Anderson Christian Perspective on Giving

Anderson Christian Perspective on Giving is a short article from Probe.org on giving, offerings, and tithing.

Anderson Christian Perspective on Giving is a short article from Probe.org on giving, offerings, and tithing.

Biblical Perspective on Giving

Written by Kerby Anderson

The Controversy

In this article we are going to be talking about a biblical perspective on giving. In the past, we have discussed biblical principles concerning spending and focused primarily on the subject of debt and credit.{1} Here we will discuss such issues as the Old Testament tithe, New Testament giving, and related questions that often surface in the minds of Christians.

At the outset, we should acknowledge that there is some controversy surrounding a biblical perspective of giving. For example, if you ask if a Christian should tithe, you will get very different answers from various members in the body of Christ.

In fact, asking the question in some churches today is likely to start an argument. A few months ago, The Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled The Backlash Against Tithing.{2} More recently CBS News ran a feature, To Tithe or Not To Tithe?{3} Even the secular media is noticing how controversial tithing has become in some churches.
The idea that Christians should give ten percent of their income to the church has become quite controversial and is increasingly being challenged. Church members say they should be free to donate whatever they choose. Some are reacting against a strong promotion of church giving that includes sermons, flyers, and brochures. Some balk at churches that have set up giving kiosks where church members can give using their debit cards. They have called them Gods ATM machines.

Others are reacting to the legalism that says the Old Testament law code concerning the tithe applies to the New Testament church age. And still others want to be good stewards of their giving and want to know more about how a church spends its money.

The best estimates are that Christians give about two and one-half percent of their income to the church, far below the ten percent advocated by those teaching tithing. And it appears that church giving is on the decline partially due to a decline in regular attendance and also due to the fact the Christians are giving to other charitable organizations.

They balk at the idea that the church is Gods storehouse and want to give to other mission agencies and Christian organizations.

It isn’t that Christians are stingy. Last year Americans gave an estimated $97 billion to churches, and that is almost a third of the country’s $295 billion in charitable donations.{4}

A number of church leaders and theologians have also entered the debate. They point out that the tithe was an Old Testament requirement, and that New Testament believers no longer live under the Law but under grace.

So in this article we look at the relationship between tithing and charitable giving while looking at the idea of giving in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament Tithe

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Christian Perspective on Giving
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