TITHING F.A.Q.
52 QUESTIONS ABOUT TITHING AND GRACE GIVING
by Russell Earl Kelly, PhD.
April 15, 2001 | russell-kelly@att.net | www.tithing-russkelly.com


This article is a summary of the 364 page book, Should the Church Teach Tithing? A Theologian's Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine, originally a Ph.D. dissertation, by Russell Earl Kelly. While Dr. Kelly is fully supportive of New Covenant principles of church and mission support, he believes that true biblical tithing cannot be supported by sound New Covenant principles. He also believes that tithing locks churches into using legalistic principles which rob them of receiving the greater blessings obtained when principles of grace and faith are used. This "Facts-And-Questions" (FAQ) list discusses many of the common concerns people often voice about the subject and each question is responded to with sound, hermeneutical logic and Scripture. Your questions and comments are welcome. Please see Russell's website at www.tithing-russkelly.com or contact Russell directly at russell-kelly@att.net.



Click the number link on any question in the list below
to jump to that section of the document.


1. Doesn't "tithe" mean "the first tenth, or increase, of one's [gross] income [preferably before taxes] for the support of the church as God's divine institution on earth"?
2. What is the correct biblical definition of "tithe"?
3. Didn't craftsmen, such as carpenters and tent-makers, pay tithes?
4. Why have I heard that every Israelite was expected to begin with a minimum tithe of 10% of their total income?
5. Didn't Abraham give a biblical tithe of one-tenth of all he had?
6. Wasn't Melchizedek a true priest of Jehovah?
7. Why was Melchizedek called "priest of Most High God" and "possessor of heaven and earth"?
8. Isn't Abraham's tithe an example for Christians to follow?
9. Almost every sermon I hear about tithing mentions Abraham and Melchizedek. Doesn't the Bible refer to his tithe to Melchizedek often?
10. Since Jacob promised to give God a "tenth of everything," isn't his tithing a clear example for us to follow?
11. Why is Numbers 18 important?
12. If Numbers 18 is so important concerning tithing, then why isn't it preached from often?
13. What does Numbers 18 say is the PURPOSE of tithing?
14. Why is it so important that we know that tithing is called an "ordinance" or "statute" of the Old Covenant?
15. Since the Old Covenant priest served God and received tithes, should not the New Covenant minister who serves God also receive tithes?
16. If the ministering priests did not receive the full tithe of the land, who did?
17. Doesn't the phrase, "It is holy unto the LORD," make it clear that the tithe is an eternal moral principle for all people for all times and must be observed by Christians today?
18. Shouldn't we pay tithes in order to respectably support our preacher?
19. Doesn't God command us to give Him 10% of our total income, and then expect us to give free-will offerings in addition to our tithes?
20. Why doesn't the church tell us to give all three tithes?
21. What else does the Old Covenant say about tithing?
22. Didn't the poor widow give a tithe when she gave all that she had?
23. Didn't Jesus and His disciples tithe? Their enemies never criticized them for not paying tithes.
24. What other texts imply that the poor did not pay tithe?
25. Why do some people claim that tithes were merely a form of government taxation?
26. Doesn't Malachi 3:8-10 place a curse on those who do not tithe?
27. Isn't the "storehouse" of Malachi 3:10 a pattern for the church to follow?
28. Are the ministering priests in Malachi suffering because the people have not brought the tithes?
29. Doesn't Jesus' statement in Matthew 23:23 prove that tithing is taught in the New Testament?
30. Why is the difference between the Old and New Covenant important concerning tithing?
31. Isn't tithing a law for New Covenant Christians?
32. Isn't tithing taught to the church after Calvary?
33. Why is tithing taught from the one occurrence in the narrative of Abraham and Melchizedek in Genesis 14, and not from the six occurrences in the doctrinal presentation including Abraham and Melchizedek in Hebrews 7?
34. Doesn't tithing survive because it began before the law in Genesis 14 and because it is an eternal moral principle in Leviticus 27?
35. Why would God abolish the ordinance of tithing?
36. I believe in the doctrine of the priesthood of every believer. How can this possibly be a reason to abolish tithing?
37. Doesn't the New Testament instruct the church to support its ministers full-time?
38. Doesn't 1 Corinthians 9:14 say that preachers should be fully supported by the gospel?
39. Doesn't 1 Corinthians 16:2 instruct us to bring tithes to the church every Sunday?
40. Since the word, "honor," can mean "salary," doesn't this mean that ministers should be paid twice as much as normal workers?
41. I have heard that tithing is never mentioned in the New Testament after Calvary because it was not a problem and everybody paid tithes. Is this true?
42. Since the New Covenant operates on higher spiritual standards than the Old Covenant, then logic tells us that the Christian should begin his giving standard at 10%.
43. Doesn't almost every church teach tithing?
44. How can the church survive if it does not teach tithing?
45. What are some New Covenant principles of giving?
46. Aren't church members supposed to work in order to support the preacher?
47. Doesn't history confirm that the early church taught and practiced tithing?
48. Do Jews still tithe today?
49. Do Greek-Orthodox Christians teach tithing?
50. How can a church possibly be financially successful if it does not teach tithing?
51. We have been successful preaching tithing. What principle guarantees that we can be more successful if we drop the doctrine?
52. What does God promise if I give more to the church?



Chapter 1 The Origin and Definition of Tithing (pp. 3-11)

QUESTION 1: Doesn't "tithe" mean "the first tenth, or increase, of one's [gross] income [preferably before taxes] for the support of the church as God's divine institution on earth"?

ANSWER: This is the greatest error being spread about tithing in the church today. This definition comes from a modern dictionary, and not from God's Word. This definition is pagan in origin and man-made.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 2: What is the correct biblical definition of "tithe"?

ANSWER: According to God's Word, the true biblical tithe consisted ONLY of the increase of food and clean animals which were grown, or raised, in the land of Israel by Israelites. The tithe was NEVER MONEY. Tithes from animals could not even be redeemed for monetary value (Lev. 27:33). According to Numbers 18 and Hebrews 7:5, tithing is the foundational "ordinance" which established the very existence of the Levitical priesthood and made possible the enforcement of all other worship ordinances.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 3: Didn't craftsmen, such as carpenters and tent-makers, pay tithes?

ANSWER: Not at all; this is another assumed error. Their income was not from farming or raising herds. Biblical society included the following occupations: bakers, candle makers, carpenters, clothing makers, hired farm workers, hired herdsmen, hired household servants, jewelry craftsmen, judges, masons, metal craftsmen, musicians, painters, perfume makers, physicians, sculptors, soldiers, tanners, teachers and tent makers. Again, strange as it may seem, no tithes are ever required from these occupations in the Bible! Scriptural tithing was intended for a society sustained almost wholly by agricultural crops and animal herds. After the landowner paid a tithe, his hired servants were not required to pay a second tithe from their wages, but gave free-will offerings.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 4: Why have I heard that every Israelite was expected to begin with a minimum tithe of 10% of their total income?

ANSWER: From questions #1 through #3, this is great error being spread about tithing. First, not all Israelites were required to pay tithes---only landowners and herdsmen inside Israel. Others only paid freewill-offerings.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 2 Genesis 14:16-24 Abraham's Tithe (pp. 12-33)

QUESTION 5: Didn't Abraham give a biblical tithe of one-tenth of all he had?

ANSWER: Abraham's tithe was purely pagan in origin and not what God defined later...


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 6: Wasn't Melchizedek a true priest of Jehovah?

ANSWER: In all probability he was not. This erroneous description has been given to him by those who turn the "typical" Melchizedek of Hebrews 7 into the "historical" Melchizedek of Genesis 14. Melchizedek did not even know God's covenant name of Yahweh (Jehovah). Yet God had not hidden His true name from others. Compare Genesis 4:6, 5:29; 6:3; 7:1; 8:20; 9:26; 10:8-9; 11:5; and 12:1.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 7: Why was Melchizedek called "priest of Most High God" and "possessor of heaven and earth"?

