On Tithing: This is a response to a friend of mine, who was expounding on Tithing after hearing of a girl’s worshipful experience in giving to the church, and did not see a New Testament mandate to do so. I thought it was an interesting statement, but I saw it from a different perspective which I present here for you to read. If you need any more context, feel free to ask questions in the comment section below. Now, on Tithing.
Thanks for your thoughts, Friend. I come down on the issue very differently, and for several reasons. The “tithe” is a concept that runs throughout the course of human history and doesn’t merely come as a church/law sponsored act. Anytime a group of people decide that they would like to set aside a portion of the people for special tasks (building a government building, providing food for the poor, paying for teachers for children), some portion of the profit (be it food, product, services, or coin representing labor) is given to what the community deems as “the good”. The Babylonians had a form of tithing before Abraham came from Chaldea.
Also before the law, Abraham gives a portion of the spoils, which he gained saving Lot in a massive battle of City Kings, to Melchizedek (The Priest of the God Most High). Before that, both Cain and Abel were giving a portion of their labor to God as an act of worship/thankfulness.
The New Testament in Acts shows the early believers in Christ, in an act of idealism, selling all their possessions and giving them for the redistribution to the poor, and they began living communally. The church didn’t remain in this practice, but it was a gesture of their thankfulness to God for bringing such amazing peace and coming from the Heavens and legitimizing the flesh by becoming one of us. Reminding us of our dignity in the Imago Dei (God’s Image within us). In Christ, we are made free to serve God and not evil. Thankfulness shows many and varied responses, and people through the centuries have shown their thankfulness in many ways – and giving of our labor (represented in coin and paper) should not be looked down upon. It is an honorable act of faith and good will.
Though building projects, and pastors salaries, budgets to provide teaching supplies, and food for celebration – all these things – they don’t hold up well against the amazing thought that Christ will reign over a New City (Isaiah, Revelations) that we do not have to build. In the meantime, we are allowed to decide whether we want to meet in a field, in a home, or in a basilica. If it is done with a right heart, as an act of worship, it should not be placed low or ridiculed.
All the universe is God’s creation, and in all things we do we can worship and love Him passionately. Without being too critical, I would like to say that I’m on the side of the girl who felt worshipful in the act of giving. It is not easy to give. To argue against her response would be like keeping Mary from using her prized perfume on Jesus’ feet. If it is in her heart, let her do it legitimately, and lets not make her feel ashamed of her love for God.
Thanks again. Your passion always impresses me.