Tithing is a matter of choice under the New Covenant, not having been explicitly continued from the Old. Here are a couple of ideas that manifest choice:
- I know of one couple that puts money aside over time, considering it part of their “tithe,” and using it periodically for a scholarship at a Christian school. They don’t know that I know this.
- I know of another couple that has for years been sending rather significant sums to a large church in another city for safekeeping in their investment fund. This couple’s intention is to have large sums available to draw out for the funding of mission or benevolent efforts when those needs present themselves. This couple’s practice began during a time of detachment from viable churches, and I think it was a terrific way to “lay by in store,” as the KJV has 1 Cor. 16:2.
I find both the above practices to be a) within the prerogative of individual Christians in our age, and b) smack-dab in the intentions of the wording of I Corinthians 16, which encourages setting aside money on the first day of the week. To be clearer: this brief passage, which contains a relatively rare NC-document mention of money, does not require, or even suggest, passing plates around, dropping money in a bag in the pews or in the back, a weekly corporate collection at all, or any sort of reincarnation of the tithe. Paul spoke more of putting money aside or away–saving, if you will–than putting it forward.
If one wants to tithe in subservience to an imagined law, one may. Far better: if one wants to tithe in honor of God and in support of His kingdom, one may. My points are that a) there is more than one way to go about it, and b) since tithing is nowhere indicated in the New Covenant, it is a matter of choice.
Next: practical considerations of tithing/contributing