OPEN: Hey, Good morning. And Welcome to STAG, I’m Jack. To Tithe or not to Tithe?
We’re going to return to one of the most controversial issues of Christianity. Giving. One sure way to tell if a truth of God is connected to something is that there will be a lot of cross talk about it. While there are other parts of the Christian walk that are debated, I can’t think of any other issues that are argued more than giving. This practice has become so corrupt that hardly anyone understands it. The devil’s been hard at work in this area. We’ll get into giving in depth, but first….
UW: The following hour of redwood Community Radio is being…
DISC: the views you hear are mine and not……
I’m going to approach giving through email that has been sent to me. It’s kind of like a FAQ, frequently asked questions on giving in general, but mainly around tithing. Bottom line is that the Bible, Old and New Testaments, talks more about giving than any two other subjects combined. The highest thing on the giving list is tithing. But I must mention that tithing isn’t the highest thing on God’s list. That would be the burn offering sacrifice. Yes, this sacrifice is liked best by God. Of all the sacrifices, he mentions it first. It’s always first on the list. It is the dearest to His heart. But the burnt offering is a voluntary sacrifice, unlike the sin offering and the trespass offering and the meal offering and the drink offering.
These offerings and sacrifices are connected to giving, but aren’t presented as giving. Tithing is the top of the list for giving. And, like a few of the offerings, it is mandated by God. We are to do it. The reason for the difference lies in the result of the offering; the reason for giving that offering in the first place.
The sacrifices were more personal and done for the benefit directly of the giver. Not so with the tithe. Yes, God has promised the tither blessing for his tithe, but the blessing isn’t the reason for the tithe. God didn’t say “Tithe so I can bless you.” He said, “Tithe to maintain the priesthood and temple; whose job it is to keep you in the Way.”
This idea is so ill understood that the door has been wide open for corruption of many kinds. Some churches don’t dare talk about money unless it’s connected to some starving orphans. And many times those orphans only get the smaller portion of the gift because the church takes its cut in “administration” costs. Consider. A church can easily rake off 25% for administration costs. The givers don’t know what goes on in the counting room. And you might say that 25% is a reasonable cost to take. Oh yeah? Medicare only takes about 3% for administration. 3%. One high level preacher was heard to say, “Get into orphans.”
One would conclude, from the many different ways giving is treated in the Church, that the Bible had very little to say on the subject. The arguments on giving and especially tithing reach out to the absurd. Why? Any excuse NOT to give is fair game for the debate; no matter how isolated the idea is from the rest of the talk. One small verse can be used to overthrow whole chapters on giving.
What follows is from two email dialogues that I’ve had around tithing. One, I call Searcher, is a sincere person trying to figure it out and willing to do what’s Right. The other is a pseudo-scholar who just wants to argue and be the winner. I call him the Intellectual Denier. I trust that by the end of the show you’ll have a better understanding about giving as the Bible outlines, rather than what comes of the top off some people’s heads or out of their egos.
Giving is the number one practice for a Believer and Tithing is the number one way of that giving.
At some point you can see how Searcher’s thinking starts to come around as he is presented with more evidence for giving.
tithing.. where too ?. People who teach me.. ok.. that nails it to one person. That’s fine, but what about when I stop learning from that source, pull the plug and go elsewhere?.. then where?.. no sources out there really, but still to tithe.
First off, one is never "free" of tithing. that first 10% always is in force to be given back to God. That means that, even if your source is not teaching you it's still appropriate to send it your tithe. Actually, your Christian walk will be a never-ending learning process, so you will always have a teacher. But to understand why we continue to tithe to someone, or the last teacher, we have to remember what the goal of the tithe is. The tithe is meant to make it easier for the teacher to get the teaching out to whomever God is leading, to make the same help you received available to others. The ongoing expenses of making the teaching available have to be met. My main source of teaching has been Dr. Gene Scott. He gets my tithe every week regardless of my receiving teaching that week.
I have also given occasional tithe money to living authors of books that opened up God to me. Bonnie Gaunt's work has been illuminating, as well as Chuch Missler and E. Raymond Capt. I only wish CS Lewis was still alive.
