The Tithing Curse

By Justin Johnson

Under the covenant obligation with Israel, God blessed those who were obedient to the commandments and cursed those who were disobedient.

This is why Paul declares that being under the law was a curse to sinful humanity since even one transgression was a breach of the covenant.

“ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” – Gal 3:10

James described the same strict requirements of the law:

“ For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” – James 2:10

During his ministry to the circumcision Jesus did not abrogate the law. Instead he further explained the ability of the law to condemn.

“ Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:” – Mat 5:19

The Tithing Curse

That the law of God required tithes and offerings is clear (Deut 14:22). Most popular among preachers of the tithe is God’s rebuke of Israel for their lack of tithing and offerings.

“ Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” – Mal 3:8

Naturally Israel was placed under a curse for breaking the covenant agreement.

“ Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” – Mal 3:9

Paul’s statement about being under a curse rings true when we read about this sentence to Israel.

Not Under a Curse

Historically, Christians have failed in meeting the tithe requirements of the law giving far less than what the law of God required of Israel (a careful reading will reveal that even 10% is not enough).

Although lack of generosity may be a problem in the church, a far worse problem is created every year by the priesthood of modern churches that place their congregation under the tithing curse. There can hardly be anything more damningly clear that this annual practice is wrong.

We learn from Paul that we are no longer “under the law” and that we are free from its bondage (Gal 4:9). Even more, Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law:

“ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:” – Gal 4:13

Placing someone under a required system of tithing and offering is tantamount to ignoring the redemption of Christ and placing the church back under a curse of the law.

Those living under liberty and grace cannot be placed under a curse (Gal 5:1). Mandatory tithing is not a practice for the church, the Body of Christ. Those who teach tithing are either ignorant of Paul’s instructions or are mishandling the word of truth (Titus 1:11).

Our generosity is an outgrowth of our thankfulness to God for what he has done on the cross. When pastors use the law to motivate giving they are denying the all sufficient power of God’s grace (2 Cor 5:14-15, 9:8).

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Published: February 6, 2010
Last Modified: August 4, 2016
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