It is not easy for us to change a basic belief. And it should not be easy. But we should be willing to investigate any and every doctrine that we have been taught by the light of God's Word. And we should be willing to change if, indeed, we discover that what we have been taught is not based on a sound interpretation of scripture.
Jesus had to confront spiritual leaders of His day by saying:
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Many of these spiritual leaders did not know that they were teaching wrong doctrine until Jesus confronted them with the truth. And when confronted with the truth, many of them changed their teaching to line up with the truth that they learned from Jesus. But many did not. Many of those spiritual leaders were not willing to consider the possibility that they were wrong. After all,they were teaching what they had been taught by their fathers for many generations past. After all, they reasoned, if their doctrines were wrong, it would have been corrected many years before.
Many people believe and teach that tithing is a requirement of New Testament believers. Some do this out of pure motive and I am only speculating mind you, but some *MAY* not do this out of pure motive. I don't know for sure, but the system of tithing is a dangerous one that could appeal to the flesh very easily.
Many are really convinced that this teaching is accurate and scriptural (I am not writing this to question your motives). Most have sincere, pure motives in teaching tithing, but they are wrong, and it is harmful to teach something that is wrong. If truth makes us free then error puts us in bondage. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The problem is this: To conclude that tithing is a part of the new covenant (New Testament), one must violate sound principles of biblical interpretation. But this has been done for so long and so routinely, that most people are not even aware that they are doing it.
If you look up the word "tithe" in Cruden's Complete Concordance to the Old and New Testaments you will find this.
"The practice of paying tithes is very ancient:for we find, Gen 14:20, that Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, king of Salem, at his return from...
There were three sorts of tithes (bold are my words) to be paid from the people (besides those from the Levites to the priests); (1) To the Levites, for their maintenance, Num 18:21,24; (2) For the Lord's feasts and sacrifices, to be eaten in the place which the Lord should choose to put his name there Deut. 14:22-24; (3) Besides these two, there was to be, every third year, a tithe for the poor, to be eaten in their own dwellings. Deut. 14:28,29"
In the New Testament, neither Jesus nor the Apostles have commanded anything in this affair of tithes.
Did you know that there were 3 kinds of tithes? Did you know that there is no command whatsoever in the New Testament about tithing?
Let me end this piece on tithing with this statement:
I am not against GIVING. I am against telling people that they must PAY.
There is a huge difference between the two. The NT teaches giving not paying.
To teach the Law will only result in believers being put in bondage. And the bondage of legalism will be harmful to the spiritual well being of any believer. This is true in the area of giving as well as any other area.
Tithing was an important part of the Old Testament Law. But it has no place in New Testament Grace.
Galatians 5:1 is our trumpet cry.
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
I think next, I will deal with the Logic Argument that I always hear.
Tithing was practiced before the Law, was made a part of the Law, and, therefore, should be practiced after the Law.
Those that teach tithing do so on this point of logic and 3 verses.