As far as the second tithe goes, that can go a couple places. The Bible says it can be used for the three yearly trips to Jerusalem for the Feast Days. It is also earmarked every third year for helping our community. I have a radio show and a web site to maintain, and part of my second tithe goes there.
Pay the teacher, yes.. of course.. and he lets you know what he sees right, and we have been there.
I'd like to take "what he sees right" out of the equation, though. The Rightness comes out of scripture. It's not a subjective thing of the teacher. That would be disastrously fraught with corruption.
Your book and the mp3 files; you made it perfectly clear what the deal is with them.
I really appreciate your confidence and support. I try to keep myself out of all this, and your comments help me be strong in that way.
Jack, I have all the confidence that you know that I am coming from an angle of sincere questioning, about getting back to the message of Jesus, and not relying on mans subjective ness, which only seems to cloud things to the point where people are turning away from God because it’s 'religion'. If it was not for you .. I would be way behind where I need to be, as it is I am digging.. and you know what He said "search and you will find". He’s showing me, and you're helping me question things.
A quick question about the tithe; "give in secret", do you think that extends to the receiver not knowing where it came from?. Cash over long distances might not be a great idea.
I don't think it extends to the receiver. Given that the "receiver" is knowledgeable about the tithe, it's not reward-canceling to include your name. I don't see how one could knowingly tithe to the wrong person. If one understands the tithe, it will automatically go to the right person. The Priests knew very well who gave the lamb or barley, etc
Interesting where Jesus told the rich young ruler to send his money, to the poor. This brings me to tithing. I cant find any relevance to this for living anywhere, and man, I'm putting aside all of the 'i don’t really want to' stuff, I really am.
Sorry to say this, but you are not putting it aside. These arguments are the stock and trade of folks who don't want to let go of "their" money.
Your own comments show that you are still fearful about tithing. You haven't seen enough evidence yet. Probably a little of both, God's reality, and the sure evidence that we are to tithe and how, etc. If you were solid on both those subjects, you'd already be tithing.
Sure, I can see how you could think that. I could give 'my' money to the poor, I'm not on about making excuses about loop-holing ways to hang on to money here. I can see so easily how its just like that card game where, when it ends having more 'point' cards is not the thing you want, at the same time buying material things is not the way to live.. so moneys not good for much outside of buying necessities etc.. I don’t need a bigger house, I don’t need a bigger car. ( i don’t actually have either).. it’s not about me and money, its about doing the 'right' thing. Again with Luke 18:20.. doesn’t mention tithing, but he says to the guy; give it to the poor. That’s still a faith act, and faithing saves. It makes sense to me...
+++so, this is one place where he is coming to understand, but still has to include the remark about faithing. Without actually saying it, it sounds like a “yes, but..”
I've been through all of the references you provided, every one. In fact it was one of them that lead me to find the bit about the Sabbath, and what Jesus says about the 10 commandments. I mean its all Old Testament stuff,
No, it's older than OT stuff. A common misconception, which can lead to denial, is that tithing is of the Law. You even equated it with redeeming the first born, which is of the Law.
The first tithe in the Bible is 400 years before the Law. At the same time, we see the first Communion recorded. Let me briefly remind you of that story.
Some time after Abraham’s nephew Lot was established over in Sodom, some kings came and routed the place and carried everyone away, including Lot. Abraham got the news and went after them. He beat the kings and brought everyone and everything back. That’s when Melchizedek showed up with bread and wine. That’s the first Communion. Melchizedek is described as a priest of the most high God. He was the king of what would become Jerusalem. And what did Abraham do? He gave him “a tenth of all.”
I'm sure you don't think that Abraham thought up the idea on his own. He didn't think, "well, the King gets taxes, why not give something to God, too?" On the surface, giving a tithe to Melchizedek is OK according with the principle of giving. He was the “dispenser” of God, so he gets the tithe. But it goes much deeper than that. Melchizedek isn’t just some random priest that happened to be there. Melchizedek and Abraham had a long history with each other.
