doulos said:
It reminds me of the dilemma that Peter found himself in. On the one hand he was the Apostle who went to the tanner's house to be shown that the gentiles were to have the gospel preached to them just as the Jews. On the other he is publicly denounced by Paul for not sitting with them. He knows in his heart what is right but facing his peers he follows the pack.

Is it the Law or not? Is it mandated or should you do so because you feel it is the right thing to do? I think that if we ever reach a consensus it will ruin the idea of giving from your heart and turn it into a Law. Its not a public thing, its a personal decision made in the "prayer closet" and carried out as quietly as possible.

Your illustration using Peter is quite good, IMHO. But I fear you have missed the fundamental issue which he faced. His heart was right, i.e., he knew that the Gentiles were to be included in the Church, yet he was still bound to the old civil law which drove him to his dissimulation and for which Paul had to rebuke him. If it is of the law or not has little to do with the disposition of the heart. For in fact, the moral law is still binding upon Christians, yet our conformity to it is not one done begrudgingly, but cheerfully and with thanksgiving.

Romans 7:12 (ASV) "So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. . . . 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: . . . 8:12-14 (ASV) So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

1 John 5:2-3 (ASV) "Hereby we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."

Thus, once again, it is incumbent upon us to determine whether or not tithing is of the law? or if it is of the Spirit? And whether it is of the law or of liberty of the Spirit, it must be done most freely, willingly and cheerfully. However, IF it is of the law, then it is not a matter of a "personal decision", for we are bound to keep whatever God has commanded. And if we refuse to obey that which God commands, then we are guilty of sinning against Him and we are duty bound to repent. However, if the "tithe" is not part of the new covenant administration, then no one is conscience-bound to keep the letter of that mandate/law. But rather one's giving is unfettered and to be given as God enables.

What Ted and some others in this thread are espousing is that the "tithe" is of the law, i.e., it is mandatory (ignoring the manner of how it is given at this point) that all who profess Christ are under obligation to render 10% of their gross income. And further, not only the amount, i.e., 10% of the gross income, is required, that it be given specifically to the Church. Anything beyond the tithe can then be given to other areas, e.g., feeding the poor, parachurch ministries, political parties, etc. The remainder of us dispute the verity of that position and have asked for biblical arguments, e.g., exegesis of specific passages and/or reasonable rebuttals of our premise that the "tithe" belongs to the civil and/or ceremonial laws of theocratic Israel.

Unfortunately, I have my doubts that any biblical defense will be forthcoming if what has gone before is any indication. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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