Ever so often I read articles about the virtues of tithing. The narrator always puts their experience into it and examples of other people they know of or heard of. The cliché example is always they know of a person that gave 30 dollars one day and the next day they received a check of 300 dollars. Sounds good on the face of it. My other friend started tithing and is now a multi-millionaire. Christ would appear to be in the banking business and handing out entitlements for simple faith?
So from the Cross and Resurrection, Christ instituted a monetary system to reward believers for their faith. I think I remember that when the thief on the Cross looked up at Jesus and told Him that he wanted to be with Him. Remember Christ looked down at him and said , Today you will be in paradise you will become a multimillionaire. Here was the disclaimer but you have to buy a ticket to enter heaven. The cost to you today is only $29.99 on sale and that also includes wiping out all your sins.
Wait a minute! I vaguely remember a story when Jesus walking the earth that Satan offered Him all the wealth of the earth and He refused. I think that is the story. However I do not recall Satan telling Jesus if you give me $29.99 today I will give you all the money and riches of the world. Correct me if I am wrong. I should read the Bible more I am not to sure of that interplay or narrative.
What I do know is that tithing was instituted for the Jewish people as a way to help the less fortunate. They were an agrarian society and a tenth of what their land produced was placed in a warehouse. This was to help feed the widowed, orphan and the less fortunate. If you could not get your produce to the warehouse you were allowed to pay ten percent in the current monetary system but this came at 5 percent penalty tax on top of that amount. The use of money was frowned upon. This was the Mosaic Law only for the Jewish people. A quick google search will bear this out.
To give a tenth of what you produced (agriculture and animals) to the widowed, orphan and the less fortunate was an act of charity as mandated by the Mosaic Law. This act of charity flows into the New Testament for the believer. It has nothing to do with absolving your sins or you faith in salvation and redemption. It is an outward act of love for your fellow human being within your sphere of influence by simple faith in Christ.
When Christ walked the earth under the New Covenant He got rid of the Mosaic Law and the other 600 hundred laws that the Jewish people had to follow. Christ replaced the sacrificial atonement for sin and the laws requiring tithing. There is no Hebrew word in the New Testament for tithing it is not in the scriptures. Charity to others carries across as an outward act of love for your human being within your sphere of influence by simple faith in Christ.
I know my Christ. When I was on the Cross being crucified in my sins years ago. I looked up at this man called Jesus. In my travels around the world I had heard of this man. He was talking away to His Father in Heaven. We were both dying inside but the more I listened to Him. I began to realize He did not fear death but was concerned more about His creation me, you.
In a weak voice I looked up at Jesus and asked Him not to forget me. He looked down on me and spoke, From this day forward you will be in Paradise. This is the Christ I know He never asked me for money just a simple act of faith.
The years have passed since that time and the memories have faded away. The crucifixion of Jesus became distant. Then one day I was feeling alone a gentleman approached me. I thought I had met Him before , he looked familiar. He told me with a smile, I never forgot you or forsaken you. I pulled myself up and proceeded on the path to Zion.
Ref: “Diaries on the Shelf”, yesterdays blog.
Man under the guise of the pulpit carried over and legalized the notion of tithing in money and tied it to your faith and to the absolution of sin. The Holy Roman Catholic Church instituted this around the 1600,s made it a law. Google this up easy to find. These are your money changers in the church. You are being deceived.
My Lord gave me one simple request, have faith and one simple command Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor. Simple as that. Charity in material possessions will flow from your heart to others within your sphere of influence. Money is used as a last resort because man is tempted to misuse it or it becomes their god. Remember all it took was an apple to cause man to fall in sin.
You follow the money changers and you will be judged by that standard for which there is no redemption. Damnation becomes your god. The measure you judge others so shall you be judged by that same measure.
So bathe yourself in the Word and dry yourself off with the truth and put on the clothes of righteousness.
Like Smokey the Bear always said, Only you can put out the fires of faith within you. Your choice.