Diplomatic Notes

Thoughts on tithing

Recently, there has arisen a major debate on the subject of tithing. Some prominent pastors have spoken out, sharing their perspective on whether tithing is biblical and relevant today. Historically, there has been much said on this topic and the general consensus has been that tithing is an integral part of the New Testament church and should be adhered to by all believers. Some churches record tithes and make it a requirement for leadership and participation in certain church activities. With that said, let me give my thoughts on tithing and the current controversy.

First of all, let me say that tithing is a biblical principle that is not time or dispensation restricted. It is a part of the kingdom economic system. Tithing is the same as the principle of seed time and harvest, God himself stated that as long as the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest. Tithing is a part of the seed and harvest principle.

Tithing should never be a subject of discussion. In fact, tithing should be considered a minimum, if you are a believer and believe that God has given you eternal life. When I think of where I have come from, I am happy to tithe and go beyond 10 percent. What price can I put on salvation and the benefits I have and continue to receive from my relationship with the king. There is no debate. If God has not done anything for you, then I would not recommend you tithe either. I tithe and give even more because I am grateful for what has happened to me. If not for my relationship with God and my church, I shudder to think of where I would be. Because I have been rescued, saved, given a new lease on life, I tithe and give cheerfully.

How can you say you are submitted to God and then tell him what you are going to do?

Tell him that you will ignore his principles and do what you want and still expect to call yourself a child of God?

If God is sovereign and the king of all kings, we are not in a position to give opinions. He tells us what is required and we do it cheerfully. The book of Malachi tells us to bring the tithes into the storehouse (the place where you get spiritual food) so that there would be resources in the house to meet the needs of the people. Tithing is not optional if you have submitted to God.

The Bible also tells us that we should give cheerfully. We should be happy to give – excited with a thankful and grateful heart. If you are giving grudgingly then you should keep your money and not ask God for anything. You should also not call yourself a believer. Because, if you believe God, the Bible says you should understand that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. When I think of his goodness and what he has done for me I am happy to obey his word.

Tithing is a part of biblical stewardship. It’s the perfect economic model to ensure that every church has all the resources needed not just to stay open, but to care for the people and provide resources for the aged, the downtrodden and the physically and mentally challenged. To deprive the church of tithes means to cause churches to struggle and reduce the services they can offer.

It is amazing to me that so many people say they are dedicated to God and yet will argue with his principles or try to avoid them. Jesus put it this way – he said you call me Lord, but do not do what I say. The implication is that if he is your Lord then you will willingly do what he says rather than look for an excuse to do what you want to do.

Tithing for a citizen of the kingdom of God is not a debatable issue. It is a requirement of kingdom living and a part of the kingdom economy. I will continue to tithe – not because I feel obligated – but because it is a kingdom principle. And, if I believe God and I’m thankful for what he has done in my life there is no other response. Everyone gives to what they believe in. People go to strip clubs with $40,000 cash and throw it up in the air for fun. Wherever your heart is, your treasure will be there also. Where is your heart? Your money will follow.

• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to pastordaveburrows@hotmail.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.

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