The Tithe- All to the Local Church?

Should the complete tithe of our income be designated to the local church?

  • Yes. All 10% must go to the local church.

    Votes: 20 60.6%
  • No. The tithe can be split between the local church and various Christian ministries.

    Votes: 5 15.2%
  • I don't believe the Christian is obligated to tithe today.

    Votes: 8 24.2%

  • Total voters
    33

Jerrod Hess

Puritan Board Freshman
Some will counter, no doubt, by saying that this is part of the previous dispensation.
That is true, but the OP has already established the presumed verity of the tithing principle, but I fear this thread may become a debate as to whether or not the 10% principle is biblical in the New Covenant.
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
For what it's worth, the lower 50% of people in the US do not have a federal income tax liability in the American graduated income tax system. For example, 61% of all taxpayers in the US paid no federal income taxes in 2020. 57.1 percent of households paid no individual income tax in 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics...holds-that-pay-no-income-tax-by-income-level/

This was my not so well put point. Are the bottom 50% obligated to give more than 10% because they get a net-profit from our current economic structure? Just a thought
 

Jerrod Hess

Puritan Board Freshman
Say the gubment decides to raise the taxes to north of 50%. What’s one to do? What if one is in the lower 50% of America financially and is a net gainer from our semi-socialist economy. What about retirement contributions? None of this is to wholly obliterate the 10% as a starting point, but just to show that things often get messy in practice.
Agreed, maybe I should have provided more clarity. In such a situation, it is not possible for God to get more (quantitatively) – moreso what I was desiring to convey was that we ought not offer to the Lord 10% after the magistrate has had his portion, but before. If one cannot give more quantitatively, (which I'm not saying is a requirement) certainly we can give more qualitatively.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Junior
I'm not sure how that logically follows. What I am saying is one ought to tithe from their gross and not their net, because God requires of us the firstfruits, and he deserves the best portion regardless of what the magistrate gets. Obviously, my position presumes the equity/continuity of the 10% principle, which you can give generously out of thankfulness.
Jerrod,
Are you conflating the firstfruits with the tithe? They don't seem to be the same in the OT. Also, are we obligated by the law of First Dough (Num. 15:18-21)? What about temple tax? The tithe is merely one small component in a far larger giving structure in the OT.

Also can you clarify what you mean by "equity/continuity"? Do you want to suggest that the tithe law is moral law or civil law? (If it is ceremonial law, it wouldn't bind us in any way, but I don't know anyone who argues that). If it is moral law, then we are perpetually bound by the law to give 10% of our agricultural produce to the Lord (notice that the tithe in the OT always explicitly refers to agricultural produce, even though there would have been varied streams of income in antiquity). That would be the "continuity" position. But that is a hard position to defend, I think, given its absence prior to Sinai and after the death and resurrection of Christ, along with its explicit connection to the gift of the land. Israel is to pay the tithe because the land of Canaan belongs to the Lord and has been given to them as tenants.

If you are suggesting that the tithe is civil law (as I think it is), then we are not bound by it directly as Christians but only by its general equity. Equity is not the same as continuity. It means there are general principles of giving that may legitimately be derived from the tithe law, along with the other OT laws of giving, but the specifics are not obligated. We are no more bound by the requirement to give 10% of our agricultural produce than we are to give the first roll of any bread we bake to the pastor. However, we may learn from it that we must give a proportionate amount of our income to the Lord in recognition of his greater grace to us in the gospel, granting us a heavenly inheritance (the antitype of the OT land promise). In view of what we have received, we are to excel in the grace of giving, which surely means seeking to give more abundantly than God's OT people were required to give under the law. Do you see why I say that once you have that principle down, the question of "gross vs net" seems a bit silly? That question is about how little I can give and still be in compliance with the law, rather than how much can I give in response to the gospel.
 

Jerrod Hess

Puritan Board Freshman
If I may also add, the magistrate when he requires such an asinine amount, and would assume to himself that which belongs to God, he is no different than the sons of Eli, of whom the Holy Ghost called "sons of Belial" (1 Samuel 2:12-17) – the fact that they already think that they can assume to themselves a portion before God does his frustrates me enough.
 

Jerrod Hess

Puritan Board Freshman
Jerrod,
Are you conflating the firstfruits with the tithe? They don't seem to be the same in the OT. Also, are we obligated by the law of First Dough (Num. 15:18-21)? What about temple tax? The tithe is merely one small component in a far larger giving structure in the OT.
I'm saying that God deserves the best portion, which I addressed in the post above, qualitatively should be prior to the magistrate requiring his portion.

As to the rest of your post, I'm not personally interested in making a land distinction (as in post #5) as to whether or not the principle was civil or moral, nor do I think that was part of OP's intention in the thread. Sorry for the shorter reply, just getting off work
 

alexanderjames

Puritan Board Freshman
That is true, but the OP has already established the presumed verity of the tithing principle, but I fear this thread may become a debate as to whether or not the 10% principle is biblical in the New Covenant.
Well if it is agreed that the 10% tithe principle is not biblical in the new covenant then the discussion of gross vs net is redundant.

