Alcorn: I have mixed feelings on tithing. I detest legalism. I certainly don’t want to pour new wine
into old wineskins, imposing superseded first covenant restrictions on Christians.
Russ: You are legalistic when you pour the old wine of tithing into the new covenant wineskin after Calvary. You false impose even more than the tithe on believers regardless of their ability
to buy the essentials of life.
Alcorn: However, the fact is that every New Testament example of giving goes beyond the tithe. This means
that none falls short of it.
Kelly: This is not a fact. According to Acts the Jewish Christians in Judea never did stop paying tithes to the Temple system. According to 2nd Corinthians
8 and 9 (especially -15) many should give more while others give less. Those who give less may be giving sacrificially even though
they are giving less than 10%.
Alcorn: The strongest arguments made against tithing today are “law versus grace.” But does
being under grace mean we should stop doing all that was done under the law?
Kelly: Your error is teaching that everybody in the OT began their level of giving at ten per cent. Yet
that is only true of food producers who lived inside Israel. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers
and neither did the poor nor anybody who lived outside Israel.
Alcorn: I’m a strong believer in the new covenant’s superiority over the old (Romans 7; 2 Corinthians
3; Hebrews 8). On the other hand, I believe there’s ongoing value to certain aspects of the old covenant. The model
of paying back to God the firstfruits (tithing) and giving freewill offerings beyond
that is among those.
Kelly: You are wrong to define tithes as firstfruits. See Deut 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-38 and all other "firstfruit"
texts. Firstfruits were only very small token offerings which could be carried in a small basket. Tithes were tenth-fruits
after the crop had been fully harvested from inside God's special holy land of Israel.
Alcorn: Because we are never told that tithing has been superseded …
Kelly: See http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id171.html for details. Everything about tithing has very clearly
been superseded after Calvary:
1.WHO #1: The Levitical servants to the priests who received the first whole tithe have been
abolished. See Numbers 18:21-24.
2.WHO #2: OT priests who received a tenth of the tithe (only 1 per cent) have been abolished. See Num 18:25-28 and Neh
3.WHAT: The definition of tithes as only food miraculously increased by God from inside His holy land of Israel has been abolished and
replaced with the false unbiblical definition of income.
4.WHERE: The destination of the OT tithes first to the Levitical cities some to the Temple has been abolished.
See Neh 10:37b and Mal .
5.WHEN: The time to tithe has been abolished. The Levitical tithe was paid yearly in the Levitical cities.
6.WHY #1: The covenant which prescribed them was abolished per Heb 8:8-13; Gal -26' 2 Cor 3:6-10.
7.WHY #2: The "commandment" for Levites and priests to collect tithes was "annulled" per Hebrews
7:5, 12, 18.
8.WHY #3: The law which condemned believers has been rendered of no effect when the believer
died in Christ per Romans 7:4. No law can tell a dead person what to do.
9.HOW #1: Jesus abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances per Eph 2:13.Tithing was an ordinance per Num 18.
10.HOW $2: Jesus blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, per Col 2:14. Tithing was an ordinance per Num 18.
11.HOW #3: The Temple which
tithes supported was abolished in AD 70. God's temple is now within each believer per 1 Cor ; -20.
12.HOW #4: The priesthood which was supported by tithes was abolished in AD 70. God's priesthood
is now within every believer per 1st Peter 2:9-10.
13. HOW #5: The blessings
and curses of tithing as part of the whole law have been abolished per Galatians 3:10-13.
Would you continue to send money to a church after
1.The building is destroyed?
2.The preacher has been defrocked?
3.The workers have found other jobs?
4.The members have all left?
5.The land has been inhabited by non religious people?
6.The purpose for the church no longer exists?
7.You have died?
Alcorn: … because Jesus directly affirmed it (Matthew )
Kelly: The hermeneutic of Mt 23:23 demands that it be interpreted as "matters of the law." Jesus could
not have told his Gentile disciples to tithe. Jesus did not command Gentiles whom he healed to obey the law of Moses.
Alcorn: and prominent church fathers taught it as a requirement for Christian living,
Kelly: Prominent church fathers of the first two centuries opposed tithing. Only after the church became
endorsed by the Roman emperor did tithing attempt to begin but it did not become legal until AD 777.
Alcorn:it seems to me the burden of proof falls on those
who say tithing is no longer a minimum standard for God’s people.
Kelly: I can give you 16 texts which define tithes as only food from inside Israel for over 1500 years from Leviticus
to Luke. The burden of proof is on you to show from the Bible where it changed. You cannot even prove that it was a minimum
for everybody who lived inside Israel --much less anybody else.
Alcorn: Christ fulfilled the entire Old Testament, but he didn’t
render it irrelevant. Old Testament legislation demonstrated how to love my neighbor. Although the specific regulations don’t
all apply, the principles certainly do, and many of the guidelines are still as helpful as ever. Consider the command to build
a roof with a parapet to protect people from falling off (Deuteronomy 22:8). When it comes to the Old Testament, we must be
careful not to throw out the baby (ongoing principles intended for everyone) with the bathwater (detailed regulations intended
only for ancient Israel).
Kelly: The English law (good and bad) was rendered irrelevant the moment the Declaration of Independence was signed. In the same way, after
Calvary God took that which was good from the old covenant law and repeated in terms of grace and faith after Calvary in the New Covenant. Why is that so hard to grasp?
Alcorn: We don’t offer sacrifices anymore, so why should we tithe? Because sacrifices are specifically
rescinded in the New Testament. As the book of Hebrews demonstrates, Christ has rendered inoperative the whole sacrificial
system. But where in the New Testament does it indicate that tithing is no longer valid? There is no such passage. With a
single statement, God could have easily singled out tithing like he did sacrifices and the Sabbath. But he didn’t.
Kelly: You are very wrong. In fact NOTHING about tithing is actually obeyed by any church today. Again
see my article at http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id171.html.
Alcorn: The disciples gave all that they had because “much grace was upon them all” (Acts ). It was obvious from the beginning
that being under grace didn’t mean that New Testament Christians would give
less than their Old Testament brethren.
Kelly: If you follow Acts -48; 15; and you will discover that the Jewish Christians from Acts never stopped fully supporting the Temple system with its tithes. Almost every
denomination's church historians tell us that the church in Jerusalem eventually apostatized and became extremely legalistic
for many centuries.
Alcorn: On the contrary, it meant they would give more.
Kelly: Your assumption is false and cannot be documented. According to 1st Timothy 5:8 the Christian should
spend the first of income on medicine and essential food and shelter. You would have them do without medicine and give the
first to the church. That is cruel.
Alcorn: Being under grace does not mean living by lower standards than the law.
Kelly: You keep repeating your false assumption that the law required everybody to begin their giving level
at ten per cent. Your basic premise is wrong.
Alcorn: Christ systematically addressed such issues as murder, adultery, and the taking of oaths and made
it clear that his standards were much higher than those of the Pharisees (Matthew -48). He never lowered the bar. He always raised it. But
he also empowers us by his grace to jump higher than the law
Kelly: Mt 5:19-48 includes the whole indivisible law. Either teach that Christians must keep all of the
law of Moses or none of it. The book of Matthew makes it very clear that Jesus completely fulfilled the righteous requirements
of the law. Christians are under the New Covenant "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" per Romans 8:2.
Please reply.I would appreciate dialog with you.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
Note: Randy Alcorn has given a lot of good financial advice in areas other than tithing. For that
I highly commend him
The following is a rebuttal by Russell Earl Kelly, Ph. D. of The Practice of Tithing
as the Minimum Standard of Christian Giving and Money, Possessions and Eternity (chapter 7) by Randy Alcorn. Alcorn is
the leader of Eternal Perspective Ministries,www.epm.org and has authored many books and articles which advocate tithing. Kelly is the author of Should the Church Teach Tithing,
A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine. His web site is www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.com.
Alcorn’s most important argument is that, since tithing was the minimum standard of giving during
Old Covenant times, then it should be the starting point for Christians under the New Covenant because Christians should be
expected to exceed the legal requirements of the Mosaic Law.
Kelly teaches that Alcorn's argument is based on a false assumption because tithing as a minimum
standard never existed for all OT Israelites. Also, although money was already a necessity, tithing was limited to food
from farmers and herdsmen. Kelly advocates total free-will giving motivated by a Spirit-driven desire for the salvation of
Alcorn begins his discussion
with the account of Zaccheus from Luke 19:1-10 and the rich young ruler from Matthew 19:16-26. However, neither of these accounts
concern or mention tithing. In both instances, Jesus told them to “give to the poor.” Therefore, Jesus was instructing
them about free-will giving. It is noteworthy that He did not tell them to give anything, including a tithe, to the Temple or its Levites and priests.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. …
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as
he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate
together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their
number daily those who were being saved. NIV (quoted by Alcorn)
ALCORN: Concerning Acts 2 and 4, he wrote: “Proof of change, Holy Spirit's work. Generous
sharing and giving of money and possessions. People selling their possessions and giving to the needy. Liquidating
assets for the good of others.”
KELLY: Alcorn uses Acts 2 and 4 to illustrate tithing. However, his conclusions are wrong. What he omits about these
texts is important. (1) The texts are not discussing tithing. (2) While these earliest Jewish church members devoted themselves
to the “apostles’ teaching” (Acts ), that teaching did not include tithing because those Jewish Christians were still scrupulously observing
the Law of Moses. That is why Acts 2:46 says that “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple
courts.” (3) Thirty years later, James and the elders boasted to Paul, “You see, brother, how many thousands
of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law” (Acts 21:20). They must have been tithing –
to the Temple and not to church leaders! There is simply no other conclusion from the
wording of Acts 15:1-32 and -27.
Acts -35 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions
was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of
the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those
who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed
to anyone as he had need. NIV (quoted by Alcorn)
KELLY: Rather than teaching tithing, as Alcorn desires, Acts 4:32-35 merely states that the earliest Jewish Christians
lived together in communes and shared their possessions equally. Twice he noted that the funds went to the needy and
not to church leaders. Since this is not done by Alcorn and his fellow ministers, then
it should not be used to prove any point, especially tithing. Since the distribution was equal, then the apostles had exactly
the same as the poorest person in the church (which is not true about tithing). If these Jewish Christians had stopped paying
tithes to the Temple system and had started giving them to their pastors, then Acts 2, 4, 15 and 21 make no sense at all. Alcorn offers
no proof for his claim.
ALCORN: I'd like to
focus now on the biblical foundation, the cornerstone of stewardship. It is not the whole superstructure of
stewardship, far from it. It is not the ceiling of giving, but merely the floor of giving. [1st mention]
KELLY: (1) God’s Word
does not say that tithing is the “biblical foundation, the cornerstone of stewardship.” (2) Neither does God’s
Word say that tithing was the “floor,” or “minimum standard of giving” (which Alcorn will restate
and repeat thirteen times to make sure that this unscriptural point will stick in the mind).
While using Leviticus 27:30 to demonstrate the “principle of tithing,” it will be seen that Alcorn’s
strongest text fails to prove his arguments at every single point! The
following is how Alcorn marks his emphasis of the verse. The underlined portions are my focus.
ALCORN: "A tithe of everythingfrom the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the
LORD." NIV (quoted by Alcorn)
Lev 27:30 And all the tithe of the land,
whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the LORD.
Lev. 27:31 And if a man will at all redeem any
of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
Lev. 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the
herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Lev. 27:33 He shall not search whether it be
good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it
shall not be redeemed.
Lev. 27:34 These are the commandments, which
the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel
in mount Sinai. KJV
KELLY: Alcorn uses God’s Word very selectively.
