Holy Smoke Whatever Happened to Tithing

Holy Smoke Whatever Happened to Tithing Book

I finished the book, “Holy Smoke: Whatever happened to Tithing?” by J. Clif Christopher and Herb Mather a few weeks ago. This book is pro-tithing but has somewhat of a unique perspective on it. Although it didn’t introduce any new tithing arguments, it still gave a few bits of information for me to get into. Let’s get into the excerpts.

Malachi condemns the people for not bringing tithes, but also for not bringing their offerings. For the Hebrew people, the rebuke includes sin offerings, thank offerings, and a profusion of other offerings described in scriptures. Most tithing legalists want to praise anyone who tithes to affirm any additional offerings as acts of merit over and above the call of duty. They ignore the fact that the offerings were also commanded in the same breath as the tithe. If the Jewish tithes is commanded of all Christians, why are not all of the offerings mentioned in the Old Testament also required? Both tithes and offerings were symbols of Israel’s relationship with God.

Ha!, I said this was a pro-tithing book, right? I’ve heard many said in an argument that tithing is a symbol of our dedication to God, and yet they neglect the fact that every other old testament ritual had symbolic ramifications for worshiping Him. Tithing wasn’t the exclusive law that measured Israel’s relationship with God. Our obedience to any of God’s laws is a litmus test. The fact that pro-tithers single out tithing as if it is an exclusive measurement to test our relationship status with Him is proof that they have been brainwashed.

The appeal to tithing as a route to prosperity has had an appeal throughout history. It points up a strange Catch-22. Those who tithe tend to bring the whole of their economic lives under greater discipline. The cultivation of new financial practices based on sound values often leads prosperity.

Ok, let’s dissect this statement. Many say that those who tithe tend to be more prosperous, but the fact of the matter is that those who tithe typically have their entire financial lives under a great amount of discipline. In other words, it might not be so much that the tithe makes them prosperous, it’s the fact that their financial discipline spills over to every aspect of their financial lives. Even though this book is pro-tithing, it was still open minded enough to state the facts.

The purpose of rendering holy smoke through the regular discipline of tithing is to help us stay healthy enough spiritually so that we may be able to hear what the Lord ultimately wants from our whole lives. . . tithing helps us relfect on the most faithful way to use the remaining ninety percent of our income.

This statement is the pretty much the crux of their whole tithing stance. Tithing may help some to stay healthy but it may hurt others. The flaw of tithing’s philosophy is that it is a “good” principle. But there are better principles for every individual. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of personally tutoring each individual on how much they should give. Yes, the tithe is a “good” benchmark, but good doesn’t cut it if we are missing the mark of what God wants us to give. I’m not saying that tithing hinders people from giving more. I’m saying that tithing hinders people from hearing the Spirit’s guidance when it is given.

If we want to hear what the Lord ultimately wants from our whole lives, then we have to be accustomed to hearing how the Lord speaks to us. Tithing is a static law, that requires no communication with God. We don’t need to know where, when, how much, or why we give it. We just do it, and that’s that! There is no hearing involved until we get to 11% and then all of a sudden we’re suppose to know how to listen to God? Tithing did not prepare you for this.

What happens is that people are like “well i just don’t know what to give, so i guess i’ll do whatever everyone else does”. This is immature giving. Imagine if you gave to your spouse in this way? How boring and unpersonalized! Yet, we give to God this way. Kind of seems strange that God went through the process of restoring fellowship with mankind so that we can just ignore his counsel with our giving. Sure, many of you give tithes above offerings, but i would venture to say that you are just guessing. You are probably giving 11 – maybe 12%. I know this because this is what i used to do. I had no clue what being spirit led meant because i was an automated giver. I had no clue that God wanted to tell me where every single penny should go.

This is why the Church struggles so much today to emulate the early Church. The early Church understood and lived the dynamics of being spirit led. In today’s environment we give no different than pagans, who worship a dead God. We say our God is alive, and yet, our giving is automated and calculated as if there was sound proof glass between us and Him.

