For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
In giving a tithe i believe that sometimes that the scripture that often referred to is not put in the right context. In Malachi that the offering that were given were animals that were sick and that was not pleasing to God so that is why it's said are you trying to cheat GOD.In the old testament Abraham Only TITHED the spoils of war. The PHARISEES only tithed their spices. So i believe you give with a giving heart as it says in the new testament.You have to pray and be led by your spirit not by what a pastor tells you. Your spirit man will always lead you in truth.
Brian though I'm not sure on the types of tithes that were given based on your comments, I do agree with you about allowing either the Holy Spirit to lead you to give or just do like the bible says and as you purpose in your heart. The dilemma is this, most Christians won't or don't trust God to take care of them and thus won't give. Then the church itself has a problem. They have rent, electric, payroll, other ministries in the church etc. I believe if we teach Christians to give and to believe God to take care of them because He loves us. If more Christians would read their bibles and learn to trust God with what they read then they will experience more freedom than ever before. That takes discipline, and most of us have busy schedules and it is much easier for us to go to church and sit in the pew and allow the pastor to eat some of the word and then vomit it back up to us and we gladly eat it. (I said it like that to make a point, I know its gross) If we could only be like the Bereans in Acts and search the scriptures to see if what is being said was true we would grow leaps and bounds. Thanks for the perspective, I'll have to look that up one day.
Let's consider the example of the widow's mite. Many, if not most seem to miss the magnitude of this simple act. It was only what she gave as compared to others as most of us would observe but what she and others had left and don't you agree Jesus fully understood and appreciated the great faith she had to have had and was showing to others as well as us today. There was no social welfare programs then similar to what we have toady and no mention of children or family for her to depend. Her trust was God would take care of her future needs which I chose to believe He most certainly did. Was it through her church or Christian brothers and sisters, probably. The question to me is not how much you give, but how much you have after you give!
Tithing was a part of the Old Testament Law, meant for the Jews. Tithing went out along with animal sacrifice.
The new law is found in I Cor. 16:2 and II Cor. 9:7.
Should we not consider what Jesus said in Matt the 23 chapter beginning with verse 13 when he is talking about the Woes to the Pharisees. Particularly verse 23 when he says " woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites, you give a tenth of your spices,mint, dill and cumin but you have neglected the more important matters of the law- Justice, Mercy and Faithfulness you should practiced the latter, without NEGLECTING THE FORMER ". This would indicate to me that we are not to forget the tithe. So I practice tithing and offerings I have read many different views on tithing but this passage convinced me I should be faithful in my giving. God Bless
Tithing also was before the law.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:
22 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.
Abraham was a man full of faith and walked according to Hebrews 11 and he offered sacrifices by fatih because there was no law.
The Law was not instituted till about 500 years later at least under Moses . The Law only established what types of offering could be used for tithes and how they should be contributed.
Now this what I am going to say is a subject for another time. But I personally do not believe that everything about the Law was done away with at the Cross and the Resurrection. There are some parts I believe was carried over. Talk about it later.
First you need to understand that Jesus said "Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19
so do you want to be the least or the greatest in the kingdom? Next to undestand is the rules pretaining to tithing are spelled out in Deuteronmy 12-15 but to make it simple to understand, we are to freely give 10% of our increase (that means net not gross) and that 10% does to 7 different things which you are to dish out not others for you.
1) the levites aka the teachers of the faith
2) the church (to pay their bills)
5) fatherless (orphans and those who fathers walked away max age 18)
6) getting you and your family to the feasts of the Lord
7) the high priest (aka Yeshua)
That is not how the old testament tithe worked.
- 10% went to the levites for their living (who in turn tithed 10% to the high priests) since they did not work. This included all goods.
- Another 10% was kept, saved up by the family, to be spent during the feast of booths. It was a week long vacation, basically, and food was to be shared with the levite/poor/stranger.
- Either another 10% was given every 3rd year, or the second 10% was given to the poor on the third year - either way these goods were stored up in the town storehouse for the poor.
- A half shekel per person/4 drachmae went to the temple - that's about $5 in modern equivalent.
- All service/maintenance for the temple was performed by the levites
The question then is - are we bound by the law, or free? Do we give according to the old code, or give according to conscience?
Do we just 'replace' the law?:
1) 10% of all goods and income goes to missionaries and any church workers who have no other career
2) 10% of goods and income are saved up for a large family vacation
3) 10% of goods/income is given every three years to be stored for taking care of the poor
$5 per male adult given to a local church building for maintenance
Such replacement is unnecessary, and a return to law if one believes it required.
We certainly can pull general principles from the tithe (give God from our first and best, take care of the poor, etc) - but we cannot actually replace it with other things and demand it as law.
Men and women who know the bible a lot more then I disagree on this issue.
How I answer that question when asked is this, "God loves a cheerful giver." (II Cor 9:7)
If you have to ask that question, 'Should a Christian Tithe?', it's probably best you don't.
