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Rethinking the tithe

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Rethinking The Tithe
by Douglas Weaver
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In modern Christian circles the practice of tithing has, for all intents and purposes, become a litmus test for one's commitment both to God and to the local church. Indeed, for some congregations one is not allowed to "minister" if he or she is not a consistent tither. And as one recent church billboard read, "Tithe if you love Jesus, anyone can honk." Now admittedly, this is one of the most blatant displays I have personally seen, however it gives voice to a mentality that has become a core tenant of faith in both independent and mainstream churches: namely, that tithing is a God-ordained practice that finances the kingdom of God, and facilitates the blessing of God in one's life.

In this article I intend to examine an aspect of this idealism that is either avoided or simply unknown. For in as much as many have undertaken the argument of whether tithing is a valid practice under the new covenant, an issue I leave to the discretion of each individual, few have considered the purpose for which God initially instituted the tithe. Ironically, the purpose of tithing proves to be a more fascinating and understandable than the circular, often ambiguous arguments of its validity. So then let's begin with a careful examination of the institution of tithing by the Lord in Deuteronomy, and then consider several modern positions of the practice in light of what we discover.

First, it is necessary to understand that tithing took on two distinct forms depending on the period of Israel's history that you consider. While in the wilderness the Lord commanded that the entire tithe should go to the sons of Levi in return for their service at the tent of meeting (Num. 18:11). However, when Israel settled in Canaan God, redefined the practice of tithing since the lifestyle of the people and their subsequent interaction with the priests and Levites markedly changed. It is this second form of tithing that the current practice is supposedly modeled after and therefore becomes the subject of our enquiry.
We find its institution in Deuteronomy 14 immediately as Israel is preparing to cross the Jordan and enter Canaan. Now I will warn you, the scripture you are about to read will challenge your current understanding of this popular Christian paradigm. It is a direct quote from the New American Standard version and only the emphasis of certain words has been added.

You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year.
You shall eat in the presence of the Lord you God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.

If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the Lord your God chooses to set His name is to far away from you when the Lord your God blesses you,

then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses.

You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.

Deut. 14:22-26

Before we continue you may want to read this passage again. In fact you may want to read it out of your own bible just to verify that I quoted it correctly. When you are sufficiently satisfied that it really does read this way I encourage you to read on.
In verse 22 it is clear that the Lord is commanding Israel to tithe saying, "You shall surely tithe…" However in the next three verses He clearly articulates His intended purpose for the tithe; an even cursory reading of which reveals a conflict with the current paradigm of the tithe. So striking is the contrast that an honest student of the Word must ask the following questions:

Who does the Lord say should eat the tithe?
And who has control over the usage of the tithe?
Without question the answer is, the tither, "…so that (they) may learn to fear the Lord (their) God always." In fact the Lord even sanctions the tither to convert his or her tithe into money and subsequently "..spend the money on whatever (their) heart desires"!
How can this be! Have we not been taught that the tithe belongs to the storehouse so that there might be meat in God's house? Have we not also been taught that we will be cursed if we eat our tithe? And have we not been taught that we learn to trust, or fear, the Lord by giving our tithe away, not by consuming it ourselves?

Yet God Himself commanded that the tithe be eaten by the tither, and that in so doing they would learn to fear the Lord. He even went so far as to sanction the purchase of strong drink with tithe money for the express consumption of the tither!

Pause and Think
What do you make of this passage in the light of modern Christian teaching? Is it possible the current paradigm is flawed? Could it be that the current teaching is filled with enough truth to sound biblical, but in reality is designed to bring believers back under the Law. Most importantly, would you be willing to reconsider your position on this paradigm and judge its validity by the Word? If so, read on.

Let's begin by examining this opening passage, for it seems to stand in direct opposition to the current paradigm of the tithe. In verse 22 it is clear that the Lord is commanding Israel to tithe saying, "You shall surely tithe…" However the next three verses express His purpose for the tithe. Who does He say should eat the tithe? You! It is to be eaten by the tither, "…so that (they) may learn to fear the Lord (their) God always." In fact the Lord even sanctions the tither to convert his or her tithe into money and subsequently "..spend the money on whatever (their) heart desires"!

How can this be! We've been taught that the tithe belongs to the storehouse so that there might be meat in God's house. We've been taught that we will be cursed if we eat our tithe. We've been taught that we learn to trust, or fear, the Lord by giving our tithe away, not by consuming it ourselves. And yet God Himself commanded that the tithe be eaten by the tither, and that in so doing they would learn to fear the Lord.

The Lord's Mind Regarding The Tithe
To truly understand the Lord's mind concerning the tithe we must examine His instructions to Israel in their application of this practice. If you read the rest of Deuteronomy 14 you see that there was actually a three-year cycle of tithing. The first two years were to be used as a celebratory feast by each individual family and the third year the tithe was to be given to the Levite, who would then redistribute it to the alien, the orphan and the widow. Deuteronomy 26:12 further clarifies this point saying,

When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger to the orphan, and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.
So then there is a distributive aspect to tithing, however the guidelines are very clear: for two years the tithe is yours to consume and the third year it is given to someone who will redistribute the tithe to the stranger, orphan and widow. To further clarify the matter, the Lord indicates that the two-years tithe is to be used for a feast or celebration or, one could even argue, a vacation. For did not the Lord sanction the conversion of the tithe into money and then allow the tither to "…spend the money on whatever their heart desired." Then the third-year tithe would insure that the storehouse would be full so that strangers, orphans and widows would be properly cared for. And since each family would be on a different harvesting cycle the overall effect is that feasting, celebration and giving were perpetual within Israel.
Indeed, it becomes obvious that the Lord instituted the tithe as a method of insuring that His people would set aside annual time to enjoy His blessings, remember His faithfulness and acknowledge His love for those less fortunate. One can easily see how beautiful and wonderful this system is, and yet how distorted and manipulative it has become.

Speaking of which, let us now turn our thoughts to modern Christianity's version of this divinely instituted practice beginning with what has become the cornerstone passage for it's defense - Malachi chapter 3.

