I Don’t Tithe.

HomeChristianity and the BibleI Don’t Tithe.

I don’t tithe.

I grew up in church. I was very active in my youth group. I attended a private Christian college, where I studied religion. Why am I writing this article? Because, in all of those years, I’ve never heard any preacher or teacher explain the Biblical basis for tithing… and I think it’s time someone addressed the issue. As theorized by the majority of Christian churches by around 42% of Christian churches, tithing is the practice of giving 10% of your income to your local church. I say “theorized” because churches that actually receive 10% are incredibly rare.

Based on what I’ve learned during my study over the years, I’ve decided not to tithe. Yes, I know. Many of you are thinking “this guy’s going straight to hell.” Bear with me for a moment, and you might end up agreeing with me. I’m not going to discuss church traditions or personal opinions here… I’m only going to talk about what the Bible says. You remember the Bible, don’t you?

There are three types of tithes mentioned in the Bible: The Mosaic tithe, Abraham’s (Abram’s) tithe, and Jacob’s tithe. Let’s look at them one at a time:

Abraham’s (Abram’s) Tithe

Genesis 14 tells of Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek. Note the following:

Jacob’s Tithe

Genesis 28 tells of Jacob’s tithe to God. Note the following:

The Mosaic Tithe

There are many Bible verses that deal with the Mosaic tithe, and I won’t list all of them here. I’ll keep this short by saying that the tithe was required by Mosaic Law, included livestock and crops, was compensation to the Levites, and was given as well to those with no inheritance in the promised land. This included priests, widows, orphans, and foreign converts to Judaism.

All of that is really beside the point, anyway: the Mosaic Law, based on God’s covenant with Abraham and his physical descendants, no longer applies to Jews… and it never applied to Christians.

Christians and the Law

In case that’s not clear enough, let’s read some of what Paul the Apostle has to say about Christians and ‘the Law’:

Need more? Well, let’s read Hebrews 8, especially verse 13: By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

This passage clearly indicates that God’s covenant with the Jews has been replaced by a newer, and better, covenant.

What can we conclude from all this? Are we to tithe, or not to tithe? Simple: the Bible never commands Christians to tithe. If you want to give 10% of your money to a local church, that’s between you and God. However: those who preach or teach that the Bible commands Christians to tithe are simply wrong. They’re either ignorant about what the Bible does say, or they’re afraid to actually tell the truth.

Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not at all suggesting that Christians are free to not give. If someone wants to give any amount of money to their local church, they should feel free to do so. The Bible is undeniably clear that Christians should generously give to those in need… but it does not say that God commands us to give 10% of our money to our local church. This article isn’t about giving, it’s about the proper handling of Scripture. Preachers and teachers should teach the Word of God, no matter what their denomination’s traditions might be.

I’m open to correction on this issue. If anyone can find actual real Bible verses that contradict what I’ve written, I’d love to see them.

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90 responses to “I Don’t Tithe.”

  1. Michael Waldron says:

    Good article. Nice to see someone who actually studies the Word and comes away with the correct interpretation. Problem is, most parishioners have never really studied the subject, they just spout off the scriptures spoken from the pulpit.

  2. amponsah nicholas says:

    have you read about Malachi 3:8-12 that will definitely help you to pay your tithe.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Amponsah Nicholas:

      I’m very happy to hear that you’ve read Malachi 3:8-12. Let me recommend that you also read Malachi 1:1…it says “The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi”. You might also read Malachi 3:6, where God again identifies His audience: the descendants of Jacob.

      The plain and simple reality is that Malachi was written specifically to Israelites, and has never applied to Gentiles. Why would you butt into a covenant that God made with someone else? We Christians have our own covenant, and that should be enough for you and me and everybody else.

      • Rabbit says:

        Romans 10:12

        • Tony says:


          Thanks for commenting. Let me see if I understand what you mean…I’ll recap the conversation for clarity:

          ME: I don’t tithe. Tithing is part of the Mosaic law, and – not being Jewish – that law never applied to me.

          YOU: Romans 10:12

          ME: Oh. Yeah, you’re right.

          No, wait…that’s not how it went. Everything looks good, right up to the point where I agreed with you. =) Why would I disagree with you? Simple: because you disagree with you. Romans 10:12 says For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile…right? That’s your response to me saying that I don’t follow the Mosaic law. The problem is that you don’t follow the law, either. When you decide to live as the Torah instructed the ancient Israelites, let me know. We’ll have a nice, long conversation about whether that’s what God wants. Until then, don’t pretend that Christians need to tithe because it’s part of the Mosaic law.

          On a more serious note, I’d be happy to explain why you and I shouldn’t use the Mosaic Law as a guide for living. Let me know if you’d like to have that discussion. It won’t be based on my opinion. It will be based in Scripture, on which we probably, largely, agree.

        • Rasugu Omariba says:

          Romans 10:12 means that Jews and Gentiles alike can now have faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, they (Jews) are no longer saved by keeping the law seeing that Jesus has effected a new and better covenant.

      • Jules says:

        When God refers to Israel, He refers to them as “this that are separatedinto Him”. He’s speaking to Believers. When Gentiles joined the Jews in the OT, they took on their Laws, their ways. Malachi is speaking to those who Believe…
        I guess my question is, why are you working so hard to look at Scripture that supports in not giving? It might be because you don’t wish to give in the first place…which is fine. Them simply don’t give. God would appreciate that more, as the heart with which we give is most important. I will say this…God doesn’t need our money. Giving is a private experience between the person & the Lord…it says a ton about our faith & our obedience. It’s an opportunity for us to know in our own mind just what our level of faith is…& if you wish to hold on to the Scripture that you say supports your opinion, I have one more question. What about the time before there was Jew & Gentile? What do I mean?? Were Adam & Eve Jew or gentile? Cain, Able & Seth…Jew? Gentile? When Moses wrote down the Law, was it for only the Jew? Or was it for Gentiles? It was written for everyone & anyone who wishes to HONOR God….there are more than 10 commandments… we have the option to follow any..ir not. But how we follow or how we don’t follow says a lot about our heart, our faith & how we believe. It’s nite about Jew…it’s not about gentile…it’s about Heart…it’s about who we honor. Do you honor God…or do you honor yourself??
        Tithing is a beautiful opportunity to see God work in your life…He actually tells us to test Him in this…why would you not take Him up on that offer??? The answer to that lies right there within you. Trust your mind to know it & ship following your heart…which is deceitful.

        • Tony says:


          When God refers to Israel, He’s speaking of Israel. Some were/are believers, others not so much. There is no sense in which gentile believers are Israel. Jesus spoke of having other sheep, and said that He came first for the Jews. Pretending that modern believers ‘are Israel’ is just pretending. That doesn’t match what we see in the Bible.

          So, no. Malachi didn’t prophesy to ‘those who believe.’ He prophesied to specific people at a specific place in a specific time. Simply read the text. Do you live in the promised land? It’s impossible to pretend that Malachi speaks directly to you or me. That would mean that somehow Malachi 1:8 applies to us, right?

          When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

          I don’t know about you, but I don’t offer animal sacrifices. Jesus is the final sacrifice. We are not descendants of Jacob (3:6), we are heirs of the promise to Abraham. Will God prevent pests from devouring your crops (3:11)? I would have to say that you’re clearly not a serious student of the Bible if you’re confident enough in your error to try to convince others. Your logic isn’t… it’s illogical.

          You ask why I work so hard to look at Scripture that supports not giving. I haven’t done that. I’ve simply pointed to the fact that those who teach that God demands a tithe aren’t taking the Bible seriously enough. I would suggest that you’re not either. If, as you say, giving is a private experience, why are you trying to convince others to think like you do? That makes no sense.

          Adam and Eve are neither Jew nor gentile. Jews are descendants of Judah. They are ancestors of Judah. Gentile is simply a word used to describe people who are not Jews…but there were no Jews back then. Again, you’re being illogical. The Law of Moses, as anyone who reads Exodus can see, was part of God’s covenant with the descendants of Jacob. God didn’t bring you or I out of slavery in Egypt, and Canaan is not our promised land. You’re butting into a relationship where you weren’t invited.

