Friday, February 28, 2014

Ortlund and Tithing: UPDATE

Dr. Ortlund responded to some of the comments on the thread. In the end, about 39 comments were made and then the comments section was CLOSED.

Ortlund wisely decided not to debate the issue of tithing in a comment thread. But he did make a few points that were helpful:
1. He wasn't saying anything about "storehouse" tithing.
2. He wasn't doing a biblical theology of giving.
3. He wasn't discussing the motivation for giving.
4. He WAS meditating on one verse.
5. "When Jesus says something, I take it that it applies to me - directly or indirectly, but it certainly applies to me somehow. The one thing the words of Jesus cannot be is inapplicable to me. But that's just how I read the Bible. If you read it differently, that's between you and him."

I agree with all five of those points. Now, the way #5 is carried out is a big part of the question. Here's the tension. 1) Every word Jesus said that is recorded in the Gospels was stated while under the Old Covenant. 2) Every word Jesus said that is recorded in the Gospels was penned by the author of the Gospel decades after the inaugurating of the New Covenant and was written to Christians.

So, yes, everything Jesus said applies ... but it's the "directly or indirectly" (as he put it) that's the rub. The story in Matthew 8:1-4 is an example of a passage that would apply more "indirectly." I prefer to communicate this through the concept that the underlying principles apply. So while I agree that "tithing applies," I would say that the underlying principles to each Old Testament law applies to Christians, but that is FAR different from saying that Christians should "tithe" or give 10%. So while I agree with his five points, I'm guessing we would apply them differently.

1 comment:

The Truth and the life said...

Tithing was never money.It was crops and and sometimes animals.Deut 14:28,29 God says bring the tithes within the gates that the Levites,fatherless,widow and stranger may EAT and be satisfied.It takes money run a church not tithes.You are adding to God's word when u say that God requires 10% of ur income.Proverbs 30:6 says "add not unto his word lest he reprove thee and thou be found a LIAR!!! Most churches use tithing as a SCAM and God is not please.God is angry with the wicked everyday.Contact info.