The Matter of Malachi

"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.
You are under a curse-- the whole nation of you-- because you are robbing me.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.

Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Is it true that the Lord is addressing the mishandling of the tithe in this passage? Yes. And is it true that He delivers a strong rebuke and speaks of a curse for their errors? Most certainly! However, the important question is, to whom is He speaking? To find this out we must look at Malachi 2:1, which reads, "And now this commandment is for you, O priests." For although Malachi begins as a general address to Israel, from this point on to the end of the book Malachi is addressing only the sons of Levi.
You see it was they who had defiled the nation by robbing the Lord, for they were spending the tithe on themselves and neglecting the alien, orphan and widow. Indeed, the all to familiar verse 9 is not saying that the whole nation is robbing God; rather the priests were robbing not only God but all of Israel as well! For in as much as they neglected the alien, orphan and widow, they brought a curse on the whole nation effectively robbing them of the blessing of God.

Remember, only the third-year tithe went into the storehouse. Therefore, it is only that portion of the three-year cycle to which the Lord is referring: the portion over which the priest held responsibility. How ironic that the passage of scripture so widely used to validate and impose the practice of tithing is actually speaking against those who collect them!

And What of Abraham?
There is also the matter of Abraham, the father of faith, who is said to have instituted the concept of tithing in his giving 10% of war spoils to Melchizedek, with the New Testament proof text for this argument being the discourse in Hebrews chapter 7. But what truly is the point of this passage? Is it really saying that, since Abraham paid tithes we should also? Remember, the writer of Hebrews is arguing in favor of a new covenant and priesthood that does away with the old. Would it make sense then to reinvigorate practices under the old covenant when the purpose was to substantiate the replacing of the old with the new? Indeed, an unfiltered reading will support the fact that the writer is effectively invalidating the old covenant, with its associated practices, by showing that Abraham, acting as the representative of all who believe, has tithed once and for all - for Levi, even for you and I!

Unfortunately, the somewhat ambiguous nature of the Hebrews passage, gives rise to debate and speculation. And though most scholars agree that Abraham was not intentionally tithing since the law was more than 500 years distant, there is simply not enough information to establish doctrine either way. Historical records indicate that the practice of sharing a percentage of the spoil with spiritual figureheads was customary in Sumerian culture - a culture in which Abram was immersed. Still, there is no way to mount a conclusive argument. What we do know is clearly articulated in Deuteronomy when God instituted the practice throughout Israel. Beyond that we are simply exercising our opinion.

Conclusion
"So then brother," you may now be asking, "what is the Lord's will concerning tithes and offerings?" What an excellent question, with such a simple answer.

Remember, the tithe was a mandate imposed upon a people who did not have the Spirit of God dwelling inside them. They required a Law written in stone, for their hearts, not as yet transformed, were incapable of having the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus written on them. We, having been indwelt by the Spirit of Christ, have no need for the Law. Rather, we walk in His life and we give as liberally as we wish. As our dear brother Paul has said in 2 Corinthians 9:7,

"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Am I then saying that tithing is not a New Testament principle? Absolutely!
However, even if it were, the modern Christian paradigm regarding its purpose and practice would still be grossly errant. Simply put, the tithe was always for the people: be they tither, alien, orphan or widow. So then what has God revealed as His nature and intention in this matter? First, that we should feel free to enjoy the blessings of the Lord and celebrate Him according to our abundance. Second, that there should be no poor or needy amongst us for the Lord has blessed us that we might be a blessing.

Remember, the law was crucified in Christ Jesus, and He has become the end of the law for all who believe. We are, therefore, no longer constrained or directed by a set of rules, but by His Spirit. And since the Spirit of Christ dwells within us we no longer need an earthly law to direct our generosity. Rather, we walk by His Spirit, giving as He provides and directs, thereby fulfilling the law, not by our adherence to it, but by our living of it.

Beloved, there is much more to consider with regard to this matter but this is a good stopping point to allow for study, prayer and meditation. Next month we will consider the questions of "Why?" and "How?" the doctrine of tithing has become so prevelant in modern Christianity.
 
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the clergy system

The Clergy System

W. Carl Ketcherside



No class or order of men that ever appeared on earth have obtained so much influence, or acquired so complete an ascendancy over the human mind, as the clergy. The Christian clergy have exercised, for about fifteen hundred years, a sovereign dominion over the Bible, the consciences, and the religious sentiments of all nations professing Christianity. - Alexander Campbell

In this article I am going to discuss what I believe to be one of the gravest errors into which the religious world has ever fallen. So widespread has it become that it will be virtually impossible to ever overcome it. So subtle is its encroachment that even those who deny being guilty of it are nonetheless victims of its malignant influence.

Historians search in vain for the date of its birth, and analysts are just as puzzled about the motivation which foisted it upon an unsuspecting world. Everyone is agreed that once it was not a part of God's revelation or purpose, yet it was suddenly on the scene exercising a baleful influence and claiming divine sanction for its existence, intruding itself as an interloper into the vocabulary of those who proudly claimed to speak where the Bible speaks, and to remain silent where it was silent.

I refer to the rise of the clergy system with its unwarranted and unscriptural distinction between "clergy" and "laity." Never has there been a more serious imposition upon the kingdom of heaven, and never another more widely accepted. How did "the clergy" originate to first usurp the rights and privileges of all the saints, and then to claim their prerogatives as a divine right? Some assign he beginning, which ultimately resulted in "a universal father", a papa, or pope, to the need for a strong voice to sound out the position of orthodoxy in a time of schism and heresy.

Others ascribe it to the overweening ambition of aspiring men to stand between their fellows and God, and exercise a mediatorial office because of a fancied superior knowledge or life. Still others think the seed was planted in soil fertilized by political alliance with the church, making it possible for the secular ruler to control the destinies of a people by elevating men to hierarchical prominence in the spiritual structure.

Whatever its origin it became so powerful that, almost without exception, it became "the way of life" for religious organizations, and in the case of one, the Roman party, it became "the church" itself, to the exclusion of other communicants who bore the tax burden and picked up the tab for its maintenance. So much a part of the thought processes of our generation has it become that even those who seek to offset it are tricked into using its vocabulary, and parroting its specialized jargon.

A good example is found in the book Body Life by Ray C. Stedman. The theme of the little volume is "to search out from the Scripture the nature and function of true Christianity and thus to recover the dynamic of early Christianity." The subtitle of the book is, "The church comes alive." Yet, in the Foreword, Bill Graham writes, "The Peninsula Bible Church began with only five laymen." And Stedman speaks of meeting "pastors and concerned laymen." He says a lot of fine things from which all of us could profit, but when he talks of "the ministry of the laity" as something separate and apart, he employs "the speech of Ashdod." There were pastors in the primitive community of saints but they were also a part of the laos, the people of God.

Perhaps, as we shall later point out, there is nothing seriously wrong with the mere words clergy and laity. It is the creating of a distinction between them which is so fraught with danger. The fact is that all of God's clergy are laity, and all of God's laity are clergy. Every child of God is a priest. Every child of God is a minister. Every disciple of Jesus has entered the ministry. The word of God knows nothing of a disciple who is not a minister. So long as we pay empty lipservice to this concept while practicing something which is exactly the opposite, we are hypocritical and acting out a sham.

Certainly those who justify their separate existence from the rest of the religious realm upon the ground that they represent a movement to restore the primitive order, ought to restore first of all the divinely revealed concept of the ministry of the saints, seeing that it was the gradual renunciation of this which resulted in the multiplication of parties from the hoary "mother of sects" upon the banks of the muddy Tiber, to the latest little group following a self-proclaimed member of the "reverend clergy."

Yet, my brethren, in spite of their anguished protestations to the contrary, betray themselves in both speech and writing. Frequently, I sit in meetings of brethren, where a speaker will talk about how he involved "his laymen" in a certain project. A Roman Catholic prelate could not have said it better. The patronizing clerical tone in which one speaks of "my laymen" or "my elders" shows how much closer we are to Rome than to Jerusalem.

Before the precious blood of the Lamb wiped out distinctions and removed all thought of caste among those who are in him, God had a special clergy. Then the tribe of Levi stepped forward in answer to the call of Moses at a time of grave crisis, the members of that tribe were elevated to the status of a professional priesthood. They were separated from the people (the laity) in whose behalf they were to come before God with sacrifices and offerings, and in ritual observance. The tribe of Levi found their inheritance (kleros, clergy) not in the land with the people (laos, laity) but in the direct service of God.

As priests of God the members of this tribe could perform certain functions which were forbidden to others under the penalty of death. They could touch holy things which others were not permitted to touch. "At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi, to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to him, and to give the blessing in his name to this day. That is why the Levites have no portion or inheritance with their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God promised them" (Deuteronomy 10.8,9).

This is very clear and one need not be too astute to observe that under the Mosaic economy a select group was set apart from the rest of God's people and ordained to officiate and minister unto God. It was the exclusive right of the priests to bear the sacred ark. They intoned the regulation blessing over the heads of the people in the name of God. The people were barred from encroaching upon or entering the sacred precincts. They dared not touch a piece of the hallowed furniture.

The priests wore a special garb, a robe or tunic, girded with a special sash, and topped off with a tall head-dress. No one outside the priesthood was allowed to wear this distinctive attire and any person who did so would suffer death for impersonating a priest. The priest was a mediator. He stood between the people and God. Men approached God only through other men who were empowered with sacerdotal authority. "If any one of the common people sins unwittingly in doing any one of the things which the Lord commanded not to be done, and is guilty, when the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat . . .and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven."

A special priesthood must draw its support from those for whom it officiates. The priests cannot farm or make a living. They must busy themselves with affairs of the temple. They must keep the ritual program moving. Those who constituted the priestly clergy could not farm, and those who farmed could not be a priestly clergy. So the people (laity) had to support the priesthood with their tithes and offerings.

"The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no holding or patrimony in Israel; they shall eat the food-offerings of the Lord, their patrimony. They shall have no patrimony among their fellow-countrymen; the Lord is their patrimony as he promised them." (Deuteronomy 18.1,2). The priest was entitled to demand the part coming to him before the contributor could use anything for himself. "This shall be the customary due of the priests from those of the people who offer sacrifice, whether a bull or a sheep; the shoulders, the cheeks, and the stomach shall be given to the priest. You shall give him also the first fruits of your corn, and new wine and oil, and the first fleeces at the shearing of your flocks. For it was he whom the Lord your God chose from all your tribes to attend to the Lord and to minister in the name of the Lord, both he and his sons for all time."

There can be no question but what, under the fleshly covenant, written and engraven in stones, God created a clerical caste separate and apart from the people. Members of this group encamped between the body of Israel and the sanctuary where God dwelt. They wore beautiful robes which distinguished the wearers from the remainder of the people of God. They performed functions forbidden to those who had not been anointed.

THE GREAT CHANGE

But the cross of Christ forever wiped out all such distinctions. They were abolished and done away when the legal custodian delivered us to Jesus, and faith in God's son superseded that righteousness which is by deeds of the law. Every child of God is now a priest. Every person on this whole earth who has been purged and purified by the blood of Jesus is a priest of God. "To him who loves us and freed us from our sins with his life's blood, who made us a royal house, to serve as the priests of his god and Father . . to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen." (Revelation 1.6).

The old covenant, being a covenant of the flesh, with its seal of circumcision in the flesh, made its appeal to the fleshly nature. It provided pomp and pageantry, ritual and liturgy, gold and glitter. It had its visible temple of wood and stone called "the house of God." But this whole arrangement was temporary. "All this is symbolic, pointing to the present time. The offerings and sacrifices there prescribed cannot give the worshiper inward perfection. It is only a matter of food and drink and various rites of cleansing--outward ordinances in force until the time of reformation" (Hebrews 9.10).

The time of reformation came! The age of which the prophets spoke was ushered in. The new covenant, written not with ink, but with the Holy Spirit upon tablets of the heart became a reality. We were no longer minors in virtual slavery. The term was completed. God sent his own Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to purchase freedom for the subjects of the law, in order that we might attain the status of sons.

But what happened? Like the trembling, cowering multitude at the foot of Horeb, when the first covenant was given, we did not want God speaking to us. We did not want to become a family with its intimacy. We were afraid to be sons. We rebelled at the idea of a Father. We wanted a God afar off, a remote Deity to be worshipped in an institution and by a prescribed ritual. One can be a member of an organization, pay his dues and attend the meetings, without ever really becoming involved. His contribution pays for the benefits which the institution is created to provided.

So we wanted worship to be something done for us, a performance prepared in advance and carried out by trained actors whom we could watch and applaud and appreciate for their skills. We did not want worship to be the crying out of our own hearts for help or the sobbing on the shoulder of our elder brother, who endured all things as we do and was yet without sin. We craved an "order of worship" printed in a program and appropriate to holy days and holy seasons. And the flesh triumphed over the Spirit. We got what we wanted and we can to through it for an hour once per week wholly detached in life and concern. Once more the startling questions of yesterday come echoing through the empty, dusty, cobweb-strung hearts which are no longer being led by the Spirit. "Can it be that you are so stupid? You started with the spiritual; do you now look to the material to make you perfect? Have all of your great experiences been in vain--if vain indeed they should be? (Galatians 3.3,4). We have not progressed in the Spirit. We have retrogressed to the law. We have gone back to the weak and beggarly elements. We are acting as if the death of Jesus was a myth and the cross at Calvary a fantasy. We are not the family for which God planned. We are an organization of our own design, coming before God with a mixture of Judaistic and cultural forms which we have blended together and call worship. There is a veil over our eyes in the reading of the Word.

Let me not be vague. Let me not hint at what I mean. We have refused to believe that the God who created heaven and earth and all that is in them does not dwell in temples made with hands, and neither is worshipped with men's hands as though he needed anything. So we continue to spend billions of dollars every year to prove that Paul was mistaken when he stood among the pagan shrines at Athens. One of the strengths of primitive saints was that they had no shrines like the pagan world. Their God could not be localized, confined or shut up, so that men would have to visit him as they did the sick. And now we dedicate buildings to God exactly as Solomon did in the days of spiritual adolescence, and men stand up and intone in sepulchral tones, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go up to the house of God."

We have refused to learn that Jesus did away with holy places and holy days. We are the temple of God. We are the house of God. Men can no longer dedicate material structures to God who gives us life and breath and all things. We do not go up to the house of God. It is the house of God which does the going. The only sanctuary God has on this earth is a consecrated human heart. He recognizes no place as a sanctuary or holy place because it has stained glass windows, wall-to-wall rug of institutional quality as the salesman stressed in his pitch to the building committee, or pews to match the pulpit furniture. I am the house of God when I am in a library, or the bathroom, or the shopping center. And if I am not the sanctuary of God there I will not be when I am in a meetinghouse designed for my air-conditioned comfort.

Such a place is only holy when it is filled with sanctuaries, with living, loving, throbbing, pulsating bodies of the ransomed and redeemed, sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, brothers and sisters rejoicing together, weeping together, sharing pain and tribulation, and joy and peace. When we build a "house of worship" and have a dedication ceremony, call it temple or what you will, we must think of a clergyman to conduct the ritual. A temple requires a special priest to minister. The pulpit becomes a stage for a performance in our behalf and the pews become a grandstand from which spectators view the performance.

When people find the Lord Jesus in a real and vital way, and want to live very close to him and experience the fellowship of others in praise that is spontaneous and unrehearsed they find a pall and chill when forced to sit through a dramatization with a robed choir and an actor. The praise of God is not intended to be a spectator sport but the pouring out of one's own heart. A great many young people in the university, who come on the first day of the week, often to sit on the floor for lack of chairs, sing together, share together, sit down at the table of the Lord together, weep over their sins and comfort one another while holding hands, find themselves when they go back home in an atmosphere so detached from real life they can hardly stand it.

I hold no brief for the inappropriate jokes and undue levity which pulpit clowns feel they must indulge in to keep the folks happy and entertained. Many times these are a cover-up for superficial knowledge of the Word of God and serve to fill in the borrowed sermon outlines from the latest book supplying such predigested food to harried preachers who must meet the needs of every other person in the community while neglecting their own families. There is such a thing as quiet dignity. There is a peace that passes understanding. But I deplore the cold, sluggish and frigid approach which Alexander Campbell described as "sacred gloom, holy melancholy and pious indolence." The calm of the cemetery hardly appeals to one who has been born from above.

In Christ Jesus our Lord there is not one item of praise or spiritual performance which is the exclusive right of a particular class. Any child of God who is qualified may serve in carrying out the will of God. The relegation of that which belongs to all to a special coterie of saints is a step away from the simplicity in Christ and God's purpose.

No one is an authorized baptizer by virtue of position or office. Any Christian has the right to baptize a person who confesses his faith in Jesus as the Messiah and God's Son. This is not a clerical act. It is not the prerogative of an "ordained minister" for every child of God is a minister of God, and ordained of God to fulfill the divine will. We should encourage Christian fathers to immerse members of their own families, or those who lead others to the Lamb of God to immerse them. What is wrong with allowing a high school student who has been instrumental in the conversion of one of his schoolmates to baptize that one in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

In open forums the question of performing marriage ceremonies is always raised as an exception to what I have stated. But one who performs marriages does so as a representative of the state, not of the community of the saints. It is a license from the state which permits him to serve in this capacity and the qualification for officiating is set by the constitution of the state, and not provided within the framework of God's revelation.

If "the minister" is jealous and afraid that others will steal his glory, he is a living example of one who is disqualified by temperament and understanding to fulfill the role which he assumes. The purpose of special functionaries is to "train or adapt the saints to carry out the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ." The body grows through that which every joint supplies. The best leader is not one who does everything but one who can get others to do it.

