9.29.2005

Long Day

Today has been a bit long. On tue and thur I have class at 8am, 1pm and 6:30pm So I just hang out at Fuller all day, it’s ok, but…

For dinner I had sushi, got to love CA. I can choose from good, Americanized, Mexican, SE Asian, or European food, in addition to good old fashioned hamburgers and pizza.

I haven’t listed my classes for the quarter here yet because I think I’m going to drop one of the classes.

When the prof first entered the room I had high hopes because he was wearing hiking shoes with his kakkies, but as it turns out our personalities just clash.

Today, he tried to say that pastors should get the entire tithe because one line does indeed say this. (Num 18:21) Never mind the fact that another verse says use the tithe to buy some beer, and a rib-eye for yourself. (Deu 12:17-19) The point being that you can’t make a direct translation of tithing passages into the contemporary setting. Which should be kind of obvious since the New Testament never uses the word tithe. Anyway, that was kind of the last straw, so I have to find another class to take.

That’s my day, what was yours like?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Ms. Monica said...

Tithing was part of a body of laws given by God through Moses to the ancient nation of Israel. Twelve tribes of Israel were required by law to support a 13th tribe, the priestly Levites, who had no land inheritance. This enabled the Levites to concentrate on the spiritual needs of the nation. (Numbers 18:21-24) Being an agricultural people, the Israelites were not required to pay the tithe in cash. Rather, it was to come from the land’s produce and from the increase in livestock. If produce was to be tithed and an Israelite wanted to give money instead, then he had to pay 20 percent more than the value of the produce.—Leviticus 27:30-33.

A few years after the resurrection of Jesus, uncircumcised non-Jews were converted to Christianity. “It is necessary to circumcise them and charge them to observe the law of Moses,” some Jewish Christians contended. (Acts 15:5) Others did not agree. So Jesus’ apostles and other experienced Christians met in Jerusalem to discuss the issue. They wanted to discern God’s will. Did he require Christ’s followers to keep the Law of Moses, which included tithing? Experiences were related showing a change in God’s dealings with non-Jews, and this was verified from God’s own prophetic Word. (Acts 15:6-21) What was the decision?

The meeting came to a unanimous conclusion. Christians were not to be burdened with the Law of Moses. There were, though, a few “necessary things” that must be obeyed. Was tithing one? The inspired decision read: “The holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication.” (Acts 15:25, 28, 29) Interestingly, God’s law on tithing was not listed among the “necessary things” for Christians.

Later, the apostle Paul explained that God’s Law covenant with Israel had been abolished by Jesus’ death. “[God] blotted out the handwritten document,” he said, “and He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.” (Colossians 2:14) This does not mean that Christians have no law. Rather, there has been a change of law that now involves “the law of the Christ.”—Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 7:12.

The apostle Paul lived in harmony with this change of law. Though working hard in the formation of one congregation after another, he never appealed for payment in the form of tithes. Rather, he was willing to cover his own expenses by working as a tentmaker on a part-time basis. (Acts 18:3, 4) In all honesty he could say: “These hands have attended to the needs of me and of those with me.”—Acts 20:34.

What guidance, then, do Christians have in the matter of giving? How much should you give?

Jesus Christ was the most generous man to walk this earth. His example has inspired many to act generously. “Practice giving,” he said, “and people will give to you. They will pour into your laps a fine measure, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.” (Luke 6:38) Are there restrictions here? No. Christians are encouraged to give generously, which may even be more than a tenth if they can afford it.—Luke 18:22; Acts 20:35.

On the other hand, a Christian might suddenly be faced with some urgent expense, perhaps due to an accident or sickness. To give a tenth of his salary under such circumstances might deprive members of his family of the necessities of life. That would be unchristian.—Matthew 15:5-9; 1 Timothy 5:8.

Christian giving is voluntary. It takes into account that each individual has different circumstances in life. “If the readiness is there first,” the Bible says, “it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have.”—2 Corinthians 8:12.

How much, then, should you give? That is a question that you must resolve for yourself. The depth of your own heart appreciation for God—not some predetermined tithing formula—will determine what you give. As the Bible urges: “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Tithing was a provision of the Mosaic Law covenant to support Israel’s temple and priesthood. For Christians today, it is neither commanded nor necessary.

David Best said...
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David Best said...

ms. monica,

You have a lot to say on this subject, but I think you may be missing a few verses, consider communistic example given us in Acts, or Jesus saying "I have not come to abolish the law but to fullfill it"

A book I have been incredibly shaped by is one entitled Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald J. Sider

Kyle said...

The best piece I ever read on this subject was here