Monday, October 18, 2004

Should the Chuch Teach Tithing?

I grew up in a church which taught that tithing was required by God and that not to do so was an act of disobedience to God. All sorts of stories were told about miraculous blessings which came to those who tithed (usually to do with locusts or unexpected bread deliveries). I think this view is completely unbiblical. The tithe laws of the Old Testament were part of the old covenant which ceased at the time of Christ's death. There is no command anywhere in the New Testament for Christians to pay a tithe. Instead, the new covenant invites Christians to give generously what they are able. Recently, I came across Russell Kelly's incredible comprehensive, detailed examination of tithe in the Bible. Should the Church Teach Tithing: A Theologian's Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine is a brilliant and exhaustive exploration of every passage in the Bible related to tithing. The book is completely free to download and is the second edition of the full book. This is a must read for every Christian who believes they are under obligation to tithe. It is a serious, theological treatment of the subject so it is hard going at times. But the effort is worth it. Download the book here.

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