Still tithing?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ivon Denosovich, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Ivon Denosovich

    Ivon Denosovich
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    Greetings,

    I'm a former life long independent Baptist who recently quit tithing. (As a disclaimer, I'm not advocating anyone should join me, nor am I seeking to belittle anyone's beliefs who disagrees.) But after sixteen years of mindless (describing myself not others) contributions I finally worked up enough gumption to read the Scriptures for myself and came to the conclusion:

    1) The Law in its entirety was done away with.

    2) For tithing to be mandatory it would have to be reinstituted in the NT which it isn't.

    3) The only account I can find of tithing in the NT is an indirect reference from Christ, which would have been appropriate for Him to tithe since He was sent to fulfill the law and the prophets. (I also assume he subscribed to Levitical eating habits.)

    4) The curse that had previously petrified me is irrelevant since I am not the nation of Israel. This makes the blessing irrelevant as well.

    5) Pragmatism warning! Not explicitly theological! Since I've quit tithing several months ago I have not incurred any major expenses and I still enjoy my life. As far as I can tell I don't love God or my fellow man any less. Also, now when I give it's because I feel compelled to do so, which I think is in keeping with the spirit of the NT and especially Galations.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. webdog

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    I don't "tithe" per se...I do give 10% of my net most of the time, but I do not feel guilty when I don't either, as I agree the tithe is an OT requirement. I believe for the NT, it's the heart behind the tithe that is required, and the needs of the church met through giving.
     
  3. Ivon Denosovich

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    At the risk of fawning, the fact that you tithe without feeling obligated may very well be the most spiritual "testimony" I've ever encountered. Wow!
     
  4. saturneptune

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    Maybe down deep I tithe because of OT law or because that is what I was taught. I feel my family has been lead to tithe by the Spirit. Before reading all the posts here, I never gave it much thought as to whether it was OT or NT.
     
  5. Bro. Williams

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    Our church doesn't preach on tithing based on the fact that it is an OT doctrine. Providing an offering is to me my duty, for why should the other members bare the burden of the expenses that a local body incurs while I leach off them?

    Also, I Timothy 5 advocates us to provide a reward for those elders that labour in the word and in doctrine. If your pastor doesn't don't feed him, if he does, he has bills as well. I gladly help provide for my pastor because that is the gift God has given him, preaching and teaching, and he labours in the word and in doctrine.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I'm assuming that you didn't quit giving, although I see you have no home church to give to by your profile.

    A question or two out of curiousity, please:

    How do you decide what to give? Is there some sort of formula? The more you have the more you give, and vice versa? Or is it based on a feeling? Or what?

    Where is your giving in your priority list. First thing, or whatever's left after the bills are paid?

    Is it possible to give nothing (even though you're able) and still be pleasing to God? Is it possible to please God with your giving, but gradually reduce giving to the point where God is no longer pleased? If yes, where do you think that point is?

    If you joined a local civic club,would you have the same attitude toward the mandatory dues as you have toward the tithe? Would you consider it slavery to the civic club, or an obligation freely assumed with your membership?

    These questions may sound antagonistic. They aren't. Some church freeloaders use your arguments as an excuse to deadhead on the backs of the other members.

    Just wanted to make sure where your heart is in this matter.
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    Ivan,

    When you say that, what do you mean by that? Are you referring to the civil and ceremonial law, or also the moral law of God?
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    Yeah, I wondered about that. When Jesus came to fulfil the law, did that mean he nullified it? And didn't Paul describe the law as good and holy (Romans 7:12)? Didn't Paul say the law taught him what sin is?

    Maybe we ought to be careful about going through the law cafeteria line, picking out what we like and rejecting what we don't. This line of thought is worth fleshing out, RB.
     
  9. rjprince

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    RB,

    The Mosaic Law was a single unit. It is all done away, or not. Specfically, the part that was "written and engraven in stones" was done away (2Cor 3:7); nailed to the cross (Col 2:14).

    I has always been wrong to do murder. God's moral laws have been around since creation and the fall. Nine of the Ten commandments are repeated post-cross, that does not mean that we are incrementally placed back under portions of the Mosaic Law, in fact, Gentiles were NEVER under THE LAW.

    The fact that nine of the ten have parallels in God's moral law for all time and all ages does not mean that the decalogue is still intact as either a "rule of life" or some kind of "divine standard" for the church. The purpose of the law was never to bring righteousness, but to reveal sin.

    RJP
     
  10. rjprince

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    Jesus did fulfill the Law, He kept it perfectly without flaw. And I fully agree that we cannot pick what we like and discard what we don't. It was all done away at the cross, not all but the ten.

    It is against the law to commit murder in Canada. Yet, if I commit murder in the USA, I will not be judged according to Cananian law (at least not yet) but the the laws of this country. The fact that the decalogue finds parallels with the eternal law of God in no way means that that part of the Mosaic Law has not been done away. All or none, that is the only choice.

    The whole moral law vss the civil/cermonial law is a false dichotomy that cannot be supported from the text of Scripture.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    With regard to the OP, the argument seems to be that tithing is OT, not NT. And that the Jews were still under the law when Jesus endorsed tithing.

    Can the case be made, however, that the New Testament age began with the ministry of John the Baptist? I'm aware that a widely held view is that John the Baptist (and Jesus) preached a different gospel from Peter and Paul--the gospel of the kingdom vs. the gospel of grace. Further, the argument holds that both JohnBaptist and Jesus were still in the OT times during their ministries.

    I think that view is in error. John the Baptist preached repentance. Jesus preached repentance. Peter preached repentance on the day of Pentecost, and Paul preached it on Mars Hill.

    Therefore, when Jesus endorsed tithing, he was doing it in a New Testament context. When Melchizadek received tithes, the law had not been given. Thus, as nine of the ten commandments transcend the law, so can tithing.

    I'm sure that somebody can tear holes in this viewpoint. That's okay, I'm just thinking out loud and welcome comment.

    I fear that sometimes our Scriptural take on things like tithing are filtered through our already-held views on other things.
     
  12. rjprince

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    Tom,

    Nope. The Law was in force till it was nailed to the cross. Jesus was bound by the Mosaic covenant, and tithing is essentially a part of the Mosaic law.

    Believers are to give regularly, sacrificially, and proportionally. No command after the cross for believer to tithe. Nor is there an example of believers tithing after the cross.

    Abraham paid tithes to Melchisadek one time and that only on the spoils of battle. This is not a pattern for church age giving.
     
  13. Alcott

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    I think the arguments that tithing is a NT requirement can easily be debunked.

    "Jesus endorsed tithing when talking to Pharisees"... It's more like he was sneering at them for "tithing mint and dill" while ignoring mercy and human need. The only thing that even sounds like an "endorsement" is his inclusion of "these things [tithing mint and dill] you should have done (past participle, you may note) without neglecting the others."

    "Melchizadek tithed before the law, which means it was under grace, if there is only law and grace"... If so, then it's "under grace" that we can plunder a region and kill all the inhabitants and take the spoils, as long as we look up the local priest and give him a tithe. Is it?

    "Tithing is a major part of giving to help those in need, which Jesus and the NT writers very specifically commanded"... It may be or it may not. Most churches which take the Word seriously do have something like a Benevolence item in their budget, but how big is that compared to ministerial salaries, expenses and benefits, and building & maintenance, and utilities, et al? So while that is true to a small extent (in most churches), the NT still emphasizes more personal involvement in helping those in need, such as in James where he talks about how we are not doing what we know is right if we just say "Be warm and filled" and don't actually help someone to be sheltered and fed. If we would prefer to give to a church fund to get new stained glass windows instead of helping an unemployed neighbor pay his rent, our priorities are mixed up.

    "If I didn't tithe, I'm afraid my cattle would all die"... While I don't know this first-hand, this is what a banker and Bible class teacher told me a man had told him once; a rancher who was in financial trouble whom he was helping to prepare a budget to 'get back in the black,' and he refused to cut his tithe for that reason. Sure, we could argue about 'being blessed' by tithing, but I am one who has actually applied the Malachi 10 passage-- which is usually cited when tithing is being preached-- and statistically the test fails. That is, if I do a test of hypohtesis of the months that I tithe against those I do not tithe, there is no significant difference, as those who claim they are "blessed" [financially] by faithful tithing claim. And there is no question that in Malachi the "blessing" is for the material; as in not having enough barns to store all the good crops. Conclusion: either the Malachi test is false, or else it applied only to the ancient agrarian society of Israel. I opt for the latter.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    1. As in the case of Exodus 24:8, we must have blood to ratify a covenant. That is what Jesus did at calvary, so we read, "for this is my blood of the covenant" (Matt. 26:28).

    Therefore, when Jesus endorsed tithing, he was doing it in a New Testament context. When Melchizadek received tithes, the law had not been given. Thus, as nine of the ten commandments transcend the law, so can tithing.[/QUOTE]

    2. What are you arguing from? How can you make such a conclusion when your conclusion does follow your premises?

    a. John preached repentance
    b. Jesus preached repentance
    c. therefore, Jesus endorsed tithing in a NT context. It doesn't add up.

    3. Jesus was born under the Law and died under the Law (Gal. 4:4, 5).

    4. There ought to be a better argument out there for Tithing today.
     
  15. David Lamb

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    What of the words of Jesus in Matthew 23.23 (emphasis mine)?

    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."​
     
  16. Mexdeaf

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    It works for me as a minimum.
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    My previous point was brainstorming more than anything else, so I'll not debate it.

    However, I want to zero in on your comment that believers should give regularly, sacrificially and proportionately. Please flesh out proportionately. Define it specifically, if you will. That is, what's do you base your giving on? Does the proportion change at any time? What factors figure into that change?

    And isn't the tithe a proportion which at least has some biblical basis. At least it provides as firm standard to look to.

    Just asking, not arguing.
     
  18. webdog

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    Jesus was simply pointing out that they put greater emphasis on the works portion of the Law. Remember, the greates commandment is to love the Lord with all of you soul and strength...and the second is like the first...to love others as yourself. This is what the Pharisees lacked. This Scripture is not a proof text for or against tithing one way or the other.
     
  19. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    As near as I can tell in the OT the followers of God gave a tithe. In the NT they gave all.

    Does that mean that as Christians we should all be communists?

    Of course not, there was no command or requirement to give all, they gave because they wanted to. Peter makes this clear to Ananias in Acts 5:4

    So forget the tithe, what if I give all?
     
  20. tinytim

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    I echo that...not because I am obligated, but because it is a system not built around my emotions... what if one week I didn't feel like giving, should I not give? Besides that NCT's comments ring loud and clear... What if we give all....

    After all, that is what we as NT Christians are commanded to do... Rom 12:1-2 It is our reasonable service...

    We should not be holding anything back from God using to build his kingdom...

    So 10% is a goood minimum...

    (besides, it is easy math to figure out how much to give also!!! :laugh: )
     

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