My concern about the doctrine of tithing

After writing my first piece on tithing, I did a rather detailed search on the Internet for teachings on tithing and came across a lot of interesting articles and testimonies. The testimonies particularly cause me a bit of unrest and I still ask the question if believers today fully understand salvation.

There are a lot of claims within the Pentecostal circles of tremendous blessings derived from tithing. People testify of being blessed out of their socks when they began to tithe. There are further claims of favour, health etc. all these have been attributed to tithing. Now this begs me to ask this question; are we saying that an atheist would also experience these wonderful things if he tithed even though he does not believe in God? If I get a yes response that will suggest that Jesus came to die for nothing since we were well able to take care of our needs by ourselves. Now if I get a no response (which I seriously doubt I will get) that paints a completely different picture.

In order to make sense of all of this, I suggest we start at the beginning. Why did Jesus come in the first place? It couldn’t have been that bad that an innocent man had to be sacrificed for the whole world or was it?

We know that Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God’s command and because of that God issued this proclamation in Genesis chapter three

17 And to the man he said,

   “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree

      whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,

   the ground is cursed because of you.

      All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.

   18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,

      though you will eat of its grains.

   19 By the sweat of your brow

      will you have food to eat

   until you return to the ground

      from which you were made.

   For you were made from dust,

      and to dust you will return.”

And Paul expounds on this further in I Corinthians where he tells us that death came through one man, Adam. We see that man was introduced into a life of struggle because of Adam’s disobedience. The sweet relationship Adam once shared with God had been severed and God introduced an interim measure, animal sacrifice. This remained constant throughout the Old Testament.

However, things seem to take a different turn in Genesis12; God calls Abraham. There is no record that this was due to an act of righteousness on Abraham’s part. This was actually something different from what had been. The bible says God calls Abraham and establishes a covenant with Abraham, promising to make him into a great nation and also promising to bless him tremendously. Was this promise of God due to any acts of righteousness Abraham performed? We should not forget that after God called him, he went to sojourn in Egypt and lied that his wife was his sister. Did God withhold His promise from Abraham because of that? No He didn’t. Instead the Egyptians were punished for something they were ignorant of.

This in itself laid the foundation for what God was about to do; mankind justified by faith and not by works lest anyone should boast. Genesis 15:6 says Abraham believed God and that made him (Abraham) righteous before God. Justification by faith. In order to pave the way for this to affect the entire mankind, the law was introduced, a schoolmaster until Jesus was revealed. Did mankind in anyway deserve this gift of God? No we didn’t. Did we need to have a special requirement before we could enjoy this great gift? Negative as well. Then why have we become like the Galatian church and now believe that we need to do something before God blesses us? We are now trying to earn what we already have.

We have now successfully reintroduced Christianity by works instead of faith, taking us back hundreds of years to the time before the Reformation. This was a time the Catholic Church held sway and more or less dominated the ancient world. They introduced a lot of false doctrines and prevented the people form gaining access to the bible. This made it easy for their deceits to prosper. What was really worthy of note was their ingenuous means of raising funds, The Sale of Indulgence. This was the practice of paying to get ones sins forgiven. Now doesn’t this sound a little familiar? What does the payments of tithes promise? Health, wealth, prosperity etc.

If we did not do anything to make Jesus die for us why then do we think that we have to do something before He blesses us? We have been told that in order to prosper financially we have to sow seeds into the lives and ministries of so called men of God. Pay tithes and give offerings. Is that what the bible says?

Our boast is no longer on the cross. We have successfully obscured its message and replaced it with the message of works. We now boast about all that we have accomplished through our faithful practise of tithing. I am so sure Martin Luther would be turning in his grave by now. Him and many others put their lives on the line to liberate us from this works mentality but no we’ve chosen to go back to it.

God does not bless you because you tithe, sow seeds or give sacrificially. If that were the case, God then contradicts himself and there was no point in His introduction of grace.

The covenant in the blood of Jesus secures your health, secures your prosperity and your wealth. It is all part of the salvation package you receive on the day you give your life to Jesus.