          It’s good that you want God’s best for me. I do appreciate that you’re trying to help me. However: you’re not being helpful if you offer the wrong medicine. I grew up tithing. I was a licensed minister in a church that teaches storehouse tithing a la Malachi 3:10. It’s not like I don’t know your position. I simply want you to read the Bible more carefully. It’s okay with me if you give 10% of your money to your local church. What’s not okay is when people say that that’s what God wants, because that clearly doesn’t match His Word. Tithing was something Israelites did in their covenant with God. You and I have our own covenant, and it’s not like the first.

  3. amponsah nicholas says:

    the one that is having a homosexual feelings is totally evil.it is man and woman not man and man.please see a powerful man of God to deliver you or else it will destroy you one day.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Nicholas: the Bible clearly indicates that temptation is not sin. Having a desire isn’t evil at all. What we DO when we’re tempted determines whether we’re right or wrong.

    • echee says:

      Amponsah,you are sick in your head.to heaven or hell with ur powerful man of God.follow follow christian.this article is on point.well done Tony.

  4. amponsah nicholas says:

    The bible is proof and truth of Christianity,do we have to leave some and obey some? no. there were some things that Jesus came to fulfill. he said i did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it.so if God wrote Malachi to the children of Israel then it means, the rest of the old testament books are not to be obeyed by gentiles.so now tell me, what brings the blessing of God to a christian.what do you think.

    • Tony Scialdone says:


      You asked “do we have to leave some and obey some?”. The answer is clearly YES. Are you planning to build an ark? How about a tabernacle in the wilderness? I’m not a farmer…should I start farming so I can leave the corners of my fields unharvested for widows and orphans?

      Every passage of Scripture is God’s Word. I believe the Bible to be fully trustworthy. Everything in the Bible was written FOR us, Nicholas…but not everything in the Bible was written TO us. There’s a big difference.

      We have to read each passage to see to whom it was written. God created a covenant with the children of Israel (Jacob). That covenant didn’t include the Chinese, or the Italians, or the Ethiopians…it was only with the Israelites. I’m not an Israelite, so that covenant NEVER included me.

      God’s covenant with the Israelites DID include people like Paul. What did Paul write about the law? It’s easy to find out: just read the article above. Unless you’re willing to say that Paul contradicts Jesus, we need to work to reconcile the two. I have no problem doing that…here:

      1. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Jesus fulfilled the law completely.

      2. Paul wrote that we are no longer under the law. I’m not sure how much more clear Paul could have been, and I’m not sure why would you read his words and not say, “Oh. I think I have some more thinking to do”. Instead, you seem to be suggesting that we SHOULD follow the law. Why is that?

      I hope you don’t take my disagreement as dislike. I really, really appreciate hearing from you on this. It’s important that disciples of Jesus work together to make sure we’re on track…so you’re doing me a favor by questioning me. If I’m wrong, I want to know it! I’m sure you’re the same way…if you’re wrong, you probably want to know it. I appreciate that.

      • B R says:

        Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

        This passage teaches that even those, to whom the Son Of God was not sent, can be blessed through their faith and belief. If one doesn’t have faith in God and the blessings of tithe, then tithing would have none effect and neither would prayers to Him be answered.

        • B R says:

          The above post was taken from St. Matthew 15: 22-28.

        • Tony Scialdone says:

          B R:

          I find your logic puzzling. In what passages of Scripture can we learn that believing in tithing will get us the blessings of tithing, but not believing won’t?

      • amponsah nicholas says:

        please lets get a clear foundation here,in Galatians 3:27 Paul said that if ye be Christs then are ye Abraham seed according to the promise.so even though the promise was with Isaac, as soon as you come to Christ you are entitled to the blessings of Abraham, even though there are conditions to the blessings.so now, physically we are not Israelite but spiritually we are.do you know that the dispensation of the OT is different from our own, so can we say that because Paul wrote 1 Corinthians,11 Corinthians etc to some specific people and not to Ethiopians or Italians ,Italians who accepts Christ will not obey what is written in 1 and 11 Corinthians, unless it is written specifically to them?unless you will tell me that when Jesus came,the pattern of how we should tithe was changed. you can also realize that what Jesus fulfilled in some of the laws of Moses is what we obey now.what do you think.

        • Tony Scialdone says:


          I really appreciate your efforts at bringing more Scripture into the discussion. One of the principles of Biblical interpretation is that the clearer verses help us interpret the less clear ones. So, when dealing with any specific topic (like tithing), we begin with the verses that deal directly with tithing…then we expand outward, in a sense, to other related passages that might help us understand them.

          Reading Malachi (the whole thing, and not just one or two verses) is a good idea. When you do that, you’ll see that the entire book is written very specifically to a group of people in a specific situation, at a specific point in time, in a specific place. The word of the Lord to Israel, given to Malachi, would make no sense had they not been in the promised land, and had they not been under the law, and had they not been disobedient. Malachi has NEVER applied to anyone else. There’s plenty we can learn about God from Malachi, but it was not written as a guide for Christian living. Please: go read the whole book. It’s only 4 chapters.

          Regardless of any other verses that you or I might find to bring into the discussion, we MUST FIRST deal with the primary verses. Until that happens, we will go around and around without solving anything. Here’s what we know FOR SURE:

          1. Your use of Malachi 3:10 to teach that Christians should give 10% of their money to their local church is, quite simply, in error.

          2. Any suggestion that Christians take part in Israelite law is, quite simply, in error. Paul’s words above, which appear in your Bible as well as mine, should put that to rest.

          In other words, deal first with the primary passages. When we’ve understood those, we can move on to others.

  5. kutlo says:

    I lıke that tony saıd ıt was wrıtten for us and not to us,that means that we are to look ınto scrıptures when we have an ıssue or ın a sıtuatıon,and u wıll certaınly fınd an answer ın ıt.the fırst thıng that you should know as a chrıstıan should be that we are the ısrael of today or consıdered the church,ıts suprısıng that you,tony,would say whatever was wrıtten to the ısraelıtes was wrıtten for us to learn from too,offerıngs and tıthıngs from way back ın the church were expected of Chrıstıans.thıs was to buıld on the church or to gıve those who were ın need.@ı dont tıthe: offerıngs are gıven from the heart and ıt can be any amount,example the woman who gave lıttle but had gıven all that she had.however tıthıng ıs takıng 10th that ıs 10 percent of what you earn,belıevıng that God has blessed you wıth ıt and therefore a way of gıvıng back to the Lord or those who labour to save you or to teach you of the Lord’s word and are consıdered as what God has gıven you to save you and thıs ıs a form of gıvıng back to hıs work,for example Aaron(ın Numbers 18:08 goıng down).oblıgatıons are not emphasısed on thıs ıssue,but we can say ıts between you and your God.you have heard the truth,offerıng and tıthıng ıs necessary ın the house of the Lord towards buıldıng hıs house,gıvıng back to Hım what he has blessed you wıth, gıvıng towards hıs work,and to gıve those ın need.

    • Tony Scialdone says:


      You say that tithes were expected of Christians in the early church. Do you have any Scriptural evidence?

      I hear this concern regularly: “How will the church pay its bills without tithes?”. The answer is simple: by the faithfulness of its members. It’s perfectly okay to give 10% of your money to your local church, if that’s what the Holy Spirit is leading you to do.

      What’s not okay is pretending that the Bible instructs Christians to do it, or that they’re robbing God if they don’t. If God tells me to give 22%, giving 10% would be wrong. If God tells me to give 9%, giving 8% would be wrong. If God tells me to give some money to the Salvation Army, and I give it to United Way instead, I would be disobedient.

      It’s not about bills, or percentages, or blessings. It’s about sound Biblical interpretation and obeying the Holy Spirit.

  6. kutlo says:

    2 Corınthıans 9:

    12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Thanks, kutlo…your encouragement means a lot. The tithe is a debt, so no generosity is involved. Christians should be generous!

  7. kutlo says:

    thank you Tony realıse the 12th verse,that ıt states that the service of gıvıng money to the church ıs supplying the needs of the Lord’s people,( that ıs your pastor ıf he doesnt work,and he lıves only to preach or those ın church who are poor) and also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God(to say thank you Lord,you have gıven to me,therefore let the church receıve thıs on your behalf as an apprecıatıon from me).you spoke of genorosıty,yes ıt should be gıven wıth genorosıty ın your heart not wıth murmurıng,ıf you stıll murmur or dont belıve ın ıt,then pray to God that he may reveal the truth to you.then ask yourself ıf 1.ıt means you havent changed much,repented or grown spırıtually that you stıll murmur about materıal thıngs,money,and gıvıng to the Lord,2.you dont apprecıate much the person who mınısters to you,because ı belıeve ıf you apprecıated the work and theır strıvıng towards workıng on your spırıt and preachıng to you real salvatıon and seeıng theır passıon towards Gods work you would be more than wıllıng to gıve 10percent of what you earn.ın Genıses 28Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”…,thıs ıs the spırıt we (saınts of the body)should have when we have found a church that preaches the true gospel and real salvatıon

    • Tony Scialdone says:


      Maybe you should step back for a moment and spend a little time thinking about this conversation. You just wrote over 400 words, and here’s what you said:

      Pastors should be paid.
      We should be generous.
      Jacob tithed.
      We should be like Jacob.

      What does that have to do with whether Christians should tithe?

  8. kutlo says:

    Here ıs what ı wrote,we should gıve back to Gods work and Hıs churchhouse,Chrıstıans should try to ımıtate good spırıt found ın the bıble done by saınts that were redeemed,had a real salvatıon and were guıded by the Holy spırıt.

  9. sej says:

    thanks for the article, really liked it.
    what do you say about Matthew 23:23 “Woe
    to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill
    and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice
    and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without
    neglecting the others.”
    so Jesus himself tells them to tithe.

  10. LiveCatholic says:

    A great article that will help me as a catholic Christian explain to my Pentecostal friends and family why they are incorrect when they claim tithing as biblical. I also note that your position as described above seems to me totally consistent with the Catholic Church.

  11. Tony says:


    Yes. Jesus did tell some Jewish leaders, who lived under the Mosaic Law, that they should be tithing. For those of us who aren’t first-century Jews, tithing doesn’t make sense.

  12. Tony says:

    Happy to help, LiveCatholic!

  13. Miguel Obando Rojas says:

    We in Latin America should thank God first and then thank the Americans for bringing the message of the Gospel to our countries and opening our eyes to see all the false teachings of the roman catholic church, but sadly, and I have to say that it is really sad, they also brought this false teaching about tithing with them.
    By forcing this law of the Old Testament into the message of the Gospel, which is something, completely apart and different from the old covenant, they introduced us to: a false Gospel, or better said: something that is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    They, the Americans and now our different denominations and pastors in Latin America, they all preach a mixture of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant: salvation by grace but only if tithes are paid. They make one thing very clear: “Those who don`t tithe are robbing God”. For them, it doesn`t matter if Jesus Christ redeemed us!!! I can`t image a worst way to deny the true message of the Gospel of Christ!!!
    And they are all so blind, that they can`t see the contradiction they teach!! If we are saved by grace, then we don`t have to pay anything!! And if we have to pay tithes to be saved then we are no longer saved by grace!!
    It would be something different, if they would teach that anyone who wants to tithe is free to do it, and that anyone who doesn`t want to do it, or simple can`t do it for any reason, then he is not in obligation to do it, and he is still saved by God`s grace.

  14. Gwendolyn Holsey says:

    I am so greatful for the TRUTH…but at the same time disheartened to learn that I had put trust in someone whom I beileved would always be truthful with me, especially when it concerns God’s word. Now the bigger problem is acutally finding a ministry that doesn’t brainwash the congregation in tithing. If you know of ministries that are teaching the unadulterated truth in GA please contact me via my email address.

  15. Daniel Phineas says:

    Good teaching. That is the truth: we as pegans, we are not under the law of Moses, but under the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ. As pegans we’ve never been under the law of Moses given only to the people of Israël. We only knew God through the new convenant ignogurated by Jesus. In this new convenant the new israel that Christians are, people give freely and willingly according to their prosperity with joy and love. Never in the new testament Christians thited. Preachers nowdays use the law of Moses in the old convenant of Israël to make money in order to support the charges and the bills of their temples. But they forgot that our body is the real temple of God.

    • Tony says:


      I appreciate hearing from you. We agree, generally. I wouldn’t suggest, as you seem to, that all those who teach that Christians should tithe do it to ‘make money.’ Some do it simply because they either don’t know any better, or because – for some unknown reason – they consider that part of the Mosaic Law binding.

      One small note: I would avoid using the term ‘pagan’ to refer to Christians today. It wouldn’t do to confuse followers of Jesus with those involved in what is now know as ‘Paganism.’ =)

  16. Daniel Phineas says:

    Hi Tony,

    If those who encourage people To thite do not understand that thiting is not for Christians they should not teach on this topic. They are leading christians in a wrong way; this is blamable.
    Dealing with the word “pegan”, consider it the same way that you use the word “gentils” as a jew would do it. This word was used by jews in order to speak about people that were not from Israël. But you are right people that do not know about that can be confused in their understanding. So please understand the context in which I used the word “pegan” it is concerning the old testament and the law of Moses for jews not pegan or gentils or Christians. Christians are not and have never been under the law of Moses that God gave to his people Israël. Our convenant is with Jesus-Christ based on God grace, on faith, on love, and freedom To do good deeds like giving money to the church according to your prosperity.

    God bless you.

    • Tony says:


      >> If those who encourage people To thite do not understand that thiting is not for Christians they should not teach on this topic.

      We agree: we should only teach things we’ve studied. Keep in mind that one can teach in error without malice. We all do the best we can. You and I have plenty to learn about lots of things, but that doesn’t keep us from discussing them anyway. Others do the same. Also keep in mind that being mistaken about tithing would not disqualify anyone from the Kingdom…if it did, I would be disqualified because that’s what I was taught. It’s not going to prevent anyone from going to Heaven. It might confuse people, and make trusting God more difficult, which is why I even bother bringing it up.

      >> pegan

      For the record, being “pegan” means you’re a ‘paleo-vegan’. That’s a kind of diet methodology. Being “pagan” means different things to different people. Generally speaking, it means that one is outside the main teachings of any world religion. Speaking from within a group (like a Christian speaking as a Christian), it means anyone believing something other than Christianity. It can also refer to Neo-Paganism, which is the formal designation of a group that proposes a modern revival of the religious beliefs of pre-Christian Europe. Because it means different things to different people, using it will probably only cause confusion. When speaking of those who follow the teachings of the Old and/or New Testament, the term “Gentile” (non-Jew) seems most appropriate.

      Have a great day!

  17. Daniel Phineas says:

    Shalom Tony,
    Thanks for your explaination. I agree with. I understand very Well what you mean. You are right concerning the salvation which does not dépend on the teaching about thiting but only on our faith in Jesus for good deeds. And you are also right about word “gentils” which is better to use than the word “pegan”.

    I understand all that very well.
    Thanks. Keep on that way helping people, sisters and brothers to understand better.
    God bless you.

  18. akinola says:

    Tithe was based on the produce from the land of Canaan God gave to the isrealites. Infact it wasn’t money according to deut 12 or 14. Do not be brainwashed.

  19. chua xiao qiang says:

    Any question or doubtful in mind should refer to Seventh Day Adventist Church to guide you through scripture reading.

    God bless!

    • Tony says:

      Chua Xiao Qiang:

      Thanks for visiting GodWords! How did you find me? I’m always curious.

