Is Tithing Required - Part II - Your Replies
We had a lot of good replies to the article that I wrote on Thursday of last week. I typically reply back to each reply. I wanted to reply back in a new post. First, I had a former Pastor of mine preach on Absolute Truths in the Bible. His point was that there were few absolute truths/undeniable truths in the Bible. The rest was up for debate. If that is the case, there is no right or wrong and just opinion. We may or may not know the absolute truth of a subject in our lifetime on Earth. So, respect the good opinions of those around you and remember it is an opinion rather than an absolute truth. I think there is a beauty to that point. I doubt it was ever God's intention to put everything in black and white. After all, it strengthens the need for Faith.
Tithing is a hotly debated topic. I wanted to offer a few of my personal thoughts on it.
If the Bible weren't meant to be followed in its' entirety there wouldn't be the Old and New Testament. I always saw it as the Old and the New Covenant. The New Covenant strengthens the position of the New Covenant where Christ's birth, life, and most importantly death on the cross/resurrection changed everything. It could be interpreted that Jesus did further clarify on the Old Testament teaching of 10%. He said be willing to give it all. I interpret that to mean do not be so attached to anything to the point where you make it any type of a God and couldn't give it up or anything that gets in the way of your relationship with God. It is highly unlikely that God will ever ask you to sell and give up everything. Having said that, could you if you felt so led?
As Christians, we have the Old Testament to look to for specific direction as to what to give up and that is 10%. In my interpretation, that is a good guideline established by Old Testament teachings. Now whatever you give, 10% is between you and God and I don't believe makes you right or wrong. I do believe that we are are not able to get everything out of Christ wants for our life without working to be 100% faithful. Yes, I do believe that tithing, and surrendering control to money, brings us to a level in relationship that we will never know without the discipline of tithing in our life.
The church, assuming that they are being good stewards of money, is a powerful part of the Christian life and its function is essential to reaching those who do not know Christ (assuming that the Christian Church is on mission and on vision). The church has expenses. Tithing is essential in maintaining the church and depends on the Faithful giving of Christians.
Stewardship/management of life and money requires a daily surrender to self. Money, and all of its interpreted abilities of a god, requires that surrender so that a Matthew 6:24 life can be lived. Tithing in my mind has always been the practice of surrender and a stating a strong statement that you are striving to live that Mathew 6:24 life. Tithing is not easy, and in many cases, requires us to have Faith when giving and practicing dependence on God.
I could spend pages unpacking more and more thoughts as well as talking more on the above two points. Having said that, I just wanted to comment at least my feelings more specifically on tithing and today's Modern Day Steward.