Reply to Tim Guthrie, SBC Today, by Russell Kelly
Defining the TITHE , Tim Guthrie
The definition must be the first thing discussed because it is the foundation of the entire doctrine. You have been teasing us for over a week already and have not yet said anything about tithing accompanied with biblical textual support.
We who "specify that the Old Testament tithe was restricted to items grown and raised" [you conveniently omitted] INSIDE GOD'S HOLY LAND OF ISRAEL have 16 supporting texts. Where are your texts which teach otherwise?
The tithe is "out" because everything about the tithe is "out": the covenant, the Temple with its storerooms, the Levites and their cities and especially the Aaronic priesthood which was supported through tithes from inside Israel.
After the cross both the Temple and priesthood have been replaced by the doctrine of the priesthood of every believer. You have not yet offered a single text for open discussion.
You then say "Also out in this thought is giving to the church." This is ridiculous and absurd. In agreement with us are: John MacArthur, Martin Luther, Craig Blomberg, Wheaton College, Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary, Denver Seminary, Talbot Bible College, Masters Seminary and many more. Most of us fully support gospel giving principles given to the Church after Calvary in terms of the New Covenant. Such is often more than ten per cent.
Although we have plenty of grounds to object to tithing because of abuses, our focus it the plain inspired Word of God. The greatest and primary abuse is defining the tithe wrong and applying it to the New Covenant with no sound hermeneutic.
You added "Defining the tithe must start with the Bible and it must stay with the Bible." When are you going to do that?
You concluded with "The Biblical model is NEVER subject to change due to culture or abuse." The "Biblical model" was NEVER that tithes were the beginning point, training wheels, good place to start, expectation, ad nausea. Your model is flawed because it falsely assumes that the OT teaches that every Hebrew was commanded to being his/her giving at ten per cent.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
December 12, 2009 (my birthday)