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Tithing: Carving a doctrine from some lines of the scriptures is dangerous

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Christian Benefits U.K columnist on “Maranatha” Bro. Martins Odigbo reviews the controversial issue of tithing and comes up with a thoughtful and biblical position on tithing that enlightens believers on giving without coercion. Below is his article on tithing and the setback of living a Christian life in errors under the caption: MY TAKE ON TITHING.

Giving is part of God’s nature. And anyone born of God spiritually should naturally have this nature. However, this should be done cheerfully according to God’s standard, and not by compulsion or cajoling, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7.

The issue I am addressing in this edition of Maranatha in Christian Benefits is tithing. Tithing is not necessarily giving because it is morally wrong for anyone to belong to a church and not contributing to that church. One would ask, what is then the problem with tithing; is it not about giving to the Lord? One deliberate teaching of error makes other teachings doubtable. Galatians 5:9.

The teaching on tithing as a doctrine for the New Covenant believers is violent and opposition against intelligence, and conflict against rationale, Acts 17:11. Please note, the truth is not afraid of being scrutinized, but the error is putting on the armoury of evading any question on tithing, no matter how simple and genuine that question might be.

My understanding of tithing which I am opened to correction through the spirit-filled atmosphere by looking at the Bible is that it was of the old covenant laws that God through Moses gave to the Israelites as a nation when they were being ruled directly by God (Theocracy). Please note again that we are not talking about the Old and New Testaments. These are the written word of God about God’s dealing with man before and after Christ.

The old covenant laws which were about 613 have been abolished since they have all been fulfilled in Christ Jesus. So performing anyone of them is like not trusting the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the distinguishing factors about the old and the new covenants are, first in the old people were not saved from sin. So they must repeat the cleansing of sin, while in the new Jesus Christ saves from sin Matthew 1:21. Second, In the old the relationship between God and man was master/servant relationship, while in the new it is father/son relationship because Jesus has made us brethren, John 20:17; Hebrew 2:17. Third, the old was about quantity and external, while the new is about quality and internal.

Origin of Tithing
Number 18:20-21. When the children of Israel arrived at the Promised Land, the lands were divided for them to cultivate and rear their animals. However, the tribe of Levi (Levites) was not given any of the inheritance so that they can concentrate on the service of the Lord; looking after the tabernacle of God. And as result of this, God commanded each of the tribes in Israel to give one-tenth of their farm produce to the Levites as their inheritance (not for the maintenance of the Tabernacle). They (the Levites) too then pay one-tenth of the tithes they have received to the priest. Number 18:25-26.

Did Abraham pay tithe?
Genesis 14:17-24. In every dispensation, God dealt with man differently and will only judge man according to what he has commanded in that dispensation. Romans 2:11-12. Portraying God as one who judges those who have not received a commandment is an error. God is a loving father. One of these errors is saying Cain’s offering was not accepted because it had no blood in it. God only demands what is in our ability. God had no respect/regard for Cain. That was why he rejected his offering. Genesis 4:5. Further read Proverbs 15:8; Proverbs 21:27; “Every sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to God.”

Abraham only did this act (tithing) once; when he gave one-tenth of his spoils from a war to Melchizedek; who was a type of Christ in the Old Testament, but he was inferior to Jesus Christ. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ made him superior. Since Jesus Christ has already upgraded our status (elevated us) while then are we still seeking to condescend low in status?

Did Jesus command to pay tithe in the New Covenant?
In Matthew 23:23 Jesus did not command the new covenant believers to pay tithe. He only chided the Pharisees and Scribes who paid tithe, yet lacked love. Peter warns us about falling into errors (2 Peter 3:16.) There is nowhere in the Bible that the early Apostles paid tithe or were commanded to pay tithe.

What is the New Covenant?
The Old Covenant is Moses’ law, which the Bible calls the ‘Letter that kills’ (2 Corinthians 3:6-17). That law puts man in bondage while the New Covenant in Christ liberates man to serve God acceptably. Hebrew 8:6-13.

Understanding Malachi 3:3-10
We must remember that the Levites also paid one-tenth of what they received from the rest of the Israelites, to the priest to feed the needy and strangers Deuteronomy 14:22-25. Carving doctrines from some lines of the scriptures is dangerous. We must understand the genesis of every scripture statement to fully have a better understanding. For example, lots of people are claiming the prayer in Philippians 4:19-My God shall supply all your needs, without reading vs 15-17. Back to Malachi 3:8-10, we must read chapter 2:1 for full understanding.

Can tithing default be a curse instead of blessing as it is being preached?
Acts 17:30 says God overlooks when we are wrong without knowledge, except we deliberately refuse to understand. Using a provisional driving licence to drive when you have a full licence would it be a blessing or curse? Of course it will be a curse because in the Western World, you will still be paying a higher premium for insurance. Also, keeping to the Old Covenant laws is to undermine the sacrifice of Jesus as nothing. If anyone is living by the Law, he or she is not justified and has no right to appear before God Galatians 2:11-17. Perhaps that is the reason lots are still approaching God through a man of God instead of going directly to the God of man.

Galatians 3:1-3 says as many that are still under the law are under a curse, with emphasis on verse 10. Nehemiah 10:28-29 noted that the people that were given the Law have entered into an oath and curse to continue in them. So, this oath and curse continue unto as many that want to continue in the law.

What is the standard of giving in the New Covenant?
Isaiah 18:20. The standard given in the new covenant is higher than in the old covenant. In the old covenant is one-tenth, but in the new is our body (Romans 12:1) because we now have the Holy Spirit to help us. It is easier to give one-tenth than to yield all members of our body to God, not using them for anything that would not glorify God.

We must give cheerfully 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. It is almost impossible to give cheerfully if an amount is placed on what to give. I have met lots of Christian workers and leaders in a Bible-believing church who complained and murmured about the money they are asked to give to the church. For instance they murmur about their tithes, the amount levied on them for building their campground, headquarters, local assemblies, and their church building etc. The new trend is the marriage committee asking the intending couple to bring foods, usually their native foods (not rice) in a takeaway cooler for the committee members. Ephesians 4:20.

– You must settle offences before any offering Matthew 5:23-24
– Apart from either mortgage or loan for car or asset, you must not owe anyone. You be committed to giving willingly to the work of God. Romans 13:8.
– Giving must be willingly and not by compulsion or cajoling 2 Corinthians 8:12.
– Remember giving is rewarded by faithfulness, not by amount Mark 12 41-44. So, it is not the amount given that is measured, but what is left after giving. For example, someone might give £10 and has £10 left to live on, while another gives £1000 and has £1000 to live on. In the sight of God the former has given more than the latter, Isaiah 55:8.
-Giving and forgiving are the hallmark of Christian virtues, Luke 6:38
#For brotherly correction, please contact me on +44783229682 or chinedumartins@yahoo.com

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