You may know that Melchizedek was Shem. Shem was Abraham's teacher along with Noah when Abe lived with them for 39 years from the age of ten. That comes out of the Book of Jasher. I also don't think that you believe that Abraham was some random choice made by God. God never says "Oops." God started training Abraham when he went to live with Noah and Shem. Josephus says that Abraham taught science to the Egyptians. Where’d he learn that? From the guys who brought all the important knowledge with them through the Flood.
That knowledge is what allowed the Sumerians, the first recorded civilization, to have an accurate idea of the solar system. They made a tablet with a picture of all the planets, and the Sun and moon, including Pluto. They are all in their relative positions and are the proper relative sizes to each other. How did they know that? They had a full blown system of astronomy. Well, Abraham got his information directly from the source. Abraham wasn’t out on the soccer field or watching cartoons while he lived with Noah and Shem.
Abraham knew exactly to whom and how much to give. 400 years before the Law.
What is the personal purpose of the tithe? To help us faithe. To involve us in God's work. God is using all the believers to get out the word of His kingdom, and reality, to those who don't yet believe. He’s building His Church and we’re the bricks. Those Temple priest's and Levites had to give up their usual means of making a living. The tithe filled the gap.
The principle, which I know you understand, is support the teacher. The principle of giving is the tithes, and a few mandatory offerings, like Firstfruits.
There’s no way out of it. We are to tithe.
Also, when Jesus says to the Pharisees "you ought to tithe" the frame of reference to me suggests that he is telling them what they have been doing right and wrong (most of it they seem to have gotten wrong). I am also thinking why its not in the 10 commandments, and I'm also thinking the 10 commandments must be important, all of them.. because Jesus says so in the Luke 18:20, but the tithe doesn’t get a mention there, or anywhere in the new testament. I don’t know Jack, what am I missing here?
You're missing you own admission. Jesus said they were tithing AND that it was Right. But then you say you can't find it anywhere.
A side reference is when Jesus tells his guys that wherever they preach they should tell what Mary did in giving that precious, expensive gift of the alabaster box with the ointment. Plainly, he is instructing us to give.
But we also know that when OUR motives enter in, we negate God. If we were allowed to decide what to do with the money, pretty soon we’d be using it to buy stuff for ourselves and saying that it helped us know God better. “I’ll feel more spiritual if I can wear a $500 suit to church.” So our giving better be fashioned on God's model. That model is clearly outlined in the OT. An additional reason why we aren't taught or told about NT tithing is because those early folks gave it ALL. They brought their land to the apostles. And it WASN'T mandatory, as witnessed to by the Ananias/Sephira story.
Remember how they sold it all, but kept back some of the money. They didn't have to give it all. There wasn’t a rule that you had to give everything. The Spirit moved so heavily in those people that they faithed that they would still be taken care of by God if they gave up everything. But both Ananias and Sephira lied and let on like they gave the whole amount they got when they sold their house. God killed them.
Jesus says Love your Neighbour..
What about the other part of the Law, as Jesus states it? Love God, remember? How does one "love" God? Love is a verb. Look up the Greek word agape. Agape is love itself, loving, doing agape is agapao. The agapao kind of love is unconditional, no strings attached. Nothing expected or even wanted in return. Totally selfless giving. Jesus didn’t say be a friend to God. He didn’t say phileo God. Phileo is another word that’s translated “love.” But agapao and phileo are different kinds of love.
You may have heard that when Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, he used the word agapao; love without reservation. But when Peter replied he used the word for friendship, phileo. It wasn’t that Peter misunderstood Jesus. He was probably not willing to commit to the kind of love that God gives us. Kindly, Jesus asked him again, but again Peter said, “you know I’m your friend.” So Jesus came down to where Peter lived and asked him if he loved him as a friend. The third time, Jesus used the phileo word.
In my opinion, love is equal to validation. When one does the ”verbing of love”, it turns out to be validation of the other person. When you trust someone’s word that they will meet you at seven, and that’s when you show up, you’re validating that person. Indeed, generically, it can be said that you are worshipping that person. When worship is defined as “shipping worth”, that’s what you did by showing up. Your time and energy are worth.
How do we acknowledge/validate God? By doing what He says. By trusting that what God says is the best way to deal with a situation. Faithing. If His number One representative says we ought to tithe, then we should do it.
And by the way, as you've seen on my notes, just the three tithes add up to almost double 10%. With the offerings, the total can top out at 25%. It took me almost five years. started out just giving something. Then I progressed to 10%. And then by small steps, over about 4 or 5 years slowly made my way upward. Like Peter, I didn't have enough confidence to jump all the way in. But God honored those beginning efforts. The life I’ve had is the kind for which some people can only wish. The average level of fear in my life has been very low.
Buying and selling. Do I have to tithe on stuff I sell? What if I sell my car to a neighbor?
Your tithing Q is in a rather grey area. In one sense, income is income. But I can see another way.
Maybe the money that was put out for the car originally was already left from tithing you did on your gross income. If some of that money comes back, in the form of a sale, then it could be thought that this is not "increase", but substitution. The Bible says we are to tithe on the increase, not on some substitution. You wouldn't have been tithing on the car itself while you owned it. The sale can be considered a simple trade of commodities.
It can also be viewed by this example. What if the buyer had paid $10K? What if, on another day, that buyer hit the dealership at the right time and got the car for $8K? Would he then conclude that the $2K he saved should be tithed on? Hardly.
I use this same logic concerning my book. The expenses for printing were paid out of my net after tithing. If anyone just meets the expense of the book, I don't tithe on that "income." Anything above the production cost, I treat as new income. If the price of the book is clearly $10 and someone sends me $20, the extra ten is clearly new money and is tithed on.
I haven't been taught this specifically by Dr. Scott or any of my other tithe-info sources, so don't use me as gospel or ask for some proof text. I feel OK about it. I hope God does, too.
But, a third scenario comes to mind.
What if the expense, whatever it was, was paid out of one's 2nd or 3rd tithe? The instances of this would be very restricted, and also not really backed by any specific Scripture that I know of.
But let's say that you wanted to publish, out of your gross income, a set of tracts to hand out. I say "you" because I would never do that myself. Anyway, if you then sold those tracts, they would fall into the new money category. The swap principle is still there, but the original money was "new" and needs to be balanced with "new" money.
However, I wouldn’t do this because of the “late fee” God puts on borrowing out of the tithe. He says that you have to pay and additional 20%.
btw can the second tithe be used to purchase audio editing software to be used for sole purpose helping the teacher?. I cant find any relevant place to put the 2nd tithe outside of where its going now. So, if you have a better idea, feel free to tell me about it.
I may have mentioned before what I use the second tithe for. First, I use it to go to church three times a year (if I can. The last two years I've only been twice), as is outlined in the Bible for the 3 "feasts". BTW, "feast" is more properly translated "set time>" these are times set up by God for His people to congregate at Jerusalem. It says you can use the money for anything including "strong drink." I think it's a good setup. It helps give some structure by which we can keep current with Him.
So I use my 2nd that way.. It's about $600 per trip. Air fare, motel, car, meals, etc. My church as you know, is pastored by Dr. Gene Scott. It's in Los Angeles. I also use my 2nd to finance my "outreach". the web site is about $150 a month and I incur a bit of expense for my radio show underwriting and materials.
I used to keep strict track of all my 2nd money, but when I started the archive I found that the trips to church and the web site alone were taking much more than the 2nd, so I quit keeping track.
Here's the formula I've always used. Of the 25%, my "teacher's" share is 17%. This goes to whomever i feel has taught me about God. As I've said, this can sometimes go to authors of books that I've read. I chose 17% rather than the first 10% so as to include any mandatory offerings, such as first fruits, and to honor the teaching even more. Then I consider that last 8% as the second tithe, 3rd tithe and "corners."