While only quoting paart of verse 30 out of context, he completely ignores the remainder of verse 30 and also the surrounding
the meaning of the word "tithe" is ten per cent. If someone makes $2000 a month and puts $50 in the offering box he hasn't
tithed. If you make $2000 a tithe is two hundred dollars. You cannot tithe 2% or 4% or 6% of your income any more than you
can "whitewash" a wall with red paint.
Alcorn’s definition of “tithe” is “10% of all income or increase” [usually gross income before
taxes], only excluding business expenses. However his definition of “tithe”
is wrong because it comes from a secular dictionary instead of God’s Word!
In God’s Word, “tithe”
does not stand alone. It is the “tithe of FOOD.” The biblical tithe was very narrowly defined and limited
by God Himself. True biblical tithes were
always: (1) only food, (2) only from the farms and herds, (3) of only Israelites, (4) who only lived inside God’s Holy Land, the national boundary of Israel, (5) only under Old Covenant terms and (6) the increase could only come from
Therefore, (1) non-food items could not be tithed. (2) Clean wild game animals and fish could not be tithed. (3) Non-Israelites
(Gentiles) could not tithe. (4) Food from outside God’s holy land of Israel was not a legitimate tithe. (5) Legal tithing did not occur when there was no Levitical priesthood. And (5) tithes
did not come from what man’s hands created, produced or caught by hunting and fishing.
EVERYTHING [from Leviticus 27:30]: “Everything.” Doesn't
mean “some things.” Doesn't mean “most things.” Means “everything."
KELLY: Three times Alcorn stresses “everything”
from Leviticus 27:30 and totally ignores the following words, “from the land” from the very text he quotes! This
is unacceptable distortion of God's Word!
Again, it is not a tithe
“of everything.” Rather, God’s Word calls it a tithe “of the land” (Lev. 27:30), “of the
herd” (Lev. 27:32), “of grain and wine” (Numb. 18:27, 28), “of grain, wine and oil” (Deut. 12:17;
14:23; Neh. 13:5), “the increase of your seed” (Deut. 14:22), “of the ground” (Neh. 10:37), “food”
(Mal. 3:10) and “food” (Mt 23:23).
Tradesmen such as carpenters (Jesus), fishermen (Peter) and tentmakers (Paul) did not qualify as tithe-payers because
their increase came from their own skillful work and use of their own hands rather than wholly from God’s increase and
blessings which He increased from His holy land. Day-laborers at farms did not tithe because the land-owner paid tithes.
And the “double portion” inheritance law of Deuteronomy 21:17 eventually pushed many into the cities to earn their
livelihood by trades.
ALCORN: It "belongs to the LORD."
It doesn't belong to me. It's not my money. It's not your money. It's God's money.
KELLY: (1) The O. T. tithe was
never “money” at all! It could be exchanged for money because it
was not money. It could also be converted into money because it was not money (Deut. -26). (2) In the
O. T. the tithe “belonged to the LORD” because it had grown on God’s land, inside the boundaries of national
Israel and had been planted or herded by an Israelite. If these conditions were not met,
then it did not “belong to the LORD.”
ALCORN: It is "holy to the Lord."
"Holy" means "set apart." It is to be set apart and given to God, and used for no other purpose.
The tithe had “no other purpose” than to support the Levitical servants to the priests who then gave only a tenth
of their tithe to the priests. It was a sin to use the tithe for “any other purpose.” Since the “purpose”
of the tithe never changed, and since the tithe was never given to elders and preachers, then are not elders and preachers
“robbing God” by receiving the tithe under one pretense and then using it for an entirely different purpose than
used in the Old Covenant?
The O. T. tithe, like almost everything else in the book of Leviticus, was either “holy” or “most
holy” to the LORD (Yahweh). (1) Again, it was only holy because it was increased on God’s land by God’s
covenant people. (2) It was holy as an O. T. ceremonial worship statute, or ordinance. (3) The N. T. church rejects almost
everything else in Leviticus which is also called “holy” and “most holy.” (4) O.T. Israel was
commanded not to share its covenant statutes with any other nation (including Sabbath-keeping and tithing) (Ex. ; 34:12, 15; Deut. 7:2). (5) The tithe was not to be given
to prophets or synagogue rabbis (the forerunners of pastors). As “most holy” it must only be given to Levites
(Numb. 18:9, 10; Neh. ). Its sole “purpose”
(to use Alcorn’s word) was to totally support the Levites who were only servants to the priests. Also, the Levites were
guards, singers, bakers, craftsmen, animal skinners and political employees of the ruler -- they were not the priests
(1 Chron 23 thru 27).
The "purpose" of the OT tithe was NEVER to support missionaries of pay any Temple expenses other than salaries. Although the priests received one tenth of the first tithe,
they also had many other means of support. See Numbers 18.
Mal. 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we
rob you?' In tithes and offerings. NIV (quoted by Alcorn)
ALCORN: "You rob me." Stealing
from God. "Thou shalt not steal." Taking what isn't yours and doing whatever you want with it.
KELLY: Malachi is in Old Covenant context and
is never quoted in the New Covenant for the church. Compare 2:8-10; 3:7 and 4:4 with Nehemiah 10:28, 29 and Deuteronomy 27:26.The
priests (not the people) had robbed God by keeping the tithes in Nehemiah 13:5 and Malachi 1:14.
ALCORN: In "tithes and offerings."
The mandatory giving and the voluntary giving. Not only are they not doing the voluntary—they're holding back
the mandatory. [2nd repetition]
KELLY: In Malachi the priests had robbed God.
Especially in 1:6; 2:1 and 3:3, Malachi is addressed to dishonest priests. The priests had stolen the tithes from the Levites
and the best offerings from God. Nehemiah says “And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been
given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.” The priests had stolen
the Levites’ tithes and Temple worship ceased when the Levites returned o their fields. See Nehemiah 13:4-13; Malachi 1:6-14 and 2:1 to 3:7.
