February 28, 2009

Why Jesus never commands Christians to tithe

by F. L. Anderson

Have you ever wondered why there is no mention or command by Jesus for Christians to tithe? 

As a matter of fact, there is no mention of Christian obligation of tithing by any of the Apostles. 

Think about it. Then ask yourself why?

Because there were no Christians under the Law. You can't find any Christians in the Old Testament. Nor were gentiles included under the old covenant of the Law.

But what about Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, and Luke 18:12?

There were no Christians at this time. T
he Gospels are a narrative of Jesus' life, and the words of Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees take place under the Law. 

Remember, the Law had not yet been fulfilled until the death of Jesus Christ. 
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all take place under the Law. 

Remember also, that Jesus was born under the Law. He lived during the time of the Law and also died under the Law. 

The Bible lets us know that His life was offered as fulfillment and obedience to the Law.

The Apostles understood Jesus when He said,

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17) KJV

There are three meanings to the word fulfill: to bring into effect, to make complete, and to bring to an end. 

Jesus' birth, teachings, miracles and even His death brought into effect all those things that were written and stated by the prophets. 

At the same time, His death, burial, and resurrection made the law complete, which means to bring to an end. 

The only parts of the Law that believers are obliged to keep are the ethical and moral principles of the O. T. (Matt. 7:12, 22:36-40, Rom. 3:31, Gal. 5:14) 

The O. T. Law which applied directly to the nation of Israel, (not to Gentiles), such as the sacrificial, ceremonial, social, or civil laws, (This includes the ordinance of tithes as stated in the Leviticus Law, Heb 10:1-4, Lev. 1:2-3, 24:10 Lev. 27, Num. 18:21-29 Deut. 12:6-18, 14:22-29, 26:12) are no longer binding. (Gal. 2:18-21, Gal. 3, Gal.10, Rom. 8:3, 2 Cor. 5:21).

This is why the Apostles wrote the following, when asked how the Gentiles as Christians should live:

"We have heard that certain people which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised, AND KEEP THE LAW; to whom we gave NO SUCH COMMANDMENT. ..."for it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: Abstain from meats offered to idols and tasting blood and from eating the meat of animals that have been strangled and from sexual impurity. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well." Acts, chapter 15: 24-29.

Notice the apostles said nothing in this letter concerning tithing.

"Christians have always believed that many of the laws of the Old Testament no longer apply to us the way they once did - and the reason is because Jesus Christ has fulfilled them. They pointed forward to the coming of the Messiah - and once He came, they were no longer needed." Billy Graham - Christian Post Guest Columnist, June 30, 2008

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that the people of God should not give. Giving is important and necessary to do the will of God. 

What I am saying is that Christians never lived under the law. Therefore, the system of tithing, especially the way it is being used as a system of fear, condemnation, and oppression in the church today is not applicable.

Tithing was a mandated, obligatory statute which was required of the Jews. The law of tithing had specific social, communal responsibilities, such as a percentage being used to meet the needs of the poor. (Deuteronomy 14:28-29, 2 Chronicles 31:14-15, Nehemiah 13:12-13) 

New Testament giving was and is voluntary, a who-so-ever will opportunity. That's why tithing was never mentioned by any of the Apostles because they understood that they were no longer under the Law but under Grace. (Acts 4:34-35 and 5:4).

For more on this subject, see my book Clever Lies and Assumptions.