Tithing, giving and New Testament: Conclusion and what to do with the information in this book

Now from all the above let’s make a not so long conclusion.

From our study it has become clear that there is no tithe in our times, in the New Testament era. The tithe, together with the other ordinances and handwritings of the law, has become obsolete, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. What is valid in the New Testament is free will offerings which were given for the following purposes:


i) to support the poor saints. This is the most common form of offering and the one about which the New Testament speaks most.

ii) free will gifts to missionaries and apostles i.e. sent ones (that’s what the word “apostles” mean) that went around spreading the Word of God.

iii) free will, voluntary gifts (not salaries) to elders i.e. to the more mature in the faith (“elder”) brothers that were acting as shepherds, overseeing the flock of God in the local church.

iv) support of widows that trusted in God and in addition were old in age, commendable for their works and had nobody else from their family to take care of them.


The gifts were free will gifts “as one may prosper” i.e. in accordance to what he had. They were to be given as “one purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Though I believe every part of the Scripture is equally important I do believe that there are parts that are emphasized more than others because of the space that is given to them. If I’m speaking to you and 90 % of what I’m saying is about A and 10% is about B, I obviously put more emphasis on A than on B. And on the matter of giving, 90 % is about giving to the poor saints (including widows) while there are 2 verses about giving to elders, another few verses about giving to church planters (missionaries, apostles, sent ones). All are important but the scriptural weight is, in my opinion, in supporting the poor saints. Comparison to today? In a typical, 21st century, western church about 40-60 % of the expenditures relate to staff salaries with another 20-30% going to building expenses and bills. They didn’t have such items in the 1st century church! Why do we need to have them? Why can’t we go back to the New Testament church model, establish collective leaderships of believers each of whom has his own occupation to earn his income? Why don’t we meet at homes as they were meeting instead of having to sit in an auditorium to hear a 40 minute sermon every Sunday … which costs a pastor to give it and a building to house it ? If this is how they were doing it in the New Testament why can’t we not do it like them? Why do we take what would normally go to the poor saints and to missions to further the kingdom of God and give it to maintain structures and traditions that are foreign to the Word of God? Think about it and ask the tough questions.


What to do with what you learned in this book.

Having said the above, I need to make it clear: With these questions I want to challenge you, but I’m not propagating that you should leave your church organization. Leaving a church is not a solution. It is just a reaction and in fact an immature one. The church for me is something much more than structures and tithes: it is people, brothers and sisters in Christ. For me, they – and not a building made of stone, a system, or a name - are the church. Writing this study was two things for me: first it was enlightening and refreshing. Discovering the truths of God’s Word is always refreshing and liberating. At the same time, writing this study was painful because I knew I was writing something that is going to be controversial. The reason I wrote this book was because we have to be informed to what the Word of God says. We can’t close our eyes and say forget about it. It is the truth and as for me personally, I have decided with the help of the Holy Spirit to follow this truth. I have to show you what I see that the Word of God says. That’s my job and I have tried to do it the best way possible. At the same time I pursue to have, with my brothers and sisters in Christ, a great degree of tolerance on theological matters. I suggest the same to you. I will not tolerate it if somebody claims to be a brother in Christ and says that he does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is raised from the dead. These are fundamental matters of our faith. Nobody can be a believer without believing in them. He is just not saved. I have to point out the truth to this person in love and I will do it right away. But with those that believe the fundamental truths that make somebody a Christian (i.e. the Jesus Christ is Lord, the Son of God, the Messiah, and God raised Him from the dead), I will not start a fight about tithing or the system of today’s churches. Nor of course am I going to leave my brothers and sisters that is the church, the body of Christ, because they are not informed about the tithing or they don’t agree with me. The system does not change like this. The system does not change with reactions but with actions. It changes I believe when each one of us starts seeking the truth of the Word. When he is thirsty to learn what God says about a matter. When he is not satisfied with what a church official or even I may tell him but searches the Scriptures on his own to see if it so, as the Bereans did. Then after he learns it, he is eager to apply it in love. You learned from this book that the Word of God gives much importance in helping poor and troubled saints. Go ahead and do it! You learned from this book that in the Bible elders, bishops and shepherds were not people that graduated from theological schools and started a career as employees of a church. They were people with jobs and families like me and you. They were plain, ordinary, people, like the illiterate fishermen the Lord called to follow Him. They were also people mature in Christ that took upon themselves to shepherd, oversee the younger believers. Are you a mature Christian? If yes step up, inside or outside the system, and do the work of a mature believer. If God wanted to continue the Levite system with some individuals doing the ministry while the remaining of us would pay the tithes to maintain it, He would have done it so. But He hasn’t. Instead Christ made all of us priests and kings. We are all the royal priesthood with our God-ordained function. Fighting against the one-man-does-it-all system, saying how wrong it is and at the same time overlooking the fact that we are brothers and sisters in Christ, is I believe just an immature reaction. The action is to step up, find and be what God made you to be in the body of Christ. Do your part and function to the best of your gifts and abilities. You have to know and be informed based on the Word of God about what is right and what is wrong. This is what I have tried to do in this book concerning tithing and giving. This is needed, yet you should not use it as a sword. You should do what the Word of God says for you to do, without condemning or separating yourself from those brothers that don’t do it.

Now if you are a pastor, I also need to make clear that I have nothing against you. Don’t feel threatened brother. Feeling threatened is again a reaction not an action. I don’t believe that any church should fire any pastor because it is not biblical to pay pastoral salaries. This is not the way to go. What I believe should be done is that everybody should recognize that pastors are brothers, just brothers. They are not bosses, they are not the head of the body (as I heard somebody saying in a church meeting). Christ is the head of the body, Christ is the boss, and everybody else is a member of this body. Pastors should encourage the other members of the body to grow, to rise, transferring tasks and activities from themselves to the more mature of the believers. For example (and it is only an example): bad or good the focal point of a church service is the sermon. Ask the congregation to step up as brothers and give sermons in addition to you, rotating. Not just one or two or when you are out of town. But regularly, in the same portion as you do. Why not? It should not be difficult for a brother to leave the pulpit and isn’t this exactly what church is: brothers and sisters in Christ coming together? I have seen pastors that are not gifted with the gift of teaching. This is not bad. Why should it be? A pastor is just another member of the body. “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?” says the Word (1 Corinthians 12:29). The answer is obviously no. These people may not have a teaching gift but they have other wonderful gifts. Yet they will be preaching week after week, because, according to the system, the sermon is a task of the pastor. This is sad, but I only mention it as an example. It is not the main point. The main point is that pastors should help the congregation to grow and the more mature ones should take over some of the pastor’s tasks so that the burden is equally distributed to the mature brothers. The pastor will then be functioning in his true dimension as another member of the body and not in today’s distorted dimension, as, implicitly or explicitly, “head of the body”. He will then also be free to earn his living by working as everybody else and the congregation should help him in this by finding if possible a job for him. There is no ground for divisions and fights. These are coming only because of reactions to the truth of the Word not because of actions. As the Word says: “Only by pride comes contention” (Proverbs 13:10). If we as believers want to follow God’s way, this way has one name: it is called the way of love and humility and we can do it. We can do what the first century Christians did. It may sound crazy, risky and new. It is definitely easier to stay as we are. But why should we do this? Why should we willingly deviate from what we know that the Word of God says? I really see no reason to do this. Do you?


Tassos Kioulachoglou






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