Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anti-tithing


Disagree that Christians are required to "tithe," or give 10% of their income to the church.

Proponents of the teaching have as Malachi 3:10 as their proof-text, as was the case in tonight's sermon. The argument is tied to the word "storehouse," equaling the "church."

I did a quick search in the OT for the word, "storehouse." It is actually made up of two Hebrew words 1) house and 2) treasure. It is mostly a place for storing things such as wine, oil, and food. What one finds more often is that the word "treasure," relates to the riches of kings or the riches of the house of God. In the book of Ezra and Nehemiah one finds these references to money being paid to the treasury (of work). And in Nehemiah 10:38 one finds that a legit Levite was to take a 10% of the tithes and bring them to the "storeroom," (the NIV is a bit tricky here, I prefer "treasure room," rather than "storeroom.") of the treasury. However, the word for "treasury," is the word used in Malachi 3:10.

A couple of observations: 1) In the above mentioned Ezra and Nehemiah passages that speak of money being paid or brought to the treasury, there is no mention of it being a tithe. 2) In the Nehemiah 10:38 passage, one does bring a tithe but Nehemiah 10:39 shows that it was not 10% of anyone's income.

Someone may want to say that God's people (i.e. the children of Israel) were to take care of the needs of the priests (and maybe later even the workers of the walls and temple) by giving them items that would sustain them. And that by comparison, church members should give 10% of their income to sustain the church and her ministers. Thus, we should all give 10% to the church.

It is true that all the other tribes were to support the priestly tribe, the Levites with tithes. And even the Levites had to tithe what they received. But this does not connect the "church," with a "storehouse," not even by comparison.

The Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) has one word for the two Hebrew words and that word comes from a verb meaning "to store up," giving a definition that means a place for keeping things safe. A storehouse.

I am pretty sure as Christians we are not suppose to be giving to the church so she can "store up," what we've given. In fact, as Christians we are not to store up treasures (same word as above) that will disintergrate.

We are not storehouses, keeping it all in for ourselves, are we?

Click on this link for the ironic name of this church pictured above.

9 comments:

Russell Earl Kelly said...

Your conclusionl is correct but 10:37 is the key verse. It shows that tithess of only food were brought to the Leviticall cities and not to the temple. www.tithing-russkelly.com

pecheur said...

Thanks for the comment. it seems you've spent a lot of time researching and writing about this topic!!

lexaboy said...

If you read Deuteronomy 32:32 you will find that there is what God calls "vine of Sodom" in the treasures (storehouse). The first tithe mentioned in the bible was entirely of the goods of Sodom, not of Abraham's riches but the spoils taken in battle with those who took Lot captive. All was given to the king of Sodom except the tithe given to Melchisedek. Jerusalem was called 'spiritual Sodom' by John in Revelation. What does this all mean? It means there is more to tithing that the tithe collecting pastor would have you believe.
I like to say that I don't tithe because I am not a Sodomite or a spiritual Sodomite. Both of them had tithes taken from them and what did they get.....destruction. Peter and Paul speak of those who are to inherit ......sudden destruction and swift destruction. Teaching the putting of money into the storehouse may be the link to what Peter and Paul warned us about.

A little much for the mom-to-be. Blessings for you and yours.

pecheur said...

Who knew whole blogs were dedicated to anti-tithing!

I'm trying to connect all your points. I read Deut 32:32 and see the words "the vine of Sodom" but where is that connected to a tithe or a storehouse?

My point is that no matter what the OT says about tithing, it is not how we are to give today. Today, we designate and give. It can't be mandated by the Church.

Thanks for stopping by

lexaboy said...

Beautiful greenery on your blog. Florida or Louisiana perhaps? 34 is where the 'vine of Sodom' is found. It is the Strong's number 214. THis is the same as in Malachi 3:10. God says that there is a poisonous vine in His storehouse. How did it get there? Maybe by exchanging the tithe for money (Deuteronomy 14:25). God says you can exchange the tithe for money. He does not say that the tithe can be money. With tithe money you can buy 'strong drink'. Does that drink come from the 'vine of Sodom'? God's ministers are mixing in poison with their teaching. This is what I come away with from these passages. Am I right on the point that the tithe of Abraham was of the goods of Sodom?

Russell Earl Kelly said...

The tithe of Abraham was only of the goods of Sodom. It was not a holy tithe from a holy land.

pecheur said...

Lexaboy,

Since I enjoy the minutiae of Scripture, I will indulge you here a little. But if i do not reach the same conclusion, just cough it up as to my ignorance. OK?

Are you saying that you believe the vine of Sodom = exchanging the tithe for money. IF, that is what you are saying I don't see how you arrived at your conclusion. (And I'm sure you'll be glad to explain it to me) To me the vine of Sodom from the fields of Gomorrah = pagan gods that Israel was worshiping.

The 14:25 passage you mentioned doesn't seem to be a bad thing (i.e exchanging the tithe for money). Are you saying it is a bad thing?

OR are you saying a tithe can not equal money only exchanged for money?

Yes, the 14:25 passage says one could convert their tenth of their produce into money if they were too far to bring it to the designated area. They'd convert it to money then take it where God designated buying whatever they wanted such as "strong drink". I am tracking with you on this?

But if I understand correctly, you see this as a negative thing. But when I read it, if someone wanted to buy "strong drink" with their exchanged tithe money, so be it. The "strong drink" falls into the "whatever you desire category," and "strong drink" is an example of something they may like.

I am sure your question is rhetorical about Abram and Sodom. But I do not see the relevance to giving freely as one purposes in his/her heart (re: my pro-giving post), even if Abram did give 90% of war spoils back to Sodom.

Even though we agree on being anti-tithing, we arrive at that conclusion in a pretty radically different manner. But that's what makes the Body so colorful, I suppose.

Before I leave I want to run all these jumps by you and make sure I understand what you are saying and why. please correct me where you see fit.

1)vine of Sodom in his storehouse = a bad thing 1a) storehouse=storehouse (mal 3:10) 1b) back to Deut, there is a poisonous Sodom vine in his storehouse or treasury. 1c) "maybe" got there through this tithing for cash program 1d) Exchanging tithe into money OK but no direct money tithe into the treasure, that = destruction (see note #2 and #4 and #5 below) 1e) With exchanged tithing money one can buy alcohol = a bad thing 1e2) vine=alcohol=a bad thing.

2)Abram pays a tithe to king of Salem from the spoils of Sodom not his wealth (connecting gen14:16 with 14:20). Thus, the 10% he gave Melchizedek was somehow tainted because it originated in Sodom. ???

3) John calls Jerusalem spiritual Sodom (rev 11:8), meaning all things attached to "Sodom" are bad.

So far Sodom is the only common connector.

4)Since a tithe was taken from Sodom and given to Melchizedek, if a tithe goes out from someone, then destruction will come because a tithe came out of Sodom and it was destroyed. Hmmmmmmm

5) All that tied to Peter and Paul and an assumption that destruction must be due to tithing.

Conclusion: Do not give 10% of your money (can only exchange tithe into money) to anyone (church) because paying 10% of money invites destruction (it issues forth from you). Preachers who preach you should give 10% of your money to the church are basically asking their people to invite destruction upon themselves.

How am I doing? (please don't add anymore steps, get me through these first) =)

lexaboy said...

If you research the "strong drink" you will find an association with destruction in Micah 2. In Isaiah 56 it is "greedy shepherds who don't understand" who are drinking this drink. Isaiah 29 says that this drink does not come out of a bottle. It is an intoxication of evil. Now you can say that the vine of Sodom is just the same kind of thing. It is not some drink in a bottle that caused the inhabitants to desire males and threaten Lot and the angels. There were lots of threats of death that faced Jesus and the apostles. It was because their persecutors drank from the vine of Sodom. Try teaching Christians in churches today about the many errors of monetary tithing and see who is taking shots of this wicked vine.

Tim Fields said...

I just read Martyn Shenstone's book, the destination of the tithe, after reading that I can't take anyone who preaches tithing seriously again!
Tim