Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tithing - Just Old Testament?


You hear occassionally someone say with a little bit of attitude, 'Tithing is such an Old Testament thing!' You know right there and then, they have some sort of issue with giving; maybe that it is too legalistic, or we feel pressured into giving or its too much of an expectation. Here's a reply I like to give people who complain about this "Old Testament" idea of tithing. 'Well, if you have an issue with giving 10%, that's fine. Let's go to a New Testament way of giving. Some people were selling properties and giving ALL their money to the apostles!! Hmm... I think tithing 10% is small and relatively easy compared to that. The New Testament teaches generosity in our giving and in our living. I don't think the Old Testament way of tithing is outdated or been superseeded by the fact that Jesus came to earth. I encourage people to tithe and then to give offerings. To live generously.

I challenge people reading this blog to tithe their TAX Cheque. Think on it. Doing this is putting God first! If you are a follower of Jesus, I don't see why this is something we shouldn't do; especially noting the fact that most people tithe only their NET amount of income, and so any tax they pay has not been tithed. Anyway... Too legalistic? I think it's about honouring God first with our living and our giving. A friend of mine received $4,000 back from the Tax Department, and only recently has considered tithing that amount to the work of God. Hmm... Good challenge. Take it or leave it.

God bless you.

3 comments:

  1. Where in the Bible Were Tithes Abolished?



    1. WHO #1: The Levitical servants to the priests who received the first whole tithe have been abolished. See Numbers 18:21-24. Modern equivalents to the Levites are unpaid ushers, deacons, choir, musicians, etc.



    2. WHO #2: OT priests who received a tenth of the tithe (only 1 per cent) have been abolished. See Num 18:25-28 and Neh 10:38.



    3. WHAT: The definition of tithes as only food miraculously increased by God from inside His holy land of Israel has been abolished and replaced with the false unbiblical definition of income. See Leviticus 27:30-34 and 14 other texts which describe the contents of the tithe. Yet money was common in Genesis.



    4. WHERE: The destination of the OT tithes first to the Levitical cities some to the Temple has been abolished. See Neh 10:37b and Mal 3:10.



    5. WHEN: The time to tithe has been abolished. The Levitical tithe was paid yearly in the Levitical cities. The second festival tithe was eaten at the three festivals. The third poor tithe was kept in the home every third year. Tithes totaled 23 1/3 per cent.



    6. WHY #1: The covenant which prescribed them was abolished per Heb 8:8-13; Gal 4:21-26' 2 Cor 3:6-10.



    7. WHY #2: The "commandment" for Levites and priests to collect tithes was "annulled" per Hebrews 7:5, 12, 18.



    8. WHY #3: The law which condemned believers has been rendered of no effect when the believer died in Christ per Romans 7:4. No law can tell a dead person what to do.



    9. HOW #1: Jesus abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances per Eph 2:13. Tithing was an ordinance per Num 18.



    10. HOW $2: Jesus blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, per Col 2:14. Tithing was an ordinance per Num 18.



    11. HOW #3: The Temple which tithes supported was abolished in AD 70. God's temple is now within each believer per 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20.



    12. HOW #4: The priesthood which was supported by tithes was abolished in AD 70. God's priesthood is now within every believer per 1st Peter 2:9-10.



    13. HOW #5: The blessings and curses of tithing as part of the whole law have been abolished per Galatians 3:10-13.



    Would you continue to send money to a church after

    1. The building is destroyed?

    2. The preacher has been defrocked?

    3. The workers have found other jobs?

    4. The members have all left?

    5. The land has been inhabited by non religious people?

    6. The purpose for the church no longer exists?

    7. You have died?



    Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

    ReplyDelete
  2. Someone isn't feeling very generous!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Check these out, some excuses and answers to the giving debate... very interesting! There are more on the website...(42!)

    EXCUSES & BARRIERS TO GIVING
    (From www.generousgiving.org)

    2. "The Bible is about religious and moral issues, and not about money at all, let alone charitable giving."

    People sometimes believe that the Bible has only to do with "religious matters," that is, church attendance, individual conversion, and personal piety, when in fact, the Bible deals with all topics. The Bible covers the waterfront of human life because the Gospel of God's redemption extends across all aspects of human life.

    The scriptures say, God reconciles all things to Himself through Christ (Colossians 1:20). "All things" certainly includes money and material possessions so it is no surprise to find that the Bible speaks plainly and frequently about these topics.

    Christianity does not separate reality into "spiritual" and "material" spheres. In the Bible, all of life (including the use of money) is spiritual because God is involved in it. The Bible has much to say about giving; and these key Bible verses on money and stewardship offer an excellent place to start.

    4. "The tithe does not apply to Christians today, only to Old Testament Israel."

    Jesus called His followers to give with great generosity, which makes the tithe a good starting point. The tradition of the Old Testament tithe was a mandatory gift equaling a tenth of one's income, but had a number of caveats. For example, Old Testament tithing applied to crops and animals from the Promised Land, not to all income in every time and place, nor was it limited to ten percent, for there were three tithes (two every year and one every three years) and many other offerings and gifts that were also part of traditional Jewish life.

    The tithe may be a helpful guideline as it reminds Christians to give proportionally to the Lord in accordance with His blessings, since God owns it all. But by New Testament standards, settling for ten percent can position you to neglect true generosity. Biblical generosity calls for loving God with all that you are, loving your neighbors as yourself, (Luke 10:25-37) and imitating the sacrificial example of Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 John 3:16-18).

    5. "Christians are under grace, not under law, so the obligation to give does not apply to me."

    Yes, Christians are under the principle of grace, not the principle of law. In other words, righteousness comes not by behaving in the right way, but by trusting God for His salvation (Galatians 3:11). However, this does not exempt Christians from behaving in the right way.

    Being saved by grace does not make adultery, murder, or theft an acceptable action, nor does it excuse Christians to be biblically disobedient to God's directive for Christ-modeled generosity. The law–God's will for how His children ought to live–is still be the standard and guide for Christians today (Romans 7:12). But grace–God's gift to His children–makes obedience an attainable reality. Grace is not only forgiveness for past sins but also empowerment for future obedience. Grace does not mean that God does not expect you to give generously; it means that He will give you the strength to do it and reward you accordingly.

    The apostle Paul explains, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion" (2 Corinthians 9:7). Yet, interestingly, this verse falls in the middle of a passage urging Christians to give generously (vv 6-15). Paul's point does not give license for selfishness, but cultivates a love of generosity. Paul wants Christians to feel free, creative, and excited to give far beyond the ten percent benchmark. This liberating freedom encourages you not to live selfishly but to excel in good deeds.


    Go check out the rest of the excuses, they're quite insightful...

    ReplyDelete

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