Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, May 25, 2013.
I started this thread based on a post from John of Japan
I'm not going to fall out with anybody who shares Dr. Rice's view of storehouse tithing. I do think that Jesus endorsed the principle of porportionality, though.
To those that hold that Jesus did not teach tithing, what do you do with this verse: Matthew 23:23
Now I understand that one may see the emphasis here on the Pharisees' neglect of justice, mercy and faith, and that these are the things they should have done. If so, then "not leave the other undone" must refer to tithing.
If it's the other way around, the result is the same. "These ye ought to have done" refers to tithing, and "not leave the other undone" refers to justice, mercy and faith.
I know, there is one view that the New Testament era did not begin until Pentecost, and that Jesus' earthly ministry was still in the Old Testament era, so tithing is still and OT thing and not binding on NT Christians.
All I know is that Jesus endorsed the principle of the tithe.
I imagine most believers believe in some sort of proportionality, guided by "as God as prospered you." And those who agree with Dr. Rice find no guide for how much that should be in the New Testament.
But they still have to explain--or explain away--Mathew 23:23.
Who was the Christ addressing in Matt. 23:23?
Were they the disciples?
Were they believers?
He is addressing a group who hold to the law, to a group who trust in the law, to a group who use the law to excuse limiting their sphere of caring to a certain holy huddle.
IFF Matt 23:23 were to be a lesson in giving to the believer, it is that all belongs to God, and that includes the motivation and intents of the heart, mind, soul and strength. That "mercy and truth have kissed" and we are to love sinner and saint.
Therefore, the statement of Christ in Matt 23:23 to the heathen religious of his day applied to the believer is not supporting storehouse tithing, but just the opposite. We are to be willing to give and share all we have as the Lord gives us leading - not just to those of the holy but to all.
Thanks Tom, for the most part I agree with Dr. Rice on this.
That's quite easily done in that these Pharisees were under the levitical system with a tribe of priestly workers to support. New Testament Christians, never under that system, were not instructed to shove it into their new congregations. But the "weightier matters" they certainly were.
Dr. Rice is one of my heroes, but he wasn't right on everything.
Where I'm heading with all this is that we all agree that we as believers should give back to the Lord part of what he has given us. The question is, of course, how much? To whom? The local church of which we are a member? Our favorite evangelist or ministry? Some agency which helps the poor?
One answer I hear is that it's up to the individual. That's fine, I guess. But if anybody is having difficulty deciding how much he needs to return to the Lord, or the Lord's work, there is a good guideline. It's the tithe. And I don't remember seeing a verse where Jesus said we didn't have to do it any more. The one verse where he mentioned it he endorsed it. Nowhere do I find Jesus saying, "now when I'm gone, you don't have to do that any more. Just give what you think you can."
I think we all agree that it all belongs to the Lord. Just as it all belonged to the Lord in the Old Testament.
I'm just saying that if anybody is looking for some guidance about how much to give back to the Lord, we have a good example.
I am fine with someone using the tithe as a beginning mark.
I do question the thinking that there has to be any "bench mark" amount, but that would need to be discerned by the people teaching and to what level of giving is considered monetary, physical, vegetable, mineral .... Too many teach that giving is money. It is not.
I think that is part of what Christ was attempting to teach. Giving extends beyond money.
However, speaking of money and increase...
I am retired.
I get a certain income from the retirement program in which I contributed.
Unfortunately, much of the contribution took place after taxes because the typical retirement schemes were not in play back in the day.
So, do I tithe on each month's income from which I have already tithed upon?
Or, is it better to just give as the Lord has blessed me irregardless of increase or inflationary decrease.
And that is to tithe our mint and anise and cummin, as Jesus said should not be left undone? Or do you leave it undone?
Oops. Forgot about them. No, wait. I don't grow any of those. My wife bought them. I've already tithed on the money she used to buy them.
Folks, every discussion on tithing I can remember degenerated into nit-picking.
The question is not, do I tithe on the gross or the net.
The question is not, do I tithe on the tomatoes I picked from my garden.
The question is not, how little can I give and keep the Lord off my back.
The question is not, do I have to tithe on my Christmas gifts? My lottery jackpot?
I have an idea. Just give 20% and all those questions will become irrelevant.
I suppose I should read again more closely, but as far as I can tell.......Rice believes in "tithing" but he's merely arguing that it isn't necessary that it go to the local Church. I agree with him, sorta........I don't know if he is teaching against "tithing" or simply the "storehouse" part of it.
I reject the "tithing" doctrine totally. We are to give, not render a tithe....and frankly, tithing is NEVER EVER money in the Scriptures anyway but rather agricultural products. Tithing is NOT "giving". If it is a command of God than it is not "giving".....it's "paying" it is "rendering". It's paying rent for one's existence on earth.
Rice is right as far as it goes, that the church is not the "storehouse", but he seems to believe that we still owe a "tithe" of money somehow. That is a mistaken doctrine.
I'm going to just get on here to see how it goes. I may not post beyond this one. :saint:
I agree with Dr. Rice that we can tithe elsewhere than the church, and that one point is what got him in trouble with SBC and BBF churches. But I believe we should tithe to the church where we are blessed, and if we aren't blessed there we should go to another church where we can give gladly because the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
As for the tithe itself, I think giving 10% is a sign of weak Christianity. God demands everything in the NT age, not just 10%. There may be times when the Holy Spirit leads the giver to give 20, 30, 50, 100%!
This year over 8000 people in France were taxed over 100%. Why can't we give 100% of our income to the Lord occasionally?
Tom, it often seems the question is "how little can I give and keep the Lord off my back?". So many of the nit-picks revolve around that single point. ie I don't HAVE TO because.........
Sometimes wish there was another word, instead of "tithing" for using the OT baseline for giving of our increase. It's fine to point to principles taught in the OT. Many point to Proverbs to give examples of how we should live our lives. Yet, mention money and the OT doesn't apply. Reminds me of the rich man who would do anything except give up his money.
FWIW, we use the OT example as the baseline to BEGIN giving our dollars and cents. To begin giving of the fruit of our labors. FREELY giving 10% of our gross income, without trying to figure out what can be excluded to "keep the Lord off my back". The monthly check that goes into the collection plate is only a portion of the "giving" done to share that with which we've been so richly blessed.
You see, "sharing", IMO, is far more than putting money in a collection plate, everytime it's passed. Whether it's our home church or one we're visiting. Whether it's a love offering to help someone in need or to help pay the church electric bill. Sharing is buying needed supplies (without turning in a receipt) and spending energy to fix a maintenace problem whether at church or in the home of someone in need. Sharing is taking a person to a doctor's appointment without being reinbursed for vehicle use.
Sharing is "giving" without strings attached. Because Jesus died on the cross, there are no strings attached to using 10% gross as a base line to begin giving dollars to the church. Nor spending time to mop the Fellowship Hall floor. Nor spending yesterday morning shoveling dirt to help with a local school project. Nor what will go into the collection plates this morning at Sunday School and worship.
Tom, you are right. "The question is not, how little can I give and keep the Lord off my back." God doesn't want a single penny or a single second of time, given in His name, that isn't freely given from our hearts without regret about doing so. If someone puts a dollar bill in the collection plate, but would rather be putting it into a lottery ticket, God doesn't want that dollar bill. Same thing applies whether it's 10% or 20%.
Thank you John. Wish I'd seen your post before I posted. You've made a point far better than I could. "Not just 10%".
Agree, too, that we should tithe to the church where we are blessed. Above that are offering we make to our church, other churches, ministries, and/or to help our neighbor who is in need.
Good point about giving all we've got to the Lord. And, I'm not just talking about dollars and cents, either.
One cannot, by definition, "freely give" a tithe as taught by it's proponents. The doctrine of the 10% monetary tithe does not leave room for "cheerful giving". It is taught as a command, and yes, according to that doctrine, even if one WANTED to put the money elsewhere, than God Absolutely still wants it whether it is paid with cheerfulness or begrudgingly.