No one has an exclusive right to engage in teaching, exhorting or admonishing the saints. Why should the talents of scores of brethren be stifled and sublimated so that one can grow by exercise? Shall we bind all of the members of the body but one, and let them become paralyzed through disuse? Are not all of the bodily members expected to perform the work for which they are gifted by the Lord? Are any gifts of God useless and worthless?

We owe a tremendous debt to men like Elton Trueblood, the eminent Quaker philosopher of Richmond, Indiana, who has written some of the most startling and revolutionary material on the subject of "ministry" in our generation. It is startling because so little of it is heard from other sources, and revolutionary because it is an honest attempt to restore the concept of ministry as it was in the primitive company of the redeemed.

No one can seriously read the chapter "A Practical Starting Point" in the book The Incendiary Fellowship, or the one titled "The Abolition of the Laity" in the book The Yoke of Christ without being made to think about the great chasm between what we practice and what God purposed. Unfortunately, we suffer from two evils. Many of our brethren never read anything that is spiritually enlightening. They consider that is the "duty" of the preacher. And many of those who read never do so seriously, with a view to making any real change in their thinking. It is not likely that a Quaker philosopher will change those who refuse to be changed by apostolic disclosures.

We are tricked into thinking that we are free from "the clergy system" because we have been clever enough to employ other terms to designate our clergy. But being a clergyman has little to do whether "the common people" designate one by such titles as "Reverend" or "Right Reverend." One who appropriates to himself by reason of his status, the regulation and conduct of that worship which is the right of all, is a clergyman whether he admits it or not.

The pagan business world looks upon "the minister" of a church as identical in status with the parish priest. Both can get reduced fares for the clergy upon airlines. Both can carry a "clergy certificate" for purchase of tickets on bus lines. In some places they will both receive cards admitting them to professional sporting events upon mere payment of the sales tax. In other places they receive a "clerical discount" when they purchase a suit or topcoat. A lot of those who inveigh against "the clergy system" from the pulpit on Sunday accept a "clergy discount" on Monday, thus demonstrating anew that where a man's treasure is there will his heart be also.

It may have been such casuistry which caused Edward Gibbon in his well-known literary work Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to write, "To a philosophic eye the vices of the clergy are far less dangerous than their virtues." It is easy to dismiss this by reminding ourselves that Gibbon was a skeptic, but it might help if we earnestly weighed the observation.

Not only the world which surrounds our little oasis regards us as the "the clergy" when we appropriate the function of preaching, and contract to proclaim the word at so much per annum with vacation time specified. The saints who are taxed to support the organizational complex feel the same way. It is "the minister" who has his name on the signboard out front and upon the official letterhead. He has an office in the consecrated structure, and often a secretary who alone can admit you to the inner sanctum. The very world we have created for ourselves sets him apart.

In justification for the brethren who hoped to devote their efforts to proclaiming the message of God's grace, I must point out that they are upset and frustrated because they have been caught in the gears of the institutional meat-grinder or are constantly being run through the congregational corn-sheller. In their hearts they believe in the priesthood of all believers and in the ministry of all the saints. Secretly, I think a lot of them resent being put on the stage to say "the right things" in "the proper way" which means to employ the kind of religious jargon and double-talk which opposes sin without making it lose it respectability.

But "The System" operates to produce professionals, and a lethargic and indolent people, good-hearted though they may be, would rather hire someone whom they can own to "conduct worship," whatever that may mean, than to worship in Spirit and in truth. And "The System" operates only to perpetuate itself just as does the political system or the economic system. And it makes no difference who is elected or selected. The System does not change.

"The System" uses men so long as they follow its unwritten creed and conform to its traditional method. But men are expendable. They are good only so long as they produce. Once they rebel at being owned and made flunkies they will be sent packing and reduced to a pulp, made to feel that they are deserters, renegades and apostates. And all of this will be done by good people who think they are following the will of Jesus. So it becomes easier just to play ball than to fight the team, the umpires and the fans in the stands. I say it is easier, but deep inside it corrodes the soul.
 
Member
Jiggyfly ... That was a very good post . Long , but good . I have always had a hard time preaching the tithe as a law . I believe that if you tithe grudgingly , then it's best not to do it at all . God will love you either way . I have seen many preachers go too far out on a limb to build huge churches that they cannot afford , and then teach people that God will not bless them unless they keep supplying the increase . I also have seen church members , suffering in financial needs to the point of not buying food , or having electric in their homes . While this is happening , the church they tithed to in good times , all of the sudden turns their back on them in their times of trouble ! This to me is one of the most disturbing things I have seen in some churches .
Jesus is the Lord over the tithe , and he will direct you in you're way . I always tell new believers that I shepherd to not worry about tithing if it is distracting them from learning about the Lord . This is just my practice , and opinions on how I do things in my responsibility to Gods work for my life .
Thanks for taking the time to research , and post you're thoughts Jiggyfly . In all you do , may you find the peace of God in you're life . Brother
 
Member
BROTHERSINARMST4G said:
Jesus is the Lord over the tithe ,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this tends to assume that the tithe is still something He desires of His people. I have no problem with people tithing because they choose it for themselves, but those who say that it's required today (not you necessarily), they have a problem on their hands. No man was ever authorized by God to place the burden of any portion of the Law on anyone else's shoulder.

I always tell new believers that I shepherd to not worry about tithing if it is distracting them from learning about the Lord . This is just my practice , and opinions on how I do things in my responsibility to Gods work for my life .
My take on this is that it would be far better to teach them what the tithe actually was, and let them choose from that basis where they will go. The tithe was a tenth of all the INCREASE of the fields and herds, not money. If we are to be concerned about the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothing but the TRUTH, then we should be teaching exactly what is shown to us in the word of God rather than the traditions of men, which includes gross misrepresentation of the tithe and what it was used for, which was the meeting of needs, not real estate and buildings.

