REBUTTAL TO SCOTT STIMSON ON TITHING
REBUTTAL TO SCOTT STIMSON MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL ON TITHING, By Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
Scott: The tithe means “a tenth.” or first fruits (There is some distinction between first fruits and tithes, but they both speak of Christ
Russ: You use “tithe” and “firstfruits” wrongly. There is a great distinction between tithes and firstfruits. As used by Malachi and Jesus, HOLY ttthes were always only food from inside God’s HOLY land which He had miraculously increased. Tithes could not come from what man increased, from Gentiles, or from outside Israel. On the other hand, firstfruits were also only food from inside Israel. Firstfruits were very small token offerings which could be carried in a small basket (Deut 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-38).
Scott: In the Garden of Eden God reserved a tithe for Himself by giving man the right to enjoy all the trees except the one which belonged to Him.
Russ: There is no way you can honestly call one tree out of many hundreds or thousands a tithe. And you give no texts.
Scott: Some just say it is now all spiritual and has nothing to do with monetary things …
Russ: No text. That is a waste of time. Do some research. Money was common even in Genesis and was essential for sanctuary worship, but money was never a tithed item.
Scott: … yet that is not consistent with new testament teaching since it is clear when Paul instructed in 1st Corinthians about their giving to him he used old testament scripture such as not muzzling the ox that treads out the corn, and them giving to him of their carnal things.
Russ: As a highly trained rabbi Paul knew that it was wrong for anybody other than Levites and priests to accept tithes for teaching God’s Word. Paul taught strictly freewill offering principles linked to Christ’s sacrificial giving example.
Scott: Heb. 7:8 speaking of Jesus said he who live receives tithes as our High Priest.
Russ: When Hebrews 7:8 was written the temple was still functioning and Levites and priests were accepting tithes IN THE PLACE OF GOD AND JESUS. By focusing on 7:8 you completely miss the teaching from 7:5, 12, and 18. The “commandment going before” (7:18) which was “changed” (7:12) was “tithing” from 7:5. Rather than being transferred to gospel workers, it was “disannulled” in 7:18. Those who received OT Levitical tithes were not allowed to own or inherit property in Israel. You simply cannot justify receiving tithes: (1) the OT has ended, (2) the priesthood now belongs to every believer, and (3) most modern pastors own property contrary God’s instructions in Numbers 18 and elsewhere.
Scott: 7 Things about Tithing (1)The tithe must always flow out of grace and faith in order for it to be pleasing to the Lord it is never to come from manipulation such as guilt or your less than a believer if you don’t bringing condemnation or fear of a curse.
Russ: You listed no texts. Tithing was always at the very heart of the law. It was required regardless of motive or degree of spirituality. No grace was involved.
Scott: (2) The tithe is elementary it is to teach us about God’s ultimate in creation; a people who will become God’s tithe in the earth;
Russ: No texts. While God owns everything (Ps 24:1), HOLY tithes could only come off God’s HOLY land of Israel.
Scott: The first fruits unto God and the lamb. (Rev.14:4; James1:18)
uss: Your texts are not discussing tithing.
Scott: (3) We paid tithes in Jesus a man of faith just as Levi paid tithes in Abraham even though he was not born yet, (Heb.7:9-10)
Russ: Your misinterpretation of 7:8 ignores the truth of chapter 7 in its flow of logic from 7:5 to 7:12 to 7:18.
Scott: He did that through the faith of another “This is what we did in the finished work of Christ”.
Russ: The word “faith” is nowhere found concerning Abram’s tithing experience. He was probably obeying the law of the land.
Scott: (4) The tithe was shown in the Old Testament by how he chose a tenth be it man or animal but the tenth would be as the whole “example”
Russ: No. And no texts. There are 16 texts which very strictly limit the tithe to food from inside Israel. It was not a beginning point for anybody but food producers living in Israel. There is no precedent to justify your statement.
Scott: Noah was the tenth from Adam and Abraham was the tenth from Noah; Jesus is both the fulfillment of the man and the sacrificial animal. “The Tithe” meaning the all
Russ: You wander in your own thoughts with no biblical cohesion.
Scott: (5) The tithe was first presented by a man of faith “Abraham”
Russ: God does not tell us why Abram the uncircumcised Gentile tithed spoils of war to his local king-priest. He may have simply been obeying the law of the land which required it.
Scott: and it was given to a king–priest ministry “uniting of man and God “by Melchizedek (Gen 14:20.Heb 7)
Russ: Hebrews 5-7 stresses his “order” as a king-priest and not his historical person.
Scott: it was given after the slaughter of the kings so in like manner there are kings in our life that must be slaughtered especially the ones between our ears by the faith of Christ in order that we may become the tithe or fullness of God in the earth.
Russ: No texts. Pure imagination.
Scott: (6) The tithe teaches us to be systematic in giving and becomes a point of contact as a minimal amount (to be given not paid)
Russ: “Minimum”? Where do you find this in God’s Word? It was never the minimum except for food producers who lived inside Israel. Calling tithes a minimum for all believers is a lie.
Scott: for the honoring of a covenant of grace among a people who have a common vision and purpose such as a local church or body of believers.
Russ: You keep on making things up. There is no command for new covenant believers to tithe just as there is no justification for you to accept “tithes” and own property.
Scott: (7) The tithe that God was looking for initially was Jesus the first fruits (1Cor.15:20)
Russ: You are comparing un-comparable items. Tithes were tenth-fruits and never first-fruits.
Scott: The covenant was cut between the father and the son
Russ: This is really weird theology.
Scott: we now enter into His obedience that we should become the first fruits of a brand new creation in the earth. (James1:18)
Russ: The new creation is under the new covenant.
Scott: It is said of George Washington Carver after hearing his pastor preach on tithing he asked him the question Pastor are you saying that if I have 10 pennies the one belongs to Jesus and he said that’s right he pondered for a minute and said I could never do my Lord that way I will give him the 9 and I will live off the 1 later he asked God what can you do with a peanut brain like mine and the Lord gave him the ideal for peanut butter needless to say he became a wealthy man and influenced society.
Russ: Did Carver tithe the 90% and live on the 10%?
Scott: Finally let no one put guilt on you because of not measuring up to this principle there are many people who are hurting and in financial bondage due to tragic situations in their life often times beyond their control, The families of those people should help bear the burdens and the church should be looking out for them also.
Russ: First, there is no such thing as a tithing “principle” which has ever applied to all believers. Second, there is no command for the church to tithe. Third, a believer’s firstfruits belong to his/her family. 1 Tim 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Scott: In like manner we should not think it was because of our giving 10 percent that God delivered us yet there are untold testimonies of those who started tithing and their life was turned around
Russ: That is because they are asked to give their testimonies. The ones who “tithe” and are not blessed sit quietly in shame and embarrassment.
Scott: this is due to faith and a point of contact
Russ: No evidence. At least one in twenty will succeed and be blessed because of a good education and good work ethic, regardless of whether he/she tithes or attends church or is an atheist.
Scott: but there is one deliverer his name is Jesus and it is by (grace through faith) plus nothing we receive from Him.
Russ: “Plus nothing”? Don’t you mean “plus tithing”? Are you not teaching that salvation is by grace through faith but Christ wants His Body to be sustained by the abused definition of law? I invite you to an extended open public dialog on this subject.
In Christ’s love
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD