T H E S I S # 73
The old covenant method of financing God’s work was the tithe. The new covenant method of financing the Lord’s work, how much to give and where to direct one’s giving, is submitting to the lordship of the Holy Spirit. There is no New Testament example of a christian tithing or being admonished to tithe.
It is advantageous to be well informed regarding God’s dictates to the children of Israel regarding the tithe, and for what purposes. The reason the practice of tithing has survived centuries of church history is simply because believers failed to check out the OT for themselves. Perhaps evangelicals (etcetera) think a personal study is unnecessary, such is their trust in the officers of the way it is.
It is right to know. (“I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren.”) If any christian should be informed of church affairs, every christian should be informed. And tithing is a most important church concern, one that affects millions of saved and billions of unsaved. This subject is most worthy of your investigation.
Simply check a concordance for a list of the words, tithe, tithes, tithing, and tenth and see where it takes you.
But first, try to define the evangelical definition of tithe, and its considered purpose. And then compare this to your findings regarding your God’s instructions to the “children of Israel”, and His purposes. If, in your personal study of Scripture, you discover no similarity, you have every reason to be thoroughly ticked.
Your definition of the evangelical tithe might look like this….
Everyone in the local church is to tithe his/her income. None are exempt, rich or poor. Tithes should be given weekly or monthly, as income is earned. Tithes should be given to one’s local church, considered to be the tither’s “storehouse”. Church expenses, including the pastor’s salary, are financed, partially or mostly, by tithes. Those neglecting to tithe faithfully are robbing God and “cursed with a curse”.
Now the OT tithe. Perhaps your conclusions, after a study, would be….
Not everyone tithed. Abraham did not tithe his possessions or increase. Fishermen did not tithe their catch. Carpenters did not tithe their income. No person tithed money. Only agriculturalists tithed, their harvest and livestock. Tithes from farms beyond the promised land boundaries were unacceptable. The message from Malachi so often quoted (“You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation”) was addressed “to Israel”, not those outside Israel, certainly not Christ’s future church.
It is obvious to anyone receptive of truth that there’s glaring differences between evangelicalism’s tithe imposed upon the evangelical and God’s tithe imposed upon the Israelite nation.
If the Lord wanted His new covenant children to tithe, would we not find such instructions in the New Testament? Wouldn’t we find such an admonition in Christ’s red letters? Or in the writings of Paul, Peter, James or John?
We say, “God is good…. all the time.” And He most definitely is…. all the time. A good parent will make his instructions known and fully understood before punishing a child for disobedience. And our God is a very good parent.