Home > Brandenburg, money > The New Testament Teaches Tithing pt. 2

The New Testament Teaches Tithing pt. 2

April 16, 2008

The anti-tithing contingency argues like tithing is some extra-scriptural innovation to pad church accounts.   Russell Kelly exalts:  “Preachers have been trying to push tithing onto their congregations only since the 1870s and only since 1895 in the Southern Baptist Convention and they have failed miserably!” Here’s what Matthew Henry (1662-1714, several years before 1870) wrote in his section on the last part of Leviticus 27:

A law concerning tithes, which were paid for the service of God before the law, as appears by Abraham’s payment of them, (Genesis 14:20), and Jacob’s promise of them, Genesis 28:22. It is here appointed, 1. That they should pay tithe of all their increase, their corn, trees, and cattle, Leviticus 27:30,32. Whatsoever productions they had the benefit of God must be honoured with the tithe of, if it were titheable. Thus they acknowledged God to be the owner of their land, the giver of its fruits, and themselves to be his tenants, and dependents upon him. Thus they gave him thanks for the plenty they enjoyed, and supplicated his favour in the continuance of it. And we are taught in general to honour the Lord with our substance (Proverbs 3:9), and in particular to support and maintain his ministers, and to be ready to communicate to them, Galatians 6:6,1Cor 9:11. And how this may be done in a fitter and more equal proportion than that of the tenth, which God himself appointed of old, I cannot see. 2. That which was once marked for tithe should not be altered, no, not for a better (Leviticus 27:33), for Providence directed the rod that marked it. God would accept it though it were not the best, and they must not grudge it though it were, for it was what passed under the rod. 3. That it should not be redeemed, unless the owner would give a fifth part more for its ransom, Leviticus 27:31. If men had the curiosity to prefer what was marked for tithe before any other part of their increase, it was fit that they should pay for their curiosity.

I ask you to notice all the New Testament passages he cross-references.  This isn’t new teaching, brethren.  These posts are about what the New Testament teaches, but observe what John Gill writes about the “fifth part more” that was paid by someone for the ransom of the tithe there in Leviticus 27:31:

[B]esides giving the value for what part of his tithes he redeemed, he gave a fifth part of that sum over and above; as, supposing the tithe was worth fifty shillings, then he gave that, and ten shillings more, and so in proportion. The use of this redemption, as Jarchi suggests, was, that he might have liberty of eating it in any place: for he understands it of the second tithe, as before observed, and which was to be eaten at Jerusalem.

Gill says that he redeemed his tithe with money. Money was interchangeable with other tangible gifts if so desired. A money tithe was not rejected by God even in the Mosaic law.

I actually don’t wish to wrangle at this time over every detail of giving under Mosaic Law.  You’ve probably noticed in the comments how much that can be done.  It is true that we don’t live under an Old Testament economy. That doesn’t mean, however, that we are now free to disobey God’s law. I’ll get to that later, so let’s move on to another aspect about tithing in the New Testament.
1. The New Testament Does Not Do Away with Old Testament Standards
2. Jesus Taught Tithing
3. Jesus Taught Proportional Giving
4. Giving to the Church for Scriptural Purposes Continued

The members of the Jerusalem church brought their offerings and laid them down at the feet of the bishoprick of Jerusalem (Acts 4:34-5:2).  Church people were already giving for Scriptural purposes and they didn’t just go to whoever wherever to give the money.   You can see that they would sell what they had so that they could give money.  I am not attempting to glean from this that the tithe went to needy families.  I’m not even saying this was a tithe.  I’m noticing one point:  they brought their offerings to the church leadership for the money to be distributed based upon God’s will.  As a secondary issue, I’m pointing out that they gave money.  You see this in Acts 4:34, 35 and then Acts 5:1, 2.

On a side note, when Ananias and Sapphira gave less than what was expected of them based on their own commitment, God killed them for it.  Earlier I had mentioned that stealing the Babylonian garment meant death to Achan, his family, and then quite a few soldiers in the first battle of Ai.  In a comment, someone attempted to shame me for threatening people with death who don’t tithe.  Of course, I didn’t do that, but does it seem to you that some threat of death exists related to the issue of giving?  It sounds like someone could feel threatened by an honest exposition of the first part of Acts 5.  Should anyone feel scared when they read Acts 5?   Are we better preachers when we don’t make that connection to the here and now?  We see required giving accompanied by the negative reinforcement of physical punishment (cf. 1 Corinthians 11, the Lord’s Table).

Akin to this place in Acts 4 and 5 is 1 Corinthians 16:1-3.  On the first day of the week, because that is when the church congregated, they were to collect their offerings for the purpose of God’s will.  Those gifts were to be “as God hath prospered him.”  Again we see Scripture teach proportional giving.  What is the proportion that we see all over Scripture?  The tithe.

5.  Paul Teaches Physical Remuneration for Spiritual Benefit in Identical Fashion As It Was Done in the Old Testament

In Paul’s treatise on Christian liberty (1 Corinthians 6-10), he makes the case for personal restraint.  In the midst of this treatment, in chapter 9 he establishes his right to receive physical remuneration (pay) for spiritual benefit bestowed.  He argues this several ways.  He makes a logical and cultural argument in 9:7.  He uses the Old Testament law (Deuteronomy 25:4) to affirm his point in 9:9.

So Paul refers to the Old Testament law as an authority for New Testament Christian living.  Doesn’t that make Paul a legalist?  Or does he give us an example of the law’s continued authority over a New Testament believer?  Paul sees Deuteronomy 25:4 as still binding post-Pentecost.   Several anti-tithing proponents, if consistent, would call Paul “dangerous” at this juncture.  They don’t undestand the nature of the New Covenant.  The New Covenant didn’t do away with God’s law, but enabled law-keeping through a transformation of heart.

From that Old Testament Mosaic law argument, Paul goes further.  He twists in his point from Deuteronomy a little further in v. 10 and then makes a lesser to greater argument in v. 11.  If the worker is to be a partaker in his labors, then this especially applies in a comparison between the greater spiritual things to the lesser carnal things.  For anyone who understands the superior benefit of spiritual things, it is easy to give the far less valuable physical remuneration in return.

In vv. 13, 14, Paul makes one more argument from the Old Testament.  As a basis for his own support, he uses as authority the example of how the Levites were cared for under Mosaic law.  Just like in vv. 11, 12 the more valuable spiritual things should be duly rewarded by physical things, the Levites were supported.  The people who fulfilled the maintenance of Scriptural worship in Israel were taken care of by the gifts of everyone else.

The key words for the tithing argument are “even so” to begin v. 14.  The understanding of the two Greek Words are “even” “in this fashion” or “in this manner.”  Identical to the manner in which the Levites and priests were taken care of in the Old Testament, the one who leads in spiritual things today should be taken care of.  In what fashion were they taken care of in the Old Testament?  The tithe.  The Lord ordained that men of God who minister in spiritual things should be taken care of with a tithe of the physical things of those who benefit from his ministry.

Some might argue, “But Paul didn’t partake of the physical remuneration.”  He didn’t in his church planting and he explains why as we go through the rest of 1 Corinthians 9.  He refused to take money from unsaved people and then even the newly saved people.  A pastor continues maintaining the worship of the church just like the Levites maintained the worship of the temple.  He should be supported in the same manner—the tithe.

One commenter ridiculed the idea of financially caring for the spiritual overseer of the church.  He argued that since we’re all priests, we would all then need to be supported.  Paul could have made that argument in 1 Corinthians 9.  He didn’t.  That bit of rhetoric doesn’t parallel with Old Testament tithing.  The Old Testament tithing that Paul likens to New Testament tithing supports the spiritual leadership of the congregation of God.  You see a parallel to this in Acts 6.  Deacons were chosen out to do physical labor so that the spiritual leadership could spend time in the Word and in prayer.  The tithes of New Testament church members should support the overseer of the assembly to hinder any distraction from the purpose of the Word and prayer.

In addition to buttressing the practice of tithing in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 9 gives a bit of a lesson on the proper understanding of the use of the Old Testament in the New.  The rabid anti-tither would ask why, if we don’t practice the prohibiiton against wearing woolen and linen together (Deut 22:11), we selectively practice the tithe.  I’m going to deal with this a little bit more later, but until then, all should look how Paul Himself uses the Old Testament law here in 1 Corinthians 9.

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Categories: Brandenburg, money Tags: ,
  1. April 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    That is a very interesting and solid point that I had not seen before – Paul commands us to support God’s servants “in the same fashion” as the Old Testament priests. This is a clear follow through of the principle of using the OT as a guidebook for applications of New Testament principles. On that basis it is very logical to teaching New Testament tithing.

  2. J Warren
    April 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your two pieces on the teaching of tithing. I will dispense with the laudatory remarks. I appreciate the OT on this subject. My appreciation is equaled by my surprise by some of the comments your readers posted to your previous article on this subject. I like things made as simple as possible and two verses keep ringing in my mind that support why I believe you are right. Romans 5:13 is clear where the law is concerned (the law is not finished doing it’s work) and Heb 13:8 is another verse that grounds me on this subject. I would hope your readers understand that the Christ of yesterday goes all the way back before creation and not just to the manger.

  3. April 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    http://www.jackhammr.org/2008/04/16/the-new-testament-teaches-tithing-pt-2/

    Jackhammer, Ken Brandenberg, 4-15-2008

    1. Matthew Henry lived under the Church-State system of England which required even Catholic farmers to tithe to support the Anglican Church. You said “Notice all of the NT references.” There are 8 references and 2 are to the NT and neither mentions tithing. This proves nothing unless you are advocating a State supported church.

