New Testament Tithing, Follow Up

Q. If, as you say, tithing is a minimum standard, where in the NT does it say that the minimum standard is 10%?

The purpose of biblical tithing in the OT was to support the Levites, who were not allowed possess any property on which they could raise any stock or crops. Tithing, in essence, was food for the Levites. What is the purpose of NT tithing, since there is no temple and no Levitical priesthood to receive the tithe?

A. Your insistence that I provide a New Testament commandment to tithe seems to indicate you believe it was part of the Law, to which New Testament believers are not obligated. But in truth the concept of giving to the Lord 10% of our increase predates the giving of the Law by nearly 1000 years. Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20), and Jacob adopted the practice as well (Genesis 28:22). At the time there was no Temple, no priesthood, and no Law. They didn’t do this out of obedience to the Law but out of gratitude for the blessings they received. This is where the 10% standard originated, not at Mt. Sinai. The principle of tithing was was confirmed in the Law but did not originate there.

As you already know, there is no New Testament commandment to tithe, but this is beside the point as well. I try to demonstrate in my teaching that tithing out of a feeling of obligation to the Law is not Biblical and never has been. Unless we feel a genuine gratitude for what the Lord has done for us, our tithing is for naught. But when we tithe out of gratitude, we’re blessed beyond all measure, and according to Matt. 6:19-21 those blessings are not just for this world but follow us into the next one as well. It’s a way we store up treasure in Heaven.

As to where you tithe, pick a place. There are countless opportunities to pitch in and help with the work of the Kingdom. You don’t need to give to a church or even a para-church ministry. If you prefer, you can distribute your gifts directly to those in need. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you (Matt. 6:4)

What puzzles me most about all this is why you and others argue so passionately against something the Lord designed to be one of His greatest blessings, perhaps second only to our salvation.

To learn more about the Biblical basis for tithing and how the Church changed it, click here

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