"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Monday, October 18, 2010

Even Very Godly Preachers of the Gospel Can Be Wrong About Tithing

One of the recent commentors on this blog has argued the following defense of the storehouse tithing doctrine: that because preachers over the years that we have all respected and admired have taught storehouse tithing, to now call it a false doctrine is to declare them to be liars.

The point is that even sincere, well-meaning preachers can have it wrong about tithing being a requirement on Christians, teaching 10% as a dividing line between obedience and disobedience.

At the same time, I also believe that while many preachers who have taught the tithe for decades are sincere, many of the new generation of pastors coming up KNOW it is not supported in scripture but they have latched onto the doctrine as a means of revenue maximization, or they are afraid of peer rejection if the speak the truth on giving. Even young preachers like Perry Noble in the emergent church movment that have jettisoned almost every single Baptist tradition from their night-club style churches, have refused to get rid of the tithing tradition and still hang it around the necks of their church members in very threatening ways.

Fortunately, there are some young preachers who are speaking the truth. David A. Croteau is a Ph.D. graduate of Southeastern Theological Seminary and a professor at Liberty University (not the seminary), and his doctoral research at SEBTS was on the tithing doctrine. He has published a book this year, "You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe: A Deconstruction of Tithing and a Reconstruction of Post-Tithe Giving", which was borne out of his years of doctoral research as a Ph.D. student at our own Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary under the tutelage of Dr. Andreas Kostenberger. Croteau's exhaustive research on tithing included a complete survey and categorization of major church leaders and writers and their tithing views from the 1st century to the modern day.

And Croteau's research shows a wide distribution both for and against the tithe being binding on Christians. So it is up to us to not just buy the line that because Homer or Vines or Rogers taught tithing, that it must be true, and to say tithing is unbiblical means we have to reject everything else they taught. That is not so. They could have been sincerely wrong. Some might have taken their views because they were under immense pressure to raise funds at their church, we don't know.

Thus, I recommend to Christians who want to know the truth about tithing to listen to credible Christians who have no financial interest in pushing the tithing doctrine like David Croteau, John MacArthur, George Barna, and Frank Viola. There are many others, but these are more credible ones that I have read, and recommend that others read as well. The scholarly approach of Croteau is fascinating - no question the book comes from a PhD dissertation. If your pastor still is teaching the doctrine of tithing, you might want to buy him a copy of Croteau's book!

Two of the endorsers of Croteau's book are David Alan Black and Andreas Kostenberger at SEBTS, who write:

"Are Christians obligated to tithe? David Croteau thinks not, and argues that it is only our traditionalism that prevents us from following the biblical instructions about giving. The New Covenant foundation for giving is always relationship-driven, grace-driven, and love-driven. "Radical obedience is required," the author states. But Christians who give less than 10 percent "do not sin." I am impressed with Mr. Croteau's work. It offers valid, profound, and inspiring direction to all and especially evangelical Christians." David Alan Black, SEBTS
"David Croteau's study promises to be the definitive work on tithing for years to come. Croteau provides a thorough survey of the history of scholarship on the issue, exegetes all relevant biblical texts, and discusses all the major systematic theological issues at stake. But Croteau does not stop there. He sets tithing within the framework of the larger pattern of New Covenant giving, which renders his study not merely academically significant but also immensely practical. For all those interested in the subject of giving, tithing, and financial Christian stewardship, this is a must-read-highly recommended." Andreas J. Kostenberger
So we must search the bible ourselves, find out if indeed the bible teaches that we as Christians are obligated to give 10% of our income to our local church as a pathway to receive God's blessings. We should NOT rely on the preacher to TELL US what we are to do with our money. We should not allow them to use guilt tactics on us. We should not listen to financial planners hired by the church who on one hand tell the church they must tithe without exception, but then on the other hand never say anything about tithing or giving to their secular "market". Read the bible for yourself to see what Jesus Christ would have you do with your money today. Read authors like Croteau and MacArthur to help you "deconstruct" what you have been taught for decades about tithing, and your eyes will be opened up as to just what Jesus Christ would have you use your resources for.

And a word to those preachers who even take the tithing doctrine to new heretical levels - like declaring that we will actually suffer at the hands of God if we DO NOT tithe, falsely accusing Christians of dealing in stolen goods who are caring for their families first as the New Testament commands us...those who preach that "not tithing" is a special, natinal sin that God hates and will judge a nation financially because of it - well, these men should be exposed and their views brought to light so their ideas and teachings can be examined by Christians. That is what this blog will continue to do.

Thank God for the work of David Croteau. He was one who dared to take this issue on, and to write the truth about the doctrine, and to put forth a correct biblical view of Christian stewardship. Thank God for Andreas Kostenberger who supported and mentored Croteau in this research.

I suppose if Croteau's work is read by enough people, preachers will try to discredit him, like was done with Barna and Viola last month in the FBC Jax pulpit. But it will be hard to discredit Croteau. He is one of our own, taught in one of our own seminaries, and mentored by one of the most respected professors at SEBTS. And Croteau had absolutely no financial gain to be made by completing his research, but rather he knew going into his research that he would be inviting the scorn of his fellow Southern Baptists. I'm sure his book will not be required reading any time soon at our seminaries! I suppose some preachers might even try to get he or Kostenberger fired for their views, but that's already been tried unsuccessfully.

Next, I will show an example of how even Adrian Rogers had it wrong on the tithe. And still stay tuned for the 2nd part of the previous post on the Brunson sermon on tithing, entitled "Is God our Father, or is He the Godfather".

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

WD" I am totally in agreemnet with you..but, if you are going to refer to Dr. Lindsay as "Homer", could you also refer to Dr. Vines as "Jerry"? Thanks.

Lynn said...

Coming from a Baptist background, I know how much influence a particular preacher can have. He becomes an authority on all things in the minds of his followers.

People even use the preacher's name instead of the name of the church-like, "Oh, that's Brother Hyles' church."

I might really like Rush Limbaugh, but does that mean every idea he has is the gospel truth? Does that mean he is right about EVERYTHING? If I thought that way, you'd say I'm givig a mere man way too much credit.

I think people should think and research for themselves. If you'll educate yourselves, you'll find that you're just as smart or smarter than your favorite preacher.

Anonymous said...

Apparently no preacher has a right view of tithing in your mind. Heck, the Bible itself must be wrong in your mind.

Katie said...

Lynn,

I must confess, I have done what you described by calling a church by the Pastor's name. In fact it wasn't too long ago, I was talking about having attended Shadow Mountain, in El Cahon, CA (yes, it's SBC). But that's not what I said. I said "That's Pastor David Jeremiah's church"!

Thank you for pointing out how prideful that is. It is indeed the church of Jesus Christ and we are His bride.

Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

"One of the recent commentors on this blog has argued the following defense of the storehouse tithing doctrine: that because preachers over the years that we have all respected and admired have taught storehouse tithing, to now call it a false doctrine is to declare them to be liars."

This is such dangerous, man-worshiping, illogical, and frankly ignorant thinking - I'm surprised that you took the time to address it.

So, since Adrian Rogers preached a NT tithe and Martin Luther disagreed - one of them is a liar?

I've heard Dr. Rogers himself preach against this type of man-worship. I have heard him say many times in the past that it is not true because I say it is true. It is true when the Bible says it is true. I'm no more important that any other man.

These are mortal men and would be the first to admit that they are not infallible. We don't have a pope in the Baptist church as far as I know.

I've heard Dr. Charles Swindoll say that he is embarrassed by some of his earlier teachings and would like to take them out of circulation.

I grew up under the teaching of Adrian Rogers and loved him as my pastor. He was a great teacher. But I've heard him say things from the pulpit that were not factual.

I was there when he read an internet rumor about Janet Reno (where she called Christianity a cult) from the pulpit. He was not beyond being deceived.

Dr. Rogers preached the dispensational view of eschatology exclusively even though it has only been around for 130 years.

I once had the opportunity to ask Hank Hannegraaf why Southern Baptist preachers don't teach the other orthodox views.

He told me that in private they tell him it is because it was the only one they were taught in seminary.

Stop putting men in the place that God belongs and learn how to interpret your Bible.

That is your only hope of being free from tradition and living in the truth.

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, yes, Rush Limbaugh IS right most of the time. I think his track record on most subjects far exceeds many preachers on the scene today. At least Rush isn't demanding money from the pew sitters to keep him in high cotton.

Anonymous said...

WD-As a pastor, I totally agree with your assessment of the "church" not being bound by the 10% tithe. However, I hope you would also agree that giving is a necessary aspect of the NT church. Also, giving under the concept of grace requires a faith (confidence) that God will provide as long as we put him first (Mattew 6:33). You must agree, also, that our giving to the Kingdom comes before anything else, i.e. bills, food, entertainment, etc. When we put those "things" first, it is a declaration to our Father that we are our own provider, and we will give to His cause with what ever is left over.

I absolutely agree that we, as Gentiles, are not bound by the OT tithe. What I do not agree with, however, and I feel is perpetuated on this blog, is the idea that, because we are not under obligation to the 10% tithe, then it is completely acceptable to give or not give, based on our personal financial situation. Quite frankly, if you have gotten yourself in such a mess that you have decided giving to the Kingdom has now become "discretionary", then you have a backwards learning and knowledge of the blessing of giving. Giving is not based on the "have or have nots", it is based solely on obedience. Surely we can all agree to that. I know. People have lost jobs, pay has been cut, lost homes, etc. If there is any income whatsoever, giving to the Kingdom must be first priority. We must understand, we are not giving to the church or to the pastor. We are giving in obedience to the call God has placed on the lives of all His children, to further the Gospel. Sure, there may be some things that the church does that we don't like. We must consider, however, the areas where the monies have gone to spread the Gospel. We should never put ourselves in the position of determining the value of the dollar. God can take what we may consider small and do great things with it. It is unbiblical, un-christian, and unacceptable to with-hold what God has required from each of us. How much if not 10%? If you belong to Him, you will be able to discern his requirement of your life. Unfortunately, 10% doesn't scratch the surface.

Douglas said...

I agree with your posts on "tithing" and all those who show that it is not for Christians. The false teaching and gross manipulation within your last post is most grievous and heart wrenching. It is mind boggling that here are people like that out there. God is going to hold them to account for that rot. Non-Christians see this far quicker than many professing Christians do and they see the hypocrisy also. At least we know all hypocrites will be judged. Sobering.

A lot of Scripture twisting has to go on to extort "the tithe" out of people. Even getting people to "tithe" on their radishes and carrots, herbs and pumpkins from their veggie patch. Now that's a tall tale to tell.

I really like much of R. C. Sproul's teachings but I disagree with him on several things, one of which is his view on "tithing." He is wrong that Christians should "tithe."

Is Tithing Wrong?
from R.C. Sproul

I emailed them and said; "Tithing is wrong for Christians." Something like that if I remember correctly. Probably fell on traditional deaf ears. Nothing strange or unusual about that these days I am afraid to say. Of course I got no response from them and I am not likely to. Maybe I didn't draw enough pleasant, colorful, sweet smelling flowers around my words? Maybe they will read and study Mr.Croteau's new book "You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe: A Deconstruction of Tithing and a Reconstruction of Post-Tithe Giving" and endorse it. I hope so.

Even the LORD Jesus Christ Himself did not command His followers (Christians) to "tithe" and He never taught that they should. Thank you JESUS! None of the disciples taught "tithing" either, not Peter, not John, not Paul, none of them. Tim Challies is another fellow I like and I like what he has to say about many diverse things, and his fellowship says whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttttttttt about tithing Be prepared for a shock. Hmmmmm......do they get it? Maybe Tim Challies will review Mr. Croteau's book in the positive and put it on Discerning Reader?

Anonymous said...

I think what bothers me is that thousands sat there and listened to the great Adrian Rogers and believed every word. That is not AR's fault. It is the fault of the pew sitter.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I found an interesting sermon on this topic. What's more interesting is I found it on at least four different sites, and no one gave anyone else credit, so I can only assume it was either bought or plagiarized.

Sermon at New Hope Baptist, Fort Wayne, IN

Sermon at Grace Baptist, Decatur, IL

Sermon at Sonoraville Baptist, Calhoun, GA

Sermon at Weymouth Community Church, Medina, OH

New BBC Open Forum said...

Many Christians are cursed with the curse of poverty because we do not pay our tithes.

New BBC Open Forum said...

People even use the preacher's name instead of the name of the church-like, "Oh, that's Brother Hyles' church."

And sometimes it's not even the current pastor such as in the example you gave. People still refer to FBC Dallas as W.A. Criswell's church and Bellevue as Adrian Rogers' church. Old habits die hard.

Lynn said...

Would ya'll say that Brunson's preaching the tithe does actually help him raise money?

Do non-tithers start to get convinced that they should start?

Douglas said...

"Many Christians are cursed with the curse of poverty because we do not pay our tithes.

That is complete and utter DUNG. It is a pack of lies. What a damnable, condemning teaching. It is a horrible teaching. It gives me the willies in a bad sense.

Even Rick Warren, another Southern Baptist person, twists the Scriptures on tithing. If you listen to a review of one of Mr. Warren's latest sermons Your Choice: Blessed or Stressed” he lays a guilt trip on people about giving (among other things as well) and basically proclaims the "prosperity" heretical gospel. That's probably because of the influence of the likes of the false teachers Brian Houston and T. D. Jakes and God knows who else have had upon Warren. Rick Warren doesn't mention any of the curses for distorting God's word I notice. Warren is turning into a "Word of Faith, positive thinking, positive confession, health, God wants you rich and other enticing doctrines" preacher. No surprises their either. It is all over the world. So much false teaching, it is every where you turn. Where does one find the pure, unadulterated, "true-truth" in these dark and disturbing days?

Douglas said...

From the link about tithes at Saddleback I gave in my previous post:

"Why do we tithe? The Bible says, The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives. (Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB)"

FALSE!!! Deuteronomy 14:23 does NOT say that.

Rick Warren has blatantly twisted the Scripture there. Here is what it actually says from the NLT Bible he's used or allowed to be used on his say so:

"Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God." (Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB)

Deuteronomy 14:23 is NOT talking about putting God first with "our" tithes (even though as Christians we do put God first in all we say and do anyway), it is ultimately talking about learning to "FEAR" the LORD, something Rick Warren conveniently leaves out and I haven't ever heard or seen him teach clearly or soundly on the "FEAR of God in any of his stuff. It's all lovey dovey, God's is just waiting to bless you if you just say the magic words. Pop!!! God works on your behalf just like a genie in a bottle but he can't operate until you give the rub, the say so or do the right thing. Rick Warren has actually added to the Scripture there to use to extort so called "tithes" out of people. Deuteronomy 14:22-29 is talking to Jews, all of Israel, under the Old Covenant not specifically to Christians. To twist that out of its intended context and say it is for Christians to "tithe" is a terrible mishandling of God's Holy Word.

Here is Deuteronomy 14:23 from the ESV and the NKJV:

"And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always."

"And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always."

Nothing about eating or drinking money in that portion of Scripture in its context; Deut 14:22-29. One would probably choke to death or die of constipation or starvation if they tried that trick out. Mind you, God could have turned that money into manna once it touched their lips, maybe?

Anonymous said...

I believe preachers are placing too much emphasis on money and what it brings. They are so interested in the "bottom line" that they fail to focus on soul winning and witnessing. The pastor is to witness house to house. Has your pastor visited your house lately? He never came to mine and I don't expect him to either, as he is too busy raising money.

Ben said...

"Apparently no preacher has a right view of tithing in your mind. Heck, the Bible itself must be wrong in your mind"

Anon, To many the OT is no longer relevant, applicable to today's church. I had someone tell me recently they did not have to set one day aside for rest and worship. I quoted the 4th commandment and their response was that this is the one commandment not repeated in the NT and therefore it was no longer applicable.

On this blog a few want to blur the issue with 23 1/2 percent tithe. Smoke and mirrors.

Tithe in the OT has two words used to identify it.


ma`aser, mah-as-ayr'; or ma`asar, mah-as-ar'; and (in plural) feminine ma`asrah, mah-as-raw'; from Hebrew 6240 (`asar); a tenth; especially a tithe :- tenth (part), tithe (-ing).

`asar, aw-sar'; a primitive root (identicle with Hebrew 6238 (`ashar)); to accumulate; but used only as denominative from Hebrew 6235 (`eser); to tithe, i.e. take or give a tenth :- × surely, give (take) the tenth, (have, take) tithe (-ing, -s), × truly.

hmmmmmm

Thanks for your comment. I have decided to respond to those who are not caustic in dialog and make sure I do not go down that road again.

WD - I know the great men of God, well loved preachers got it wrong in your opinion but how do you explain the lack of discernment of these fine expositors and students of God's word?

If its just a humanity issue then take that same belief and give it to MB.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:57 am yesterday said:

""One of the recent commentors on this blog has argued the following defense of the storehouse tithing doctrine: that because preachers over the years that we have all respected and admired have taught storehouse tithing, to now call it a false doctrine is to declare them to be liars."

This is such dangerous, man-worshiping, illogical, and frankly ignorant thinking - I'm surprised that you took the time to address it.


Yes, it is sad that this must be addressed, but I think this is precisely the thought that keeps church members from considering that the tithing doctrine they've been taught is false. They believe to even question it is to call into question the ministry of their beloved pastors in the past. FBC Jax has been told for 5 years to stop worshipping the past. I agree. It is time to look at what the word says about this doctrine and not rely on traditions of the past. I believe that the new breed of pastor loves to get rid of old traditions they don't like, but holds on to traditions like tithing that suit their fancy, like tithing.

----------------

Anon pastor 2:46 pm yesterday said:

"You must agree, also, that our giving to the Kingdom comes before anything else, i.e. bills, food, entertainment, etc. When we put those "things" first, it is a declaration to our Father that we are our own provider, and we will give to His cause with what ever is left over."

I do agree with you that Christians should support their church financially, but I don't necessary agree anymore that giving to one's church is necessarily "giving to God". If I attend a church and they have a ministry that I am led to support financially, I should do that.

As far as "giving first to the Kingdom"...ok, but "giving to the Kingdom" is not necessarily giving to the church, as much as most pastors want us to believe. I would never tell someone "first tithe to your church, then pay your bills"...that is foolishness. Plan a budget, include your charitable giving in the budget, but you are not being more spiritual or proving your love for Jesus by stroking a check to your church or any ministry when you aren't paying your bills.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Lynn - I don't think that preaching abusively on the tithe, misusing OT scripture to tell people they are obligated to give 10% to the church, or to a building fund, works. It is hard to tell, but I can tell you. I believe if pastors would come clean and stop the tithing nonsense, admit that church members are under no obligation, under no compulsion to give any percentage, even apologize to their congregations for preaching such a doctrine, that giving would skyrocket...and I have proof that this has happened before.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ben said:

"WD - I know the great men of God, well loved preachers got it wrong in your opinion but how do you explain the lack of discernment of these fine expositors and students of God's word?"

As I said, they might be sincere, as I believe some of them were. It was what they were taught in seminary. Perhaps some of them knew but were afraid to not preach the tithe for fear that giving would go down. Some might fear chastisement of their peers if they did not teach tithing. We don't know.

I just want Christians to open their eyes, realize that THEY might have it wrong on tithing because they have believed what man has taught them, not what God says in the bible.

And of course I will continue to highlight those preachers who push the tithing doctrine in an abusive accusatory manner, who tell Christians that they are under a curse, or that God is some sort of Godfather who will send holy Rocco's out to collect on what is due him by harming non-tithers. That takes the tithing doctrine to an abusive level, in my opinion.

But I guess some preachers control their flocks by preaching a "Saved by grace, kept by works" gospel. Sad.

Lydia said...

'Anon, To many the OT is no longer relevant, applicable to today's church. I had someone tell me recently they did not have to set one day aside for rest and worship. I quoted the 4th commandment and their response was that this is the one commandment not repeated in the NT and therefore it was no longer applicable.'


The 10C are representative of the over 400 laws given to the Jews. Exactly which ones are relevant for Today? Are they clearly taught in the NT? If they are, then they are relevant for today.

Can you name them?

First of all, I hope you realize the Sabbath is not a Sunday. So, right there you are breaking that commandment if you meet on Sunday to worship.

Secondly, We no longer need a special day of worship because we now have the indwelling Holy Spirit and are to be in constant worship.

How do you reconcile your above statement with these:

Col 2
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not[d] seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
20 Therefore,[e] if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Galatians 2

19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

My heart just breaks when people think they are being Holy by living under the law. It is a works religion and an insult to Jesus who FULFILLED the Law.

The OT IS RELAVENT! It is proof of God's Soveriengty, teaches us the attributes of God and most importantly, points to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

God is the Hero of the OT. Not the bible story characters.

Anonymous said...

"What we're doing now is we're trying to walk what we preach, we're paying cash for things as we go," he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/10/18/megachurch-birthplace-hour-power-files-bankruptcy-california/?test=latestnews

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

I believe that those who teaach only tithing have it wrong. The tithe is only the beginning, not the end. We give a tithe (10% of our gross, not our net, income) to our local church, but we also give to other causes that we believe either ease human suffering or spread the good news of Jesus in ways that our church is unable.

Paul said...

The tithe is the beginning of giving, not the end. We give a tithe (10% of gross, not net income) to our church. We also support other Christian organizations that provide reliefe to human suffering and that spread the good news of Jesus in ways that our local church cannot do.

Lydia said...

"Anon, To many the OT is no longer relevant, applicable to today's church. I had someone tell me recently they did not have to set one day aside for rest and worship. I quoted the 4th commandment and their response was that this is the one commandment not repeated in the NT and therefore it was no longer applicable."

Ben, God gave over 400 laws to the Israelites’. Would you mind telling us exactly which ones are still in effect that are not clearly communicated in the New Covenant such as 1 John?

And you have a problem with the 10C (part of the over 400) because Jesus raised the bar from the 10C.

Now, murder is not just against God's law but Jesus said hate in your heart is the same as murder. The OT commandment does not say that. Now, it is not just adultery but lust in the heart.

The 4th is about "Sabbath", worship and rest. Also known as Sabbat. Sunday is not the Sabbath. Then you have the problem of a special day when we now have the indwelling Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is our rest every day.
Remember, Jesus kept the law perfectly WHILE HE WAS WALKING THE EARTH. HE NAILED IT TO THE TREE WHEN HE WAS CRUCIFIED.

Look at this:

Col 1
16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Col 2
13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code (THE LAW), with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[

Gal 2
19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

My heart just breaks for those who really do think they are being Holy for obeying the law. If they are Holy from obeying the law then Jesus Christ died in vain! Do you realize you are claiming like the Judaizers that we must become like Jews and keep the law to be saved? (See all of Galatians, this was a huge problem for them, too)

Think of it this way: you do not need the law IF you now have the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Lynn said...

FBC Jax Watchdog,

I agree with you that giving might actually increase a lot if the preacher came across as kind and honest-not leaving out info. Or being more humble.

I guess Brunson preaches to try to instill fear because that's his style that he's comfortable with. Or that's truly what he believes the Bible requires of him and he truly believes in the tithe, etc.

A couple thoughts come to mind-the good cop, bad cop strategy. Promise good things if you 'fess up, but the other guy reminds you it's gonna be ugly if you don't. The carrot and stick. Maybe he should leave out the stick part. It would be more charming.

So maybe Brunson is actually harming the church if people don't trust him to be honest or have love for them, etc. Maybe he's just making alot of people annoyed and should change his approach and be sincere about it.

One more point. Someone mentioned how the money is already there but in a different category. If that's so and Brunson has not made that clear-then that's deception.

It's like if I want my husband to spend money on something, and he tells me we don't have the money. Sometimes I know that we do have the money, but he doesn't want to alter his spending plan by taking that money from some other category. I'd much rather he just say that, than to say "we don't have the money."

I think people appreciate those who are totally upfront and also those who speak to them in a respectful manner. And also those who can admit they could be wrong about something.

Ben said...

"I believe that those who teaach only tithing have it wrong. The tithe is only the beginning, not the end. We give a tithe (10% of our gross, not our net, income) to our local church, but we also give to other causes that we believe either ease human suffering or spread the good news of Jesus in ways that our church is unable."

I have not heard anyone teach tithing only. I believe it is the beginning place for each believer, to their church, as they are obedient to Jesus.

Lydia,

I don't follow the law because I have to but because I get to.

Bro./Min.Rod H. said...

"My heart just breaks for those who really do think they are being Holy for obeying the law. If they are Holy from obeying the law then Jesus Christ died in vain! Do you realize you are claiming like the Judaizers that we must become like Jews and keep the law to be saved? (See all of Galatians, this was a huge problem for them, too)

Think of it this way: you do not need the law IF you now have the indwelling Holy Spirit!"

October 19, 2010 9:41 AM


Good post Lydia!!!

Anonymous said...

