Tithing

 Essay regarding Tithing

We know that what the law states of Moses mandated the tithe (see Lev. 28: 30-33), in least partly to support the ministry with the Levites (Num. 18: 21-24). Like a number of other laws, nevertheless , it was often observed in the breach, although the prophets insisted that failing to shell out the tithe was absolutely nothing less than slowly destroying God (Mal. 3: 6-12). There were as well offerings being paid. Moreover, faithful Israelites were to be good with their alms, so that the poor of the area were supported. In practice, the prophets discovered themselves inveighing against greed and social injustice (e. g., Amos) and against a natural form of capitalism that squeezed out the poor (Isa. 5: 8-10). In other words, even within the Old Testament we should be mindful not to isolate the tithe from larger demands of generosity and social justice. The only verse in the New Testament that explicitly authorizes the tithe does so in a rather backhanded approach: " Woe to you, instructors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of the spices. В… But you possess neglected the more important matters of the lawВ—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You ought to have practiced these, without missing the former" (Matt. twenty three: 23, NIV). Jesus' main point, of course , is to criticize the meticulous tithing of even a couple of herbs expanded in the back garden if it is in the expense of fundamental problems of proper rights, integrity, and mercy. Although one may have expected Jesus to say, " You should have practiced the latter, and let the herbs care for themselves" В—or some thing equally dismissive. Instead, he says, " You should have practiced the latter, with no neglecting the former. " Following your Cross plus the Resurrection, the newest Testament supplies no passing with the same explicit conclusion. That raw fact causes all the usual debates regarding the nature of the continuity and discontinuity between the old and new covenants. Does the tithe continue as a divine requirement because it is not explicitly abrogated? Or could it be part of the...

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