TITHING - IS IT SCRIPTURAL, TODAY?
By Jim Paris
The above title has been somewhat of a controversial subject. I guess the question is, "are we living under law or under Grace?" It is my opinion that we must choose one OR the other, we can't have them both.
That is comparable to trying to be both wet and dry at the same time. It is impossible! Either we get into, and stay in, the Levitical Law given by God through Moses OR we move into the Law of Grace given by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
In NO WAY am I negating the necessity of GIVING. "GIVING" is the very basic principle of Christianity. GIVING is the basic fruit of LOVE! But, I firmly believe that the attitude of the heart and the reason we give is the issue rather than the amount or how we give. Remember the widow and her two mites in Mk. 12: 42-44
She didn't give 10% she gave 100%! Jesus commended her very highly for it. There are far too many references in the New Testament to try and list them all, but, keeping it as brief as possible, in Luke 6:38 Jesus commanded, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." He did not say 10% or make reference to the Law of Moses. In II Cor. 9:6 & 7, Paul said, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, OR OF NECESSITY: for God loveth a cheerful giver." I submit therefore to you, if you are PAYING TITHES, you are giving of NECESSITY and are under the Mosaic Law. If you are giving as you are led by the Holy Spirit, you are a Son of God according to Paul in Rom. 8:14.
Many will refer back to Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 14:20 where he gave Him tithes of all. I believe this was put into Abram's heart by God, for the LAW was not yet given and would not be, according to the chronology in my Bible, until more than 400 years later which is recorded in Lev. 27:30-32 and Num. 18:21. (Jacob also made the same commitment in Gen. 28:22, about 150 years later.) You must consider that this Law, I believe, was the handwriting of ordinances" which Paul said in Col. 2:14 was blotted out and nailed to the cross.
Others will refer to Matt. 23:23 where Jesus made reference to tithing to the Scribes and Pharisees. You will note that this was before Christ's death on the cross when the handwriting of ordinances was nailed to the tree.
In conclusion of this matter on tithing I will state that this is my own personal viewpoint from my study of the scriptures. Paul said in Rom. 14:5, "...Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."