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#25048 Fri May 27, 2005 10:52 AM
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Quote
Ted said:
Jeff, must we have a "mandate" in order to commit ourselves to God's will? Is not our faith and trust in God's grace-filled promises enough? Is not His precious love and grace enough to prompt us to drop everything we hold dear in this fallen world to follow Him?
Ted,

Just what in the world are you talking about? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/dizzy.gif" alt="" /> This is where I get off the train since you are taking us into "never-never land". First you insist that tithing is a mandate of the Lord and spent how much time in how many replies trying to defend your view, albeit woefully lacking any Scriptural support, that Christians are mandated of God to give 10% of their gross income specifically to the Church. And now you are saying we don't need a mandate but only something called "grace-filled promises" to which we are to commit ourselves because they are, according to you, "God's will". Sorry, but I find your line of reasoning really too bizarre. And your refusal or inability to open the Scriptures and give a logical defense of your position only tells me it is time for me to shake the dust of my shoes and move on to something more productive. You didn't even attempt to interact with what I wrote to doulos, which you for some reason quoted in full in your reply above. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

Here's what I think.... the "tithe" (defined as: 10% of one's gross income given specifically to the Church) is for some a "Golden Calf"; it is the "11th Commandment" to which those who are of a superior and more mature faith practice. It includes some of the "prosperity gospel" ideas in that those who give a tithe to a Church will surely be blessed of God beyond what they give in this life. (I call this type of thinking the "Celestial Vending Machine Doctrine"). But the truth of the matter is that the "tithe" doctrine is nothing more than what Paul calls "will-worship" (Col 2:23) and can become a type of Legalism by which men's spirituality is judged and even their spiritual state called into question. If someone chooses to give a "tithe" (10% of their gross income to the church) that is perfectly legitimate and they are free to do so. But such a decision should be made from the heart and not based upon an obedience to a non-existent mandate of God nor with the idea that God will infallibly bless you more according to how much you are faithful in giving a tithe.

So, I bid you adieu and leave you to whatever it is you believe on this matter, which at this point is anyone's guess. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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#25049 Fri May 27, 2005 12:08 PM
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Pilgrim said
But I fear you have missed the fundamental issue which he faced.
Well, I did say it reminded me of his dilemma. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> He was stuck in the middle as we appear to be on this issue. Moving right along.

So its either a legal requirement or not. Your entire estate as well as your being, or 10%. A mandated, legally demanded tithe or a gift from the heart. Does that include your time? 10% of a day is 2.4 hours…you see, we could go on and on (and have). More and more I am of the opinion that its the latter, or, a gift from the heart. I think the reason this is such a confusing issue—and yes its confusing otherwise so many brothers wouldn’t have such different opinions—is because of this: 2 Corinthians 9 (A whole chapter!)

Quote
2 Corinthians 9 RSV
1Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the offering for the saints, 2for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I am sending the brethren so that our boasting about you may not prove vain in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; 4lest if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren to go on to you before me, and arrange in advance for this gift you have promised, so that it may be ready not as an exaction but as a willing gift.

6The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And 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. 9As it is written,

“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;

his righteousness endures for ever.”

10He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; 12for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God. 13Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others; 14while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

I think the whole thing is summed up here. Its not really necessary for Paul to write about it, because they are giving anyway. The Spirit has shown them the needs and they are responding. That’s what believers do. He even sends some of the brothers ahead to tell encourage them so it will truly be a gift and not an exaction. Paul lists a bunch of good things associated with giving, but v. 7 is the pivot point and it bears repeating:
Quote
7Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Its not a matter of the law. I’m not even the first one to bring that up here. It’s a matter of what you have made up your mind to do. Just like everything else you do as a Christian you take in the Word of God and pray over it and you hear about the needs or see them yourself and you decide what you are going to give and then do it. If it’s a command from the pulpit I can hardly see how its going to fit in under “not reluctantly or under compulsion”. So its not a command from the church.

These verses—this CHAPTER of the NEW TESTAMENT don’t even lay out a mandate except, perhaps, to say that there isn’t one. You make a decision—yes or no—or you don’t which is still a decision. And still, just like everything else you do as a Christian you take in the Word of God and pray over it and you hear about the needs or see them yourself and you decide what you are going to give and then do it. And so on…so its not a biblical mandate. It’s the law of love:

Quote
Matt 22:35-40 (RSV)
35And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

Do you love your neighbor? Do you love the Lord? Do what is right.

Right in around the following passage in Micah (which is no doubt familiar) the writer is talking about what will please God. He talks about all the offerings and all the things that folks were doing back then to please him. But in the end he says this:

Quote
Micah 6:8 (RSV)
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

And I think this contrast is vital. They were giving oil, and lambs, and Rams—all the things of value of that time (albeit for different reasons). He even suggested their firstborn child as an offering—none of it was good enough. Then he says simply do what is right and just. (Its right there, read it.) You know what is right. You know what is good. Giving is good. The bible says so. As I said at the beginning (before I got carried away with the spirit of the diatribe, er, argument, uh, whatever) do what you feel you must. It’s not a compulsion it’s a conviction: “This thing must be done.”

I knew a rich man in Tulsa once who funded a fabulous set of stained glass windows to replace ones he had seen blown of his church during a tornado. And they were beautiful. Our pastor preached around the room that year hitting a window about every other week or so: Redemption, Atonement, the Cross, The empty tomb, loaves and fishes…it was the best set of sermons I’d ever heard…and the folks that got saved, decisions to live for Christ--WOW! All because some guy decided to do what he felt needed to be done. May sound silly to you, but he saw it done and then some and the Lord blessed it.

Happens all the time. It’s not a revelation. It’s nothing new. It’s the leading of the Holy Spirit. Look into your heart, your inmost being and think about what the Word says and you’ll find your mandate. And again I ask, Why does it have to be so hard? Its not, we just have other things we want to do with our money and time.

I say that when this changes we’ll have revival—REVIVAL!--and not until.

I think I’m done with this too.


Josh
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#25050 Fri May 27, 2005 3:41 PM
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Ted said:
Quote
Kyle wrote:
Ted, what about that quote of mine is unloving, unjoyful, unpeaceful, impatient, unkind, bad, unfaithful, gruff, or out-of-control? It is a statement of fact which I stand by, which I made to make it all the more clear to you that I wanted you to expound rather than merely spout verses!

Calling a professed brother in Christ a "heretic" during the course of a theological discussion glorifies God how, exactly? OR is representative of which fruit of the most HOLY and precious Spirit? <sigh>

With love in Christ,
Ted

I didn't say that you are a heretic, Ted. I said that without any further explanation from you, I would have to regard you as a Judaizer and therefore a heretic, based on your quotation of Jesus' words in response to my questions. That's why I asked for further explanation!


Kyle

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BradJHammond said:
My sense (and it may be mistaken) is not that it is being denied that tithing should be classified as civil or ceremonial, but rather that "ceremonial law" and "civil law" are invalid distinctions or categories, since these terms do not appear explicitly in Scripture. Such a view (if anyone here in fact holds it) is mistaken and should be corrected.

"Law: Civic, Cermonial and Moral" - Richard Alderson

Westminster Confession of Faith XIX

Thank you, Brad, for posting links to those two great webpages. I read both in full and came away with new information, to me, in each. [THAT I learned something new from each is probably NOT a surprise to those of you who think I am a total idiot!]

I don't really understand your point directly above those links (that I quoted above), but I am still NOT convinced that the tithe is "ceremonial" by the definitions provided by either of those webpages.

My argument, by the way, is NOT that we are commanded or mandated by Scripture to tithe. This is the same line of thinking that I have been hammered on over and over again. And it is NOT my point. (Although, obviously, I have failed to adequately communicate that, much to my great sorrow.)

My point, however foolishly and poorly it has been presented by my own failings as a communicator (PLEASE forgive me!), is that Jesus is calling us, as His followers, to a higher standard than the tithe.