    2. John Gill’s comments are irrelevant unless you are suggesting the church teach 20-23% tithing and allow its members to eat anything over the 10% tithe. The fact that the tithe could be redeemed by adding an extra 20% to the value of the food does not prove that the tithe included money. Christ redeemed us with his blood. That does not prove that Christ’s blood is equivalent to “us” except in its value.

    3. You said that the NT does not do away with OT standards. That is only partially true. The eternal moral standards which underlie the OT law survive. However the temporary laws which served as a separation between Israel and the Gentiles have been abolished. That includes stoning disobedient children and tithing.

    4. You said that Jesus taught tithing. Yes he did when discussing “matters of the law” in Mt 23:23/Luke 11:42. If he did not teach his Jewish disciples to obey the OT law then he, as a Jew, would be guilty of sin. However he could not have taught his NT Gentile disciples to tithe because they had no bring tithes where they would have been accepted. Notice that Jesus told the rich young ruler and Zaccheus to “give to the poor” rather than give tithes to the Temple system. The poor widow was giving a freewill offering also and not a tithe.

    5. You said that Jesus taught proportional giving. He taught “equality” giving. And where does the Bible teach that “proportional” means exactly “ten per cent”?

    6. You mention Acts 4 and 5. Is that what you teach in your church? Do you teach your members to lay everything they own at your feet and then distribute them to every church member evenly so you can all live in a commune? Since you do not, then you should not be using Acts 4 and 5 as examples for Christians to follow.

    Read the decrees of Acts 15 and 21. The early church decided not to burden the Gentile Christians with the “yoke of the law” which Jews could not even bear. And, even more noteworthy, Acts 21:20-21 strongly suggests that the Jewish Christians in Judea were still paying tithes –not to the church leaders—but to the Temple system 30 years after Calvary because they were all still “zealous of the law.”

    7. Then you mention Annanias and Sapphira but fail to link it to tithing. They did not steal from God because they had taken tithes. Rather they had lied to the Holy Spirit because they had taken that which they had promised to God.

    8. Then you mention 1st Corinthians 16:1-3 and fail to link it to tithing. It is not a discussion of how to support church leaders. In fact the early church at that time treated all members equally and there was no distinction between clergy and laity. Most tithe-teachers say that 1 Cor 16 and 2 Cor 8 & 9 are discussing freewill offerings beyond tithes so you are out of step with your own crowd. First Cor 16 (verse 1) is only a discussion of freewill offerings for the poor in Jerusalem and is not even remotely a discussion of tithing. Look at 2 Cor 8:14-16 and you will see what “equality” giving means. Some give more than 10% and others give less than 10%; there is no percentage involved; both give sacrificially and God accepts all of the gifts; they “equal” out.

    9. Next comes 1 Cor 9:13-14. If you teach that 9:14 only refers to 9:13 instead of 9:7-13 then your argument is self-defeating. Why? 9:13 includes all forms of Temple support and not merely tithing. Therefore you force yourself to teach everything included in 9:13 which you do not obey.

    I suppose you are going to bring up Gen 14:17-20 next. More to come.

    Why can’t we truly believe that the NT church with the indwelling Holy Spirit is capable of much greater things in every respect than the OT assembly?

    Russell Earl Kelly
    Author of Should the Church Teach Tithing?

  4. April 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Russ:

    I would really really love to know if those around you would say that you are rich towards God. It seems that all you are for at this point is not giving a tithe. 75% of the working members of our church give at least a tenth of their income and we call that a tithe. There are many that double-tithe. The second tithe goes to missions. Others give even more. Nobody holds us down on payday to see how much we are giving. Wouldn’t you be better off just promoting giving instead of fighting against the tithe? It seems to me you have got an axe to grind instead of being a cheerful giver.

  5. April 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Don – That’s exactly it. The whole “vibe” I get from Russ’ posts is that, while decrying what he apparently views as a legalism issue with respect to the tithe, he himself seems to be taking a graceless approach to the issue of money and our use of it to support the work of the churches.

    Hopefully within the next day or so (and I’m not making any “promises” since I don’t know how my schedule will play out) I’d like to take a crack at Russ’ post above. There are a number of significant issues about the church/the body of Christ and its replacement of the Temple which I think would help to explicate this matter, and which I think Russ doesn’t understand.

  6. reglerjoe
    April 16, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    I can’t believe that Kent is writing/debating about the text preservation and tithing issues at the same time! My head is spinning.

    This is why I could never be a real blogger.

  7. Stephen Davis
    April 16, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    You suggest that the tithe teaching should go unopposed. Instead just concintrate on encouraging giving even if you don’t believe in tithing. The church is becoming more and more of a joke with respect to its idolitrous attachment to money. When did the church get the green light to get just as much money as it could possibly get by calling, tithes of the land….money. Firstfruits…..money. Offerings……money. The people are groaning under the weight of these ‘servants’. They no longer have any shame. Jesus promise is to grant rest. This rest includes rest from the stringent demands of the law. This tithing thing that you teach is not even legal. It is a twisted form of law used to get gain. If the Old Testament taught one half of one percent tithing, ministers would be teaching grace giving from the housetops. It is a proven fact that tithe teaching churches have more funds. It is the want of money that is driving the theology and not the theology that is leading the teaching.

    God has given His opinion on this backwards theology. You would think that the one verse in the bible that had tithes and money in the same verse, would be the most studied verse in the bible on whether or not God wanted money to be given in the form of a tithe. It is this verse in Deuteronomy 14:25-26 that God says what to do with this money. He says to buy ‘strong drink’. This drink is the first use in all of the bible using this Hebrew word. When you search the rest of the bible you find Isaiah 56:11-12 God says that those who drink this drink are “shepherds that don’t understand: they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain….”

    This means God has a problem with the exchange of tithe for money. He is not speaking against alcohol but against greed for monetary gain. He does this in an indirect way that gives these teachers enough rope for them to hang themselves. They use this wiggle room to get all they can with this teaching. God’s people need to be told what is happening. The unruly need warning, and the feeble minded need comfort. This is righteousness on our part to communicate all that we can find in scriptures on this. Instead of He that freely gives us all things through Christ we have a false god being taught that is more like Vito Corleone. The Jesus I serve called Judas to carry the bag. Tell me again how important money is to God.

  8. April 17, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Davis, you are really out of touch. Come to Chile some time and meet some of these national pastors, and see their sacrifice. Visit my church and inspect the annual report to see if there is money grubbing going on. Review the mp3’s of all the sermons over the last ten years and tell me how many times money was preached from the pulpit. You obviously have a grudge, and Titus is right, it all smacks of a horrible lack of grace. What you wrote is absolutely offensive. Jesus gave 100% of everything at His disposal to win the world. This includes time, talents, treasures. And ALL of that is biblical. I am ashamed of you. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. It is apparent you heart is not interested in world-wide evangelism or in the church that Jesus built.

  9. April 17, 2008 at 4:04 am

    For the record, so that I am understood; I love to give. I give a tithe of all my income. I give more than a tithe. I give at my church in the States, and I give in Chile. I give to missions. I give for construction projects. I give to the poor and needy fund. I love to give. I remember times when I sensed the Lord wanted me to empty my wallet on a Sunday by faith. And it was fun to see how when I stepped out by faith, the Lord NEVER failed to supply my needs. I love it when the Lord reveals needs in the brethren’s lives and I can give to pay a medical bill, or pay to get a water heater fixed. And I remember from the Old Testament that it is good not to charge interest or to loan to a brother, so I just give. 🙂 I remember in college I only had enough gas to get to Stoughton from Watertown and give my tithe. Humanly speaking I wouldn’t be able to get back. And I wouldn’t be able to get my crew back to college either. Well, I went and gave. After service everybody filed out of the church house, and I said in my heart, Well, Lord, here we are, what can we do now? Just then an elderly lady said good night and slipped a $20 in my hand! We had enough to get gas, AND get back to school to continue our studies from Christian ministry. Hallelujah! Giving is just fun! Ask my for a tithe, and ask me for more than a tithe. Ask me for Sacrifical Sunday where we give 90% and live off the 10% for a week. It’s a blessing to give. Glory! I’m going to go out today and give so more!…

  10. reglerjoe
    April 17, 2008 at 5:47 am

    I think Russell missed Kent’s point with the Henry and Gill quotes. Russell said tithing wasn’t taught before 1870. Kent proved it was. Disagree with Henry or Gill, dismiss them over state-church motivations or irrelevance, yet the fact remains that tithing was taught before 1870.

  11. Stephen Alexander
    April 17, 2008 at 5:59 am

    Don and Titus,

    There is not one shred of evidence for your continued insinuations that Russell is a two fisted tightwad who is desperately looking for excuses not to give.

    Produce such evidence or withdraw your baseless suppositions that spring from your own minds and nowhere else.

    It is clear as day that you have no concept of his giving practices, because if you did, the thoughts you are now thinking concerning him would never enter your minds.

    Though he has mentioned it several times, all Russell is for is grace giving exclusively without any recourse to the tithe.

    His work for grace giving as opposed to tithing did not come first; his work is a response to the teaching of tithing today.

    The only reason he might appear rabid is because of the thousands of horror stories he has heard from people who have been abused by SOME tithe teachers.

    Just in Jesus,
    Steve

  12. Stephen Alexander
    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Joe,

    Russell did not miss Ken’s point concerning the tithe before 1870.

    He has studied it extensively.

    The fact of the matter is this: the tithe as it is taught today is a relatively recent construct; all other previous versions of the tithe were dramatically different.

    Definitions are very important.

    As an example: Just because a person says they are Christian does not necessarily mean they are of God the Father in Christ Jesus the Son by the power of the Spirit; it could mean almost anything.

    (By the way, I both you and I have called Ken Kent. His name is Ken – right?)

    Just in Jesus,
    Steve

  13. April 17, 2008 at 6:38 am

    Let me see…

    If a pastor preaches that tithing is for today and even commanded, then he is trying to subjugate, intimidate, and shackle good godly Christian people who can’t afford to give, is that it?

    If a preacher preaches that not tithing is sinful, then he is a legalist and twisting Scripture, right?

    When sycophants decry Kent and Don’s (yes, his name is Kent) treatment of Mr. Kelly, they get a reprimand and an apology is demanded, so far correct?

    But, the name-calling, the accusations of Mr. Kelly and his friends is just good exegesis?

    The facts speak loudly that today’s American so-called Christianity is the most selfish, self-centered, materialistic generation of “Believers” this world has ever been exposed to. 10%? Most of the “Evangelical” yuppies in my are spend more than 10% of my salary on entertainment and pets.

    Grace giving should be more than a tithe, not trying to do away with Scripturally applied truths.

  14. reglerjoe
    April 17, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Stephen,

    Giving 10% (at least) to the church (however church is defined) was taught by Henry and Gill before 1870. Kent is right. Russell is wrong. You can try to say that Kent’s perspective on tithing is relatively new, but the fact remains that giving by principle instead of giving by emotion is not post-1870 teaching.

    (and, yes, I believe it his name is Kent)

    Be Blessed,

    Joe

  15. Stephen Davis
    April 17, 2008 at 9:37 am

    The first place in the bible that God talks tithe in the first person is in Genesis 31:13. Before it is recorded that Abraham gave a tithe of the goods of Sodom to Melchisedek. Afterwards, Jacob vowed to give tithes of the land that God promised to give him. It is not until God speaks to Jacob in a dream that He says: “where thou vowest a vow unto me”. This vow is where Jacob says, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in theis way that I gok and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” Genesis 28:20-22

    It is in response to this encouragement by God, reminding them of Jacob’s own vow to give a tenth of the land, that they find the courage to leave their own father. The wives of Jacob agree with him saying, “Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also or money (silver).” Genesis 31:15

    The first place God makes reference to tithe, His people find the courage to leave those who are taking money from them. It is also interesting to note that Jacob had eleven children before he ever was in a position to tithe. Lesson here, never start tithing until you have had all your children and are wealthy.

    This is why I encourage Christians to leave those that are taking money tithes from them. Jesus says, “What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?” Matthew 17:25

    What is the lesson of Abraham’s tithe: give the spoils of someone elses stuff. It was the goods of Sodom that had the tithes taken but yet they were destroyed. It was spiritual Sodom (Jerusalem) that had tithes taken of their stuff, yet they were destroyed in 70A.D.

  16. Stephen Alexander
    April 17, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Joe,

    I never said that tithing as a concept was not found prior to 1870 and neither does Russell.

    But the state mandated tithe of Matthew Henry’s day bears little if any resemblance to tithing as it is taught today.

    Neither Russell nor I have ever even intimated that the difference in our understanding from yours was one of principle vs. emotion.

    It is the difference between law and grace (the word law is not a pejorative meant to belittle your side),

    By the way, I personally have never experienced the kind of arm twisting that can and does happen with tithing today

    (I in no way suspect any of you here of such manipulations)

    In my past it has simply been taught that every believer should give 10% of their income to the local church. There was never any threat of a curse even implied or suggested if one didn’t.

    From many of the pro-tithe responses thus far it seems that many of you have witnessed nothing but good come from the tithe and that is a blessing!

    Just in Jesus,
    Steve

  17. April 17, 2008 at 10:42 am

    “Arnold of Brescia (1090-1155) occupies a conspicuous place in history. By some writers h has been classed with “Baptist martyrs.” There is not sufficient evidence to war rant such a statement. Arnold was a reformer, but not a separatist. Himself an ecclesiastic, he employed all his energies in attempting to restore his order to primitive plainness and purity, and thus to regain the moral influence which had been lost, and with it to promote a revival of scriptural piety. He declaimed loudly against the wealth and luxury of the clergy. He taught that they should not be possessors of worldly property, but be supported by tithes and the voluntary offerings of the people.” J.M. Cramp – Baptist History

  18. April 17, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Steven Davis,

    First of all, Abraham did not give a tithe of the goods of Sodom. He took nothing from Sodom. The entire context is pretty clear on that subject.

    He tithed on the spoils from the kings he defeated. Or in other words, on his increase.

    You are really preoccupied with money, aren’t you? Every interpretation of every event in Scriptures seems to have a no-tithing, “what’s mine is mine” application.

    That is sad beyond belief.

  19. April 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

    They prayed for the Gospel of freedom, but no relief came, and at last they stated their case in Twelve Articles, of which instrument Voltaire said that ‘Lycurgus would have signed it.’ Luther declared to the princes that its several articles were ‘So just and right, that all feelings of consideration toward you, before God and the world, are removed.’ There has been much doubt as to the authorship of this noble State paper, but Prof. Pfleiderer attributes it to Hubmeyer. So honorable and patriotic was this document in its demands and so temperately worded that it is simply a picture of their, exhausted longsuffering. They asked for the pure word of God and the right to choose their own pastors; for their exemption from all tithes, except that of wheat, of which they would pay a tenth for the support of their pastors and the poor; (aprox. 1525) Armitage, A History of the Baptists

  20. April 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Reglerjoe,

    Yes, you got the point. Matthew Henry is saying that tithing money to a church is today’s application of both OT and NT. He wrote that around 1700. Saying that he means something different than that because there was a state church does miss the point and also shows the lack of credibility of Russell Kelly. Some of what he writes definitely gives pause to consider, but that he won’t call green, green, when it is green, says that this isn’t about the truth any longer. That’s with all respect to Mr. Kelly and his defenders.

    Don,

    Thanks for the Baptist history research, which was obviously needed for the anti-tithe camp. Matthew Henry wasn’t cutting it. I count two different occasions from Baptist history that you back up tithing. You’ve popped that historical bubble.

    Titus,

    I’ll look forward to the answers that you have, if you get the time. I’m happy to tag team on this.

    Art,

    Thanks for the help with my name spelling. I think your perspective on tithing is correct too.

    Stephen Davis and Stephen Alexander,

    Thanks for coming over and talking here. I don’t have anything personal about Russ. I don’t agree with his arguments. I don’t want to deal with all the OT Mosaic stuff on tithing because I don’t believe it relates that much. It is interesting to me that you argue against obeying the law and then you go to all these details in the Old Testament law on tithing. I’ll deal with some of this in post #3 on tithing to finish off my series.

  21. April 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

    J Warren,

    I missed your comment. Thanks though.

  22. April 17, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Can we agree that under grace we can assume that the saved will in grace give more than the law required? And, can we agree that a church and it’s pastor have the obligation to encourage their church to obey Scriptures and out give the law? [Davis obviously doesn’t think so. Russell probably does.] Then where is the great harm in the tithe? If a pastor demands a tenth, where the Lord Himself demands more, what kind of difficulty could their be with that? I believe it is all according to HOW it is done, and how the tithe is handled once it is given. However, it should be apparent to saved people that God desires Christians in the New Testament to give more than a tenth, and the church is required to teach disciples to keep the things that He taught. So where is all the damage in encouraging new Christians to give a lot and give sacrificially? These same churches have the right to regulate what the pastor and staff receive, and prevent them from abusing their due.

  23. Stephen Alexander
    April 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Don,

    Yes, we can assume that under grace the saved will out give the law, so why mention a tithe that will on the fast track of grace be quickly overtaken and outdone?

    Yes, we can agree that it is a teacher’s obligation to teach Jesus’ disciples to obey everything he commanded and out give the law. There is no damage done in encouraging sacrificial giving.

    Where is it written that a given fellowship has the right to decide what a pastor and his staff will receive and on what Scriptural basis does a congregation have the right to determine whether or not a pastor is abusing his due?

    Just in Jesus,
    Steve

  24. April 17, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    First, may answer is that I teach tithes AND offerings. The tithe is a great starting point, and very practical too. The same equality that Russ mentioned from 2 Corithians 8:14, which is taken out of context, because the Paul is referring to equality of maintanance, not equality of giving; nevertheless, is a great idea. And, the true measure of equality is equality of sacrifice according the the widow and her two mites, not quantity. Ten percent therefore is a good guide for a start in sacrificing. Second, using Malachai, I have always taught that we rob God if we do not tithe AND give offerings. That is what Malachai teaches. Why mention tithes AND offerings in Malachai, if only the tithe was important? And, if God wanted more, why didn’t he talk about the total proportion that He wanted, say 15%? Because ten percent was a good practical starting point. But God expects more.

  25. JLS
    April 17, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Dear All,
    For those of you who are interested, you may want to search on tithing in some of the major blog hosting sites. It seems that Mr Russ and Mr Stephen run from place to place seeking to counter-act the “evil” of tithing. I am not sure what determines their policy of responding. They do not respond to all posts about tithing. Perhaps they only respond to the ones where Scripture is used to support tithing?
    You certainly shall find no grace from people who major on seeking to “straighten out” those who (in their opinion) are involved in gross error.
    Thanks , Pastor Kent, for this series. I agree with you.

  26. Stephen Alexander
    April 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Dear all,

    Thank you for listening to me.

    I have enjoyed the give and take with some and have been taken aback by others.

    We will all be held accountable for every careless word and I pray none of mine posted here are in anyway reckless.

    This is proving to take up way too much time for me and I must bow out.

    Thank you again.

    Just in Jesus,
    Steve

  27. Bobby
    April 17, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I thank the Lord for the privilege to tithe and give offerings in His church. His grace is wonderful and I’m glad that He has let me know what is required and that He has worked in me to will and do of His good pleasure. Because of His grace I enjoy doing more than is required. What a blessing!

  28. April 17, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    I love tithing too!

    I’ve never felt forced to do it in any Baptist church I’ve been a member!

    I’m also thankful for a rich history of tithing in Baptist churches as chronicled by Don Heinz from a few History of Baptists!

  29. April 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Russ Kelly, #3

    1. Matthew Henry lived under the Church-State system of England which required even Catholic farmers to tithe to support the Anglican Church. You said “Notice all of the NT references.” There are 8 references and 2 are to the NT and neither mentions tithing. This proves nothing unless you are advocating a State supported church.

    Apparently you’re unaware that Matthew Henry was a “non-conformist”, meaning that he was not a pastor or minister within the Anglican establishment. Indeed, his father was ousted from the Anglican communion by the 1662 Act of Uniformity, because of his disagreements with the Book of Common Prayer. Matthew Henry was brought up outside the Anglican state religion, and indeed, practically his only pastorate was in Chester, over a Presbyterian congregation (which was also non-conformist, and therefore under proscription by the Test and Corporation Acts). Given this history, it is highly unlikely that Matthew Henry’s statements about the tithe were intended to buttress an extra-biblical teaching of the English state religion. Perhaps Henry said what he did about the tithe because it was his non-conformist conviction (especially given that he was in a de facto local church environment)?

    2. John Gill’s comments are irrelevant unless you are suggesting the church teach 20-23% tithing and allow its members to eat anything over the 10% tithe. The fact that the tithe could be redeemed by adding an extra 20% to the value of the food does not prove that the tithe included money. Christ redeemed us with his blood. That does not prove that Christ’s blood is equivalent to “us” except in its value.

    Your whole point in this regard is utterly non-sequitur. The tithe was given in the economy of the day. In an agrarian society like Israel, this tithe was principally (though not entirely) in agricultural products and livestock. This, of course, does not logically preclude that the tithe would be given in other forms in other circumstances. Indeed, the tithe to the Temple in the intertestamental and New Testament period was primarily in coined specie, since the economy of Israel was quite a bit more sophisticated than it was in the Old Testament. The tithe is a tenth – a tenth of whatever was the means of measuring wealth. Your argument against money as a form of tithe seems to miss the point that the only reason money (or more properly as you seem to be using it – currency) wasn’t used as the primary means of giving the tithe is because currency hadn’t even been invented during the first half of Israel’s existence as an independent nation, and even then wasn’t introduced into the region until the Hellenistic era. Instead, goods or bulk metal (such as copper ingots) were the means of exchange. In effect, by giving tithe in agricultural products, an ancient Israelite was giving money – to him it was money as surely as greenbacks are to us today.

    3. You said that the NT does not do away with OT standards. That is only partially true. The eternal moral standards which underlie the OT law survive. However the temporary laws which served as a separation between Israel and the Gentiles have been abolished. That includes stoning disobedient children and tithing.

    Actually, not true of tithing. Tithing preceded the Law, as the examples of both Abraham and Jacob/Israel show. As such, we see that the principle of the tithe is not a temporary law designed to set apart Israel from the nations around her. Rather, the tithe is a timeless principle which demonstrates the acknowledgement of God’s ownership and sovereignty over all that we have. In a sense, withholding the tithe is to reject God’s right of possession and disposition over what He has given to us.

    Abraham gave a tenth – a tithe – of the spoils of the defeat of Chedorlaomer to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:2) – this same Melchisedek who is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Hebrews 7, far from eliminating the tithe because it is in the Law, shows that Levi (the Levitical priesthood) was “tithing” before he even came into existence, through the tithe given by Abraham. This is said so as to demonstrate the superiority of Christ (of whom Melchizedek was a type) to the Law. The tithe to the Melchizedek priesthood, of which Christ is the representative, preceded and was superior to that of the Levitical priesthood instituted in the Law. Now the Law was given of carnal commandment (Hebr. 7:16), but Melchizedek is said to represent endless life (Hebr. 7:3), and his priesthood was established “after the power of an endless life” (Hebr. 7:16). Christ is our great High Priest in heaven, but He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, not Levi. His priesthood still stands, and so does the principle of 10% giving as a token of submission, obedience, and acknowledgement of His ownership. The whole point to Hebrews 7 is to show that Christ’s priesthood for believers is superior to the Levitical priesthood under the old dispensation. The text specifically shows that the primary means by which Abraham recognised and acknowledged this superior priesthood was by tithing. I would suggest that tithing is STILL the token that faithful Christians will give to acknowledge Christ’s right and ownership over ALL that we have.

    4. You said that Jesus taught tithing. Yes he did when discussing “matters of the law” in Mt 23:23/Luke 11:42. If he did not teach his Jewish disciples to obey the OT law then he, as a Jew, would be guilty of sin. However he could not have taught his NT Gentile disciples to tithe because they had no bring tithes where they would have been accepted. Notice that Jesus told the rich young ruler and Zaccheus to “give to the poor” rather than give tithes to the Temple system. The poor widow was giving a freewill offering also and not a tithe.

    I’m not sure I see your point here. Keep in mind that the rich young ruler and Zaccheus were both also Jews – presumably their giving was to be in addition to what they gave per the Law. Jesus kept the whole law, but also prepared the way for the replacement of the Temple system with Himself, and by proxy, his called-out assemblies of churches. This new wine was the total commitment demonstrated by the widow woman (who, btw, didn’t so much give a free-will offering instead of the tithe, but rather she gave a free-will offering along with the tithe.

    And again I ask – if a person is not even willing to give the 10% called for in the tithe before the Law was ever instituted, then what reason do we have to think that they’d be willing to give what another poster referred to as “the fast track of grace….quickly overtaken and outdone”? If a person hasn’t even learned the grace of giving 10%, how will they ever have the grace to give the 100% which Christ rightly demands of us?

    5. You said that Jesus taught proportional giving. He taught “equality” giving. And where does the Bible teach that “proportional” means exactly “ten per cent”?

    The Bible teaches that “proportional giving” is 10% when it defines the tithe as ten percent (which, by definition, is “proportional”). As shown above, the tithe is not an artifice only of the Law, but also of the greater priesthood representing Christ, as was given by Abraham prior to the Law. Jesus taught TOTAL giving. He commended the widow woman who cast in her two mites, for she had given all that she had. She had – in this case in a quite literal way – demonstrated her understanding that all she had belonged to God. THAT is what tithing is about, and which is what the money-grubbers miss – it is a recognition of God’s complete ownership of us and all that we have. It is HE that hath made us, and not we ourselves. When we tithe, we merely give back to Him what is His anywise.

    6. You mention Acts 4 and 5. Is that what you teach in your church? Do you teach your members to lay everything they own at your feet and then distribute them to every church member evenly so you can all live in a commune? Since you do not, then you should not be using Acts 4 and 5 as examples for Christians to follow.

    Your point fails because you only partially exegeting the relevant passages in question. While the Scripture does say that they had everything in common, it also says that they could, as they chose, withhold what they didn’t want to contribute, and otherwise dispose of it as they wished (Acts 5:4). Remember – Ananias and Sapphira were not judged because they withheld part of the money from the sale of their land – they were judged because they withheld part while putting across that they were giving the whole sum. In other words, their crime was lying, not withholding money. They were self-glorifying, rather than God-glorifying.

    Further, while you are technically correct in that Acts 4-5 don’t depict the giving of the tithe, per se (indeed, what we see would be the sort of 100% giving which Christ commended in the widow woman), you miss the point that this passage is an excellent example of the type of giving spirit which Christians ought to have within the fellowship of their local assemblies.

    And I’d ask again – if someone isn’t willing even to give 10%, why would God trust them to really be willing to give Him their all?

    Read the decrees of Acts 15 and 21. The early church decided not to burden the Gentile Christians with the “yoke of the law” which Jews could not even bear. And, even more noteworthy, Acts 21:20-21 strongly suggests that the Jewish Christians in Judea were still paying tithes –not to the church leaders—but to the Temple system 30 years after Calvary because they were all still “zealous of the law.”

    The issue of “the Law”, as shown above, is moot to this discussion, despite repeated attempts by yourself and your supporters to make it the ONLY point of discussion (sometimes with humourous results, I might add).

    Your last sentence is a patently incorrect statement. Acts 21:20-21 suggests nothing of the kind, this is just a gross invention on your part. The only point of the Law specifically mentioned is that of circumcision – which we know was the major point of contention in the first church council in Acts 15, as well as among the Judaising groups with whom Paul disputed. Beyond that, we are told only that Paul was reputed to teach against the “customs” (ethos). This term appears 12 times in the NT – and always indicates practices that were not prescribed by Law itself (as the tithes would have been), but were rather standards built around applications of the Law, or around simple cultural or personal practice. It is exceedingly unlikely that specific points of the Law would have been addressed with a “loose” term like ethos. If those questioning Paul had intended to discuss tithe-paying to the Temple, then the text would have said so specifically, just as it did with circumcision.

    And while we’re on the issue of the Temple system, I’d like to repost part of an argument I made to another poster in the last tithing post (Part I):

    “Because giving is to be done through the local church. The local church is the body of Christ. Christ said in Matthew 12:6,

    “But I say unto you, That in this place is [one] greater than the temple.”

