Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"The Sacred Cow of Tithing" by Andre van der Merwe

"The entire Bible was written for us, but not everything in the Bible was written directly to us. Many times the intended audience was Jews (who were bound by the law) or unbelievers. That’s not to say we can’t read and learn from these passages of scripture, but to take them as having been written directly to us as commands to obey is to forsake dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). The Bible is one of the most dangerous books in the world if the reader is unable to discern between the Old and New Covenants..."

"God’s blessings in the New Covenant (after the cross) are not dependent on our knack to impress Him with our law keeping, in this case, our ability to give money. If we really had to tithe to receive God’s blessings, it wouldn’t be called “grace” anymore, would it? The beauty of grace is in the fact that Jesus took everything we deserved (punishment for sin) and that He freely gave us everything which we didn’t deserve, namely love, forgiveness, blessings, salvation, healing, finances, etc. So to now teach people that they need to tithe first in order for God to bless them, is essentially throwing God’s free gift back into His face and opting to buy it from Him instead..."

"Because Jesus is our big brother and He is not tithing to our Father, neither do we need to. [...] Jesus fulfilled the entire law, which included tithing. But the modern day church can’t afford to stop preaching tithing, because it can’t survive without the money. The only difference is now it is preached that our “motive” for tithing should be different..."
Read the full article by Andre van der Merwe at New Covenant Grace:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Tithing: Don’t Believe The Lie" by Brandon Chase

"With the death of Jesus, all ceremonial Laws were nailed to the cross with Him. For this reason, New Testament Christians were not seen “tithing.”

Instead, they gave generously and cheerfully according to their ability – not dutifully out of a command.

It is my conviction we are to do the same.

Personally, I do not have any issue at all with Christ followers who “tithe” to a local church home or fellowship. Many do this every week or month, and do so out of a love response to the Lord, for the benefit of others. And they are joyful. I will never cast a stone at this.

But I take strong opposition toward the teaching that guilts people into giving, using the Bible no less, that God opposes those who do not give back to Him what is His. This teaching holds up financial blessing (in the world’s eyes) as evidence of God’s favor, and casts a judging eye toward financial hardship (in the world’s eyes) as some kind of curse for withholding from God.


Further, I oppose teaching that says, give and you will be blessed – in the sense of more worldly blessing. Jesus knows nothing of this, in fact, He teaches just the opposite. In Him, we have all we need.

He is the blessing.

Jesus is the Storehouse. He is the Temple. He is the Offering. He is the High Priest. Jesus fulfills all the Law, including the one to “tithe.”"
Read the full article by Brandon Chase:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tithing in Context (for Ben Carson)

Ben Carson at the 2013 White House National Prayer Breakfast:
"When I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the Universe, God, and he’s given us a system. It’s called tithe. Now we don’t necessarily have to do it 10% but it’s principle. He didn’t say, if your crops fail, don’t give me any tithes. He didn’t say, if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithes. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 Billion dollars you put in a Billion. You make $10 you put in $1 – of course, you gotta get rid of the loopholes, but now now some people say, that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 Billion dollars as much as the guy who made $10. Where does it say you have to hurt the guy. He’s just put in a billion in the pot. We don’t need to hurt him."
Ok, setting aside politics, this is just really unbiblical. Why?

1) God only gave the tithe system to ancient Israel under the Old Covenant. There is no command to tithe for Christians, and no command to tithe to churches. (Most early Christians were Jewish... did they tithe to the church and to the temple? or just one or the other?)

2) The system was disproportional across society because not everyone tithed. Tithe was not money, but was crops and livestock. Not all people were farmers or livestock owners. (I.g., carpenters, craftsmen, midwives, weavers, servants and blacksmiths, etc.) Moreover, if tithe was converted into money, a fifth of the value had to be added.

3) The purpose of tithe was different than the purpose of taxes. Tithe was for the temple institution (which is why Jews do not tithe to synagogues). And in the New Testament, the temple of the Old Covenant was revealed to be a picture about how God would provide to the world through the offering of His Son. Ultimately, the purpose of tithe was to point people to Jesus. In contrast to what Ben Carson said, God didn't "give us a system." Instead He gave us His Son. That is what tithe was ultimately about in the Bible; not the old system, but the Son!

4) In addition to funding the Old Covenant temple institution, tithes were also collected for the poor. (Is that how churches use "tithe money" today?) But also, if tithe-able people in Israel couldn't make it all the way to the temple and the poor were taken care of, then they were commanded to take their tithes, exchange them for money so that they could buy food and strong drink, and have a big feast with their family. (Yes, preachers never use Deuteronomy 14 when teaching people to give tithes!)

