CWM: Aside from the 10% issue, I am surprised that you do not believe that God gets the best and we live off the rest.
Russ: Once again your conclusion does not come from the Bible. The OT firstfruit was also only food from inside Israel. And it was an extremely small token offering. Read Deu 26:1-4. It could fit in a small hand basket. Edersheim wrote tat one pack animal could carry the firstfruits of an entire village. You reply lets your OT concept of firstfruits override Paul’s NT statement of First Timothy 5:8. I am surprised that you use that hermeneutic.
CWM: God gets the first, and we’ll take the worst. Where does this idea come from that we are to take care of ourselves first and foremost, and then give offerings to God out of the leftovers? I do not understand that self centered thinking at all.
Russ: I have already quoted First Timothy 5:8. It is called the principle of self-preservation and is built into the conscience of all God’s creatures. Have you ever paid your last dime as a tithe and told your own children to eat dirt?
CWM: I am beginning to think that this is not even a “10%” issue as much as it is, who gets the first, top, and best?
Russ: You are very correct. You and tithe-teachers have demanded that your unbiblical definition of the tithe be given first, not me.
CWM: The scriptures are emphatic that God gets our first and Best, and we are to live within the Worst and Rest! Prov 3:9-10
Russ: First, Prov 3:9-10 is not discussing tithes. Second, Lev 27:30-34 “emphatically” says that the tithe was the “tenth” and NOT the “best.” From Num 18:25-28 only the “tenth of the tenth” was the “best.”
CWM: 1 Corinthians 16:2 Which Underscores the fact that all prosperity, and all increase are from the Lord, and not from man’s hands.
Russ: You are adding to God’s Word and changing the context. 1 Cor 16:1-2 is not about tithing, OT firstfruits, church support or pastors’ salaries. It is about freewill giving. Corinth was in pagan land and it was illegal to accept tithes from pagan land.
CWM: Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Russ: Are you implying that “first” here means the same as OT “firstfruits”? That would be impossible to prove. It is a discussion of where one’s heart is. It is not a command to neglect the poor at the expense of tithing or church support. Jesus did not tell either the rich young ruler or Zaccheus to give their wealth as tithes to the Temple system. Rather he told them to give it to the poor. Was Jesus wrong NOT to tell them to tithe first?
CWM: Haggai 1:4-7
Russ: Haggai 1:4-7 is not discussing tithing either. It is discussing building the Temple and only freewill offerings could be used for that purpose –not tithes.
CWM: Surely, you do not believe in living before giving.
Russ: I and common sense believe in SURVIVING before giving. That is what 1st Tim 5:8 is about. You are the one Paul is calling “worse than an infidel.” Even the infidels took care of their families first.
CWM: As much as I hear and have been hearing about “sacrifice” one cannot proclaim sacrifice on one side, and then hold to a living before giving mentality.
Russ: Again, there is a difference between SURVIVING and living.
CWM: … I cannot see what you are trying to say, and you obviously have not seen what I’ve been trying to say. One of these days we will sit down together with the Lord, and He will help us see things the way that He intends for them to be seen.
Russ: Just stay with me long enough to look at every single tithing text and you can see the truth this side of eternity.
CWM: … Because it’s grace does not mean that there is not a moral, Biblical, spiritual, right and wrong.
Russ: I simply ask that you show me from God’s Word that OT tithing is “moral, biblical, spiritual and right” for the New Covenant after the entire Old Covenant “vanished” per Heb 8:12.