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Churchianity - Is Tithing Biblical?
Wow. Your letter was a lot to take in. I see immediately why you and dad do not see eye to eye on church.
I was very surprised about the tithing part. When you said tithing was not a command in the New Testament, I thought you were mistaken. I actually got on my phone first thing and searched for the word “tithe” on Biblegateway.com. To tell you the truth, I was kind of shocked.
I do know, however, that giving is commonly talked about in the New Testament. For example, in 2. Corinthians 8:1-15 Paul talks about Christian giving to help other Christians.
I also asked my youth pastor about tithing not being in the NT and he said there is no revelation in the NT that supplants the OT tithe, therefore, we should still tithe. He also asked me ‘how is the church going to survive if not for the tithe?’
I told him I was not sure, but I wondered what you would say.
I see where you are coming from, but a lot of what you said does not seem right to me, especially the “churchianity” practices and stuff. I have a lot of questions, but I think we should take this just a little at a time, so I will leave it at just the ’tithe’ part for now.
I love you Grandpa and look forward to your letter.
Thank you for writing back so soon. I honestly love this. I am very glad to be able to so thoroughly share my views with you. Most of what I say is controversial to modern, American Christians, but as I said before, I believe truth is on my side. Good idea to just keep it about the tithing part. In fact, let’s just keep each letter about one topic. Otherwise, I think our letters will start getting too long.
First, I want you to think about this: If tithing is so important, don’t you think at least a few NT passages would talk about it? If tithing really were a cornerstone of Christianity (as people have made it today), isn’t it strange that it’s not mentioned one time in the New Testament?
I chuckled to myself when I read that your youth pastor said “there is no revelation in the NT that supplants the OT tithe”. I’ve actually heard this response or variations of it, dozens of times. What your youth pastor said is actually false. There are revelations in the NT that void the OT tithe.
You see, the tithe was used to provide OT sacrifices and support the priests and Temple. Since we no longer need sacrifices, priests or a Temple, thanks to Jesus’s work on the Cross, there is no longer need for a tithe to support those old covenant practices. To say that a tithe should now be used to support a modern day “church”, that is a structure with a cross on top with all its pursuant necessaries, is totally a man-made construct.
If you would like to research this yourself, feel free to look up these passages on your phone
Tithing for the Temple and priests:
Numbers 18:21 & 28
2 Chronicles 31:4-5
The apostle Paul clearly explains how Christ made the old covenant obsolete in Hebrews 8 and 9.
You might want to ask your youth pastor this: Where in the Bible does it say a tithe should support a church building? As I pointed out in my first letter, in the Bible the word ‘church’ does not even mean a building, but a congregation of believers.
I want you to do something. Please take note of your youth pastor’s error, not because I want to highlight his ignorance, but I want you to start noticing the false things Christians believe because we’ve changed the Biblical meaning of “church”. This is just one of many, and I will point them out to you as they come up.
So tithing is unnecessary because Temples, priests and sacrifices are unnecessary - thanks to Jesus Christ’s work on the Cross!
But what about the giving in the New Testament? - you asked.
Let me ask you something: whenever Christians give in the NT, what were they giving to? What was the cause? Were they called to give in order to build a church building? No! They were called to give to a church, but that meant a group of fellow believers! In the example you referenced (2. Corinthians 8-9), the early Christians were getting together an offering under the guidance of Paul and Titus to send to the believers who were suffering hardship in Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30). The passage has nothing to do with building a church building or supporting one.
In fact, nowhere in the entire NT does God command Christians to give to support a ‘church’! This is why I call it a “churchianity” practice, not a Christian one. It is totally a man-made idea that has no Biblical basis. Feel free to look it up yourself. Get up the Biblegateway.com app on your phone right now, and search the word “give”. Not a single time is giving associated with constructing a building with a Cross on top, or the huge cost of maintaining one.
Notice the flaw pastors make with this. A pastor will stand up to give a sermon. He will read a few Bible passages on giving and then say, “Therefore, my sheep, that means you should give generously to me and this building. The Bible commands us to give!”
My response would be: “Excuse me, sir, but the Bible commands us to give to fellow Christians in true need, not to support buildings or your salary! Show me where in Scripture we need to give to support you?” (this would probably lead to my stoning)
This is another “churchianity” practice. Did you know, Jack, that the word “pastor” is only mentioned once in the entire Bible? Where in Scripture, does God say we should give full time support to pastors? It doesn’t. I know this might offend you since Papa is a pastor, but giving to support a pastor is not in the Bible either. I’m not trying to stir up anything or be mean, it’s just the truth. There is no call to support a pastor and we don’t even know what a pastor is according to the Bible. Here is the one verse that mentions pastors:
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)
If pastors are supposed to be an important part of Christianity, don’t you think it’s strange that the Bible would say “pastor” then give us no description of what a pastor is or what his duties are?
Before you make up your mind on anything, I just want you to contemplate that.
I’ve said enough for now, and I hope you continue to consider what I say, even if you disagree. As I said before, I am certain that truth is on my side.
I love you very much, Jack. Never stop seeking truth!
P.S. I forgot to tell you how I would answer your youth pastor’s question “How would church survive if not for the tithe?” If he were to ask me that directly, I would tell him, “Well, sir, isn’t that kind of the point? Tithing is not a command from God and church is supposed to mean the collective group of believers - the body of Christ. God has not given us any command to support a church building (and all that goes with it) so, shouldn’t we Christians ask ourselves: is this really that important?” Please note that I would say this in my gentle tone, you know how aggressive I can get in a debate! Love you, Jackson.