By Robin Calamaio
Money is a big deal. In the 1960’s, when a youthful American counterculture was throwing off the importance of money, my Dad looked me in the eye and said, “Money may not be everything … but it sure is if you don’t have any.” Like it or not, we all have a relationship with money. Fortunately, God addresses this subject in great depth in the Bible. While the study of money is exceedingly interesting, this Ebook will focus primarily on one aspect of it – the tithe. All side discussions will dovetail back to this primary concern.
In the first part of this Ebook, I will present the common teaching on the “tithe” in Christian circles. Then we will examine the Biblical record in three main eras; Pre-Law, The Law, and Post-Law. This will be followed by a discussion on The Christian and the Law, Missed Opportunities in the New Testament, The Priesthood Systems, What is Taught About the Christian and Money, a More on that Later section (which discusses the “rediscovery” of the “tithe”), and then a Conclusion.
Before going any further, I have a request. This is very important. I would like you to take “The Tithe Test” below. You do not have to share results – but you may want to later. But if you opt out now, that will not be an option. It’s “closed book” and takes about five minutes. Just write your answers on a separate piece of paper if you have not downloaded this Ebook yet.
The Tithe Test
1. How many Bible authors wrote commands about the tithe – its purpose, amount and procedures?
2. Who are they?
3. What was done with the third and sixth year tithe? Who had access to it?
4. Can you explain the “tithe cycle” of the Israelites?
5. What was done with the tithe every seventh year?
6. Explain Abram’s tithe. What did Abram give Melchizedek?
7. Did any of the Levites tithe? If so, to whom and how much?
8. How much money did the tithers give to the Levitical Priests?
9. In the “to the Levites” tithing years, did all the tithe go to the Levites?
10. What group did Jacob give his tenth to?
11. What were the conditions God must meet before Jacob would give that tenth?
12. When was the tithe “rediscovered?”
13. Who is credited with that “rediscovery?”
14. What was the catalyst for that “rediscovery?”
15. Is tithing the number one responsibility for the Christian and his/her money?
16. What kind of curse should the Christian expect for failing to tithe (Mal 3:7-9)?
17. Where did Jesus tell Christians to bring their tithe?
18. Where did Paul, or the other New Testament writers, tell Christians to bring the tithe?
19. When the Corinthians, and others, were making their collection for the saints, what was done with that collection before Paul and company took it to Judea?
20. Can the tithe be given to parachurch ministries?
The answers are at the end of this Ebook. Grade yourself, and then read this Ebook. Dissect the forthcoming material – analyze it, wrestle through it, and ask God about its contents. If you do this, I guarantee you will know more about the tithe than your preacher and entire church leadership … or your money back. (Please overlook the fact the Ebook is free. It’s my thought that counts.) In fact, you will probably be more knowledgeable on this subject than any of your denominational materials you can find. The only way I will lose this wager is if your preacher, or church leadership, got this Ebook before you!
Well, I have three reasons or the test.
1. You will know how much you actually do know about this subject right now!
2. You can retake the test after you have read the Ebook and see how much you have learned.
3. Once you have gained confidence in the position you finally adopt on this subject, it is my hope you will give this test to others – especially those who are asking “the tithe” from you! Actually, it is wrong for you to give 10% of your gross income to anybody without knowing for sure it is God’s will. I don’t care who they say they are. If your income averages $50K a year, after fifty years, you will have given a quarter of a million dollars – to somebody! If you are being told that God requires that treasure to be given to the local church weekly for your entire life, it only seems reasonable that those making this claim be willing to answer a few questions (say … the twenty above). And it does seem like the responsible thing for you to do – to ask some questions about this. In fact, it seems rather stupid not to. Indeed, if you do not ask questions about this, you deserve to have 30% extracted from you (as some maintain is God’s actual requirement – so dropping to 10% is a bargain). But, if those who claim this as God’s command for you are not willing to answer a few questions, how should you view such a refusal?
How to Give “The Test” to Others.
You may want to practice on a friend or two (I did). It’s fun. So, here’s the procedure.
1. Tell your “testee,” you have 20 questions, and the results are to become part of a worldwide project. You can tell them you made a 35% (or whatever), and want to see if they do better. They will most happily want to show you up. Also, let them know there will be no personal identification attached to the test scores. Only the position of the “testee” is recorded (church attender, pastor, elder, deacon, church board, etc.).
2. You can give this orally, or they can write responses as you wait on them. Either “The Test” itself can have the answers written on it, or you may want to use the separate “Response Sheet” (attached to the end of this Ebook). All that really matters is that all twenty questions be asked and answered in the order written – and that “The Test” be taken as a “pop quiz.” No questions in advance – or taken home.
3. Grade it for them on the spot (they will want to know how they did). Then, if they want, send them to the Website for their free copy of this Ebook (or anything else they may be interested in).
4. Forward the test score and we will post running totals. Also, identify which numbered questions were answered correctly, plus any unusual answers (add in the comment line).
Now to the Substance of this Ebook …. But First, a Note to Pro-Tithers ….
When an author addresses an important topic (especially a controversial one) the goal is to win the reader to the author’s point of view. Normally, certain “rules” of persuasion and etiquette are followed. For example, it is probably not the best idea to state the conclusion of the entire work in the title. Also, one should avoid unnecessarily offending the opposition. Indeed, there are entire books explaining how to win friends and influence people. I have violated many of these rules. Embedded in this work, you will discover why I have taken such a wayward course. Even this last statement is a manipulative, deferred challenge designed to push you to read the entire treatise. Gutsy … or stupid? I guess you will have to read on to accurately decide.
Challenges to any part of this Ebook are welcome! To submit them, go to the “Organic Document” right after the “Conclusion.” You see, I realize that if you, as a pro-“tither,” hold the correct position, then I am a false teacher and there is no telling what God will do to me. This will be a work encouraging rebellion – placing my brothers and sisters in peril. If it is true that God is cursing his children because they do not give this required Christian “tithe” from all gross earnings to the local church, then I need you to convince me of my error. If you succeed, I will shout from the rooftops that Christians must fulfill this duty … and I will give you the credit for my corrected understanding. I will not waste my energies in other areas of teaching until I get them to quit stealing from God! I will hammer on obedience to this “tithe” until I know there is obedience. That will be the only loving thing to do – indeed a top tier responsibility. But … as of these keystrokes, I am of the persuasion, there is No Tithe for the Christian.
If you have been blessed by reading this article,
send a word of appreciation to Robin after.
Here is the address: firstname.lastname@example.org.