My prayer has been that the Scriptures I cited would point that out clearly. Obviously, my failings as a communicator have hampered the effectiveness of those most Holy and precious Words of God. Please forgive me for wasting your time and for failing to glorify God through my efforts. May God forgive me, too.

With a heavy heart that I have served the LORD in an unsatisfactory manner,
Ted

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CLEARLY, my brothers in Christ, I have made MANY, many, MANY, many, MANY mistakes during the course of this discussion board thread. CLEARLY. (Little else I typed, frankly, is that clear -- IF you know what I mean . . . and I KNOW that you do!)

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes I made was assuming that I could help Boanerges and everyone else who might read my posts to understand something that I THOUGHT I knew about -- something I had studied, I thought, a great deal and something, I thought, I could clearly expound upon: stewardship. CLEARLY, again, I was wrong. My pride told me, "you can teach these learned men something." God, however, must have opposed my prideful thinking.

James 4:6b - Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

1 Peter 5:5 - Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

James 3:1 - Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

I pray, "Please forgive me, LORD. Forgive me for my prideful thinking. Forgive me for being a poor steward of my time and the time of these other brothers (and sisters) in Christ. And, as I wrote previously, forgive me for failing to glorify You."

There is, however, one thing that bugs me in this thread. Something that I can't quite reconcile in my mind.

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

Quote
But later Boanerges wrote:
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:
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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)


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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:
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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.

The part that bugs me is: how do I reconcile what was written initially by Boanerges . . . .
Quote
Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?
with what was later written by Boanerges . . . .
Quote
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.

Question: Boanerges, were you honestly and sincerely (with God as your witness) desirous of learning the answer to the question that you posed?

[Based on my review of your posts in this thread, I would say "Yes!" most heartily. But only you can tell me the truth of your heart.]

And, no matter what your answer, please forgive me for ALL of the MANY Christ-like things I have written and for the multiple times I have failed to glorify God and His precious Word throughout this thread.

Yours in Christ,
Ted

#25053 Sat May 28, 2005 3:48 AM
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Ted:

This question came up during my weekly Bible study at work. I had a good brother (a pk) who had been raised that tithing was a mandatory thing. His father had taught this from the pulpit, and his experience as a pk showed what happened when people didn't tithe, at least in his father's church (times were very tight financial wise).

I was not convinced, his reasoning seemed to me to be faulty based upon what I had read concerning cheerful giving and not being obligated to give but to do so willingly. (2.Cor. 9:7) However, I wasn't sure so as is my wont I came to the board and put the question to the participants who gathered here. I asked all the same questions I had been asked using much of the same verses. But no one convinced me that tithing was mandatory. In fact many here confirmed what I had already thought that tithing was part and parcel of the Mosaic covenant and was not translated into the New.

Now Ted, and btw I forgive you for any slights that I may have perceived from you and if I am guilty of the same please extend to me the same courtesy. Anyway as I was typing, you, Ted, seemed to be presenting to me two things. First God owns everything, including all my goods, time, etc... I have no problem with that, in fact I quite agree everything I own is God's and must be used to glorify God for that is our main purpose. Now the second thing you seemed (correct me if I error) was that because of that ownership God requires me to tithe, but at the same time give everything. Now do you see the contradiction? Now if you meant to say that God as the owner is telling me to give it all away so that He can use it for His glory then just say that. But if you are saying that God has mandated (and I'm using that word because I know no better one) that I give a tenth of my good back to back for his use because it is required, just like attending church, takeing the sacraments, reading the word, hearing the word preached then please say that. But at the same time provide exegete evidence for the same. Which ever one you are choosing. Or if neither of these things are what you are saying please instruct me in a plainer manner what exactly you are saying. (Give me the Idiot's guide if you will)

But I must say this nothing I have read be it Pink, Piper, or you, Ted has to yet convince me that tithing is mandated. In fact what I have been convinced is that tithing was for the Theocracy of Israel and now under a new and better covenant we are free to give accord to our desire to the glory of God for the up keep of the saints, paying the servants of God, etc... All those things that Pilgrim listed a post or ten ago. And until you can clearly exegete some verses that speak to the contrary I will have to go with my first impression.


