QUESTION:Why does any discussion of tithing absolutely infuriate some Christians?
QUESTION: Did Jesus teach us to tithe our incomes?
ANSWER: NEVER! Only churches teach that.
QUESTION: Why would Jesus ignore the strongly enforced Old Testament law of tithing?
ANSWER: Jesus was sent to earth to modify and in some cases strengthen some Old Testament teachings for the more sophisticated society that had developed.For instance this is what He did to the equally strongly enforced but violent "eye for an eye" law:
Matthew 5:38-39 (Contemporary English Version)
38You know that you have been taught, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 39 But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek, turn and let that person slap your other cheek.
QUESTION:Ok let's get to the heart of this. Did Jesus teach us what percentage of our incomes to donate to help others or not?
ANSWER:For sure,plainly Bible recorded.Repeatedly in fact. But only for those who want to practice real Christianity.
QUESTION:Ok you have me twisting in the wind now.How much?
ANSWER:Brace yourself now.100%
EXPLANATION:Oh come on get real !
RESPONSE:Are you sure you're ready for that?
Matthew 19:16-22 (New King James Version)
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Acts 2:44-46 (New King James Version)
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.
Acts 4:31-35 (New King James Version)
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
For those seeking evidence of astounding hypocrisy,they have no further to look than the scores of Protestant denominations that proudly keep boasting that their churches faithfully teach biblical principles while at the same time totally ignoring Jesus' teaching on this,one of Christianity's most far-reaching moral concepts, that if it were to be practiced would have an astoundingly profound positive impact on our entire world.
Of all of the major Christian denominations,it is only the Catholic and Lutheran churches that offer their members a way to shun the world and sell themselves out totally to God,just as Jesus taught us to do,by becoming nuns and monks.Unfortunately,under this church system,opportunities for evangelism are sharply limited but the opportunity to participate in this remarkable morally virtuous Christian lifestyle more than compensates.
QUESTION:So what are us non-monks and non- nuns to do?
ANSWER:No one ever told you that living in an unchristian society would be easy did they?There are limited opportunities to negotiate room and board plus health insurance and walking around money in return for labor at some Christian ministry headquarters.Although unlike the Old Testament tithing teaching,Jesus' upgraded teaching is in the form of a voluntary guideline and NOT a law,yet it certainly should serve as a slap across the contented faces for those who spend 40 hours a week devoting their lives to serving companies whose primary reason for existence is to become rich to the max, while at the same time spending only about an hour each week devoting their lives to God.
Matthew 6:21 (Contemporary English Version)
Your heart will always be where your treasure is.
Question:Are you trying to imply that most people are engaging in idolatry through their employment choice?
Answer:You're much sharper than I expected.
Question:Why can't I just leave a large donation to charities in my will?
Answer:You will be decreasing your chance of being chosen for the Rapture through that type of moral evasion.Here is one of the numerous Bible descriptions of what will occur during the rapture:
Matthew 16:26- 27 (New King James Version)
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
In addition,most of those who will be selected for the Rapture have created wills that will not be accepted by the courts.What they donate to charity will never be distributed unless there is a "mysterious disappearance" clause in their wills that will become activated after one or more years of a disappearance that can not be explained.Without this clause in a will,probate judges will put a hold on the distribution of the assets for seven years to protect estates in case missing persons do re-appear.The Rapture will of course produce no signs of death which will render life insurance policies useless for seven years and also will impose the seven year legal waiting period for the distribution of charity donations in wills.The Bible indicates that during this same period of time Jesus will return to earth during the "Second Coming" to establish His Kingdom which fortunately will not need any insurance companies because all will be cared for following the economic principals described in the Acts 2 and Acts 4 verses quoted above.
For those who think they have any real chance of being included in the Rapture hoping they can head for God while finally turning their tails against what has become an increasingly sick world; don't try to play games with Jesus on the issue of generosity.Give away now as much of your worldly assets as you can,aiming for well above the ten percent figure that should be regarded as the absolute base giving line for Christians.
Read more articles by DEAN CROSBY or search for articles on the same topic or others.