In conclusion, I will turn our attention to the Revelation 5:12

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Jesus has them all and gives them to you when you receive him, period!

Advertisements

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gwaine
    Feb 13, 2009 @ 20:55:32

    Now this begs me to ask this question; are we saying that an atheist would also experience these wonderful things if he tithed even though he does not believe in God? If I get a yes response that will suggest that Jesus came to die for nothing since we were well able to take care of our needs by ourselves.

    Lol, this sounds rather amusing. I often wonder why so many people are at pains to connect tithing to far fetched ideas, and I wonder that the same thing seems to be expressed here.

    First, HOW does tithing relate to ATHEISM?

    Second, please forgive my ignorance on this – but who has been predicating “justification” or “salvation” on tithing?

    Tithing, as far as I know, has nothing to do with anyone’s salvation; in which case, it does not help to discuss the latter on the premise of the former.

    However, there’s another line that caught my attention:

    If we did not do anything to make Jesus die for us why then do we think that we have to do something before He blesses us? We have been told that in order to prosper financially we have to sow seeds into the lives and ministries of so called men of God. Pay tithes and give offerings. Is that what the bible says?

    While I’m not standing as PRO for any ministry, I’m just wondering: what are your thoughts about exhortations to “sowing” in the epistles of Paul?

    Reply

  2. Tony Isaac
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 10:08:39

    Hi Gwaine,

    I am almost certain that you must be one of the privileged few who never got tainted with this doctrine of tithing, hence it seems like we that take a strict anti-tithing stance do come across as extremists.

    The generally believed doctrine of tithing in most churches teaches that those that do not tithe are under a curse and God would not rebuke the devourer for their sakes, they say this using the book of Malachi 3:10 as a supporting text. As far as they are concerned, God keeps meticulous records of those who tithe and withholds his blessings from those who default. So if your car breaks down, it is because you have not paid your tithe. This is one of those statements I find quite amusing. They do not even take the age of the car and the mileage it has clocked into consideration. Your kids will fall sick and all sorts of disasters would waylay you if you default. This gives the impression that the job of protecting yourself from all that the evil one brings rests on you and not on the finished work of the cross. This induces a circle of guilt trips which would never produce happy Christians.

    That was why I asked; if an atheist tithes would he receive God’s blessings? In most of the churches I have been acquainted with, the doctrine of tithing is very strong. You can get kicked out of leadership if you do not tithe, I have experienced that personally. As far as they are concerned you are walking in disobedience. I have even heard a preacher liken not tithing to the sin of Achan and people have even said they heard the preacher say non-tithers would not go to heaven. Bizarre, isn’t it?

    With regards to sowing in the Pauline epistles, it is best we look at them in the context of which they have been used. Failure to do that would result in scriptures being misapplied. You can suggest any one of those verses for us to consider

    Reply

  3. Gwaine
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 15:09:33

    Lol, no – I don’t think you guys (the few I’ve dialogued with) act anything like extremists.

    I understand why many people react against the subject of tithing, often because several people who have taught about it have appealed to rather far-fecthed ideas for their claims (like the few examples you highlighted).

    However, it’s consistently been my persuasion that we don’t have to necessarily be reactive to these fallacies. One doesn’t have to conclude that a Biblical subject is heresy just because some people have treated it improperly. On BOTH sides (for and against tithes), there are far worse things we have heard, and many other innocent people have suffered untold scars. Let’s take this example you highlighted:

    I have even heard a preacher liken not tithing to the sin of Achan and people have even said they heard the preacher say non-tithers would not go to heaven. Bizarre, isn’t it?

    Indeed, that’s weird… as bizarre as another anti-tither has also claimed that those who tithe are going to hell! Under the heading of his article, “How could paying tithes land someone in hell?”, he concludes in his own words, that —

    “The law of tithing” would have the same results on us today; that is to say, it will cause us to fall away from the grace of God. In other words, TO LOSE YOUR SALVATION and START DOWN THE ROAD TO HELL.
    http://tithing.christian-things.com/thelaw.html
    [emphasis mine]

    This is not just a rambler, for I’ve heard a respected anti-tithe preacher saying with greater emphasis that tithers are “doomed to the hottest part of Hell!”

    You see, on either side of the fence, people are too busy mispunching and arguing vacantly with almost the same eisegesis and panic measures. That is not to say there are no good arguments either ways from anyone – indeed I’ve read and listened to quite a few well balanced, but opposing, views. As it is, my persuasion is what I’ve often offered to friends:
    1. let’s not make ourselves the victims of other people’s misplaced arguments;
    2. people should “DO AS THEY MAY” – if they want to tithe, they could do so most happily (for tithing is not merely or only “10%”); if they don’t desire to give anything, they could do as they may;
    3. in all things, love works within the matrix of 2 Cor. 9:7 [“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give”], and Rom. 14:5 [“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind”].
    (I would like to ‘steal’ your recommendation as a 4th – ‘what’s important above all is our relationship with the Lord‘, thank you! hehe! 🙂 )

    Now, as regards the “sowing”, I had 2 Corinthians 9:6 & 10 in mind. A few more latter.

    Cheers.

    Reply

  4. Tony Isaac
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 17:32:57

    Hi Gwaine,

    I do agree with you that because an issue is abused definitely does not make it heretic. That is really not the line I am towing. My reason for rejecting the tithe doctrine and all its trappings is because it has no biblical backing. Please read my first article on tithing. That is not to say that there is a problem with someone making a personal decision to give the Lord 10% of his monthly income just as long as he does not try to force others to do the same like these new age preachers do. I think I understand the chap’s comment on tithing could send someone to hell. He is coming from the stand point that a lot of pro tithers fall of the wagon of grace and jump unto the bandwagon of works. Like I pointed out earlier, a lot of them have replaced the finished work of the cross with tithing. The blood no longer secures their security, tithing does. The blood no longer grants them direct access to God, tithing does. So they face the danger of falling into the error of the Galatian church, starting in the spirit then trying to attain perfection by the flesh.

    With regards to the issue of sowing with reference to 2 Corinthians 9:6 & 10 I will comment on it in my next post.

    God bless

    Reply

  5. Gwaine
    Feb 15, 2009 @ 00:07:23

    Hi Tony.

    I would not say that tithing has no “Biblical” backing – we many times assume it so, often because we have not carefully considered it Biblically. I understand that when people speak about a “biblical backing”, they are rather seeking a New Testament equation in contrast to the OT Law. If that is the case, we enter into a very different dimension that throws out the many arguments of anti-tithers.

    Either way, we should deplore any attempt of anyone forcing any issue on others. That is not to say therefore that we should all be muzzled and not preach tithing or anything else the Lord has put on our hearts.

    Another polarised position that I find unhealthy is for some brethren to use the disguised language of “Spirit-led giving” to force, coax, or coerce others to “stop tithing”. Whatever anyone is employing to impress upon others to join their camp either ways would be unethical. The same applies for those who use either anti-tithing or pro-tithing arguments to consign others to Hell – there’s no justification whatsoever for that kind of eisegesis, because tithing was not established in Scripture as a matter of one’s salvation or security with God.

    I look forward to your thoughts on “sowing”.

    Many blessings.

    Reply

  6. Tony Isaac
    Feb 15, 2009 @ 22:46:09

    Hi Gwaine,

    I would not say that tithing has no “Biblical” backing – we many times assume it so, often because we have not carefully considered it Biblically. I understand that when people speak about a “biblical backing”, they are rather seeking a New Testament equation in contrast to the OT Law. If that is the case, we enter into a very different dimension that throws out the many arguments of anti-tithers.

    Could you please show me in scripture how tithing is relevant to today’s church? It seems to me that you are saying both sides have valid points which makes me wonder what you stand for. We cannot draw our conclusions from scripture that way. According to scripture, if the Old Testament was good there would be no need for a new testament. The way people related to God in the Old Testament is completely different from the way they do in the new. So please show me scriptures that back the doctrine of tithing.

