A gospel-centered church is a giving church! A gospel-centered person is a giving person! Whenever we give we are being a beautiful picture of The Gospel to those around us. On Sunday morning we talked about being good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that Pastor Bill sat down to answer this week.
1. Should we tithe on the gross or the net of our income?
The tithe is 10% of gross salary or 10% of our gain (if we are in business for ourselves). Remember what is deducted from our gross pay is for our own good. We get it back in services, including what is provided by our income taxes. Once a person begins to think of gross and net and opts for the later, he will find himself thinking of other items that he can deduct for God. i.e. transportation to and from church; an unforeseen expenditure that they feel God would approve of. When we begin thinking like this, do not be surprised it God gets nothing at all. (I think this is an issue for a more mature Christian. I would be happy if individuals tithed on the gross or the net…just tithe)
2. Isn’t tithing just an Old Testament thing?
In Luke 11:42 Jesus addresses the Pharisees who paid a tithe even on spices, but “disregarded justice and the love of God”. He told them that they should have upheld justice and the love of God “without neglecting the other things”…without neglecting their tithes. Also, in Acts, Luke describes the first church as not just giving their tithe, but selling everything to advance The Gospel.
3. Why should I tithe when my actual tithe is so small?
Because it is right. The amount is utterly irrelevant. i.e The widow’s mite Mk 12:41-44 – God cares more about your obedience & willingness than the dollar amount. He can do more with an available heart than all the money in the world.
4. Is the storehouse always the church?
Yes. By supporting the local church you provide funds that in turn send the gospel around the world.
5. Can’t I send my tithe to a missionary or a ministry that upholds God’s Word?
You can’t by-pass the church in any way and be true to the Gospel. It is the church that ought to support missionaries or other valid ministry. “Offerings” or giving beyond the tithe are the exception.
This way the tithe goes directly to the place where the Bible says it belongs.
6. What if I can’t afford to tithe?
The answer is, you can’t afford not to tithe. Who can afford to rob God? (Malachi 3:8)
7. What if I am the only tither in the church?
It can be annoying to the person who alone is doing what God commands, and yet this should be seen as a wonderful example. What you do in this case is between you and God. God sees what is happening and that is all that really matters. You are the one who is enriched.
8. Isn’t tithing s hardship on the poor?
Tithing is God’s plan, and it is the most fair and reasonable arrangement in the world. The poor man pays as much for food and gas as the rich. But if the poor man has a smaller income, he has a smaller tithe. Not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.
9. Isn’t it a sin to tithe when we are in debt? Shouldn’t we pay our honest debts first, then begin tithing?
It is a sin not to pay your “debt” to God – the tithe. It is His. How much money do you think God would get if every Christian waited until he was out of debt before he began tithing?
10. Isn’t there a danger of being legalistic?
The danger is you must never think that tithing counts for righteousness. It does not.
11. If I have not been tithing, it means I am “behind” in my tithes. This means I am deeply in debt – to God. Should I pay “back tithes”?
Begin now. When God forgives, He forgets. Confess your sin of not tithing. Accept your forgiveness (1 Jn 1:9) and don’t look back.
Feel free to e-mail Pastor Bill with any questions or to set up an appointment to discuss how you can leverage your resources to advance God’s Kingdom. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To give tithes & offerings online, click here.