First Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own [widowed mother after her husband has died], and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Russ: If your father dies and leaves your mother a widow, you should FIRST take care of her medical, food and shelter needs. If you decide instead to give your first tenth to the church and then cannot afford to buy your widowed mother medicine, food and shelter –that is OK. That is what I am hearing you say.
CWM: We are not put in positions to choose between the two. We are instructed to do BOTH, give AND provide.
Russ: We cannot always do both. You have gone far beyond a defense of tithing and have made yourself sound “worse than the infidels.” Paul said that not even the infidels (who have no faith in Christ) do not treat their own widowed mothers that way.
CWM: Brother, I am sorry but the fact is that the Lord comes first in all things, and you and anyone else is plainly, clearly wrong for not giving Him first place.
Russ: And what about Matthew 25: 45? “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” We put Christ FIRST by putting those he loves FIRST. Let me say that again in case you are a speed reader and missed it the first time. According to Mt 25 “we put Christ FIRST by putting those he loves FIRST.” You are the one who is “plainly, clearly wrong for not giving Him first place” by taking medicine and food out of the mouth of your own mother!!!
CWM: And for you to demand that all OT instructions on tithing are confined expressly to those limited contexts is an attempt to nullify the “eternal principles” found within those contexts.
Russ: If you cannot literally interpret God’s Word, then you are using liberal symbolic figurative hermeneutics and have joined the crowd of Augustine. You want to discover tithing (not giving) under every rock. I am not opposed to freewill generous sacrificial giving. I am opposed to calling such “tithing.”
CWM: Another thing that I will say, is that giving is to come even before surviving. I don’t have to survive. You don’t have to survive.
Russ: Sorry mom. I know that dad is dead and you have no source of income. I know you need medicine, food and shelter but I cannot help you because my church comes first. If I give to the church, maybe they can help you. Forget about Mt 25:45. That is only for people who interpret the Bible literally.
CWM: There is no such thing as the doctrine of self preservation. No one has to survive,
Russ: Sheer ignorance.
CWM: but the LORD must be given His rightful place of absolute first, in all things. Time, Talents, Tithes, and any other teaching is abject heresy.
Russ: What do you mean by that last statement?
CWM: It matters not what scriptures of evidence are presented, you refuse to acknowledge the fullness of their application.
Russ: You refuse to acknowledge the CONTEXT of their application.
CWM: I believe that the fundamental difference between you and me, and others of our own persuasion, falls to exactly what role the principles, teachings, and examples of the OT play in the lives of those of us free under the NT. We do not disagree as to what the scriptures say, but we obviously disagree as to what they mean, and how they are applied.
Russ: Correct. I understand Heb 8:12 to literally mean that ALL the Old Covenant law vanished at Calvary –good and bad—moral, ceremonial and judicial. And only that which was REPEATED after Calvary to the Church in terms of grace and faith applies to Christians. That is a consistent hermeneutic. What is your consistent hermeneutic for bringing Old Covenant laws into the New Covenant? I would like to hear it.
CWM: Proverbs 3:9-10 is plain, and means more than you acknowledge it means. You can attempt to minimize it all you want,
Russ: I do not minimize Prov 3:9-10. Neither do I exaggerate it to make it mean far more than it literally says. You totally ignore the definition of firstfruits as seen in Deut 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-37a. I see it restated in 2 Cor 9:6-7. It has absolutely nothing so say about tithing and you abuse it by forcing it to say something different. You insist on calling the OT concept of firstfruits a universal moral principle but you will not accept the OT definition of your word.
CWM: but nonetheless the principles within it are eternal principles. Until you come to the place that you can see the “eternal principles” within the “temporary law” then there is nothing left for us to discuss concerning this issue.
Russ: What rule or hermeneutic do you use to determine what is an “eternal moral principle”? I really want to know. The Ten Commandments say to honor your parents. Exodus 21:15, 17 says to kill children who curse or strike their parents. First Timothy 5:8 says to care for your widowed mother. Tell me, is Exodus 21:15, 17 and eternal moral principle and First Timothy 5:8 is not???
CWM: I do hope that you preach Salvation correctly.
Russ: Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
At least I do not dare test God by placing the Church back under the law.