Peter

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Well one good thing about this thread is that it got me to think a good deal on the subject of giving and hammer out my views. I agree with Bo, there's no mandate that I can find unless you're a BC Jew at which point it doesn't matter because you've been dead for a few thousand years.

It's one of those strange deals where I thought for sure it was but its not really. Thanks for the opportunity though (see my long preachy post from yesterday) to think about what I actually DO believe and get it lined up with the Bible. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />


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Doulos,

I like your last comment here. I think we all want to get lined up with the Bible.

Quote
It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:13,14); and if, as is the case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.

Jesus refocused attention on inward attitudes. He criticized some who went so far as to tithe tiny grains of spice—not because they tithed, but because they neglected the weightier matters of the law (Matt 23:23). He regarded stewardship of finances as an indication of trustworthiness with spiritual things (Luke 16:11), which were more important (Matt 6:19-20).

Nowhere does the New Testament require Christians to tithe in the sense of giving 10 percent, but it does reiterate many things associated with tithing: those who minister are entitled to receive support (1 Cor 9:14); the poor and needy should be cared for (1 Cor 16:1; Gal 2:10); those who give can trust God, as the source of all that is given (2 Cor 9:10), to supply their needs (2 Cor 9:8; Php 4:19); and giving should be done joyously (2 Cor 9:7). The New Testament directs that taxes be paid to the state (Rom 13:6-7), which replaced Israel's theocracy. Paul's vocabulary and teaching suggest that giving is voluntary and that there is no set percentage. Following the example of Christ, who gave even his life (2 Cor 8:9), we should cheerfully give as much as we have decided (2 Cor 9:7) based on how much the Lord has prospered us (1 Cor 16:2), knowing that we reap in proportion to what we sow (2 Cor 9:6) and that we will ultimately give account for our deeds (Rom 14:12).

The New Testament does not specify a particular percentage that believers are required to give. This being said, however, believers are most certainly encouraged to give (see Rom. 15:26-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:7) and to give generously and liberally (see Rom. 12:8; 2 Cor. 9:11-13), each according to his own ability (Acts 11:29; 2 Cor. 8:12), with a willing, cheerful heart (2 Cor. 9:7). Even those who are poor are permitted to give, and praised for doing so (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:1-5). Paul sets forth Jesus as the believer's example for giving (2 Cor. 8:8-9). We should give out of a heart full of gratitude toward God for what He's done for us through Christ! It is clear, then, that sacrificial giving is very much encouraged (2 Cor. 9:5) -- though not commanded (2 Cor. 8:8).

Of course, believers should still be careful who they give to. We must be good stewards of the resources which God has given us, look into different opportunities for giving, and give to those who are above reproach in their financial stewardship (2 Cor. 8:20-21).

Although there are many passages in the New Testament which address the issue of giving, the most detailed passage on this subject can be found in 2 Corinthians 8-9.

We need to get away from the law mindset on this matter. Our minds and hearts should be focused on our church and the world around us, and we should be ready to give to help others and further the kingdom, even if we do without. We must have an eternal perspective; this world and its "goodies" are not what are important. The work of the kingdom of Christ should provide the focus and measure for everything we do and have.


I cannot tell you how much you should give. If your greatest desire is to further the kingdom of Christ, and everything you have is at His disposal, then the balance will be tipped toward giving. Imagine what the church could do if we all had the attitude of the Israelites when it came time to build the tabernacle! (Ex. 35:5ff)


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Boanerges said:
Now Ted, and btw I forgive you for any slights that I may have perceived from you and if I am guilty of the same please extend to me the same courtesy. Anyway as I was typing, you, Ted, seemed to be presenting to me two things. First God owns everything, including all my goods, time, etc... I have no problem with that, in fact I quite agree everything I own is God's and must be used to glorify God for that is our main purpose. Now the second thing you seemed (correct me if I error) was that because of that ownership God requires me to tithe, but at the same time give everything. Now do you see the contradiction? Now if you meant to say that God as the owner is telling me to give it all away so that He can use it for His glory then just say that. But if you are saying that God has mandated (and I'm using that word because I know no better one) that I give a tenth of my good back to back for his use because it is required, just like attending church, takeing the sacraments, reading the word, hearing the word preached then please say that. But at the same time provide exegete evidence for the same. Which ever one you are choosing. Or if neither of these things are what you are saying please instruct me in a plainer manner what exactly you are saying. (Give me the Idiot's guide if you will)

Thanks for sharing, brother. I appreciate your post -- it warmed my heart, in fact.

I'll do my best to share with you where my wife and I are at and, perhaps, that will give you one fallen man's perspective of stewardship and giving.

We live, I believe, in a VERY materialistic culture. And, unlike cultures past, due to the high level of communication and transportation methods that we employ, we (in this society) can obtain for ourselves the types and varieties of goods and services that our forefathers could only DREAM of.

This, I believe, has increased or exasperated the level of consumerism/materialism that we have in this oh so fallen world.

All that being said, I don't believe that our NEEDS have changed one iota from those of our forefathers. We still need food, clothing, a place to live, work to do, people to love, and -- most importantly -- God to worship and glorify.

However, as fallen human beings, we complicate this simple picture with computers, high-speed internet access, multiple cars, vacations, swimming pools, club members, lessons for our kids, braces (teeth) for our kids, etc. Suddenly -- in my case, for example -- our "needs" have grown MUCH beyond what they were in the previous paragraph.

How does that look in our lives? An $18,000 a year salary (in 1983) has grown to over $75,000. Meanwhile, our giving to God (through His church and other sundry ministries) has only grown from $20/week (5.78%) to just a little over a "tithe" (10-12%).

Does that mean that our "needs" have grown from a little under $17,000/year to over $66,000?!? Or does it mean that we've allowed our spending to grow out of hand with a larger mortgage payment (on a larger house) and fancier cars and more/fancier vacations, etc.? (The answers to those questions are "no" and "yes," respectively.)

And then I ask myself, "what would God have us do?"

Yes, I am convinced (through my own sinful study of "the tithe" in Scripture to justify giving less than God was calling me to give) that tithing is NOT mandated or required by God. Little is, in fact . . . because I am also convinced, like the Apostle Paul teaches, that we are NOT under the Law, but instead, are under Grace. Thanks be to our gracious and glorious and forgiving God on high and to His one and only Son, Jesus, in Whose righteousness we are robed!

However, I cannot reconcile in my mind the sinful growth in the "needs" (not really!) of our family's budget.

As I quoted from Jesus earlier, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

What does that mean to me? It means, in my case, that my heart appears to be in my BIG house and my car and my kids braces (teeth) and my high-speed internet access and my cable television, etc. And, correspondingly, it is NOT in ministry or my church.

How does THAT glorify God, I wonder? (It does NOT, I would say.)

AND what does that say about the state of my heart? (Sinful, I would say.)

And . . . IF I read my Bible correctly, Jesus wants my heart. And, if I know anything about my sinful heart, that which my money is "invested" in is something that I tend to fight for. AND then I wonder if I had more money "invested" in ministry and my church then, perhaps, I would fight for these things and, therefore, do more for them (and spend more time in them). And spend less time in sinfully pursuing my own wants and desires.

Whatdoyouthink?

Just one man's thoughts . . . .

With love for Christ and failure to worship, honor and glorify Him ALL around me,
Ted

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Jeff wrote:
And your refusal or inability to open the Scriptures and give a logical defense of your position only tells me it is time for me to shake the dust of my shoes and move on to something more productive.

