Feature Article of Thursday, 14 June 2012
Columnist: Adika, Kwadzo
I read with amazement the comments on peacefmonline.com apparently in response to an article culled from The Daily Guide newspaper titled ‘Stop Paying Tithes’ and written by one Maame Lambert. Generally, Maame makes very truthful statements which were left untouched but many unguarded commentators chose to rather rain vitriol on her person, as if that makes any difference at all. Thank God truth is not arrived at by majority opinion, so it must be told no matter how the majority feels.
I’ll begin by laying some fundamental facts while not belaboring what have already been written. Worshippers of God in time past gave many other offerings and paid tithes. Tithe when converted to money ceases to be for the priest (Deut 14:22-29). Tithe literally translates one-tenth i.e. one tenth of farm produce. Not a single record of any New Testament tithe paying Christian exists in the bible. Albeit the Old Testament is replete with many practices like animal sacrifice (Mal 1:8-9), tithing (Mal 3:10) etc. They all came to an end when Christ died on the cross and New Testament Christianity began.
Melchizedek king of Salem was the first to be mentioned to have offered tithe to Abram in the bible (Gen 14:18-20), then, when God was sharing the land among the twelve tribes He in his infinite wisdom left out the Levites and institutionalized tithing exclusively for them. Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel. “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting…(Num 18: 20-24)
A person who serves God in any capacity today is not a Levite, beside that, the Levitical priesthood has changed hence it’s accompanying tithing laws has changed accordingly (Heb. 7:9-12).
The claim that tithe had been in the form of foodstuffs stored in a storehouse is not only true but biblical and God foreknew industrialization so He changed the law regarding tithing (i.e. stopped it) way before our birth, don’t pretend you know better than God so you can give the untenable excuse of ‘office work’ for which you’ve elected to give some money in the name of tithe, He knows best and His views are in the bible.
For people professing Christianity God says we should ‘give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity…’ (2 Cor. 9:7-8). The practice after the commencement of Christianity in the early Church as described in the bible has always been free-will giving not one-tenth or a pretentious one-tenth. Workers and the needy in the early Church were assisted with collection, giving, gifts etc and not tithe.
The bible is not a concatenation of mysterious codes neither is it a collection of enigmatic gibberish, so for those who deem persons challenging falsely held popular beliefs as ignorant or ‘lacking the Holy Spirit’ they better sit up, because the omniscient God chose simple human understandable language to communicate with man and anyone who makes a conscious effort with the proper guidance can learn and understand.