We explored the topic of returning the tithe at Crossroads Friends Church this week, and any time you open up God’s Word and show them that God expects us to return 10% of our income to him, obections arise. Over the course of this week, I’d like to refute the most common objections that I’ve heard (or even sometimes wrongly argued in the past).
Today’s objection typically comes from those who have spent a large amount of time in church, understand the language, but in the process of searching for an argument have missed the big point.
Why tithe? We live by grace, not under the law. Right?
The short answer is, “You’re absolutely right in this statement, but it has nothing to do with the tithe.” In fact, if the age of grace (which I affirm) makes a difference in regards to the tithe, it opens up the ability and opportunity to give above the tithe.
In the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5), Jesus delivered the greatest sermon ever preached, and one of the most notable observations of this sermon is that Jesus always stepped up the law. Though the law says “Do not kill,” Jesus says that those who harbor anger in their heart toward their brother have already killed him in their heart. Though the law says, “Do not commit adultery,” Jesus states that all who lust have already committed adultery in their heart.
Is it somehow responsible to believe that while the expectations were raised in every other area, Jesus lowered the expectation on what God expected of our income?
Or, is it more likely that the Spirit of God desires the hearts of his children to be generous, rather than seeking justification for their own selfishness?