Monday

Money Mondays: Tithing pt. 2

As you can see from last weeks post and responses, there are many different views on tithing. So what I intend to do is lay it out as neutral as possible and either solidify your position or give you just cause to change your position altogether. In order to do that we have to give you appropriate background.

Old Testament Tithing can be broken down into two categories – PML (Pre-Mosaic Law) and Mosaic Law.

PML – Sometimes folks say they don’t tithe because the practice was part of Mosaic Law and that it is no longer necessary to maintain Mosaic Law. Those people are correct in their assessment that it is not necessary to perform Mosaic Law practices, but they are wrong in assuming that the Old Testament only presents tithing within The Law. There are instances that occur prior to Mosaic Law where tithing is displayed in the bible.

The first instance of tithing occurs in Genesis 14 when Abram (in later references - Abraham) is met by Melchizedek after Abram returns from battle to retrieve his nephew Lot. Abram gives Melchizedek a tithe of all that he captured in response to God allowing him to be victorious in battle. Side note: The original battle was 5 kings against 4 kings in which the 4 kings prevailed. The army comprised of the 4 kings took all of Sodom and Gomorrah’s goods to include the people who didn’t flee and this included Abram’s nephew Lot. Abram hearing that his nephew was captive took 318 of his trained servants and came up victorious against these 4 kings. Needless to say, God was with him.

The second occurrence happens after Jacob, Abraham’s grandson has an encounter with God in a dream. After awaking he makes a vow that if God will be with him to protect and take care of him then he promises to give a tenth to God in response to their agreement (covenant).

After reading these two accounts one can not deny that tithing was in existence PRIOR to the enactment of Mosaic Law, but what I think is important to notice is that in each instance it was done in conjunction or in response to a covenant agreement. What do I mean by that? A covenant agreement is an agreement between two or more parties where the specifics (the do’s and don’ts) are laid out for each to follow. In the aforementioned cases, tithing was done as a show that God was responsible for protecting, providing, and imparting wealth. Therefore, as a show of gratitude, a tenth (tithe), was given to the priests in response to God holding up his end of the agreement.

It is important to note that Abraham represents the Father of the lineage of the people in which God intended to bless. In fact, it can be said that Abraham opened the door of blessing (redemption) to modern day Christians.


Next week we will tackle tithing under Mosaic Law.

Questions, Comments, Criticisms?



About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.

15 comments:

fuzzy said...

amen!

fuzzy said...

tell it like it is!

12kyle said...

@ Rich
Thanks for droppin the science. I've always kinda been in between but this knowledge does help.

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

I will hold my comments til your lesson is complete.

I will say that I don't have any issue with the fact that it took place in the Bible. It is how those tithes are collected and used. And where does it say pay the peacher?

I will wait til end of lesson.

fuzzy said...

the bible does not outright say that you should pay the preacher. But paul made reference to I believe it was the Corinthian church, that he founded, and the members stopped sending him money. He said, and I loosely quote lol, that you SHOULD bless the man of God. God will take care of the preacher. But as the preachers followers you should want to bless your leader. it is not required. I will dive into that and come back with scripture...

Rich said...

@sharon - i feel u, most definitely i do. Again, i'm not advocating either side (you'll see more as I go) but i want to lay out the facts so that you can make informed decisions with as many facts as possible.

Darius T. Williams said...

Alright Rev. Rich - I'm loving the bible study.

A New Man said...

I'm glad you've posted this section of your series on money because it has made me reflect more on my reasons for wanting to tithe. Money is a big part of the faith walk--there are at least 2,000 references to it in Scripture--because it's the last thing we hold most strongly and the one thing that tends to stand between mankind and God. The verse about "the love of money" being "the root of all evil" highlights a strong notion: we feel power when we can use money in ways that we want to use it, and Godly ethics rarely come into mind when we want to use money OUR way.

Tithing has always been about trusting God with our wealth and yielding our hearts to His will. "Where your treasure is, your heart is also" is a verse that plainly tells it as it is: we don't want anyone telling us how to use OUR stuff! But is it ours?

