If one looks
at popular books, websites, forums and articles, it becomes
apparent that many, regardless of denomination or beliefs,
advocate the giving of the 'tithe' or ten percent, to the
organization, leadership, pastors, and others who make a
claim for the payment of it. The many pro-tithing views
are found amongst liberal Christians, Baptists, Messianics,
Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Hebrew Roots, Catholics and so on,
regardless of how Biblically sound they may appear in
other areas. This article will address the various
arguments, and look at the purpose of the tithe and the
priesthood. It is in-depth, dealing with beliefs as well as
many Scriptures, and is split due to size considerations for
those with slower or older computers.
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Amidst the advocacy for tithing is a growing
controversy over the
concept of giving and tithes. Some Christians would go
so far as to say that those who do not give the ten percent as
commanded by God in the Old Testament, but rather, give as
they feel led to give by the Spirit, are not of Christ. Some
Christians say that those who do not give the tithe to
the church, which to them is the required or commanded bare minimum, are doing so in a rebellious spirit and a
determination to avoid accountability.
then, for some, becomes the value of a persons
righteousness, relationship with the Lord and even their
salvation, although there is no Scripture to support that
belief. We are saved by God's grace. Salvation is a free
gift from Him.
Others state that those
who give tithes according to the Law of the Tithe, are blessed, with the implication
being that those who give according as they determine is
right, to not be as blessed. Others state that 'non-tithers'
would be complaining about not having, while 'tithers' would
be fully provided for. Some
ministers and other Christians state that if you donít
tithe, God will not bless you at all. The 'prosperity
gospel' preachers advocate the tithe, often in this manner.
Other individuals equate tithing to the giving to Melchisedec
by Abraham. As wealthy in possessions
as Abraham was,
is no Scriptural record that he ever tithed as a result of a Biblical
law that required him to do so, because the Law of Moses was given long
after he died. When Abraham did give one tenth, it
was not from what he normally had, or of the increase of his
flocks and herds, which was the tithe prescribed by the
Rather, it was of the 'spoils of war' that he had gained by
defeating the army which had taken Lot and others captive.
Some use the example of Jacob giving to God.
After God had promised to be with him and complete what He
had said would be done, Jacob asked for and received a safe
journey and other things from God.
Jacob chose ten per cent as the amount
to give to God for watching over him.
nor Jacob were told to give it. It is
what they freely gave from their hearts, not by commandment,
for taxes or by Law, and that is the issue.
When God was feeding the
children of Israel in the desert with manna and quail, they
were not tithing. Yet, God still
and cared for
those that honored
Many claim that we are to keep the
Law of Moses, as much as possible, and to not, is to suggest
throwing out the Old Testament.
As much as
possible, appears to mean whatever the advocate wants it to
mean. Others would advocate that we must keep the Law of
Moses, as much as possible, claiming many people
misunderstand what the New Covenant is and some have even
referred to it as the "renewed" covenant.
Some state that not
embracing the Law regarding the tithe, is tantamount to
picking and choosing which parts of the Bible we are to
abide by. This is stated in relation to the tithe issue, while
some advocates of this thinking would also say many of the Laws
of Moses do not
apply to Christians, and the Law was fulfilled in Christ.
overlook that the Law of Moses, which is being referred to,
is found in the first five books of the Bible, and much more
is written about within those books, than the giving of the
laws and commandments. The Old Testament contains
thirty-nine books, not just the five books of the Torah, and
the New Testament contains twenty-seven books. We find all
sixty-six books worthy of our study, but not all applies
our serving Christ, but rather to gain understanding from
2 Timothy 3:16 All
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works.
Romans 15:4 For
whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for
our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the
scriptures might have hope.
In fact it is because of the writings of
the prophets that we can know that Jesus Christ fulfilled
the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. And we can
prove His Deity from the Old Testament and New Testament. We
can learn from the examples of obedience and disobedience
found throughout the Old and New Testaments. And we can learn of God.
Even the example of Sodom and Gomorrah is for our
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom
and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner,
giving themselves over to fornication, and going after
strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the
vengeance of eternal fire.
For many in the Christian, Messianic or Hebraic
Roots movements, they are being told to tithe by many who can be shown
to be merchant preachers or false leaders, but who claim they are in fact the replacement of the Levite priests. As
such, they should receive the ten percent tithe which God had
instituted in the Law of Moses for the well being of the
The same arguments used by these Hebraic Roots
leaders are what are being used by many Christians,
including pastors and leadership.
The Catholic church in
fact, viewed the replacement of the Levite priests with sacred ministers. The New Advent article on Tithes,
Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live
by the altar (1 Cor., ix, 13), provision of some kind had
necessarily to be made for the sacred ministers. In the
beginning this was supplied by the spontaneous offerings
of the faithful. In the course of time, however, as
the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it
became necessary to make laws which would insure the
proper and permanent support of the clergy. The payment of
tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers
speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of
conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the
subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops
assembled at Tours in 567 and the cannons of the Council
of Macon in 585. In course of time, we find the payment of
tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all
the countries of christendom. The Church looked on this
payment as "of divine law, since tithes were instituted
not by man but by the Lord Himself ...In English statute
law proper, however, the first mention of tithes is to be
found in the Statute of Westminister of 1285. ...There are
many exempted from the paying of tithes: spiritual
corporations, the owners of uncultivated lands, those who
have acquired lawful prescription, or heave obtained a
legal renunciation, or received a privilege from the pope.
At first, the tithe was payable to the bishop, but later
the right passed by common law to parish priests...."
Please note that according to Catholic
sources based on historical documentation, the saints
including any leadership were supported solely by freewill
giving, not the tithe, from the time of the Apostles and for
about 500 years, until the Catholic church reinstituted it.
They in fact became the appointed priesthood and in many
places that were controlled by the Catholic church it became
a state or provincial law that tithing was required. In fact
in Quebec Canada it remains a provincial law that the tithe
questions become, that since the tithe was instituted under
the Mosaic Law which was given to the Hebrew people, is it to be kept, while the other Laws are
not? Are the Hebraic Roots leaders the "new" Levite
priesthood, or is that authority and job aligned to
"Christian pastors", which
some Christians claim also replaces the Levite priesthood?
Law of Moses is to be kept for tithing, then the rest of the
Law must also be kept, according to the Word of God. That
includes the food Laws, clean/unclean, circumcision, stoning rebellious children and stoning those
caught in adultery, which includes far too many in
leadership and outside of leadership.
Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the
works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is every one
that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law
in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just
shall live by faith.
And the law is not of faith: but,
The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: