The Northwest Christian School Thrift store sells donated items to fund its school and community activities. One item they won’t be selling is a rug worth $750. Security cameras film two men walking into the store. One man grabs the bear skin rug, rolls it up and walks out the door while his friend has the car ready to go. In a matter of minutes they’re gone. Police are still looking for them. 

We watch a video like this and we hope these men are caught and get what they deserve. Who would steal from a Christian charity? Who would dare steal from God?

The truth is we steal from God all the time. The worst offenders are Christians.

The Barna Group, a non profit organization that provides statistical information to the Christian community through research, reports the amount of giving to the Church by various peoples. Barna reports that overall, giving to religious organizations represents about 2.2% of our gross incomes. Let’s see how that compares to Christians who give.

Christians should know that we are to tithe to God. A tithe is one-tenth of something and is the amount (or percentage) recorded in the Bible that God’s people are instructed to give. Out of born again Christians, 7% tithe. Instead, according to Barna, “The amount of gross income donated by born again adults to their church averaged 3.8%.”

Is not tithing stealing from God? Christians are to look at that question this way. Everything we have comes from God. We don’t pay God for his love or blessings. First, God doesn’t need our money. Second, God is not for sale. We are giving back to God 10% of what is already his. If we have the means to tithe and don’t, then we are stealing from God.

When we don’t give to God we are demonstrating a lack of faith and trust. God wants our faith to grow. God has a strong desire to prove that we can trust him. In fact, giving of our resources, is the only area of our lives where God allows us to test him. Here’s what God says:

“Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, "How are we robbing you?" In your tithes and offerings! You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me-- the whole nation of you! Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing”. ~Malachi 3:8-10

Call me mad, but when I look at the declining membership of the Church today, I can’t help but to think of that 3.8%. If we earned 3.8% on our savings and retirement plans we’d go broke. Why are we surprised that the Church is going broke too; with money and with people? Perhaps it’s time we put a little more faith into our home churches.

For the Barna article, click here.
 


Comments

04/09/2011 5:58am

Just wondering... In the Bible...

Did anyone ever "Tithe" silver, gold, or money?

Reply
Wanda
03/24/2013 12:19pm

Yes, the Word of God tells us to give a tenth of our income which is money.

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myrna
02/21/2014 3:37pm

I would appreciate some clarification on tithing. In the OT (Malachi) he tills us that if we don't tithe we will be cursed because it is stealing from God. I am 76 years old and have heard many messages indicating no one of us can keep the ten commandments because none of us are perfect. Sin made it necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins which include the ten commandments and through His sacrifice, we are justified. by faith in God. How then can there be a curse on us if God justified our sins on the cross thus freeing us from the sin of stealing. God does not lie and if he honors forgiveness then does it not apply to all the commandments since Christ came and lifted the curse. At least according to the messages I have heard, it seems that this commandment is the only one that carries a curse. I realize the controversy regarding tithing. However, I am a very limited income and if I tithe, there is very little left for my personal needs. What about the people who have tithed and had nothig left to take care of their families. There are hundreds of people who remember their parents giving the tithe at the cost of hungry children. I am very desperate and need help. This is a plea for help.

Reply
02/24/2014 3:09pm

Myrna, thank you for your honest thoughts. You are correct when you say we are justified by faith in God. So giving financially to God is not about earning or buying our salvation. Our salvation is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. I want to share a few thoughts on giving financially. I don't want you to feel judged or put down. I do want to challenge people's thinking regarding their finances and God.

Regarding giving financially, some people have the financial ability to give more than a tithe. I understand that Rick Warren (Pastor of Saddleback Church and the author of The Purpose Driven Life) is a reverse tither; he lives off of 10% of his income and gives away the other 90%. Does this mean that those who have the ability to give more than a tithe but don't are robbing God?

In many cases, such as yours, some people really cannot give a full 10% and live off the remainder. That is why it is so important that those who can tithe do tithe.

The curse is in the result of our "unfaith." Because those who are able to tithe don't, those who are unable suffer more. A tithe brings resources; ministry, staff, education, food, etc. Imagine if everyone in our country gave 10% of their income away; to churches, parachurch ministries, salvation army, red cross, etc. Need would practically go away overnight. We see the curse of people not giving.

God calls us to give because through giving we reflect what God does; he gives. He gives us life. He gives us his own life. Not some of his life, but all of his life. We we give, we reflect that part of God. When we withhold, we deny that part of God. And the results demonstrate it.

I do think giving should impact us. It should make us feel it. Throwing a dollar in a plate isn't much worship. But throw a $100 bill in will certainly feel like worship to many. (As would a $5 for others.) The point isn't the dollar amount. It is what makes giving worshipful for you.

I sometimes joke with my congregation and say, "Figure out the amount of giving that will make you go broke, then back it off a little. That's the amount you should give." That is a joke to make people think. And that amount would be different for each person.

I believe that we are all called to give regardless of our income. I think all of us can look at our spending habits and see areas that we can eliminate or change in order to give financially to God. If you are not able to tithe, that does not mean you are under God's curse. God is just and fair. The question is, what are you really able to give? And will you challenge yourself to give joyfully and worship-fully?

I hope that helps. God Bless.

Reply
Hannah
05/15/2014 1:07am

I don't think of it that anyone can not afford to tithe, we can't afford not to tithe. When I tithe God completely blesses me with absoloutley overwhelming abundance. I'm only 14. I didn't have all that much money, but when we hold God to His word and give back to Him in tithes, offerings, alms and first fruits He will pour out his blessings over our lives!!

Reply
Eric (MadPastor)
05/16/2014 6:39am

Hannah thanks for your comment.

Reply



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