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Some of us would give $7.50 more on our own but because of taxation we dont have that option. Charity cannot be forced or it is no longer charity now is it? Also you should study a bit on old testament titheing and you will find that the 10% tithe was a Jewish tax that amounted to income tax. The Jews were then able to give over and above that as charity. We (Christians) dont pay Jewish income tax and it never had anything to do with Christianity except when misunderstood and misapplied by folks -- often folks who were the recipient of said tax/tithe or folks that thought they were better than everyone else for paying it.

EDIT: Did a little bit more reading on the old testament tithe and it was actually unlawful for anyone who was not of the tribe of Levi to accept a tithe. Jesus could not lawfully accept a tithe (and He did not accept one). So unless your pastor is of the tribe of Levi and can trace his lineage to Aaron then it is unlawful (under Jewish law) to accept a tithe. Interesting, eh?
Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
This is also found in red in the Bible meaning Jesus personally said it.

This argument is way off topic, but I am ok with that if you are. Christ said he came to fulfill the law, not do away with it.
(Matthew 5:17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
He also explains that under that law we are commanded not to kill, commit adultery, etc. But that now, under grace, (eg new testament) if we have have hate in our hearts toward our brother than we have committed murder in our hearts and will be subject to the same punishment. Or if we lust after a woman in our heart than we have committed adultery (see Matthew 5:17-47)

So if under grace we are held to a higher standard than the Jews were held to under the Law, than how can you say the tithe is Old Testament alone? It appears clear to me that if you are a Christian than you are called to be even more generous than a 10% tithe.

I would be glad to give you more proof that your claim of a tithe being an Old Testament tax on Jews is inaccurate (although highly accepted in our culture) if you would like. It is a topic I have spent A LOT of time researching. (There is more scripture about money than just about any subject in the Bible. I think God knew how to get our attention. )
 

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Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
This is also found in red in the Bible meaning Jesus personally said it.
This argument is way off topic, but I am ok with that if you are. Christ said he came to fulfill the law, not do away with it.
Im OK with it but I want to make clear that my intent is not to put down anyone -- if you believe God calls you to tithe then it would be a sin for you NOT to tithe. However, the truth will set you free.
(Matthew 5:17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Christ is the fulfillment of the law. The laws purpose was to show that nobody could live up to it and that they needed an intermediary, the Messiah, Christ. Nobody was ever saved by keeping the law, nobody (not to say thats what you are trying to infer). Notice that Christ said "until everything is accomplished". "Accomplished" could be "finished" or "completed". When Christ gave up His spirit on the cross he said "Tetelestai". See the meaning below from Bible.org:

"Literally translated the word tetelestai means, "It is finished." The word occurs in John 19:28 and 19:30 and these are the only two places in the New Testament where it occurs. In 19:28 it is translated, "After this, when Jesus knew that all things were now completed, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, he said, 'I thirst.'" Two verses later, he utters the word himself: "Then when he received the sour wine Jesus said, 'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

The word tetelestai was also written on business documents or receipts in New Testament times to show indicating that a bill had been paid in full. The Greek-English lexicon by Moulton and Milligan says this:

"Receipts are often introduced by the phrase [sic] tetelestai, usually written in an abbreviated manner..." (p. 630). The connection between receipts and what Christ accomplished would have been quite clear to John's Greek-speaking readership; it would be unmistakable that Jesus Christ had died to pay for their sins. "

So obviously, the old testament law is done away with because Christ accomplished his mission. As you said we are held to a higher standard -- that of love. One of the problems with folks that want to follow the Mosaic law is that they pick and choose which ones to follow. Do you eat pork or any other unclean foods? I do! In Acts 10 Peter is told by God to eat unclean foods that were against the Mosaic law to consume. We both know God was not telling Peter to sin. There are countless other examples I could give but I think you probably get the idea. As you say below we are under grace, a higher standard:
He also explains that under that law we are commanded not to kill, commit adultery, etc. But that now, under grace, (eg new testament) if we have have hate in our hearts toward our brother than we have committed murder in our hearts and will be subject to the same punishment. Or if we lust after a woman in our heart than we have committed adultery (see Matthew 5:17-47)

So if under grace we are held to a higher standard than the Jews were held to under the Law, than how can you say the tithe is Old Testament alone? It appears clear to me that if you are a Christian than you are called to be even more generous than a 10% tithe.
Yes we are under grace, and under grace you may be led NOT to give at all and I may be led to give 100% but neither of us can judge the other for doing what we are led to do. I love grace! BUT, if you are going to give because its a "tithe" -- because of the law then you are not living under grace. Under the law it is unlawful for your pastor/teacher to accept a tithe unless he is a Levite Jew -- see Numbers 18. If you are going to live under the law then live under the whole law (including dietary laws, etc.). I think you will prefer grace. Your intent to follow the will of God is honorable but if you want to live in grace do not cling to the law (for righteousness or anything else). As (I believe) you know grace is preferable.
I would be glad to give you more proof that your claim of a tithe being an Old Testament tax on Jews is inaccurate (although highly accepted in our culture) if you would like. It is a topic I have spent A LOT of time researching. (There is more scripture about money than just about any subject in the Bible. I think God knew how to get our attention. )
He definitely knows how to get our attention! No doubt! I would not mind hearing what you have to say about this subject. I am open to learning more but I want to know if you try to live by the whole law or just parts of it? Granted, some of the law is still good to live by but some of it is plain impossible -- and that was the point of the law from the day it was given to Moses.
All valid and well worded points. (I considered letting it go with that because it is obvious we are arguing details when I think we would both agree on the important points, but I am enjoying the conversation so I want to reply to it)

I think where we are differing in opinion is that I don't view the point of God giving The Law as purely to show people that we can never live up to His perfect holiness - thus needing The Savior to restore us to righteousness.

But I also think that the law was originally given to protect us from ourselves. Jesus was able to summarize the entire Law into three commandments: love the Lord your God with all your heart and love people as you love yourself. I think He was able to do that because the rest of the Law is a list of ways to do those three things. God is a loving father that desires to bless his children and, like any good father, doesn't want to see his children make stupid mistakes and have to reap the consequences. "The wages of sin is death" not because God is going to smite us for making mistakes, but because every choice and every action has a consequence and the consequences of breaking the Law lead to death.

All that being said, in answer to your question of do I keep all of the law, no. I have no desire to live under the law and I have no desire to have religion as I have never seen anything good come from religion. However I do think that the law directs us on how to live the most blessed lifestyle.

I don't use the Lord's name in vain because I want to keep reverence for the maker of the universe within my own heart. I don't kill because I don't want to go to prison. I don't commit adultery because I desire an intimate relationship with my wife and would prefer her not leave dividing my children. Similarly, I tithe because I am honoring God with the "first-fruits" the first and best of my work as a form of worship and as a statement to God and to my own heart that I trust he is providing for me and my family - not me.

Notice that in the Genesis story of Cain and Abel they both brought an offering (gave), but while Abel gave the first and best Cain gave "over the period of time." Cain gave after he had budgeted out what he needed and realized he had ample amount. Abel's offering was accepted and praised by God while Cain's was not. (note: The Law is not given for thousands of years after Cain and Abel)

On a side note: I personally don't think tithe has to go to your pastor or to the church. I typically do give it to my church because I want it to advance the Kingdom, but I think the best plan is to allow the Holy Spirit to direct you on where to give it. (I bought a man a new tire after he got a flat once with my tithe because I felt it is what I was supposed to do.)

As I step off my soap box let me iterate that I don't think this is a massively pertinent disagreement. Just a friendly conversation between brothers-in-Chirst trying to live our lives to His glory and encourage each other to do the same.

PS To save the original integrity of this thread I am going to repost our conversation about tithe (and Christ in general) to the religion section. I would love to carry on the conversation there.
 

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Aesops Ant (not Aunt)
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Keepitsimple,
I apologize for letting this die. You make some valid points:

You say you believe the law can direct us to a more blessed lifestyle and to a degree and in some areas I can agree. The main thing is if you give, you give in love and not because you are commanded -- as you say we are not under law but under grace.

I would make one addition to what you said about Cain/Abel: There are several reasons Cains sacrifice was not acceptable and several things we can learn from it.

Primary in my mind: Abel put forth what God asked of him, Cain put forth the works of his own hands. This is the root of idol worship and religion itself.

If this topic still interests you or anyone else it is worthy of discussion as it definitely pertains to our spiritual preparation and this is Prepared Society after all.
 
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