by Rev. George F. Pumphrey Jr., Christ Catholic Church, (Diocese of Boston)
As a child I recall hearing my pastor, as well as other pastors, refer to Malachai 3:8 “…will a man rob god?…” This was usually followed by a long and strong lecture on giving a tenth of what you earn or possess to the church.
One of the things I hear unbelievers say is, ‘I’m not going to give ten-percent of what I make to some minister or church and make them rich!”
Giving ten-percent is a concept from the Law of Moses, found in Deuteronomy 26:12. This was a responsibility to God’s chosen people (Israelites). God’s promise of material possessions such as land, fruits of the land, freedom, sovereignty, to His chosen people, required a reciprocal act of obedience or thankfulness, hence, the tithe, i.e., ‘tenth-portion.’ This is referred to in the Old Testament.
Malachai 3:7-12, sometimes referred to as part of the ‘Mosaic Constitution’, was written to a disobedient people. Three forms of tithes are mentioned in the Old Testament: Levitical, Festival, and, in the third year, a portion to widows, strangers and the poor.
Today, some church leaders teach this ten-percent concept, as if it is a rule of law, within the church. This writer is not arguing with this position, other than to say, where does this come from biblically?
We are exempt from this Old Testament law. As Gentile Christians, there is no requirement, in the New Testament division of the Bible regarding an obligation to give a ‘specific amount’ of income, i.e., one-tenth of their income to the church or any ministry. (see Luke 18:11,12)
Let me be very clear, Christians are encouraged to be generous. Those who have more are encouraged to give more. There is a blessing for generosity. (see 2Corinthians 9:7)
Christians should pray for discernment concerning their giving to become wise enough to judge whether particular churches, ministries, and or ministers are worthy of financial support and accountable for what they receive.
DON’T BE TAKEN IN BY SEED-FAITH THEOLOGY!!! Proponents of this concept suggest or imply that you can buy your way to the Lord. THIS IS A FALSE TEACHING!!!
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But, do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”(Hebrews 13:15,16)
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