Religion of Monday, 16 April 2012
Is tithing commanded by God outside the levetical temple? When evaluating this controversial topic, I suggest that discussants try to keep an open mind. Don’t simply rely on developing an understanding of only one side of tithing. I suggest this, because most arguments are often emotive and highly polarized. To determine whether they address those arguments successfully or otherwise, we need to use scripture based counter arguments (Acts 17:1)
HISTORY OF TITHING
The first time tithe was mention in the Bible is Genesis 14:20. Abraham gave 10% of the spoils of war to the king of Salem. Bible record Abraham tithing only once and secondly not on his personal possessions or property but on the spoils of war.
Question: Do Christian tithe only once or every month?
Do Christian tithe on their possession or any other thing apart from their possession?
Do Christians not take anything from their monthly income and give all to the church
or any other group as Abraham did? Compare with Genesis
Question: Who was the King of Salem : He was a Priest of the Most High God. Compare with Hebrews 7:2.
The second time tithe was mention in the Bible before the levetical laws was Abraham grandson Jacob or Israel, Genesis 28:20-22. Is it true that Jacob’s tithing predates the old covenant laws so tithing cannot be done away with the new covenant? A careful study shows, Jacob’s type of tithing is not what is practiced in our churches.
Jacob’s promise is Conditional. Gensis 28:20-22. This was the first time somebody tithe on his personal possessions before the levetical laws. However the Bible makes it clear that Jacob tithe only once.
Question: Is tithe once or Consistent
Question: How did Jacob return his tithes?
Did He Personally Gave it to God?
Did Jacob tithe to an angel?
Did he take to a local Temple?
Did he gave to Levites or priest?
The answers to the above questions are certainly no.
There are two different ways that Jacob could have returned his tithe. They are found in
Deuteronomy 12:6-7 and Deuteronomy 14:28, 29.
It is possible according scripture quoted. God acknowledge a tithe from Jacob by Jacob partaking of a portion himself and his family in Community and thanksgiving to God and by sharing his fortune with those who were unfortunate, poor and strangers etc.
Question: Is that how contemporary pastors tell Christians to tithe?
LEVITICAL TITHING HISTORY
When reading through the levetical tithing watch out for what was really tithable?. Which people are supposed to receive tithe? And how much is supposed to be given them? Why these people are suppose to be given tithe? And compare it with today’s tithing and its usage?
In the book of Numbers 18:1-3. The bible record that the son’s of Aaron are suppose to be Priests whiles the males from the house of Levi the son of Jacob or Israel are suppose to be Levites.
Jehovah appointing them as priests and Levites they will not be working and will not have any inheritance even in the promise land compare with Numbers 18:20-22.
Question: Who is to receive tithes compare with Numbers 18:21?
Why: Because they receive no land and their only survival depended on the faithfulness of Israel and secondly for working in no other place than the temple (Numbers 18:20-22)
Hebrews 7:5 also confirm that only Levites are supposed to take tithes not pastors, religious leaders thus those from Aaron ancestry and those from the tribe of Levi. Even here, Apostle Paul informing believers Jesus is a High Priest tells that Jesus comes from the order of Melchizedek the King of Salem which is higher than the order of Aaron. Apostle Paul tells believers to know that though Jesus does not come from the house of Levi or the Aaron but He is a High Priest because he comes from a higher order of Melchizedek which superior than Aaron’s.
Question: Which pastor or prophet, Apostle or Religious leader comes from the order of Aaron or Levi to be considered as a priest or Levite?
HOW MANY TYPES OF TITHES DOES THE BIBLE RECORD
1) Deuteronomy 14:22 – Yearly tithe on your Increase. The bible says your increase. What is your increase? Your increase is your profit.
Question: Is your increase the same as your gross income. Is that not your revenue? Why current day religious leaders should tell a church member to bring 10% of his gross salary that he never received not forgetting the fact he is not even a Levite or a priest?
2) The second type of tithe is supposed to put aside for a yearly celebration at Jerusalem where Jehovah has placed his name. Jehovah says if your house is far from Jerusalem sell the produce to get money and upon arrival at Jerusalem what do you with the Money. Do you give the money to the priest? No. Deuteronomy 14:26-27. This even tells us that money has been in existence since the Old Israel days but was never used as tithable commodity? Compare with Numbers 18:14-16b.
3) Deuteronomy 26:12-14. What was this tithe used for? They set aside this to be given to Levites, strangers, orphans and widows. Compare with James 1:27
Question: Why do pastors not preached about the other form of tithes but the one that comes to them only even if it were to be the right form of tithing?
What is Titheable
In Leviticus 27:30-33, the bible tells which commodities are tithable.
• Seed of Agricultural products.
• Products from trees were tithed.
• Herds of the flock. Even that one the “tenth” that passed under the rod. This means if you have nine kids you are not supposed to tithe on them. Isn’t that Yahweh is forever merciful and kind in all His doings.
Compare with Deuteronomy 14:22 and 26:12. Is it not consistent? The Bible is consistent and inconsistent for those who want to twist and turn it to their favour as said in 2 Peter 3:16.
There is no tithing on money even at the end of the levetical laws. Let us rush through to know if the Bible there made mention money being tithable in other Old Testament books. Please do not be deceived that in those days food commodities were the predominantly commodities of value at that time so money couldn’t have been used. If so, why did Bible talk about money even Deutronomy 14:26-27 as was read but did not say sell your produce give the money to the Levites or priest.? In any case History tells us money is as old as Methuselah. Apart from that why wouldn’t your pastor who is in a village rather not accept agricultural commodities as tithes but cold hard cash he wants even though he is not a Levite? Again Ghana’s economy is predominantly agriculture so why wouldn’t pastors accept agricultural commodities as tithes but money?
1) 2 Chronicles 31:1-6 with emphasis on 5 and 6. Even Jerusalem that was much more cosmopolitan than a district like Ajumako. The people did not bring money tithes but agricultural commodities.
2) Nehemiah 10:37-39.Was money Mentioned?
3) Nehemiah 12:44? Was money mentioned?
4) Nehemiah 13:5, 12. Was money mentioned?
5) Even in the most quoted Malachi 3:9 is money mentioned? No, still on agricultural commodities. Bring the agricultural commodities into my storehouse where the Levites and the priest are so that there will be food not money into church accounts for pastors to live flamboyantly in cars and mansions but food.
What really shock me is, the same pastors, prophets that preach the levetical laws are dealt with will wonderfully quote the same part of scripture when it comes to tithes. Take time and read Deuteronomy and Leviticus to know what some part of the tithe was used for by the priest. After that asked yourself if it is consistent with what your church tells you about sacrifice ending with the cross.
From what we read, tithes were returned on only agricultural commodities nothing more or less. Somebody may ask then Jehovah is Partial, Acts10:34? No because in Romans 9:15, only Jehovah alone can do whatever He wants and He is answerable to nobody.
In history the MISNAH written between the 2nd and 3rd Centuries to preserve earlier rabbinic traditions confirm the Bible that tithing was only on agricultural produce though there money was used for transactions. Better still check from the Encyclopedia.
The Catholic Encyclopedia writes “ As the church expanded and various institutions arose, it become necessary to make laws which would ensure the proper and permanent support of clergy. The payment of tithes was adopted from the old law”.
The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the Bishops of Tours in 567 and the canons of the council of Macon in 585
TITHING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Two times Jesus talked about tithes.
1) Luke 11:42 (Tithing at Jesus time was still relevant because there were still Levites. Jesus even as a teacher quoted the three herbs not money which is in consistent with the Old Testament commodity for tithing. Jesus even said tithing is even less important compared to the later. Surprisingly Jesus, we are learning from never pay tithe though he was carpenter by profession.
2) Luke 18:12. Can someone say because the Pharisee tithe on all his possessions means money is tithable. No, because he was just boasting what he does which might not necessary means he does it? Apart from that, the bible did not mentioned of what he tithed on. Again, in vs. 14, he went home abased consistent with what Jesus said in Luke 11:42.
3) Jesus Christ on Temple Tax refers Exodus 30:13-16. Jesus did pay but what happened (Mattew 17:24-27). Pray and think about it. What Jesus implying.
1) Are there Temples today (Acts 17:24)
2) Who are the temple ( 2 corin 6:16, 1corin 3:15 and 1corin 1:19)
The secret is known to all theologians including your pastor or whoever knows that the temple ceased the priesthood ceased.
3) If Jesus is our High priest (Hebrews 7:5, 26) why didn’t he take tithe for His mission? Because after all according the levetical laws we read earlier priests are entitled to tithes.
4) Who is a priest? 1 Peter 2:9, Each individual not only your pastor or religious leader. After all he doesn’t work alone in the church as the Levites were doing.
Paul a dedicated Jew thought by a Pharisee in person of Gamaliel knew the scripture, hence will not let people rob God as pastors quote Malachi 3:9, because he never compromised on anything even with the disciples. Even in Galatians he said you foolish Galatians. Will such a man watch as people rob God as told by our pastors in Malachi 3:9
How Paul did financed His Ministry
1) 2 Thes 3:7-9
2) Acts 18:3
3) Acts 20:31-33
4) 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Paul attesting to pressing financial needs in the church, he never once mentions tithing for his ministry. Paul ministry was for non-Jews like you and I, because Corinth, Galati, Thessalonica and Rome and Greek were not Jewish towns with no Levites nor Priests. Why didn’t he take tithes because after all it would have been more legitimate to claim considering the kind of work he was doing compared to our contemporary leaders in our churches.
In Acts 18:1-4. What did you see?
1 Corinthians 16:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. He said everyone according to what he purpose not 10% or 20% or 50%.
In Acts 2:44-47, again he said freely, not 10%.
Question: Do our pastors want to tell us that Paul who wrote most the New Testament epistle just wanted believers to rob God and get cursed as said in Malachi 3:9, 10. Somebody who attacked immorality in the church (1 Corinthians 5) can just allow believers to rob God. This is unimaginable. Where this doctrine of 10th percent of Gross salary comes from.
ARE WE SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT OUR MINISTERS?
Yes, we are suppose to support them but by what?
Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-37
I Corinthians 16:1-3
2 Corinthians 8:1-13
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (Emphasis)
Mattew 5:42, Mattew 10:8b, Luke 6:38.
The bible strongly suggests Christians give but never stipulated as to how much. Since 10% was the basis for giving in the old testament, a Christian could spiritually use that as basis for his giving but will deceived himself, If he thinks he was somehow pleasing Jehovah by giving particular amount. Paul strongly thought members to give freely and not grudgingly but from what you have purpose in their heart not percentage. Next time asked your pastor what about part of tithe that was set aside to enjoy with the Orphans, widows and poor in the church. When was the last time you gave to an orphan or a widow? Don’t deceive yourself that giving to ministers who asked for cars, three bedroom apartments and other whiles the poor, widows in the church suffer you are getting blessings. If you have forgotten read James 1:27.
When was the last time your church gave to widows, orphans and the poor than a pastor who greedily unrelentingly asks for more even from the poor who were not even suppose to tithe but were enjoying in the old law?
Bannor Kwasi Richard
Ministry of Food and Agriculture