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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14 comments on “Holy Smoke Whatever Happened to Tithing
  1. Gwaine says:

    Hallo,

    It’s interesting to read about the sort of arguments many people hold against tithes. Often, I wonder if the subject on its own is what has become so disdainful to non-tithe (or tithe-opposers); or just a mindset that non-tithers have simply adopted.

    An example is your comment, that – “The fact that pro-tithers single out tithing as if it is an exclusive measurement to test our relationship status with Him is proof that they have been brainwashed.

    Well, I don’t know how you came to that inference; but be assured that tithers are not “brainwashed”. That attitude in your statement alone is jaundiced, for there are many people who do not ‘single out tithing’ as the measure of their relationship with God. Your comment is no “proof”, as it misses the point completely.

    Evidently, many people who are against tithing for whatever reasons, seem to often make generalised presumptions about tithers. Just another example in yours:

    What happens is that people are like “well i just don’t know what to give, so i guess i’ll do whatever everyone else does”. This is immature giving. Imagine if you gave to your spouse in this way? How boring and unpersonalized!

    Lol, this is a typically convenient assertion non-tithers often make – but what you may not have realised is this: it is an unfair, biased and disguised statement. This is not “what happens” on a wide scale, and we should not take that as the standard model for so many tithers in general. Why so? Simple enough: please take the time to look carefully at those who gave tithes in the Bible: they did NOT do so in the mistaken idea that it was “boring and unpersonalized”. Second, there are many people who tithe today who do not feel it is “boring and unpersonalized” – not because they are ignorant (‘well i just don’t know what to give’) or even immature.

    In any case, I think there should be room enough for non-tithers (as well tithers) to be reasonable on this subject. Making vacant conjectures either way has never been helpful in discussing this subject; often is the case that such out-of-hand assertions are quite misplaced.

    I’ve come across so many people who make unjustified statements in their arguments against tithing. For example, someone argues that tithing would cause someone to “to lose your salvation and start down the road to hell” (I’m not kidding – and if you care, please see it on this link: http://tithing.christian-things.com/thelaw.html ). Although not many tithe-opposers equate tithing to losing one’s salvation, it would be unhealthy for me to therefore use that single example and therefore assume that “ALL” tithe-opposers threaten tithers with losing their salvation.

    I hope you get the gist? People should be careful with generalised and unjustified statements. Just as in yours, it is unhealthy to presume that tithers single out tithes as the measure of a healthy relationship with God; nor yet to be so presumptive as to conjecture that giving tithes is “boring and unpersonalized”. If we could endeavour to drop these unhealthy attitudes in presuming generalised and unjustified ideas about other people, perhaps then a more enabling atmosphere would be granted to us all from the Lord Jesus Christ to see what we’ve been missing all along.

    Regards.

    • Since tithes are a shadow but Christ is the reality, this means that tithe offering regulations have been completed in His earthly ministry. I heard a false minister telling people to offer to him the monetary value of a lamb for a sin offering to receive forgiveness of their sin. We know this is false because Jesus is the only sin offering that brings about our forgiveness. The sin offering is a shadow but Christ is the reality, this means that the sin offering regulations were completed in during the earthly ministry of Jesus. The Israelites were not allowed to pay monetarily as a tithe; however, under the old covenant law the people were required to pay tithes of the harvest of the produce and cattle grown in the land of promise. During the tithing ceremony at the end of every three years, the third year, the year of tithing, tithes were offered as a heave offering. A heave offering was an offering that had to be lifted up to God. We see how tithes are significantly shown to be a shadow of the sacrifice of Christ. The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus began His ministry about 30 years of age and in John it records three Passovers during the ministry of Jesus, attesting to us that Christ preached for three years. At the end of the three years of His ministry, in the third year was the year He offered Himself up. The Lord went to Jerusalem at the end of three years of ministry as our tithe as a heave (lifted up) offering in the third year of His ministry. He was lifted up (the heave offering of the tithe) from the earth on the cross. The shadow of the tithe shows us that the Levites were to be physically sustained by tithes and offerings that came from the land of promise. The reality is the sacrificial offering of Jesus, that has been given to us from God, is the only sacrificial gift that is capable of keeping us sustained and nourished. This sustenance and strength, we are given in Christ, results in our maturity. The land of promise produced the goods that was to ensure the physical survival of the Levites. The land of promise is a shadow of Jesus; Christ is the promise that the entire Old Testament pledged. God promised a redeemer starting in Genesis and Jesus is the guarantee of God’s promise. Jesus is the authentic Promised Land of all Christians because in Him is produced everything we need for true and eternal life. This clearly shows that Jesus was the completion of the Old Testament tithe. As the priests in Malachi were robbing God of tithes and offerings and this was stealing from what was due to Him. Us not lifting up Jesus with the proper respect is the way that God is robbed of His due glory, because the modern false teaching concerning tithes and offerings is stealing from the glory of Christ’s sacrifice that is given to us for sustenance and life.

