Who's Money Is It Anyway?
Updated: Jul 5
To Tithe or Not?
I thought it would be fun to create a developing discussion about tithing between two fictitious characters, Tithing Tim, and Grace Giving Gary. Tithing Tim is an advocate of tithing, and Grace-Giving Gary is an opponent of tithing. They are accompanied by their non-fictitious counsel from early to present day. Although Gen. 17 records that God changed Abram's name to Abraham, I use Abram throughout this writing for simplicity. Grace Giving Gary believes that giving of our time, money, and other resources should be by grace and be love driven, so his name is shortened from Grace Giving, Love Driven, Gray to simply Grace Giving Gary.
Their discussion will eventually move from the Ante-Nicene era of 100-325 CE to the Post-Nicene era of 325-604 CE, and then onto the Middle Ages of 604-1517 CE where Thomas Aquinas (1225-1275 CE) will have something to say about the oblations and first fruits of the old law. From there, they take us through the Reformation era of 1517-1648 CE, the Post Reformation era of 1648-1873 CE. and finish up with the Tithing Renewal Era, 1873-Present. The division of church history into these periods or eras seem to be generally accepted.
Discussing finances is difficult and only made more difficult when it involves giving money away either by requirement or by choice. In fact, some of the people you will meet in this chapter are reluctant to proclaim a pro or con tithing status, seemingly taking ambiguity as the safe position.
Although I found some interesting peripheral information about most of the people I present, the majority of the facts surrounding their position on tithing have been discovered and revealed by more than a hand-full of authors. I present the subject in a different manner but the "duck quacks and the dog barks" today as they did yesterday. In other words, the findings about advocates and opponents of tithing generally appear all too similar. Authors David A. Croteau, Earlinton Guiste, and Evelyn Guiste, deserve special recognition for their extensive disclosures of tithing principles and practices of seemingly everyone. I reference their work, among others', throughout this chapter. Why are there so many variations in thinking on this subject matter? Is the biblical teaching on this concept not clear enough for a single perspective in interpretation?
Tithing Tim: Of course they have to give back. They knew to tithe.
Grace Giving Gary: I assume you are talking about Adam and Eve before the Fall. What makes you think they even knew to give back to the Lord? Where is that in Scripture?
Tithing Tim: Well, let's face it, there wasn't any Scripture back then, but they were surrounded by the general revelation of God and God provided for all their needs. Natural law or God's objective moral law reveals what we ought to do. "…for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness,…(Rom. 2:14-15). As I will show, we must give back a tenth. By natural law, folks knew right from wrong before God enters the scene in Gen. 3:8 and without the law. Adam and Eve felt shame and covered themselves, Cain lied to God about Abel's dead body, and by what standard was Noah declared righteous and without blame? It wasn't the non-existent Mosaic law or even a precursor – otherwise, Cain would have been put to death for murder according to Mosaic law (Gen. 9:6).
Grace Giving Gary: It sounds like you're talking eighteenth century Enlightenment when people gained confidence in the power of human reason unaided by divine revelation to solve our problems. This led to moral ethical relativism, which says there is no universal moral standard, that what is right for one person may not be right for anyone else. Well, we agree that we must give back but why a tenth to the One who owns everything anyway? Giving is a constant throughout the Bible but should our giving be limited to a tenth? How do you conclude that Adam and Eve knew to give back to the Lord? Are you telling me that tithing is demonstrated because God set aside a few trees for Himself?
Tithing Tim: Yes, it universally demonstrates that tithing goes back as early as the Garden.
Grace Giving Gary: I think that is stretching it a bit. The role of Adam in the garden is patterned after God's activity as he is placed "in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it" (Gen. 2:15). It doesn't say anything about tithing or giving back. But I can understand the implication because we are given dominion and the duty to care for creation. And since we are given dominion over His creation with free will to choose, why are we not given the freedom to decide how much to give? Our pastors and we as the church are part of God's creation and we make decisions accordingly. Since we are essentially talking about the period before Moses and Mosaic law, what other examples do you have?
