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  • ECT: Tithing: Is it Biblical?

    Tithing. Is it Biblical?

    I’m going to get right to the point. Tithing as we know it today, in the modern church, is not biblical. Giving, out of the goodness of your heart, is of course biblical, but this is not the same thing as tithing the way the churches expect you to tithe, nor the way the Israelites tithed before Jesus came.

    Churches teach that we should give 10% of our income to the church because the Israelites were commanded to do the same in the Old Testament. Not only is that 10% number incorrect, but even if it were correct, we are not under the law. And if we put ourselves under the law, by trying to obey even one command, then we are refusing the sacrifice of Christ who took on the curse of the law so that we can be free of it. As Christians we live by grace and love, not by law.

    Tithing in the Bible

    There are three kinds of tithing in the bible.

    1. The tithe to the Levites (Numbers 18:21-32)
    2. The festival tithe (Deuteronomy 12:5-19)
    3. Tithes to the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-30)

    The Tithe to the Levites

    When the Israelites entered the promised land, 11 of the 12 tribes received a piece of land as their inheritance. The 12th tribe, the Levites, who had the task of serving as priests for Israel, did not receive any land. This is why 10% of the produce of the land was to be given to the tribe of Levites, since they did not have their own. If a man wanted to give a monetary tithe instead, it had to be 12% not 10% (Leviticus 27:31). Furthermore, the tenth of each herd or flock was also to be given as a tithe.

    Also of note is that God commanded this tithe to be given to the Levites as a reward for the work they did in the tabernacle and for bearing the sins of the people (a job which Jesus assumed on the cross) (Numbers 18:21-23).

    The Festival Tithe

    God ordered feasts for the Israelites where they were to gather together in Jerusalem three times per year (For the feast of tabernacles, passover and the feast of weeks) and bring a tenth of their grain, their new wine, oil and the firstborn of the herds and flocks and rejoice before the Lord in celebration.

    If people were unable to make the journey or unable to carry their goods to the feast, they were permitted to sell their goods and use the money to buy for themselves whatever they desired to celebrate before the Lord. As part of this command they were also reminded to include the Levites in the celebration and allow them to partake in the tithe, because they did not have their own land to produce food with which to celebrate.

    So this is another 10% of the produce of the land, on top of the original 10% which was to be given to the Levites.

    Tithe to the Poor

    The third tithe was collected once every three years (and since tithe means 10% this amounted to 3.3% per year) and this was set aside for “the strangers, the fatherless, widows, and Levites living within the gates of the Israelites” so that they may eat and be satisfied. This tithe also came with a blessing from the Lord as a reward for giving the tithe.

    Summary

    Altogether, the tithes amounted to 23.3% of the goods produced from the land. 10% for the Levites, 10% for the three annual feasts, and 3.3% for the poor to celebrate once every three years.

    There are a few important points to note here.

    1. All three tithes were intended to be produce from the land and herds only, not monetary.
    2. The tithes were not given to God, but to people, for reward, celebration and charity.
    3. Most importantly, these commands were part of the law, which we are not under.

    Translating the Law to Modern Day

    If you want to try to obey the law, and substitute today’s pastors for Israelite Levites, then you need a farm. Then bring 10% of everything you grow on that farm to church on Sunday. If you can’t carry the fruits and veggies to church then you are permitted to sell it all and then give 12% not 10% of your income.

    Obviously, I am not suggesting you do this. I am making the point that tithing to your church is very different from what the Israelites did in the Old Testament.

    Tithes Were Never for God

    Secondly, tithes were never given to God, so the old argument that “you are stealing from God” if you do not give a tithe to the church is a lie, and if your pastor is still using that line, you need to call him on it. God has his own inheritance, which is his people. He does not need a tithe from our land or our wallets.

    We Are Not Under the Law


    The third point is by far the most important point here. Jesus fulfilled the law, which means we no longer live by it. Jesus is our priest now, not the Levites. He bore our sins on the cross, so we no longer need Levites to do it for us (and no, pastors are not our modern day Levites). We are all priests in Christ Jesus.

    Paul warns that if we choose to live by even one letter of the law, then we are putting ourselves under the entire law and in doing so would be rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus. In Galatians he uses circumcision as the example, but we can assume that this applies to any part of the law.

    Galatians 3:10, 5:3

    For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."… I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.

    We are not living under the law. The law lives in and comes forth from our hearts. This is the new covenant. Jesus said the greatest command is to love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself. From these flow all the other laws. In other words, we give to the poor and celebrate before the Lord not because we are commanded to, but because we want to because of the love that is in us.

    Jesus took away the curse from us. Don’t take it back by trying to obey the law in tithing.

    Give Out of Love

    Instead, give out of the love that flows from your heart. Give to the church if you want to, but do so out of love for God and for God’s people, not because you believe you are commanded to give a tenth of all you earn.

    Matthew 22:37-40

    37 Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

    Just to be clear; I am not saying you should not give money to your church. I’m saying, if you choose to do so, do it for the right reasons and do not be fooled into thinking that we are under any command to do so. Personally I would rather give to a charity which I know does not spend 80% of its revenue on mortgages, utilities, sound equipment and janitorial services, but maybe that’s just me.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Freedm View Post
    We Are Not Under the Law

    The third point is by far the most important point here. Jesus fulfilled the law, which means we no longer live by it. Jesus is our priest now, not the Levites. He bore our sins on the cross, so we no longer need Levites to do it for us (and no, pastors are not our modern day Levites). We are all priests in Christ Jesus.
    You were doing great until you got to here....
    • We in the body of Christ that are gentiles never had Levites in any way.
    • We in the body of Christ are NOT priests in any way.
    • We in the body of Christ do not have a priesthood of any kind.
    • We in the body of Christ have Christ as our head and not as our "high priest".

    Our apostle Paul never once uses the words "priest" nor "priesthood" in any of his epistles. Never once.

    Otherwise you had a lot of good stuff in there.
    All of my ancestors are human.
    Originally posted by Squeaky
    That explains why your an idiot.
    Originally posted by God's Truth
    Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
    Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
    (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
    (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Freedm View Post
      Tithing. Is it Biblical?

      I’m going to get right to the point. Tithing as we know it today, in the modern church, is not biblical. Giving, out of the goodness of your heart, is of course biblical, but this is not the same thing as tithing the way the churches expect you to tithe, nor the way the Israelites tithed before Jesus came.

      Churches teach that we should give 10% of our income to the church because the Israelites were commanded to do the same in the Old Testament. Not only is that 10% number incorrect, but even if it were correct, we are not under the law. And if we put ourselves under the law, by trying to obey even one command, then we are refusing the sacrifice of Christ who took on the curse of the law so that we can be free of it. As Christians we live by grace and love, not by law.

      Tithing in the Bible

      There are three kinds of tithing in the bible.

      1. The tithe to the Levites (Numbers 18:21-32)
      2. The festival tithe (Deuteronomy 12:5-19)
      3. Tithes to the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-30)

      The Tithe to the Levites

      When the Israelites entered the promised land, 11 of the 12 tribes received a piece of land as their inheritance. The 12th tribe, the Levites, who had the task of serving as priests for Israel, did not receive any land. This is why 10% of the produce of the land was to be given to the tribe of Levites, since they did not have their own. If a man wanted to give a monetary tithe instead, it had to be 12% not 10% (Leviticus 27:31). Furthermore, the tenth of each herd or flock was also to be given as a tithe.

      Also of note is that God commanded this tithe to be given to the Levites as a reward for the work they did in the tabernacle and for bearing the sins of the people (a job which Jesus assumed on the cross) (Numbers 18:21-23).

