is tithing just an Old Testament principle?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Chayil, Jun 18, 2001.

  1. Chayil

    Chayil
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been thinking about whether Tithing is something that was reserved for the Old Covenent believers, and we as New Covenent believers are not doomed if we don't tithe. Is there any scriptural evidence in the New testament to show that we are expected to tithe? is an offering enough or are we being selfish and not trusting fully in God if we don't tithe?
     
  2. Ransom

    Ransom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chayil:
    Is there any scriptural evidence in the New testament to show that we are expected to tithe? is an offering enough or are we being selfish and not trusting fully in God if we don't tithe?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There are three New Testament passages I can think of that might answer your question, if not directly. First:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood." (Luke 12:41-44)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (Acts 4:32-35)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Starting with the second passage, we see the attitude of the early Church toward material possessions: they regarded the well-being of the brethren as a greater good than their own prosperity.

    In the first passage, we see Jesus' approval of this kind of attitude. Although the rich people coming into the Temple had far more wealth to give away, the two tiny coins the widow offered represented a far greater sacrifice. She gave "all she had."

    A tithe (meaning, literally, 10%) is the easy way out. By apostolic example and divine approval, New Covenant giving is far more sacrificial. Everything we possess is to be at God's disposal.

    The third passage is probably the best-known teaching on giving in the New Testament: 2 Cor. 8-9. Paul is specifically talking about giving to help the poor church in Jerusalem, but the principles can be extended to any sort of giving. He says:

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>that giving is a "grace of God" (2 Cor. 8:1); the Macedonian church was given a divine gift that enabled them to give abundantly, despite their own poverty
    <LI>that giving is tied to income; Paul says that the Macedonian saints gave "according to their ability," indeed, beyond it (8:2)
    <LI>that giving ought to be done with Christ as our example: "He was rich, but for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (8:9)
    <LI>that the goal in giving of this kind is "equality," i.e. sacrificing one's own wealth to bring the poor brethren up to the same level (8:14)
    <LI>that giving ought to be "a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation" (2 Cor. 9:5); what we give is voluntary, not extracted from us compulsorily
    <LI>that God blesses the giver in proportion to his generosity (9:6)
    <LI>that the amount to be given is up to the giver, so that it is given with a cheerful attitude (9:7).
    [/list]

    Doesn't sound like taxes to me (which is what the Old Covenant tithe was, for the most part).
     
  3. Lorelei

    Lorelei
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://www.amacominc.com/~lorelei/mgsm.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do believe we are supposed to tithe, it is not just part of the old covenant, however I had to do some reading to back that up. Now I am sure that others here will have more scriptures to back this up, but it wasn't really something I thought about until you brought it up. Tithing according to the New Testament, here is what I think.

    Well doing some studying I came up with this. The one verse that came to mind first was 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Every man as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity:: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

    Now one could try to read into this that one doens't "have" to tithe, but I don't think it is talking about the "amount" we give, but the "attitude" in which we give it.

    I then thought of Jesus and the many lessons he gave on giving.
    Remember the lady that gave one talent? She gave more then the others because she gave all she had. (Luke 21:1-4.)

    What about the rich young ruler? He had obeyed all the laws since he was a youth, what did Jesus tell him to do? To sell all he had and give it to the poor. (Matt. 19:16-26)

    The Apostles were told not to take money with them on thier journeys. Matthew 10:9

    Look at Matthew 6:19-34
    We are told not to build up treasures for ourselves here, but treasures in heaven. We are told we can't serve God and Mammon. We are told not to worry about the necessities of life, but to trust in God to provide.

    These are just a few of the examples that talk about money. Should we still tithe now that we are in the new covenant? Maybe the answer is NO. I think we are supposed to give more, much more.

    Mark 8:34-36
    34 "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
    35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
    36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

    ~Lorelei
     
  4. Joy

    Joy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,637
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't believe we are required to tithe. There is a poor argument out there that says that tithing predates the law and therefore we are still required to keep this OT law. To me that is an oxymoron.

    However, the others were absolutely right. The NT does teach, in many places, the concept of "cheerful giving." Though we are not bound by the law any longer to give a specific percentage of our firstfruits or crops, we should always be ready to give to our local churches and to those fellow Christains in need. The amount is up to you, but God does teach what you sow, you will reap. I believe God still blesses those who give out of a cheerful heart.

    Those who use the excuse that tithing has passed in order to keep everything for themselves, rob themselves of God's blessings.

    [ June 18, 2001: Message edited by: Joy2 ]
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Rabbis taught that if a Jew did not tithe he could be stoned to death. That, my friends, is a really good incentive to give!

    But rather than giving from necessity of the Law or giving by guilt laid on by skillful and manipulative preachers, God desires a gift from the heart. OT taught tithing; NT teaches sacrificial giving.

    BTW, the tithe was 10% + every third year an additional 10% + first-fruits + offerings + special gifts. We figured it out on a yearly basis to 17%. So that is where our "giving package" as NT Christians begins.

    After all, how could we do less in our new relationship to Christ than the Jews of old did who never had the joy that we possess?
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob,

    It is possible that there were two tithes every year and a third tithe every third year working out to an average of 23% or so a year. (Cf. Verhoef, NICOT, p. 304; ISBE, s.v. "Tithe," 4:863).
     
  7. Larry

    Larry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joy2

    Could you expound on what the flaw is in the “tithing predated the law and therefore we are still required to keep this OT law” idea?

    I’m assuming that the actual argument is that “tithing predated the law and therefore was not done away with when the law was fulfilled”. If the argument is as you stated it, then someone could say “marriage predated the law and therefore we are still required to keep this OT law”


    I have an unrelated question for those who quote from the Gospels as proof that tithing is for today, because it’s in the New Testament. Didn’t the Gospels unfold during the time of the Law? I’m referring to the fact that a testament is not in effect until the death of the testator (somewhere in Hebrews), so when Jesus told the Pharisees that they ought to have paid tithes of mint and anon and common, he told them that because they were still under the law.

    I don’t think the “storehouse Tithing” found in Malachi is a legitimate argument for tithing because that is an under the law situation. If giving a tenth of your income (something I do and then some) is legitimate, then the principle must come from Abraham, who paid Tithes before the law.

    I have been in-between churches for several months and intend to “get caught up” when I join a church, so if someone can give me Biblical reasons that refute my reasoning I would like to see them.
     
  8. Danny

    Danny
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let us look at what the Law concerning tithing says. De. 14:22-29 says "You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, in order that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the LORD your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses you, then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you. At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do."
    If anyone truely wishes to observe the law and commandments concerning tithing, then they need to be able to carry out all that was written in this passage. For one thing, you would have to bring your tithe to the temple in Jerusalem, an impossibility since there is no temple. Secondly, this law was given to the Israelites to help support the Levites. Nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded or instructed to tithe. We are to give cheerfully, not under compulsion.
     
  9. Chayil

    Chayil
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Larry raised an interesting point. When father Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek the High Priest, this was outside the Mosaic Law, we are NO LONGER under law but under grace, so now this makes me think. Either we can tithe as it was not only done under the law or we don't need to tithe anymore since Abraham tithed "for all"
     
  10. Ransom

    Ransom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Originally posted by Larry:
    Could you expound on what the flaw is in the “tithing predated the law and therefore we are still required to keep this OT law” idea? . . . If giving a tenth of your income (something I do and then some) is legitimate, then the principle must come from Abraham, who paid Tithes before the law.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:

    Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
    Possessor of heaven and earth;
    And blessed be God Most High,
    Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.

    And he gave him a tithe of all. (Gen. 14:18-20)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is the passage that is always quoted to "prove" that the tithe predates the Law, and therefore is still in force. But I have to ask: Where is it said that God told Moses to give that tithe to Melchizedek? Or that Melchizedek commanded it of Moses by his authority as a priest? Where is it said that this tithe was anything more than a gift from Abram to Melchizedek, given on his own initiative?

    That's why this reasoning is so flawed. There's nothing apart from the word "tithe" (which means, simply, "tenth") to connect Abram's gift to the tax commanded by God for the maintenance of the Temple and the Levites.
     
  11. Ransom

    Ransom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Originally posted by Chayil:

    Either we can tithe as it was not only done under the law or we don't need to tithe anymore since Abraham tithed "for all"

    Or, we can tithe if we want to because giving ten percent of our income specifically for God's work is neither commanded nor forbidden, therefore we are at liberty to do so if we choose. (And it's easy math!)

    Or, we don't have to give ten percent because even though Jesus spoke so much about the stewardship of our money, and Paul devoted two chapters to principles of charitable giving, the New Testament never commands it. Therefore we are free to give as much as we choose, according to our conscience and the measure of grace God has given us.

    [ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  12. Larry

    Larry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Where is it said that God told Moses to give that tithe to Melchizedek? Or that Melchizedek commanded it of Moses by his authority as a priest? Where is it said that this tithe was anything more than a gift from Abram to Melchizedek, given on his own initiative?"

    It doesn't say. I'm doing it because of "monkey see monkey do" (a sound theological concept).
    It's an example of what are good manors, good stewardship and a reasonable amount.

    You know what blows my mind? Melchizedek accepted it!


    Now I'm being as honest as I know how. It's been pretty easy to give on a weekly bases but if I give the amount I intend on giving it will be a substantial amount. There is enough flesh in me to make it hard to let loose of it all. I know, and it disgusts me, that there are a lot of faulty arguments for giving ten percent. But then I stop and think about all the blessings God has given me; I want to give at least 10%.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Did ceremonially clean and unclean animals exist prior to the Law of Moses? Of course (remember Noah & the ark), but certain restrictions were later placed on them as part of the Mosaic Law. Some could be eaten, others rejected.

    Do ceremonially clean and unclean animals still exist today? Of course (just had a bunch of shrimp last night), but I am not under the Mosaic Law so I can opt to eat lamb or pork or shrimp or catfish! I am not bound by the Mosaic Law.

    Parallel this to tithing - yes, Avram paid tithes of all that he had conquered in battle to Melchi-Tzedek long before the Mosaic Law. THEN the Law came along and added all kinds of rules and regs about the tithe.

    The principle of tithing is still valid today, but free from the Mosaic Law. This makes it a free-will gift, "not of necessity".
     
  14. John Wells

    John Wells
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul never used the word "tithe" when he discussed giving, even though he gave more attention to giving than any other New Testament writer. Giving should be a systematic, weekly practice on Sunday, the first day of the week, when the church meets together. Giving was also to be proportionate-in keeping with one's income (cf. Acts 11:29) and like meeting together for worship, Bible study, etc., it was to be the product of the work of the Spirit and not a legal requirement of the Law.

    If we weigh what Paul taught with what Jesus taught, as in the "widow's mite," the picture we get is that we should give:

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>With a cheerful heart (2 Cor 9:7)<LI>From the heart (2 Cor 9:7)<LI>in keeping with our income (1 Cor 16:2) <LI>Sacrificially (Mark 12:43-44) - our giving should be significant, causing sacrifices in our lives![/list]

    "The point is that giving must occur regularly, not just when one feels generous, particularly led to do so, or instructed to do so for some special purpose (cf. Luke 6:38; cf. 2 Cor. 9:6, 7). as he may prosper. No required amount or percentage for giving to the Lord’s work is specified in the NT. All giving to the Lord is to be free will giving and completely discretionary (see Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6–8). This is not to be confused with the OT required giving of 3 tithes (see Lev. 27:30; Num. 18:21–26; Deut. 14:28, 29; Mal. 3:8–10) which totaled about 23 percent annually to fund the national government of Israel, take care of public festivals, and provide welfare. Modern parallels to the OT tithe are found in the taxation system of countries (Rom. 13:6)."
    John F. MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible, (Dallas: Word Publishing) 1997.

    God bless,
    John
     
  15. Don

    Don
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Messages:
    10,548
    Likes Received:
    212
    Don't forget that we're taught the consequences of not giving in Acts; Ananias and his wife found that out the hard way....

    One might even say that that story is an allegory for what will happen to our hearts and our spirits if we don't give....
     
  16. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Don - I don't think you can fairly bring up A&S as examples of what will happen if folks don't give (though I've heard that preached more than once)!

    Their giving was voluntary and for communal needs, NOT for the regular function of a local church.

    And they were judged for lying to the Holy Spirit not because they didn't give. BTW, they DID sacrificially give, just not 100%. I fit into that mold every Sunday.

    [ June 23, 2001: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  17. bjonson

    bjonson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2001
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dr. Bob Griffin:
    The principle of tithing is still valid today, but free from the Mosaic Law. This makes it a free-will gift, "not of necessity".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Dr. Bob, don't call it "tithing" unless the New Testament does. The principle is to give generously and sacrificially. There is no mention of a required percentage. Paul had plenty of opportunity to clear this up in 1 Cor. 16 and 2 Cor. 8, but he didn't mention 10%. If he didn't, we shouldn't.
     
  18. Kathy

    Kathy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have another question to throw into this...what if your spouse doesn't want to give as much as you want to? For instance (ya'll are always in my business! [​IMG] ), I have been saved for almost 4 years...my husband has been saved a few shorts months...I TOTALLY remember how clueless I was in the beginning of my walk with Christ and I remember the battle of the flesh (still going on by the way...I've hidden more of the Word in my heart now tho). I now, which I really didn't think much of before, want to give more than we already do but my husband won't allow me to. Not only am I not to usurp his authority, but he is the one who brings home the bacon. If I worked, which I used to, I would have no problem in saying how I felt the money should be spent...but I don't, so I can't. BUT! I am praying for my husband's heart to continue to be softened by the Holy Spirit and I know God in His faithfulness will bless us! The fact that we are giving ANYTHING at all, is PROOF POSTIVE that God has already begun to soften his heart!

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  19. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chayil:
    Is there any scriptural evidence in the New testament to show that we are expected to tithe? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No.
     
  20. Rockfort

    Rockfort
    Expand Collapse
    x

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Larry:
    [QB]"Where is it said that God told Moses to give that tithe to Melchizedek? Or that Melchizedek commanded it of Moses by his authority as a priest? Where is it said that this tithe was anything more than a gift from Abram to Melchizedek, given on his own initiative?"

    It doesn't say. I'm doing it because of "monkey see monkey do" (a sound theological concept).
    It's an example of what are good manors, good stewardship and a reasonable amount.

    You know what blows my mind? Melchizedek accepted it!
    QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Alright, next time we attack a region, kill the inhabitants, and grab all the spoils, we should look up the local priest and give him a tenth of it all..."monkey see monkey do" (a sound theological concept).
     

Share This Page

Loading...