What about the Jews?

One author declared Jews to be continuing supporters of the tithe. This writer, typical to most, thinks of the tithe in terms of money. Regardless of what the tithe might be comprised of, let's consider his other claim that the Jews would still support tithing.

I'm sure that when the Temple was destroyed, they began the human struggle of where to bring their tithe. A synagogue? Most probably. And thus was born the next season, which led naturally to the next: the local church as "storehouse." (Emphasis theirs. The Final Frontier, Dr. Neal Bower, Simple Living Publishing, 2005)

Until A.D. 70, tithing in at least some form was practiced by Israel. To be honest, practice of many things at the temple suffered during the last few years of that edifice. With the destruction of the temple and the Levitical priesthood, the Jews properly understood that the tithe had to cease. Why? Firstly, because the tithe was to be eaten before the Lord only at the place He had chosen. Secondly, there was no priesthood, making it impossible for the tithe to be consecrated. For any Jew to eat the tithe at any other place than Jerusalem, or to offer it to any other than a Levitical priest, would be to willingly and deliberately be breaking the Law. On the other side, the one receiving the tithe being other than a Levitical priest, or doing so at any location other than the temple, would have had that person - Rabbi or not - breaking the Law.

To this day, Jews around the world and in Israel refrain from any form of tithing, hoping that someday there will be a restoration of the temple and the Levitical priesthood. Only then would they begin to tithe again. Even with a restoration of the practice, most Rabbis take a very narrow view on the scope of tithing, emphasizing the regional focus of their promised land. They hold that only those living in Israel would be responsible to tithe, as the tithe was of things grown "from the land (Emphasis ours. Leviticus 27:30)."

Since so many Christians (wrongly) believe that the tithe was instituted to pay for the temple worship and staff, and now extend this to the church as well, they logically hold that it would be necessary for Jewish synagogues too. In practice synagogues are funded through free-will gifts and membership fees. Their membership fee is in the form of "buying" a seat in the synagogue for a yearlong period, better seats costing more of course.

Remember that Jews try not to handle money on the Sabbath, so there can be no passing of the hat, no collection plate, on Friday nights or Saturday mornings. So, to collect the money for the membership, a synagogue will send out a monthly statement, like a bill, and the money is kind of like dues to an organization. (How do Jews Tithe?, Religion and Spirituality, Yahoo Answers)

Before anyone gets another bright idea for their church, this process of prosperity-based seating was specifically banned for believers through the writings of James.

James 2:1-4 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

It's amazing that Judaism can see that the destruction of the temple ended all practices associated with it; while churches continue to jump through semantic hoops and fictional histories to find ways to justify their continuation of these things today. Bowers' contention that there was a seamless progression from temple, to synagogue, to church, is false. The synagogue aspect falls with his claim (assumption) that the people would have decided what to make the storehouse after the temple was destroyed. God alone was to be the Law giver! While it is historically true that the church, many centuries after Christ, took that unauthorized leap, there is no evidence the Jews ever followed suit.

Cults, such as Mormonism, who directly claim to be successors of the priesthood and a temple form of worship, of course, claim the right to tithe. But they do so on their own authority and not by God's word (citing their own false prophets and founders).