      The Festival Tithe

      God ordered feasts for the Israelites where they were to gather together in Jerusalem three times per year (For the feast of tabernacles, passover and the feast of weeks) and bring a tenth of their grain, their new wine, oil and the firstborn of the herds and flocks and rejoice before the Lord in celebration.

      If people were unable to make the journey or unable to carry their goods to the feast, they were permitted to sell their goods and use the money to buy for themselves whatever they desired to celebrate before the Lord. As part of this command they were also reminded to include the Levites in the celebration and allow them to partake in the tithe, because they did not have their own land to produce food with which to celebrate.

      So this is another 10% of the produce of the land, on top of the original 10% which was to be given to the Levites.

      Tithe to the Poor

      The third tithe was collected once every three years (and since tithe means 10% this amounted to 3.3% per year) and this was set aside for “the strangers, the fatherless, widows, and Levites living within the gates of the Israelites” so that they may eat and be satisfied. This tithe also came with a blessing from the Lord as a reward for giving the tithe.

      Summary

      Altogether, the tithes amounted to 23.3% of the goods produced from the land. 10% for the Levites, 10% for the three annual feasts, and 3.3% for the poor to celebrate once every three years.

      There are a few important points to note here.

      1. All three tithes were intended to be produce from the land and herds only, not monetary.
      2. The tithes were not given to God, but to people, for reward, celebration and charity.
      3. Most importantly, these commands were part of the law, which we are not under.

      Translating the Law to Modern Day

      If you want to try to obey the law, and substitute today’s pastors for Israelite Levites, then you need a farm. Then bring 10% of everything you grow on that farm to church on Sunday. If you can’t carry the fruits and veggies to church then you are permitted to sell it all and then give 12% not 10% of your income.

      Obviously, I am not suggesting you do this. I am making the point that tithing to your church is very different from what the Israelites did in the Old Testament.

      Tithes Were Never for God

      Secondly, tithes were never given to God, so the old argument that “you are stealing from God” if you do not give a tithe to the church is a lie, and if your pastor is still using that line, you need to call him on it. God has his own inheritance, which is his people. He does not need a tithe from our land or our wallets.

      We Are Not Under the Law


      The third point is by far the most important point here. Jesus fulfilled the law, which means we no longer live by it. Jesus is our priest now, not the Levites. He bore our sins on the cross, so we no longer need Levites to do it for us (and no, pastors are not our modern day Levites). We are all priests in Christ Jesus.

      Paul warns that if we choose to live by even one letter of the law, then we are putting ourselves under the entire law and in doing so would be rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus. In Galatians he uses circumcision as the example, but we can assume that this applies to any part of the law.

      Galatians 3:10, 5:3

      For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."… I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.

      We are not living under the law. The law lives in and comes forth from our hearts. This is the new covenant. Jesus said the greatest command is to love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself. From these flow all the other laws. In other words, we give to the poor and celebrate before the Lord not because we are commanded to, but because we want to because of the love that is in us.

      Jesus took away the curse from us. Don’t take it back by trying to obey the law in tithing.

      Give Out of Love

      Instead, give out of the love that flows from your heart. Give to the church if you want to, but do so out of love for God and for God’s people, not because you believe you are commanded to give a tenth of all you earn.

      Matthew 22:37-40

      37 Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

      Just to be clear; I am not saying you should not give money to your church. I’m saying, if you choose to do so, do it for the right reasons and do not be fooled into thinking that we are under any command to do so. Personally I would rather give to a charity which I know does not spend 80% of its revenue on mortgages, utilities, sound equipment and janitorial services, but maybe that’s just me.
      RD is correct. We are not a priesthood. That was Israel.

      Originally posted by Right Divider View Post
      You were doing great until you got to here....
      • We in the body of Christ that are gentiles never had Levites in any way.
      • We in the body of Christ are NOT priests in any way.
      • We in the body of Christ do not have a priesthood of any kind.
      • We in the body of Christ have Christ as our head and not as our "high priest".

