Tithing is a Christian principle that has caused much debate even among believers. There are some people who believe that tithing is part of the Old Testament of the Bible and that Jesus Christ did away with it in the New Testament. Others believe in it wholeheartedly and practice it diligently. In the Old Testament, in the book of Malachi, chapter 3 verse 10, it is written, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in."
Tithing is Holy and Belongs to God
The first principle of tithing is that God owns everything and Christians are required to tithe on their earnings. Tithing is not only for the Israelites; it is for all Christians to honor God by giving one-tenth of their incomes. The Bible is filled with references to giving a tenth of everything earned to God, beginning with the first book, Genesis. For example, references to tithing and specific instructions on how to tithe are given in the book of Deuteronomy 14:22-29.
Responsibility for Tithing
Material goods and money are earned by the individual through personal efforts that are productive. The person who actually earned the money is responsible before God for tithing on the earnings. Money and material goods received as gifts or an inheritance are exempt from tithing because they were not earned or produced by the receiver but by someone else. This is a highly debatable question and there are differing views of opinion, with some Christians believing that tithing has to be done on everything the person receives, regardless of who actually earned it.
Elements of Tithing
Honest tithing comprises certain elements that consist of the portion or percentage of the tithe you have to give to God and what the money should be used for. In Genesis 28:22, reference is made to Abraham, who gave a tenth of everything God blessed him with back to God as tithe. Another element of tithing is that tithes should be used to support the people who do God’s work or ministry work. There is a reference in Numbers 18:21 that explains this element of tithing.
Robbing God of Tithes
In Malachi 6-10, God accuses the Israelites of robbing Him by not bringing their whole tithes into God’s storehouse. In the Old Testament, people tithed with grains, animals, olive oil and fruits. God even goes so far as to curse the people for robbing Him of their tithes. The verse goes on to state that when people tithe, God will throw open the floodgates of heaven to pour out blessings on the people. To this day, Christians believe that failure to tithe is robbing God and that they will be cursed.