Mal. 3:9 You are under a curse—the
whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.NIV (quoted by Alcorn)
Mal. 1:14 [To the priests] But
cursed be the deceiver, which has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices unto the LORD a corrupt thing:
for I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
Mal. 2:2 [To the priests] If you
will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, says the LORD of hosts, I will even send a
curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay
it to heart.
Gal. 3:10 For as many as are of
the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things
which are written in the book of the law to do them.
ALCORN: "You're under a curse."
God promises the blessings of obedience and curses for disobedience.”
KELLY: Malachi’s audience
was under the Old Covenant ordinances which included both blessings and curses. The general curses of Deuteronomy 27:26 were
reaffirmed by Israelites in Nehemiah 10:28, 29. Specifically, the priests had already been cursed several times in Malachi
for breaking their special “covenant of Levi” (Mal. 2:1-10).
Those who were cursed in
Malachi were primarily the priests. See and 2:2. In its context, “This whole nation of you” probably refers to “of you
priests.” Otherwise, God would have switched from cursing the priests (from 1:6 to 3:7) to assisting the priests in
greatest error is in placing New Covenant believers back under a curse which Christ has abolished. When Jesus said, “It
is finished,” the Old Covenant ended, along with its curses. Paul plainly states in Galatians 3:13 “Christ has
redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” God does not curse New Covenant believers
for disobedince; instead, He disciplines them as His redeemed Spirit-filled children.
Mal. 3:10 Bring the whole tithe
into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not
throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. NIV (quoted by
ALCORN: God says "Bring the whole
tithe into the storehouse"-don't hold back any of it. … Where does the tithe go? Into the "storehouse." This was something
in Israel that you didn't decide for yourself. The whole tithe went into the temple, for
the work of the Levites.
KELLY: The tithe is still only food. Malachi is greatly misunderstood and misused. It is easy to prove from God’s Word that the “whole
tithe” NEVER went to the Temple. (a) The Levitical cities must be considered and Jerusalem was not a Levitical city. The Levites and priests
lived inside the Levitical cities with their families and herds. See Numb. 35; Josh. 20, 21; 1 Chron. 6:48-80 ; Neh. and Mal. . Israel was commanded to bring
their tithes first to the Levitical cities (Nehemiah 10:37, 38 and 2 Chron. 31:15-19). It makes no sense to teach that
100% of the tithe was brought to the Temple when most Levites and priests did not live in Jerusalem. (b) The 24 courses of Levites and priests must
also be considered. Beginning with King David and King Solomon, they were divided into 24 families. These divisions were also
put into place in Malachi’s time by Ezra and Nehemiah. Since normally only the older men of one family served in the
Temple for only one week at a time, there was absolutely no reason to send ALL of the tithe to the Temple when 98% of those
it was designed to feed were still in the Levitical cities (1 Chron. 24-26; 28:13, 21; 2 Chron. 8:14; 23:8; 31:2, 15-19; 35:4,
5, 10; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 11:19, 30; 12:24; 13:9, 10; Luke 1:5). (c) Therefore, when the context of the Levitical cities, the 24 families of priests, under-age children, wives, Numbers
18, Second Chronicles 31:15-19, Nehemiah 10-13, and all of Malachi are all evaluated, then it is clear that only about 2%
of the total tithe was normally required at the Temple in Jerusalem. (d) Therefore God was telling only the priests to bring
their “whole” share of the tithe to the temple because they had stolen it from the Levites and had kept the best
for themselves while offering the lame and sick to God (1:14). Therefore normally only 1% to 2% of the “whole”
tithe went to the Temple. See Neh. 13:4-13 and Mal. 1:6 to .
ALCORN: Closest parallel today
to the temple is the church. … Seems to me the tithe should go to where the center of God's program, which is the local
church. Now, the ideal is for the church to support those ministries.
KELLY: By implication, Alcorn defines
“church” as an organization and local building. Actually the only “parallel” to the O. T. temple (where
God dwelled) is now the body of individual believers, the Body of Christ (where God now dwells) (1 Cor. ,
17; ). There is NOT a "storehouse building" parallel to the O. T. Temple building. Again, unfortunately,
tithes were never used to support missionary activities, especially outside of God’s holy boundaries of Israel.
ALCORN: [The] NT church is not
a storehouse, has a world evangelism focus temple didn't have. It's more a clearing house than a storehouse. Acts—apostles
pass on to the needy.
KELLY: Right! The church is not
a storehouse, a building, or an organization for the receipt and storage of food tithes. And the N. T. does not call it a
storehouse either! It is an assembly of believer-priests. How can the NT church possibly be called a "storehouse" when for
several centuries after Calvary Christians did not even have their own buildings for worship because Christianity was an outlaw religion??
They defiantly refused to call their worship locations “church buildings,” “tabernacles” or “temples.”
It is wrong to translate the Greek word, ekklesia, as “church.”History indicates that the first church
"buildings" were erected around AD 250 and they were soon destroyed in AD 260.
ALCORN: The closest parallel to
the Levites is the elders of the church. You see that in Acts 2 in Jerusalem, where it says
the money was laid at the feet of the apostles, who then decided how to distribute it.
KELLY: Wrong! (1) There is absolutely
no parallel between the O. T. Levites and the N. T. church leaders. The Levites, who received the whole tithe, were neither
priests nor ministers. They were only servants to the priests (Numb. 3 all; 18:21-25; 1 Chron 23-27 all. (2) O. T. priests
only received one tenth of the whole tithe from the Levites (Numb. , 26; Neh. ).
This procedure is nowhere carried over into Christianity. (3) The apostles in Acts 2 were not receiving tithes because
they were still devoutly supporting the Temple then and also years later as seen in Acts 15 and 21:20. (4) The apostles in Acts 2
did not become wealthy by teaching tithing; they shared the freewill-offerings with every church member. This is not
done today among those who teach tithing.
