How are we supposed to finance the upkeep of a church if people are not even giving close to 10%?

How can you say tithing is not for today? Look at these facts: While the practice of tithing and whether it is a biblical responsibility is still debated today, The Barna Group found that very few Americans, including Christians, give tithe.

Overall, only 5 percent of U.S. adults tithed in 2007, the survey released Monday showed. Since 2000, the proportion of adults who tithed has remained in the 5 percent to 7 percent range.

The most generous group was the evangelicals, with 24 percent having tithed last year. Other groups who were more likely to give at least 10 percent of their income include conservatives (12 percent); people who had prayed, read the Bible and attended a church service during the past week (12 percent); charismatic or Pentecostal Christians (11 percent); and registered Republicans (10 percent).

How do you expect for the daily running of the church-Maintenance, electric and gas bills, etc.? Our church has a food and clothes bank. We have a van that picks up food and provide for a ride to church. It takes gas and maintenance for the van as well as well as the high electric bill for running the food bank five days a week. We are also on the radio on Christian radio stations.

So if you go by what you say, give from the heart, then people are not giving even close to 10%. And if tithing in the Old Testament was grain and animals, that was what the Priest needed to survive. Gold and silver wound not have done them any good.

And if, like you said, it was only for the nation of Israel because it was in the Old Testament, then what about when it says -You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain, and -Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”  So those are only for the nation of Israel and not for us to follow.

So tell me just how are we supposed to finance the upkeep of the church if people are not even giving close to 10%?

We stay very busy in the ministry here.  I cannot keep up with all that there is to do.  Some people have waited a month before I could get to their email questions.

Concerning giving under grace consider these verses: 

2 Corinthians 8:12  “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”

2 Cotinthinas 9:7  “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

These verses instruct us how to give under grace.  It is not possible to practice these verses and the commands of tithing under the law.  Law and grace are opposites.  When God was dealing with Israel in the Old Testament they were under the law.  The tithe was required.  But understand two things.  Even while they were under the law which brought cursing if they did not keep it, they failed, showing that man in our fallen state cannot keep God’s laws.  We need a Savior.  The second fact is that Israel in the Old Testament did not have the Holy Spirit, so God worked externally on them through the law.

Believers today have been given the Holy Spirit:

Romans 5:5 says: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”   And: 

Galatians 4:3-6 explains:  “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

God desires His Word and His Spirit to work in the hearts of the Believer, to live and motivate giving.  If it is of the flesh, by force, He does not want it.  God does not need money.  He is looking for people who out of liberty choose to love and serve one another (Galatians 5:13).

Most so called Christians don’t know the difference between law and grace.  Most would say they believe in tithing.  However the surveys you quoted only proves that the law does not motivate people to give.  But  Titus 2:11,12 says that “Grace” does motivate.  And Romans 8:2-4 says:

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

One last thing to consider.  It is important for people to know we don’t live under Israel’s law, but under grace or they might try fulfilling Numbers 15:32-36. Consider these things, and the Lord give thee understanding.