Tithing Tim: Yes, we're talking about before the law and yet they still gave. How about the offerings of Cain and Abel in Gen. 4? Forget moral relativism; they somehow learned to give from their parents, and each gave an offering to the Lord. Abel brought his first-born sheep and Cain brought some fruit.
Grace Giving Gary: Yes, an offering, not a tithe; We are not told their giving was a tenth. Additionally, God respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. If it were a tithe, a tenth, wouldn't one-size-fit all? Ok, I've shot down the Garden and both Cain and Abel, what else do you have?
Tithing Tim: I'm glad you asked! Think about Abram's tithe to Melchizedek. From the spoils won from his battle with Chedorlaomer (kedoor-lay-ohmer), king of Elam, Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth. I give you Gen. 14:20: "…And he gave him a tithe of all." One-tenth translates as tithe in Hebrew.
Grace Giving Gary: Oh, come now, Abram gave a tenth of all, whatever all it was, to Melchizedek, a high priest, a practice in that culture during that period of time. There is no record that God commanded Abram to pay a tenth. Paying a tenth or a tithing system predates Israel's history and was even used by Indo-Germanic peoples. And there is no record that Abram continued to give, which is something we would expect if it were a tithe offering. Furthermore, there is nothing in Gen. 14 about a system or pattern of tithing that had become part of Abram's worship of God. This event is descriptive, not prescriptive. We don't even learn that it was a tenth of the booty until we get into New Testament but let's stay focused on the ancient near eastern practice of giving, specifically the surrounding Babylonian culture which is probably where Abram learned about tithing.[A1] Let me be clear: Abram of the Sumerian city of Ur lived in a culture and family that worshiped a moon god but he himself worshiped God, the High God called El Elyon.
Tithing Tim: I've read in extra-biblical literature about how in Arabia tithes were paid on frankincense but if the frankincense was more bountiful because it was grown on ground getting more water, people owed twenty percent, not a tenth. To your question about where Abram learned to give a tenth, there were "laws" without origin, call them customs if you will, which people practiced that spread to other cultures as well. For example, before the Levirate law, one of the surviving brothers would take the widow to wife and the first-born of this new marriage was regarded as the son of the deceased and the family name and inheritance could continue. This was a custom practiced among other cultures not peculiar to the family of Abraham. I suppose you could even think of it as an unspoken vow.
Grace Giving Gary: Let's agree to disagree about whether Abram tithed to Melchizedek or simply practiced a Babylonian culture and discuss where Jacob bargained with God in Gen. 28. Some use the Gen. 28:22 verse to show that tithing is required. It's a weak argument. Jacob obeyed his mother Rebekah's deplorable plan to deceive Isaac his father of his brother's blessing, then stole his brother Esau's birthright and fled to avoid being killed. Jacob the deceiver was on the run and when he dreamed about angels ascending and descending a ladder, which was perhaps a ziggurat, Gen. 28:13 tells us, "And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants." Even if Jacob wasn't bargaining with God and really intended to tithe as he promises in Gen. 28:22, it is a voluntary vow, the longest vow in the Old Testament. Besides, when Jacob made that vow it was not out or reverence but of fear and why would Jacob be afraid if not for the wrong he had committed? It is a misinterpretation to use that verse as a legitimate reason to tithe.
Tithing Tim: You're right, when people met God in Scripture, their experience at first was often not a happy one. Jacob was afraid but then so was Moses upon seeing the Lord in the burning bush – he hid his face (Ex. 3:6). When Isaiah saw the Lord in the temple, "high and lifted up," he was sure he had met his end. "Woe is me! For I am lost," he declared (Isa. 6:1,5). Peter fell down and said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord" when Jesus filled his net with fish from the Sea of Galilee (Luke 5:8). When John saw the exalted Christ "like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest," he "fell at his feet as though dead" (Rev. 1:13,17). So you see, fear doesn't abrogate the tithe. Jacob's vow to tithe is the second time tithing is mentioned before the giving of the Mosaic law. Abram's tithe and Jacob's promise to tithe formed the basis of the Mosaic law on tithing. They gave to show gratitude.
