This is a question that has been debated over the past couple of years. Debated because people say that the church has employed the reverse of the Robin Hood strategy; stealing from the poor, to get richer. Pastors, ministers, bishops and the like, have been accused of theft, because some of them drive the nicest cars, own private jets, and live in the best parts of their countries, while their congregation is full of people, who can’t fend for themselves.
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Why is this so? Are they really stealing the money that is meant for the church? Are they turning a blind eye to those who are in need? Should tithing be done away with? Is it something of old, that the new churches are using to make money? Is tithing even still relevant?
Let’s start with defining what tithing is
Tithing was an instruction God gave to the children of Israel. He commanded them to provide a tenth of whatever increase they had. Some have argued that tithing was a thing of the old covenant. A religious duty performed by the children of Israel, as instructed by God. God asks a relevant question in Malachi 3. He says—“will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, in what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.” Then Malachi 3:10 goes ahead to say—“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” Says God.
But that is the old testament, Jesus came and did away with all the religious activities. Tithing is absent from the new testament, some argue. Let us talk about where else tithing can be found in the Bible, including the new testament. The first time the concept of tithing is mentioned in the bible, was when Abraham came in contact with a high priest named Melchizedek. The priest blessed Abraham, and Abraham gave him 10% of all he had acquired in the battle he was returning from (Genesis 14:20).
The Bible confirms this same story in the book of Hebrews (7) saying—“…to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all…” “Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham, gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people, according to the law.” This passage is found in the new testament, which indicates its relevancy, in our own times.
Although some think, that it was the Levites who came up with this law; before there was ever a Levi, Abraham existed and gave 10% of his proceeds to the High Priest of God. Prior to that, it wasn’t indicated that anyone paid tithes. But it was something God impressed on the heart of Abraham, and it is a commandment, we are still to follow as believers today.
The arguments don’t surprise me when I hear them, even in the time of Jesus, people had a lot of doubt in the message he preached. They found every opportunity to challenge his thoughts, with him defying the odds, every time. This is not to say people don’t take advantage of others. A lot of people use religion as a tool to enslave their fellow humans. Even the Bible talks about how people steal from the poor, and take advantage of gullible women, in the name of prayer and counseling.
So God is not blinded to those who sin in his name. He will surely judge them.
But because others are doing wrong with the word of God, doesn’t mean the word of God is obsolete or irrelevant. Because someone stabbed somebody with a knife, does not mean a knife cannot be used for the right purpose, in the hands of somebody else. There are perks that come with tithing. I firmly believe that the enemy wants to keep people away from enjoying these perks; which is why he busies them with all these sorts of arguments.
Is Tithing Beneficial?
Oh yes, it is! If you keep reading from Malachi 3:10, you will come across some benefits like:
Innumerable blessings from God—prove me now in this, says the Lord of hosts if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing, that you will not have room enough to receive it. (Vs. 10)
Protection—And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground. (Vs. 11)
Prosperity—Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit in your field. (Vs. 11)
Recognition—And all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts. (Vs. 12)
Why wouldn’t the enemy try to stop you from tithing, when he knows the benefits of it?
One more passage of scripture, for those who claim that tithing is not new testament approved. See Matthew 23:23 (this is Jesus speaking by the way)—“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay TITHE of mint, anise, and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. These you ought to have DONE, without leaving the others UNDONE.”
To answer the question asked in the title of this article; yes tithing is very relevant. Make sure as you pay your tithes; you are also not neglecting the other things God has called us to do. I think there should be a balance in the church; you can preach about giving and tithing, but let it be as much as you teach about —justice, mercy, and faith (the three things Jesus mentioned above, that are also of utmost importance to Him).
So people, don’t bother yourselves with where the money is going; God sees all things and will hold up His end of the bargain. But if you can’t shake that feeling off, you can request you’re your church reveals to you what they do with the funds. If it is a reasonable church, they wouldn’t take offense with your request and will be happy to let you know what happens behind the scenes. Everything we own, is a blessing from God. And all he asks for in return is 10%, and then the regular offerings; so the church can be well taken care of, and the needy within each church community, will be provided for as well. If everyone gave, and every church was honest with where the funds went, poverty will not be as prevalent.
For the people who steal, who keep oppressing the poor, using church funds to fuel their immoral lifestyle, you of all people should know that God sees your every move, and you will be repaid, according to your works. Let us continue to do what is right in the eyes of God, and God will take care of the rest.
About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.