Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Questions and Answers (Thirty-Nine): Tithing in the New Testament Church

I Have A Question.

Question:

Hi Akin, could you explain why tithes were never required to be paid with money? Also, help me understand why it was never required of the New Testament Christian, especially the gentile, as Paul never once mentioned it in any of the epistles he wrote to the churches. Furthermore, the Levites were those entrusted with collecting the tithes. Is the Levitical priesthood still tenable today? Please help me understand. What do you also have to say about 2 Cor 9:7 that says, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Answer:

Hello Kingsley. Trust this meets you well and winning. Thank you for your awesome questions on the subject of “Tithing.” Let me take them one after the other.

Question #1:

Your first question was why tithe was never required to be paid with money. Right?

Answer #1:

That is pretty straight forward. The first place to start is to ask you where God said they should not pay tithe with money? Do you know? No, you don’t because there is no place like that. In most of ancient history, transactions were made by banter. You will see the same in the contributions to the building of the temple. You see it in Abel and Cain’s offerings, and the list goes on. Things were done according to the norms and limitations of each generation and civilization. In Jesus' days, the Roman civilization had introduced their own exchange system. Hence you see such usage in the widow’s mite and Jesus tax payment. I hope this helps answer your question.

Question #2:

Why Tithe was not required of the New Testament Church in scriptures.

Answer #2:

Many things were not required of the New Testament church that we do today. They are borne more out of common sense and understanding of the scriptures. Paul did things in the New Gentile church that was alien to Judaism and the Jerusalem church. All taking reference to the novelty of accepting Gentiles into the fold and staying within the guidance of existing scriptures (The Old Testament) and the witness and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Nowhere in the New Testament nor epistle are we guided on building sanctuaries and churches, but we can take reference from the church's shadow (the Old Testament) to know what to do. That was what the Apostles did is setting up guidance for the New Testament church. Remember when the church council sat to determine how best to absolve the Gentiles. The only guidance they had was The Old Testament and evidence of what the Holy Spirit was already doing. Right?

That council meeting was only the beginning of more council meetings that have taken place since then till today as we address the right response to the challenge of each generation and civilization. The important thing is not keeping the status quo. The important thing is being relevant to each generation and civilization without ever compromising the truth's sacredness (scriptures – Old and New Testament) we hold.

I love the way FDR puts it. He says, "Eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation." Yes, I agree with you. Paul did not mention it because it was not a living challenge they faced in his generation. It is in our generation, and we need to address it, not shy away from it. It is very much in line with the truth of scriptures espoused by the church's shadow in its reality.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Question #3:

Is the Levitical Priesthood still in operation today? They were the ones saddled with the responsibility of collecting the tithes.

Answer #3:

The direct answer to your question here is yes and yes. Yes, the Levitical priesthood is still in operation today. And, they are saddled with the responsibility of collecting the tithe. The first place to start is to mention the Levitical priesthood was not God’s original, nor perfect plan. It was an afterthought or remedial plan.

God’s original and perfect plan was to make the whole of Israel a nation of priests. However, when He came to meet them at the mountain, the people refused this responsibility. They were scared of meeting God directly. So, they asked Moses to be their intermediary. They refused to be priests unto God. They did not want to carry that responsibility.

In Christ Jesus, God’s still original plan stands. Christ made us all Kings and Priests unto God. We are each priest, just as much as we are each king. So, every one of us is authorized to perform the Levitical priesthood's rites, which was just a shadow of which we are the reality. Yet, when we congregate as a body, Christ has set specific functions for each one, including calling people into Leadership, Fivefold Ministries, for order and growth of the body.

So, yes, we do have the Priesthood to receive the tithe.

I hope this answers your question.

Question #4:

What do you also have to say about 2 Cor 9:7 that says, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Answer #4:

2 Corinthians 9:7 is self-explicit. Its reference is to freewill offerings. You find the same in the Old Testament. Along with the tithes, there were also offerings of various types. Those were freewill offerings. Those you give according to 2 Corinthians 9:7, but not your tithe. Your tithe is not a freewill offering. It is covenant-offering.

Abraham did not have free will when God demanded Isaac. That was a covenant-offering. Your tithe is not a freewill offering. It is covenant-offering.

I hope this helps.

St. Akin the Great.

© 2020 Akin Akinbodunse


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2 comments:

  1. A dear brother on one of my WhatsApp Chat groups asked the following question in response to my answer to h Question #4,

    This is a question. @St. Akin

    Was Abraham commanded to make the sacrifice or was asked to do so?
    For as it is written, it was a test. Suggesting that Abraham had a will that was free to do (or not) as asked because he had come to trust and believe, rather than following because of compulsion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My answer is as provided below:

      "You are correct. Abraham had a free will to either obey or not to obey. We always have a free will when it comes to our association with God. He never takes that away from us, irrespective of the kind of offering we are referring to. The difference, however, is in the consequence. In a freewill offering, all God is looking at is the magnanimity of the heart, not necessarily that of the offering itself. We see the example in the widow's mites. However, when it comes to a covenant offering, God is particular not just with the magnanimity of the heart, but the substance just as well. IT MUST BE AS STIPULATED, NO LESS. You see that in God's mandate to Saul as well as the example of Abraham, earlier discussed. Does that help?"

      I hope this helps.

      Delete

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