In the part 1 of this topic, we mentioned five basic business functions that, together, constitute the activities of a Christian business:
i.e (1) evangelizing; (2) discipling; (3) funding God’s work; (4) providing for needs; and (5) generating profits.
Also, we discussed the scriptural justification for business tithing. In the Part 2 of this topic, we will be looking at whether tithing should be done on the gross or net profits and also what we call corporation tithing.
Tithe on gross or net?
It was the great 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, while addressing a home missions inaugural conference at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in south London in 1889, who said, “In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.”
Because it is impossible to out give God, it becomes a moot point to question whether a business should tithe on gross or net profits. “By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides” (Mark 4:24*).
If a business strongly believes in honoring God from the increase He provides, that business should consider tithing from the gross profits and trust that God will provide what is needed after the business pays any creditors and the other expenses.
Many times business profits are tied up in noncash assets, such as building, equipment, stocks, or product. An answer to the tithing question that some Christians businesses have chosen to follow is to give a partial ownership in the business as a tithe. So, as the business prospers, so does the Lord’s portion.
Although there is a biblical admonition to give from the firstfruits, or the increase of the business, a business should not give from the portion that belongs to any creditors or any employees.
Business tithes should be given from business profit after overhead expenses, employees’ salaries, and creditors have been paid. Each employer should then tithe on the amount they receive as a salary.
Corporations, unlike businesses, are usually owned by a conglomerate of people from all walks of life and different religious beliefs.
Since one person usually does not own all the stock in a corporation, an individual might consider giving a tenth of the increase in his or her individual stock in the corporation to the Lord.
An alternative method might be to take one-tenth of the company stock and set up a Christian foundation with it, then set a goal to control the company’s future growth and declare the dividends to God’s work.
Individuals as well as businesses should look for ways to give, rather than trying to find ways to prevent or hinder giving, remembering always that God is more interested in our hearts than in any actual gift amount.
There is an admonition in God’s Word to give from our firstfruits, or the increase. This would apply to business as well as personal income.
However, a business owner must remember that the business tithe should be only on the profits that belong to the business, not on what rightfully belongs to creditors, stockholders, employees, or others.