Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Does the Tithe Fit the Christian Church?

“About 58% of evangelical leaders do not believe the Christian Bible requires tithing,” according to a report written by Jennifer Garza for the Sacramento Bee. Ms. Garza’s report is an examination of Mitt Romney’s recently released tax return. The Republican Candidate for President of the United States paid tithes as required by his church, standing in stark contrast with those who say there should be no such requirement.

There was a time when the tithe’s place in the faith was a stumbling block in my walk with Christ. I had created a series of idols based on proving how good I was at being a Christian. Church work had become my evidence of being right with Christ. I gave ‘sacrificially’ both of my finances and of my time, convincing myself that my priorities were in order. Meanwhile I lost touch with the Lord as my life moved away from being aligned with the Bible.

When His children drift off course God has His way of getting our attention. During the recession God allowed my finances to get squeezed to the point where I could not give to the church financially as I wanted. In fact there were times where I could not afford to pay a tithe. At first I beat myself up psychologically, wondering if I was a failure when it came to being a Christian. However this view did not seem to line up with the Christian idea of unmerited favor.

I then did what seemed the natural thing to do. I lashed out at God, blaming Him for things not going the way I wanted. The Lord corrected me, showing me where I was wrong in my anger. He also helped me see how I was measuring my walk by dollars given to the church and not by how close I was to Christ. God used the recession to get my attention. Once I yielded He showed me something that changed my view of tithing, removing an obstacle that stood between Christ and me.

Over the next few Wednesdays I will share what God revealed in the Bible. I will examine the tithe, its place in Judeo/Christian history and its application today. Based in scripture we will look at God’s intent for the tithe, asking if there is any application for us today. In preparation for these posts I ask you the reader: Should Christians consider the tithe a requirement of the faith? If not a requirement does the tithe have a place in Christian church service?


Amelia said...

I think you're very brave for writing this. Being a member of a christian church, and having this knowledge, makes us very accountable as to how we use it. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Dennis said...

Thanks Amelia for checking in and for your encouragement.