You’ve heard this statement before – “if it looks like it, if it acts like it, then it is it”. This statement comes to mind when I think of those who have trouble categorizing tithing under Old Testament law. One thing I need to clarify is that when I mention the ‘law’, I am talking about Old Testament rituals that have no place within the New Covenant Church. Of course God has laws that are eternal. I would consider eternal laws principles that transcend the old and new Testaments.
Now that that’s past us, let’s look at a few key points that prove why looks like and acts like an Old Testament law.
Tithing is a precise command
Did you know that the gift of giving is the only Spiritual gift that has a minimum standard? What I don’t exactly comprehend is if tithing controls our giving, then why should something that isn’t defined by the Holy Spirit even be considered a Spiritual gift? Another thing to consider is if Israel gave offerings above the tithe without the Holy Spirit, then what would we need the Holy Spirit to guide our offerings for?
The Old Testament had laws that regulated how ministry was operated. For instance, only a certain tribe was called to serve, they only served the temple for 2 weeks out of the year, they could only serve for 25 years, and they had no inheritance of property. We could use these guidelines on how ministers should serve today, but we conveniently rely on the Holy Spirit to ordain and make up different guidelines for our ministers. Unfortunately, we don’t have the faith to believe that the Holy Spirit has the capability to ordain sacrificial givers to finance the Church. ATTENTION PASTORS & MINISTRY LEADERS: I don’t think it’s by mistake that we scour the Old Testament in search of regulations to keep money coming in; and yet you use the anonymity of the Holy Spirit to keep your power and position.
Some may think that my analysis of tithing is focusing on the letter of the law and not the general spirit of the law. But what they fail to realize is Jesus himself condoned the Pharisees for their meticulous tithing habits. The truth is that Jesus lived under the regulations of the Old Testament laws. Jesus confirms the authority of the law earlier in the same passage here in Matthew 23:2-3 “Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do . . .“
Tithing doesn’t bring perfection Hebrews 7:19, Hebrews 10:1
There’s no guarantee that 11% or even 12% is the overall amount that the Holy Spirit is asking you to give, so why should 10% be a rule? Tithing is not a teacher of new testament stewardship. It is like Galatians 3:24 states, it is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. A schoolmaster is not a teacher, it is more like a babysitter. As Vine’s Expository Dictionary states, “The paidagogos[schoolmaster] was not the instructor of the child; he exercised a general supervision over him and was responsible for his moral and physical well-being”.
Our guide, our tutor, our helper is now the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only tutor that understands our strengths and weaknesses, and can privately tutor us with custom stewardship lessons. Every child of God learns at a different pace. In the Old Testament tithing was fine because there was no access to a private tutor. The Israelites could not cross the Holy of Holies and be granted access to communicate with God.
Tithing can’t prove what’s in your heart
STOP, and SLOWLY think about this next question I’m about to ask . . . . . . . . Can you name me any other requirement, besides tithing, that the Pharisees meticulously followed that is also required today? If you look at what the Pharisees meticulously obeyed, it should give us a pretty solid answer as to what is NOT required today. For instance, circumcision, clean/unclean meats, work on the Sabbath, and washing hands, were the trophies of the Pharisees and yet, we do not follow these guidelines. I can’t think of anything that the Pharisees had bragging rights for that we can actually say is required today. For some reason, there’s one exception to that rule, and it’s – tithing. Even in the book of Matthew, Christ condones the Pharisees for their meticulous tithing but rebukes them in the same sentence for exclusion of justice, mercy, and faith.
I’m not saying that tithing shouldn’t be considered a sacrifice, or that you don’t have the right heart if you do tithe. But if we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter, what makes us believe that serving 10% is in the newness of the spirit?
Tithing was commanded under the Old Covenant
This is the most obvious reason tithing acts like an Old Testament law. The first argument that comes to the defense of tithing is that Abraham tithed before the Mosaic law. Tis true, but tithing was not a ‘requirement’ before the Mosaic law. If it had been a requirement, then Jacob in Genesis 28 could not have the opportunity to make a tithing vow. Most people believe that Jacob was just trying to fool God and that God overlooked his foolishness, but as we see in Genesis 31:3 God did not overlook Jacob’s vow. This puts a big hole in the argument that tithing was required before the law.
Once you have biblical proof of tithing not being required prior to the Mosaic law, you can then look at historical records and see that Abraham was required to tithe because of a law in the land of Canaan that required a 10% tax on the spoils of war (1 pg. 127)(2 pg. 235-236).
Tithing is not commanded under the New Covenant
This is probably the second most obvious reason. Of all the bible verses recorded under the new covenant, you do not see a single reference to tithing alongside any commands on giving. In Hebrews 7, tithing is mentioned, but it is not attached to a command on giving. Another important thing to remember is that Hebrews was written to the Jews, who would have been well aware of the practice of tithing anyway, but struggled with understanding the purpose of the law. The gentiles, who knew the least about tithing, never received any instructions on tithing whatsoever.
Some principles found under the new covenant show that giving should be, ‘liberal’ 2 Corinthians 8:2, ‘free’ Romans 8:32, ‘sacrificial’ Romans 12:1, and ‘cheerful’ 2 Corinthians 9:7. There are no hints to show our giving should have a starting point, or a minimum.
Keep it rolling, bro.
I’ve been talking to a friend with whom I used to attend church. The church had recently left the United Pentecostal Church International and has now rid itself of the Old Testament teachings on uncut hair, dresses, makeup, among others beliefs. I asked my friend why they still follow the Old Testament tithing law. For that he had no answer, but still refused the truth.
I will continue to speak to him. Perhaps in time he will learn the truth.
Stephen Davis says
There is a law of specificity in Deut. 12 saying that you are to do all the laws without adding or taking away from the commands. Your point about the tithing commands being precise is a strong one. You must rely on God being a liar to trust in one’s rightness in keeping tithing. Not the place, not the substance, not the people.
It has been my point to make for some time the parallels between the putting of the manna into a pot and the putting of the fruit of the land into a storehouse. If you are willing to replace the fruit of the land with money, you must be willing also to replace the bread of heaven (manna) with money also. This is why the thirty pieces of silver prophecy in Zechariah is telling. “If you think good. give price, if not. forbear.” Or to say it in modern English, ‘leave it alone’.
cush efraim says
I am astonished! I am impressed! It is amazing how ignorant Christians are and how far Christianity is in opposition to the righteousness of Yahweh. All of you decievers will have to give an account for how you mislead the people!
Jared, you are basing your lies on tithing on probabilities! This is seriously misleading and you will be judged for misleading others, no matter how sincere you were. Why? Your sincerity fell short of the Word of GOD!
Matthew 5:17-24 says;
Think not that. I am come to destroy the law (which you -Jared -says does not exist as to tithing ), or the prophets (like Abraham, which you w were unduly concerned about when he gave a tithe -as to whether before or after the law ): I am NOT come to destroy, but to fulfill (the law, including tithing! ).
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all. be. fulfilled (including tithes ) .
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandment, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
…therefore if thou bring thy gift to the. alter (vs 23). Jared, what kind of gift?
You were confusing others with your own confessed confusion by calling washing of hands a law of GOD since Christians no longer practice that ! WRONG!
Matthew 15:1-9 calls it the “…tradition of men. ”
Then came to JESUS scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of elders? for they wash not. their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of GOD by your tradition (which you, Jared, preach here and not the commandments of GOD ).
For GOD commanded,saying, He that curseth father or mother: let him die the death.
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest. be profit by me.
And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of GOD of none effect by your tradition. (as you, Jared, are doing with tithes now ).
Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying:
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
But in vain they do worship me (like you Jared and your fake lies against tithe ), teaching for doctrine (like this. your post on tithes, which is not true ) , the commandments of men (like you, Jared and your supporters!
Jared Brian says
You have nothing of substance to refute anything i’m saying about tithing. You spit out a bunch of general verses that could apply to anything. If you took out all your own comments, and i just read those verses, you wouldn’t have a clue that you are even talking about tithing. You said i was lying based on probabilities, which is your thesis, and then you don’t support it anywhere in your statements. I am nowhere near a literary expert, but you need to figure out how to write a thesis paper.
Do you even know what fulfill means? If i give you an empty bucket and you fill it up, wouldn’t you say that it’s fulfilled its purpose? Can you gather more water now that it’s filled its purpose? No. It is full. it’s reached it’s full potential. it is fully matured and cannot grow any more. The bucket is used up. It’s not destroyed, nor is it useless. I can’t continue to use the bucket to gather more water. It’s original owner used it for a purpose and now to anyone else that bucket cannot be used for their water.
I would really like to know how i’ve turned tithing into traditional? I understand that any action towards God can be twisted and made traditional. I can make prayer, serving, and giving into traditions instead of a response of love & gratitude. But I’m sorry, i’ve not conjured up some outlandish connections in order to make tithing appear as a tradition.
I believe that many do give with a pure heart and give a tenth of their income honorably and pleasing to God. I can also circumcise my son with the same honor. It’s not a sin to circumcise or tithe. It can be a very honorable personal goal.
The problem lies in the belief that it’s a requirement, or in the other belief that if you don’t do it a devour will attack you, or in the belief that God is displeased if you give 9%.
When you drive by a graveyard, you will see hundreds of flowers sitting on top of everyone’s grave. Do you see jewelry, clothes, a watch, shoes, vacation tickets, or a pedicure coupon? No. Because giving flowers, just like everyone else, is the only way we know how to express love to a dead person. We don’t know what they want, nor have we been in touch with them to even instinctively understand what they desire. This is because they are dead! Our relationship with a dead person is all one sided. We can talk to them, but they don’t talk back. This sounds a lot like how Christians want their God to be. We want him to hear when we need something; other than that we hope He stays dormant.
When i see the plate passed around in church it is much like watching people visiting their loved ones in the graveyard. They all come with the same gift in hand (a 10% check) because it seems to be the universally accepted gift for someone who’s been dead to us all week.
If i gave to my wife the way most people give to God, then our marriage would have no indication of life, love, and communication. Yet, here we are thinking we’re good little Christians in puppy love flirting with God by waving our mechanical, monotonous, automated, thoughtless check every week. . . . Oh yeah, and then we give a little cherry on the top by bumping it up to 11% to either show God our love goes above and beyond or the extra 1% is to make sure we covered our bases just in case we missed something.