    “And in John 2:19 He said,

    “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

    “In these passages, Jesus was essentially stating that in the dispensation to come (at that time), the Temple in Jerusalem would no longer be the site of true worship to God. Rather, He, as the perfect residence of the glory and presence of God (as He is God), and thereby symbolically through the local church (the body of Christ) would be the means of coming to God in worship (if N.T. Wright is to be believed, and I think in this case he is). This is why the Temple establishment sought so desperately to do away with Christ – He was a threat to their old order and old religion. This is why the Gospels polemicise against the Temple, with Christ’s prediction of the Jerusalem Temple’s destruction, and the fact of the veil that blocked access to God’s very presence was torn when Christ died. Worship and service to God would no longer be through the physical Temple in Jerusalem, but through Christ’s mediatorship, in the institution of the local church. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well,

    “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” (John 4:21)

    “To worship God in Spirit and in truth would no longer be geographically limited. In Christ, true worship of God is done in Spirit and in truth wherever God’s people are gathered together in that local assembly which Scripture defines (I Corinthians 12:27) as the body of Christ.

    “Hence, the giving of tithes and offerings, just as in the OT went through the tabernacle/temple, is now to be done through the local church. Just as the tithes were gathered for the upkeep of the ministers of God’s house, so also the NT upkeep of the ministry of the local church (and notice, Paul says that such upkeep IS to be given – I Timothy 5:17-18) is done through the collections taken up among God’s people who are united to the centre of God’s NT house – the local church.”

    Jesus (and by extension His body, the local church) replaced the Temple as the site of God’s presence and residence with His people. As such, the tithe (an institution for the priesthood of Melchizedek, as well) transfers from the Temple to the local church, but for the same practical purpose – the upkeep of the ministry and those who minister.

    8. Then you mention 1st Corinthians 16:1-3 and fail to link it to tithing. It is not a discussion of how to support church leaders. In fact the early church at that time treated all members equally and there was no distinction between clergy and laity. Most tithe-teachers say that 1 Cor 16 and 2 Cor 8 & 9 are discussing freewill offerings beyond tithes so you are out of step with your own crowd. First Cor 16 (verse 1) is only a discussion of freewill offerings for the poor in Jerusalem and is not even remotely a discussion of tithing. Look at 2 Cor 8:14-16 and you will see what “equality” giving means. Some give more than 10% and others give less than 10%; there is no percentage involved; both give sacrificially and God accepts all of the gifts; they “equal” out.

    Your claim here is in error on several points:

    First, you claim “In fact the early church at that time treated all members equally and there was no distinction between clergy and laity.” Given the extent to which Paul discusses the standards necessary for a bishop to hold his office (I Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9), and the fact that Paul twice makes the specific point that there were those (i.e. pastors) who “rule over” the body of the church (Hebr. 13:7,17), you’re argument here is verifiably wrong.

    Further, while your claim that I Corinthians 6:1-3 is not a discussion on how to support church leaders is correct, you seem to be skirting around the obvious point that other passages, such as I Tim. 5:17-18 most assuredly are.

    Also, you attempt to draw a distinction between the gatherings of the church being used to give to poor saints in Jerusalem and these being used to support pastors in their pastorate is artificial. BOTH of these are subsumed under the same general heading of “the ministry of the local church”, as are other purposes for gatherings, such as ministry to the poor within the church, ministry to the widows on the church’s roll, and so forth. Tithe money is to be used for ALL these (and whatever other needs the church would have).

    9. Next comes 1 Cor 9:13-14. If you teach that 9:14 only refers to 9:13 instead of 9:7-13 then your argument is self-defeating. Why? 9:13 includes all forms of Temple support and not merely tithing. Therefore you force yourself to teach everything included in 9:13 which you do not obey.

    I fail to see anywhere in Pastor Brandenburg’s argument above that he was arguing that v. 14 only refers to v. 13. Quite the opposite, he also referred to vv. 11-12 to buttress his point.

    You have completely miscomprehended the point to I Cor. 9:7-14. Paul is not talking specifically about Temple giving. He merely refers to Temple giving (v. 13) as the Old Testament analog to NT giving in the local church. This is right in line with what I said earlier about the local church – defined as the body of Christ by Scripture – being the replacement for the Temple. The Body of Christ, the local church, is the place where God meets and resides with His people corporately in their worship and service. Likewise, just as the local church replaces the Temple in God’s NT economy, so also the pastor replaces the priest and Levite in the service in the place of God’s presence with His people, in the role of teacher and preacher of the Law, as well as the one who officiates over the (now symbolic) sacrifice of the Lord’s Supper.

    Frankly, from what I’ve seen on here in general from the anti-tithing argumentation, I see not only a shocking unwillingness to give to the Lord what is His due, but also a gross misunderstanding even of the Scriptures they cite.

  30. April 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Titus,

    A moment of silence to savor.

    Very good. What you just did is what I knew that I would have to do if I answered Russell. You’ve done it and been a blessing to me and others by doing so. Thank you. You used your time, and I would say valuable except to say that it was, IMO, well worth your time to spend it doing this.

    I think you should write a book on tithing. You could do it easily. Russ is pushing his stuff, if you didn’t notice, all over. He influenced a Wall Street Journal article, a horrible one, against tithing. He got 60 minutes involved against tithing. I have very strong words about what I think he is doing, but I don’t think they would be understood by his side.

    I am going to hit some of what you said in my post #3, but it was fine for you to have done so here. Again, thanks.

  31. Stephen Davis
    April 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    It would work well if we could get the government involved, to make sure everyone gave his/her due. I have been conversing with officials on this matter and they recognize the work I have put into this matter. They have appointed me as a receiver to collect from all the Christians in this area. I will send you the address to send your payments later. We are working on the database so everyone receives proper credit.

  32. Stephen Davis
    April 19, 2008 at 8:20 am

    From the early church historian Eusibus comes this quote of a church leader before the time of Constantine. “This upstart teacher, who causes the gifts to roll in under the name of ‘offerings’ that gluttony may be the incintive for those who teach it.’

    From this historian we find the complete absence of tithing but there in this one mention of ‘offerings’. This from a church that had Malachi 3 in thier bibles putting ‘tithes and offerings’ into one verse.

    We can conclude from this that tithing was not taught and was not even a contriversy as it is now. Earlier on this blog you make the case that Paul taught tithing simply because he makes the case for financial compensation. If you read the temptation of Eve who represents the church you will find a forbidden fruit that was placed in the middle of the garden. Just because it is there and appears good to the eyes and brings prosperity does not mean that you should grab and eat. And then you offer this fruit to Christ in the mistaken belief that he wil offer it up alongside his own offering of blood. Don’t you see, the writer of Hebrews goes through his whole discourse to lead us to the offering of Christ done on our behalf. You, however would have everyone focus on money that is not even mentioned in the scripture. The tithes in the storehouse should lead us to focus on Christ’s offering but again, you have us looking at money that is not there. God gives warning after warning of greedy shepherds, those that buy and sell the poor for silver, those that celebrate the getting of gain, that even say ‘praise the lord I am rich’, and still you persist in taxing the believers.

    The greatest tools you have now are intimidation. ‘When in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.’ This will work for only so long. God’s word is much more powerful than all your devices.

  33. April 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    #32 Steven Davis

    From the early church historian Eusibus comes this quote of a church leader before the time of Constantine. “This upstart teacher, who causes the gifts to roll in under the name of ‘offerings’ that gluttony may be the incintive for those who teach it.’

    Let’s look at what Eusebius’ source, Apollonius, fully said, shall we?

    “His actions and his teaching show who this new teacher is. This is he who taught the dissolution of marriage; who made laws for fasting; who named Pepuza and Tymion, small towns in Phrygia, Jerusalem, wishing to gather people to them from all directions; who appointed collectors of money; who contrived the receiving of gifts under the name of offerings; who provided salaries for those who preached his doctrine, that its teaching might prevail through gluttony.” (Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 5, Ch. 18, ppg 2, trans. A.C. McGiffert, Ed. P. Schaff)

    Now, once we look at the full citation, we see that the passage isn’t about “the tithe”. In fact, the greater context makes it explicitly clear that the whole chapter is speaking of a refutation of an ancient heresy called the Phrygian Heresy, aka Montanists. Apollonius isn’t condemning them for teaching tithing, he is condemning them for a whole number of questionable practices and beliefs, one of which was Montanus’ false gathering of offerings so as to pay preachers to spread his particular doctrine.

    I’m sorry, but by no stretch of the imagination is this a condemnation of the collection of the tithe in the New Testament local church (indeed, you’ll note that one of Montanus’ teachings – that of gathering people from all over to congregate them in the small towns he desired to turn into a “New Jerusalem” – is implicitly anti-local church). Unless you are willing to admit that you are saying that Pastor Brandenburg and every other pastor who teaches on tithing is somehow a glutton who is trying to rook people, you’ve got no argument from this passage in Eusebius. And if you are saying that, then it sounds like simple heresy is one of the least of your problems.

    From this historian we find the complete absence of tithing but there in this one mention of ‘offerings’. This from a church that had Malachi 3 in thier bibles putting ‘tithes and offerings’ into one verse.

    Again, the passage from Eusebius concludes no such thing, and indeed, doesn’t even TOUCH on the issue of tithing. This all is merely you twisting an historical source beyond all recognition.

    Further, thank you for pointing out that Malachi 3:8 combined tithes and offerings together….almost as if the two are meant to go hand in hand. Since you’ve already previously admited that the NT does teach the giving of offerings, then you logically must also admit that tithing is an implicit correlary with that in NT churches, if you wish to remain consistent.

