Is Tithing for Christians?
by, March 16th, 2017 at 12:11 AM (62 Views)
Tithingand the Law of Moses
Tithing was part of abody of laws given by God through Moses to the ancient nation ofIsrael. Twelve tribes of Israel were required by law to support a13th tribe, the priestly Levites, who had no land inheritance. Thisenabled the Levites to concentrate on the spiritual needs of thenation. (Numbers 18:21-24) Being an agricultural people, theIsraelites were not required to pay the tithe in cash. Rather, it wasto come from the land’s produce and from the increase in livestock.If produce was to be tithed and an Israelite wanted to give moneyinstead, then he had to pay 20 percent more thanthe value of the produce.—Leviticus 27:30-33.
God’s command ontithing was a serious matter. If an Israelite mistakenly used forhimself some of what he was going to tithe, then he had to makeamends. How? By giving an extra 20 percent and offering up ananimal sacrifice for his guilt. (Leviticus 5:14-16) Though not everyIsraelite could share in the priesthood, everyone could share in thesupport of the priestly service through the tithe. All of this wasincluded in God’s law on tithing. Therefore, it fitted thecircumstances of that ancient people. But does it fit thecircumstances of people today? More importantly, are Christianscommanded to tithe?
AChange of Law
A few years after theresurrection of Jesus, uncircumcised non-Jews were converted toChristianity. “It is necessary to circumcise them and charge themto observe the law of Moses,” some Jewish Christians contended.(Acts 15:5) Others did not agree. So Jesus’ apostles and otherexperienced Christians met in Jerusalem to discuss the issue. Theywanted to discern God’s will. Did he require Christ’s followersto keep the Law of Moses, which included tithing? Experiences wererelated showing a change in God’s dealings with non-Jews, and thiswas verified from God’s own prophetic Word. (Acts 15:6-21) What wasthe decision?
The meeting came to aunanimous conclusion. Christians were not to be burdened with the Lawof Moses. There were, though, a few “necessary things” that mustbe obeyed. Was tithing one? The inspired decision read: “The holyspirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you,except these necessary things, to keep abstaining from thingssacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and fromfornication.” (Acts 15:25, 28, 29) Interestingly, God’s lawon tithing was not listed among the “necessary things” forChristians.
Christians are not obligated to titheas was mentioned in the earlier comments. But like Jesus they doexperience the joy that comes from giving! (Acts 20:35)