Should you tithe while trying to get out of debt?

Being in debt and Tithing

I can’t even count how many readers have emailed me asking me about whether or not they should tithe while getting out of debt. Tithing is a fiercely debated topic (read comments on the post I wrote called Tithing in the New Testament for proof) as you would expect with anything that seems to not make sense. I still wonder in amazement at how so many of God’s principles are absolute foolishness to non-christians… I mean who in their right mind would give expecting to have more?

That said, I will use this post as a summary of how I commonly answer the “tithing in times of challenge” questions. I will lay out my thoughts about the subject and what I have found from the Bible about it. The Bible says that we all know in part, so I don’t claim to know the answer for everyone, but this is what I have landed on. If this is a question you are asking for yourself, I suggest you pray and dig into your Bible!

My tithing story

I get a kick out of stepping out in faith. I absolutely love it. When I was 20 I packed up everything I owned an moved to Florida without a job lined up because I felt God calling me. I still remember the uncertainty of my ability to hear from God coupled with the thrill of the faith-walk. Turns out I was hearing from God and that season was a huge turning point in my life. I would have missed out on so much and I would be nowhere near where I am today spiritually had I not stepped out in faith and obeyed that leading.

The reason I bring this up is because we (Linda and I) have taken the same leaps of faith with tithing. As I detailed in a post called my tithing experience, I explained that due to an error on my part I found out that even though we thought we were tithing, we were actually about 1-2% short. With the same anticipation and feelings of uncertainty, we decided to fix the problem and increase our giving up to 10% – even though this would take our expenses higher than our income. Within a DAY we saw God kick our income up over our expenses. I am convinced he was trying to teach us a valuable lesson about His faithfulness – I never want to forget it.

While we have been working to pay off a huge chunk of debt over the last few years, we have been faithfully tithing. It would be nice if I could say that I started tithing and the next week a check came in the mail to pay off all of our debt, but God doesn’t seem to do it that way very often. He seems to be interested in changing us than just making the problem disappear. Honestly, what good would it do if He made all our debt disappear without us learning the discipline of handling our finances properly? If we created all the debt by over-spending, then we would just end up in the same place again.

While I haven’t received a $100,000 check in the mail yet, we have seen numerous large chunks of our debt paid off over the last few years – I thank God for them and am convinced that He was involved in bringing them to us.

So, should you tithe while getting out of debt?

Simply put, I think yes. I would be willing to bet that if we had spent the last 3 years paying our tithe money to our debts, we would not be near as far along as we are.

What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts or stories about tithing…













Comments

140 Comments
  1. I agree with you one hundred percent. We were both unemployed for two months this time last year and still tithed off of the savings that we were living off of. I wrote about this in my short e-book (http://www.whereyouarenow.com/blog/journey/) and believe that in order to be blessed, you must bless. We acted in faith and were provided for.

    Good article!

  2. I agree with you as well. My wife and I got married in the fall of 2006 and as we looked at our income decided to have over 10% of our total income automatically withdrawn from my wife’s paycheck and put into a separate account. When I became unemployed in 2007 we didn’t make any adjustments to that and never used the separate account for our own gains. We continued the model when we moved at the beginning of 2008.

    Our problem is actually giving the money away! We believe that the tithe isn’t just for supporting the local church but also the wider Kingdom. So we support missionaries, charities, and our church out of the separate account we have setup.

    We almost always have money to give away when asked.

    • Tracey

      I love this. I love the part where you always have money to give away when asked.

  3. I certainly believe you should continue tithing. It teaches us to trust in God with one of the most important things in our life, our money. And the thing is, our tithes are what runs the church. I have no problem giving to the local church because I know that money is going toward getting people saved, and isn’t that what this life is about.

  4. This is something my boyfriend and I fight over almost every Sunday! I make less than $140/month and I have no savings, no emergency funds, and often I’m very close to not making my bills. He doesn’t think I should be tithing, and I’m pretty adamant about it now that I’ve started. Very timely post!

  5. I would agree also. My wife and I have paid off a significant amount of debt the last couple of years while tithing. We believe tithing is right! And God blesses obedience.

  6. I like the article. Your precepts are on point, and i agree with your conclusion.

  7. It’s amazing how the money stretches when we tithe. I’ve experienced God’s provision time and time again, when we’ve tithed in hard times.

  8. Like you and others above, we hit hard times when we felt God’s call for me to quit my job and stay home but we continued to tithe. Big shocker … God has provided for over a year now. Why are we so surprised when God provides? It’s like being surprised that water quenches your thirst. He is always faithful.

  9. I am glad to see so many others who have had similar experiences. The post I mentioned at the beginning of the article seems to only get comments arguing 101 reasons why you shouldn’t tithe – I guess it is how people are finding it in the search engines… But for those of us who have seen firsthand the benefits of tithing, it is hard to do anything else!

  10. Carolyn

    I agree too. One year my husband’s division was eliminated and though he wasn’t fired, his salary was cut in half. When we were figuring out how to handle our budget he insisted that we continue tithing as much as we had been so we continued to tithe on what our salary was before the cut. Well, I became a believer in the tithe after that experience because some how we always had enough money at the end of each month. And within 2 years, my husband had a better job with better pay and benefits than he did before. I’m a tither for life.

  11. Can a man serve two masters? Can he serve both debt and God with his money? How can God accept a gift from someone who still is a slave to something else? If there are no other options, I would say stop tithing and get out of debt.

    – jared b.

    • Erica

      Thank you. Well said. This is what God has revealed to me as well. Tithes were not income (money); it was agriculture from those who owned land. Also God wants us to care for our necessities first that does not mean we can’t give freely to those around us but when we seek God he reveals this to us. If you are in debt you are poor. You are a slave to debt. You are also poor in spirit. God wants to use us but because we lack truth we stay in captivity. Jesus came to set the captives free; free from debt (poverty), heart aches, depression, and whatever burdens that keep us from a life of peace & liberty. When he said I have paid the price he truly meant it. His love fulfilled the Mosaic Law where tithes fall under. He wants us to give cheerfully andwithout requirement. Our only obligation is to love one a
      nother. Being debt free keeps us from serving two masters. We can’t serve God and money. To know the truth is to be truly free both spiritually and financially. Then when can really serve each other.

      -E

    • what if you have a house loan for 25 years!

  12. Adamantly YES! God provides in amazing ways, as you have shared personally. And, we have too had the experience where a check has unexpectedly come in the mail when it was tight. We firmly believe it was God’s way of saying He would take care of us.

  13. Tithing is a principle without conditions, and since it is a principle of firstfruits, there is no reason not to do it. If you put your tithe first you have the entire 90% left to pay your bills. When we return to God that which belongs to Him, we are demonstrating our love and trust in Him.

    I do tell people that giving free-will offerings above and beyond their tithe is something they should stop (unless directed by God), while getting out of debt.

  14. I do not agree. I do not tithe and I have many stories of how God has blessed me financially and in other ways. I think God would want you to first pay your debts. I would never agree that God would want you to short pay those you owe because of your tithe. I also think it is obsurd to believe that people would place giving to there local church over taking care of their family’s needs.

    Further-more the tithe is part of the law of which we are not under the law.

    • Tracey

      Needs and wants are different. I feel like if you pay your tithes which God wants us to do then he will take care of your needs and your debt. It is not up to you to decide how that is done, leave that to God.

  15. @Joshua We are to honor God first, family second, self third. Honor God first and the rest will fall into place. Give to God with what he has blessed you with and he will make sure your need are met.

  16. Joshua: Why would you think its absurd that people would give to their local church over their family needs? Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The early church put all their possessions together.

    And as far as not being under the law anymore. In Luke Jesus did say that the Pharisees tithed but neglected loving God. But he tells them to do both.

    Luke 11:42

    42″Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

    Its obvious from your post that your looking to yourself to take care of your family needs, and I think God would want us to look to Him instead.

  17. The answer to your arguement with Luke 11:42 is very simple the Pharisees were under the law prior to the resurrection as jews.

    Out of respect I will avoid pasting links to a 22 part video series on youtube of why tithing is not for today. I will also not post links to numerous web site that offer biblical proof that tithing is old covenant. You reader “if they want to” find proof there are plenty of materials available through google.

    I will have fun having this debate with you later because my lunch is over. I am a seasoned Bible scholar.

  18. @Joshua No debate necessary: Why don’t you WANT to give? Law or no law, we should WANT to give.

  19. I do give, but I do not give to fund the churches mortgage on a building they only use 20% of the week.

    I give directly to the needy because then I get the reward of seeing the smiles on the faces of the people I help. Why pay the church to do what God asked us to do directly? We all are responsable to give to the least of these.

    Hope your readers like the challenge I am issuing. Some will see depriving the institution to care for the needy directly as the christian robin hood approach. If churches have to choose between saving the institution or taking care of the needs of the average people they will likely choose the paying the church mortgage every time. Why should I short pay my mortgage so they don’t have to short pay theirs? That means that single mother trying to raise a family on her own will likely be forgotten.

  20. @Joshua I agree with you on that argument and practice the same giving habit.

  21. Good then I am glad I stopped by.

    Nice to meet you!

  22. anonymous

    Only 90% of your money is yours. You can give 10% with a cheerful heart in the form of a tithe, or it will be taken from you in the form of an untimely expense, perhaps a home or car repair, or an unexpected medical bill. Do the math. That expense often adds up to 10% of your income.

    • Andrea

      90% of your money is not yours. 100% of your money is God’s. Everything that you have is God’s, and he has made you steward of it.

      I’ve been struggling with the tithing question–realizing the truth that I am a steward of 100% of the money God gives me, that the spirit is in me, guiding me as long as I seek God, and that I’m not under law. But also that “tithing” 10% is an act of obedience, a demonstration of faith, that the spirit could well lead me to do.

      I can’t serve money and God. In fact, I am to hate money, and love God. I suppose if the spirit were leading you to tithe 10%, but you rebelled, then God could discipline you in the form of some untimely expense–and that would be amazing, because you would be humbled, and you would draw nearer to God. But I don’t think we have that kind of bargaining relationship with him.

      And I definitely don’t think it’s good for us to think of 90% of our income–or any other worldly possession–as “ours.” We are commanded to die to ourselves, not to store up riches on earth, not to love money or any other idol, and to serve God with our whole heart.

    • Andrea, good thoughts. I think when Christians say that “90% of their money is theirs” they mean that “90% of their money is theirs to manage for God.” :)

    • Cliff Coward

      So true my friend….

    • I think the worry is say you earn 1000. 00, rentals are 400, debt takes off 400, electrical and water bills takes say 70 dollars, you are now at 870, meaning you have 130.00 on you, I have used a net which may mean you earn say 1400 meaning your 10% is 140, how do you go about it. The debt could have come from borrowing for your children’s education which you could not raise from your income.

  23. anonymous:

    Glad I don’t serve your God. Tithe is old testament and if you want to debate just ley me know and I will have a ton of resources posted in my next comment that biblically prove that the tithe is the law that we are no longer under. You how ever sound like a person that has placed themself under the law. God is not an extortionist. God cannot be manipulated by the remote control of our giving. I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing and yet I give directly to the needy and refuse to give to the institutional church. New Testament giving is completely different. Even in the old testament the tithe was ALWAYS food NOT money. If you want to debate let me know.

  24. Joshua: I don’t care to debate you on the tithing issue because I believe you’re right in saying that it was required under the old law and the only time its found in the New Testament is when referencing the old law. I give to my church not because I believe God is going to strike me down if I don’t, but because I believe in supporting my local church and their mission to reach the lost.

    Do you attend a church? By what you’ve said it seems that you think giving to the church is almost a waste of money because they’re not used very much. And I can see where you’re coming from because a lot of churches build large buildings, fellowship halls, and gyms and rarely use them.

    A church in my community built a huge gym a few years ago that probably cost them close to a million dollars and its never open to the public, you either have to be a member or come with a member to get in when it is open. I wouldn’t want to give to that church either. But why not find a church that shares your same mindset for giving to the needy and support them.

  25. Youreverydaychristian:

    I see no reason to join a institutional church. My spiritual church are the friends I gather with for fellowship. The say study to show yourself approved. Plus church is more of a spectator sport dominated by a dream team of leaders and clicks. Giving directly to the needy is an act of worship in itself. The modern model of church does not allow the members of the body to participate in the service which is contrary to the first churches in the book of ACTs. Now we have created fast food communion compared to the first christians in the book of ACTs having an actual meal in remembrance of what Christ did. Maybe considering the way a healthy human body functions is a better example of how the church body should function. We should have a church without walls instead we have a church body that is all head and no body. Maybe this is another topic for another day. Consider this…. in America it is a fact that the most prescribed drugs are for anxiety and depression. The institutional church is so busy trying to preserve itself that it is disconnected with the pain of the average struggling American and the needy people sitting in it’s pews week after week.

  26. Great article. I am a single parent and am having a hard time financially. I have not been tithing and am having trouble going out on that limb, since I can’t make ends meet as it is. I do donate my time to my church, but not tithing financially. I know that I need to tithe, and am praying that God will strengthen my faith in this area. Please pray for me in this area. Thank you.

  27. Tammy is a perfect example of what I was saying above. The church should be giving to single mothers like Tammy and never taking from or accepting tithes from people who struggle. How did we become a church that takes instead of gives? Let me see???? Should I pay the church mortgage or my own? I have never given to the institution and God is blessing me. The tithe is law and we are not under the law. If we are obligated to tithe then we are obligated to follow all the laws in the book of Leviticus.

    • rob earl

      and how does the church pay these single mothers without your contribution?

  28. Hi Joshua,

    No one questions that God blesses you for choosing not to tithe – you’re not alone; for He blesses many others, INCLUDING those who actually tithe. What you should calmly consider is that Scripture does not advocate the idea of making your own anti-tithing experience the law for others who are tithing. Let God be God in responding to those who tithe.

    Like you, I once vigorously argued against tithing for Christians, using the same retired argument as you did – “The tithe is law and we are not under the law.” For example, so many people go around such verses as Matt. 23:23 on tithing by arguing two things, that:
    1. Jesus addressed the Jews, not Christians;
    2. He spoke those words before Calvary:
    . . . and then they conclude Jesus’ statement (“these ought ye to have done, and NOT TO LEAVE the other UNDONE”) in Matt. 23:23 is NOT for Christians! It was not until recently that God graciously humbled me to see that most of these anti-tithing arguments are mere excuses.

    You said: ‘The tithe is law and we are not under the law. If we are obligated to tithe then we are obligated to follow all the laws in the book of Leviticus.’

    If that idea stands, then perhaps no Christian should take anything from the Law into his/her Christian faith. What’s more, we could also make the excuse that ‘loving God’ is also Law, and we are not under the Law!! Please let me explain:

    In Matthew 22, a Pharisee asked the Lord Jesus about “the great commandment in the LAW” (v. 36). Jesus responded by quoting a verse from the LAW (like Deut. 6:5) – “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (see Matt. 22:37).

    The amazing thing is that these dear folks cannot use the same argument againt Matt. 22:36-37! WHY? Was He not also addressing the JEWS? Did He not quote the same LAW of Moses? Did He not speak these things BEFORE Calvary? So why makes excuses for Matthew 23:23 and shy away from using the same rule of arguments against Matthew 22:36-37?

    Let’s come back to your assertion: “If we are obligated to tithe then we are obligated to follow ALL the laws in the book of Leviticus”.

    Unfortunately, that misses the true spirit of God’s ways and Word. Should we also argue the same for Matt. 22:37 by saying: “If we are obligated to love God then we are obligated to follow ALL the laws in the book of Deuteronomy”?!?

    God is not asking you to follow ALL the Laws of Leviticus or Deuteronomy in a legalistic manner. Indeed, we’re not under the Law, but God has laid some godly principles in the Law for the people of faith, ie. Christians. Arguing wholesale against the Law is the reason why many people fail to consider what the apostle Paul declares: “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW” (Romans 3:31).

    God does not call us as Christians to make our lives and worship a matter of “obligated” or “required” – that is legalism. He simply invites our hearts to participate in the fellowship of His Son in joyfully giving to God what belongs to Him, in as much as we render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar (Matt. 22:21).

    Slowly, I’m healing from these typical anti-tithing arguments that sadly mishandle the Law. I’ve closely watched a few people who were tithing while they were heavily in debt. God has quietly proven His power in their lives in such a way as to challenge me and my friends deeply. I hope that you would calmly consider this as well, while looking to God to demonstrate that He is more than our clever human arguments against His Word and ways.

    Many blessings.

  29. Just for the record I do tithe directly to the needy. The reason I do this is to make sure the money addresses the specific needs of people I intimately know. I do not want money going toward church mortgages or rent payments when people in this economy are struggling to survive.

    God loves a cheerful giver and I have found a way to cheerfully give.

  30. Okay Josh, no worries. My deepest apologies where I might have wrongly read you. Before posting my comments, I’d taken some time to read through those preceding mine and had mistakenly concluded you had chosen to not tithe – from your comments earlier:

    ‘I do not agree. I DO NOT TITHE and I have many stories of how God has blessed me financially and in other ways.’ [see yours of January 14, 2009 @ 1:58 pm, emphasis mine]

    .

    However, if you’re sharing with us just above that you DO tithe, good to know.

    Warm regards.

  31. Hi Bob,

    I’d like to thank you for the very helpful resources on your website. It’s amazing to read many people testifying of God’s response to their faith in tithing – that’s quite a challenge, and reinforces a confirmation of those other few that I’ve witnessed firsthand. It may not make sense to those of us who have once vigorously argued against it; but God has been merciful in bringing conviction to help me follow this example of faith.

    May the Lord Jesus enlarge you and bless the fruit of your labours for His Name sake.

    Gwaine.

  32. Gwaine:

    Just drawing a differentiation between the needy and the institution.

    Josh

  33. I appreciate your distinction. However, giving to the needy (Gal. 2:10) does not negate giving in church (2 Cor. 8:24). We should not confuse them in order to prefer one to the other, for doing so simply means we’re setting our own prejudices over God’s Word.

  34. Gwaine:

    Actually in God’s word the poor get more preferential treatment then the temple / priests.

    I like the words of Jesus:

    Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    I wonder why Jesus didn’t say give the money to the temple or the priests because this would have been the perfect opportunity.

  35. There’s actually a balance in Scripture on these matters, while not deviating from the core subject here (tithing while in debt).

    First, the basic issue is about tithing – and I observed in your initial post that you ‘DO NOT’ tithe, although you tried to correct any wrong impressions that may have left me. Second, the point was made to not confuse giving ‘to the poor’ for giving ‘in church’.

    However, how many people quoting Matthew 19:21 actually obey Jesus’ statement in that verse in all honesty? This was why I said that God is more than our clever human arguments on matters like this.

    You said: “I wonder why Jesus didn’t say give the money to the temple or the priests because this would have been the perfect opportunity.

    Well, if we have to raise issues from Jesus’ direct statements in the Gospels on giving, perhaps Luke 21 answers your quest for giving ‘money to the temple’. There Jesus commended the poor widow for giving “ALL she had to live on” (vv. 1-3). Do we truly give “ALL we have to live on”? And oh, you won’t find that in the Law of Moses – yet, that is precisely what the Lord Jesus commended to challenge our hearts.

    It’s not quite a healthy practice for us as Christians to cherry-pick verses to buttress our prejudices and preferences. We could give to the poor in whatever way we choose – and there are loads of verses in both the OT and NT to inspire and encourage that. However, there are also verses pointing us to the proof of our love in committed giving in Church.

    The one is not confused for the other; nor does God’s Word make the sort of partisan choices we often try to force-read into the text. Apart from the convenient excuses we sometimes make to justify why we choose just one aspect over the other, we find at the end of the day that Scripture sets a sound balance before us.

  36. Gwaine:

    You will find no model in scripture for the way institutional churches are conducted today. You arguement can work against you in as much as it can work against me.

    In the old covenant we were engaged to God and in the new covenant we are married to God. These are two entirely different positions. True some of the old rules in dating are applied, but not all. As a believer I am now God’s bride.

    I respect your opinion, but still choose not to give to the unscriptural institution man created.

  37. Joshua,

    Thanks for your reply. A discussion on the ‘institutional church’ is a different thing from what we’re discussing. If you “refuse” by choice to give anything in church, that’s your preference – and I can respect that. However, that argument simply falls flat on its face because it is the sort of unrelated illation that most people wave for their anti-tithing stance. I know – because I’ve been there. What you call ‘institutional churches’ does not mean Hebrews 10:25 is no longer applicable in our lives. That is another subject on its own, so let’s not deviate from the present one.

    The second point in yours is also unrelated. I don’t see how Scripture bears testimony to your distinction between the old covenant (we were “engaged”) and the new covenant (we are “married”) to God. First, please be consistent – the OT never said that “we” (as Gentiles) were “engaged” to God. I may have missed it, so please share if you find it actually teaches so (we’re all learning). However, the apostles did not mix up Jews and Gentiles together in the privileges and blessings of the old covenant. In fact, Paul writes in Ephesians 2:11-12 that the Gentiles were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise” (KJV). Yet, indeed as Christians we’re constituted to be His bride (Rev. 21:9).

    Second, in the OT it is God who called Himself the “husband” of His people ISRAEL (Isaiah 54:5 and Jeremiah 3:14), and also describes how Israel in a figure became His “wife” (Ezek. 16:8ff). In other instances, He prophetically declares that they would be bethrothed to Him (Hos. 2:19-20).

    We cannot hold just a few verses to make unbalanced assertions, even though they are unrelated to the present subject being discussed.

  38. Gwaine:

    I am off to run some errands, but here is my final comment of the moment.

    I have read the scriptures you have referenced and do encourage others to read them before they assume either you or I are correct on this matter. I am confident that the scriptures can speak for themself. There are also many great articles that come up both for and against tithing if you do a simple google search.

    I used to be for tithing and after graduating from Bible College my views changed.

  39. One thing I’ve always encouraged is for people to check and re-check whatever is being said by anyone. So yes – the references are there for what we’ve shared both ways. It’s interesting how our previous views have changed to the present, but I’m still wondering what to make of your last line above. You used to be for tithing; then you DO NOT tithe; and yet again “just for the record” you DO tithe directly to the needy. Am I missing something here?

    Google has been a great help in my checking the arguments on either side – and it was precisely that exercise that convicted me of one simple fact: most anti-tithing arguments often recycled are tenuous.

  40. No reason for any debate here, but I happen to know that a lot of the old testmant fundamentals apply to my life and walk with Christ.

    True we are NOT under the Law “which brings a curse now” and “no flesh shall be justified by the works of the Law”

    Jesus Christ spilt His blood as the ultimate sacrafice for all mankind. Those of us under the New Covenant look to Jesus as our great High Priest now. With the Law, you could not go directly to God, but you would have to bring them to the High Priest, and the High Priest would represent in behalf of those. That is what 1/3 of Hebrews is talking about, “why would you want to back to the Law?”

    However, the Old Testmant is still valid and still pertains to us, and also show us the heart of God.

    Examples: Under the Law, man was forbidden to eat the blood of any animal, whatsoever. You had to drain the blood out first and then cut it up to eat.

    But that Law is still valid today, as it says in Acts 15:19-20 “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,
    but that we write to them to ABSTAIN from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, FROM THINGS STANGLED, AND FROM BLOOD.”

    We are still told by God to keep abstaining from drinking blood, yet we are not under the law, but it still applies to us.

    The #1 Commandment in the Old Testament is still the #1 Commandment in the New Testament, to this very day “To love thy God with all your heart, mind, and soul”

    The 10 Commandments. Even though our salvation does not depend on living up to them, because Jesus has already done that. Most still apply to us today. At least me anyway…If I happen lie, or keep overgiven change, then of course I bow down and repent asking for forgiveness.

    Everytime I see a rainbow, It reminds me of the covenent He gave to Noah and to all generations there after, and no one can take that away.

    Bottom line, “ALL scripture is inspired by God” Old and New Testament. Jesus said His Word will never pass away, and He has spoken as the Great I AM in the Old and New testament. He tells us to “meditate on it” “learn from It”, and also says “His Word will never return back to Him void”

    Either we believe the whole bilbe or don’t believe it all. If we did not have the Old testament, the New testament would make no sense to us, and just as we try to obey the 10 Commandments, we are also still held under a Old Testamant Law “Do not drink the blood of any animal”

    My whole point here is, I have read this post from top to bottom, and I can see how Satin creeps into churches or believer’s to start arguing and debating, when we should be typing about winning souls over to Christ.

    I love my walk with God, and would not replace it for nothing! I have gave to people in need, bible league, church and many other places.

    I do not consider my offerings as a tithe to God anymore. That is like me telling God how He should spend His money.

    I love to take 10% of my money first and tell God “here is your money, you know where this needs to go a lot more than I do” Then I thank Him for the rest that I have left over. There is just something so ausome that happens when we stand in faith, even during hard times because I know He will never break His promise to make sure I am feed. If you ever stop to think about it, there are only 2 things that Jesus ever marveled here on earth. It was a person’s “Faith” or “Unbelief”

    God is just, and has never failed me in 5 years. I recently got layed of here in California, and I am on unemployment right now, and I can’t wait to give to God. Like it was said above “giving is better than recieving” and I give to God and those in need.

    It reminds me of when Jesus and all the desciple where gathering up money together, and a woman came up and cheerfully and willingly gave what she had with all her heart, which was: with two mites. That is why Jesus said “this woman has given more than anyone here, for she gave her last..”

    Jesus concludes “Give unto what Ceaser’s and give to God, what is God’s”
    cut and dry.

    Advise: Pray to your Best Friend (and Father) in Heaven, and listen to Him and His Word.

    May God Bless You all and keep us all on the right track!
    Todd

  41. Todd, that was awesome – thank you for sharing your heart.

  42. Nightowl18

    Wow! Debt Free? I am not debt free yet, but I am working on it. Yes, I certainly believe in tithing. When I was laid off from work I continued to tithe with harldy any income coming in. I really don’t think God gave us any conditions in which we are not to tithe. In one parable or story in the Bible in which Jesus told about a very poor lady that gave all that she had, compared with a rich man that had much, the poor lady gave above and beyond what she could afford. Nowhere in the Bible will you find that Jesus said that if you have no work, or are not being paid not to give. I was not expecting a raise this last year at all, but received a raise much more than I ever dreamed of. I do agree God is very faithful!

  43. Gwaine,
    Irrespective of whose argument carries more weight, I appreciate your style and sense love and maturity in your arguments. To God be the glory!

    Regarding the content, I think you make some very good points. I also respect the points Joshua makes about the institutional church and the dangers of legalism, obligation to the law, etc.

    May I add one thing to this already rich discussion? I believe there is a conceptual misstep when people talk about the merits of a church receiving their money.

    Conceptually, whether you think it’s required or not, giving “off-the-top” to God is a demonstration of faith, an act of worship, and a choosing of our master. (That’s what it was prior to the law, throughout the law, and after the law, regardless of your interpretation of the “tithe” proper.)

    When we adjust that giving based on what we think the recipient might do with it, it’s possible we’re shortchanging the process. Returning a portion back to God, as the rightful owner, should not be tainted by us then claiming a right to determine how that money is spent. It’s God’s.