    We can conclude from this that tithing was not taught and was not even a contriversy as it is now. Earlier on this blog you make the case that Paul taught tithing simply because he makes the case for financial compensation. If you read the temptation of Eve who represents the church you will find a forbidden fruit that was placed in the middle of the garden. Just because it is there and appears good to the eyes and brings prosperity does not mean that you should grab and eat. And then you offer this fruit to Christ in the mistaken belief that he wil offer it up alongside his own offering of blood.

    What are you babbling about? The tithe has absolutely nothing to do with salvation, so all your balderdash about “offering it up alongside his own offering of blood” is just so much empty flapping of the gums. As usual, your “point” relies on impossibly bad exegesis of the Scripture.

    Don’t you see, the writer of Hebrews goes through his whole discourse to lead us to the offering of Christ done on our behalf. You, however would have everyone focus on money that is not even mentioned in the scripture. The tithes in the storehouse should lead us to focus on Christ’s offering but again, you have us looking at money that is not there. God gives warning after warning of greedy shepherds, those that buy and sell the poor for silver, those that celebrate the getting of gain, that even say ‘praise the lord I am rich’, and still you persist in taxing the believers.

    What Paul is doing in Hebrews 7 is using the example of Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek (a forerunner and type of Christ) to show that Abraham had submitted himself to God in faith. The tithe was an outward show of Abraham’s inward faith in the provision of God. This same token is appropriate for us today, as we have a great High Priest who is after the order of Melchizedek. I think this is pretty easy to see from the passage. Ultimately, the tithe is about submission to God, not scruples over money.

    As for the rest of your nonsense, it rests on “argumentation” that I basically refuted in my last post, and which you didn’t even bother to address. Money IS an issue, because in Israel, agricultural products were the primary type of money.

    As for your arguments about the shepherds buying and selling the poor for silver, and getting gain, to the extent that the OT does condemn this, it does so those who are robbing the common people to use the money for themselves. Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate tithe used to support the Temple/tabernacle in the OT, nor that used to support the local church in the NT.

    See, simply teaching tithing, and churches collecting the tithe for their own support as a body of Christ does NOT automatically equal “stealing from” or “taxing” the people. This is just paranoid emotionalism on your part, but has no basis in fact.

    The greatest tools you have now are intimidation. ‘When in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.’ This will work for only so long. God’s word is much more powerful than all your devices.

    Well, look in the mirror then, Steven. YOU are the one “running around in circles” with your nonsensical doctrines about Eve representing the church, and the tithe supposedly being a replacement for the salvation afforded through Jesus’ blood. Eve is not a type of the church, and nobody here has taught that giving money somehow replaces the work of Christ. That’s just stuff you’ve fabricated out of whole cloth.

    Nobody here is trying to “intimidate” you. Maybe you are intimidated by actual scriptural arguments which you can’t answer, who knows. Maybe that’s why you are coming up with wild accusations about people running around in circles, screaming and shouting, when actually, all I’ve done is present a reasoned, scriptural (and quite calm and non-running around) set of arguments which refute your position. Please Steven, instead of tossing around wild accusations, why don’t you try to deal with the substance of the arguments that were presented?

    And if I recall correctly, there is still my response (here) to your quite questionable Hebrew exegesis (comment #46) which is awaiting your reply.

  34. April 19, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    Thank you very much for the compliment! I appreciate it a lot, and am glad to be of some small service to the Lord and to His people.

    I actually hadn’t realised that Russ was as widespread in propagating his peculiar doctrine as he is. Yet one more diabolical attack on the local church, perpetuating the near-universal falling away that we know must come (probably soon).

    Write a book? I don’t see how. I’m currently bogged down in revising the book I’ve already written, Ten Myths About Islam, to hopefully prepare it for on-dead-tree publication. There’s just this one chapter that I keep tossing stuff out of (the Allah as a moon god part) since I no longer think the sources/claims are valid, and then I find other great stuff that replaces them and makes it even better. Great, but it’s making it take forever to actually get the revision finished. But for this chapter, I’d be ready for final proofread and posting.

    Thanks again
    TQC

  35. Stephen Davis
    April 20, 2008 at 6:51 am

    So I have been found out, not a Hebrew scholar here. “Despise the gain of oppressions/extortion.” I thought I had found the holy grail of monetary tithe put-down. I did not mention the gain (betsa) in Malachi 3:14. “It is vain to serve God: and what profit (betsa) is it that we have kept his ordinance….” Now that the tithe of the corn, oil, and wine (fruit of the land) is locked up in the storehouse, there is no more profit (gain) to be had.

    Seeing that God has preserved the food for His children in the storehouse, there is much sadness now. Those who were proud (presumptuous) are now found out. Even the tempting/proving of God is coming to an end.

    You know the tithe maker, the ‘ma’ is found at the end of Balaam the mad prophet. The ‘ma’ is the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Could it be that Balaam is named after the monetary tithe? Remember that his beast of burden spoke to him, God rebuking the man through the previously ‘dumb’ animal.

    Excluding the holding up of banks, can you name one gain of oppressions that you do despise? Tithe collecting is still the primary suspect by far.

  36. April 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I suppose Abraham and Adam are fellow conspirators too?

  37. April 20, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Yes, ma’am

  38. April 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    In fact, I’m gonna quit eating jam and ham and spam. And I’ll have to stop spending time with Sam. Sorry, Sam.

  39. April 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Don,

    You would have had to stop spending time with Sam anyway, because of his ham and green eggs.

  40. April 20, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    🙂 Sam I am!

  41. April 20, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    That’s it! Sam I am was too honorable to ask for tithes and therefore did not have enough money to PAY for green eggs and ham. So, he politely refused them hoping against hope that the Cat would insist. Which he did. And then he got them. However, we tithe-collectors are on the fast track. We don’t have to wait an entire book to get green eggs and ham! We can just gobble, gobble, gobble them all day long!!!!

  42. April 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Kent,

    Thanks for clearing that up. I was really confused about “ma,” I must admit.

  43. Stephen Davis
    April 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Don’t neglect the terrible prospect of electing Oba’ma!!

  44. April 21, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Is this the same Stephen Davis who just posted on Sharper Iron?

  45. Stephen Davis
    April 21, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve posted in several places Dave. What did I say? Sharper Iron does sound familiar.

  46. Mike
    April 22, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Don, concerning one of your earlier posts that 75% of your church workers give 10% or more” ? So, you track that stuff huh? Must be pretty important to you. I am Confessional Lutheran and our Synod does NOT teach tithing and we do just fine.

    What I’ve seen thus far is those who deem themselves “spriritual” because they give their tithe (and pretty darn proud of it to!) and castigate those as thieves those who don’t tithe.

    Pastors on this board, why is it so important to *you* that others tithe? I don’t buy the “I want my flock to be obedient to the Lord and reap the blessings…”yadda, yadda, yadda. No, I want some pratical reasons….keep the lights on? Make sure you get paid? Make the mortage payment on the *new* building that was forced on the congregation (it was God’s will….of course). Sure, there may not have been many “Giving” sermons, however, I’m willing to bet there were those 30 second plugs before the offering to not steal from God and all. Yup, guilt and shame……..its what drives today’s American Christianity…….rarely the Holy Spirit. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again for emphasis: Tithing is pounded home because there is absolutly no trust in God to meet needs. It would appear that any giving in the Pauline Epistles was to meet a need *at that moment* (starving Brethren in Jerusalem)—-this debacle reminds me of a church I was a member of while in the military in upstate NY back in the 80’s. They had this thing called “Faith Promise” where they “impressed” and cojoled the congregation into commiting to an imaginary sum of money to give, believing it was the Holy Spirit, for a year. Once commited, (oh yeah, this was “over and above” the tithe) they were obligated to give it lest God *took it from them*—then we were treated to inspiring stories how the “unfaithful” had necessary items (cars and such) taken from them because they didn’t fulfill their commitment…….yup, guilt and shame.

    You can beat down Russell (I believe that is the mans name who champions non-tithing?) and feel good about it I suppose. However, with all the justifying reasons and arguments of who believed in tithing from years past and because they had cogent reasons (you believe) for the tithe and above, the reasons MUST be scriptural—my reply is: So What? Paul didn’t teach it. Yes, Jesus gave 100% of Himself—What’s that got to do with tithing? Nothing. I suppose my “take home” is that you are turning giving into a justifying/sanctifying WORK. You give your 10% or more? Bully for you, don’t brag about it—or more to the point, Jesus said that you have received your reward. The fact is, is that just because someone states on record that they don’t believe the Scriptures (more specifically, the NT Scriptures) teach tithing, does’nt mean they are’nt giving–you just want them to prove they are giving as MUCH as YOU or MORE. (do you publically pray a lot too? Just wondering).

    Just my two Euros,

    Mike

  47. April 22, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Stephen Davis,

    You know, the “tithemaker” ma is also found at the end of Elohim. Are you suggesting God is an oppressor?

  48. April 22, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Mike – They had this thing called “Faith Promise” where they “impressed” and cojoled the congregation into commiting to an imaginary sum of money to give, believing it was the Holy Spirit, for a year.

    So you’ve never had the Holy Spirit give you specific leading on anything?

  49. April 22, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Mike,

    Why would anyone want to tell you why they do anything if you’ll believe it only if it matches up with why you think or feel that they would do it? And I especially mean why you feel like it. I would hope that you would do things because you believe Scripture says it. The Bible teaches children to obey their parents. I hope parents can still teach that despite having their motives judged—something like, “Parents only teach obedience to parents because they like to have their children do what they say; they’re the type of people that like people to jump when they say jump.” And God says that He chastises us because He loves us. Should I believe what He says, or should I just assume that He does it because we are like an experiment to Him, like rats in a cage?

