Home > Biblical Studies, Brian's Blogs > Is This a Good Tithing Challenge?

Is This a Good Tithing Challenge?

There are two realities facing churches today: 1) God wants Christians to give financially to their local church and 2) today’s economy makes it difficult for the average person to give.  Given these realities, I wonder if this is a good tithing challenge:

From an unnamed church’s website:

The word “tithe” is derived from the Hebrew word ma’aser and it literally means a tenth. Ten percent of everything belongs to the Lord. In Malachi 3:10-11, God says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.” The ‘storehouse’ is the Old Testament picture of the New Testament church. So as New Testament believers, we worship the Lord with the tithe; or the ten percent.

But giving away 10% of your income can be a big – and often frightening – commitment! That’s why we created the Three-Month Tithing Challenge: a money-back guarantee of sorts. Essentially, it’s a contract based on the promises of God in Malachi 3:10-11. We commit to you that if you tithe for three months and God doesn’t hold true to His promises of blessings, we will refund 100% of your tithe. No questions asked.

God doesn’t need our money. He owns everything. But we give first because it takes faith to give first and God wants us to trust Him. He tells us in Proverbs 3:9-10 to “honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops and then your barns will be filled with overflowing.” We give first and the blessings of God follow.

What do you think about this tithing challenge?

On the one hand, it is good that this church is teaching and challenging their people to be financially generous.  Some of our churches – mine included – tend to shy away from these types of challenges t0 a fault.  But on the other hand, I’m seriously concerned about giving a “money-back guarantee.”  If giving to the Lord is the right thing to do, isn’t it the right thing to do even if we don’t experience personal benefits?  Furthermore, when has God promised that he would fulfill his promises in the manner that we desire and in the time frame we desire (3 months in this case)?

This tithing challenge doesn’t sit well with me.  What do you think?

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  1. January 7, 2009 at 11:38 am

    The storehouse is not the old testament picture of the new testament church. The temple is the Old Testament picture of the Church. The storehouse was a silo – a place to store food until it was ready to eat or be disbursed. Our practical storehouse today is the bank. Our spiritual storehouse is heaven. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”. Heaven is the new testament picture of the old testament storehouse. It is not the Church.

    – jared b

  2. January 7, 2009 at 11:52 am

    The tithing challenge is a farce. According to Paul in Galatians 3:10 the only way to be blessed by titing is to observe all 600++ commands of the law and that is impossible.

    The OT temple and priesthood have been replaced by the individidual believer-priests. There is no NT equivalent to the OT storehouse and there were no church buildings for over 200 years after Calvary.

    NT giving by the Church after Calvary is primarily sacrificial which is a higher principle that OT tithing.

    http://www.tithing-russkelly.com

  3. mikewittmer
    January 8, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Money-back guarantee is the same reason I bought the “Power Rock Ballads of the ’80s and ’90’s,” though if you want to know the truth, I would have bought them anyway–for my Zune.

  4. Brian McLaughlin
    January 8, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Who would need a money back guarantee on power ballads? There is no more secure investment!

  5. January 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I don’t believe Mike has bought any music since the ’80s.

  6. questionmark
    March 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I’m new to this blog but just stumbled on this discussion because my church just did the same thing. Some people think it’s exciting, but I’m sick to my stomach over it. To me it screams “gimmick.” It looks bad to people outside the church, who are wary enough about church finances as it is. (And rightly so, I think.) And it seems a little arrogant to throw a money-back guarantee on God’s faithfulness or any kind of blessings, because how do you begin to quantify such a thing anyway? And I wouldn’t type anything on a blog that I wouldn’t take to church leaders. So the whole challenge has led to some interesting and helpful discussions. But overall, it just seems like a stunt. (I should stress that my church never promised financial blessings. But still….)

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