Should Christians tithe?

I have just discovered an amazing blog that I’m amazed I’ve never heard of – The CNN Belief Blog. The blog covers faith related issues and tackles  the day-to-day big news stories you would expect any news blog  to cover. I definitely recommend checking it out.

The first story I came across on the blog was tweeted by @PerezHilton – Mr. Gossip boy. He tweeted,

“CNN: How the Bible was used to justify slavery, abolitionism http://bit.ly/hFgRUb And it’s STILL used to deny equal rights!”

What interested me more than the story and the 150+ (mostly aggressive) comments was another story on the blogs homepage. In a tab on the side of that page I saw a story with the headline, “Should Christians tithe?” Good question.

I happen to have discusd the same question with my group last week at my church’s new believers class. I have attended the class every Friday evening for the last 11 weeks (this Friday I graduate) not because I am a new believer but because it’s required of everyone that wants to join a church department. Hopefully I’ll be telling you folks about my choir, media and sign language activities soon…..So back to the tithe question: to tithe or not to tithe? That was my groups study point last week and we concluded by answering: yes.

Below is a link to the story I found on CNN’s blog by one of my favorite reporters, T.J. Holmes.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2011/04/11/exp.nr.tithing.debate.cnn

If you didn’t watch the video: A survey conducted by the national association of evangelicals asked 100 member board of directors if tithing is optional for Christians.

  • 58% believe tithing is not required.
  • 42% believe that the bible requires church members to tithe.

Two pastors apparently on opposing sides of the debate seemed more in agreement than I was expecting and dreading to see. What’s interesting is that 95% of those in the survey said that they do tithe even though they don’t think its required. Although both Pastors have different tithing beliefs, both agree about the blessings associated with giving 10% to God’s work.

I do tithe, not as often as I should do but I try to. I’ve heard different teachings on the tithe and the wonderful thing about confusion (if there could be) is that it allows for God to make things clear. Afterall, James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” I don’t keep all the practices found in the old testament, including the multiple tithes in the old testament that would push the total to more than 23%. Not the 10% that is generally considered the least amount Christians are to tithe today.

But, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over…” Luke 6:38. So my usual stinginess makes no sense according to this scripture as I should be left with more than I had every time I give right? Yes.

I do believe in setting aside money,  “in keeping with income” (1 Corinthians 16:2), as Paul suggested but I do not believe in any kind of curse for not paying 10% of my income to church. I’m moved sometimes to give more than 10% but there are times when I can’t. I give from my heart as God loves a cheerful giver, (2 Corinthians 9:7) “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

These are just some of my thoughts.

What do you think?

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