« Links Mentioned on the Show | Main | Can We Be Good without God? »

July 11, 2011

Comments

The counter I receive when I try to discuss this is "Yes, but it's a PRINCIPAL!" My response is "What is the difference between a 'principal' and a 'requirement of the Law'?"

If you want to seethe "deer in the headlights" reaction then try bringing this up in a group setting with some "old stalwarts". I teach a Sunday school class and lead a home group and I am always amazed at the push back I get on this subject from those who readily agree that the Old Testament (the Law) was a covenant with Israel only. I guess there is just too much invested in using this scripture to prop up the "tithing" model instead of Jesus' example.

it's probably the scariest/riskiest issue to bring up in church. It can get you fired, demoted, demonized very quickly. It IS indeed a "sacred cow"

I can think of more risky issues to bring up in church.


Anyways, I agree with STR on this issue, but usually try to give around 10% anyways. Could probably (and by probably, I mean definitely) give more, but it's hard. :'(

I remember several years ago I joined a non-denomination church. To join the church, you had to go through a five week orientation each Sunday where they teach all about what the church is about. In one of those Sundays, they went into detail about why they do NOT advocate tithing. So there are at least SOME churches where it's not only acceptable to reject tithing, but it's even policy.

Not that they're against giving, of course.

It's not only a problem in churches--but in Christian schools. I am a Bible teacher and 'accidentally' walked into a discussion about this. I STILL have a parent who complains about me 'teaching her child that she doesn't have to tithe'. Wow!

If I give away my body, if I give all things, if I know all things, if I see all things, but have not Love, then I am a worthless nobody.

First, Love. If, out of that, acts come, then so be it. But we must start there. And wait. Whatever is "done" or whatever "act" is put forth, must "come out of" that business of Love Himself birthed within us.

I don't (almost) even think about Self when it pertains to my wife. I simply delight in that amazing and beautiful creature. I find myself giving myself away for and unto her without thought. Without plan. Love-Is. And, from there, "out of there" these random, thoughtless acts of delight spill forth, and I find myself giving all away. All.

Ten percent would be an insult. She merrits all of me.

Christ gives us the pattern, the root, of Giving: The BrideGroom delights in His beloved, and, then, He opens His arms wide and He gives Himself away for that one in whom He delights.

That is Giving in the Christian sense. Total. Thoughtless. Lawless. Fearless. Love-Birthed. Delight-Birthed.

We must first find Love Himself: the God that Is-Love. Then wait. And, from there, from Him, within us Love-Is begins to "happen". Then wait again. And, there, we will find ourselves randomly, thoughlessly, giving away our very life towards Him, that happy delight of our souls.

Any giving that is other than this is a giving that is less than Love-driven and ought to be dispensed with. Then, find Him. And wait. And then......

Giving matters. Giving will come. But not the way we think.

Fear-based is not love-based. "In perfect love there is no fear, for love casts out all fear".

I give myself away, and I give all I have away, for my wife, that amazing and beautiful gift from Heaven, and there is no fear therein as I lose all. It is a fearless delight as my own self-awareness shrinks almost out of sight in the sight of her. "Thine and not Mine, You and not I" spills out.

Christ, or Word, or Love, becomes Flesh, and Gethsemane lives forever within Love Himself.

That is the kind of thoughtless, lawless, fearless Giving that goes on inside of that Triune God in whom each Self forever delights in and for each Other-self within the Singular-We from before forever and unto forever. The God that Is-Love tells us He will make Us in That Image.

If we let Him. If we wait for Him. If we ask Him.

Christ is the pattern we ought to look into here. As in all things.

Not sure I hold to that exactly.

First, we have the example of tithing even before the Mosaic Law, when Abraham gave to Melchizedek.

Second, old Israel was required to give 10% to the shadow, but new Israel isn't required to give at least 10% toward the greater reality?

