This is the introduction to a short series on the subject of tithing. Now, just by the title, some of you may already be thinking… “enough of this subject already”! But please bear with us for a moment. Yes, it is a widely debated topic in the Christian community and it is a very sensitive one too. And indeed, we were very mindful of and sensitive to these realities as we approached this topic. Undoubtedly the one question most debates attempt to answer is whether or not we should be tithing today, and there are – readily available – plenty of views on the subject and well documented research to support each of them.
Therefore, the obvious question is…why writing another series on the subject if so much is already available? Our hope is that the perspective we adopted in this series will increase to some extent our knowledge on the subject. It did for us, but ultimately you will be the judge. We believe that the perspective we adopted here may differentiate itself from many of the good discussions on two fronts: First, it approaches the subject by focusing “exclusively” on what our Lord Jesus-Christ Himself said about it. For instance, Malachi 3:8-10 – a hall of fame passage of scriptures on the subject – has not been used. Second, this perspective led us to the potentially controversial conclusion that the debate over “whether or not we should be tithing” is the wrong debate to begin with.
NOTE: Please note that this series states “our” belief, a belief we reached based on what we studied. It is not a guarantee for the truth, and we encourage you to challenge this view we are about to present. Therefore, although the language in the article is very assertive, it is only an assertion of our belief, not of the truth. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to do your own study and tell us whether you reach a different conclusion.
But before delving into the four articles which make up this series, we saw it fit to state right away – in no particular order – some of the main conclusions we have reached in this study. The first is that Jesus-Christ is arguably the One who gave the largest and most specific details on the subject. This was a surprise to us. The second is that we strongly believe that Jesus-Christ has been misquoted in most English translations both in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42. However, the implications – which we believe are very severe as we shall illustrate – may not be that obvious from a simple casual reading of those passages. We did touch upon this translation issue in our previous article, and here we are bringing what we believe are further evidence which support this claim. The third is that tithing is – from a spiritual perspective – absolutely nowhere as important as most of us may have been led to believe. Tithing is actually an icing on a cake, but it is “never” the cake itself. The fourth is that a logical deduction from the third conclusion is that to focus on the question of whether or not we should be tithing today is to focus on the wrong question. The fifth is that it follows from this previous point that a significantly more important question is whether it is good to tithe. And to that question – it may surprise some – we came to the conclusion that the answer is…it depends! And it turns out that our Lord Himself is very clear regarding why the answer is…it depends!. Lastly, we also concluded that there is such a thing as a tithe that is truly abominable; the kind of tithe that one would be better off not giving at all. And we believe that because of a lack of proper education on the subject, we offer such despicable tithe more often than we would dare to imagine.
As a last note, we would recommend that you read our previous articles on the subject (if you have not done so), which were written to serve as primers to this series: “Five facts about tithing…and Jesus!” And “Tithing: When we misquote our Lord Jesus-Christ”. Ok…ready? Please click here for Part 1.