ANSWER: "Most High God" is an English translation of the Hebrew "El Elyon." "El Elyon" was a common title given to the Canaanite god, "Baal," and Baal's father, "El," the head of the Canaanite pantheon, who were also called "possessor of heaven and earth." Compare Isaiah 14:13-14 with Daniel 3:26; 4:17, 24-25, 32, 34; 5:18, 21. With the exceptions of Balaam's use in Numbers 24:16 and Moses' in Deuteronomy 32:8, "El Elyon" did not become common Hebrew title for God until after David conquered the Canaanite city over 1000 years later (Compare 2 Sam. 5:7 with 2 Sam. 22:14; Ps. 7:17; 18:13; 21:7; 47:2; 83:18; 87:5; 91:1-2, 9; 92:1, 8; 97:9). He was not priest of the "LORD" El Elyon.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 8: Isn't Abraham's tithe an example for Christians to follow?

ANSWER: Definitely not. In verse 20, Abraham gave 10% of the spoils of war to a pagan priest king. However, in verse 21, he gave the other 90% to the pagan king of Sodom. Are we to follow the example of giving everything away, as did Abraham? If the 10% is an example, then why isn't the 90% to the king of Sodom an example?

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 9: Almost every sermon I hear about tithing mentions Abraham and Melchizedek. Doesn't the Bible refer to his tithe to Melchizedek often?

ANSWER: Most sermons mention Abraham and Melchizedek from Genesis 14, but not from Hebrews 7. Also, neither Moses, nor Jesus, nor any inspired Bible writer outside of Genesis 14 ever used Abraham as an example of Hebrew or Christian tithing. Genesis 14 shows how Abraham rejected works-riches in favor of faith-riches offered in chapters 12-13 and 15-17. In fact, the only mention of tithing after Calvary is that of Abraham in Hebrews 7. And Hebrews 7 concludes that ALL ordinances relating to the Levitical priesthood have been abolished.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 3 Genesis 28:20-22 Jacob's Bargain with God (pp. 34-38)

QUESTION 10: Since Jacob promised to give God a "tenth of everything," isn't his tithing a clear example for us to follow?

ANSWER: As with Abraham, the biblical context does not teach this.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 4 Numbers 18: The Forgotten Ordinance of Tithing (pp. 39-46)

QUESTION 11: Why is Numbers 18 important?

ANSWER: Numbers 18 is the ACTUAL wording of the ordinance, or law, of tithing. As the "chair" passage on tithing, it carries much more weight for teaching tithing than any other chapter.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 12: If Numbers 18 is so important concerning tithing, then why isn't it preached from often?

ANSWER: Numbers 18 says TOO MUCH about tithing and destroys much of what is called "tithing" today.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 13: What does Numbers 18 say is the PURPOSE of tithing?

ANSWER: Numbers 18:20-21 should be the most well-known tithing verses in the Bible--not Malachi 3:8-10, or Genesis 14:18-20! The Aaronic priests, through their Levite servants, received their tithes of the tithes for two very specific reasons--neither is a New Covenant principle. First, they temporarily replaced the priesthood of believers and performed substitutionary service to God for all Israel and, second, they received firstfruits, offerings and food-tithes, a) as payment for service and b) instead of land inheritance rights (18:7-26)

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 14: Why is it so important that we know that tithing is called an "ordinance" or "statute" of the Old Covenant?

ANSWER: Because "ordinances/statutes" are that part of the Mosaic Law which were purely ceremonial instructions for the Levitical priesthood. Numbers 18 uses these terms five (5) times (verses 8, 11, 19, and 23). These "ordinances" were abolished in Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:15; Heb. 7: 12, 18, plus many other texts. Compare Malachi 3:7 and 4:4).

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 15: Since the Old Covenant priest served God and received tithes, should not the New Covenant minister who serves God also receive tithes?

ANSWER: In reality, Old Covenant priests did NOT receive the tithe! According to Numbers 18:26-28 and Nehemiah 10:38, the ministering priests only received one-tenth of the tithe, or one-percent of the total. Since this one-percent cannot be interpreted as a New Covenant principle, and since this one-percent would not be sufficient in many Christian churches, this fact is totally ignored in modern tithing. Therefore, in violation of Numbers 18, many tithe-supporters want to be paid (and often must be paid) from much more than one percent of the total income and also want to own property. Again, the old principles are not for the New Covenant.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 16: If the ministering priests did not receive the full tithe of the land, who did?