Grace Giving Gary: I agree that the Mosaic law codified the tithe, but the tenth offered by Abram and Jacob cannot be used to argue anything other than free-will giving just as it was with Cain and Abel. They were not commanded to give. And if tithing is to show gratitude, how would someone who has no income, no first fruits, absolutely nothing, show gratitude? Shouldn't gratitude be from the heart? Do you think giving a mere tenth adequately represents thankfulness to God who gave everything, including His only begotten Son? God's commandments to Moses are found in Lev. 27:30-33, "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed." These are the verses to authenticate tithing under Mosaic law, and only while under the Mosaic law. And while we are talking about Mosaic law, Abram's actions were not codified into law because the commanded offering prescribed in the Mosaic law for spoils won in battle was not ten percent but two-tenths percent (one out of every five hundred) and two percent (one out of every fifty). Therefore, both the aspect of giving the spoils of war and the connection to a vow is different in the Mosaic law.
Tithing Tim: Ah, I see you're catching on! Under Mosaic law, tithing is a legal requirement. Tithing has nothing to do with giving. It isn't called "baby sitting" when a father takes care of his children while his wife is out shopping; it's called parenting. Tithing has nothing to do with giving and must stand alone. That is how God accepts a "mere tenth" as you put it. Payment is required by God and it should be heartfelt and cheerful. God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:6-7). Although you do not agree that Abram's actions with Melchizedek was an example of the God-mandated tithe, Gen. 14:18 tells us that Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High and Abram tithed to Melchizedek just as a lower priest owes a tithe to the higher priest (we learn this in the New Testament). Now you may say that Abram was not a priest, but you must see that Abram represented his great grandson, Levi, in the Levitical priesthood. And that is why we must all tithe, Christians are required by God to make this payment because we are members of God's royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9).
Grace Giving Gary: Hold up there! Abram swore to the Lord God Most High. In Gen. 14:22-23, Abram, before Mosaic law, gave an offering of 10 percent to Melchizedek and the rest he gave away, all as part of a vow. If tithing is commanded by God, why isn't there more of a presence about its requirement in the New Testament and why aren't all the churches holding people accountable for not tithing just as they would for people committing murder and theft and such? If you're going down the road of priesthood where Abram represents his yet to be born great grandson, Levi, and we’re going from Mosaic law to Levitical law, then when a change in priesthood occurs, so too does the law, "For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law" (Heb. 7:12). Therefore, Melchizedek brings about another change in the priesthood, even after that of Mosaic and Levitical law, and we consequently have another change in law and that includes any law related to tithing. The Levitical law is superseded because of Jesus Christ, forever of the priesthood of Melchizedek.
Tithing Tim: Even with the replacement of the Levitical priesthood, where in Scripture does it state that tithing is no longer required under the priesthood of Melchizedek? Let's be clear about the priesthood of Melchizedek who was without "father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually" (Heb. 7:3). In Num. 3:5-10 we learn that only those from the tribe of Levi could be priests and not all Levites were priests. Moses and his brother Aaron were both Levites and priests (Ps.99:6), yet Melchizedek, "without genealogy," was not a Levite but certainly was a priest according to Hebrews 7:1. Jesus the Christ is from the tribe of Judah and not from the tribe of Levi but is a priest from the order of Melchizedek, "The Lord has sworn And will not relent, “You [the Messiah] are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4). In Hebrews we learn that the lesser is blessed by the better, that Abram tithed to Melchizedek, and that Jesus became a priest by divine oath. Tithes were paid to Melchizedek; tithes must then be paid to Jesus.
Grace Giving Gary: Paying tithes to the priests comes right out of Numbers 18, an old covenant law that ended along with circumcision and the Passover slaughter. Giving, even if a tenth, existed long before Mosaic law required a tenth. Without getting into the weeds about the number of times annually and occasions for tithing, the Israelites gave about 23 percent yearly. And with that being the case, how can you say that ten percent is the biblical standard?
Tithing Tim: Feel free to get into the weeds but let's not divert from Numbers 18 too quickly. God selected the whole tribe of Levi to serve in the sanctuary services: "Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine" (Num. 3:12). It all started when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, around 1450 BCE, and witnessed the episode of the Golden Calf. God separated the Levites from all the other Israelites (Ex. 32:26-29). Out of tribe Levi, God appointed Moses, Aaron, and Aaron's sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, as the priests. The Levites were to do the work of the Lord (Num. 8:11) and were not permitted to work outside the sanctuary and they received no inheritance (Num. 18:20). The Israelites were to pay tithes to the Levites (Num. 18:26) to support their work in the sanctuary since they could not engage in outside work and they received no inheritance like that promised to the Israelites. The priests must "bear the iniquity associated with your priesthood" (Num. 18:1) and "you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; you shall serve" (Num. 18:7). The priests did not pay a tithe but received a tenth of the tenth from the tithe paid to the Levi tribe, "a tenth of the tithe" (Num. 18:26). The other ninety percent went to the non-priests, the Levites.
Grace Giving Gary: So, you're telling me the Israelites tithed to the Levites, who were not priests, and the Levites tithed to their Levite priests, and their priests did not have to tithe. Recall 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people…" Does this mean that if we are all members of the priesthood, none of us are required to pay tithes? In today's church, it is the pastor or priest who controls the tithe and how it is spent and the elders, deacons, and other "Levites" doing the work of the Lord in the sanctuary are not typically paid but yet the security, grounds keeper, and administration – those who do not directly perform church-related duties – are monetarily compensated. This seems contrary to reason.
Tithing Tim: You just went from pre-Mosaic law to today's church and there is so much to be examined in between the two. There are many scholars who believe that the tithe did not die out with the new covenant. Kenrick Peck (1901) maintained that God has required the tithe since at least the fall of Adam. Others believed that even if tithing was abolished the moral law of the tithe, which existed for hundreds of years before the Mosaic law, has never been abolished. I think Jesus emphasized tithing in Matthew 23:23, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
Grace Giving Gary: Perhaps we can agree that it was a moral law of tithing before the Mosaic law, a free will giving such as the offerings from Cain and Abel. I still contend that Abram's giving was influenced by the practice of Babylonian culture. And you are correct that there is much yet for us to examine before we get to the current day practice of giving. Answers to the questions between moral law or pre-Mosaic law, Mosaic law, and now are vastly different. There was a time before Christ where the law was required for various reasons. For example, the Jews had concern with how Gentiles were to act when in Israel and what a Gentile had to do to become a Jew, such as circumcision as I mentioned earlier. You say that Matt. 23:23 is about tithing but in fulfilling the law of tithing, Jesus says, the religious leaders "have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness." Seems like a perfect time for Christ to advocate the tithe but He certainly did not in that part of Scripture. Theologian Michael Horton writes, "Familiar to many reared in evangelical circles are taboos that are nowhere condemned in Scripture, while true worship of God and tangible acts of loving service to our neighbors often seem less important as evidence of our discipleship." In other words, love of God and neighbor is actually the summary of the whole law (Matt.22:36-40). Let's move from the law and focus our attention on the law-gospel relationship. The tithe was originally meant for the support of the Levites and priests, and "…the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (Luke 1:17).
Ante-Nicene Era 100-325 CE
Clement of Rome (100 CE): Finally we get to chime in! I never make a direct mention of tithing, but Christians should give lawfully.
Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE): Hey, Rome, pipe down, scholars have concluded that neither one of us understood how the Mosaic law applied to Christians and that we both probably just relied on Pauline epistles like 1 Cor. 16:1-2, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come."
Didache (100 CE): I speak as the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles and since you mentioned Paul, I can tell you that we all believe in the sharing of resources among Christians. I allude to tithing but for the most part, my conclusive overall statement is that Christians must be givers and not takers, give the first fruits, support the ministers, and give to the poor. In other words, I'm not saying the tithe stopped or that it should continue.
Tithing Tim: The Clements are annoying and Didache isn't much help. But like you, Gary, Clement of Alexandria leans towards grace. By the way, I was wondering when you were going to pull the "grace card." Of course, we both know that Jesus Christ brought grace to the world, but we also know that Jesus did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). Don't overlook Mal. 3:8-9, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! but you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation." That passage and Matt. 5:17-20 is a key passage for the law-gospel issue.
Justin Martyr (100-165 CE): In Malachi, God was talking to the Israelites about grain sacrifices (Lev. 6:14-23) and storing grain in the temple, a storehouse, not a church. Malachi was written more than 400 years before the birth of Christ and the first church. The Mal. 3 biblical reference should never be used to advocate tithing since it is usually always taken out of context. Keep in mind Hosea 6:6, "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." I can be a bit more specific than the Clements and the Didache. I remember Christians meeting every Sunday, reading the writing of the Apostles, and then we took an offering at the end of the service. The wealthy gave as they saw fit and the money and food offerings, not tithes, were used to help the widows, poor, and others in need. Giving is an absolute but I prefer to quote Scripture to support why I believe the requirement to tithe is not extended into the new covenant, such as Acts 2:44-46: "Now all who believe were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart…"
Irenaeus (130-200 CE): I'm with Justin, especially about the sharing. I wrote Against Heresies, essentially rejecting the tithe as a giving paradigm for Christianity.
Tertullian (160-230 CE): I want to get in my two cents before Origen sounds off (we all know that Origen castrated himself and was later excommunicated by Bishop Demetrius). Christians contributed to the church treasury every month. "On the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation; but only if it be his pleasure, and only if he be able: for there is no compulsion; all is voluntary."
Origen (186-255 CE): I stand against your Ad Hominem Fallacy, Tertullian, and against the second century philosopher, Celsus. For your information, I do not exhort Christians to tithe. “How then is our righteousness abounding more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, if they dare not taste the fruits of their land before they offer first-fruits to the priests, and tithes are separated for the Levites; whilst I, doing none of these things, so misuse the fruits of the earth that the priest knows nothing of them, the Levite is ignorant of them, the divine altar does not perceive them.” As mentioned earlier, paying tithes to the priests comes right out of Numbers 18, an old covenant law that ended along with circumcision and the Passover slaughter. Epiphanius (315-403 CE), bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, said that tithes are like circumcision and thus are not binding on Christians. I reject the tithe, but Christians should give far more that the scribes and Pharisees. Go ahead, Grace Giving Gary, and reply to Tithing Tim about "pulling the grace card".
