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Hmmm and Baptists get called dispensational. Well here is some for you.
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Hebrews 7:6-9 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has taken tithes of Abraham, and has blessed him who has the promises. But without any dispute the less is blessed by the better. Here people who die receive tithes, but there one receives tithes of whom it is testified that he lives. So to say, through Abraham even Levi, who receives tithes, has paid tithes,emphasis mine

The Levitical priesthood and its mandated tithes began with Moses and ended with Christ. The author of Hebrews is proving the superiority of the Order of Melchizedek to the Order of Levi. Since Levi was in loins of Abraham when the gift was made, the inferiority of the Levitical priesthood is thereby proven. But no law is being established in these verses. Abraham gave 10% of his goods voluntarily in the absence of any law that required him to do so.

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Now here's a question for you Speratus since Christ is a priest on the order of Melchizedek, and since Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek,(Gen. 14:18-20) should we who have inherited the blessings promised to Abraham (see Gal. 3:14-18)not do the same?

Who do you propose to give these tithes to? Since the Levitical priesthood was abolished, there is no earthly priestly class to receive your tithes to Melchizedek. That is, unless you happen to believe that there are a bunch of Melchizedek priests in Apostolic Succession who offer up sacrifices for their own sins and yours in an abomination called the Papist Mass.

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OBTW lest I forget no the Levitical priesthood is done away with but does that mean the Melchizedek priesthood doesn't get tithes?

Are you saying we owe tithes to ourselves? Christ is forever our high priest after the Order of Melchizedek and we are his royal priesthood. Every Christian has direct and free access to God. The sin which formerly separated us from God has been removed by Christ.

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Well good thing we're not basing everything upon your experiences then are we? I recall many times in the ELCA church which my father and mother attended where there would be a little box of offerings and tithes envelopes with our family's name upon it. If I recall it was for either a whole month or a whole year, its been too long ago to remember clearly how many times the box appeared. But it did appear.
Well, the ELCA should not be confused with Churches of the Augsburg Confession. Do all Baptist congregations require tithes? After the Order of their Head Lawgiver, Rick Warren?

I don't agree with the practice of supplying offering envelopes. It is a confusion of law and gospel and the two kingdoms. But it's not exactly mandating a tithe if the members are free to toss the envelopes in the trash can.

The only personal example I have of a true mandated tithe was in a RC congregation. A RC friend, many years ago, told me that tithe bills were sent to his home by the local diocese. That makes perfect sense given the papist view of the priesthood. But why would any Protestant denomination wish to return to a Mosaic ceremonial law? Oh, right! Here's that Luther quote you wanted, "It is certain that when the penny jingles into the money-box, gain and avarice can be increased."

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Yes, actually I would.


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Boanerges said:
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Jesus answer? ". . . sell all that you have and give to the poor . . . " (with emphasis added).

Okay Ted let me get it straight your saying that we need to impoverish ourselves, give the money to the poor and then follow Christ? And you have done this yourself? Ted I must say this is really confusing in fact it smacks of certain monastic vows that I have read about. Can't we plainly talk?

Ok . . . . I was pulling your leg . . . . just a little. Please forgive me.

Frankly, I think your original question ("Are Christians mandated to tithe?") is not a particularly good one.

Most of us in North America have WAY more assets/income than we NEED to live on. Under those circumstances, a Biblical "tithe" would be, in the words of God's messenger, Malachi, "robbing God."

Are you seriously asking, "How much should I give to God?"

Because, if you are, the answer is, "Everything you have that is over and above what you need to live on this earth." By that standard, most of us -- myself included -- should be giving WAY more than a tithe to our churches.

Yours in Christ,
Ted

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Pilgrim said:
I'm really curious how you would feel if your situation was like far too many in the world outside of the affluent Western societies who barely have enough to eat, never mind concerning themselves with which DVD to rent? There is no question that the Lord provides for all the necessities of life for His own, although at times even those are sometimes meagre, yet they are enough to sustain life. So, let's take a hypothetical example, although it is probably all too real for some. You are working two jobs and bring home $250/week. Your monthly obligations, which include no "luxuries", total $999. So, if you distribute your alleged obligation of a 10% tithe, i.e. $100, to your local church and other agencies, who would you suggest you do not pay what is owed? Do you slight your rent/mortgage payment? eat less? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> Would you suggest that a family of 5 live in a 2-room apartment which is less costly so that this 10% tithe can be met?

