1st Corinthians 8 and 9 both discuss Christian freedom. If Paul ever wanted to discuss tithing, he missed his great opportunity.
Did Paul have the “right” to be supported? Yes. Does this mean that he taught tithing? No. Did the soldier, vineyard worker, herdsman, grinding ox or temple worker have a “right” to support? Yes. But, like you keep saying, one’s personal freedom can override his right.
1 Cor 9:12 If others be partakers of this right over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
1 Cor 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
It is sheer lunacy to imply that Paul taught tithing when he actually boasted about working for free. As a rabbi he had been taught that it was sin to be paid to teach the Word of God. And we should not forget that tithes could not come from defiled pagan soil.
CWM: Secondly, you speak of the “cruelty of modern tithing” by making people choose between tithing, and medicine and food. Which 1 is a straw man argument, as though there is a circumstance that excuses someone from following the Biblical example.
Russ: Your bias is showing again. My example is NOT a straw man because your “Biblical example” is the straw man which only existed on an extremely small scale. It only included food producers inside Israel. That was nothing compared to the whole wide world.
CWM: But 2, the best way that I can say this, or illustrate this point, – Adrian Rogers said one time when someone said to him, “but a man’s got to live.” – Rogers said, “no you don’t, all you’ve got to do is die, no one HAS to live.”
Russ: Was Rogers saying that a poor widow should first pay her tithe and do without medicine and food for her family? If so, then he was addng law back into grace.
CWM: It is better to follow the Bible and suffer than it is to do it your own way and enjoy comfort.
Russ: I am following the Bible and defining “tithe” the way that God defined it. You are not. Why don’t you do the “better” thing and “follow the Bible”?
CWM: The cruelty lies in the teaching that you can do as you please, and not as the Bible pictures.
Russ: 1 Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Paul did not say “except for the tithe.” I am not the one “doing as he pleases.” You are the one who has taken the unauthorized liberty to REDEFINE the holy biblical tithe.
CWM: (I’m speaking beyond the issue of the tithe now) There is no cruelty in giving, because you know that you cannot outgive God.
Russ: I did NOT say that it is cruel to give. I said that it is cruel to teach that one should “tithe” as a “firstfruit” and be forced to forgo buying medicine, food and essential shelter. Whom is Paul calling an “infidel”? He is calling those who put legalistic tithing before family needs.