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The paying of tithe is applicable to the Jews in the Old Testament. Is
it applicable to the non-Jews in the current era? Some churches at
present insist that members should pay 10% of their income as
contributions to tithe. There is another school of thought that under
the New Testament we give according to our ability to pay as the Lord
prospers us. Some churches seem to emphasize the compulsory need to
pay tithes through the word that we are robbing God for not paying the
tithe. However under grace, Paul says that we pay offering according
to our ability. Why is there a conflicting statement regarding to

Some pastors insist that you should contribute 10% of your income in
order to be admitted as a member of the church. Is the principle right
in the eyes of the Lord?

Thank you for your time in answering my questions.

first response

Tithing was part of the Levitical system to support the Levite Priests
and temple activities. Israel was a theocratic nation.  The Levitical
system was destroyed when Christ was crucified.  The temple veil was
ripped from top to bottom.  The temple and Jerusalem itself was
destroyed a few years later.  I can  find no passage that describes
the N.T. church as "another system" with a physical structure with a
professional staff.  Many churches still employ the "tithing" concept
as a "principal" to encourage funding however it does not come from
any N.T. teaching.  We are instructed to give; the "Lord loves a
cheerful giver but not out of necessity or grudgingly, II Cor 9:7.
The context was Paul collecting funds to help the suffering
Macedonians. Christ's primary concern is how we treat the hungry,
stranger, widows, orphans, those in jail. He will judge nations on
that basis.  Matt 25:40-46. In light of this each believer must pray
about where and how he/she gives money and time as a good steward.  I
wish you well.

second response

Under the Law of Moses, the Temple and the Levitical priesthood were 
supported by tithes. There is now no temple nor separate priesthood, 
nor even a separate clergy. We are not Jews living in Israel and we 
are no longer under the Old Covenant.

When Jesus put the New Covenant (Testament) into effect, the 
principles of giving were changed. Now, as Christians, we are to give 
thoughtfully and prayerfully, week by week, to meet specific needs. 
Our giving should be in proportion to the way God has prospered us.

See Paul Winslow's fine article on Tithing, http://ldolphin.org/tithing.html

I recommend Ray Stedman's series, "The Christian and His Possessions" 

I believe it is wrong for churches to insist that members give a 
certain fraction of their income, or that members give only to the 
"church." I myself would never join a church where giving was 
compulsory and one of the conditions for church "membership." That is 
legalism, and seriously wrong in my view.

Sincerely, for the Paraclete Forum,

third response

Hi to all,

OK, well what if you are a member of a church that
does teach tithing and sort of pressures the members
to tithe and, in addition to that, to give extra money
toward a new building that may be much more than we
really need? Should you still be submissive to the
pastor and elders and go ahead and tithe and even make
a 3-year pledge, or are you free to decide prayerfully
week by week how much you will give and where you will
give it? I feel guilty if I don't do what the pastor
and elders are saying to do. I would like to be freer
to decide week by week because there are other
ministries in addition to my local church that I want
to support and other needs that come up week by week.
When I brought up this subject with the leader of the
women's ministry, she asked me, "Are you more blessed
under the Old Covenant or the New Covenant?" The
answer, of course, is that I am more blessed under the
New Covenant. "Then how much more should you obey in
the area of tithing?" I didn't answer because I was
afraid to argue, but I thought that maybe the question
should be how much more should I obey the New Covenant
of the Lord, as expressed by the Apostle Paul,
including what the New Testament has to say about
giving. So then she said that I would have to work it
out with the Lord and that I should be reading some
R.C. Sproul (sp?). Well, I didn't say anything, but I
don't really have that much free time for reading and,
anyway, maybe she should be reading some R.C. Stedman.

Maybe I *am* wrong and I am sinning if I don't tithe
and if I argue with someone in authority over me? The
whole thing leaves me feeling heavy and burdened. So I
tithe, but then I wonder if I am really living under
grace or trying to justify myself. I go through the
same kinds of struggles with "obey the Sabbath" and
"sanctify yourself" and "fast and pray" and all of the
commands. And then there are all the new requirements
like "write in your journal once a day" and "keep a
prayer log every day" and "study and memorize
Scripture daily" and on and on. I try to believe in
grace and to be obedient, but I always feel burdened,
not joyful or at peace. It really affects my
relationship with the Lord to be always confused and
going back and forth about the Law and always failing
Him, or at least never measuring up to what someone in
authority is saying I must do. 


fourth response

The other responses are quite similar to mine.  Regarding the
question, "if tithing was blessed under the O.C., how much more of a
blessing would it be under the N.C.?" One can simply ask the same
about all the Levitical laws.  Sacrificing a sheep? bringing back the
entire Levitical priesthoood to give us a more blessed relationship
with Christ?  Your friend might read Romans 7 carefully and consider
whether we should compromise a blend with the law and ministry of the
spirit.  Paul said it is commiting adultery, accepting a new husband
before the old one is dead.  Perhaps a weakness in the current church
is this compromise...the O.C. is indeed a security for many.  I
encourage you to pray, study and hold fast to what you really believe
God is asking you to do.  Lots of early believers were ejected from
the synagogue because they would not compromise their new life in
Christ.  The letter to the Galations and Colossians is a laser beam to
that point.

fifth response

> Some pastors insist that you should contribute 10% of your income in
> order to be admitted as a member of the church. Is the principle
> right in the eyes of the Lord?

Ask your self if it is really worth contending over.  I have noticed that
most people who "join" a church like it the way it is.  After years of
trying to promote change in the various churches that my good friends
attended, I realized I was wasting my time and while I was engaged in these
controversies, I wasn't doing good deeds and perhaps a lot of people
perished without Christ or at least had few more hard days walking without
Him.  Below is a passage from the Bible that Paul wrote to Titus, whom he
called "my true child in a common faith".  It is  about the kinds of things
you are troubled by like, tithing, women being covered, Sabbath days and so
on.... including some really obscure points of the Law.

"This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to
speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to
engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.  But
shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about
the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless." (Titus 3:8-9).

"Worthless" is a pretty strong word but don't feel bad Amy, it probably
isn't your job to fix the "tithe" problem.  With me it's "membership", it's
the power behind things like tithing.  To be a member in most churches one
must obey part of the Law.  Honestly, there is no such thing as
"membership" or "obeying part of the law" in the Bible. I am tempted to
ague about it every time it comes up.