Wow....first of all, i believe that we don't have the luxury of picking the aspects of the Bible that go down well with us and leaving those that don't.
Now as it concerns tithing:
Tithing isn't something our pastors and preachers came up with to be able to get money to feed and what not. In the Bible, there are things called covenant blessings.(these are blessings one receives as a result of fulfilling the criteria to which those blessings are attached.) for example, "honour your parents in the Lord and your days will be long upon the earth", "Bring in all the tithes and offerings into my store house and Prove me herewith whether I won't open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessings upon you that you wouldn't have enough room to contain......."
I'm sorry to say but tithing has never been a suggestion, but a commandment.
Remember in malachi, God said "ye have robbed me in tithes and offerings."
It doesn't also mean that because we pay our tithes then we still shouldn't give to others, the Bible also says "give and ye shall receive"
Tithing in the Bible means a tenth, and it is true that tithing was mentioned in Old Testament law. It is recorded that Abraham paid a tenth to Melchizedek.(Hebrews 7:2), and this happened before the Mosaic law came into effect. Jacob made the promise to God that he would tithe, after he had the dream of seeing the Lord atop a ladder that went from earth to heaven and ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28:20-22).
Charles, Abraham’s tithe came from the goods which he had captured from his enemies in battle (Hebrews 7:4). The Bible does not teach Abraham tithed from his own crops and livestock.
The promise God made to Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15) was based on the original promise He had made to Abraham. God’s promise was unconditional and based on faith alone (Hebrews 11:6). God never commanded these men to tithe.
Jacob made his own promise to God based on his own reasoning and conditions (‘if’ God does what He promised, ‘then’ He will certainly be my God and I (Jacob) will promise to pay him a tithe (Genesis 28:20-22).
Gary, if we say tithing was left in the old testament then we are also saying that the blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1-8 and much more are also obsolete.... We as Christians cannot divide the Bible into the parts we like and agree with and the parts that we do not.
As Christians, we have been commanded to tithe or be seen as those that "ROB" God; malachi 3:10-12.
So we need not hide behind a finger on this matter. The Bible says that to him who knoweth and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Have a great day everyone!
Ruth, tithing is of the Old Testament law which God gave to the children of Israel through His servant Moses (Deuteronomy 4:44). The nation of Israel were blessed or cursed in accordance with their obedience to the law (Deuteronomy 28:1-68) and this law was their covenant (relationship) with God.
The Old Testament book of Malachi speaks of those who were under the law.
Christians are blessed because of their relationship with His Son alone and the New Covenant, and not because we believe we need to keep some part of the Old Testament law. The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, teaches us how to give, what to give and when to give.
This was and is an old age argument regarding old and New Testament. Abraham's tithe was before the law. There must be a reason why one gives tithe. Tithing speaks of trusting. Nothing belongs to man, even the air he breathes and the strength he has. By giving a tithe he is declaring his "trust" in the lord, which is the only medium of confession.
Even though tithing is encouraged, it must be noted that many leaders and ministers have used this medium to manipulate their personal glory.
Bryan, there was no commandment nor a recommendation given prior to the law that one should tithe. Furthermore the law (tithing) was given to the nation of Israel and not to the church.
While Abraham gave a tenth from the spoils (Hebrews 7:4), there is no mention that he gave a tenth on a regular basis. The Bible says the source of his tenth came from the spoils of war with no mention he a gave a tenth from his own wealth.
While a believer may choose to give a tenth, the New Testament does not govern how much believers are to give nor does it give a recommended percentage to be applied to a believer's income (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Paul had many opportunities to teach tithing to new testament believers. He didn't. The old is gone the new is come. Tithing was reintroduced when churches began copying the old testament mode of large buildings. I believe this was an default to the old model and contributed to the top down system we have to day. This is contrary to the model Jesus promoted and Paul followed, of leaders who support rather than leaders who are supported.
Ruth - tithing, or any of the law given to the Israelites, is not a requirement upon the church.
"If I rebuild what I have already torn down, I prove myself to be a lawbreaker. For through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live to God." Gal 2:18-19
"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Gal 5:18
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." II Cor 9:7
And how could we even return to it, when the temple has been destroyed and there is no order of Levites? If one tried to find close analogies, then we might try to support missionaries, church planters, the poor, foreigners living in our country, celebrate the Feast of Weeks with family, and support other Christians who don't have jobs. We might give $5 a year to a local church to represent the temple tax. It certainly would look nothing like giving 10% of income (vs. increase of goods) to a local church building to distribute. We are the temple of God, not Earthly buildings.
Also in Malachi, the people and priests were robbing God as) the people were deliberately submitting diseased and blemished animals b) the High Priest had given the storeroom over to basically be an apartment/living quarters for one of Israel's enemies, so there was no place for goods to be kept. This led to c) the Levites turned to labor to make income/food since there was no longer a storeroom of goods to live on.