Do I Have To Tithe PART 2

Posted on September 17, 2012

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I got a fairly extensive comment. I gave a fairly extensive reply. So I am giving it another blog post.

Am not so sure about your defence of tithing in the New Testament as you seem to rely more on logic than actual scripture to prove your point.

And just as Don pointed out, your style of interpretation could also be used in support of a mandated New Testament circumcision. It was started by Abraham, continued by Jacob and his sons, saved the life of Moses and made mandatory by the law and also performed by Jesus when He was 8 days old.

No single verse of scripture ever cites Abraham’s tithe as a reason the New Testament church must tithe and no verse of scripture ever associates the tithe with money either. The bible always defines the tithe as the tenth part of crops and livestock alone, never money. Also the command to tithe in the book of Malachi was clearly a reminder of that already issued in the law to the children of Israel; it was not directed at the New Testament church.

Jesus’ words in Mat 23 certainly do not constitute a New Testament Church tithing command. His audience was the Jews who were already given a tithe command and already appeared to be doing it very well howbeit at the expense of more important things.

You have assumed a lot of things when scriptures clearly did not even hint on those things. The tithe was never presented at the altar, some of the other offerings were thus 1 Cor 9 has certainly got nothing to do with tithing. A quick check of the Old Testament shows that much. And lastly Paul never referred to the tithe in 2 Cor 16, you are the one trying to stretch it to fit because of the mention of the word store. The word store here just refers to keeping something aside and has got absolutely nothing to do with tithing.

The New Testament charge on giving is clear and simply; everyone is encouraged to give as they are able and this will be accepted if it has been given willingly and cheerfully.

God bless.

First thanks for taking the time to read. And further taking the time to comment. I appreciate my limited readership.

That being said. I don’t agree with you. As you might as well guessed.

In the interest of full disclosure Mr. Isaac has a blog, of which he has written extensively, in the recent past, on this very issue of tithing. His blog can be found here. In order to better understand where he is coming from I would encourage you to go and read his thoughts on this subject.

So, on to my objections to your reply.
1) You seem to insinuate that logic was over used. As an Independent Baptist, I have been accused by many that do not agree with me as not using sufficient logic in my reasoning. So it is interesting that you would say my post is too heavy on that very thing. That being said…..light on scripture? For a Baptist, the thought is repulsive. I used no less than 14 verses in my relatively short post. I as well used nearly all, if not all, passages that deal directly with tithe. So, I am not sure what you were expecting, but the subject was tithing….and overall the bible speaks of it on a fairly limited basis.

2) Circumcision? The problem is with that line of reasoning is the New Testament explicitly abolishes that practice as necessary to be ‘right with God’ i.e. for our justification.

Ac 15:1 ¶ And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Ac 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Ac 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses.
Ac 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Ac 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

Thus is a small sampling, out of just one chapter, of an instance of dealing with this in the early church. Not to mention the entire issue of works for salvation (which completely excludes a physical work such as circumcision for salvation). You cannot equate the practice of circumcision, and not worshiping on the Sabbath, to tithing. At least not from the pages of New Testament.

4) Your definition of tithe is much to narrow. A casual perusal of all the Old Testament passages dealing with tithing will find the emphasis is on the increase (entering into evidence the example of Abraham)…not on any particular article. And as you attempted to do, you can deny that ancient Israel was primarily a barter society. In order to do so however one must discard the historical, grammatical interpretation of scripture.  As an aside, you also argue on your blog that the word ‘tenth’ does not mean 10%. You are positively redefining the word. You are in disagreement with the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek word. And with the dictionary. ( Merriam-Webster Tithe: 1; to pay or give a tenth part of especially for the support of the church 2; to levy a tithe on. You are arbitrarily redefined the word….not acceptable, nor convincing.

5) I did not specify to whom Malachi was commanding….simply that he was commanding. I agree that the command was given specifically to GOD’S PEOPLE. I will let you make the application if you think there is any to be made there. I suspect that you will see no application to God’s people of today.

6) You said:

“Jesus’ words in Mat 23 certainly do not constitute a New Testament Church tithing command. His audience was the Jews who were already given a tithe command and already appeared to be doing it very well howbeit at the expense of more important things.”

In saying that you completely overlook a critical component of my argument. That being, Christ was living in the New Testament Age. He had already established his church (Matthew 16:18) so therefore his commendation of it while, perhaps given to Jews specifically, doesn’t undermine the greater context of all of his teachings. You would seem to imply that simply because the majority of his ministry was to Jews, that what he said has no bearing or impact upon the New Testament Church. I categorically reject that premise. You can not simply pick and choose what of Christs teachings to apply to this day and age. You have taken the, ‘We are not under the law but under grace’ to an entirely new and unwise level.

7) I Corinthians 16:2 – Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

This has nothing to do with tithe? Then, pray tell, what is it referring to? You indicate that I ‘stretch to fit’? I think not. In Malachi, the context is clearly tithe/increase/money (whatever term you choose I suppose) and it uses the word ‘storehouse.’ Paul uses the word ‘store’ in relation to giving. I believe that one of the basic laws of bible interpretation is comparing scripture with scripture. That is all that I was doing.

I would reiterate the laws of bible of interpretation that I gave a)Law of progressive mention b)Law of first mention. Of which you either conveniently ignored or had no answer for. As well you bypassed the question I proffered, “where is the standard lowered in the transition from law to grace?” IT is always higher…..if the law was 10%….what would the requirement (and yes, I used the word ‘requirement’ in regards to grace) in this day of Grace?

You see, the problem with the whole, ‘not under the law, but under grace’ crowd, is the standard is practically always lowered….never heightened. For example….Tithing. Under the law…..10% ….tithing under grace….’whatever you want’

Reject. Categorically.

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