‘HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE TO THE LORD?
[Note by crosstheology: the author is speaking about 2 Corinthians 9:7, where it is written:
"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (NASB)]
I find Paul’s words liberating in that the amount to be given is whatever is purposed in one’s heart.
I respect anyone who by personal conviction believes the whole tithe should be given to their local church. This may well be what they have purposed in their heart and give accordingly with joy. there are certainly many good reasons why a person might choose to give in this way. However, I believe some believers abuse storehouse tithing when they teach one must do so, or be in disobedience to “God’s Word.” Malachi 3:10 is often used as a proof-text where Jews under the Law of Moses are told to:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this...if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
If we insist on malachi 3:10 as binding upon New Testament believers, it stands we should follow through and take te “whole tithe” to the temple in Jerusalem. In 70 AD the temple was destroyed. To date it has not been rebuilt. To imply the Malachi passage means we are to now take the “whole tithe” to our local church where we are members seems quite a hermeneutical stretch!
If storehouse tithing was an Old Testament command and reference point, in the New Testament we find Paul encouraging new believers “each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart …” This is the freedom we have to liberaly and generously give as each of us purposes in our hearts.’
source: Guy Muse, “Chapter 17: A Church That Gives liberally and Generously” in Eric Carpenter, Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity(2014), p. 173, 176. Published by Redeeming Press.