Inquiring minds wanna know. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,

I believe Jesus would answer, "Yes."

Mark 12:41-44
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, [color:"FF0000"]"I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."[/color]

Luke 21:1-4
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [color:"FF0000"]"I tell you the truth,"[/color] he said, [color:"FF0000"]"this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
[/color]

#24977 Sun May 22, 2005 1:10 AM
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Ted,

I certainly would not dispute that the widow contributed more in her giving that her rich counterparts..... proportionately. But what those passages do not prescribe is the ubiquitous "10%" figure. Secondly, it wasn't the amount that Jesus was trying to convey but rather the disposition of the heart in one's giving.

The rub here is the requirement for one to be a good steward of what one has. If one were to give 10% (again it has not been established that this is a biblical mandate) and in so doing, one's family lacked the essentials of life, e.g., food, shelter, clothing, etc., then one would not be exhibiting good stewardship. If a family simply cannot afford to give a 10% tithe, then the church should be the one giving to them. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Pilgrim said:
Ted,

I certainly would not dispute that the widow contributed more in her giving that her rich counterparts..... proportionately. But what those passages do not prescribe is the ubiquitous "10%" figure. Secondly, it wasn't the amount that Jesus was trying to convey but rather the disposition of the heart in one's giving.

The rub here is the requirement for one to be a good steward of what one has. If one were to give 10% (again it has not been established that this is a biblical mandate) and in so doing, one's family lacked the essentials of life, e.g., food, shelter, clothing, etc., then one would not be exhibiting good stewardship. If a family simply cannot afford to give a 10% tithe, then the church should be the one giving to them. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,

You've made a very logical argument, Pilgrim. I just don't believe it's Biblical.

Where in Holy Scripture would you turn to support such a position?

#24979 Sun May 22, 2005 10:40 AM
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Ted said:
You've made a very logical argument, Pilgrim. I just don't believe it's Biblical.

Where in Holy Scripture would you turn to support such a position?
Ted,

I would be more than happy to take you through the Scriptures and show you where we are enjoined to be good stewards of all that God has graciously given to us. However, I really can't see why I should do that when no one has yet established the biblical mandate which would require all believers to tithe 10% of their gross income. Unless that can be done, having to defend the clear biblical teaching that believers are to be good stewards; which really shouldn't need defending, is quite moot. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Yes, Jeff, I agree with ALL you wrote about stewardship. THAT was not my point. Please forgive me for suggesting otherwise. The Biblical problem surrounds this line of thinking . . . .

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Pilgrim said:
. . . . no one has yet established the biblical mandate which would require all believers to tithe 10% of their gross income.

. . . . which is just NOT a Biblical question/issue.

Here is a better way of looking at it (couresy of Randy Alcorn, the author of The Treasure Principal):

Quote
God Owns Everything, and I Am His Money Manager

Psalm 24:1 — “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

Leviticus 25:23 — “The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.”

Haggai 2:8 — “ ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 — “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

John 3:16 — For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Deuteronomy 8:18 — “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

1 Corinthians 4:2 — “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

Romans 14:10-12 — “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat … each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

My Heart Always Goes Where I Put God’s Money

Ecclesiastes 5:12 — “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.”

Matthew 6:19-21 — “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Heaven, Not Earth, Is My Home

Philippians 3:20 — “Our citizenship is in heaven.”

Psalm 90:10 — “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

Psalm 39:5b — “Each man’s life is but a breath.”

I Should Not Live Merely for the Moment but for Eternity

Hebrews 11:25-26 — “[Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Matthew 25:21 — “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ”

Giving Is the Only Antidote to Materialism

Ecclesiastes 5:10, 13-14 — “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless … I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.”

1 Timothy 6:9-10 — “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

1 Timothy 6:17-18 — “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

God Prospers Me to Raise Not My Standard of Living, but My Standard of Giving

Malachi 3:10b — “ ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’ ”

Luke 6:38 — “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Luke 12:33 — “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”

Acts 20:35 — “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

2 Corinthians 8:7 — “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

2 Corinthians 9:7 — “God loves a cheerful giver.”

2 Corinthians 9:10-13 — “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”

I highly recommend Alcorn's book. It's a short book and an easy read. But it's powerfully convicting.