I really couldn't find a place to put your sound software in that mix, but I've kind of made up some of my own rules for the tithes, so you may find it OK to do something like that. In the End, God knows your motivation.
Also, when Jesus says to the Pharisees "you ought to tithe" the frame of reference to me suggests that he is telling them what they have been doing right and wrong (most of it they seem to have gotten wrong). I am also thinking why its not in the 10 commandments, and I'm also thinking the 10 commandments must be important, all of them.. because Jesus says so in the Luke 18:20, but the tithe doesn’t get a mention there, or anywhere in the new testament. I don’t know jack, what am I missing here.
You're missing you own admission. Jesus said they were tithing AND that it was Right. But then you say you can't find it anywhere.
reply)But He never mentioned it when people asked Him what they needed to do for salvation. Subjectively, I can see how it might have been Him telling them about one thing they were doing right, amongst all of the things that they weren’t. And then he never mentions it again?.. could He be talking about them and the old Law, of what was supposed to be done before Jesus came along and told people pretty clearly what they need to do. Subjective is no good, but what Jesus said doesn’t require any interpretation, there’s no subjectiveness, no grey areas, no "oh yeah- buts". And if he’s the #1 messenger, he'd have to have the message. And there’s gotta be something in that.
A side reference is when Jesus tells his guys that where ever they preach they should tell what Mary did in giving that precious, expensive gift of the alabaster box with the ointment. Plainly, he is instructing us to give.
(reply) He does, but he doesn’t say 10% and then another 10% of what’s left plus 3% , plus etc .. all the stuff from 400yrs before the OT. (he just keeps holding on, huh? )
Jesus says Love your Neighbour..
What about the other part of the Law, as Jesus states it? Love God, remember? How does one "love" God? Love is a verb. Look up the Greek word agape. In my opinion, love is equal to validation. when one does the verbing of love it turns out to be validation of the other. How do we acknowledge/validate God? By doing what He says. If His number One representative says we ought to tithe, then we should do it.
His reply still shows resistance. Tithing isn’t listed in the 10 commandments. He says something irrefutable. But it isn’t relevant to tithing.
To live by all the 10 commandments is what I get from Jesus in Luke 18:20. Love God by doing what Jesus said we need to do. That is to live by the 10 commandments (sure you won’t keep them all, we know about this.. but it’s the effort, ie acting in faith on them to the best of our ability, and then acting in faith when we Cm for our sins, and asking God for forgiveness again. It’s all Faithing!
And he clearly told the Pharisee that he should be tithing. Sometime you're going to have to give that statement its full weight. Jesus said to tithe.
S…He did, that’s true. But this was before he died on the cross for us.
His death is irrelevant to tithing. I could take what you said and make tithing a sin. Now that Jesus is dead we are free from that "sin." See what I mean?
Romans 7:4 > The law no longer holds you in its power
You're beating around the same old bush. Tithing was established 400 years before the Law. True it seems included in the Law. That inclusion helps us with the details and was God's way of filling out the Tithe principle. It also helps us put a ceiling on our giving. But to say that tithing went down the tube with the Law is erroneous.
Romans 7:6: > But now we have been released from the law,
Same drill here. If God didn’t want us to give, why would He talk about it so much? Just the Laws of the sacrifices are enough to boggle our modern brains. You can hardly find five consecutive pages in the Bible that don’t include some kind of giving. God is teaching us to depend on Him 100% of the time. Give up trying to control our lives.
Well, the last thing on OUR list of things to give up is our money. So….., that’s what God talks about most. What did Jesus tell the rich young ruler to give up? Money. I noticed that Jesus could have said, “forsake everything and follow me.” But that would have allowed the young man to stash his money, maybe with his parents. Jesus didn’t allow that loophole. He said, SELL everything and give it to the poor. Gone. That was too much for the man’s ego. He couldn’t surrender that much.
Christianity is about surrender. God says that obedience is better than sacrifice. You spell obedience s-u-r-r-e-n-d-e-r. Surrender may even be harder than faithing.
I agree with you. But surrender to God through Jesus, not through the law.