Ben is a preacher's dream come true.

He will believe a man speaking from the pulpit above all: logic, history, and scripture itself.

"On this blog a few want to blur the issue with 23 1/2 percent tithe. Smoke and mirrors."

So, now you are so desperate to support your pastor that you refer to scripture as smoke and mirrors?

And thanks for the definition of the word "tithe." No one here knew that it meant 10% until you explained it.

The problem with your logic is that the Israelites paid 3 tithes (one was paid every 3 years). That comes out to 23 1/3% for you non-math majors.

Since you are so enamored with well-known pastors, perhaps this explanation from a famous pastor will get through that shield that you have erected against the truth.

Question

Does God require me to give a tithe of all I earn?

Answer

Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (always compulsory), and giving to God (always voluntary).

The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel.

Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today's income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Smaller taxes were also imposed on the people by the law (Leviticus 19:9-10; Exodus 23:10-11). So the total giving required of the Israelites was not 10 percent, but well over 20 percent. All that money was used to operate the nation.

All giving apart from that required to run the government was purely voluntary (cf. Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9). Each person gave whatever was in his heart to give; no percentage or amount was specified.

New Testament believers are never commanded to tithe. Matthew 22:15-22 and Romans 13:1-7 tell us about the only required giving in the church age, which is the paying of taxes to the government. Interestingly enough, we in America presently pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government--a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.

The guideline for our giving to God and His work is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver."

Anonymous said...

"The tithe is the beginning of giving, not the end."

Where is this found in scripture?

Anonymous said...

Ben,

Malachi 3: 10 says:
"Bring ye ALL the tithes into the storehouse"

Why are you only bringing 1 of 3 and claiming that you are right with God?

Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33)

Festival tithe (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)

Welfare tithe (Leviticus 19:9-10; Exodus 23:10-11)

Ananias and Sapphira were destroyed by God for saying that they had given all that God required when they had held back part of it.

Be careful my friend.

jared said...

I can't imagine it is possible to fabricate a defense of tithing in a doctoral thesis. The support for tithing would cover a few pages.

I remember trying to search for pro-tithing books during my research, and the books i could find, dissected very little doctrine to prove their point.

I picked up Larry Burkett's book on tithing, and i remember the excitement thinking that i was going to have a lot of data to digest, but it was meager 60 page pamphlet that hardly dissected any scripture at all.

- jared

Anonymous said...

"Also, giving under the concept of grace requires a faith (confidence) that God will provide as long as we put him first (Mattew 6:33). You must agree, also, that our giving to the Kingdom comes before anything else, i.e. bills, food, entertainment, etc. When we put those "things" first, it is a declaration to our Father that we are our own provider, and we will give to His cause with what ever is left over."

This is why I teach my kids to be Bereans instead of always believing a pastor.

First of all, he is spouting Joel Osteen speak. If you give, God will provide what you need. Guess this pastor has not talked to those imprisoned in China for the Gospel who went for weeks without food and almost starved. God does not do quid pro quo, mister. And claiming He does is a total misunderstanding of what you claim scripture says.

Then, this "pastor" would have you give a GREAT witness by NOT paying your bills but giving the money instead to the church building (pastor calls it kingdom work which is clever since it also covers his salary so he can pay his bills!)

This is why giving it to a "church" organization is such a mistake. They are fakes who twist the Word to benefit themselves. Instead, give in the Name of Jesus, to those in need. That is real missions work with a REAL witness.

Duke

Anonymous said...

Is Tithing for Today?
J. Vernon McGee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrWItOyH3fs

Anonymous said...

Ben, God gave over 400 laws to the Israelites’. Would you mind telling us exactly which ones are still in effect that are not clearly communicated in the New Covenant such as 1 John?

Lydia-All of God's laws still are God's laws. How can you say He is the "same yesterday, today, and forevermore" and then turn aroud and say these aspects of God has changed. The difference is that the Gentile was never nor will ever be subject to the Law that was delivered to the Jews, God's chosen. We are "grafted" into adoption through Christ (Romans 11). The problem that Ben was raising, which is extremely valid, is that the church has a tendency to discount all things OT. This is simply replacement theology. God requires what God requires. We are taught in Corinthians to give cheerfully and not grudingly. Sounds like there are a lot of people in this blog that are not to cheerful when they give. They determine whether it is worth it "for them" before they give. Wrong attitude! We do not give under the expectation of a return. It is like seeing a homeless person needing help. People say, "I will not give to him/her because they will buy alcohol or drugs with it". If God burdens us to give, what they do with the money is irrelevant to our burden to give. The same goes with giving to the Kingdom. Are we saying that before we give, all usage should meet "our" requirements. That is quite a self-serving and arrogant disposition. You will never be a cheerful giver with that attitude. The blessing to the giver is the result of his/her obedience to give, not the result of the giving.

Ben said...

After reading these blogs (yours and Wades) I declare it is a good time to become a baptist.

The SBC is a place you can quit tithing and start drinking.

Anonymous said...

After reading these blogs (yours and Wades) I declare it is a good time to become a baptist.

The SBC is a place you can quit tithing and start drinking.

That is good, Ben. lol

Anonymous said...

"The SBC is a place you can quit tithing and start drinking."

Remind me again what Jesus turned the water into at the wedding.

And you missed the cut off date for tithing by 2000 years.

Talk about an hour late and a dime short!

Ben said...

"Ben, God gave over 400 laws to the Israelites’. Would you mind telling us exactly which ones are still in effect that are not clearly communicated in the New Covenant such as 1 John?"

It is not my job to do your homework for you. Why don't you make a list of all that are still in effect. If it is all, just say so. If it is some, tell us which ones and why.

Ben said...

Anon 2:12 - Great words.

John Wylie said...

Watchdog,

Thank you very much for this very fair article. This was the same thing I was saying last week. A preacher can be a Godly man and still be wrong on this subject. You have placed the attention back on the subject at hand, instead of personal attacks others are engaging in. Regardless of which side a person is on in this issue, marginalizing them does nothing constructive. Way to go Watchdog, as always I find you to be very fair and reasonable.

As far as the comments people are making about the O.T. Law, it's really pretty simple, unless you believe it's still wrong to mar the corners of your beard, to wear blended clothes, to eat pork chops, or to trim your hedges on Saturday, you've got to at least recognize that the N.T. believer has a different relationship to the O.T. law than the people of Israel had. God's Law had a purpose and a Goal: Christ. Once we are in Christ we are not under a schoolmaster (The Law). Gal. 3:24, 25

Anonymous said...

