The predominant reason why pastors in this age still threaten, cajole, ask and receive tithes from their congregation is because; tithe is the major source of meeting their convoluted needs. It is not because God asked us, the New Creation in Christ, to do so! In fact, if tithing is annulled from Christendom today, most churches would close shop. It is very wrong of us! Pastors should openly ask for welfare and project support, instead of lying in the name of Christ.
Jesus Christ gave no express instruction for us to pay tithes, neither did the early disciples. The only recorded time, in the scriptures, that Christ
mentioned tithe was when He was rebuking the Pharisees for ignoring the poor and not living righteously. It is on record, that Jesus Christ twice fed the congregation when he noticed they were hungry and weary.
The book of Acts of the Apostles, records that the early Christians with the Apostles sold their substances to share among the needy in their midst. To the point that Ananias and his wife Sapphira died for lying to the Holy Spirit for hiding part of their money. The church leaderships today are too egocentric and vain, building superstructures and acquiring private jets. The church leaderships today hardly know the names of poor and needy among their congregation.
Yet, Levites received Tithes because God commanded them not to own land or work for food.
Study the scriptural history of the Jews and Tithing. Read Deuteronomy 18: 21 to 26, you will discover that when Jews came out of Egypt, after their 40 years in the wilderness and dislodges the Canaanites, God instructed Moses to give lands to all the tribes, except the Levites. God expressly told Moses that He (God) is the Inheritance of the Tribe of Levi, and they are to spend their lifetimes serving Him in the temple. For that, He instructed the other eleven tribes to pay tithes to the Levites.
I make bold to say that, Tithing - as practiced in the churches today - is an Old Testament commandment instituted by God through Moses to sustain the Law and Priesthood of the Levitical Order! Excerpts from the book of Numbers 18: 21: 25 reads thus, “And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation…But the tithes of the children of Israel …I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children they shall have no inheritance”.
Obviously, the biblical commandment of tithing is for the Mosaic Jews during the Old Testament! A Christian is a New Creation, not an Old Testament Jew. The religion of the Jews is Judaism, not Christianity. Christ came and preached salvation to all, but most of the Jews did not receive salvation by being born again in Christ. Recall his conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter 3? More so, John 3:12 states that, “as many as receive him to them he gave the power to become the sons of God”.
The Jews gave tithes by commandment; conversely, a Christian gives tithes by self-volition or personal agreement with God. John 1:17 reads, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”.
See, every born again Christian is a New Creation and your relationship with God is very personal based on the New Testament. That is not so for the Old Testament; they live and die by the Laws of Moses (study the books of Romans and Hebrews). The New Testament was established with the blood of Jesus Christ, and sustained by the power and fellowship of Holy Spirit in you. God loves you and will keep blessing and protecting you whether you give tithe or not. That is why Romans 3:28 reads, ‘…a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”. Recall Paul’s question to the Galatians 3:2, “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?”
Modern day pastors are not Old Testament Mosaic Levites. The choice to work or to be full time ministers is their own choice. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3: 17). The covenant that binds a pastor today is personal, it is not a commandment. You are covered by the blood of Jesus, not by the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament. As such, a pastor can be entitled to salary, if he has no other livelihood; but it is wrong to condemn or cajole the congregation because you want tithes. Has God called you to ministry? Ask the church management to pay you salary, just like other church staff. And it can be a very fat salary too!
Really, tithing predates the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament. Abraham in Genesis 14:20 gave 10% of war booty to Melchizedek and Jacob promised God a tenth ‘of all you shall give me’, on his way to success at Laban’s.
I dare say most Christians today give tithes out of compulsion; because the Pastor kept quoting Malachi 3:8-9 from the pulpit. You have the right to the true Word of God. You should rather give out of personal agreement (covenant) with God. There is greater blessing from God if you relate with Him based on knowledge of His word.
As a Christian today, the famously quoted scripture of Malachi 3: 8-9 does not apply to you. Pastors use this scripture to threaten the congregation about robbing God and His consequent wrath. The church receives tithes from the congregation yet they hardly give account of how the money was spent. The sheer lack of transparency in church finance management has given room to outright misappropriation by church officials.
The later part of the scripture in Malachi 3:10, which talks of ‘giving and receiving’ are true to God’s divine character. Because you are in Christ, undoubtedly, you are a partaker of God’s divine nature. Earlier in Genesis, God said, “seed time and harvest time will never cease”. Therefore, God will accept your tithing, but He will not punish you if you do not give it. Nevertheless, you are even more blessed because you give sacrificially. That is why Christ, in Luke 6: 38, asked us to give and more shall be given back to us.
A Christian is a New Creation (Psalm 102: 18 and Isaiah 66: 7-9). You are a child of God, and His friend. He expects you to make a personal covenant with Him, which includes your love, your service and your personal giving, if you trust Him. And you can choose to call it any name, even tithe, for that matter. Just know that it is not compulsory for you, but you are blessed if you do.
My point, essentially, is that true children of God should personally covenant themselves to God and thus gives to His glory. And it must not be to your church pastorate. Look for needs among the congregation and meet it. Hence, their worship, service and relationship with God lead to fulfillment of His purpose for their lives.
In Jesus name, I pray that the Peace of God comes upon you and remains on you.