The tithe debate seems to be gathering a lot of momentum of late. And even in the face of strong scriptural evidence that it is not binding on today’s church, there are those who still staunchly support it.
However, those who support it hardly provide enough scriptural evidence but tend to use a lot of buzzwords and personal opinion. Their favourite is that tithing is an eternal principle; a definition which completely lacks scriptural support.
It is not uncommon to hear them say that tithing is binding on today’s church because it was practised by Abraham before the law. Now this begs the question, was Abraham Jesus or was he God? Did God ask us to use him as our standard today and do everything he did? This approach completely lacks credibility.
Basing a doctrine on a single act of Abraham goes completely against the grain of scripture. He was not our standard, Jesus is and we understand from scripture that Abraham and all the saints of old did not even receive God’s promise nor could they achieve perfection without us.
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Hebrews 11
God’s selection of Abraham as an ancestor of Jesus was done completely by grace. Since the Word was going to be made flesh and share our humanity, He needed to have parents and the parents an ancestry. This ancestry was traced in the book of Matthew to show that Jesus was the promised seed of Abraham.
Now the argument that one pre-law event is binding on today’s church is completely baseless because every event before and during the law spoke about Christ. Hence it made no sense to enforce circumcision or animal sacrifice in the New Testament; they were already fulfilled in Christ. Tithing cannot be the only exception.
Before the law, aspects of Christ’s person were revealed. He was the Word through which the world created, He was God’s Sabbath, He was the seed of the woman, He was the firstling of the flock of Abel, He was the seed of Abraham and establishing the law simply confirmed all of these. And they were all fulfilled in the New Testament.
And the essence of Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek was to foretell the Priesthood of Christ and nothing more. It was to be the written evidence to future generations that a Priest could arise from a tribe other than the tribe of Levi
This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. Heb 7: 15
Thus, using Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek to justify tithing today, hardly does that portion of scripture justice.