Man has always been intrigued by mysteries. Conspiracy theories have been the bread and butter of many. There are numerous interests in UFOs and alien life forces that have even given birth to a lot of religions and cult followings.
Christianity too also has its fair share of mystery hunters. They are those who like to occupy a position of relevance in christiandom and one of the ways they do this is to promote gibberish in the name of mysteries of God. One of such funny so-called mysteries has been the coming of Christ and the revelation of the son of perdition. They try very hard to bend certain scriptures to suit their preconceived ideas about current global events. Even though we can see from scripture that the end of days lies in the hand of God, these false alarmists still carry on deceiving many.
Melchizedek too has also been the subject of a lot of ‘bible mysteries’. A lot has been said and is still being said about his person. Most of these theories are the fabrications of pro-tithers just to make their doctrine of tithing seem valid.
For once why don’t we just accept what scriptures say without trying to second guess and fill in the blank spaces with our little minds. Has it ever occurred to us these blanks were the deliberate hand work of our invincible God? Scriptures say that the hidden things belong to God but what has been revealed belongs to men.
The most common defense in support of this abhorrent practice of tithing is that it precedes the law through Abraham’s encounter with the mysterious Melchizedek. And in a bid to give it some out of this world holier than thou status, a lot of divine properties are apportioned to Melchizedek. Mortal man! How can you know more than what has been written in scripture? Why promote your own ideas and try to colour it with bits of scripture in order to make it seem like it was the good Lord speaking?
Now before we continue looking at Melchizedek, let us first of all look at the commonly held belief behind this doctrine of tithing. We are told that in order to invoke God’s blessing, every believer has to faithfully set aside a tenth of their monthly income because it belongs to God. Failure to do so will make God release the devourer on our lives and our finances and Malachi 3: 10 is used to buttress this point. But if we try to raise the objection that tithing is a Jewish old testament practice, we are told that we are wrong because Abraham did it before the law. This argument sounds like the argument of a bunch of confused people who are desperately trying to force new wine into old wineskins and what happens when we do that? The wineskins split and all the new wine is lost.
I will use an example to make my point. I will assume that we all at some point in our lives have gone to the shops to buy something which when we took home found that it was defective. Let me use a dvd player as an example. If we went to the shops to buy a dvd player which costs £50.00 and we took it home and discovered it was faulty, when we take it back to the shop we purchased it from, we are either given a full refund or a like for like exchange. We cannot be given a £60.00 refund when we only paid £50.00 neither would we be given a £100.00 dvd in exchange when we only brought back a £50.00 dvd. You may be wondering where I am going to with this, the answer is simple – the defense of the tithing doctrine is nothing more than trying to claim a £100.00 refund for the £50.00 you spent! All the scriptural references are simply not like for like thus violating the golden rule of the bible – out of the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established. Let me explain.
In order to escape the fact that tithing is an old testament principle, we bring Abraham and Melchizedek into the mix. But the way we practice tithing bears no semblance to the way Abraham did his. How can we then say we are following his example? Abraham never tithed to rebuke the devourer neither did he tithe to receive God’s blessings. He was already blessed!
Genesis 13: 1 & 2 tells us that much
1AndAbram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
2And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
This knocks out the theory that tithing invokes God’s blessings. It certainly did not do the same for Abraham. Though pro-tithers still try to say that it must have been practiced habitually by Abraham. If it was, the bible would have mentioned it but it didn’t and this is not an error but a deliberate act of the Almighty God.
And this brings me to the raging question, who is this mysterious man called Melchizedek? The answer is very very simply – WE DO NOT KNOW! The only thing we know about him is that he was the king of Salem and was also a high priest and his name meant king of righteousness. Nothing more is said about him. Why? I haven’t the foggiest! People say he was Christ, well scripture never tells us that much. And rather than try to fashion out plausible explanations which lack biblical support, why don’t we just stay within the boundaries of what has been written and accept that the story surrounding him was written that way deliberately by God? But then even if we are to go along with the assumption that he (Melchizedek) was Christ then our practice of tithing has to be like for like i.e. we would have to give our tithes physically to Jesus and not through any intermediaries. That would be following Abraham’s example.
Abraham’s tithe versus tithes in the book of Malachi
I still do not understand why pro-tither lump Abraham’s tithe and the tithes in the book of Malachi together. They should not even be mentioned in the same sentence! You cannot have it both ways you either pick Abraham’s tithe and stick with it or you pick Malachi’s and stick with it. You cannot use Malachi’s tithe to support Abraham’s tithes, they are different and most certainly not like for like!
Abraham’s tithe was not done to rebuke the devourer, it was not done to sustain the priesthood neither was it done to provide food for the storehouse. It was done freely and voluntarily and this shows that there would have been no penalty for not doing it and there certainly was no reward for doing it either.
The tithe in Malachi on the other hand refers to the tithes of the law. It is linked to the priesthood and the storehouse. It was instituted as a means of supporting the Levitical priesthood as well as the poor and less privileged. It was not practiced by everybody in Israel only by farmers and it was not from spoils of war. Hence the mention of the priests and the storehouse something completely absent in Abraham’s. Like for like remember?
Don’t kid yourself that you are following Abraham’s example, you are completely wide of the mark. Don’t use Melchizedek as a reason to support it, there is simply not enough information about him for us to make wonderful conclusions. And don’t use Malachi 3: 10 to buttress your point, it refers to the Mosaic tithes which you all admit we are not under.
Where does that live us and the tithe? No where! It is simply not relevant to today’s church.