I've gone back and forth on this issue many times, but I do think it goes deeper than a New vs Old thing. There are still clear ways where the Old Testament is authoritative. Tithing may or may not be one of them.

@ Matt,

I think Greg acknowledged that titihing existed before the Law, but the question was that whether we were obligated or commanded to tithe. Abraham's gift to Melchizedek was voluntary. He was not ordered by God to do it.

Matt I can see that....and I think there is something there in a "partnership with God" avenue.... I think PTBs question is also valid....not sure where the bridge lies between the two.

what about Matthew 23:23?

DSCharm/Matt:

Mathew 23:23 was a good idea; maybe that gets us almost there. In my post above I tried to move us closer toward that mindset, wherein, giving which was not delight-driven, love-driven, hand-in-hand-with-my-beloved driven, ought to be dispensed with as it ends up a kind of poison inside of us otherwise. We put the cart before the horse therein and actually become darker.

Whereas, if we first find Love Himself, and Encounter Him, Taste Him, Discover Him, and, then, inside of that process, whether it be five weeks or five decades, we then begin to Give-Of-All-That-I-Am. And All means All. But here now the Horse is pulling the Cart, and there is no Law-Which-Kills, but rather there is Spirit-Which-Is-Life. If that makes any sense?

The Inner Reality MUST "EXIST" long before the Outer Reality in so much of what the New Testament brings us; herein lies the bridge out of the Old Covenents, and into Christ's New Reality of an actual "NEW NATURE" within, rather than a Form without. The missing Nature WITHIN is the other half of that Bridge in Mathew 23. Both matter, but until the New is there, we only drive people into the death of Law and Fear and Form by insisting on the Form.

We error when we say, "Just do the Form, and if you Do the Work, THAT will "create in you" the Inner Reality which will then become the Horse". That is backwards, but it is what we teach. Christ tells us, First, the New Nature, then, out of that, the New Life Lived.

I would add that this is not an escape from tithing (or 100 percenting) ULTIMATELY. For, when we love, we do what Love always does towards Other: We find ourselves forever in Gethsemane crying, Thine and not Mine, You and not I, Thy Will and not My Will. We give our lives away. But a Law will never get THAT to be birthed in us.

We must first have the horse. Until we do, we only drive people further into darkness and form and fear by insisting on the cart. But, to be sure, once the Horse is there, the Cart WILL come. Only it will not be a neat, clean, bookmarked Ten Percent. It will be a messy, thoughtless, lawless, passionate, Oh How I Love Thee 100 percent. Christ did not give 10. He gave All. We are, eventually, going to be like Him. That Pattern of that sort of Love-Is is the End Game. The Tithe is not found in the New Testament. But the 100 Percent, the All, IS.

I find Christ to be much more demanding on us than the mere tithe of the Former Things.

Something better has come. And much costlier then 10 percent. The ALL of the New Things far outshadows the 10 percent of the Former Things. He wants our very life. What Groom desires anything less from the heart of His Beloved? What Bride wants anything less from the heart of Her Beloved?

Let those who skwibble and moan about the little tithe "chew on that" as it were.

Let those who "insist on remaining in the little tithe" sort of "chew on that" as it were.

God is Love. Hot, Zealous, Passionate, Fearless, Eternal Love. What is it that all lovers both give to and desire from one another? ALL.

And "ALL" shatters those who moan about the mere tenth. And the "ALL" shatters those who insist on remaining inside the little tenth.

Maybe, or perhaps, those who moan about the tenth are simply too short on love, and, maybe, those who teach us to remain in the mere tenth are too short on love.

Maybe. I don't have the right to say of another that they love-not-the-Lord. God forbid. I'm just trying to draw a picture here with words (which is hard) and sort of give an idea of where I think the path, the bridge, lies for this "horse and cart".

If we focus too much on the horse, and the horse alone, we miss it. If we focus too much on the cart, and the cart alone, we miss it.


God is love.