ALCORN: In Malachi 3:10 God says
something striking: "Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing.
. . "
Deut. 28:12 The LORD shall open
unto you his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand
… [not merely tithing]
Mal. 4:4 Remember the law of Moses
My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
KELLY: God does not tell post-Calvary
believers to test Him, or else He will curse them. Malachi 3:10 is wholly in the context of the O. T. blessings and curses
as mentioned earlier from Deuteronomy 27:26; 28:12 and reaffirmed in Nehemiah 10:28, 29. Only twelve verses later Malachi
4:4 reminds everybody of the context of 3:7-10.
Today the poorest uneducated classes are victims of unscrupulous persons and are easily tricked into the get-rich-quick
magic of both the lottery and tithing. Yet for the vast majority neither works! In fact, it can be positively demonstrated
that Malachi does not work! U. S. Internal Revenue Service statistics prove that the very richest
pay the smallest percentage to charity while the very poorest pay the largest. If Malachi 3:10 really worked for New Covenant
Christians, then millions of poor tithing Christians would escape poverty and become the wealthiest group of people in the
world instead of remaining in poverty.
ALCORN: No one asked, "Would you
like me to tithe, Lord?" … You don't have to ask—God has already told you. … But there is a debate about
whether tithing is still a minimum mandatory standard. Some think there is no such thing as a minimum standard of giving
any more. [3rd repetition]
KELLY: God never told Gentiles
or even Jews living outside of Israel to tithe. God has not "told" the New Covenant believer to tithe because both His Temple
and priesthood are now within every believer and its purpose has been abolished.
of interpretation does Alcorn and other tithe-teachers use? Some say that the moral laws are still valid, but the statutes
and judgments ended at Calvary. However, tithing was a ceremonial worship statute and all of the others in Leviticus have ended.
Others say that God repeated in terms of grace that which He wanted the church to know after Calvary. Again, tithing was not repeated.
God told Old Covenant Israel to tithe to support the Levitical priesthood and He plainly says that the Levitical
priesthood has been replaced by the priesthood of every believer (Heb. 7:5, 12, 18, 19; Heb. ;
1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 5:10).
Alcorn repeatedly uses the common false assumption that tithing was, and still is, the “minimum standard of giving.”
The average church member does not realize that this has never been true! Tithing never was a “minimum” for anybody
other than O. T. Israelite farmers and herdsmen who lived inside of God’s holy land. Even Jews do not tithe today because
they realize that the old standards cannot be met.
Free-will giving built the sanctuary and the Temple. Non-tithe funds maintained the Temple. Free-will giving and ardent
evangelism built most denominations in the United
States until they became free of state
churches (which mandated tithing) and formed their own tithing organizations.
O. T. tithes miserably failed to either perfect the giver or produce missions. Israel did not use tithes for missions. The system became “un-profitable” and was replaced by Spirit-guided and
love-provoked grace giving. The problem with the church is not its failure to reintroduce legalistic tithing. Rather it is
a failure to motivate personal evangelism through preaching the love for lost souls. See Heb. 7:18; 2 Cor. 3:10-18; 8 all;
ALCORN: We don't offer sacrifices
anymore but that's because the New Testament makes clear the sacrificial system has been fulfilled in Christ.
KELLY: The financial basis of the
fulfilled sacrificial system was tithing. Tithing allowed the sacrificial system to function. The ceremonial worship ordinances/statutes
clearly ended at Calvary. When the system ended, its support apparatus also ended. Now there is no need for tithe-supported
priests to hear confessions and offer sacrifices. That is the clear point of Hebrews 7:12-19! See also Ephesians 2:14-16 and
ALCORN: Nowhere are we told the
tithe as a minimum standard of giving no longer pertains. [4th
KELLY: Like a bankrupt company,
the entire system which tithing was legislated to financially support ended. (1) The old covenant “no longer pertains”
(Heb. -13). (2) The physical temple “no longer pertains” and was replaced by the every-believer-temple.
(2) The priesthood “no longer pertains” and was replaced by the every-believer-priesthood. (3) The Levitical cities
ended. (4) The Levites, who received the whole tithe, disappeared. Most of the servant functions they performed are now performed
by non-paid ushers and greeters (guards), choir members (singers), non-paid bakers and builders and repairmen who are not
paid out of “tithe” funds. (5) The storehouse concept “no longer pertains.” There were no legal church
buildings in the early centuries because Christianity was an outlaw religion. (6) The necessity for full-time paid clergy
“no longer pertains” (Acts 20:29-35; 1 Cor 9:12-18). The early church followed the pattern of Jewish rabbis who
had their own jobs and refused to be supported for teaching God’s Word. (7) Hebrews 7:5 reminds us that the OT priests
collected tithes because they had a commandment (statute) to do so; 7:11 says that priesthood failed; 7:12 says that it was
“necessary to change the law” (referring to tithing) because Christ was not from the tribe of Levi (7:13-16);
and 7:18 says “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and un-profitableness
thereof.” This was the “commandment” of tithing which financed the Levitical support through tithing in
ALCORN: Tithing was practiced before
the law, by Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 14:20; 28:20-22) and is never specifically rescinded in the New Testament.
KELLY: The argument that “tithing was practiced before
the law” is extremely weak and does not constitute a biblical principle. The mere fact that something is very old and
very widespread does not make it a moral principle and God’s will. The same pagans who practiced tithing before the
law also worshipped idols and practiced child sacrifices and temple prostitution which are not moral principles.
