Why I Stopped Tithing – Part 1

This post is deliberately light on scripture references and is intended as a warm-up for Part 2. I hope you’ll consider reading it to get the whole story :)

I have faithfully (religiously) been a “tither” just about my entire life. I was taught as a young child to tithe on the money I earned for doing my chores, and as an adult I have regularly given 10% of my gross income to support the local church. As a good Christian parent I have dutifully passed this principle on to my children, too. I’ve never been reluctant in my tithes; I’ve always happily given toward what seemed to be a good cause in hopes that God would use that money for good, and I’ve unashamedly taught anybody who’d hear me out that they ought to do likewise.

Now before continuing I should pause to clarify something vitally important: I mean no disrespect toward those who still believe or even teach tithing as a Biblically mandated practice. I know this is a sensitive topic for many and I hope I’ll be able to convey my heart on the matter. None of what I’m about to say is meant as a slander to anyone; On the contrary I know firsthand that those subscribed to the tithe are doing the best they know to do and genuinely mean well, however these many wonderful and well-meaning people have bought into a long held misunderstanding. It would be neglectful of me to ignore so great a misunderstanding, but it would also be hypocritical of me to do any finger pointing on the subject toward anyone but myself. I’ve championed the teaching of tithing as much as anyone I know. To my own shame I’ve probably beaten a few people with the idea, and at the very least silently harbored judgement against the “non-tithers” in my heart… something I truly regret now.

How NOT to Give Your Money to God

Tithing is a tough thing to ask honest and open questions about. For many people it touches on a deeply held conviction and stirs some strong emotions. I hope to write a more scripturally based point-by-point piece on this topic soon, but this time around I want to try a more “let’s just think about this for a minute” sort of approach, starting with a recent survey on average church budgets in 2013. This survey breaks down with a good bit of detail exactly where the money given in good faith is actually going. You should look over the survey for yourself, but let me give you the short version:

58% of an average church’s budget goes toward personnel expenses, 18% toward facilities, utilities, maintenance, rent, etc., and 6% toward various administrative and office expenses. In other words, just over 80% of the money that’s brought into your average church goes to nothing but the building and the people that staff it. The remaining money is then primarily spent on the various programs run within its walls: programs for children and adults, fancy lighting and equipment for the music team, decorations, cash reserves, building funds, etc. All these things are focused on pleasing and impressing the people in attendance.

Less than 5% goes to any sort of missions, helping the poor, evangelism, or anything else that lends genuine aid to those truly in need.

If these numbers don’t immediately concern you then you should take some time to read this. The person who authored this piece describes it as “a compilation of the scariest, most embarrassing, most shocking statistics and information about the Church and its affairs.” It’s a bit sensational, but does a great job at quickly breaking down what really bugs me about the way the church (mis)manages it’s finances.

Being a “Good Steward” with Your Money

I’ve always confidently asserted that giving 10% of my money to the local church was the best way to obediently and faithfully manage the money that is truly God’s and not ours. God is a giver and wants us to give!

Well, yes; he is a giver and wants us to give cheerfully and generously… however blindly giving to an organization that barely spends a nickel on anything but itself hardly qualifies as good stewardship. The specific budgetary breakdown will of course fluctuate a bit from church to church, but the bottom line is the same virtually anywhere: all but a mere pittance of what’s taken in by the church is consumed and spent on itself.

If you gave hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year to a charitable organization and one day realized that less than 5 cents on every dollar was spent on anything but the charity itself, how would you respond? I’m pretty sure the response would be an easy one in any ordinary secular setting, but within Christendom this kind of thinking is set aside. It’s not just a question of what makes sense logically, but we have to do God’s will regardless of how sensible it is.

But then I also have to accept that the church spending 95% of that money on itself is God’s will.

The more I thought about this the more obvious it was that there’s just no way that could be God’s design. I just can’t buy into that anymore. I can’t imagine Jesus passing a collection plate, taking 60% for himself and his disciples, spending 20% to build a fancy temple for preaching, spending another 15% on programs to market himself and impress potential converts, and finally splitting the last 5% up to help people. I see clearly that the ministry of Jesus and his disciple’s was quite costly in terms of their time, emotions, and even their lives, but there’s no way to substantiate the idea that Jesus needed a big budget so that he or his disciples could be full-time “ministers of the gospel” with huge budgets to fuel fancy programs.

But God Commands Us To Tithe to Our Local Church!

