Last year, I was sitting in a reasonably packed conference watching the host on the screen as he made a request for an offering to let the content of the conference be sent out to nations that couldn’t afford it.
A noble effort, to be sure.
But just before the collection was taken, he looks to the audience, points a finger and declares, “If you aren’t giving your full ten percent to your local church, don’t give to this. You are in sin and you are robbing God. Get right with God and then give to this.”
I’ve heard a lot of similar type comments before. But hearing it this time… honestly, it just made me angry and I’ve never been fully able to articulate why until recently.
I wasn’t angry because I was being convicted of sin in this area. I was angry because this attitude turns financial giving—something that should be a wonderful, worshipful act—into something ugly.
Why do you give?
Do you give out of a sense of obligation?
Do you give out of a sense of guilt?
Or do you give out of a heart of gratitude for all that God given you—in response to His saving you through faith in Jesus Christ?
What was most helpful for me was recently discovering the place of the tithe in the New Covenant community.
Tithing & Taxes
My pastor recently spent the last two weeks teaching on this, so it’s all still pretty fresh and I freely admit that I’m stealing from him. But here’s the big idea:
The term “tithe” is a mathematical term, referring literally to a tenth. It’s also a term that refers to taxation. [Read more…] about Don't Be Guilted into Giving