subject to pride for "doing their duty" before God, "not like that Publican over there".
c. they are led away from a biblical distinction between the Old and New Covenants, causing their whole biblical understanding to be askew.
In conclusion, teaching tithing in the church is legalism of the worst sort.
Picture a giant glimmering diamond the size of a basketball, perched on black velour, with a bright spotlight shining on it. It shines with brilliance, and a thousand facets of beautiful light. Its blinding beauty puts a smile on all who see it. Then picture a vandal smashing the spotlight with a hammer, and spraying the diamond all over with black paint, obscuring it's beauty.
The beautiful diamond is "Giving". The vandal is the Teacher of Tithing, who masks the beautiful diamond in darkness.
Who is robbing God?
Listen to "Grace For Life" Radio Program.