Yours in Christ,
Ted

#24981 Sun May 22, 2005 5:31 PM
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Ted,

I have no argument with the principle of giving. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What I am balking at is the Pharisaical tendency of some to make tithing to be a rigid and minimum 10% of one's gross income. In some circles, this has become akin to a "Golden Calf", whereby one's spiritual state is measured and even salvation itself rests upon whether one gives 10% of their gross income. So the formula for salvation has been modified and the requirements are: repentance, faith and tithing. In many of these circles there are other "standards" as well, e.g., no alcohol, no dancing, no card playing, no movies, no TV, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

If tithing of 10% of one's gross income is a commandment of the Lord, then to not do so is a sin. And if one continues to live a life of sin, then they will not be saved for it shows that they were never truly converted.

On the other hand, if . . . as I believe is the Biblical teaching, one gives whatever one has to the Lord with a cheerful heart, it is pleasing to the Lord. One may barely be able to make ends meet even though they are living frugally. But if that person where to give, let's say, $10 (cf. Widow's mite) with heartfelt thanksgiving, that would be far more acceptable to the Lord than a rich man who gave $300 (for him a drop in the bucket) and/or for reasons of esteem, pride, etc.

In summary, I reject the idea that a believer's giving must revolve around and be governed by this alleged "10% of one's gross income". If a solid biblical argument can be presented that defends this figure, I'll gladly concede. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Boanerges said:
Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?

No, Christians are not mandated to tithe. The tithe was a civil law of ancient theocratic Israel, and is no longer applicable in our own day. Nowhere in the New Testament is it indicated that this was to be a perpetually binding commandment; rather, we are commanded to be cheerful givers and to provide for the needs of our brethren. Whether that adds up to 10%, or any other percentage, should not be an issue. To demand the tithe is legalistic and places an undue burden on brethren of lesser means. And I would argue that poorer brethren should not have to worry about committing such-and-such amount of money to the church, but the church ought to be concerned about coming to the aid of poorer brethren.


Kyle

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Pilgrim said:
I have no argument with the principle of giving. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What I am balking at is the Pharisaical tendency of some to make tithing to be a rigid and minimum 10% of one's gross income. In some circles, this has become akin to a "Golden Calf", whereby one's spiritual state is measured and even salvation itself rests upon whether one gives 10% of their gross income. So the formula for salvation has been modified and the requirements are: repentance, faith and tithing. In many of these circles there are other "standards" as well, e.g., no alcohol, no dancing, no card playing, no movies, no TV, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

If tithing of 10% of one's gross income is a commandment of the Lord, then to not do so is a sin. And if one continues to live a life of sin, then they will not be saved for it shows that they were never truly converted.

On the other hand, if . . . as I believe is the Biblical teaching, one gives whatever one has to the Lord with a cheerful heart, it is pleasing to the Lord. One may barely be able to make ends meet even though they are living frugally. But if that person where to give, let's say, $10 (cf. Widow's mite) with heartfelt thanksgiving, that would be far more acceptable to the Lord than a rich man who gave $300 (for him a drop in the bucket) and/or for reasons of esteem, pride, etc.

In summary, I reject the idea that a believer's giving must revolve around and be governed by this alleged "10% of one's gross income". If a solid biblical argument can be presented that defends this figure, I'll gladly concede. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Please be careful, Jeff, in smugly condemning the Pharisaical tendencies of others. In my experience, people who look into whether tithing is Biblical (or not) are generally looking for an excuse to give less than what God has called them to give. Thanks be to the LORD, we worship a God who knows our hearts and yet forgives us despite our unfaithfulness to Him.

Thankful for the abounding grace given by God,
Ted

#24984 Sun May 22, 2005 10:27 PM
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Ted said:
Please be careful, Jeff, in smugly condemning the Pharisaical tendencies of others. In my experience, people who look into whether tithing is Biblical (or not) are generally looking for an excuse to give less than what God has called them to give. Thanks be to the LORD, we worship a God who knows our hearts and yet forgives us despite our unfaithfulness to Him.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> Well, it seems I hit a nerve. I was not aware that one could discern the heart of another via printed matter on a Discussion Board, but evidently this is possible for you since you know my reply was "smug". Another interesting bit of information which I didn't realize until now is that anyone who studies the Scriptures hoping to discover whether or not tithing is biblical generally is looking for a means to excuse themselves from doing what you believe the Bible teaches. There is obviously so much more I need to learn.

