Donations for the month of September


We have received a total of "$75" in donations towards our goal of $175.


Don't want to use PayPal? Go HERE


Forum Search
Member Spotlight
Posts: 3,084
Joined: September 2003
Forum Statistics
Forums30
Topics7,273
Posts53,182
Members964
Most Online523
Jan 14th, 2020
Top Posters
Pilgrim 14,021
Tom 4,035
chestnutmare 3,084
J_Edwards 2,615
Wes 1,856
John_C 1,818
RJ_ 1,583
MarieP 1,579
gotribe 1,060
Top Posters(30 Days)
Pilgrim 21
Tom 13
Ruben 10
Robin 2
Recent Posts
New update on forum software
by Ruben - Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:12 PM
All Glory to God
by NetChaplain - Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:40 AM
Rage Against the Unvaccinated!
by tomatoetom - Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:24 AM
Strength via Weakness
by NetChaplain - Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:29 AM
Good News for a Change
by Pilgrim - Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:53 PM
Doxology
by chestnutmare - Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:41 AM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rating: 4
Hop To
Page 4 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
#25003 Wed May 25, 2005 1:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 969
Peter Offline OP
Old Hand
OP Offline
Old Hand
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 969
Quote
Ted said:
Kyle, my brother, you give me too much credit. The answers you seek are in the Bible. Please keep reading it and praying that the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. I will lift you up in prayer, also.

Yours in HIS service,
Ted

What a load of horse apples! Multiple people have pointed out that there is no direct command for a Christian to tithe (and by that I mean take 10%). We have asked for good scriptural exegesis that demonstrates this and have been given bupkis, or just "quotes" out of context. Now Kyle has taken the time to rightly point out what the tithe was for. In so doing, he has also shown that the tithe is a part of the ceremonial laws and has since passed. (BTW somebody catch speratus because I've just agreed with him)

But you Ted haven't proved the opposite in fact you seem to be proposing that the ceremonial laws haven't been done away with.
Quote
Jesus says (in Matthew 5:17-20):
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.



Kyle, there seems to be a little conflict in thought here . . . . . .


However, the word of God says this:
Quote
by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
(Eph 2:15-16 ESV)
by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
(Col 2:14,16,17 ESV)(See also Westminister Confession Chapter 19)

The shadow and types have been fulfilled in Christ that includes the ceremonial law regarding tithing. What God now commands of us is to give what we can cheerfully.
Quote
Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(2Co 9:7 ESV)

This isn't the tithe which as Kyle and other pointed out was done under compulsion.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
I am but a dim bulb. But thanks be to our gracious LORD and Savior, there are great saints whom the LORD has blessed with wisdom from on high in matters such as these.

What follows is but a brief excerpt from a larger work by A.W. Pink entitled Tithing. I pray it answers the questions that you so earnestly seek.

Quote
The Tithe in the New testament

Only God has the right to say how much of our income shall be set aside and set apart unto Him. And He has so said clearly, repeatedly, in the Old Testament Scriptures, and there is nothing in the New Testament that introduces any change or that sets aside the teaching of the Old Testament on this important subject.

Christ Himself has placed His approval and set His imprimatur upon the tithe. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone" (Matt. 23:23). In that verse Christ is rebuking the scribes and Pharisees because of their hypocrisy. They had been very strict and punctilious in tithing the herbs, but on the other hand they had neglected the weightier matters such as judgment, or justice, and mercy. But while Christ acknowledged that the observance of justice and mercy is more important than tithing—it is a "weightier matter"—while, He says, these they ought to have done, nevertheless He says, these other ye ought not to have left undone. He does not set aside the tithe. He places justice and mercy as being more weighty, but He places His authority upon the practice of tithing by saying, "These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." It is well for us if we by the grace of God have not omitted justice and mercy and faith: it is well if by the grace of God those things have found a place in our midst: but the tithing ought not to have been left undone, and Christ Himself says so.

The second passage to be noted is 1 Corinthians 9:13, 14: "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel." The emphatic words there are, "Even so" in the beginning of the fourteenth verse. The word "tithe" is not found in these two verses but it is most clearly implied. In verse 13 the Holy Spirit reminds the New Testament saints that under the Mosaic economy God had made provision for the maintenance of those who ministered in the temple. Now then, He says, in this New Testament dispensation "Even so" (v. 14)—the same means and the same method are to be used in the support and maintaining of the preachers of the Gospel as were used in supporting the temple and its services of old. "Even so." It was the tithe that supported God’s servants in the Old Testament dispensation: "even so" God has ordained, and appointed that His servants in the New Testament dispensation shall be so provided for.

Referring next to 1 Corinthians 16:1 and 2: here again we find the word "tithe" does not actually occur, and yet once more it is plainly implied: the principle of it is there surely enough. "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." Now what does "laying by" imply? Certainly it signifies a definite predetermined act, rather than a spontaneous impulse, or just acting on the spur of the moment. Let us look at this again. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store." (v. 2). Why are we told that? Why is it put that way’? Why use such an expression as "lay by in store"? Clearly that language points us back to Malachi 3:10. "Bring ye all the tithes into the _______" Where? The "storehouse"! That is where the tithes were to be brought. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse." Now what does God say here in Corinthians? "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store." There is a clear reference here to the terms of Malachi 3, but that is not all. Look at it again. "Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." That signifies a definite proportion of the income. Not "let every one of you lay by him in store, as he feels led"; it does not say that, nor does it say "let every one of you lay by him in store as he feels moved by the Spirit"; no indeed, it says nothing of the kind. It says, "Let every one . . . lay by him as God hath prospered him": in a proportionate way, according to a percentage basis. Now consider! If my income today is double what it was a year ago and I am not giving any more to the Lord’s cause than I gave then, then I am not giving "as the Lord hath prospered": I am not giving proportionately. But now the question arises, What proportion? What is the proportion that is according to the will of God? "As He hath prospered him." Can one man bring one proportion and another man bring another proportion, and yet both of them obey this precept? Must not all bring the same proportion in order to meet the requirements of this passage? Turn for a moment to 2 Corinthians 8:14: "But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality." Please note that this verse occurs in the middle of a chapter devoted to the subject of giving, and what is to be observed is, that at the beginning of verse 14 and at the end of it we have repeated the word "equality," which means that God’s people are all to give the same proportion of their means and the only proportion that God has specified anywhere in His Word is that of the tenth, or "tithe."

There is much more, of course, which can be found at: http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Tithing/tithing.htm

With Christ's love,
Ted

Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Jeff --

Please forgive me for the use of the term, "smugly." I do not know your heart and, therefore, do not have the right to use such an offensive term. Please forgive me.


With Christ's love,
Ted

#25006 Wed May 25, 2005 3:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Persnickety Presbyterian
Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Quote
What follows is but a brief excerpt from a larger work by A.W. Pink entitled Tithing. I pray it answers the questions that you so earnestly seek.

Pink fails to consider which of the three Old Testament tithes is continued. As I've explained before, none of them can be. All of them applied only to Israel under the Mosaic Law.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
#25007 Wed May 25, 2005 3:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Persnickety Presbyterian
Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Quote
Ted said:
Kyle, my brother, you give me too much credit. The answers you seek are in the Bible. Please keep reading it and praying that the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. I will lift you up in prayer, also.

Ted, the Bible won't tell me what you think. That has to come from you! Citing Bible verses is fine, but you have to explain how you think they apply.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Dr. John Piper writes the following in his online piece, Toward the Tithe and Beyond:

Quote
Tithing honors an Old Testament principle of how God provided for the ministers he called and the expenses of their ministry.

You recall that in the Old Testament God designated one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi, to be the tribe that would have the ministry of the tabernacle and the Temple. So instead of giving them a portion of the land, God said that these vocational ministers of the tabernacle should live off the tithes of the other eleven tribes. In Numbers 18:20-21 God said to Aaron,

Quote
You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel. And to the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting.

