Most pastors and church budgets would do hand flips for a tithing member.
Tithing is a very difficult subject. There is so much controversy surrounding the topic that drowns what God really says. If you quote me do so in context. If you pass this on be sure to send the whole article. I will try to answer the following questions: What is a tithe? Is it biblical? What is it's purpose? Is it for us today? Is that all we need to give? Where to go from here?
What is a TITHE?
A tenth of the produce of the earth consecrated and set apart
for special purposes. The dedication of a tenth to God was recognized
as a duty before the time of Moses. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek
Ge 14:20 Heb 7:6 and Jacob vowed unto the Lord and said, "Of
all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto
thee." The first Mosaic law on this subject is recorded in
Le 27:30-32 Subsequent legislation regulated the destination
of the tithes Nu 18:21-24, 26-28: De 12:5,6,11,17 14:22,23 The
paying of the tithes was an important part of the Jewish religious
worship. In the days of Hezekiah one of the first results of the
reformation of religion was the eagerness with which the people
brought in their tithes 2Ch 31:5,6 The neglect of this duty was
sternly rebuked by the prophets Am 4:4: Mal 3:8-10 It cannot
be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on
the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains,
and is incorporated in the gospel 1Co 9:13,14 and if, as is the
case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause
of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old
Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient
Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to
God. Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three
tithes of his property
1. one tithe for the Levites;
2. one for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and
3. one for the poor of the land.
Wow! That's 30%!! Add that to all the sheep, goats grain, first fruit and other temple offering; seems to me they were giving 45 to 50%.
? Is it biblical?
The word Tithe is used 24 times in the Old Testament and 7 times in the New Testament. Yes it is a biblical word stemming from the Hebrew meaning a tenth. It is the way the church took care if its need; remember, they had no welfare, so the church took care of those needs also. On the other hand a woman with a child was never abandon, the family always took care of their own.
Why is it only used seven times in the New Testament and in
Some churches say we are approaching dangerous territory now. Four of the seven times are in Hebrews, referring to Melchisedec Abraham and the Levical Priesthood; reference only. Twice it was used in the midst of a curse:
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
And the last time as a point of bragging:
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
I also looked up Offering. 504 references.
494 from the Old Testament mostly referring to animals sacrificed to the Lord. Only 10 were from the New Testament. Nine referred to Christ Offering himself for our sins. One was a Monetary offering for a new convert.
I am sure by now some are ready to do cartwheels, while others are looking for stones to throw at me. Don't be distracted; read on.
When I first became a Christian I was so thrill I would do anything for my Lord. Personal need and wants were not considered. Soon the enemy (Satan) began whispering in my ear and I soon notice growing needs. Sound familiar? I'm sure it happened to most of us.
Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all
Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
We should model ourselves after the first church!? Perhaps Communism is more Church based than we realized??!
Before we run of in a frenzy we should consider many things. First the original preacher (disciples) showed they were true men of God.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
What would that prayer would shake the ground they stood on ( What: another earth quake). No-one would dare lie or hold back and still expect the blessings
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife,
For those who have trouble reading between the lines I will quit the tongue and cheek remarks.
My original study on tithes and offerings took me about 2-3 months and I wrote a 8 page tract that the enemy (Satin) has helped me loose tract of. But compacted and in a nutshell this is what I found.
1. If done by old testament standards would equal to a yearly total of 27.5% of ones yearly income (the equivalent of the federal, state, and FICA tax withheld from the average persons pay check). So if you truly believe in a biblical tithe then whatever you have withheld from you income pay equal again to the church. (OUCH!!)
2. In return over half of what the government is now providing would not be needed (I'm sure they will lower you income tax and FICA because welfare, medical, schooling, and retirement for the believers would be taken care of by the church. Also Christians should not go to court so the judicial system would be much relieved.)
3. A tithe is really not used in the New Testament as being ordained by God
Are you doing hand flips yet?
There are 41 times the various forms of will a give are mentioned it the same verse. Most of them are things God gives us. But there are a few things that we are to give to God.
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer,
and to the ministry of the word.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The Real key to giving comes in 2nd Corintians:
2 Corinthians 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.
One Last summery.
A tithe Legal and Christian: NO
Everything I have including my time, prayers, and witness: Absolutely
Expect something for what you give:
You loose! Either give out of love or don't give at all.
A tithe is simple point to START at. As babies drink breast milk before they are ready for solid foods, so a tithe is a growing point.
How much is your salvation worth? Put a price on it and aim for it.
When the world says good luck; I say God's blessing.
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