However, the question still stands: Does the Bible teach that N.T. believers are under obligation to give 10% of their gross income? And is that 10% to be given specifically to the Church? Since anyone who searches the Scriptures looking for an answer to that question is automatically seeking to get out of paying this alleged 10% of their gross income, I'm going to have to rely upon you to give me the answer, for I surely don't want to be accused of looking for an excuse to not do what I should; if in fact I should. Sure sounds like a classic "Catch 22" to me. Of course, I cannot help but wonder how it is anyone can know the answer to that question if searching the Scriptures isn't permissible? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

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I've been wanting to hop in this discussion for the past couple of days but have held off because I thought my answer may not be intelligent enough but here she goes...1) I still have yet to see anyone who believes in the tithe show in the Scriptures where we are still held to this. 2) I do find this in the New Testament however;

2 Corinthians 9 (NASB-Taken from www.biblegateway.com)
1For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;
2for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
3But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;
4otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we--not to speak of you--will be put to shame by this confidence.
5So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.
6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

9as it is written,
"HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER."

10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
12For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
13Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
14while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

I think we find our answer in verse 7. We are called to give as we have purposed in our hearts. Now, it seems that some have purposed in their hearts to give a tithe, others have purposed in their hearts to give more, and yet others have purposed to give from cheerful hearts no matter what they give and they do so as giving unto the Lord; not to abide by Alcorn or Burkett or Dollar or Hinn or whoever else would compel men to give according to what they believe. (I use these names purely as examples) Now I don't hold it against the brother that believes the tithe is mandated. You may do so in accordance with your conscience and I'm sure that those who don't believe the tithe is mandated do so in keeping with their consciences as well, and are not doing so simply to find a way to do away with the tithe. If the latter was the case I think we should honestly call into question our hearts yieldedness to our Lord. Anyway there's <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/my2cents.gif" alt="" /> for what it's worth.


tj
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Pilgrim said:
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> Well, it seems I hit a nerve. I was not aware that one could discern the heart of another via printed matter on a Discussion Board, but evidently this is possible for you since you know my reply was "smug". Another interesting bit of information which I didn't realize until now is that anyone who studies the Scriptures hoping to discover whether or not tithing is biblical generally is looking for a means to excuse themselves from doing what you believe the Bible teaches. There is obviously so much more I need to learn.

However, the question still stands: Does the Bible teach that N.T. believers are under obligation to give 10% of their gross income? And is that 10% to be given specifically to the Church? Since anyone who searches the Scriptures looking for an answer to that question is automatically seeking to get out of paying this alleged 10% of their gross income, I'm going to have to rely upon you to give me the answer, for I surely don't want to be accused of looking for an excuse to not do what I should; if in fact I should. Sure sounds like a classic "Catch 22" to me. Of course, I cannot help but wonder how it is anyone can know the answer to that question if searching the Scriptures isn't permissible? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,

No nerve hit, Jeff. At least, no nerve of MINE. However, I still think that the question at the root of this is an un-Biblical question.

Wouldn't a more Biblical question be, "Where in Holy Scripture is it written that God's people are no longer to tithe?"

In HIS grace,
Ted

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Oh please. You guys are choking on the proverbial gnat here.

If I'm not mistaken the idea of a tithe is OT tithe being a word that means something like the tenth part. Most of the sermons I have heard on the tithe are OT based except that most prechers switch over to the part about "giving cheerfully" so that they don't have to hear too much griping about it later.

I can't think of a single NT reference to 10% but I do recall--was it Barnabas?--someone selling a piece of land and giving the proceeds to the church. Then Annanias and Sappira doing likewise but keeping part back and, well, they ended up feeding the worms. Obviously its not an issue that should be treated as lightly as it usually is.

But church is supposed to function somehow and its improbable that in todays world there are many pastors who would stick around if they didn't have a fat salary to keep them in beans and books while they preached the gospel.


Josh
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