Extra – by H. Slack
Tithing is not a New Testament (NT) requirement. The NT Church founded upon Jesus and His apostles, populated by both Jew and Gentile who have put their faith in Jesus were never taught tithing or asked to tithe. Our doctrine, practices and faith are founded in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles.
To establish doctrine we ask 2 questions. 1. Where was it taught? (and/or) 2. Where do we see it practiced? (at least 2 or 3 references must be available) For example, we see baptism taught and practiced all over the NT.
The parts of scripture that applies to us are clearly stated in Hebrews 1:1 When studying scripture we should always question the context and intended audience.
Example – Circumcision
Here Paul explains circumcision in a New Covenant (NC) or NT context which is quite different from an Old Covenant (OC) or Old Testament (OT) context. “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart…” Romans 2:28-29
Now apply these lessons to tithing
We cannot find even 1 teaching on tithing throughout the whole NT. We cannot find the practice of it anywhere in the early Church either.
Tithing was mentioned 3 times in the whole NT. Twice in a negative sense and once in an explanation about something else.
- In Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees..” Remember who Jesus is talking to i.e. scribes and Pharisees. Remember when He’s speaking to them i.e before the ratifying of the NC so while Jesus didn’t tell them to stop tithing He pointed out the ridiculous levels to which they’ve taken it.
- In Luke 18 The spiritual pride of the Pharisee who boast of tithing.
- Hebrews 6 – 7 mentions tithing as part of a wider explanation. It is qualifying the priesthood of Jesus. Jesus’ priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek which is above that of the Levitical priesthood. How do we know this…?
- The lesser tithes to the greater and the Levites tithed to Melchizedek through the loins of Abraham (as it were) when Abraham gave a tenth of his war spoils to Melchizedek.
- The lesser is blessed by the greater. Melchizedek blessed Abraham which was an indication that Melchizedek was of a higher spiritual order.
Conclusion: Melchizedek’s priesthood is the highest order ever of which Jesus is. Understand therefore, the greatness of Jesus’ endless priesthood and He is our high priest who forever lives to make intercession for us.
Paul who said he taught the full counsel of God (Acts 20) didn’t mention tithing even once.
Debunking the tithing argument
Why using Malachi 3:10 to justify NT tithing is wrong.
- It’s an OT promise to the Israelites back then.
- It asks for agricultural produce (First fruits) and promises rain. He didn’t ask for any form of money like silver or gold neither did He promise silver or gold or victory over their enemies or the eradication of miscarriages etc.
Some say tithing is not law because Abraham tithed and he was before the law. Circumcision and the Sabbath were also before the law so why aren’t we enforcing those? Because there are no direct financial benefits for the crooks who are enforcing tithing.
The Scenario that Sums up NT giving
2 Corinthians 8 – 9
8:2 “These believers have been tested by great troubles, and they are very poor. But their great joy caused them to be very generous in their giving.” (ERV)
Background to this… Agabus’ prophecy in Acts 11:28
The Macedonian church was not giving out of the abundance of their pockets but out of the abundance of their hearts. They desperately wanted to share in that Spiritual blessing of great joy that one experiences when giving. Why?
Because it is more blessed to give than to receive.
“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 Paul was setting an example knowing that covetousness would be one of the hallmarks of the end time Christian deception.
There’s a Christian cult today that’s spiritualising greed. Those who are greedy are pulled in by it and we are surprised at the numbers.
8:7 “…see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” Giving is a grace not law. Freely you have received freely give.
8:12 “A gift is appreciated because of what a person can afford, not because of what that person can’t afford, if it’s apparent that it’s done willingly.” CEB
2 Corinthians 9:6-14
9:6 The bountiful here is speaking about the heart not the amount.
9:10 Like fasting, we must grow in the grace of giving. Don’t just be inspired by a message one day then go home and give away everything, your house, car and refrigerator with all its food.
You will never hear promoters of tithing encouraging the reading of Deuteronomy 14:22-29. Why?