Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tithing

The tithe is no more applicable to the church today than animal sacrifice or any other part of the old testament, old covenant law.

The Bible tells us specifically who the tithe was for, and why they should receive it.

Numbers 18
20 The LORD said to Aaron, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.
21 "I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting. 22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.' "

#1-The tithes were specifically for the Levites
#2-The reason for receiving those tithes was because 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.' The tithes in Israel were given as their inheritance

How many preachers today can claim that #1 They are Levites, and #2 They deserve the tithe because 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites?' and the tithes in Israel are their inheritance?

Someone emailed me recently and argued that tithing is a timeless principle just like the commands not to commit adultery or to murder. But.... is tithing really a timeless principle? Let's see:

I can find the command not to murder in both the old and new testament:

Exodus 20:13You shall not murder.
Matthew 19: 17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18"Which ones?" the man inquired.
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'[d] and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'[e]"

Okay, so don't murder is a timeless principle: agreed

I can find the command not to commit adultery in both the old and new testament:

Exodus 20:14"You shall not commit adultery.
Matthew 19: 17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." 18"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'[d] and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'[e]"

Okay, so don't commit adultery is a timeless principle: agreed

But I cannot find the command to tithe in both the old and new testament............

I find the word tithe all over the place in the old testament and NOWHERE in the new testament!! NOWHERE!!!

So, tithing is not a timeless principle. Based upon the very logic a tithing proponent tried to use to prove tithing was valid today, they actually proved it was not.

The New Testament does say:

1 Corinthians 9:14In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

The people who use the above scripture to justify recieving a "tithe" ignore everything written in the old testament that tells us specifically what the tithe was for. Paul had plenty of opportunity to tell us to pay a tithe to preachers of the gospel, BUT HE DID NOT.........

receiving a living from the gospel is NOT the same thing as paying the tithe.

Many if not most preachers demanding a tithe today probably are'nt even believers:

2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

These men are the hired hands Jesus talks about:
John 10:12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
John 10:13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

If you disagree, then please explain to me who the hired hands are?

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul speaks at length about how preachers of the gospel have a right to receive material assistance for preaching the gospel, and preachers jump all over this. I find it very curious however how I NEVER hear preached the parts of the scripture in the midst of the same part of the bible where Paul says "But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ."

Who do you hear preaching this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^?????? Nobody........

What does the above scripture say? It says in effect that the gospel of Christ CAN BE HINDERED BY TAKING THE MATERIAL HARVEST FROM THE SHEEP.

In the face of overwhelming greed and corruption in organizational churchianity today, preachers don't seem to mind hindering the gospel message, as long as they receive their material harvest-they have a right to it, I agree they do have a right to material gain (but NOT a "tithe"), but Paul would'nt touch the sheep's money for fear of hindering the gospel message.............

Matthew 7:21-23
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

I am not disputing that preachers of the gospel should receive their living from the gospel, the bible clearly says that they have a right to it. What I am disputing is this idea that the tithe should be paid. The bible does'nt get any clearer when it explains what the tithe was for, yet preachers still demand to receive it in error. They follow the traditions of men and ignore the clear teaching of the word of God.

Preachers can demand to receive material assistance based on 1 Cor 9:14, but not based on the tithe, unless the are an Israelite, and a levitical priest serving in a temple that no longer exists under a law that was completely fulfilled long ago in Christ.

The unfortunate flaw in the tithing system is its failure to consider the full ramifications of the cross. The Gospels tell us that when Jesus died on the cross, the Temple curtain before the Most Holy Place was torn in two "from top to bottom" (NIV). Hebrews 8 through 10 spells out the theological meaning of this remarkable event. At that moment, the sacrificial system was fulfilled. Jesus' death brought the old covenant to completion and initiated a new covenant, sealed in his holy blood. The religious institution, complete with its Temple, its priesthood, and its sacrifices, was replaced with the organic reality of Christ's body. With his subsequent resurrection and giving of the Holy Spirit, the process was complete.
Now Jesus is the only mediator. No Temple curtain, no institution, no priesthood, no pastor stands between God and man. Christ's body, the church, is now a nation of kings and priests (Rev. 1:6), "a royal priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:9, NIV). Nowhere in the New Testament can we find the idea that our churches are filled with "lay people" who are to financially support "the clergy" or "priesthood" or “pastors” and the buildings of mortar and stone we call "houses of God." As Stephen put it before the Sanhedrin, "the Most High does not live in houses made by men" (Acts 7:48, NIV).
While acknowledging this fundamental change between the covenants, some argue that the law of the tithe is not grounded in Mosaic Law but in a more enduring divine principle. The practice is traced back prior to Moses, all the way back to Abraham, who gave a tithe to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20; Heb. 7:1-10). This argument not only de-emphasizes the cross as the fulcrum of the new covenant; it also fails to note that Abraham gave his tithe to Melchizedek the priest (Gen. 14:8; Heb. 7:1). The tithe is part and parcel of this sacramental religious system, and as such has no place in the life of the new covenant. Nowhere does the New Testament teach that Christians are to tithe.

2 comments:

Emil. Ahr said...

True, it doesn't say anywhere specifically that we are to tithe, but think of it this way:
Everything we have comes from God. Therefore, it is God's. When we tithe we are agknowledging that what He has blessed us with is His blessing- to us! and giving back to Him a portion of what is already His to furthur His ministry- are you getting the idea that all of this is centering around God? Jesus said in Mark 12:17 "And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him." And there is also the story in the Bible about the woman who gave everything she had- Jesus praised her in Mark 12:43 If you have any comments/questions/debates- visit my site. Emil.<><

DBULL said...

I cannot disagree with what you are saying. If we the spirit of Jesus within us we will absolutely want to give. The difference is that in today's babylonian religious system people are always told to give to the system usually under the pretext of a "tithe" when I give however, i give directly to the poor or to my brothers and sisters and not to religious institutions. This is most upsetting to them but according to the bible when I give directly to the poor I'm giving directly to Jesus :-) Cheers and thanks for the post , brother Dave