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Author Topic: Tithing  (Read 2544 times)

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Craig

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Tithing
« on: March 23, 2008, 10:00:33 PM »

    Dear Jared:  I will make a few COMMENTS in your email.......

        Hi Ray,

        My name is Jared, I am a Children's Pastor in, Pennsylvania, and could have no financial gain from this response. One of my volunteers forwarded me your article on tithing and after responding to her I thought I would comment you in the same vein. To qualify some of the statements that follow: I have a B.A. in New Testament, an M.A. in Biblical Languages and I am in presently writing my Doctoral Thesis in Old Testament.

        COMMENT:  Well I don't have all those degrees, and so far I don't see that not having them has been as basic hindrance to seeing the utter doctrinal heresy of the orthodox Church.

        I understand that you are responding to a real problem in the church--TV evangelists and others have exploited the people of God for money by beating them up with things like this, and bringing them into financial ruin. However, the principle of tithing is well founded in Scripture.

        COMMENT:  Not for New Covenant Church of Christ Believers, it is not "well founded," but rather is not founded AT ALL, not having one single Scripture to support New Covenant "tithing of money" or any other commodity.

         
        First of all, you are using some real antiquated methods of interpreting Scripture. It seems to me that you are armed with the King James Version of the Bible,

        COMMENT:  Actually I have over 30 translations, but use the King James because it is the one most used, if not the most sold in recent years.


         an out of date Bible Dictionary,

        COMMENT:  Actually I have three Bible dictionaries, and since when does a dictionary become "out of date?"

         Encyclopedia Britannica

        COMMENT:  Oh really?  Encyclopedia Britannica is not a good source of information? Historically outdated, is it?


         and a Strong's Concordance for your Greek and Hebrew (which is about 100 yrs. out of date, and based on the Latin Vulgate note on the oldest Hebrew and Greek manuscripts).

        COMMENT:  Sometimes I really do marvel over the statements made by my readers. "The King James is based off [on?] the Latin Vulgate just like Strong's..."  So the King James is a English VERSION of the Vulgate is it?  Just how much is it "based on" the Latin Vulgate?  The King James is pretty much Tyndale, and Tyndale is not a warmed over Vulgate.  Tyndale translated his English version (with the help of Martin Luther), using the the work of Erasmus. It was Erasmus who in 1516 showed just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament manuscripts) and original Hebrew (Old Testament manuscripts) to maintain accuracy not found in the Vulgage. And you say that King James is a "Vulgate" version?  Give me a break.  Tyndale's and Luther's versions came from Erasmus, and King James owes a lot, first and foremost, to Tyndale's version, and also to Coverdale, Matthews, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, etc.  Dr. Strong consulted manyHebreww and Greek dictionary in the preparation of HIs. It is primarly only in a few places where he was corrupted by Christian theology, that he jumps the track:  Such as translating "aionios" into words like "everlasting" or "eternal," when it means "pertaining to an age."  And do you really believe that Vulgate (written only a few centuries after the Apostles) was translated from modern manuscripts as opposed to "the oldest Hebrew and Greek manuscripts?" They could ONLY use the "older" manuscripts back then, don't you reckon?

         King James is based off the Latin Vulgate just like Strong's, which simply makes it wrong much of the time.

        COMMENT:  A few truly meaningful examples would be nice?

         Now, saying all that, I have heard some more qualified people argue the same points, but they have never been convincing. Now, to the meat of your argument . . .

        Firstly, your basic premise-that tithing in the Old Testament is only of grain, wine, oil or livestock and not money-is false.

        One problem with your original premise is that Israel was a bartering society. They were a society in which everyone was a farmer. Everyone lived off the land, and most people saw very little if any silver or gold from year to year. If anyone was an artisian (artist, builder, etc.) they generally did that on the side of providing food for their family through farming and raising animals. No one received a salary as we know it, and if they received services from someone (a friend who crafted them a tool or something) then they paid them in food or livestock. Therefore, the only thing that "the people" or pretty much everybody had to give as a tithe was their grain, wine, oil or livestock. 

        COMMENT:  What a CROCK!  So "EVERYONE was a farmer?"  Is that what they are teaching you in your "modern" theology books that I don't have?  So fishermen were really full-time farmers, but only fished on the side?  How stupid do you think I and my readers are?  And as for gold, silver, money, and wages, I'll take you back BEFORE the time of Ancient Israel.

        Of course they had "wages"--

        Gen 30:28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages [Heb: "salary"], and I will give it.

        Of course they had "gold and silver"--

        Gen 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

        Of course they had "money." "Money" is found over a hundred times in the Old Testament, and more times in Genesis than any other book--

        Gen 17:12, 13, 23, 27 etc., etc. --And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

        Try to find a modern version of the Scriptures that does not use the word "money" in all these 100+ verses?


        The final problem with your premise is easily the most convincing. You conveniently skipped all of the Scriptures that do talk about tithe as being money. For instance, Leviticus 27:30-32:

        30 " 'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. 31 If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. 32 The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod—will be holy to the LORD. 

        Here in verse 31 it says "If a man redeems any of his tithe," meaning if he trades any of it in for silver, "he must add a fifth of the value to it." In other words, if he decides to cash it in to transport it easier then he has to bring 20% more or 12% of the whole instead of 10%. The reason for that is because the animals and food is worth much more to the priests and the temple than the silver in that society, because of the cost of transporting or importing the same products. Therefore, in Scripture you can obviously see why God is asking for a tenth of their original income-the grain, wine, oil and livestock and not just the silver, because the food is worth more. I know that you might not have known these things, but you cannot multiply your ignorance in others. You are, hypocritically doing exactly what you berate in others.

        COMMENT:  EXCUSE ME, but I did not "conveniently skip" Lev. 27:30-32. Here it is exactly as it appears in my paper on tithing:

        [4] Leviticus 27:30-33, "And all the TITHE of the LAND, whether of the SEED of the land, or of the FRUIT, of the tree, is the Lords: it is holy unto the Lord. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the TITHE of the HERD, or of the FLOCK, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it..."     

         and just where do you see the works "silver" or "MONEY" in any of those verses?  You made that up. You assume that a fifty can only be added by adding "money." And didn't you just tell us that they didn't generally even have silver or gold?     


        So, your initial point is not true. Then the rest of your argument begins to fall in on itself. The main theory about Malachi 3:8-10 is based on that point. Your secondary theory that the people of Israel were bringing the curse is just simply not true. In the Hebrew the voice of the pronoun "you" matches the voice of the name "LORD of Hosts", which means that "you" refers back to "Lord of Hosts". The most reliable translations agree (NIV, NRSV, (New Living is a paraphrase and propels much heresy). This means that God is bringing the curse. If someone doesn't believe the strong language there, look back to Numbers 18:26-32 where it says that if the Levites don't tithe on the tithe then they will die.

        I don't have time to go on and on, but I will give you a few final thoughts. The most convincing arguments I have ever heard to support this position center around the point that tithing is an Old Testament principle and was wiped out with the Old Covenant. I would address that from a few different angles. First of all, all the principles that were in the Old Testament that we no longer adhere to were specifically wiped out by one of the writers. In the case of burnt offerings, like you mentioned, the entire book of Hebrews takes great pains to wipe out this principle (i.e. Heb 10:6-8). Circumcision-Galatians. The Sabbath guidelines-the Gospels (i.e. Luke 14:1-5). And so on. However, tithing was never wiped out by one of the writers of the New Testament, just like expressive worship wasn't (although Jerusalem/temple centered worship was), just like teachings against homosexuality weren't (on the contrary they were supported-Romans 1).

        Tithing not only was not wiped out by the New Testament writers, but it was supported by Jesus and the apostles. Matthew 23:23:

        "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spicesmint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law, justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

        You see that Jesus didn't want them to neglect giving a tenth of everything, even their dinky little spices. The point of the Scripture is to promote the important matters of the law-justice, mercy, faithfulness-but Jesus was careful to affirm the practice of tithing at the same time. Also, the writer of Scripture (the apostle Matthew) is careful to include this otherwise useless detail, making it obvious that tithing was part of early church practice. This same detail is repeated by Luke in chapter 11 verse 42.

        COMMENT:  I too do not have the time to go over ever single word of your unscriptural nonsense. Are you so blind that you cannot see that when Jesus spoke two times of Pharisees "tithing," that it was their duty to do so because they were under the OLD TESTAMENT LAW OF MOSES which required tithing?  They were NOT tithing to Christ's New Covenant Church, where they?  Well WHERE THEY?"  Give me a Scripture?  And please take careful notice that neither Pharisees was "blessed" in the least for the "tithing."

        Then the Hebrew 7 passage about Melchizedek, in which the author of Hebrews includes the otherwise useless detail about Abraham giving a tenth of everything. By the way, a tenth of everything most likely meant a tenth of the plunder and of what Abraham owned, not just of the plunder. This is not integral to either point, but you were using that point as a beating stick. Anyway, the author of Hebrews includes these details as a support to the early church's practice of tithing which was not wiped out with the Old Covenant, but rather upheld by Jesus, the apostles and the church.

        COMMENT:  How in the world can you be so ignorant of the facts?  Of Course it was a tithe (tax) on the spoils of war ONLY.  So maybe you take exception to the word "spoils?"  Do you think it should rather be translated "personal property?"  Let's check you NIV which you suggest is a much better and "modern" translation. Here's what the NIV says:  "...Abraham gave him a tenth of THE PLUNDER."  Was all of Abraham's herds, and farm product considered "PLUNDER?"  I am going too fast for you?  After you get your advanced degrees, what modern word will you use instead of this out-dated archaic word "plunder?"  You are out of your league.


        Sir, here is the bottom line-you are promoting heresy, and will cause Christians to come under a curse, just like it says in Malachi 3:8-10, and God forbid any ministers are swayed by you so that they die (Numbers 18:32). You fool! You are saying what peoples, "itching ears want to hear" (2 Tim 4:3), without regard to the eternal consequences. You hypocrite! The very causes of heresy that you denounce you are promoting in your own writings, bringing condemnation on yourself. Repent and quit teaching, you have no idea what you are talking about.

        Sincerely,

        Pastor Jared

        COMMENT:  So it is I who am "a fool" and a "hypocrite" bringing condemnation" on myself?  You, Pastor Jared, will eat those words one day--either in this life or in the Judgment, and you can take that to the bank.  And if you personally teach that tithing on "money" is a New Covenant LAW binding on Believers, the breaking of which would be SIN, and the consequences of which would be DEATH, then God have mercy upon your miserable soul, for you will give account in Judgment.  Support of Christ's Church and the Gospel has always been voluntary offerings, and there is not one Scripture that supports New Testament tithing on money or tithing period.  Never did Jesus accept "tithe money" and never did the apostles accept "tithe money," and never with the tithing of money taught to the Gentile converts, and never in the early Church did Believers tithe " money" to the Church.

        Sincerely,

        Ray

         
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