Today, I'm blogging about a mentality in the Body which I call the "alternative tithe." This mentality says that I can tithe something other than the finances God sends me and it is the same as the covenant of the tithe. Alternative tithers think that giving their goods, or their services, or their time to the church, is the same as bringing tithes to the church. These A.T.'s announce with great conviction that their service to the local church, or their giving time to the local church is the same as tithing. I studied this fairly carefully and here's what I've learned. To assume that giving time, or praying, or music, or teaching or pastries, or cleaning up, or watching children or any other service is the same as tithing, is not scriptural. It may sound all holy and spiritual, but it's just religious posturing.
My church has some of the most fabulous groups of volunteers anywhere on this planet. As his disciples, Jesus taught us to give and serve and defer to one another. Volunteering goods or services or prayer are extensions of our love for Jesus and our desire to serve as His Body. They are outward expressions of His grace working within us. They honor God. Goods, prayers, gifts and acts of service are ministry. They minister Christ's love and are characteristic of joy-filled Christians. Our ministry as Believers never substitutes for tithes!
God's Tithe Covenant has its own nature. It is a financial covenant, instituted by God and ministered by God alone. It is optional and entered into voluntarily. There is nothing equal to it, nor is there any contract better than it. It is a unique, fail-safe system of worshipping God with finances.
Until next time.
Love in Christ.