When we tithe today we honor a principle found here. Some of God's people are called not to do moneymaking business in the ordinary ways. They are called to be pastors and ministers and missionaries and ministry assistants, and so on. The rest of God's people (call them "lay ministers") are to be gainfully employed and support the "vocational ministers"—and the costs of that ministry. In the Old Testament God laid down that this be done by tithe.

If the question is raised whether Jesus, in the New Testament, continued this principle for the sake of his church, one of the strongest arguments that he did is Matthew 23:23 where he says,

Quote
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

So Jesus endorses tithing: don't neglect it. It is not as essential as justice love and mercy; but it is to be done.

Yet one might say that he is only talking to Jews in an essentially Old Testament setting. Maybe so. But there is another pointer that the principle was preserved in the early church. In 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 Paul says,

Quote
Do you not know that those who perform sacred services (in the temple) eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar (of sacrifice in the temple) have their share with the altar?

In other words he reminds the church that in the Old Testament economy there was this system in which the Levites who worked in the Temple lived off the tithes brought to the temple. Then he says in verse 14:

Quote
So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

The least Paul is saying is that those who spend their lives in the service of the Word of God should be supported by the rest of the Christians. But since he draws attention to the way it was done in the Old Testament as the model, it seems likely that tithing would have been the early Christian guideline, if not mandate.

In other words when we tithe today we honor a principle and plan of God that sustained the ministry in the Old Testament and probably sustained the New Testament ministry as well.

For the entire piece, go to: http://www.desiringgod.org/cgi-bin/print.../95/091095.html

With Christ's love,
Ted

Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
One more piece, from another perspective:

Quote
Is Tithing Biblical? by D.A. Carson

Q:The tithe is clearly taught in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament it seems to be downplayed. Are those of us who give 10 percent of our income doing something not required?

--K. Dale Miller, Wilmore, Kentucky

A: A simple yes or no to this question would be horribly misleading.

We know that the law of Moses mandated the tithe (see Lev. 27:30–33), at least in part to support the ministry of the Levites (Num. 18:21–24). Like many other laws, however, it was frequently observed in the breach, although the prophets insisted that failure to pay the tithe was nothing less than robbing God (Mal. 3:6–12).

There were also offerings to be paid. Moreover, faithful Israelites were to be generous with their alms, so that the poor of the land were supported.

In practice, the prophets found themselves inveighing against greed and social injustice (e.g., Amos) and against a raw form of capitalism that squeezed out the poor (Isa. 5:8–10). In other words, even within the Old Testament we should be careful not to isolate the tithe from broader demands of generosity and social justice.

The only passage in the New Testament that explicitly authorizes the tithe does so in a rather backhanded way: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices . . . . But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former" (Matt. 23:23, NIV).

Jesus’ primary point, of course, is to criticize the scrupulous tithing of even a few herbs grown in the back garden if it is at the expense of fundamental issues of justice, integrity, and mercy. But one might have expected Jesus to say, "You should have practiced the latter, and let the herbs take care of themselves"--or some thing equally dismissive. Instead, he says, "You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

After the Cross and the Resurrection, the New Testament provides no passage with the same explicit conclusion. That raw fact leads to all the usual debates about the nature of the continuity and discontinuity between the old and new covenants.

Does the tithe continue as a divine mandate because it has not been explicitly abrogated? Or is it part of the "old order" that is passing away?

However we resolve that broad question, all sides agree that some New Testament writers insist that Christians be a giving, generous people (1 Tim. 6:18). So, at very least, we must insist that believers under both covenants are expected to give generously.

Some may wonder, Is the dispute about nothing more than the amount? Is there something about 10 percent that is entrenched in moral law?

The following two points will help focus the issue.

1. Beware of pride. There is always a great spiritual danger in thinking that if in some area we have satisfied a specific, concrete demand we have done everything that God requires. Ten percent is a lot of money to some folks; to others it’s not very much. Isn’t that one of the lessons to be learned from Jesus’ comments about the widow’s mite? To suppose that God demands 10 percent--and nothing more--can itself foster a remarkably independent and idolatrous attitude: "This bit is for God, and the rest is mine by right." Likewise, if you choose to give more than 10 percent, you may become inebriated from the contemplation of your own generosity.