For the following reasons, Genesis cannot be used as an example for
Christians to tithe. (1) The Bible does not say that Abraham "freely" gave this tithe. (2) Abraham’s tithe was NOT a
holy tithe from God’s holy land produced by God’s holy people. (3) Abraham’s tithe was only from pagan spoils
of war common to many nations. (4) In Numbers 31, Yahweh only required 1% of spoils of war. (5) Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek
was a one-time recorded event and Abraham moved often. (6) Abraham’s tithe was not from his own personal property. (7)
Abraham kept nothing for himself; he gave everything back. (8) Abraham’s tithe is not quoted anywhere in the Bible to
endorse tithing. (9) Genesis 14, verse 21, is the key text. Since most commentaries explain verse 21 as an example of pagan
Arab tradition, it is contradictory to explain the 90% of verse 21 as pagan, while insisting that the 10% of verse 20 was
God’s will. (10) If Abraham is an example for Christians to give 10% to God, then he should also be an example for Christians
to give the other 90% to Satan, or to the king of Sodom! (11) Since neither
Abraham nor Jacob had a Levitical priesthood to support, they had no place to bring tithes during their many moves. (11) Jacob’s
tithe was a free-will vow that probably was given to the poor.
ALCORN: There is no question that
Jesus tithed. He was raised in a devout Jewish home, meaning that his parents obeyed the Scriptures, tithed and taught him
KELLY: Since Jesus was a carpenter,
and not a farmer or herdsman, then he did not qualify as a tithe-payer. The increase from one’s skill, efforts and ingenuity
(works) did not qualify as tithes of food.
Matt. 23:23: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice,
mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."
Matt. 23:2 The scribes and the
Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
Matt. 23:3 All therefore whatsoever
they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
ALCORN: In Matthew 23:23 Jesus
states that while they should have paid attention to more important things, the Pharisees were correct in being careful to
KELLY: The text actually reads
“more important things of the law.” Jesus promoted tithing because He was a Jew living under the jurisdiction
of the law (Gal. 4:4). In Matthew 23:2, 3 Jesus commanded his disciples to obey all of the (thousands of) things which the
scribes and Pharisees taught. This is because the people had yielded to them as the legitimate interpreters of the Law. This
is a pre-Calvary text and is not in New Covenant context. Just as Jesus did not instruct Gentiles whom he healed to show themselves
to the priests, neither did he instruct them to begin tithing to the Levitical system.
ALCORN: The truth is the New Testament
portrays the norm of Christian giving as far beyond the tithe.
2 Cor. 8:12-14 For if there be
first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not. For I mean not that
other men be eased, and you burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want,
that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
2 Cor. 9:7 Every man according
as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.
KELLY: There is no “norm”
or minimum commandment for Christian giving. The New Covenant teaches that both the poor and the rich should give to the best
of their ability so that there may be an EQUALITY. The poor may not be able to give as much, but the rich should make up for
their lack. The NT does not call freewill giving “tithing.” Christians were motivated through the indwelling Spirit
and because they had a strong desire for evangelism.
ALCORN: It never suggests the "floor"
set by the tithe was eliminated, but simply that the ceiling of Christian giving was far above it. [6th repetition]
KELLY: Tithing was only a “floor”
for Israelite farmers and herdsmen inside Israel. There never was a “floor” for free-will offerings. Where free-will offerings
were involved, the people often gave too much and were asked to stop giving.
ALCORN: Jewish Christians dominated
the formation and policies of the early church. Because tithing was so deeply embedded in the Jewish consciousness, the
Jewish Christians naturally gave their tithes to the local church assembly. This almost became a moot point because they
went so far beyond the tithe, as we see in the early chapters of Acts. But their going beyond it did not negate it. [7th
And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them,
he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it,they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which
believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of you, that you teach all the Jews which are among
the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
Acts 21:24 Them take, and purify
thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things,
whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that you yourself also walk orderly, and keep the law.
KELLY: Alcorn is completely wrong
here. The Jewish Christians in Acts 2 and 4 became the Jewish Christian church seen in Acts 15 and 21 and these texts absolutely
must be fully explained by anybody trying to justify tithing as a valid New Covenant doctrine. (1) The Jewish Christians did
not “naturally gave their tithes to the local church assembly.” In Acts , at the END of Paul’s
missionary journeys, almost 30 years after Calvary, Jewish Christians were still fanatically observing all of the Mosaic Law. They were
offering sacrifices at the Temple and still paying whatever tithes they had to the Temple – otherwise they would not
have been allowed to worship inside it! (2) Since the food tithe only belonged to the Levites, then the Jewish Christians
would have only given it to the Levites! (3) Acts 2 and 4 are not examples of tithing; rather, they are examples of free-will
ALCORN: There is no indication
the early church ever retreated from the concept that the tithe was the basic minimum to be given to the Lord. [8th repetition]
KELLY:The opposite is true. Every indication points to extreme asceticism, not tithing, as the practice of the
earliest church. Respectable church historians from many denominations agree that the earliest church leaders all worked for
their livelihood. My book, Should the Church Teach Tithing, pages 194-198 and 250-251, contains quotations from Robert Baker,
H. E. Dana, Alfred Edersheim, George E. Ladd, R. C. H. Lenski, Lars Qualben and Philip Schaff.
ALCORN: Church Fathers on tithing.
… For its first four hundred years the church considered the practice of tithing a vital minimum standard for giving.
KELLY: Alcorn selectively quote
a few (whom he labels as) “early” church fathers who (he says) taught tithing. (1) It must be noted that, after
A. D. 321, Constantine removed the “outlaw” status of the church and granted it favor, political
status and monetary support. When Alcorn quotes Jerome (345-419) and Augustine (354-430), he has gone beyond the boundary
of authentic “early” fathers and is in companionship with leaders of the Roman Catholic Church system and hierarchy.
(2) Even though Jerome and Augustine were later church leaders, their stated opinions on tithing did not convert tithing into
church law. Today’s leading encyclopedias state that the first failed attempt to make tithing a church law did not come
until A. D. 567 and 585. Tithing did not become church law until A. D. 777 after the pope crowned Charlemagne as Emperor of
the Holy Roman Empire.
