The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

Re-Thinking the Tithe Part 2

Re-Thinking the Tithe Part 2
I’ve had some really interesting discussions with some people over the last couple of days since I first posted on the issue of tithing. A few common questions keep coming up that I thought I would address here.

1) What about the OT verse about bringing in the whole tithe? (Malachi 3:10)
The reason I don’t give any weight to this passage in terms of supporting giving the tithe to the local church is that the context of the passage was meant for the Temple. In the OT, the temple was the absolute focus of Hebrew social and religious life and their main perceptual representation of God himself. The problem is that the Temple does not exist anymore, and nowhere does the NT suggest that local church structures are to be considered the new Temple. The NT points to believers themselves being the new Temple of the living God, not a local church organizational structure.

2) What about evangelism?
Yes, SOME of our money should be used for evangelism. The problem is that most people seem to forget that evangelism is most effectively done by individual believers to individual people. This is the NT model. There where no local church structures that Christians tried to bring people to once a week in hopes that they would get saved there. Instead, Acts 2 suggests that the believers sold their possessions and gave it to others in need (or as they had need). It also says that money was brought to the feet of the apostles, but that money was also used to meet the physical needs of people. It was this atmosphere that allowed the believers to “enjoy the favor of all the people”. In such an atmosphere, our testimony carries more credibility and therefore more power. So you see, I think evangelism itself would be more well served if our money went to serve peoples needs instead of paying for church buildings.

3) Shouldn’t we also be concerned about Spiritual needs?
Yes, we should absolutely be concerned about meeting spiritual needs. However, MONEY DOES NOT MEET SPIRITUAL NEEDS! There is no dollar sign holding people back from the living God.

I guess the bottom line for me is that Jesus talked about using our money and giving in terms of the poor and needy, not in terms of paying for a church building. I’d still love to hear any thoughts you may have. Am I missing something here?

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July 27, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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