Tithing

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by awaken, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. awaken

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    Before we discuss tithing, we should first define what we mean by the word "tithe." The Greek and Hebrew words for "tithe" literally mean "tenth" (according to Strong's Dictionary), so the basic meaning of tithing involves giving 10% of something. Therefore, if I choose to give 10% of my paycheck to my church then I have given a "tithe" according to the most basic definition of that word. The New Testament tells us to give generously, and my 10% offering would certainly qualify as generous giving.

    However, many churches teach that Christians must give 10% of their paychecks to their local church, otherwise we're robbing God and shutting off the flow of God's blessings. So when Christians talk about "tithing," they're usually referring to this idea that giving 10% of every paycheck to our local church is a Scriptural requirement or a Scriptural principle which Christians should be following.

    So what does the Bible really say about this?:cool:
     
  2. awaken

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    No one wants to attempt this one...:laugh:

    In order to determine whether or not Christians must tithe, it's important to prayerfully study everything that the Bible says about tithing. First I examined every passage concerning tithes or tenths outside of the Law of Moses, and then I studied every passage in the Law of Moses concerning tithes or tenths.

    Here is every passage on tithing before the Law of Moses began and after it ended at the cross:

    Genesis 14:17: "After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley)."
    Genesis 14:18: "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,"
    Genesis 14:19: "and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth."
    Genesis 14:20: "And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything."

    Genesis 28:20: "Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear"
    Genesis 28:21: "so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God"
    Genesis 28:22: "and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.""

    Hebrews 6:20: "where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
    Hebrews 7:1: "This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,"
    Hebrews 7:2: "and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace.""
    Hebrews 7:3: "Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever."
    Hebrews 7:4: "Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!"
    Hebrews 7:5: "Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people--that is, their brothers--even though their brothers are descended from Abraham."
    Hebrews 7:6: "This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises."
    Hebrews 7:7: "And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater."
    Hebrews 7:8: "In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living."
    Hebrews 7:9: "One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,"
    Hebrews 7:10: "because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor."
    Hebrews 7:11: "If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come--one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?"
    Hebrews 7:12: "For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law."

    The above passages are the only places in the Bible where tithes or tenths are mentioned before the Law of Moses began or after it ended.

    The first passage above (Genesis 14:17-20) shows a man named Abram tithing to a priest-king named Melchizedek (Abram's name was changed to Abraham in Genesis 17:5). Since Abraham is our spiritual "father" (Romans 4:9-17), and since he paid a tithe, does this imply that Christians should pay tithes as well?
     
  3. Amy.G

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    The tithe was for the Jew only. There is nothing in the bible that addresses Christians regarding the tithe.
     
  4. Steadfast Fred

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    AmyG is correct. The tithe was for the Jew, and only for those Jews living in the Holy Land.
     
  5. Steadfast Fred

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    What does the Bible really say about the tithe? Well, according to Leviticus the tithe was never money. It was produce from the land.

    Leviticus tells us the tithe of crops could be redeemed if one wanted to redeem the tithe, but that one would have to add 20% of the value of the tithe to redeem it. It must be noted that the word 'redeem' does not mean keep. It means 'to buy back.' So in order for one to redeem one's tithe, one would first have to give that tithe. Then the Levite would assess what the tithe was worth and add 20% of the estimated value if the tither wanted to purchase it back.
     
    #5 Steadfast Fred, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2012
  6. Steadfast Fred

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    No, it does not imply that Christians should pay tithes at all.

    That is, unless they are to tithe what Abram tithed; i.e., the spoils of war. Abram did not tithe his own possessions.
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Here is where I definitely do agree with you!:thumbsup:
     
  8. saturneptune

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    I will continue to tithe my income and not worry about the correct doctrine.
     
  9. Steadfast Fred

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    Since God said His tithe was crops and livestock, how can one truly be tithing money?

    Can we tell God He is wrong? Can we tell Him that His tithe is not what He declared it to be?
     
  10. saturneptune

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    So what do you suggest I do, cattle rustle a stock yard, go harvest crops that are not mine, then give ten percent to the church?
     
  11. Allan

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    Actually it depends on what tithe you are referring to since there were many.
    Additionally the tithe was more about your increase and since the main commerce of the day was not necessarily money (though some did have it) what was illustrative of the Tithe was not necessarily about what was given but specifically what it was to be used for and that everyone had a part to do in relation to the things of God and what God had given you.

    There are many points in scripture that while it does not specifically state the tithe it does refer back it, such as paying the minister.

    Lastly, I would love to do away with the tithe and move to a more biblical giving which if one studies scripture was not a tithe but MORE than a tithe. This is true and biblical giving.. but no one really wants to give in the biblical sense.
     
