The Highway
Posted By: Peter Since we're talking about money - Thu May 12, 2005 4:33 AM
Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?
Posted By: Reformation Monk Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 12, 2005 7:58 AM
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Jacob's Dream

20Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,

21and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God.

22"This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."

From Genesis 28 (New American Standard Bible)

God's Promise to Abram

17Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.

19He blessed him and said,
"Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."
He gave him a tenth of all.

From Genesis 14 (New American Standard Bible)

Melchizedek's Priesthood Like Christ's

1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
2to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace.

3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

4Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.

5And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest's office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham.

6But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises.

7But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater.

8In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on.

9And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes,

10for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

11Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?

12For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.

13For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.

14For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.

15And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek,

16who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.

17For it is attested of Him,
"YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."

18For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness

19(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

20And inasmuch as it was not without an oath

21(for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him,
"THE LORD HAS SWORN
AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND,
'YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER'");

22so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing,

24but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.

25Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;

27who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

28For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Hebrews 7 (New American Standard Bible)

God Gives Most

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!

2 Corinthians 9 (New American Standard Bible)


I don't believe that we're ever really commanded by the Apostles to give 10% on a regular basis. It isn't specifically stated like communion and baptism is.

I believe that if a church demands that each member gives 10% that this might err on the side of legalism. It also isn't what the church in my opinion should be doing. I believe it's the churches responsibility for the upbringing, training, teaching and perseverance of the saints. I think if this were being fulfilled then you will have a situation where less fortunate church members would be giving what they could while more fortunate members would be giving more. All the while, as the less fortunate members are growing in Christ, hopefully God will continue to bless their household and they will eventually be able to give more in the future.

I believe it is our duty to give back. I believe that 10% is a good gage at where we should start. But I don't believe that it should be a set amount. Because there are those that are less fortunate and those that are more able to give.

The one thing that I can tell you is this. I get upset when I see people who have very little and are poor giving more to the church then people who have big houses, nice cars and clothing. This in my opinion should be an eye opener for the body and corrected. I also think that the body should consider itself a family. What I don't understand is how wealthy church members can just stand idly by while they see the poorer members struggling. I for one, have done allot for less fortunate people at my church and will continue to do so.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 12, 2005 10:41 AM
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I believe that if a church demands that each member gives 10% that this might err on the side of legalism. It also isn't what the church in my opinion should be doing.

Any church that demands a 10% tithe has rejected the gospel of Christ. If we give tithe to retain church membership, we are still under the Law and are hypocrites merely pretending to be Christians. When we are born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the Law, we are under grace and give tithes from a free, cheerful spirit.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 12, 2005 12:56 PM
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Boanerges said:
Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?

Hi, Boanerges. Happy Thursday to you!

I would respectfully submit that the question you ask doesn't get to the heart of what the Bible teaches. A simple answer would be, "No, we are required to give everything we have, but only after we've given our hearts to God."

Here's an outline of the "giving" section from a class I've been involved with on the larger subject of "stewardship."

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Giving: Giving is blessed.

a) Matthew 23:23
i) The Pharisees gave precisely the correct amount – a tithe of even their mint leaves.
ii) But because they gave with the wrong heart attitude, the Lord rebuked them.

b) 1Corinthians 13:3
i) Giving without a heart of love is no value to the giver.

c) 2Corinthians 9:7
i) Do not give grudgingly or under compulsion but rather give cheerfully.
ii) The proper attitude is the key issue in the area of giving.
iii) The only way to give out of a heart of love is to consciously give each gift to Jesus Christ Himself as an act of worship.

d) Acts 20:23
i) In the Lord’s economic system it is more blessed to give than to receive. Most people believe the opposite.

e) Proverbs 11:24-25
i) There is a material increase – in the Lord’s time and way – to the giver.

f) Matthew 6:20
i) We can lay up treasures in heaven that we will be able to enjoy through out all eternity.

g) Luke 12:34
i) The heart of the giver is drawn to Christ as treasures are given to Him.

h) 1Timothy 6:18-19
i) We can store treasures in heaven and “take hold of that which is life indeed.”

i) Malachi 3:8-10
i) The tithe was required under the law, and it was considered robbing God not to give these required gifts.

j) 2Corinthians 8:1-5
i) There are three (perhaps more) principles from this passage that should influence how much you give:
(1) They first gave themselves to the Lord, asking Him to direct their giving. In the same way we need to submit ourselves to the Lord when determining how much to give.
(2) They were so yielded to the Lord that despite difficult circumstances they begged to give.
(3) They experienced tremendous joy as a result of their sacrificial giving.

k) Numbers 18:8-10,24
i) Godly people have always been required to participate in the maintenance of the ministry.
ii) The Old Testament believer was required to care for the place of worship and the Levites who served in the ministry.

l) Galatians 6:6
i) Those who are taught the Scriptures should financially support their teachers.

m) 1Timothy 5:17-18
i) God’s New Testament instrument in the church, and we are to adequately support those who serve as pastors and teachers.

n) Isaiah 58:6-11
i) When we give to the poor, the Lord will protect us, answer our prayer, and bless us with his joy.

o) Ezekiel 16:49
i) The primary sins of Sodom were pride and not caring for the poor, even though they had an abundance of material goods.

p) Matthew 25:35-45
i) Jesus identifies personally with the poor.
ii) When we give to the poor, we are giving to Christ Himself.
iii) When we do not give to the poor, we are not giving to Christ, and He is left hungry and naked.

q) Galatians 2:9-10
i) The disciples also had a deep concern for the poor.
ii) After Paul’s confirmation to minister to the Gentiles, the only counsel the disciples gave him was not to forget the poor.
iii) Think of the MANY issues they could have discussed, yet they only asked Paul to remember the poor.

I pray that this is helpful to you.

Yours in Christ's service,
Ted
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 12, 2005 3:28 PM
I don't know about the demanding part. I've never been in a church that did that. I've heard of some churches where the preacher would preach until they met the budget--obviously they had some membership issues.

I think you ought to give as much as you can and still have a good attitude about it. Never go into debt to give to the church--I don't think thats biblical at all. I mean God owns everything including dirt, bacteria, etc. Going into debt, to me, means that you think WAY too much about yourself. I have thithed for almost as long as I've had a paycheck to offer one on and the Lord has always been faithful to take care of my needs--I've always had enough and then some--to his glory.
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 15, 2005 4:44 PM
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Hi, Boanerges. Happy Thursday to you!

I would respectfully submit that the question you ask doesn't get to the heart of what the Bible teaches. A simple answer would be, "No, we are required to give everything we have, but only after we've given our hearts to God."

Here's an outline of the "giving" section from a class I've been involved with on the larger subject of "stewardship."

Thanks, I think, there Ted however I don't see the answer to the question per se. Let's get some assumptions down right away.

If I say Christians lets assume I'm talking about bible believing individuals that have given their hearts to God.

If I say Tithe lets assume that I am talking about at the minimum 10% of the money/goods that a person has.

If I say mandated I mean required as a rule.

Now let's try this again, are Christians mandated to tithe?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Mon May 16, 2005 5:04 PM
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If I say Christians lets assume I'm talking about bible believing individuals that have given their hearts to God.

Are their hearts something that God would want?

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If I say Tithe lets assume that I am talking about at the minimum 10% of the money/goods that a person has.

