By: Dawn Hill – The Lovesick Scribe
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:8,10
It is hard telling how many times I heard offering messages referring to this passage in the Old Testament. You may possibly relate to this. The verses in Malachi would be applied to us today in not bringing our ten percent or tithe into the church. I remember being taught that you were to give your tithe based on your gross income, and that once you stopped robbing God of the tithe, He would open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you could not contain. We were to test God and see if He would not bless us with abundant wealth. We were given multiple opportunities in a single service to give above and beyond the tithe in conferences and when guest speakers came to minister. We even had envelopes with Seed Assignment at the bottom so that you could decree in writing what your money would do as you brought it to the Lord. Leaders would regale the crowd with anecdotal stories of giving and reaping a multiplied harvest of finances and material possessions. I also remember that those who did not tithe or give consistently to the church were not invited to minister the offering message.
Tithing is a hot topic for people, depending on who you ask. Some churches do not have a separate offering message, but those who attend understand the importance of giving to the local church and to others in need. It is not done out of obligation, but out of love for God and love for others. People have done what Scripture says to do, purposing in their hearts what to give and doing so with joy (2 Corinthians 9:7). It is not to say that God does not care for His people. We see in Scripture that He does this very thing and that we are to give. The question arises today as to whether we are commanded to tithe under the New Covenant and if we are promised material blessings.
Additionally, there are teachings out there that are frankly manipulative and abusive in belief and practice. One such teaching was stated in late 2021 during a discussion on The Elijah Streams between Steve Schultz and Robin Bullock. Bullock stated that when someone gives the tithe, this money becomes circumcised. He went on to use the analogy of an individual going into a tire store, stating that angels were in the tire store and were sent on assignment for that covenant person who had circumcised their money, getting them the best deal and the best price on a tire. He said the angels would exclaim, “Heads up, boys! Tithe money just walked in the house!” He went on to say that the man working on your car would be led by the angel to choose a tire without a blemish so that you would not be devoured by the enemy in a car accident. This is the power of the tithe, according to Robin Bullock.
When individuals such as atheists and Ex evangelicals caught wind of this video, they shared it and mocked it, with good reason. Some even noted that the person who did not tithe would get the blemished tire and would essentially suffer because of this. What this teaching seems to omit is the sovereignty of God, and it creates an abusive system where people believe they must give in order to be blessed financially and to even avoid calamity. The focus is on temporal blessing, which the world also enjoys, while ignoring spiritual blessings that a believer reaps in giving, such as joy in helping others in need, furthering the ministering of the gospel, and above all, glorifying God.
Should we give of our finances as believers in Christ? Yes, we should. Are we obligated to give ten percent under the New Covenant? No, we are not. Is there anything wrong with giving ten percent? No, some people may even give more, depending on their income. We are instructed to give sacrificially and unbegrudgingly. We are to give with the welfare of others at the forefront while understanding and trusting that God will take care of us. We should certainly use wisdom in our giving and not have greater burdens placed upon us if our family is already burdened in the area of finances. At the same time, we rejoice in the opportunity to give, no matter the amount. Every area of our lives as a believer comes down to a matter of the heart and the transformation God has done in changing our hearts in the things we love. Our affections change, and rather than giving to get something in return, we give out of love for God and love for others.
We are not promised abundant material wealth, but we are rich in spiritual blessings because of Jesus Christ, and that is sufficient. The gospel can be ministered all over the world with the same results: the salvation of souls. This type of message of tithing and circumcising your money to get better material possessions cannot be ministered globally with the same result. It is sad when messages such as Bullock’s bring reproach on the name of Christ and on His Word, but we are presented with opportunities to speak the truth in love and to demonstrate that we understand the value of giving to others so that Christ may be glorified in our conduct and that others may be served. May each of us live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, and may we rejoice at the opportunity to give what we have purposed in our hearts while honoring God and serving others.