Think about a Bride and a Groom. A Groom and a Bride. God in Man. Man in God. Two Lovers. Herein the mere tenth could never be enough. Herein the mere tenth need not be asked for, or even mentioned, for the All is given, and the All is received, and therein the All swallows up whole the mere tithe of the Former Things. The ALL has come. A Wedding has been announced!

"ALL" shatters those who moan about the mere tenth. And the "ALL" shatters those who insist on remaining inside the little tenth.

God is love.

At our church we've also had sermons concerning tithing. The teaching from our pulpit was in accordance w/Greg's thoughts. There wasn't any magic percentage to give. Our pastor rightly pointed out that tithing was part of the OT covenant. The direction from our pastor is to give sacrificially. Giving sacrificially might mean $1 or it might mean $1M. If giving doesn't affect your lifestyle at all; if it doesn't cause you to forgo some luxury you'd be able to otherwise afford are you really giving sacrificially? I think he used the example of the widow giving her meager coins,...but to her it was a great sacrifice.

I'm a tither and so was father Abraham. I recommend it to everyone. My experience is that cannot out give God. I don't understand why folks don't want to be blessed financially now and after. How do you store up your treasure in heaven?

It's just that tithing is too much in the minds of those who disagree with it, and for them they are mistaken as "ALL" is the New form of what God wants of us. 100% of all that comprises Self.

And, on the other side, the tithe is in fact really too little for those who think it is God's present plan, and so they too are mistaken (perhaps?) as "ALL" is the New form of what God wants of us. 100% of all that comprises Self.

And so as per my post above I am offering that MAYBE the New language of what we find in the New Testament ("ALL") trumps those who feel the tithe is too much as well as those who feel the tithe is just right.

Of course, those who DO tithe are 10% closer to "ALL" than those who give nothing. Not that money is the measure of the man. Being Rich and being Poor matter not to Him (although it does to us) but what matters is the location of one's treasure. It is merely "part of the whole" which we ought die too on some level.

One of the biggest challenges i face in correcting the flaws in the tithing doctrine is also convincing people that i truly believe in sacrificial, Spirit-led giving.

- jared

As I read Matthew 23:23 it seems crystal clear to me that Jesus taught tithing.

He taught that we should practice "justice, mercy and faithfulness" - the weighty matters of the law - without neglecting tithing.

Is there an "obligation to tithe"? Yes, because Jesus told us not to neglect it.

That just about settles it for me.

Who was Jesus addressing in Matthew 23:23? If you are a hypocritical Jewish pharisee living under the OT law, then this verse is still binding on you. If not, you should interpret the verse in context.

By the way, the OT Israelites paid 3 tithes not one. One to the Levitical priests (that were not allowed to own anything). One to go to the poor and widows. One (every 3 years) for mandatory religious feasts.

And the tithe was always paid in food never in money.

@ Lumbergh - ahh exegesis - what the Bible actually says and why it doesn't apply to me!

Yes, these verses do apply to us.

Allow me to explain.

Tithing, giving, justice, grace and mercy pre-date the law.

Jesus taught that our righteousness was to exceed that of the keepers of the law.

When Jesus commands us to love even our enemies does that mean that we should therefore stop loving our friends because loving your friends is all that the Parisees and the keepers of the law do?

Jesus commands a "greater righteousness" which both includes ("do not neglect")and transcends tithing.

As to giving it in food only. Fodd is always good. But money is much more flexible and practical in today's economy.

IS there anything in Scripture to prohibit you from giving in this more useful way?

Further, why does the giving of money seem a problem for you when it wasn't a problem for Jesus nor the poor widow who earned his praise?

It's just that the tithe is too little......

I'm not sure that those who "side" with Greg are advocating not giving to the church, or are trying to make a case that they shouldn't have to give ("tithing" freely what they are able). That misses the point entirely.
Some comments here seem to suggest the above.

The comments to this entry are closed.