Is the minimum 10% money/goods something that God would want?

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If I say mandated I mean required as a rule.

By mandated rule, do you mean a law that condemns the disobedient or a guide for Christians who have been liberated from the law?

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Now let's try this again, are Christians mandated to tithe?

Do mandated tithes please God? Or, are they filthy rags of our own righteousness?
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Mon May 16, 2005 6:22 PM
Are we talking about a cash contribution to a church browbeaten out of a congregation to meet an arbitrarily determined budget requirement? Or are we discussing a gift given freely to further the Kingdom of God? Is it cash only? You know 10% of a day is 2.4 hours...and what items would that include? Bible study? Helping little old ladies across the street? How about scrubbing toilets at the chapel?

Yes I think there's a biblical mandate to support the church. The tithe is in there somewhere. The problem is I don't think I have ever heard a sermon on it except toward the end of the fiscal year.
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 17, 2005 3:06 AM
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Are their hearts something that God would want?
Speratus are you totally unaware of contemporary Christian culture references or are you just being tiresome? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />

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Is the minimum 10% money/goods something that God would want?
These verses would indicate so: Ge 14:20; Le 27:30-32; Nu 18:21,24,26,28; De 12:6,11,17; 14:23,28; 26:12; 2Ch 31:5-6,12; Ne 10:37-38; 12:44; 13:5,12; Eze 45:11,14; Am 4:4; Mal 3:8,10
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By mandated rule, do you mean a law that condemns the disobedient or a guide for Christians who have been liberated from the law?

Here's the definition you figure it out, unless your being purposely obtuse. MAN'DATE, n. [L. mando, to command.]

1. A command; an order, precept or injunction; a commission.

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Do mandated tithes please God? Or, are they filthy rags of our own righteousness?

I don't know Speratus that's why I asked the question. Tell me does the Lutheran Church still give its members tithe/offering envelopes or is that a thing of the past too?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 17, 2005 3:32 PM
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Are their hearts something that God would want?
Speratus are you totally unaware of contemporary Christian culture references or are you just being tiresome? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />

I'm totally aware a contemporary Christian culture that believes that God is highly pleased with the gift of our corrupt hearts. A fine gift for our Lord!

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Is the minimum 10% money/goods something that God would want?
These verses would indicate so: Ge 14:20; Le 27:30-32; Nu 18:21,24,26,28; De 12:6,11,17; 14:23,28; 26:12; 2Ch 31:5-6,12; Ne 10:37-38; 12:44; 13:5,12; Eze 45:11,14; Am 4:4; Mal 3:8,10

Do you have any NT references? Are we mandated to support a Levitical priesthood as well?

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Do mandated tithes please God? Or, are they filthy rags of our own righteousness?
I don't know Speratus that's why I asked the question.

The law of mandated tithes only condemns us. The only thing we can truly give God is our sins.

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Tell me does the Lutheran Church still give its members tithe/offering envelopes or is that a thing of the past too?

I have never been associated with a Lutheran church that required tithing. The only justification I can think of for the optional offering envelopes is that documentation is required by the IRS. Even that is questionable. If we are rewarded by the government for our giving, what reward have we of the Father? And what about our fellow church members who do the accounting of our contributions? What sort of reward are we expecting from them? As much as possible, we should not let our left hand know what our right hand does.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 4:41 AM
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Boanerges said:
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Hi, Boanerges. Happy Thursday to you!

I would respectfully submit that the question you ask doesn't get to the heart of what the Bible teaches. A simple answer would be, "No, we are required to give everything we have, but only after we've given our hearts to God."

Here's an outline of the "giving" section from a class I've been involved with on the larger subject of "stewardship."

Thanks, I think, there Ted however I don't see the answer to the question per se. Let's get some assumptions down right away.

If I say Christians lets assume I'm talking about bible believing individuals that have given their hearts to God.

If I say Tithe lets assume that I am talking about at the minimum 10% of the money/goods that a person has.

If I say mandated I mean required as a rule.

Now let's try this again, are Christians mandated to tithe?

The Rich Young Man
17And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" 20And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth." 21And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 22Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" 24And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." 26And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" 27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." 28Peter began to say to him, "See, we have left everything and followed you." 29Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
Mark 10:17-31 ESV

Jesus answer? ". . . sell all that you have and give to the poor . . . " (with emphasis added).
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 5:05 AM
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I'm totally aware a contemporary Christian culture that believes that God is highly pleased with the gift of our corrupt hearts. A fine gift for our Lord!

I see your answer is no, well that's a rather wordy reply for such a simple question but, if you feel you must elaborate your responses in such a matter. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

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Do you have any NT references? Are we mandated to support a Levitical priesthood as well?

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

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?

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

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The law of mandated tithes only condemns us. The only thing we can truly give God is our sins.

Well I'm not saying that we don't give to God our sins but do you think just once you could come up with something besides opinion? How about some verses, or even something by Luther?

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I have never been associated with a Lutheran church that required tithing. The only justification I can think of for the optional offering envelopes is that documentation is required by the IRS. Even that is questionable. If we are rewarded by the government for our giving, what reward have we of the Father? And what about our fellow church members who do the accounting of our contributions? What sort of reward are we expecting from them? As much as possible, we should not let our left hand know what our right hand does.

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.
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 5:21 AM
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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?
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 2:06 PM
I don't know about the rest of all that. It seems pretty simple to me. God owns everything and asks for some of it back. We give him the top piece from gross income before we pay any bills. There is always enough. Why does it have to be so hard?

Luke 6:37 (ASV)
38give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 12:27-31 (ASV)
27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28But if God doth so clothe the grass in the field, which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more shall he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29And seek not ye what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: but your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31Yet seek ye his kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you.

I've always found that if you take care of your part of the Lord's business he'll take care of you. I try hard to do this and my waistband will testify that I am not lacking.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 3:16 PM
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doulos said:
We give him the top piece from gross income before we pay any bills. There is always enough. Why does it have to be so hard?
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,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 6:03 PM
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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."
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 19, 2005 8:09 PM
Yes, actually I would.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 20, 2005 4:03 AM
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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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 4:45 AM
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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]
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 5:10 AM
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,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 1:37 PM
Quote
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?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 2:40 PM
Quote
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="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 9:14 PM
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 . . . .

Quote
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
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 9:31 PM
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="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 9:50 PM
Quote
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 22, 2005 11:06 PM
Quote
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
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Mon May 23, 2005 2:27 AM
Quote
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="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: thredj Re: Since we're talking about money - Mon May 23, 2005 4:05 AM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Mon May 23, 2005 4:53 AM
Quote
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
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Mon May 23, 2005 3:08 PM
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.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 3:35 AM
Quote
Ted said:

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

A still more biblical question would be, "Where is the tithe ever commanded of Christians?"

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).
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 5:03 PM
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
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).

Great point, Kyle. Isn't that the whole point of what Jesus was teaching in verses 21 thru 48 of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)? Over and over Jesus thunders at me, "You have heard that it was said to those of old . . . . but I say . . . ."

In that passage of scripture I hear Jesus thundering at me, "but you, 'Christian' -- self-professed follower of me -- you will be held to a higher standard!"

Matthew 5:17-43 (ESV)
17"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. 18For 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. 19Therefore 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. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger
21"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Lust
27"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce
31"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths
33"Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation
38"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies
43"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'[/b]

Thanks be to God that He, in His magnificent wisdom and grace, provided the cross as a means of taking us out from under the condemning burden of the Law!

