Storehouse: a doctrine on tithe and offerings.
Before we discuss the doctrine of tithing, it is pertinent to understand what doctrine is. A doctrine is man’s presentation of the truth. The more sold-out a man is to God, the more accurate his presentation of truth (doctrine) will be. Doctrine hitherto has been affected by human traditions. But doctrines should thrive on the culture of the Kingdom.
Acts 6:1–4 (NLTse) But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
The church’s responsibility is to ensure that God is fully expressed on the earth. Tithing is a system of provision for the church so that it has all the necessary material resources to ensure the truth of the gospel is preached and practised. In the scripture above, the Apostles’ work was becoming too cumbersome as they had to source for the welfare of the people as they taught the word. Even Jesus before He could multiply the bread and fish needed a resource to work with.
“Under the old covenant, God provided a provisioning system for the priest who received the offerings from God’s people in the tithes and offerings they received, Why? So that they could face their job and not be distracted! (See Leviticus 2:3, 10; Leviticus 6:16–17)” Durojaye (2013), ‘What Tithing Really is’, Pg 11.
In the 12 tribes of Israel, one tribe (Levi) didn’t work because they were responsible for the spiritual oversight of Israel, so every other tribe in Israel, gave a tenth of their produce. In the New Testament, the scripture had made us realise that we are the priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). God has however set some to be overseers of our priesthood. So offerings, go to the overseers of the priesthood (Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists) who then appropriate it as discussed below.
The primary Job of the overseers is to give themselves to the teaching of the word to cause transformation in the hearts of their hearers. Their job is also to administrate (serve tables- Stephen was also a pastor/steward) which essentially is to ensure that the funds of the church are spent prudently. It is disheartening that some pastors misappropriate funds.
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Now, let’s talk about the genuinely “rich pastors” who you think use your tithes to buy jets (not all pastors misappropriate funds). Pastors communicate tangible spiritual value (Edifying of saints for the work of the ministry) capable of transforming lives and people genuinely give them gifts and offerings that are not directed to the church. Ask the Thessalonian church and the woman who took care of Paul, Mary and Martha who took care of Jesus. Let’s take an example: imagine an individual who has spent millions (like the woman with the issue of blood in the bible) on a terminal illness with no cure but met a (wo)man of God (who of course will not charge any fee unlike medical doctors) and they prayed for this sickly individual and was cured. How much do you think that person will give in appreciation of what God has done? This, my friend, is how pastors get their income. It is biblical, it is scriptural and there is nothing wrong with that.
Last week, I taught the prequel to this writing on anchor and you can listen to it here:
The tithe and offering are actually to facilitate the course of the gospel (it takes a lot of funds to run any organisation). The equipment and facilities in the church are not free. When some of you go for parties or events and they ask for a gate fee, you never complain because you value the social interaction and engineering provided. One of the reasons we grumble when it’s time to give an offering is because we often fail to recognise our part of ensuring that there is “meat in the storehouse”. Do you know how much people pay for motivational conferences? The church’s job is to liberate the soul from everything anti-Christ, No amount of motivation can get you out of that! But the church will need a venue, sound, lighting, power, chairs, decoration, salaries for the workers (including the pastors) and provision for the needy to get her job done!
So here we see that tithe and offering by faith, go to God in the form of honour and to the pastors in the form of money and/or other material things for the effective administration of the church. So when you give, don’t just do it with your hands, do it with your heart!
we will continue this series in a podcast!