The Christian and Money [Part 1]   Leave a comment

Christian's Money

Christian’s Money

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Mat. 6:3

Tithing

Through these words, our Lord hereby assumed that it was a normal duty for His disciples to give. In Matthew 6, it was not referring to tithing but about giving to those in need.

There’s a school of thought who believes that Christians should tithe and another who do not believe in tithing. I believe that tithing is an old testament concept given by God to provide for those ministering as priests.

In the New Testament, we are taught that voluntary offering was the way of giving:

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Cor 9:6

The key is here: Decide in your own heart how much to give. It is a personal decision and not an act of response to the pressure of a law. Jesus did not teach about tithing nor did His disciples. We are called to give out of love, with joy and without pressure.

Giving one tenth is an old testament instruction where the people gave one tenth of what they had. It could be grains, fruits, herd or flocks (Leviticus 27:30) to God. To be more precise, it was not given to God for Him to eat(as if He needed something) but given to feed the dedicated people of the tribe of Levi who ministered for the nation.

God does need our money, He wants our heart.

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Mat. 6:21

The Levites did not have any inheritance. God was their inheritance.

Remember that the Levitical priests—that is, the whole of the tribe of Levi—will receive no allotment of land among the other tribes in Israel. Instead, the priests and Levites will eat from the special gifts given to the Lord, for that is their share. They will have no land of their own among the Israelites. The Lord himself is their special possession, just as he promised them.” Deuteronomy 18

The Levites were therefore dependent on the offerings the people brought to survive. If they had to work the lands to produce their own crops, how could they be entirely consecrated to the Lord? Since the Levites did not have any possession, God gave a law to protect the Levites. The Levites’ family shall have no inheritance, and yet they shall live very comfortably and plentifully. Birds don’t sow but are fed by the Master, so it is with those in the Ministry. God will make provision. The law of tithing is about giving a tenth of one’s production. It was not necessarily about money.

The church of Philippi gave a lot of offerings which even exceeded what tithing required to support Paul in his ministry(Philippians 4:10-19). In the book of Acts, some even sold their lands.

There was also another tithe given by the Levites. It was called the tithe of the tithe.

Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—a tithe of the tithe—to the Lord as a sacred offering. The Lord will consider this offering to be your harvest offering, as though it were the first grain from your own threshing floor or wine from your own winepress.” Numbers 18:26

The people of Israel gave one tenth of the best they had to the Levites. The Levites should also have something personal to offer to God. They were not exempted and these ministers also had to support others. So they now gave the best of the tithe they received to Aaron the high priest and his descendants. Aaron (and his descendants) therefore received the best of the best production of Israel. He was the high priest after all and the best given by the consecrated Levites was given to him. Freely they received from the labours of others, freely they gave. But should not the one higher in the hierarchy, Aaron, also have something to present? But how could he if there were no minister above him to do the offerings? The well respected father of the nation, Abraham, paid it in advance. Aaron like his brother Moses were of the tribe of Levi and therefore descendants of Abraham. Abraham gave a tithe of the best he had after his victory to someone greater than him, Melchizedek.

In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.” Hebrews 7:9

Despite the debate, those who believe in tithing and those who don’t both believe in tithing both agree that Christians should give.

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Posted May 7, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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