With great thankfulness,
Ted
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 6:37 PM
Ted,

I feel like we're talking past each other, here. Could you deal with the questions I brought up regarding the continuity of the tithe? Or do you agree in full with my assessment?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 7:22 PM
Kyle says:
Quote
In fact, all of these tithes have been done away as part of the civil and ceremonial law of ancient Israel.

Jesus says (in Matthew 5:17-20):
Quote
"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 . . . . . . .
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 8:21 PM
Quote
Ted said:
Kyle says:
Quote
In fact, all of these tithes have been done away as part of the civil and ceremonial law of ancient Israel.

Jesus says (in Matthew 5:17-20):
Quote
"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 . . . . . . .


Do we still have to circumcise? Eat kosher food? Perform the various sacrificial offerings in the form of animals and grains? Support a levitical priesthood? Make annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem?

Or were these things all done away in Christ Jesus, to whom they ultimately pointed?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 9:14 PM
Quote
Kyle said:
Do we still have to circumcise? Eat kosher food? Perform the various sacrificial offerings in the form of animals and grains? Support a levitical priesthood? Make annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem?

In Jesus' words:
"But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void." (Luke 16:17 ESV)

"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." (Matthew 5:18-19 ESV)
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 9:20 PM
I'm glad you can quote the Bible, Ted. But going by that I'd have to assume you are a Judaizer and therefore a heretic. Why don't you answer my questions? Are we obligated to obey the ceremonial and civil ordinances of the Mosaic law?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 10:46 PM
Quote
Kyle wrote:
I'm glad you can quote the Bible, Ted. But going by that I'd have to assume you are a Judaizer and therefore a heretic. Why don't you answer my questions? Are we obligated to obey the ceremonial and civil ordinances of the Mosaic law?

Is what Jesus says about the Law is too "hard?" Perhaps a little "grace" is needed?

Galatians 3:10-12 (ESV)
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them."


Our original question was:
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Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?

I have responded as follows:
Quote
I would respectfully submit that the question you ask doesn't get to the heart of what the Bible teaches.

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

Quote
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.

I think that the problem we are having here is that we are blurring the distictions between justification and sanctification.

We are justified before God by God's grace and by HIS glorious grace alone. However, God (through the work of the Holy Spirit) is sanctifying us from the moment we trust in Jesus' atoning work on the cross.

The original question, "Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?" is, in regard to justification, a simple "no." There is NOTHING we can do to be justified before God (short of keeping ALL the Law -- which we know is impossible!).

BUT as to what followers of Christ (who are in the process of being sanctified) do in regards to giving? From what I read of Scripture, we are called to a higher standard than the Law - we are called to glorify God. And I just can't image, in this culture, that glorifying God would look like anything less than a tithe -- especially for those of us with the relative leisure (time and money) to make entries on this discussion board (myself included!).

Amen?

Thankful to the LORD who atones for the sins of those whom He calls -- and for the grace of those who have been "discussing" this matter with me,
Ted
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 24, 2005 11:23 PM
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Ted said:

I think that the problem we are having here is that we are blurring the distictions between justification and sanctification.

I don't think that's the problem here at all, which is perhaps why I feel like we're talking past each other. There was never any question as to how we are justified; the question was whether the tithe carries over as a commandment to be observed by Christians. I pointed out the hermeneutical problems with affirming that the tithe is an obligation for Christians. You have seemed to avoid that question all along, and focus on the fact that we are called to consider all that we have as Christ's. While that's true and important to keep in mind, it doesn't answer the basic question.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 12:51 AM
Quote
Kyle wrote:
. . . . the question was whether the tithe carries over as a commandment to be observed by Christians. I pointed out the hermeneutical problems with affirming that the tithe is an obligation for Christians. You have seemed to avoid that question all along, and focus on the fact that we are called to consider all that we have as Christ's. While that's true and important to keep in mind, it doesn't answer the basic question.

I take you, once again, to the words of our LORD Jesus . . .

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

"Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12:33-34
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 1:24 AM
And Ted, I must say once again that it is great you can quote the Bible, but that doesn't answer the question at hand. Neither of those passages refers to tithing. We are told not to store up earthly treasure, but rather to give to the needy and to store up heavenly treasure, but nothing is said about percentages of total income, nor is anything said about giving to the local congregation or the national denominational body. So, could you kindly indicate where you think Scripture indicates that the TITHE is obligatory upon Christians?
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 2:49 AM
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
And Ted, I must say once again that it is great you can quote the Bible, but that doesn't answer the question at hand. Neither of those passages refers to tithing. We are told not to store up earthly treasure, but rather to give to the needy and to store up heavenly treasure, but nothing is said about percentages of total income, nor is anything said about giving to the local congregation or the national denominational body. So, could you kindly indicate where you think Scripture indicates that the TITHE is obligatory upon Christians?

Thanks Kyle that is what I've been trying to get him to answer for quite some time now. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 3:30 AM
Quote
Boanerges said:
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
And Ted, I must say once again that it is great you can quote the Bible, but that doesn't answer the question at hand. Neither of those passages refers to tithing. We are told not to store up earthly treasure, but rather to give to the needy and to store up heavenly treasure, but nothing is said about percentages of total income, nor is anything said about giving to the local congregation or the national denominational body. So, could you kindly indicate where you think Scripture indicates that the TITHE is obligatory upon Christians?

Thanks Kyle that is what I've been trying to get him to answer for quite some time now. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

You guys are pulling my leg, right?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 3:39 AM
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You guys are pulling my leg, right?

Ted, I'm not pulling anyone's leg. I've asked some straightforward questions and would like some straightforward answers.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 4:35 AM
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
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 5:21 AM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 7:04 AM
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.

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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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 7:22 AM
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
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 7:44 PM
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.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed May 25, 2005 7:46 PM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 2:43 AM
Dr. John Piper writes the following in his online piece, Toward the Tithe and Beyond:

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 2:51 AM
One more piece, from another perspective:

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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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 2:59 AM
Here's an example of Christian tithing from Dr. Piper's piece, Toward the Tithe and Beyond:

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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
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're not actually talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 3:13 AM
<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?
Posted By: John_C Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 4:01 AM
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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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 4:37 AM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 4:56 AM
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."
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 5:01 AM
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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?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 5:05 AM
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?"
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 5:11 AM
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
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:11 AM
Quote
Ted said:

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

Abram's tithe to Melchizedek in Gen. 14 is neither commanded of Abram nor of all Israel. No go!

Jacob's tithe in Gen. 28 is not commanded by God to Jacob, neither is it commanded of all Israel. No go!

As for Lev. 27 and II Chron. 31, what about these tithe is any different from the tithe to the Levites in Num. 18:21?
It's the same tithe.

Quote
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."

Why so silly? These were obviously tied to a particular place and time. Do you take a tenth part of your income every year and use it in one enormous feast in celebration in some holy city? No? Do you set aside a tenth part of your income every three years and give it to your city for the purpose of supporting the Levites and the poor? No? Could it be that these were part of the ceremonial and civil law of ancient Israel to which Christians are not obligated?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:16 AM
Quote
One more piece, from another perspective, etc.

Ted, now you're just spamming. Instead of answering my questions in a straightforward manner, you seem rather to be assuming that I'm just unwilling to give over a tenth part of my income. Yes, that MUST be why I say that the tithe is not a Christian mandate! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" /> Give me a break!
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:19 AM
Quote
And, once again, where do you get off saying that tithing is "ceremonial?"

Considering that the tithe was in large part used to support the priestly class and sacrificial system, well, it seems only natural to say that it was CEREMONIAL.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:32 AM
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
One more piece, from another perspective, etc.

Ted, now you're just spamming. Instead of answering my questions in a straightforward manner, you seem rather to be assuming that I'm just unwilling to give over a tenth part of my income. Yes, that MUST be why I say that the tithe is not a Christian mandate! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" /> Give me a break!

There are NO "Christian mandates," my brother. Do I need to "spam" my prior post on the differences between "justification" and "sanctification?" Do we need to go over the differences between "Grace" and "Law?"

My point, my brother in Christ, is to share some sound Biblical teaching with the readers of this thread.

IF you are posting here to show off how great your knowledge is, that is "pride." Your recent posts in this thread seem to suggest that you know WAY more about this topic than you previously let on. IF that is the case, why ask "Could you deal with the questions I brought up regarding the continuity of the tithe?"

With Christ's love,
Ted
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:39 AM
Quote
There are NO "Christian mandates," my brother.

Oh gosh! Ted, are you as a Christian commanded to be baptized? To partake of the Lord's Supper? To abstain from sexual immorality? Etc., etc., etc. You've continually evaded the point and made the issue much more complicated than it was initially presented to you.

Quote
Your recent posts in this thread seem to suggest that you know WAY more about this topic than you previously let on.

What on earth are you talking about?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:42 AM
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
And, once again, where do you get off saying that tithing is "ceremonial?"

Considering that the tithe was in large part used to support the priestly class and sacrificial system, well, it seems only natural to say that it was CEREMONIAL.

Logical? Perhaps. But . . . to what you write, I would say, "where's THAT in the Bible?"

I say it gets back to the concept of "Christian liberty."

IF a professed follower of Christ is not going to tithe, at a minimum, they are abusing their liberty in Christ and risking Matthew 25:14-46. http://www.losbanospca.com/Stewardship.mp3

With Christ's love,
Ted
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:47 AM
Quote
You've continually evaded the point and made the issue much more complicated than it was initially presented to you.

It IS, my brother.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:52 AM
Quote
Ted said:
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
And, once again, where do you get off saying that tithing is "ceremonial?"

Considering that the tithe was in large part used to support the priestly class and sacrificial system, well, it seems only natural to say that it was CEREMONIAL.

Logical? Perhaps. But . . . to what you write, I would say, "where's THAT in the Bible?"

I say it gets back to the concept of "Christian liberty."

IF a professed follower of Christ is not going to tithe, at a minimum, they are abusing their liberty in Christ and risking Matthew 25:14-46. http://www.losbanospca.com/Stewardship.mp3

With Christ's love,
Ted

All right, Ted, WHICH TITHE? The tithe that is the inheritance of the Levites, presented once a year? The tithe that is for the festival in Jerusalem, spent on whatever your heart desires, also presented once a year? Or the tithe that is given to the town you live in for the Levites and poor living there, presented once every three years? Which of these tithes is it? Is it all of these tithes? None of these tithes? Do I still have to be sure never to trim the hair on the sides of my head? Should I be sure to let my beard grow out long? Do I, as a professing Christian, abuse my freedom by eating pork?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:55 AM
Quote
Oh gosh! Ted, are you as a Christian commanded to be baptized? To partake of the Lord's Supper? To abstain from sexual immorality? Etc., etc., etc.

IF we are talking "justification," none of those "commandments" apply.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. - Romans 3:23-25 ESV
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:58 AM
Quote
Ted said:
Quote
You've continually evaded the point and made the issue much more complicated than it was initially presented to you.

It IS, my brother.

No, Ted, it isn't. The question was whether we are commanded, as Christians, to give a tenth part our income to the church. "Yes" or "no" suffice as basic answers. From there you could make your scriptural argument.

INSTEAD, you have avoided saying yes or no, and have treated the tithe as something which is obligatory upon Christians but not mandated. You have furthermore failed to directly engage scriptural arguments that show that the tithe is NOT a mandate for Christians, preferring instead to cite Jesus' teachings about how should be willing to give all for Him.

It's like asking, "Are Christians mandated to remain celibate?" and being answered with Jesus' words about those who become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 7:00 AM
Quote
Ted said:
Quote
Oh gosh! Ted, are you as a Christian commanded to be baptized? To partake of the Lord's Supper? To abstain from sexual immorality? Etc., etc., etc.

IF we are talking "justification," none of those "commandments" apply.

We AREN'T talking justification, Ted, and I already made that perfectly clear to you in a previous response. Justification is NOT under dispute.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 1:04 PM
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
All right, Ted, WHICH TITHE? The tithe that is the inheritance of the Levites, presented once a year? The tithe that is for the festival in Jerusalem, spent on whatever your heart desires, also presented once a year? Or the tithe that is given to the town you live in for the Levites and poor living there, presented once every three years? Which of these tithes is it? Is it all of these tithes? None of these tithes? Do I still have to be sure never to trim the hair on the sides of my head? Should I be sure to let my beard grow out long? Do I, as a professing Christian, abuse my freedom by eating pork?

You keep missing the point, my brother.

Jesus would THUNDER at you, [color:"FF0000"]"Where's your HEART, Kyle?!?!?!?[/color]

19"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:19-21
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 1:33 PM
Quote
Kyle wrote:
No, Ted, it isn't. The question was whether we are commanded, as Christians, to give a tenth part our income to the church. "Yes" or "no" suffice as basic answers. From there you could make your scriptural argument.

I wrote, in my very first post,
Quote
I would respectfully submit that the question you ask doesn't get to the heart of what the Bible teaches. A simple answer would be, "No, we are required to give everything we have, but only after we've given our hearts to God."

In a subsequent post, I wrote:
Quote
The original question, "Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?" is, in regard to justification, a simple "no." There is NOTHING we can do to be justified before God (short of keeping ALL the Law -- which we know is impossible!).

So, it would appear, that the "no" has been plainly stated.

Let's look at it from a different angle, my brother. Which of the "fruits of the Spirit" have you been displaying to me in the process of our "discussion?"

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. - Galatians 5:22-24 ESV

Quote
I'm glad you can quote the Bible, Ted. But going by that I'd have to assume you are a Judaizer and therefore a heretic. Why don't you answer my questions? Are we obligated to obey the ceremonial and civil ordinances of the Mosaic law?

--------------------
By His Grace,
Kyle

Respectfully submitted with the best interests of your soul,
Ted
Posted By: Wes Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 3:14 PM
Ted,

I have appreciated your comments and the articles you have referenced in this discussion. I think you have attempted to get at the heart of what the Bible teaches on this topic.

Unfortunately by reading some of the responses in this thread not everyone understands nor agrees with your position. IMHO the bottom line is that we are not our own but bought with the precious blood of Jesus. Everything we have belongs to God. We came into this world without any possessions and we will surely depart without any. So it comes down to a matter of stewardship.

No one can tell another person what to give. Because after all the act of giving is not a legal matter, it’s a matter of the heart.

