YET ANOTHER NOTE ON TITHING
With the “prosperity gospel” continuing to have great popularity, I just want to be sure that there is at least another voice out here attempting to spread the truth.
There are 613 Mitzvots (or Commandments) in Jewish law; 24 0f them has to do with T’rumah, Tithes and Taxes. How do we take this one “ordinance” (Tithes) out of Jewish law without observing and enforcing the other 612? To keep one “law” automatically obligates one to keeping them all. Are you a Jew?
The law was given to the children of Israel to show us that it could not be kept by man. Israel failed time & time again in keeping God’s law. The law was pointing us to the only fulfillment and atonement for our sin which is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
The church teaches tithing today because it is easy to guilt people into “tithing” while connecting it to a “curse.” The church today use tithing as a way of predicting their income for projects they want to embark upon. Church accountants will ask the trustee board how many “tithers” the church has, again, as a way of confirming their income.
I hate to go down this path again, but the truth will set you free.
Some would give 25% or even 50% of their income, but why should they when 10% is all that’s “required?”
Free-will offering is the model of giving taught in the new covenant.
The old and the new are totally different and they cannot mix; like mixing water and oil. When Jesus said these words, He knew what He meant. “But you go and figure out what this means: I will have mercy, and not sacrifice’ ‘No man sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment, or the patch will shrink and the tear will be worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles or the bottles break and the wine runs out and the bottles are ruined, but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are saved” (Matthew 9:14-17).
Jesus was teaching of the New Covenant and the old covenant, that you cannot have something new while you still hold to the old. You cannot receive, be covered by His grace while you still hold the law. Jesus is a Jesus of grace but not of the law and He is not with you as you struggle doing the works and keeping the laws (He does not mix Himself up).
Christians in general reject the idea that we are “under the law,” yet tithing somehow gets exempted. But it is all or nothing, when it comes to the law, isn’t it?
Gal 5:1 (NKJ) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Gal 3:10 (NRS) All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
Gal 4:21 (NIV) Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?
So clearly, to embrace old covenant tithing is a dangerous thing indeed, however popular.
I will conclude with a few points
- The Apostle Paul NEVER ONCE appealed to tithing even though he obviously often suffered financial difficulties. However, he did write a lot about FREELY giving financial support where one is able.
- The early Church – prior to Constantine – DID NOT uphold tithing.
- Tithing was a widespread practice in the ancient world – not something peculiar to Israel.
- In our day, strongly tithing congregations often become very wealthy congregations with much to spend on various projects and with the minister enjoying an affluent lifestyle, even while many within that congregation live in a financially deficient world. Is this not at odds with the examples within the Book of Acts which show Christians within a congregation SHARING their substance so that none should suffer lack? Why do we ignore this clear NEW TESTAMENT example, while being quick to seize an Old Testament example which finds no real New Testament support?
- 2 Corinthians 9:7 effectively bars tithing for the New Testament Church of God since it plainly states that Christians should not give (and the whole context is of financial giving) “under compulsion.”
We’ve gotta let go of these traditions of men so we can live the life of freedom given to us by the shed blood of Christ.