In many fellowships and churches people are taught that tithing on their gross income should be mandatory. A lot of sermons are preached on the subject based on the text from the Book of Malachi 3:8-11, and it must be said that these sermons portray the dispute as essentially settled. A crime has been committed and the culprit is obvious – the unfaithful believers which does not bring to the temple the full tithe and fails to offer sacrifices, thus robbing God.
This interpretation, so prevalent in today’s fellowships and churches, leaves little or no doubt in the minds of church members. Everyone knows who’s to blame and the spiritual leaders, merely out of care for the souls of their flock, speak out on the topic to warn the contemporary believers. We should, however, be reminded of the basic principle of biblical hermeneutics which says that a text taken out of the context may become a tool of manipulation and pretexts. Using this method and slicing the Bible into tiny little pieces, one can prove just about any given theory. The teaching on tithing is a perfect example of that. Manipulating texts on tithing is even easier when we consider that it’s not enough to simply read a few verses before and after the given text to see the big picture. It takes a bit more effort. This little book was written as a result of a biblical “investigation” on the subject of tithing and to provide with a healthy approach to money in church life.