Study to show thyself – Tithes and offerings requirements for prosperity

The doctrine of tithes and offerings still remains a very hot topic in today’s church and has gotten even hotter since the onset of the recession. A lot of church assemblies are experiencing a downturn in giving because things are no longer the way they used to be with most of the congregation. A lot of them have lost their jobs and now struggle to make ends meet. Bills are going unpaid and the rates of repossessions have soared with people losing their homes daily. This actually raises a question, “shouldn’t the church be insulated from this?” money

We have been taught that tithing faithfully as well as giving offerings prevents occurrences like this but has that proven to be the case? There has been no discrimination with regards to the effects of this recession both tithers and non-tither alike have been hit. And this poses another question; who lied? God or the pastors? We know from scripture that God’s word always comes to pass. So if God has promised that all who tithe would always experience abundance, then, all faithful tithers would be insulated from the effects of the on-going recession. I am yet to see that happen. And this brings me to one conclusion – pastors have greatly misinformed their congregations.

I have written several pieces on the doctrine of tithing but will turn my attention to the giving of offerings and how it affects today’s church.

The general rule of thumb about offering in today’s church is that it is any amount of money you give in church that is more than your tithe. Plausible but is that the scriptural definition or a man made definition? I will go with the latter, offerings were never described as such in the bible.

Before we examine offering in the New Testament, let us first of all look at it in the Old Testament.

The first record of offerings being presented in scripture is in Gen 4 when Cain and Abel came to present their offerings before God. And God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s. A lot has been said about this in a bid to give a plausible explanation. Some have said that Abel brought a tithe while Cain did not; others say that Cain’s offering was rejected because they were the produce of the ground, which was cursed, and Abel’s was accepted because it contained blood. Is there enough scriptural evidence to support either of these theories? I am afraid not. We are told in scripture that no scripture is of private interpretation and out of the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established. Those explanations have failed on these two counts. The key to understanding what transpired between God and Cain and Abel rests in the Heb 11: 4, let us look at it from the message bible

By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.

The above scripture tells us why Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s was not, it was the attitude of the givers and not what was offered.

Before God gave the law to Moses, people had been giving offerings to God; these offerings were mainly thanksgiving offerings.

When the law was given, the children of Israel were instructed by God to give different offerings. And some of the offerings are:

  1. Freewill offering
  2. Sin offering
  3. Wave offering
  4. Heave offering
  5. Drink offering
  6. Burnt offering
  7. Atonement offering

These offerings as their names suggest were given at different times and for different reasons. It was a requirement for the children of Israel to be in right standing with God. The book of Hebrews tells us that these offerings brought constant reminders of sin and had to be performed year in year out.

So we can safely say that offerings served redemptive purposes in the Old Testament in one way or another.

In the New Testament, all forms of offerings were abolished because of the sacrifice of Jesus, the eternal offering that was offered once and for all to replace sin offerings, wave offerings, Atonement offerings and all other offerings.

Nowhere in scripture do we see that your offering should be any amount above your tithe. Even this definition itself poses a problem because money was not titheable, tithes were only paid on farm produce.

So are we instructed to give offerings in the new dispensation as a show of our love for God? A resounding no! Are we told that our giving of tithes and offerings insulates us from famines, recessions etc.? Another resounding no!

The early church only made collections to meet the needs of brethren in their midst and this was entirely voluntary. They never mandated brethren to pay tithes or kept any record of such. When it was time to appoint deacons in Act 6, tithing was not used as a criteria instead they looked for men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. In today’s church, it is quite the contrary – tithing is a requirement for membership in many local assemblies.

A lot of monies collected in today’s church unfortunately, are wasted on the pipe dreams of pastors under the guise of supporting the Gospel. How does buying a private jet aid the spread of the gospel? The book of Acts says that people loved the way the brethren of the early church lived and as such God added to them daily such that should be saved. Many of today’s church buildings are just built to inflate the ego of pastors who love fame more than building the lives of people! It is so wrong and very unbiblical!

Giving in the New Testament should be to meet the need of the brethren and not as a show of love to God or a means of achieving right standing with God. That is legalism. It never promises financial prosperity but only promises that if you are generous to others, you would also enjoy their generousity. In other words, treat others the way you would like to be treated.

So if you are in debt, ask the Lord for guidance on the way out. He could lead you to a good financial adviser, He moves in mysterious ways. Don’t expect that you can give or tithe your way out of it. It is simply a fallacy. Don’t be suckered by these televangelists who promise you the world when you give to them, they are telling lies. God would always take care of His own, tithe or no tithe, offering or no offering.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. anonymous
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 06:33:57

    Yes, agreed.

    In many Churches today, you will only be in leadership if you tithe.

    Reply

  2. eliteinchrist
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 23:22:45

    And it is really a pity.

    Reply

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