"Half of Protestant churchgoers say their tithes can go to a Christian ministry rather than a church, compared to what is often taught by pastors and Bible study aids. A third say tithes can go to help an individual in need and nearly one in five say tithes can even go a secular charity" BPNews
The practice of tithing, giving ten percent of one’s income to the Lord, has been a well-established standard among Christians for many years. However, this practice has been challenged in more recent days, with some opposing it vehemently. What’s the problem? For those who reject it, the issue is usually that tithing is “Old Testament” and Christians are governed by the New Testament.
On the surface, this statement is true enough, but like so many issues, requires a bit more investigation.
Tithing was unquestionably required under the Law of Moses. In fact, Mosaic Law specified at least two tithes, and in some years, three. It was not simply a tithe, but several tithes. Although it is true that the Law of Moses is synonymous with the Old Covenant, it is not true that the Law of Moses is the same as the Old Testament. It is contained within the pages of Old Testament Scripture, but it is neither synonymous with the Old Testament, nor did it cover the entire history of the Old Testament.
We’re examining what the Bible says to today’s Christian about financial giving. I encourage you to read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already. They are essential to knowing how the following information fits in the sequence of thought.
Giving material and financial resources in worship to God is not new. Let’s look at giving in the Old Testament context. We can then understand better how the Old Testament principles and practices fit into the New Testament setting and how they relate to Christians today.
There are three kinds of giving that God instructed the children of Israel to observe. They are sacrifices, tithes, and freewill offerings. Let’s look at each.
People offered sacrifices to God long before He instituted the sacrificial system into the lives of the Jewish people. A moment of reflection brings to mind Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:3-4), Noah (Gen. 8:20), and Abraham (Gen. 22:1-14). These all gave sacrifices as a form of voluntary worship to God.