I’m here to discuss a topic that has me #triggered. If you aren’t familiar with the term, being “triggered” is basically a word that younger generations are using to describe something that offends them. So this is what triggers me in the church: toxic tithing.
First, let me tell you, if you aren’t currently tithing at least 10 percent of your income, now is a great time to take that step of obedience. If you are younger and still establishing your career or don’t have a steady paycheck, it’s hard, I understand.
But no one said following the Lord and being obedient to Him would ever be easy. Tithing is of the utmost importance. As a Christ follower, you are to give your tithe offering faithfully and with no strings attached. End of story.
Now that that is taken care of, for those of you who do tithe… do you truly give with no strings attached? I am sad to say that I have heard people in the church say things like “Well, we tithe to the church, so we should have a say in what happens there.” What a sad, sad day for the Church when the body of Christ gives with that kind of heart.
I was thinking about this, then I came across an article by Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian resources. He wrote an article called: “Five reasons why ‘we pay the bills’ at this church is such a harmful attitude.”
Rainer says first, this kind of attitude “makes giving more like paying country club dues than biblical stewardship.” This sense of entitlement is dangerous, and poison to a church. All churches are under the rule of one person and one person only, God. No other person should manipulate a church by opening their wallets.
That was Rainer’s second point, that conditional giving is manipulative. Rainer said, in a sense, this is like holding a church hostage. Does that sound like something Jesus would do if He were attending a church today?
Third, Rainer pointed out that this kind of giving is a way of circumventing, or finding a way around, the budget. For example, someone thinks they would do a better job of deciding where the church spends their money. That isn’t how the Church works. Again, this kind of giving is sinful and prideful.
The fourth reason, and I think the most problematic reason, is this kind of giving “creates a different class of members in the church.” The church was not meant to operate how the outside world operates. No one person is loved more by God or loved less by God because of the money in their bank account.
In Matt. 11:38, it says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What it doesn’t say is, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and have X amount of dollars in your bank account.”
Finally, the last and most important reason to not give in to toxic tithing is because “it is contrary to the servant spirit of Christ.” Here I will directly quote Rainer who says, “Jesus was crystal clear on His mission. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). Some church members utter the toxic statement, “We pay the bills at this church” to get their own way. Jesus made the sacrificial statement that He would put others before Himself, so much so that He would die for others.”
I beg you, don’t give with strings attached. Search your heart and ask forgiveness from the One who gave the ultimate gift without strings attached, His Son.