Ho hum. Tithing is not the Law.
it is the law that showed me my sin.
This is the key. The Law came to show us we were sinners, not to save us.
In addition, when Jesus "abolished" the law, he abolished more than the Law of Moses. It has to do with his saying that his yoke was easy and his burden light. Most Christians don't understand that one because they see how hard the Christian walk is.
Jesus abolished ALL works done to gain salvation. He took away the necessity of keeping the Law perfectly, and any other "work" that we might want to use to claim salvation. Jesus abolished ALL religion. Religion is the HARD yoke and burden that keeps men in bondage with its rules. Jesus wasn't the founder of a new religion. He was the establisher of faithing as a way to God. The Law Jesus dealt with was much larger in scope than the Law of Moses.
4:13 > It is clear, then, that Gods promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was not based on obedience to Gods law,
That’s right. Abraham didn't even have the Law yet, but he tithed. No Law, but he tithed. Same for Jacob. You remember how Jacob had that dream of the heavenly stairway. He recognized that it was God and made the vow to give God a tithe, on the condition that God bring him back home safely. He didn’t learn that condition-making from Grandpa Abraham. He surely had Abraham’s example. I’m sure he spent a lot of time talking to his Grandpa. He was already fifteen when Abraham died.
Jacob is a good example of how hard it is to tithe. He was trying to control the situation, just as he had always done. He was the “heel catcher.” He beat Esau out of the birthright and went along with his mother’s plan to snipe Esau’s blessing. Jacob wasn’t willing to surrender until God crippled him on the way back to Palestine. Then he put himself at the mercy of Esau, who had vowed to kill him as soon as Papa Isaac died. It took a good solid dose of God to finally turn Jacob away from his ego.
Here's something to think about. When the value of knowing God and being called really sinks in, one realizes that tithing isn't even earnest money. How can a monetary value be put on God's call? Especially to me? What am I anyway? Isn't one moment with God worth more than my whole life? I could never come up with a figure that would be a fair price to put on just the Lost Tribes teaching.
I would ask what is money anyway? .. I agree the value of knowing God is priceless. Life is priceless only to those who believe, the price paid by those who don’t believe is death. It seems to me that Salvation is priceless for us, it wasn’t priceless to God, He paid the price for our sins (and hence our salvation).
You missed the point here. The money in giving is to advance the dissemination of God's word. Our main job is to get the word of the Kingdom out to people. Most Christians help this plan by funding someone who is already on point. That's as it should be. To give us some guidelines for giving and to put that ceiling on our response, God gave us the tithe. You might remember that even in spite of Jesus' death, the New Testament Christians gave 100% to the Apostles. Neither they nor the Apostles seemed to think that giving was taken out of the way by Jesus death.
You taught me the meaning of faith is faithe. And that’s what he wants, it’s said over and over. I would be looking to faithe on things that didn’t involve the law that God gave to Abraham or Moses.
God never gave Abraham any Law. But Abraham tithed. I've said before, Abraham didn't just wake up one morning and invent tithing. It was one way that he faithed. Leaving Ur was another.
I've tried to be gentle with my replies, but that doesn't seem to be able to break through your defenses. I'm sorry to have to say some hard-to-hear things.
You have my giving notes and said that you went though them carefully. I'm sure then, that you know that Paul taught about giving in every letter but one. He always puts in something about supporting the teacher. Add to that Jesus' words on giving and you can't deny that giving is to be up near the top of the list of Christian actions. (God even gave us an UNCONDITIONAL promise concerning tithing. He even lets us test Him on it. I don't remember another place where God lets humans test Him.) Malachi 3:10 says that we can “prove” God. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse and” and He’ll open the windows of heaven. Paul even says that you can tell the indwelling of the Spirit by the way a person gives. That's on the study list, it's in 2 Corinthians 8:7-9. Look it up.
You don't have ANY options with giving. You MUST give. [it's the fastest way for us to learn faithing].
The only thing you have to find out is how much and where. None of this is your choice. I won't review these two things. You already know them.
