I am always worried that churches exercise control and don’t release people into true freedom in God. The worst thing this does is create an impression that as long as we do certain things and believe certain things – in the case of tithing, as long as we give enough – we are O.K. This is not grace!
Take tithing. It makes great sense for a church to teach tithing because by it we truly honour God with our bank balances, we throw down the god of money and demonstrate how spiritual we are. OR do we? By the way we also keep the church ticking over financially which is very handy for people like me – a full time pastor – who needs paying!
Why did no one ever tell me that in the “Law,” the Old Testament part of the Bible, I got to eat all my tithe at a feast to celebrate God’s goodness? Why did they tell me I had to give 10% of my income when a simple Bible study reveals that you only gave ten percent every three years? Why did no one ever point out that most of the giving mentioned in the New Testament is based on the principle of “giving in keeping with your income” which releases us from the legalism of tithing into the personal free responsibility to find out from God if and what we should give? Why did no one dare to say that in the New Testament most of the giving spoken and taught about is actually giving to poor people and not to sustain the church? Why did no one ever paint such a brilliant picture of church that I wanted to give my all, including my money, to help paint that picture into being?