"Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need." (Malachi 3:10)
There are few subjects as controversial in the church as that of money. It is unfortunate that many pastors will avoid the subject altogether for fear of offending the greater part of their congregations, who mostly react as a backlash against the robber-barons on TBN. Nonetheless, the Bible has much to say about subject of money, and particularly the subject of giving as part of our worship. One cannot proclaim the whole counsel of God and ignore this subject.
A proper view of the tithe consists of acknowledging the Lordship of God over all things. God owns everything (Psalm 50:10-11), and thus our giving is not for His benefit, but for ours (Psalm 50:12-15). The tithe is to be brought (not sent) into the local church, "that there may be food in my house" (Malachi 3:10). God has designed his church to function financially off of the tithe, in both the Old and New Testaments. A common argument from those who rejecting tithing is that the practice was part of the ceremonial law, and thus should not be observed today. Nothing could be further from the truth. David Chilton responds,
"It is commonly held that we are no longer under any obligation to tithe in this "dispensation." There is not a shred of evidence to support such a position: the law of the tithe has never been revoked. And, it should be noted, while the modern abandonment of tithing has a superficial appearance of freedom, it has actually been replaced with a tyrannical legalism. Listen to any radio or television preacher-or perhaps your own pastor-appealing for funds. If he rejects the tithe, what is the basis for his plea? LOVE. He does not, of course, define love as the Bible defines it- keeping God's commandments (Romans 13:10; 1 John 5:3) - but rather according to the perceived "needs" of his own ministry. God's simple requirement is that we give ten percent of our income; once we have paid His tax, we know that no more is demanded. The modern preacher, on the other hand, defines your love for God in terms of how much you give. ("How much do you love God? Only ten percent? Only twenty? Only thirty? Shame on you! You should love God lots more than that! If you really, completely love Him, you'll sign over your next paycheck to me and drop it in the plate. And don't worry about taking care of your family. How selfish of you. God will take care of them. After all, He's taking care of me, isn't He?") - (David Chilton - Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, p. 52)
Those who honor the law of tithing are free from the manipulation techniques of money hungry charlatans posing as gospel ministers. The tithe is NOT part of the ceremonial law (as some "red-letter Christians" would suggest), because Abram paid tithe before there ever was a ceremonial law. (Genesis 14:20). The writer of Hebrews sanctioned the tithe collected by Melchizedek (a typology of Christ) as being superior to the tithe collected by the Levites (Hebrews 7:8), all without the slightest hint that such practice was to be stopped. Jesus commanded the Pharisees not to neglected tithing in addition to obeying the weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23). Finally, Paul clearly tells us that the New Covenant Church was to operate financially in the same way as the Old Covenant Church.
"Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel." (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)
The New Covenant church is designed to function financially "in the same way" that the Old Covenant church functioned, via the tithe. A healthy church whose members tithe is a church that should not have the need to beg for money.
Throughout the Scriptures, the giving of tithes are offerings is an intrical part of the saints' worship. The tithe belongs to God (Leviticus 27:30), and therefore we have the duty to render it to Him (Matthew 22:21). Nonetheless, we should not give merely out of duty, but in thanksgiving toward the One who has blessed us to begin with. Other offerings, such as missions offerings, may be given in addition to the tithe as each person sees fit. These are given cheerfully, not begrudgingly (2 Corinthians 7:9).
As fallen creatures, we are constantly being drawn in by the cares of this world, thus the giving of our financial bounty is a good remedy to thwart the world's attempt to draw us away from the things of God, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21). Giving is a good test of one's true allegiance, whether we serve God or Mammon. Therefore, giving is an act of confessing your faith in the One who promises to provide the needs for his covenant children. (Matthew 6:25-30).
"Men trust good stewards with larger and larger sums, and so it frequently is with the Lord; He gives by cartloads to those who give by bushels. Where wealth is not bestowed the Lord makes the little much by the contentment which the sanctified heart feels in a portion of which the tithe has been dedicated to the Lord. Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, yet in the long run selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely He deserves it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment of our amazing indebtedness to His goodness." (Charles Spurgeon on Haggai 1:9, from Morning and Evening)
Recommended Reading: With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship by Hart and Muether