Sean McEwen: Hey Russell, someone just pointed me to your article on the Tithing Myth. I'm curious, how does your church survive?
Russ: My church survives the same way the first church survived for almost 300 years before Constantine --by freewill sacrificial offerings. My church survives like every non-state Protestant church survived in the USA survived before the 1890s --by freewill sacrificial offerings. My church survives like every major church historian writes about the first centuries' church --by freewill sacrificial offerings.
Sean: And if we simply say that Malachi wasn't written to us, isn't it fair to say that pretty much NONE of the Bible was written "to" us but rather "for" us. It was written to those people during their respective time periods.
Russ: Do you kill disobedient children and Sabbath-breakers like the Law required. Do you not wear shirts of two different fabrics and avoid ham like the Law required? None of the Old Covenant was given to or addressed to the Church --including tithing. The tithing ordinance is found in Numbers 18. Stop and read it. It required those who received Levitical tithes to forfeit property ownership and to kill anybody who dared to worship God as a believer-priest.
Sean: Also, it seems to me that the idea of 10% was established and existent long before the Law was given.
Russ: These are all covered in great detail in my book and on my web site. The tithe originated in pagan lands alongside idol worship, child sacrifices and temple prostitution. Merely being very old and very common does not make something eternal or moral. Nothing Abraham did concerning tithing is practiced today: (1) only pagan spoils of war, (2) only once, (3) not from his own property, (4) he kept nothing and (5) gave the 90% to the king of Sodom. His tithe does not qualify as a holy tithe under the Law.
Sean: And didn't Jesus himself commend the idea of Tithing (one of the few times He commended the Pharisees for anything) as He came not to abolish the Law but fulfill it?
Russ: According to Galatians 4:4 Jesus was born under the Law in order to redeem those Hebrews who were under the Law. In Matthew 23:23 he commanded the scribes and Pharisees to obey their own additions to the law as "matters of the law." He could not and did not command Gentiles to tithe because it was illegal. When Jesus totally fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law, he set it aside and replaced it with Himself as God's standard of righteousness per Romans 3:21; John 16:8-9; 2 Cor 3:18 and Heb 7:12-18.
Sean: Just a few observations as I read through it.
Russ: I am not sure what you read. My essay is titled Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine and my book-web site is titled Should the Church Church Teach Tithing? Unlike tithe-teachers I am always eager and ready to answer questions.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
Yahoo Group Tithing-Study