Should my whole tithe go to my local church? Pastors hold differing views.

We recently shared an article by Pastor John Piper, in which he argues that “There’s no clear biblical mandate that your generosity has to be in a certain proportion to your church and to other ministries.”

We were pretty blown away by your responses. Some pastors affirmed Piper’s teaching, but many shared their differences. Here are some of the most interesting:

1. Almost all of the tithe should go to your church

I’ve told my congregation the lion’s share of my tithe goes to Grace because we are a community where lives are tangibly changed by the power of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t happen without money and time.

The Reverend Anjel Scarborough, SCP
Grace Episcopal Church
Brunswick, MD

2. All of the tithe and most of the offering should go to your church

I don’t know Piper but he is not the scriptural authority on tithing.

All of your tithe should go to the local church and most of your offering as

*Pastor Jerry Summy, Sr.
Northeast Baptist Church
Southlake, TX

3. All of the tithe should go to your church, extra sacrificial giving to “heart charities”

I disagree…The tithe should always go to the church if we expect each congregation to survive – the sacrificial giving over and above can go to your heart charities…Think about it – we have about 40 people in our church with about 14 giving units…If those folks gave their monies elsewhere – we would not last long….Just saying…….

*Debra Grube
Open Fellowship Evangelical Free Church
Landsdale, PA

4. The tithe is solely for sustaining the ministry

The Adventist church has implemented a tithing system based on Bible evidence that the tithe is to be used for one purpose, to sustain the ministers whom the Lord has appointed to do His work. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of
heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”-Mal. 3:10.

The storehouse for the SDA church is the local Conference as it is the Conference that pays our ministers.

Pastor Jeff Freeman
Cedartown Seventh-day Adventist Church
Cedartown, GA

5. The tithe is not an obligation, neither banned or mandatory

Read the Bible carefully and Christians are not under tithing “obligations” at all. Abraham, as did others, gave tithes to recognize authorities after military battles, but not every Sunday. The ancient Jews, under the Mosaic law were required to tithe, and that tithe went to support the Levites,
and the Jewish nation, as the Levites received no great land inheritance as did the other tribes.

The NT mentions tithing, but only for Jews that were still
living under the law, as in Jesus’ day, and as recording in the gospels, as well as mentioning it in regards to Jewish history in the O.T. The Church was to be supported by free will offerings determined by the giver. See Nu 18:21,24
and 2Co 9.

Of course tithing is not banned from the church,
but neither is it mandatory. This is not a popular teaching,
for much of the church people are either carnal or selfish,
and if they don’t “have to” give legalistically, they won’t. Pastors don’t want to discourage people from giving, even by teaching the truth. Because tithing for the church has become so acceptable, why cut off these resources they conclude. This is just a part of the reason that churches continue to be as carnal and worldly as they are.

Pastor Gregory Roy Merrill
Sun City Community Church
Las Vegas, NV

6. Tithing is a way to love your neighbor, both church and community

There is no clear mandate but theologians differ strongly on the point. Personally I agree with Piper.
As I look at it, Christ’s second great commandments was to love your neighbor as yourself.
If your local church needs the money yes give it to them but if there is not great need give it to those with an even greater need.
And a tithe can be any percentage, not necessarily 10%. If a Christian can afford more, they should give more for the work of God. If 10% is a true financial strain, and I emphasize true, give what you can. For some people 10% is trivial. For others it may be a huge hardship.

Dr. Kenneth K. Humphreys
Conley Memorial Presbyterian
Marion, NC