Ted said:
Thank you, Kyle. I benefitted from it more THIS time than last. I guess I am confused by this:

Ted wrote:
Please forgive me for any confusion I may have caused, Jeff. I do NOT believe that the "tithe" is binding upon new covenant believers. . .

Please forgive me, Jeff, but I just don't see how "the tithe was specific to theonomic Israel" . . .

I must be dense. Why are my two statements above contradictory? I don't see where there is ANYTHING that is "binding" upon new covenant believers in the manner of "law." . . .


Let just BRIEFLY deal with this issue and with these two statements which I think are representative of the many contradictory things you have written, of which after reading more of the exchange between you and CovenantInBlood, I think I'm beginning to understand why this contradiction exists.

1) You state clearly that you believe the O.T. tithe is not binding upon Christians.
2) You state clearly that the tithe was not restricted to the old covenant and theonomic Israel.
3) You state clearly that you believe that nothing is binding upon Christians 'in the manner of the law'.

Then you provided a quote from Randy Alcorn who states clearly that the O.T. tithe is perpetual [not specific to Israel] in principle and it is binding upon new covenant believers:

Acorn writes:
I'm a strong believer in the new covenant's superiority over the old (Romans 7; 2Corinthians 3; Hebrews 8). On the other hand, I believe there's ongoing value to certain aspects of the old covenant. The model of paying back to God the firstfruits (tithing) and giving freewill offerings beyond that is among those. Because we are never told that tithing has been superseded, and because Jesus directly affirmed it (Matthew 23:23) and prominent church fathers taught it as a requirement for Christian living, it seems to me the burden of proof falls on those who say tithing is no longer a minimum standard for God's people.. . . and

We don't offer sacrifices anymore, so why should we tithe? Because sacrifices are specifically rescinded in the New Testament. As the book of Hebrews demonstrates, Christ has rendered inoperative the whole sacrificial system. But where in the New Testament does it indicate that tithing is no longer valid? There is no such passage. With a single statement, God could have easily singled out tithing like He did sacrifices and the Sabbath. But He didn't.

- page 181 of Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn

With the hopes you will come to a better and biblical understanding of this matter I would have you know that if God requires and/or expects you to do something, say something, or think something specific, then it is "binding", i.e., you are obligated [aka: bound] to obey those things. ALL that God wills is "law". We are therefore to obey ALL the law. To fail to keep ALL the law is sin. Now, sinners are guilty of disobedience; of being law-breakers and are under the wrath of God and judgment. Salvation is accomplished in only one way and that way is "by works"; the perfect keeping of the law. You either do it yourself or you trust in the obedience of another. But the Law of God must be kept completely and perfectly in order to have any relationship with God whatsoever and avoid eternal punishment.

Self-justification is an impossibility as you well know. Thus salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The Lord Christ is the sinners "Substitute law-keeper", i.e., He kept the law of God always, completely and perfectly (aka: active obedience). Further, because we have all sinned and stand guilty before God, in His death, He is the sinners "Substitute law-breaker", i.e., He suffered the penalty which belonged to us due to our sins. (2Cor 5:21)

So, what all this when the topic is "tithing"? Because it has to do with the Law of God, what does that law require, and whether or not a Christian is bound to keep it. The ONLY law which Christians are under obligation to keep is the Moral Law of God, for all the civil and ceremonial laws were shadows and types which pointed to the coming of the Messiah and His perfect sacrificial life and death which were pleasing to God and which fulfilled ALL that was required of Him. Christians are not free to be Idolaters, to worship God as they wish, to take God's name in vain, to do as they will on the Sabbath, to be dishonoring to parents, to murder people, to commit adultery, to steal, to speak falsely, to desire that which belongs to another. These things are summarized by Jesus as two basic laws which are to govern all of one's thoughts, words and deeds. (cf. Mk 12:30, 31) Obedience is mandatory; not optional. These moral laws are "binding" upon ALL men but especially Christians. They are that which serve as the "rule of life". They tell us HOW we are to live. They set forth man's duty; that which he is required to obey for they are the expressed will of God [aka: prescriptive will]. For more see here: The Moral Law and its Relation to Believers, by Ernest Kevan.

Okay... and the point is? If the "tithe" is something which is "binding", i.e., it requires obedience, conformity to, etc., then it is part of God's law and to not fulfill its requirements is sin. Remember now, we are speaking of sanctification, i.e., living out a life in conformity to all that God requires of us; becoming partakers of Christ's divine nature, not by compulsion by out of thankfulness and with the freedom and power of the Spirit of God. Thus, if the tithe has not been abrogated, which Alcorn insists is true, then it is still "binding" and thus as he points out, it is to the the "standard", "guide", "rule" by which a Christian governs his life in regard to giving and stewardship. In short, stewardship is defined, determined and distributed by the "law of the tithe", i.e., a bare minimum of at least "10%". So then, this is not an option.... it is God's will and it MUST be done; it is binding and thus requires perfect obedience.

Lastly, Alcorn says the "tithe" must still be valid because there is no clear statement in the N.T. that says it has been abrogated. He erroneously compares the Sabbath with tithing, thus making tithing part of the moral law; a major hermeneutical flaw. But there IS a clear statement that says that ALL the civil and ceremonial laws have been abrogated (fulfilled) . . . Matt. 5:17. Of course, Theonomists/Reconstructionists would argue otherwise. But that's another matter which has been thoroughly discussed on this Board and not relevant here.

So, there it is Ted . . . either the "tithe" is binding, i.e., the will of God (law) to which Christians must render obedience, or it was specific to the Israelic civil and ceremonial laws, being shadows of that which was to come and fulfilled by Christ in His perfect life and death. Is my relationship with God to be determined by my checkbook or by Christ's substitutionary sacrifice in my behalf and expressed by my love for Christ and my desire to become like Him, and do all that God commands of me in His moral law? (Jh 14:15; 15:10; 1Jh 5:3)

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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