CWM: I will however leave you with this “cut and paste” from the minds of the leading scholars who edited and contributed to the KJV Study Bible. [Many names follow]
Russ: I will leave you with a similar list from the minds of leading scholars across the spectrum of conservative churches. In other words, a list of persons does not change the argument or God’s Word.
Craig Blomberg, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, F. F. Bruce, Lewis Sperry Chafer; James Darby, Alfred Edersheim, Walter Elwell, Everett F. Harrison, Carl F. Henry, C. H. Lenski, Zola Levitt, John MacArthur, J. Vernon McGee, Bruce Metzger, Moody Bible Institute, Mike Oppenheimer, Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, C. I. Scofield, Ray Steadman, Charles Swindoll, Merrill Unger, John Wesley, Spiros Zodhiates. Note: Dr. James Kennedy is more in agreement with our position than he is against it.
CWM: “Tithing is the practice of giving 10 percent of one’s income to the Lord. It is called “storehouse tithing” by some who require that the tithe be given the Lord through the local church.
Russ: We are more than eager to engage any of these scholars in an extended dialog. Yet they are the ones who evade open discussion. You are a wonderful exception to the rule and I highly commend you for staying with us this long. Thank you.
The definition from my book: The fourth definition of “tithe” is the precise and narrow Scriptural definition as given in the Mosaic Law in the Old Covenant. The biblical tithe was an ordinance of the Mosaic Law for the use and benefit of national Israel under the Old Covenant. The full tithe was given to the tribe of Levi, first, in exchange for his loss of land inheritance in Israel and, second, because of his servant service to his brothers in the Levitical house of Aaron who alone served as priests. A tenth of the first tithe was, in turn, given by the Levites to the priests who ministered at the altar.
The basic tithe was not to be used for building houses of worship. Since pagan dust defiled, the original tithe consisted solely of the increase of land produce from God’s sanctified land of Israel and from the increase of animals herded on the land of Israel. Although the tithe could be exchanged for its monetary value, the tithe itself never consisted of money! A second (and third) tithe was also given to provide food for festival occasions, and to provide welfare food for widows, fatherless, orphans and needy strangers in Israel.
CWM: While some Christians disagree, the principle of “God’s place” for worship is the basis for storehouse tithing (Deut. 12).
Russ: Deut 12:1 begins a discussion of “statutes and judgments” which national Israel shall obey “in the land.” They only applied to Old Covenant Israel and only inside the land. Read 12:1.
Deut 12:6-7 is a discussion of the second festival tithe which was to be eaten in the streets of Jerusalem. It was not taken to the Temple.
CWM: The temple in the Old Testament (1) was the central place characterized by God’s presence; (2) possessed the symbols of redemption; and
Russ: The “place” of Deuteronomy 12 was the “streets” of Jerusalem, not the Temple. Nehemiah 10:37b-38 is totally ignored when discussing Malachi 3:10. The two small storerooms inside the Temple could not possibly hold the tithe of the nation which was required in the Levitical cities where 98% of those who needed it for food lived.
CWM: (3) was where the man of God served.
Russ: They served in 24 courses and each course normally served one week out of 24 (twice a year). According to 1 Chronicles 23 to 26 they were not full-time temple workers; they were also political government employees working for the king. That is ignored today.
CWM: In the New Testament, these three attributes characterize the local church.
Russ: The word “church” is an assembly of believers. The church “building” did not exist for over 200 years after Calvary and was not legal for over 300 years. Comparing the OT Temple to the NT “Church” is not biblical.
CWM: Hence, the principle of storehouse tithing continues into the church age.
Russ: If that is true, then why did it take Southern Baptists over 300 years (649-1963) to even include the texts for tithing in its statement of faith? Why did the 1925 Faith and Message not include any tithing texts? Why was tithing only first presented to the Convention in 1895 (to be rejected)?
CWM: Liberty University.
Russ: The head of the Religion Dept at Liberty and other SBC theologians recently endorsed Dr. David Croteau’s book (also from Liberty) You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe?
CWM: It is apparent that this particular group of scholars, side with the “principle” of giving 10% thru the local church. I would dare say these men are ill-motivated, or uneducated, or unable to rightly divide the truth.
Russ: And they run away from dialog. If they thought their doctrine were so strong they would eagerly defend it.
CWM: We’ll pick up this issue again, later on . . . God Bless
Russ: I certainly hope so. You can bring some friends with you also. God bless.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD