T H E S I S # 75
Tithing is the only Old Testament regulation evangelicalism has adopted. Those most passionately defending the tithe are those relying on the tithe for a living.
Lord Jesus often asked: Why? For example….
Matthew 6:28: “Why do you worry about clothing?”
Worry is something we all do, and because we all do it we accept it as normal behavior, not asking why. We learned to worry as a child and got better at it with time and practice.
Why? is a penetrating question that takes courage to ask, stirring us to consider what we have avoided considering. Why? challenges the accepted in our own christianity. “Why am I doing what I am doing? Why am I following who I am following? Why am I supporting what I am supporting?”
By asking Why?, our Lord Jesus has taught us it’s okay to ask. It’s okay to question the way it is in our own lives. The Why? question reveals our motives.
Why? questions should be asked regarding our spending, because the money we spend represents the life we have invested earning it. Nobody (that’s nobody) but the Holy Spirit should influence our spending, especially our giving.
Many want a say in what we do with our income – the builders and the controllers and the compromisers and the religiously ambitious. We have all been coerced to support weak and futile things. A righteous response could be: “No more! No more!”
As stated in Thesis # 73, “Tithing is a most important concern, one that affects millions of saved and billions of unsaved.” Because many in the church of Jesus Christ insist you should tithe, the tithe issue should surely be subject to a series of blunt Why? questions, such as….
Why is the tithe the only OT regulation brought over into the New Covenant?
Why didn’t they bring over, for example, sabbath (saturday) worship? The seventh-day adventists could give a much stronger argument for honoring saturday (rather than sunday) than any evangelical could argue for the tithe. Isn’t one of the ten commandments, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”? (See note.) Why has the tithe been given special status?
Why is Malachi’s “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse” given preeminence over 2 Corinthian’s, “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart”?
One might reason since Malachi is in the OT and addressed “to Israel” and 2 Corinthians is in the NT and addressed to “the church of God which is at Corinth”, the latter would be given more consideration.
Why does an Old Covenant directive trump the leading of the Holy Spirit in the amount I give and where I give?
A logical question. Lord Jesus said, “He will guide you into all truth.” Doesn’t “all truth” include our giving?
Why didn’t the “apostles and elders” conclude at their gathering in Jerusalem (Acts, chapter 15) that the gentile converts were to tithe their income?
Another excellent question. Indeed it also “seemed good to the Holy Spirit” to not impose the tithe upon them (us).
Why does church leadership insist I give ten percent when the NT tells me to never give “in response to pressure” (NLT)?
The tithe is a command, a “pressure”.
Why should I be “cursed with a curse” for not tithing, and not be “cursed with a curse” for neglecting many other OT regulations that every evangelical ignores?
Our God was reprimanding His chosen people for disobedience, which happened to involve the tithe. The same reprimand would have applied for disobedience against any other statute.
Why didn’t Paul, who gave a number of instructions to various churches, instruct the churches to tithe?
Surely this was not an oversight. If all these gentile christians were to be “cursed with a curse” for neglecting to tithe, surely Paul would have given warning in his several letters.
Why should I expect Lord Jesus to richly reward me, at the judgment seat, for tithing to the church when most of that is for services rendered?
Lord Jesus taught, “When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.” More of my givings would be directed to those who “cannot repay” (such as third world people desperate for the gospel) if such a big portion was not given to the local church.
Why are those paid a salary by the tithe the hardest to convince of the obvious?
It is not possible that the majority of pulpit people, if they prayerfully searched the Bible they proclaim to be the inspired word of God, could come to the conclusion it is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ for His people to tithe. No way. And yet few express outrage against the outrageous. On the contrary, most continue to be salaried by what any rational person would judge to be a sting .
It seems impossible to ponder these Why? questions and conclude anything other than purposeful blindness or outright chicanery.
Note: Romans 14:5: One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.