Under this teaching,
some people have truly suffered!
The current teaching in respect to tithing - has a dark side!
It is easy to perceive the monetary benefits a church may receive
from the continued support of this practice. Tithing enables buildings
to be financed, vehicles to be provided, ministers salaries to be paid
and other special projects to be funded.
This Old Covenant concept can carry many benefits for a Christian
church and can be very effective in loosening the pockets of patrons!
Those members of churches, which are persuaded to provide a regular
payment of a tenth of their financial increase, are often kept under
this teaching through the mechanism of compulsion and/or guilt.
Such church citizens are told that this portion of their increase is
"holy" or "it is the Lord's" (referring to Leviticus 27:30).
They may also be advised one is stealing from God (quoting Malachi 3:8)
if one fails to forward it to their church hierarchy. After all, the
church needs it so that it may be used for the purposes of church
support and growth.
In respect to tithing it has become common for Old Covenant tithing
verses to be quoted over the pulpit without any form of alteration.
The essential nature of the difference between the Old and New Covenants
is often not adequately emphasized and highlighted. Therefore these
denominations seem to act as if it is perfectly acceptable for them to
dip into the Old Covenant Law and select, unaltered, what aspects they
may desire to apply.
A further concern is that often the full complexity and workings of
the Old Covenant Levitical and priesthood financial support systems
are not fully explained to the congregations. The detailed mechanisms
underlying this ancient Israelite system are often poorly understood
even by church ministries.
The current reality is that tithing in the
short and long term can place considerable
strain on the lives of church goers. The
Minister's promises of monetary blessings
do not always materialise and great
difficulty can be encountered in financing
the family home and meeting family needs.
For new Christians initial blessings may often seem to confirm for
them the need to regularly pay tithes. However, God does frequently
encourage and support new Christians. So these new Christians may
initially feel assured of the need to contribute a tenth. However, new
Christians should also consider that many older Christians have stories
of years of tight finances and missed opportunities under the yoke of
A further detrimental effect of this teaching is that it can have a
significant deterrent effect on potential new members.
This teaching also gives credibility to claims by non-believers that
Christian churches are really just after people's money.