It’s true that tithing is not directly commanded in the New Testament; however, we don’t think we should throw out the tithe. Tithing is a helpful guideline for giving under the new covenant. The question that we should ask when it comes to giving is, “How can we most glorify God with our giving?” We encourage you to start your giving with the tithe, the first 10%, and then expand your giving with greater percentages. Let the tithe be the floor of your giving and realize there is no ceiling to your giving. In this way the tithe is a helpful guideline for giving, but not a legalistic mandate.
Why do we think that tithing is a helpful guideline for giving when it is not explicitly commanded in the New Testament?
- Tithing honors a biblical principle.
Throughout the Old Testament the tithe was the pattern of giving for the people of God. The Old Testament tithe provided for care of the poor and needy, times of celebration for God’s people, and support for their spiritual leaders. The New Testament tells us to provide for these same needs as well.
Jesus also endorsed the tithe. He didn’t command people to tithe, but he did endorse tithing.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth (tithe) of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (Matthew 23:23).
- Tithing reinforces the truth of God’s ownership and our stewardship.
When God’s people gave the first and best immediately to God through the tithe, it was reminding them that they didn’t own it in the first place. We need that reminder, too!
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12).
- Tithing helps us in the constant battle with greed and materialism in our hearts.
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. . . Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-18).
Giving is the antidote to materialism in our culture. Tithing helps us guard all our tendencies toward money and possessions taking over our hearts. Tithing disciplines us and reminds us that giving is really all about God! A God-centered heart produces generous hands.
What if among the members of this community of faith the tithe was simply the starting point? And what if those of us who are already there, already tithing, began to take steps to go far beyond that? We pray that God would take the wealth he has entrusted to us with the wisdom he has promised to give us, and he would use us to make his name known in Stuttgart and to the ends of the earth!
Here are three ways you can give to First Baptist Church Stuttgart.