Commenting Jeffrey’s teaching on tithing

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Yesterday, Sunday we had a day in Hillsong London with Jeffrey, who was advocating tithing. He is a Jewish Christian born and raised in Chicago, US but now lives in Europe. Many things he said was great, encouraged us to turn and seek God on finances. He must know a lot about money or how to deal with it, especially coming from Jewish background. Looking at his teaching more closely, however, I don’t believe he was right in everything. I think he overemphasized the tithing. The focus was more on how to gain wealth , saying “90% is more than 100%” and if we don’t pay tithes, we do not have God’s protection over our finances. Let me say clearly that this is wrong. We, as Christians, followers of Christ should first serve God and obey His commands as Jesus taught us and our primary aim should be to please God and walk as Jesus walked but not to aim for gaining wealth in the first place. Secondly, if we look at more closely, tithing is never taught in the New Testament or emphasized as something important except for one indirect reference, when Jesus talks to the Pharisees, saying they are taking tithes which is good, but they should not neglect other more important things. 

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23 NKJV)

I believe that only having the above Scripture is not enough to stand on. Besides this, Jesus never mentioned and taught about tithing. I believe Jesus was under the Law and encouraged Jews to follow it as a requirement. Jesus was following the Law, which was the Jewish Torah at the time as it was required by God. But Saviour came to redeem those under the Law! He came and give us a new Law: the Law of the Spirit or law of faith.

“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal 3:2 NKJV)

But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6 NKJV)

Above, we clearly see that in the New Testament we have a new law by which we fulfill the requirements of God: by walking in the newness of the Spirit. Jesus, on the other hand, teaches many places about giving. He emphasized giving and said that we will be blessed and given with the measure we give towards others. 

“38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 NKJV)

Later on the epistles we see many references to giving, but none to tithing. Paul teaches that giving should be balanced by the goal of equality between churches. As followers of Jesus, we should use our entire life including our finances to serve completely to use it for and towards God’s requirements. That means 100% and not only 10%! We can conclude that tithing as such is not proved according to the New Testament – as it would be following the law by the letter – but instead giving. Emphasizing and placing high focus on tithing as Christians is a false teaching.

Yours in Christ

Miklos

 

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Jehova’s witnesses infested London

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Recently, almost everywhere I go in London, I bump into Jehovah’s witnesses in public places. Most likely you will meet them at tube stations, Oxford St, Tottenham Court Rd, etc. They stand by newspaper stands promoting their material on biblical teachings apparently claiming they can provide the ultimate correct views and interpretation on the Bible. BEWARE. They are a false sect. I have come in contact with them in person several times in my personal life and talked to them. Their teaching looks like biblical, but in certain questions there are twists and false representations of the overall message of the Bible. Most notably, they teach that Jesus Christ was just a “creation” rather than God. They claim that Jesus Christ is not the only way to God, teaching that God, ‘Jehovah’ is the only true God who can be approached directly. This claim is FALSE. The Bible teaches several times that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Also, they teach that Jesus Christ himself is not God. This claim is FALSE. We see in the Gospels elsewhere in the Bible that Jesus acted like God, accepted worship, controlled nature, forgave sins. He did all the things which only God can do. Jesus identified himself with the Father (John 10:30). There are other false teachings they have, too. Their own Bible translation, called New World Translation, was published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1961; it is used and distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, contains twists, therefore it is fake.

DO NOT BELIEVE OR FOLLOW THEM. THEY FALSELY REPRESENT THE BIBLE THEREFORE THEY ARE TO BE AVOIDED.

See the following link for more detailed description.

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-r005.html

Tithing in the New Testament

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Introduction

After years of being a born-again Christian by the grace of God, I thought it is time to write a few lines on this much-debated subject, tithing. I have already written a long article in Hungarian, so this will be much shorter, especially that there are various different posts in English already that reflect my opinion. To write this post was inspired by the fact that a taped video message in Hillsong Church London was broadcasted on all four services in the Dominion Theatre on 26 May, 2013. The message was given by Robert Morris, the pastor of Gateway Church, TX, USA, who advocated the principle of tithing in the New Testament and that Christians should pay tithes. This teaching is endorsed by Hillsong Church as well, Hillsong London advocates it and quite explicit about it. However, there are a few problems with that teaching. Let’s look at them.

Is Jesus God’s ‘tithe’?

In the video message Pastor Robert Morris clearly advocates that the principle of tithing stands true in the New Testament and suggests that Christian should give their ten percent of their income first to God – meaning to the local congregation which they belong to. He even goes on saying that “Jesus is God’s tithe”. He backs his point by showing an analogy from the Old Testament, saying that an animal or offering that was with fault had to be redeemed with what is good, or a perfect one in the time of the law of Moses. So, the first-born animal or offering either had to be sacrificed or redeemed. Now, he goes on saying that this shows God’s salvation to us giving us Jesus Christ, his son – the perfect one – to redeem us , the mankind, – the faulty one – as a sacrifice to be acceptable to God. How true that analogy is! I agree perfectly agree with that. BUT! There is a problem with the interpretation of that. That would indicate that God gave us the ‘tenth’ of what He has, His son Jesus. Was Jesus only one ‘tenth’ of what God had? Noooo! Jesus was everything God could give to save mankind. According to the Scripture, Jesus Christ was ‘God’s only begotten Son’. Every believer should know the following Scripture by heart that is,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(John 3:16 KJV). So, I don’t think the analogy stands. Jesus was much more than just God’s tithe. That is problem number one.

Putting God first means ‘ten percent’?

Brother Robert also goes on teaching that you have to put God first (not second or later) in your life, including your finances. How true that is, praise God. I agree with him. Later, he goes on saying that you should pay the tithes first, before every expense. This means ten percent of your income. BUT! Wait a second. Does that mean that we, by paying ten percent of our income, could just go on keeping the ninety percent of what He has given us, all possessions? He is the ‘author of everything, maker of universe’, as we sing in a Hillsong song. Isn’t is all what we have belongs to God? All of our abilities, gifts, health, body and our lives? Why not aim for 20 or thirty percent? The New Testament never gives a direct command for tithing after the cross and the resurrection. Apostle Paul encourages believers that they should excel in giving by equality, in 2Cor 8.:

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but by an equality…

(2 Cor 8:13-14a, NKJV). Jesus advocates the concept of giving in general over paying ‘tithes’, but He [Jesus] did not mention tithing here either. This is in line of what Apostle Paul said.

 Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.

(Luk 6:38a, NKJV)

In the New Testament, the principle of tithing does not stand any more, it is about giving anything we have, more than ten percent, everything we can. Our time, our efforts, ability, money, gifts and talents for the kingdom of God. Totally offering our lives to Christ by following Him, after we have been redeemed and born again. He has to be everything. This means ‘putting God first’. Interpreting it as only ‘ten percent’ is problem number two.

Summary

The principle of tithing in the New Testament does not stand in my opinion. Rather, the Scripture encourages us to give every time, everywhere, sometimes beyond our abilities, freely and with the right heart. The principle of giving is what Jesus taught in more than one occasions. ‘Tithing’ is gone in Christ and is no longer applicable for the believers. A Christian’s life should always overflow of giving instead of just paying ‘ten percent’. The principle of giving does stand and remains in the New Testament. There are many great posts on the Internet that backs my stance, so I do not intend to write any further. I recommend the following links to read:

http://www.bibleinsight.com/ti-new-testament-tithing.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1999/november15/9td094.html

God bless,
London, Monday, 27 May 2013