A Revelation of Tithing: God Does Not Want Your Dime (Unabridged‪)‬

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Giving was very important in the churches I grew up in, and tithing was without a doubt, paramount. The pastor made sure we understood the difference between tithes and offerings and how the tithe was “a mandatory tax” and the offering was above and beyond the tithe. It was explicitly clear that the tithe was not an offering. I never totally agreed with the tithe teaching, but it was part of the fundamentals of Christianity, and I had to accept it. 

After I got married and had two young sons, I went to church two to three times a week and all day on Sunday. Have you ever wondered why some churches pass the offering bucket when it’s time to give, while other churches have the people stand and walk around to give? This is because the leadership understands that when people are made to stand publicly and walk around and pass the offering basket, they are put in a position of embarrassment if they have nothing to give, and it works like a charm! 

Most people are paid on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. However, the tithe is requested during every service and separate from the offering in many churches. This is also done purposefully. Even though many members pay their tithes during Sunday service, the request being made during weekly services places more pressure for members to give although they have already given. 

I’ve seen the most egregious abuses in church regarding money: getting paid for prophesies, reading Scriptures on the punishment for breaking vows, and emphasizing living under the curse for not paying “the tax of the tithe”. In hindsight, I cannot believe some of the errors pertaining to finances that I’ve witnessed in church. They do happen and continue to occur. 

In 2002, I started a new church. And like every other church in America, I continued to teach the doctrine of tithing. Some of my members struggled with giving 10 percent of their income, while others, like me, had been indoctrinated and conditioned to do so for so long that we gave without hesitation. I was determined to take up only one offering during any service instead of the multiple offerings I had grown up witnessing and I was accustomed to. 

As a pastor, I did not take up two offerings for the tithe and the offering, but took both at the same time. I hated that so much of church was about money, and I did not want my members feeling the same way I felt when I attended church. So, I spent as little time as possible on giving. There were even services that I did not solicit finances from the people. However, in the end, this still proved to be only baby steps in the right direction. 

It wasn’t until I went through a season where I lost everything and in my anger toward God about my misfortune, that he challenged me to question everything I ever believed in and completely start over. Many of us grew up in religious environments that frowned upon leadership being questioned about anything. As a result, we have that same attitude with our Heavenly Father. However, if we are not asking questions, we are not learning.

God does not have a problem with us asking questions. As a student of the Word of God, I began to ask the Holy Spirit about everything taught to me by the church, and this journey has lead to many of the books I have published. A Revelation of Tithing came from this experience. May the truth set you free.

Religion & Spirituality
James Ingram
hr min
April 10
PCT Publishing