    With regards to sowing in 2 Corinthians 6 & 10, Paul was merely encouraging them to be generous whilst also pointing out to them that they would be treated the same way they treat others using how a farmer’s planting is commensurate with the harvest he receives. He is in not trying to suggest that if I give £10, then I will get £100 in return in the nearest future instead he means that the same way they have met the needs of others, others would also meet their needs as well.

    Reply

  7. Gwaine
    Feb 16, 2009 @ 11:50:11

    Thank you for your rejoinder, Tony. My apologies upfront for my lengthy response to help bear out your reasonable concerns.

    Could you please show me in scripture how tithing is relevant to today’s church? It seems to me that you are saying both sides have valid points which makes me wonder what you stand for. We cannot draw our conclusions from scripture that way.

    First, before anyone could say that tithing is a “wrong” doctrine, they would have to be clear as to what the Bible teaches about the subject in all its ramifications. It is untenable to make some inadequate assumptions about it and then operate from such biases. Second, there are valid points that people have made on either sides of the debate, even though not all their assumptions are Biblically sound. My position therefore is not strictly anti-tithing or pro-tithing, as we would have to listen to both sides of the discourse and be willing and able to think for ourselves.

    Following this, many anti-tithers often take a literalist approach to tithing from “the Law”. For these folks, nothing else will do, because everything has to be based on the literal application of every detail about tithing from the Mosaic Law, and for this reason there could be “no principles” for them about tithing in the Church.

    There are serious problems with adopting this literalist approach; and we should be willing to see the principles that are set forth in the Bible on giving in general.

    According to scripture, if the Old Testament was good there would be no need for a new testament. The way people related to God in the Old Testament is completely different from the way they do in the new. So please show me scriptures that back the doctrine of tithing.

    We have to be careful with terms in our discourses. We both know there is a difference between the “old covenant” (Judaism) and the “Old Testament” (Genesis to Malachi inclusive). Christianity is not a continuum or extension of Judaism; however, Christianity is founded upon the Old Testament. There would be no NT without the OT. Yet, what we are looking for are the principles of the OT that explicate our Christian faith, especially on this issue of the tithes.

    When the apostle Paul exhorts believers on giving to support Gospel preachers in 1 Corinthians 9, he based his teaching on the OT Law – “Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?” (v. 8). He went on to appeal to “the law of Moses” (v. 9) and makes clear that what he was quoting was written “for OUR sakes, no doubt” (v. 10). It’s obvious that he was not making a literal application of the OT references for Christians; rather, he was more concerned with the principles in those verses for our edification and practical living.

    But what about the tithes in particular? Look at 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 (KJV, emphasis mine) —

    “[13] Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
    [14] EVEN SO hath the Lord ORDAINED that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel”

    Here the apostle does the same thing – draws a general principle from the OT Law, without going so far as to make a literal interpolation and application of every detail of the passage for Christians.

    When you carefully consider 1 Cor. 9:13 above, there’s no denying that it centers upon OT references to tithing. For instance, see Numbers 18, where the case is carefully laid out for: (a) those who minister about holy things in the Temple; and (b) those who wait at the altar. The question is: HOW were they sustained? Numbers 18 clearly shows it was through the tithes and offerings of the congregation of Israel. If that is clear to us, there’s no problem with what Paul declares in 1 Cor. 9:14 – “EVEN SO hath the Lord ORDAINED that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” This is not the only place where Paul hints about such a practical exhortation to tithing; and another full page would be required to expound upon a few others.

    However, we know that Paul wasn’t asking Christians to apply every single detail in Numbers 18 in a “literal” sense! He was more concerned about the principles of such issues in the OT than with a literal and legalistic approach that so many people argue for today.

    The problem with most anti-tithing arguments is simply this: everything they read on the subject in the OT and NT has to be based on a literal reading of the Law of Moses – hence, there “cannot” be any principle for Christians in this matter! Not only is such an attitude extreme and naive, but also impractical and weak when closely examined.