BTW
 
Member
This is how I understand it to be:
God wants us to give of ourselves (time, money, talent), they are ways to keep our focus off of ourselves and also to depend on God's provision.
It's true that God does not want everyone's money. But please remember the stories in the NT from Paul, where he was entrusted with gifts and offerings (of money) to take to the temple in Jerusalem from places like Macedonia. Read 2 Cor 8-9 for more on that.
What God wants is our desire to give, and to give what we are able to. The blessing comes from what we earnestly and eagerly want to give, not from the numbers on the check.
I tithe- and it's because I asked God what ways I could progress His kingdom and bring Him glory. This is one of them.
I know people in my church who do not tithe. They don't think they can afford it. They will come to trust in the Lord completely on their own, with God; not from rebuke from me. And I also understand that God does not want their offering if they give it grudgingly.
Does God need our money? Please! Jesus was able to pay his taxes from a coin in a fish's mouth. It has nothing to do with that at all. It has to do with the blessing from God to us. He allows us to be a part of the work in the Kingdom. He didn't have to do that either. And yet, when we are obedient, the blessing is phenomenal, and I don't mean material blessings- but the whole package: peace, contentment, joy, love, feelings of usefulness.... it goes on.
Please don't count tithes and offerings out of your life. If you're not ready to do it, don't. But one day you might be. And if people in your life have decided to trust God in this way, please don't discourage them.
 
Member
This is how I understand it to be:
God wants us to give of ourselves (time, money, talent), they are ways to keep our focus off of ourselves and also to depend on God's provision.
It's true that God does not want everyone's money. But please remember the stories in the NT from Paul, where he was entrusted with gifts and offerings (of money) to take to the temple in Jerusalem from places like Macedonia. Read 2 Cor 8-9 for more on that.
What God wants is our desire to give, and to give what we are able to. The blessing comes from what we earnestly and eagerly want to give, not from the numbers on the check.
I tithe- and it's because I asked God what ways I could progress His kingdom and bring Him glory. This is one of them.
I know people in my church who do not tithe. They don't think they can afford it. They will come to trust in the Lord completely on their own, with God; not from rebuke from me. And I also understand that God does not want their offering if they give it grudgingly.
Does God need our money? Please! Jesus was able to pay his taxes from a coin in a fish's mouth. It has nothing to do with that at all. It has to do with the blessing from God to us. He allows us to be a part of the work in the Kingdom. He didn't have to do that either. And yet, when we are obedient, the blessing is phenomenal, and I don't mean material blessings- but the whole package: peace, contentment, joy, love, feelings of usefulness.... it goes on.
Please don't count tithes and offerings out of your life. If you're not ready to do it, don't. But one day you might be. And if people in your life have decided to trust God in this way, please don't discourage them.
The problem with the issue of tithing is most people are ignorant or deceived of or about the principles of the tithe. It has been taught wrong and used to deceive God's people. It is used by man-made religious institutions to finance their own carnal religious agendas. You do not please God by tithing.

Hebrews 8:7-13
7*If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. 8*But God himself found fault with the old one when he said:
“The day will come, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
9* This covenant will not be like the one
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.

They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them, says the Lord.
10* But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds
so they will understand them,
and I will write them on their hearts
so they will obey them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11* And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need to teach their family,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will already know me.
12* And I will forgive their wrongdoings,
and I will never again remember their sins.”*
13*When God speaks of a new covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and ready to be put aside.

2Corinthians 9:6-8
6*Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7*You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8*And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

The acts or principles of tithing that are commonly taught by many today are fabricated lies that twist the scriptures to gain credibility. Jesus is building His Church, do you think He would use lies to do it????
 
Member
I would encourage anyone and everyone to read "the Blessed Life" by Robert Morris (i think that's the author, I know that's the name of the book).
the tithe is the ultimate test of a believer. It's easy to say "I give my all to the Lord", but not want to let go of the first tenth of what He has given you. The tithe redeems the rest. the tithe keeps the devourer from the rest. the tithe shows that you trust God More than you do your money. If I say, "I believe in God, I believe He will take care of me, I trust in Him" and am afraid to give Him a tenth, I don't REALLY believe and trust in Him, that He will take care of me. It is the law of giving...if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly, if you sow generously, you will reap generously...pressed down, shaken and running over. If you believe the Bible and believe God is true to His promises than you will see that it's true. And it's not about giving to get. It's just a bonus of giving. He will reward those who are faithful with a little, with much. And those who don't give any and believe the master isn't entitled to it, He will take from them and give to the one who has been faithful.
I believe God must do a work in your heart, before you can cheerfully tithe and give. And you have to desire for Him to do that work in your heart, then He will. I agree God will still love you and it doesn't mean you're lost if you don't....BUT it will make a MAJOR difference in the life you have and the faith you possess when you are a tither. And if you cannot give cheerfully....ask God to help you give cheerfully, ask Him to make a change in you, so you may cheerfully give to Him because you know He loves a cheerful giver...and ask Him to show you the truth about the tithe.
you have to have faith...in Him, you have to believe He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
It's all in how much you believe in Him...and how much you love and trust Him.
 
Member
I would encourage anyone and everyone to read "the Blessed Life" by Robert Morris (i think that's the author, I know that's the name of the book).
the tithe is the ultimate test of a believer. It's easy to say "I give my all to the Lord", but not want to let go of the first tenth of what He has given you. The tithe redeems the rest. the tithe keeps the devourer from the rest. the tithe shows that you trust God More than you do your money. If I say, "I believe in God, I believe He will take care of me, I trust in Him" and am afraid to give Him a tenth, I don't REALLY believe and trust in Him, that He will take care of me. It is the law of giving...if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly, if you sow generously, you will reap generously...pressed down, shaken and running over. If you believe the Bible and believe God is true to His promises than you will see that it's true. And it's not about giving to get. It's just a bonus of giving. He will reward those who are faithful with a little, with much. And those who don't give any and believe the master isn't entitled to it, He will take from them and give to the one who has been faithful.
I believe God must do a work in your heart, before you can cheerfully tithe and give. And you have to desire for Him to do that work in your heart, then He will. I agree God will still love you and it doesn't mean you're lost if you don't....BUT it will make a MAJOR difference in the life you have and the faith you possess when you are a tither. And if you cannot give cheerfully....ask God to help you give cheerfully, ask Him to make a change in you, so you may cheerfully give to Him because you know He loves a cheerful giver...and ask Him to show you the truth about the tithe.
you have to have faith...in Him, you have to believe He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
It's all in how much you believe in Him...and how much you love and trust Him.

ATTENTION!!!! we are not addressing giving we are only addressing the tithe.


2Corinthians 9:6-8
6*Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7*You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8*And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

Show me one place that tithe is mentioned here. It is not, nor is it mentioned as instruction anywhere concerning the new covenant. This is one of the lies I was referring to in my last post.
 
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Member
The problem with the issue of tithing is most people are ignorant or deceived of or about the principles of the tithe. It has been taught wrong and used to deceive God's people. It is used by man-made religious institutions to finance their own carnal religious agendas. You do not please God by tithing.

Hebrews 8:7-13
7*If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. 8*But God himself found fault with the old one when he said:
“The day will come, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
9* This covenant will not be like the one
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.

They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them, says the Lord.
10* But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds
so they will understand them,
and I will write them on their hearts
so they will obey them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11* And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need to teach their family,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will already know me.
12* And I will forgive their wrongdoings,
and I will never again remember their sins.”*
13*When God speaks of a new covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and ready to be put aside.

2Corinthians 9:6-8
6*Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7*You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8*And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

The acts or principles of tithing that are commonly taught by many today are fabricated lies that twist the scriptures to gain credibility. Jesus is building His Church, do you think He would use lies to do it????
jiggy, I read what you have posted here and I do agree with you on if people are grudgingly paying tithes they should not do it.They would just be doing it in vain then.I feel though that if you have a job it was only because God allowed you to have it,so why wouldn't people want to give back unto God? I know that tithing is just a small part.I also know you have to be in the right Spirit about it when doing it.But don't people realize all is God's anyway? Don't they realize that they're privilaged to even have that income?Especially in this day and time.I feel people just want to take and take from God,but they never want to do anything in return.See what I'm saying?
 
Member
[COLOR="Red"]ATTENTION!!!![/COLOR] we are not addressing giving we are only addressing the tithe.

2Corinthians 9:6-8
6*Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7*You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8*And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

Show me one place that tithe is mentioned here. It is not, nor is it mentioned as instruction anywhere concerning the new covenant. This is one of the lies I was referring to in my last post.
granted. I guess I think of both tithe and offering as giving. I don't believe the new testament made the old testament null and void. Yes, we are no longer under the law but under grace, but under grace should we not go beyond the law?
Matthew 5:17-48 (King James Version)

17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.



*seems to me under grace, there is more.

Jesus ensured salvation to all through faith instead of the law...that is what he did. I do not believe the new testament wiped out the old, made it different, yes...expounded on it, but not took it away and that doesn't make it any less grace.
 
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Member
jiggy, I read what you have posted here and I do agree with you on if people are grudgingly paying tithes they should not do it.They would just be doing it in vain then.I feel though that if you have a job it was only because God allowed you to have it,so why wouldn't people want to give back unto God? I know that tithing is just a small part.I also know you have to be in the right Spirit about it when doing it.But don't people realize all is God's anyway? Don't they realize that they're privilaged to even have that income?Especially in this day and time.I feel people just want to take and take from God,but they never want to do anything in return.See what I'm saying?
You see you are confusing tithe with giving. I repeat the issue is not giving it is tithing and under the new covenant no one, no not even one is obligated by God to tithe.
 
Member
granted. I guess I think of both tithe and offering as giving. I don't believe the new testament made the old testament null and void. Yes, we are no longer under the law but under grace, but under grace should we not go beyond the law?
Matthew 5:17-48 (King James Version)

17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.



*seems to me under grace, there is more.

Jesus ensured salvation to all through faith instead of the law...that is what he did. I do not believe the new testament wiped out the old, made it different, yes...expounded on it, but not took it away and that doesn't make it any less grace.
Do you understand what a covenant is?

Go back and read Matthew 5:17&18 again, in verse 17 Jesus said He came to do what? In verse 18 He said in the law would stand until what?

Read Hebrews 8, it is very plain and simple. No one can please Father by practicing old covenant worship any longer, no, not even the Jews.
 
Member
You see you are confusing tithe with giving. I repeat the issue is not giving it is tithing and under the new covenant no one, no not even one is obligated by God to tithe.
I thought we were suppose to tithe,then anything we gave after that would be considered giving.But you know, only God knows our hearts intent.Thanks jiggy.May God Bless You.
 
Member
Am suprised to know that people still debate and Rethink about tithing....

As for me i go by the word of God that we should tithe and my stand is clear in the previous posts concerning the same.....

There is no room for Rethinking.....rather i stand firm on what i had earlier said months back.
 
Member
Am suprised to know that people still debate and Rethink about tithing....

As for me i go by the word of God that we should tithe and my stand is clear in the previous posts concerning the same.....

There is no room for Rethinking.....rather i stand firm on what i had earlier said months back.
Yeah I struggled with it too, religion is a powerful stronghold, but it can be broken. I really don't believe you have searched the scriptures yourself but rather you are just following what someone has told you concerning the tithe. I know you said you were not going to budge but I will try one more time. Please read the following scriptures.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29
22*“You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. 23*Bring this tithe to the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored, and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to fear the Lord your God. 24*Now the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored might be a long way from your home. 25*If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds and take the money to the place the Lord your God chooses. 26*When you arrive, use the money to buy anything you want—an ox, a sheep, some wine, or beer. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your household. 27*And do not forget the Levites in your community, for they have no inheritance as you do.
28*“At the end of every third year bring the tithe of all your crops and store it in the nearest town. 29*Give it to the Levites, who have no inheritance among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.


