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October 19, 2020
Tithing in the Bible is a hot topic. In fact, Jesus cares about how you manage your financial resources and you having a generous heart. He spoke more often about money than he did prayer and faith combined.
In all of the discussions around money, giving is a common theme throughout the Bible — in particular, whether or not Christians should tithe (give one-tenth of their income).
No one argues if Christians should or should not give. But many ask if Christians are or are not required to tithe.
In answering this question, several variations have been developed throughout the years. However, there are two answers to this question that most Christians believe.
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The argument: The tithe was instituted in the Old Testament and affirmed by Jesus Christ.
The foundation of this argument stands upon two pillars:
First, the argument is made that the tithe was instituted before the Mosaic covenant (Gen. 14; 28; Heb. 7:1). If this true, then this means the tithe was not abolished in Christ.
Second, this position argues that Jesus affirmed the continuation of the tithe (Matt. 23:23). If Jesus upheld the tithe, then Christians are commanded to tithe today.
Now, people who believe this position do not believe that Christians should not give more than a tithe or to other causes outside of the local church. The individuals who hold this position emphasize the continuation of the tithe from the Old Testament.
he argument: Christians are called to give generously, but they are not commanded to tithe.
This position boils down to two main points:
First, the tithes given by Abraham (Gen. 14) and Jacob (Gen. 28) are descriptions; not prescriptions. In other words, there is no additional evidence that Abraham and Jacob continued to tithe or that their actions were binding for others then or today.
Second, the New Testament does not command Christians to tithe. When giving is referenced in the New Testament, Christians are commanded to give generously (2 Cor. 8–9), but they are not commanded to tithe.
There are strengths and weaknesses in both positions, and the length of this blog post is not sufficient to cover them all. Regardless if you believe you are commanded to tithe or give generously, we pray you follow the Lord with a clear conscience, give generously, and support your local church and other causes as you are able.