ALCORN: Irenaeus (150-200), "The
Jews were constrained to a regular payment of tithes; Christians, who have liberty, assign all their possessions to the Lord,
bestowing freely not the lessor portions of their property, since they have the hope of greater things." "Not the lessor portions"
is a direct indication that the tithe was considered a minimal standard in the early Christian community. [10th
KELLY: Alcorn’s quotation
is from Against Heresies, book 4, chapter 18, version unknown. “Lessor” means “less valuable.” Irenaeus
was not teaching tithing. He was comparing what he thought that the Jews had been mandated to give with what Christians should
be willing to give (100%). Irenaeus, like the church leaders of his generation, was an extreme ascetic who sought spirituality
through extreme poverty. For him, the church was a dispenser of necessities for the poor.
In Against Heresies, book 4, chapter 13, paragraph 3, Irenaeus said, “Instead of the law enforcing the giving
of tithes, [the Lord taught] to share all our possessions with the poor … and a gratuitous gift to those who take away
our goods.” Therefore Alcorn’s use of Irenaeus is wrong because Irenaeus taught extreme asceticism, not tithing
to church leaders. He interpreted Acts , 45 literally.
Alcorn would have preferred to quote the real “early” church fathers to support tithing. However, he could
not because they did not teach tithing! Clement of Rome (c95), Justin Martyr (c150), The Didache (c150-200), Irenaeus (150-200) and Tertullian
(150-220) opposed tithing. Although Cyprian (200-258) failed to introduce a modified tithing system, it was still based on
dividing it equally with the poor. See my book, pages 246-262.
ALCORN: If we cannot rob God, then
Malachi 3 has no relevance to us. But I'm convinced we can rob God today, and the truth is many Christians in America are doing exactly that. … We place ourselves under his curse.
KELLY: It is impossible for New
Covenant believers to place themselves under an Old Covenant curse. However Christians today are robbing God; it is not because
they are under the curse of the law in Malachi 3 which was renewed in Nehemiah 10:28, 29. It is because they do not have a
burden for lost souls. Galatians 3:10, 13 explain how and why the curse of the Law was removed.
ALCORN: Galatians says "The law is a tutor to lead us toward Christ." The tithe is a way to get us started on the path of Christian giving.
It is not the finish line of giving, but only the starting blocks.
KELLY: By application Alcorn equates
“the law” (the Old Covenant law) with “tithing.” Why does he not quote the entire context? Gal ,25 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But
after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
Tithing is the training wheels of giving. Steady bicyclists no longer need
training wheels, but wobbly bicyclists do. [12th repetition]
2 Cor. 3:9-11 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much
more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in
this respect, by reason of the glory that excels. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remains
KELLY: Old Covenant tithing now
has “no glory” because it was not endorsed by the Holy Spirit to the church. The “glory that excels”
is now on grace giving principles. See 3:10-18.
years after the Law ended, Alcorn still describes the church as needing legalistic training wheels! His illustration is wrong.
Old Covenant believers could not be perfected through its sacrificial mediation, its Levitical priesthood and its tithing
(Heb. -19). The “steady bicyclists” are New Covenant believers who are all perfect sinless priests
“in Christ.” Since all believers are priests and since priests did not tithe, then it is evident that tithing
is an un-profitable annulled ceremonial worship ordinance (Heb. ).
ALCORN: Tithing is a way of putting
God first. In fact, another term for the tithe in Scripture is the "first-fruits." Proverbs 3:9 says, "Honor the Lord with
your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops."
KELLY: First-fruits are entirely
separate from tithes. While the first-fruits and first-born went directly to the priests (Numb. ,
13, 17, 18), the tithes went directly to the Levites (Numb. -24).The first-fruits and first-born went to the Temple while the tithes went to the Levites in the Levitical cities (Neh. ). The priests only brought their one tenth of the tithe to the Temple (Neh. ;
Numb. , 26). Portions of the tithes were taken to the temple by both Levites and priests to feed the (l
of 24) course of older men who were serving one week at a time (2 Chron. 31:11-19).
While the firstborn of every clean animal was brought to the temple the first-fruit of food was extremely meager indeed.
Historians point out that often an entire village’s first-fruit could be packed onto one animal. According to Leviticus
27:33 the tithe of animals was neither the first-fruit nor the best –it was merely every tenth animal.
ALCORN: Without a guidepost, where
do you start your giving? Why not start where God had his people start throughout the Old Testament? Why not start with the
tithe? [13th repetition]
KELLY: Tithing was never a guidepost for all OT Israelites. Neither is it a guidepost for
Christians. Old Covenant Levites and priests never used a single tithe to send out missionaries to convert the pagan world.
The early church used the free-will resources from mostly women, children, slaves and poor soldiers to spread the gospel to
the known world in less than one generation.
Gal 3:1-3O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched
you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish?
Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?
KELLY: Free-will giving preceded tithing.
The following New Covenant free-will principles are found in Second Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9: (1) Giving is a "grace.
Second Corinthians, chapters 8, uses the word, "grace," eight times in reference to helping poor saints. (2) Give yourself
to God first (8:5). (3) Give yourself to knowing God’s will (8:5). (4) Give in response to Christ’s gift (8:9;
(5) Give out of a sincere desire (8:8, 10, 12; 9:7). (6) Do not give because of any commandment to give (8:8, 10; 9:7). (7)
Give even beyond your ability (8:3, 11, 12). (8) Give equally. This means that those who have more should give more in order
to make up for the inability of those who cannot afford to give as much (8:12-14). (9) Give joyfully (8:2). (10) Give because
you are growing spiritually (8:3, 4, 7). (11) Give because you want to continue growing spiritually (9:8, 10, 11). (12) Give
because you are hearing the gospel preached ().
Alcorn attempts to
influence the reader and/or hearer into believing that tithing is the expected “minimum standard” by repetition
instead of sound biblical exegesis. Including the title, he calls tithing the “minimum” (5 times), the “floor”
of giving (twice), “mandatory” (twice), the “norm,” “basic,” “vital,” the
“standard,” our “guidepost,” ”starting blocks” and “training wheels.” He also
says that NT giving should be “far beyond” tithing.