    With regards to sowing in 2 Corinthians 6 & 10, Paul was merely encouraging them to be generous whilst also pointing out to them that they would be treated the same way they treat others using how a farmer’s planting is commensurate with the harvest he receives. He is in not trying to suggest that if I give £10, then I will get £100 in return in the nearest future instead he means that the same way they have met the needs of others, others would also meet their needs as well.

    Granted, and appreciated.
    However, I was wondering about your earlier remark in the article, viz: “If we did not do anything to make Jesus die for us why then do we think that we have to do something before He blesses us?

    If someone wants a blessing and just chooses to do “nothing” about what is recommended in Scripture, I guarantee they would get nothing as prescribed in Scripture as well. Jesus’ death and resurrection do not excuse our obedience in this matter in 1 Cor. 9:6 & 10; otherwise, why in fact does anyone need to “sow” before they “reap also bountifully” (verse 6), or for God to “multiply” a seed sown (verse 10) where there was no sowing in the first place?

    Yes, indeed we did “nothing” to make Jesus die for us; but if we do “nothing” about sowing, on what basis could we then claim to be blessed in both “reaping” and our seeds “multiplied”? I hope you get my drift?

    Cheers.

    Reply

  8. Tony Isaac
    Feb 16, 2009 @ 16:32:30

    Hi Gwaine,

    I apologise too in advance for the length of my response.

    I think we are coming from different directions with regards this issue and I am kind of leaning towards believing you are sitting on the fence. Like I said earlier one cannot establish bible doctrines by seeing valid points from two sides of an argument. One has to refer to the bible and the bible alone and not on convincing arguments. If one does not properly study a topic in scripture, there is the tendency to misapply it.

    I wonder what you mean by literal approach to scripture? My friend, I think you have completely missed the point here and are being very academic in your treatment of scriptures. That being said it is common knowledge that things were done differently in the Old Testament. With Jesus fulfilling the law, we start a new lease of life established upon his blood. This establishes the New Testament. With His death, all of the Old Testament rituals become obsolete. We are no longer required to present the different offerings required in the Old Testament; sin offering, guilt offering etc. (Please read the book of Hebrews for more on this). Furthermore, there was a class distinction in the Old Testament between those who could minister in the temple and those who could not. In the New Testament such distinction no longer exists. This class distinction guided the way tithes were distributed; they were to be collected by the PRIESTS alone. SInce we in this new dispensation are now kings and priests, who gives the tithes and who receives? Even the Jews who were originally handed down this law of tithing do not tithe today because 1) only the descendants of Levy were allowed to collect tithes and getting proper records of legitimate descendants of Levy is practically impossible and 2) Tithes had to be collected from items grown on the land of Israel which would mean we all have to go to Israel and grow crops to tithe from. This even makes tithing money unbiblical. Again I say, if any one is personally convinced in his heart to give 10% or to tithe his income, it is definitely between him and God. Scriptures definitely does not make tithing compulsory for everyone.

    Anyone who advocates that every Christian should tithe in this dispensation is very unskilled in the handling of God’s word and is yet to come to terms with the finished work of the cross. And rather unfortunately, your stance echoes Jesus’ rebuke of the church in Laodacia (Rev 3: 15), they were in-between, neither hot nor cold.

    I Corinthians 9: 13 –14 is definitely not a reference to tithes. Tithes were never collected at the altar; it refers to some of the different offerings the children of Israel were mandated to bring which only priests were allowed to eat. Please look at Leviticus 2: 9 & 10 as one of many examples (emphasis mine)

    And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn [it] upon the altar: [it is] an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

    And that which is left of the meat offering [shall be] Aaron’s and his sons’: [it is] a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.

    Living by the gospel, did not mean receiving tithes from the people. None of the apostles advocated this. Instead Paul was talking about contributions that were made willingly by the people for the upkeep of the minister. He even worked for a living at some point in his life.

