Business Tithing Pt 1

The word TITHE written in vintage lead letterpress type

Any business generally reflects the values of its principle owners or managers. It is the reflection of these values that determines whether a business is labeled Christian or non-Christian.

If a business is to be used to serve God, it should have but one overriding purpose—to glorify Him. As such, there are five basic business functions that, together, constitute the activities of a Christian business:

(1) evangelizing;

(2) discipling;

(3) funding God’s work;

(4) providing for needs; and

(5) generating profits.

As a means of funding God’s work, many Christian business owners or managers have chosen to give a tithe from the business.


Scriptural justification

The principle of tithing from a business is not dramatically different from tithing out of personal income. Actually, most Scriptures on giving in the Old Testament deal with business-generated income, since few people were actually employees in the sense they are today.

The vast majority of people in Old Testament times were employed in agriculture. The precedent for tithing from a business is clear in God’s Word: “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce” (Proverbs 3:9*).

In the Old Testament the Hebrew people brought approximately 23 percent of their increase to the Lord’s storehouse. The keepers of the storehouse, the Levites, in turn used what was given to care for the widows, needy foreigners in the area, orphans, and the Levites.

In the New Testament, no longer did the people bring their tithes and offerings to a physical storehouse. Instead they gave of their increase in tithes, offerings, and alms to the church body. In turn, the church used the tithe for spreading the Gospel. The offerings were used for the general and administrative support of the church, and the alms were used to care for the poor, widows, orphans, and otherwise needy.

The Scriptures seem to imply that the tithe’s purpose is to be a testimony of God’s ownership, and thus it is meant to be individualized.

It was never intended that everyone or every business should give the same amount or in the same way but that each should give bountifully and cheerfully (see 2 Corinthians 9:6-7*).

Giving should come from our hearts. For that reason, the tithe should not be considered a “law” but, rather, as an indicator of obedience to God’s laws.

This seems to be confirmed in the book of Malachi; where the prophet confronted the Jews with their sins of disobedience, using their lack of tithing as an example.