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Am I cursed If I Don’t Tithe?

This is a follow-up to my previous blog, where I mentioned that tithing isn’t required for salvation. The response so far has been great. Some found it liberating, but others had questions.

Regardless of how you slice it, tithing is not a prerequisite for salvation. Nor would you lose your salvation should you fail to tithe. Don’t let anyone put you in bondage.

Now, I do understand this is a very emotive topic. Money is vital to our existence. Hardly a second goes by without you spending money. Even when asleep, companies still charge us for one service or another. None of us can get away from paying for goods and services.

Growth is a must for every believer. It can be painful at times, but it is rewarding. Stagnation is not an option. No wonder Peter the apostle encouraged the early church to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). With growth comes change. As believers, we must be willing to let scripture challenge our assumptions, particularly when we’ve been served up a diet of prooftexts for decades.

To be candid, when I got hit with the truth of God’s word about this matter, it wasn’t easy for me to make the shift. I was like, “Lord, how could I have been so wrong?” It was a tough pill to swallow. As a youngster, I had told New Covenant saints they were cursed. That’s what I was taught. That’s what I believed.

A brother falls on hard times. He is struggling. His whole world has fallen apart. Hit by one trial after another, he turns frantically to his Pastor or elder for some encouragement. He wants out. He’s had enough.

Sitting across the desk is his attentive counsellor, getting ready to drop some pearls of wisdom. He sympathises with the young man as he tries to support him through his predicament.

The million-dollar question pops up among many as they run through a checklist to diagnose the problem. “Have you been paying your tithes? Have you been robbing God?” The brother responds hesitantly, burying his head in his hands, “No, I haven’t. Things are quite tight for me at the moment.”

At this point, the Minister whips out Malachi 3:8-9 (NLT). "Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! "But you ask, 'What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?' "You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.”

He then tells his counselee, “This is why things aren’t working. This is the reason for your misfortune. This is the reason why the devourer got your house repossessed. Tithing ensures the devourer doesn’t destroy your financial life (Malachi 3:10-11). It is God’s insurance policy.”

I am sure some of you have heard similar stories. If you haven’t, maybe you need to go out more. I am just joking!

Many of us have heard this from the pulpit. This concept is not foreign at all. Various Christian outlets propagate this teaching. They are not saying you are not a Christian. But they are simply saying things won't work for you if you don’t pay your tithe; they assert you are operating under a curse. They say, “God won’t bless you. You won’t experience God’s best.” And if you ever have any adversity, they’ll wave the tithe card in front of you.

Malachi wasn’t addressing the church. He was speaking to the children of Israel who had returned from exile to Judah. They had failed to pay their tithes and offerings as required by the law of Moses (Deuteronomy 12:6; 14:22-26) and violated their covenantal obligation. The Priest had also gone renegade (Malachi 2).

As a believer in Christ, you are already blessed. Not because you gave 10% of your income to your local church, but because God your Heavenly Father has already blessed you by what He did for you at the cross through Christ Jesus.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Ep 1:3 (NLT).

As I wrap this up, if any of the Apostles were going to be an ardent proponent of the modern-day “curse with a curse tithing regulation,” it would have been Paul, the apostle. His background fits the profile. He was a Pharisee, the strictest of the strict (Philippians 3:5-6). But guess what? He always encouraged free will giving (2 Corinthians 9:7) as the alternative to the Old Testament model.

You don’t give to get blessed. You are blessed in Christ; therefore, you give.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Pastor O

Revised article. Originally published 3rd of December 2015

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