ANSWER: According to Numbers 18, the first full tithe of 10% was given to the non-priestly Levites who performed servant duties to the priests. While they kept 90% of the tithe, they gave 1/10th of their 1/10th to the priests. Again, this practice is totally unsuited for most Christian churches.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 5 Leviticus 27:30-34 It is Holy unto the LORD (pp. 47-54)

QUESTION 17: Doesn't the phrase, "It is holy unto the LORD," make it clear that the tithe is an eternal moral principle for all people for all times and must be observed by Christians today?

ANSWER: In the context of chapter 27 and the book of Leviticus, the phrase, "It is holy unto the LORD," does not mean that it is an eternal moral principle.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 6 Tithe-Receivers Forfeited Land Inheritance Rights (pp. 55-57)

QUESTION 18: Shouldn't we pay tithes in order to respectably support our preacher?

ANSWER: Since God knows best, New Covenant giving principles will better provide for a preacher who is called of God and preaches the gospel with the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the requirements in the old law for receiving tithes was that you could not be a landowner or have inheritance rights. Although this fact is often ignored by those who teach New Covenant tithing, God repeated it at least 13 times in the Old Covenant. Since there is no principle which changes this Old Covenant principle, why do so many of those who want to be supported by their so-called "tithe" own and inherit property? Compare Num. 18:20, "Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land" with Num. 18:21, 23- 24; Deut. 12:12; 14:27, 29; 18:1-2; Josh. 13:14, 33; 14:3; 18:7; and Ezek. 44:28.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 7 How Many Tithes? 10%, 20%, or 23 1/3%? (pp. 58-65)

QUESTION 19: Doesn't God command us to give Him 10% of our total income, and then expect us to give free-will offerings in addition to our tithes?

ANSWER: This question reflects the false definition of "tithe" assumed by many churches. Actually, God commanded Israelite landowners and herdsmen within Israel's borders to give THREE tithes. The first was for the support of the Levites and Aaronic priesthood (Num. 18); the second was for national religious festivals and was eaten by all (Deut. 12:1-19 and 14:22-26); and the third was every third year for the poor and strangers (Deut. 14:28-29 and 26:12-13)---a total of 23 1/3% yearly, plus the king's tenth! For landowners and herdsmen, above the 23 1/3% was a freewill offering. For others, everything was a freewill offering.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 20: Why doesn't the church tell us to give all three tithes?

ANSWER: First, it has a hard enough time convincing people to give 10%, much less asking them for 23 1/3%. Second, many try to prove that there was only one tithe and ignore the overwhelming evidence otherwise. However, while most tithe-churches pretend to use Old Covenant principles to receive the tithe, they do not dispense it under those same principles.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 8 Strange Things about Tithing; Deut. 12:1-19; 14:22-26 (pp. 66-71)

QUESTION 21: What else does the Old Covenant say about tithing?

ANSWER: In addition to being only food from Israel and only one percent going to the ministering priests:


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 9 The Poor Did Not Tithe; Jesus Did Not Tithe (pp. 72-78)

QUESTION 22: Didn't the poor widow give a tithe when she gave all that she had?

ANSWER: No. She gave a free-will offering. Not being a landowner or herdsman, she did not qualify as a tithe-payer in Israel.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 23: Didn't Jesus and His disciples tithe? Their enemies never criticized them for not paying tithes.

ANSWER: No. Again, not being landowners or herdsmen, they did not qualify as tithe-payers in Israel. Knowing this, their enemies did not condemn them for not tithing. Not only were the poor non-landowners not required to tithe, but they actually received sustenance from the tithe! Consider the following list of persons who received part of the tithe from the land.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 24: What other texts imply that the poor did not pay tithe?

ANSWER: The poor received from parts of the land which were not allowed to be harvested and tithed from. The gleanings were for the stranger, fatherless, and widow (Deut. 24:19-21). In addition to a tithing exemption, the poor were also exempt from more expensive offerings (Lev. 12:8 cf Luke 2:24; Lev. 14:21; Lev. 27:8. Also Exod. 23:6 Lev. 25:25-28, 35-36; Deut. 15:7-8, 11; 24:12, 14-15; Prov. 31:9; Jas. 5:4.)


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 10 Kings, Tithes, and Taxes (pp. 79-85)

QUESTION 25: Why do some people claim that tithes were merely a form of government taxation?

ANSWER: It is abundantly clear from 1 Sam 8:14-17; 1 Chron 23-27; 2 Chron 31; Neh 10,12, and 14 that tithes were a political tax---and the prophets of God did not object.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 14 MALACHI 3:8-10 (pp. 96-119)

QUESTION 26: Doesn't Malachi 3:8-10 place a curse on those who do not tithe?

ANSWER: This is only true of Old Covenant Israelites who asked God to curse them for disobedience.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 27: Isn't the "storehouse" of Malachi 3:10 a pattern for the church to follow?

ANSWER: Not unless you want the government to collect and redistribute church funds.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 28: Are the ministering priests in Malachi suffering because the people have not brought the tithes?

ANSWER: Not necessarily. While the priests are mentioned as poor and needing the tithe in Deuteronomy 12:18; 14:29 and 26:12-13, they are not included in the list of Malachi 3:5. The ministers, not the people, are the cursed robbers in most of Malachi. If there is a correlation in Malachi to modern preachers, it might be that they are taking money from the people under one pretense and are keeping much of it for themselves, instead of helping the poor.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 15 Matthew 23:23 Jesus Endorsed Tithing under the Law (pp. 120-129)

QUESTION 29: Doesn't Jesus' statement in Matthew 23:23 prove that tithing is taught in the New Testament?

ANSWER: These tithing instructions by Jesus occur in the context of the Old Covenant Law before Calvary, and are not New Testament principles for the post-Calvary Christian church.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 17 Hebrews 8 and 2 Corinthians 3 A Better New Covenant (pp. 137-146)

QUESTION 30: Why is the difference between the Old and New Covenant important concerning tithing?

ANSWER: The difference relates to the availability of the Holy Spirit and the power of God in giving principles. The very nature of new covenants is important to understand.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 18 The Christian, the Mosaic Law, and the Law of Christ (pp. 147-156)

QUESTION 31: Isn't tithing a law for New Covenant Christians?

ANSWER: No. It has been replaced by the new "law" of Christ. See John 1:7; Rom. 6:14; 7:4, 6; 8:2-3; 2 Cor. 3:6-11; Gal. 3:19, 23-25; 5:18; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14; Heb. 8:13. Chapter 19 Hebrews 7: Christ's High Priesthood Abolished Tithing (pp. 157-186)

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 32: Isn't tithing taught to the church after Calvary?

ANSWER: Not at all. Just the opposite is true. The ONLY mention of the word,"tithe," in the New Testament after Calvary is found in Hebrews 7---and there tithing is clearly abolished.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 33: Why is tithing taught from the one occurrence in the narrative of Abraham and Melchizedek in Genesis 14, and not from the six occurrences in the doctrinal presentation including Abraham and Melchizedek in Hebrews 7?

ANSWER: If you read Hebrews 7, the answer is very obvious. In Hebrews 7 the "typical" Melchizedek, who is Jesus Christ, canceled ALL ordinances of the Levitical priesthood in order to justify the non-Levitical high priesthood of Jesus Christ. Tithing, the primary support of the Levitical priesthood, was the foundational, and most important ordinance to be abolished. Compare Hebrews 7:5,12,18 and the entire logical argument of the chapter.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 34: Doesn't tithing survive because it began before the law in Genesis 14 and because it is an eternal moral principle in Leviticus 27?

ANSWER: As previously discussed, Genesis 14 is not "before-law," but is in the context of well-know Arab law. Leviticus 27 is not an eternal principle, but a ceremonial motto for all of Leviticus.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 20 Ordinances of the Law Ended at Calvary (pp. 187-195)

QUESTION 35: Why would God abolish the ordinance of tithing?

