Some Christian denominations make tithe mandatory for their Christian followers. This is how funding is generated among those Churches. Clarification is necessary to benefit those who are after the truth, more than religiosity. Tithing is Biblically mandated, but not applicable to God’s Children.
There is no record of Jesus ever paying tithe. The reason why Jesus did not pay tithe is that He was the Son of God. At that time He had been the only Son of God. But, later, there were several other children of God, added. Those Children were not under the obligation to pay tithe, just as Jesus was not under the obligation to pay tithe. God’s children take instructions directly from their Father.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-21 NIV).
The behaviour of God’s children is not according to instructions from anyone in this world. Their activities are designed by God and instructed directly to each of His children. Hence, the talents and abilities are peculiar to each, as designed by God. No one can superintend over another, in the process.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:1-3 NIV).
This passage of Scripture is directed at God’s Children; expected to be different from those of this world. What qualified these to be God’s children is sacrifice. They sacrificed everything to become Christ’s followers.
This does not mean that it is impossible for them to revert to their old ways of doing things. Hence, the apostle Paul is reminding them of their obligations of taking instructions directly from God. None should regard oneself more highly than others. Neither should they also despise those with different abilities.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:5-8 NIV).
The above passage reveals that each member performs according to the functional gift. In other words, the person with a gift of giving cannot demand that others should be givers, as well. That person gives generously, without considering whether others behave likewise or not.
Those of this world may complain that others are not giving as much as they do. This is the mindset that Paul advised God’s children to desist from. For instance, the hand does not instruct other limbs to function in some particular way. Each limb acts according to the body owner’s will.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13 NIV).
What is observable is that God’s children are peculiar. Rather than being controlled by tithing laws, they are living sacrifices, dedicated to God. Rather than embrace the idea of tithing, they provide their entire lives for service to God. They serve God, according to their spiritual convictions.
Paul’s exhortation is directed at God’s children. The spiritual fervour that rests in them is the one that serves the Lord. The person might be found to be extraordinarily working harder than others, on some function. There is no need to view that person as holier than others. The person would be working according to God’s instruction.
Tithing may be applicable to Christian followers, just as it was applicable to the Jewish community. That would be alright, as long as such people do not consider themselves as God’s children. Many people invalidate tithing, based on the fact that Jesus did not specifically teach about it. Neither did Jesus advise the Jews to stop tithing, but, instead, He encouraged them to continue tithing.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practised the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:23-24 NIV).
Jesus was castigating the teachers of the Law for having departed from the actual intent of the Law. He stresses that justice, mercy and faithfulness, ought to be paramount. The Law of tithing had been applied as a provision for the Levitical workers who served in the Temple.
The principle can still be applicable in administering financial projects. However, this does not include those in the category of God’s children. Outside the functions of God’s children, the provisions of God’s Laws still apply, and can produce splendid results, but are not applicable to God’s children.
The distinction should be clarified, rather than conflate everything into one. Those who would have become God’s children behave according to their spiritual conviction. Each of God’s children does things according to God’s calling, rather than according to the Law.