Comments on Tithing

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ElderDad's picture

Tithes or offerings?

I did not suggest that you believed one can sin if the Law is dead, but your suggestion that the Law is still established so that those sins are still sins led me to the statement that you suggested that might be someone's interpretation. In fact, the constant argument of those who believe the OT Law is valid as the rule of life is that there will be many who will say we can do those things if the Law is dead. Based on Paul's writings, the freedom to sin is not a valid argument. While he said in numerous places that the Law is not our guide for righteous living, he argued against that interpretation which suggests sin is okay because the Law is dead. He gave a stronger reason than the Law for righteous living -- the indwelling Christ (God lives in us!!). Please study Galatians and Hebrews. The discussion of Melchizedek is in Hebrews 6 and 7. The NT teaching regarding the lack of efficiency of the OT Law is a major theme in Hebrews and a minor theme in other books. The error of placing believers in Christ under the OT Law is the major theme of Ephesians. I have studied Galatians, where Paul said, "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing -- if it really was for nothing? Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the Law, or because you believe what you heard?" Or, as in Galatians 2:10: "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse." In studying Ephesians I have found Ephesians 2:14-16? Here are verses 14 and 15 for you to study and ponder: "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, he dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and ordinances." Perhaps a few readers will observe the tight relationship between Law and ordinances that you fail to find. They are not separate, but integrally linked. (Maybe I found it by studying my Bible.)

Since you brought to our attention Deuteronomy 14, let's discuss the whole chapter. Do you keep the requirements in verses 1-22, or do you consider only half of the chapter applicable to the church? If you believe the first half of the chapter is applicable to the church, then why did God command Peter to disobey it, and why did Paul say believers can eat anything without regard to the Law? (Hmm. Maybe I do "Study" the Bible a bit.)

If one insists that Cain and Abel offered tithes, then it becomes necessary to explain why God rejected Cain's tithe. You have mentioned that both sacrificed from their labors (vegetables for Cain and animals for Abel). But you have failed to explain to us why God rejected Cain's offering on both the first occurrence and after Cain was instructed on what would be acceptable and he refused to comply.

As to whether or not I study the Scripture, since you have chosen to personally attack me on that issue and falsely accuse me of failing to do so, I will also address the issue of study and exegesis.

Rule #1 -- Context is king in Bible study. Any use of Scripture without considering the context is a pretext.
Rule #2 -- Ditto Rule #1.

Context of Cain and Abel: Verse 3 -- Abel brought animal offerings to the Lord. Verse 4a -- Cain brought fruits of the soil. Verse 4b -- The Lord looked with favor on the animal offerings of Abel, but He rejected Cain's fruits of the soil offering. Verse 5 -- Cain was angry because the Lord rejected his offerings. Verses 6 and 7 -- The Lord told Cain that all he had to do was offer the right kind of offering.

Stopping at the fact that they both offered a portion of their labor's increase, and ignoring the rejection and the requirement for a blood offering, is not good exegesis.

One must ask, "When are offerings in the Old Testament required to be animal offerings?"
One must also ask, "In what form were tithes acceptable throughout the Old Testament?"
Another question that must be answered is, "Did the Law (Deut. 14) require that 1/10 of one's possessions be offered?" If not, then the examples prior to Mt. Sinai, which were the giving of 1/10 of their possessions are not really the same thing. Deut. 14 required 1/10 of each year's production, not 1/10 of one's wealth.

Getting Scriptural answers for these questions will result in a better grasp of the issue of tithing in the Old Testament.

As for the New Testament, there is no NT requirement to tithe. But does that mean we are not to give to the Lord? Not at all! For the New Testament believer, the requirement is to give of our abundance. A believer who gives a tithe (tenth) to the Lord and amasses great wealth, the NT instruction to give of our abundance has not been met. This is the difference between Law and Grace -- the difference between keeping a set of ordinances corporately called "The Law" and living a Spirit-filled life with the realization that God lives in the believer and ministers to the church through each believer.

Submitted as a poster,

Dave S.
Senior Moderator, Volunteers for Proofreading
2 Tim. 3:16--All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.