When does it make one more spiritual to go into a building and hear another man talk about the last book he just finished reading.

Lydia said...

"Lydia-All of God's laws still are God's laws. How can you say He is the "same yesterday, today, and forevermore" and then turn aroud and say these aspects of God has changed."

Are you saying nothing changed in the NC? Then why not a Theocracy? Why Gentiles grafted in? Why does the Word say that Jesus Christ 'fulfilled the law'? Did you not read Galatians 2 that I quoted above? If we are still under the law then the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE to fulfill the law was in vain! If righteousness comes through the law then Jesus died in vain. Where is the grace? Do you realize what you are saying? It is horrible and a mockery of the Cross!

Are you saying I still cannot boil goat meat in milk? Or that women are unclean during their monthly and must move to another place? :o)

Why don't you go through ALL the laws and tell me which ones are still in effect in the NC that are not clearly outlined in the NC. As in Love the Lord with all your heart.

Remember, I said that Jesus RAISED THE BAR from the Law. And that is because we now have the indwelling Holy Spirit. Hate is now Murder. Lust is now adultery, etc.

You have horribly misunderstood Romans or were taught wrong. Paul is building an argument. Please do not misunderstand. In fact, he makes this claim in Romans 6:

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Here he is making the point we are NOT under the law. (For both Jews and Gentiles. This was very hard for Jewish believers to grasp)

Look at Romans 7

" Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter."

continued

Lydia said...

Part 2

Then Paul goes on to show why they had the law...so they would KNOW sin. The law was like a tutor (person who kept children in line in those days). But NOW we have the Holy Spirit Who convicts us of sin. (Teaching on the Holy Spirit is pretty much missing in churches today because we NOW have HUMANS acting as the Holy Spirit for us such as pastors and elders.)

Also note that the word 'law' does not always refer to the OT laws. Just as John referred to a 'new commandment' of love in 1 John.

"he problem that Ben was raising, which is extremely valid, is that the church has a tendency to discount all things OT. This is simply replacement theology."

No, we must understand the Old Covenant in context to the New. We see the attributes of God, His Sovereignty and how He worked through His chosen people. The entire OT points to Jesus Christ. Starting in Genesis 3!

We make a huge mistake when we elevate OT characters instead of making God the Hero of the OT! Beware of doing this with your children!

"God requires what God requires. We are taught in Corinthians to give cheerfully and not grudingly."

Nowhere are we taught to give 10% to a building with staff. the model of NT giving is to help other believers in need and to help those going out to evangelize.

You cannot make it 'holy' to give to a building (or marketing or renovations, etc) when our brothers and sisters are in need. Nice try and many do it but it is not right.

"ounds like there are a lot of people in this blog that are not to cheerful when they give. They determine whether it is worth it "for them" before they give."

Sounds to me like people are questioning WHAT they have been giving to. We MUST be led by the Holy Spirit in our giving. Fancy buildings and highly paid staff could very well be sinful.

"rong attitude! We do not give under the expectation of a return. It is like seeing a homeless person needing help. People say, "I will not give to him/her because they will buy alcohol or drugs with it". If God burdens us to give, what they do with the money is irrelevant to our burden to give. The same goes with giving to the Kingdom. Are we saying that before we give, all usage should meet "our" requirements. That is quite a self-serving and arrogant disposition. You will never be a cheerful giver with that attitude. The blessing to the giver is the result of his/her obedience to give, not the result of the giving."

We are not called to be fools or to enable sin with our money. Your last paragraph above sounds like Ken Copeland. You are ASSUMING some human somewhere with a title
knows best how the Holy Spirit wants me to give than I do. Lots of preachers preach this. I say RUN!

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ackee said...

Ben,

I'll Drink to that!

Amen

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - sorry for the delay in moderating posts today. I just published 35 posts in the backlog. It was a very full day, with a big announcement to make tomorrow concerning the first amendment lawsuit.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Amen John Wylie! You cut right to the bottom line in your statement about the Christian's relationship to the OT law!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds it comical that you, Tom Rich, are going to show where Adrian Rogers was wrong on tithing?

Yeah, on this blog, I probably am the only one. It's all good. :)

Adrian Rogers - a deceased legend in the pulpit. Was known as The Prince of Preachers.

Tom Rich - a legend in his own mind. Ousted church member.

You're not on a slippery slope, Tom Rich. You're on a greased down slippery slope.

Your arrogance knows no bounds.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - you sound like one bitter church member. :)

Yes, I will comment on where I think Adrian Rogers was wrong on tithing. Do I have your permission? Or is that blasphemy?

Relax, Anon. Adrian Rogers can still be the "prince of preachers" even if he was wrong on tithing. After all, it is just my opinion, and maybe I'm wrong and he is right. :)

Lydia said...

Tom, you have to make allowances for those who follow man instead of Christ.

Ironically, these same folks would have had a huge problem with Peter, Matthew and the others. They were not 'religious educated'
and nothing but common fishermen. They were not educated Levite priests or Pharisees.

(Had they been part of the religous educated, they would not have been fishing but learning under a Rabbi. In other words, they were NOT the cream of the crop)

Even more ironic is that when Christ did choose an educated Pharisee, Paul, He sent him to take the Gospel to the Gentiles!

Oh, the irony.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."[d]
1 Corin 1

Anonymous said...

Lydia-You are so sadly mistaken on scripture. If you read my post, you would have read that I said the Gentile has never nor will ever be bound by the Law. All Jews are still bound by the law, but there is grace available to them through the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ. If Jesus did away with the law, why did he keep it perfectly? God has never nor will ever change. Nothing about God will ever change. You are the epitomy of why women are not to teach over men. You are assuming a role God did not design you to assume. I know. How dare I! Get over it.

John Wylie-I agree somewhat with what you said. The OT did point to the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ. But we have no authority to say that the Law no longer exists. No person (other than Christ) has ever nor will ever be able to keep the law. When Paul said in his letter to Galatia that we are no longer under a school master, he was speaking to Gentiles, not Jews. The law was never intended to save, it was intended to condemn sin. The Gentiles have never been bound by the law. We know in Romans, however, that, although the law still existed for the Jew, there was now hope for them in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Several occasions Paul says "God forbid" concerning the removal of the law. Romans 14-15 gives wisdom on how we deal with those who are stronger or weaker in the faith. Some will be more legalistic than others. Both Jew and Gentile alike. God requires the law be kept perfectly in order to commune with Him. Because no one was able to do that, He instituted the sacrifice. Christ became the ultimate sacrifice. The Law is still there. Just as real today as ever. Remember, the Bible was written about a certain people to a certain people. It is a Jewish book. Thank God he allowed me through Christ the privilidge of adoption (son-ship). Because of His righteousness, I am looked at the same as all who come through faith. This subject is way to complex for this forum. However, truth is not to be debated. There can be no debate on the continued existance of the Law.

Lydia said...

"If Jesus did away with the law, why did he keep it perfectly?"

The fact you ask this proves you do not get it. Jesus Christ was the PERFECT, unblemished, innocent and pure Lamb of God. He kept the law perfectly, was the Sacrifice then was Resurrected. Paul puts it like this: I was crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Jesus Christ who is IN ME.

Why do you need the law when you have the Holy Spirit?

If the law is in force, then why aren't we still sacrificing animals for sin?

Again, you have not given me a list of all the laws from the OT that we must follow today. Please give me a list before we continue on.

"When Paul said in his letter to Galatia that we are no longer under a school master, he was speaking to Gentiles, not Jews."

Track this to Acts. Are you saying the Judaizers never made it to Galatia?

" The Gentiles have never been bound by the law. We know in Romans, however, that, although the law still existed for the Jew, there was now hope for them in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. "

Then your position makes no sense. Most of us are Gentiles. So why are you saying we are still under the law?

Lydia said...

Ben, God gave over 400 laws to the Israelites’. Would you mind telling us exactly which ones are still in effect that are not clearly communicated in the New Covenant such as 1 John?"

It is not my job to do your homework for you. Why don't you make a list of all that are still in effect. If it is all, just say so. If it is some, tell us which ones and why.

October 19, 2010 3:45 PM


Ben, I want all those here who are teaching that we are still under the law to list each one we are under in the New Covenant.

My question is this: If you believe we are under the law, why are you so reluctant to name ALL the laws we are under?

If you are going to declare something, be prepared to defend it.

But I have noticed you are good at "sound bites" and "one line drive by comments"...but not content.

Anonymous said...

"Remember, the Bible was written about a certain people to a certain people. It is a Jewish book."

Friend, you need to do your homework. There are "Gentiles" in the geneology of Jesus and are named in scripture. Why would that be? Can you name them?

Have you ever read Acts 10 when thinking the NT is a Jewish book?

Anonymous said...

"When Paul said in his letter to Galatia that we are no longer under a school master, he was speaking to Gentiles, not Jews."

There was a huge problem with the Judaizers in Antioch (The Galatia Antioch...There is another Antioch in Syria)

See Acts 15 and the reason for the Jerusalem Council. They met because some Judaizers were teaching those in Galatia that they had to follow the law to be saved.

The book of Galatians pretty much negates your view of the law. I am not sure why you cannot see it.

Paul even said in Galatians 5 to those teaching the law:

3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

But this is the most shocking part of what he said to them:

11Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

**12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!**

The agitators were the Jews saying they had to follow the law to be Christians. The Judaizers.

Anonymous said...

Again, you have not given me a list of all the laws from the OT that we must follow today. Please give me a list before we continue on.


If you are a Gentile, then the answer would be none.

The fact you ask this proves you do not get it. Jesus Christ was the PERFECT, unblemished, innocent and pure Lamb of God. He kept the law perfectly, was the Sacrifice then was Resurrected. Paul puts it like this: I was crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Jesus Christ who is IN ME.

Seriously? Jesus kept the law perfectly because that was required to be the perfect sacrifice. Jesus kept the law because He was a perfect Jew. The law existed then just as it does now. When did God change? Just like you pointed out that Paul said. I don't even think you know what you are posting. Paul said we have been perfected because Christ live in us. When God looks upon the saved Gentile or Jew, He sees the blood of Chrst which satisfies the demands of the law. It is called Atonement.

Again I say, and I mean no disrespect. According to God's word, women are not to hold the position as teacher over the man. Please adhere to God's word.

Anonymous said...

Then your position makes no sense. Most of us are Gentiles. So why are you saying we are still under the law?

I never said that "we" are still under the law. I said that God's law still existed. God's chosen people are still bound by God's demands placed upon them. Jesus Christ satisfied that demand by, as a Jew, living perfectly by the law. Jews are still required to abide by the law. They can't perfectly, therefore, salvation through Christ is required for them just as it is for the Gentile.

Anonymous said...

This is getting rediculous.

The Judaizers were teaching the Gentiles that they still had to abide by the law. Paul was refuting their false teaching. He was refuting it to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were not under the law.

I really get a sense that there are a lot of replacement theology people on here. If God turned his back on the Jews and forwarded the covenants He made to the church, what makes you think He can't break covenants with the church? Why is He bound by His promises made to the church and not to the Jews?

Lydia and all of you who want to remove any mention of the law, remember that we are to ascribe to the whole counsel, not just the NT. I have not read one person on here say that the Gentiles are bound by the law. Give me chapter and verse where God relieves His chosen (The Jews) from the law. Don't use Galatians. Galatians, as I said before, was Pauls response to the Gentiles in Galatia concerning Judaizers.

Lydia said...

"If God turned his back on the Jews and forwarded the covenants He made to the church, what makes you think He can't break covenants with the church? Why is He bound by His promises made to the church and not to the Jews? "

Let me see if I understand you correctly:

You believe that Born Again Jews are still under the law?

Or that all Jews will get a second chance? Even the ones that have already died not believing in Messiah in the New Covenant?

Are you a Left Behind enthusiast?

John Wylie said...

Anon 5:32

I respectfully disagree with you about Galatians. Its content applies to all believers in Christ regardless of race.

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."(Galatians 3:24-25)

Notice, Paul uses the personal pronouns we and us, Paul was a Jew who was a believer. When faith in Christ comes a person is not under the Law of the O.T. regarless of their race.

Now all scipture is profitable for doctrine, reproof,correction, and instruction in righteous. (2 Tim. 3:16) So there is a theological principle that can be extracted from a text and applied to a N.T. believer, but a one to one application would not be correct. For instance, all males of Israel were commanded to be circumcised in the O.T., but in the N.T. we are not commanded to do so whether we are Jews or Gentiles. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." (Galatians 6:15)

Anonymous said...

