Should A Business Tithe?

by Tim on April 25, 2011

I was thinking recently about the act of giving on a personal level and had a thought about businesses tithing.  Should Christian business owners tithe from business funds?

When it comes to tithing individually, I don’t stand by one hard and fast rule of tithing 10% because we’re called to give with a cheerful heart and our goal should be to give generously – and that might mean more than 10% for some!

I’ve had a few individual businesses (LLCs) and I’ve given from the income generated – but it was all my income anyways.  For businesses with more than one employee, owners, stockholders, creditors, etc., I think the principle of tithing should still be done on an individual basis.

We read in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 that “God loves a cheerful giver.”  I have a tough time applying this verse to a business, because the decision to give would fall on a select few.  Those few may be cheerful in their giving of business funds, but it might not represent the view of everyone who has a stake in the business.  Even in a Christian organization, it’s difficult to give charitably without some pushback from individuals who would rather give to a different cause or…see the funds reinvested…or, yes, even prefer a raise.  The principles outlined in the post 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Tithe, would be a good starting point for any business owner with charitable intent.


My opinion also has two sides: private companies and public companies.  If a private company wishes to give away 10% or more to charitable causes, that’s their business.  As long as the investors are on board and the board of directors approves it, I’d say go for it.  As for public companies, I think it might be more of a challenge to be charitable with funds because of the differences in charitable convictions among those who have a stake in the business.

I’m not suggesting that businesses (public or private) should stop being charitable.  I just wanted to address the question of ‘should a business tithe,’ to which I would say no – each individual receiving funds from the business should make that decision.  Should a business still be charitable?  Yes, I think that it’s perfectly acceptable for a company to give back to the community or to support other causes.  However, I do not feel that a business should feel obligated to give a tithe or gift because of a tithing principle upheld by individuals.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think a business should ‘tithe’?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Arnold April 25, 2011

It appears you are using the term “tithing” incorrectly, or at least not in the Biblical context.

NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18: The First Tithe – a tenth of crops and animals and commanded to take the tithe to the Levites.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27: The Second Tithe aka The Festival Tithe – a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29: The Third Tithe aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe – a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.

Now, tell me. Which of the above three tithes commanded by God does anyone follow today?

The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus didn’t tithe. Paul didn’t tithe. Peter didn’t tithe.

As far as giving, each should give as it is purposed in his heart. There is nothing in the Bible about businesses giving. However, I believe that it is not proper for a public business to be giving unless approved by the stockholders.

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Tim April 25, 2011

Hi Gary

Yes, my use of the word tithe doesn’t exactly line up with the Biblical references that you point out. (Thanks for referencing the verses on the Old Testament tithe)

I used the word ‘tithe’ because so many today think of it as giving a tenth of what we have.

I also agree with you regarding everything you said in the last part of your comment. The tough part is getting approval from the stockholders. What if a company is being charitable and I’d rather see a higher dividend?! It’s just not feasible for a company to get approval from everyone, but they’ll quickly find out if they should rethink their giving practices if their investors start to dwindle away because of it. (It’d be interesting to see if there have been any studies on that happening)

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Joshua December 1, 2011

Each of you are incorrect in your assessments of the tithe. Tithing is a spiritual law from the beginning of mankind. If you look at Genesis 2:16-17 you will see where God gave Adam a prohibition to not eat of a specific tree. It was in the midst of other trees but it didn’t belong to Adam. God told him of every other tree in the Garden “thou mayest freely eat.” Doesn’t that sound like the tithe [His portion of your earnings being mixed in with yours]? It’s our responsibility to tithe. In truth, there’s a penalty for no tithing according to Genesis 1:17 and Malachi 3:9.
If you read further you will notice Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, which was the ancestry of Jesus all were tithers. Why would Jesus not tithe? He said he did not come to eradicate the Law but through Him it might be fulfilled. And if you are a Christian you’re required to adhere to the same law [see Galatians 3:29 for more clarity]. Jesus was a tither and so was Peter and Paul… They were an extension of Him.
I’ve found that the only people who have a problem with the tithe are those who don’t tithe. If you look at the life of people & businesses who tithe versus those who don’t you will find a clear distinction in their experiences. There’s a devourer out there and he CANNOT enter in on those that choose to honor God with the tithe. I hope this enlightens you [and others] on the importance of the tithe in the lives of believers.