    I teach tithing because I believe the Bible teaches tithing. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I teach everything because the Bible says it, because the Bible says to pastors in 2 Timothy, “Preach the Word.” So are you excited about what the Word says, because God is All-Wise and knows more than you, even if you don’t like how it makes you feel? I actually don’t teach on tithing because I think that I must or I won’t be able to “pay the bills” or “build buildings.” We do take care of our property, however, where we gather for worship in honor to God. We do it for Him.

    Do you have hope of eternal life, Mike? Do you have the full forgiveness of sins for all eternity? I ask this with the utmost compassion and grace.

  50. April 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Mike,

    We do not keep track of how much comes in the offering plate to pat ourselves on the back. Like most every church our size, we have a church budget that we approve so that the members understand where the money is going and so that there is no abuse by the pastors. The tithing figuring is a simple matter of taking the total number of potential givers in the membership and dividing the total offerings by that number. There are also tax issues involved here. Our church lets the members know how much they give in a year through envelopes so that they can deduct it from their taxes (which is perfectly legal) as charitable donations, if they are inclined to itemize. And, instead of complaining of our great abuses, like you, these responsible and generous people actually thank us, when we let them know how things are going with the finances of their church.

    As for bragging, I will tell you all day long that the Lord has allowed me the privilege of being a member of a great church. I am very thankful for that. We have a great, godly, and wise pastor. And, if I was bragging about my personal giving, I would have told you how much I give. To me the tithe is the minimum, and I would consider that an embarrassment, if I was only giving it. In fact, I would consider it robbing God, like Malachi says.

    As for Lutherans doing fine, of course you do fine. You teach that to be saved some day you have to sprinkle babies and be a reasonably good person, and God will give you a pass on all the other stuff, as long as you’re sincere. It’s pretty easy to be fine under that definition.

  51. April 22, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    “Yes, Jesus gave 100% of Himself—What’s that got to do with tithing?”

    Mike,

    100 divided by 10 is 10. 100% is ten tithes. Surely you could have figured that out yourself. 100% has to do with what our Precious Lord was willing to give for us. You don’t seem to be interested in Him, or you would see the correlation between the tithe and His 100%.

  52. J Warren
    April 22, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Mike,

    Real IFBers give their tithes based on the gross, not the net!
    Pastor Brandenburg and others, God’s speed in your battle with Mike……and Elvis!

  53. Mike
    April 22, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Kent,
    Of course I have hope of Eternal life—Why should that even be a question? Because I don’t see tithing as you do? Thats typical, really typical of those whose cherished beliefs are questioned or challenged as I have challenged them—they get sorta nasty, defensive and drop the big bomb of “are you SURE you have eternal life?”—Yup, anyone who challenges tithing MUST be lost. And I say that with the utmost grace too.

    Don,
    I’m not complaining about big abuses, no matter how you characterize it. I’m simply agreeing with those who believe that NT tithing is a sham and a control tool. As for Lutheran doctrine, you’ve not the slightest idea of what you speak. Yup, we sprinkle babies…..so do the Reformed brethren…so what? I’m hedging my bets on being a “good person”? Hardly simil eustes et peccator (simultaniously saint and sinner for those language challenged)–without Christ, I’m hell bound and deserving of it—There is so much Law in this topic, where’s the grace? I do understand though, its much easier to attack an individual who doesn’t agree with the company line rather than examine one’s most cherished beliefs and thoughts.

    “100 divided by 10 is 10. 100% is ten tithes. Surely you could have figured that out yourself. 100% has to do with what our Precious Lord was willing to give for us. You don’t seem to be interested in Him, or you would see the correlation between the tithe and His 100%.”

    Nice Don—the correlation is really beside the point—your little ditty has nothing…..nothing to do with the reality of tithing not being taught in the NT. As I stated earlier, its very graceful to assume that any who do not tithe are theives, scoundrals, infidels and the like and as you have proven my earlier point—-because I don’t believe the NT teaches tithing—youve not only made it a litmus test for my orthodoxy but also for “proof” of my salvation—Viola! You’ve turned it into a work. Thats as gracefully as I can say it.

    I’m not as impressed with you as much as you are impressed with you—as a matter of fact, if you’ve ready ANY of Luther’s works you would see that the tithe wasn’t first on his list of things to preach about too. But then again, he was a waste of space huh? Sprinkled babies and such…..that blasted Reformer/baby sprinkler/etc., etc.,—The fact is that giving is a GRACE—we baby sprinkling Confessional Lutherans don’t have a problem with sharing our finances—

    Kent,
    Wow…..back to me being lost and all because I don’t believe the Bible, more specifically, the NT teaches tithing and all. We, I’m convinced the NT DOESN’T teach tithing. You have your convictions, I have mine….although, mine are correct. Question though, why is it that of all 600+ Laws, you choose the one involving money to enforce? Do you mow your lawn on Sundays? Do you keep dietary laws? Do you break the 8th commandment often? Do you put the best construction on everything? Or, do you call non-tithers crooks? You know, if you break one commandment you’ve broken all so your works-oriented tithing won’t make up for any lost ground.

    So, my cynical (not anger Donald) attitude is brought to the surface when topics like this are approached and when decenters are beaten down as ungodly, unsaved, unredeemed, yadda, yadda, yadda (had to do that for your benefit Kent) by those who obviously are more “spritual”……did Job tithe? Me thinks he didn’t…….and who obviously are the only ones taking God seriously (in all sincerity Donald). You can always tell a man’s spirit by the way they treat those they disagree with. Tithe to your hearts content—-but, do you take care of those in need within your congregations? Do you put clothes on the nakeds back? Do you have lists of those who are’nt making it because of the state of our Union? You know, thats part of sound doctrine too—–If God had a problem with the Nation of Israel neglecting their own, He certainly has a problem with it now. I am not saying you are or are not doing these things but God desires mercy rather than sacrifice. But hey, what do I know, I’m just a babysprinklinggoodintentionshopetodomybestmentalhealthcounselinghopeI’mredeemedconfessionallutheran/christian wannnabe.

    Regards,
    Mike

  54. Stephen Davis
    April 22, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Elvis?? I’m puzzled.

    I do want to see those whose heads hang down in shame and feel God has left them because of their poverty. Lift up your heads and behold the face of your saviour. He loves you and not yours. Not all can be givers. Some are blessed with nothing more than the purity of their faith. Relax. Show mercy to others and you will receive mercy. It may just be a smile or the warmth of your kindness. Bills, bills, bills. God is much more than some bill that has to be paid. Be careful who you hear. ‘Put no confidence in a guide’, the scriptures say. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

    When I brought up some of what I have posted to the attention of the pastors of the church I was attending, they met me at the end of the aisle with my wife and three daughters with me, and escorted me out the back door. While I was headed in that direction, the Holy Spirit was singing in my spirit. I was honest with them. I only wanted to share what God was revealing to me in the scriptures. Mainly, that the tithe of the land had a twin, the tithe of the manna. Also that the thirty pieces of silver prophecy was primarily of the monetary tithe. I am still in wonder and awe of God on that one.

  55. April 23, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Mike, I see how this works. I tell of my church’s charity, and that’s bragging. You tell of yours, and that’s biblical and wonderful. I’m sorry I don’t live up to your skewed standards. If you cared to know something at all about the wonderful church I serve in, you would have asked about what we do with the money. We believe in charity and practice charity with our finances. You continue to throw out false accusations in this area because you are grasping at straws to prove your point.

    Davis, you are just whacked out. Your interpretation of the the tenth of manna coupled with the thirty pieces of silver and selling Jesus is truly pathetic, and I myself would sense a need to protect my church from someone like you, based on many verses that deal with not having company with those who cause division contrary to sound doctrine.

  56. April 23, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Mike, I was raised Presbyterian and confirmed in the UCC. These are very similar, if not completely the same in regards to infant sprinkling. So I DO know what you believe. The official doctrine of the church claims that sprinkling will not save the child. It is a sacrament that in some way helps the child to be saved later on. This, of course, is not works for salvation, say they, nevertheless it does help in some way to insure that the child gets saved later on. It doesn’t earn favor with God for salvation, but God will look more favorably on them after the parents sprinkle them when it involves salvation. But, let’s be clear, sprinkling doesn’t save them, it just gets them closer to salvation.

    This is the ridiculous double-speak of Lutheranism and Presbyterianism and Catholicism.

    However, the Bible clearly teaches that saving faith is a requirement for salvation. But, confessional Lutherans have no interest in obeying those verses. They just want to sprinkle babies. It doesn’t matter what the Bible says.

  57. April 23, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Correction, in that last paragraph I meant to say that saving faith is a requirement for baptism.

  58. April 23, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Mike – “There is so much Law in this topic, where’s the grace?

    What is grace is what allows us to obey God’s Law joyfully, rather than fearfully? But like I said a number of times previous on the discussions about this topic – Giving is a grace, and that includes giving the tithe. Those who grumble about giving, including the tithe, I have to wonder about their grace.

    But of course, since I’m happy to give to God, that makes me a loudmouthed braggart who already has my reward, right Mike?

  59. April 23, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Don – This is the ridiculous double-speak of Lutheranism and Presbyterianism and Catholicism.

    Ultimately, the Reformation ended up being a bandage on a gunshot wound. Talk about dashed expectations. Reformed people go on and on about grace, and then practice paedobaptistm, which is an act whose symbolism basically denies the grace they say they believe in.

