First of all, you are not a heretic for examining doctrinal issues especially seeking to understanding the Old versus the New. I think many feel that God has led them to give ten percent of their income. I also believe that part of that is due to an Old Testament law that applied to the Jews. An example of giving is presented to us by our Lord. The Law required that the priests collect a tithe or tenth from the people as explained in Hebrews 7. Some that Jesus encountered boasted of this. As they were still under the Law they should do this. This was their part in the support of the rule in Israel. This was determined before the installation of kings, etc.
Things are much different today than then. You and I are not only paying taxes but also giving to support our churches and other ministries.
Shortly before Jesus was murdered, Jesus was watching the Jews giving to the Temple treasury. Some were very wealthy and gave large amounts. There was a poor widow who gave two copper coins similar to our pennies. Jesus praised the widow even though she gave very little. Jesus taught that the widow gave more than the others. What do we learn from this teaching? There are those who do pay a tenth and even more than a tenth. That is good but it is not a law. Those who have been blessed with much should give much. Those who have not been blessed with much should not feel guilty for not being able to do what others can.
Some should be giving 90% and others should be giving 10% and less. There is no way to bring this particular law back on the people anymore than it would be possible to begin to demand circumcision of newborn baby boys.
In the Acts church they gave. That is in the NT. They gave willingly and gladly gave all they had to all the members of the Church, they shared, they loved, they gave. Could it be that they trusted one another? Here in the West, I can only speak, there are so many hucksters and false Christians who actually will make a promise of a gift if you give them something. Like a salesmen only selling the Gospel for a price..You will never ever be able to match that. I don't see that kind of church[as in Acts] anywhere here in the West, but I do see that kind of churches other places. Who are willing to tear a page of Scripture so that others can read it, WOW. Now that is giving.
They took care of one another, members of the church and in the unity...how often do you see that happening here? Just asking some real questions. Has something changed from the book of Acts till now? There is no community caring for one another, it's gone, diminished. Sad.
5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
What does taxes have to do with anything?
The government at that time would have been Moses, Aaron and the leaders. The support for them came through the tithe. Today, we are expected to pay both taxes and tithes. Jesus did address this when He said to give to Caesar which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's. There was a Temple tax at that time as well. Also, there were Jewish tax collector's that collected taxes for possibly Herod and the hated Romans. Matthew and Zachaeus were among these. They were very much despised by the Jews.
So, we do have a history of tithes and taxes together. Both are necessary. A tithe means a tenth. It is Old Covenant Law. Giving is still important to the Christian believer. Today we are to give with a cheerful heart.
Thanks for explaining.
Tithing has always been a bit of a delicate issue with me... My husband is not a believer and therefore resents any money that is given to the church. He is the money earner in our family. Very recently I have started working and earn a small income, and he promised me that I could take the money I earn and do what I want with it.
We are charitable in other areas, his issue is in giving money to the church.
It's a delicate issue with me because when I first became a believer, I thought it was essential to tithe... since then I have a certain 'peace' over not tithing. When we give, we give as a couple, and I have my husbands cooperation for the things we do give to.
There's potentially a lot of pressure that surrounds this issue. I believe it's very individual.
He's the head of the home & the Lord honors your obedience to that
Yes, I believe that's what God has shown me and has given me peace over.