      I’ve known many, many Adventists over the years. Some have been my very good friends. In spite of that fact, I can’t recommend the SDA as a reliable guide for understanding Scripture. Many of my Adventist friends are solid, mature Christians. Unfortunately, many of my Adventist friends tell me that, despite being an Adventist for many years, they had never heard the Gospel in an SDA church. Through my many discussions about the Bible with Adventists, I’ve seen that this is the case. Some SDA churches preach the Gospel as the Bible expresses it, but others do not. They preach a combination of legalism and the over-reverence of Ellen G. White.

      One might understand the Gospel in a Seventh-Day Adventist church, but one might not. That troubles me, and it should trouble you as well. Don’t get me wrong: I love Adventists! I love them so much that I’m willing to criticize their church’s leadership for failing to lead in this regard.

      I wish you well, friend.

  20. chua xiao qiang says:

    ” How do we rob you [God]?
    In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me [God].

    if you do not pay tithe, the bible says you are robbing God and you are under a curse. This curse cannot be removed by your good works or the fact that you are born again. You can only reverse this curse if you start paying tithe. Tithe is the only key to prosperity and God’s blessing.
    The bible is very clear about this and there is no way around it. You have to choose between being under God’s curse and God’s blessings, so abundant and uncountable.

    Those who dont pay tithe are robbing God because all income is from God. All God asks is 10%, not 50%, not 90%.
    God the giver of all just wants a little portion to take care of the men of God and help spread the gospel.

    • Tony says:

      Chua Xiao Qiang:

      When reading the Bible, it’s important to avoid taking a passage out of context. When we do that, it’s easy to misunderstand the passage. You’ve quoted from the 3rd chapter of Malachi. Let’s see what Malachi 1:1 says.

      A prophecy: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

      The book of Malachi was written to the people of Israel. Let’s look a little closer to the passage you’ve quoted, okay? Let’s look at Malachi 3:6.

      I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

      The book of Malachi was written to the people of Israel…the descendants of Jacob. If we look at the Law, where God outlined the rules for the tithe, we can see that He was talking to Israelites at the time. Now let’s see what God said would happen to the Israelites if they obeyed Him. Let’s look at Malachi 3:11-12, which comes right after the part you quoted.

      I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any crops. I have no fields, let alone vines. Nations do not call me blessed, and they didn’t do it even when I gave 10% of my money to the local church in what I thought was obedience to God. The plain and simple truth is that we can only understand Malachi 3:8-10 when we also read the rest of Malachi. Because you have taken this passage from its context, you have misunderstood it.

      When we study the tithe, we see that Levites were to be the recipients of the tithe. You might read Numbers 18 and see for yourself. Here’s verse 24:

      I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord.

      I’m pretty confident that the pastor of your church, like the pastor of my church, isn’t a Levite…so they shouldn’t be collecting tithes. If we’re going to do what God wants, after all, shouldn’t we pay close attention to how He tells us to do it?

      One final note, my friend. You say that God only asks for 10%. It is true that God only demanded 10% of the crops and animals from the children of Israel. From you and me, however, the price is much higher. God doesn’t want 10% of what we have. God wants all of it. The New Testament’s financial standard isn’t to pay a debt of 10% to God, but to acknowledge that everything we have comes from Him…and that we are stewards of that which He has entrusted to us. Ten percent isn’t enough for a Christian. The standard is everything: 100%.

      Let me know if you have any questions, or would like to talk further. Have a great day!

  21. Core says:

    Thank you for bringing up this topic, its now a year having stopped paying tithes at my local church because a light has come. My heart has totally closed,I don’t want to tithe anymore and I told my pastor who in turn told me that I have been attacked by the devil. The pastor told me that tithe protects me, but as I read my bible, it tells me that they overcame the devil by the blood of Jesus and the word of their testimonies. The bible never said it’s because of paying tithes.
    The pastor told me that I will go to hell if I do not tithe.As of now the pastor wants me to pay back for all the months that I did not pay plus the 5% interest. Right now I live with fear, I don’t want to go to church because of that.
    But I tell you what I’m even free to give anyone who is in need other than tithing. I just want to be free.

    Please help a sister. How do I tell my pastor that I disagree with him without making him feel dishonored.
    I believe that I’m saved by Jesus Christ, and I’m the righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    • Tony says:


      You’re in a tough spot. You want to honor your pastor (that’s a good thing) but he claims you’re sinning. That’s unfortunate…it’s no wonder you don’t want to go to church. I wouldn’t want to go, either. In fact, I would never go back and sit under that pastor’s teaching again.

      That might sound harsh…but I’m not a follower of pastors. I’m a follower of Jesus. The Apostle Paul didn’t say “follow me”…he said “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). For that reason, I’m not tied to any specific leader at any local church. I attend a local church, and I voluntarily place myself under the leadership of those who minister there…but that submission ends when they stop following Christ’s example, or when they teach nonsense instead of the gospel.

      It might encourage you to know that something like 70% of pastors don’t consider tithing to be expected of Christians. I know that encouraged me…I was under the impression that I was very much in the minority. Now, some might suggest that 70% of pastors are wrong. They might be, of course. I didn’t base my decision to not tithe on popularity, but on Scripture itself. You’ve read my article, and you’re convinced…I’m just trying to show you that you’re not alone, and that your pastor is a theological loon. Feel free to send him a link to my article as a rebuttal to his suggestion that you pay back tithe. Let him contact me and tell me how I’ve steered you wrong. If he’s a man of God, he will look at the Scriptures and pray to understand them. If he’s not, he will continue to preach nonsense, to try to pull rank on you and intimidate you, and I will publish every last bit of it for the world to see.

      I’m really sorry you’re in this situation, Core. I wish you nothing but God’s best in looking for a new church. If you’d like a couple of recommendations, feel free to contact me and tell me where you live.

  22. José says:

    Hi, thanks for such antes interesante topic. In fact, i’m having some issues about tithing and my local church. The pastor keeps replying that if i don’t tithe, i Will be cursed, and help me god that nothing bad happens. The other argument Is that, is the only way that The pastors can have an income, how should i debate this? Thanks

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for asking!

      Your pastor needs to do more Bible study. The problem is that your pastor is taking Malachi 3:9 out of context. When you read the surrounding verses, you can see what God was saying. Look at verse 6, where we see that God is speaking to the descendants of Jacob. That’s not you or me. Look at verse 11, where we see the reward for faithful tithing…God’s promises have to do with crops, and the reputation of Israel. If you go back to Malachi 1:1, you and your pastor will see what everyone sees: that this book is a prophecy to Israel. The church is not Israel, we don’t live in the promised land, and we are not under the Law. Tithing is part of the Mosaic covenant that God made with Moses and the Israelites, and has never applied to you or me or your pastor.

      As for pastors making money, let’s think about it carefully. Should pastors teach an error (the idea that God tells Christians to tithe) in order to make a living? Of course not. Are there other ways to make sure the church has the money it needs to operate? Of course! When a pastor teaches the Word of God carefully and responsibly, they will teach that Christians are to be stewards of all that God has given them. That includes money, and much more. We have plenty of examples in the New Testament where Christians are taught that ministers deserve to make a living for their service. For example:

      The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18)

      Do you see the word “double”? That doesn’t mean that elders should be paid double…but they could because – according to Paul – they deserve it. Some pastors are afraid to stop teaching people to tithe because they’re worried about their bills. I understand (having been a paid minister in the past), but I could never agree with that. We should all teach the truth, regardless of the consequences. God will provide…and I’m confident that God will especially provide for those who avoid letting their fears determine how they preach. The question is not “how will I get paid?” but “what does the Bible say?”.

      Please feel free to have your pastor contact me if he disagrees. I’m willing to be shown my own errors.

