No Tithe for New Testament Christians
by Jon Hanna
No Tithe for New Testament Christians
This letter is in response to the May letter to the Editor and response concerning tithes. How does scripture teach tithing? First, "tithe" literally means tenth. Now Lev. 27:30-32 says to tithe off of the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree, the herd and the flock. Deut. 12:17 mentions a tithe of corn, wine, oil, herds and flock. Duet. 14:22 states thou shalt truly tithe all the increase…of they seed the field brings forth year by year. There seems to be a pattern throughout all the Old Testament where the tithe was to be eaten, as seen in Duet 12:18 and Duet 14:23. I never read, "TITHE 10 CENTS OFF OF EVERY DOLLAR", or anything similar in scripture. Why? There are approximately 115 times in the Old Testament where the word "money" is used. In Duet. 14:22-29 God is commanding man concerning the tithe and the location where he shall carry the tithe to eat it. God says if the designated place is to far to carry the tithe, exchange it for money and when you get to the designated place, use the money to buy whatsoever your soul lusts after, oxen or sheep or wine etc… and there eat before the Lord.
Jesus said tithing was of the law. When Jesus rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees in Matt. 23:23, He said, "For ye pay tithe of mint, anise and cummin (herbs/plants) and have omitted the weightier matters of the law" … Jesus is saying that tithing was a lighter matter of the law. Hebrews 7:5 says those of the priesthood receive tithes… according to the law.
What does the New Testament say about giving? 2 Cor. Chapters 8 and 9 address how we ought to give, the many blessings we receive from giving and spiritual laws that apply to giving. It never tells us to tithe. Why? Jesus addresses giving also in Luke 6:30 and 6:38. I believe tithing, as it is taught today, is nothing more than a doctrine of man.
Yes, you're on to something. Hebrews 7:5 tells the story of who was to get the tithe. Also, the New Testament Christian Jews did not impose the Old Testament laws of circumcision nor tithing on the Gentile Christians (Acts 15:1-29) when they decided what was required for Gentile believers. The New Testament teaches that what we sow is what we reap. While we must also learn to sow into God's Kingdom with financial support, our membership in His Kingdom is only secured by the blood of Jesus, not tithes.
Unfortunately, many churches deny membership to those who don't give ten percent of their annual income specifically to their ministry. Many churches improperly teach the Levitical Law of tithing, yet do not submit to the Levitical Law, which limits priests to room and board only. How many pastors do you know who submit to Levitical Law and only take room and board? In fact, under Levitical Law, the ten percent tithe was only collected every third year called 'year of the tithe' (Duet. 14:28&29, Deut. 26:12).
The New Testament instructs believers to give out of a willing mind and their ability (2 Cor. 8:12) and as they have determined in their heart to give (2 Cor. 9:6&7). Lord willing, pastors will stop leading their people to serve God through legality and begin to encourage them to seek a personal relationship with God through Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Truth and Mercy,
Horribly Confused!? Severely Concerned!
I recently read the June 2003 issue of the Connection and found myself horribly confused regarding the article "Christian Students Punished for Countering Pro-Homosexual Observance" by Jim Brown. I find nothing wrong with the point that Mr. Brown is trying to get across. I myself was denied in high school the right to announce "See You at the Pole" and Bible study days. It's wrong how society won't allow it, I know. But I am severely concerned by your note at the end. "Unless your children are super-spiritual, we need to get our Christian children out of the public schools for their own good." So in other words you just want our public schools to go hell? What good would it do to take Christian students out of public school? That is like saying only Christians can work at a Christian work place. What kind of witnesses would we be if we ran and hid and excluded ourselves from anything that presented an outreach? The schools are where Christian students have the ability to witness to their friends and even teachers. If you take them out of there then we are defeating the purpose of our even being here on earth. Why else did God put us on this planet then to share Jesus Christ with the lost? Even Jesus himself went around with the prostitutes and beggars. If you take these students out of the schools then Christians will never be allowed the chance to announce "See You at the Pole" or other Christian based activities. I am concerned with the fact that you expressed Christians should only interact with other Christians, unless they are 'super-spiritual.' You sent a very strong message in that simple sentence and I don't agree that only someone 'super spiritual' can change a public school as opposed to a new Christian or someone who has been one for 8 years and grown up in the church. What's not a better way to challenge your faith and truly learn what it is like to stand up for Christ than in a situation with the schools?
It's not my desire for anyone to go to hell, however, the doctrines of the secular public schools most definitely belong in Hell. Also, I never said that Christian's should only interact with other Christians.
Regarding your question, "what good would it do to take Christian students out of public schools?", the Bible says raise your children in the way they should go, yet we send them to worldly and secular teachers who teach them that they've descended from apes, that homosexuality is normal, and that they can engage in sex acts as long as they use a condom. Yet you seem to be more offended by my admonition than the public school's unholy and ungodly teachings.
The fruit I've seen from Christians sending children to these institutions of carnal knowledge, is that the so-called Christian children are more likely to take on the ways of the world rather than influence their peers to become followers of Jesus.
We are expecting too much out of these little children when we send them into the snake pit so young and so unprepared. Let's first prepare our children and then we can send them forth when their faith is strong and they are well equipped with God's word and the Holy Spirit.
No Christian parent should be forced or required by law to send their children to those public schools that disregard God's laws and promote sin. Those who flippantly subject their children to such wicked teaching will have to answer to God for it.
In Christ by Grace,