x454....What Have I got Against Tithing?
What is really wrong with tithing--after all aren't we giving to the
ministry of someone? --Well, sure this is a good thing to do--to give
to another person's ministry--if you do it you will be blessed.
But, here is all the baggage that goes along with tithing--
The big problem is that it limits ministry. By tithing, we are saying that one person--the leadership of the church--is the official "full-time" "five-fold" "office" minister of the church (by the way these are all Biblically incorrect terms!). And if effect we are saying that no one else--including ourselves has "real" ministry.
Oh, we may have the ministry of cleaning the church--or ushering--or playing music in the church--but we don't have "real" 5-fold ministry--only the pastor does--only the leaders do. By tithing we are saying that they are the only ones who have the 'real' service to do for God--and the best that any of the rest of us can do is to serve them--to feed them--and to support them.
Now, as we started out saying --it is perfectly fine and Biblically
correct for us to support others ministry financially. But, in the bible
they were supporting everyone's ministry--they were supporting the poor
within he church (all the NT Collections were "for the saints"--NOT
for the pastor--or the leadership). In the NT bible they understood that
they were all the church--the "body of Christ"--they were in
the earth to carry on Jesus' ministry (preaching the Gospel--feeding the
poor--praying for the sick--casting out the devil--and releasing others
to do the same [apostello]--the simple "5-folds" of Jesus' ministry--see
Luke 4:18). But they understood clearly that the Master had told them that
He was the Head (Christ is the Head of the church--"for one is your
Master--Christ--and all ye are
brethren"--(Matthew 23)--They understood that this is the way that the church was meant to operate.
There was no tithe in the New Testament church. They understood that it was no longer necessary to take up an offering for sin (which is what the tithe was)--Jesus had been the 1-time offering for sin --once for all. They also had no Levitical priesthood--they understood clearly that they all were now considered priests unto God--all had ministry--Jesus being the High Priest seated in the true Holy of Holies in Heaven.
If you were a Levite--how did it work?
If you were a Levite--a Jewish priest in the time before Christ--you
understood exactly what your job was. You served (ministered) in the
temple--you had many many daily jobs to be done--most of these jobs had to do with the offering which needed to be made for sin. You collected the tithe from the rest of Israel. You collected the tithe--which was 1/10 of the herd and the crops of Israel--which God considered to be holy unto Him. You took this "holy portion" --this tithe--and offered it as prescribed from the word of God. You spilled the blood of the animals--wiped it in the right places--made it flow into the right places in the temple---rubbed it on the right garments--etc. You took the grain that was offered--the tithe--and you heaved it into the air--you burnt what was required--you did what the law said to do with this offering. It had to be done on a constant basis--in the temple. this was your ministry--this was what ministry was--it was serving God in your office. It was serving God in your particular, ministry which you had been born into. Your children would continue this same way since they were born Levites also. You took the remains of the proper offering and you live on it. You had a full-time job doing all these ministerial functions--so Israel supported you by doing as God had told them to do which was to designate--to delegate--this authority to serve in the temple specifically to those born of the tribe of Levi. You worked under a high priest, he had privileges that you did not--you were under his authority--you followed his commands and rules.
Now we often say that Israel is a type and shadow of the church--(a teaching which is difficult to find in the Bible!). We need to understand our New Covenant rights are far greater and exist in a far greater spiritual relationship with God directly--specifically since we have a greater offering than the blood of goats and rams and lambs. Specifically since we have a greater offering--a greater "tithe" than what any Levite ever had--we have the blood of Jesus Christ as a lamb without spot or blemish. We function under the authority of a greater high Priest than any Levite ever did. We function under the authority of Christ's priesthood.
But who? Is there a specific group of people who are the levites within
Christianity? The Bible tells us plainly that we are all made kings
and PRIESTS unto God in the New covenant (Rev 1:6--Rev 5:10). We are all made into the temple of the Holy ghost (1Co 6:19)--a far greater temple than any physical building that man ever made. WE have a direct relationship with God through the blood of Jesus. No levite ever had such a relationship.
But who? "Some" of us? or all of us?
To whom do we pay our tithe? What gives certain people the right to
collect the tithe? If we believe in tithing--doesn't that limit the
ministry of most of us?
When we say that it is only the "5-fold" ministers who can collect money for their ministry--then doesn't this stop most of us from operating in these gifts?