Ted quotes James Boice:

I feel about the tithe much the way I feel about the Sabbath, having said often that I see no specific passage in the New Testament that lays the tithe upon Christians as legal obligation. But as I said before, that is not the whole story. It is true that Christians are not under the specifics of the Old Testament legislation, but where ethical issues are concerned, it is always the case that when you pass from the Old Testament to the New, the standard goes up rather than down.

Sorry Ted, but I can't let this go unchallenged. This is NOT a matter of what you or anyone else wants to deem proper as a foundation for your giving (stewardship), but rather one of proper interpretation and application of God's inspired and infallible Word. So, once again, I must affirm and insist that there the Scriptures do not teach nor do they allow the perpetuity of the tithe of Israel to be applied in any way, shape or form to the new covenant church. It is not a principle, standard, mandate nor law that bears upon the Church. In the quote you provided from Boice, he too is guilty of gross contradiction. On the one hand he affirms that the tithe is not a "legal obligation", i.e., no Christian is bound to the old covenant tithe. And as I pointed out to you before, the civil and ceremonial laws were abrogated (fulfilled) by Christ and thus do not apply to the Church. However, the MORAL LAW of God is eternal and perpetual due to the fact that they are the very expression of God's holy character. On the other hand, Boice, knowing that this is true concerning the MORAL LAW, without any justification whatsoever, relegates and elevates the Israelic "tithe" to a place alongside the MORAL LAW, e.g., the Sabbath.

If the tithe is an "ethical" issue, then it is moral and thus perpetual and BINDING upon all men no less than "shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou bear false witness," etc. This then makes the "tithe" a law to which all men must obey. It cannot be said to be a matter of personal choice.

If the tithe is not "ethical", which it is clearly not, then it cannot be binding upon new covenant believers and thus for anyone to make it a basis for determining what is "good" stewardship is to fall back into a form of legalism. (cf. Rom 14, Gal. 3; Col. 2; et al)

Acts 15:5, 10 (ASV) "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses. . . . Now therefore why make ye trial of God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"

The New Testament tells us WHERE we should direct our giving, e.g., supporting those who labor in the Word, widows, the poor, etc. And the New Testament tells us the MANNER in which we should give, e.g., with a cheerful heart, etc. But the New Testament nowhere tells us HOW MUCH we should give nor particularly in reference to the "tithe" specific to theocratic Israel. All that men have has always been from the Lord, even the air they breathe. So it is not a valid argument to make that as being unique to the new covenant in relation to one's giving. It is not a matter of "giving" but more what you DO with that which you have been given. One may give away little but do great things with what they have for the kingdom of God. Another may do little but give away much. By way of illustration, one who has minimal income and is therefore not able to put much money into the offering plate when it is passed around, may use his Chevy van to transport the elderly to Church who otherwise might not be able to attend. But one who has a much greater income may give a considerable amount of money to the Church yet give nothing of himself. Do you think God is more pleased with the latter over the other?

I say again..... WHAT, HOW MUCH and to WHOM one chooses to give is a matter of conscience; aka: Adiaphora. Determining if one is a "good" steward must never be based upon QUANTITY, e.g., if it meets or exceeds "10% of one's gross income" but rather upon QUALITY, i.e., the intention of the heart to please God, further the kingdom and desire to help those who are in need.

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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