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Very good answer SMH but to add to that in Galations 5:3-4 God says " And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have Fallen from grace." We are under Grace, not any OT law. So many preachers here in the southeast even go as far as telling their congregation if they don't tithe they will be cursed and thats so not true. If we all would read the whole chapter of Malachi to understand what is being said and not take a verse out of context then all would be understood.
First recorded person to tithe in the Bible was Abraham 500 or so years before Moses made tithing a law. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, a figure of the priesthood of Christ as we find in Hebrews 7. Tithing thus transcends the division between Old Testament and New Testament. We should note that although Jesus lived in the Old Testament era, his teachings were meant to prepare us for the New Testament. In regard to tithing, Jesus did not qualify or dismiss the practice of tithing as He would do with other Old Testament practices- the apostles did not do that either in their writings. Jesus actually commended the Pharisees for tithing as seen in Matthew 23:23; He only criticized their lack of mercy and justice. From a common sense point of view, the need to bring a stipulated percentage of income to the church holds water. If we live church members any amount of money they want, churches will struggle to have functional budgets just the Old Testament set-up would have been negatively affected without tithes. Thus the reason for tithes back then still stands today. Admittedly, during the early church this practice looked not to be in force. I guess it could be the Church existed parallel to the synagogues where tithes still need to be surrendered (note the present tense in Hebrews 7:8 in reference to tithing to the Levitical priesthood).
We should not pour new wine into old wine skins. Jesus did not come to abolish the law. Why? Because there was no reason to. You can knock yourself out following the old law if you want to like the Pharisees insisted on doing. That's why Jesus didn't bother to take them by the hand and teach them about the things to come. None of the 12 were Pharisees. Jesus didn't have time for their daily challenge. They clearly wanted to follow the Old Testament--so be it. Or you can die or divorce yourself from the law and be completely free from it by doing what Jesus commanded saying, "Repent and be baptized." Deuteronomy 14:26 talks about eating and drinking and sharing with the poor and widows, etc as a celebration before The Lord. That was tithing. It was never designed to be given by the poor to the well off in hopes that they would someday be well off as they see other people. It was designed for the well off to share their blessings with others who also have been blessed and to the poor. You see, blessings go out to the world, not into the church. We are the light of the world. Light shines out. We are The Salt of the earth. People should benefit from us. Not we benefit from them. We are rich. Heirs of a God who owns a thousand cattle on a thousand hills. Our riches are in heaven and they are accessed as needed for the unfortunate. Jesus gave, not collected. As He is, so are we. We are not collectors. We are givers to the needy. We do not worry about tomorrow because day by day God richly supplies us as needed if walk with him in that way. Malachi 3:10 is a standing law til this day but to the Pharisee. Not to the Believer. Which are you?
Paying tithe is an important matter. It's an acknowledgment that God owns everything, including our finances. I started paying tithe off my net income. Later on I felt convicted to pay from my gross income also. Furthermore, now I even tithe out of my benefits; the money my employer deposits in my 401k, and bonuses. I learned long time ago that you cannot out give God. There is a very strange happening; the more I give, the more I am being blessed and without any rational explanation, I have more money left in my bank account. There is no indication in the Bible that paying tithe was only for Jews or for OT people. The tithe system was designed by God as financial support for His Church. Today's church needs money to operate just as it needed in OT times. In Matthews 23:23 Jesus makes direct reference to this matter: "these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." As a disclaimer, I'm not a pastor or have any financial relationship with any religious institution.
Many good points have been noted here. I would just like to add a few points. First, most everyone teaching obligatory tithing for New Testament Christians refers to Heb 7, but none bother to recite the entire chapter. A careful review of it will clearly demonstrate that Paul is explaining why Levi was entitled to receive tithes. Immediately afterward, it is clearly stated that this old covenant has been replaced by a new one, therefore it is contradictory to use this passage as an example of obligation to New Testament Christians. Second II Cor 9 further states that we are not to give under compulsion. If the New Testament tithe is obligatory, then it is compulsory, and again contradicts Scripture. Third, the Jews gave their tithes (which were not 10%, but more like 23%) from the food that grew from their land only. Scripture clearly teaches God demanded it because the land was holy unto him. It was holy unto him because he had given it to them. They had to fight, but he gave them total miraculous victory over their adversaries - even armies of Giants - without losing a single man (outside of the AI incident). Thus, they paid no mortgages, and they lived off their cattle and grain during the year, before tithing. Even then, however, the tithe was only calculated from their increase - above and beyond what they started from. Teaching New Testament Christians of lower incomes, who have to pay rent or mortgages, college loans, car loans, and grocery bills, to tithe 10% of their paychecks, in my observation, results in most of them never having any true increase. (Independent studies have proven this, according to Dr. RJ Kelly.) Fourth, the first Council of Jerusalem clearly laid out what was expected of us as Gentiles, and nowhere is tithing mentioned. Finally, a careful study of the early church fathers and early church history reveals that no such thing was taught in the church until the seventh century. Once it was, however, it wasn't long before it became law. The Reformation fathers pretty much all wrote in accord against this very same teaching.
