Can God Be Bought? (#545)

Some congregations are now offering money-back guarantee with a three-month commitment to give 1/10 of their income. If you don't see his blessings at the end you get your money back. Gimmick or lesson in generosity? That news story launches Brad and Wayne into a conversation about tithing, giving, and generosity under the new covenant. Is tithing still God's requirement? The way some people talk of tithing it's like protection money to the mafia don. Give him his cut and he'll make sure the enemy leave you alone. Others see it as an investment. If they give God 10%, he'll give them way more as a reward. How do these views of the tithe affect how we see our Father at work in us?

Podcast Notes:
Christianity Today Article: When Tithing Comes With a Money-Back Guarantee
Information on the GJ Trip to Israel
Add your voice to our question/comment line via Skype at "TheGodJourney"


  1. Interesting topic. There was a time in my life I was fearful and returned to traditional church. I made a deal with God to tithe 10% of my take home pay and see what happened. He provided and I increased my tithe to 10% of my gross. Since then I have dropped out of church again, for many reasons, and retired. Again I began to feel guilty for not tithing my social security and pension. In 8 months since I’ve retired God has provided in many very specific ways to my fears over our finances. A pension for my husband we didn’t know about. Being able to bank my vacation at end of year and receive check. Now God seems to be says forget the charity deduction, give to family members in need. Still learning but feeling less guilt about my giving. Your podcast was on point with my experience. Thanks

  2. The biblical explanations which Wayne and Brad talk about are wonderful passages which I had been helping people understand for three years now. Tithe” is a church wide topic which has caused much disagreements in the body of Christ. It’s an obligation and more like a game which God isn’t playing.

    I learnt some more from their conversation and that’s going to help in my future meeting with friends.


  3. Excellent podcast guys. A far different view of the role of money in ministry than what you would find in more traditional settings.

    I’ve heard it said you can’t outgive God, and it was proven in the Old Testament when God asked Abraham to provide his son Issac as a sacrifice. Abraham proved faithful, and at the last minute, God rewarded Abraham’s faithfulness by telling him that He would provide. In fact, one of the names of God is Jehovah-jireh, named after the very place where the event occured. It was a foreshadowing of God providing His son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for us. Though Abraham proved faithful, even in our lives where we cannot be faithful to God, God remains faithful to us. That is the essence of His love. Sally, your story illustrates this perfectly.

  4. Nothing in New Testament church constitutes giving a 10% tithe; this a Jewish concept that was incorporated into the church after Paul died. Paul asked for generous hearts but without compulsion or guilt.
    Does God want us giving out of guilt or slavery to a Pope(preacher or pastor)? No he wants us to give out of a heart that is in love with Him.

  5. I heard a very grace based pastor once explain, that giving in the New Testament is referred to as,

    Giving willingly from our heart,
    Giving when we see a need,
    Giving as we can afford.

    If we take ‘churches’ ( or traditional institutions) out of the picture entirely, then those things make complete sense, and can never be forced on us, or done out of guilt! Just a natural out working of out life with Father

  6. TWISTED PARABLE (Reader’s Digest Version)

    Once upon a time there was this handsome prince, engaged to be married to a soon to be princess. She looked so forward to their wedding day, when she could give herself totally to him. The day finally came for the royal wedding, and afterwards they rode off into the golden sunset. They reached their destination, a beautiful cottage overlooking a serene lake.

    The prince carried his bride up the steps and over the threshold. He then proceeded to throw her onto the bed. With a stern loud voice, and with whip in hand, he shouted, ” Woman!!! You are OBLIGATED to give me sex!!!”

    The new princess started to sob uncontrollably, her spirit broken, her dreams shattered. But she still wanted to please the groom. So partially regaining her composure, and speaking in a subdued yet respectful tone, she replied…

    “Okay Master. I will give you my ten percent.”

  7. About a year ago we moved to Ohio and had decided not to church hunt but to trust God to put believers in our path to fellowship with but some neighbors invited us to their church and so we went. On the way to the church they told us the pastor had issued a “tithing challenge” which is just like the one you described in the podcast. I was already frustrated with the institution of the church and the shame and manipulation so often used to get people to do what they wanted so I found myself blurting out, “That’s weird!” Not the best way to make friends with my new neighbors! I instantly felt what you call the “religious yuck meter” pinging! Interestingly enough, I had just that week listened to a podcast with Mike Kapler and Joel Brueseke on tithing. (Check out podcast #495,496, and 497) It is the best teaching I have ever heard on tithing. I was able to share what I learned with my new friends. Mike and Joel teach that the tithe had nothing to do with church or paying bills or pastors but it was about feeding the Levites/priests because they did not have their own land. It was about food! The storehouse was not a church building but a literal house to store food in. The windows of heaven opening literally meant rain being sent to increase the harvest. Jesus does not teach tithing although He addressed it with the Pharisees in Mt. 23 and Luke 11 and even there it was about tithing mint, dill, cumin. Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek was the spoils of war not his income and a one time gift. By the way, if we want to go strictly by the law then only give to priests who don’t have any property or another job on the side! Yes, it is great to give and give generously but we are not under the law but led by the Spirit! Thanks for bringing this subject to light!

  8. Plus, tithing your income is NOT found in scripture. The priests in the book of Malachi ATE BREAD in the temple. NOT a full meal. Brad is correct that the Lord’s rebuke is to the LEADERS! Not the flock.

  9. It’s all down to biblical literalism I believe. It’s funny how my own children would sometimes “catch me on my word”. – Daddy, I heard you promise that!
    – Well, I didn’t exactly mean it the way you understood it.
    – But that’s what you SAID, daddy, you promised!
    – If you insist on taking me literally you will have to be dissapointed every day of your life.

    In the same way we take God literally, assuming it’s always the best way to understand him. And then we name and claim – he did promise after all. Why did we decide our Father meant it the way we undertstood it?

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