Change Worth Making, 1-17-2010b
CWM: Regardless of the people, regardless of the framework, within the time and conditions of His requiring, He chose 10% as being “holy unto Him.” – When I want to give, I want the Lord to show me how much, and I begin by looking at what He wanted, when He was “requiring, in whatever framework it was that He was doing the requiring in.” Now to not want to do at least what He required His people, (Israel) to do, in my understanding of the scripture is a sin.
Kelly: You have thrown out the context of the (1) people, (2) time, (3) conditions and (4) whatever else you need to throw out and CONCLUDE that failure to give ten per cent of WHATEVER you re-define tithes as SIN.
It does not seem to matter that our Lord Himself, as a carpenter, did not even qualify as a tithe-payer in his own framework time and covenant!
This is really a remarkable conclusion you have reached but you have to live with it. Who needs the Bible? All we really need is HUMANISM --MAN is the measure of all things.
CWM: You also spoke of people giving “to the best of their ability after first providing for medicine, food and essential shelter?”
In my understanding of Biblical stewardship I give the Lord the best, and then I live within the rest.
Kelly: I hope and pray that you never find yourself having to decide whether to spend your last dollar on pain-killers for your child or give it to the church. This is exactly the mind-set that Paul was referring to in First Timothy 5:8 when he said such attitude is "worst than an infidel."
CWM: My understanding is that the “first” goes to God, and the rest will be enough to provide my needs.
Kelly: I think that your understanding is terribly wrong. The Levites were commanded in Numbers 18:29 to give the "best" "tenth of the tithe" (one per cent) to the priests who then offered their best to God as a freewill vow offering (Mal 1:6-14). That's right --tithe-receiving priests were not required to tithe.
According to Leviticus the tithe was not even the "best" --it was the tenth Lev 27:30-34).
I think that it is wrong to define tithes as "firstfruits." Get your Strong's Concordance and look up "firstfruits." They are only very small token offerings (Deu 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-38).
CWM: The financial framework of my life is to live within the limits of what is leftover after my tithes and offerings.
Kelly: Fine if that works for you. But do not impose your value system on the poor sick widow in your church who cannot even afford to buy medicine and food.
CWM: We may never agree on this issue, but we do not have to. I am confident that you love the Lord enough to have a giving heart, and your conviction is not ruse to use as an excuse to keep from giving.
Isn’t it wonderful that we may enjoy being brothers in Christ, by faith alone, through grace alone. God bless.
Kelly: Yes, and amen. We have gone about as far as we can with this topic without losing our cool. I appreciate your brotherly attitude and God bless you also.