    God has throughout history placed certain people (even people belonging to institutions) in the fearful position of responsibility for that spending. The leaders of many churches today will indeed have a lot to answer for. However, our job is to return back to GOD a portion in recognition that it is His. Giving to the poor is something different entirely. That is something we do from the portion we have left. That portion is “ours” and we determine (on biblical principles) how it is to be spent, and for many reasons, part of that spending should be to give to the poor. Let’s not intermingle the two concept though (giving to God vs. giving to the poor), or much will be missed, from either end of the spectrum.

    BTW, I rarely write anything without providing scriptural support, but I perceive that you, Joshua and Gwaine, are capable of reflecting what I’ve written against the Word of God and allowing the Spirit to lead you as He sees fit.

    As to the subject at hand: tithing while in debt. If you are making payments according to a schedule that the creditor has agreed to then you are not stealing from someone else in order to give to God. So, tithe (or not. but at least give to God “off-the-top”. Why not start with an arbitrary number, oh say 10%. I suspect that percentage was well-designed by Someone), and pay your bills (creditors included) with what’s left. If, after giving to God, you are not able to make the payments you have agreed to with your creditor, then the only way to survive would be to default or borrow more. In either case, you would be out of line with godly principles. You would then be using someone else’s money to pay God. Ok, so in that case, do what any good financial counselor would tell you. Negotiate new terms with your creditors based on what you have. Propose to them exactly how you intend on paying them back. Make your proposal based on prioritization and proportionality. When doing that, make giving to God your highest priority, for spiritual reasons, not legal (or anti-legal) ones, and I’m sure He will give you profound wisdom in handling those re-negotiations.

    God bless,
    Jesse

  44. @Jesse,

    Thank you so very much for adding to my understanding. I certainly didn’t have all the answers; but you have helped to contextualize certain issues and also highlighted a few things that I might’ve missed (perhaps due to the ‘technical’ nature of the discussion between Josh and myself). May the Lord Jesus Christ enrich you even more. :)

  45. I’ve read the author’s take on tithing. In fact, I grew up believing for years that tithing was mandatory or I’d be “cursed with a curse” as mentioned in Mal 3. I decided one day to study tithing from Gen 14 to Jesus’ mentioning of it in Matt23. I have to say I disagree with the author that tithing for the Church is relevant for many reasons. There’s too much to cover in this forum with one post so I’ll just hit my points quickly.

    Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek was not the example of tithing done by Israel in the OT. Abraham tithed to this king once and never from his personal possessions. It was from the spoils of war in which he waged to save his nephew Lot. He gave the king a tithe out of respect and gave the 90% back to Sodom.

    Secondly, Tithing was never about money, it was about agriculture. Deut 14:24 – 26 shows exactly what principle of tithing was. Please read it.

    Third, the argument that the 10 commandments still apply so why not tithes is too open ended. Why not practice circumcision or burnt offerings?

    The practice of tithing today resembles little to tithing by Israel as they tithed in 7yr cycles. In the 7th yr they didn’t tithe at all. Tithes were never given to build the temple but it fed those that did not have like the Levites, Priests, widows, fatherless & poor (sojourners).

    There’s a reason tithing isn’t mentioned much in the NT, just like the rest of the Mosaic Laws. Christ satisfied the law with his death and resurrection. This is why we are no longer under the law but grace (Gal 3:13).

    There is a principle for giving fully supported in the NT but it’s not tithes (2 Cor 9:6). Clearly there are rewards for giving bountifully to the Church but to say that we’re “cursed with a curse” is not supported by Paul’s teaching in Gal 3:13 which states we’re free from the curse of the law. Tithing is not the exception.

    I leave you with the words of 2 Cor 9:7. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” There is no compulsion to give 10% or be cursed as it is in direct contradiction with NT teachings.

  46. Great points Jeff!

    Love it.

  47. Thanks Josh. I just went back and read some of the posts since Jan of this year. What I see is typical of other discussions I’ve had about tithing. I used to be on the other side believing that it was mandatory and God would not bless me if I didn’t give at least 10%. In the back of my mind I always wondered, why do they always go to the OT to support tithing?

    Tithing has been taught so vigorously in the church that if you tell people they’re wrong, they immediately shut you off. I found that tithing wasn’t even practiced by the Church until the Middle Ages, a full 5 centuries after the death and resurrection. If tithing is right, this means the NT Churches and all subsequent Churches between the resurrection and the Middle Ages were cursed for not tithing. One person told me she was hurt because I told her tithing was wrong. I provided scripture to support my position. She said she just believe it’s the right thing to do because she was taught to tithe.

    I’ve heard what I believe are the best arguments supporting tithing. From Melchezidek, to Malachi to Jesus saying he fulfilled the law. The answer is in what Jesus himself said. He was there not to destroy it but fulfill it. So I checked Webster’s dictionary on the word “fulfill”. It means “to satisfy the requirement”, “to being an end to”, “to put into effect”. It’s not that Jesus nullified the law but he satisfied the requirements. The Law couldn’t make man righteous. It was just a covering until Jesus came and did that through his death. Once it was done, the purpose of the Law was fulfilled. Man was made righteous through the blood of the Lamb.

    The reason why we no longer practice circumcision and burnt offerings is because it looks backwards. The Law was pointing to the cross. To practice the Law is pointing backwards. It’s like saying the cross never happened. The cross abolished the need to practice all of the Law without exceptions. In the words of Jesus on that sad but victorious day at Calvary..”It is finished”.

  48. Hello everyone, and Happy New Year to all.

    @Jeff,

    It seems that your comments were borrowed arguments that have been recycled far too many times and there’s hardly any originality in them. Sadly, they are simply false and have no substance to them. Let me quote you on one of such lines:

    Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek was not the example of tithing done by Israel in the OT. Abraham tithed to this king once and never from his personal possessions. It was from the spoils of war in which he waged to save his nephew Lot. He gave the king a tithe out of respect and gave the 90% back to Sodom.

    That argument is misplaced, and I’ll just trash it out here again by reposting my answers given in another website, WFTB (Wealth From The Bible) – http://wealthfromthebible.com/sowingreaping/is-tithing-obsolete/#comment-384

    Abraham’s Tithe Not From His Own Possession?

    #3. Actually, the spoils of war belonged to Abraham, for that’s what Scripture teaches. You do not take someone else’s property and adjudicate over them in any way if they do not belong to you – that would be theft, and would seriously violate the principles of conscience and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Here are reasons why the “not his own property” argument is a fallacy:

    (a). First, the Bible warns against the practice of interpreting a verse all by itself without comparing it with other verses – “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Pet. 1:20). What many folks have done is interprete those verses in Gen. 14:18-24 ‘privately’ on their own without comparing them with other verses to see if their assumptions stand.

    (b). Hence, the fact that the spoils of war belonged to Abraham is found in Melchizedek’s declaration: “blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand” (Gen. 14:20). When you read the OT, you find the statement that God would deliver their enemies into their hands meant clearly that the spoils belonged to the conquerors. See Deut. 20:12-14 for example (emphasis mine) –

    “…And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and ALL that is in the city, even ALL the spoil THEREOF, shalt thou take unto THYSELF; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.”

    Thus, to argue that the spoils were not Abraham’s is to deny Scripture and read one’s eisegesis into the text.

    c) Now if the spoils did not belong to Abraham, there’s a serious question for Russell and his colleagues: why would Abraham take something that was not his and give to other people (Melchizedek, Aner, Eschol and Mamre)? That Abraham gave all the spoils away does not negate the fact that they belonged to him in the first place – for it would make absolutely no sense at all for him to have treated the spoils as his own in presiding over them, if the spoils did not belong to him in the first place. Even Hugo Grotius’ “De Jure Belli ac Pacis” cited by Russell strongly makes the point that the spoils belonged to the conqueror Abraham, as quoted earlier: “…the Law Giver Himself. . . gives ALL the spoils to the conqueror” (http://www.constitution.org/gro/djbp_306.htm) – the very same fact explicated in Deut. 20:12-14.

    Perhaps it never occured to Russell that his ‘private interpretation’ was violating 2 Pet. 1:20; and that Melchizedek’s pronouncements in Gen. 14:20 clearly agrees with Deut. 20:12-14.

  49. @Jeff,

    Here’s the second point from yours that I’d like to address:

    [quote: “He gave the king a tithe out of respect and gave the 90% back to Sodom.” unquote]

    Again, my answers from the WTFB website addresses this point.

    Did Abraham give 90% back to the king of Sodom?

    #4. That’s another often recycled fallacy, and it may shock these folks that Genesis 14:18-24 does not teach that Abraham gave the 90% of the spoils to the king of Sodom. It is merely assumed by many people that he did so; and this assumption is completely unsupported by the verses cited for it, nor by any other verses in the Bible, nor even by the external references cited for it (such as Hugo Grotius’ “De Jure Belli ac Pacis”). Here are reasons why the king of Sodom did not get a 90% from Abraham:

    (a) What could possibly be meant by Abraham’s response to the king of Sodom in verses 22-24? It’s easy to see – the moment we ignore what Melchizedek said to Abraham (because people dubiously see “pagan tithes” there), then we miss everything else. It was the Most High God that gave everything to Abraham – that was what Melchizedek recognized when he blessed Abraham: “blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand” (Gen. 14:20).

    (b) From the same inference given in Deut. 20:14 (”and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies“), we can understand WHY Abraham made the statement in Gen. 14:24 – “Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; LET THEM HAVE THEIR PORTION“. Abraham was not presiding or adjudicating over what did not belong to him; indeed, it would have been wrong of him to have taken what was not his in the victory of that war and then given them to other people (Melchizedek; and his confederates – Aner, Eschol and Mamre). Melchizedek’s pronouncements in Gen. 14:20 (”the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand”) should not be ignored when reading the verses following therefrom.

    (c) Now if Abraham gave 90% to the king of Sodom, what “portion” was he referring to in verse 24 – “and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion“? The spoils belong to the conquerors (according to Deut. 20:12-14); therefore, Russell and his colleagues would have to intelligently explain where Abraham got the “portion” for his confederates if he gave 90% to the king of Sodom.

    The inconsistencies and vacant assertions often made by many anti-tithers leaves one wondering if they have a good grasp of what they argue. Hopefully, as these are examined, they will become redundant and consequently retired.

    Many blessings.

  50. The reason why we no longer practice circumcision and burnt offerings is because it looks backwards. The Law was pointing to the cross. To practice the Law is pointing backwards. It’s like saying the cross never happened. The cross abolished the need to practice all of the Law without exceptions. In the words of Jesus on that sad but victorious day at Calvary..”It is finished”.
    ___________________
    @Jeff,
    Again, the above from yours is not helpful as it takes too many things for granted. It is true that Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, but that is not to say that the Law is completely thrown behind us so that nothing from it applies to the Christian.

    If you want to make the argument that the Cross “abolished the need to practice ALL of the Law without exceptions“, then you are effectively saying that nothing from the Law should be found in the Christian faith. To take ANY past of that Law and apply it to the Christian faith quite simply collapses your argument. And indeed – there are quite a whole lot of points from that Law which we find as principles in the NT for the Christian. A few examples:

    (a) Christian marriages – 1 Cor. 7:39 – “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

    (b) Children & obedience – Eph. 6:2 – “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise)” [ see Exo. 20:12].

    But there is more, and if we take your assertion of abolishing ALL of the Law without exceptions, then most certainly those verses should not even appear in the NT for the Christian. Infact, the apostle Paul who declared that Christians are not under the law, is the very same apostle who declared again in Romans 3:31 that – “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong. ‘Establishing the law’ is not a matter of legalism, but of principles. This is why even though the Christian is not under the Law, yet we understand that “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” [Romans 15:4]. It is quite simply the spirit of legalism that drives many of our brethren to immature arguments of the sort that you outlined. May we learn to see the principles in God’s Word (both OT and NT) for our faith today – for I assure you that almost every single point about giving in the NT was directly derived from the OT, and many of them directly from the same Law that we often are in a hurry to treat with disregard.

    Cheers.

  51. Gwaine says
    “The inconsistencies and vacant assertions often made by many anti-tithers leaves one wondering if they have a good grasp of what they argue. Hopefully, as these are examined, they will become redundant and consequently retired.”

    Jeff says
    Greeting Gwaine. Glad to hear you’re take on this.
    Is it your contention that because Abram gave these men their due (which made the rest less than 90%), this somehow negates all my position on tithes? I think that’s a pretty big stretch. I also think you‘re completely missing my point.

    We’re taught that Abram tithed to Melchizedek therefore we must tithe to the church. And this is proof that we should tithe from our salaries. My point is this. Abram kept none of the spoils. He returned what was left after he gave Melchizedek a 10% and those men who helped him in war their share because it was honorable. The rest went back to the King of Sodom. Nothing in Gen 14 supports Abram tithing to Melchizedek from his personal possessions but of the spoils of a war he waged to rescue his nephew. In fact, there’s no other recording of Abram (or later Abraham) ever practicing tithing to anyone from his personal assets.

    Gwine says

    Again, the above from yours is not helpful as it takes too many things for granted. It is true that Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, but that is not to say that the Law is completely thrown behind us so that nothing from it applies to the Christian.
    If you want to make the argument that the Cross “abolished the need to practice ALL of the Law without exceptions“, then you are effectively saying that nothing from the Law should be found in the Christian faith. To take ANY past of that Law and apply it to the Christian faith quite simply collapses your argument.