Where do you see a tithe commanded with regard to anything other than the Old Covenant priesthood? What we call church today is solely the invention of men. Mostly these programs are run by quality people that genuinely serve God in the best way they know how, but you won’t find anything ANYWHERE in the Bible that resembles our normal Sunday routine. People are always quick to point out that this doesn’t automatically make it inherently evil, which is true, but it DOES disqualify it from laying claim as the God-ordained recipient of the Old Covenant tithe. God was EXTREMELY specific in the Old Testament on how tithes were to be given and who was to receive them. The details are so exhaustive it’s pretty tough to read them without being bored to tears. By contrast, there is almost nothing at all said of this practice in the New Testament, and certainly nothing that would connect it with our modern day churches. If we so confidently ignore most of the Old Covenant as inapplicable to us today, then what makes the tithe different?

If we really want to apply those Old Covenant principles to our modern day churches, but we don’t want to adopt the whole covenant as issued by God, then who gets to decide which parts we keep? If someone claims that their new program is the rightful recipient of the Old Covenant tithe then they should be able to clearly show where God commands such a thing. It’s not good enough to simply say “I mean well and I’m preaching the gospel, so therefore whatever God specifically laid out for Old Testament Levitical priests is now mine for the taking. God says so.”

Are we to believe that just anybody at all can gather people to meet in a fashion of their own choosing and then tell those people that God commands them to give 10% of their income to the organizer? What if you started a small meeting in your home of ten people? Would you then be right in claiming that God’s divine decree was that you get a tithe from all your members’ income? Where is there ANYTHING at all in scripture that permits us to import things that are specific to the Old Covenant into the programs of our own invention? If we are to do such a thing then why is it ok to take only those parts of God’s program we find most beneficial and leave out the rest? Worst of all: after we’ve invented our choice blend of the Old Covenant with our own ideas, why is it ok to take God’s name in vain by claiming he invented it and that he commands his people to support it?

Well, it’s not ok at all, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. After having made our strange blends of Old Covenant and modern programs we try to use verses like Malachi 3:8-10 to tell people they are robbing God by not giving to the storehouse. Somehow for most of my life it escaped me how absurd it is to try and apply this verse to our church programs… In what conceivable way does a modern day church resemble a storehouse? What are we storing and for whom? What sort of storehouse would spend 95% of the donations entrusted to it on paid staff, marketing, and weekly meetings while ignoring the scores of genuinely needy people outside it’s doors? This verse is utterly meaningless when applied to the idea of God requiring you to give a tenth of your income to a local church. If anything it would be better applied to your local help center for low income families.

There’s a Better Way

I’d like to propose an alternative: take the money you’d normally give to your church and devote it to your neighbor instead. What if the thousands or millions of dollars an average church spent on itself each year went instead to spreading the love of Christ in a way that tangibly touched people’s lives? What would happen? What if YOU took it on yourself to give directly to meet people’s needs? What if you personally expressed the love of Christ toward the people God has put in YOUR life in a way you KNOW would be most meaningful? Sure you could abdicate this to an organization to do on your behalf, but in what way is this possibly better? You know the needs of these people better than any organization on Earth. God has uniquely enabled YOU to minister to them in a way that no organization ever could.

What if you paid to replace your neighbor’s broken water pump? What if you picked up the grocery bill once a week for the stranger behind you in the checkout line? What if you helped your friend cover their rent this month and refused to let them pay you back? What if literally 100% of everything you devoted to the work of God actually went to the work of God instead of the overhead of a program? What kind of opportunities might that open for you to share the gospel with people after tangibly and personally demonstrating the love of Christ?

But Giving is to Be Done AFTER Tithing!

I’ve always believed that giving in this way is something to be done as an “offering”; that it is given above, beyond, and in addition to my tithe. I must first pay the money that I owe to the church and then optionally give to those around me if I have anything leftover and am feeling generous. In other words: not giving my money to a church’s programs and paid staff is robbing God of something I am REQUIRED to give, but then showing charity is OPTIONAL and only to be done only after I’ve paid my dues to God via the church? If almost none of my tithe is to be applied to true ministry (loving those in need), and furthermore if such ministry is only accomplished optionally by some other monies, then what in the world is my tithe even for? This is terribly backward. Doesn’t the word say:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

And then there’s the time Jesus warns us that when we don’t tend to those in need we aren’t tending to HIM (Matthew 25:31-46), and that his response will be to banish us from his presence for eternity! Jesus places a pretty high premium on caring for those in need. Downgrading the care of your neighbor to “extra credit” done only AFTER taking care of fancy buildings and the people that run them is a terrible perversion of what the Bible teaches. Where is any such thing actually taught in scripture? Where on earth did we get this idea?

The exact opposite is true; give generously to your neighbor FIRST. Don’t you dare send them away hungry and hurting because you’ve given all your money to a church and have nothing left. If you genuinely believe that giving your money to any such program is good stewardship, either because your particular church is an anomaly that gives a majority of it’s resources to those in need (or it simply doesn’t bother you that 95% of your money is going nowhere but to the program and it’s organizers), then do as you see fit, but you should do this AFTER serving those God has sent to you for help.

Not Under Compulsion

I want to reiterate what I said to begin with: none of this is written as a slander against those that call for a tithe. I have only the deepest respect for men who have devoted their lives to the spread of God’s word, most of whom believe and teach the tithe, but I do want to bring to light a terrible misunderstanding by which I myself was once deceived. I’m not looking for a way to evade giving that which God may require, but the Bible simply does not teach any such thing. I am compelled to properly understand what the Word of God has to say about how to steward the resources he has placed in my care. Blindly handing 95% of it to be squandered on programs seems not only to be terrible stewardship on my part, but also does very little to accomplish any of the things that God expressly desires.

If you genuinely believe in an organization, whether a church, a radio broadcast, a soup kitchen, a missionary, or anything or anyone else, I encourage you to give to it often and generously. Help those in need, and set money aside regularly to do so; only be sure and give cheerfully and not under compulsion. Be freed to give to any person or group in the way you feel would best minister the love and grace of God. God puts people in your path and wants you to help them; don’t ever let someone tell you that you must give to your church first and only help those people if there’s anything left over. Give what you can when you can, but not at the expense of those around you in need and certainly not at the expense of your own family’s needs. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim 5:8)

My hope in writing this is to see God’s people freed to show his generous love in a personal one-on-one way that could never be accomplished by any organization, no matter how well intended it is. I deeply regret ever having said anything that brought condemnation on anyone as though they were a second-class Christian for not paying their tithe, and I don’t want to see anybody wrestle with that kind of false guilt.

Don’t ever give because you’re told that you are obligated by God… his people should give readily and joyfully as an extension of the great gift they have received! Give to those in need because God has given you a great abundance from which to give.


28 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Tithing – Part 1

  1. This was very interesting reading. I agree with alot you have said. I look very carefully for organizations that I know give at least 80% to the cause. Compassion is a wonderful one. We have adopted a young boy and it is wonderful to know that the majority goes to him and his family.
    Donating to food banks, finding people in need, helping friends and family are also a great way to do what God has commanded us to do. Thank you for your words, God Bless
    Janet Barrett

    Liked by 3 people

  2. And do you attend this church you give to? Do your kids participate in the programs it offers? Do you have electricity for your worship team and a roof over your head when it rains? Do you enjoy the heater in the winter and the air conditioner in the summer? The church is made of its members and how is it supposed to keep its doors open without tithes? Is the money going to magically appear? Will God provide it? Oh right, He does… through its members. Funny how lots of people manage to give to their church AND to missions AND to their neighbor? Are you saying that God can’t do everything he needs to do with your money? Is the staff getting rich at your church? Do you begrudge them their pay checks? Maybe if your church isn’t giving 10% of its income you should sit down with leadership and ask to be a part of reworking the budget, not give up on them after reading one article.


    • I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I actually felt exactly the same way not too long ago! I’ve literally made all those same arguments to people in the past, so I understand where you’re coming from. I probably would have responded with just about as much passion, too :)

      But the primary thing I’m hoping to address here is the error of telling people that tithing is a biblical command of God. You’re response doesn’t address this at all. I completely understand that such a complex organization requires a ton of money to operate, but that’s not an argument addressing whether or not the Bible tells us we owe 10% of our income to our local church. The important question is first whether or not this is in fact a requirement God places on us. If the Bible defined the answer as “yes” then you’d be absolutely right. If, however, the answer is “no”, then the potential ramifications of that don’t change the answer. The answer is still “no”… we just need to figure out how to deal with that. If you know where the Bible describes church as we know it with it’s present spending habits and furthermore commands us to give 10% of our income to it and the people that run it, please share. I never said you CAN’T (or even shouldn’t) give, just that you shouldn’t put up with someone saying you MUST and slapping God’s name on it.

      I don’t begrudge anyone for their paycheck (I used to actually receive a paycheck at my church), and I certainly didn’t just read one article and flippantly change my mind. I came to these conclusions while preparing to teach in favor of tithing and finding the exact opposite of what I always believed was there in the Bible. I can’t even tell you how many countless hours I have poured through reading various Bible passages and articles to arrive where I am now.

      Now, I’m not in total disagreement with you. If I frequently utilize the benefits of ANY organization that runs on donations then I should contribute to the cost of that program. It would be pretty rude not to. I would recommend anyone that attends a church to give an amount that seems right to them, but this should be done NOT under the compulsion of someone that says you’re robbing God (2 Cor 9:7).

      Lastly, let me address your not-so-subtle accusations that I’m a complete hypocrite for benefitting from a program I don’t advocate contributing to. Again, I partially agree with you… which is part of the reason I don’t actually attend a church. I may write more about that someday, but not now. There are definitely other ways of seeking and serving God that aren’t so dependent on money.

      Liked by 6 people

      • I have heard so many times a pastor preach from Malachi, if you don’t tithe we rob God and then are under a curse. Well I am Widow with 6 young children, and I am not under a curse the Lord has become my husband and I hardly ever tithed to a congregation. I am not under a curse! I give when the Lord asks of me, and My Family and I are so blessed. It’s so comforting in hearing from other believers and having conformation in being free from the shame. When my husband and I left the congregation we felt so strongly that it was the Lord who led us. The Lord wanted us to know his truth and his interpretations by us seeking him out in the “wilderness”. We drew much closer to the Lord and felt his love so divine. We cannot fully understand the Lord, unless we know his word… He is our shepherd! Not man. We cannot simply take our pastors word. We are to pursue God and know him intimately! Through us individually, meditating on it, writing it on the tablets of our heart and we should not argue unless we have taken the time to know your bible through and through, it is truly the Bread of Life!


    • To the previous anonymous poster: I find it amazing how you feel so compelled to criticize the blogger for his thoughts on a topic, yet you can’t even scrounge up enough courage to take claim of your response. Grow up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous, the problem with your response is like so many others when they’re enlightened to the fact of the church’s financial ways. The problem is, the church was NEVER meant to be an employment center. We don’t or shouldn’t employ people to dispense our charity. That is a poor measure of stewardship. You know where the need is if you have the Holy Spirit to guide you. Listen, and he’ll show you. Or, continue putting it in the “basket” where the authorcorrectly states that a mere “pittance” actually goes to where it should. I would know, I worked in several such large churches.

      Wanna store up more treasure in Heaven? Then invest more in Heaven! Not in a business commonly referred to as “church.” The people are the church, not the building.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Common decency dictates the that you contribute for what you receive from an organization such as children’ s ministry, ect. Dan’s blog on tithing opens your eyes to what your money is going to and that it is not automatically covering most the things it should such as the Poor and needy. Very importantly he exposes the false teaching that we are commanded to “tithe” just like the false teaching that “we are commanded to go to church”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read it, you said things I have known for years,I am blessed when I give food or clothes or eye glasses for kids with no money. I like to feed the children  and Love a child and help pull girls out of sex slavery and give to the homeless, and Gd blesses me and I don’t need a tax break. love you

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  3. Hi Dan, I am glad to see you weigh in on this subject. So often we hear tithing justified from the pulpit that we are not to muzzle the ox that grinds out the corn. Yes, it does say that in Paul’s letters. And what does this refer to? An ox was tethered to a pole that was attached to a stone that ground the grain in a mortar and pestle fashion, He would walk in circles and make the stone grind away on another stone between which the grain was poured thus making flour or corn meal. This process is still in use in much of the third world today. As the grain was being ground out a few kernels would pop out under the pressure and land at the Ox’s feet, he would lap them up as he was grinding out the corn.

    Here is my point, what would the farmer do if the oxen required 80 or 90 percent of the harvest for his own belly and satisfaction and tried to convince him that it was only for the good of the farmer and his family? I think that the farmer would soon have an good old fashioned Texas barbecue and get him another oxen! Don’t think that God is not aware of this travesty! We have all heard the phrase spoken from the pulpit (another non-New Testament term along with New Covenant church buildings, ministry teams, worship teams, “senior pastor,” Sunday school, et infa-nausium)… you have heard it preached “It is better to give than receive.” Let’s look at the whole passage where Paul spoke this. He was speaking to the elders of the church of Ephesus and said, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept much, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,” (Acts 20:33-37 KJ2000). Can it get any clearer that this?

