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Is it 10% or 15%?

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  • Is it 10% or 15%?

    I've gone to multiple churches throughout my life because my family moved a lot as a child and I'm still bouncing around from town to town for work or rent or both. So I've been kind of comparing the churches I went to as a child to the ones I'm going to as an adult. Growing up, I remember being told to give as much has you can, the first fruit of your labors, the best fruit of your labor, and that usually meant about 15%. While I know one of the leading stories in the bible that supports this is about Cain and Abel, I don't actually know how any of my pastors came up with that number exactly. Then the churches I've to as a young adult suggest 10%, but they don't even connect it to the Bible. It's basically sold as something you should do as a Christian but they never connect it to the Bible, instead they connect it to how charity makes you feel. Which I understand but I was wondering if there is an actual correct answer and a verse that supports it? Have you heard other percentages? I don't mind giving but I'm still confused on the technicalities and none of my elders can give me a concert answer past they've always done it so I should to.

  • #2
    Well I will be honest I have never heard of a number attached to anything about donations of any sort. I am kind of debating right now whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe I do not go to church enough, but I do try to go as much as I can and I get about three times a month, which is pretty good for me. I do donate to charity as well, but not from my bank account, so maybe that is where I am missing something.
    Comment>

    • #3
      The word TITHE means "one tenth" or 10% as in:



      Lev 27:30
      “ ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

      Lev 27:31
      Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it.

      Lev 27:32
      Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod—will be holy to the LORD.

      Num 18:26
      “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD's offering.

      Deu 12:17
      You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts.

      Deu 14:23
      Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

      Deu 14:24
      But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away),

      Deu 14:25
      then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose.

      Deu 26:12
      When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

      2Ch 31:5
      As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.

      2Ch 31:6
      The people of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps.

      Neh 10:37
      “Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work.

      Mal 3:10
      Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.




      I just wanted you to know where the concept came from. It is in the Bible.
      That said, I am not a big fan of the concept as I see it too often used as a form of Justification by Works ... as if we were somehow bribing God for his favor or in danger of wrath for withholding God's cut off the top. I lothe anything that makes God look like 'the godfather'. If you are bribing God for blessings, then my advice is to keep your money. God does not need it and you have bigger issues to deal with than tithes.

      I prefer the verse

      2 Co 9:7
      "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.".

      Why you give is, in my opinion, far more important than how much.

      With that said, I CHOOSE to give God the first 10% of each paycheck. Not for his sake, but for my sake. It serves as a constant reminder to ME that by boss is not my provider, but God is my provider. A reminder that nothing is more valuable to me than my relationship to my Jesus. Thus it is every bit as important TO ME that I not only give God the percentage that I have chosen to willingly give, but that it must be given to God first, before any money is given to any other purpose. This is what MY HEART requires of ME.

      I would with equal passion urge all Christians to decide on an amount to give to God and to give it cheerfully, as I would oppose the view that it is REQUIRED of everyone. God does not shake down his people to make sure he get's his cut. God offers an opportunity to prove to yourself that you love God more than money. A chance to invest in eternity.

      As a bonus, when I teach on this subject, I also point out that if you are really going to give a 'tithe', it is more than just your money that you have to offer. What about your TIME and your God given TALENTS? Are you offering them back to God as a 'thank you' and and acknowledgement of your source?

      I hope that helps a little.
      Comment>

      • #4
        I agree with the other posts here, I think the tithe is 10%. I'm happy to give this. I would give more if I could, and I think it pleases God to give of our first fruits.
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        • #5
          The tithe was meant for priests: descendants of Levi only because they were not getting any land in Canaan. We don't have Levites anymore so Christians should be tithing. That however doesn't mean Christians shouldn't be giving anything to the needy or other good deeds because where you treasure is there your heart will be also. The reason I'm against giving money to preachers though is because the apostles were instructed to never take any money with them wherever they went preaching: [[["Then Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and power to cure diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for the journey,” He told them, “no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that area. If anyone does not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that town, as a testimony against them.”]]]
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Smithee View Post
            The reason I'm against giving money to preachers though is because the apostles were instructed to never take any money with them wherever they went preaching: [[["Then Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and power to cure diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for the journey,” He told them, “no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that area. If anyone does not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that town, as a testimony against them.”]]]
            The church (physical building) where I worship on Sunday and Tuesday and Thursday has Electric Lights and Air Conditioning and needs a new roof. The Pastor has a wife and a home and car insurance. There are property taxes and insurance and a new water heater was recently installed. All of these things seem like expenses as legitimate as those of the Levites. Call me spoiled, but I like having AC in Florida.