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudingly or of necessity; for the Lord loves a cheerful giver." (II Cor. 9:7)


Wes
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 4:41 PM
Quote
Wes said:
Ted,

I have appreciated your comments and the articles you have referenced in this discussion. I think you have attempted to get at the heart of what the Bible teaches on this topic.

Thank you, Wes. Praise the LORD!

Quote
Unfortunately by reading some of the responses in this thread not everyone understands nor agrees with your position.

Oh, I pray that I have NOT failed to be faithful to God's most precious and HOLY Word in my posts. Please forgive me if I have.

Quote
IMHO the bottom line is that we are not our own but bought with the precious blood of Jesus. Everything we have belongs to God. We came into this world without any possessions and we will surely depart without any. So it comes down to a matter of stewardship.

No one can tell another person what to give. Because after all the act of giving is not a legal matter, it’s a matter of the heart.

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudingly or of necessity; for the Lord loves a cheerful giver." (II Cor. 9:7)

Amen and amen. No truer words have been written in this regard.

My point that I have tragically and, perhaps, sinfully, failed to get across is that this particular topic -- stewardship -- is CRITICAL to our faith.

Please join with me in prayerfully listening to some Godly wisdom on this topic -- Pastor Reddit Andrews III on the topic of "Stewardship: Our Task":

http://www.losbanospca.com/Stewardship.mp3

OR

http://www.soaringoaks.com/sermons/2004Sermon021504.mp3

With Christ's great love,
Ted
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 4:56 PM
Quote
You keep missing the point, my brother.

No, Ted, it is you who is missing the point. Giving of myself and my possessions is part and parcel of Christian living. The TITHE, however, is not a mandate to which Christians are expected to adhere. The TITHE, like the rest of the ceremonial and civil laws of ancient Israel, has been done away. We no longer have a levitical priesthood or a theocratic Israel. We no longer need concern ourselves with percentages of our income, any more than we need concern ourselves with making annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem or sacrificing animals or keeping kosher. We are rather to be concerned with giving freely and cheerfully, in accordance with our means and with prayer and the exercise of wisdom, to the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 5:14 PM
Quote
Ted said:
Quote
Kyle wrote:
No, Ted, it isn't. The question was whether we are commanded, as Christians, to give a tenth part our income to the church. "Yes" or "no" suffice as basic answers. From there you could make your scriptural argument.

I wrote, in my very first post,
Quote
I would respectfully submit that the question you ask doesn't get to the heart of what the Bible teaches. A simple answer would be, "No, we are required to give everything we have, but only after we've given our hearts to God."

In a subsequent post, I wrote:
Quote
The original question, "Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?" is, in regard to justification, a simple "no." There is NOTHING we can do to be justified before God (short of keeping ALL the Law -- which we know is impossible!).

So, it would appear, that the "no" has been plainly stated.

No, it hasn't, Ted. The intent of the original question was not to determine whether we should consider all we have as God's and whether we should be willing to give it all, which at any rate none of us disagrees with. The intent of the original question was to determine whether the TITHE is a perpetually binding mandate. Here was a question regarding a specific, practical example, which you refused to answer on the same terms, but instead expanded to universal morality and have confused at least three people (myself, Pilgrim, and Boanerges) as to what, exactly, you are trying to convey in regards to the tithe itself. Rather than telling us whether the tithe itself is a continuing ordinance, you have insisted on constantly repeating that we are called to give. Yes, we are called to give, but GIVING is not the same as TITHING. Furthermore, you have made it into an issue of justification where NO ONE has even touched on justification! As I've told you at least two separate times now, we have no disagreement regarding justification. Justification is, in fact, beside the point of this particular discussion.

Quote
Let's look at it from a different angle, my brother. Which of the "fruits of the Spirit" have you been displaying to me in the process of our "discussion?"

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. - Galatians 5:22-24 ESV

Quote
I'm glad you can quote the Bible, Ted. But going by that I'd have to assume you are a Judaizer and therefore a heretic. Why don't you answer my questions? Are we obligated to obey the ceremonial and civil ordinances of the Mosaic law?

--------------------
By His Grace,
Kyle

Respectfully submitted with the best interests of your soul,
Ted
[/quote]

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! When I say that the ceremonial and civil law, of which the tithe is a part, is done away, and you reply with Jesus' words saying that whoever annuls the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in heaven, without any explanation of yours attached what other conclusion can be drawn but that you think the entirety of the Mosaic law is still in effect and binding on the Christian conscience?
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 5:48 PM
Hey lets back up a bit and take in all this...

Thats a great way to put it, now that I think about it. Thank you both Ted and CIB for making me think about the idea of a tithe. I don't think it ought to be a legal matter (it never was, but I never thought about it like that). Like Wes said, its a matter of cheerfully giving from your heart.

I don't think there's a biblical mandate, as such, but I do think that Christians are frequently guilty of quenching the Spirit of God moving them to give--mostly in the interests of their own materialistic wants and desires. I don't know how many folks I've talked to who have said they've given instead of buying some thing for themselves only to discover that they were better off without the thing or found that it was provided later.

That said, most churches call it a tithe. Does that mean that they are demanding ten percent of your income in the tradition of the OT Law?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:00 PM
Quote
doulos said:

I don't think there's a biblical mandate, as such, but I do think that Christians are frequently guilty of quenching the Spirit of God moving them to give--mostly in the interests of their own materialistic wants and desires. I don't know how many folks I've talked to who have said they've given instead of buying some thing for themselves only to discover that they were better off without the thing or found that it was provided later.

Yes, we can certainly agree on this point. I have found myself guilty of the same on numerous occassions. It's all too easy to deceive ourselves into treating our desires as necessities, forgetting that the real necessity is trust in God working though obedience to Him.

Quote
That said, most churches call it a tithe. Does that mean that they are demanding ten percent of your income in the tradition of the OT Law?

I think a lot of churches do make it a legalistic requirement, though certainly not all of them. The terminology of "tithe" certainly recalls the Mosaic law, as well as the tithes of Abram to Melchizedek and Jacob to God and so forth. To give a tithe is not wrong, but too often undue emphasis is put on the 10% figure of the tithe. The suggestion you made earlier to Pilgrim, that a poor family should move into worse living conditions than they are already in so as to meet the 10% mark is, I think, legalistic. We should give freely and in accordance with our means, with prayer and wise stewardship. A poor family may not have the means to give 10% of their income to the church without unwise stewardship. As I have said, I don't believe such a family should have to worry about meeting that mark of giving, but rather the whole church should be concerned about providing for the needs of that family.
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 6:07 PM
Must have read that post wrong or something. I suggested what to Pilgrim?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 7:08 PM
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doulos said:
I don't think there's a biblical mandate, as such, . . .<cut>

That said, most churches call it a tithe. Does that mean that they are demanding ten percent of your income in the tradition of the OT Law?
Can you see the tension here? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" /> There is no biblical mandate which would require a N.T. believer to render a "tithe" offering, i.e., defined as "10% of one's gross income to the Church". So, if a church teaches that N.T. believers are to give a "tithe", then it is most definitely inextricably connected to the "tradition of the OT law", for there is nothing in the N.T. that would require it to be given.