    You see the heart of those in leadership in the early church was not on building up a monolithic structure and machine that consumes all of God’s resources on itself nor was it to stand above the faithful as over-lords! No, their was no clergy-laity division! They were family and as such took care of one another’s needs as they dwelt together in the love of God with none of them saying what he had was his own but they gave generously and as a result, no one was lacking among them! What a sad indictment against what calls itself “the church” today! Love was once the governing factor and the cohesion that made the body of Christ ONE with Jesus as its true Head. It is time we ALL repented and got back to our first love.

    “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35 KJ2000). How did Jesus love? He fed the hungry, healed the sick, broke off of them the yoke of Jewish legalism, He forgave sins and He washed feet. He was so bound by the need for money to do all this that he gave oversight of the group’s money sack to a known thief that would betray Him (somethings never change).

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  4. Dan Dailey’s experience really very heartbreaking, after being a loyal decimated, discover with horror that in the name of God took advantage of their nobility and loyalty
    His decision not to decimate, the little social work, in which the Church holds and that much of the money is used to pay administrative expenses and vain
    Needless to say, large organizations (churches) to raise millions and their leaders live like tycoon splurging luxuries and pleasures
    Using the collation and threat, (Malachi 3) being cursed by God for being a thief these miscreants pocket filled with hands full
    But ….. (?) …. The big problem is tithing for tithing,
    Example: I tithe to be at peace with God and be blessed financially, I do not care where my money goes, provided it does not get into my private life, to decimate and be at peace with my Pastor is sufficient
    This is unfortunately the attitude of many believers, some are also faithful tither to occupy a very important and influential seat in the church or organization, the more you give, the more power you have and even to manipulate the Pastor
    The Church of the Lord are full of these miscreants employees, perverts, Peofilos, homosexuals and robbers, it’s such a good deal, that all (succession) family are involved or immersed in the Pastoral Ministry
    Dan’s experience, unfortunately extremist Gospels ,, the reason is and will be the best new or good news
    There are religious organizations in concert with the government or state, receiving financial aid quarterly on the topic of social support, for years they’ve done this, it’s their way of life, charity and helps extreme poverty, therefore, the poor see them (clergy) the true religion of Christ
    For the existence of the religious clergy they need to avail themselves of poverty, we now understand the effrontery why NO to abortion, abandoned mother with 7 children and one on the way, so long as there are children, the homeless, orphans, single mother abandoned widows, will continue leaving society future thieves, drug addicts, homosexuals, etc. prostitute
    The gospels are good news, man, trapped by their wickedness, the Gospel declares that Christ will your problem has a solution and a radical change of life and NO ONE piece of fish to satisfy His hunger, because the next day will
    hungrier and that is not the solution.
    The Gospel teaches the sinner, such as fishing and gives you the tools (rod) when it is hungry and the fish does not depend as beggar man, but of God

    The tithe is, this is true – the old law. Therefore, no one can force anyone to tithe, since the law expired and now reigns was Grace. However, in the passage from Malachi, then the imposition, comes the promise. And the promises have not expired.
    So it would be very good and suitable for your financial health you decide (by your own free will and without imposition or manipulation) continue to give to God what belongs to him legally, which is the minimum percentage of your prosperity.
    Not because there is a law that compels you to do so, but because doing so will activate the annexed promise, which is an overflow.
    Malachi 3: 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that.
    11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.
    Not for trade, not for business, not “I give you if you give me more”, but by willing obedience, which is the only one left standing
    Tithes belong to God, the excuse that accrues to do so are clearly visible, Deuteronomy 28: 43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.
    44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him; he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
    The other issue is where The Bible is clear: it says that you must bring your tithes into the storehouse, that is. The place where you find your food. Pay attention to where you feed and that’s where tithe. according to what the Lord has placed in your heart. Anything else, unfortunately, is a kind of manipulation
    Tithing has served in many places to corrupt the churches. As an important source of income, especially in churches where imposed as an obligation, it has aroused the envy of many who crave the pulpit as Balaam (2Pd.2: 15), but for the love of money. And this has been the cause of many church splits, which in turn subdivided continue.
    The result of all this is that the pulpits are saturated with these bad elements that have brought much disrepute to the gospel. In South America it is an endemic disease.

    I think that with so much corruption, the only logical thing that should make a Christian who wants to be faithful to their Lord, is to condemn the practice of the imposition of the tithe, because what would happen if we removed the tithes of the churches? The first positive thing you would see would be that the merchants of faith would be without the incentive that led to these seats of leaders, and not now something appetizing, leave churches because they would be a bad deal, as it was in days of the early church. Would only honest and slaughtered pastors serving His Lord.

    It would be a practical and effective to clean the pulpits and the churches of these entrepreneurs are making profit faith with the people of God forms. I think with so much perversion, debauchery and scandal, back to what the Lord has prepared for His house is the least you should do the honest Christianity.

    The Lord Jesus Christ said (Mt.21: 13) “My house shall be a house of prayer called; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” And taking a whip, expelled all traders.

    Mt.7: 22-23 “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles And then I will declare to them: I never knew depart from me, you evildoers. “


    • Manuel, I’d respond with just a couple things. First I’d encourage a slightly lighter tone :)

      The church is full of sinners because, like any other organization on earth, it’s full of people; but we don’t always know who the Lord is working with and we must exercise patience and love. This doesn’t mean we abstain from calling out what’s wrong, but the motivation should be to glorify God and call to repentance. Some may never repent no matter how you plea, but those who may be willing to repent could instead be hardened if we speak in the wrong spirit.

      Also it’s important to point out that tithing doesn’t inherently bring a promise of prosperity. There are places in the Bible that God promises such things to an individual or a group of people, but there are not universal promises. We are universally promised tribulation and that we will be hated on account of our master as we take up his cross. We are promised eternal life. We are not promised prosperity.

      I once heard a brother point out that to preach prosperity to the suffering people in mud huts of a third world country would be foolishness. Could we really look a mother in the eye as she held her starving child and tell her if she’d just have more faith she’d have prosperity? Even worse could we say if she’d scrape together 10% of all she had and give it away that she’d have prosperity? Any gospel that cannot be universally preached to all people isn’t really the gospel.

      Thanks for chiming in, Manuel. I do want to work hard to make sure comments posted here stay civil. Let’s lift one another up as much as possible!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your well thought out response, Daniel. After reading your part two I realize how much thought, research, and prayer you have put into this subject. Being a staff member of a healthy, generous, well run church, I did have an emotional response to your blog and assumed that you were still attending church and just decided not to give anymore. I apologise for that. I jumped to conclusions and I was wrong.
    I still believe, even after reading your convincing part two, that we should give to the church we attend. After a kind of self check of my own motivations, I’ve decided I don’t tithe because the Bible or my pastor told me to, I tithe because:
    I feel I should support the organization to which I belong.
    I do believe that God will bless any monies I give.
    Though personal experiences, I’ve found that my finances are healthier when I tithe than when I don’t.
    I believe that God given me what I have and I should give some back.
    I do believe there is something to knowing by faith that God will do what He needs to with your gift. Once it is given, truly given, it is in the hands of the next person and then the next etc.
    I do not always give 10%. Sometime it is less, sometimes more, depending on special offerings or what we feel we can give that week. It is not a set in stone number.
    There are other motivations I’m sure, but these are the ones that come to mind right now. So reflecting on that, none of my reasons are Biblical, they are practical, emotional, and spiritual. But my reasons are not, “Because the Bible says so.”
    So I guess I agree with some of what you’re saying, you don’t HAVE to tithe. But, I still think you should. And you should be a cheerful giver. But to say you shouldn’t tithe at all or you shouldn’t give to a church that has a nice building or lots of activities isn’t good either.
    We are trying to reach all kinds of people to tell them the Good News and some of them will listen because they came to an event or a service in that nice building. Some of them you will need to go out into the street to meet, they won’t feel comfortable in that nice building. So what I’m saying is, find that church that has the balance. The one that will bless you with its message and allow you to bless others with its missions and outreaches. The ones that draws people in and trains them and sends them back out into the community. I encourage you to keep visiting churches til you find the right fit, the one you will be happy to help support, not because you need a church to know Jesus, but because He gave you so many wonderful gifts it would be a shame not to share them, because a healthy church with members who would encourage you is an amazing find. Don’t let a bad experience sour you on the idea of a church body. As you alluded to in an earlier comment, churches are made of sinners, broken people. Sometimes they make up broken churches.
    Maybe you should start a church with a vision that’s solely outreach and missions! Or belong to a church that will let you start an outreach small group or take over and grow their outreach ministry. Then you can direct the tithes in a healthy direction. You know what happens when you say something is broken… it’s handed to you to fix. :)
    So again, sorry for my knee jerk reaction and thanks for making me think, even if I don’t completely agree, it’s always good to check your beliefs.

    And to “laura,” me being anonymous has nothing to do with my maturity level and everything to do with wanting to be heard objectively without the distraction of my identity getting in the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for slowing do to consider what I’m saying. As I said in the opening of my “Part 2” post, tithing is a touchy subject that gets people pretty riled up. No hard feelings :)

      I stated previously that I agree with you that you SHOULD give to your local church, should you choose to attend one. They have expenses and you are benefiting from that establishment, so it would be only right; even more so if you believe in the work being accomplished by that place, which I could only assume is true if you continue to play a part there. There are really only two things I’m trying to drive home with my posts: 1) Don’t let somebody twist scripture to tell you God demands that you give money to them in any amount, and 2) don’t route all your giving through a church and render yourself unable to give personally to the people whom God leads to you directly.

      That second part is vital! The heart of Christ should clearly be to help those around you. If the work of the church disables you from being able to do so, there is need for a paradigm shift. Let’s say you’re normally in the habit of giving $300/mo to a church, but no more than 5% of that is making it into the hands of those in need. What if instead you gave 50% of that to your church and gave the rest to people directly yourself? Now instead of $15 going to impact the needs of your community there is $165! This is most certainly NOT robbing God. If a church can’t figure out how to run itself without full time salaries and expensive programs so that hurting people are helped then there is serious need for a motive check.

      Now some may believe that having a weekly program with great music, a paid speaker, and a beautiful building are a more effective way of demonstrating Christ’s love. There is no scriptural basis to support or reject such a notion, you just have to ask that God show you how to best steward the resources he gives you for his kingdom. I’ve come to believe that such programs are far more ineffective than we’re willing to admit. It seems to me that our programs are having less and less impact on the world around us everyday. When the world sees us talking about Christ’s love but doesn’t see us walking that out in a way that meets anyone’s need, are they going to listen? When the American church is sitting on literally billions of dollars every year being spent on salaries and buildings, is it any wonder people accuse us of being hypocrites that are all about the money? That won’t ever change unless we start behaving in a way that actually conveys cares for the practical needs of those we claim to love.

      Lastly, let me attempt a brief reply at your encouragement to find or even start another church. I really appreciate your kind words about my gifting that should be shared. I’m trying in some small way to do that through this blog, and seeking new ways to do so in person-to-person interactions. I’m trying to focus on quality rather than quantity. I want to be as much like Jesus as I can when I speak with and minister to individuals, and this will be in ways that may be immeasurable and seemingly small, but I know in my heart that I’m walking the path God has laid before me.

      My reasons for deciding to stop attending a church have very little (if anything) to do with money mismanagement, and far more to do with trying to understand why our churches today look so different from the church I read about in the New Testament. This is not because of a sour experience with a church, though I’ll admit that some sour experiences definitely helped open my eyes to some things. I once heard a sermon pose this question: if you were to build a church using NOTHING but the Bible as you’re guide on how to do so, would you come up with anything like what we have today? For me the answer is an unwavering “no”. I’ve spent much time in prayer and study to look for answers to some burning questions about a system of human tradition that looks terribly broken, and I believe God is showing me something very different.

      But I’ll save all that for another time! Thanks again for your thoughtful response and I’m sorry for being so wordy in this reply! Just trying to get a few thoughts out of my own :)


  6. Jesus said to the rich young ruler, ” Go, sell all you have and give to the poor.” He didn’t say, “Go, sell all you have and give 10% to the temple.” (Just Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Why I Stopped Tithing – Part 2 | Dan Dailey's Blog

  8. Blessings,

    I, like Daniel, discovered the truth concerning God’s holy tithes while preparing for a lesson on tithing many years ago. I was teaching a series on “Stewardship and the Child of God”, and tithing was, in my opinion at that time, a part of “faithful stewardship.”

    The more I studied the passages concerning tithing, the more I realized that it was not a part of God’s plan for the New Testament Church.

    Psalm 147:19-20 states that God never gave Gentile nations the commands that He gave to Israel. Acts 15:10 says that to teach the Gentile Believers to keep the Law of Moses is to tempt God. Acts 15:24 tells us that when you teach the Gentile Believers to keep the Mosaic Law, you are subverting (overthrowing) their souls. In other words, you are undermining the work that God has begun in them.

    James sent out a letter to the Gentile Believers, telling them that they were never commanded to keep the Law, but that they were to observe four necessary things. Tithing was not one of those “necessary things. Interestingly enough, tithe command or instruction is not taught to the Gentile Churches in any of the epistles of the New Testament… not even in the pastoral epistles of 1&2 Timothy & Titus.

    But cheerful giving is.