"Notice, Paul uses the personal pronouns we and us, Paul was a Jew who was a believer. When faith in Christ comes a person is not under the Law of the O.T. regarless of their race. "

Good point that Paul was a jew who did not keep the law any longer and wrote all the verses quoted here about the law and keeping it meant that Jesus died in vain. He also rebuked Peter publicly for his refusing to eat with the Gentiles because of Jewish peer pressure.

Anonymous said...

"If God turned his back on the Jews and forwarded the covenants He made to the church, what makes you think He can't break covenants with the church? Why is He bound by His promises made to the church and not to the Jews? "

BTW: God has not broken any Covenants. He sent Messiah as promised...first to the Jews. Many simply did not believe.

Anonymous said...

I'm a pastor, a conservative, a Christ follower and though not a scholar, I try to be a biblist in all I do and say. I know tithing is not clearly laid out in the New Testament, and tying Matthew 23:23 to finances is like using 1 Corinthian 14 to talk about the centrality of speaking in tongues. They are examples of the lesser rather than the greater - we need to be aware!

All this said, I tithe. I don't tithe because I feel obligated, but I know myself. I am soft hearted, and when it comes to finances I may be soft headed at times also - at least sentimental. I could never come up with $4000 to put into the work of God if I just "felt the leading", but every year as I tithe that's about what I give. No parades please - I am actually ashamed that the other $36000 stays in my hands. Even though it is not a princely sum, it is about 6x the planetary family average. I deserve no plaque for giving from my excess.

That said, in our situation 10% is a major sacrifice - it means we have taken longer to pay down school loans, we have some credit for car and house issues, and though I don't "deserve" a vacation, I want one and haven't been able to afford to truly get away for 4 years. Are you crying for me yet? I hope not.

For us, a tithe seems to be a number that is both sacrificial and proportional. For me, having a somewhat standardized view of giving helps me to be more generous as giving $80 or so a week adds up to a lot more than "what is extra" if I just wait on God. I think we are missing a little of 1 Corinthians 16 where Paul gives some advice of how to be prepared to serve and share. I think it is a great, practical piece of advice. Of course he doesn't mention a 10% idea, but the idea of a proportion given weekly so we don't have to go digging when the need arrives.

I think we're missing the grace of proportional, regular giving. It may sound over-simple or under-spiritual, but it works for me and our family. When I'm ever as important and well compensated as some of the big names debated, I'm sure 10% will be too small a proportion, but thankfully even that small piece is a sacrifice and I am glad to give more than I might want but less than I could be made to in a pinch. Isn't God good?

Anonymous said...

Are we missing the plot a little here? I am a biblist which means I try as hard as I can, within community and the guard rails of tested doctrine and wise interpretation of Scripture, to be as biblical as I can in word and deed. That means I need to confront the needs of others and how to deal with the financial blessings I receive.

In our situation we tithe. Not because there is a command, but because we feel that Paul is wise in 1 Corinthians 16 when he lays out a particular plan for the Corinthians, as he has already done with the Galatians - to have a regular collection where people give proportionally. This is not about making a law of tithing - that would be outside the spirit of what Jesus taught and an assumption that is never made either by the first Christians in Scripture or the first centuries of the early church. For us, a regular proportion that is both sacrificial and cheerfully generous is 10%. I would like to give less on one hand as the pie is not that big and that slice overlarge on some occasions. I would also like to give more, but that would mean incurring debt as we have minimized our expenses about as far as we are willing at this time (which is based on comfort, to be honest, but not extravagance).

The grace of proportional giving is that I give much more by responding weekly rather than "saving up". It is a crutch and not a law...and if I were mature maybe I would not need it - but I do, and it helps.

It is no law, and I make no law unto myself, but as a child in the faith it is a good touchpoint for us to begin growing in giving.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the double post - different but the same me - thought I'd lost the first one...

Anonymous said...

When faith in Christ comes a person is not under the Law of the O.T. regarless of their race.


I think you are missing the point, with all due respect. When the Jew comes to the saving knowledge of Christ, they are no longer under the bondage of the law. The law still exists and God's requirements for the law still exists. The Jew rests in the perfection of the Perfect Jew, Jesus Christ, who lived the law perfectly. God still uses the law as His standard. (He never changes) The good news is Christ. Without Christ, no one could come to God. Jew or Gentile. Remember, the lostness of the Gentile is not based on the law, for he never had the law to teach him. The Gentile, as Romans 1 teaches, knows of God based on General Revelation. Because of his knowledge of God, he is therefore condemned in his inability to please God within himself. The Jews have the law that teaches them of their inability to please God (their school master)

To say God's law or requirements have changed is to say that God has changed. We all know this to not be possible.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure 10% will be too small a proportion, but thankfully even that small piece is a sacrifice and I am glad to give more than I might want but less than I could be made to in a pinch. Isn't God good?"

Remember, we are also discussing giving to "what" or "who". There were no temples to maintain in the NT.

Anonymous said...

When faith in Christ comes a person is not under the Law of the O.T. regarless of their race.


I think you are missing the point, with all due respect. When the Jew comes to the saving knowledge of Christ, they are no longer under the bondage of the law. The law still exists and God's requirements for the law still exists. The Jew rests in the perfection of the Perfect Jew, Jesus Christ, who lived the law perfectly. God still uses the law as His standard. (He never changes) The good news is Christ. Without Christ, no one could come to God. Jew or Gentile. Remember, the lostness of the Gentile is not based on the law, for he never had the law to teach him. The Gentile, as Romans 1 teaches, knows of God based on General Revelation. Because of his knowledge of God, he is therefore condemned in his inability to please God within himself. The Jews have the law that teaches them of their inability to please God (their school master)

To say God's law or requirements have changed is to say that God has changed. We all know this to not be possible.

October 21, 2010 3:49 PM

This Anon has been playing a clever game of semantics. Too bad he or she did not make that clear from the start. Basically the first line s/he quoted says the same thing.

Nice try, Anon. You must be a pastor. Or a wanna be

Anonymous said...

This Anon has been playing a clever game of semantics. Too bad he or she did not make that clear from the start. Basically the first line s/he quoted says the same thing.


First of all, ... What? Please explain. Be more specific.

What have I stated incorrectly?