Is a Christian subject to his/her own plan, or does he/she have a life obligation to seek God's intent FIRST? That's the challenge of this walk--doing what God says when He says it and in His way--and the daily hurdle that everyone who claims Christ as Savior must leap as many times as he/she must in a given day.

GOD WILL NOT tell you to tithe in a "badland"--a place where your [minimum] 10% gift will not be used according to God's will. When we join churches, we strike a covenant that maintains that we will be a part of the financial support structure of our churches and all involved ministries. Every church that is on the level tax-wise employs people. Avoid churches that you KNOW are led by con artists, but I warn every reader to be careful not to put every church and its structure in the same bag as the churches that have failed publicly due to greed for money overriding church employees' choices to serve Christ.

Watch for the setup: the same devil who wants us all to share his final judgment wants nothing more than to fool us into putting all our attention on money--a temporal thing that we can't take with us to heaven or hell--and into missing the opportunity to learn all the different ways that God will gladly prove His faithfulness when we obey His rules.

Take it from a man who was once the ultimate skeptic--even AFTER I came to Christ: just give according to God's will. If you listen to God and not your own fear, your chance to show God gratitude for the life you live and all its trimmings will be one of the most important and most strengthening parts of the life you live. I've learned that...and I am enjoying the roughest side of the lesson.

Rich said...

For this series I'm going to moderate just a bit. I would like it if everyone holds their urge to preach (this comment is not directed to anyone it's just a general one), because I don't want anyone to feel like this is a session to beat up on their beliefs. The goal is not to beat anyone over the head but to lay the word out and let it speak for itself. All of these posts WILL NOT BE PRO tithing, but I'm sure everyone will come to an expected conclusion on the matter when it's all said and done.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

he folk
i have read the bible but not economically

tithing said...

The tithe was before the Mosaic law. Amen to that! And also Amen to the fact that tithing was before the gift of the Holy Spirit. Neither Abraham, Jacob, nor Israel were born with the Spirit of God in them. As children of God we have the Spirit of God in us. He is guiding and directing us in ways that neither the law nor Abraham's examples should guide us.

Spirit led giving is letting the Holy Spirit guide you in how to give, where to give, and when to give. The tithe no longer guides us. Abraham's example does not guide us.

Rich said...

Russel Earl Kelly, you are invited to the discussion table but lets not be so quick to preach. This discussion is important because it includes people from many walks of life. I like your points, but I can't corroborate what is being taught on another site. If you have something to add, do so, but I want your words and your study, not someone elses.

Your comments/questions:

The tithe was before the law. What does that prove? So was idol worship, child sacrifice, multiple wives, legalized sex with slaves and unclean foods. Just because something is very old and very common does not make it an eternal moral principle.

What did Abraham and Jacob tithe? –pagan spoils of war and pagan-enriched property –neither of which were biblical tithes under the law and neither would have been acceptable in the Temple.

Why did Abraham and Jacob tithe? Gen 14:21 is a clue. History outside of the Bible proves that all surrounding nations required spoils of war tithes to the local priest-kings. And Jacob’s was a scheming bargain with God which commanded God to bless him first.

Is Abraham’s tithing an example for the Church? (1) Only pagan spoils of war, (2) only once, (3) he kept nothing, (4) he gave away the other 90% to the king of Sodom and (5) Moses never quoted his example to establish law-tithing.

Although money was an essential worship item, 16 of 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe only include food from inside Israel –not form defiled pagan land. Tradesmen such as carpenters, fishermen and tentmakers did not quality as tithe-payers.

Do you teach that tithe-recipients should forfeit property ownership? Why not?

Rich said...

This series is done in parts, so I will not answer questions that will be revealed in future posts.

Question for you. Why would God preserve Abraham's example for future generations to see. Why was it important to God, enough that he would make it BIBLE.

I plan to tie back into Abraham's role down the road.

I don't propose that we are Levites, I'm just putting down this weeks material. Keep coming back for thought provoking material.

Rich said...

For everyone QUICK to jump on the no tithing backwagon, I have one question. Do you give a fair amount of money to your church? Yes or No. Don't give me that time stuff, that's service.

BTW, I'm playing the neutral role for now. I just want to spur thoughts.

sista gp said...

Listening and learning. always sought an unbiased view on this subject.