  12. saturneptune

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    I have never heard so many say that a tithe is not required, or those who say to give want to give cattle and crops. In modern day America, I give what I have earned. How to give otherwise is a mystery to me. Honestly, it seems like an excuse not to give. We always give a tithe, and offerings on various occasions.

    The questions I have always asked myself, instead of wondering if I should have given farm animals, is the tithe based on increase after bills are paid, net, gross, or gross plus benefits. I just go with the total paycheck. Micah makes the principle of giving quite clear. One of the most important aspects is a cheerful heart. If one is more worried about the formula, or some ridiculous way of giving, then the cheerful heart is absent. In that case, keep your money. The Lord does not need anyone's money. If there is a purpose to giving other that supporting the work of the Lord, it is what it does to our hearts in relation to our fellow man.
     
  13. Steadfast Fred

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    AresMan has a great book out called Freedom to Give, in which he addresses what God requires of man in today's age.
     
  14. Allan

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    Yes address his impression of it, but .. well.. enough said there
     
  15. Allan

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    It is funny how even the godless heathen and pagans knew to offer unto their gods a minimum 10% in relation to worship to their god(s). Interesting how many give more to their god in an act of worship than believers to the one true and living God.

    Most miss what the tithe was about and thus miss the whole intent and the reason God instituted it, but I agree with you Saturn. It is mostly an argument to not give and keep for one's self. However whether tithing or giving, one should not do so if one doesn't want to or isn't joyful in doing so. Thus for those who seek not to be entangled by (so-called) legalism or whatever mythological negative adjective one wishes to use.. it is best before God they keep their money and not give anything.
     
  16. Steadfast Fred

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    There is not one instruction to tithe in the New Testament Scriptures... not one.

    One would think that if the early Christian Church was to tithe, there would have been something written. But alas, there is not>

    It is argued that the minister is to be paid and therefore the tithe is still to operate in today's society. While it is true that the minister should be paid, the Word of God does not teach us to tithe in order to pay him.

    The Word of God tells us to give what we choose to give, it does not tell us to tithe.
     
  17. Allan

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    :) Did you ever look at the passages that deal with that.. and to what it looks back to in order to establish it. The OT law regarding the tithe.

    Jesus never spoke on same sex issues either.. does that mean He was for it? Of course not, common sense establishes that it was a known or understand stance that was not at issue, thus was not needed to be elaborated upon. Tithing was an established principle to with the people (both Jews and Gentiles) what was needful to bring to the understanding was what giving was, was for, and in what attitude it was to be given in. Thus the reason for extended teachings on purpose and practice of giving. For me, I'm all for it.. I WISH people would begin giving biblically and stop tithing.. we could start seeing the power of God more as people loose their grip on their material gods

    It is not 'what' you choose to you, but why you choose to give it and for what reason you have given it. I encourage you to give and not tithe, but do it biblically and thus let it more that 10%
     
    #17 Allan, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2012
  18. Steadfast Fred

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    I have studied the passages that mention tithes extensively. I have even studied many passages that people say teach tithes that clearly do not.

    There is no Scriptural instruction for the New Testament Church member to tithe of his or her money.
     
  19. Allan

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    If so, then why use the OT Tithing system to illustrate to the NT believers how to pay the preacher.. If God uses it to illustrate, it begs the question - why if the principle of tithe is obsolete? and another question directly tied to the first - does it not signify from whence the payment is coming from?? If not, then from where would these NT believers get such payment on a regular basis because it must care for his needs? What principle is active - give if you want, when you want to but make sure there is enough to take care of the pastor, and missions, and the widows, and ect... How did they make sure there was enough.. did they have weekly business/financial meetings figure the cost then come Sunday appealed to the masses?

    I'm being legit here.. these questions are necessary. And if after Christ ascended they continued in much of the Jewish Customs... going to synagog on Saturday, keeping the feasts, circumcision ect.. would they not have also continued in how they gave to God? We find they did continue in the Jewish ways and came to a point where the Gentiles was excluded from having to maintain what THEY continued in. Is it wrong to tithe? No. Is it a good principle to teach in relation to God and worship? Yes.. Is there any biblical evidence that scripture states tithing is to no longer be practiced? No. It is an argument from silence on that part.. however there are enough pieces in the NT to at least give a nod toward practice if not toward the principle being taught.

    Just questions is all.

    Regarding the tithe though...

    Don't tithe if you don't want to.. so start giving biblically which is above or better, more than a tithe. Show them slack Christians brothers and sisters how to worship God in giving so that they no longer give God so little of so much that He has given them
     
    #19 Allan, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2012
  20. Allan

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    double post... some how
     

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