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To tithe or not

By   /  December 26, 2017  /  No Comments

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TithesI decided to wade into the debate over tithing because this is December and Christmas season. I want to say that those who condemn or refrain from tithing, do so for the following reasons. One they are genuinely ignorant. Two, they are looking for an excuse not to spend. Three, they are put off by the extravagance and seedy lifestyle of the pastors.
I will say the last reason may have unconsciously inspired the other explanations. Those who refrain from tithing on the ground that it is an Old Testament law have not read the Bible. Jesus in Matthew 23: 23, made it clear that while tithe is important, it is not as important as justice, mercy and judgment. But he noted that it should not be “left undone.” One word from the master should have been enough.
Paul referred to Abraham paying tithe to Melchizedek, who was Christ who appeared to him after the Slaughter of Kings. Jesus recalled that encounter in his heated exchange with the Pharisees when he said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and he was glad.” He was glad to see him and pay him tithe. Now, Melchizedek represented the transition from the old order under Aaronic Priesthood to the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. So, the payment of Tithe to Melchizedek means tithing transcended old testament. Because as the Psalmist noted in prophesy, “Thou are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Paul clarified it later when he wrote that tithing is now the province of the Lord, not priests who received them. It is now an eternal offering. “And here men that die receive tithes: But there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.” Abraham tithe not to a levite but to Melchizedek signifies the permanence of the practice.
The pastors pass away, but Christ lives. Now, some have said why 10 percent, is it not legalism? All law is legalism. When Christ came, he said he did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. John wrote that the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. But that grace and truth turns out to be that we apply the law not in the letter but in the spirit. Hence, he enunciated laws like adultery which are even more stringent.
Those who say, well, they give offering, and they do well. They are right. God loves a cheerful giver. A liberal soul shall be made fat. He that gives bountifully shall reap bountifully. Can you give bountifully when it is, say, eight percent? In fact, 10 percent may not even be bountiful if you are sincere. So, those who want to be “flexible” should know that they are even bound to give more than 10 percent. Ten percent as I see it is a sort of minimal template of expressing gratitude. If you don’t give, are you cursed? Of course not. The Christ has nailed the curse. Let no one deceive you.
Do we have to pay all the tithe to the church? Deut 26 explains that it is for the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and widows. Pastors don’t say this but you should split it between the church and the needy. Hence Jesus said, “if you have done this (good ) to any of my fellows you have done it for me.”
When a pastor lives lavish lifestyle, rides jet and builds schools that only the rich can afford, they send the wrong signals. Jesus could have entered Jerusalem with the best horse, but he entered with donkey. But when people needed, he gave them fishes and bread and turned water into wine. Pastors deserve double honour not double colour or flamboyance. As Paul said, let your moderation be known to all.

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  • Published: 2 years ago on December 26, 2017
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  • Last Modified: January 3, 2018 @ 6:54 pm
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