To tithe or not to tithe, that is the question

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Peculiar person, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Peculiar person

    Peculiar person
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    Found an interesting article by L. Ray Smith on tithing. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    Tithing is Unscriptural Under the New Covenant
    [A Scriptural Exposition on the Fraudulent Fleecing of the Flock]

    By: L. Ray Smith

    Before we begin I want you to know that I am personally all for giving to and helping good causes. Paul was inspired by God's Holy Spirit to declare that "God LOVES a cheerful giver" (II Cor.9:7). Cheerfully giving from the heart is a virtue. However, fraudulently fleecing the flock by exacting ten percent of parishioner's paychecks under fear of breaking an Old Testament law of tithing, is a sin!

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    "Will a man ROB God?" How many untold tens of thousands of men will give account one day for teaching this verse in Malachi 3:8 totally out of context for their own sordid gain. I couldn’t count the times I have heard self-appointed ministers of the gospel berate their congregations and listeners for "robbing God" in tithes and offerings. This verse in Malachi certainly means what it says. Someone was defrauding God of tithes and offerings, but wait until you find out who it is that God blames for this act.

    On any given Sunday morning there will be numerous men-of-the-cloth who will be bellowing out over the air waves that people are being "cursed with a curse" because they have failed to pay God ten percent of their paychecks. And should such a gullible listener decide to repent and give God ten percent of his salary, just how does he do that? Just keep listening, these men of the cloth who often have unquenchable worldly desires of the flesh, will be sure to give you an address where you can send them (or, ah, rather God) your tithe. Do they have a right to quote these Scriptures to you in this manner? No they do not, and furthermore they themselves know better.

    It is far past time that we offer a little comfort to the millions of people in our nation and around the world who are chafing under the constant burden of supporting ministers and televangelists who live lifestyles so materialistic and worldly that even Hugh Heffner would be envious. I’m not trying to be humorous about these characters, I’m dead serious.

    Just last night I heard Dr. Frederick Price on TBN repeat several times how happy he is every time payday comes around. Oh how he loves payday. He said something to the effect that he no longer owes his whole paycheck to someone else as he did before becoming a successful minister, but that now, not only is there enough money to pay all the bills, but that also, "...there is extra money left over for me!"

    Well I certainly don’t begrudge any minister an honest living. However, I do believe that when many of these modern televangelists (and others) feel the need to have everything they own gold gilded, then just maybe their greed and vanity starts to destroy their effectiveness as dispensers of God’s Truths.

    There is no need for people to feel guilty over any religious doctrine. It is time to rid ourselves of guilty consciences. Trust me, after reading this paper your gilt over tithing or non-tithing will be gone forever! Just how much do most people (or their ministers) really know about God’s teaching on tithing?

    MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WHAT TITHING REALLY IS

    Here are just a few things you will learn about tithing directly from the Scriptures:

    It was the ministers (Levitic Priests) in the book of Malachi that God blamed for defrauding Him, not the tithe payers themselves! And, as there is no Levitic Priesthood today, no one can tithe under the New Covenant.

    Contrary to popular misconceptions, the Scriptures do not show that Abraham tithed on a regular basis from his personal property or livestock. Abraham gave one tithe only from the booty of war to Melchizedek the priest of God! There is no evidence that he ever tithes again.

    God did not tell Jacob that if he tithed He would bless Jacob, but rather Jacob told God that if God blessed him first, then Jacob would give God a tithe! (You know, I have never, ever, even heard tell of, a sermon given by self-appointed tithe-collectors, on the tithing habits of Jacob).

    Jesus Christ did not support His ministry through tithes. Furthermore, He told His apostles NOT to take money from ANY source when He sent them out to preach the gospel. After Christ’s resurrection, the apostles did not collect tithes or "tithe money" from the people either.

    Only Levites could collect tithes. Christian televangelists are not "Priests of Levi!" They can accept freewill offerings; they dare not collect "tithes!" There are NO priests of Levi anywhere on earth today. It is a SIN for anyone to exact "tithe money" from anyone! And the wages of sin is DEATH! (Rom. 6:23).

    If one was a poor farmer in ancient Israel and didn’t have an increase in his harvest, then such were NOT REQUIRED TO TITHE AT ALL!

    Our apostle, Paul, often went without and labored with his own hands for sustenance. Yet, he never taught tithing. Paul knew full well that "tithing" is not for believers and the true Israel of God today. Paul absolutely never took one penny of "tithe money" to support his lifelong ministry! If Paul had taken just one hundredth of the salaries and wages of the converts under his care, he would have never gone hungry, but would have been a super wealthy man..

    The priests (Levites) were not to live a life of worldly splendor above even that of the king, but rather were given portions of the tithe of the increase of the land that was also given to the strangers, the widows, and the fatherless. This tithe consisted of things like wheat, corn, and oil, not huge amounts of MONEY.

    Not all of the tithes were given to the Levites, fatherless, widows, and strangers. Some tithes were eaten by the tithe payer and his family, in communion with the Lord.

    "The first tenth belongs to God" is not a Scriptural statement or principle. God did not require the first tenth, but the tenth tenth!

    In ancient Israel, under the Levitical priesthood, money was not a tithable commodity. No one was required to tithe on money! All ministers know that tithing money is unscriptural! If they don’t, they haven’t even read these scriptures on tithing.

    All ministers who teach that the Bible gives them authority to exact the collecting of money as a tithe to God are doing so without God’s instructions. In the History of the world, God Almighty has NEVER authorized any man or organization, for any religious purpose, to exact ten percent of another man’s wages!

