Tag Archives: Tithing

Kingdom of God and Finances

I just finished listening to a Taunton Vineyard (UK) sermon podcast about personal finances and I have to say it was the BEST teaching I have heard about money. It was powerful, real, honest, and compassionate.

Give it a listen – believe me, it is nothing like you have ever heard before (well, nothing like most people have heard!)

UPDATE – just discovered that the sequel to the above sermon is also about finances… I knew that they were part of a series on the Kingdom of God – I just didn’t know that the money sub-theme was going to go continue… I am already excited for the next part as I love discovering new ways religion can inform our spending and saving habits. So, if you ever need help with your finances please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I will always try to help my readers as best I can.

I have always had a keen interest in anything to do with finance and so this podcast was filled with useful advice and practical money management tips. One of the things I’d learned was the ways in which one might wish to conduct a money transfer overseas with preferable rates, no fees and all done securely; this might be particularly of interest to those with business interests that span the globe. Recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking about getting involved with stocks and shares too so I was excited to hear their unique take.

You never know when it might be useful to consider researching ways of generating passive income from home after all. For instance, an increasing number of people find that getting involved in online stock trading can prove to be a lucrative and profitable venture. Just remember though, as with any financial matter, it is vital that you do your research first.

Do you have any unique ways of saving or making money? I would love to hear them!

But first, make sure to check out the awesome podcast I have linked. In fact, you should definitely listen to them all like I am.

Tithing Revisited – Part 2

Meeting of Abram and Melchizedek (painting circa 1464–1467 by Dieric Bouts the Elder)

Sorry the long delay between parts…something about having a day job and a family. 😛

Today I would like to take a look at the history and purpose of tithing as seen in the norming norm of the Christian faith (i.e. the Bible).

Spoils of War

Starting at the beginning of the book, Abraham (then known as Abram) is the first person we see who give a tenth (the mathematical meaning of the word “tithe,” like Rocky mentioned in early comments) of anything to anyone. This event is preceded by Abraham’s victory over the warring king of Elam, who raided the town of Sodom and took Abraham’s nephew Lot as a slave (Genesis 14).

After his victory, Abraham begins the journey back home (he was north of Damascus by that time). Along the way he stops at the city of Salem to visit with the king of Sodom who came out to greet him. During this visit, Abraham gives 10% of his war spoils (slaves, money, and goods) to Melchezidek, the king of Salem and a “priest of God Most High” (Gn 14:18-20).

Why Abraham did this is unknown as the Bible does not say. It could have been because of a Mesopotamian custom of the time to give ruler of the land a 10% tax on one’s goods. Then again, it could have been just because Abraham heard God say to give Melchezidek some money as he did not want anyone to say that they made him rich (Gn 14:22-24). We simply don’t know.

Continue reading Tithing Revisited – Part 2

Tithing Revisited – Part 1

Wow… it seems that my recent post about tithing set off quite the discussion on Facebook (posts are imported into my wall). So much so, that I feel that some clarification is in order as my original post was more-or-less a comment on a recent NAE survey then a theological treatise.

In reading through the comments, I realized that the issue wasn’t so much about whether or not people should give of their funds (I think all those commenting would say, “yes, giving is a good thing”). It had to do with the question of whether or not a Christian is “required” to give.

Unfortunately, the use of that word brings in a ton more questions and baggage as one could rightly ask what else a Christian “required” to do is:

  • Is a Believer required to keep the Sabbath day (i.e. do no work on Saturday)? (Ex 16:23, 20:8-10)
  • Is a Christian required to be baptized? (Mk 16:16; Mt 28:19)
  • Is a follower of Jesus required to celebrate the Jewish Feast Days outlined in the books of Moses?
  • Is a Christian required to do anything other then believe that Jesus is Lord? (Rm 10:9)
  • Is a Believer required to participate in the Eucharist? (Mt 26; Mk 14; Lk 22; 1 Cor 11)
  • And so on and so on….

The simple fact is that Christians have debated all of these questions for centuries and, most likely, will continue to do for one’s answer depends heavily on where one starts.

The Place From Where I Start

I start from a view that Jesus is the King of Kings and that His rule and reign is Supreme. His Kingdom is breaking into this world today and will continue to break into it until the end of time when God will set all things right and He will dwell with His people on a new (or renewed) earth.

This Kingdom of God worldview impacts how I read the Bible and how I obey – or put into ‘shoe leather’ – the message of God.

