In the Christian tradition, laypersons and church attendees nearly unanimously profess that the tithe is geared specifically towards one’s particular local church. With their minds flooded with scriptures such as “the tithe is holy unto the Lord,” “bring the tithes to the storehouse,” and “give, and it shall be given unto you…,” members of local churches are sure to understand the importance of this form of service.
While these scriptures are to be adhered to, there are many times where this financial act can be manipulated into a mandate by many pastors. In fact, there are often times where pastors spend the tithe corruptly, even to the point of justifying their expenses.
In 2014, Pastor David E. Taylor was under investigation for criminal charges in relation to misrepresenting the church’s funds, even to the point of lying and stating that his nearly 2.85 million dollar mansion was considered an asset used for “resort.” During the deposition, there were many other funds that he could not account for.
Despite people in leadership adding fuel to the fire of opponents feeling that the tithe is a scam, fortunately there are other ministries that allow the members to be involved in their financial statements, as well as specifically pin-pointing where money is allocated. Thankfully, with ministries that honor God with the distribution of the tithe, a significant portion of the money goes to serving the community, feeding the poor, or assisting those within the church.
Although pastors such as David Taylor give beguiling messages to enhance those in his flock to give to the “ministry,” recent studies show that members do not have a mandate to give to their specific ministry.
According to Christianity Today, 76 percent of leaders informed the National Association of Evangelicals that it is fine if someone wants to give his or her tithe to another local ministry. NAE president Leith Anderson added, “Many evangelical leaders do not believe that there is a biblical requirement to give exactly 10 percent to the local church.” Through surveying, some leaders felt the the “storehouse” mentioned in Malachi 3:10 was the local church, while others believed that it was not a New Testament teaching.
The latter is usually supported by Paul’s instruction in 2 Corinthians 9:7 to “Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift].”
Perhaps the biggest issue within churches is not the tithe, but a small amount of people carrying a big load. In fact, only 12 percent of born-again Christians tithe to a church. In addition, those who give between 11 and 20 percent supply 50 to 80 percent of the particular church’s funding.
Corrupt pastors should never give churchgoers a way out of giving to their ministry, or a ministry. Studies show that those who are tithers are more debt-free, are less likely to owe on a mortgage, are less likely to be paying on a car, are more likely to have assets over 250K, and are more likely to donate to five or more places than those who do not tithe.
The statistics above prove that both faith and increase are directly associated with tithing.