Taxes and Tithing

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck,
When tithing was instituted, taxes were nowhere near what they are now. Here in Canada in particular, our many levels of government take half of what we earn from us. What is left is often barely enough for us working stiffs to get by and support our families. I give to my church, to various charities and often when I am solicited, and I try to help out when called upon, but I know I am not tithing. Am I living in rebellion to God?

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note about tithing. Tithing is one of those Old Testament principles that was not reinforced in the New Testament. In the Old Covenant, people gave God 10 percent of their income. In the New Covenant we now give tithes and offerings, and it is a heart attitude rather than a certain percentage.

After my wife and I were married, we began to give 11 percent of our income to the Lord. We have so much more than the Jewish people had ... the least we could do was give more than our Jewish brothers did under the law. We also noticed that our money went further. Things did not break down as often. We received unexpected bonuses and overtime. We found bargains at the Goodwill. The principle today in this age of grace is that we give according to what God brings in for us. Barb's and my experience was that as we became more successful, our percentage increased. We wrote God's check first before any operating bills. We opened a special bank account marked "giving account" so we could get God's money out of our family account so we wouldn't think we had more money in it than we had.

In this New Testament age we give out of a grateful heart for God's grace, mercy, kindness and eternal life that His is preparing for us. Each person has to determine how much he or she wants to give. In a matter of speaking how much you give is how much you want to be blessed. It's a process, and each person needs to present to God his or her tithes and offerings out of a grateful heart. The amount is not the most important part. It's our heart attitude. These are my thoughts on the situation. Let me know if you want to talk further.

Chuck Snyder


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Updated 05/24/2005