On Christians Tithing: Biblical Mandate or Liturgical Cash Grab?

Does the tithe really apply to Christians?

Annie Spratt

Did you know I write a monthly article for my email subscribers?

This month we're talking about tithing in the context of the New Covenant. Here's how the article begins:

In 2017 Southern Baptist organization, Lifeway, surveyed American churchgoers about tithing. 83% of respondents agreed that the tithe is a Biblical command that still applies today. And yet, only 54% said they give at least a tenth of their income to their church.

Why the discrepancy?

Everyone struggles with his or her own issues, and, no doubt one of those issues centers around money in the same way that others struggle with lust or anger or alcohol. After all, as Paul reminds us, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Tim. 6:10).

But I think there's another wrinkle here to account for the disparity between money and mouth, so to speak. Maybe a good amount of those 29% of people don't actually believe tithing is a biblical mandate. They might say they do, and even think they believe it, but their actions tell a different story.

So the question becomes is tithing a new covenant mandate, or is it just some liturgical hoax pastors employ to ensure revenue?
 

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Until next time,

Andrew

4 C. S. Lewis Quotes That Will Convince You He Owned a Time Machine

It's like he peered straight into the future.


Frank V.


In 21st century Christian circles, the name C. S. Lewis is commonplace, teetering on the edge of cliché. One cannot go far without seeing his words quoted, pinned, and tweeted.

But not without good reason.

Lewis has earned his renown due to volumes of insightful and relatable thoughts on God and the Christian life. Whether through fiction such as The Chronicles of Narnia or through apologetic works like Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce, Lewis had a knack for simplifying complex Christian theology and philosophy. Believe me, that's hard to do.

Nevertheless what astounds me most about Lewis is how forward thinking his writing is. If you remember my 2019 reading list, you know I read a collection Lewis's sermons and speeches called The Weight of Glory.[1] The latest of these he gave in 1956, nearly 70 years ago as I write this, and yet certain passages make it seem as if he were peering into the future and speaking directly to the situation as it stands today.

Let me show you just four of these, and you'll see what I mean. Note: All of the following come from The Weight of Glory, but one could just as easily pick up Mere Christianity or any of his other books and probably find many more to add to this list.

The Enemy of Faith (It's Not What You Think)

The greatest barrier to faith isn't doubt.


Did you know I write a monthly article for my email subscribers?

This month we're talking about the primary obstacle to faith in our lives. Here's how the article begins:

If you were to ask someone on the street what the opposite of faith is, he or she might say it is doubt.

I disagree.

In fact, I think doubt is a healthy part of the faith equation. Those who never doubt the religious advice of others end up brainwashed and burned to death in a Waco, Texas compound, or protesting military funerals and holding signs proclaiming, "God hates gays."

God fashioned human beings in his own image. Part of that image is the ability to reason. No other terrestrial creatures have such abilities.

...

So if doubt isn't the opposite of faith what is?

If you'd like to read the rest, enter your email address below and click the button. It's totally free to sign up and just takes a moment.

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I send out two to three emails per month, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I will never share or sell your info either.

Until next time,

Andrew

No, Moses Wasn't Jewish Part II: What Your Sunday School Teacher Never Told You About God's Tender Love

If you were with us for part one of this article, you'll know that the term Hebrew came from Noah's great great great grandson Eber whose forefathers settled in Mesopotamia after the Ark landed in Ararat. You'll also know that Israelites are descendants of Jacob (also called Israel). Today we'll explore the transition from Israelite to Jew.


Daiga Ellaby


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23


Multiple years ago—I say multiple because I'm embarrassed how many it has been—I began work on an as yet unpublished book. In my research and draft writing process, I came to a realization that I can't unrealize. Even if I wanted to forget, the distinction has stuck in my mind like a piece of chewing gum to the sole of a sneaker.

I'm referring to the misapplication of the terms Jew and Jewish to peoples that predate their existence.

I'm warning you though, if you continue reading, you'll see these misnomers stick out like sore thumbs in Bible Studies, books, sermons, and the like.

Wasn't Jesus Always Perfect?

Hebrews 2:10 tells us God made Jesus "perfect through suffering."

But wasn't Jesus always perfect? Why did God need to perfect him?

If you're new here, you might be interested to know I write a monthly article for my email subscribers. This month we're discussing this very question, "Wasn't Jesus always perfect?" And we'd love for you to join us.

Here's a snippet of the article:


We can answer this question fairly easily when we recognize we might be thinking of the word "perfect" in a different way than the author of Hebrews presents it here.

When I hear or read perfect I understand it as flawless or without fault. As one definition reads:

Being entirely without fault or defect; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept. [2]

From a Christian perspective we might speak of moral perfection, of being sinless.

In all of these regards, yes, Jesus was perfect. He never sinned. He was never at fault. And, being the incarnation of God, he corresponded in every way to the ideal standard.

In New Testament Greek, the word which most closely equates to this concept is probably amomos. The word is a compound one beginning with a which means not or without, and mómos meaning blame or blemish.

So this combination yields blameless or spotless.

Such is a great descriptor of Jesus, and, in fact, Peter uses the word to compare Jesus's death with that of a spotless lamb. Just as Mosaic Law dictated the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb, Jesus lived a perfect (amomos) life and therefore could serve as the final sacrifice for sins.[3]

Nevertheless Hebrews 2:10 does not use amomos when discussing how God made Jesus perfect. Instead, the passage uses a different word.


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See you next month!

No, Moses Wasn't Jewish: One Thing All Christians Should Know about God's Plan for Humanity

The mountain, Ararat, on which Noah's Ark came to rest after the flood. Photo by Mariam Grigoryan.

At the risk of seeming prideful and petty (mostly because I am both of these things, and I fear you'll learn the truth about me), I will tell the following story.

At the office some time ago my boss told a tale of a near-unbelievable construction feat, namely a crew building an entire house from slab to gable in mere hours. Being myself quite ignorant of the construction process (as such is not my specialty) I asked a question.

"How long does it take for the foundation to dry once it's poured?"