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Questions On Tithing

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Andrew, Mar 17, 2003.

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  1. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    I believe in tithing and have been a tither. A friend however, strongly does not and asked me a load of questions on the subject. I'll post his comments here and seek answers from those who believe in tithing. thanks...
    ----------------
    he wrote....

    .... I've realized that it is largely due to ignorance of the difference between the tithe and the firstfruit....the tithe and the firstfruit are different...

    The meaning of the first fruit is simple. It simply means that which comes first. A tithe on the other hand simply means the tenth part, or ten percent.

    The difference between these two terms is illustrated in scripture in Leviticus 27:26-32.

    In the church I attend, they understand this difference and so they say that the first fruit (in terms of financial income) of our increase is not the tithe, but for example, if we have just landed a new job, then that "whole" first months salary is the first fruit of our increase, and we honour the lord with that, according to Proverbs 3:9

    The same applies for our raises at work.It is an increase and if it is the first, then that is counted as the firstfruit.

    The logic goes like this: If you get your months salary, it all comes to you at the same time. How can you then determine which part of that salary came to you first. It is surely not by calculating ten percent, because that wouldn't be the first fruit, because you received it all at the same time, but would simply be the tithe of that salary. Therefore the tithe is not the firstfruit.

    This puts a big hole in the whole message, because it is based on Christ being the firstfruit (which is true) and therefore "the tithe".

    Christ is the firstborn of the church and therefore the firstfruit and we all who believe in him are a kind of firstfruit of God's creatures as the scripture says.

    If Christ was the tithe (or the tenth part) then that would mean that there were only nine of us who were saved.

    I don't dispute the fact that the Holy Spirit convicted you to tithe. But perhaps He was convicting you of a far deeper truth that tithing represents, (because He would never go against His Word) that one should abound in the grace of giving to support those who preach the gospel.

    And when the Apostle Paul talks of the rights of those who preach the gospel, he says that "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel"...(1Corinthians 9:14)

    His justification for this statement does not come from the principle (read as:law) of the tithe, but instead he quotes an obscure proverb from the Jewish law to put forward a principle that should be followed.

    "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? or saith He it altogether for our (preachers) sakes?.....for our sakes (preachers) no doubt this is written"

    Isn't it a wonder that Paul should take an obscure old testament saying (Deuteronomy 25:4) to support his claim to financial support, and not threaten and accuse them of God robbing if they didn't pay tithes to him?

    And in his second letter to the same people Paul writes:
    "Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us see that ye abound in this grace also (he is talking about supporting the gospel)................I speak not by commandment...For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich. And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it ; that as there was a readiness to will so there may be a performance also out of which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath and not according ! to that he hath not......(2 Corinthians 8:7-11)

    "Everyman according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity (like tithing), for God loveth a cheerful giver.......(2 Corinthians 9:7)
    And I know of only one formula in the New Testament that guarantees material blessing for the one who practises it, and it is not tithing, but encapsulated in the preceding verse to the one above.....

    "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully"....(2 Corinthians 9:6)

    There is no need to hold a gun to believers heads and threaten them to tithe. This formula should be enough to cause any believer to abound in the grace of giving, for whatever cause.

    Just as now we are circumcized inwardly (Romans 2:28-29) and not outwardly (circumcision was also given before the Law) so also with this outward show of tithing. It is a matter of the heart as Paul makes so clear in the verses above. And if I may hasten to add; the early church (where there was no mention of this) excelled at this grace of giving...Acts 4:32-35
     
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  2. hugoguttman

    hugoguttman Member

    202
    +1
    Non-Denom
    Andrew:
    God bless you, and good for you, because you can take one primise written in Holy Scripture in Malachi 3.
     
  3. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    The tithe is to be the TENTH and come from your first fruits. WHAT MORE not just your money should you tithe but from all of your first fruits - Time, Money, prayer, service, etc. The tithe is the MINIMUM you are to give God according to scripture, your blessing is not on your tithe but on what you give above and beyond. :) The widow was not giving a tithe when she cast in her mite - she gave a tithe +.
     
  4. aus_koala

    aus_koala New Member

    70
    +0
    Andrew,
    the problem with the firstfruits argument as you have laid out is that it is in relation to farmers and agriculturists. The first fruits was EVERY SEASON and not just the very first time. For stock breeders it was the first fruits of each breeding season. From growers it was the first fruits of each harvest.

