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The issue of giving money to the church is often a touchy subject for many. Even within Christianity there can be great division regarding the tithe. I’m reminded of an old joke:

Three ministers are out playing golf and they’re trying to decide how much to give to charity. So the first says, “We’ll draw a circle on the ground, throw the money way up in the air, and whatever lands inside the circle we give to charity.” The second says, “No. We’ll draw a circle on the ground, throw the money up in the air, and whatever lands outside of the circle – that’s what we’ll give to charity.” The third and most senior pastor says, “No, no. We’ll throw the money up in the air and whatever God wants he keeps!”

Tithe is an old word for tenth, and the overwhelming model in the Bible is that people of faith give back to God (via the local place of worship) one-tenth of all our income. For example:

This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to You a tenth of all that You give me. (Genesis 28:22)

Every tenth of the land’s produce, grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. (Leviticus 27:30)

You are to bring there your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tenths and personal contributions, your vow offerings and freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. (Deuteronomy 12:6)

Sometimes it’s hard to think about giving away 1/10 of our income – a dime of every dollar. So I asked on Twitter: Do you tithe to your local church? Why or why not?

And responses came pouring in:

There is no promise in the Bible that if you tithe then God will repay you with worldy riches. God doesn’t have a savings plan – you give 10% and you’ll see dividends 100x what you paid. It doesn’t work like that.

Giving says several things:
1) God, I give you this as an act of worship.
2) God, I recognize that all I have is from you.
3) God, I trust that you can take care of me even if I give my income away.

I believe that God will be faithful to us even if we give away 10% (or more) for his kingdom.

What’s your gut reaction? Are you a tither? How does the idea of giving a dime of every dollar sit with you?

Related Posts:
Fat, Greedy, Money-Grubbing Churches
How to Get Money From God