Tuesday, January 05, 2010

LIfe of Bryan, 1-5-2010

Bryan: Paul is communicating to us the idea of making our giving a percentage.

Russ: Paul was discussion how much to give to ease a famine in Judea. He was not discussing support for clergy or a church building. According to 2 Cor 8:12-15 he was NOT discussing a percentage. Many should give far more than ten per cent while others are giving sacrificially even though less than ten per cent.

Bryan: I think 10% is a good place to start. I'm not saying that 10% is a rule, but it's a good place to start. Here's why. God asked the Israelites to return to Him 10% (a tithe) of the money He gave to them.

Russ: This is based on the false assumption that God commanded everybody to begin at ten per cent. Since true biblical tithes were always only food from inside Israel (although money was essential for sanctuary worship and common even in Genesis), only food producers inside Israel qualified as tithe-payers. It was only a "good place to start" if one worked his vocation off the land. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify.

Bryan: When Jesus came on the scene, He didn't abolish the tithe, but called for something more.

Russ: Of course not. Jesus lived under the full jurisdiction of the law according to Gal 4:4-5. It would have been a sin for him to teach otherwise. It would also have been sin to command his Gentile disciples to tithe either to him or to the Temple system.

Bryan: In Matthew 23, he gets on the Pharisees's case not for tithing, but for ONLY tithing (he actually commends them for tithing).

Russ: Not quite. He was discussing "matters of the law." The Pharisees had made law-tithing a burden by extending it to garden herbs. Which Christian church obeys Jesus and tithes garden herbs?

Bryan: It makes no sense that now that we are in the new covenant with greater revelation that somehow we should give less.

Russ: False assumption again.

Bryan: So 10% I think is a good place to start. But whatever the percentage, the NT guide is that it's generous and sacrificial (read 2 Cor 8:1-7).

Russ: Texts. See 2 Cor 8:1-15, not just 1-7.

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