We give because we need. We need because we are a part of the community. There are needs in the community. God meets those needs by means of His Church. We don’t give so that we can get. We give to meet the needs of the community. When the needs of the community are met our needs are met. We are a part of the community. This is not “tithing.” This is the Faith Principle. This principle speaks of who God is and that God can be believed because of who God is. We are partners in the New Testament Church, giving and receiving according to God. We give out of what we have (not what we don’t) because what we have comes from God, first. It is about living in and out of community. It is about a community that lives by its faith.
Yet, how can we talk about “faith” when we qualify the conversation with “tithing,” which is an initial action on our part before a blessing on God’s part? “Faith” and “tithing” are two different principles. Tithing is a principle based on obligation. Faith is a principle based on grace. When we must (first) tithe in order to (secondly) receive a benefit, then we are not talking about faith but obligation. If we are tithing in order to receive a benefit (especially from God), then we are not “giving” in accordance with faith but Law.
Tithing is a principle of a different covenant than faith. The principle of tithing is a product of God’s Old Covenant with Israel where He states, “If you do this, then I will do that.” If we pay our tithe, then God will benefit us. But the principle of faith is a product of God’s covenant in Christ where He states, “This is what I am doing, period.” Faith says: God is of benefit. And we receive the benefit when we agree with what God is doing. We do not move first to oblige the benefit, but God initiates the benefit and we align with God in that benefit – the Faith Principle.
Our “giving” is not a tithe, because we would then demand and expect a benefit; but it is our action according to faith, where it is simply what God is doing and we agree and align with that fact. If it is a tithe, and the benefit is dependent on our first move, then we are earning the benefit by our own action and God is obliged to benefit us. But, if God has initiated the benefit, then it is an action based in faith, in which we align and agree with God. Our “giving” is not out of obligation and because we expect a return, but out of faith according to God’s Vision.
God is not going to benefit us because we tithe. God IS benefiting us, so we agree and align with that truth by giving out of what God has given to us. If we do not give, then God doesn’t quit being a benefit but we eventually remove ourselves from the benefits for our own lack of Vision. “Faith” and “tithing” are categorically and fundamentally incompatible. We either live by faith or obligation, but never can we live according to both.