Key Difference – Tithe vs Offering
Tithe and Offering are two words that can often be confusing although there is a key difference. Tithes and offerings are important concepts in Christianity. Both have been mentioned separately at many places in the Bible. There are many people who think there is no difference between tithe and offering and that both represent the same concept of giving back to God what he gives to us. There are many Christians who do not give anything to support the work of God, which is to spread the gospel among the people and to carry on the missionary work. But there is a distinct difference between tithe and offering that will be outlined in this article.
What is Tithe?
God rewards those who believe in him and have faith in his teachings. Tithe is a concept of giving back a tenth of your earnings back to the work of God. Tithe is a concept based upon faith and not sight. When you tithe, you know you are helping the church to spread the gospel. You tithe because you have faith in God. God tells us that 10% of whatever we earn belongs to him. God’s work on earth can be carried on and completed only if people give a part of their earnings back to him. 10% of any income you receive belongs to God and you must tithe it. Tithing is a concept that should be enjoyed rather than perform as a burden or a responsibility. We are deprived of getting the total blessings of the God when we pay tithe unwillingly or do not pay it altogether.
The money collected through tithe is used by churches for many purposes. This includes construction and maintenance of church buildings. Tithe is also used to conduct missionary work while printing and distribution of the gospel and other teachings is also carried out with tithe.
What is Offering?
Offering refers to anything that we give as a donation to the church. An offering need not be a tenth of what your income is. Financial gift of any amount to the church is considered an offering. An offering is over and above tithe, and it should not be construed as something that is meant to replace a tithe. The concept of offering was instituted to give some respite and discretion to the believers. First Fruits was an offering that was a part of one’s ripened crops. It was not in the form of money or cash but in kind. Then there was an offering that was made up of the firstborns of female domestic animals. Even the first child of human beings was supposed to be given back to God though this is not in vogue these days. Giving to the poor is considered welfare offering and when you give something to poor, you are indirectly giving back to God.
What is the Difference Between Tithe and Offering?
Definitions of Tithe and Offering:
Characteristics of Tithe and Offering:
Tithe: Tithe is over and above offering.
Offering: One should not feel that his responsibility is over if he makes an offering.
Tithe: Tithe is first 10% of everything we earn or receive as income.
Offering: Offering does not follow this rule.
Tithe: Tithe was once considered a formal tax to be given to the government or church, but it has been abolished as a formal tax in many European countries.
Offering: Offering is not considered as such.
1.”The tithe barn, Abbotsbury near Weymouth” by Walter Tyndale – “Wessex” (A & C Black, 1906). [Public Domain] via Commons
2. Noah’s Offering’, oil on canvas painting attributed to Francesco Castiglione, El Paso Museum of Art By Francesco Castiglione (El Paso Museum of Art) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons