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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did Abraham Fail to Tithe Before the Law?








Did Abraham Fail to tithe,  before the law?




We were often taught to pay tithes of 10% on income to our churches... Abraham "before the law" was often cited to make this appeal to our congregation.

But, as Paul Harvey said "Here's the REST OF THE STORY"...   

The reasoning went because Abram gave the king-priest "Melchizedek" tithes from the spoils of battle, we should follow suit if we are true to God. 
An emotional appeal to show our own thankfulness to God through a 10% expression may be followed by a verse or two read from the Bible, usually a passage from the law such as Malachi 3:9-10.   

What is NOT pointed out by well-meaning leaders that may benefit from those tithes is: 
 1. Abram only tithed ONCE........... *once in scripture*
   (Genesis 14:20)

 2. Abram then gave the other 90% away also! ........**hmmm** ......:
     (Gen. 14:23)

 3. A few chapters later, we find out a little secret, that in Genesis 20:14 Abraham was bestowed with sheep, oxen, and servants as a free gift, including a financial increase.
   And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. (16)  And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver....

 -What?!  1k of SILVER, besides "sheep and oxen and women servants"? 
What happened to Melchizedek?
What happened to faithful Abraham tithing?
Where's the tithe on his increase?

Did Abraham "rob God"?
How come the Man of God in the Suit behind the pulpit did not notice this passage "before the law"?
What if he is blinded by tradition and dependence on tithe-income from the pew?  

Abraham paid no tithes on all that money and livestock... "before the law".
Of course the people who may financially benefit most from the unscriptural tithes collected from the trusting folks in the pew, will rarely admit the error and missing the Genesis 20 details. ..........
Using the example of Abram's one-time  tithe from material he captured in war and not from his own wealth, should be strongly challenged as a "pay your tithes" church doctrine. 
The Biblical reality that good 'ole Abraham paid no tithe in Genesis 20 exposes the fact that many are defrauded by the teaching that we should pay tithes based on the "before the law" reasoning... 

Have you ever heard "the children of the kingdom are free" as Jesus said, as the plate was passed? 

A warning from Colossians 2:8 (NIRV) 
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Christ never taught money-income tithes)
Pastor, will you cease from teaching the error of tithing from income based on "before the law" now?

****************************************************************
Regarding Genesis 20, Let's point out:
1.  there is no mention of tithes, therefore we cannot add or assume what is not stated.
2.  No other writer in scripture witnessed to Abraham tithing in Gen. 20.
3.  Of note, Abraham was rich long before he tithed in Gen. 14.
4.  The tithe to Melchisedek was not from Abraham's own wealth. -it was spoils of war.
5.  Abraham gave the other 90% away also. Gen 14;23
6.  God did not establish tithing in the Abrahamic covenant
7.  Abraham was given a covenant of circumcision which was confirmed as an on-going obedience.
8.  "BEFORE THE LAW"; what other matters are found?
a. Abraham had children by his maid servant without sin.
b. Abraham married his niece, his brothers daughter.
c. Abraham wore a robe, like Jesus, and like God gave Adam and Eve, (ok, humor me). 
THINK! -We do not follow other "before the law" practices such as circumcision (and it was a command), plural marriage, having concubines, or slavery.  
9. Therefore we cannot use Abraham's example to justify tithing nor did the apostles instruct so in the New Covenant


We should never "cherry pick" what we like or don't like from scripture to impose as doctrine something the apostles never instructed or commanded the saints to do. Abraham's failure to pay tithes in Genesis 20 illustrates the error of using him as an example for us to pay 10% of our income to a pastor or denomination.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Rory...This was an interesting post~
    I didn't realize Abraham only tithed once~
    I think of the widow with her mite...and giving our ALL to the LORD! We are His postition 100%, not just 10%. ♥♥♥

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  2. Genesis 20 doesn't specifically say Abraham tithed but we have to assume he did since the precedent was set in Genesis 14. We need irrefutable evidence prove he didn't.

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  3. This is a response to brother Ennis in the comments below:
    I am not persuaded we are permitted to "assume" when it comes to establishing doctrine.
    Let's point out:
    1. there is no mention of a tithe, therefore we cannot add to the passage.
    2. No other writer in scripture witnessed to Abraham tithing in Gen. 20.
    3. Of note, Abraham was rich long before he tithed in Gen. 14.
    4. The tithe to Melchisedek was not from Abraham's own wealth. -it was spoils of war.
    5. Abraham gave the other 90% away also. Gen 14;23
    6. God did not establish tithing in the Abrahamic covenant.
    7. Abraham was given a covenant of circumcision which was confirmed as an on-going obedience.
    8. RE: "BEFORE THE LAW";
    a. Abraham had children by his maid servant without sin.
    b. Abraham married his niece, his brothers daughter.
    c. Abraham wore a robe, like Jesus, and like God gave Adam and Eve, (ok, humor me).
    We do not follow those "before the law" practices, nor circumcision which was commanded.
    9. Therefore we cannot use Abrahams example to justify what none of the apostles gave in the New Covenant.

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    Replies
    1. true.... and the N.T. tithe is a lie !

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  4. Very good Post Brother! !! +100

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  5. Job said in Job ch. 32 vs. 21,22:- 'Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone;
    Nor let me flatter any man. For I do not know how to flatter,
    Else my Maker would soon take me away.', and Paul the apostle never signed his letters 'apostle Paul', just Paul. Yet modern preachers love to be called 'Pastor'. 2 Corinthians ch. 9 v.7 ' So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.' sets no rule regarding our financial contribution.

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  6. Brother Rory, I'm with you so far in what you explain here about the tithe. Can you share more about the OT practice of 'first fruits'? This is the other means preacher's use to justify the tithe prior to the Law. Thank you!

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  7. Rory, I am with you so far in what you explain about Abram and the tithe. Can you share more about the principal of 'first fruits', since this is the other OT practice used to justify the tithe? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete