Is Tithing A Law Or A Principle?

Modern tithing is neither a law nor a principle. It is simply a man-made fundraising scheme concocted in the name of God to provide unqualified cash flow to preachers. Nonetheless, it is taught as a law or principle and sometimes a mixture of both.

When taught as law, we’re given the ultimatum to pay up or be cursed. When taught as principle, we’re told that even though tithing isn’t a law, we should (actually must) do it because it’s a timeless guide for good behavior.

Ironically, if we don’t obey the so-called tithe principle, we’re also cursed. So, actually, the tithing principle is code language for tithing law. For if you disobey either, you are cursed.

I have written about the tithing law in several other articles on this site (see end of this article). In this one, we’ll focus on the so-called tithing principle. But I’ll begin by defining the tithe law.

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What Is The Law Of The Tithe?

A law is any standard that if violated brings a curse on the violator. For instance, the person caught speeding violated the mandatory speed limit standard. The curse is the traffic ticket with its fine.

The tithing law works the same way. The child of God fails to satisfy the modern tithe system standard of paying the preacher ten percent of income. Consequently, he or she is cursed by God. Or so the myth goes.

This is big time Mafia stuff.

From where do preachers get the idea that God enforces their protection racket? They’ve grabbed three of the 31,102 verses in the Bible to legitimize religious extortion:

Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will be room enough to receive it.

Malachi 3:8-10

There you have it–the law of the tithe! Like any law, it is the threat of a curse that makes it a law.

You are cursed with a curse!

Tithing Principle Is Really A Camouflaged Tithing Law

For the purposes of this article, I use the word principle as it is defined by tithe preachers. Tithe preachers often label the tithe law as the tithe principle when they are backed into a corner and must admit that Christians are not obligated to obey tithing as it was commanded by God to Moses.

According to them, “Yes, you are free from the law of Moses, but tithing is a principle that Christians should obey. You love God, don’t you? You want to be free from the curse, don’t you? You want to be blessed, don’t you? If so, you’ll tithe. After all, a saint under grace should at least do as much as a servant under law.”

I want you to notice some ingredients of this so-called tithing principle.

  • “You love God, don’t you?” This is deceptive manipulation. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” (John 14:15). If tithing is a principle and not a command, it should not be used as a test of true love.
  • “You want to be free from the curse, don’t you?” This denies the power of the blood of Jesus. For it implies that Jesus has not already delivered us from the curse of the law. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…” (Galatians 3:13).
  • “You want to be blessed, don’t you?” This blasphemes God’s graciousness. It puts a price tag on His goodness toward us. “He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

There is also a strong undercurrent of shame in this ocean of deception. “You’re going to let an Old Testament saint out-do you? Shame on you!”

All of this is proof that what tithe preachers call the tithing principle is nothing more than a pig of law wearing lipstick. Call it what you want, but a pig is a pig.

Two Things A Tithing Principle Doesn’t Have

A principle is generally a positive moral belief or life behavior that may be universally applied with good results. I just read a fantastic article that listed the principle of Direction Over Speed.

The crux of this principle is that if you’re pointed in the wrong direction, your speed of travel is irrelevant. Speed up all you want and you’ll simply fail quicker. Conversely, a slow speed in the correct direction will get you there eventually–even if slower than desired.

Now that’s truly a principle.

Notice there are two things missing from this principle (or any principle).

First, there is no law commanding you to obey it. You may live your whole life entering and losing races because you run south when the forward path is north. If your thing is losing races, go for it.

Second, since there is no law, no penalty. No curse.

A True Tithing Principle Must Be Voluntary

The so-called tithing principle doesn’t look like this, does it? Tithe preachers don’t present it as an option. They present it as something other than a law–when they must–but something that must be obeyed as a law.

A true tithing principle must be voluntary. If it is not voluntary, it is not a principle. So, as I see it, a correct presentation of tithing as a principle would drop any direct or indirect references to blessings if you do it, and curses if you don’t.

It must also drop the use of the words tithes or tithing!

This is because the modern tithing system is totally man-made. There is nothing biblical about it except tithe preachers use a Bible word to teach a non-Bible doctrine. Use of the words tithe or tithing to collect money deceptively assigns the legitimacy of the Old Testament tithe system to the modern illegitimate money tithe system.

Curses Are Built Into The Word Tithe

Tithe preachers have so vigorously and consistently pushed the lie of the modern tithe system, with its foundational theme of robbing God and being cursed for doing so, that to hear the word tithe is nearly the same as hearing “you’re cursed if you don’t!”

Every preacher knows that to mention tithes, he doesn’t have to mention “robbing God” or “you are cursed with a curse.” It has been spoken so many millions of times from the collective pulpits of fundraisers that tithe works like a successful marketing campaign that makes you think of a product simply by playing a tune.

Mention the tithe tune, and thoughts of fear, torment, and curse makes it way to our mind.

How Should The Tithe Principle Be Presented?

The modern tithing system is a farce from beginning to end. Nonetheless, we can learn something useful from the voluntary tithe of Abraham, which is vastly different from the mandatory tithes paid by Jews under the law of Moses.

The Bible records a single incident in Abraham’s life where he voluntarily gave a tithe of all he had recently won in a military battle:

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he [Abraham] gave him a tithe of all.

Genesis 14:18-20

This mysterious king-priest of Salem ceremonially blessed Abram in front of a bunch of people, and made several proclamations about God in their presence. He said the following:

  • God is Most High.
  • God is possessor of heaven and earth.
  • God is Deliverer.

In response, Abraham offered a voluntary tithe of everything he’d won in battle. What prompted him to do this? The mandatory tithes of Moses was still over four hundred years in the future. So he was under no obligation of law to pay a tithe.

And since the Bible does not say God directly told anyone to pay a tithe prior to Moses, it is pure desperation and fantasy for tithe preachers to claim this.

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No, I believe Abraham voluntarily offered a tithe to God because it was the custom of ancient Mesopotamia to give tithes to rulers and so-called deities.

Would it not have caused a lot of head scratching for those folks to hear the king-priest of Salem make all these lofty proclamations about God, and then Abraham fails to give Him a tithe? Would that not send a conflicting message?

Yes, this is conjecture. But it’s a reasonable conjecture. Human nature is human nature whether it’s 2021 A.D. or 1921 B.C.

It’s hard to imagine that bunch of onlookers who honored their rulers and deities with tithes not to expect Abraham to honor his God in the same way after such a wonderful deliverance.

But we don’t have to rely on conjecture. I know another reason Abraham gave a tithe to God.

We Should Give To God Because He Is Great And He Is Good

Abraham gave a tithe to God because he believed everything Melchizedek said about Him. He believed that God Most High was Possessor of heaven and earth, and that He was his deliverer.

Here is where the principle of tithing may legitimately be introduced. But I emphatically restate: A principle of tithing must not have a trace of law or penalty. This means no curse for not tithing.

It also must not be linked directly or indirectly to the loaded words of tithe or tithing, which powerfully invokes thoughts of a curse.

So we can legitimately state there is a principle of honoring God with our material property.

Explained, the principle means there is a reasonable assumption that those who believe what Abraham believed about God will honor Him with their material goods.

But no preacher has a right to use the principle of honoring God with our substance as a backdoor way of bringing us into the bondage of the modern financial tithing system.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1

Similar Articles

  1. Should I Tithe Or Pay My Bills?
  2. Who Created The Financial Tithe?
  3. What Are Tithes In The Bible?
  4. Did Jesus Teach Tithing?
  5. Does The New Testament Teach Tithing?
  6. Did People Tithe Before The Law?

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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