      Our apostle Paul never once uses the words "priest" nor "priesthood" in any of his epistles. Never once.

      Otherwise you had a lot of good stuff in there.
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7)

        Comment


        • #5
          Correct doctrine require more the just being Biblical. It must also be dispensational.

          God does NOT always require the same thing from all people at all times.
          All of my ancestors are human.
          Originally posted by Squeaky
          That explains why your an idiot.
          Originally posted by God's Truth
          Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
          Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
          (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

          1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
          (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

          Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Right Divider View Post
            You were doing great until you got to here....
            • We in the body of Christ that are gentiles never had Levites in any way.
            • We in the body of Christ are NOT priests in any way.
            • We in the body of Christ do not have a priesthood of any kind.
            • We in the body of Christ have Christ as our head and not as our "high priest".

            Our apostle Paul never once uses the words "priest" nor "priesthood" in any of his epistles. Never once.

            Otherwise you had a lot of good stuff in there.
            1 Peter 2:9
            But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
              RD is correct. We are not a priesthood. That was Israel.
              1 Peter 2:9
              But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Right Divider View Post
                You were doing great until you got to here....
                • We in the body of Christ that are gentiles never had Levites in any way.
                • We in the body of Christ are NOT priests in any way.
                • We in the body of Christ do not have a priesthood of any kind.
                • We in the body of Christ have Christ as our head and not as our "high priest".

                Our apostle Paul never once uses the words "priest" nor "priesthood" in any of his epistles. Never once.

                Otherwise you had a lot of good stuff in there.
                Jesus is also our priest.

                Hebrews 4:14
                Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Right Divider View Post
                  Correct doctrine require more the just being Biblical. It must also be dispensational.
                  What do you mean by that? Can you elaborate?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Freedm View Post
                    1 Peter 2:9
                    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
                    1 Peter was NOT written to the body of Christ. It was written the same scattered twelve tribes that James was writing to.

                    1Pe 1:1 KJV Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

                    Jas 1:1 KJV James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

                    1 Peter 2:9 is a QUOTE from Exodus about the nation of Israel.

                    Exo 19:3-6 KJV And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; (4) Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. (5) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (6) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

                    The body of Christ is NOT a nation nor a priesthood. The words "priest" and "priesthood" are completely missing from Paul's epistles. Paul IS writing to the body of Christ.
                    All of my ancestors are human.
                    Originally posted by Squeaky
                    That explains why your an idiot.
                    Originally posted by God's Truth
                    Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                    Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                    (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                    1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                    (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                    Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Freedm View Post
                      Jesus is also our priest.

                      Hebrews 4:14
                      Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
                      The book to the HEBREWS was NOT written to the body of Christ. It was written to .... the HEBREWS.
                      All of my ancestors are human.
                      Originally posted by Squeaky
                      That explains why your an idiot.
                      Originally posted by God's Truth
                      Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                      Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                      (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                      1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                      (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                      Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Malachi 3:8-9 King James Version (KJV)
                        8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

                        9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
                        He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

                        Jim Elliot

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Freedm View Post
                          What do you mean by that? Can you elaborate?
                          God gives different instructions to different people at different times.

                          A simple reading of the Bible shows this clearly.
                          All of my ancestors are human.
                          Originally posted by Squeaky
                          That explains why your an idiot.
                          Originally posted by God's Truth
                          Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                          Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                          (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                          1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                          (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                          Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bright Raven View Post
                            Malachi 3:8-9 King James Version (KJV)
                            8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

                            9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
                            The nation of Israel. This scripture has a context, like all scripture.

                            Mal 1:1 KJV The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
                            All of my ancestors are human.
                            Originally posted by Squeaky
                            That explains why your an idiot.
                            Originally posted by God's Truth
                            Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                            Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                            (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                            1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                            (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                            Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bright Raven View Post
                              Malachi 3:8-9 King James Version (KJV)
                              8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

                              9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
                              How much should one give now in tithes to insure they don't rob God?

                              Comment

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