I will start this write-up with the following passage from 2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
It has been put in my spirit to write this so I pray that the Holy Spirit of God will minister to you, whoever you are out there. For everyone else, read carefully before you criticize.
Yes tithing is VERY important for it opens up God’s blessings upon your finances and allows God to rebuke the devour on behalf of those Christians that pay their tithe regularly (Malachi 3:19 although there is a context in which God spoke those words). The first man to have tithed was Abraham and He only did it once but continuous tithing was instituted to feed the levites/priests who were dedicated to the things of God and as such were not allowed any inheritance in the land of Canaan.
However, God desires mercy not sacrifice. The whole new Testament/covenant of Christ purely states that we need to love our neighbors as Christ loved us and as we love ourselves and also to carry each other’s burden. Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”. Remember that the law of Christ is different from the law of the Old Testament, but it fulfills them.
Carrying each other’s burden and loving our neighbor outweighs paying tithe. It does NOT eliminate it, but it outweighs it. Matthew 23:23-24 says “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, WITHOUT neglecting the former. You blind guides! “. Here Christ says that justice, mercy and faithfulness carries more weight than tithing but does not eliminate it.
So for example if you have one dollar “left” and your choice is between giving it to the church or giving it to your hungry neighbor to buy food, if you give it to the church (who already has plenty) you have broken your part in your covenant with Christ. Let me put it another way – if you are faithful to the law of Christ, then we will not be judged by the laws of the old testament, but if you break the new commandment, keeping the old will not save you. The rich man and Lazarus story in Luke 16:19-31 told us that the rich man, who the bible did not list any sin or transgression of the law he broke, went to hell because he failed to help the poor man Lazarus who was always in plain sight for him to assist. Friends, Christ is constantly warning us throughout the new testament that if we FAIL to help our fellow people, we will be held liable. Read Matthew 25:31-46.
Now, that being said, we have three responsibilities in this new testament: 1.) To help feed and encourage your pastor who has dedicated his life to preaching “this type of message” and spreading the gospel to those near and afar. 2.) To support organizations and other people who are actually helping people in various ways to alleviate their burden. You can support with your sweat or money. 3.) To actually be the one taking care of those within your church communities who may be in need especially if they are within plain sight of your view. Remember this is the one we cannot ignore if it is brought to our attention.
Since the bible is clear that in the end days Christians will go through tribulations, it is only reasonable to assume that churches and pastors will be at the forefront of it. But false prophets will not want to go through this tribulation so they will twist their message to keep their audience, leaving them spiritually handicapped and sometimes also financially handicapped as well. They will use the tithe money for themselves, enriching their pockets. Ask yourself this question “if the devil camouflages as a pastor, and you give him your tithe, He uses it to further his personal agenda, will it be acceptable to God?”. By their fruits we shall know them.
Our responsibility under the new testament is to take care of our brothers and sisters. We will be judged if we continue to ignore a brother in need but continue to give tens of thousands to a church that will ignore those same church members that are in need. Many churches nowadays will open a branch next to another church instead of in a location that doesn’t have any churches. The commission is to preach it to the whole world not to compete against each other. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am not against building new churches and taking care of our churches. That’s not the heart of this message. I simply don’t want us to neglect the MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS to God. We can always worship Him anywhere, even in our hearts, but our charity work and our love is the ONLY visible sign that we are His disciples – Christ’s own words.
That being said, I pray that just as He has given me enough to bring my tithe to Him and also be able to help those in need which are in my plain sight, may He also grant you the same ability to have enough to give to Him and to your neighbors in need. God bless you.