Tithe 10% or Punishment, Your Choice

I received an email recently from a site visitor who had some questions about the IFB’s teaching on Tithing and I wanted to address the questions and answer them on the site for all to read. Thanks for the great question!!!  Please find the message below along with my reply:

Hello Friend. I love your website….it has helped me so much I can’t even begin to tell you. Your articles on tithing are very informative. Do you go to church now? Are there churches that don’t teach tithing? It seems that every time I visit a church I feel let down because of the tithing issue. It isn’t that I don’t want to give…I do. I consider myself generous. It’s just that it bothers me when they begin to teach that we must give 10 percent or we will be punished. Where are the churches that don’t teach this? I feel depressed today. Thanks.

I’m thrilled when I get emails such as yours. I love hearing that the site has been helpful and I appreciate your kind words. Let me answer your questions as best I can.

A lot of people write and ask if I go to church. To set the record straight, I do go to church occasionally (no it’s not an IFB church and I will not return to an IFB church) when I feel it’s appropriate to be with family or on special occasions, but I do not attend regularly, I do not participate in any traditions/programs, and I am not a member. I prefer to study the bible individually or with a small group.

I don’t know of any church or denomination that doesn’t teach tithing. I did attend a Calvary Chapel for a little while a few years ago and that church didn’t pass the collection plates or actively promote tithing/giving on a regular basis, but they did, on occasion, talk about giving (most of which was the same basic ideas that most other churches teach) and they had an offering receptacle available for those who wanted to give offerings. That’s as close as I’ve ever come to experiencing a church not teaching tithing. I would say that it was still taught there, but just not emphasized. It was simply spoken of minimally, but not actively taught. Other than that I don’t know of any churches or denominations that don’t teach tithing.

The idea that one will be punished if they don’t tithe is an unfortunate staple in most IFB churches. It’s found in other churches/denominations simply because of the verses in Malachi that are used to teach tithing (Malachi 3:10-11) – You can read more about this on the Tithing Deception article, but I think the IFB emphasizes this aspect because it fits nicely with their works based righteousness ideals.

I also believe its a fear and manipulation tactic in order to squeeze more money out of the congregation. The IFB is notorious for trying to elicit a fear based response. Fear is a strong motivator and the cynic in me believes that this is nothing more than psychological manipulation. They do this with other topics such as salvation, behavioral change efforts, and many other issues and they do it with tithing as well. It’s abusive and unscriptural.

I know that “psychological manipulation” is a strong phrase and that most IFB pastors aren’t intelligent enough (sorry if that seems harsh) to even know what that is let alone do it on purpose, but someone somewhere is teaching (or has taught) these guys how to reach the seat of our emotions and back it up with scripture to elicit an emotional response… and it works!  This was heavily taught in the IFB churches I experiences.  “The devourer will come and cause your car to break down or your house to need repairs if you don’t tithe your 10%” the pastor would bellow from the pulpit citing Malachi.  This is simply ludicrous.  God doesn’t operate that way and there is no scriptural support for it except for the twisting of a few choice passages to fit this agenda.

I assure you… there is no need to fear retribution or retaliation from God for not giving 10% as tithe to the local church.  If you don’t give your 10% and something bad happens I can almost guarantee that it’s simply coincidence.  I know many many people who gave faithfully their 10% without failure all while struggling to meet their monthly bills.  Cars still broke down and the house still needed repairs and updating.  This went on for years and all the while our pastor drove around in a Cadillac and had two houses (not including the parsonage).  If his “blessings” ever came up he would argue that he was simply a good steward of his finances, gave his 10% and God had blessed him.  I say BULL S#@T (pardon my French).  He and his staff were lining their pockets with the proverbial ‘widow’s mite’ while the widow went hungry.

Don’t fall for this lie!!!  It’s trickery and deception plain and simple.

Here’s my challenge for those of you who are still unsure about this tithing issue.  Open up a special savings account and take your 10% each week and put it in that account until you’ve made up your mind.  If the time comes that you’ve decided that tithing is indeed biblical, then you have still set aside your 10% as instructed and you can give it to the church then to avoid your punishment or get your blessings.  If, however, you’ve gotten to a point that you’ve finally seen the light and realized that tithing isn’t scriptural, you’ll have a nice little savings account started that you can pay off debt (the real thing we should be doing with our 10% rather than giving it to the local church), go back to school, give it as a free will offering to the church or another ministry/non-profit charity (see 2 Corinthians 9:7), start a trust fund, or whatever you’d like with it because it will belong to you and not the church.

Updated: June 19, 2013 — 12:01 pm


  1. Don M,
    Thank you so much for that. For once it all makes sense. Most of the church’s I have attended make a big deal about giving so they keep the buildings up, or pay the pastor a raise or in one case pay for his doctorates degree. I still have not found any buildings in the new testament in regards to the building up of the church (which is not found in the Bible at all). Only the body (people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior) and helping those that need help outside of the body. We are the temple of God not a building.

