By: Charles Awuzie –
Understanding The New Covenant Model of Giving
(…in response to the question: should believers ‘pay’ tithe?)
First of all, I want to thank all my regular readers. Your quest for the truth keeps me in my study room for extra hours. Your desire for the light is the reason I burn midnight candles. Your faith in the truth keeps me on bent knees lest the winds of doctrines blow away the sacred truth you’ve found in Christ. To me, Facebook is a pulpit.
The purpose of this post is not to condemn tithing but to establish the model of the New Testament giving.
Let’s go to the bible – ACTS 4: 34-35
“There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
That was the First church. If you read verse 32, you will realize that they gave up ownership of their wealth to the body of Christ. They gave ALL not a ‘tenth’. The first church prospered by free-will sacrificial giving, not tithes and that’s the model. The gospel can not be preached without prosperity in the body of Christ but if we keep teaching tithes instead of free-will sacrificial giving then we will never see the speed that the first church witnessed.
Here is my question: “Imagine that you sold everything you had and took it to church and then the pastor still asks you to pay tithe, where would he expect you to get the tithe from because you’ve given everything you had?” A man who has given his ALL has nothing left to pay tithe from. The problem is that we are not taught to give our all.
The first church understood that God was bigger than a tenth of what they owned…they saw first hand the Jews who killed Jesus pay tithes and they told themselves “Ours is not a tithe unto a Jewish system but a sacrifice unto the God who gave us His only son…” So out of love for the gospel, they gave their ALL…
Now this is hard to swallow…someone reading this is saying “I’m better off paying the tithe if this is the model of the new covenant giving”…lol…
Understand that paying of tithes was not first a law, it was first a demonstration of love and thanksgiving (when Abraham gave King Melchizedek tithes) but in the era of Moses’ law, it became a tradition. Melchizedek wasn’t even a priest, he was a King, something like the president of a country.
In Genesis 14:20, the bible said Abraham “GAVE” him a tenth, the bible didn’t say Abraham “PAID” tithes to him. No! To pay means you are owing, to ‘give’ means it was a free will offering.
Here is my take: I have problem with ‘PAYING’ tithes but I have no problem with ‘GIVING’ tithes. In other words, I have problem with any religious practice that compels a christian to live outside the premises of grace.
I have ‘given’ tithes of all but I will never pay tithe of anything because Christ has paid it all. Hence I am not under any law to pay anything but I am bound by a covenant to give cheerfully to the cause of the gospel which saved me from the weight of the law.
In conclusion, no christian on earth today will be willing to sell everything they own and give it to any church because churches have missed their mission. The early church was a FAMILY. It was not the senior pastor’s family business. It was a common platform to fellowship and commune. Until we go back to the model of the first church then we may never get it right with the model of the new covenant giving.
This is a challenge to every pastor…make your local assembly a FAMILY where everybody is a stakeholder, go ahead and teach them sacrificial giving and watch what will happen…I’ve tried it and it worked.
While serving at Power of faith Commission, Okigwe in IMO State, Nigeria, I taught on this model and we saw people giving up their entire salaries to the cause of the kingdom.
Now tell me, how can you tell someone who gave her entire salary to pay tithes, where would she get tithes from?
In Yongi Cho’s South Korea, women shaved their hair, sold them just to build a church- now that’s sacrifice not tithe.
The death of Jesus on the cross was not a tithe, it was a sacrifice. If we must follow Jesus, He deserves something sacrificial, something beyond tithes.
Have I offended you with the truth? Maranatha!