Since I've already shared my testimony about how I came to Christ, for Testimony Tuesday, I am going to share my testimony of the blessings my family have received since we have stopped tithing.
Every time a tithe teacher wants to drive the point home about tithing, they always follow it up with some great testimony of someone who was struggling in their finances until they started tithing and then, suddenly, after they started tithing, they were immensely blessed and their finances got so much better.
Well, I have a testimony of my own. My testimony is that after I studied God's word and realized that tithing is not a New Covenant doctrine, that it can't be a New Covenant doctrine, my family made the decision to stop worrying about percentages, and just start giving as the Holy Spirit leads us. And once we did that, our finances got so much better.
I can't remember exactly when we, as a family, submitted to God's word and stopped tithing, but I do know that it was before we moved to Hawaii, the most expensive state in the USA. Prior to our move, I was stressed about how we would survive in Hawaii. Already our finances were strained and there were months where we had to forego grocery shopping for an extra week or so because we didn't have the money for groceries. So I just didn't know how I was going to be able to continue being a stay-at-home mom, and homeschool my boys, on one income in Hawaii. I just knew I was going to have to get a job and start contributing to our household income.
As we were looking for houses to rent in Hawaii, we had settled on a home that was $2700/month, and were in the process of signing the lease. But at the last minute that deal fell through and I was back at square one (after spending months looking for a home) and moving day was looming very, very near. (It has always been my practice to secure a rental home prior to moving to a new location so we could just move right into our home when we arrived.) However, the very evening that the deal with the $2700/month home fell through, a friend of mine alerted me to a home for rent on militarybyowner.com for $2300/month. I contacted the owner, and by the next day we were faxing the lease to secure the home; for $400 less per month than we had originally thought we were going to spend. And for those of you who don't know, $2300/month for a new three bedroom home in Hawaii, in a decent neighborhood, is a very low and nearly unheard-of rate.
The next "disaster" to happen at the very last moment, literally a day or two before we were to drive our vehicle to Texas so it could be shipped to Hawaii, was we found out that the finance company for our vehicle was not going to let us move our vehicle out of the continental United States. I was in full on panic mode! We needed that car because we were not going to have enough money after the move to purchase another one! What ended up happening was that we refinanced the vehicle, which literally cut our payments in half and has resulted in our being able to pay off our vehicle a year and a half earlier than was originally scheduled.
Yet another blessing that we've received since moving here to Hawaii is that I was approached by my church to become a substitute teacher at their Christian school. This is extra income that I would never have sought out on my own. I never would have thought to seek out a substitute teaching job because I thought one would have had to have had a degree of some sort in order to fill such a position. But in this case, I wasn't required to have a degree. And now, it seems that every time we have a financial stress in the household, the school starts calling me asking if I can substitute for a day here, a day there, and sometimes even a week or more at a time. This doesn't even include the babysitting jobs that seem to come available when a new emergency pops up for us to tend to.
I could go on with how many debts we've paid off since we've been living here. All the while, not worrying about giving 10% of our gross income to our church. God has blessed us amazingly in the last year in a half and I know it's because of Grace that we've been blessed, not because of an ancient Old Covenant piece of the law. Now, if my family were being disobedient to God in the matter of our money, would He have been blessing us so richly? Absolutely not! But indeed, we have been richly blessed! And not just in finances either.
So, you might ask, "How is it that they are being blessed when they don't tithe"? And to that, I say, God is not concerned with the percentage of your, or our, giving. He's concerned that we give prayerfully, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and that we give sacrificially. How can we say we follow 2 Corinthians 9:7 when we are fussing over income percentages? How is it that we're searching our hearts when we give if we're merely calculating numbers? My friend, the tithe was for Israel only. I stand firm on the truth of that statement and you can read this and this if you have any question about that.
How is it that a born-again Christian, under grace, is so easily deceived into believing that they can be cursed by God because they don't keep a part of the law? How is it that anyone who reads their Bible thinks that what is being taught in churches is even obeying the tithe law in the first place?! If you truly think you must tithe to God, then at least do it the way the Bible tells you to. What you're doing in church doesn't even come close to following after the Biblical tithing law. However, because you are giving, and giving sacrificially, and because you are probably giving cheerfully, you might be experiencing blessings from God just as I am. You see, for the New Covenant Christian, your giving and walking in faith is what pleases God, not the percent you give. So stop being deceived! Yes, please give, but first listen to the Holy Spirit. Not only will He tell you how much to give, but He will even tell you who to give to! Do you think your obligation to give stops at the offering plate? Christ says that we are doing it unto Him when we give to the poor, the widows, and the orphans. Is any of your giving going towards these groups of people? Are you sure your church, who is squeezing so much money out of you, is giving to the poor, the widows, and the orphans? If not, maybe you should give a little less to your church and a little more to the groups that Christ specifically named to be the recipients of our giving.
Now, what about the people who have been tithing faithfully for any given period of time and they have yet to see such miraculous changes to their financial situations? I'm sure no pastor, ever, has asked any of these people in their churches to stand up and give their testimonies. But we must assume these people exist. What do we say to them? That it must be that they simply have bad money management skills? Do you really think this accounts for every instance of blessing-less faithful tithers out there? I think not.
Please Christian, give. Give liberally. Give sacrificially. But as you can see, someone's testimony about how blessed they've been since they've been tithing is not a reason consider going against God's word to begin tithing. Testimonies do not replace scripture and scripture it clear that tithing is a part of the ceremonial law of, and for, the Israelites. God tells when to tithe, what to tithe, who to give the tithe to, and even the land to where the tithe is supposed to be taken to. We are not obeying any of these commands in our New Covenant tithing. Paul, himself, a one-time Pharisee, who was surely well-versed in tithing law, said that if any man comes and preaches a doctrine other than what he had preached, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). I've yet to find one place where Paul preaches tithing. Are all the tithing preachers, then, taking upon themselves a curse when they preach tithing? What does the Bible say?
Do you know, if you were to die today, whether or not you'll go to be with Christ after you die? Are you 100% and completely assured of your salvation? If not, please take the time to read this salvation message today. There is nothing more important than giving your life to Christ and securing your place in eternity. I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to a personal relationship with Christ today, and I pray that you follow where the Holy Spirit leads you.