This is the issue which some of us, especially CovenantInBlood, have been trying to discuss, i.e., is the O.T. teaching concerning the "tithe" continuitous; carried over into the N.T. church? If it is, then it is a mandate and obligatory upon all who profess Christ. It becomes a matter of obedience to the will of God no less than one reading the Scriptures, attending worship services, worshipping God aright, praying, etc., all which are evidences of ones spiritual state. (cf. Jam 2:26) So, while this matter is specifically one of sanctification (how one lives out their faith), if the "tithe" is accepted a a mandate, then it of necessity becomes a "test" of one's spirituality; "faith without works is dead". Thus the importance of establishing whether tithing is binding upon the conscious of a Christian or not. If it is a mandate, then it is not a matter of choice but of duty. And a failure to "tithe" would be therefore a sin and also a basis for discipline by the Church.

If one is convinced in their heart that the O.T. "tithe" is binding, then that person should do as they think is right. However, if the "tithe" is not binding, then one is free to give more or less than the "10% of the gross income to the Church" and give more or less and to whomsoever they choose. But in either case, the giving must be done from the heart, for the furtherance of the kingdom of God, the maintenance of God's servants, the aid of the poor and needy, etc. And so I think this matter belongs to the category of the "Adiaphora" (things indifferent, cf. Rom 14; 1Cor 10). The "weaker brother", i.e., those who believe he is bound by a mandate to tithe must do so for the sake of his own conscience. But it is not permitted that this weaker brother judge others who have come to live under the freedom merited for them in Christ. It is certainly permissible to urge all believers to be good stewards and to use what God has given to them wisely and for the glory of God. But it is decidedly a whole other matter to demand that one give "10% of one's gross income to the church" as a minimum. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nono.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 8:12 PM
It reminds me of the dilemma that Peter found himself in. On the one hand he was the Apostle who went to the tanner's house to be shown that the gentiles were to have the gospel preached to them just as the Jews. On the other he is publicly denounced by Paul for not sitting with them. He knows in his heart what is right but facing his peers he follows the pack.

Is it the Law or not? Is it mandated or should you do so because you feel it is the right thing to do? I think that if we ever reach a consensus it will ruin the idea of giving from your heart and turn it into a Law. Its not a public thing, its a personal decision made in the "prayer closet" and carried out as quietly as possible.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 8:50 PM
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doulos said:
Must have read that post wrong or something. I suggested what to Pilgrim?

Sorry if I've confused you. Here's the exchange I'm speaking about:

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Pilgrim said:
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doulos said:
We give him the top piece from gross income before we pay any bills. There is always enough. Why does it have to be so hard?
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?

That post is here. You responded here as follows:

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Yes, actually I would.

Now, unless I've completely misread you, you were saying that you think a family of five should move into a two-room apartment in order to pay the tithe. That's what I was refering to.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu May 26, 2005 10:05 PM
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doulos said:
It reminds me of the dilemma that Peter found himself in. On the one hand he was the Apostle who went to the tanner's house to be shown that the gentiles were to have the gospel preached to them just as the Jews. On the other he is publicly denounced by Paul for not sitting with them. He knows in his heart what is right but facing his peers he follows the pack.

Is it the Law or not? Is it mandated or should you do so because you feel it is the right thing to do? I think that if we ever reach a consensus it will ruin the idea of giving from your heart and turn it into a Law. Its not a public thing, its a personal decision made in the "prayer closet" and carried out as quietly as possible.
doulos,

Your illustration using Peter is quite good, IMHO. But I fear you have missed the fundamental issue which he faced. His heart was right, i.e., he knew that the Gentiles were to be included in the Church, yet he was still bound to the old civil law which drove him to his dissimulation and for which Paul had to rebuke him. If it is of the law or not has little to do with the disposition of the heart. For in fact, the moral law is still binding upon Christians, yet our conformity to it is not one done begrudgingly, but cheerfully and with thanksgiving.


Romans 7:12 (ASV) "So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. . . . 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: . . . 8:12-14 (ASV) So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

1 John 5:2-3 (ASV) "Hereby we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."


Thus, once again, it is incumbent upon us to determine whether or not tithing is of the law? or if it is of the Spirit? And whether it is of the law or of liberty of the Spirit, it must be done most freely, willingly and cheerfully. However, IF it is of the law, then it is not a matter of a "personal decision", for we are bound to keep whatever God has commanded. And if we refuse to obey that which God commands, then we are guilty of sinning against Him and we are duty bound to repent. However, if the "tithe" is not part of the new covenant administration, then no one is conscience-bound to keep the letter of that mandate/law. But rather one's giving is unfettered and to be given as God enables.

What Ted and some others in this thread are espousing is that the "tithe" is of the law, i.e., it is mandatory (ignoring the manner of how it is given at this point) that all who profess Christ are under obligation to render 10% of their gross income. And further, not only the amount, i.e., 10% of the gross income, is required, that it be given specifically to the Church. Anything beyond the tithe can then be given to other areas, e.g., feeding the poor, parachurch ministries, political parties, etc. The remainder of us dispute the verity of that position and have asked for biblical arguments, e.g., exegesis of specific passages and/or reasonable rebuttals of our premise that the "tithe" belongs to the civil and/or ceremonial laws of theocratic Israel.

Unfortunately, I have my doubts that any biblical defense will be forthcoming if what has gone before is any indication. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 2:42 AM
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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?"

First of all unless your 100 years old don't refer to me as boy. Having being married for thirty years and raised all my children to adulthood I don't think pejoratives of that kind are needed. I have not referred to you in such a manner and do not deserve such treatment.

As for the civil laws I shall answer that in due time if someone doesn't beat me to it first.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 3:15 AM
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Boanerges said:
Quote
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?"

First of all unless your 100 years old don't refer to me as boy. Having being married for thirty years and raised all my children to adulthood I don't think pejoratives of that kind are needed. I have not referred to you in such a manner and do not deserve such treatment.

Please forgive me. No offense was intended. I have, in fact, been VERY disappointed with some of the tone of this thread -- myself included. I repent of my un-Christ-like tone and ask for God's forgiveness, as well.

Begging your forgiveness,
Ted
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 6:46 AM
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What Ted and some others in this thread are espousing is that the "tithe" is of the law, i.e., it is mandatory (ignoring the manner of how it is given at this point) that all who profess Christ are under obligation to render 10% of their gross income. And further, not only the amount, i.e., 10% of the gross income, is required, that it be given specifically to the Church.

Nope. Not true.

Jesus calls us to much more than that. He doesn't want 10%. He wants it ALL. ALL our hearts. ALL our minds. ALL our money. ALL.

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. - Matthew 10:34-39

Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first." - Matthew 19:28-30

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." - Mark 10:21

Respectfully submitted with Christ's great love,
Ted
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 6:57 AM
Quote
Pilgrim said:
Quote
doulos said:
I don't think there's a biblical mandate, as such, . . .<cut>

That said, most churches call it a tithe. Does that mean that they are demanding ten percent of your income in the tradition of the OT Law?
Can you see the tension here? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" /> There is no biblical mandate which would require a N.T. believer to render a "tithe" offering, i.e., defined as "10% of one's gross income to the Church". So, if a church teaches that N.T. believers are to give a "tithe", then it is most definitely inextricably connected to the "tradition of the OT law", for there is nothing in the N.T. that would require it to be given.

