Steve received an email, asking, "Should we tithe or not?"
Here's my response:
My views are complicated because I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I'll summarize:
1. Jesus does not require a tithe, but everything-- Luke 14:33 "No one can be my disciple without surrendering all of their possessions."
2. Jesus doesn't request that money goes to churches but to the poor-- Luke 12:33-- "Sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven."
3. The early church received generous donations, which were distributed to the poor-- Acts 2:43-44, Acts 4:34-35
4. Some of the poor are teachers of God's word, and they deserve their livelihood for their work received-- Matthew 10:10; Galatians 6:6
5. Some of the poor are our own family, whom we have a responsibility to care for-- Mark 7; I Timothy 5:8
Thus, the Scripture seems to teach:
We should give money to the poor, first to our families, then to provide our teaching pastors a livelihood, then to the poor in the church, then to the poor out of the church. In reality, if we really hold to this, then we should have little money left over for unnecessary things.
I hope that helps.