This is the law or regulations on tithing passed down from God to Moses. Is this how you tithe??? Do you come to church on Sunday and eat your tithe before the Lord?? Do you sell your tithe and stop by the Piggly Wiggly on the way to church and pick up a 12 pack of Budweiser and drink it in the presence of the Lord?? If this is not how you tithe then your way of tithing is not scripturally correct.

Now, you said there is no room for you to rethink so lets just look at something for a minute.

Many times throughout the new testament scriptures we see the word "repent". A very well known verse of scripture is found in the gospel of John. John the baptist preached "repent for the kingdom of God is at hand".
In many places where we see the translation "repent" the Greek word in the original text is metanoeo and it means to change the way you think. So with that said hopefully you can humble yourself and at least examine what you have been taught with/against the scriptures for yourself.

Religious tradition is a terrible master. The strongest deception is the one closest to the truth. But only Truth sets us free so guess what false teaching and tradition does. The English word "religion" comes from the Latin word religio meaning "to bind again".

"No room to rethink" nah, if I was you I would make room.
 
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Do you understand what a covenant is?

Go back and read Matthew 5:17&18 again, in verse 17 Jesus said He came to do what? In verse 18 He said in the law would stand until what?

Read Hebrews 8, it is very plain and simple. No one can please Father by practicing old covenant worship any longer, no, not even the Jews.
Yes, I do understand what a covenant is. And in rereading the scriptures I have posted it says clearly Jesus came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. And it says --Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. It says two different things that point to it not being passed from the law.....till heaven and earth pass (and that's not happened) and till ALL be fulfilled (all the prophecies are not fulfilled yet). So, not one jot is passed from the law.
Yes, we are under grace through faith and NO, through the law and without faith you cannot please the Father. But that doesn't mean the old testament and all in it are passed away, null and void. Yes, if you don't tithe, God will still love and forgive you. Yes, if you kill someone, He will still love and forgive you and save you. Yes if you divorce for all reasons, commit adultery, whatever, He will still love, forgive and save you, but do you think that if you threw the 10 commandments and all the old testament away, He would be pleased?
And whether you like it or not, we are still under some old covenant curses. We still all are cursed to die. That without a doubt has not passed away. Sure you are not bound by the old covenant, you can still be forgiven and saved through His grace, by faith, not through sacrifices, but don't you think because we are under grace we should WANT to exceed what is expected (not required) of us? And Jesus clearly states in those verses I posted that He does expect more out of us than what the old testament/covenant did.
You asked the question...."Do you come to church on Sunday and eat your tithe before the Lord??"
Yes, I do. My tithes and the tithes of my fellow believers pay for our church and allow the pastors of our church to spend their time seeking God and studying His word instead of working an outside job or resting up for that outside employment. And yes, I do eat meat at my church. My tithes pay for the meat, the true meat, that is brought to us on the appointed days and the days in between. Yes, my church does feed and feeds very well, the widows (of which I am now literally one), the ones who have no inheritance (the lost), the orphans (the fatherless...until they get saved) and the foreigners (after they become a child of the King and not of this world)...and yes we all eat very well and are satisfied. And Strengthened. And the Lord my God has blessed us in all our work.
Look at it again, all of it.
I used to believe like you...and truth be known, no, you are not required by law (because you are now under grace by faith) to tithe, or refrain from murder or anything else, but if you say ok...I killed such and such, because I am under grace not the law and it doesn't apply to me any more....does that please the Father? Jesus didn't take away the law...but added to it, not for our condemnation, but for our righteousness through Him. Now under grace and not the law instead of just not murdering someone...we shouldn't get angry...now, under grace, not the law, instead of just not committing adultery we shouldn't think about committing adultery. Now, under grace not the law, instead an eye for an eye, we are taught to give more and forgive more. Now instead of love your neighbors and hate your enemies...you are under grace so now you have to love your enemies too. Not because of law and rule and force and requirement of salvation, but we as Christians saved by grace through faith, more is expected of us (at least that's how I am reading those scriptures) and we should WANT to do more. All things are lawful (under grace) but not all things are expedient or profitable. that's in I Cor.
But you will believe the way you will and I will tithe and feel that though I don't HAVE to by law, I am expected to through grace. And that is it.
God Bless You
 
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Yes, I do understand what a covenant is
Sorry but I don't believe you. Your previous posts say otherwise.


I used to believe like you...and truth be known,
Again I don't believe you. Do you know what I believe? I kinda doubt it.


Regardless of what you believe or what I believe, I think were done here.
 
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How ironic that the passage of scripture so widely used to validate and impose the practice of tithing is actually speaking against those who collect them!
Simply put, the tithe was always for the people: be they tither, alien, orphan or widow.

So then what has God revealed as His nature and intention in this matter?

First, that we should feel free to enjoy the blessings of the Lord and celebrate Him according to our abundance.

Second, that there should be no poor or needy amongst us for the Lord has blessed us that we might be a blessing.
Amen and amen. These statements are Historically (according to Jewish History) and Scripturally correct.


Thought I would add a thought since this subject of tithing, always reminds me of this...[quote from got questions.org]


"Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, "in the course of time" brought offerings to the Lord (Genesis 4:3). Without doubt, they were doing this because God had revealed it to them. Some question, “How were Cain and Abel supposed to know what to sacrifice?” The answer is that God must have instructed them. It is clear that the offering was to be a substitutionary atonement, because we read in Hebrews 11:4, "By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did." When Abel came for worship, it was by faith that he brought his offering, "fat portions from some of the first-born of his flock" (Genesis 4:4). The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, and it was accepted.

His brother Cain brought "some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord" (Genesis 4:3). But on Cain and his offering the Lord did not look with favor. We do not know how He expressed His rejection, but it was evident. In Jude’s epistle, verse 11, we read, "They have taken the way of Cain," referring to lawless men. This may mean that they, like Cain, disobediently devised their own ways of worship; they did not come by faith. Cain’s offering, while acceptable in his own eyes, was not acceptable to the Lord."


If this portion of scripture reveals anything, it is that, if we want to find favor with the Lord, we should be careful to inquire what offering will be pleasing to HIM. There are a lot of Cains in the religious world...
 
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