Russ: While I sense that you have a great love for God and a strong gospel heart, your logic to retain tithing is faulty. Please reconsider and join us. Your final point will not let go of this false doctrine: “My point here is that there is no longer Jew or Gentile and while we are free from trying to justify ourselves by the law, the heart of the law still applies to sin, good works, giving and tithing.”
Aaron: While a set amount of 10% was never set in the New Testament, the principal of giving to support the temple and the ministry was still valid under the new covenant.
Russ: Yes, but not tithing!
Aaron: Since this concept is quite clear throughout the New Testament, I am wondering if it's the continual and consistent giving that you have a problem with?
Russ: No. It is your dogged use of the term “tithing” which you have completely taken out of the OT definition and context. HOLY, I repeat, HOLY tithes could only come from inside the HOLY land of Israel and only from what God Himself had miraculously increased. Not even Jesus qualified as a tithe-payer. Why won’t you address those glaring errors in your theology?
Aaron: We also find that it was common in e New Testament to give much, much more than 10%, and often to give all you had.
Russ: There is no percentage given in the New Covenant for the church after Calvary. Period. The Holy Spirit-blessed giving was freewill and sacrificial. And, yes, that meant MORE than 10% for many but it also meant LESS dthan 10% for many others were were still giving sacrificially. Why is that concept so hard to understand for you?
Aaron: Let's look at a few scriptures we find in the NT with regards to continual giving. In the following passage we find that monies were collected for Jerusalem during a period of time outside and on top of their commitments to their church.
1 Corinthians 16:1-3
Russ: You are using a corrupt Not Inspired Version which changes the Greek word “logia” into “money” when the context is “food” for famine relief. Hint: money does not buy food in a famine unless you have wheelbarrows full of it. Second, this text is not discussing pastoral support or church building funds.
Aaron: In the next passage Paul let's the church know that whatever they have to give is fine, and let them judge for themselves what was appropriate to give based on what they had.
2 Corinthians 8:10-15
Russ: This is my argument and it proves your use of the word “tithing” completely unscriptural for the NT church after Calvary.
“Equality giving” means that the much-giving by some will make up for the less-giving of others who are applying First Timothy 5:8.
Aaron: Paul received financial help from various churches regularly, but never pressed people for money.
Russ: Again, Paul did not preach or teach tithing because he knew very well that tithes could only come off the land of Israel and could only be used to support the Levites and priests. Paul was mostly self-supporting by his own choice.
Aaron: From the following passage it is clear that pastors, elders and teachers received money and support from their churches.
Russ: Yes, but it does not state that pastors MUST be full time and MUST accept a salary. The Bible is silent on that point. Otherwise Paul would be deliberately disobeying Jesus in 9:14.
Aaron: It is also clear that this was an "accepted right" and tradition carried from the Old Testament where God had made precedent that teachers would be provided for by the church.
Russ: The greatest preachers in the OT were the prophets and they exercised no “right” in this manner. They were supported by voluntary freewill offerings if at all. Gospel preachers more closely follow the pattern of OT prophets than OT priests who only received one per cent per Num 18:25-28 and Neh 10:38.
Aaron: Paul here is forgoing his rights to this, however keep in mind that he is not saying that those who partake of this right are wrong, since he is clearly OK with it. 1 Corinthians 9:1-19
Russ: This has absolutely nothing to do with tithing. In fact, if Paul had wanted to teach tithing, he missed this golden opportunity. OT tithe recipients were not allowed to own or inherit property. What do you do with that part of the tithing law?
Aaron: We read in Timothy that elders should be well paid for their hard work of teaching and preaching. 1 Timothy 5:17-18
Russ: This is a horrendous interpretation of the Greek and the KJV, NAS and RSV do not thus interpret it. Shame on you. First Timothy 5:1-16 and 19-20 deal with DISCIPLINE, not salaries. The word “timos” refers to the “worthiness” of a teaching elder to receive DOUBLE HONOR when being disciplined. “Timos” is never translated as “money” or “salary” in real translations.
Aaron: In Galatians Paul implores those who are taught the word to provide for their teachers who teach the word.
Galatians 6:6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.
Russ: True, but the text is not discussing tithing or full-time salaries.
Aaron: Please remember, that while we are not under the law, we are not excluded from the heart of the law. In Jeremiah God says that the law would no loner be in stone, but in our hearts.
Jeremiah 31: 31, 33-34
Russ: This is also in Hebrews 8:8-13. First, the OT covenant of Law was never commanded to the Gentile or Church and especially its cultic worship statutes-ordinances which included tithing. Second, that part of the Law which is eternal and moral is also written in the heart and conscience—including giving but not tithing (Rom 2:14-16).Third, the post-Calvary NT Law of the Spirit is LOVE which is freewill sacrificial giving and not tithing.
Aaron: The point of grace is to free us from the law, meaning the law is not what justifies us, for justification is only through Christ. Galatians 3:24 So then, the Law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
Russ: Gentiles never were under the OT Law of tithing and never needed to be FREED from it. What does “until” mean to you?
Why did you quote Gal 3:24 and leave out 3:25-26? You missed the point of that and 3:19. Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Aaron: However this does not give us license to sin or to be free of good works.
Russ: This is a weak and silly argument used to support ttthing. The Christian is a “new creation in Christ” and has a new nature which wants to obey God spontaneously because God’s will is now written in his/her heart.
Aaron: Hebrews 10:24-29
Russ: The letter of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were still attending AND SUPPORTING the Temple system over 30 years after Calvary. See also Acts 21:20-21. They were still paying tithes to the Temple system.
Aaron: Even you may not be a Jew, because of your faith you are given the promise of Abraham. This means that we are all now children of Abraham and heirs to God's promise.
Russ: And what does this mean concerning tithing? Do we follow Abram’s example and tithe pagan spoils of war to our local church? Does this mean that we follow his example and give the 90% to the equivalent of the King of Sodom? Does this mean that we can lie to Pharoah and loan him our wife in order to get wealth? Not everything Abram did is an example of faith.
Aaron: My point here is that there is no longer Jew or Gentile and while we are free from trying to justify ourselves by the law, the heart of the law still applies to sin, good works, giving and tithing.
Russ: You are cherry-picking only that part of the Law which YOU want to extend to the NT church. Your hermeneutic is inconsistent. What gives you the authority to add something to the Church which is not added to it in the pages of the NT after Calvary by the Holy Spirit?
Aaron: Recall my first response to the heart of giving. Remember, nobody at Christian World is beating your over the head for 10%, but you are encouraged to give, and to learn to give consistently as the bible teaches in both the New and Old Testaments, so that you can be a blessing.
Russ: If I gave as the Bible teaches in the OT, I would be giving tithes, offerings, vow offerings, temple shekels, poll taxes, etc, etc, etc. What you really mean is “give consistently as I have taught you what I think the Bible teaches.”
Aaron: Open your heart to Christ and ask Him what He wants from you with regards to how much and how often to give to Him.
Russ: This is freewill sacrificial giving at its best –not tithing.
Russell Earl Kelly