Committed to submitting my views to the Word of God
Thank you so much for your honesty about what the bible does not say and about those things that are unclear and ambiguous.Last Thanksgiving (Canadian) I preached from Deuternomy 14:22-29. I borrowed a line from Mark Buchanan (Spiritual Rhythm): "the kingdom of God [is a place] where wealth is only wealth when it is enjoyed, and that only when shared." The main point of the sermon was that tithing (in whatever form we practice it) is an act of thanksgiving (ie. learning to revere the LORD your God always [Dt. 14: 23]). One of the ways that we can practice this is by making sure that we who are able develop a practice of hosting sumptuous parties (ie. festivals) to which we always invite those who have insufficient means (ie. widows, orphans, immigrants, Levites) to do such a thing themselves.Your thoughts?
Thanks for your comments and question. A few thoughts, Steve. First, I don't think tithing "in whatever form we practice it" will teach people to revere the Lord appropriately. There are some legalistic, overbearing forms of teaching and practicing tithing that will misinform people about God, not teach an appropriate, holy fear. Second, it seems that you are saying that an underlying principle to the Festival Tithe is that when we have parties/gatherings/celebrations, we should remember to invite the poor or needy. I actually think that is a pretty good principle from Deut 14 and it's one of the reasons I advocate a principlizing method to biblical interpretation. Now, one of the steps to a robust principlizing methodology is finding texts in both testaments to advocate your principle. So, even though I have a few in mind, can you think of any verses in the New Testament that would advocate this principle?
David,I've listened to this interview and I'm in the process of reading some of your material online. I will probably try to get a copy of your "Perspectives..." book. I feel like I've learned a great deal already concerning the issue of tithing. Since I haven't read all you have written yet, it may be that you have addressed the letter to the gentile believers in Acts 15. Could you please briefly comment on it and the implications regarding tithing?Thanks
Kevin,In my book "You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe?" I reference Acts 15 a couple of times. I think a very helpful use is when those who say that tithing is required compare tithing to the sabbath ... but a closer parallel is circumcision. Circumcision was COMMANDED before the law, is incorporated into the law, and is not required in the New Covenant. Tithing is not explicitly commanded before the law, is incorporated into the law, and is hardly addressed at all in the New Testament. Also, Acts 15 seems to explain the parts of the law that Gentiles have to keep and tithing is not mentioned. I'm cautious about using that as an argument against tithing because a lot more is going on in that passage. IF it is about table fellowship, that changes the context. I believe there are a lot more things that Gentile Christians must do besides those 3-4 things listed. So, while Act 15 is helpful, I don't think it is a nail in the coffin of tithing advocacy.
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