Why Pastors Shouldn’t Teach Tithing — One Pastor’s Gracious Response

I didn’t see it coming. I hadn’t intended it to happen. But last week, Average Us became controversial. I wrote a post about Why Pastors Shouldn’t Teach Tithing and lots of you showed up to read why, tell me you agree, or disagree, or imply that I’m a false prophet.

Calvin and Hobbes fighting

(Phew! I’m just a little too average for all that. And btw – we Christians should give generously to support the mission Jesus has given to the church. I explain how much we should give, and why we should give, in What Jesus and His Apostles Taught About Giving.)

One of the disagree-ers was Pastor Tom from California. He wrote a very thoughtful comment explaining why he disagreed, and I thought it was such a great example of Christ-like humility and charity that I asked his permission to offer a reply in this post. Here is Pastor Tom’s comment:

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Why Pastors Shouldn’t Teach Tithing

Were you taught the tithing system?

I was. I believed it, practiced it, and even preached it myself. But no more.

image of coins

The tithing system is what I call the modern teaching that if you tithe, God will bless you; if you don’t, He won’t. You know the Pastor is going to preach the system if the sermon text is this passage from the the Prophet Malachi:

“Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, “How have we robbed you?” In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” — Malachi 3:8-11

The system goes like this: Continue reading

What Jesus and His Apostles Taught About Giving (And How You Can Find Joy in It)

This post is part 3 of a 3-part series on tithing and giving:

  1. Why the Apostles Didn’t Teach Tithing (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About It)
  2. Why Your Church Does Teach Tithing (Any Why You Sometimes Feel Guilty About It)
  3. What Jesus & His Apostles Taught About Giving (And How You Can Find Joy in It)

If you’re average like me you’re starting to think about some new goals and maybe some outrageous hopes for the year. Perhaps you’re thinking about new financial goals for earning, saving, spending and giving. If so, this final post in my series on tithing might come in handy.

Review

Part 1 – Why the Apostles Didn’t Teach Tithing (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About It) asks why the Apostles never mentioned tithing even though they touched on every other subject necessary for the life of the Church including money matters like stewardship, charity, and supporting the teaching ministry of the gospel.

Part 2 – Why Your Church Does Teach Tithing (And Why You Sometimes Feel Guilty About It) asks why so many churches treat tithing like it’s the 11th commandment, or even emphasize it more than the 10 Commandments.

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