Tithing & Offerings

Bethany Presbyterian Church


Knowing that God is the source of all things and all that we have, one of our greatest acts of worship is giving. Whether we are generous in our availability to others, in using our talents and abilities in serving the community, or in giving our financial resources, all are intended for extending the presence of His kingdom in Oxford and to the world. Whether through offerings of animals and the first fruits of the land in Old Testament times, through currencies of all kinds throughout history, more recently by using checking accounts, or now by electronic means, our giving is a very tangible way of offering ourselves and our resources to the One who owns all things, is our provider in ways beyond what we often realize, and is worthy of our most sincere expression of worship. May the giving of our tithes and offerings regardless of its form be a continual overflow of our gratitude and worship.

The “tithe” or “tenth part” was first mentioned in Scripture when Abraham presented Melchizedek with a tenth of the spoils from his victory (Genesis 14:17-20). So we know that the earliest expression of thanks to God from one's resources took place before the law of Israel. However, it was most clearly stated in those ceremonial laws where a tenth of one's resources was commanded and not optional. At the same time there were also "freewill offerings" taken it different times for various purposes. So the idea of giving in relationship to the worship of God was not limited to 10%.

Nonetheless, the compulsory tithe under the law of Israel has now expired and the New Testament teaches that: “Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) The truth is that all we have belongs to God and we are merely stewards of what it is His. So the answer to the question of “How to give” follows the principle of freewill offerings, providing a yardstick to tell us how we are responding to the generosity of God (2 Corinthians 8:9). A good guideline is to consider at a minimum God's dealing with His people under the Old Covenant, which was ten percent, and the glory of what he has down for us in the New Covenant, which is priceless. But the best guideline is the New Testament teaching to consider in your heart the greatness of what God has down for you (2 Cor 9:7), the resources He has entrusted to you, and how you wish to honor Him, as long as it is done in faith and without reluctance or compulsion.

Giving Methods

You may make your gifts in a variety of forms. You will receive a receipt of your tax-deductible gifts in accordance with IRS requirements. Please let us know if you have any specific needs regarding the timing of these notifications; otherwise, you will receive the minimum summary of your gifts necessary to meet government standards after the end of the calendar year.