Nothing about the tithe doctrine leaves room for a cheerful "gift". The idea is that you are simply returning to God what already belongs to him, and he is OWED it without question. Consistently taught, the tithe doctrine teaches that even the un-saved are guilty of a sin of ommission for not having "tithed".
Tithing is not "giving". No verse about "giving" is relevant to the doctrine of the tithe.
Just why is it you don't give 100%? Under a tithing system, some is owed to God and some ain't. I'm not checking right now, but I do think one of those statements that virtually always gets into this has been made on this thread, which is "God owns it all." So if he gives us our income, any increase, he ought to just skip a step and withhold it in such a way we can't get it anyway. I wouldn't feed wild birds expecting them to give me a tenth back; I'd just cut what I give them by a tenth if I thought I had to have it.
Having been round and round about this topic over the years, I finally have peace and freedom about it. I HIGHLY recommend the excellent book by our own BB member Aresman (Daniel Mynyk) "Freedom To Give". I am thankful that a certain other BB member blessed me with a gift copy of it and it helped me greatly. It is as near to being "exhaustive" on the matter as anything I have ever seen (even though Bro.Mynyk does NOT make that claim about it). How ANYBODY could remain under the legal bondage of a tithe "law" after reading it would be a mystery to me. Here is a link to the information about the book and how to obtain a copy. Read it with and open Bible and an open heart! God will bless you for doing so....
Freedom to Give: The Biblical Truth About Tithing! - Home
...and NO...I am not getting a %age or a kickback for saying this....:laugh:
Hmm. I seem to recall writing a book about tithing a few years ago.
Jesus spoke Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 to the scribes and Pharisees who "sit in Moses' seat" (Mat 23:2-3). They were the guardians and teachers of the law; thus, they were responsible for explaining to the people what the law meant.
These teachers of the law were hypocrites as Jesus often called them. They took certain outward actions of the law to nitpicking extremes while finding loopholes in other places, totally making void the whole inward intention of the law through traditions. In the case of the tithes of the law (annual tenths of crops and livestock for certain ceremonial or social purposes), they demonstrated excess by painstakingly counting a tenth of garden herbs and spices (mint, anise, cumin, dill, etc.) to make everyone else feel guilty. They went beyond the intention of the laws of the tithes (Levitical, festival, and third-year poor), yet they disregarded the mercy and justice that the law was intended to uphold.
The "ye" being discussed as "ought to have done" are the scribes and Pharisees under the Old Covenant laws that we are not under in the New Covenant. The tithes were tied to sustaining "men that die" (Heb 7:8) in the Levitical priesthood and observing ceremonial feasts in a Sabbatical cycle of years, culminating in the Year of Jubilee.
Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Heb 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou [Jesus] art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
The law was full of types and shadows of Jesus Christ. The Levitical priesthood was an imperfect priesthood that both came after and was succeeded forever by the Melchiedek order of priests: Melchizedek and Jesus. The offerings that the Levitical priests received were their sustenance in being the intercessors between God and the people to offer animal sacrifices (coming from the tithes). They were "men that die" and they had to pass on their role to their progeny.
Jesus Christ is now "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb 7:7,21). He does not need to eat tithes. He rose from the dead and lives forever. He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Father in heaven and intercedes for the saints. He does not need tithes to sustain Him in His function as High Priest in heaven. There are no more human priests who need tithes to intercede; thus, there are no more tithes.
Jesus "commended" the excessive tithe practices of the scribes and Pharisees because He had not yet performed His perfect work as Priest and Sacrifice. After His death and resurrection, you find no command for the people of God regarding tithes.
There is no so-called "tithing principle" in Scripture if you read what the Scriptures actually say about tithes. There is a "giving principle" and this principle is to give cheerfully and abundantly to make sure that needs are met. There is no magical threshold for the giver based on "income." There is only that of give, be a blessing, and meet needs.