Preachers, so many of you are going to go to hell for scaring people into mandatory income tithing with threats of curses.
Tithing under the law was expressly commanded to Israel as 1/10 of the agricultural production of the land. This is why God calls it ‘the tithe of the land.’ It was never based on income or wages. Only those who owned land and livestock tithed. There were plenty of non-farmers living at that time, including bankers, jewelers, weavers, stoneworkers, and carpenters. Our Savior was a carpenter.
Another interesting detail the preaches love to leave out is that the tithe was given to the priests only twice every seven years. In the 7th year, there was no crop production, so the only tithe was of animals. In the other 4 years the people were commanded to eat the tithe crops, or to sell them and then spend the money ON THEMSELVES. (See Deut 14:26)
We are to give generously, give cheerfully, but let no man manipulate you into works of the Law that were never commanded anywhere in the New Testament, nor is there any evidence in the first 600+ years of church history of any church body teaching mandatory income tithing. The tradition of income tithing began in 680 AD when the Roman government instituted it as a tax for their state-controlled church.
The New Testament writings do not teach it.
The early apostles and church fathers did not teach it. Not one of the thousands of primary source historical documents we have from those who lead the church in all those centuries gives us any evidence at all that the church ever taught it up until the paganized Roman church forced it on everyone in the empire.
When the threats of curses do not, work, many preachers then resort to two doctrines to support mandatory income tithing:
The first is that Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, and this means we ought to tithe. This is very poor theology, since Abraham did this only ONCE, he did so VOLUNTARILY and NOT by commandment, and it was from property taken in a war. It is extremely poor theology to use a one-time voluntary act to teach people they must tithe from their income.
The second lie that is relied upon is the false promise that tithing connects you to your covenant.
2 Corinthians 5:5 tells us:
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
A pledge is a deposit. The KJV says the ‘earnest of the Spirit.’ When I first made an offer on my house, I was required to submit with that offer $500 as an earnest money deposit. That deposit is credited toward the purchase of the house, and is called the ‘earnest money,’ because it is the evidence, the proof, that I was in earnest – serious and committed – about buying the house. It was the sign that I was serious about going through with the purchase.
Similarly, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s deposit on our life, the promise that He will complete what He has begun.
THAT is what connects you to your covenant written in the Blood of Christ, not your money.