    Jeff says
    The Galatians were arguing that the Law still must be practiced. Don’t take my word for it.
    Gal 3
    “1. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    2. This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? ….
    10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
    11. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

    Gwaine says
    But there is more, and if we take your assertion of abolishing ALL of the Law without exceptions, then most certainly those verses should not even appear in the NT for the Christian…
    … Romans 3:31 that – “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

    Jeff says
    Have you taken time to read the rest of Romans 3? Let me post some things you’ve conveniently left out
    3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    I think you and others making this assertion that the “Law is not done away with” are once again being selective. Especially when Paul says if we try to keep one part of it then we’re bound to all of it.
    Gal 10 – 13
    “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
    But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:”

    You fail to understand something. The Law was a covering until Jesus came and fulfilled its purpose. He established it. He satisfied the requirement. God always intended man to live righteous and Jesus made this possible.
    Gal 3:24–25
    “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

    As you have pointed out, the NT teaches the same righteous principles however what it DOESN’T teach is practice of the Mosaic Laws. What it DOES teach is that we are now saved by faith not the law. If your point is to say tithing is binding, then as Paul said, you are bound to all of it which means, the Sabbath, circumcision, burnt offerings, stoning those who commit adultery, etc.
    I can accept your position if it wasn’t so selectively expedient in its form. To defend tithing while not practicing any other part of the law is hypocrisy at its finest.

    We all know that God doesn’t change. His plan has always been to have a relationship with man. Clearly His instruction to Israel was a representation of His son Jesus and what he would do. Why tithing is the only part of the law that’s still necessary quite honestly is baffling.

  52. Well said Jeff.

    Can you send me a Facebook friend request?

    http://www.facebook.com/joshua.guild

  53. My testimony on finances.
    Tithing works wonders. Whan i got the revelation on tithing i wish i was doing it before. The moment i started to tithe i saw the floodgates of heaven open for me . I did not rec’d a huge amt at one given time but i experience Issiah 45 : 3 working madly for me. God gave me an instruction to move from one location to another this involve renting i did not have a job. I thought to .myself this is crazy. but stepping out in obedience i realise the word works.
    I move into a house with out one penny to pay the next month rent, while living in the house the Holy Spirit spoke. He said check a particular area in the house & more than 2000.00usd was found stuck away in an old abandoned bag with bits of paper that had look like garbage. As i continue to walk in his obedience my debts written off , money was found on my bank a/c that i new nothing about & i can go on & on. The acts of the apostles is still writing. Be encourage continue to tithe & walk in God’s obedience. The wealth of the wicked is store up for the just. Ecclesiastes 2:26, 10:19 (read).

  54. We have been asking ourselves this question for the past 6-months. Due to a large debt load the 10% tithe eliminates any spending for food or gasoline for the month. I don’t know how my wife has been pulling off paying the bills because of our debt but she has and the creditors are not calling. She is amazing. We have forced savings of about $120 a month and 2009 was the first year we did not use credit for Christmas! We are slooowwly making headway but we will be upside down for a while. We are praying for God’s help / direction and we are trusting Him. We started tithing almost 1 year ago.

  55. I have many friends who were tithing religiously here in Arizona and they are all suffering just as much or more then most.

    I even poked fun at them early on for tithing and some of them now see my point as they no longer tithe to their churches.

    The new covenant is a marriage with God so now we are in this together with Him. We are married to God….. Think about finances in marriage and how money is shared in a joint checking account. My wife and I don’t give each other money…. we share it.

  56. Hey Josh. It’s good to see you again. As both a past tither and now a giver I’ve learned long ago this subject is a stronghold. Some will never believe otherwise, even when confronted with compelling truth.

    First, there’s nothing wrong the giving of 10%. The bondage comes in when they believe that the Father demands payment from His children. The one consistent thing some simply refuse to read is that tithing given in the Mosaic Law was purposed for consumption. Let me share a revelation I found in studying the tithe.
    We know that tithing is part of the Mosaic Law. We know that the law was a covering, pointing to the acts of Jesus who ultimately fulfilled the law . With tithing came instruction from God to consume it. It took care of those who did not have (the poor, fatherless, widows, etc). They even tithed to themselves twice during the tithing cycle.

    Fast forward. When we look at the acts of Jesus in the NT, we see that it was those who were less fortunate that he commanded we take care of (Matt 25:40). He wanted their needs satisfied. During the last supper, Jesus gave them bread. He told the disciples to eat it; it was his body broken for them. He gave them wine and said to drink it. It was his blood he shed for them.

    I believe there’s a direct correlation with the consumption of the tithe and the consumption of the last supper. Now I know this is deeper than some want to go but God is a God of purpose and in every instance we see God’s instruction to consume it. I believe it was symbolic to Christ satisfying the needs of all, especially the less fortunate and to accept his gift within to be everlastingly satisfied. It’s the covenant connector between man & God through Jesus our mediator.

  57. Hello Jeff,

    Been quite a while, and I trust you’re doing well?
    I wish my reply would be brief, but can’t help making quite a load of points – I’ll try.

    1. Jeff: [Is it your contention that because Abram gave these men their due (which made the rest less than 90%), this somehow negates all my position on tithes?]
    ____
    Gwaine: You should see that was not my point. If you want more information to see precisely what I pointed out, read it again – or better still, follow the link where I reposted my initial reply from and see I was not tending to literalism. I have always maintained that my take on these things are not dogmatic literalism, so it is inconsequential for us to be quibbling on who was getting 10% or 90% and so forth.

    2. Jeff: [The rest went back to the King of Sodom. Nothing in Gen 14 supports Abram tithing to Melchizedek from his personal possessions but of the spoils of a war he waged to rescue his nephew.]
    ____
    Gwaine: I don’t think it is necessary to keep pushing that fallacy – I have dealt with it, and shown that even the very source that Russell used to argue his misconceptions say the direct opposite! Do you want me to repost the same section yet again? If no, I would have hoped that you showed me how Abraham could take something that was not his and then given it to other people – that would be theft and nothing else. However, because that act was not a theft but showed that the spoils belonged to Abraham, I have demonstrated that same – taking care that I did not violate the principles of Biblical exegesis. Could you show me how I violated those principles?

    3. Jeff: [In fact, there’s no other recording of Abram (or later Abraham) ever practicing tithing to anyone from his personal assets. ]
    ____
    Gwaine: that in itself is a non-issue. The Bible clearly refers to that act of Abraham as ‘TITHES’ in both the OT and NT. I have often asked anti-tithers to please refute that and show us the Bible did not mean to have referred to them as “tithes”. How many times would we have to wait to see Abraham “repeatedly” give tithes before we are satisfied to qualify them as ‘tithes’? I think these unnecessary objections show only one thing: many Christians seem to have taken their eyes off God’s Word and are too busy complaining here and there on non-essentials.

    4. Jeff: [The Galatians were arguing that the Law still must be practiced. Don’t take my word for it]
    ____
    Gwaine: No, I didn’t take your word for it – but you jumped to conclusions without calmly seeing the huge implications of your literalism. Bro, may I once again repeat myself for the umpteenth time: I don’t argue ‘doctrinal literalism’ – that, I suppose, is the same thing that Galatians 3 cautions us against on “WORKS of the Law”, verse 2. It is not a mechanical adherence to what the Law says, but rather its principles.

    This is why you will not find any of the apostles encouraging ‘works of the Law’ even though they predicated a whole lot of NT teachings on the declarations of the same OT Law. Please let me know if you want me to once again reproduce the many examples I already gave to show the difference between ‘literalism’ of “works” and the ‘principles’ of “faith” – I would be glad to do so yet again.

    5. Jeff: [Have you taken time to read the rest of Romans 3? Let me post some things you’ve conveniently left out
    3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. . .]
    ____
    Gwaine: Indeed, I took time to study the whole of Romans and other books dealing with the Law, and my reply is the same thing as above in distinguishing between ‘literalism’ of “works” and the ‘principles’ of “faith”. Even the sections you posted (and thanks) are not saying anything different – else, did you miss the factual mention of “the DEEDS of the law “?? Have I been pushing for the dogmatic literalism of “DEEDS/WORKS” of the Law?

    So, whatever happened to the gazillion repetitions in the other blogs I made of “PRINCIPLES”? Perhaps, I should just simply remind you of 2 Corinthians 3:6 – ‘not of the letter’ (ie., NOT AN APPEAL TO DOGMATIC LITERALISM!). When we tend to see only literalism in the reading of the OT, how shall ever, ever come to touch the spirit of God’s Word? You still haven’t shown me the real issue in your queries, which I would have hoped for more than anything else.

  58. 6. Jeff: [I think you and others making this assertion that the “Law is not done away with” are once again being selective. Especially when Paul says if we try to keep one part of it then we’re bound to all of it.
    Gal 10 – 13]
    ___
    Gwaine: That’s okay – I did not intend to be selective, nor was I basing my understanding on any form of dogmatic literalism (I keep emphasising this very point because that is the one thing that anti-tithers often miss when we get to talk). Look again at Galatians 3:10-13 which you cited – it makes clear that one who seeks to follow a rigid legalism of “WORKS of the Law” (emphasis on ‘WORKS’) has missed it all. BUT it does not teach therefore that we should absolutely ignore what the Law shows us in “principles”.

    On the other hand, it is clear I am not one of those making selective reading about the Law. I had querried Russell Kelly on this legalism he’d been arguing in another link, and perhaps it might help you see the fact that Gwaine is not the one pushing for selective whatever:
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Russell: >> ‘“If one of them is untenable, all the other 612 must be treated in precisely the same way.” THAT IS MY POINT.’
    ———-
    Gwaine: >> ‘No sir, that was not your point. Not at all; for if that was your point and you truly believe that the remaining 612 must be treated the same way (that is, make them untenable), then you would not be trying to “determine what to bring over from the OT law into Christian faith”!! This is why I hinted about being extreme with Deut. 27:26 – Christians who argue to negate “ALL” 613 laws are the same folks who are appealing to “bring over” SOME of what they negate and carry them into the Christian faith! Do you see the inconsistency that worries some of us in your type of arguments?’

    (http://www.christianpf.com/obeying-god/#comment-8269)

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    So, Jeff, you could see what I querried Russell on – his selective reading on issues about the Law. My point was that if he truly believed that such a legalism and extremism of “ALL” or “NONE” of the Law holds in his arguments, then he should not try to be selective by trying to “determine what to bring over from the OT law into Christian faith”. On what basis would an anti-tither be making such determinations of selective choices when he has rigidly argued HIS POINT was that “if one of them is untenable, all the other 612″ are equally untenable??

    Again, you won’t find me as a legalist in these matters – and my discussions have been consistent on the “principles” rather than on dogmatic literalism of the letter (2 Cor. 3:6).

    Now, all the above are summarised below in point below:
    7. Jeff: [As you have pointed out, the NT teaches the same righteous principles however what it DOESN’T teach is practice of the Mosaic Laws.]
    ____
    Gwaine: There! Have I anywhere argued a ‘PRACTICE’ of the Mosaic Law(s)? I’m quite glad and satisfied that even you had to agree with me that the NT teaches the PRINCIPLES – the “same righteous principles” – as we find in the Law; but I don’t remember ever arguing for any legalism in these issues.

    Thank you once again for calling my attention to your concerns. I trust that further queries would help me to not repeat myself, so I kindly request that you consider the thrust of my comments before anything else.

    Many blessings.

  59. Hello Joshua,

    There’s something that I’d like to call you up on –
    ______________
    Joshua: “I even poked fun at them early on for tithing and some of them now see my point as they no longer tithe to their churches.”
    ______________

    I don’t think we should pride ourselves with poking fun at believers over spiritual matters – that does not help anyone. Yes, you may have achieved your aim of trying to stop a couple from tithing to their church, but has that in itself improved your own church life or their own spiritual lives?

    Please think more carefully in future.

  60. An interesting thread. After reading the entire page, I can honestly say that Gwaine comes across as the “tired argument” provocateur. Gwaine, when you have to resort to repeating yourself, writing entire sentences in capital characters, double punctuation marks, etc., a.) frustration is painfully evident, b.) you clearly are running out of objective steam, and worst of all, c.) your attitude is beginning to show.

    I observe a “might makes right” approach to hammering your point home: if at first it fails, try again, but with a bigger hammer and a harder swing. This is hardly the spirit-filled Christianity that I live my life for. It may smack more of legalism than even you may want to admit.

    If I had to summarize your single largest area of weakness, it would be your self-imposed inability to recognize the essential nature of the difference between the Old and New Covenants, and its practical reality for Christians today. Listening to you is like listening now to an Old Testament priest–captivating, seemingly relevant at first blush, but markedly out of step now that Jesus has come to create the New Covenant. Jesus Christ has come and paid for our sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. We are able to have a direct relationship with God. Much more has changed than just burnt offerings.

    Joshua and Jeff, thank you for standing up for your convictions. I have no doubt that you and Gwaine have spent much time in prayer with God regarding the topic of tithing.

    I have no need or interest in defending my opinion, so it shall stand on its own, as shall 2 Cor 9:7. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

  61. Hello Barry, welcome to the discussion.

    I must say Gwaine after reading your responses, it appears to me that you’re intrenched in your position and your responses sound somewhat condescending. In the interest of time, I’ll try to summarize my position without it looking like a monolog.

    It seems your argument is that the spoils were Abrams and that he tithed to Melchizedek. I agree. I never said different. I did say that Abram was never commanded by God to tithe anything ever. Other than this gesture of respect, Abram never tithed prior nor subsequent. Although Abram and Israel both tithed, the purpose for their tithing are completely different.

    You say I’m stuck on literalism. While I disagree with that statement I do say that’s exactly what the law was. The law was never intended to stay in place forever (Jer 31:31-33, Heb 8:10). It was a covering until Jesus satisfied the requirement.

    You say all Gal 3 was talking about was the DEED or works of the law. In this you seem to think your position differs from theirs. It does not. The law was about deeds; works and this is supported throughout the NT.

