“…how do we rob you? ‘In tithes and offerings…Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it’ ” (Malachi 3:8-10).
You can’t be a church-goer for very long without hearing this portion of scripture. At the mere mention of Malachi, Christians think “tithe.”
I believe in the tithe. But I do not tithe. Does this make me a hypocrite? I don’t think so. Whether money, time, or talent, as a Christian, I believe in generous giving. I believe in grace-generated giving.
“…the grace that God gave the Macedonian churches…out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity…they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” (2 Corinthians 8:1-3).
I believe that generous giving as modeled in the New Testament (grace), is an entirely more significant and less selfish giving than the Old Testament tithe (law). I also believe that tithing, or giving money in any capacity, is not the ancient test of faith. Though money is usually necessary to run a ministry, in my opinion, which may or may not be humble, I believe there is a more important theme in the book of Malachi, one that exceeds the significance and importance than giving of ones finances and wares to the work of the gospel.
to be continued…