Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

August 4, 2005

Lame is what this blogging software is. I have fa…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:28 am

Lame

is what this blogging software is. I have failed repeatedly to update my profile. I no longer want to go through their updating exercise. Not that it matters much since things like ‘my favorite movies’ and other such inanities have zero value. So, don’t bother looking for it.

My promise has been brevity. So, my thesis is that tithing has been relegated to the dust-bin of history. My intuition: there is zero probability that nascent church would have brought along this one institution from the collapsed Mosaic economy.

The trickiest argument in favor of the practice has always been that, though the law had been superceded, fulfilled, eclipsed (you pick a word here) in Christ, (see Col. 2:13,14) tithing must remain because it was instituted prior to the law.

Proponents of tithing being a church requirement always trot out Abraham’s ten percent donated to Mel. (see Genesis 14) as the driving principle. I am a little confused by that passage since we could easily see Mel. giving a tenth to Abraham, not the other way around. Given the standard interpretation, I don’t buy it since while that cash was a tithe (a tenth) it was not tithing – as an ongoing practice. In short, we have to ask why we don’t see Abraham making a practice of it.

As for the contention that tithing got imported into the church age, a key text is 1 Cor 16:1ff:

Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.

The church had been functioning for twenty (+- 1) years (the date of 1 Cor is widely given as 55 ad.) without this direction. This passage can only be read as a specific administrative method for facilitating a specific fund raising activity. To extend this passage to indicate an modus operandi for all time in the church has to fail.

This amounts to an effective argument from silence. Only if there is no tithing happening in the church since its beginning would Paul have had to do this adminstrative organization for the purpose of collecting a gift to be brought to Jerusalem.

A lot more could be said. But, I have reached my word limit.

My adoring fans are clamoring for more photographs, so I will make every attempt to please them. Come back tomorrow for something artsy/fartsy.

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4 Comments »

  1. Get Ellen to do your profile and ur sister’s too she is a computer geek.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 4, 2005 @ 2:21 pm

  2. So are we to throw out everything in the OT unless it explicitly is in the NT. I still think the principle of tithing applies although I agree that there are many abuses occurring and we shouldn’t tithe just to get a tax deduction. I don’t think the man in Lk 18:12 got a tax break.

    -in need of sheet music

    Comment by Anonymous — August 5, 2005 @ 12:38 am

  3. I appreciate your response. But I am not throwing any part of the OT out. I don’t have the authority to do that. Only Jesus has that kind of authority. And he appears to have done exactly that. Col. 2:13,14 again.

    I am not making this stuff up. Address my scriptural arguments if you want to change my mind.

    I find it extremely unlike that the apostles, which threw out such staples of their Judaism as circumcision, kosher foods, animal sacrifices would keep tithing around. They dismantled the whole thing, as Jesus intended them to do.

    Comment by Bruce S — August 5, 2005 @ 5:18 am

  4. Sorry, I overlooked your statement about the principle of tithing. I believe the idea in the New Covenant is that the law has been written on our heart. So, I believe he wrote 2% on mine.

    Comment by Bruce S — August 5, 2005 @ 5:21 am


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