Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Tithe is Too Little

Steve received an email, asking, "Should we tithe or not?"

Here's my response:
My views are complicated because I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I'll summarize:

1. Jesus does not require a tithe, but everything-- Luke 14:33 "No one can be my disciple without surrendering all of their possessions."

2. Jesus doesn't request that money goes to churches but to the poor-- Luke 12:33-- "Sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven."

3. The early church received generous donations, which were distributed to the poor-- Acts 2:43-44, Acts 4:34-35

4. Some of the poor are teachers of God's word, and they deserve their livelihood for their work received-- Matthew 10:10; Galatians 6:6

5. Some of the poor are our own family, whom we have a responsibility to care for-- Mark 7; I Timothy 5:8

Thus, the Scripture seems to teach:
We should give money to the poor, first to our families, then to provide our teaching pastors a livelihood, then to the poor in the church, then to the poor out of the church. In reality, if we really hold to this, then we should have little money left over for unnecessary things.

I hope that helps.


Your Tithe Expert said...

I would like to add that tithing and giving are two different biblical concepts.

Tithing is a Mosaic Law commandment that was required of ancient Israel/Hebrews/Jews.

Biblical tithing ended with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Christians were NEVER commanded to tithe, and it is not part of New Testament Christianity.

In the Bible giving is a voluntary, spiritual act based on one's love for God and others.

Peace & Blessings!

LeeAnn said...

To the last comment: this commentator is a dispensationalist. -Dispensationalism is very western, human grid forced awkwardly onto the Bible. The Bible's origin is the Middle East. Western grids make black and white (all or nothing) what is otherwise gray. Not morally ambiguous, but in other worldview ways.

The principles of the OT apply to us, at least broadly. Jesus came to fulfill, not abolish the law. -Great ex. of a gray statement that westerners don't know how to embrace.

That said, I don't know how tithing fits, other than to say the obvious: not to muzzle the ox while it's treading grain. God loves a cheerful giver.

Your Tithe Expert said...

I'm not a dispensationalist. I do read and understand the Bible in its cultural, literary and historical context.

I'm also well aware of the origins of the Bible (Northern Africa/Egypt/Kemet).

Tithing is not a principle in and of itself. The principle behind tithing is to putting God first.

However, the Bible NEVER requires Christians to tithe as a means of putting God fist.

Peace & Blessings!