Obviously I believe a 10% tithe has been superseded by a far better principle of liberal and joyful generosity. (I had assumed that might be your position in my previous comment.)

For those who wish to hold to a 10% tithe by all means go ahead and discuss gross vs net.
 

Northern Crofter

Puritan Board Freshman
My love of etymology and the History/English teacher in me made me curious. For what they're worth (if anything) here are some observations:

Both the Council of Tours (567) and the Synod of Mâcon (Third Council, 585) reportedly (I cannot find text for either, and even if I did, my Latin is very rusty...) insisted on the obligation of paying tithes (I think it is fair to say that most of the Reformers accepted the first 7 ecumenical councils, with the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 being the last for most, though Calvin seems to reject Nicaea 2 in the Institutes [see Book I, Chapter 11.14] - or at least the parts he believed allowed for idolatrous practices).

The Old English/Proto-Germanic word that evolved into the English word "tithe" predates these councils, thus the original word seems to have had no religious connection.

Claims that many of the Reformers protested tithing are not as obvious as they appear - one has to establish from the context of their writing if they are protesting tithing itself or the tithe as a compulsory tax levied by the civil government to support an established national church which they see as not the true Church. Most if not all of this was dictated by law and the Reformers often refused to pay certain taxes if they believed they supported immoral laws (the most obvious example I can think of is all the disparate groups of Covenanters refusing to pay the cess because it was used to pay the soldiers who were hunting them down and executing them).

I am always fascinated by old English law so Blackstone is a favorite read (his works are all available online). His commentaries on the laws of England contain quite a bit of detail about tithes and monetization of agricultural products. If you're curious/bored, see pp.23- in Vol.2 Ch.3 ii - it is available here: https://archive.org/details/commentarieson02blac/page/26/mode/2up (I've posted images from the table of contents and his first paragraph on the issue below). As a farmer, I understand this - I monetize my cattle and crops by selling them and tithe the annual profit/increase (when there is one - this year is not looking so good...).
1659623765552.png 1659623782833.png 1659623928256.png

Finally, and perhaps only somewhat seriously, as the word "tithe" is simply a descendant of the Old English word for "tenth" and the original Hebrew word translated into English versions as "tithe" also means "tenth," would it be considered bearing false witness to say you "tithe" if you are not giving 10%?
 

B. F. Anderson

Puritan Board Freshman
So I'm curious is it unethical to tithe to the ministry that you are responsible for? For example, could a student pastor tithe to his student ministry?
 

Northern Crofter

Puritan Board Freshman
So I'm curious is it unethical to tithe to the ministry that you are responsible for? For example, could a student pastor tithe to his student ministry?
First, that depends on your understanding of the tithe in the "Old Testament" and whether or not it continues as a moral obligation.

Second, the Levites were required to tithe their tithe but I am unclear who this went to (just the high priest?) as it was a heave offering which usually was a sacrifice that, rather than being consumed on the altar, was given to the priests:

"Speak also unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye shall take of the children of Israel the tithes, which I have given you of them for your inheritance, then shall ye take an heave offering of that same for the Lord, even the tenth part of the tithe [literally "a tenth of the tenth" in the Hebrew]. And your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as the corn of the barn, or as the abundance of the winepress. So ye shall also offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye shall receive of the children of Israel, and ye shall give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the Priest. Ye shall offer of all your gifts all the Lord’s heave offerings: of all the fat of the same shall ye offer the holy things thereof." (Numbers 18.26-29). I think Calvin viewed this as the non-priestly Levites tithing of their Levitical tithe to the priests. It would seem that only the priests amongst the Levites did not tithe in the old dispensation of grace.

I'm not sure what you mean by "the ministry that you are responsible for" but ministers of the Word not tithing in their local congregations would seem to me to be analogous to the priests not being responsible to tithe (while, like the rest of the Levites, "ruling elders" and the rest of the congregation would be required to do so). Perhaps this is part of Paul's application (continuation?) in 1 Corinthians 9:9 of the Deuteronomic "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn."

I found this brief article interesting: https://thirdmill.org/answers/answer.asp?file=40422 (I'm not familiar with the organization "Thirdmill" but their FAQ states this Q/A: "Does Thirdmill have a statement of faith or statement of doctrinal beliefs? / Yes, the doctrines we hold to are briefly summarized in our statement of faith. A more complete statement of our doctrinal standards can be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with its Larger and Shorter Catechisms.")
 
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B. F. Anderson

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not sure what you mean by "the ministry that you are responsible for"
Maybe I should be a little more clear. Our church has the ability in our online giving system to designate where in the church you want your tithe to go to. For example, I'm giving money that I want to go to the mission budget, I can specify that. My question is as a Youth Pastor would it be wrong to tithe part or all of my offering directly to student ministry?
 

beloved7

Puritan Board Freshman
There are two things people don’t like to part with, their money (tithe) and their time (Sabbath). They will utilize eisegesis to support both.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
In our Dutch Reformed circles, I have heard the ministers talk of "God's tithe and our offering". Our family gives 10% to the church and varying amounts to other causes (missionary, parachurch, benevolence) as we feel led, which collections are taken up by the deacons each week.
 
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