What do you think about tithing? I take this quote from Scot McKnight's book "The Blue Parakeet"; a book on how to read the bible (you can see my review on this post). The quote below is not an exhaustive study on tithing in the bible by McKnight. They we just conversation points that made up a chapter of the book.
I'd like to use it as a conversation starter for us in this post.
"The bible I read taught about tithing, but the Bible does not insist that all of the tithe must go to a local church. Truth be told, the New Testament doesn't even bring up the tithe. In the bible the tithe is a combination of spiritual support (for the temple) and social service (for the poor). Moses says tithes are to be given not only to the Levites (roughly the temple servants) but also to the alien, to the fatherless, and to the widow (Deuteronomy 26:12). The churches I was attending had nothing to do with immigrants, did little to help orphans, and so far as I knew did little to strengthen widows." (14)
"What was more, the tithe we were hearing about was something we were to give to our local church for buildings, maintenance, pastoral salaries, missionaries, and the like. But the bible said that I-as a tither- was to give some of my tithe to the Levite and also to those who were marginalized and suffering. This was something neither I nor anyone knew was doing. I was learning that we sometimes live out the Bible, rightly or wrongly, by morphing one thing into another, that is, by taking a tithe for temple assistants and also for the poor and turning it into a tithe for the local church. It might be fine to read the Bible like this, but we should at least admit what we are doing: in a word, we are morphing." (14-15)
The quotations above are not McKnight's position on tithing just to make things clear. I am simply using this quotation from the book as a discussion starter.
These are some of the questions I would like to ask, feel free to answer any one of them:
1. If the New Testament doesn't have anything to say about tithing is it still applicable now?
2. Has the church , in following the directive of collecting the tithe, ascribe to one part of what the bible tells us about tithing and neglect what the tithe is for?
3. Your thought about the quotation.
- OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
- I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations