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Tithing: Before or after taxes?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by theseed, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. theseed

    theseed Contributor

    If we are asking ourselves that question, then shouldn't we really be asking whether we are being greedy and possessive? If we are really trying to give an offering to God, do we need to look for coupons?:crossrc: :crosseo: :prayer:
  2. Amb1

    Amb1 Member

    Tithing is based only on what you receive, so it would be after taxes. Also, tithing is based on only the income you receive from working. In other words, it does not include your Christmas bonus. It does not include your unemployment check. It does not include your workmans compensation. It does not include your insurance settlement, etc.
    After saying that, love offerings, based on all of your income and compensation is something that every Christian should do.
  3. horuhe00

    horuhe00 Contributor

    In my simplistic view on life at my 24 years of age I see it like this...

    Give God what is God's and give Ceaser what is Ceaser's.

    It doesn't say to give God 10% of what is left after Ceaser has his way with us. :)
  4. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

    If Christ is reigning in us, we will be giving joyfully and generously regardless the word "tithe" is being used. I know "tithe" is not being used in the New Testament. We never see the word "tithe" in the New Testament because it is from the Old Testament (the Law). Therefore tithe is from the Law. In the New Testament, we see the words "give" or "giving" or "cheerful giver" because they are related to grace. (see Mark 12:41-44, Romans 12:8). Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (compulsory), and giving to God (voluntary). Keep in mind, the government takes % of your gross income, why God be excluded from this? Why put give God based on after-tax income when the Government takes from Gross (pre-tax) income? The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel. Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today's income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). We in America pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government--a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.

    After reading the scriptures, I believe we are to give based on "pre-tax" income. If you felt that you did gave 10% based on after-tax income, this is where God looks in the heart and the motives. (Hey, I am an accountant :p ). I am just saying is to allow the Holy Spirit have convince you to give from the heart. Remember, this is between YOU and God. No one around us will know EXCEPT God.
    Anyway, we are under Grace and that we are to obey God and follow His Word (the Bible). God wants a pure heart from us and He does not need to give us rules in order for our hearts to be pure. Jesus Christ cleaned our sins and all God wants us to do is be Christ-like. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 "God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God." God wants our hearts more than He want us to follow rules. We all have to realize that a local church's accomplishments will depend upon members' spiritual condition. The church's financial health will be healthy if the people are submitting to the Holy Spirit, who will give them fruit.

    I want to point out another view that may help us understand. The concept of 2 Corinthians 8:9 is actually about giving and sharing. If you look the whole chapter (8), you will see how the topic of wealth came up. We all are capable of working, earning money and provide our family's needs. God gave us opportunities for us to be successful in our lives and at the same time, God do not want us to forget those who are not. There were those who made a lot of money wanted to help those who did not make a lot of money. 2 Corinthians, Chapter 8 is about giving. Those early Christians in the early church did a remarkable thing; no one told them they had to share and give in the manner that they did. They had just been filled with the Holy Spirit who would help them to be more like Jesus and to walk and live as He would in a loving and giving manner. While we as Christians are not under a legalistic law that gives us specific details on our giving, again, we are indeed commanded to be giving people, and we ought to look for opportunities to give.

  5. DeaconDean

    DeaconDean γέγονα χαλκὸς, κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον

    Tithing is really up to the individual. Some will argue that you must pay on what you make the same as the way you pay taxes on what you make. And I can the logic in that. There are those who believe that they should tithe on what they bring home because this is what they have to live on. And I can see the reason in that too. But I think that it is something that the person and God should work out. If you feel giving on net pay then give based on net pay. If you believe in giving on gross pay then tithe on gross pay. It really boils down to the individual and God. But it still comes down to giving no matter what, God gave you your job and all your blessings, so why not render to God the things which are God's?
  6. Dmckay

    Dmckay Guest

    This thread is guaranteed to generate debate and heat. Many will say that the tithe was part of the Law and has been done away with. However, the first recorded use of the term tithe is with Abraham giving a tithe of all the spoils taken when he rescued Lot. Later, when the Law was established the tithe became the Law of the land because the Levites were not given land of their own from which to make a living. The tithe was required from the other 11 tribes to meet the needs of the Levites who were serving as priests.

    The tithe, like the sacrifices, were to be from the increase that G-d provided for His people and were to be taken off the top and from the very best. Malachi wrote about the people stealing from G-d by with holding their tithes or by giving from the dregs or worst of the flocks instead of from the very best.

    That brings us up to today. We are not under Law but under Grace. Tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament. However, we are given some guidelines regarding giving offerings. First, because we are under Grace and not Law I believe that the heart of a greatful giver would consider a tithe of the best off the gross to be the very minimum that we should give.
    Secondly, as already mentioned G-d loves a cheerful giver. I believe that if the offering is done merely out of a sense of duty, that that doesn't reflect the heart of a cheerful giver and you might as well hold on to your money, your attitude and motivation is wrong. Remember, the cattle of a thousand hills belong to the Lord, (a Hebriasm to say that everything belongs to the Lord anyway). He doesn't need us, He allows us the privilege of participating in His work by our giving.

    WE are also told that we are to see to the support of those who serve as pastors, and that one who does an excellent job is worthy of a double portion. This means that the old adage regarding paying ministers of, "You keep him Holy Lord and we'll keep him humble[by keeping him poor]" is NOT a Biblical attitude either.

    Oh, and by the way, if you decide your giving based on the idea that G-d will repay you a hundredfold what ever you give, you are giving for the wrong reason and don't expect a reward.

    Our attitude, I believe, should rather be, how little of what the Lord has blessed me with must I keep for my families needs so that I might give the rest back to the Lord's work. Before you start attacking this idea, remember that it was the widow who gave all she had in her poverty that was commended by Jesus, not those making a show of giving their tithe.
  7. dmiller

    dmiller FiddlePicker

    Follow your heart. I give out of what abundance I may or may not have. God doesn't look on numbers, but He does look on the heart. :)

  8. TreesNTrees

    TreesNTrees Member

    I think it's more simple than some churches make it.

    Some groups have fluctuated from before taxes to after taxes.

    Last year, a thought came to mind. The last church I was with taught basically that with every paycheck, you would give it.

    Then I thought about the biblical increase "with all thine increase" - think I got that close.

    Anyway, in those days, suppose that you grew your fields and produced whatever you produced, you would do the whole project will everything in your funds at your disposal. Then in the end, you would harvest or measure your increase.

    I think there is nothing wrong with, say, a contractor, to use all his funds for the whole year to boost his advertising, use better tools to get the job done...


    At the year's or seasons end, give a tenth of his increase - more if he or she wants.

    That would take discipline, for cash would need to be retained in reserve - enough for the tithe.

    A farmer plants all his crop, and he and his workers probably snack and partially live off the land for a whole season. The farmer would not know his increase until it could be measured.

    Correct me if I botched something here. But I think the weekly giving thing in Corinthians got twisted out of context. I believe it means to make giving available every week for whoever happens to be bringing their tithes and offerings in.

    If Christians could use all their financial resources for the entire year or season - many of them - they would probably yield larger incomes and a greater bulk of yearly tithe.

    I think it depends on the individual. A person on a fixed salary income could surely choose to tithe weekly or monthly.
  9. horuhe00

    horuhe00 Contributor

    Tithing was instituted by God before the 10 Commandments.
    Therefor, tithing is before the Law.
    I think that when Christ came, he abolished the Law, but not what came before it.
  10. Everlastinglife

    Everlastinglife 1219 K♦Å♦Ŗ♦

    We have a choice, to obey God or to do otherwise. Tithing is between the individual and God alone. Malachi chapter 3 is where many believe tithing ends, while many believe, I choose to believe and trust in Gods word. Christ did not abolish the law for the law is needed. Man could not abide by law so by the glory of God He gave the world his only son. God gave us a way! Law is needed or there would be no sin, and Jesus died why? Back to tithing, 10% is a starting point, the minimum if you will. But to give 7% or 6% shall not be called tithing for tithing is 10%. Many will argue, saying I shall not, and I do not have to pay this 10%. God Bless, you will be before God and will need to provide a answer. But lets let that be your buisness, I will pay mine.

    Galatians 6:6 Let him that is taught in the Word share with him that teacheth, in all good things.

    1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints: As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay aside in store as God hath prospered him, so that there need be no gatherings when I come.

    2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
  11. seekthetruth909

    seekthetruth909 Veteran

    Tithing was a pre- Mosaic Law because Abraham tithed.

    Was Abraham commanded by God to tithe? Did Abraham tithe only one time? Did Abraham tithe his personal property or just the spoils of war? Read Gen 14:20, Hebrews 7:3-5 If we follow all the pre- law examples of Abraham should we also practice polygamy, give burnt offerings and practice circumcision? Did Abraham teach his children to always tithe? If Abraham taught his children to tithe why did Jacob make a proposal to God?

    He would tithe only if God would bless him first with good fortune. Read Gen 28:22

    God Bless
  12. f.o.o.t.man

    f.o.o.t.man Regular Member

    I have actually asked myself that very question: "...before or after taxes?" and I came to the very same conclusion. Tithing is an act of faith. The more you go out on a limb for God, the greater your faith is. And God is one limb that will never break or let you down. However, I believe that any offering that is given in faith to God is better than nothing at all. After all, it's his in the first place. He gave it to you and tithing is saying,"Here, God. I recognize that you gave this to me and now I am giving it back to you in faith. I know that you will provide for me."
  13. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

    When you get your paycheck, look at the amount on it. Take that amount and multiply by .1 That's your tithe. I hope that helps.
  14. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

    Then you're essentially "tithing" out of an imaginary number. How can you give 10% of money you don't get?
  15. horuhe00

    horuhe00 Contributor


    Well, nowhere does it say in the New Testament that we can't have more than one wife. ;)
    Jesus was the last offering, I don't know about the burning part. :confused:
    In the New Testament, it says we are neither Jew nor Gentile so I don't know if circumcision is required... But I'm circumcised. ^_^
  16. Caliban

    Caliban Guest


    I thought Jesus came to fufill the law and not abolish it?

    The Law is as set as it was then as my understanding sees it
  17. shinbits

    shinbits Well-Known Member

  18. TrueWords

    TrueWords Member


    This tract reveals why tithing is not a New Testament ordinance (or law) for Christians, and why it should not be practiced in the church today. I pray the Lord would give you understanding.

    1 The tithing that is preached today is falsely based on the commandments of men and is unlike the scriptural tithing. Both of these are not for today. For example, if you tithe, consider the following...

    • Do you give agricultural produce and animals, as the Israelites were required to do when tithing (Leviticus 27;30-33 & Deuteronomy 14;22, 23)?

    • If you want to "redeem" (or buy back) your
    agricultural produce with money, do you add "the fifth part thereof" on top of your tithe making it over 10% (Leviticus 27:30, 31)?

    • Do you know that they had to give of their animals when tithing which could not be "redeemed" (or bought back) (Leviticus 27:32, 33)?

    • Do you go only to "the place which the Lord your God shall choose", which is in Jerusalem (prophetically) to give yearly tithes (Deuteronomy 12;5-13 & 14:22-28)?

    • Do you give your tithes to the Levites as the Israelites did (Numbers 18:23,24)?

    • Do your Levite ministers give "a tenth part of the tithe" as a "heave offering" to the high priest (Numbers 18:26-28)?

    • Do you know that the yearly feast in Jerusalem was considered by many, as a second tithe on top of the tithe for the Levites, which, if so, would make their tithes 20% or more (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)?

    •Do you lay up within your gates every three years, tithes for the Levite, the stranger , the fatherless and the widow (Deuteronomy 14:28, 29)?

    2 The next thing to consider is a group called the "Levites". These men had no inheritance in the land and were to be given the tithes. Let us consider a few things about them from the book of Hebrews.

    • We read that the Levites "have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren" (Hebrews 7:5). Notice first that only the Levites had this command to take tithes, and not the Gentiles or any other Israelite. Clearly then, anyone that is not a Levite, including Gentiles and Jewish Christians, have no commandment to take tithes.

    • Today, the church is not under a Levitical priesthood and there is no outward temple, sacrifices or other religious duties for them to perform. In fact, the church is not required to continue in these things today which are only shadows of Christ's work (Colossians 2:14-17, and Hebrews 9:9, 10 - 10:7-9). So Christians have no command to take tithes or to give tithes today for this was given only to the Levites and to be taken only of their brethren (Hebrews 7: 5).
    • Also note in Hebrews 7:12, it says "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law". Observe here that the law is changed. Tithing is included as part of this law, as seen in Hebrews 7:5, 11. So the Old Testament law of tithing is no longer required and is changed.

    3 When some in the church had given all they had and laid it at the apostles' feet, they were not told by Peter or others to lay aside all their tithes for the requirements of the Old Testament giving, or for the upkeep of the sacrificial system with its temple and priesthood. Can you imagine someone saying to Peter, "wait a minute Peter, what about our tithes to the Levites and the upkeep of the temple"? What do you think his response would be? It is clear that he did not say "give us tithes".

    4 All giving in the scriptures is of two basic kinds: A - Required giving under restraint and necessity. B. - Free-will giving from the heart.

    A. Required giving in the Old Testament was to pay tithes and taxes where necessary.
    B. Free-will giving in the Old Testament was voluntary. These were among the free will offerings we read about in Leviticus and Ezra 1:4. There were also offerings mentioned in Exodus 35:4-10 and 36:5-7. When these were collected they had more than enough because the people believed it was of God.

    A. Required giving in the New Testament is to pay taxes, (Romans 13:5-7, and 1 Peter 2:13, 14).

    B. Free-will giving in the New Testament is for "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). So here we see that no man can tell you how much to give, but it is as every man purposes in his heart. This giving is not of "necessity", a word which means: of constraint or distress, implying a thing that is needful. But tithing in the Old Testament law was not optional, it was under constraint and very needful. This is not so in the New Testament and the church has no tithe commands, therefore we do not need to tithe.

    5 Some might say that "since Abraham gave tithes in the book of Genesis before the law so should we", but let's look at this closer:

    • First, we notice that Abraham was under no commandment or obligation to give a tenth. He did this freely, so this was a free-will offering and not a commandment of required giving.

    • We also read that Abraham gave only the "tenth of the spoils" (Hebrews 7:4), and not all that he owned. These were the spoils of war and not part of the meticulous tithing under the law.

    • As far as we know from the scriptures, Abraham never again gave tithes to anyone. So this was not the regular tithing done today as some would have us believe.

    • If we use the kind of reasoning that says, because Abraham paid tithes before the law therefore we should, it must also be assumed that we should sacrifice animals as he did and dwell in tents, etc. We must also have all males circumsized. Just because somebody did something before the law is no reason to pick it out and say that it applies today, or else we would have to say that because Abel sacrificed an animal before the law that we should too, which is of course not true.

    • Notice also that Abraham gave a tenth; he did not take it. Only the Levites had a command to take tithes. There is a big difference.

    6 Some will refer to what Jesus said in Matthew, where it is written, "for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone" (Matthew 23:23). Clearly, in this passage of scripture, this is not referring to the Gentiles or the New Testament church, because Jesus was talking to the Jews who were required to do all the Old Testament laws. The New Covenant had not yet come and all the "gifts, and sacrifices", "meats and drinks, and diverse washings and carnal ordinances" were "imposed on them until the time of reformation" (Hebrews 9:9,10 and Col 2:14), which was after Christ's death. The word ordinances in Hebrews 9 also includes the practice of tithing, which fits into the category of things that are reformed.

    7 There is another passage of scripture that some try to use today (but wrongly and out of context ) to try to prove their position of tithing, which is Malachi 3:8-10. These verses say that men have robbed God in "tithes and offerings", and that they are "cursed" if they do so. But let's look a little closer at these verses:

    • First, these verses were written to Israel and they were God's "ordinances" (or laws) (vs 3:14) which they had to keep. These laws were not given to the Gentiles or the church and the ordinaces mentioned are among the ones of Hebrews 9:10.

    • The people were told to bring "all the tithes into the storehouse" (vs 10). The storehouse was apparently a part of the Jewish temple and for storing food, etc. This is nowhere to be found among Christian gatherings and the assembly hall or meeting place where Christians gather is definitely not this storehouse.

    • Also notice the word "offerings". This word relates to a present (as offered up), particularly in sacrifice or it can mean a tribute or gift. It is also related to a heave offering or oblation. Now if this word can refer to sacrificial oblations, then where are they today? What right have any in the church today to quote this passage to Israel and apply it to the church?
    • Notice again the verse, "Ye are cursed with a curse". Many Christians have had this curse put upon them if they don't tithe. But what does the New Testament say about this? We read in the Book of Galatians, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Galatians 3:10). But we know that "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:..." (Galatians 3:13). The question is, are men being brought under the law again with such commands and curses?

    8 Some Christians are even burdened further with the thought of paying back tithes. But just how much would they have to pay before they could escape from the curse? Answer, Gal. 3:13.

    9 Some may say, "if the ministers don't press tithing then the people will not give enough and they won't be able to support themselves, their religious structure or their families".

    • This excuse may be all right for a carnal ministry, but God provides for those whom he sends, for"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?" (1 Corinthians 9:7). So God will help his ministers and not forsake them-this is of coarse if they sow spiritual things and are sent by him (1 Corinthians 9:11, and Romans 10:15). Jesus also said at one time to his ministers, "...freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). They may, however, still receive benefit from the body of believers, but this is to be freely given and not under the constraint and necessity of a tithing law.

    In conclusion, tithing is not a New Testament law required for Christians. If Christians want to follow an Old Testament tithing law then they must follow it to the letter and have the following: a Levitical priesthood, sacrifices, an outward temple, pay over 10% if needed, tithe certain things such as corn, oil and wine, etc. (Deut. 14:22,23), and follow all the particulars of Old Testament tithing. However, tithing is no longer required for the church.
  19. umaro55

    umaro55 New Member

    I always tithe off of my pre-tax figures, and I don't tithe off of my tax return, since I've already tithed for it, unless I am mistaken.
  20. woobadooba

    woobadooba Legend Supporter

    You have a good point.

    I am currently struggling with the tithing issue. I agree that we ought to tithe, but if I were to tithe 10% of my income, I wouldn't be able to pay my bills.

    I live in Ca, and my rent alone is $1500 a month. We are planning on getting a home, and with the exorbitant prices for homes($500,000 on average), and the property tax(1.8% = $9000 a year), it just doesn't seem to be possible to tithe 10%, since it will cost about $2300 a month just to own a home, and that doesn't even put the home owners insurance into the equation, which means it will be even more than that!

    Times are tough! In OT times everyone worked together to help each other out. Today, I don't see that happening. So there was an advantage to living back then that, for the most part, isn't present today. It seems that everyone is indebted to someone else, and the interest rates are very high!
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