ANSWER: There are several reasons:


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 21 The Priesthood of Believers Eliminates the Purpose of Tithing (pp. 196-202)

QUESTION 36: I believe in the doctrine of the priesthood of every believer. How can this possibly be a reason to abolish tithing ?

ANSWER: Biblical tithing entered history when the priesthood of believers was temporarily set aside in God's plan. Since God's original purpose has been put back into place at Calvary, the old plan is no longer in effect.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 22 1 Cor. 9:14 Paul Refused His "Right" of Support (pp. 203-223)

QUESTION 37: Doesn't the New Testament instruct the church to support its ministers full-time?

ANSWER: No. Although Paul did not say such is wrong, in his inspired opinion, full-time support was the "lower" road in comparison to the preacher who, like himself, maintained a secular job. Compare Acts 13:1-3; 18:1-4; 20:16-35; 1 Cor. 9:12-19; 2 Cor. 11:7-9; 12:13-15; Phil. 4:15-19; 1 Thess. 2:9-10; and 2 Thess. 3:6-15.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 38: Doesn't 1 Corinthians 9:14 say that preachers should be fully supported by the gospel?

ANSWER: No. "Living of the gospel" is not "living from law principles." See context 9:12-19.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 23 1 Corinthians 16:2 Giving to Needy Saints (pp. 224-238)

QUESTION 39: Doesn't 1 Corinthians 16:2 instruct us to bring tithes to the church every Sunday?

ANSWER: The text has absolutely nothing to say about tithes or church support. Many commentaries even suggest that the "storing up" is meant to be at home. The church should not be called a "storehouse" because the common Greek word in the first century meant a type of safe "bank" at pagan temples, and not a storage for money permanently given to the pagan gods. There is no tithing even implied here.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 24 1 Timothy 5:17 Worthy of Double Honor (pp. 239-248)

QUESTION 40: Since the word, "honor," can mean "salary," doesn't this mean that ministers should be paid twice as much as normal workers?

ANSWER: This is a back-door approach to support tithing which is also wrong.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 25 Miscellaneous Objections (pp. 249-262)

QUESTION 41: I have heard that tithing is never mentioned in the New Testament after Calvary because it was not a problem and everybody paid tithes. Is this true?

ANSWER: Not only is this reasoning not true, but its logic is absurd.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 42: Since the New Covenant operates on higher spiritual standards than the Old Covenant, then logic tells us that the Christian should begin his giving standard at 10%.

ANSWER: The erroneous assumption is that ALL Israelites under the Mosaic Law were required to tithe and started at ten percent. In fact, only landowners and herdsmen of the land were required to tithe and start at ten percent. Tithing actually placed heavy burdens on land owners while not affecting hundreds of tradesman and craftsman occupations who only gave offerings.

The error of this assumption reveals why New Covenant giving principles are higher. Once the tithe had been paid on the land by the landowner, all those who lived on that land and were sustained by that land were required to give nothing at all. Even the hired servants were already covered by the tithe of the land owner.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 26 Lewis Sperry Chafer and John Walvoord on Giving (pp. 263-266)

QUESTION 43: Doesn't almost every church teach tithing?

ANSWER: Actually, most churches do NOT teach tithing as a commanded doctrine of the church. The seminary leaders in most churches realize that it is an indefensible doctrine and refuse to put their names on any support for it. Even among churches who do advocate tithing, very few seminary professors and historians will put their names on literature supporting tithing. Most supportive literature comes from stewardship departments and lower echelon pastors who use proof-text methodology. There are many leading conservative institutions who do not support tithing. Also, we must be careful not to equate the word, "tithe," with "free-will offering."

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 27 Grace Principles of Giving Out-Perform Law Principles (pp. 267-276)

QUESTION 44: How can the church survive if it does not teach tithing?

ANSWER: Trust God and preach the truth. God doesn't take something away from us without replacing it with something better.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 45: What are some New Covenant principles of giving?

ANSWER: Tithing contrasts with grace principles of giving as taught in the new testament, especially 2nd Corinthians 8 and 9.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 28 Acts 20:16-35 A Sermon and Example to Preachers (pp. 277-294)

QUESTION 46: Aren't church members supposed to work in order to support the preacher?

