of versions of this work were widely circulated for input during a
four year period. During that time we thought we had seen every
conceivable defense of the tithe. Then we were made aware of what we
have named "the halfway position." Within this view the
tithe is both right and wrong. While others may have a better defense
of this position, though we're not sure how, in the form we received
it there certainly were a lot of assumptions. We will use this as
another opportunity to apply all that we have learned so far to test
their concept using Scriptures.
the most common way to receive temporal blessings from God is by
tithing. As long as we pay our tithes, we can expect to receive back
many times the amount that we have given, but this creates a problem.
The tithe is part of the law, and we cannot receive the blessings of
the law without coming under the whole law and its condemnation. The
law of Moses cannot be divided nor can we partake of two covenants.
brings us blessings from the law but sooner or later, we must leave
the law completely and move up to a higher form of living and giving,
giving from the heart ruled by love. This allows us to reap the
blessings of Abraham, which are much greater than the blessings of
the law. As we give in faith motivated by love, we can expect
tremendous blessings, even the blessing of Abraham: love, joy, peace,
and abundance without condemnation. This allows us to give even more
abundantly and receive with even greater joy.
though most pay tithes in order to control their own fate, we must
never instruct everyone to quit tithing. First, Christians must first
know the righteousness and sanctification which is by faith, the
cross. Only then will they be able to walk in the Spirit and leave
the religious law. Never tell anyone to leave the Law of Moses until
you teach them how to keep and exceed God's law in the Spirit.
on tithing can be removed by answering the following questions:
1. Is the
tithe a part of the law of Moses? Yes. "Thou shalt truly tithe
all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by
year (Deuteronomy 14:22)".
2. Who are
the only people who have the God given authority to take tithes? The Levites.
behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for
an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service
of the tabernacle of the congregation. (Numbers 18:21)
3. Who was
Jesus talking to when he said: "these ought ye to have done, and
not to leave the other undone"? They were unbelieving Scribes
and Pharisees who, because of their unbelief, were unable to leave
the covenant of law and enter into the covenant of grace.
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and
anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to
leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42)
4. How are
we to give under the covenant of grace?
But this I
say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he
which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man
according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not
grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2
it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken
together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with
the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you
again. (Luke 6:38)
never use our freedom as an excuse not to give. On the contrary, the
covenant of grace provides us with many wonderful reasons to give
abundantly. As the love of God motivates us, we must give to the
poor, and we are responsible to God's church. As we give in grace, we
reap the blessings of Abraham (peace, joy, and abundance without
condemnation) and these are far better than any blessings of the law.
Then, how shall we give? We exceed the tithe when we give motivated
by love. (http://www.christian-book.us/ethics.html)
is such a mix of truth and error, it's hard to know were to start. In
an effort to distill the primary teachings, this summary list is
comprised of key quotes from the original document.
law of Moses cannot be divided nor can we partake of two covenants."
tithe brings us blessings from the law but sooner or later, we must
leave the law completely and move up to a higher form of living and giving."
though most pay tithes in order to control their own fate, we must
never instruct everyone to quit tithing."
are the only people who have the God given authority to take tithes?
must never use our freedom as an excuse not to give. On the contrary,
the covenant of grace provides us with many wonderful reasons to give abundantly."
with point one that the Law of Moses cannot be divided and that it
impossible to partake of two covenants. All who are under the new
covenant have been set free from the old. This being said, it makes
the second point quite strange. We do not "sooner or later ...
leave the law completely", we leave the Law the moment we
believe. The Law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; it can
take us no further!
3:24-25 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we
might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no
longer under the supervision of the law.
don't choose to move up to a "higher form of living"
sometime (or never) after salvation, their salvation has placed them
into a higher form of living.
three comes with many implications. First, it implies that tithing
somehow is beneficial for Christians "in order to control their
own fate." While they certainly point to a higher form of living
apart from the Law, they claim the tithe to be beneficial for those
who haven't moved up yet. Since it is certain from Scriptures, that
only non-believers are to remain under the supervision of the law
(Galatians 3:24-25), teaching a believer, even an infant believer, to
live by the law is counterproductive. Believers need to learn how to
live as believers!
assumed that they meant Christians in regards to the tithe being
beneficial, as the document doesn't clearly say that. For the sake of
argument, if they do mean the unregenerate that fill many pews, we'll
consider that for a moment too. Their mandate that "we must
never instruct everyone to quit tithing" is useless in regards
to the non-believer. Because the tithe has no foundation in the New
Testament church, and no way to carry it out in the manner prescribed
by the Old Testament, anyone encouraging it's continuation encourages
the unbeliever to be a Law breaker, while at the same time giving
them false assurance that somehow this act is pleasing to God.
Remember how God views even the best acts of the unregenerate:
64:6a All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our
righteous acts are like filthy rags
use of the law, in New Testament times, is to take the unchanging
principles rooted in the very nature of God and show non-believers
that they are incapable of following any of them (Romans 7:7). In
this way the Law shows them their need of Christ.
1:8-11 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We
also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers
and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for
those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for
adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers -
and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that
conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he
entrusted to me.
four, they legitimately state that only the Levites are authorized to
take tithes, so long as they are thinking about the smaller portion
not the whole tithe. That brings us to another quandary. When they
stated that no one should be encouraged to stop tithing, to whom do
they want the tithe given? Do they claim pastors or churches to be
successors of the Levites and, if so, on what Scriptural grounds? The
Levitical priesthood was abolished in Christ (Hebrews 7:12). Of
course, they have turned the tithe into a monetary tithe with all of
it going to their unnamed Levitical successors, ignoring all that the
Law taught about the giver eating the greater share and giving to the
is sound, but all the convoluted teaching on the continued use of the
tithe will keep, or distract, most from getting there. More will be
said about this in a later section.