      Num 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. KJV 
       
      Deu 14:23 And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. ESV

      Deu 14:28 “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. ESV

      Deu 26:12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled,

      Num 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offerH7311 as an heave offeringH8641 unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

      Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.H8641
      H8641
      Total KJV Occurrences: 99
      offering, 40
      Exo_25:2-3 (3), Exo_29:27-28 (4), Exo_30:13-15 (3), Exo_35:5 (2), Exo_35:21, Exo_35:24 (2), Exo_36:3, Exo_36:6, Lev_7:14, Lev_7:32, Lev_22:12, Num_5:9, Num_15:19-21 (4), Num_18:11, Num_18:24, Num_31:26-29 (6), Num_31:41, Num_31:52, Deu_12:11, Deu_12:17, Ezr_8:25, Neh_10:39, Eze_48:8
      heave, 28
      Exo_29:27-28 (4), Lev_7:14, Lev_7:32, Lev_7:34, Lev_10:14-15 (2), Num_6:20, Num_15:19-21 (4), Num_18:8, Num_18:11, Num_18:19, Num_18:24, Num_31:26-29 (6), Num_31:41, Deu_12:6, Deu_12:11, Deu_12:17oblation, 17
      Isa_40:20, Eze_44:30, Eze_45:1, Eze_45:6-7 (3), Eze_45:13, Eze_45:16, Eze_48:9-10 (2), Eze_48:18 (2), Eze_48:20-21 (5)
      offerings, 10
      Num_18:8, Num_18:19, 2Sa_1:21, 2Ch_31:10, 2Ch_31:12, 2Ch_31:14, Neh_10:37, Neh_12:44, Eze_20:40, Mal_3:8
      oblations, 2
      2Ch_31:14, Eze_44:30
      gifts, 1
      Pro_29:4
      offered, 1
      Eze_48:12
      H8641
      ter-oo-maw’, ter-oo-maw’
      (The second form used in Deu_12:11); from H7311; a present (as offered up), especially in sacrifice or as tribute: – gift, heave offering ([shoulder]), oblation, offered (-ing).
      H7311
      room
      A primitive root; to be high actively to rise or raise (in various applications, literally or figuratively): – bring up, exalt (self), extol, give, go up, haughty, heave (up), (be, lift up on, make on, set up on, too) high (-er, one), hold up, levy, lift (-er) up, (be) lofty, (X a-) loud, mount up, offer (up), + presumptuously, (be) promote (-ion), proud, set up, tall (-er), take (away, off, up), breed worms.
      Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted upG5312 from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Joh 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
      G5312
      hoop-so’-o
      From G5311; to elevate (literally or figuratively): – exalt, lift up.
      G5311
      hupsos
      hoop’-sos
      From a derivative of G5228; elevation, that is, (abstractly) altitude, (specifically) the sky, or (figuratively) dignity: – be exalted, height, (on) high.
      G5228
      huper
      hoop-er’
      A primary preposition; “over”, that is, (with the genitive case) of place, above, beyond, across, or causal, for the sake of, instead, regarding; with the accusative case superior to, more than. In compounds it retains many of the listed applications: – (+ exceeding abundantly) above, in (on) behalf of, beyond, by, + very chiefest, concerning, exceeding (above, -ly), for, + very highly, more (than), of, over, on the part of, for sake of, in stead, than, to (-ward), very. In compounds it retains many of the above applications.

