True Holiness uses its own system of tithing and freewill offerings.
In the Old Testament the people of Israel were commanded to bring a tenth of their income to support the work of the house of God and those who served God in it. In the New Testament the apostles also recognized that the work of the Church required disciplined giving (Acts 2:42-45). Both the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) and the early church were encouraged to systematically give to meet the needs of the poor and spread the word of God (Acts 6:1-7). In this 21st century as well, God calls us to be disciplined and generous in giving support to the work, leadership, and the poor members in the Church.
About 430 years before God presented a tithing law to Israel, we read that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:15-20). Abraham’s tithing was not under the Law of Moses, yet he paid tithes. Therefore, True Holiness has borrowed from the traditions of tithing, combined with freewill offerings, to institute a budgeting system that enables our church officers to make projections for future financial planning.
All principles of the Scriptures are profitable for use (2 Timothy 3:16) when establishing instruction and regulations. Therefore, True Holiness has established our current budgeting system that works for us. The church needs to budget just as your home needs a budget plan for future purchases and to retire debts.
Budgeting is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. You cannot plan if you do not know how much income you have coming in.
Your pledge to pay a 10th of your personal income (tithes) to the church is used as a standard that helps our church officers create a spending plan (the budget). Creating this spending plan allows us to determine in advance whether the church will have enough money to do the things we need to do or would like to do. Budgeting is simply balancing the church’s expenses with its income.
Unless we know what the church’s base income will be each month, we will not know if there will be enough money to finance the church operations and ministries.
Is it Biblical to Pay Tithes?
A New Testament teaching on giving which may be helpful to you is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2:
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Here we read of 4 ways Paul instructed the Corinthians to give:
individually (let everyone of you)
regularly (Upon the first day of the week)
methodically (lay by him in store)
proportionately (as God hath prospered him)
The Old Covenant Budgeting System Did Not Become a Universal Law.
This was not a universal law, just like the sabbath observance on the 7th day was not a universal law, because their society and economics were much different from ours today. Yet, God required Israel to commit (or make a vow) to pay the 10th portion of their increase, for sacred purposes and to help the poor.
In Deuteronomy 23:21-23, Israel was warned about making a vow to God and then breaking it. The law said
“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee…. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.”
This system of giving was a law the produced blessings from God (Malachi 3:10-12) and calamities if they disobeyed (read Malachi 3:8).
Although the Old Covenant tithing system is not universal, the blessings and consequences of making or breaking a commitment to God in both the Old and New Covenants are the same (Luke 6:38). Therefore, each person that became a member in True Holiness Walnut Hills agreed to obey all rules and regulations and our financial system is a part of those regulations. If you pledge to give to God’s church, he will bless you with the means to keep your commitment, which obligates you to follow through.
It has been True Holiness’ tradition to compel our membership to participate in its financial system, for all the above reasons.
Freewill offerings are also collected, but are not always regulated to a certain amount. However both methods of collection do not prevent the member from giving as God has blessed him or her, which is over and above what you originally pledged to give. We have found that our basic 10% doctrine does not place any undue strain on the member, neither does it restrict the member from giving more than 10% of their income, when they have been blessed with more.
When each member joins the church, they are taught that tithing is part of our financial system to fund ministerial expenses and operations. It is explained that our system is not a duplication of what Israel was required to do. However, when one makes a pledge to give and does not give, he or she will be in danger for breaking their promise and for disobedience, just as consequences was applied to Israel, if they disregarded the financial system that God gave them. Just as the husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, in the New Testament church, experienced tragedy when they lied to the Apostles, by holding back a portion of their financial gifts that they vowed to give to the mission (Acts 5:1-11).
In the True Holiness, giving 10% should just be considered a minimum of our desire to give. You are obligated to give the tithe, because you vowed to do so, when you joined the church. And when possible, you should also give above and beyond the tithe… as God has blessed you (2 Corinthians 9:7). If we truly understand how much we have been blessed, we will spend our whole lives trying to give way beyond 10%.
The Bible says that there will ALWAYS be seed-time and harvest (Genesis 8:22). What we sow, we will reap. If we give, it will be given back to us in good measure (Luke 6:38).
Lack of Regulations for Giving will Obstruct Church Growth.
Regulations for paying an obligation are very necessary. For example, if IRS relaxed its regulations for paying income tax, what would happen? Do you think that the citizens would be compelled to pay their taxes on time and in the amount needed to preserve our free society? Would they be concerned about the indigent and helpless and voluntarily increase their giving to social security? I doubt that…and so do you!
IRS has collection procedures to make sure that all of us pay…and we are penalized if we do not pay, even if we do not pay on time. Think about it, rich people have “loop holes” to get out of paying; that means that they do not pay joyfully or cheerfully. They don’t realize that we not only work for ourselves, but for the good of the society-at-large. Unfortunately, many church members have the same attitude with their financial giving to the church.
Abraham paid tithes and was blessed.
However, we do not know what the regulations were at that time, yet he was blessed. Israel paid tithes and offerings according to the ordinance that God established for them and we know they were blessed as long as they obeyed the existing law. So in the New Testament church, regulations have changed again. However, the obligation to fund the church and its leadership has not changed.
We are told the same thing as Israel, “We should give as God has blessed us to give.” But human nature has not changed, so regulations are established based on the ability of the people of God to give (Proverbs 11:25). Amen!
The much bigger issue here is that God’s Kingdom needs to be advanced!
Who does He use to do that? He uses us, the believers! If we aren’t funding and financing Kingdom activities, then who will? How are the lost going to be reached if we don’t send someone to preach? (Romans 10:15)
If we do not provide for our own household, Apostle Paul warns Pastor Timothy that “[we] have denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8). So how much more should we consider providing for God’s work?
We shouldn’t be getting caught up in percentages and whether or not it is lawful to give a certain amount, or if the Bible condemns it. What we (as God’s people) need to do is make God’s work a priority and trust Him to fulfill our own ambitions and goals…Then we will prosper beyond measure (Luke 6:38).
We have been saved from eternal separation from God by grace! With all that we have been given, how can we do anything else but give all we have?