I am not sure what is trending in your part of the world, but in mine, it has been a war of tithes! Accusations and counter accusations have been thrown around; various kinds of hashtags have been born – #TitherTillDeath #TitheIsAScam – various articles written, all to talk about that 10% of our income. Going through the online outbursts, I found myself unable to pick a side! Everyone seemed to bring a bias into the discussion. I saw the proponents of tithing regurgitating what they’ve been told and invoking the odd curse here and there, without any real scriptural backing; I saw the opponents of tithing abusing, misquoting and sometimes being a little dishonest with the text.
If we will agree to be totally honest with the Scriptures, we may just find out that the whole arguement misses the point! Let me expatiate by making a few points:
All of Scripture is important
I see a new trend arising in Christendom where people dump the old testament wholesale because, according to them “we are under Grace”. This, unfortunately, is a very poor way to treat God’s word. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness 2 Timothy 3:16. When the Bible says all Scripture, it is referring to both the Old and New Testament. So, let us stop this nitpicking!
There is a difference between religious practice and life application
When we read the old testament, it is important to understand that while several of the religious practices of the day no longer apply to 21st century Christians, there are very rich and deep life application lessons to draw out from them. So instead of dumping the old testament under the guise of “we are not under the law“, ask yourself: “How does this apply to me today“.
Let the New testament guide your application of the Old Testament
One safe way to properly draw application from the Old Testament, is to look at how the New testament authors drew applications and taught about the old testament. You will notice that they never copied and pasted old testament rules into the Church. In fact when Peter tried to do it in Acts 10, he heard a voice telling Him “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This means that the arrival of Jesus caused a huge change on the way we respond and deal with the Old Testament. It doesn’t mean we rubbish the Law and the Prophets, it just means we get to understand fully the purpose of the Law and the Prophets.
In the next article, I will try to use these highlighted principles to practically go over the tithe issue. Trust me, I am not going to take sides on the issue, I am just going to try to let God’s word speak!
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:24, 25