The church has been teaching this in error. There are errors of omission when it comes to teaching the Word of God (this is the way it’s always been done) and errors of commission (this is a tool of manipulation and control). In either case, they are errors.
Many tithing teachers juxtapose the law with Grace, ostensibly to “balance Grace with truth”, that is tantamount to giving someone a sandwich of horse manure in order for them to understand what a good meal is. That simply don’t make sense.
The reality is, we are all saved by the Gospel and must be discipled by the Gospel. The minute we turn back to any part of the law as a teaching rubric, we run the risk of causing saints to frustrate Grace (Galatians 2:21) or to fall from Grace (Galatians 5:4) and to be guilty of the law in its entirety (James 2:10). Do we want that on our consciences in the name of cash-flow?
Adherents to tithing teaching point to Abram’s tithe to Melchizedek but ignore that Abram gave the rest of the spoil of war (not income) to the King of Sodom. These same proselytites who teach from Malachi 3 conveniently ignore teaching tithing in the context of Deuteronomy 14.
Tithing teaching isn’t even watertight under the Old Covenant!
Here’s what we need to do: teach the saints to give cheerfully, consistently, and copiously but never out of coercion, compulsion, or cajoling! Help them to understand that you cannot truly live without loving and you cannot truly love without giving. God loved so much that He gave us Jesus. He saw a need and filled it. That is the key to giving.
To say tithing is needed until the saints come to maturity is to say that we don’t trust God. I’ve learned this in ministry (especially in pastoring) that whatever God ordains, He will obligate Himself to sustain. God will handle His business and He will never fail.
What this comes down to is sonship versus slavery. Sons give because they want to give honor where honor is due. Sons walk in liberty because they are able to give as they are purposed in their hearts. Slaves give because they don’t have a choice. They live under constant threat of reprisal for failing to give.
Tithing is not commanded in the New Covenant. The only way anyone can justify it is by eisegesis and inference. It is time to start slaying some of these sacred cows that keep the saints in perpetual bondage.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17). If there is no Liberty, the Spirit of the Lord is absent.
© 2015 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)