Reply to Pastor Tom Steinen
Edited for key remarks.
Tom: I believe tithing is simply God's principle of proof of ownership! … God asks His children to worship Him with a tithe (tenth) of their increase. If I can joyfully take the first 10 % of my increase (pay check, government check, etc.) and give that back to God,
Russ: Tithing was only a minimum beginning point “standard” for food producers who lived inside Israel. Tithes could not come from what man’s skills produced or from outside Israel. Not even Jesus could give a biblical HOLY tithe.
Believing the teachings of God’s Word requires one to ask “To whom is God speaking and in which Covenant?” The entire Old Covenant vanished in Heb 8:12 –commandments, ordinances and judgments –all of the Mosaic Law. That which was eternal and moral was restated after Calvary to the Church in terms of grace and faith. And tithing was not repeated.
God instituted the tithe to replace land inheritance for the Levites and priests who would serve in the temple. Yet today most pastors who want the tithe also want to own and inherit property contrary to the tithing statute of Numbers 18.
The Levitical tithe was not a matter of the heart. It was a matter of cold hard law for food producers inside Israel.
It is not a proof of ownership except for the Levites and priests who could not own land because God was their inheritance. God owned the world even then but did not accept tithes from outside Israel.
Tom: We are stewards who have been entrusted with some of what belongs to God. And the way He asks us to acknowledge this is through worshiping Him and giving Him the first 10% back - joyfully.
If I can joyfully take the first 10 % of my increase (pay check, government check, etc.) and give that back to God,
Russ: Tithes were never the same as firstfruits per Deut 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-37a. Firstfruits were very small token offering. Paul wrote to Timothy to give the first to care for the medical, food and shelter needs of his/her family per 1 Tim 5:8.
Tom: Abraham tithed to God over 400 years before the law was given, so tithing appears before the law. Tithing also appears in the age of the law.
Russ: Abraham’s tithe was not the same as a holy biblical tithe. It was in obedience to the law of the land and the Bible does not say it was freewill. If Abraham were the Christian’s example then 90% should go to the equivalent to the King of Sodom.
Tom: And tithing is mentioned in the New Testament by Jesus in Luke 11:42.
Russ: Luke 11:42 (Mt 23:23) is not New Covenant because it is before Calvary and is in the context of matters of the law. Jesus could not have commanded his Gentiles disciples to tithe because it was illegal.
Tom: God asks His children to worship Him with a tithe (tenth) of their increase.
Russ: Not true. Tithing was only commanded to OT national Israel. It was never commanded to the Church after Calvary.
Tom: 2 Cor 9:6-7
Russ: This is a discussion of freewill sacrificial giving to help famine relief in Judea. It is not a discussion of tithing or church support.
Tom: 1 Tim 5:17-18
Russ: This is in the context of discipline, not salary. The elder is worthy of double caution while being disciplined. See from verse l.
NT giving is: freewill, generous, sacrificial, joyful, not by commandment (or percentage) and motivated by love for God and lost souls. For many that is more than 10% but others are giving sacrificially even though less than 10%.
hing is simply God's principle of proof of ownership! The big question is – Whose