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Gary Arnold December 1, 2011

@Joshua,

Tithing has absolutely nothing to do with Genesis 2:16-17. Tithe means a tenth part. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say there were TEN trees in the garden and that God reserved one out of ten. That is pure nonsense.

There is no penalty for not tithing in Genesis 1:17. You are making that up.

The penalty in Malachi 3:9, a curse, no longer applies. Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…”

Abram gave a tenth of war spoils and kept nothing for himself – the only example of Abram/Abraham ever tithing. No one follows Abram’s example. Furthermore, there is no scripture to show that Abraham ever tithed on his regular income.

The is no scripture telling us that Isaac, Jacob, and David tithed. None. There is one example in Genesis 28 where Jacob made a vow to give a tenth, but there is no scripture to show that Jacob ever kept his vow.

There is no example that Jesus, Peter, or Paul ever tithed. You are making that up.

How about giving us some scripture that you, Joshua, follow when you tithe. Since you believe you are to follow the tithing laws, which one(s) do you follow?

First tithe: Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18.
Second tithe: Deut: 14:22-27.
Third tithe: Deut: 14:28-29.

Fact is, Joshua, you don’t follow even one of the tithing commands given by God. In all three tithes, the tithe was always FOOD that came from God’s miraculous increase of crops and animals and never money or from man’s income.

You don’t understand the Biblical tithe.

When God gave the Israelites the promised land, he RESERVED, for Himself, a tenth of the crops and every tenth animal. They NEVER did belong to the Israelites. In other words, the tithe was from God’s increase of FOOD, not from man’s income. It was a way to distribute FOOD to the Levites and priests who did NOT inherit any land.

No one, not even the farmers, tithed on their income.

The farmers made their income by SELLING and/or barter-exchanging their crops and animals but did NOT tithe on that income.

Today, ALL born-again believers are priests. ALL of us are called to be deciples of the Lord. No one of us is higher than another. Our bodies are the Temple where the Spirit dwells. According to the scriptures, priests do not tithe.

When you understand the Biblical tithe, it makes sense, and it is plain to see that it makes NO sense to try to tithe today.

Saying that tithing is a “spiritual law” is just plain nonsense. You have given absolutely nothing to support your comments.

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Joshua December 6, 2011

Gary,
First off thanks for your reply to my comment. I see you have an entirely different perception of the tithe. I hope you soon receive revelation of the truth.

It’s ok if you have your own opinion regarding this subject but please don’t mislead the sheep. After revisiting my post there was one error. The penalty for disobedience to God’s instruction for man to refrain from using His portion is found in Genesis 2:17 and Malachi 3:9 [typo]. I’m sure that conclusion could have been drawn from the previous sentence. However, the spiritual law of tithing has not and will not ever cease. He said “I am the Lord God and I change not.” People were asked to tithe livestock because that was their medium of exchange in that period just as we use money today.

I’m not here to argue the Word of God but I will defend the Truth. If one doesn’t tithe then according to the word, they are “cursed with a curse.” Christ redeemed us from the curse but that doesn’t permit us to live lasciviously. If so, then everyone would miss hell. Unfortunately that’s not the case. We all have a choice either to believe the Word or not. Once again, I found when people have a problem with the tithe it’s because they choose not to follow that particular principle.

As for not needing a leader because of New Testament teaching. Saint Paul wrote a large portion of the New Testament and he was an apostle (leader). Peter whom told us we are “kings and priests” was also an apostle. The role of an apostle is to plant and oversee a particular division of the universal “Body of Christ.” He also ordains elders and other bishops in the Church. Paul wrote in Romans 10:14 “… How can they hear without a preacher?” So we must have leader and we must honor God with the tithe of ALL our increase [including income]. We must also let the Holy Spirit teach us the whole truth. Thanks again!

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Gary Arnold December 6, 2011

@Joshua,

I am not the one misleading the flock.

I am not here to argue the Word of God either, but am here to defend truth.