            To contribute to the support of the place where I am fed and I can fellowship does not seem an unreasonable burden to ask of me.

            Comment>

            • #7
              It's 10%, I never heard of 15%.

              However, I guess it should also depend on your income. If you earn a lot = give a lot, If you don't = you probably shouldn't tithe. However, that should be your motivation to find a better job. At least, one of the reasons why.
              Comment>

              • #8
                If you can and want to donate, just choose the amount you think is fair, and contribute that amount. It's better thank thinking about a percentage, you're actually doing what your mind tells you too, and you can give even more if you want too.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                  The word TITHE means "one tenth" or 10% as in:



                  Lev 27:30
                  “ ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

                  Lev 27:31
                  Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it.

                  Lev 27:32
                  Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod—will be holy to the LORD.

                  Num 18:26
                  “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD's offering.

                  Deu 12:17
                  You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts.

                  Deu 14:23
                  Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

                  Deu 14:24
                  But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away),

                  Deu 14:25
                  then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose.

                  Deu 26:12
                  When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

                  2Ch 31:5
                  As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.

                  2Ch 31:6
                  The people of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps.

                  Neh 10:37
                  “Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work.

                  Mal 3:10
                  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.




                  I just wanted you to know where the concept came from. It is in the Bible.
                  That said, I am not a big fan of the concept as I see it too often used as a form of Justification by Works ... as if we were somehow bribing God for his favor or in danger of wrath for withholding God's cut off the top. I lothe anything that makes God look like 'the godfather'. If you are bribing God for blessings, then my advice is to keep your money. God does not need it and you have bigger issues to deal with than tithes.

                  I prefer the verse

                  2 Co 9:7
                  "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.".

                  Why you give is, in my opinion, far more important than how much.

                  With that said, I CHOOSE to give God the first 10% of each paycheck. Not for his sake, but for my sake. It serves as a constant reminder to ME that by boss is not my provider, but God is my provider. A reminder that nothing is more valuable to me than my relationship to my Jesus. Thus it is every bit as important TO ME that I not only give God the percentage that I have chosen to willingly give, but that it must be given to God first, before any money is given to any other purpose. This is what MY HEART requires of ME.

                  I would with equal passion urge all Christians to decide on an amount to give to God and to give it cheerfully, as I would oppose the view that it is REQUIRED of everyone. God does not shake down his people to make sure he get's his cut. God offers an opportunity to prove to yourself that you love God more than money. A chance to invest in eternity.

                  As a bonus, when I teach on this subject, I also point out that if you are really going to give a 'tithe', it is more than just your money that you have to offer. What about your TIME and your God given TALENTS? Are you offering them back to God as a 'thank you' and and acknowledgement of your source?