The problem is that
Mr. Alcorn has not given any biblical arguments which prove his assumed viewpoints from their context. I invite Randy Alcorn
to an open discussion of the validity of tithing for Christ’s New Covenant assembly, the church. Mr. Alcorn, “If
a reasonable interpretation of the Bible would be made to you to change how Christians give, would you be willing to change?
If I could show you that you are taking the Bible out of context, would you please engage the reasoning and state what is
right or wrong with its conclusions? If your viewpoint is really God’s truth, then you should have no reason for refusing
an open discussion. God blesses His Truth.
Mr. Randy Alcorn, my friends and I would appreciate
a rebuttal/reply in order that we may engage in a dialog with you conerning this important matter of God's Word.
Questioner to Alcorn: … Then we were taught that we need to be faithful, even if the budget is tight, to give
at least 10%, and that that should be our FIRST check we make out each month (even if we know we won't make our other bills)
as evidence of the priority of God and His church in our lives….
¨I disagree in the strongest possible way with
those who argue that since we're in debt we shouldn't give to God until we get out of debt.
Russ: You are taking advantage of the questioner who is ignorant about what God's Word really teaches about tithing.
(1) If the questioner has been faithfully tithing already, then WHY is he not receiving
"overflowing blessings" already?
1 Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith,
and is worse than an infidel.
You would have a Christian do without essential medicine, food and shelter in order to give their first 10% of their
paycheck to the Church. That is a sinful false teaching.
Deut 26:2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that
the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall
choose to place his name there.
Contrary to you and all other tithe teachers, the tithe is NOT the same as the firstfruits! The "firstfruits" was
a very small token offering while the tithe was the TENTH after the full harvest was complete. Compare Prov 3:9-10; Deu 26:1-4
and Neh 10:35-38. ….. Randy: I agree 100% with the position that we need to be faithful in our giving, maintaining
it in difficult times …
Russ: When you say "giving" you mean "tithing" especially. Yet there is not a single text in the New Covenant to
the Church after Calvary which commands tithing. The tithing statute of Numbers 18 also
commands tithe-recipients to forfeit property ownership and to KILL anybody who dares to worship God directly. What pick-n-choose
rule do you use?
Randy: … Debt is especially dangerous when we’re tempted to rob our primary creditor (God) to pay our
secondary creditors (people)….
Russ: You make God into a cruel creditor who curses those who do not tithe to him. God loves the poor and Hebrews
who lived outside Israel the same, but He did not accept tithes from the poor or from
those who lived outside Israel.
Randy: Some Christians give nothing to God, while
others reduce their giving to make monthly payments on conveniences.
Russ: All Christians should give sacrificially to support gospel work. However, that does not require that the Church
Randy: I’ve heard people say that it would be a “poor witness” not to pay their bills. They suppose
that God would have them pay their creditors rather than give Him the first fruits. …
Russ: Again you are taking advantage of the ignorance of others. Again, firstfruits and tithing are NOT the same
thing. The Temple of Christians is the body of the believer where the Spirit dwells. God does not curse the Temple of the believer. And "yes" it is a "poor witness" when Christians go bankrupt
on other bills but continue to pay their tithes. (If tithing had really worked, they would not have been in that position
Randy: ... God says when His people give Him tithes and freewill offerings, He will “throw open the floodgates
of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10). Isn’t that exactly what people need if they want to get out of debt?
Russ: Actually God only said that to Old Covenant Israel as one of the 600+ commands of the whole law. The whole law was a test --not merely tithing. Obey all
to be blessed; break one to be cursed. It was either all or none. The Church discards most and kept tithing without biblical
Randy: … we owe the first fruits to God, not the last fruits.
Russ: Third time --tithes are NOT firstfruits. Firstfruits are very small token offerings per Deu 26:1-4; Num 18:1-20;
Neh 10:36-37. The tithe was only calculated after the LAST of the crop had been harvested from God's holy land of Israel. It could not come from any other source. There are 16 texts to validate this
Randy: Those who put God first will pay off their human creditors, while those who put human creditors before the
divine Creditor always get into trouble….
Russ: This is your own opinion. It cannot be demonstrated.
Randy: ... If by giving to God we can no longer afford to make payments on a loan, then we need to liquidate our
assets, take losses where we must, and cut spending to a minimum to eliminate the debt. …
Russ: In other words, cut spending in every area of life --except tithing. You are criminal for teaching this. It
ignores 1st Timothy 5:8. You would take money for medicine, food and shelter out of the hand of the poor and give it to the
pastor! Shame. Shame. Shame.
Randy: … Give up these non-necessities at least for a season until you get on top of things. But we should
never rob God—not for any reason, and certainly not to compensate for past unwise decisions.
Russ: Get this straight! New Covenant Christians are not robbing God if they do not tithe! You totally misunderstand
the covenants. New Covenant giving is primarily sacrificial. That means MORE than 10% for some and LESS for others. Yet you
are unwilling to admit the "less" part.
Evidently your Bible is missing the some key texts since you keep on ignoring them.
Lev 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock,
even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Lev 27:33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad,
neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be
The tithe was always only food from inside Israel; it was never income or money. Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money
was never included in 16 texts which describe the tithe for over 1500 years from Leviticus to Luke.
The tithe was the tenth of food; it was not the first. It was not even the best of the tenth; it was only the tenth.
I noticed that you have changed your approach-- at least in this blog. You usually repeat ad nausea that the OT tithe was the "beginning point," "standard," "good place to start," "expectation" and "training
wheels" because ALL in the OT began at 10%. Have you finally recognized that this is false assumption? It was only such for
food producers who lived inside Israel.
I invite you to come to my blog group and dialog with us. My site or yours? Stand up for your convictions please.