    How you can completely be dismissive of Gal 3:23-25 defies reason. Is it that you are so mired in your position that you cannot see the truth that is plainly before you? Heb 10 completely obliterates your position and if you cannot believe your eyes reading the Word of God, I’m sure I will do little to make you suffer any form of skepticism whatsoever.

    These are facts you cannot ignore.

    The “commanded tithe” of God was to give from the bounty of the land. In every instance of the tithe for Israel throughout the OT, it was consumable. Israel was never commanded to tithe gold, silver, shekels or any other currency or inconsumable items. Tithing was practiced in cycles, today it is not. There was a complete year in which they did not tithe. You cannot find any instance of a tithing church anywhere in the bible. We can find several references of a giving church in the NT. The NT patriarchs never taught the principle of tithe in any form. Tithing was part of the Mosaic Law. Several NT scripture like Heb 10 support faith not the law. And lastly, 2 Corinthians 9:7 is further proof that God does not demand the giving of a tenth from the church but that every man should give as he purposes in his heart. Funny but this is strikingly consistent with what God said to Israel in Exodus 25:1-3 where he first commanded the “offering”.

    “1. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

    2. Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

    3. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,”

    I have yet for anyone to show me sound support for the tithe as it’s practiced today or in its relevance to the NT church. Tithing was injected into the church 5 centuries after the death and resurrection of Jesus. If tithing is still mandatory as it’s being taught in the modern day church, this means that for 5 centuries the church was cursed with a curse for its sinful noncompliance.

    I leave you with 2 Cor 9:7
    “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

  62. Hello Barry,

    Thank you for your observations, and I take your corrections onboard. The problem, however, is that anti-tithers like to pat themselves on the back on their sanctimony – and believe me or not, I am very used to all that fluff.

    I repeat myself, not in the belief of your accusation of frustration or a lack of objectivity. What fresh point have anti-tithers ever brought to the table for discussions other than their perennial legalism? One could wait eons for something more interesting or fresh, and you can bet whatever it takes – you’ll still find them on and on about their legalistic arguments. This is just about the same thing that Jeff called out once again in his recent rejoinder, but what does it take to understand the simple word: ‘principle’??

    However, do you have the same thing to say to your anti-tithing pals who repeat themselves ad infinitum in the same manner as you find objectionable in my posts? I guess not. But then, the one thing that amuses me is the pretences of typical anti-tithers. No offence, but I don’t think there was any need for all the cosmetic talk you put up. If you wanted to congratulate your anti-tithing pals, please do so as simply as you had wanted to without the usual boredom.

    Cheers.

  63. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for your response. It’s obvious you have completely ignored the essential gist of my rejoinders and yet arguing the very same legalism you already have! May I say again: Gwaine is not a legalist in spiritual matters – and that is why some (like Barry) would think it painful that I’d have to repeat that point for your sake.

    It should have been quite simple to see ‘principles’ rather than legalism and/or literalism in these matters. At the very least, I’m not the only person here who has noted that: Jesse has also noted the same thing earlier, no?

    However, it really doesn’t matter the accusations of ‘intrenched’ and ‘condescending’ you put forth, so let’s just deal with the essential matters, shall we?

    1. Abraham.
    I’ve dealt with the concerns about Abraham’s tithes, and pardon my noting that you seem to be quickly shifting grounds in order to agree with me. If you agree that the spoils of war belonged to Abraham, what more are we arguing on that? Further, the idea that he gave 90% back to the king of Sodom is redundant, no? If you have anything fresh on this, please share and let’s have a look.

    2. Literalism and legalism.
    I’m quite amused to find you argued that the Law was meant to be legalistic or read with a sense of literalism – let me quote you on this point:
    – – – – – – – – –
    “You say I’m stuck on literalism. While I disagree with that statement I do say that’s exactly what the law was. The law was never intended to stay in place forever (Jer 31:31-33, Heb 8:10). It was a covering until Jesus satisfied the requirement.”
    – – – – – – – – –
    Sorry, Jeff – this is where you got it absolutely mixed up. Both Jer. 31:31-33 and Heb. 8:10 are speaking about ‘covenant’, and I would have expected you to have noted the difference and not use them to argue ‘the Law’. God was promising to make ‘a new covenant’ in those verses, so please don’t try to gull the public by using those verses to argue a legalism & literalism of the Law!

    Second, the NT says that the law is spiritual (Rom. 7:14), and there are so many things wrong with the argument that it was mean to be exactly a matter of literalism and/or legalism.

    Third, the apostle Paul refers directly to the Law in his exhortations in 1 Cor. 9:8-14 on the matter of giving – but he does not try to apply literalism or legalism of the Law to Christians. Let me help you here:

    * (a) in 1 Cor. 9:9, the apostle quotes Deut. 25:4 – ‘Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn’ || but we know he did not apply that verse of ‘the Law of Moses’ in a legalistic manner when he went on in verse 10 to say that God was saying such things ‘for our sakes‘.

    * (b) in 1 Cor. 9:13, the apostle refers to the Law (cf. Numbers 18) when he declares 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?’ In the very next verse 14 he says, ‘EVEN SO hath the Lord ordained . . . ‘ Of course, the apostle was not meaning that Christians should look to apply these matters of the Law in a literal and legalistic manner! Rather, in saying that “Even so hath the Lord ordained . . “, it is clear he was setting forth a principle before us!

    * (c) in 1 Tim. 5:18, he also uses the same verse of Deut. 25:4 as he did in 1 Cor. 9:9 – ‘For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.’ Now, a legalistic and literal reading here would suppose Paul was talking about oxen in a literal sense in order to convey a legalistic meaning of the OT verse he cited. But we know he rather was again setting forth a principle and not a legalism of the Law!

    I really don’t see how you should be so stuck on this problem of legalism and literalism and yet not for an instance see the plain fact of principles in them. This is why when you go on and on about the ‘works’ and ‘deeds’ of the Law, you often fail to see the simple principles that the Law sets forth before our very eyes!

    (3) Plain Principles.
    Following from the examples above, I hope you’d see the simplicity of the principles in these matters? It is evident that the apostle cites verses from the Law in those three examples (there are several more examples where he does so), and yet he was not on about legalism or literalism in them!

    In citing the Law, he was not dragging Christians back to the old covenant (which both Jer 31:31-33 & Heb 8:10 say was to be put away); and anyone who understands this point would not spend their lives arguing a legalism which God never meant for any of His children in the first place!

    The misfortune of anti-tithing arguments is the propensity of anti-tithers to see things only in legalistic terms! No matter how many times one makes plain the simplicity of ‘principles’ where apostolic teaching in the NT cites from the OT Law without any sense of legalism, anti-tithers would never get it! And this, Jeff, is again what you sadly have shown me. Just apply the same legalism and literalism to Jer 31:31-33 and Heb 8:10 which you cited, and see if there would be anything left of your Christianity! I don’t mean that in a cynical manner, but if you would like me to show you the bane of such legalism in reading those verses, let me know.

    Again, if you have anything fresh to present beyond the usual legalism you have argued too many times, then share. Other than that, the anti-tithing arguments you reharshed are quite old argument and should be retired.

    Cheers.

  64. Jeff
    No I didn’t shift my position, I needed to clarify my position. Please listen carefully.

    When referring to Abram’s “personal possessions” it’s obvious we’re speaking of his possessions other than these spoils. To you, we’re saying that the spoils weren’t Abram’s, hence the disconnect. Your earlier response to Abram never tithing prior or subsequent is that it’s a “non-issue”. While some see this as significant you’re dismissive of this fact.

    Secondly, it’s already been clarified that Abram gave his men their share. The remaining (less than 90%) he returned. In the interest of resolution why go over ground already clarified?

    I’ve already pointed out several spiritual references concerning the law in the OT and the NT. It is not legalism or literalism when I say the law represents the final act of Jesus on Calvary. It’s not literalism when I say that the practice of the law is no longer required since Jesus satisfied its requirements. It is not legalism when I say that the law was a covering until “Grace” came on the scene. In fact Gwaine, I’ve pointed out several spiritual meanings of the law but somehow you overlook them to favor your dogmatic point of view of “legalism & literalism”.

    But even if tithing as identified in the OT is still relevant, you still have another major issue. Tithing was never about money. It was never used to build a temple and it was practiced in 7yr cycles. Tithing today resembles little of tithing commanded by God in the OT. And when we offer strange fire to God, it is rejected. This is why Aaron’s sons were consumed by fire because although they offered an offering, they did not follow the directions of God on how to do it (Lev 10:1-3).

    I believe the OT & NT is quite clear on the difference between law & grace. The fact that you want to argue that the law is still in effect “in principle” actually reveals your complete lack of spiritual discernment in my opinion. It seems obvious that those like yourself who staunchly support tithing need to justify the law as still relevant because if it’s not, you have no foundation on which to support this position. What’s glaringly obvious is that none of you think that any other “principles” of the law are relevant but tithing. You say I’m an anti-tither when in fact I just seek to correct centuries of a misinformation campaign that keeps so many under bondage in the age of grace.

    I bid you God’s speed.

  65. @Jeff,

    If you want me to quote your shifting around every so often, I could – trust me. I’ve tried to be consistent all through, and there’s not a dot anywhere you have actually shown the essential point of departure in mine, so why come back again and again repeating yourself on non-essentials?

    Jeff: “When referring to Abram’s “personal possessions” it’s obvious we’re speaking of his possessions other than these spoils. To you, we’re saying that the spoils weren’t Abram’s, hence the disconnect.”

    That’s true – and that was why I took time to show why indeed the spoils belonged to Abraham, otherwise you would have to show us how someone could take what was not his and then adjudicate over them! That would violate the principles of conscience and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – and up until now, you have not been able to show otherwise how Abraham was dishing out what was not his!

    As far back as my initial response to yours in this thread, I showed several points why your arguments were faulty; but other than the complaints you have repeated, I don’t see how you have said anything substantial to show otherwise in mine; however, I do acknowledge and appreciate the fact that you’d agree that what I showed there still stands.

    Your earlier response to Abram never tithing prior or subsequent is that it’s a “non-issue”. While some see this as significant you’re dismissive of this fact.

    It is a non-issue in as much as it does not help the anti-tithers’ legalism. I also noted that both the OT and NT affirm that what he gave were tithes (Gen. 14:20 and Heb. 7:6). If you have reasons to disqualify that and then show that Scripture was wrong to have called them ‘tithes’ even though he gave once, please show that very thing! Quibbling over non-issues such as the frequency of Abraham’s tithes makes for very hollow arguments. How many times did you expect Abraham to have given before you could be satisfied to call them tithes just as we find them called that very thing in Scripture?

    Secondly, it’s already been clarified that Abram gave his men their share. The remaining (less than 90%) he returned. In the interest of resolution why go over ground already clarified?

    Please stop shifting your goal post! Earlier in December 29, 2009 you said “He gave the king a tithe out of respect and gave the 90% back to Sodom“, and now you’re coming back to say it was “less than 90%” – and want me to nod on that as being consistent on your part?

    I would not have mentioned anything about that other than having to point out that you were still hanging around that same issue, shifting your arguments several times that I am losing track of what exactly you’re saying. Like I said earlier, the idea that he gave 90% back to the king of Sodom is redundant and false, and so you should retire that argument where you have not been able to show your case for what you argue. Leave it and pass on – or if you have anything of substance that is not another shifting, then please do share.

    I’ve already pointed out several spiritual references concerning the law in the OT and the NT. It is not legalism or literalism when I say the law represents the final act of Jesus on Calvary. It’s not literalism when I say that the practice of the law is no longer required since Jesus satisfied its requirements.

    Please, Jeff. . please. Just do me the favour of showing me where I ever argued that this whole affair was a matter of ‘the practice of the Law’ as if I ever made an argument asking Christians to “practise” the Law in a literal or legalistic manner. . . could you show me any place in my discourses where any such legalism was made? Please?

    Before you posted anything here (and much earlier in your own blog), I have consistently maintained that it was not a matter of legalism or literalism, but of ‘principles’. Here again in my last reply, I took time to proffer three examples of what I meant, limiting my examples to the matter of giving. When I pointed out that you were stuck on literalism, you replied “that’s exactly what the law was”. Now if you believed it should’ve been a matter of legalism or literalism, would it not have made far much sense to have shown how those examples I gave earlier should have been literal? How, for example, was the apostle arguing literal oxen in both 1 Cor. 9:9 and 1 Tim. 5:18 in quoting a verse from the Law of Moses (Deut. 25:4)?? I gave you specific examples – clear as the day – that you could not miss. . . and for all that you discussed nothing about them and then turn round to repeat yet another weathered anti-tithing legalism??

    How is it that you just keep evading this singular point about my persuasions not being legalistic or a literalism? Even more amusing is your going on and on arguing non-essentials at length and falling all over yourself about ‘centuries of misinformation’, etc., etc. Has it never occured to you – even once – that most of your own anti-tithing arguments are pure misinformation at best? Is that why you never notice anyone pointing to principles and categorically saying they do not tend to legalism?

    What is ‘dogmatic’ about these things that you would have to accuse me about it simply because I don’t fawn over to the literalism you guys have forever been forcing upon others in your anti-tithing campaigns? I asked for fresh points to the table for discussion, but no – you came back almost confirming my observation earlier that anti-tithers would never see past legalism and literalism on these issues.

    I’m not the one shifting any goalposts in my discourses right from my reposts at the WFTB website. That repost was addresing the very flawed anti-tithing arguments you posted here; and I haven’t seen where you showed anything of significant departure on my points there. If you have anything fresh to show in your concerns in those answers, please by all means do so.

    Much blessings.

  66. Gwaine

    If you want me to quote your shifting around every so often, I could – trust me.,,
    …. Please stop shifting your goal post! Earlier in December 29, 2009 you said “He gave the king a tithe out of respect and gave the 90% back to Sodom“,

    Jeff

    I have to ask Gwaine, why are you here? Is it for dialog and resolution? Other than saying that Abram gave the other 90% back to the King of Sodom, I challenge you to show me any shift in my position. My position has always been that Abram kept nothing. It is you whom is stubbornly stuck on 90%, a point in which I’ve already conceded.

    Gwaine
    that was why I took time to show why indeed the spoils belonged to Abraham, otherwise you would have to show us how someone could take what was not his and then adjudicate over them!

    Jeff

    Again, I’ve mentioned several times that I was referring to Abram’s possessions prior and subsequent to those spoils. Do you care to address this point or are we going to stay on this merry-go-round?

    Gwaine
    I also noted that both the OT and NT affirm that what he gave were tithes (Gen. 14:20 and Heb. 7:6). If you have reasons to disqualify that and then show that Scripture was wrong to have called them ‘tithes’ even though he gave once, please show that very thing!

    Jeff

    Show me one time where I said that Abram did not tithe to Melchizedek.

    Gwaine

    Quibbling over non-issues such as the frequency of Abraham’s tithes makes for very hollow arguments. How many times did you expect Abraham to have given before you could be satisfied to call them tithes

    Jeff

    Since God gave the command to tithe to Israel we see several significant and repeated references to this act. Can you show me once where God commanded Abram to tithe anything?

    Gwaine

    …do me the favour of showing me where I ever argued that this whole affair was a matter of ‘the practice of the Law’ as if I ever made an argument asking Christians to “practise” the Law in a literal or legalistic manner

    Jeff

    I don’t know maybe it’s me but it looks awful close to you arguing that the law is still relevant to the NT church thus qualifying the tithe as relevant practice. If you are saying it’s about the principle and not the “legalisms” then what is your argument concerning the tithe? That it’s relevant in principle only not literal?

    Gwaine
    … and for all that you discussed nothing about them and then turn round to repeat yet another weathered anti-tithing legalism??…. How is it that you just keep evading this singular point about my persuasions not being legalistic or a literalism?… Is that why you never notice anyone pointing to principles and categorically saying they do not tend to legalism?

    Jeff

    Maybe because I view that “persuasion” as complete nonsense? Gwaine, you’ve consistently ignored scripture I posted here several times while repeating the same nonsense about “legalism” & “literalisms”. In the interest of time and space I decided to address other points. Besides in my last post I addressed this point but obviously you’re not reading them, hence this consistent merry-go-round we seem to be on.

    Gwaine

    I asked for fresh points to the table for discussion, but no – you came back almost confirming my observation earlier that anti-tithers would never see past legalism and literalism on these issues.

    Jeff

    I gave you several points of which you have been completed unresponsive. So in the interest of time do this. In order that we have no misunderstanding, clearly state your position on tithing. Your repeated insinuation of my position being legal or liter has grown tired as I’ve addressed several issues with the tithe as we practice today which is in two part. One that tithing is no longer a requirement and tithing as practiced by the church today is incorrect.

  67. @Jeff,

    No offence, but the only difference between us is that I’m not a legalist on these matters, but you seem rather stuck on such a mentality – which again confirms what I’d noted earlier as the bane of an anti-tithing argument. Let me once more help in addressing your queries – in 3 parts since you like drawing out repetitions.

    PART 1.

    Jeff: “I have to ask Gwaine, why are you here? Is it for dialog and resolution? Other than saying that Abram gave the other 90% back to the King of Sodom, I challenge you to show me any shift in my position. My position has always been that Abram kept nothing. It is you whom is stubbornly stuck on 90%, a point in which I’ve already conceded”

    It does not seem at all that you’re here for a resolution or discussion either, else you would not have been quibbling on your legalism and falling all over yourself on non-issues.
    1. I’m not stuck on any 90%.
    2. I never argued that Abraham retained anything to himself from the spoils – if I did, please show me and stop gulling the public on what I never asserted.
    3. You made the typical anti-tithing fallacy that Abraham returned 90% to Sodom, and I addressed that point directly from Scripture – how does that show that I was stubbornly stuck on 90%?
    4. The anti-tithing assertion that Abraham’s tithes were “not his own property” is a fallacy – I also addressed that point specifically and moved on.
    5. You kept repeating the same issue, pretending to have conceded, and are now asking me why I’m here? If you have conceded zilch on that point, why does it keep featuring in your replies?
    6. If you can’t point to any assertion in my posts showing that I argued to retain 90%, why not let the matter rest instead of letting it feature repeatedly in your replies and yet not articulating anything fresh?

    Again, I’ve mentioned several times that I was referring to Abram’s possessions prior and subsequent to those spoils. Do you care to address this point or are we going to stay on this merry-go-round?

    If this is a new point, I would address it if it is relevant. Have you ever asked yourself why Abraham’s tithes were specifically to Melchizedek and not to just any other king he encountered in the various places he sojourned? The point was that he tithed specifically to Melchizedek, and not to any other king – and that from which he tithed was from what belonged to him. If it did not belong to him, please show me how – a point which I have dealt with much earlier. So, what essentially in this point actually disqualifies that as ‘tithes‘? I also asked you to please tell me why they could not be tithes, and you have craftily ducked that simple request, no?

    Show me one time where I said that Abram did not tithe to Melchizedek.

    Did I say any such things, Jeff? This was what I said: ‘If you have reasons to disqualify that and then show that Scripture was wrong to have called them ‘tithes’ even though he gave once, please show that very thing!’ What essentially was wrong in Abraham’s tithing once? Was it either that he did not do so from what belonged to him; or his doing it even once was sooooo wrong that Scripture should not have called it ‘tithes‘? What really is it on that point?

    Since God gave the command to tithe to Israel we see several significant and repeated references to this act. Can you show me once where God commanded Abram to tithe anything?

    Did I assert that Abraham tithed as a matter of any commandment? You see, Jeff, you’re sounding so laughable and desperate now I could hardly imagine why you’re making these very immature objections. I addressed precisely what you had posted on December 29, 2009. You did not address those points, but spiralled into other issues – which again I’ve addressed. The recent one now is to come back making statements that have nothing to do with what I stated – am I missing something here?

    But even so, Abraham’s tithes could not be predicated on the Law that did not exist at his time – and to show the strength of this, please read Deut. 5:2-3 [the Jewish covenant was not made with Abraham but with the nation of Israel – how then do you want to use the Jewish covenant to evaluate Abraham’s experiences?]. This is why the query about a ‘commandment’ to tithe in Abraham’s case is rather puerile. The simple point there was that he tithed – whether you’re too busy looking for a commandment or not, he tithed. That is what Scripture affirms in all simplicity, and that is what I stand on. If you have a genuine point to make as to why Scripture could have been wrong to qualify Abraham’s act as ‘tithes‘, please show me – I will indeed patiently look into it.

  68. PART 2
    @Jeff,

    Jeff: “I don’t know maybe it’s me but it looks awful close to you arguing that the law is still relevant to the NT church thus qualifying the tithe as relevant practice. If you are saying it’s about the principle and not the “legalisms” then what is your argument concerning the tithe? That it’s relevant in principle only not literal?”

    This is a good question, thanks.

    Let me reassure you: I was not close to any argument or idea that asks Christians to apply a literal or legalistic reading of the Law of Moses in their lives. What I have maintained is that the apostle draws upon the declarations of the same Law of Moses in this matter of giving (as well on many other matters), but does not seek a legalistic application where he does so. Rather, he made clear that he was pointing to principles in those OT passages he cited for the NT subjects he taught.

    For that reason, I pointed out 3 examples specific to this discussion – showing that while he cited verses from the Law of Moses, he did not mean that Christians should seek to make them literal in their lives in any legalistic manner.

    That was why I mentioned the case of the ox and noted that he did not speak in literal terms when he cited Deut. 25:4. For this reason also, what he taught in 1 Cor. 9:13-14 reminds us immediately of Numbers 18 where tithes are taught! But when he declared in 1 Cor. 9:14 that “EVEN SO hath the Lord ordained. . .”, we know that Paul was not asking Christians to do the same things as Israel in Numbers 18 in a literal and legalistic manner! He rather drew from that OT passages of the Law of Moses for its principles in the NT, without seeking a literal application of what we read in Numbers 18 on tithes.

    This is the point I’ve made repeatedly, and that is what I continue to share – so that again and again, you would have read me disavowing ‘legalism and literalism’ and rather pointing to the ‘principles’ in those texts.

    Now Jeff –
    (a) could you share with me what passages of the Old Testament the apostle might have been referring to in 1 Cor. 9:13 (‘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?‘)??
    (b) were those passages from the Law of Moses or they are not?
    (c) could you also show me that he was not citing from the Law of Moses in 1 Cor. 9:9 and 1 Tim. 5:18 (‘Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn‘, cf. Deut. 25:4)? Was he speaking in literal terms about oxen in his teaching?
    (d) if he was indeed citing those verses from the Law of Moses, was he asking Christians to apply them in a literal and legalistic manner? Or was he rather setting forth principles from those texts for Christians who should see them in their simplicity?

    Hopefully, by the time you carefully consider the points above, it may dawn on you what exactly has been my position on these matters. I am not an anti-tither for the very simple reason that anti-tithing arguments are very legalistic and continually miss the simple principles we find in these things.

    Recently, I started tithing – and for all that, I do not try to force people into tithing, for that would be an eqaully unspiritual exercise as the tendency to force people to stop tithing. I agree with the argument that making tithing compulsory and legalistic to Christians is clearly wrong; but that is no reason why anyone should go about campaigning to make other Christians completely stop tithing!

    If people are led to tithe a certain portion of their income to the Lord wherever they fellowship in the various local churches, why is that a problem to anti-tithers who are not at rest until they seek to stop everyone from tithing?

    Jeff, the principles in God’s Word are simple and straightforward – and that is what I’ve again shared on where I stand on these matters. I’m not a legalist who tries to campaign a compulsory tithing or an anti-tithing on anyone; but it would be wrong for anyone to try gulling the public with with the legalism of anti-tithing arguments.

  69. PART 3
    @Jeff,

    Maybe because I view that “persuasion” as complete nonsense?

    No problem – we all have our various persuasions on these things, and while you may deem mine as complete nonsense, I have waited for you to simply bring genuine discussions to the table. This blog is not the first time you and I have discussed this subject, and it amazes me how you guys would see others’ views as nonsense and yet you cannot establish your own arguments on simple basic principles without an appeal to strenuous literalisms. If you consider principles to be complete nonsense, I see how far gone you are on this subject.

    Gwaine, you’ve consistently ignored scripture I posted here several times while repeating the same nonsense about “legalism” & “literalisms”. In the interest of time and space I decided to address other points. Besides in my last post I addressed this point but obviously you’re not reading them, hence this consistent merry-go-round we seem to be on.

    When I addressed every single objection you made, your adulator Barry complained about my repeating myself. That is why I refrained from that trend after observing your penchant to reharsh the same arguments all over again, dress them with all sorts of puerile cosmetics and present them anew like they are headline news. You may shout ‘nonsense’ twice over and pretend I ignored the verses you cited, whereas I addressed the main issues of those verses without the need to go over them again and again. That says nothing about your style of ducking the points I presented for your consideration, though.

    I gave you several points of which you have been completed unresponsive. So in the interest of time do this. In order that we have no misunderstanding, clearly state your position on tithing.

    Lol, Jeff. . . this is not the first time I stated my position on tithing, let truth be spoken for once. I’ve done so both at your blog, and then at the Google Group which you manage, as well here again I obliged. I don’t know what it is really with you chaps who like to duck your heads in the sand and pretend you never see where I have stated my position on tithes previously. Please scroll above to my recent post above (PART 2) and see again that I have addressed that very issue, so you can retire this shameless pretence of being oblivious of it – they’re below you!

    Your repeated insinuation of my position being legal or liter has grown tired as I’ve addressed several issues with the tithe as we practice today which is in two part.

    If you don’t like my repeating for your sake that your arguments are most legalistic, then by all means stop recycling that drama of making the same legalistic arguments! You of all people should be willing to see what others are saying without trying to belabour us all with your anti-tithing arguments that say zilch.

    One that tithing is no longer a requirement and tithing as practiced by the church today is incorrect.

    I have not discussed tithes as a “requirement” with any anti-tither, and your point would have been relevant only if you found me saying that tithing is a requirement! Second, the only reason you would not let others tithe is because you assume they are ‘incorrect’ until you see them altogether stop tithing!

    Look, it’s this simple: nobody I know of is taking crops from Israel’s field to church every Sunday to present as their tithes – if you don’t see anything else to argue, drop it. Also, if anyone has determined to tithe a certain portion of their income to the Lord voluntarily, what is wrong with that? Why are you too driven by anti-tithing legalism that you can’t see these simple issues until they schlepp on to your ‘incorrect’ literalism? Is that why you and your friend like Joshua would go so far as to poke fun at people who tithe?

    Let other Christians do what they have determined in their hearts to do – that includes their determined privilege to tithe if they would do so, ‘according as they purpose in their hearts’ (2 Cor. 9:7). I hope that is simple enough to understand, but if you can’t let it be and must needs be determined to force your anti-tithing arguments on others, please entertain us further.

    Much regards.

  70. Gwaine, I’ve repeated consistently that Abram kept none of the spoils and the only reason he went to war was to rescue his nephew Lot. Abram was not interested in conquering nations and retaining their wealth even though he won the war and they were his. This is why he kept nothing. I never asserted that Abram did not give the king a tenth of those spoils. In studying history I discovered that the Babylonians asserted tithes on their people as a tax apparatus. Tenants tithed from their toils to their Landlords again as a gesture of respect. It was a practice of their culture to acknowledge authority in that way.

