top of page

The Unscriptural Pressure Around Tithing

Updated: May 9, 2022

The mod­ern-day mes­sage of tithing heard in most church­es is straight out of con­text.

“But this I say, He which soweth spar­ing­ly shall reap also spar­ing­ly; and he which soweth boun­ti­ful­ly shall reap also boun­ti­ful­ly. Every man ac­cord­ing as he pur­poseth in his heart, so let him give; not grudg­ing­ly, or of ne­ces­si­ty: for God loveth a cheer­ful giv­er.” — 2 Corinthi­ans 9:6-7

The church park­ing lot was fad­ing into the distance be­hind us. Head­ed to­wards our

home, my wife looked at me and said with ut­ter dread in her voice, “Hun­ny, I for­got to

put the tithe check in the of­fer­ing plate.”

My stom­ach was in my throat.

“You for­got what!?”

“I’m sor­ry, I was play­ing the of­fer­to­ry, and I lost track of our tithe envelope.”

“I was tak­ing up the of­fer­ing! That's just great, now we are guilty of rob­bing God!”

I dis­tinct­ly re­mem­ber that sce­nario play­ing out more than one time be­tween my

wife and me. The fran­tic feel­ing that God is go­ing to de­lib­er­ate judg­ment, or with­hold

his pro­tec­tion from my fi­nances and my home be­cause I for­got to put 10% of my

gross in­come into a strange-look­ing plate with a vel­vet pad in the bot­tom.


The Mes­sage of Fear

“For I am the LORD, I change not; there­fore ye sons of Ja­cob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fa­thers ye are gone away from mine or­dinances and have not kept them. Re­turn unto me, and I will re­turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said Where­in shall we re­turn? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and of­fer­ings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole na­tion. Bring ye all the tithes into the store­house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now here­with, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the win­dows of heav­en, and pour you out a bless­ing, that there shall not be room enough to re­ceive it. And I will re­buke the de­vour­er for your sakes, and he shall not de­stroy the fruits of your ground; nei­ther shall your vine cast her fruit be­fore the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all na­tions shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a de­light­some land, saith the LORD of hosts.” —Malachi 3:6-12

My mem­o­ry goes back to the years of my train­ing to be a Bap­tist pas­tor when I heard

a preach­er give a cer­tain il­lus­tra­tion.

One day, this preach­er was in his of­fice when a church mem­ber showed up at His door.

“Hel­lo, preach­er! I have a fa­vor to ask.”

“Sure, how can I help?”

The man said, “Preach­er, I am be­hind on some bills. Would you be able to re­lease

me from the tithe just this once?”

As the preach­er looked at the crowd with sin­cer­i­ty he let us in on what he told the

man con­cern­ing the tithe, “No sir, I am un­able to re­lease you from the tithe. That is

some­thing God re­quires of you.”

Ap­par­ent­ly, the per­son be­hind the desk went on to say that if the man did not

tithe, he would in­cur the wrath of God.

Why? He would be rob­bing God!

Religion has a field day with that! Preachers of institutional religion love to snatch those few vers­es out of con­text and use them to put guilt on the blood-bought, chil­dren of God who have been re­deemed from the curse of the law!

Can you imag­ine how much pow­er that gives some­one? There are peo­ple who be­lieve God placed them in au­thor­i­ty over oth­er be­liev­ers, and there­fore they have the right to tell peo­ple they should be giv­ing 10% of their gross in­come to the New Tes­ta­ment church, and its CEO (The Pas­tor)!? It gets worse; these same peo­ple will assert with great pas­sion that God told them to tithe to their in­sti­tu­tion. IT GETS WORSE. These same people will scream, yell, spit and throw absolute fits with the message of, "If you don't tithe you're not right with God." At that point it’s now a conversation of justification before God.

For­tu­nate­ly, they do not have that pow­er, and the scrip­tures in­ti­mate noth­ing of

the kind.

To un­der­stand this, we need to look at The Old and New Covenants and un­der-

stand what was said un­der one doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly ap­ply un­der the oth­er.


A Mes­sage of Hope

I am thank­ful for Je­sus. As I think about the amount of mon­ey I have put into that plate over the years out of sheer duty, I am re­mind­ed of the fact that I want­ed to be a cheerful giv­er.

It is very dif­fi­cult to give cheer­ful­ly with the mas­sive amount of pres­sure religion imposes on one’s shoul­ders. The fear and in­tim­i­da­tion of the mes­sages I subjected myself to were overwhelm­ing.

De­scrib­ing God to me in this area of giv­ing by tithing (in a half­way at­tempt to follow the law of Moses) was al­most like the IRS. Pay up, or he will pun­ish you!

One preach­er, void of an understanding of grace, said that God would even be will­ing to take your fam­i­ly from you if you didn’t tithe. All of a sud­den, God be­came an an­gry mafia boss?




Not in a mil­lion years.

For­tu­nate­ly, this is not an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of the God who sent His Son to recon­cile the whole world to Him­self. The Old Covenant was a prov­ing ground for man, and we failed (He­brews 8:8). So, God want­ed to take the pres­sure from us to per­form and place it upon him­self. Hence, the New Covenant. (He­brews 8:8-13)

When Je­sus died, a New agree­ment be­gan (He­brews 9:16). The New Covenant was a deal God made with Him­self con­cern­ing mankind.

Je­sus en­dured the curse for our dis­obe­di­ence to the for­mer or­di­nances of the law, and we are set free as be­liev­ers (Ro­mans 5:1), hav­ing died to that which held us cap­tive. (Ro­mans 7:6)

We are no longer bound by the law of Moses that im­posed tithing on the peo­ple to feed the priests of the tem­ple. As Gen­tiles, we nev­er were in the first place. Thankful­ly, we aren’t to­day and nev­er will be.

My friend, you will not be cursed for en­joy­ing your free­dom from giv­ing 10% of your gross in­come to an in­sti­tu­tion with a 501C3 tax-exempt cor­po­ra­tion sta­tus.

“Christ hath re­deemed us from the curse of the law, be­ing made a curse for us: for it is writ­ten, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” Gala­tians 3:13

The tithe is not for the New Tes­ta­ment church. It was nev­er for the New Tes­ta­ment church. Go ahead and look all through the writ­ings of the apos­tles af­ter the death of Jesus. You will not find them ever again tithing ac­cord­ing to the law of Moses. It is finished.

No more or­di­nances of the law. Just un­mer­it­ed fa­vor and bless­ing (grace) from a

Fa­ther (God) who loves you to death (Je­sus), and res­ur­rect­ed so that He could put His

Spir­it (the Holy Spir­it) with­in you to guide you. Ro­mans 4:25-5:2


We Are Free.

Each of you should give what you have de­cid­ed in your heart to give, not re­luc­tant­ly or

un­der com­pul­sion, for God loves a cheer­ful giv­er.

2 Corint­hi­ans 9:7

We are free to give from our hearts. No pres­sure. This is be­cause Je­sus is in there. He leads us in our giv­ing. Not a set of rules and reg­u­la­tions. This is the most free­ing thing you will find when it comes to giv­ing away any­thing you have: the fact that you are free to do so.

Grace in­spires us to give. Grace does not pressure us to give. Of­ten, the giv­ing of Grace is much more than when we are pres­sured to do so by law or of necessity.

So give. Give freely from your heart, be­liev­er, to whomev­er you will. Je­sus is in


Post: Blog2_Post

Thanks for submitting!

Excited about the message of The Gospel Perspective? Donate here! 

bottom of page