Jan 10th, 2021
Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 12 of The Berean Manifesto; 10 minutes or so a week of faith, hope, and love for the modern Christian. I’m Pastor Newms of The Ekklesian House and in this installment we are going to take a look at tithing.
Now as you all know Pastor Bill is out of pocket with some extreme tooth pain. He is recovering but we need to continue to lift him up in our prayers. That being said, I am a lot different from Pastor Bill. I tend to be a little rougher around the edges so to speak. So just a heads up as we dive into this topic for the listeners that might not be able to join us in our weekly discussion times and might not know me.
So, for today we are going to looking at the old Testament because it is also good to start with the old and move to the new.
Malachi 3 starting in verse 10 in the CSB says, [“ Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. (That’s The Church, His house.) Test me in this way," says the LORD of Armies. "See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.  I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit," says the LORD of Armies.  "Then all the nations will consider you fortunate, for you will be a delightful land," says the LORD of Armies.”]
So, we see here several things I want to point out. First, we see the word tenth instead of tithe... well that because tithe means tenth. Second, we see a promise, that God will pour out blessing from heaven to you. Now these blessings do not always mean money back. A blessing from heaven can mean a lot of things so this is not a give to God and He will make you rich. God ain’t no high yield savings account. Lastly, we see that one of the blessings from heaven is that he will rebuke the devourer and give you favor. Now we must think about whom the devourer is, if we look at the Hebrew word aw-kal which is literally to eat. Now this could mean several things like spiritual forces, bad times, or even famine. Personally, I feel it means the spiritual forces we fight against but even if it doesn’t, I want God protecting me from whatever might want to eat myself, family, or stuff.
Now I want to do something crazy and take a step back and look at the verse that is before Malachi 3:10-12 and take a look at Malachi 2:8-9 in the CSB which reads, [8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me!” “How do we rob you?” you ask. “By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. 9 You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing me.] Now these are some pretty harsh word that are used here but is it is not wrong. You see at the time Priests and their family only had what was given to the church to live off of and run the church. So, if you didn’t give to the church (at the time, the temple) then those people had nothing to live on and no way to get the temple serviced.
Now I know what you might be thinking, isn’t that the same today….. well yes it should be. But sadly, according to research* only like 10-25% of people depending on the church or organization are giving to the church. Only 5% of Christians are actually tithing and 80% of Americans only give 2%. Now that seems really low but I can make it worse, during the Great Depression Americans on average gave 3.3%. So, we as a body are literally giving less than during the great depression. Imagine with me what we could accomplish as a capital C church if we all tithed? How many more people could we show the love of God to?
Now I want to make 2 things clear right now. First, I am a Pastor but receive nothing from the Ekklessian house in terms of money and second, I am not trying to guilt anyone into giving to us.
You will remember that I said we would start in the Old and move to the New. Well now I want to look at 1 Corinthians 16:2-3, here Paul is writing to the church at Corinth and is writing about the fact that he is coming. He says: [ “ On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.”] When we look at this it shows that he does not want an offering taken up while he is there. I believe that is because he knows as he says in the first verse that people should be tithing, not giving out of feeling at the time of a message. So as Christians we should be tithing off of our increase.
This is Pastor Newms, until next time…. Oh and always remember we love y'all.