    Today the church often cites this passage in Gen 14 to prop support for tithing. Unless you’ve been under a rock most of your life far too often we hear how we are cursed with a curse for not tithing, usually preceded by Mal 3 to qualify this assertion. They point to Israel’s tithe to declare that God’s portion of your income is a tithe and if you don’t give it you are “robbing God”. The very title of this forum is loaded with undertones that allude to this disputation.

    Now I think you take too many liberties upon my argument of tithing. I never said that anything was wrong with tithing. I did say it is wrong in its practice today largely because the church base it off of Israel’s system. For the record you cannot tithe less or more than 10% because tithe means one tenth. There’s no spiritual significance to the word tithe. It wasn’t invented by the bible but was merely instruction on how to execute a practice.

    I read your reference in 1 Cor 9 and my response is this. God doesn’t change. His method He uses is to bring forth purpose does. The OT shows one stage in that purpose. The NT shows the next stage. God’s purpose of the law was to be a covering for sin until Jesus removed them on Calvary. You make a reference to the ox and saying that Peter didn’t literally mean to muzzle the ox. However when it comes to tithing, it is the height of literalism in its practice today because indeed the church means not a principle but to actually give the tenth.

    My aim is not to stop people from tithing. It’s to free them from bondage. For the record, you can’t tithe a certain portion of your income. You can only tithe from your income in giving a tenth. Anything more or less is not a tithe. But let me be perfectly clear on something. If anyone decides to tithe anything there’s nothing wrong in doing so. However to base this off the Israel tithe which was different in its application is wrong. Far too often people are giving tithes because they believe it is mandatory and if they don’t God will not “rebuke the devour”. To tithe or to give beyond the tithe is completely voluntary. You are not required to tithe while in debt in order to get out of debt. Many simply need to exercise better decisions within their finances. Those that are truly in situations beyond their control simply need to trust God.

    What is emphasized in the NT is voluntary giving. Those that give shall reap accordingly. There is absolutely no record of the church ever tithing in the NT because they understood the tithe and its inference completely. Tithing came along much later as church leaders decided they needed a way to support the clergy as the church grew.

    Lastly, with regards to the law I don’t think we’ll ever agree on this. Believe me when I say I understand what you’re saying about principle. However the practice of the law was never principle to those of whom it was mandatory. It wasn’t until the NT where “principle” could be applied with regards to the law but I believe Gal 3:23-25 says it all.

    So I hope you’re a bit clearer on my position. With that I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. However it won’t stop me from posting my position in these forums..lol

    With that I bid you God’s speed.

  71. Hi Jeff,

    “Gwaine, I’ve repeated consistently that Abram kept none of the spoils and the only reason he went to war was to rescue his nephew Lot. Abram was not interested in conquering nations and retaining their wealth even though he won the war and they were his. This is why he kept nothing.”

    I don’t remember where I ever made any statement that Abraham retained anything to himself; nor did I argue that he was interested in conquering nations for their wealth.

    “I never asserted that Abram did not give the king a tenth of those spoils. In studying history I discovered that the Babylonians asserted tithes on their people as a tax apparatus. Tenants tithed from their toils to their Landlords again as a gesture of respect. It was a practice of their culture to acknowledge authority in that way.”

    1. In Scripture, Abraham’s tithes to Melchizedek were not by compulsion or anything imposed upon him. Besides, Abraham was not a tenant under Melchizedek. This was why I asked that you carefully check why specifically to Melchizedek and not to any other king in all the places where he sojourned.
    2. Tithes are not taxes (please consider 2 Kings 23:35 and Daniel 11:20) – and certainly not in the case of Abraham’s tithes to Melchizedek.

    Today the church often cites this passage in Gen 14 to prop support for tithing. Unless you’ve been under a rock most of your life far too often we hear how we are cursed with a curse for not tithing, usually preceded by Mal 3 to qualify this assertion.

    I have not alluded to curses on anyone who is not inclined to tithe; but I most certainly object to the anti-tithing campaign to stop everyone else from tithing altogether. Anyone citing any OT passage to help convey a message about giving is not a big issue to me – the apostle Paul cited Deut. 25:4 on oxen twice over (1 Cor. 9:9 and 1 Tim. 5:18 ) without trying to send anyone to ranches anywhere in the world. Simple principles are not hard to decipher in these matters.

    They point to Israel’s tithe to declare that God’s portion of your income is a tithe and if you don’t give it you are “robbing God”. The very title of this forum is loaded with undertones that allude to this disputation.

    Please show me how the ‘very title‘ of this forum is loaded with undertones of robbing God (or ‘this disputation’). Please. I don’t think it is fair to let our imagination run wild on simple statements, and I’m having such a hard time agreeing with you on that assertion.

    Now I think you take too many liberties upon my argument of tithing. I never said that anything was wrong with tithing. I did say it is wrong in its practice today largely because the church base it off of Israel’s system.

    So, in effect, the apostle Paul would have been patently wrong for citing verses from the same OT Law unto Israel for what he taught Christians in the NT?? What exactly did you make of his clear reference to israel’s system in 1 Cor. 9:13 – and then in v. 14 openly declaring that “Even so hath the Lord ordained. . .”? You’re not actually looking into your Bible when you complain on this subject.

    For the record you cannot tithe less or more than 10% because tithe means one tenth. There’s no spiritual significance to the word tithe. It wasn’t invented by the bible but was merely instruction on how to execute a practice.

    Oh c’mon, Jeff! You can’t pretend to not remember that I have made this issue so plain several times in your own blog that ‘tithe’ is not an exactitude of always and only ‘10%’. Your study of history of ancient cultures would have attested this fact to you; and even anti-tithing theologians who argue tithes from Numbers 31 are not seeing ‘10%’ in that passage either (e.g., ask Russell Kelly). I also provided you with several examples of churches that tithe other rates (whether less or more than 10%); but again most people are inclined to set their tithes at 10% and increase over that as they increase in their earnings. Do you want me to repost the same things here again??

    I read your reference in 1 Cor 9 and my response is this. God doesn’t change. His method He uses is to bring forth purpose does. The OT shows one stage in that purpose. The NT shows the next stage. God’s purpose of the law was to be a covering for sin until Jesus removed them on Calvary.

    Tithing is never taught in Scripture as a salvific issue (nobody in OT and NT gets saved by tithing); so the question of a covering for sin and Calvary has absolutely nothing to do with the subject.

    However, your answer says nothing about the points I proffered on 1 Corinthians 9:8-14.

    You make a reference to the ox and saying that Peter didn’t literally mean to muzzle the ox. However when it comes to tithing, it is the height of literalism in its practice today because indeed the church means not a principle but to actually give the tenth.

    Lol, Jeff. . it was Paul, not Peter (nevermind, we all have our typos). For the love of Christ, let me say that I understand your concerns about the abuses in many quarters – and I don’t chide you for them, because I share the same concerns as well.

    However, I don’t think that the Church has been preaching a literal Jewish tithing of proceeds or harvests from farms for Christians (except, of course, in the 6th – 8th century). The principle is to set aside a portion of one’s income or resources to meet certain needs among believers. Yet, even though many tend to abuse the Word of God for whatever purposes, that should not mean we set out campaigning against tithing itself.

    My aim is not to stop people from tithing. It’s to free them from bondage.

    That’s quite appreciated, and I encourage you all the more. However, setting people free from any form of bondage does not mean we should make very misleading assertions – it does not matter whether such misleading assertions come from pro-tithers or anti-tithers.

    For the record, you can’t tithe a certain portion of your income. You can only tithe from your income in giving a tenth. Anything more or less is not a tithe.

    That is an example of bondage, bro. Free your mind from such constraints and understand that tithes are not an exactitude of 10% – we cannot argue one way or another to make such fastidious exactitudes: not in history, not in Scripture, and certainly not in the whole breath of Christian theology. In the true spirit of 2 Cor. 9:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2, let’s allow our Christian brethren the freedom to tithe howsoever they wish to do so, instead of making rules any-which-way.

    But let me be perfectly clear on something. If anyone decides to tithe anything there’s nothing wrong in doing so. However to base this off the Israel tithe which was different in its application is wrong. Far too often people are giving tithes because they believe it is mandatory and if they don’t God will not “rebuke the devour”. To tithe or to give beyond the tithe is completely voluntary. You are not required to tithe while in debt in order to get out of debt. Many simply need to exercise better decisions within their finances. Those that are truly in situations beyond their control simply need to trust God.

    That’s sweet. I don’t think the author of the article in this thread was making anything mandatory or saying it is required for people to tithe while trying to get out of debt. He frankly answered the question that many people have asked without seeking to force anything on anyone. But your point is quite appreciated, and I should leave it off there.

    Thank you for the time (and your patience to reason with me). Above our differences and persuasions, I value your friendship – which you have shown from our first contact at your blog. May God richly bless you. :)

  72. Gwaine

    I don’t remember where I ever made any statement that Abraham retained anything to himself; nor did I argue that he was interested in conquering nations for their wealth.

    Jeff

    My point is that Abram wasn’t tithing from anything he considered his. His statement in Gen 14:22,23 completely supports this statement.

    “And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
    That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:”

    The reason I made this statement is because today we consider our salaries as our personal wealth & possession. Abram did not even though the rule was to the winner of the war go the spoils.

    Gwaine

    Abraham was not a tenant under Melchizedek. This was why I asked that you carefully check why specifically to Melchizedek and not to any other king in all the places where he sojourned.

    Jeff

    Abram tithed to Melchizedek because he recognized his position and authority. Furthermore Abram never gave Melchizedek anything until that war which further solidifies my point. Since the war happened under Mechizedek’s authority, Abram responded. Also, I never said Abram was a tenant of anyone, I was merely pointing out the customs of that age.

    Gwaine

    Tithes are not taxes…..and certainly not in the case of Abraham’s tithes to Melchizedek.

    Jeff

    Tithing was a practice of their customs. One can tithe anything because it only means one tenth. I never asserted that Abram’s tithe or Israel’s tithe was “taxes”.

    Gwaine

    I have not alluded to curses on anyone who is not inclined to tithe; but I most certainly object to the anti-tithing campaign to stop everyone else from tithing altogether.

    Jeff

    I never said you did. I suggest you re-read my statement. Furthermore, I can’t speak for “anti-tithers”, I can speak for myself. I‘ve never been on any campaign to stop anyone from tithing. I have been telling people who believe that if they don’t, they are robbing God, that this is nonsense.

    Gwaine
    Please show me how the ‘very title‘ of this forum is loaded with undertones of robbing God… I don’t think it is fair to let our imagination run wild on simple statements..

    Jeff

    I am of the opinion that you’re being a little pretentious here but I’ll address it. This very article has links to other articles that quote Mal 3 as examples of tithing. Let me post something from this very site.

    “Can you be blessed without tithing?
    Some say you won’t be blessed if you don’t tithe. I kinda think this completely depends on the person and their maturity level as a Christian. You expect more from a 13 year old than a 5 year old – right? I don’t think God is any different, He knows where were are on our walk and will meet us where we are.

    I was a Christian for a while before I started tithing and I think I was doing okay. I know some Christians who don’t tithe and seem to be very blessed. But, there is no getting around the fact that you will be MORE blessed if you tithe, than if you don’t. The Bible says that there will ALWAYS be seedtime and harvest (Gen 8:22). What we sow, we will reap. If we give, it will be given back to us in good measure.”

    Now if this doesn’t convey that message, I don’t know what does. What’s bothersome is that those who disagree with others such as you are considered “immature” because we simply don’t “understand God’s principles”. I’m of the belief that those whom are immature are easy prey for such nonsense because they simply do not study the Word of God for themselves to gain understanding.

    Gwaine

    So, in effect, the apostle Paul would have been patently wrong for citing verses from the same OT Law unto Israel for what he taught Christians in the NT??

    Jeff

    As you’ve said before, he wasn’t compelling them to actually go muzzle an ox. However those citing Mal 3 are in fact saying that you will be cursed for robbing God thus compelling people to tithe.

    Gwaine

    Oh c’mon, Jeff! You can’t pretend to not remember that I have made this issue so plain several times in your own blog that ‘tithe’ is not an exactitude of always and only ‘10%’. Your study of history of ancient cultures would have attested this fact….. but again most people are inclined to set their tithes at 10%

    Jeff

    I don’t think I’ve ever saw a more ridiculous statement. Translation, “most people set their tenth at 10% and increase over that as they increase in their earnings” All while still calling this a tithe I presume?
    God directed them to give 10% for a reason hence the word tithe (tenth). Giving more or less is NOT a tithe and to refer to it as such even in principle is quite frankly lacking in understanding. I don’t know of anywhere in history that the tithe was referred to anything other than one tenth so I have no idea what you’re speaking of on that point but for you to say that the “tithe” is not exactitude sounds more like doctrinal twaddle.

    Gwaine

    Tithing is never taught in Scripture as a salvific issue (nobody in OT and NT gets saved by tithing); so the question of a covering for sin and Calvary has absolutely nothing to do with the subject

    Jeff

    I completely disagree. God commanded Israel to do everything with purpose. The ultimate purpose is to redeem man back to Gen 1&2 where man would house His spirit within and rule and reign on earth. That’s why I believe to set one’s income as a tithe such as Israel’s is wrong. In every instance the tithe was for human consumption as commanded by God. I believe He had a good reason for commanding this. Even when Jesus addressed the Pharisees in Matt 23:23 it was human consumables.

    Today, tithing is strictly from one’s income. Since God instructed tithes to be edible I find to do this as a representation of tithes even in “principle” is wrong. I believe this is expressly why we see no representation of the tithe within the church in the NT, especially with respect to currency.

