Abusive Preaching about Tithing
You hear it from pulpits all across the land, heavy manipulation about tithing.
It comes from the notion a church budget is sacred. Somehow, God can’t lead the membership to give less than the mighty Spirit-led leadership simply knows what they need for salaries, operations, etc. This is not how it was done in the Bible.
First, let’s clarify things from the very beginning. From ancient times there were only two activities from which God demanded a tithe: agriculture and war plunder. We can ignore the latter, because nobody pays attention to anything God has to say about that, and focus on the former. If you grow it or raise it, you tithe. You give the first tenth of the harvest to God, via an offering to those who serve in worship. The symbolism of putting God’s work first is obvious.
No other economic activity was tithed.
If you made money without being involved in agriculture, you were not required to tithe. You were expected to give through other ritual offerings, but mostly you were expected to give thank offers based entirely on your own conscience, a conscience which did not arise from preachers grumping about your criminal failure to meet their budgets. Go ahead and search the New Testament, and all the references to tithing are connected with growing and raising stuff.
So preachers who demand you tithe on all income are heretics and liars against God. You need to reject all condemnation which arises from such teaching. On the other hand, you should feel very guilty if you can’t give to the needs of others from your worldly possessions. However, the highest ideal here is learning to listen to God. The other half of that is not caring very much about the things of this world in the first place.
Further, any doctrine which says God wants you rich is lie from Hell. That’s just the same old worldly materialism with Bible verses plastered on the outside. God gives you stuff so He call tell you when, where and how to pass it on. The whole purpose is to show His love and glorify His name. If you care about stuff, you are wrong, regardless how it gets used. If you care about God’s calling and mission on your life, you’ll easily understand what to do with your stuff.