Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tithing

A great thought from my friend Pastor Peter Perry at Seward United Methodist Church.

"Tithing is about faith raising, not fund raising."

His sermons are recorded and posted at the church web site. Today's sermon was excellent.

3 comments:

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD said...

Tom
Just to let you know, I have sold about 1000 books since publication in 2002. The book stores will not carry my book. The cost of publication and the cost of my web site allows very little extra for profit. Over 20,000 have downloaded the books for free.
I have given away more books than I have made profit and the profit I make from my DVD is always used to send free books and free DVDs to overseas' requests in Africa, India, Indonesia and Australia. Do you oppose faith-based self-supported ministries?
My book has quotes of Jewish rabbis who taught that it was wrong to profit from teaching the Word. I tend to agree but the matter is not that solid. My income is from secular work.
While I believe that most preachers should be self-supporting and follow Paul's example, I find no biblical command that gospel workers cannot be full-time. The Bible is mute on the issue.
I live in a small 1993 double wide with less than 1000 square feet. Although legally blind, I am content with my lot in life. My prayer is that my book will eventually influence some denominations.

In Christ's love
Russ Kelly
…………………………………….
I saw your website and agree with your thoughts on tithing, but disagree with profiting on selling books, tapes, CD's of theological literature.
This is no different than the money changers profiting in the temple, you just happen to be using the internet or other means to make money off theological opinions.
Don't get me wrong, you can make money, or you can donate your proceeds to the less fortunate and make your money teaching at school, but if you sell a book to profit off theological issues or make quotes from the bible, then you should not profit, understand my thoughts on this?
You are doing no less than the Grahams, Orwell, Olsteen, etc... that sell books and make money off God's word, no matter how you slice it.

My 2 cents, what say you Doc?

Robert said...

I"m not sure why Dr. Kelley posted this to me. Besides the fact that I'm not Tom, I didn't post the comments he quoted below his post.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD said...

Sorry Padre, I sent the wrong email to you.
......................
Friend, May I offer an alternative interpretation of Malachi for your study.

From: Tithing is not a Christian Doctrine
www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.com
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Malachi 3 is the Most Abused Tithing Text in the Bible. The “whole” tithe never was supposed to go to the Temple!

A. Malachi is Old Covenant and is never quoted in the New Covenant to validate tithing (Lev. 27:34; Neh. 10:28-29; Mal. 3:7; 4:4).

B. In Malachi 3:10-11 tithes are still only food 1000 years after Leviticus 27:30-34 and Numbers 18:21-28.

C. Malachi’s audience had willingly reaffirmed the Old Covenant (Neh.10:28-29). The blessings and curses of tithing are identical to and inseparable from those of the entire Mosaic Law. The rain in Deuteronomy 28:12, 23-24 and Leviticus 26:1-4 is only obtained by obedience to all 613 commandments. Galatians 3:10 (quoting Deu 27:26) “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Trying to earn God’s blessings through tithing only brings curses for failure to keep all of the law. See also Galatians 3:19.

D. Beginning in 1:6 “you” in Malachi always refers to the dishonest priests and not the people (also 2:1-10; 2:13 to 3:1-5): “Even this whole nation of you --priests” (3:9). In 1:13-14 the priests had stolen tithed animals vowed to God. In Nehemiah 13:5-10 priests had stolen the Levites’ portion of the tithe. God’s curses on the priests are ignored by most tithe-teachers (1:14; 2:2 and 3:2-4).

E. Point #12 of the essay. The Levitical cities must be included in a correct interpretation of Malachi 3:10. Most tithe-recipients lived outside of Jerusalem.

F. The 24 courses of Levites and priests must be included in a correct interpretation of Malachi 3. Normally only 2% of the total Levite and priest work force served at the temple one week at a time. Subtract wives, males under the age of 30 and daughters. Therefore 2% did not require all of the tithe. See 1 Chron 23-26; 28:13, 21; 2 Chron. 8:14; 23:8; 31:2, 15-19; 35:4, 5, 10; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 11:19, 30; 12:24; 13:9, 10; Luke 1:5.

G. Nehemiah 10:37-39 is the key to understanding Malachi 3:10, The people were commanded to bring their tithes, not to the temple, but to the nearby Levitical cities. Verse 38 says that the priests were with the Levites in the Levitical cities when they received the tithes.

H. According to Nehemiah 13:5, 9 the “storehouse” in the Temple was only several rooms. The real “storehouses” were in the Levitical cites per Nehemiah 10:37b-38. Only the Levites and priests normally brought tithes to the Temple (10:38). Two rooms in the Temple were far too small to contain the tithe from the entire nation and 98% of the Levites and priests lived too far away to eat from them.

Therefore, Malachi 3:10’s “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” only makes contextual sense if it is only commanding dishonest priests to replace the tithes they had removed from it or had failed to bring to it.

While the 3:10 of the Law in Malachi is so important to tithe-teachers they ignore the 3:10 of the Gospel in Galatians and 2nd Corinthians. Perhaps those wanting to enforce the 3:10 Law of Malachi should also enforce the 3:10 Law of Numbers. They share the same context.

Christian giving is freewill, sacrificial, generous, joyful, regular and motivated by love. That is enough to provide the needs of the Church.