Monday, September 26, 2011

Baptists on Tithing

Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things. -2 Chronicles 31:12
Honor the LORD with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest. -Proverbs 3:9

Years ago Southern Baptists had a stewardship poster, “Every Baptist A Tither.” Long ago Baptists, and Christians in general, learned one of God’s basic ways of supporting the spread of the Gospel around the world was through the concept of giving tithes and offerings.

I believe in what is often called storehouse tithing. The tithe refers to 10% of your income that belongs to God. God gives us everything (Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 4:7), He asks us to give back to Him 10%. He owns it all and has a right to ask for more. “Tithes and offerings” refers to a person giving 10% to the Lord; offerings refer to anything over and above the tithe, given to the Lord and His work. Storehouse tithing refers to giving your tithe to your local church. With perhaps a very few exceptions, I believe your tithe should be given to your church. You have a freedom to give over your tithe to any cause to which the Lord would lead you to give.

When Baptists get control of their debt and finances, they will have much greater freedom to give to the Lord. A beautiful thing about the tithe is that a poor man can give just as much to the Lord as a rich man.

Clear, concise examples of the tithe are found in the Law given by God to Moses:
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD. -Leviticus 27:30
You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. -Deuteronomy 14:22

We are commanded to,
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse. -Malachi 3:10
Today the storehouse is the local church where we meet each Lord’s Day.

Some object to the tithe saying it was a part of the Old Testament Law and we are now under Grace. (I always wonder how much these individuals are really giving.) That does not mean, though, we throw out all the Old Testament commandments.

Those who say tithing was only a part of the Old Testament Law should be aware that tithing was practiced, and apparently commanded by God, before the Law was given to Moses. Long before the Law:
Melchizedek was king of Salem and the priest of God Most High. Abraham “gave him a tithe of all.” -Genesis 14:19
Jacob made a vow to God, “All that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” -Genesis 28:22

Furthermore, Grace does not mean Jesus gave all and sacrificially died on the Cross so we might give to the Lord 1%, instead of 10%.

Jesus not only referred to the tithe, He commended it.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. -Matthew 23:23 (Also Luke 11:42).

Contrary to the opinion of some, I believe the tithe is mentioned often in the New Testament (NT). The NT never negates the tithe. Rather it reinforces it over and over. Today we sometimes speak of tithing, more often we simply speak of giving. But as we speak of giving, we are including, not excluding, tithing. When I tell my church a believer should give to the Lord, I am including tithing. The same is true in the NT. The many verses in the NT that speak of giving, embrace, include, and commend the concept of tithing.

Therefore the following Scripture speaks of storehouse tithing.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: on the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. -1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Contrary to some Health and Wealth false preachers, God does not promise to make you wealthy, by human standards, if you tithe. There is no guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to you. But God does promise to bless and care for you. These blessings of God are both material and spiritual; they cover this life, and the one to come. If you tithe, God will provide. Some of the sweetest testimonies I’ve ever heard have been from those who began to practice tithing.

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” -Luke 6:38

Don’t rob God (Malachi 3). Tithing is taught in God’s Word and is one way for us to show our love for God and others.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor; September 26, AD 2011.

Church Buildings - Dos and Don'ts #1
The Girl Who Saved His Ministry
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad
What Legalism Really Means
SBC Resolution on Tithing


  1. It is hard to get your arms around giving back to the Lord 10% of what he gave you in the first place...that is if you are not in the Spirit. I can attest to that. I know now that it is not even mine so if I give it back I am rewarded in ways that go beyond money. I know it has nothing to do with eternal salvation, but it does have something to do with salvation here and now.

  2. I have currently been preaching verse-by-verse through Galatians and I can say pretty confidently that absolutely everything in the Law is no longer binding on the Christian - including tithing and the Sabbath. Christ is our portion and He is our rest - both fulfilled in Him.

    As a consequence of my views, I don't teach tithing, and yet despite your not-so-subtle jab at those who believe the Law is fulfilled in Christ (accusing them of not giving at all), our Church actually has done much better during the recession than most any other Church in the area. People actually are giving more not out of obligation, but out of a desire to follow the leading of the Spirit.

    This is the problem with the fundamentalist viewpoint on this - it says what the legalists and Judaizers in Galatia said, "Obedience requires Law", "obedience requires rules." But Paul clearly teaches in Galatians 5-6 that obedience only requires the Spirit.

    One last point - there is a Church in our area that hammers down on the tithe over and over and over again. People have left the Church over its heavy-handedness on this point. And despite all the emphasis on tithe, all the so-called Biblical teaching on it, they still struggle financially. Just one of those things that makes you go hmmm...

