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Does The New Testament Teach Tithing?

The New Testament does not teach tithing. On the contrary, its foundational doctrines of our sufficiency in Christ, and salvation through grace and faith, violently and uncompromisingly conflict with the modern financial tithe system. A fundraising system that undermines the work and blessings of Christ is not New Testament. It’s demonic.

The Gospels record that Jesus’ greatest enemies were legalistic preachers. Similarly, the New Testament records that legalistic preachers were a grave threat to the new church He founded. Experience proves they are still a grave threat.[1] In anticipation of this timeless struggle, the Holy Spirit interwove Christian liberty throughout the entire New Testament. 

This liberty stems from truths of the sufficiency of Christ and salvation through grace and faith. If either of these foundational truths is compromised, the way is opened for legalism (giving motivated by fear) to replace liberty (giving motivated by love). 

Or in other words, legalism (tithing) in the Christian church survives only when Christ is no longer sufficient, or when salvation is gained through works instead of grace and faith. 

For if Christ isn’t sufficient, people attempt to gain salvation through some other means. So the sufficiency of Christ, and salvation through grace and faith, can not exist without each other. If you get rid of one, you get rid of the other.

The apostles were extremely keen to this truth. For this reason, they vigorously challenged and refuted even the slightest doctrine or behavior that undermined the sufficiency of Christ or salvation through grace and faith. 

The modern tithing system undermines both, and therefore directly contradicts foundational messages of the New Testament. For this reason, it must be recognized as a tool of Satan and an enemy of the church.

The Modern Tithe Undermines the Sufficiency of Christ

The sufficiency of Christ means we find everything we need in Christ. It is not Christ and anything; it is Christ alone. He is the only Answer, the only Hope, the only Savior.  

We do not conclude this by bending a Scripture here or twisting one there. It is not a doctrine that must be constructed with isolated and scattered fragments of oddly fitting truths. The general theme of the entire New Testament tells us Jesus is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.[2]

The sufficiency of Christ is an overwhelming and all-consuming truth that is so interwoven throughout each New Testament book that one does not have to seek it to find it. It is like the noonday sun on a cloudless day. If you do not see it, you are blind or your eyes are closed. 

Nonetheless, this has not stopped tithe preachers from pushing their cash flow doctrine. You may ask, what is the non-negotiable contradiction in the sufficiency of Christ and the modern tithe? 

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The contradiction is that one can not believe Christ is all one needs to be accepted and blessed of God and simultaneously believe that any man-made requirement can prevent or cancel this provision. What guarantees acceptance and blessing from God? 

Is it Christ or tithes? 

Tithe preachers would have us believe they are one and the same. But this is nothing more than a version of a Christ and X doctrine. The X is whatever is added as a requirement to be accepted by God. But whatever is added to Christ is anti-Christ. 

Now most tithe preachers will not clearly state (especially in public) that you must tithe to receive or maintain salvation (although some may dare preach such a horrible doctrine). Instead they preach a condemning message that strips the benefits of salvation from anyone who refuses their tithe system.[3] 

This is basically the same thing as telling people that having Christ is not enough to receive the blessings of God: A person must have Christ and pay tithes. 

Therefore, man’s tithing system is an additional requirement to win God’s kindness, and for this it is an enemy of the sufficiency of Christ. 

Consequently, the New Testament condemns the man-made system of the modern tithe.

The Modern Tithe Undermines Salvation through Grace and Faith

Salvation is deliverance from sin, guilt, and eternal damnation. But it is much more than being delivered from something; it includes being delivered into something. This something is the literal family and kingdom of God, with all its rights, benefits, and privileges.[4]

Certainly, the Bible’s emphasis is upon our eternal blessings and future rewards. But this does not conflict with its bountiful promises of special, present blessings for Christians. Blessings such as supernatural provision, supernatural healing, supernatural wisdom, and supernatural deliverance. And the best blessing: supernatural fellowship with God. 

Yet God and His wonderful blessings are attainable only through grace and faith.

The church has simply and quite accurately defined grace as unearned favor. But it also includes mercy. Mercy goes beyond unearned favor. It is good to someone who not only has not earned kindness, but to someone who deserves far less, possibly even punishment. 

Faith, in the general biblical context, means to believe what God says and to act accordingly. Applied to salvation, faith means to trust solely in the Person and accomplishments of Christ for deliverance from sin. It also means we trust Him as our only access to God.

All of the New Testament teaches that salvation and its blessings come solely by grace through faith. Human efforts to earn God’s kindness are condemned as self-righteousness. This is without regard to whether or not the efforts appear religious. 

Furthermore, all efforts to keep God’s blessings from those who fail or refuse to try to earn God’s kindness are condemned. This is where the modern tithe system and grace and faith collide.

These several Scriptures prove this point and represent the entire New Testament perspective of salvation through grace and faith:

What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.  

Romans 4:1-5

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.     

Titus 3:4-7

Is this not obvious enough for anyone with open eyes to see? To the extent that you work to earn God’s blessings, you undermine your faith.

Salvation through Grace and Faith and the Modern Tithe System Can’t Both Be True

The basic teaching of the New Testament is that God is motivated by such fervent, unexplainable, and infinite love for His fallen creation that He gave Himself as the Sacrifice for our sins. 

In contrast, the basic teaching of the modern tithe doctrine is that Christians who give the pastor ten percent of their income are blessed by God, and Christians who fail to make these payments are cursed by God.  

These are irreconcilable portraits of the Lord. Which is He? The God who demonstrates infinite and sacrificial love for His enemies through the Cross? Or is He the God who sells His love for ten percent of our income? He can’t be both.

Tithe preachers have waxed themselves into a corner by preaching two Christs and presenting Him as one Person. One blesses His enemies, and one curses His family. One loves us just because, and one loves us just because our check cleared the bank. One came to preach good news to the poor, and one came to make the poor even poorer. 

This is a tragic comedy with no laughs.

Tithe preachers have trekked mud on the floor of God’s provision of salvation through grace and faith and have corrupted its shine. Their footprints evidence the difficulty of preaching a Christ who freely dies for the world and declares eternal life a gift received by faith, but who later demands ten percent of income as the gift’s price.

This is the classic bait and switch con game. The merchandise is advertised at one price on the shelf, but when we get to the register, the clerk charges a higher price.

This is what tithe preachers have done to the message of salvation through grace and faith. They advertise a Christ who provides salvation and its benefits for the price of faith in Him. But when we get to the counter, they tell us that this particular model is gone, but they do have one that will cost us ten percent of our gross income—for life.

Let’s open our eyes and stop playing games with ourselves and with these people. The truth is they never had the original model, and the one they’re now trying to sell us is fake. 

Stop focusing on the label and check the product. This Gucci bag Jesus was made in someone’s garage. 

Which Christ are you going to serve? 

The one constructed by preachers to raise money? The one who loves you today, but abandons you tomorrow for paying your bills with money you worked for, but money the preacher feels is his?

What about the one who offers you the gift of eternal life through faith, but then demands ten percent of your income to keep it? 

Why not serve the Christ of the Bible? Why not lay down your heavy load of religion. 

Did not Christ say the following:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

Child of God, when you give of your income to help someone in Christ’s name, to worship the Lord, or to help proclaim the gospel, do you experience this kind of rest? Or are you filled with anxiety, fear, or guilt because you were coerced or manipulated into giving? 

You will only experience God’s rest in giving when you understand and accept the fact that the modern tithe system is an enemy of your salvation. The salvation you received through grace and faith (not by paying tithes). 

The modern tithe system and salvation by grace through faith can not peacefully coexist. One trusts in money to win God’s favor; one trusts in Christ to win God’s favor. 

If one belief system is to live, the other must die. Which belief system do you choose? Righteousness and blessing through tithes, or righteousness and blessing through Christ?

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.

Deuteronomy 30:19

Similar Articles

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  2. Who Created The Financial Tithe?
  3. What Are Tithes In The Bible?
  4. Did Jesus Teach Tithing?
  5. Did People Tithe Before The Law?

[1] At the other extreme, permissive preachers were another grave threat to the church. These preachers were as fanatically dedicated to abolishing legitimate laws of morality as legalistic preachers were fanatically dedicated to creating illegitimate rules of religion. Read 2 Peter 2-4; 1 John 2-3; 2 John 6-11; Jude.

[2] 1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

[3] They do this because they consider non-tithing Christians weak, ignorant, defiant, greedy, fearful, uncommitted, false, or all of the above. Obviously a person in such a condition can’t receive God’s blessing, so they think and teach.  But if this is true, how and why are so many “evil” people blessed of God? He “is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35) and “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). 

Ask yourself this common sense question:  Did God send His Son to die for your sins before or after you became a child of God? Now if He would sacrifice Himself for you when you were a servant of sin and Satan, why would He now withhold any good thing from you just because some preacher is twisting the Bible to try to blackmail you for money?  Sometimes we just need to use common sense!  Read Romans 5:6-10. 

[4] Roman 8:15-17; Colossians 1:12-14.

Eric M Hill

Eric M Hill is an author, blogger, YouTuber, and Bible teacher. He has written sixteen books. He is a member of the Authors Guild and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

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