TITHING yesterday and today.
A question comes with an insistence that we did not know in the past:
"How do you interpret the tithe? What is, in your opinion, the practice to adopt in our assemblies?"
This question comes from readers of various African countries, also France and Switzerland. Our own interrogation which responds immediately from this question is "Why do you ask that?"
The summarized of this important question is:" I'm not quite agree with what is happening in my church."
We believe that this question goes beyond the issue of tithing, and the debate has unfortunately expands to more unhealthy about the relationship with money in this world. It is likely that the phenomenon of "the imposition of the tithe" in our Christian circles has sharpened in recent times and the North American example is the cause.
A report in the "Jerusalem" from July 2007 entitled "Prosperity", deals with damage due to this false prosperity gospel which was affiliated by number of religious leaders.
This article mentions interesting points and denounces abuses
use about tithing. (Because of this message, we did not get lot of “Like”).
A feeling of instant astonishment.
It is amazing that the tithe, meaning a tax of at least 10% of the revenues of assembly members, claimed by officials concerning the application of the priestly rule Torah and the name of the recall made by the Judean prophet Malachi during the rebuilding of the temple (see Malachi 3: 8). Some do not hesitate to claim the 10% gross salary, arguing that The Lord would have a priority on this tax (!).
What is even more surprising is that those who impose tithing because
it is a Biblical law, are the first preaching that the Torah is abolished!
We must be consistent; when the Torah advantages some of them, they impose it. When it disadvantages them, they said that it abolished. Strange reasoning...
We must stop these criticisms that our Lord would certainly reprimand with much more wisdom and authority in such circumstances.
Perhaps he would take a whip? Let us as the verdict of His Word.
What does the Word?
What is the Tithe? According to the Word of God and not according to human thoughts and drifts. Beforehand we recommend our readers to read Deuteronomy 14: 22-29; 26: 12 - Numbers 18: 20-32 - II Chronicles 31.
- The tithe (tenth, or top of the crop) was meaning only to the land of Israel. It is an imposed law, that is a natural priestly tax sacred, different from the "Théroumah" some offering made by generous hearts, which is open character as spontaneity of the donor or corresponding from a call to the collect for a specific need, sacred order or about the community survival (see for example: Exodus 25: 1-2; I Corinthians 16: 1-3).
- The sacredness of tithing, devoted to The Lord forbids any kind of desecration, any use other than that prescribed by the Torah.
Which excluded any personal gain or use other than food and the sacrifice.
- The tenth harvest of the year and the tenth birth herd should be spared by the Israelites, and bring to the temple where the taxpayer was recovering to the Levites.
- In Israel, this part was due to the Levites who had no part to the land inheritance. The Lord was their inheritance.
- The whole taxpayer family ate it and rejoiced face to YHWH Elohim in the chosen area.
- What the Levites got, was still subject to the tithe, the Levites gave the tithe of the tithes to the priests, then.
- During two years the tithe was given to the chosen place of The Lord, however the third year the tithe was not given to the priesthood, it was distributed and consumed in the home of the taxpayer with the Levites, the widow and the orphan, the passage immigrants, village needy and surrounding area. Tithing in this case was of a charitable sharing feature social nature.
- If someone was coming from far away, to bring his tithes, he could sell his tithe at home and turn it into money, this money was tight in her hand throughout the journey for it neither manipulated nor used. Upon arrival at the temple, he had with his money to buy all kinds of food to market and bring them to the Levites.
- The tithe was never, according to the texts, about money. If this has been done, so it was in opposition to the Word. For the purpose of the tithe was to remember the blessing of The Lord, the poor and those who have no earthly riches as the Levites, focusing only on the essential, what is feeding. The food is given by The Lord when the food is distributed.
- In a country blessed by The Lord as Israel could be in certain periods of obedience, tithing was plentiful. This, added to the culture and gleaning shares given to the poor, assured beyond the needs of the most needy.
- That is why it is written, « There will be no poor among you, but there will
however the poor ». This means that the needy are not poor or miserable in the absolute, because God would bless the soil and the livestock of Israel and the Israelites could provide for their needy brothers so they would not be poor.
- By nature, the tithe was not only for the synagogues, meaning the heads of local councils or districts. To support their needs and those of their families the rabbis was working, most of them had a job. For example, Paul was manufacturing of tents, when he lived in one place for a period longer than previous, he worked renting his services to a boss, for as he wrote: Do not be in charge the assembly...
From year 70 to today.
Today there is no one temple in the chosen area from The Lord, meaning Jerusalem, there are not anymore the Levites priests in service.
The obligation to tithe was meaning as part of a proper functioning of the temple in Jerusalem and the kingdom of Israel, we must admit that this application - as taxes – is "Unanswered".
Some interested thinkers are arguing that the Church is the new temple made of living stones, the body of the Lord and the heads of the assemblies are the news new Levites! Therefore, we should pay the tithe... Of course, using bank checks or money, which is much more convenient than bringing food... We do not endorse this interpretation, it is illegitimate. (JYH: Especially since it is related to the false -and dramatic- "replacement theology" or replacing "Israel and it Kehila" with "Roman ecclesia". But what says Romans 11?)
... As regarding the argument "pay for the buildings," it is as much land speculation that the need for a "storefront" for his own vain glory. The first disciples gathered "in homes", theirs ones (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 8: 3; 8:20 p.m.; 2 Tim 3: 6).
If tithing, which is a priestly tax is no longer valid and cannot claim in any way, it does, by charity and need, give what God puts in our heart, favor of an individual, a group, a cause for a particular need, what we commonly offerings.
Some collects can be organized to satisfy a proven need, as Paul did with the Greeks assembled to help the brothers in Jerusalem then plagued with major practical difficulties.
(JYH: Note that Paul had asked the Corinthians (1 Cor 16: 2) to prepare this help a "first day" -so obviously out of the Shabbat- the "Christian worshipers Sunday" inferred that it was a justification of both the "tithe" and "Sunday"!)
Summarizing, we must remain cautious to the real needs of the brothers in the faith and in priority those of the community in which we´re praying, studying, which is the first place where we have to practice generosity, charity,
not by coercion but with love, wisdom, and according to the capabilities and gifts granted to each.
I can decide face to The Lord to give voluntarily for the different needs, at least ten percent of my income. That remains my decision, which is not of the provided definition of "tithe" according to the Word.
Let's be clear, apart from the priestly institution in the circumstances described by the Torah of Israel in Israel, no one can demand, in the name of The Lord, that everyone pays 10% of its revenues.
What The Lord is blessing, are the offerings given with a good heart, otherwise what kind of value would have it in his eyes?
We also noticed that unsolicited donations always arrive in time to arrange a real need, and it comes from The Lord who knows all things.
Still there is (for those whose heart is generous) the free gift offerings.
But again we have to show sobriety...
As we note in African and European assemblies, such as the USA, an extravagant overbidding of the call to the offerings. The collection should be done with discretion and not during worship, nor for praise or teaching (but for example, the next day... "first day" 1 Cor 16: 2)! The generosity of the poor have as much importance as the easier!
(JYH: Let us beware, therefore these large well-chosen moments when someone is using on emotions with musical accompaniment and ad-hoc intervention "service collector" -sometimes called particular- specialist mental manipulation!)
Why the Lord chased the merchants from the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers? Would He clean for us not confine ourselves not count? Why we have reintroduced the collect of money in our assemblies to the very heart of worship? Where does this unseemly habit of advocating the spearhead of Mammon (money) in the very heart of the supposed "Body of Christ"?
This thought is heavy, especially in this time of financial crisis showing the inequity associated in nature to the monetary value meaning about "unfair" and this term is low. Money can and should be used to good works but unfortunately by lust and greed, it can also lend itself to anything else and lead man on the way futility, vanity, sufficiency, steal or unconscious by mechanical bank, to the murder by speculation on food, by starving populations already weakened by the same financial workings... etc. Which is a result diametrically detestable opposed to the object of the tithe...
Pretending that living the gospel is a corollary to live on charity or public collection is a fallacy.
Yes briefly when one moves to the Lord's work, not when it becomes a "job"!
(JYH: Whether the "local religious enterprises", called "churches" with their "staff" or "mobile companies to issue or healing" where you "summon" the Holy Spirit without asking Him His opinion, but based on the "program" of "entrepreneur"!
... So it's not just him!)
Regarding teachers, Galatians 6.6 (Jerusalem Version) says:
"The disciple make part of any kind of good bargain * the one who taught the Word"
* From the Greek [agathos] = what is good; a good; a friend; good in itself; the physical and moral qualities; the goods of the earth...
This verse is often highlighted for "pay salaries" full time teacher and sometimes office´s workers. Again this type of interpretation is not admissible. The faithful must be a meeting of deference and love to be attentive to the needs of their (s) teacher (s) because it would be a shame for them that he will be in lack of the necessary need of any kind and not always and only money. Moreover the teacher cannot expect any frills and the pocket of the faithful. It does not contract debt and does not drive in luxury car when depending on charity; on the contrary he redistributes what would be "too much" so that the Word of God is not criticized.
So, a man of The Lord should be free of the subtle links of money and owe nothing to anyone except a good reputation in order to provide the truth. Too many managers are so trapped because their income depends entirely from an institution from which they are doctrinal obedience or because they depend on the number of their members, this to "impose" the tithe!
All these things are contentious. We do not judge those who practice them, but in all humility and without instituting us "master consciousness" we put the question to every child of God, including community leaders, who are the most exposed and we´re greeting and blessing the engagement, can under the benevolence of our Lord, consider this topic which became very dangerous in our time.
Topic that comes, we are now convinced, as part of the warning:
"Come out of her my people!"
JYH another note: I added an extract of the parsha "Korah" (June 2013).
It is useful to note that the use of tithing is directly and solely related to "the economy of the sanctuary" and sacrifices. The systematic tithe of the people have only aim to allow the Mosaic law in his priestly and sacrificial part run. It has for second function of allowing the permanent care day and night of the sanctuary by allowing the Levites to avoid having to seek land and legacies for their livelihoods. Tithing consists only of food.
To those (those) who now are practicing for their own interest the tithing, the parsha Korah demand then to return any and all inheritance and possession of live for the sole custody of the Sanctuary.
Being Kohen give rights... and duties. He who no longer live for himself and no longer belong.
The Tithe of Malachi.
What can mean out of context of a Temple in Jerusalem:
"In tithes you frustrate me ..." "Then bring all with your heart"?
Even today among those who claim to belong to the "Body of Christ", the people and its leaders do not act faithfully overlooked business of The Lord.
"Stop deceiving me God said" give me all with your heart.
If tithing is justified today is that claimed by the Lord, it is not 10% but 100% of our heart, for all the parts of what we have belongs to Him, but be careful how we manage, this too must be accountable.
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