  60. April 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Ah yes, let us recall the amazing grace of Martin Luther during the Peasant Wars…

    “When Luther’s enemies,” says Alzog, “sarcastically taunted him with being an accomplished hand at kindling a conflagration, but an indifferent one at putting out the flames, he published a pamphlet against ‘those pillaging and murdering peasants.’ ‘Strike,’ said he to the princes, ‘strike, slay, front and rear; nothing is more devilish than sedition; it is a mad dog that bites you if you do not destroy it. There must be no sleep, no patience, no mercy; they are the children of the devil.’ Such was his speech in assailing those poor, deluded peasants, who had done no more than practically carry out his own principles. They were to be subdued by the strong hand of authority, and to receive no sympathy, no mercy, from their victorious conquerors. It is computed that a hundred thousand men fell in battle during the Peasants’ War, and for this immense loss of life, Luther took the responsibility. ‘I, Martin Luther,’ said he, ‘have shed the blood of the rebellious peasants; for I commanded them to be killed. Their blood is indeed upon my head; but,’ he blasphemously added, ‘I put it upon the Lord God, by whose command I spoke’ (Luther, Table Talk, p. 276. Eisleben, edition)” (Alzog, Universal Church History, III, pp. 221, 222. Dublin, 1888). [John T. Christian, A History of the Baptists, Chapter XIII.]

  61. Mike
    April 23, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Don,
    No….you still don’t know what I believe. UCC? Are you joking? Yeah, that 30 years war thing was not a high point with Luther….How long did it take Servetus to burn? Oh well, no matter. Oh, look harder and you will find that he didn’t think to highly of women too. If you let your fingers do the walking, you will find a site that credits Hitler as being Luthers spiritual heir—-so, the muckraking can never end if you wish.

    “Confessional Lutherans have no interest in obeying those verses”…..And you know this how? Sweeping, broad strokes—wonderful….everyone thats not YOU.

    Titus: Obeying God’s Law joyfully…..Ok, I buy that (actually, I “bought” that way before it was discussed just now….just so you know)…..However, as I have said over and over, go ahead and use the “tithe” as a work that one earns their standing as a REAL Christian and you’ve frustrated the GRACE of God (Galatians is real instructive concerning this matter)—-The reason I broach this subject (again) is that the majority of those on this site feel that if one doesn’t believe or has the conviction that the NT doesnt teachi tithing, their salvation is called into question. Boloney.

    “But of course, since I’m happy to give to God, that makes me a loudmouthed braggart who already has my reward, right Mike?”

    Bingo. Happy to give to God? Great. Keep it to yourself. However, the flesh adores being adored.

    For the sake of argument (thats humorus in and of itself) lets say that I bring home $1K a week but my bills run $700.00 week, I still have to buy gas and food—Am I to understand that God will not bless me because I may give maybe $35 or $40 for my offering? I have no problem believing He will, no problem at all. All I will say Donald is this, I don’t deduct my giving from my taxes—its Gods, not mine regardless whether or not the State “gives me permission” to receive it back. (ain’t that insane?)—-this is a dead horse guys—I will *never* agree to disagree because your’e wrong. You’ve effectivly turned giving into a work designed to impress God for some odd reason. Deny it all you want (cognitive dissonance is a healthy thing sometimes—-but not in this case, sorry) but the fact is that you judge other believers based on YOUR performance and clever one liners.

    Warmest Regards
    Mike

  62. Gary Johnson
    April 23, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    I know exactly what Lutherans believe. I was raised Lutheran, in a devout home. LCMS. I have 3 uncles that are Lutheran pastors, 4 cousins, my grandpa, and his father also. I was sprinkled as a baby, took catechism classes and was confirmed. Mike is correct, Lutherans do not teach tithing. But we heard it said frequently, “You are made a child of God through your baptism”. I won’t dig out the references from the Augsburg Confession, nor the book of Concord. But it is very clear that Lutherans have a systems of rites to follow, and do not like the term “saved”. I thank the Lord that he saved me 23 years ago when by his grace he led me to repentance and gave faith from his words to trust the shed blood of Jesus Christ to wash away my sins. I reject the Lutheran Church as being scriptural, and have found during the past 23 years, that very few Lutherans are interested in seeing what the Bible alone has to say about salvation.

    Mike, I would encourage you to open a King James Bible and apart from any books written by man, ask the Lord to show you what true Bible salvation is. Your eternal soul is too valuable to risk following false doctrine, and end up dying in your sins, and finding yourself in the fires of hell when you die.

  63. April 23, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Mike;

    I never said I know what YOU believe. The only thing I know is you’re against tithing. I said I have a good idea of what Lutherans believe about baptism. You totally missed the point. Gary got it clearly, which proves I was clear enough for someone who wanted to listen.

    The quote from Luther himself stands on its own merit. Compare a pastor that preaches tithing to a man who authorizing the murder of innocent people in the name of God. There is not much comparison.

    Lutherans are not willing to obey a very simple and clear verse of Scripture. The Ethiopian eunuch asked what hindered him from being baptized, and the response cannot be any clearer. Many Lutherans have read that verse, but it doesn’t fit into their theology or their family religious experience and so they just ignore it. You are undoubtedly one of those Lutherans who doesn’t care what that verse says. And that is just the beginning. Romans 6 is also very clear both about the mode of baptism as well as the motive, and both exclude Lutheran sprinkling.

    Finally, it is totally up to you if you want to pay more taxes than the government wants from you. I find it strange, but have at it. However, this will enable you to give more to the Lord instead of the government. This is basic math, but it seems you missed that too.

  64. April 28, 2008 at 9:07 am

    #62 Mike

    Titus: Obeying God’s Law joyfully…..Ok, I buy that (actually, I “bought” that way before it was discussed just now….just so you know)…..However, as I have said over and over, go ahead and use the “tithe” as a work that one earns their standing as a REAL Christian and you’ve frustrated the GRACE of God (Galatians is real instructive concerning this matter)—-The reason I broach this subject (again) is that the majority of those on this site feel that if one doesn’t believe or has the conviction that the NT doesnt teachi tithing, their salvation is called into question. Boloney.

    I can’t speak for others who post on this forum, but when I state that I have to question the grace of those who don’t believe in tithing, I meean just that – I question whether they are really acting and holding to what they believe in grace, rather than out of a graceless desire to get around something that God’s Word teaches.

    Grace is not an excuse to overturn God’s Word. Romans is very instructive on that point. Indeed, what Galatians tells us is that the Law was a schoolmaster pointing us to Christ. Christ fulfilled the Law. In Christ, the person who before had to give the tithe, now ought to want to, since they want to please God. While we no longer serve the dead letter of the Law, we instead serve living in the Spirit. BUT, that doesn’t “eliminate” God’s eternal moral imperatives found in His Word and which antedate the Law – one of which is the principle of the tithe, the giving of 10% of our increase back to God as a means of acknowledging His ownership of it all.

    “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” (II Corinthians 8:7)

    Paul wrote this with respect to giving. We are to abound in it. Giving is a grace. Again I ask, if we are to give ourselves wholly and completely to the Lord God (Romans 12:1), which includes our finances, btw, if He asks it of us, and if giving is a grace which we are to cultivate, then why would I have ANY reason to think that a person who grumbles and gripes about the 10% tithe is a person who is living with grace in their life? Why would I have any reason to think that whatsoever? I wouldn’t. That person’s grace is not evident.

    “But of course, since I’m happy to give to God, that makes me a loudmouthed braggart who already has my reward, right Mike?”

    Bingo. Happy to give to God? Great. Keep it to yourself. However, the flesh adores being adored.

    Why do you think I “adore being adored”? I never said I did. In fact, I acknowledge that I give to the Lord because I want to make the point that tithing isn’t an “oppression” which some on here try to make it out to be. So yes, I AM happy to give to God. I AM happy to give back to Him what He has blessed me with. I AM happy to glorify God for His goodness (hint – the Bible rather says we’re to do that….)

    If you wish to attribute anything to me beyond what I’ve said, then you’re doing nothing but making false assumptions about things of which you have no knowledge.

    For the sake of argument (thats humorus in and of itself) lets say that I bring home $1K a week but my bills run $700.00 week, I still have to buy gas and food—Am I to understand that God will not bless me because I may give maybe $35 or $40 for my offering? I have no problem believing He will, no problem at all.

    Just for the sake of argument, I would suggest that, in a case such as this, you may want to think about losing some of the bills. Because quite frankly, I can’t think of a really good reason why someone who makes $52,000 a year would (assuming, again for argument’s sake, that this were only a mortgage payment ) be paying on a $600,000 bank loan. That’s called “living beyond one’s means”, especially if this person were to live on the West Coast or in any sort of urban/suburban growth area. Ironically, doing that indicates exactly the sort of selfishness and worldliness that I’ve been taking to task throughout this series. Who on earth, except for someone living beyond their means and “investing” in a bunch of expensive “toys” that they probably don’t need anywise, would make $1000 a week, and pay out $700 of it in bills alone, each week? That’s insane. That’s exactly the kind worldly love of materialism that I was talking about which causes people to grumble about the tithe.

    this is a dead horse guys—I will *never* agree to disagree because your’e wrong.

    One thing that has been conspicuously absent in your arguments to date has been any actual serious treatment of what the biblical texts say about this matter. You’ve given us your opinion, incorrect as it may be, so how about some Bible?

    You’ve effectivly turned giving into a work designed to impress God for some odd reason. Deny it all you want (cognitive dissonance is a healthy thing sometimes—-but not in this case, sorry) but the fact is that you judge other believers based on YOUR performance and clever one liners.

    “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8)

    Paul would disagree with you. Paul seems to have thought that grace allowed Christians to do good works. Indeed, the context of that verse is specifically on giving. Paul didn’t hold to the erroneous false dichotomy that you seem to between “grace” and “works”, as if having the one means you have to ditch the other after a person is saved.

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