  23. Angela Morrow says:

    Hi Tony,
    I too have grown up being taught that only when I tithe will I be blessed, and when things were failing it was because I didn’t tithe. I was not allowed to work in my church because I wasn’t tithing regularly. There were seasons when my husband and I had tithed thousands to this church and so much of our time that life kids went a bit wayward and we ultimately ended in divorce. I tried to continue tithing and stay connected to this church but my finances changed so drastically that I couldn’t keep up. I know we should not be looked at for our works but I started international missions for this church and did so with very little support from them while giving all the honor of my efforts to their name. When a position came open and leadership over that department wanted to give me the job which could changed my finances I was denied because they said they looked at my tithing record. It broke me for a long time. Today I reading this because I am on disability and barely am making it and was trying to decide whether or not to tithe. What I have learned from what you have written is that giving comes from the heart that love the Lord and it is He that leads us yo give where He shows the need. I do give but I now am confirmed that it is not my responsibility to make sure that my pastor continues to pad the pockets of his family and close friends while my gas and elecricity are being threaten. I am free and I thank you for knowledge imparted. I believe the word says we perish for the lack of knowledge. Job 36:12,Hosea 4:6,Proverbs 5:23 & 10:21. Getting understanding is our responsibility.
    Thank You Again

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m pleased that your desire is to please God! I would suggest that the difference between a tither who is legalistic (not all tithers are) and the New Testament ideal is that the tither wants to give God what He is due, right from the beginning…but that’s the opposite of what we see in the New Testament. Christians are to consider all that we have (and all that we are) to belong to God, and that we are simply stewards of His resources. Our standard is much, much higher. That’s not a point of pride, just an explanation. It doesn’t matter if you make a million dollars a day or if you only have one dollar: what you have is God’s, because YOU are God’s. Pleasing Him with much or with little is the same. Let Him guide you in everything, including in what you do with His money.

      Have a great day!

  24. Michael Royer says:

    I really appreciate your facts pointing out about the tithe in the new testament. We are definitely on the same page and same agreement. Thanks for backing it all up with scripture. I will say yes Pastors do tithe, because think of it… They get it back.

    • Tony says:

      While we agree, I would take issue with the last part of your statement. Tithes usually go into a church’s general budget, which pays the bills. The pastor’s salary is usually a line item in the general budget. In most cases, the pastors have nothing to do with the actual bookkeeping in the churches they lead.

  25. Dr.Peter says:

    Dear Tony,
    It is really a biblically centred sound doctrine!
    Thank you for words. It really helps me a lot for this particular topic.

  26. Prince says:

    I stopped tithing because it simply does not work for me. It actually put me in a bind as if it were a curse doing so. I only speak for myself. It’s a big time lie. I believe the catch and reel is “ the overflow of blessings you’ll receive”. My current pastor tried to convince me “ would I rather be cursed than to receive this overflowing blessing?” But I think peoples problem is they’re too concerned of what they can get out of sugar daddy Jesus that they miss the whole purpose of the Gospel. There are too many Jesus in the church, I could name a few: The prosperity Jesus, the name it claim it Jesus, etc. Back to my point, I was in church this past Sunday with my wife who is adamant about tithing but she doesn’t even tithe herself. When something goes wrong in the house she ultimately believes it’s because were cursed by God for not tithing. One day it was so bad that we had a meeting with the pastor of course to indoctrinated her with the whole tithing principal. I told the pastor that this 10% requirement feels like I’m paying for my church membership as if it were like I’m a member of a country club or fraternity. It is like I am paying for my salvation even though were saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. Long story short we all came to a disagreement in peace but he ended with telling my wife and myself that God has to reveal it to me about tithing and neither him nor my wife can change my mind until the spirit reveals it. Just to keep my wife from nagging I told my wife I would try again in faith, it was a bad idea because for maybe over a month of practicing it We did not see a overflow and my wife herself didn’t even pay 10%. I asked him “if I don’t pay tithes am I not considered save and or am I hell bound?” He told me no, but I’m under a curse. I thought to myself well that’s ridiculous, why are forcing the issue of tithing then? That was about two years ago and now the church membership has dwindled down very low and it’s more of the pastors family that attends. It use to be a packed house and we had a bunch of youth. Now it’s almost empty. The pastor has gotten a little bit more aggressive as far as posting the tithing principle in the church program where he breaks down that 80% goes to your expenses/bills, 10% belongs to God, and 10% you pay yourself. I felt like tried embarrassing me because during the collection or benediction he said “well I know this guy knows the punishment for not paying God His tithe”. I was livid because not only did that put me on the spot but my wife was pointing and laughing at me. I was so livid that now I will definitely never give to that church. I rather attend another church who is not going use fear tactics or warping scripture to their advantage. I sat down and talked to God about it every time to show me the truth and I don’t get a answer other than what I’ve read. This is not a conviction of the spirit but plainly a compulsive operation they use to try to consider on paying the tithe. It just seems like this is a desperation move. Lastly I don’t know how this May effect the whole tithing thing he teaches, but I discovered that the church is filed as a corporation(501c3) and I know most of these religious entities can’t do exactly what they want. It’s like a counterfeit church.

  27. Lou Cagle says:

    Tony, it is you that has a problem with tithing. Gentiles were grafted in, tithing is of the heart, and the Lord says to test Him in this. He will bless us if we do this by faith. Kutlo up above says it very well and is trying to help you get it. Sometimes we have to face the truth, maybe you understand this tithing wrong, just maybe you are wrong. Try tithing and see the promises come your way, not financially but in many ways. Tithe means tenth. Yes, the tithe goes to the local church, and it goes from there to wages and to helping the poor, widow, etc. Open your heart and mind and ask the Lord to help you understand tithing. God will enlighten you. No debates, just be open to tithing. It is not the law, Christ came to fulfill it and we are (Christians) to tithe. Yes. This is a one time post.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing. I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t use any Bible verses to support your conclusions. You also, if you don’t mind me saying so, presumed a lot in your personal comments to me. I grew up tithing, in a church that teaches storehouse tithing. I was a licensed minister in that denomination, and have spent many years on this subject. My reason for not tithing isn’t ignorance, but knowledge. I’ve done my homework on this, and encourage you to do the same. I have no problem with anyone giving 10% of their income to their local church. I do, however, have a problem with anyone teaching that God requires it of all believers.

      I find the last bit of your comment puzzling. You say that tithing isn’t law for Christians, but we’re to do it anyway. Why exactly are we to do it? Is it because God told the nation of Israel to do it as part of His covenant with them? Is it because it sounds nice, and we want the blessings that God promised in Malachi? You know…pests not devouring crops, and vines not dropping their fruit before it is ripe. There’s a reason that a large majority of evangelical protestant ministers disagree with you, and it doesn’t come from ignorance or stubbornness. It comes from a knowledge of the Scriptures. I wish you well, Lou.

  28. Lou Cagle says:

    Chua, you are right. I had stopped tithing, and going through a time of trying to understand it. I will start again. I believe as you do and am asking God to help me in this. So, thank you for your post. That was one Scripture I had forgot. Things in the church stopped me in my tracks and I began to question a lot of things about the church, but now I am beginning to get it again. Thanks Chua.

    • Tony says:


      Make sure to give your tithes to a Levite. They’re the only ones in Scripture who can receive a tithe. =)

  29. Eyongpolo says:

    what is the purpose of tithe?.can one make heaven without paying tithes?

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for asking! The word “tithe” simply means “a tenth.” If you had ten fish and gave me one (or sold it to me) I would have a “tithe” (a tenth) of your fish. There’s nothing religious about the word.

      In the Bible, Abraham gave one-tenth of the spoils of war (a tithe) to Melchizedek. This wasn’t a religious activity. God told the Israelites to support the poor and the Levites (priests who devoted their lives to religious service) and widows and orphans by bringing one-tenth of their crops and livestock to a local storehouse. These people couldn’t own land, and the tithe was food for them. In the New Testament, Christians are never instructed to tithe. In fact, to do so would be directly disobeying God! Tithes could only be collected by a Levite, or by a descendant of Aaron. My local church doesn’t have any Levites, and I’m confident that yours doesn’t as well.

      Tithing has nothing to do with going to Heaven. You can pay all of your money, and it still won’t get you into Heaven. As the article says, the Bible is undeniably clear that Christians should generously give to those in need…but there’s no instruction for Christians to tithe. We have a different system. It’s called “stewardship.” With tithing, you give 10% of what’s yours back to God, and keep the rest. With stewardship, 100% of what you have is God’s, and you’re expected to be faithful in using it for His Kingdom.

      Does that make sense, Eyongpolo?

      I have a question for you: are you a follower of Jesus?

  30. Garrett says:

    I’m in a boat where my wife and I fully tithe along giving an offering of 5% of our gross income… (first fruits) this is recommended by the church. With all the money we give/tithe off of gross we give about 19%net. I work 2 jobs and wife stays at home with our 2 kids. (I don’t get much time with my kids) and We do not throw our money around.
    Idk why I keep tithing cept the pastor puts fear into everyone saying you will be cursed and your robbing God.. And thiefs go to hell..and your situations will never get better…. So ya.
    I do see where the scripture says to tithe but only addressed to Isreal along with the law… And the other tithes in the Bible were free will tithes.
    My questions are… Did everyone tithe in Isreal? Such as anyone who didn’t have crops or animals?
    Is there anywhere in the first churches where Paul or any Saint told the gentiles to tithe? All I find in the New testament is giving.
    I understand that a church needs money and all… But to give/tithe about 1/5th of your net income is sorta making me not want to go back.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for your honest message. No, there’s no New Testament instruction to tithe. The command to tithe had to do with the Israelites living in the promised land, and was always in the context of the old covenant. Christians don’t live in a promised land, and were never part of the old covenant. Instead, our promised land is Heaven, to which the land of Israel points. Our covenant isn’t about the letter of the written law, but about the law of love written on our hearts by the Spirit. Our standard is much higher than theirs was…100% of what we have – from our money to our time to our attention, to our very lives – is God’s, and we’re expected to be wise stewards of it.

      It’s worth noting that the New Testament references to taking offerings were about taking care of the poorer members of the church, as well as making sure the ministers of the gospel were able to make a living. Modern ministers have co-opted the instructions in the Bible (tithing in the OT, giving in the NT) and they are simply wrong. The tithe was never money. The church was never Israel. Pastors are not Levites. The idea that Christians are commanded by God to give 10% of their money to their local church has no basis in Scripture.

      I recommend (to everyone, not just to you) that you give generously to those in need, cheerfully to those whose work furthers the Kingdom, and prayerfully to those you’re trying to reach with the Gospel. If that means your local church gets less, that’s between you and God…not between you and your pastor. Being honest about the fact that tithing isn’t for Christians doesn’t mean we don’t give. It simply means we switch from owing a God small debt (10%) to owing God an infinite debt (all we are).

      There were four groups of people who didn’t tithe in ancient Israel: widows, orphans, priests, and foreign converts to Judaism. Why were they exempt from the tithe? Because the tithe was primarily FOR THEM. Why was the tithe for them? Because they were legally unable to own property in the promised land. I’m not legally able to own property in the promised land (Canaan). Are you? If you’re not, the tithe would have been collected by Levites (a requirement by God) and given to you, so you could eat.

      I’ve been there. I grew up in a tithing denomination. When I did my own research, I concluded (along with the majority of Christian pastors, thankfully) that those who use Malachi 3:10 to insist that Christians should tithe are simply wrong. Let me encourage you to sit down and read Malachi…at least the first four chapters. You will probably see what I see: that it was written directly to Israel, could only be meaningful in the context of the old covenant, and could never apply to modern Christians. Let me suggest that you and your wife sit down together and study this issue in Scripture. Pray about what you should give, agreeing that you both belong to God, who has given you all that you have. Decide together how you should give, and give that way.

      If your pastor or church has a problem with you following the New Testament’s teaching on giving, maybe your pastor and church have a problem. If, for some reason, your desire to please God in this way doesn’t meet their approval, you may need to find another congregation with whom you can more freely worship. I hate even writing that down, but there are some in leadership who will put people in that position. Obey God, Garrett. Do not fear your pastor.

  31. Kim says:

    This answers to many questions for me. Thank you for writing this and thank you for replying to most comments (the comments and your replies were just as helpful as the article). God Bless you Tony!

  32. J-Dizzle says:

    Tony! Help please,

    My pastor teaches tithing and the whole curse thing which I find cringe worthy. I love my pastor and know him personally. I find that he is a extremely good and generous person. I believe he hears from God, but unfortunately it goes through the incorrect filter of what he believes to be true(which I regular find unfounded in the scriptures). Regardless of this, here’s my current delima. My friend (who use to be a member of the church) came back for a visit recently and of the course the sermon that was preached was on tithing and the curse. I could visibly tell that he was uncomfortable and even felt convicted by the sermon. He does well financially and is generous in so many ways but I don’t believe he ever tithe while he was at the church or currently. Should I reach out to him and share what I’ve gathered in regards to tithing and what the Bible really says or let him come to his own conclusions?

    • Tony says:


      I understand where you’re coming from. I too cringe a bit when I hear someone mishandle Scripture. If I were in your shoes, I would spend some time with my friend and talk about the sermon…not because he really, really needs to understand the truth about tithing, but because it’s a great opportunity to invest in your relationship with him.

      I’m all about knowing and understanding the truth, but let’s be honest: it’s not really a big deal if someone thinks they’re supposed to give 10% of their income to their local church. It’s not like they’re going to be disqualified from Heaven because they’re wrong about a secondary issue. If that’s how God did things, we’d all (still) be lost. As Paul wrote, we see things dimly at the moment, but when we get to Heaven we’ll see things more clearly. You could talk with your friend and find that he agrees with your pastor and rejects your understanding of the Scriptures. Then what?

      No, the goal is to have the kind of relationship with him that helps him (and you) grow. What’s better than understanding Malachi 3:10? Understanding how to handle any passage of Scripture, of course. People who understand the basics of biblical interpretation will handle Malachi 3:10 well, and every other passage too. Our goal shouldn’t be to straighten people out so they have all of the right answers, but to encourage them to trust God more today than they did yesterday. The Holy Spirit can – and will – continue to work in your friend’s life, and I’ve prayed that He will allow you to be part of that process. I would jump all over the opportunity to sit with a friend and talk about these issues…but I would keep the goal in mind. The goal is his, and your own, spiritual maturity.

      You don’t have to have the answers, either. You could offer to learn more, together. The point is that we’re to encourage one another to grow, and to spur one another to good works. Whether you agree on tithing is less important than whether you agree to walk together, abiding in Christ, and seeking His kingdom first. I’m not correcting you, J-D…I’m encouraging you to think beyond your opportunity and see that this might be a life-changing moment for you and your friend. I would definitely talk about tithing with your friend…but I’d use the discussion to create something better. Let me know if you have more questions…I’ll be happy to talk with you more!

  33. Ted says:

    Thank you for this web page. It is one of the best I have found on the subject. I know tithing is not for the church,after doing it for 25 years. Now I am being removed from helping teach kids where I go to church because I don`t pay tithe. So sad…But God has opened a whole new door for me to help kids at a public school learning about Jesus !! That is where the harvest is anyway! 🙂

    • Tony says:


      I’m sorry to hear about your troubles at church. I grew up in a church that taught “storehouse tithing” (per Malachi 3), and they would often check your giving records before allowing you to be elected to the church board. I made a point of only giving cash. First, I didn’t need a charitable tax deduction and, second, what I give to God is nobody’s business. I ended up on the board anyway. I suppose their desire for more leaders was greater than their desire for tithing leaders.

      I’m glad that God is leading you into new ministry. Let me know if there’s any way I can help. Have a great day!

  34. JesusisLove says:

    pastor preach about tithing, I don’t even think they tithe themselves!!

    • Tony says:


      Most pastors actually don’t preach about tithing. Of those who do, I’m sure that some don’t tithe.

      It seems unwise to pretend that we can make accurate statements about a group of people without evidence. Perhaps it would be better to say something like, “I wonder whether the pastors I’ve heard preach on tithing really do what they’re teaching others to do.”

  35. Paul CT says:

    Thank you for this Tony. I love my church and they do focus on the 10% too much. I prefer to think of it as a number to get people to focus on. For me, I don’t give 10%, but I still give out of love. Anytime I try to think I can give more but crush my budget, an overwhelming sense of guilt comes over me.

    I can’t tell if it’s feeling wrong for not giving 10% or it’s the fact that I’m focuse TOO much on 10% and instead should just give because I love my lord and savior.

    Sometimes fear grips me too as I feel like God is angry with me for not giving 10%.

    • Tony says:

      I understand, Paul. I’ve been there. The fear comes from not knowing, doesn’t it? When I started researching the source of my fear, I began to learn more about God Himself…and the nature of our relationship. I was taught that a single unconfessed sin would send me to Hell when I die, and that a single sin would break my relationship with God. I learned that this doesn’t reflect what the New Testament actually says, so I adjusted my beliefs to match. While it’s good (very good) to want to please God in all we do, it’s not good to live in fear that we’re making fatal mistakes in ignorance. God is gracious. He knows when we seek to serve Him, and when we seek to serve ourselves. Be encouraged: it’s not you and I who transform ourselves into Christ’s likeness…it is our Abba, our Father, who does that. You don’t have to know exactly how much money to give to God, or to whom. The Holy Spirit, who dwells in every believer, will guide you. Remember that you are a steward of what God has entrusted to you, that it is all His, and that He loves you. Love Him back by being a diligent steward and a faithful son…but do not be afraid to make mistakes in ignorance. Perfect love casts out fear. As a son, do not be afraid of your Father’s anger when you try to please Him. He knows your heart.

  36. Tae says:

    I love that you wrote this article. I was always a faithful tithing until years ago when I came into the truth about Christian giving. I agree with you 100%. I still give money to the church but if different now that I’m not trying to follow the law that was never meant for me. Thank you for writing this!

  37. Cathy says:

    Thank you Tony for responding to my question on messenger.I grew up with the teaching of paying tithe, and not being “allowed” to teach or hold any position until I read and signed a agreement that I did pay my 10% and was not divorced.My husband and I have been married for 37 years and out of those he’s known the Lord the last 14.He also teaches this way about tithe.When he first told me what he had found in scripture about tithe,I thought there was no way he could be right but he went thru scripture and he showed me .We are a very small congregation,we are in the minority!We seek,we ask,we knock, and HE is always faithful! Glad that my sister shared this site with me.GOD bless you and your family!!!

    • Tony says:


      I’m happy to have been helpful! Thank you for your kind words…I’m very encouraged. Isn’t it amazing how we sometimes struggle over what we’ve been taught? I grew up tithing, and it took me a while to see what the Bible actually says. It took even longer for my wife to make the adjustment, as her personality is more ‘make a list, check the box’ than mine. It’s all about how we handle Scripture. Please let me know if there’s anything more I can do for you.

      Have a great day!

  38. Adrian says:

    Hey Tony, thank you for your kind answers to all the questions here. It is really refreshing! Here is my question:

    My wife and I are starting in life, we just got out of college and are ready to enter the workfoce, so this subject is really relevant to us. We’ve been taught by our church that we should do tithing. The Church is teaching it in a very kind way, and we have no pressure from them to do it, we just don’t want to find ourselves robbing God.

    I never really wanted to do thithing because to me it really looks like a thing of the old law, but recently, I stumbled upon Matthew 23:23: “You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. 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*”. This is very interesting to me because this is said directly by Jesus, he excplicitly teach about it and ecourage people to do it. He NEVER does that about ANY other laws of the old testament, like if it was the only thing that they were doing right and that they should keep doing. Why do you think he said that?

    Looking forware to reading you!

    • Tony says:


      First, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate your feedback! You’ve asked a good question. When Jesus speaks, we all should listen, right? Clearly, Jesus is telling teachers of the law, and the Pharisees, that they should tithe. That’s beyond dispute. The next question is whether those instructions also include you and me…right? Let’s look at it logically.

      In order to understand any communication – especially written communication, and most especially ancient written communication in another language – we have to look at the context to make sure we don’t misinterpret the situation. I’ll use another passage as an example. In Matthew 16:20, Jesus ordered His disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. I’m pretty sure He meant it. It would be pretty silly to think He was kidding, so this verse should be taken seriously. However: later, in Matthew 28, Jesus tells His disciples to do the opposite!

      Why? Why would Jesus contradict Himself? Well…clearly, this isn’t a contradiction. Both instructions were valid, but the two situations were different. When we read each situation in context, the apparent contradiction is cleared up immediately. This is pretty much the first rule of biblical interpretation: read the passage in context.

      Now: what is the context of Matthew 23? Jesus, a Jew under the Mosaic law, was talking to teachers of the law and Pharisees, who were all under the law. They were supposed to tithe. We can see this clearly throughout the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament…like in Hebrews 7:5:

      Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people – that is, from their fellow Israelites – even though they also are descended from Abraham.

      Why were teachers of the law and Pharisees told to tithe? Because the law said they should, and they lived under the law. It’s that simple. The obvious next question is whether you and I are under that same law. I’m pretty sure you know the answer to that, but I’ll say it anyway…for the sake of all future readers:

      Christians are not, and have never been, under the Mosaic law.

      There you have it. When you read the context of the passage, it becomes clear. Jesus was right: they should have tithed…but He wasn’t talking to you or me when He said it. Does that make sense?

  39. Dianne says:

    Tony you seriously have it going on! Thank you…I gotta finish reading all of these posts…so much intense knowledge.

  40. Scott says:

    Hello Tony. I have read your article and the balance of your responses to everyone who inquired about the tithing issue. You have a genuine pastor’s heart, and have been able to contend in some instances with the spirit of Christ-like love toward your brothers and sisters. That is wonderful and I know the Lord is pleased with this website. Many Protestants who had continued in their respective denominational tradition of their church fathers have forgotten about the reasons why they broke from the mother church; that is, the church of Rome. As a result, many of these believers are enamoring themselves in a works-based approach to God. If they want to work their way to God, maybe they should return to the Roman Catholic Church. In the denomination I am in we recall how the Papacy reigned for 1,260 years with an iron fist, especially over Europe; 538 AD – 1798 AD. I agree God has some true believers in Roman Catholicism; however, the Papal system has truly done a power play with many people . . . and this will be the case in the future. I feel a sense of sadness for many in my extended family who are in Roman Catholic tradition. Anyway, you are fantastic in graciously offering your weighted interpretations. Praise the Lord and I’m very grateful to you.

    • Tony says:


      I can’t tell you how encouraging your message is for me. I always appreciate kind comments, of course… but yours came at a moment when I wasn’t feeling as good as usual. It’s been a difficult week, and I want you to know that I broke down while reading your words. God used you at just the right time, and I’m grateful that you took the time to write. I hope to take your encouragement into tomorrow and the rest of the week. Have a great day!

  41. David says:

    The reason tithing is a part of our life is Christian Stewardship. It is not a “law” and to seek such in it self is legalism….”I don’t tithe because I’m not commanded. “If there’s a Scripture commanding me, I’ll do it.”

    The principles of stewardship are significant and essential in the kingdom.
    I hope one day you find this truth for yourself.

    Its ok to write a blog stating its not a command or law…although I’m surprised a bit this old argument still rumbles in belly of the body of Christ.
    40 years people were saying, “stop tithing! Its not a command”, but such thought lacks the knowledge of the principle of tithing; the beautiful dynamic in stewardship is forsaken because no one says you must.

    So many things we do are out of understanding the principles taught in Scripture, not only from the few laws we are commanded to follow.

    • Tony says:


      Tithing is not part of Christian stewardship. That may be what you were taught. It’s certainly what I was taught, but the actual Scriptures actually say otherwise.

      First, the tithe was a debt that the ancient Israelites owed to God. They would take 10% of what they had earned and give it back to God, where it came from. The other 90% was not, in that equation, God’s. That’s the opposite of stewardship. When we read Jesus’ parables, we see God portrayed again and again as a king and a landowner who put others in charge of HIS money. It didn’t belong to them. They were stewards of HIS money. The standard for Christians is far, far higher than that. 10% of what we have doesn’t belong to God. It’s 100%. None of it is ours. All of it is His, and we simply work to make good decisions with His money.