I believe tithing was designed to show obedience to God for all he has provided. It also exercises your freewill thinking. I also believe it should be an ongoing show of obedience and thanksgiving. Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. In Mark 12:17--"And Jesus answering said unto them, "Render (pay) to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they marveled at him." Matthew 5:17--"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." We are to continue in obedience to all that God says. I believe that Caesar (the government) gets theirs off the gross and they take a tenth; so God should get his off the gross and we should give the tenth. You see with God it is freewill, but we don't have a choice with the government.
Shalom First, you need to define Tithing and what its main purpose was. Tithing was bound to the Law and if you calculate your actual Tithe is amounts to 23.3% in its entirety. But beside the point of calculated amount, you should go read up on each individual tithe and its relevant meaning. Tithing bound us to the Law as Jehovah instructed throughout Leviticus and the Torah. Modern day preachers ties Money to the actual Tithe and get rich through deceiving and manipulating the church with scriptures they themselves don't even comprehend. Twice in the Bible Jehovah reprimands His Priests about robbing Him from His Storehouse. First the Sons of Eli who tòok the best good from the Temple and made sacrifices with defective offerings. Secondly in the infamous Book of Malachi where yet again the Priests are Reprimanded by Jehovah to return the Goods they took. These are messages for the temple priests and has no relation to the Chuch as such. Once we understand and study the Word of Jehovah through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and NOT man then we will gain a deeper understanding of His Word. I personally have been misled over the years and myself have come to understand that money is needed in the Kingdom to maintain expenses, but the main problem is..... we have become dependant on MAN rather than on Jehovah Himself. That is the main reason why we misuse Scripture to backup our lack of knowledge of the Word of Jehovah. Whatever people believe we have no control over but one day we will all answer for what we have done. I respect everyone's view on tithing but doesn't mean I agree. As a man purposes in His heart to give, so he must, as Jehovah loves a CHEERFUL GIVER. And a Cheerful giver has NO OBLIGATION to give because he gives from his HEART and NOT because he is manipulated to give. Shalom Blessings and Peace Ps. Shaun
Mark 12:17 "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." This verse would suggest that Caesar is to be paid off first and God second, and so tithing should be based on net rather than gross income. Genesis records two instances of tithing, one by Abraham and the other by Jacob (Gen 28:20-22). Tithing by the Israelites under the Mosaic Law was to the Levites, the hereditary priestly tribe. Christians, on the other hand, are of the Melkizedek order, entered into by free choice, which didn't arise from Abraham or any of the prior patriarchs. Rather than the word "tithe", originally meaning a tenth, Christians would be better to use such words as donation, gift, or offering. The Mosaic law was given at a time when there were no secular authorities such as kings, to support in Israel. No laws had been given by Moses about how much a king could tax his people. Under the Romans, taxation was particularly oppressive and rapacious, resulting in a large class of poor Jews unable to prosper and satisfy their religious tithing and other obligations. Under the coming Antichrist, true Christians will be so badly off that they won't be significantly better than the Jews were under the Romans. The poor were the ones Christ was sent to, not the rich who could readily satisfy all the 612 laws of the Torah. Matt 11:30: "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Christians have always been under governments demanding taxes. This is one reason why the question of tithing has never been permanently settled in Christianity. Also, early Christians were expected to sell what they had and give the proceeds to the church (Acts 5:1-11). Christians are assured that they will receive food and clothing (Matt 6: 25-32). Anything beyond this is not guaranteed for church members, pastors, preachers or priests. So, the question is, what activities are the church committed to funding beyond the guaranteed level, and how should they be funded? It is not a question of tithing (meaning a tenth), but of the cost of what any church is led by the Holy Spirit to engage in (in other words, the annual budget) and the resources of the church members. Obviously, what is expected from a member on welfare from the government will be lower than from those with steady jobs. Those with children should pay less than those without, even though they may receive more benefit from the church. As already said, "God loveth a cheerful giver" (2Cor 9:7).
Tithing was not meant for Christians, but only to the Jews. Jesus commanded Christians to do more than just giving tithes: Matt 19:21 - "Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”"
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