Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Selection of Post-Tithe Quotes: Spurgeon and Tithing

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)

Charles Spurgeon is one of the most confusing preachers when trying to decipher his beliefs on tithing. Some quotes seem to lead to the conclusion that he believed it was required for Christians. The following quotes are those that cast doubt on that conclusion.

“It is also noteworthy that, with regard to Christian liberality, there are no rules laid down in the Word of God. I remember hearing somebody say, ‘I should like to know exactly what I ought to give.’ Yes, dear Friend, no doubt you would; but you are not under a system similar to that by which the Jews were obliged to pay tithes to the priests. If there were any such rule laid down in the gospel, it would destroy the beauty of spontaneous giving, and take away all the bloom from the fruit of your liberality!”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 47:97.

“I have read some amazing statements upon the divine right of tithes. It seems to be established in the minds of some that if God gave the tithes to Levi he must, therefore, have given them to Episcopalian ministers: an inference which I fail to see! I should just as soon draw the inference that he had given them to Baptist ministers; certainly it would be no more illogical. The idea of our being priests, or Levites, in order to get compulsory tithes, would be too abhorrent to be entertained for a moment!”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 28:694.

“Much has been said about giving a tenth of one’s income to the Lord. Methinks that is a Christian duty which none should for a moment question. If it were a duty under the Jewish law, much more is it so, now under the Christian dispensation. But it is a great mistake to suppose that the Jew only gave a tenth. He gave very, very, very much more than that. The tenth was the payment which he must make, but after that came all the free-will offerings, all the various gifts at divers seasons of the year, so that, perhaps, he gave a third, much more near that, certainly, than a tenth!”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 14:567–68.

Again, if one were to stop reading right there, then his view seems obvious. But he continued:

“I do not, however, like to lay down any rules for God’s people, for the Lord’s New Testament is not a great book of rules; it is not a book of the letter, for that killeth, but it is the book of the Spirit, which teacheth us rather the soul of liberality than the body of it, and instead of writing laws upon stones or paper, it writes laws upon the heart. Give, dear friends, as you have purposed in your heart, and give proportionately, as the Lord hath prospered you, and do not make your estimate of what you ought to give by what will appear respectable from you, or by what is expected from you by other people, but as in the sight of the Lord, as He loveth a cheerful giver; and as a cheerful giver is a proportionate giver, take care that you, like a good steward, keep just accounts towards the great King.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 14:568.

1 comment:

Ellison Marshall said...

Yes, a Christian has the liberty to give generously to whomever or whatever they decide. I personally detest the modern compulsion by pastors to build multi-million dollar facilities and demand that every member pay for it. The budgets of many churches spend 80% of their money on salaries, building payments, insurance, maintenance, etc. Do we see that reflected in the Bible?