Disciples OC functions to spread the gospel through outreach events, community support, helping the poor and contributing to the needs of our body. We build our budget around three main Scriptural principals:
- Seeking to deliver the good news of the gospel. (Phi 4:16–17)
- Seeking justice and good for those who can’t. (Is 1:17)
- Seeking the good all people and the family of believers. (Gal 6:10, Acts 2:42–47)
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Principles in Our Own Time
Although there is no command the New Testament about tithing it continued into the early church. We read about the importance and benefits of giving. In addition, the book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom. It is not law and it applies to every believer in all generations. ” “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10 We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means giving more than 10 percent; sometimes that may mean giving less. It all depends on our ability and the needs of the church. Ultimately, tithes and offerings should be given with pure motives and with an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Today, tithing is still necessary for kingdom work. No specific commands about tithing are given in the New Testament, but from the examples in the Old Testament, the general principles still affect our lives today. Please pray diligently and seek God’s wisdom in the matter of participating in tithing and/or how much to give (James 1:5).
Principles of Tithing and Giving
Some Christians struggle with tithing/giving. It’s intended to be a joyful act of worship but sadly that’s not always the case. We’ve found the struggle originates from several reasons: 1) Some churches have muddied this clear teaching by distorting its pure purpose. They have manipulated people into giving their money and/or misappropriating funds. 2) There’s a lack of Biblical understanding. Some say, “Tithing is an Old Testament practice limited to those who are under the law” or ”New Testament giving is under grace, and all by grace, so there are no set requirements.” 3) Some simply refuse to submit to the Biblical calling to give. The struggle is real. We want to help educate about the Biblical view of giving. Our attitude toward money and giving to the Lord is a condition of our heart. Tithing recognizes that God provides everything and gave us everything we have. It’s ALL His.
Tithing was an Old Testament requirement used for kingdom work. Israelites were required to give ten percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple. The tithes were used for the temple, feasts, and for the poor of the land (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; Deuteronomy 26:12; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Tithing carried more than monetary implications. We see in Scripture tithing and giving is associated with three consistent principles.
Tithing to the Lord is an act of worship. The principle of tithing as worship is based on Genesis 14:17–24. Abraham gives a tenth of his plunder to Melchizedek, King of Salem. Melchizedek, in turn, blesses Abraham. Hebrews 7:1–10 defines the significance. “And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.” Tithing is an act of worship by which we acknowledge that God is our Sovereign Lord and the source of all blessing.
Tithing is an act of restoration. It was associated with the restoration of a people when they returned to God. One of the first things done is to restore the practice of tithing (2 Chronicles 31:2–11; Nehemiah 10:37–39). It is seen as an outward sign of the restoration of right relationship between God and his people. Nehemiah tells us that when the tithe is not brought in, the House of God is considered to be neglected (Nehemiah 13:11). Malachi 3:8–12 communicates that to fail to bring in the tithe is equivalent to robbing God, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. ” But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse–the whole nation of you–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.
Tithing is an act of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the overflowing gratitude towards God. Tithing as an act of thanksgiving eliminates guilt as the motivation for giving. The right motivation is ultimately based on the condition of your heart —and not on a legalistic requirement. 2 Corinthians 9:6–7 shares God’s desire for cheerful giving,”Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
“Tithers make up between just five and 20 percent of the givers in a typical congregation, but they donate 50 to 80 percent of the money. Among non-tithing Christians who struggle to give, 38 percent say it’s because they can’t afford it, 33 percent say they have too much debt and 18 percent say their spouse doesn’t agree with tithing. 97 percent of tithers make giving to their local church a priority, and 63 percent started tithing between their childhood and their twenties. It also found that 70 percent give based on their gross income rather than their net income, and 77 percent give more than the traditional 10 percent. A tither says to himself, ‘I’m better off because I give.’ A non-tither looks at that and says, ‘Oh, they give because they’re better off,'” said Brian Kluth, founder of the study and Maximum Generosity, who called the findings “unprecedented.” “Never before has this group been studied, and I think for every pastor and church leader and parachurch leader it would be valuable if they understand this,” Kluth told The Christian Post. “We’re in the midst of a 40-year decline in the percentage that Christians give, and we need to see a generosity movement in America, that Christians re-embrace generosity as a spiritual value, but not for the sake of the church budget, but because of the Bible. Churches have made giving all about the budget, and it’s not about the budget, it’s all about the Bible.” (Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-christians-who-tithe-have-healthier-finances-than-those-who-dont-95959/#hKiuz75HCd8HfbKJ.99)