  2. Gwaine,
    Thanks for your comment. I definitely see your point. It’s hard for me as i write, to see the dysfunctions i see with tithing and separate it from how it effects other areas. Look, i don’t believe that tithing will make you lose your salvation, or that all tithers are brainwashed, but for me, since i do believe that the tithing requirement is an error, then for me say that an error in one part of your life does not effect any another part would be misleading.

    Do i believe that tithing causes Some to be boring givers, yes. Do i believe that Some people are brainwashed and believe in tithing and don’t know why, yes. Do i believe that tithing causes Some to be thoughtless and just follow everyone else, Yes.

    I also believe that tithing is not for the NT church, so i do believe that a majority of tithers will be trapped into some sort of dysfunction that wouldn’t be there if they practiced spirit led giving.

    Regardless of what doctrinal issue you disagree or agree with, the wrong side of the issue will suffer from a certain aspect of dysfunctionality, just because they are on the wrong side of the issue.

    When someone is wrong about something, and you cannot admit how their error can influence other decisions is ignorant.

    Overall, i do see your point. And people that don’t fit the shoe of each accusations that i mention will always be an issue. I know my accusations do not fit everyone’s foot, but i do think that everyone within the tithing error, has tendencies towards the accusations that i’m making. Whether or not they fall for them or not depends on their spiritual strength.

    – jared

  3. Gwaine says:

    Thank you, Jared, for that quick response.

    Let me first quote and address one particular concern in yours:

    I know my accusations do not fit everyone’s foot, but i do think that everyone within the tithing error, has tendencies towards the accusations that i’m making.

    I quite understand your position, and that was one of the things that drew my comments, rather than arguments about whatever doctrinal position(s) one adopts.

    The point is that many people (for or against tithing) are too much in a haste to be unhealthily polarised – and from that position, they launch certain accusations against their perceived opponents in general. But then, the simple question in so many instances has always been: should there be any accusations at all? What really justifies making assertions against “everyone” that one does not agree with?

    Doctrinal ideologies are quite a different matter from making unfounded accusations – we should be careful to not mix the two. You may have some very strongly held views about any doctrinal issues (whatever they may be); but that does not justify the grounds to make broad categorizations about any set of “everyone“. It is on this basis that I would like to make a few observations about some of the views (beliefs) you hold in this regard:

    Do i believe that tithing causes Some to be boring givers, yes. Do i believe that Some people are brainwashed and believe in tithing and don’t know why, yes. Do i believe that tithing causes Some to be thoughtless and just follow everyone else, Yes

    You see the problem? Pardon me, but such a position would simply confirm the very same broad categorizations that many tithe-opposers often make about tithers. It may surprise you, but in just the same manner there are other non-tithers who find their giving quite as “boring“, and “brainwashed” and “thoughtless” (and I could supply so many links to confirm this, as in the example earlier). The point is, what would such accusations back-and-forth actually solve for Christians on either side (tithers and non-tithers)?

    The same goes for the accusation about anyone being “dysfunctional”. I think holding such fastidious and polarised assumption does very little or nothing at all to address the real concerns you may want to highlight. Such a concern being that, “When someone is wrong about something, and you cannot admit how their error can influence other decisions is ignorant.” Precisely – and I’ve often found the same thing is true for many tithe-opposers as well. Their errors in so many instances actually influence other decisions – but they RARELY see this, just simply because everyone else (in their view) is WRONG and they are RIGHT! When one begins to question these dear brethren, it is amusing how very quickly they take offence, and for all that, they will never address simple questions themselves.

    It is not my intention to be offensive – and that’s why my comments have been geared to appealing that we all drop these unjustified and often overblown accusations people make against one another. We are all as guilty as the people we accuse, whatever our doctrinal or theological persuasions on this subject.

    What would be rather more helpful as a starting point is to appreciate the problems we all have on this issue; seek to dialogue; refrain from unnecessary assertions – and then deal with the subject itself. This may not appeal to everyone, but it seems a good reference point to begin.

    Regards.

  4. I know these broad accusations seem ineffective, but the fact is when one argues a topic, one uses facts, statistics, ramifications, and repercussions that might occur for following the wrong view.

    For instance when you argue against divorce, you say that children more likely do worse with divorced parents as opposed to married. That fact does not prove divorce wrong, and that fact is not an absolute, but it makes the point that marriage has a positive effect, and divorce has a negative effect. Pointing out the bad ramifications for divorce can be effective, just like pointing out bad ramifications for tithing.

    I admit that my accusations are offensive, and many times are not the best tactic to use. But it’s a tactic that is effective sometimes.

    The core issue is to free people to be instructed by Spirit led giving. Any tactic within biblical means is fair in order to help free others from tithing. I know attacking and belittling the tithing stance seems counter-productive, but it’s not in my opinion.

    If a prisoner was set free but still cuffed himself to the chains, he would be considered a fool. You would also be considered a fool for not doing everything possible to convince him of his freedom. Sure, there’s nothing wrong if he chose to stay cuffed up in prison, but that’s not where he belongs.

    With tithing i must first convince the prisoner to break his chains; because his chain is harmful, burdensome, unhealthy, pathetic, restricting, and just wrong. There’s no use in trying to convince him about a beautiful scene outside if he isn’t first convicted to break his chains.

    To tell a real prisoner that his real chain is harmful, burdensome, pathetic, unhealthy, and restricting seems to be a good thing to inform him about; so why would this type of approach be a counter-productive way to inform a tither that he is no longer in bondage to tithing?

  5. Gwaine says:

    I admit that my accusations are offensive, and many times are not the best tactic to use. But it’s a tactic that is effective sometimes.

    The core issue is to free people to be instructed by Spirit led giving. Any tactic within biblical means is fair in order to help free others from tithing.

    Well, I’m beginning to wonder what to make of your latest rejoinder – although I should be genial enough to respect your views. The thing that remains unanswered is this: should a Spirit-led believer use tactics at all to “free” anyone from what he perceives to be wrong?

    This only highlights our problems on a huge scale – while some “tactics” may appeal to so many of “us” (I include myself as one who had made such mistakes in the past), it is quite unfruitful to appeal to such ideologies and only fosters the basis for the deep-seated divide among Christians.

    Yet, what is even more worrisome is not just the tactics anyone adopts; but rather the mindset people hold against others they disagree with. Take another example from your quote:

    With tithing i must first convince the prisoner to break his chains; because his chain is harmful, burdensome, unhealthy, pathetic, restricting, and just wrong.

    It is amazing to read these lines in your submissions – that people who tithe are necessarily experiencing some chains that are “harmful, burdensome, unhealthy, pathetic, restricting, and just wrong”. You see the point? I remarked earlier that so many of us are plagued with this malady of “everyone else (in their view) is WRONG and they are RIGHT!” Attitudes matter a lot – and holding this attitude does not invite a healthy discussion, because quite often it depicts the idea that one’s mind is already made up that OTHERS are wrong, no matter what!

    No, there’s no Spirit-led “tactics” to excuse and justify such extreme accusations against anyone, not even in the mistaken idea that we are trying to “free” anybody.

    When people (from repeated and unjustified assertions) allege that tithing is on par with a chain that is “harmful, burdensome, unhealthy, pathetic, restricting, and just wrong”, then we begin to wonder if that is the way the Spirit of God defined tithes in the Bible. Why are people to much in a haste to make such presumptions – could it be possible that these are mere reactions against the word “tithe” rather than a healthy appraisal of what God’s Spirit would show us in His Word?

    Just my observations; and I’m looking forward to the moment when we all as Christians could dialogue in all simplicity.

    Cheers.

  6. Many times non-tithers are called, thieves, selfish, heretics, under a curse, adding to or taking away from scripture . . . etc. And i definitely would agree with them if tithing was commanded. I know scripture says that about non-tithers in the old testament, but i don’t get all upset that they pin these names on my shoulder because that’s what scripture would call me if i was wrong. Regardless if these accusations come out of their mouth, i know that they view me in this way.

