Without opening up my bible and without Googling the passage, allow me to quote it the way that my former pastor quoted it, and probably the same way that yours did as well:
Brang ye all the tithes….uhhh….to the storehouse…uhhh….that there might be meat in MY house! And provvvvve me now, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I will not ooopen up a window in Heaven and pour you out a blessing…that there won’t be room enough to receive it! Can I get an AYEMEN? Congregation: ‘Amen’!
I already understand this is a hotbed debate, and I also understand that many people will disagree with me on this issue; however, countless numbers of men and women of God are being manipulated by those who call themselves sent by God. They believe that if Malachi said it, they believe it ends there and that settles it. While standing high and grand in the pulpit these preachers will spout some version of what I stated above, using the word “CURSE” to strike fear in the hearts of the people in order for them to release their purses and wallets. After placing the fear they announce…BUT if you give, He (God) will give it back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Are you afraid of the curse? Well 2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
But wait. You might be saying to yourself, “Well hey, sister Iampastorswife, you ARE a pastor’s wife so y’all obviously have a church. You cannot tell me that you do not believe in collecting tithes!” My response to that is that we believe that each individual can give of their own volition, but it is nether asked for nor required. My personal belief is in free will giving, and giving as the Lord lays on your heart. I believe that I can pay my tithe to the church, to an individual who needs it, I can give of my time while serving others. Ultimately I believe that anything that you give from your heart and as unto the Lord is your tithe, not just money.
I would like to look a bit deeper into this tithing/prosperity phenomenon! Just recently a subscriber to this blog sent a two-page tithing document to me which is distributed to new members in their ministry, and they wanted to know what I think about it. I will post it for the blog readers here:
(Disclaimer: The ministry mentioned in this document is not affiliated in any way with the Atlanta mega-ministry of the same name.)
I will be honest here, as always. If I had joined a ministry and those documents were in my new members’ packet, I would have turned and run for the door. A lot of ministries are not that blatant, but apparently some are. I am of the belief that if someone wants to tithe of their free will, and because of the grace that God has given to them, then go for it. However, if you are tithing because some preacher/pastor/teacher instilled into you the fear of “a curse” then you are on the wrong path. I will explain, stick with me. From the days of Moses the Israelites were to pay the tithe to the Levite priests who ministered in the temple. Numbers 18:21 states,
To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting.
The Levites were the only tribe who were forbidden from having an inheritance in the land; their provisions were through the tithes of the people. The oft misused quote in Malachi 3:6 about the storehouse was an actual storehouse where their firstfruits could be stored for sacrifice to God or sustenance for the priests. This is all under Levitical law.There will be some who will reference Abraham’s tithing to Melchizedek in Genesis 14, but you must understand that at that time Abraham was not required to pay the tithe, he decided to do it in honor of the Lord God; additionally, Abraham was not under the new covenant provided by the blood of Jesus. So what about Jesus? Jesus became the law, our New Testament covenant so that man no longer had to perform ceremonial law, which included the tithe. Jesus became the high priest, so that we no longer need to support a Levitical priesthood.
The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Psalms 110:4).
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice being God in the flesh. He both became and transcended the law, so why would we then willingly place ourselves back under the law from which he freed us? Dare we nullify the sacrifice that Christ paid for us? Understanding that in the Old Testament God created laws to help man restrain his sinful nature inherited from Adam, it may help us to understand that in 1 John 2:1 it states,
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
You can absolutely pay a tithe if it is in your heart to do so, according to the faith and grace given to you by the Lord, but my dear brothers and sisters you are under no lawful requirement to do so. You have an advocate, which is usually a lawyer, with God, who is Jesus Christ which frees you from Old Testament law! Do not allow the charlatans in the pulpit to frighten, cajole or manipulate you into giving. 2 Peter warns us of them, And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (2 Pet. 2:3). At my old ministry we were required to pay 10% tithes and our offering was supposed to be more than the tithes, and sacrificial offerings were required often. Is that of God? No. Does God need your “sacrificial money”? Why would he? The Earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof and they which dwell within (Psalms 24:1). Does God want a sacrifice from you? Sure he does:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Please examine the tithing documents presented above one more time. Do they really represent the kingdom of God? They are threatening, demeaning and insulting! They say that if you don’t tithe and you get in trouble “Don’t call on God…call your lawyer, doctor, banker or friends…”, I don’t know, I thought that scripture stated that “whosoever called upon the name of the Lord…” not just the tithers. Whether you agree with me or not, please understand that the truth shall make you free. Don’t believe me, study the Word for yourself and learn about the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus paid for us to be free from the law of sin and death and finally, Galatians 5:1. Have a blessed week!
A Pastor’s Wife