I’ve been talking about the importance of tithing for the past few weeks. I’ve taken this much time because I honestly feel that it’s THAT important for the spiritual development of every Christ follower. This is especially true in the world of American consumerism.
Next week I will start talking about some other issues, so if you’re not following or liking my blog right now because it’s “all about money”, maybe you’ll get something out of it starting next week!
But before that, I want to spend a few minutes talking about all of the pushback that I hear from people when it comes to tithing.
The best definition that I can find for “pushback” is: opposition or resistance to a plan.
So what is the “plan” that we’re pushing-back at? I believe that it started with The Great Commission.
What is The Great Commission, you ask?
The Great Commission can be found in the book of Matthew. You can read it here.
When Jesus returned to visit His disciples after His resurrection from death, He told them that they were to spread Christianity (although it wasn’t called that yet).
They were to teach people how to follow Christ.
And those new Christ followers were to teach others.
And this cycle should continue until you and I become Christ followers, and until every single person on Earth has learned of Christ.
Well, reaching people all over the world happens to take money.
Money is a man-made institution. So this teaching of Christ and reaching of people must be financed.
Who else is going to finance this mission? The government? People who don’t know or don’t follow Christ?
OF COURSE NOT!
You and I are to finance this mission. How do we do that? Through our tithe to our local church.
In talking about tithing, and giving to the church in general, in any of my sociology, psychology, and world religions classes at school, the number one pushback that I hear from people who identify as Christians is:
“I don’t like the way that the church spends my money”
Then why are you attending that church???? If you don’t trust them with your money, how on Earth do you trust them with your spiritual growth? How do you trust them to teach your children about the love of Christ?
Here’s the thing, once you submit your tithe to a “Kingdom-minded” church, it shouldn’t concern you what they’re spending it on. There should be no doubt that they are spending it on “Kingdom-minded” projects. When I say “Kingdom-minded” I mean a church that is focused on expanding God’s kingdom, not their own. If you attend a church that you don’t trust with your money, that’s a good indication that you are either attending the wrong church, or you are attending that church for the wrong reason.
It’s easy to figure out what the priorities are at your church. Whatever those priorities are is where they are spending most of the money.
If your church supports several mission trips per year, and teaches about missions a great deal, that’s probably where they are spending a large portion of money.
If your church is charity-minded, or runs a homeless shelter, or a large food pantry, then this is probably a priority for their money.
If your church has 200 different classes for it’s members to attend, ranging from calligraphy to Zumba, this is probably where your church is spending a large portion of it’s money.
If your church is known for the show, and prioritizes lights, sound, smoke, special effects, videos, and talent, then that’s what they are spending money on.
If your church is t-shirt, or billboard oriented, that’s where their money is going.
Whatever your church prioritizes is what they spend money on.
Can a church support a combination of any of these and still be doing God’s work? I absolutely believe that they can! Are they reaching people for God? I have no doubt.
The point is, if what the church is spending money on doesn’t align with your beliefs or your vision of The Great Commission, then you are going to the wrong church. It’s time for a change.
It is the responsibility of every Christ follower to fund the church financially. That means you and me. There is no exception to the scriptures when it comes to tithing. There is no:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse so there can be stage props and Sunday School for my people to enjoy with their coffee and cookies, unless you don’t trust the storehouse with your money, then you’re good, you can opt-out.” -2 Rob 6:3
Here’s the thing, I believe that tithing is a form of worship, just as I’ve said many times. Worship comes from obedience and honor. I am honored to worship God with my money.
Part of my worship of God is my willingness and obedience to separate myself from that 10% and offer it to God through the church. My worship is not demonstrated in the way that the church spends it.
Stop making excuses why you can’t or shouldn’t tithe!
“I can’t afford to tithe”
If you can afford to spend money on junk food, you can afford to tithe.
Dunkin’ Donuts brought in almost 800 million dollars in 2014!
Not sophisticated enough for you?
Starbucks revenue in 2015 was 19.16 BILLION DOLLARS!
EVEN WITH THE SATAN CUP!!!
It’s clear that we absolutely can afford the things that are important to us.
There is so much else that I would like to say about this. There is so much more that I believe about this subject. What it boils down to is that if it’s not in your heart to tithe, then don’t. If you have reasons not to tithe, or why it shouldn’t be 10%, then don’t tithe. If you don’t pray, then don’t tithe. If you aren’t a Christ follower and don’t feel like you want to be one, then don’t tithe. If there is some little voice inside rejecting this as being truth, don’t tithe.
I don’t want you to tithe out of guilt or out of shame. I don’t want you to tithe with the expectation that God will return your money to you multiplied. If any of these apply to you, I want you to take the time to seek God and to develop a relationship with Him. I want you to build a relationship with Him that makes you want to worship Him with every single aspect of your life. When you develop a love like that, when your whole heart belongs to God, not just the non-financial portion, you will find joy in giving your tithe. You won’t miss it. Believe me, Karen and I haven’t.
Until then, the church will be happy to use whatever money you will give to them. As I mentioned before, bills have to be paid, the Kingdom has to be funded, people have to be reached. The church will still use your talents. The time that you spend fulfilling the mission of the church is greatly appreciated. When you are truly ready to submit to Christ, and truly ready to give it all for Him, tithing will come easily and naturally.
What other reasons do Christ followers use to not tithe?