    It doesn’t hurt me that i’m considered a God robber. I’m happy that they are at least using scripture to make their stand. If i have a personal conversation with someone who is sincerely interested in knowing the truth, i don’t use any accusations upon them, because it is not appropriate. Now someone who portrays that their beliefs call me a thief, i let them know that my beliefs call them a pharisee.

    The truth of the matter is that we have been called thieves and God robbers our whole lives due to our stand, and i think it’s very appropriate to help them feel what it’s like to constantly be name called. Sometimes i have directly called someone a name as an argument in response to them because i was sick of hearing “you are cursed with a curs” and “will a man rob God” as their defense. it is impossible for a tither to help me see the truth without calling me a thief and under a curse. Maybe that’s why Dr Kelly has 148 arguments for tithers, because we are so sick of hearing the name calling and an itty bitty passage in Malachi 3, for the tithers position. We are sick of the low blows, the meager scriptural support that they have for their views. We are sick of the fact that we can ask them 1 question, and they will refuse to answer, so that’s why we come up with over a hundred questions. We’ve given answers in scripture, and yet, we somehow are still wrong.

    I have showed you my personal feelings in this matter rather than logically discussing my ideas. hopefully this well help you understand more of where i’m coming from.

  7. Gwaine says:

    Hi Jared,

    I have showed you my personal feelings in this matter rather than logically discussing my ideas. hopefully this well help you understand more of where i’m coming from.

    I appreciate and respect your feelings, and thank you for sharing.

    But here is the problem –

    Many times non-tithers are called, thieves, selfish, heretics, under a curse, adding to or taking away from scripture . . . etc.

    The truth of the matter is that we have been called thieves and God robbers our whole lives due to our stand, and i think it’s very appropriate to help them feel what it’s like to constantly be name called.

    Like I said earlier, “We are all as guilty as the people we accuse, whatever our doctrinal or theological persuasions on this subject.” I can relate to the injuries and ill-feelings that result from people calling you names because of your persuasions – people have said worse things to me both when I argued against tithes and when God changed my heart on the subject. As in the example earlier, some people go the length of even saying that tithing will make someone lose their salvation! I mean, the name calling and caterwauls just never end – and they don’t help promote a healthy relationship among brethren as Christians.

    So, while I appreciate the fact you’re reacting to the hurts of the name calling you and others may have suffered, would it not help to understand that it is unChrist-like return quarrel for quarrel (see Romans 12:17, 21). No matter how bitter others may have tried to make me feel, perhaps the true test of my faith is to share whatever truths God has blessed me with, in humility and dependence on His help.

    Confessedly, I’m sure a few people out there with whom I’ve debated this and other subject will recognize that I’ve not always been as genial – perhaps they would as well recognize how God is changing my perspectives so I could share some grace with others to aim for a healthier posture in dialogue.

    Many blessings – and please do not ever be discouraged in sharing God’s truth, regardless whatever may tempt us to become reactive.

    Cheers.

  8. Gwaine,
    I was just curious, have you read the article on the main homepage of this website? This is a blog, but the main website has a large article here:
    http://www.tithing.com/

  9. Gwaine says:

    Thanks, Jared. I was actually brought to the blog from the homepage after having read the article there. Much to be appreciated; but the article strains at so many unrelated ideas simply to conclude that tithing is a “false” and “wrong”, while seriously ignoring and arguing away from basic premises on the subject.

    Was there something in particular you may have wished to call to my attention?

    Cheers.

  10. What basic premises of this subject were ignored on the homepage? I am open to a different approach

  11. Gwaine says:

    What basic premises of this subject were ignored on the homepage?

    I commend your openness, and that is a very welcome and enabling offer. Thank you.

    Among other things, there were at least 3 issues that immediately caught my attention (as already hinted), viz:

    1. ‘the article strains at so many unrelated ideas’

    2. it was ‘seriously ignoring’ the basic premise(s); and

    3. ‘arguing away from’ the premise of the subject itself.

    Let me highlight some examples:

    1. Unrelated points:

    One day, the church is going to be forced out of the oversized cathedrals and be led underground, meeting on personal property, so why not start now?

    But what has this got to do with the subject of tithe/tithing itself? It was not God’s intention that “the Church” is to be forced to do one thing or another – and China is a current example of how many Christians are being forced underground with untold persecutions and deaths. Believers meeting in Cathedrals or other buildings are not the big issues of our faith; and I don’t see how that has helped to add a healthier understanding of tithes.

    2. Ignoring basic premises:

    Going on the premises that God never changes, it is hypocritical to re-require only some Old Testament practices into our contemporary sanctification and not re-require every Old Testament practice.

    This is precisely what I often try to point out to many people mishandling the Law to argue against tithing. While I would agree that “it is hypocritical to re-require only SOME Old Testament practices”, the amazing thing is that, in many cases those who oppose the subject of tithing are actually the ones embracing this hypocrisy themselves.

    Here’s an example. If the point in such an argument is that it is untenable to hold to “SOME” of the OT practices, then many people like Russell Kelly should not be trying to “determine what to bring over from the OT law into Christian faith” – his exact quote (I already argued this with him in another bloghttp://www.christianpf.com/obeying-god/comment-page-1/#comment-9603 ).

    What I often find on many occasions is, people argue that it is “wrong” for tithers to appeal to any part of the Law for either tithing or anything else; but the same people making these arguments often do not realise how they in themselves are doing the very same things they condemn in other believers! If it hypocritical to hold “SOME” of the OT principles, then these dear brethren should apply the same rule to themselves and stop trying to “determine what to bring over from the OT law into Christian faith”. If it is wrong for tithers to do so, it is definitely wrong and hypocritical for tithe-opposers to do that very thing they condemn in other believers!

    These are some of the basic premises that I often find being ignored in many non-tithing arguments.

    3. ‘Arguing away from’ the premise of the subject itself.

    Tithing and OT laws were established because of the fall of man, and cannot be an eternal principle. Before Adam sinned, eternal, moral, and civil laws were the commands revealed to mankind

    I’m sorry to observe that these are fausse patte (false premise) sentiments.

    (a) First, where in God’s Word could we verify the assertion that ‘tithing’ was established “because of” the fall of man?

    (b) Second, where in God’s Word could we verify that “eternal, moral, and civil laws” were ‘REVEALED’ to mankind?
    This second assertion has a serious flaw: it seems to have completely ignored the fact that there was a time when NO LAW (moral or civil) were given to anyone – which is what the apostle Paul declares in Rom. 4:15 and 5:13 – “for where no law is, there is no transgression . . but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

    However, why it seems that the article on the homepage also argues away from the premise is because it employs arguments which have no bearing on tithes – for tithes were not established “BECAUSE OF” the Fall of man. If there’s a verse that teaches otherwise, I would be most glad to consider it.

    Like I said earlier, there’s much to be appreciated in the article; but quite a whole range of other points weaken the argument to have warranted the conclusion the author draws disavow the subject of tithes.

  12. how do you think i should discuss and handle tithing?

  13. Gwaine says:

    Earlier in my reply (#3, this page), I remarked that –

    What would be rather more helpful as a starting point is to appreciate the problems we all have on this issue; seek to dialogue; refrain from unnecessary assertions – and then deal with the subject itself.

    My observations are that this recommendation may not appeal to everyone. However, I think so many people (for or against tithing) who have become very interested in the subject, would perhaps agree that is a good starting point.

    Admittedly, one of the most serious problems we all have is ‘interpretation’. One thing people often miss out in drawing their inferences is the implications of what they assert. Making statements is very easy; but it is quite another matter to sustain such statements when closely examined – and this problem is faced by everyone, whether they favour or disavow tithing.

    All things considered, a good exegesis of any subject will not be polarised – that is, people should by all means avoid strained arguments just for the sake of arriving at their preconceived ideas. On either side, we notice that such statements are often unsubstantiated Biblically.

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