I got the thought that you were acting like the "rich young ruler." He couldn't let go and trust God(Jesus) with "his" money, either. Jesus wasn't trying to get some bread for the poor. He was trying to help the young man faithe, trust God that he'd be OK if he gave away all his riches.
These arguments are getting you stuck in giving nothing. God sees that. He sees that you're too fearful to let go of your money and trust that He'll make up for what you see as a loss.
You say that I taught you faithing. That means that I was God's vehicle for you to find out about faithing. Faithing will save your life. In effect, without trying to boast, I saved your life. What happens when another person needs to hear about God, something I can help them understand, but I can't support my efforts? I have to shut down my web site.
What's your life worth? A "Thank you?" Some lip service?
You've fed well at my table. You have my book, but you can't value it enough to even help pay the printing cost. It was mainly thru 50P that you learned what biblical faith really is and how you can act in a way that God has promised to be there for you.
You need to ask yourself who's responsible for the Fear that keeps "your" money in your pocket. It ain't God.
I'm pretty much finished arguing about tithing. I've addressed your points more than twice. It's up to you now. You either start giving or not.
I shouldn't have to say this, but all this discussion was never meant to line my pockets. It was meant to give you the Truth about giving.
I’ll add here that this person was able to see the truth and start doing it God’s way. I wouldn’t expect the same for the next person, our Intellectual Denier.
The Intellectual Approach to denial. The result is the same as New Searcher, no giving.
This person had read something I’d written on tithing. He printed it out, and after three main points he disagreed with, he “struck me out.”
Two paragraphs at the bottom of page 4 (of my printout) speak of tithing; or "tenth-ing." This, too, is a topic that has occupied my attention more than once. It seems fair to say that I've heard "many" from "both sides." And, for a mind with all of the rust and corruption that has collected within mine, this has been a difficult "puzzle" for me. [[he sets it up so there is no answer]] Consider the "standard" reference to the book of Malachi; you quote from chapter 3, verse 10, as do others. On my printout I wrote, "a wonderful promise, to be sure, but NOT made to the Church!" [[[I guess we can’t count on anything in the Old Testament as being applied to the church. That’s the message here. He’s connecting the church with tithing, when tithing is connected to tithers only. Tithing is a universal principle that originated before there were any Israelites, before there was a Temple. Before there was the Law. Malachi 3:10 can be used by anyone, from any backgound, even a non-believer. The only condition God put on the tithe was that it be brought to the place where God was taught.]]]
I have to tell you what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:20. "For all the promises of God in him are yea and in him(Jesus) Amen”. That includes all the OT promises. Jeremiah wrote one of the most important promises for the church in chapter 31. In verses 31 to 33, He promised us a new covenant, one of the indwelling spirit of God. Well, that came true, right? Neither can we exclude Hosea’s “promise” that the Israelites would become the Christian church. Those Old Testament prophecies were promises from God.
Just above, on page 4, your words say "Jesus tithed, and said we should, too." Well, Jack, I think that you are in error. If you hold (as I do) that the Church was INITIATED a few weeks after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, then in that one occasion and place where he mentioned "tithe" (Matthew 23:23; also Luke 11:42 // Strong's #586) he was NOT instructing the Church; certainly not directly.
((This is another red herring. Shift the focus to “instruction” and we have a convenient straw man.)) He was not instructing ANYONE. He was affirming the practice of tithing. "This you ought to have done."
Here comes a mind reader statement. This guy knows the thoughts of saint Paul.
The Apostle Paul, who claimed most forcefully to be Christ's chosen and anointed apostle (spokesperson) to the Church, never mentioned tithing as "binding" on Christians. Paul emphasized "cheerful" giving, leaving amounts/percentages to the conscience of the giver.
I can't remember Paul even using the word tithe, let alone that it was binding. The word “tithe” only appears twice in the whole New Testament and then it’s only used in the statement Jesus made to the Pharisee. And I disagree that he left the amounts to the givers. Making a “cheerful” response doesn’t equate with any amount. It relates to the heart of the giver. God wants our giving to be from the heart, done gladly, with understanding. Tithing was the giving principle of God-believers, regardless of the age. I know tithing to go back to at least 1950 BC. That's near the time Abraham tithed to Shem (Melchizedek).