    Now for those receiving a salary this means that a person should be giving the first months salary EVERY YEAR which would be 1/12th or 8% even by the example your friend has used.

    Now the other argument I have heard about tithing is that this was before taxes. My friends argument is that now that we have income taxes taking the first 30%+ from our incomes then we no longer need to tithe as the tithe was to allow the church to help those in need which is what our government and taxes are supposed to be doing. I disagree with this argument as well.

    Now a third argument I have heard is that we are supposed to tithe our net income whereas others say we should tithe our gross income. Well the best answer for this I heard was a question. Which one do you want blessed?

    People will use many ways to justify not tithing, churches will use many ways to justify tithing. I believe tithing to be an act of obedience and must come from the heart. God seems to reward obedience and actions from the heart.
     
  5. aus_koala

    aus_koala New Member

    70
    +0
    Here are some scriptures to consider. Looks like your friend is supposed to give the firstfruits AND a tithe AND can also give a contribution. Notice the EACH YEAR concept.

    2 Chronicles 31
    He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD . As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps.

    Nehemiah 12
    And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
    At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites. They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the singers and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David and his son Solomon.

    Nehemiah 10
    "We-the priests, the Levites and the people-have cast lots to determine when each of our families is to bring to the house of our God at set times each year a contribution of wood to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the Law.
    "We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the LORD each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree.
    "As it is also written in the Law, we will bring the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, of our herds and of our flocks to the house of our God, to the priests ministering there.
     
  6. sklippstein

    sklippstein Well-Known Member

    +1
    Catholic

    Wouldn't that be alms?
     
  7. sklippstein

    sklippstein Well-Known Member

    +1
    Catholic

    Amen!
     
  8. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    alms - love offering - faith offering call it what you like. She gave not out of her surpluss but out of her need.
     
  9. kjbreil

    kjbreil New Member

    10
    +0

    So true, tithing is a thing of the heart, you tithe because you want to see your church grow and prosper and more people to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal master. If you love god you will tithe what you feel you need to tithe, and 10% is a good start. Tithing is a way for you to bless god, and in turn god will bless you.

    -Kjell
     
  10. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5

    According to the Jewish viewpoint of where the concept of tithing actually originated from, BR. Max's description is in very accurate.

    "In Judiasm the Talmud concludes that, "charity is equal in importance to all the other commandments combined." And even as it states this remarkable law, it uses a word in Hebrew that makes clear Judiasm doesn't even accept the notion of "charity". Charity, from the Latin word charitas, meaning high reguard, love, conveys the idea of doing something more than you have to do. It's a noble gesture, a deed that comes from the heart, and act that's praiseworthy precisely because it's completely voluntary. That's not at all what it's Jewish counterpart, the word tzedaka implies. Tzedaka is literally justice or righteousness. It's not just a good thing to do, but a neccessary, required act, an obligation, a mitzvah.

    The Jew simply has no choice. Like it or not Judiasm requires 10 percent of one's income to be set aside for the poor. Generally known as tithing, this is the minimum amount, a commandment whose source is in the Bible."

    Source: Rabbi Benjamin Blech, tenth generation rabbi, and associate professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University in NYC.  

    Okay, this is the second time in one month I have agreed with Br. Max.. :eek: 

    Well I have to give respect where it is due.. so good post Br. Max and I definitely agree with all that you have stated here..

    Missy
     
     
  11. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5

    Amen once again! :eek:

    Missy
     
  12. kiwi believer

    kiwi believer New Member

    13
    +0
    why get into theories? God provides everything we have - he asks us to return one thenth of that - this is the least we can give considering how much he has given to us - it's a love offering done in obedience. it doesnt matter what your church does with the offerings - we only have to be concerned with the giving. The Jews in the O.T. obeyed the law by tithing - should we give God any less under grace?
     
  13. sbbqb7n16

    sbbqb7n16 Veteran - Blue Bible Dude

    +155
    Christian
    Single
    Matt_23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. "

    Thought I would post this because it fits in with the last couple of posts :D Have a great day!
     