Continue reading Tithing Revisited – Part 1

Is Tithing A Biblical Requirement?

National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) recently announced a surprising notice concerning tithing (a $5 word for giving 10% of one’s income).

In a nutshell, the NAE found that 58% of their board members believe that the Bible does NOT require tithing. Note that the NAE board is made up of a 100 people who are the head of various denominations such as the Vineyard, Salvation Army, the Assemblies of God, Baptist General, Church of the Nazarene, etc.

The other 42% of evangelical leaders help fast to the traditional view, saying that the Bible requires Believers to give 10% of the income to the church.

For me personally, I would have to go with the 52% as I don’t see the Bible “require” Christians to tithe.


Well, Dan Olson, a Purdue University sociology professor, sums it up my thought pretty good in this quote:

“Most of those leaders would probably say, ‘you really ought to tithe, but the term ‘requires’ gets at a theological point,” he said.

“Most Christians would say the laws of the Old Testament are not what save you – you’re supposed to be giving out of a spirit of freedom, not because you’re bound to laws,” he said.

What do you think?

Does the Bible require tithing? Or is just a good practice that one should engage in?

Oh, one last thing – the same article that reported the above also mentioned that 95% of evangelical leaders give at least 10% of their income to the church. This fact means that these leaders are walking the walk and not just talking it.

Ananias and Sapphira: Dealing With Money (Part 2 of 2)

The Death of Ananias, by Masaccio
The Death of Ananias, by Masaccio

Now, with that said (click here for the first part of the series) – there are some biblical principles that we as followers of Jesus need to be aware of:

Jesus is Lord of all – including our money

This is the main reason why the Bible encourages people to give financially.

Pretty much everyone knows that people will spend money on things that they value. Therefore, if you want to know what someone values, look at where the majority of the funds are going.

As follower’s of Jesus, we are to give our entire lives to Him. What we do, where we live, what job we have – all of these are decisions He makes. The same is true with our money.

As such, we give a tithe to the Lord as a statement to the King that all we have is His. Here’s a tid-bit, the word ‘tithe’ means a tenth. However, this is not really a diehard number – is it just a handy number that is used to help folks out. Lord willing, you will be giving the Lore MORE than 10%!!

Breaking the Power of Money

Jesus said that we could not serve both money and God. Yet, most of us try to serve both….

About five years ago a pastor friend suggested that I read Richard Foster’s book, The Challenge of a Disciplined Life (originally published as Money, Sex, and Power). In this book, Foster made a point that will stay with me till I die. He said (my paraphrase):

Christians are not to be controlled by money. We are not to ask whether or not we can afford something. But whether or not God wants us to do/have that.

Practically, this means not asking whether or not we have enough money to buy a new boat – but whether or not God wants us to have a new boat. Asking, not whether or not we enough money to go on a mission trip, but whether or not God wants us to go on a mission trip.

Continue reading Ananias and Sapphira: Dealing With Money (Part 2 of 2)

Ananias and Sapphira: Dealing With Money (Part 1 of 2)

Good Morning everyone. Today is going to be interesting…mainly because we are going to be dealing with one of those passages preachers avoid. It is not a simple passage; but it is in the Bible so we are going to talk about it. 🙂

Let us read Acts 5:1-11

1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.  3Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”  5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”  “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”  10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

So what is happening here? What is the Lord saying?

As you can imagine, there are many different lessons to be learned from the mistake of Ananias and Sapphira.  The lesson that God brought to my heart this week comes from a conversation I had with a member of the local community. This community member felt that churches – like this one – were simply ‘bank accounts’ used to acquire money for a few people.

Raphael, 'The Death of Ananias' 1515-16
Raphael, 'The Death of Ananias' 1515-16

Unfortunately, this is a view that a lot of people outside the church have – and even more unfortunately, there are abuses within many churches that make these concerns valid…

This, however, does not mean that we as a church are to shrink back from what God has spoken. No – we are speak the words of the Bible and draw closer to Him. This is why I am willing to jump out of the frying pan this morning and into the fire. Today we are going to be talking about our attitude towards money.

Did the air just drop a few degrees in here?

Don’t worry – I’m not going to tell you what to do with your money – that’s God’s job, not mine. I’m just going to talk about our attitude.

Let us turn back to the book of Acts.

Continue reading Ananias and Sapphira: Dealing With Money (Part 1 of 2)