    If someone wants a blessing and just chooses to do “nothing” about what is recommended in Scripture, I guarantee they would get nothing as prescribed in Scripture as well.

    Your above statement does show a great degree of naivety. Look at the statement in the context of which I have written it. What can you do to obtain God’s blessings? You already are blessed mate! God’s blessings are unconditional; advocating otherwise would be to preach another gospel, the gospel of works. The only thing that is required from you is faith (please see the book of Romans).

    otherwise, why in fact does anyone need to “sow” before they “reap also bountifully” (verse 6), or for God to “multiply” a seed sown (verse 10) where there was no sowing in the first place?

    Could you please clarify what they are supposed to be sowing and what they expect to reap?

    I will conclude by saying, tithing or giving is of no consequence. It is one’s relationship with God that is of paramount importance. Without that, every giving, tithing or sowing is completely futile.

    Reply

  9. Gwaine
    Feb 16, 2009 @ 19:51:30

    Dear Tony,

    To be sure, I wasn’t being academic with Scripture, unless you would be genial enough to explain what you meant. However, if you cannot see the valid points in any arguments and just want to side with a default position, you’re no longer being fair but just arguing from demagoguery. On either side, not everyone is right, and not everyone is wrong – and I cannot just take to one side by default without carefully examining what anyone has to say.

    On the whole, what you have done is precisely what I’ve pointed out earlier as the problem with anti-tithers: “everything they read on the subject in the OT and NT has to be based on a literal reading of the Law of Moses – hence, there “cannot” be any principle for Christians in this matter!”

    Go back and read your explication of the passage I offered – 1 Corinthians 9:13-14. I offered Numbers 18 as a cross reference – did you check that up? It does not appear so. And after making a “literal reading” of Paul’s exhortations in those verses, you simply missed the gist and hence failed to notice the “principle” in its full import. Let’s see:

    I Corinthians 9: 13 –14 is definitely not a reference to tithes. Tithes were never collected at the altar; it refers to some of the different offerings the children of Israel were mandated to bring which only priests were allowed to eat. Please look at Leviticus 2: 9 & 10 as one of many examples (emphasis mine)

    First, I would like to correct an impression: it is NOT “only priests” that were allowed to eat of the offerings – other members of their families who were not priests, such as their DAUGHTERS, were also to eat of some of those offerings, because it was their sustenance (see Lev. 10:14). The prohibitions for the daughters not eating of these offerings were outlined in Lev. 22:12-13. We shall see more on this soon.

    I was well aware of Lev. 2:9-10; and there are indeed ancillary verses pointing to nearly the same thing – Lev. 6:14-18, 24-26; 7:1-8; etc. These passages speak about the “ordinaces” and “law” of various offerings –
    * ‘the law of the meat offering’ (Lev. 6:14ff)
    * ‘the law of the sin offering’ (Lev. 6:25)
    * ‘the law of the trespass offering’ (Lev. 7:1), etc.

    Since we know the apostle was not making a literal application of these passages for Christians in 1 Cor. 9:13-14, it’s obvious he was rather concerned with their general principle.

    But as you said, 1 Cor. 9:13 may be referring to “some of the different offerings” of the children of Israel. The question is this: were tithes not involved in those “different offerings”? Please read Num. 5:9-10 and Deut.18:1-5 carefully and see for yourself. You were particular only about the altar – but did Paul not mention Temple?

    I would like you to notice a few things highlighted in Num. 5:9-10 (KJV) –

    [9] And EVERY offering of ALL THE HOLY THINGS of the children of Israel, which they bring unto the priest, shall be his.
    [10] And every man’s HALLOWED THINGS shall be his: whatsoever any man giveth the priest, it shall be his.

    Now, “EVERY offering of ALL THE HOLY THINGS of the children of Israel” – does that include tithes or not? This was why I referred you to Numbers 18 to get the full picture.

