Friday, January 6, 2012

Does God Require Christian's to Tithe?

  As a lifelong Baptist, I have heard many sermons on tithing. As a young man I was a Southern Baptist. I later joined an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. Today, I am happy to say that I no longer belong to any denomination created by man. We should worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23) In this short blog I hope to provide you with facts, illustrations, and resources so that you can carry out your own study of the matter.

  First, let me say that I am not opposed to financially supporting a body of believers and I am all for giving to support the old and the poor. I also believe that we should support the glorious message of Christ's gospel. This does not mean that we should be subjected to the law! We must keep in mind that we are living during the administration of Grace! As gentiles, we have never been under the law. Therefore, I am opposed to requiring believers to give a tenth of their income, and so is the Word of God!

Think about these questions:

Does God require Christian's to tithe?
Does God require Christian's to make burnt offerings?
Did Christ tithe?
Is there any record in the bible of a tithe being money?
Under the law of Moses, was the tithe always on products of the land?
Is there any scripture in the Greek Scriptures that says to give a tithe?
Do the Jews of today give a tithe to God?
Were first fruits and tithes ever the same thing?

"...I can't tell the difference between ABC news, Hill Street Blues and a preacher in the old time gospel hour stealing money from the sick and the old; Well the God I believe in isn't short of cash mister."  Bono, U2, Bullet The Blue Sky from Rattle and Hum

  I don't know about you, but I have personally sat in a congregation and had the preacher take scripture out of context in order to intentionally mislead people. He made them bond servants by placing them under the Mosaic Law. How can a pastor, in a Christian Church, during the administration of grace, sleep at night after making his congregation slaves to the law?

  I have learned from experience that Pastors and Preachers are never satisfied with the current level of or size of:  budget, collections, outreach, ministries, building size, multi-media, etc. In that regard, they are just like politicians. Ever heard of a county planning board or mayor who was not seeking to grow? Grow tax bases, people, programs, and salaries...  I mentioned briefly my issue with Mega-Churches here. More money equals more programs, more entertainment, bigger mortgage, and richer, nicer accommodations. It makes me sick!

  Don't take my word for it, listen to Elder Keith Ellis, a Primitive Baptist Pastor. He gets it. He is the exception, not the rule.

This is part 1A of a series on tithing. The other videos can be found on you tube. Part 1B here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here.

You can also see Russell Earl Kelly's video concerning tithing here. (Very long, and detailed)

Let's dig into the scriptures!

  In the King James Version of the Bible the word tithe occurs 14 times and in plural occurs 24 times. Not once does it refer to money.

  Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. Notice, seed and fruit is spoken of, not money

  Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. The tenth belonged to the Lord. It was collected by the Levites. The twelve tribes had land, (an allotment) and their tithe provided for the Levites who did not have land.

  2 Chronicles 31:5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. No mention of money anywhere!

Nehemiah 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

  Nehemiah 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. Only the Levites could take the tithes. This is why Jews today do not tithe, there is no Levitical Priesthood!

  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. This verse has been used to try to show that we Christians should be tithing today. Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of the Jews, who were under the law. They should have tithed and they did. They did not fulfill more important matters of the law.

  Exodus 22:29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. The first fruits is not the same as a tithe of the increase. However, both are from the land only.

  Many pastors try to get around the Mosaic Law issue by stating that Abram tithed to Melchizedek, the king of Salem In Genesis Chapter 14. That this tithe was before the law, therefore, all Christians should tithe. The truth is, there is no record of Abram ever tithing again. Not only that, he tithed a tenth of the spoils of war, not of his possessions. Abram kept no spoils for himself.

Does God require Christian's to tithe? No, we are not under the law.

Does God require Christian's to make burnt offerings? No, we are not under the law.

Did Christ tithe? No, He was a carpenter not a farmer or rancher.

Is there any record in the bible of a tithe being money? No.

Under the law of Moses, was the tithe always on products of the land? Yes.

Is there any scripture in the Greek Scriptures that says Christians are to give a tithe? No.

Do the Jews of today give a tithe to God? No, the levitical priesthood went away with the Temple in 70 AD.

Were first fruits and tithes ever the same thing? No, scriptures teach they are not the same thing.

Paul had several comments about the law, this is my favorite: Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Here are the most common verses used by pastors to compel you to tithe:

  1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. This verse is speaking of a collection to be taken up and later taken to the poor saints in Jerusalem. By no means was it a tithe.

  Exodus 34:26a. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Again, this scripture is NOT money nor is it a tithe.

  Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: As above, but also note, the increase being spoken of is increase of what the ground provides not an increase in your social security or wallet.

  Here comes the big one! Malachi 3:8-10 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive itThis is always taken out of context. It has nothing to do with Christianity, the new covenant or the administration of grace! Most tithe demanding churches teach that you have to tithe of the gross, not the net of your pay check. They also want 10% of the social security check that goes to the poor! I tell you this; the tithe demanding pastors are robbing the sick and the old! Bono knows it, I know it and now you know it!

If your church requires you to tithe, you have a decision to make.

Grace be with you!

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