The tithe isn't connected to Jesus. Before or after his death, the tithe remained the same.
Besides Jesus' tithe remark, the only place I remember being able to know how much to give is the description of the giving that took place in Jerusalem. Those believers gave everything they had, not just the tithe. 100% Couple that with Paul's telling us in thirteen out of fourteen letters that we are to support our teachers, and with his admonition to the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit is evidenced by how one gives, and Jesus' telling the rich young ruler to give away all his riches, I could come up with most any figure I wanted. 50% wouldn't be too much.
The following is a good example of finding what one wants to find, instead of weighing all the available evidence. This “scholar” didn’t even take the second step of looking at the Greek. He just looked up the Strong’s definition for what he thought the Greek said. Some faint praise coming up also.
I am still saying "Amen" to the SPIRIT of much of your words; Jack, but I am choking and feeling slightly ill at some of the DETAILS (where, it is said, the Devil dwells).
At the top of my page 5 is printed your example concerning someone with annual salary of $17,000 and you mention "that full $1700" which is, obviously, a tithe. Just over halfway down this page you mention Matthew 6:3-4. In that place, Jesus mentions the manner of giving "alms" (mercy, pity ELEEMOSUNE -- Strong's #1654). [[his assumption was; that the word “alms” used in the first verse also meant money. The Strong’s reference is correct, but one can’t see the Greek words as written in context. When you do that you find out that the Greek word in verse one isn’t eleemosune at all. This allows an easy misinterpretation of the whole passage. “Alms” is used in both places to translate different Greek words. But this “scholar” didn’t even look at the Greek. I think that was because he was aiming at the IRS. But I answered:
Wescott and Hort’s Greek text uses the word dika-iosunen, which is properly translated "righteousnesses." This is confirmed be the margin of my KJV when it notes “righteousness” for the word alms.
Before we go on, let met read that passage in Matthew 6.
Mat 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms(righteous acts) before men,( then verse two says, )
Mat 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms(that’s the money word), do not sound a trumpet etc
Mat 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: (that tells me that NOONE is to know what money I tithe. Surely if we are to keep the information from our own other hand, that must include other people, too.)
ID [[[Now he gets to his point.]]]
The "secrecy" that Jesus counseled was to those persons (past or present; Jew or Gentile or Christian) who are "generous" ONLY or even MAINLY to win the respect or admiration or praise of their neighbors.
That's true. But the message was directed at the Believer and the Pharisee was only used as an understandable example. The repeated message of the chapter is don't show off your "Godliness." But stronger still is the message of secrecy. It isn't just don't show off, it's don't let anyone KNOW what you're doing. Verse 3, (“left hand, right hand?) is a specific instruction that applies to all situations. Telling the IRS is not maintaining any kind of secrecy. It's not keeping from your left hand what your right hand is doing. It's exactly the same as telling your friend that you gave your teacher $500.
I’m not fooled by the people who want to tell the IRS. They just want part of “their” money back. Some thieves will even claim that they can give more that way. “If I give a hundred, I’ll get back ten and then I can give another dollar.” Right! How about the nine bucks that you snuck back into your pocket?
1-I don’t know if you’re a Believer, but if you are, then you need to do some additional research on giving.
2-Christians don't have ANY options with giving. We MUST give. It's the fastest way for us to learn faithing. The only thing we have to find out is how much and where. None of this is our choice.
3- If you want to talk about giving or any other subject, STAG is a comfortable place to do that. We’re at 88 Briceland Rd in Redway. The number there is 707 923 ALLY (2559). Or on the web at stag.ws there’s a couple hundred past Straight Talk show s in the archive up there.
4- I’ll be back here on the 3rd of July. I hope you can make it too.
5-I take it seriously when God says He’ll bless me for tithing. That’s because I know He’s real and will keep his word to me.
This is Jack, Bye.
I love mail.