  14. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    I see what you are trying to convey and I am not disputing it at all.. but it is absolutely important what the church does with the tithes.. the original concept was for it to go to the POOR.  I mention this because I have seen in churches where the tithes do not go to the poor at all but rather to pay bills, minister's salary, and church dues, church board members..everything EXCEPT the poor.

    Now the church offering is something TOTALLY different.. your offerring in church doesn't neccessarily have to include your tithes at all. People mistakenly think the church offering is the only way to pay tithes.. and it is a good way of course if that money is designated to go to the poor and you are aware of this. An offering collected in church should be used for church things like bills and income paid to the staff, etc.

    Tithes should not be used at all for this purpose. Tithes are for the poor. You can give that by donating money to your local homeless shelter, to poor children in Africa, adopting a foreign child, etc. Or anything that you have.. the Salvation Army and Good Wills always could use clothes, shelters can always use food, even if you just give food to someone in need that is part of your tithes..

    I am just saying this to acknowledge the difference between tithes and offerings.

    Missy


     
     
  15. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5

    Since no one here is a Pharisee, I dont' see how it applies at all. And considering the fact you don't know everyone here, you have no idea if someone is a hypocrite or not.

    Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. ;)


    Missy
     
  16. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    What non-Law/post-cross scriptures are there to show that tithing is NC?
    (btw: I tithe)

    besides...
    Heb 7
    4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
    8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

    There's another scripture passage in the OT that talks about the New Temple when Jesus comes back. The passage also talks about how at that time, people will still bring tithes to Jesus.

    Anyone know where it is? tks.
     
  17. kiwi believer

    kiwi believer New Member

    13
    +0
    When i said that it doesn't matter what the church does with the tithes i should have made it clearer - it only matters to God - if they misuse the money they are accountable to him not to us.Our only part in this is to give. I believe that if Pastors are annointed by God they will do with the money what God ordains. There have of course, been Pastors who have abused the trust of their congregation but do you really think that God would stop His blessings coming down on those who tithed because of the pastors mistakes? I think that what happens to the tithes is another point really.
     
  18. sbbqb7n16

    sbbqb7n16 Veteran - Blue Bible Dude

    +155
    Christian
    Single
    Apparently you misunderstood my motives in posting that...

    There were discussions about which tithe was important and which one was more important. I posted the "Pharisee" part of the verse because ... well it's part of the verse :) So I just posted the whole thing. I wasn't meaning for it to sound as though I was judgin anyone.

    Anyways... my point of the verse is that it shows Jesus commending giving 10% (which is what tithe means) but also shows that our importance should not be placed solely on "is this a tithe - is that a tithe" but on the more weightier parts of the law.

    I'm sorry my post was taken in a judging manner. I honestly didn't mean it like that. Have a great day!
     
  19. Debi

    Debi New Member

    76
    +1
    Each of these scriptures are in the OT. Where is the command to Tithe in the NT. If you are going to be under the law, keep all the law. There is not mandate to tithe in the NT. It is giving. Very clearly stated. What is purposed in your heart. Every Christian should give, but for a religious system to teach that you should tithe is incorrect. God does not need our money. And the preachers that do the most preaching on tithes are Apostate and getting rich off the poor. I am sure that is not what God had intented.

    Either we are under the law or we are not. Now, I will say this, any Christian that does not give for the ministries and the poor at church should examine their hearts and see if they are in faith. But the tithe has been inappropriately preached in the churches. There are several different tithes mentioned in the old testament. The tithe was set up to pay taxes, to pay the Levite preist ( because at that time they were intercessors to God) and for food for the preist. It was never mandated to support Religious leaders. There are no more intercessors to God, Jesus is our intercessor, which is why Paul state to give as you have purposed in your heart. A willing heart, not grudgily.

    The tithe is just as badly miss used my religious leaders as the fictious seed sowing( representive of your money).


     
  20. suzie

    suzie Senior Member

    861
    +30
    Christian
    Amen to you Debi! While the principles of tithing are in place, we are no longer bound to the Law.

    Where in the NT does is speak about tithing? In 2Corinthians 8:10-15 gives us the principle and purpose of tithing.....

    Paul actually begins in Chpt 8:2-5 about giving sacrificially, and continues into chapter 9 of 2 Corinthians.
     
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