5) The fact that tithes were collected and given to the poor turns Ben Carson's whole point upside down. Perhaps the poor in tithe-able occupations (farmers & livestock owners) had to give 10%, but if they were poor then they could expect to be on the receiving end of "tithe" as well. Question: Are there more verses in the Bible about giving tithes or about caring for the poor?

Ben, preachers, people! Please study the Bible in context before you take an Old Covenant law and apply it all over the place or to make a point to support whatever your politics are!


Study more:

For keeping God's priorities and His "system" straight, this is the best "National Prayer Breakfast" speech I've seen:
(the talk starts around 4:47)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tithing Remarks

From Cherry Brandstater:
Since tithing was given as a law to Israel it certainly predated "the church." It was never given as a way to sustain "the church." There is no template for tithing in the early church. Nothing suggests that such a formula persisted into the Christian community. Instead, there was a much more inclusive and personal mechanism developed whereby members of the church had an accoutability to each other. They no longer saw their belongings as their own but pooled their resources so that all were cared for equitably.

It was much like the difference in the Sabbath given to Israel and the Sabbatismos (Heb 4) given to The Church. For Israel it was one in seven. In The Church it was "today" - seven out of seven. Every day was now a day of rest from our works toward salvation.

With respect to tithing Israel was required to tithe one in ten. In Christianity - why just one in ten? We are redeemed. We are sons and daughters in the kingdom. We no longer owe a tax - we own the business along with our older brother, Jesus. It's not one in ten as if we owed a tax. It's everything we have, everything we own, all that we are. We are joint heirs of the kingdom. We jointly own the kingdom with Christ. Everything we own is His already and everything He owns He has already given to us in the Son.

We need a renewing of the mind. We need to come up higher and give up the slave mentality of taxpayers. Jesus opened a way into the Holy of Holies by which we may come into the immediate presence of the Father and join in His councils. Until we see that one in seven and one in ten respresents the mindset of a slave we have not yet grasped the height, depth and beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

From Hazel Holland:
Amen! A number of years ago I chose "releasingcaptives" as my email address because I believe God wants to release His captive children from the mindset of slavery.

As long as we continue to keep one day in seven and give one tenth of our income to God, we still have the mindset of a slave child.

We still haven't fully understood that as God's sons and daughters we may daily enter into the "rest" that He has already provided! The only thing left for us to do is to enjoy sweet fellowship with Him through the Spirit. Then from this position of "resting" in His grace, He will show us the "work" that He has prepared in advance for us to do. But this "work" is not like what we are used to performing under the Old Covenant...

Since we have been bought with a price, everything that we own and have are already His. And we have everything when we have Christ!

Could it be that God's Spirit is confronting us with the truth that since Jesus already fulfilled the Old Covenant law, including the law of "tithing", we may now freely give of ourselves to others as we are led by the Spirit to give?

...I believe the story of the widow's mite is an example of how God desires that we give everything to Him in the new covenant reality.

From Ramone Romero:
Yes, the widow's mite is a picture of God's economy -- He doesn't want an amount of money or even money at all: He wants our hearts! God can take one penny given in faith & love and do more with that than a billion dollars given without them. God's economy is in faith & heart. These are the "currency" of the Kingdom, and are the means by which He wants us to live and spread the word of His good news.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Posting Bail"

Posting Bail

By Ramone Romero - March 8th, 2011

Many pastors use Malachi 3:8-10 to say that we are "robbing God" if we are not tithing & giving offerings to the church. This immediately places us under guilt and accusation (and under the law) because we are told that we have not paid God, but we *should have* been paying Him all along, so in fact we have been *robbing* Him.

Our giving then is not only obligatory, but more than that it is giving to basically pay a debt that we are supposed to have been *neglecting* up to now. For the Christian, tithing is then indirectly presented as a way we are supposed to pay God back for what He has done for us.

And further, particularly in charismatic churches, if we have problems or sicknesses or financial difficulties (etc.), then it is because we have not been paying tithe. We are in prison, so to speak, and have not been paying God the money to stay out of prison.

This picture illustrates how using Malachi 3:8-10 today to teach Christian tithing is no different that traditional pagan religions. Tithe had a purpose under the Old Covenant law--to shadow and point to the coming Messiah, and also to teach the people the strictness of the law (i.e., to reveal sin). These purposes have been fulfilled in Christ. So to teach now--even indirectly--in the age of the New Covenant that God needs to be paid off with "tithe" so we can stay out of "being cursed" (in jail) proclaims that God is pagan and demands to be approached as such.