                  I hope that helps a little.
                  Thank you for all you your references. I knew the Corinthians one, but I had never heard the others, so I didn't have clue where the ten and the fifteen percent came from. I don't use it to bribe God, and I don't consider it part of my works, but just for technicality sake. I am trying to become a better Christian and figure if I learn how to do it correctly, I can make it a habit of being a better Christian as I get older. Plus, I've been to a couple churches that make me feel like I'm being swindled by a car sales man hold a bible, I've been waiting for one of them to ask for a forth to take into consideration of the current inflation. The 'godfather' comment was brilliant, so thank you for posting and clarifying tithing for me.:D
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Well this did remind me of a story that I remember our pastor telling us one sermon. I am just curious to see if it is a famous little story or if it were something rare that he happened to know or read about somewhere. It was about giving to the church, and a comparison of people who were wealthy giving a lot more money, but only a certain percentage, say ten percent, whereas an old lady is giving three cents, but it is the only three cents that she has. She is putting all of her faith and value into the church, and the moral of the story is of course that it is not the amount that you give, but the manner in which you give it. It just always stuck with me and I think that it is a good little story. Is this something anyone else has heard before?
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      This thread is amazing and it sort of verifies what I have been thinking over the years regarding tithing. Giving of yourself, your time, effort and talents, are also important, lest we forget that. Basically, what I'm saying is that there is more to tithing than just giving MONEY. We all have a lot to give in God's house, to His people, and we should be grateful and willing givers of ourselves, our time and our money, if we happen to have some. My husband and I aren't rich by any means, but we have exactly what we need, and a little left over each month, so we consider ourselves greatly blessed with the riches of God's grace.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rz3300 View Post
                        Well this did remind me of a story that I remember our pastor telling us one sermon. I am just curious to see if it is a famous little story or if it were something rare that he happened to know or read about somewhere. It was about giving to the church, and a comparison of people who were wealthy giving a lot more money, but only a certain percentage, say ten percent, whereas an old lady is giving three cents, but it is the only three cents that she has. She is putting all of her faith and value into the church, and the moral of the story is of course that it is not the amount that you give, but the manner in which you give it. It just always stuck with me and I think that it is a good little story. Is this something anyone else has heard before?
                        This story is found in the Bible.
                        Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
                        (Luke 21:1-4 ESV)
                        Clyde Herrin's Blog
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Why do we tithe? This is what God says in Malachi 3:10

                          10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

                          God is saying, if you provide for me I will provide for you. We are not giving our money to pastor, the church, priests, we are giving our money to God. I am reminded of Jesus saying if you give to his flock you are giving to him.

                          The point has been brought up that we are not jewish so we don't have Levites. The pastor of you chuch is a Levite in spirit. A large portion of the tithe went to support the Levites, the priesthood, the temple. That is where our tithes should go, to support the pastor, the building, to pay the bills.

                          It was mentioned by someone that if you don't have much money you shouldn't tithe, but Malachi seems to say the opposite because God financially blesses those who tithe with the proper spirit.

                          It was mentioned by someone that the apostles were told not to take anything with them. So who supported them? The people they were preaching to. The congregation.

                          It is the purpose of the tithe to support God's church so the word can be spread, so people become saved, etc...

                          If you want a true understanding of tithes and offerings study Malachi. Basically the whole book, all 4 chapters, are dealing with giving to God with the right spirit and why we do it.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            I wish to point out some verses that can tell us how God looks at tithes and offerings:

                            Malachi 3:8-10

                            8 “Will a man rob God?
                            Yet you have robbed Me!
                            But you say,
                            ‘In what way have we robbed You?’
                            In tithes and offerings.
                            9 You are cursed with a curse,
                            For you have robbed Me,
                            Even this whole nation.
                            10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
                            That there may be food in My house,
                            And try Me now in this,”
                            Says the Lord of hosts,
                            “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
                            And pour out for you such blessing
                            That there will not be room enough to receive it.

                            In my opinion, 10% is a small sum to give back to God considering that He alone gave us the ability to produce wealth.

                            I give tithes of my income and allowances to the church I am attending in to support its operations and discipleship work. God doesn't need it, but the institutions and people who are doing God's work need the money to pay for the building, electricity, real estate taxes, allowances of church employees, charitable works, discipleship, brochures, etc. At one point in my life, I was out of job, was earning pennies, and had no money to give. That didn't stop me from contributing though. I'd volunteer as an usher, assistant, or admin staff, anything.





                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              I wish to challenge Malachi, not in its truth, but in its applicability. Looking at Acts 5: 1-11 ...

                              1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

                              7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.


                              What was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira? Were they punished for 'robbing God' or was it something else?

                              I am drawn to "And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?".
                              It seems to me that their sin was not one of short changing God of cash, but of attempting to deceive the body and of failing to give "with a cheerful heart".
                              If we are going to enforce the Tithe from Malachi, then should we enforce the ban on cloth made from two fabrics as well? At what point have we stopped honoring grace and returned to the law?

                              There is no harm and I suspect many blessings to be derived from giving a tithe, but I always caution that it must first and last begin with a cheerful heart. We are not under the law, but have received the grace to give and do in love.
                              Comment>
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