Reply to Prisoner of Conscience
Prisoner: For some reason it surprises me that people reject the concept of tithing so much, but to each their own.
Kelly: We reject it because it is totally indefensible as a New Covenant doctrine. NONE of what the Old Covenant teadhes about tithing is obeyed by any church today.
Prisoner: I question the intent of not tithing when there is such a legalist approach to defending it.
Kelly: Pro-tithers are the legalists who must go to the Law to defend it contrary to New Covenant principles of grace. In reality nobody tithes today unless they are an OT Hebrew inside Israel tithing to Levites to support the Temple system.
Prisoner: Just say you don’t feel like God wants you to tithe and be done with it.
Kelly: The equality principle in 2nd Corinthians 8:12-14 means that many should give more than ten per cent while others give less. Our firstfruits should go to buy essential medicine, food and shelter per 1 Timothy 5:8.
Prisoner: Actually the term tithe means tenth, which is the percentage of his increase that Abraham gave to Melchizdek.
Kelly: Actually the true biblical HOLY tithes were always only food from inside God’s HOLY land which He had miraculously increased. HOLY tithes could not come from what man increased or from outside Israel.
Prisoner: It is true, that it is only mentioned once that Abraham gave a tenth to a spiritual authority.
Kelly: Pre-circumcized Gentile Abram (not Abraham) obeyed the law of the land and gave his local king-priest a tithe of spoils of war which did not qualify as a holy tithe under the Law. The Bible does not state that God commanded Abram to tithe or that he tithed freely. He gave th 90% to the king of Sodom and churches do not teach that part.
Prisoner: It is only mentioned once that Jacob gave a tenth to God as well.
Kelly: Jacob told God what to do. His tithe was also not HOLY and was from pagan lands. Moses did not use either Abram or Jacob to validate tithing.
Prisoner: Abel gave of the first of his increase and gave the best of what he had to give. Abel gave cheerfully where as Cain did not. This is the first offering ….
Kelly: You are inventing Scripture. Abel gave a sin offering which was probably from the best. The Bible does not say he gave the first or the best.
Prisoner: … so following the Law of Firsts, we will see how God honors the first fruits offering and a cheerful offering.
Kelly: Do some research. Firstfrutis were small token offerings per Deu 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-37a; etc. Tithes and firstfruits are never the same thing in the Bible.
Prisoner: Abraham also gave a first fruits offering, following tradition, but he gave a certain percentage to a man who represented God. Another Law of Firsts here. Now he gave a tenth of all that he had, so that would be food, livestock as well as material possessions.
Kelly: Again you are inventing Scripture. The Bible does not teach that Abram gave a first-fruits ofering. The percenntage was dictated by the Canaanite law of the land. He gave a tenth of all that he had recovered from pagan sources.
Prisoner: Deuteronomy 14:22-29 is a neat passage.
Kelly: Do you teach that a second tithe should be eaten in the streets of Jerusalem during its 3 annual feasts? Do you teach that a 3rd-year tithe is to be kept at home for the poor? Why not? They are all part of the tithing laws.
Kelly: Malachi is addressed to the people of Judah and specifically to the dishonestd priests per 1:6 and 2:1. The Old Covenant was never commanded to the Gentiles who were excluded from it. And the tithe is still only food in Malachi.
Prisoner: Mt 23:23
Kelly: Jesus was discussing “matters of the law” and commanded his Jewish disciples to obey the scribes and Pharisees because “they sit in Moses’ seat.” He could not have told his Jewish disciples to tithe to him or his Gentile disciples to tithe at all because both were illegal. Also, tithes were still only food.
Kelly: Justification is by grace through faith alone. Works of the law, including tithing, were related to Hebrews under the law for sanctification. Gentiles never were under any part of the literal Old Covenant law.
How do you justify ignoring every single part of the tithing statute from Numbers 18? (1) tithes only food from inside Israel, (2) tithes to servants of the priests (ushers, deacons, choir, musicians, politicians), (3) Levite servants give ministering priests one pere cent, (4) priests KILL anybody who dares to enter the sanctuary and worship God directly and (5) Levitical tithe recipients are not allowed to own or inherit property.