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Why are we still talking about this?

The most divisive subject in the world is religion.

On the one hand, this makes sense – none of us can really see God, so the idea that He exists at all takes a bit of effort to believe.

Yet on the other, it doesn’t make sense – since most of us claim to worship the same God and all base our beliefs on the same set of holy scriptures.

So since all Christians pretty much have just the one book... how can we possibly have so many differing opinions about what it says?

Easy: because we keep talking about it.

Every time one of us shares an opinion, it creates a new viewpoint, a new argument, a new belief which clouds over the actually quite clear original statement in the Bible.

And it is answering these opinions, and referencing each other’s ideas, leveraging them to prove the point our church believes in, which prevents people from seeing the often very clear answer in the Bible.

My job is to cut through all that. Take tithing; just the other day someone said to me “I’m worried I don’t tithe enough”. But you see... it’s literally impossible to tithe too little or too much.

“Tithe” is an archaic English word which means “tenth”. Generally translated from the Hebrew word ma'aser which means “tenth”. So you cannot tenth more than... well... 1/10th.

If you give more than one tenth of your yearly net income (your “increase”, in most Bible translations), it’s not a tenth anymore! (Deuteronomy 14:22).

If you give less, it’s not a tenth! If you tithe a tenth one week, but skip the next week, then you’re not giving ten percent of your total net income, and you’re still not tithing!

Giving more than is required is called an offering, which is fine... but has nothing to do with tithing! (Malachi 3:8). And an offering is, by definition, up to you – that’s why it’s a “free will” offering! (Ezra 8:28).

You cannot offer God too much – nor can you not offer Him enough. You give what feels right to you. You cannot over- or under- offer!

Nor can you over- or under- tithe. Because you’re either giving a tenth... or you’re not tithing at all! You either tithe or you don’t!

So why would so many people think they are “not tithing enough”? Because the act of tithing has become separate from the meaning of tithing.

The idea of tithing has taken on a life of its own in the Christian religion; it’s no longer a word, it’s a doctrine, a dogma.

And by endlessly discussing, debating, and debunking the idea of tithing, Christians forgot what a tithe even is: one tenth.

The word tithe means one tenth.

Why are we still talking about this?

Do you see how simple the Bible is, if you just shut up and let it talk? We could go on to discuss where and when to tithe, which is equally simple; but the definition of a tithe stands firm, never forget it: tithe is a tenth.

What else do you suppose is that simple in the Bible?