By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


Does a Christian have to tithe?


Christians who want to please the Lord often have questions about tithing. The dictionary defines the word “tithe” as “a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment.” It was a common practice in the Old Testament and was required of members of the nation of Israel.

Many Christians believe that this principle of giving one-tenth should be carried over to the New Testament in giving to the church and other Christian organizations. Billy Graham would fit into this category. He has said, “We have found in our own home, as have thousands of others, that God’s blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing.” However, even then the question as to whether to tithe from one’s net or gross income is not answered in Scripture, nor is the question of whether to give it all to the local church or to include other ministries. We feel that such decisions should be based on personal conviction.

Other Christians who tithe do so simply because they respect the Old Testament principle and find it a helpful place to begin in their giving. They do not believe, however, that tithing is a New Testament obligation. It is not mentioned in the New Testament except where it is describing Old Testament practices or in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing people who were under the Old Testament law. Note Jesus’ comments to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42.

A New Testament teaching on giving which may be helpful to you is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” This passage brings out four points: we should give individually, regularly, methodically and proportionately.

The matter of your giving is between you and God, and He always takes into account our circumstances. He knows when they are beyond our power to direct and control. The important thing is that we see giving as a privilege and not a burden. It should not be out of a sense of duty, but rather out of love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom advanced.

Second Corinthians 9:6-7 says: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The deeper question, you see, is this: What has priority in our lives? Is Christ really first—or do we put ourselves and our own desires first? Make sure Christ is first in your life, and then ask Him to guide you.

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  1. Pearlene Kelly says:

    I am a change believer of God. That means when I excepted Jesus Christ in my life over 30 years ago he change me inside out. I have been a tither every since. And I know his blessings has been upon me for that. Lately with some other believers there has been some discussions about tithing and they believe with hearing a sermon about it that tithing is not for the Christians of today. It was for the old testament days. God has commanded us to give according as he has prosper us. A lot of preachers teach that if we don’t tithes we are curse. I use to buy into that. But i don’t now. I have the spirit of God living inside of me and as he lead me I give. Weather it be 10% of more than 10%. And I don’t let no man condem me.

  2. Adeboboye A says:

    It is in my opinion that giving because of the blessing or other wise which are in malachi is to give a gift of Sin but if we give only because of our love to God. Whether He blesses us or not but because we are Sons n daughter of the God who loves us. Then that which is given is a gift of love not a obligation by which ppl become a subject of law which enslave them and make them sinful. Let everyman gives according to that which he has determine to give yet out of love for God, love for the Church and His brothers

    1. tre2k says:

      Agreed. This isn’t paying God for a blessing. Giving to the kingdom is supposed to be a reflection of what you deem to be important. If the things of God are important to you, then you should naturally end up giving to that cause. It makes sense that those who give might experience greater grace (if they do so out of love). But not simply God blesses me because I give money. It’s God blesses me because He’s Good, and sees that I am FAITHFUL with what He ALREADY blessed me with.

  3. Chukwu Jesse Ndubuisi. says:

    Thanks for your answers. I sincerely appreciate.

  4. Akansake Anthony says:

    I am born again into the Assablies of God Church for 18years now. I did not really believe in tithing mean while my church doctorine hold strong that christians must tithe in order to be blessed by God. The church threat nontithers with curses and calimaties. They use tithing to determine faithfull members of the church.
    I am therefore compelled to pay in order to be part of the roganization.
    I need your advice.l

  5. DR.BULUS F.M. says:


  6. Glenn Reinhardt says:

    we, in our Methodist church are finding it difficult to pay our apportions to the church. we have members that contribute nothing or very little. what does the new testament say about giving? .

  7. Max says:

    I am very grate full

  8. christian church englewood co says:

    Thanks to my father who told me on thee topic off this website,
    this blog is truly awesome.

  9. Zina Sands says:

    I am so thankful to God for Evangelist Billy Graham he is my inspiration, he has been such an encouragement to my life in going deeper and loving the Lord more. What he said about the tithes is explained so easy, that anyone can understand, My husband and I wrestle for years. I hope one day I meet Evag.Graham.

  10. lynn says:

    I have wrestled wuth this for years. Net or gross? The overriding principle should be faith and freedom in giving. Regardless of the percentage, the underlying motivation of the heart ought to be void of selfishness and full of thankfulness. We will never begin to pay our Savior back.