    PP
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Another example of how we keep the rules we want as God's law, and toss the ones we don't as "legalistic".

    I'm amused how many people feel that women shouldn't be pastors, but that men aren't arquired to tithe.
     
  3. Daniel David

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    I don't understand this last part Johnv. I am against women preachers and teaching tithing as a rule.
     
  4. Johnv

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    It can be argued that both tithing and the ban on women from speaking do not apply. It can also be argued that both of these do still apply. Both sides of the issue on both of these points can be argued biblically. Yet arguements on these usually don't end up with "this is how I read it", they usually end up with "my way of reading it is the only way", or "if you don't see it my way, you're just being legalistic".

    For the record, I don't believe women should be kept from the pulpit, and I believe in tithing. But others interpret it differently.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    And I'm on the other side. Believe tithing is OT Law that is NOT commanded for the church or believers today. Never have practiced it or preached it.

    God loves a cheerful giver, not from constraint. The Law made lousy Jews and even worse Christians!

    But that women should not PASTOR (not saying anything about "preaching" at this point). That is clear NT teaching that, although not politically correct, is indisputeable.
     
  6. mountainrun

    mountainrun
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    I agree completely with Dr. B.
    The tithe of the OT never did apply to gentiles and since Jesus fulfilled and cancelled the law
    it certainly does not apply now.

    It is those who thing the tithe applies to us who are picking and choosing from the OT.

    Maybe they should study exactly how the tithe was commanded to be used and follow those commands also.

    Although I do like the one where God says if it is too far away to take the tithe, swap it for cash, buy some wine and party hearty.

    MR
     
  7. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    I believe one should give as the Holy Spirit leads, I think the tithe was OT. If one isn't getting much out of church or putting much in I don't think one should give to that church.
    Bob
     
  8. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Yes he is right. You give what you feel the Holy Spirit suggests.

    Some people that give 10% are not giving enough. 10% is no reference point for New Testament Giving.
     
  9. JonathanG

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    Tithing is OT 10%. NT is by Grace. So by Grace we as Christians should beyond 10%. Grace takes all the Law and expands it farther

    May God Bless

    Jon
     
  10. Don

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    Although this might actually be a subject for another topic, would someone please explain to me?

    My understanding is that justification is a pardon for sin. The concept of this pardon is that the law is not done away with or set aside; it is fulfilled. It must be fulfilled by something that, in the law's eyes, is righteous enough to cancel the sin (not cancel the law); and for us, that righteousness is only the righeousness of Christ.

    Thus, believers are justified; but this is NOT to say that the law is set aside, only that it is fulfilled.

    Do I have a misconception about this?

    And re-reading, perhaps I should add: I'm not arguing that we still must follow the law. The law doesn't save us, and trying to follow the law to obtain righeousness was why Jesus had to come.

    [ January 17, 2003, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  11. Daniel David

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    Yes. Read Romans 7:1-6. In the same way that a woman can only be remarried without being an adulteror (her previous husband being dead), so a person can only be biblically saved by being dead to the Law through faith in Christ. People are not divorced from the Law.
     
  12. Sherlock57

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    This is an interesting topic. I personally hardly ever preach on giving unless it is in the text that I am preaching from. We see the principle of giving in the New Testament. The churches only means of support in the Bible is giving. I know some churches that do raffles etc., but I just can't find it in the Bible. I believe in giving, but I believe in giving through God's Institution i.e. the local church. I teach the people that God blesses a cheerful giver and that "their right hand shouldn't know what their left hand gives"
     
  13. qwerty

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    Has anyone ever heard tithing taught on in context? That is, the teacher teaches tithing within the entire context of the book of Malachi?
     
  14. Scott J

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    Maybe we should consider the tithe a floor rather than a ceiling. Did not the early church have everything in common? Did not the law establish minimum acceptable standards while the NT demands our all be surrendered to God?

    I don't believe in the strict standard of the tithe. It is a starting point. Our giving should go up from there. Our holiness should exceed that of the Pharisees.
     
  15. Don

    Don
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    Kal, please check your private messages.
     
  16. mountainrun

    mountainrun
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    Don, you said--

    ========
    My understanding is that justification is a pardon for sin. The concept of this pardon is that the law is not done away with or set aside; it is fulfilled. It must be fulfilled by something that, in the law's eyes, is righteous enough to cancel the sin (not cancel the law); and for us, that righteousness is only the righeousness of Christ.
    ========

    You go beyond having a misconception.
    You are totally at odds with the Bible.

    Colossians 2:13&14. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

    Jesus said that none of the law would pass away until all things were fulfilled.
    He fulfilled the things of the law completely and perfectly. The final act of fulfillment was the sacrifice of the cross.
    The law has now passed away.
    Completely.
    Many Christians keep trying to drag it back though, particularly in regard to Sabbath keeping, {condemned in Galatians} and tithing.

    MR
     
  17. Artimaeus

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    Tithe...no
     
  18. j_barner2000

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    interesting..... My pastor preached that a tithe is definately still in effect as the minimum and by no means been cancelled. I always believed stewardship was all about giving as the Holy Spirit leads. Each to his own ability. I give of my talents to edify the body. I also give fiancially.
     
  19. Johnv

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    Maybe I'm getting a little off the beaten path, but I don't think that Jesus "fulfilling" the law is the same as "invalidating" the law. There's way too much of a "we don't have to do that anymore" casuality in Christianity. I'd rather keep the law and be wrong than disgrgard the law and be wrong.
     
  20. Don

    Don
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    Mountainrun, suffice to say that you and I are not at odds. I'm going to private message you, seeing as we're getting onto a different subject.
     

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