Posts Tagged ‘giving’

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 3:6-12)

The Old Testament

The scripture above is the favorite text given by most Christians to ‘prove’ that we should tithe. Now when interpreting scripture, we should always look things such as the context. Who was it written to? What was the culture? Because even though all scripture is FOR us, not all scripture is TO us. So if we look at the scripture above, who was Malachi writing to? Was it to everyone? Well we only have to go to verse 6 to see the it was the children of Jacob. In other words, Jews. It was not a blanket command to everyone.

The first mention of tithing was in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham ‘gave tithes of all’ to Melchizedek. but notice how Abraham did this freely and it was not a commandment from God. Then in Genesis 28:22, Jacob decided to give a tenth, again not a commandment from God. Then the next mention of tithing is in the mosaic law in Leviticus 27.

Now exactly what was the tithe? Well according to the Levitical law, the children of Israel (apart from the tribe of Levi) had to give 10% of the increase of their land and livestock, to the Levite priests and this would also go to help the poor. As a matter of fact, they would have actually tithed around 23.3% annually because they were required to present two tithes yearly of 10% each of agricultural produce and livestock (Numbers 18:21-32 and Deuteronomy 14:23-27) , and a third of 10% every three years of agricultural produce only (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) ….but I don’t see many churches or Christians rushing to tithe 23.3%!!!

All the scriptures about tithing are either in the old testament or refer to the old testament laws and was mainly about agriculture. Hence why it talks about the storehouse (NOT your church) which was simply a room in the temple. (See 2 Chron 31:11, Neh 10:38-39; 12:44; 13:12). And the opening of ‘the windows heaven’ simply meant that God would let it rain abundantly on the crops and he would not allow the devourer (i.e locusts) to destroy those crops. That is it. Nothing super spiritual about it. All you have to do is look at the context and read it for yourself.

So what happens when you take Malachi 3 out of context? You get video ‘challenges’ such as the one below

Malachi 3 DOES NOT mean that if we give a tenth of our income, God is guaranteed to rain down monetary or any other blessings on us as some teach. Some even teach that nothing will ‘devour’ your finances as if tithing was some sort of insurance policy.

I did a previous post called ‘What do we do with those old testament laws today which you can view here where I broke down the various laws in the old testament. Tithing would come under civil law and is not binding on us today.

The New Testamant

So what about the new testament? Is tithing mentioned? Well we can see Jesus apparently endorsing tithes in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42……or did he?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Matthew 23:23)

These scriptures are the ones that people use as proof text that Jesus commanded that we tithe today, but while Jesus was alive he was still operating under the old testament laws and the new testament had not fully been ratified. How do we know this? I would say for two reasons.

Firstly, when Jesus healed people, one of the first things he told them was to show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Luke 17:14). This was part of the levitical law (Leviticus 14:2) and we do not have to do this today.

Secondly, Hebrews 9:15-17 makes it clear that a new testament can only come in place after the death of the testator.

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

The other references to tithing are in Hebrews 7 which just reference the old testament stating historical fact so again, they are not a commandment to us.

So what is the new testament pattern for giving?

2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 give us the principles for giving today.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (which tithers do); for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7)

In a sense, it is harder to give from the heart as God sees the motives for why you are giving.

Many people are living in bondage to tithing, giving out of what they don’t have and as a result, get into real debt.

Here is an example of the type of advice that you should NOT listen to

So basically Pat Robinson has told this writer to keep tithing at the risk of losing their home and being unable to pay their bills. This is very bad advice and if your church or Pastor gives you the same advice, do not adhere to it.

I think the bible says something different.

11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality , that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. (2 Cor 8:11-14)

If you are in serious debt e.g. arrears in loans, then you should be doing what you can to pay back that money to the loan company and then when you can, then give . This is called good stewardship and should not be seen as ‘not putting God first”. If you don’t have, you can’t give and should not be made to feel guilty for ‘not paying your tithes’. As the scripture above says, there should be equality, but that it not what we see these days. A lot of churches are getting fatter financially and their members are suffering as a result.

For those of you in debt and are still tithing. Please watch this video and do not live in bondage to tithing. There is so much freedom in Christ.

So in conclusion, there is no where in scripture that expects or commands New Testament believers to tithe

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect – Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

Ten of my favorite blog posts on Real Christianity

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Christian Living, Evangelism, False Doctrine, False Teachers
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I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over five years beginning with How Important is Doctrine and as of today, have written 619 posts, this being my 620th. Every now and then, I go back to my old posts and re-read some of them, if not for anything else to re-encourage myself. So out of these 600+posts, below are ten of my favorite posts in no particular order and my reasons why. Just click on the titles to read the posts

1. The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching – OK, I am going to cheat on the first one as it was my first series (11 parts in total) called The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching starting with A Form of godliness. I saw so much foolishness in churches and on Christian TV and I knew that a lot of people were beginning to question a lot of things but were afraid to say anything. I just said what they were thinking. So I wrote the series and gave my reasons for doing it as I know a lot of people would think that I was just a heresy hunter. If you want to read the full series, just follow the links at the bottom of the posts

2. To tithe or not to tithe – Tithing was one of those things that kept me in bondage early on in my days and I know keeps many in bondage today. Many preachers use old testament scriptures like Malachi 3:8-12 to manipulate people into giving money and making them feel that they have robbed God if they don’t give their 10%.  That was until I searched the scriptures for myself only to find that the new testament principle of giving is proportional giving and giving out of what you have and not out of what you don’t have thus getting yourself into debt. It is also about a person giving what THEY purpose in their heart (2 Cor 9:7) . I wrote this to make it plain why Christians are not under any obligation to tithe anymore under the new covenant.

3. How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian)? – I really enjoyed writing this blog because it became very apparent to me that many people thought that they were Christians but they were actually self-deceived. This troubled me so I wanted to have some kind of ‘test’ whereby a person could measure up themselves to. Luckily the books of 1 and 2 John has such a test and has been one of my most popular posts that is found when people do searches, which tells me that a lot of people really do want to know if they are a Christian or not.

4. So you think that you’re a Christian. Power testimonies from former false converts – This ties in to number 3. When I heard these testimonies, I knew there were countless amount of people in this situation and I wanted to share it because I wanted others to see if they could see themselves in the mirror and if so, do something about it. The worse deception ever is to think that you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not

5. Spending Quality Time with God – This post always comes to haunt me because I know that this is something that I am constantly guilty of not doing but it is a constant reminder of where our priorities should be  

6. When your children don’t want to follow God – This post was and still is a very personal one to me. It hurts me to know that my children (so far) have decided to not follow Christ. I can only pray that God orchestrates the events in their life to point them to him.

7. Every Man’s Battle - I wrote this because it is a taboo subject amongst Christian men but can be a deadly poison if not dealt with….especially when it comes to the summer.

8. The Money Challenge - If anything, this is a shame on most of us as Christians about what motivates us to share the  gospel with others. I never want to be  Christian that as the gospel group, Commissioned, say in one of their songs that we “tend to find security in our salvation. We should constantly think about the lost”

9. Should we ever question what the man of God says – This post goes hand in hand with the post of Touch not the Lord’s anointed. Say goodbye to the untouchable preachers. The reason why I started this whole blogging stuff is because I questioned everything that I had previously heard and decided to go back to the basics of the gospel. You know, things like the cross, salvation, sin, repentance, faith, discipleship and NOT breakthroughs, blessings and divine favour which seems to be so prevalent in churches these days.

10. Christ is the only way, now you choose - I have posted many videos over the years but I love this video because it puts everything in perspective about what Christ has done and how he has provided a way out for those who have repented and put their trust in him

As you probably know that I am not a believer of tithing and think that it is unbiblical for us as new testament
christians to be under any compulsion to do so.

But here is a thought anyway. Is giving freely harder than tithing. Why do I ask? Because if a certain percentage is not specified, then surely what you do give, or if I am more specific, HOW you give exposes more about your heart. You see, you can have a person who pays his tithes every month without fail and it still can be unacceptable to God, where on the other hand, you may have a person who gives less than 10% and it can be totally acceptable to God because he gave with the right heart and the right motives. So I would argue that it is harder to give freely from your heart than a person telling you an amount or percentage to give and I believe that this is at the heart of why God has chosen this method of giving for new testament believers rather then tithing. Its all about our hearts. How we give and our motives for giving reveals a lot about our hearts.

Your thoughts?

As I have started typing this, there is one miner left to be rescued from the mining tragedy and by the time I finish, the last one would have reached the surface. As many of them were rescued, they visually showed their gratitude to God for delivering them. I for one was very grateful to God for his mercy in allowing these miners to survive after over two months

But non christians, legitimately ask the question ‘its OK for you to thank God in these situations, but where is God in situations like the Burma tragedy or the Minneapolis Bridge? Or where is God when a child dies of cancer or as a result of an idiot drinking and driving? Why dont we thank God then?

Early on in my Christian walk, even though I knew that being a christian wasnt a bed of roses, there was certain things that I didn’t expect to happen to us? I mean, no weapons formed against us should prosper….right? We are the head and not the tail….right? We shouldnt go though sickness or poverty….right? That’s not our portion…..right? But over time, I have recognised that things are not so straight-forward. The reality is, christians go through exactly the same things that non christians go through. We die of illnesses prematurely and so do our young children. We are victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. I’m sure there were christians who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11.  We go through marital problems are sometimes the victim of circumstances through no fault of our own. Read Luke 13:1-5 for an example. We may pray for a child to be healed and they still die. That’s just life. Preachers sometimes give people false hopes, or deceive them with false promises that disappoint many times and leave people disillusioned with God.

So how do we explain all of this? I have come to the conclusion that there is no set rules, where bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to ‘good people’. Ultimately, God is sovereign and he does things when he wants and how he wants. You may ask, well if that’s the case, whats the use in praying? If I am honest, I have asked that question many a time and have sometimes struggled with it and to this day, I do not have a complete answer even though it has partly be answered in my post Prayer and Predestination. What I do know though is that I can trust in my heavenly Father and the more I know him, the more I can depend on him, knowing more about his character and knowing that he sees the bigger picture even when I cannot see it with my finite mind. I am limited and he is limitless. My children may not like my discipline or the rules that I give them and they may even see me as a moany ogre but I see the bigger picture so that hopefully in the future, they will learn some of the life skills that I have taught them which will hopefully help them to be responsible adults in the future. And in having a relationship with them, they should know that my character is not to bring harm to them but to bring fruitfulness in them.

Sometimes we want a reason why things are the way they are. Jesus’s disciples asked the same question in John 9

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life

In the story of Lazarus in John 11:1-45, Martha in verse 21, could not understand why God, who she knew was able, allowed Lazarus to die. Lazarus’s family prayed but Jesus delayed it so that Lazarus would die so that he would get maximum glory out of the situation. He didn’t just want to perform a healing. He wanted to perform a resurrection. This turns our man centered theology on its head because it’s not primarily about us but IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM. 

Today is a milestone in my life as it’s my 40th birthday and I am thankful to God for allowing me to see another year. I am thankful to God for everything that he has taught me even though some of it was VERY painful. Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it was inflicted by others and some of it was just life. I have not always understood why God allowed me to experience some of the things that I did but it has definitely shaped my character. What does the future hold for me in the next 40 years (God willing)? I have no idea. No doubt some of it will be painful. Some of it, I will not understand and there may be times that I might even be upset with God. But I know that God holds my future and in this fallen world, he is my ONLY hope and I can depend on him to know what’s best for me.

I will leave you with some lyrics from Trip Lee’s song Cling to you

Lord, it may get better but it may not
So when I pray God, I pray I
Would trust You whether or not the pain stops
So when the pain falls, coming down like rain drops
I just gotta cling to You

Today, Haiti’s government made the “heartbreaking” decision to declare the search and rescue phase for survivors of the earthquake over. This must be so heart rending for those who still have loved ones missing, knowing that they will no longer be searched for. Please continue to pray for Haiti. Below Kirk Frankin and friends have made this charity song for the cause. Please continue to make donations

THANKYOU

Related Posts:

Haiti Earthquake: Mourn with those who mourn

A hard pill to swallow I know

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

 I read a Facebook status today which stated the following:

People might say why did God let the earthquake happen in Haiti….wrong question. We SHOULD be asking why did God not let the earthquake hit my country also. The whole world lives in darkness and God should really destroy us ALL but He has not dealt with us according to our sins (Psalm 103). His mercy is the only reason people are alive today.

With the situation as bad as it is, I think that every christian,  even though we know that we dont deserve anything from God apart from his punishment, still wonders at the back of their mind why God would allow such calamites to happen to such ‘innocent’ lives. Some people asked Jesus the same question when they enquired why people died when the tower in Siloam fell on them. This was his response:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:1-5)

I received an email from Wretched Radio which reads as follows. As my posts states, it’s a hard pill to swallow

Who Takes the Blame for Haiti?

Rick Warren is wrong when he tweets that God does not judge the world through catastrophes (Romans 1:18).

Pat Robertson is wrong when he claims to know why the Haitian earthquake happened (Deut.29:29).

Perhaps these principles will help us figure out why tragedies happen and who is responsible.

God

God controls everything directly or indirectly by restraining His grace or allowing the devil a little more leash. Either way, God is sovereign over everything and happily accepts responsibility for both good and bad (but not sin).

The devil

The devil does not control the weather or rule the nations.

Humans

There are only two groups of people on the earth: pagans and Christians. 

Why?

When God sends/allows disaster to the pagans, He does so for two reasons: as judgment or as a call to repentance. A disaster is not enough wrath for the pagans as it is merely a taste of God’s eternal punishment if they do not repent and trust the Savior.

When God sends/allows disaster to Christians, He does so for two reasons: to prune us or kill us and take us home. A disaster is never too much or too little for the Christian, the Pruner causes/allows just the right amount for our good and His glory.

While God may be sending judgment to an entire nation, each individual (pagan and Christian) should seek to determine why God caused/allowed himself to be hurt.

Christians are not victims of collateral damage. While there may be a primary reason God sends/allows a catastrophe, God orchestrates every detail in every situation.

Catastrophes happen to heathens as an act of God’s judgment, but they happen to Christians as an act of severe mercy.

God sends/causes a disaster for the onlookers to respond with apathy or kindness.

Biblical Support

Jesus gave us the definitive statement on catastrophes in Luke 13:1-5 (see above). Please take a moment to read that text and you will never make the mistake of Rick Warren or Pat Robertson.

Trick Question

God is not to blame for the earthquake as it was the exact right thing to do. While God gets the credit for the earthquake, He is never to blame for anything. Charles Wesley wrote a number of hymns thanking God for two earthquakes that rocked England in 1751; we should do the same.

The Bottom Line

While each individual should endeavor to learn the lesson that God has in the storm, there is an ultimate purpose (forty days or otherwise): God is endeavoring to glorify His Son. God sends a taste of His wrath to the heathens that they might look to the cross and be saved. God prunes Christians that we will live in greater gratitude for what Jesus has done to rescue us from eternal destruction.

Catastrophes, like everything, are about the cross.

Related Posts:

Haiti Earhquake: Mourn with those who mourn

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

After hearing about the earthquake tragedy in Haiti, the first question I asked myself was, what should my response be? Well my very first response was to pray for these people and ‘mourn with those who mourn’. I can only imagine what the people of Haiti must be going through losing friends, families and loved ones. If I lost my children to an earthquake, I dont know what I would do.

So as I said with the Burma tragedy, lets be practical.

International charities are appealing for donations to help Haiti.

In the UK the DEC – an umbrella group which launches and co-ordinates responses to major disasters overseas – has launched a Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

Disasters Emergency Committee

These organisations also have ways to donate:

Unicef UK

Medecins Sans Frontieres

International Red Cross

World Food Programme

Every little helps

Thankyou

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-39)

Remember to keep the people of Haiti in your prayers

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

I saw this article on a website which seems to have gone now but I found very helpful and I hope you do too

1. In discussing the two covenants, we are not refering to the division of the Bible into two sections, but to the periods of the two covenants on ground.

2. The Old covenant is the same as the Law, and the New is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:1-18)

3. The Old Covenant was targeted at only one nation – Israel. No-one outside of Israel was/is bound by the Law (Ephesians 2:11-12)

4. The New is NOT a continuation or extension of the Old. It is a replacement. (Hebrews 8: 7-13). Why? The Old was never intended as a permanent solution (Galatians 3:19-25)

5. Under the Old God spoke to people by prophets; but under the New He has spoken by His Son (Hebrews 1: 1-2)

6. The person who accepts one aspect of the Law is under obligation to keep the whole Law. Not doing so is condemnation (Galatians 5:3)

7. Submission to any aspect of the Law removes a believer from under grace and back into death (Galatians 5:1-4). Submitting to the Letter (the Law) kills a person spiritually (2 Corinthians 3:6), while doing away with the Law and living under grace (the Spirit) gives life.

Looking at this subject in details revealed major flaws in the teachings and practices of a majority of professing believers, including but not limited to:

a. Observance of tithing

b. Observance of firstruits and the other myriads of offerings

c. Submission to guidance and revelation from prophets

d. Seeking and depending on extra-Biblical revelations

The most shocking thing about this is the huge number of professing believers who are clearly not under grace by their many practices and beliefs – yet their leaders keep giving them a false assurance of salvation. It is both sad and shocking.

Related Posts:

What do we do with those old testament laws today?

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 10 – The misuse of old testament scriptures

On 2 May 2008 Cyclone Nargis ripped across the coast of Myanmar (Burma), bringing misery & devastation to tens of thousands. Below is a picture of a human corpse and animal remains decomposing side by side.

This is the reality. The Burmese state media say 22,980 people were killed by Cyclone Nargis but there are fears the figure could rise to 100,000. There is an estimated 1million Burmese injured or left homeless as a result of the cyclone

Some of us Christians have been accused of just knowing about theology and not dealing with or acknowleding peoples practical problems. Here is a chance for us to get the balance right. If you can (and I stress if you can), can I challenge the believers to make a small donation to help the relief efforts. Remember, people have lost their children, their babies, their mother, their family, their homes, their livelihood and the list goes on. I cannot even imagine what is going through the minds of those people and the distress they must be feeling

In the UK, to make a donation, please visit www.dec.org.uk or phone 0870 60 60 900

Alternatively, you can donate through Christian Aid by clicking here (you can donate US$ here)

If you live in another country, please can you provide a link where people can donate stating which country you live in and I will edit the post accordingly

Every little helps

Thankyou

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-39)

Remember to keep the people of Burma in your prayers

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

I had this post in my draft for some time but after listening to Doug’s Podcast where he mentioned tithing, I have decided that I will put my case forward (hopefully in really simple terms) why I do not believe that we, as new testament believers, are obliged to tithe today. I will try and refrain from going into too much details about how Israel was to tithe

Tithe

I will break this down into the Old and the New Testament

The Old Testament

The first mention of tithing was in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham ‘gave tithes of all’ to Melchizedek. Notice how Abraham did this freely and it was not a commandment from God. Then the next mention of tithing is in the mosaic law in Leviticus 27. I did a previous post called ‘What do we do with those old testament laws today which you can view here where I broke down the various laws in the old testament. I believe that tithing would come under civil law and is not binding on us today.

The New Testamant

So what about the new testament? Is tithing mentioned? Well we can see Jesus apparently endorsing tithes in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42……or did he?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Matthew 23:23)

These scriptures are the ones that people use as proof text that Jesus commanded that we tithe today, but while Jesus was alive he was still operating under the old testament laws and the new testament had not fully been ratified. How do we know this? I would say for two reasons.

Firstly, when Jesus healed people, one of the first things he told them was to show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Luke 17:14). This was part of the levitical law (Leviticus 14:2) and we do not have to do this today.

Secondly, Hebrews 9:15-17 makes it clear that a new testament can only come in place after the death of the testator.

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

The other references to tithing are in Hebrews 7 which just reference the old testament stating historical fact so again, they are not a commandment to us.

So what is the new testament pattern for giving?

I believe that 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 give us the principles for giving today.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (which tithers do); for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7)

In a sense, it is harder to give from the heart as God sees the motives for why you are giving.

There are many people giving tithes to the church out of what they don’t have and as a result, get into real debt. I think the bible says something different.

11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality , that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. (2 Cor 8:11-14)

If you are in serious debt e.g. arrears in loans, then you should be doing what you can to pay back that money to the loan company and then when you can, then give . This is called good stewardship and should not be seen as ‘not putting God first”. If you don’t have, you can’t give and should not be made to feel guilty for ‘not paying your tithes’. As the scripture above says, there should be equality, but that it not what we see these days. A lot of churches are getting fatter financially and their members are suffering as a result.

So there you are. That is my case for why I believe that we do not have to tithe today