This writing is not meant to be a condemnation, but a reflection on why we might give more weight to some of Jesus’ words over others.
As I continued to think about what was discussed at bible study meeting tonight and came to some conclusions. Primarily following the scripture that was brought forth as a command to tithe:
Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
As I pondered on this scripture, it seems apparent to me that what was being said is that the scribes and Pharisees were paying tithes as a cop out and an excuse for not doing the other, when Jesus said to not do one without the other. They felt that tithing was enough in itself. Therefore people tend to count themselves as righteous just because they pay a tithe and then they don’t do anything else. It is obvious that Jesus was against this.
Yes, we can surely say that Jesus thought and taught that it was right to give tithes, but as the above verse states, there are “weightier matters” to attend to along with the giving of tithes, which was secondary.
Do we count ourselves “religious” when we tithe when James said:
Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Do we pay tithes to a system that puts it in the bank for whatever purpose when there are needs in the community? Tithing is definitely not a bad thing by any means, but it must not be used as a way to justify not doing the more important things we are commanded to do.
We were discussing “cherry picking” when this matter came up. How we like to cling to one scripture or command and not the other. If we were to cling to the tithing scriptures, then what about the scriptures about not saving up treasures for ourselves here on earth:
Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
How many of us do this when Jesus said not to?? Can these not be considered “commandments” also?? My question is where do we draw the line in the sand? When we begin to quote what Jesus said to do or not to do we need to look at them all and not just the ones that make us feel better about ourselves.
I think that it is a sad thing that tithing has become such a big part of being “right”, but obedience to the rest of scripture has been disregarded for the most part.
Don’t get me wrong, we need money to make things function, but how far do we take this? Do we start judging how “Christian” a person is by how much money he gives. Some of the most desolate areas and peoples that have NO money give more than we could ever give through money, they give their lives. Living out the scriptures:
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service (worship).
Sometimes I don’t understand why we get so defensive when tithes are brought up? Are we continuing to be those hypocritical Pharisees, discounting the rest of the “commands”?
to be continued….
Please feel free to comment and or correct me.
(this is a repost of one of my facebook notes)