ANSWER: Not necessarily. Paul worked in order to help the poor.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 29 A Church History of Tithing Since Calvary (pp. 295-315)

QUESTION 47: Doesn't history confirm that the early church taught and practiced tithing?

ANSWER: Just the opposite is true for almost 200 years after Calvary.


Chapter 30 Ethical Considerations of Tithing under Grace (pp. 316-325)

2 Cor. 8:12-15 - "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality. As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack."


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 31 Summary of Reasons to Replace Tithing (pp. 326-333)

QUESTION 48: Do Jews still tithe today?

ANSWER: No. Long ago they recognized it as a form of taxation. Many Jews today support their synagogues by using a dues-system. Many Jews even consider it a sin to handle money on the Sabbath.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 49: Do Greek-Orthodox Christians teach tithing?

ANSWER: No, and they never have taught tithing. This is important because Greek churches were among the first churches founded by the apostolic missionaries. To them, there was never a tithing tradition established which should be continued.

^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 50: How can a church possibly be financially successful if it does not teach tithing?

ANSWER: This question suggests than one is fearful of trusting God's better promises and prefers to continue using the proven failure of weak and unprofitable tithing. In fact, thee are many very large successful evangelical churches which do not teach tithing. Thus, the success, or failure, of a church does not depend on whether or not tithing is taught. Instead, the success, or failure, of a church is dependent on whether or not the gospel is preached and the spiritual needs of the people are being met. Compare 2 Cor. 3:10-18 and Gal. 3:1-3.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


QUESTION 51: We have been successful preaching tithing. What principle guarantees that we can be more successful if we drop the doctrine?

ANSWER: Simply this---love out gives law every time! People respond more to the love of God than they do to the fear of God! Great revivals occur when men preach the love of God through Christ crucified. Even common sense shows us that people give more when a specific price is not placed on things such as raffle tickets for charities. When the church learns to love their neighbors across the street and across the sea, gospel giving will increase. That is the "power of an indestructible life" from Hebrews 7:16.


^[CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP MENU]^


Chapter 32 Spreading the Gospel Remains Our Calling (pp. 334-338)

QUESTION 52: What does God promise if I give more to the church?

ANSWER: If your motive is right---eternal riches which will not fade away. We must never forget that the power of God (the dynamite of God) is only released in preaching the gospel of Christ and Him crucified for our sins.




Dear Christian reader:

The Reformation is still incomplete. Unfortunately, the Christian church is still holding onto several doctrines which have absolutely no post-Calvary new covenant basis or power. Tithing is one of the most damaging remnants of the Old Covenant ordinances because it limits the power of the Holy Spirit by locking the church into a law-based doctrine.

Paul said in 2nd Corinthians 3:15 that "to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart." While many churches correctly attempt to base every doctrine on post-Calvary new covenant principles, they regress to the old covenant for principles to finance Christ's gospel proclamation.

Tithing has undermined Christian confidence in the power of God to bless and sustain through more glorious principles. While wealthy churches are smug and secure with their tithers who believe they are obeying God, many of the poor whom they should be reaching with the gospel stay home embarrassed because they cannot afford to tithe.

Jesus died for ALL---rich and poor. ALL must feel welcome in any church which claims to be dedicated to Christ for his gospel. Even though they may be desperately poor, even these persons have spiritual gifts and should be allowed to hold church offices according to their God-given abilities. Spread the word and pray that the truth about tithing and its ultimate harm to the church will be known.

In Christ's love for the good of His church,
Russell Earl. Kelly, Ph.D., 6610 Skyview Dr, Acworth, Ga 30101-6512; Phone: (770)974-4756
russkellyphd@earthlink.net www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.com

^ back to top ^

 


This page is hosted by:
http://truthforfree.com


© 1995-2010 TruthForFree.com. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. TruthForFree.com and design logos are trademarks owned by TruthForFree.com. Other site graphics are either used by permission or assumed to be in the public domain. If you see an image that you think should not be here, please contact the webmaster at info@truthforfree.com.