    Numbers 18 distingusihes between priests who minister at (a) the Temple; and (b) the altar. While Aaron and his sons could minister at the altar (vv. 5 & 7), the Levites were charged with the service of the Tabernacle (vv. 3, 4 & 6). In anycase, for their service, God gave them the “hallowed things” of Israel, which definitely included the tithes (verse 8 to 32)-

    [11] And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy SONS and to thy DAUGHTERS with thee, by a statute for ever: EVERY ONE that is clean in thy house shall eat of it. (see verse 19 also)

    [21] And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

    [24] But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

    [31] And ye shall eat it in EVERY PLACE, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.

    There’s no denying the fact that tithes were included in the “different offerings” that Israel gave to the priests who ministered at (a) the Temple; and (b) the altar – the distinctions which Paul succinctly gave in 1 Cor. 9:13. People who are so used to their default anti-tithing position would never see tithes in those references, which is not a difficult thing to see.

    Living by the gospel, did not mean receiving tithes from the people. None of the apostles advocated this. Instead Paul was talking about contributions that were made willingly by the people for the upkeep of the minister. He even worked for a living at some point in his life.

    Lol, Tony… I’m not looking for a literal application of the OT passages of “different offerings”; but WHY would Paul categorically have referred to these OT referrences instead of just simply asking them for the “contributions” you inferred? If he just wanted to speak about “contributions”, there would be no need surely to refer to citations of the “law” of different offerings, which you interpreted from Leviticus 2:9-10.

    What I wonder about my friends is that they are at liberty to read verses literally, without a careful consideration of practical issues. I’m not accusing you; but at the same time, if Lev. 2:9-10 is all we can see for 1 Cor. 9:13, please tell me – where did the priests get money to buy whatever they needed? What happened to the sustenance of the other members of their families – like their DAUGHTERS? Was Paul only careful for ministers with an abject disregard for their families? Please think carefully on these matters.

    ______________

    “Your above statement does show a great degree of naivety. Look at the statement in the context of which I have written it. What can you do to obtain God’s blessings? You already are blessed mate! God’s blessings are unconditional; advocating otherwise would be to preach another gospel, the gospel of works. The only thing that is required from you is faith (please see the book of Romans)”.

    You know, a good friend highglights our grey areas, so thanks for pointing out my “naivety”, lol. But I don’t mix up the blessings of salvation and temporal blessings. Just having faith and sowing nothing – please tell me, how does that bring about the “blessings” of reaping “bountifully”? You’re saying that regardless whether one sows or folds his hands and does “nothing”, his faith will automatically bring him a reaping where he has now sown, yes?

    Okay, I got you. Since God’s blessings are “unconditional”, which means regardless of what anyone does, they still reap “bountifully” as though they didn’t sow, yes? If that is practical at all, what was the substance in your interpretation that Paul meant that “the same way they have met the needs of others, others would also meet their needs as well”? Why don’t Christians just sit down and have their needs met by doing NOTHING?

    Just wondering. Regards.

    Reply

  10. Tony Isaac
    Feb 16, 2009 @ 21:03:26

    Hi Gwaine,

    I give up. You win. I have no idea what you are talking about. You use so many words and end up saying nothing and your approach to scriptures is quite worrying and I do not think you have an understanding of spiritual matters. You are neither here nor there and I wonder if you have accepted Jesus at all. Your tunnel vision is so alarming. You fail to realise that the priests took care of their families with the TITHES.

    Anyways I don’t have the time to continue to engage you in this profitless banter and it is clear you are clueless on spiritual matters.

    Take care

    Reply

    • jesusembrace
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 10:01:08

      Tony, nice to see some things never change. You should just cut and past this response to everyone who disagrees with you. “I wonder if you have accepted Jesus at all.” Thaf really is all you have to say. Most people will know who you are with that statement. I would hope for spiritual maturity for yourself over the years but you are still right and everyone else is unspiritual and perhaps even unsaved. God help you brother, you are steadfast and unwavering.

      Reply

      • eliteinchrist
        Dec 04, 2011 @ 12:20:17

        Perry, you have tried to avoid answering my question by attacking my person. I ask and still ask; please provide scriptures in support of all that you are saying. Simple.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: