Continuing the conversation:
I received the following:
In your first posting it sounded like you were referring to the Mosaic Law. The theme of the New Testament is about a personal relationship with our creator. Obeying what Christ has said does not
create a list of do's and don'ts from which punishment is dished out. I know your not promoting that but it sounds like your approaching Christ with a list. We are made rightous because of what he has done. Not through a law or list of rules to follow. Obviously we should obey what he has told us. If we fail we have an advocate, the sin already paid. I see no biblical basis for a New Law to follow as in ordinances to keep. God deals with us with the heart concerning what needs to be refined. We see many trying to resurrect The 10 Commandments as the answer to the worlds sin. This is a great error. I believe a thin line separates you and I on this discussion.
So to get back on topic, what is your view on tithing money?
Hello Greg and All,
Greg, I don't understand why the New Commandment sounded like the Mosaic Law to you.
As for obeying what Christ told us to do and not to do, it certainly may be listed. The list won't be exhaustive though for anyone who doesn't understand the summation of the law that is the New Commandment. When Jesus said to the adulteress, go and sin no more, one may be sure that listed in the law is the prohibition against adultery. Surely you concede that. Do you want to start to list all the prohibitions and requirements Jesus discussed in terms people would accept as highly literal? The list would be extensive. He specified many things. The summation though covers it all, as violating even the least violates the greatest. That's the point.
As for being made righteous by what Jesus did, everyone claiming Christianity has not been made righteous by what Jesus did. There are people who call themselves Christians who are deliberately engaging in what they know is wrong and doing so gleefully. We will be separated according to our works as Jesus said. Those who work iniquity rebelling against the divine law as stated and demonstrated by Jesus will be with the goats.
Having the law written on your heart means knowing right from wrong without the need for anyone lording it over you with a mundane legal code. It does not relieve one of the responsibility to follow the real law of God. In fact, the more one knows that law, the more one is obligated.
I don't know how you see no biblical basis for the New Commandment as an ordinance of God to keep as a Christian. That makes no sense to me whatsoever. As for the Ten Commandments, they are assuredly Old Testament that were decidedly and hypocritically applied in mass ignorance. Jesus came to make that clear and plain, and he did. In doing so, he did not remove the law but rather raised the bar, infinitely.
As for tithing and the subject at hand, what I don't let pass is that tithing isn't required because there is no law and tithing is law. That argument is dead. If tithing isn't required, it isn't because there is no law. It is because tithing isn't part of the law of God. The question here then is whether or not tithing is divine law. It is for this reason that what I wrote in my earlier comment was not off subject.
The answer is that tithing, per se, is not the divine law. What is the divine law though is giving and sharing. It means sharing the fruits of labor with all including those who spread the word in earnest. When Jesus traveled about preaching and healing, he was put up and fed by those of hospitality. He deserved that and more. They entered into his labor. That's the real Christian spirit. We are to be one, united in love.
What is tithing? Most of us know it means giving a tenth. What did Jews give that we know of where Jesus commented. "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham." — Luke 19:8-9. So, what Zacchaeus did pleased Jesus. Then there is this. "And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." — Acts 4:36-37. Barnabas gave everything he had, just as the old woman when she gave all her living into the treasury. How much is enough? Do you want to be perfect? Jesus said to give it all and follow him.
Are we required to tithe to the Church? The Church is its people. If we are to be servants to the least as the least, surely we are to give our all over to the Church. Properly identifying the Church is required. Part of that is knowing what the people who make up the Church do further with what is given over. If they do as Jesus asked, all is right. If they deviate and have ulterior motives, it's corrupt. It is not the real Church.
The prosperity preachers for example are fakes who preach a deviant message always stressing the question, what material possessions are in it for me. That is exactly the opposite of what Jesus preached. They have received their reward, as Jesus said. That information, as with all information from Jesus, is both profitable and useful, of course.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)