The truth is, God defined (not me, not an opinion) His tithe in Leviticus 27:30-33 to be a tenth of HIS increase of crops and animals, NOT from man’s increase (income).

You error when you say, “People were asked to tithe livestock because that was their medium of exchange in that period just as we use money today.”

Have you read Leviticus 27:31? The farmers could redeem the crops for a 20% penalty. They must have had money in order to do this.

Have you read Deut. 14:22-27? If the farmer had too far to travel with the tithe, he could SELL IT FOR MONEY, take the MONEY in hand, go to the place of the festival, and BUY back the food and drink for the feast. That proves they had a market system to buy and sell their crops and animals.

According to the International Bible Encyclopedia, the days of mere bartering ended before the days of Abraham.

Here are just a few examples from The Word to show they did, in fact, use money in Biblical times.

THE PURCHASE OF LAND WITH MONEY BY ABRAHAM – Genesis 23:15-16

THE PURCHASE OF LAND WITH MONEY BY JACOB – Genesis 33:19

JOSEPH WAS SOLD TO THE ISHMEELITES FOR MONEY – Genesis 37:28

A MONEY OFFERING TO BE USED FOR THE SERVICE OF THE TABERNACLE – Exodus 30:14-16,

USING SHEKEL OF SILVER TO VALUE A RAM – Leviticus 5:15

THE FOLLOWING VERSES REFER TO WAGES: Genesis 29:15, Genesis 30:28, Genesis 31:7-8, Genesis 31:41, Exodus 2:9, Leviticus 19:13, Malachi 3:5, etc.

And I can give much more scripture to show that their economic system was very similar to ours today.

Why is it that the Temple Tax (tribute in the KJV) HAD to be paid with money, but there is no example of the tithe being money or from anyone’s income. The tithe was always food from crops and animals.

To tell me that you hope I soon receive revelation of the truth shows your lack of understanding. It was only a few years ago that my pastor asked me to teach a Sunday School class in finances. It was at that time that I began my in-dept study of the tithe. I was shocked as to what I was find. I prayed and prayed, and it was The Lord, through His Spirit, that taught me and then showed it to me in His Word. I didn’t just make it up. I showed it to my pastor who then did his own research and stopped teaching tithing. I have had private meetings with several pastors. Most of them stopped teaching tithing once they read and studied the topic.

To say tithing is a spiritual law is all in your head. That is pure nonsense. Anyone, then, could come up with just about anything and call it a spiritual law.

Did you bother reading Malachi 3:7? God makes it clear in Malachi that the Israelites were not following His ORDINANCES. In other words, God never said they were tithing, but rather they weren’t follow His ordinances on what and how to tithe. You need to read those ordinance. They are in Numbers 18. If you aren’t following His ordinances, then you, also, are robbing God according to Malachi if you believe it applies to you. To follow His ordinances you tithe on crops and animals raised on the Holy land, take the tithe to the Levites, and the Levites then give a tenth of the tithe to the priests. You either follow God’s Word or you don’t. There is no spiritual law of tithing contained in God’s Word.

To say that a Christian who doesn’t tithe from their income will be curses today shows lack of understanding of the New Testament.

Anyone can spend a few minutes and research tithing in the Christian Church as I have done, and you will find that no Christian Church in the US ever taught anyone to tithe on their income before 1870.

Tithing opponents throughout the years as compiled by Dr. David Croteau, Liberty University, You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe?, p271-292.

