If you are in the habit of calculating ten percent of your paycheck and writing a check to your local church, please stop.
God does not want your tithe. In fact, there's only one thing Jesus asks of you and it's called "Everything".
In the OT, God asked for 10%. In the New Covenant, God gets 100%.
"So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." - Jesus [Luke 14:33]
The early church called this the doctrine of renunciation. Many modern Christians have reverted back to the Tithe, or "10 Percent" model, but Jesus asks for everything.
Did you know: The Christian Church didn't mandate a tithe until the 7th Century under Charlemagne? Imagine, over 700 years with no tithe? How could that be?
To begin with, offerings in the early church were voluntary and freely given out of love. Most gave more than a tithe (or "tenth"), instead many of them sold their property and shared what they had with those around them who were in need. This offering wasn't given out of compulsion, or due to obedience to a law or a command of the Church. No, it was freely shared out of spontaneous and sincere love.
"Freely you have received; freely give." - Jesus [Matt. 10:8]
Just look at what Tertullian, a second century Christian, tells us about what the early Church did with their offerings:
“Even if there is a treasury of a sort, it is not made up of money paid in initiation fees, as if religion were a matter of contract. Every man once a month brings some modest contribution- or whatever he wishes, and only if he does wish, and if he can; for nobody is compelled; it is a voluntary offering…to feed the poor and to bury them, for boys and girls who lack property and parents, and then for slaves grown old…
“So we, who are united in mind and soul, have no hesitation about sharing property. All is common among us- except our wives. At that point we dissolve our partnership.."
(An excerpt from his “Apology”, taken from “Roman Civilization Sourcebook II: The Empire, p.588)
"Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved." - [Acts 2:46-47]
Under the New Covenant, our worship is a daily undertaking:
"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross DAILY and follow me." - Jesus [Luke 9:23]
There is also no longer any one Holy Place where everyone must worship [ala the Temple in Jerusalem] because now WE are the living Temple of God, where He dwells by His Spirit.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." [1 Cor. 6;19-20]
Everything we own is God's. We enter the Kingdom by laying everything we own - our very bodies and souls - upon the cross, and then we set out daily to follow the crucified One.
Because we know that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us, we can freely give - even as we have freely received.
This is what giving is like in the Kingdom. God owns much more than 10 percent. He owns 100 percent.
So, stop tithing, and start sharing freely whatever the Lord asks you to give, out of love and a sincere heart.
"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." [2 Cor. 9:7]
*IMAGE CREDIT: Scott Laumann