By Lily Cooper
English Major with an Emphasis in Professional Writing in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
This week’s Trending Faith is focusing on tithing! A student asked: “Is a Christian directed to tithe?”
Dean of the College of Theology Dr. Jason Hiles and University Pastor Tim Griffin gave their opinion on the question, pointing out the controversial nature of the question.
“That is a loaded statement and I am setting myself up for controversy.” Griffin stated. He said that in the Old Testament there were expectations that God’s people would tithe and Jesus referenced tithing was part of the expectation of God’s people in the New Testament.
He continued, “2 Corinthians 8-9 describes the importance of God’s people to give and support others in need and other causes. But the real point of emphasis was the responsibility of God’s people to be generous.”
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8-9).
Tim expressed that he found it difficult to track the ten percent piece and instead says that he looks at his life as a whole and has had moments when he gave more times than others.
He believes that God looks to the heart stating, “It’s not seen that God has held me to this rule, or so to speak, as long as He saw in my own heart, my own life, a heart that was inclined to give to and find ways to be generous with my support of others.
He ended with saying that he overall, doesn’t think God holds us to a strict 10%. “It’s a great rule, it’s a great principle, but I think God looks to the heart of how people give and doesn’t hold us to a straight number.”
Why Do We Resist The Tithe?
As a follow-up question, Dr. Jason Hiles asked Tim Griffin, “Why do we resist the tithe?”
Griffin agreed that we seem to always resist it. “Every believer has to struggle with what they own, possess and their attachment to it. And I think when we get to a place, in our own walk with God, where we realize that everything we have comes from Him, whether a lot or a little, and we hold it loosely, it makes it much easier to give away.”
He went on to say that as American Christians, even the poorest in our country is richer than those in other countries. Therefore we struggle with, the “idea of what is ours and what we have earned and how much do we let go of versus seeing it as all being from God.”
It’s a hurdle that everyone struggles to get over, but if we can climb over it, giving will become much, much, easier.
Watch the full video here: