Friday, March 24, 2006

Robbing God: The Best Tithe Argument

The secular make fun of those who tithe like they are just throwing away their money. Of course, if you look at the way people spend money, you could probably find clear ways that people waste dollars. Statistics show that churches on the whole save society loads of cash. But I digress before I ever begin. I mean to give the best argument for tithing. Does God expect us to tithe? Tithing for certain is Old Testament: Abraham tithed pre-Mosaic law (Gen. 14:20), the Mosaic law required it (Lev. 27:32; Num. 18:24; Dt. 12:6; etc.), and God said the one who did not tithe was robbing Him (Malachi 3:8-10). Some argue it is only Old Testament. Not so. First, Christ said He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Grace is not antinomian (lawless). The law is good (Rom. 7:12). It has its purpose of pointing out transgression. As such, it is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ by faith (Gal. 3:24, 25).

Anways, the argument. I'm not going to make you turn to 1 Corinthians 9, but that's where it is. Consider these verses there (that means read them):

6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? 7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 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.

Paul argues that he has the right to be materially compensated for his ministry. He gives a number of different arguments for this, including going back into the OT law to make it (vv. 8-10). Obviously Paul thought that the law still applied. In v. 13 he contends that the Levites ("they which minister about holy things") lived "of the things of the temple." The "things of the temple" were the tithes of the congregation of Israel. Now look at v. 14 to get the brunt of this in the words "even so." You should understand "even so" as "just like." The Lord has ordained that the people that preach the gospel should live of the gospel, just like the Levites lived of their particular ministry. The Levites were supported by tithes and so today churches should support their ministers with their tithes.

Many more verses tie into, accentuate, and support this argument. However, this is the best explanation for why tithing is New Testament and ought to be done today. To not do so is essentially then to violate all the New Testament principles and commands on giving. The priority of worship will show up in the pocket book, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

As I have told you before;

In the passage in Malachi, they were actually tithing, and yet God accuses them of robbing Him IN their tithes! They were bringing their sick, blemished and lame animals as their tithe, but it still was a tithe! So how does this apply today? If your dollar bill has a rip in it, would that count?

The Christian Church does NOT have a command to tithe, but rather here is the rule for Christians;

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

If the law of tithing is still in effect then it is a necessity, but Paul says there is no necessity!

As a partner in the gospel with God He gives His Children the right to administer His funds.

25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?   26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Matthew 17:25

Here is the other principle spoken by Jesus Christ Himself;

Luke 14:33
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

"Cannot" is a very big and all encompassing word! The rule in the Church-Age is 100%, not a mere tenth! If you are keeping 90% for yourself, you cannot be His disciple!

I Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Here is a book you should read. Matthew Narramore has graciously put the whole book on-line for you to read for free. I would recommend that after reading it you should buy a hard copy and share it with others!

Since your site won't allow links, do a search for "Tithing, Low-Realm, Obsolete, and Defunct" by Matthew Narramore.