Should I Reduce My Tithe?

Janelle in Sacramento wonders if they should cut their tithe in order to help them get out of debt more quickly.

QUESTION: Janelle in Sacramento wonders if they should cut their tithe in order to help them get out of debt more quickly. Dave explains his spiritual take and that he wouldn’t stop his tithe or reduce it.

ANSWER: By definition, an evangelical Christian is someone who believes what the Bible says. That’s where we need to go for our answers, not some guy on the radio. However, I can help you with that. I’m not your authority; God’s word would be.

As I’ve studied Scripture, the word “tithe” literally means tenth. Deuteronomy says to give a tenth of your net increase—a tenth of your income. About 1,200 years of Protestant Christian teaching has been that the tithe goes to the local church because the local church is the New Testament representation of the Old Testament storehouse. The Old Testament storehouse took care of the Levites. The church in your community is supposed to be doing that. That’s an evangelical Christian definition of it.

When does it occur? As I’ve studied it in Scripture, it’s real clear that it’s off the top as it says in Proverbs. That’s before anything else occurs. Having said all of that, there’s enough toxicity in Christianity and misinformation, so let’s back up from that. God loves you whether you give money to the church or not. He doesn’t love you more if you give. We’re not going to get into performance-based legalism. We’re just doing this because we love God and that’s what He’s telling His kid to do. I’m going to follow that.

No, I wouldn’t stop my tithe. I wouldn’t reduce it. It’s a tenth. I tithed all the way into bankruptcy court and all the way out. These are a loving Father’s instructions for His kids.

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