    John recorded in Revelation 19:10 “… for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit
    of prophecy.”
    In other words Jesus Christ is the key or the Life to understanding prophecy.
    Hebrews 8:4-5 tells us that the Law serves as the example and shadow of heavenly
    With that very important fact lets take a look at the tithe and how it pictures Christ.

    1/ The tithe is a tenth.
    2/ The tithe belongs to the Lord.
    3/ The tithe was to be given to the Lord.

    1/ Aaron received the tithe.
    a) Aaron was the High Priest of the Israelites.
    b) Aaron was a ‘type’ of Christ’s high priestly ministry. 2/ Aarons family also ate the tithe; of the people of Israel.
    3/ Melchizedec received the tithe. Hebrews 7:1-17
    a) Melchizedec was a pre incarnate form of Christ.
    1. He had no beginning or end.
    2. He was a king of Righteousness.
    3. He was a king of Peace.
    b) Abraham paid tithes directly to Christ. . WHO CAN RECEIVE THE TITHE TODAY?
    1/ The tithe was paid to Aaron because he was a ‘type’ of Christ.
    2/ Melchizedec received the tithe because he was the pre incarnate Christ.
    3/ We can’t give it to an earthly High Priest because his ministry is superseded by Christ. 4/ We can’t give it to a Melchizedec because Christ is seated at the Right Hand of the Father. 5/ We can’t pay the tithe to the Pastor because “We also are men of like passions with you.” cf Acts 14:15
    Hebrews concludes that our tithes have been superseded by something better. CHRIST IS OUR TITHE.
    1/ He is the – First fruits.
    2/ He is the – Heave offering.
    3/ He is the – meat offering.
    4/ He is the – Sin offering.
    5/ He is the – Trespass offering.
    6/ He is the – Peace offering.
    7/ He is the – Best of the oil.
    8/ He is the – Best of the wine.
    9/ He is the – Best of the wheat.
    10/He is the – First ripe of the Land.
    11/He is the – First born of every creature etc.

    He gave Himself for us.
    As Priests (children of our High Priest) we are to enjoy feasting on
    the tithe (our Lord Jesus Christ).

    1. “We have an Altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Hebrews 13:10
    2. “Be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines for
    it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied there in.” Hebrews 13:9
    3. “To the praise of the glory of His grace, where in he hath
    made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6
    1. To tithe our money or possessions today would detract from
    the finished work of Christ for us. 2. A Christian should use his money & possessions according to
    the liberty he has in Christ.
    a)For his own needs. 2 Thessalonians 3:8
    b)For his own families needs. 1 Timothy 5:8
    c)For helping the poor Ephesians. 4:28
    d)For supporting missionaries. 3 John 5-8
    e)For supporting the one that ministers to him in spiritual things. Galatians. 6:6

  3. I am converting to Judaism and have found that the lack of a collection plate is LIBERATING. Really. And I have yet to convince my jewish friend that the “membership” fees for a synagogue ($300-$1,000 generally, per YEAR) are nothing at all compared to what people give churches. She doesn’t get it. I’m like…10%…how do you think they get megachurches?

  4. My husband pastors an independent Christian Church. He does not believe we are mandated to tithe and feels teaching to the contrary is manipulative or uninformed.

  5. As a semiretired Pastor, I did a study of tithing. I do not believe it is a NT requirement. If we were to tithe as in the OT, we would be giving about 27% of our worth if we were to meet ALL the requirements of the OT. I can finds nowhere in the NT requiring 10%, but we are to give as we are lead. 10% may be a good goal, but not a requirement. Under Christ, we would receive no punishment for not tithing.

  6. I believed that heresy for many years. Many times I gave the tithe even though it meant using my credit card to pay for repairs. I ended up in debt, couldn’t help people who I really wanted to help, and really became pretty selfish. At some point it started to seem like something wasn’t right with the whole tithing thing, so I started looking into it. I found it is not for New Testament Christians. I do believe people should give to support the church they attend, as it has bills to pay, but I can give or not give as I want to, or as I can afford. Right now I give very little as I try to pay off some bills, and I will be losing work soon due to government furloughs, so my pay will be decreased.

  7. I’ve also heard the “stories” about what happens to people who don’t tithe. I am pretty sure that most of them are made up. I have not “officially” tithed for many years. I have faced hard times as well as times that weren’t so hard in those years. I don’t attribute the hard times to not tithing. Things happen in cycles. Everyone will have hard times and better times. Tithing has nothing to do with it.

  8. Another good article pointing out the deception of NT tithing! The e-mailer could ask the MOG the following:

    1) Can you show me ONE Christian that was EVER compelled to give a tithe?
    2) Can you show me in the NT where the NT church is now the OT storehouse?
    3) Can you show me ANYWHERE in the Bible where a tithe was money?
    4) If tithing is still valid, wouldn’t we have to give said tithe to a levitical Priest?

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