Russell Kelly Rebuts Shawn Hennessy on Tithing, Oct 3e, 2016
Shawn Hennessy, Life Church, Green Bay, WI
Subject: Tithing 2; Timothy 1:7 ESV For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Russell E Kelly: This is an odd text to begin a sermon on tithing. First, its context is not about giving. Second, in Acts 20:29-35 Paul boasted the he supported those with him (which included Timothy). Third, the epistle to Timothy does not teach tithing, In fact, except for Hebrews 7, Paul’s do not mention tithing.
Shawn: The only way to create a Foundation of Faith is to put First Things First. The principle of first.
Russ: Odd again. According to Leviticus 27:30-34, holy tithes of food from inside Israel were never given first. Food tithes could only be calculated after the full harvest was complete. And animal tithes were specifically every tenth animal, whether good or bad.
Shawn: Exodus 13:1-2, 12-13, firstborn.
Russ: A third oddity: firstborn were “first” and not the tenth. The biblical fact is that tithes and firstfruits are never the same thing. Both are only food from the holy land of Israel. I doubt that church members dedicate or pay redemption fees for their firstborn children, or dogs, or cats.
Shawn: Psalm 51:5 NLT For I was born a sinner - yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
Russ: Psalm 51:5 is not about tithing. although pagan Gentiles are also born sinners, but God did not require tithes from them.
Shawn: Malachi 3:10-11
Russ: Texts to change God’s Word with.
(1) This was a command to O.T. Israel under the Law; it was not a command to the Church or Gentiles. Plus, God did not bless “tithers” who transgressed other laws (Gal 3:10-13).
(2) The church is never called a storehouse in Scripture (1 Cor 16:2); in fact church buildings were illegal in the Roman Empire for almost 300 years.
(3) The texts clearly call the HOLY tithe FOOD because its description never changed except by dishonest gospel pastors.
(4) If “tithers” were blessed so much that they could not contain the blessings, everybody would tithe.
Shawn: Exodus 23:19
Russ: Again, tithes and firstfruits are never the same in Scripture. Concerning the second half of the text, how do you make sure that you are not cooking offspring in its own mother’s milk?
Shawn: Genesis 4:3-5
Russ: Again, you are out of context which is deceitful. This is not about tithing.
Shawn: The Immutability of God = God Cannot Change
Russ: (1) You changed God’s description of holy tithes as food from inside His HOLY land.
(2) You changed God’s prohibition that Levitical tithe recipients cannot own property in His land or amass wealth (Num 18:20).
(3) You changed the recipients of tithes from O.T. Levitical servants to the priests (Num 18:21-24).
(4) God’s character does not change, but He did change from the Old to the New Covenant, from Sabbath to no holy days, from unclean to no unclean foods, from a temple building to temple of indwelling Spirit, from animal sacrifices to Christ and from tithing to sacrificial freewill giving.
Shawn: 3)The Tithe Must Be First,, Leviticus 27:30
Russ: This is so dishonest with God’s Word. The text quoted calls the tithe the tenth, not the first. And it is only a tenth of HOLY food from God’s HOLY land. Money was common but money was never tithed.
Shawn: Exodus 13:14-15
Russ: Many want to call tithes the first in order to receive the first of welfare checks and leave their recipients without money for food, shelter and medicine.