Clement of Rome 100
Didache 100
Justin Martyr 165
Tertullian 230
Origen 255
Cyprian 258
Waldenses 1150+-
Thomas Aquinas 1275
John Wycliff 1384
John Huss 1415
German Peasants 1520
Anabaptists 1525
Erasmus 1536
Otto Brumfels 1534
Martin Luther 1546
Philip Melanchthon 1560
Separatists Amsterdam 1603
John Smythe 1609 Baptist
John Robinson 1610
English Parliament 1650+-
Puritans & Plgrims Mass 1650+-
John Cotton 1652 Puritan
Roger Williams 1636 Baptist
Little Parliament 1653
Oliver Cromwell 1658
John Milton 1658 Puritan
Particular Baptists 1660
John Owen 1680 Baptist
Francis Turretin 1687
John Bunyan 1688 Baptist
Quakers 1768
John Gill 1771 Baptist
John Wesley 1791
BAPTISTS IN AMERICA 1800s
Adam Clarke 1832 Baptist
Charles Buck 1833
J C Philpot 1835 Baptist
Charles H Spurgeon 1832 Baptist
Parsons Cooke 1850
Samuel Harris 1850
Edward A Lawrence 1850
John Peter Lange 1876
Henry William Clark 1891 Engllish
S H Kellogg 1891
G Campbell Morgan 1898 Congregational
Albert Vail 1913 Baptist
Frank Fox 1913
David MaConaughy 1918 Episcopal
William Pettingill 1932
John Harvey Grime 1934 Baptist
John T Mueller 1934 Lutheran
H E Dana 1937 Bapt Historian
R C H LENSKI 1946 Lutheran
Lewis Sperry Chafer 1948 DTS Foundeer
W E Vine 1949
James F Rand 1953
Francis Pieper 1953 Lutheran
Ray Stedman 1951
L L McR 1955 Catholic
Paul Leonard Stagg 1958 Baptist
Hiley H Ward 1958 Baptist
Roy T Cowles 1958
Elizabeth P Tilton 1958
R C Rein 1958 Lutheran
Robert A Baker 1959 Bapt Historian
Wick Bromall 1960
John Byron Evans 1960
Norman Tenpas 1967
James Edward Anderson 1967
Alfred Martin 1968
CHARLES C RYRIE 1969 DTS
Jerry Horner 1972 S Baptist
Pieter Verhoef 1974
Dennis Wretlind 1975
Jack J Peterson 1978 Pres
Donald Kraybill 1978
Jon Zens 1979 Baptist
Richard Cunningham 1979 S Bapt
Gary Frieson 1980
JOHN MACARTHUR 1982-2000
Paul Fink 1982
George Monroe Castillo 1982
Tony Badillo 1984
James M Boice 1986
Michael E Oliver 1986 Rest
W Clyde Tilley 1987
Scott Collier 1987
Ronald M Campbell 1987
R E O White 1988
William McDonald 1989
Charles Swindoll 1990 Dallas Seminary
Rhodes Thompson 1990
J VERNON MCGEE 1999
Jerome Smith 1992
CRAIG BLOMBERG 1993 Denver Seminary
J Duncan M Derrett 1993
Walter Kaiser Jr 1994 Gordon-Cromwell
Moises Silva 1994
Benny D Prince 1995
Brian K Morley 1996
Linda L Belleville 1996
Ron Rhodes 1997
Ernest L Martin 1997
Michael Webb 1998
R Johnston 1999
Mark Snoeberger 2000 Baptist
Stuart Murray 2000 Eng
George W Greene 2000
Old Line Primitive Baptists 2000
Jaime Cardinal Sin 2000 Cath Archbishop
RUSSELL EARL KELLY 2001 Baptist
Jonathan Kitchcart 2001
Frank Viola 2002
George Barna 2002
Michael Morrison 2002
Elliott Miller 2003
Matthew Narramore 2004
David Alan Black 2004 Baptist SEBTS
Andreas Kostenberger 2007 Baptist SEBTS
Danny Akin 2007 Baptist SEBTS
Mark Driscoll 2008
Roman Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses
New Worldwide Church of God

You need to take another look at the scriptures and seek God’s truth.

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Cheryl Moore June 19, 2012

Very interesting debate; a matter that I am very keen on knowing the truth

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Kellie July 16, 2012

I am a small business owner. I’m not sure if I should be tithing from my business income, or tithing from what I pay myself monthly. Any suggestions?

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Chris Terry October 19, 2012

I believe that tithing to tithe is not the intention under the New Testament. The intention, I believe, is to be a joyfull giver. If you feel that you (or your business) should give, then give. Do not create a law or requirement of giving, just give from the heart, and if you have business partners who feel the same, then give as you all see fit.
I believe God will greatly bless ( some say reward) the person who gives joyfully (becouse they want to, and for no other reason). That blessing may be financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual.

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