  3. D.R.,
    Perhaps you would be interested in the article "What Legalism Really Means" I've just listed at the bottom of this post.

    But while we may disagree, glad you stopped by.
    David R. Brumbelow

  4. Great scriptures on tithing and giving! As a single Mother these last 25 years, I'm living proof that God DOES provide when giving him the “first” 10%. I learned long ago it IS possible to tithe, no matter how sparse my income. Like the above scriptures said, ALL my “fruits” belong to him. My Godly Dad taught us growing up “Tithing isn't where it stops, God holds us accountable for HOW we use the remaining 90% which includes living within our means”. Living by that truth,(which wasn't and isn't always easy, but it works), God has ALWAYS met every need and more. He's done that for me, for my children and grandchildren. What a faithful God we serve!

  5. Brenda,
    Thanks. Great testimony.

    Didn't I say some of the sweetest testimonies are about tithing?
    David R. Brumbelow

  6. I'm a bit confused. Maybe you can help me here. You've listed Malachi 3:10 as your prooftext for "storehouse tithing." But you only quoted part of the verse. The rest of it talks about God's blessing: "that there may be meat in my house."

    Moreover, looking at vs. 11 and 12 it seems that the blessing is related both to an agricultural society (ie, God's promise to bless them by not allowing their crops to be destroyed) and to the nation of Israel being honored by other nations.

    So my question is: if Malachi 3:10 is teaching "storehouse tithing" then how do you account for the other parts of the passage? Please explain to me your analysis of the whole passage.



  7. Matt,
    I don’t see any confusion at all. The storehouse was the Levites and the temple. God promised to bless them agriculturally if they followed Him and gave their tithes. Other nations would recognize the blessings of God on them.

    Today, I believe the storehouse is the church. That there may be meat / food in My house, simply refers to paying the bills and providing for God’s ministers. I believe this verse easily fits and applies today whether or not we are involved in agriculture. This verse is also similar to the New Testament verse, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
    David R. Brumbelow

  8. Just so we are clear on this. Your argument is that Malachi's statement applies directly to the Church. That's a fairly common opinion among those with a Reformed background. Would you say that you are Reformed?


  9. Matt,
    No, I would not say I am Reformed.
    David R. Brumbelow

  10. When preaching on the topic of tithes, pastors often begin their sermon at Malachi 3:8. But why start at Malachi 3:8? They should instead start at Malachi 2:1. Then they will have proper context for the command in 3:10.

    Malachi 2:1 says, “And now, O ye Priest's, this commandment is for you.” What commandment? There is no commandment given in the entirety of that chapter. Read on.

    In Chapter 3:6, we read, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

    So, we see thus far that God was speaking to a specific people, Priests who were descendants of the patriarch Jacob. Read on.

    When we arrive at Malachi 3:7, we see the commandment referred to in the previous chapter,...

    "Return unto Me..."

    Remember, God is addressing the Priests. They ask, "Wherein shall we return?"

    God's reply through His Prophet Malachi reveals that the Priests had robbed God. He then instructs them, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in my House…”.

    Nehemiah 10:37-38 reveals to us that it was not the congregation who were responsible for tithing to the House of God. Rather, it was the Levites.

    The commanded tithes were agricultural, as revealed in Leviticus 27:30-33. They were not money.

    By taking the tithes from the storehouse chambers, the Priests robbed God. But they not only robbed God, they robbed the nation as well. For, their act of thievery brought a curse upon the nation, robbing them of rain from Heaven an also of food from their gardens and orchards.

    So, now we have the whole truth. The command of Malachi 3:10 is not a command for a tithe of money. Nor was it a command for the congregation to bring tithes to the storehouse. It was a command for the Levitical Priest's to bring the agricultural tithes that they had stolen to the House of God, to the chambers. "Return to Me."

    The Priest's had stolen the tithes from the storehouse, and God wanted them back. ("O ye Priests, this commandment is for you"; "Ye have robbed me, even this whole nation"; Bring ye all the tithes...")

    Pastors have deceitfully handled the Word of God for too long. They have twisted the truth of Malachi 3:8-12, and used it as a tool to rob church members of their money.

    We are to be faithful stewards of all that our God has given us. That includes being faithful with our money as well. Giving our money to thieves is not wise stewardship.

    In 2 Corinthians 8:13, the Apostle Paul wrote that he did not want the Corinthians giving to be such that others were eased and the Corinthians themselves burdened. Many tithe teaching pastors place unnecessary burdens on Church members through the monetary tithe requirement. The result is the poor remain struggling while the pastors themselves are living in comfort.

    Time for Christians to wake up… stop feeding the Thieves.


What do you think?