The Tithing Hypothesis (Part 2)

This post is the third in a series of posts that started with The Talent Potential, where we asked how should  Christians evaluate their management of all that God has entrusted to them. After all, Proverbs (14:15) tells us that “the shrewd person discerns his steps”.

In the last post (The Tithing Hypothesis (Part 1)) we wrestled with the question:

Does the tithe (10%) of the Mosaic Law have any applicability to the NT church?

If by applicable we mean, a mandated amount that must be given by a disciple then the answer is no. The amount of our giving is not based on a “command” (2 Cor 8:7-8).

But, that does not mean that the tithe has no applicability to the NT church. As we study the Scriptures we find that, the tithe (giving 10%) is the guiding principle by which disciples of Christ should measure their giving.

At this point you might be ready to accuse me of being legalistic.

Legalism is only rightly applied when one is adding requirements to possessing eternal life beyond the condition of faith in Christ that God as sovereign has set. I am not advocating that our giving, no matter the amount, is a work that saves (1 Cor 13:3). And although failing to tithe under the Law was a sin (Neh 13:10-14; Mal 3:8-10), it is unlikely that it should be considered so under the New Covenant since it is no longer a command but something to be done voluntarily, eagerly, cheerfully, and generously (2 Cor 8:3, 11; 9:6-11). Continue reading

The Tithing Hypothesis (Part 1)

In the last post (The Talent Potential), we posed several questions one might consider if they were to evaluate how well they are managing all that they have been entrusted with by God. In directing our attention to how we manage our finances we posed two questions:

  • Does God provide guidelines for how much we should give?
  • Does God provide guidelines for whom we should give to?

In this post (and the next) we will wrestle with these questions.

Before we do that we will briefly examine the question: does the tithe (10%) of the Mosaic Law have any applicability to the NT church? Continue reading

The Talent Potential

When we study the Scriptures it is hard to escape the clear testimony that everything is God’s (Deut 10:14; Psalm 24:1). And that anything we possess is not really ours but something that God has entrusted to us to manage and invest.

The Lord owns the earth and all it contains,
the world and all who live in it.

When we read the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) we are presented with how God has chosen to invest His possessions.

  1. the master has entrusted his possessions to his own (25:14)
  2. the master has not distributed his possessions equally, but according to the ability of each person (25:15)
  3. we are responsible for how we manage and invest what we are given
  4. the master will come and settle accounts with each of us (25:19)
  5. the master will evaluate how each of us has invested what we were given

1 Talent = 30,000 shekels
“Half Shekel” by Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

After reading this parable we might start to ask some questions.

What has the Lord entrusted to me?

In a nutshell, everything you have. Your life. Your family and friends. Your talents and abilities. Your possessions. Your opportunities to work and serve. Often this is said to be our time, talent, and treasure.

How am I doing managing and investing what the Lord has entrusted to me? Continue reading