One of the major doctrinal issues in most churches is Tithing. There are several arguments for and against Tithing, and I don’t plan to go into that today. What I plan to do is to simplify this as much as possible from a rational perspective.
Let me start by saying I am neither for nor against Tithing. Tithing is not inherently good, nor is it intrinsically wrong. It’s a form of giving that can be seen in the form of taxation.
Speaking of taxation, Taxes differs from one country to the other, and sometimes within cities/states in a country. Similarly, a Government can only claim taxes usually from its citizens or legal residents.
Have we ever thought about why the Governments of a country could claim taxes? The Government of a country has created a “framework” through which the citizens and residents of the country can thrive socially, economically, and in other areas that pertain to life. You should pay taxes to the Government in whose framework you thrive. The same logic can be applied to Tithing.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites owed all their success to their God. The promised land was given to them by their God, and this reality is part of their consciousness. They knew that if God had not been on their side, they would not have overcome their enemies, and would have nothing to themselves. Because of this reason, they had every obligation to live per the rules of God.
God demanded 10 percent of everything from the land (Lev. 27:30) unto him. To them, it is not a question of whether they would give it to God or not, as they knew that if not for God, they wouldn’t have anything. It was an easy decision to make. They only thrive under the framework of God.
Here’s where I’m going. What is the source of your livelihood? Unto whom/what can your trace it to? Is it a person, organization, church, or a country? It doesn’t matter who/what that is, you have a moral obligation to live by their rules and dictates.
If, for instance, you got your job through the provisions of your church, and your church demands a tithe of your income, it shouldn’t be a question as to whether you should pay or not. It’s the least you could do because you wouldn’t have the job without the input or help from your church.
Almost all forms of Levy is done from a moral or legal framework. Just as we can’t refuse to pay taxes to the Government, we can’t refuse to pay a levy to “our source” if it’s demanded of us to do so.
That said, it’s essential to realize what our source is. If it’s truly from God, then live per the will and intention of God. If it’s through the connections of your religious organizations, then you have an obligation to that religious organization. It’s as simple as that. It’s crucial to not mistake one for the other because both priorities are often not aligned.
One of the problems I’ve seen in most Christian churches is that the leaders don’t teach this rightly. Some Church leaders are looking to reap where they didn’t sow or try to take the place of God.
Therefore, we all must understand God for ourselves and what the will of God is. It’s essential to ascertain what our source truly is and live by its demands. Don’t let anyone or any organization take the place of God in your life, and understand when you need to pay unto Caesar what is due to Caesar.