    Like Daniel, I am not against giving to support the operation of a building where God’s Word is preached. However, God does not want our giving to be dictated. We must choose for ourselves what we will give. The word “purposeth” in 2 Corinthians 9:7 is translated from the Greek “proaireomai”. It means, “to choose for oneself.” Every man should choose for himself what he will give, keeping in mind the previous verse… he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully, and he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly.

    Anonymous asked the question as to how a Church was to be funded if not through tithing? Good question! My answer would be something that was practiced in the first century in the early Church… freewill offerings. You see a need and out of the love for the person in need, or the desire to see the work continue, you contribute. Not because of command, but out of pure love for the people and things of God.

    In the Bible, tithes were never carried to the New Testament Church, they were never collected in the New Testament Church, and they were never controlled by the New Testament Church. Up until the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, the Levites at the Temple were still the authorized recipients of the tithe that was to go to the House of God.

    Hebrews 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
    Hebrews 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
    Hebrews 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
    Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

    And that tithe was “according to the Law”. In other words, the tithe that the Levites were to be given was strictly agricultural as decreed in Leviticus 27:30-33.

    See to the needs of the people through love rather than coercion. God will be more pleased.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Church Budgets: The Dirty Details | Dan Dailey's Blog

  10. Very enlightening. Some churches of old did give generously in love, but there are better ways now for sure and your money doesn’t get spent on nepotism bloated staff and mortgage payments on underused real estate. When you give directly to a need you touch personally with God’s love
    Excellent article Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

      • One way to give to needy people is to give a generous tip after you eat at a restaurant. Waitresses don’t even get minimum wage and rarely get over 29 hours a week because of the new health care laws.

        One time I and three “out of the system” brothers were eating at a cafe in Great Falls, MT and one of them knew the lady that waited on us as a single mom that was barely making it. So I took out a $20 dollar bill and laid it on the table for a tip on my $10 meal. Soon another brother said, ‘I will see your $20″ and did the same, well by the time we were leaving, there was $100 laying on the table for her. She was totally blown away and as we walked out she was telling the woman behind the bar about what had happened. I heard from the brother from Great Falls we met with there months later and he said that every time he goes in there she thanks him for what happened that day. It is so important to be good stewards of what God has put in our hands and listen to His leading as for who He wants us to help instead of giving out of compulsion under the Old Testament law of the tithe.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I like this and agree to most of it. I’ve studied  the Bible for 51 years and still have not found one place where Jesus said to give 10 percent of anything to a Church program. However, I know He told Peter that “Upon this rock, I will build my church.” Jesus is the Rock, He is building His church in the hearts of believers, and all other Churches are build and run by men! How can we call denominations “Churches,” they can’t get along with each other, how do they think they can get along in Heaven? And how can they call themselves the ‘Church” when they disagree on Gods word that is the same for all?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Elle,
        I think the reason you have a hard time with denominational-ism and the separation that exists between churches is because the Bible says that there is only ONE Church and it is spiritual, not one made of bricks and wood or diverse creeds

        “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph 4:1-6, ESV2011)

        The whole system of competition and trying to steel sheep from one another is against the will of God and what Jesus prayed before He went to the cross.

        “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:21-24, ESV2011)

        Do you see the depth of unity that Jesus and the Father have for us? ONE with each other just as THEY are ONE! ” I in you and you in me. When I get up in the morning I pour myself a cup of coffee and then I add some of that flavored creamer to it. Soon the black coffee turns to a light brown. I cannot tell where the coffee leaves off and the creamer begins. They are one! This is what God has designed the Church to be, members of Christ’s body who function and think like they are members of one another because they are members of Christ. “You Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us… that they may be one even as we are one.” This kind of unity requires us to be dead to ourselves and alive IN Christ and this is why it is not happening in this self-seeking and self-aggrandizing worldly church. Or like one C&W song went, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your plan on how to give to help your neighbor. We’ve bought groceries for family (unsaved) who live in poverty. We’ve hosted many gatherings in our homes and paid for the food, served them. I just noticed today that my neighbor’s daughters’ car was in a wreck. I immediately felt sadness. She’s like 20 years old and young. Her entire back bumper was messed up. That’s a place I could help in some small way, even if it’s not enough to cover the whole thing. I think we should look at our money and house and everything we own as on loan from God. We don’t own it. God has given it to us to use for his purposes. I think way too many people are selfish and think they can’t help others or they don’t have to, or they stick $10 in a collection plate and give to their church that doesn’t do anything good with that money. I’d prefer to help those who need it.

    Liked by 2 people

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