    Gwaine
    I don’t think that the Church has been preaching a literal Jewish tithing of proceeds or harvests from farms for Christians…

    Jeff

    I agree

    Gwaine

    The principle is to set aside a portion of one’s income or resources to meet certain needs among believers. Yet, even though many tend to abuse the Word of God for whatever purposes, that should not mean we set out campaigning against tithing itself.

    Jeff

    So then you’re saying that the latter church age created the tithe from one’s income and in this they reference the Jewish tithe? For the reasons I mentioned earlier this is wrong. Why pick something with totally different meaning to represent something with a totally different purpose? So if the church decides to observe the practice of tithing to support their clergy, they need to clarify it as such and stop referencing the Israelites practice because it sends a mixed message. I guarantee you most people believe that tithing is mandatory not voluntary because they do this.

    Gwaine

    Free your mind from such constraints and understand that tithes are not an exactitude of 10% – we cannot argue one way or another to make such fastidious exactitudes:

    Jeff
    Free my mind that a tenth is not an exactitude of 10%? I believe the reason you hold such views is directly because of doctrinal teachings. Why not simply teach the principle of giving? The NT is loaded with examples of reaping when giving yet we dive into the OT to use tithing as an example. The reason for such is quite transparent

    Gwaine

    In the true spirit of 2 Cor. 9:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2, let’s allow our Christian brethren the freedom to tithe howsoever they wish to do so, instead of making rules any-which-way.

    Jeff

    These have nothing to do with tithing whatsoever but rather a direction on how to give when the apostles came to town. The Corinthians were in dispute on when and what to give and this was to alleviate the confusion. To equate this with tithing is a quite a reach at best.

  73. @Jeff,

    We have been through your recycled arguments thrice over, and it’s a wonder why you’re still stuck on the very same thing. It’s quite sad to notice you were deliberately forcing your unbiblical ideas into Scripture on top of it all, and I won’t let it pass. I had anticipated this problem of your pretending to have conceded on certain plain facts whereas quite the opposite is true in your style; and that was why I reposted my replies to Russell from the WFTB website.

    Take for example your recycled claim:

    Jeff: “My point is that Abram wasn’t tithing from anything he considered his. His statement in Gen 14:22,23 completely supports this statement.”

    Unfortunately Jeff, I’d have to be firm with you here: that assertion is plainly an oft-repeated anti-tithing lie! I’ve addressed that same issue several times in this thread already, particularly on this same question –

    Abraham’s Tithe Not From His Own Possession?
    #3. Actually, the spoils of war belonged to Abraham, for that’s what Scripture teaches. You do not take someone else’s property and adjudicate over them in any way if they do not belong to you – that would be theft, and would seriously violate the principles of conscience and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
    http://wealthfromthebible.com/sowingreaping/is-tithing-obsolete/#comment-384

    I then outlined specific answers addressing that point, which neither you nor Russell have countered with any good reason based on the principles of Biblical exegesis. Further, I noted that the same source (Hugo Grotius’ De Jure Belli ac Pacis) from which he had excerpted a quote, was teaching the direct opposite of what he had argued! If Abraham had given a tithe to Melchizedek from what did not belong to him in the first place, would that not raise serious questions in your heart as to why the Holy Spirit would have affirmed that it was Abraham’s tithes?

    It doesn’t matter how you may dress up the claim; but it just means the same thing as to say that Abraham tithed from what did not belong to him – and that would make him a thief, which is a fallacy not taught anywhere in Scripture at all! Unless, of course, you’re ignoring the basic principles of Biblical exegesis and reading your own eisegesis into God’s Word, I don’t see how you have addressed the points I raised to show that Abraham gave tithes from what belonged to him in the first place.

    It is rather interesting that after I had particularly addressed that point initially, you pretended to have conceded to the plain fact I presented –

    Jeff: “It seems your argument is that the spoils were Abrams and that he tithed to Melchizedek. I agree. I never said different.”
    (your reply of Feb. 12.)

    If you agreed that the spoils were Abram’s (i.e., Abraham’s), why come back to reharsh the direct opposite of arguing again that “Abram wasn’t tithing from anything he considered his”?? That is rather disingenuous. Why ‘agree’ and then come back lately to post the opposite? Did Abraham not consider the spoils to be his? If no, why did you ‘agree’ initially with what I stated earlier?

    You see, Jeff, this boredom of recycling your anti-tithing fallacies is why I wonder if you ever have anything fresh to present for discussion, or yet even have any consistencies in your position at all! It seems you’re not quite sure of what you hold, or just want to keep pushing these non-issues over and over again and standing neither here nor there. If you cannot find something better to argue, please, please and please, drop your fallacies on Abraham’s tithes. I’m weary now of your doublespeak.

  74. I’ll quickly address your other points, although they’re just about the same mundane things we have long sorted out.

    Jeff: “Abram tithed to Melchizedek because he recognized his position and authority.”

    His authority over what? I thought you had initially argued it was a ‘gesture of respect’ or ‘out of respect’ (Dec. 29) – like there was no other king to whom Abraham would have shown “respect” in all the places where he sojourned, if ‘respect’ was all there was to his tithing?

    This was why I asked you directly why it was specifically to Melchizedek and not to some other king (for surely, Abraham was not going about disrespecting other kings, was he?). Coming back with that quip of yours is simply begging the question.

    Furthermore Abram never gave Melchizedek anything until that war which further solidifies my point.

    That does not further solidify any point you’re making – other than trying to consolidate your eisegesis, that’s all. Melchizedek met Abraham only once, and the latter tithed to the former in that one august occasion. If there was any record that both had met at least twice, we would indeed have questioned why Abraham did not tithe to the priest-king a second time! Unfortunately, your point is without substance here, sorry.

    Since the war happened under Mechizedek’s authority, Abram responded.

    An absolute comedy, that is! :) This is what I meant in saying you were forcing your own ideas into God’s Word, and I won’t let it pass.

    Where did you find in Scripture that the war happened under Melchizedek’s authority? Oh please, do share and elucidate on that point; because if you don’t, or cannot do so, then something is patently wrong with your anti-tithing ideas! If you’re determined to keep making up any fanciful fallacy you don’t find in Scripture just so you could keep up your arguments, let me know. I won’t let you get away with this particular claim; and if it turns out to be another lie, I don’t intend to be lenient with you on that – trust me. Just don’t try to evade or dodge this one.

    Also, I never said Abram was a tenant of anyone, I was merely pointing out the customs of that age.

    What in the world then did you mean at all by saying: “Tenants tithed from their toils to their Landlords again as a gesture of respect” (Feb. 14)? If that has no bearing on your arguments about Abraham’s tithes, WHY did you appeal to such distractions? If, however, you were insinuating that Abraham was a tenant under Melchizedek, just say so and stop prevaricating here and there – you know already that your arguments there would immediately collapse.

    Secondly, please understand one thing: Scripture does not argue a ‘custom’ for Abraham’s tithes. None. Nada. Nix. Zilch. The anti-tithing argument of turning Abraham’s tithes into a ‘custom of that age’ is why people like Russell had made the mistake of teaching that Abraham’s tithes were pagan tithes, or that he was ‘required to tithe according to pagan law‘, etc. Although it’s not Russell that is the issue here (see my 2nd point at the WFTB website: Abraham’s Tithes – ‘Pagan’?, http://wealthfromthebible.com/sowingreaping/is-tithing-obsolete/#comment-383 ); however, I often address these misleading notions for the simple reason that many anti-tithers draw from his unbiblical arguments to make these very unfounded assertions for Abraham’s tithes. Let me give you an example from the same WFTB site:

    an obsever I would call ‘Tav':
    “Historical studies outside the word informs and confirms us that giving 10% to the local king was common practice and WAS MANDATED. It was NOT optional! Now , since we Can not assume that Abraham was acting on this eternal principle, only two probables come to mind:
    He was giving in accordance to local customs or he was giving acknowledging the Kingship of Melchizedk as respecting his authority by God, or a combo of both.”

    Gwaine:
    First, there’s nothing to suggest any “mandates” in his giving tithes to Melchizedek – at best, that is deliberately read into the text, not from the text. Once you take that approach, it won’t be long before you begin to see Melchizedek as a ‘pagan priest’ and then infer ‘pagan tithes’ for Abraham, as many people have done. To solve this problem for yourself, you’d have to either “prove” the Bible did not mean what it said in declaring that Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:18 and Heb. 7:1), or otherwise find another way of discrediting what Scripture declares. If this won’t help you, then no need to resort to extraneous ideas and force them into the texts.

    Gwaine:
    Second, Abraham was not acting on any compulsion in giving tithes to Melchizedek. The latter was a king (of Salem) as were other kings (of Sodom, of Gomorrah, of Admah, of Zeboiim, etc). If Abraham was following mere customs that compelled (ie. ‘mandated‘) him to tithe, then he could have done so to some other king and not to Melchizedek. Why? Simply because Abraham was dwelling in the plains of Mamre (Gen. 14:13), and not in Salem where Melchizedek was the king. Mamre was in Hebron (see Gen. 13:18 and 35:27), not in Salem. Thus, the ‘local custom’ that you had inferred as a “mandate” upon Abraham immediately poses a huge problem for you, because such a “mandate” would rather have compelled Abraham to tithe to some other king rather than to Melchizedek. Further, notice that in just the same way that the king of Sodom “went out to meet” Abraham (Gen. 14:17), so it was the king-priest Melchizedek “who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings” (Heb. 7:1), not the other way round, that Abraham went to meet Melchizedek.
    http://wealthfromthebible.com/sowingreaping/is-tithing-obsolete/#comment-1716

    The idea of Abraham’s tithes as obeying a ‘custom at the time’ is just that: a fallacy deliberately read into Scripture! There’s not a single verse in support of such fancies; and anti-tithers recycling that casuistry ought to know better. That is not to say that I do not recognize ancient civilizations where various forms of tithes were known: on the contrary, I’m very aware of that fact; but we don’t have to go out of our way to gull the public into thinking that Abraham was obeying pagan laws or custom in tithing to Melchizedek – that is not what is taught in God’s Word.

    That’s the reason you need to carefuly study why indeed it was specifically to Melchizedek that Abraham tithed and not to some other king(s); otherwise it were better you dropped this fallacy of appealing to distractions like ‘tenant’ in discussing Abraham’s tithes if it has no bearing in your arguments particularly to the patriarch’s case.

  75. And these others:

    Tithing was a practice of their customs. One can tithe anything because it only means one tenth. I never asserted that Abram’s tithe or Israel’s tithe was “taxes”.

    I’m glad to read from you that one could ‘tithe anything’ – and that is what many Spirit-led Christians are doing when they set aside a portion of their income as tithes in their various churches. If you could recognize that fact, I don’t see why it would be necessary for you to keep arguing against tithes all this time. Let Christians be who they want to be: for we know that many are led by the Spirit of God to set aside a tithe of their income as their offerings. To keep harping against tithes with all the sort of fanciful fallacies you generate and ferret from wherever, is . . just tending to hypocrisy, brother.

    Now, as to the argument about ‘tax’ – please! The Bible is clear in distinguishing between tithes and tax – and when anti-tithers are arguing about tithes, they ought not to confuse these matters by appealing to such notions as “that the Babylonians asserted tithes on their people as a tax apparatus” – that is just utter nonsense to dribble in when dealing with Abraham’s tithe. Local customs of Babylonians or other civilizations should not act as authority over God’s Word – if we’re going to set our hearts and minds on what God says rather than appealing to extraneous ideas that have no bearing on the inspiration of Scripture. We have made plain that Abraham was not under any local custom, pagan rites, or political mandate that compelled or ‘required’ him to tithe to anyone. Nada. Nix. Zilch.

    Anyone trying to infer ‘tax’ in the case of the Biblical narratives of Abraham’s tithes is dubious – it doesn’t matter whatever theological badge they wear or how popular they might be! The patriarch’s tithes were voluntray – we all know that by now – and a tax is not something you call ‘voluntary’ even in context of your arguments of the Babylonians “asserting” anything upon their subjects. Melchizedek did not “assert” anything upon Abraham either; nor did the former receive tithes from the latter as a “tax apparatus”. Biblical integrity would require that we avoid confusing issues where Scripture does not confuse them at all; and if this ‘tax’ appeal has no bearing on Abraham’s tithes to Melchizedek, why do anti-tithers keep waving that fallacy in reference to Abraham?

    Gwaine:
    Please show me how the ‘very title‘ of this forum is loaded with undertones of robbing God… I don’t think it is fair to let our imagination run wild on simple statements..

    Jeff:
    I am of the opinion that you’re being a little pretentious here but I’ll address it. This very article has links to other articles that quote Mal 3 as examples of tithing. Let me post something from this very site.

    To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement. Even after the quote you had excerpted from wherever on this site, you still did not show where the author accused anyone of robbing God – nor did you show that same thing from the TITLE of the site! As a matter of fact, from what you quoted, the author indeed stated that “I know some Christians who don’t tithe and seem to be very blessed” – did he not say so? Does that amount to saying that he thought those who do not tithe were robbing God, or that was what the title of his article had stated? What exactly is wrong with you, Jeff?

    My dear brother, that attitude borders on slanderous accusation – something which we should eschew at all costs as Christians who seek to follow Him Whose Name is ‘The Truth’. I’m not better or more righteous than you are; but I would appeal to you to avoid underhanded methods in the way you argue any subject, even as the apostle exhorted:

    We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this – 2 Corinthians 4:2, NLT.

    Perhaps there might be somewhere else the author made clear reference to non-tithers robbing God – I’m not aware about that; nor would that constitute any reason for arguing against tithes per se. As far as is evident from what you had quoted, he did not assert what you’re trying to hang upon him; and please put such misleading ideas away from you (and be man enough to, if you would, apologise to him).