This is the issue which some of us, especially CovenantInBlood, have been trying to discuss, i.e., is the O.T. teaching concerning the "tithe" continuitous; carried over into the N.T. church? If it is, then it is a mandate and obligatory upon all who profess Christ. It becomes a matter of obedience to the will of God no less than one reading the Scriptures, attending worship services, worshipping God aright, praying, etc., all which are evidences of ones spiritual state. (cf. Jam 2:26) So, while this matter is specifically one of sanctification (how one lives out their faith), if the "tithe" is accepted a a mandate, then it of necessity becomes a "test" of one's spirituality; "faith without works is dead". Thus the importance of establishing whether tithing is binding upon the conscious of a Christian or not. If it is a mandate, then it is not a matter of choice but of duty. And a failure to "tithe" would be therefore a sin and also a basis for discipline by the Church.

If one is convinced in their heart that the O.T. "tithe" is binding, then that person should do as they think is right. However, if the "tithe" is not binding, then one is free to give more or less than the "10% of the gross income to the Church" and give more or less and to whomsoever they choose. But in either case, the giving must be done from the heart, for the furtherance of the kingdom of God, the maintenance of God's servants, the aid of the poor and needy, etc. And so I think this matter belongs to the category of the "Adiaphora" (things indifferent, cf. Rom 14; 1Cor 10). The "weaker brother", i.e., those who believe he is bound by a mandate to tithe must do so for the sake of his own conscience. But it is not permitted that this weaker brother judge others who have come to live under the freedom merited for them in Christ. It is certainly permissible to urge all believers to be good stewards and to use what God has given to them wisely and for the glory of God. But it is decidedly a whole other matter to demand that one give "10% of one's gross income to the church" as a minimum. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nono.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,

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?

With love and thankfulness for Him who calls us,
Ted
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 7:30 AM
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
Posted By: BradJHammond Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 11:57 AM
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Pilgrim:
The remainder of us...have asked for biblical arguments, e.g., exegesis of specific passages and/or reasonable rebuttals of our premise that the "tithe" belongs to the civil and/or ceremonial laws of theocratic Israel. Unfortunately, I have my doubts that any biblical defense will be forthcoming if what has gone before is any indication.


You aren't the only one!!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" />

Whatever position one holds on this matter, only one side in this argument (so far) has consistently attempted to "reason from the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2) as opposed to merely cutting and pasting passages of Scripture that rarely relate directly or unambiguously to the real issue at hand.

I don't wish to further muddy the waters, and forgive me if I missed this somewhere back in the first 80 posts; but, has anyone yet bothered to explain how and why most theologians (whether Dispensational or Covenantal) make a distinction between the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws of the Old Testament? Some folks here seem to be under the mistaken impression that these are nothing more than a clever excuse to ignore or abrogate God's eternal commandments, or as Kierkegaard put it, to "pad their breeches against the Law of God."

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

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
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 2:52 PM
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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,
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 4:08 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!)

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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:
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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:

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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:

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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.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Fri May 27, 2005 7:41 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!
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sat May 28, 2005 3:08 AM
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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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sat May 28, 2005 3:50 AM
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.

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

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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.

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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 . . . . . .


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However, the word of God says this:

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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.
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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)


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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 . . . .
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Are Christians mandated to tithe? That is to give a tenth of their goods to the church?
with what was later written by Boanerges . . . .
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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.

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
Posted By: Peter Re: Since we're talking about money - Sat May 28, 2005 7:48 AM
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.
Posted By: doulos Re: Since we're talking about money - Sat May 28, 2005 1:28 PM
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="" />
Posted By: Wes Re: Since we're talking about money - Sat May 28, 2005 1:35 PM
Doulos,

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

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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)


Wes
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun May 29, 2005 10:43 PM
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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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 31, 2005 7:00 PM
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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
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Tue May 31, 2005 9:55 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."



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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,
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 1:55 AM
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="" />
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:39 AM
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<CUT>
No need to include the entire contents of a reply in your quote(s). Please be selective and quote only those words, sections, etc., which are relevant and to which you want to reply. THANKS!

<hr>

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
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:53 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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:28 AM
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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
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:31 AM
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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."

Must a Christian abstain from idolatry? Must a Christian abstain from blasphemy? Must a Christian abstain from dishonoring his parents? Must a Christian abstain from murder? Etc. In short, if it is a "binding" commandment, it is sin to fail to obey the commandment. Is the tithe such a commandment?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:50 AM
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Kyle wrote:
Must a Christian abstain from idolatry? Must a Christian abstain from blasphemy? Must a Christian abstain from dishonoring his parents? Must a Christian abstain from murder? Etc. In short, if it is a "binding" commandment, it is sin to fail to obey the commandment. Is the tithe such a commandment?

Are all those things "binding," Kyle? Wow! I am feeling SERIOUSLY dumber by the minute . . . . . .

I could be persuaded that ALL of those things you mentioned are "sins" -- including failing to "tithe." However, I don't understand the "binding" part. Please forgive me!

[By my way of thinking, I am convinced that failing to give away more than HALF of my salary is a "sin," but I stumble over the term "binding."]

Confused and confusing, as always,
Ted
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:13 AM
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Ted said:
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Kyle wrote:
Must a Christian abstain from idolatry? Must a Christian abstain from blasphemy? Must a Christian abstain from dishonoring his parents? Must a Christian abstain from murder? Etc. In short, if it is a "binding" commandment, it is sin to fail to obey the commandment. Is the tithe such a commandment?

Are all those things "binding," Kyle? Wow! I am feeling SERIOUSLY dumber by the minute . . . . . .

I could be persuaded that ALL of those things you mentioned are "sins" -- including failing to "tithe." However, I don't understand the "binding" part. Please forgive me!

If it is a sin to fail to observe a particular commandment, then that commandment is "binding" on the Christian, insofar as he must repent of his failure to abide by it, and those who do not repent show themselves to be false brethren. Tithing, that is, giving 10% of one's gross income to the church, is not one of those commandments. It ought to be clear from what I showed that the only tithes commanded were part and parcel of the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel.

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[By my way of thinking, I am convinced that failing to give away more than HALF of my salary is a "sin," but I stumble over the term "binding."]

Why are you so convinced? We are not called to be ascetics, after all. We may rightfully enjoy certain pleasures afforded in this life, with thanksgiving to God for them. Unless you are spending frivolously and your heart is in your possessions and purchases, what is the matter? It isn't the quantity with which God is concerned, but rather the quality of the giving heart.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:29 AM
Thanks for your post, Kyle. A couple of questions from your self-described "dense" brother, here:

You wrote: "If it is a sin to fail to observe a particular commandment, then that commandment is 'binding' on the Christian, insofar as he must repent of his failure to abide by it, and those who do not repent show themselves to be false brethren. " My question is "how does this fit with what the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 6 & 7:

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Romans 6:14-15 (ESV)

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. - Romans 7:6 (ESV)

I am SOOOOO confused. Please forgive me!

Love,
Ted
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:34 AM
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Kyle wrote:
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[By my way of thinking, I am convinced that failing to give away more than HALF of my salary is a "sin," but I stumble over the term "binding."]

Why are you so convinced? We are not called to be ascetics, after all. We may rightfully enjoy certain pleasures afforded in this life, with thanksgiving to God for them. Unless you are spending frivolously and your heart is in your possessions and purchases, what is the matter? It isn't the quantity with which God is concerned, but rather the quality of the giving heart.

I guess I am convicted by what Alcorn and, more so, Piper have written and preached regarding God's promises -- that my satisfaction and joy would be and are greater in God than in the "things" of this earth (which I've been spending my money on!). Does that make sense?

