For many years, Christians in some circles have been taught that they are supposed to “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,” and church-based special offerings for things like missions, benevolence, and the building fund are to be supported “above and beyond the tithe.” We’ve now heard the mantra so long that we rarely stop to question the longstanding tradition that’s been set. Does the Bible give instructions for Christian giving?
Is the Tithe for the believer today?
In the past, before I grasped a dispensational understanding of Scripture, I taught Malachi 3:10 as an instruction to believers today. However, once I began to interpret the Bible in a literal, historical, grammatical fashion (like I read any other book), I realized that Malachi 3:10 is a message to the Levitical priests who were neglecting their priestly duties. One of those priestly duties was to bring a tithe of the tithe to the storehouse for the operations and upkeep of the Temple. The non-Levitical populace was to bring a tithe of the fruit of the land to the Levites, who did not have their own inheritance of land from which they could earn a living. In fact, it would have been against the Mosaic Law for a non-Levite to give his tithe to the “storehouse.” To do so would have been robbing from the Levites.