2. Remember why you’re giving. A strictly legal perspective on giving soon runs into a plethora of complicated debates. Is this 10 percent of gross income or of net? How does this play out in a country where a progressive income-tax system rises to 90 percent of in come? If we choose to tithe from our net income, are we talking "take-home pay" only, or does it include what is withheld for medical insurance and retirement benefits?

It would be easy to list such questions for a page or two without ever asking, "How can I manage my affairs so that I can give more?" That is surely a better question than "What’s the correct interpretation so that I can do whatever’s required and then get on with my life?"

Christians will want to acknowledge with gratitude that they are mere stewards of all that they "possess." Moreover, New Testament ethics turn not so much on legal prescription as on lives joyfully submitted to God.

This is why the most penetrating New Testament passage on giving is 2 Cor. 8–9. Under severe trial, the Corinthians’ "overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity" (8:2). Even so, they first gave themselves to the Lord (8:5).

So, why not aim for 20 percent in your giving? Or 30? Or more, depending on your circumstances (8:12)? "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that . . . for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (8:9).

By D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/serm...thebiblical.htm

#25010 Wed May 25, 2005 10:59 PM
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Here's an example of Christian tithing from Dr. Piper's piece, Toward the Tithe and Beyond:

Quote
Illustration: John Wesley

Take John Wesley for example. He was one of the great evangelists of the 18th Century, born in 1703. In 1731 he began to limit his expenses so that he would have more money to give to the poor. In the first year his income was 30 pounds and he found he could live on 28 and so gave away two. In the second year his income doubled but he held his expenses even, and so he had 32 pounds to give away (a comfortable year's income). In the third year his income jumped to 90 pounds and gave away 62 pounds. In his long life Wesley's income advanced to as high as 1,400 pounds in a year. But he rarely let his expenses rise above 30 pounds. He said that he seldom had more than 100 pounds in his possession at a time.

This so baffled the English Tax Commissioners that they investigated him in 1776 insisting that for a man of his income he must have silver dishes that he was not paying excise tax on. He wrote them, "I have two silver spoons at London and two at Bristol. This is all the plate I have at present, and I shall not buy any more while so many round me want bread."

When he died in 1791 at the age of 87 the only money mentioned in his will was the coins to be found in his pockets and dresser. Most of the 30,000 pounds he had earned in his life had been given away. He wrote,

Quote
I cannot help leaving my books behind me whenever God calls me hence; but in every other respect, my own hands will be my executors.

In other words, I will put a control on my spending myself, and I will go beyond the tithe for the sake of Christ and his kingdom. (Quotes from Mission Frontiers, Sept./Oct., 1994, No. 9-10, pp. 23-24)

http://www.desiringgod.org/cgi-bin/print.../95/091095.html

Submitted for Christ's glory,
Ted

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 277
Enthusiast
Offline
Enthusiast
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 277
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bash.gif" alt="" />

Hey have we actually gotten a straight answer yet? I'm sticking with the cheerful giving thing and using 10% as a guide not a mandated tithe. Anyone else?


Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."--2 Timothy 2:9
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,818
Permanent Resident
Offline
Permanent Resident
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,818
Quote
Pilgrim said:
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,

Although I side with the tithing side, the question you raised points out that the obligation is a two-way street. Meaning, that if the church expects members to tithe; those members who cannot provide for their needs should receive help from the church in meeting the need.

Churches often bemoan the fact that people are not tithing. However, churches remain silent when it comes to fulfilling its obligations to tending to the needs of its people.

The church should expect its members to tithe, but it should be eager to jump in to help out those members who are in economic straights. In the case you cite, the person should pay his $100 monthly tithe, but the church should meet the $999 obligation, or at least a substantial part of it. Then both sides are meeting their obligations.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
John_C said:
Quote
Pilgrim said:
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,

Although I side with the tithing side, the question you raised points out that the obligation is a two-way street. Meaning, that if the church expects members to tithe; those members who cannot provide for their needs should receive help from the church in meeting the need.