Yours in Christ,
Ted
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:42 AM
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Ted said:
Thanks for your post, Kyle. A couple of questions from your self-described "dense" brother, here:

You wrote: "If it is a sin to fail to observe a particular commandment, then that commandment is 'binding' on the Christian, insofar as he must repent of his failure to abide by it, and those who do not repent show themselves to be false brethren. " My question is "how does this fit with what the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 6 & 7:

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Romans 6:14-15 (ESV)

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. - Romans 7:6 (ESV)

I am SOOOOO confused. Please forgive me!

What doesn't fit? If we have been justified, we are no longer condemned by the law, are we? And if we are regenerate, we obey in love and in spirit, so we avoid more than outwardly sinful actions which the law describes, but also sinful thoughts.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:52 AM
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I guess I am convicted by what Alcorn and, more so, Piper have written and preached regarding God's promises -- that my satisfaction and joy would be and are greater in God than in the "things" of this earth (which I've been spending my money on!). Does that make sense?

It makes sense, I'm just concerned that your thoughts are more on the quantity of what you give than on the quality. I rather doubt it is particularly feasible for you to give more than half of your income to the church, unless you are quite wealthy. So why do you think in such a manner? Do you spend a lot of money on frivolous things which are neither rightfully enjoyable nor useful and do not honor God?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:58 PM
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Ted said:
Thank you, Kyle. I benefitted from it more THIS time than last. I guess I am confused by this:


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

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

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


Ted,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:39 AM
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Jeff wrote:
So, there it is Ted . . . either the "tithe" is binding, i.e., the will of God (law) to which Christians must render obedience, or it was specific to the Israelic civil and ceremonial laws, being shadows of that which was to come and fulfilled by Christ in His perfect life and death. Is my relationship with God to be determined by my checkbook or by Christ's substitutionary sacrifice in my behalf and expressed by my love for Christ and my desire to become like Him, and do all that God commands of me in His moral law? (Jh 14:15; 15:10; 1Jh 5:3)

GREAT post, Jeff. Thanks for once again providing me much meat to chew on. I have spent quite a few precious moments reviewing articles online and Scripture passages regarding "The Law & The Gospel" and "Christian Liberty" and "The Law & Christian Liberty" and the like. What a blessed opportunity. Thank you!

As always, I will choose to take a contrary stance -- "confusing" as always, you might say. I pray that I have found a third way of looking at this.

Yes, I would agree that "the tithe" is NOT "binding" in the way that the Ten Commandments are. However, I am moved by Hebrews 12:1 to consider another way of looking at this topic.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

In the light of this jewel of Scripture, consider the words of Donald Macleod as they might apply to our discussion:

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Then we ask: Will this be beneficial to my own spiritual life? Sometimes there are things that are not sins but which are weights or impediments. The writer to the Hebrews says, Lay them aside (12:1). Not only the sins that beset us but the weights, the things that hold us back.
- Christian Liberty by Donald MacLeod

<span style="background-color:#FFFF00">Might the failure to give a tithe (or greater) be just such a "weight?"</span>

Thank you, again, for the opportunity to discuss this weighty matter of Christian living. I pray it has been as much of a blessing to you and others as it has to me.

With love,
Ted
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:55 AM
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Ted said:
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Then we ask: Will this be beneficial to my own spiritual life? Sometimes there are things that are not sins but which are weights or impediments. The writer to the Hebrews says, Lay them aside (12:1). Not only the sins that beset us but the weights, the things that hold us back.
- Christian Liberty by Donald MacLeod

<span style="background-color:#FFFF00">Might the failure to give a tithe (or greater) be just such a "weight?"</span>
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nope.gif" alt="" /> Not if the tithe is not binding upon a new covenant believer. Since a Christian is not under ANY obligation whatsoever to give "10% or greater", there is no "weight" to be borne which can burden his/her conscience before the Lord.

Further, your use of Heb 12:1, 2 is irrelevant to the discussion. The writer is speaking about matters of conscience and sin under which the believer labours and which tend to bring spiritual depression and anxiety. Realizing that we have been included by God's grace to be among all the elect who have gone before us and especially since we have a Saviour Who has borne all our griefs and sins, having nailed them to the cross, we are to cast them aside and boldly press on with the full assurance that we have been adopted into the family of the Living God. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:", Rom 5:1.

In His grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:32 AM
Perhaps it’s a sinful desire on my part to attempt to have the last word (if that is so, please forgive me), but I haven’t felt entirely comfortable leaving this thread where it is.

And, thanks be to the Lord, as I was preparing for a study of Nehemiah 10, I ran across the following comment on Nehemiah 10:37-39 by James Montgomery Boice:

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I feel about the tithe much the way I feel about the Sabbath, having said often that I see no specific passage in the New Testament that lays the tithe upon Christians as legal obligation. But as I said before, that is not the whole story. It is true that Christians are not under the specifics of the Old Testament legislation, but where ethical issues are concerned, it is always the case that when you pass from the Old Testament to the New, the standard goes up rather than down. The Old Testament Jew was to give a straight 10 percent of his income to the Lord. It was a simple matter in order to avoid any manipulation of the angles, prevarication, or confusion. It was 10 percent of everything he received: wages, tips, gifts, an inheritance, a lottery! And it was for everybody: the young, the old, wives, husbands, students, the rich, the poor. It was the minimum. That much was owed to the Lord. The Jew was to “pay” the tithe. After that, if he had been particularly blessed and wanted to, he could give additional gifts and offerings.

What is our principle today? It is higher, as I indicated. It is not 10 percent but 100 percent. All we are and have is the Lord’s. Our question is not how much we are required to give but rather how much it is proper to keep for ourselves for our maintenance.

Jesus stated the principle in the Sermon on the Mount:

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, your heart will be also . . . No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:19-21. 24

I call this “lifestyle stewardship,” a pattern of life in which we have first given ourselves to the Lord and then regularly give ourselves to others in His name (cf 2 Cor. 8:5).

In closing, I bring you to the words a wise man once wrote . . . .

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“Beloved of God, do see what love Christ has shown you? See what great sacrifice He has rendered in your place. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2Cor 5:21) For in Him and through Him we have been made beloved of God (1John 3:1). "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa 53:6 )

Dear sinner, do see the mercy and love of God in the Lord Jesus. There is none so sinful that He cannot save; none so polluted with sin that He cannot cleanse. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb 7:25 ). May God in His mercy show you your true condition; that you are full of leprosy and that you shall surely die in your miserable condition lest you come to the Great Physician to be healed. The Lord Jesus Christ, the "Great Physician" is ever able and willing to receive all who will come to Him for healing. "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17) Go to Him! Go to Him now, acknowledging your helpless guilty condition and your need of Him! And in doing so, He will "touch you" and cleanse you of all your uncleanness and clothe you with His perfect righteousness. "For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2Cor 5:21)

Amen

Each time I read that, I am transported into an extremely thankful spirit to Him who has saved a lowly sinner like me.

In my thankfulness, I cry out, “Lord, your will be done in my life! ALL I have is yours!”

With love and thankfulness for the God who richly and graciously blesses us,
Ted
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Since we're talking about money - Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:46 PM
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Ted quotes James Boice:


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

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

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

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


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



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

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

In His Grace,
© The Highway