      Second, it’s not legalism to say that a law does not apply to every situation. I live in America. We drive on the right side of the road here. That’s the law… but it doesn’t apply in Britain, does it? In exactly – and yes, I mean exactly – the same way, God’s covenantal commands to the ancient Israelites have never applied, and will never apply, to anyone else.

      Third, the tithing article was originally written around 20 years ago. It’s still one of the most popular here, so it’s still an issue. You’re here, aren’t you? Also, since the article has been written, people from virtually every place on the planet with internet access have read it. Judging by the response, I’d say it’s still an issue. Look at it this way: you say I don’t tithe because I don’t understand what the Scriptures say, and I say you tithe because you don’t understand what the Scriptures say. It’s apparently still an issue.

      Finally, my brother, I’d like to challenge you to do what I did years ago: look it up. Find those Scriptures. Examine them. Read them in context. Learn what the tithe was for, to whom it was given, and so on. If you really want to do what God has said to do, then it makes sense that you do it HIS way, not YOUR way. If you have trouble finding a Levite to collect your tithes, let me know. 😉

  42. Doug says:

    Also, please note here where in the New Testament Paul speaks to you. All the words of Paul are written in letters specifically to groups of people, surely you aren’t an Ephesian or Galatian? Are you a descendent of the Collosians?
    So why are you taking words spoken specifically to a group of people in a specific time and considering them relevant now?

    How can you apply Paul’s teachings intended for others, not you, to your life?

    You know exactly why.

    Same as much of the intent of OT law & principles.

    Keep it simple. Make your point. Fine. Its not a law to tithe. The other stuff you’re saying makes you seem a tad moronic.

    • Tony says:


      You’ve done a great job of raising a VERY important point. Not everything we find in God’s Word is written to everyone who reads it. Context matters. We agree completely. Of course, the way you’ve done it is pretty silly… but you’ve done it nonetheless. You’ve pointed out that context matters, while utterly ignoring the context.

      When Paul wrote to the Galatians, for example, did he say to them, “I say this to you, Galatians, who live in Galatia, on the basis of the work I’ve done for you Galatians, because you live in Galatia”? Of course he didn’t. To whom was he writing? He was writing to CHRISTIANS, who happened to live in Galatia. There are certainly parts of his letter that are specific to them. Verse 6 comes to mind: not everybody who reads Galatians is deserting Jesus. However: there’s no doubt that Paul’s words to the bewitched Galatians would apply to anyone who was turning to a different gospel.

      Look at the context for tithing. When God made a covenant with the Israelites, what did He say? He said that He brought them out of slavery in Egypt. He told them to make an altar for sacrifices, and to not use dressed stones to make it. God wasn’t talking to Canadians, was He? No, the context of what we see in Exodus 20 is that God was making a covenant with a specific group of people, in a certain set of circumstances, and for specific reasons.

      That covenant never included you or me. It no longer includes anyone, as it has been replaced. It would be a completely moot issue, if not for people who teach that God requires Christians to give 10% of their money to their local church. All you have to do is read the Scriptures in context. I challenge you to do exactly that. Don’t forget the context.

  43. Eric Printy says:

    What denominations don’t teach tithing? I grew up in Pentecost and know attend a Baptist church. Both are heavy on the tithe doctrine which I could never understand after reading 2 cor 9:7. Trying not to take anything out of context.

    • Tony says:


      I’ve never run across any denominations that specifically state they don’t teach tithing. The surveys are clear that most pastors don’t teach it, but I have no idea who they are, exactly. For those reading, here’s 2 Corinthians 9:7…

      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.



    [I used Google Translate here]
    I regret to inform you that in the Christian life, the most difficult thing is the conversion of the pocket… everyone is very believer in other areas, in that they are a shame…
    10% is a starting point, as everything is from God, everything should be for the believer…but the drunkard spends everything he has on drink…the drunkard is a better example than many Christians.. horrible article
    [Now, back to Sebastiao]

    lamento informar que na vida cristã o mais difícil é a conversão do bolso…todos são muito crente noutras áreas, nessa são uma vergonha…
    10% é uma base inicial, como tudo é de Deus, tudo deveria ser para o crente…mas o beberrão gasta tudo que tem pela bebida..o beberrão é um exemplo melhor que muitos cristãos..
    artigo horrivel

    • Tony says:


      Thank you for writing to me. I’m happy to read your opinion about my article, but I would be happier if you did more than simply criticize me. I would be far, far happier if you explained why you think I’m wrong about what the Bible says. Instead of calling it horrible, I would be in your debt if you could show me what is right. Would you be willing to serve me in this way?

      [Thanks again, Google Translate]
      Obrigado por escrever para mim. Fico feliz em ler sua opinião sobre meu artigo, mas ficaria mais feliz se você fizesse mais do que simplesmente me criticar. Eu ficaria muito, muito mais feliz se você explicasse por que acha que estou errado sobre o que a Bíblia diz. Em vez de chamar isso de horrível, eu ficaria em dívida com você se pudesse me mostrar o que é certo. Você estaria disposto a me servir dessa maneira?

  45. John Slaughter says:

    I came here researching NAR and found your post on “Tithing”.
    Heb 7:1-3 NASB 7 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. And here are the scriptures that refer to Melchizedek.
    1. Genesis 14:18
    2. Psalm 110:4
    3. Hebrews 5:6
    4. Hebrews 6:20
    5. Hebrews 7:1
    6. Hebrews 7:10
    7. Hebrews 7:11
    8. Hebrews 7:15
    And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek,
    9. Hebrews 7:17
    The Old Covenant of keeping Laws to gain forgiveness is fulfilled in the New Covenant of faith in Jesus. The writer of Hebrews makes it plain that Jesus is a High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. The first tithe was given to Melchizedek by Abraham. Christians are children from the seed of Abraham. (not all by birth, some of us were adopted in) Jesus receives tithes from believers who deem Him their High Priest, just as Melchizedek did from Abraham. If Jesus is the same forever and ever, wouldn’t it make sense to continue to tithe? I have never been so blessed since I started tithing to my Lord.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for writing, John… and welcome!

      When we want to understand a biblical concept, some basic principles need to be applied:

      • What does the text say?
      • What do other texts on the same subject say?
      • What does the text NOT say?

      We Christians do a lot of assuming about the text. We often create a cultural ideas that simply aren’t in the Bible at all. For example, some folks tell me that God commanded Adam and Eve to observe sabbaths. When I ask them to show me where they read that, they can’t… of course. They don’t even try, as they know it’s not in there. They try to support their idea by making a logical argument: how else would Adam know to observe sabbaths if God hadn’t told him to?

      Now, I like logical arguments… but that’s not logical at all. In reading your comment, it seems that your argument is this:

      1. Abraham tithed.
      2. Being children of Abraham (by faith), we too should tithe.

      Seems pretty logical. Let’s go to the text to test our assumptions:

      THE TEXT:
      [ ]

      There’s no text that says that, of course. We do, certainly, have texts about tithing… but none of them suggest what you suggest. I understand that you feel blessed by tithing. I would never try to convince you otherwise, my friend… not ever. That’s between you and God. However: when someone says that God commands us to tithe (or do anything else), they need to be able to back it up with Scripture. I’m sure you would agree with that. The only passages of Scripture – in the entire Bible – that command anyone to tithe are clearly in the context of the nation of Israel, living in the promised land. There are no instructions for anyone to tithe in any other context.

      When we study the passages on the tithe, several things become clear. First, tithes were never money… they were food or livestock. Second, tithes could only be collected by Levites. I don’t know about you, but my church doesn’t have any Levites… if we’re going to claim that we’re obeying God, we have to do it in the way He commanded. Right? Third, tithes were collected to provide for four different groups of people who couldn’t own land in Israel: priests, widows, orphans, and foreign converts to Judaism. Neither you nor I could own land there. That means that rather than GIVING tithes, we would be RECEIVING them!

      You might take a look at another short article on this: Abraham and Jacob Tithed, Didn’t They?” I’d love to hear what you think. Have a great day!

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