Churches often bemoan the fact that people are not tithing. However, churches remain silent when it comes to fulfilling its obligations to tending to the needs of its people.

The church should expect its members to tithe, but it should be eager to jump in to help out those members who are in economic straights. In the case you cite, the person should pay his $100 monthly tithe, but the church should meet the $999 obligation, or at least a substantial part of it. Then both sides are meeting their obligations.

That makes a lot of sense, John. In a church with Biblical leadership, the Deacons would most likely have a fund to provide assistance to a family in those circumstances.

Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
Kyle wrote:
There were three tithes instituted for ancient Israel:

1) An annual tithe which was to be taken to Jerusalem and used for festival celebration (Deut. 14:22–23).
2) A triennial tithe which was to be deposited in one's town in order to support the Levites and the poor (Deut. 14:28–29; Deut. 26:12).
3) An annual tithe which was given to the Levites in return for their priestly services (Num. 18:21).

Which of these is continually binding on the church? Surely neither the first nor the second is binding: we do not travel to Jerusalem once a year (imagine paying the tithe solely to feast!), and we do not live in towns in ancient Israel that are made up entirely of members of the church. Is the third binding? Well, if you think the Levites are still around performing priestly functions, perhaps it is! But actually, the levitical priesthood is done away, and we are all priests in Christ Jesus.

In fact, all of these tithes have been done away as part of the civil and ceremonial law of ancient Israel. We are instead left with a weightier principle: "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (II Cor. 9:6–7).

I pray, Kyle, that your list was not intended to be a complete list of the tithes commanded in Scripture. There are almost too many to list. Some of the important ones you missed include:

Genesis 14

Genesis 28

Leviticus 27

and

2 Chronicles 31

What do all of these tithes have in common (including the ones that you listed)? The intended recipients of the tithes were the priests and other religious leaders ordained by God to lead His covenant people in worship to Himself.

And it is silly to suggest that the tithes you list in Deuteronomy are invalid simply because "we do not travel to Jerusalem once a year (imagine paying the tithe solely to feast!) and we do not live in towns in ancient Israel that are made up entirely of members of the church."

Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
Boanerges said:
But you Ted haven't proved the opposite in fact you seem to be proposing that the ceremonial laws haven't been done away with.

Where in the Bible is it taught that the tithe is "ceremonial?" C'mon. Are you guys making this stuff up as you go?

Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
Boanerges said:
However, the word of God says this:
Quote
by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
(Eph 2:15-16 ESV)

by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
(Col 2:14,16,17 ESV)(See also Westminister Confession Chapter 19)

The shadow and types have been fulfilled in Christ that includes the ceremonial law regarding tithing.

Using the "logic" that you boys have been employing, those verses don't mention ANYTHING about the abolishment of tithing. And, once again, where do you get off saying that tithing is "ceremonial?"

#25017 Thu May 26, 2005 1:11 AM
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
One last thought. This one from Dr. Piper, again. THIS time from his sermon entitled, "I Seek Not What Is Yours but You" and subtitled, "A Sermon on Tithing" . . . . .

Quote
In summary, then from the Old Testament tithing goes back to the very beginning of Israel's history before the law was given and seems to have been an expression of gratitude to the Lord who fights for his people and gives them all they have. Then as a part of the Mosaic law, tithing was made a part of Israel's formal worship and its various forms and purposes were prescribed. It was used to support religious orders; it was used for religious feasting in celebration of God's goodness; and it taught the people to fear the Lord, that is, to fear not trusting him to meet all their needs.

As we come over to the New Testament the picture changes significantly. Jesus mentions tithing twice, both times in reference to its legalistic abuse. He says in Matt. 23:23, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faith; these you ought to have done without neglecting the others." In Luke 18:9-14, "He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.'"

Obviously Jesus did not regard tithing as a spiritual cure all. He does not reject it. He affirmed it for Israel. But he is much more intent on the weightier matters of the law like faith. You can tithe everything and not trust God. Jesus was not seeking what was theirs, he was seeking them: the love of their soul, not the load of their silver.

The apostle Paul never once even refers to tithing. Whether he taught his churches to tithe when he founded them we don't know. But his rules in his letters seem to be as follows. First: "On the first day of the week each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper" (1 Cor. 16:2). And second in 2 Cor. 8:3, "they gave according to their means and beyond their means of their own accord." And third in 2 Cor. 9:7, "Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." And finally 2 Cor. 9:8, "God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work."

The only other place in the New Testament where tithing is mentioned is Hebrews 7:4-12 where the reference is back to Genesis 14 and the point is simply to show that Christ is like Melchizedek. Therefore, with regard to positive, explicit teaching on tithing, the New Testament is almost totally silent.

Now I REALLY love this next part . . . .

Quote
I have a growing conviction why this is the case. I think God took the focus off giving a tithe in the early church because he wants his people to ask themselves a new question. The question that Jesus drives us to ask again and again is not, "How much should I give?" but rather, "How much dare I keep?" One of the differences between the Old Testament and New Testament is the Great Commission. By and large the Old Testament people of God were not a missionary people. But the New Testament Church is fundamentally a missionary people. The spiritual hope and the physical and emotional sustenance that Jesus brought to earth is to be extended by his church to the whole world. The task he gave us is so immense and requires such a stupendous investment of commitment and money that the thought of settling the issue of what we give by a fixed percentage (like a tenth) is simply out of the question. My own conviction is that most middle and upper class Americans who merely tithe are robbing God. In a world where 10,000 people a day starve to death and many more than that are perishing in unbelief the question is not, what percentage must I give?, but how much dare I spend on myself?

It is a Biblical truth beyond all dispute: that all your money is God's (Ps. 24:1) and has been loaned to you as a steward to use in ways that maximize the glorification of God's mercy in the world (Matt. 25:14-30). And it is irrational to think that giving ten percent of that money to the church settles the issue of good stewardship. In a world of such immense need, and in a country of such immense luxury, and under the commission of such a powerful Lord the issue of stewardship is not: Shall I tithe?, but rather, How much of God's trust fund dare I use to surround myself with comforts?

I had every intention, as I began to write this message, to argue that even though the New Testament is almost silent on tithing; yet, surely we who know Jesus should do no less than the Old Testament saints who did not know him. I was going to urge everyone to tithe and give reasons why you can always afford it. I still believe that is true. But that is not the lightning bolt of God's word in the New Testament. The word of God is always more radical than percentage.

To commend tithing as the ideal simply does not capture the New Testament view of discipleship. "He who has two coats let him share with him who has none. And he who has food let him do likewise" (Luke 3:11). That's 50% not 10%. Zacchaeus stood and said, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor" (Luke 19:8). Again 50%. Jesus said to the rich young man, "If you would be perfect, go sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me" (Matt. 19:21). That's 100%. "So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33). Again 100%. "A man said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head'" (Luke 9:57f). "All who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need" (Acts 2:44f). "There was not a needy person among them for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet" (Acts 4:34f). "In a severe test of affliction their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part. For they gave according to their means... and beyond their means" (2 Cor. 8:2,3).

The best way that I know how to capture the spirit of the New Testament generosity is simply to say: the issue is not, How much must I give?, but How much dare I keep? Not: Shall I tithe? But: How much of the money that I hold in trust for Christ can I take for my private use? The financial issue in the church today is not tithing, but exorbitance of life-style. The question is not can I afford to tithe, but can I justify the life-style that consumes 90% of my income? And behind that is the question: Do I love to use God's money to spread justice and mercy and spiritual hope in the world, or do I prefer to embezzle his money to purchase more and more personal comfort? The question whether the work of Christ here at Bethlehem in 1982 will be adequately supported is really the question of where your treasure is. And where your treasure is there is your heart. Therefore, I do not seek what is yours but you. Amen.

May God bless your reading of His most precious and Holy Word,
Ted

Page 4 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 57 guests, and 39 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
atdcross, NetChaplain, winslowlady, Zach, Daverogk
964 Registered Users
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
September
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
Today's Birthdays
There are no members with birthdays on this day.
Popular Topics(Views)
1,284,036 Gospel truth