Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Show Me The Money”


I tithe, but at the end of the service, should the leader go on and on, scripture after scripture, telling you that you are cursed with a curse if you don’t give tithes and offerings? Badgering people about this I feel is wrong, and I have an uneasy feeling about this the more I hear it. We are supposed to give out of love and with a cheerful heart. Is it wrong to hold this offering over the congregation’s head and to use Scripture to justify it? What happens if I don’t have the money to tithe? Am I going to be not as blessed as the rest of the congregation? I do believe God wants us to be blessed and prosper, but what about the people who are struggling and not prospering? Does that mean their faith is weak? I’m really troubled by doctrines and people’s perceptions of how we are supposed to be overflowing with prosperity and people are supposed to see that we are more prosperous than the worldly/secular people. Does God really want our bank accounts full when all of it is going to perish anyways? I would like to know if prosperity is truly what Jesus taught and what He emphasized.

Sincerely, Too Much Money Talk

Dear Too Much Money Talk,

Christians don’t tithe; Jews do. Christians also don’t have any guarantees of financial prosperity. Faithfulness doesn’t guarantee financial success. If that was the case, why did Paul end up in prison (Acts 16:37)? Why did Jesus say that He didn’t have anywhere to lay His head (Matt 8:20)? The most faithful people often suffer the most for the gospel. In fact, Christians are guaranteed to suffer for Christ’s church (Acts 14:22). If anything, prosperity is often a hindrance to faithfulness (Lk 18:24).

Tithing is an Old Testament command to the Jews (Deu 14:22). ‘Tithe’ means ‘to give 10%’. Christians are never told to tithe in the New Testament. We are told to be ‘cheerful givers’ (2 Cor 9:7). We are also told to ‘lay by in store’ and plan ahead before we give (1 Cor 16:1-2). We are never told a specific amount that we are supposed to give. Having said that, I think 10% is a good starting point for giving. Don’t let anyone badger you with the “You Have to Tithe” argument, though. Unless you are a Jew, you aren’t bound by the 10% rule.

It sounds like the church you attend teaches something called “The Prosperity Gospel”. The “Prosperity Gospel” is a false teaching that says if you serve God, you will have financial success; if you don’t, you will have financial failure. This is completely false. Job was the most faithful man on the planet in his day (Job 1:8), and he suffered more financial loss than anyone before or since. If the congregation you attend is teaching that… run. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15) who are teaching that Jesus cares more about money than He does about souls.