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and this:
Here's what I think.... the "tithe" (defined as: 10% of one's gross income given specifically to the Church) is for some a "Golden Calf"; it is the "11th Commandment" to which those who are of a superior and more mature faith practice. It includes some of the "prosperity gospel" ideas in that those who give a tithe to a Church will surely be blessed of God beyond what they give in this life. (I call this type of thinking the "Celestial Vending Machine Doctrine"). But the truth of the matter is that the "tithe" doctrine is nothing more than what Paul calls "will-worship" (Col 2:23) and can become a type of Legalism by which men's spirituality is judged and even their spiritual state called into question. If someone chooses to give a "tithe" (10% of their gross income to the church) that is perfectly legitimate and they are free to do so. But such a decision should be made from the heart and not based upon an obedience to a non-existent mandate of God nor with the idea that God will infallibly bless you more according to how much you are faithful in giving a tithe.

So, I bid you adieu and leave you to whatever it is you believe on this matter, which at this point is anyone's guess. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

Man, Jeff. You are one tough customer when it comes to this thread. Me thinks you doth protesteth to much, but . . . . as you have CLEARLY pointed out to me before, I don't know your heart. To that, I concur.

Two lines of Scriptures leap to my mind:

(1) "do not harden your hearts" from:

Psalm 95:8 - do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,

Hebrews 3:8 - do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,on the day of testing in the wilderness,

Hebrews 3:15 - As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."

Hebrews 4:7 - again he appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

(2) something I've quoted over and over again in this thread:

Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12:34 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Jeff, are you OPEN to what the Bible teaches about stewardship? (You know, just because the words "tithing" and "stewardship" are NOT used in the New Testament doesn't mean that there isn't something to learn about EACH in the New Testament . . . . )

And, if we opened your checkbook, where would we see your heart is at?

With Christ's love for you,
Ted

#25058 Tue May 31, 2005 5:55 PM
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Ted said:
Man, Jeff. You are one tough customer when it comes to this thread. Me thinks you doth protesteth to much, but . . . . as you have CLEARLY pointed out to me before, I don't know your heart. To that, I concur.
Yes, I am one "tough customer" when someone tries to sell me that which God forbids I own. Can one protest too much when someone tries to bind your conscious to things whether they be laws, mandates, standards or principles which would negate or diminish the freedom found in Christ which He purchased with His own blood?

My opposition in this thread is to any form of teaching which would impose the old covenant "tithe" upon a new covenant believer in any shape or form, either directly or indirectly. One of the major problems here is the uncertainty of where you and a couple of others stand on this matter of the "tithe". You have made many contradictory statements in this regard. On the one hand you appear to insist on allowing the old covenant tithe, which belonged to theocratic Israel and them alone, to determine to some measure how a new covenant believer should govern himself in regard to giving; now called "stewardship". Yet, on the other hand you say you do not believe the "tithe" to be binding upon new covenant believers. What we, who oppose what you and the other(s) have been communicating is that the "tithe" has ANY bearing whatsoever upon Christians. I cannot help but be reminded of what Peter was doing in Antioch and which Paul rebuked him for.


Galatians 2:11-14 (ASV) "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned. For before that certain came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing them that were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Cephas before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, how compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"


Peter's problem was that he had one foot in the old covenant civil/ceremonial laws and the other in the new covenant. Evidently, Peter was slow to learn that in Christ, we are free from that which has passed. (cf. Acts 10:9-16). Pharisaism is unpalatable not matter how it is served. And even though it is hidden underneath the garnish, it will be discovered eventually.

Here is the truth once again: The tithe was specific to theonomic Israel and is not continuitous to the new covenant. It is not to be embraced as a law or mandate nor used as a principle or guide in regard to Christian stewardship. Once again, allow me to quote from the Apostle Paul; specifically his admonition to the Colossians:


Colossians 2:8; 16-23 (ASV) "Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: . . . Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's. Let no man rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he hath seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increasing with the increase of God. If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances, Handle not, nor taste, nor touch (all which things are to perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and severity to the body; [but are] not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh."



Quote
You then asked:
Jeff, are you OPEN to what the Bible teaches about stewardship? (You know, just because the words "tithing" and "stewardship" are NOT used in the New Testament doesn't mean that there isn't something to learn about EACH in the New Testament . . . . )
Without doubt, I am open to the Bible's teaching about stewardship and everything else it teaches. But I am not open to the teachings of men who would bind my conscience to that which the Bible forbids. Even here, you cannot escape from this alluring "tithe" for you have bound it with "stewardship" and thus try to defend its perpetuity. The reason the "tithe" is not used in the New Testament is because it has been abrogated.... it's gone and never was it intended to be carried over into the new covenant. It has no place whatsoever in the new covenant. "Tithing" and "Stewardship" are mutually exclusive!!


Galatians 3:3 (ASV) "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh?"


Beware of the Pharisees my brother. Have you fallen to the allurements of the flesh? If you believe that new covenant stewardship is to be determined and/or judged on the basis of "how much" one gives in relation to the old covenant tithe, i.e., 10%, then you have eaten of the leaven of the Pharisees. In short, if you believe that anyone who gives less than 10% of their gross income, etc., then they are guilty of [practicing sub-standard stewardship. And contrariwise, if one gives more than 10%, then this is at least an acceptable practice of stewardship. Then this is at best Pharisaism and can lead to legalism.

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Lastly, and unfortunately you asked:
And, if we opened your checkbook, where would we see your heart is at?
And I must ask you, Would you judge my heart by totaling up how much money I have given to the Church and/or other Christian agencies? Would you conclude that if my total expenditures to the Church and other Christian agencies exceeded "10%" my heart was right before God? and if less, then my heart was not right before God. Would you judge that if less I am not practicing "good stewardship"? What of the use of my time and/or talent and the sharing and/or distribution of my material goods? Are they not part of biblical stewardship? Do these also have to meet the minimum standard of 10%? Is this a legitimate "test" of a man's heart?


Luke 18:10-14 (ASV) "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner. I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."


If, as it appears, you have allowed yourself to be under the yoke of the law; i.e., bound to the old covenant "tithe", then may God be pleased to cut those bonds and set you free, both in regard to your own stewardship and in regard to others.

In His Grace,


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I must admit I have sat back on this thread and have learned much from the discussions. I must also say that I believe a stronger case has been made for NOT having a tithe in the NC.

Besides the other arguments already submitted and not biblically or exegetically countered, I find the case of ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRE in Acts 5 very revealing. Amazingly, from the text if they did not wish to give ANYTHING it would have been ok, "While it remained, did it not remain thine own?" (vs 5). Their sin was their lie about how much they gave (Acts 4:32-37).

From what I can see the NT warranted an actual collection from the church corporately in two instances: (1) to help other believers in need (Acts 11:27-30; 24:17; Rom 15:25-28; 1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8:1-15; 9:12), (2) to support apostles in their work (Acts 15:3; Rom 15:23-24; 1 Cor 9:1-14; 16:5-6, 10-11; 2 Cor 1:16; Phil 4:14-18; Tit 3:13-14; 3 John 5-8). Additionally, I find that the collections were not ongoing – they ceased after the need was met (Acts 11:27-30; 12:25; 1 Cor 16:1-4). Local giving to the poor was done in secret and directly (Matt 6:1-4, 19-21; Eph 4:28). In addition, a list of local widows who qualified for assistance was kept by a church (1 Tim 5:3, 9, 16).

In the NC, Jesus taught in Matt 6:19-21 to “store up treasures in heaven.” 1 Tim 6:18-19 exhorts us to be "generous and willing to share . . . lay up treasure . . . as a firm foundation for the coming age." We are to share with others, "for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (Heb 13:16). According to the NC, each man should give "what he has decided in his heart to give." Tithing, as required by Moses, is not a NC practice. Tithing was for Jews under Moses in a theocracy. Notice that the text declares our giving is not to be done "reluctantly or under compulsion" (2 Cor 9:7). If some teacher says you must tithe, else you are robbing God, is that not placing people "under compulsion"? Instead of a legal requirement to tithe, we are offered the opportunity to give.

(Some research by Steve Atkerson.)

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/my2cents.gif" alt="" />


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GREAT post, Jeff. Just a couple of comments from a lesser brother:

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One of the major problems here is the uncertainty of where you and a couple of others stand on this matter of the "tithe". You have made many contradictory statements in this regard. On the one hand you appear to insist on allowing the old covenant tithe, which belonged to theocratic Israel and them alone, to determine to some measure how a new covenant believer should govern himself in regard to giving; now called "stewardship". Yet, on the other hand you say you do not believe the "tithe" to be binding upon new covenant believers.

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

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The tithe was specific to theonomic Israel and is not continuitous to the new covenant. It is not to be embraced as a law or mandate nor used as a principle or guide in regard to Christian stewardship. Once again, allow me to quote from the Apostle Paul; specifically his admonition to the Colossians: Colossians 2:8; 16-23 (ASV)

Please forgive me, Jeff, but I just don't see how "the tithe was specific to theonomic Israel" and, specifically how one can get that from the passages you quoted from Colossians.

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And I must ask you, Would you judge my heart by totaling up how much money I have given to the Church and/or other Christian agencies? Would you conclude that if my total expenditures to the Church and other Christian agencies exceeded "10%" my heart was right before God? and if less, then my heart was not right before God. Would you judge that if less I am not practicing "good stewardship"? What of the use of my time and/or talent and the sharing and/or distribution of my material goods? Are they not part of biblical stewardship? Do these also have to meet the minimum standard of 10%? Is this a legitimate "test" of a man's heart?

I would NOT judge you at all, my brother. Please forgive me for suggesting otherwise. I take to heart Jesus' words, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5) As per my recent post on this topic, I am WELL aware of the VERY large log in my own eye! https://www.the-highway.com/forum/printthread.php?Board=open&main=52724&type=post

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If, as it appears, you have allowed yourself to be under the yoke of the law; i.e., bound to the old covenant "tithe", then may God be pleased to cut those bonds and set you free, both in regard to your own stewardship and in regard to others.

I pray most heartily that what you write is NOT how it appears.

With love,
Ted

Last edited by Pilgrim; Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:55 AM.
#25061 Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:53 AM
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Please forgive me for any confusion I may have caused, Jeff. I do NOT believe that the "tithe" is binding upon new covenant believers.

or

Please forgive me, Jeff, but I just don't see how "the tithe was specific to theonomic Israel" and, specifically how one can get that from the passages you quoted from Colossians.

Ted, which is it? If it's not specific to theonomic Israel, the command to tithe is BINDING on believers today!

Perhaps you would benefit from reading what I said earlier:

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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.


Kyle

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Kyle wrote:
Perhaps you would benefit from reading what I said earlier:
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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.

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

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

or

Please forgive me, Jeff, but I just don't see how "the tithe was specific to theonomic Israel" and, specifically how one can get that from the passages you quoted from Colossians.

Ted, which is it? If it's not specific to theonomic Israel, the command to tithe is BINDING on believers today!

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." However, I like what Randy Alcorn writes:

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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. The question is not whether tithing is the whole of Christian giving or even at the center of it. Clearly it is not. Many people associate the command to keep the tithe with the command to keep the Sabbath. New Testatment Christians are not obligated to keep the Sabbath with all its legislated rules under the Mosaic covenant (Colossians 2:16). However, a weekly day of rest based on God's pattern of creation was instituted before the Law (Genesis 2:2-3). It's a principle never revoked in the New Testament. The special day of observance changed to Sunday, "the Lord's day," yet the principle of one special day set aside for worship remained intact.

Christ fulfilled the entire Old Testament, but he didn't render it irrelevant. Old Testament legislation demonstrated how to love my neighbor. Although the specific regulations don't all apply, the principles certainly do, and many of the guidelines are still as helpful as ever. Consider the command to build a roof with a parapet to protect people from falling off (Deuteronomy 22:8). When it comes to the Old Testament, we must be careful not to throw out the baby (ongoing principles intended for everyone) with the bathwater (detailed regulations intended only for ancient Israel).

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

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