Grace Giving Gary: Yes, I pulled the "grace card". Christ came to fulfill the law and the prophets, a way of referring to the Old Testament. God rules his creation with His law, revealed to us in the Bible. Even the so-called laws of nature are merely expressions of His sovereign will. Sin is disobedience to God's law and such laws are permanent and required for us to live according to His moral law. God is a law unto Himself. Some of His laws are absolute and eternal. Some of His laws are temporary to help us through certain conditions such as the dietary and ceremonial laws of Israel. Jesus does not alter any of the former commands but rather, by grace, He establishes their true intent. There are only several explicit references to tithing in the New Testament and all of them focus on the free-will giving of time, money, and talent with a grateful heart just as Justin Martyr said. We are robbing God and God's people if we ignore Gal. 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Paul preaches to the Galatians about the relationship between Israel and the law. Israel is not released from the law, but his emphasis is more about faith than the legalism of the law. "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Gal 3:24-25). Additionally, in Gal. 4:21-31, he contrasts the births of Ishmael and Isaac with Abram and Sarah's faith but more importantly, God's faithful fulfillment of the promise to Abram [Abraham] and Abraham's seed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The original audience of Hebrews thought they could still have God without Jesus and maintain the laws of old covenant Judaism. Afterall, Christianity became a cross-cultural religion at the beginning of its existence. With Christ, nothing stands between us and communion with God as what stood between the old covenant saints and the glory of God in the Highest Place of the tabernacle and temple. The law-gospel relationship has everything to do with a theological continuation between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Tithing Tim: You wanted to focus on the law-gospel relationship. The great divide began with the birth of Jesus and Him as our King and High Priest. Although the Levitical assistants and Aaronic priesthood were abrogated along with the ceremonial laws regulating the sacrificial sin offerings which symbolized the atoning sacrifice of Christ, the tithing law was not. Jesus reminds the rich young ruler of God's divine laws to not murder, not steal, and not bear false witness. When he asked Jesus about getting eternal life. "Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matt. 19:21). Yes, indeed, the law-gospel relationship has everything to do with a theological continuation between the Old Testament and the New Testament but please, let's move from the Early Church or Ante-Nicene era of 100-325 CE to the Nicene era of 325-604 CE. I am not sure if Augustine sides with me, but it does become increasingly difficult to understand if tithing is a religious duty or a governmental aspect.
Post-Nicene Era 325-604 CE
Augustine (354-430 CE): While I do not believe that the New Testament command was for Christians to tithe, I think we should at least imitate the Jews and tithe. Tithing occurred before me, but we should tithe through concession, a surrendering of all our possessions, rather than as an ideal.
Jerome (347-420 CE): Augustine and I think very much alike except I see the clergy as being in the tribal line of Levi and the Jewish priesthood and therefore they are due tithes. If Christians aren't willing to give everything away, they should at least tithe to the priest and the poor.
Grace Giving Gary: "For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law" (Heb. 7:12). The Levites collected tithes from the Israelites and a tenth of a tenth went to the priests. With the abrogation of the Levitical assistants and Aaronic priesthood and the change in law with Jesus now as High Priest, the tithing and offering principle as commanded in the Old Testament became radically redefined. Grace enhanced the concept of providing for the needs of the pastor, priest, and God's people. The New Testament principles lead to the conclusion that all giving is done under the acknowledgement that God owns one hundred percent and no specific percentage is required from us. Although I think the context of the rich young ruler story differs from your intent, you do use it to communicate that Christians should give all and we still fall short of what Christ did for us on the cross. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" ( 2 Cor. 8:9).
Tithing Tim: Thank you for acknowledging that we owe God everything and might I point out that tithing is an obedient method of giving back a portion of our proceeds. Tithing is an equitable law. The meals provided by the Israelites to the Levites were not a matter of charity. They were a matter of law and anyone had lawful access to these meals (Ex. 12:49). We are all priests through adoption into the family of the high priest and as such, the lower priests must tithe to the higher priest and Jesus is high priest forever. Abram's payment to Melchizedek is the model for today's church and members owe their tithes to their local congregations.
Grace Giving Gary: There is something to be said about obedience. The death of Jesus atoned for sin because it was the death of the perfectly obedient Godman. Our obedience is rendered in order to thank the Lord for what He has done, but it is not and cannot be done to earn our way into heaven. We are drawn into union with Christ through faith and when we enter into that state of grace, we are no longer under the condemnation of the law or obligated to find favor with God by doing what the law requires. Paul tells us in Romans 8:1-9, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." You see, the laws of the old covenant are fully realized in the resurrection of Jesus Christ so that we may give accordingly.
The Author of Hebrews (60-70 CE?): I realize I am speaking out of era here, but you mentioned earlier about the Jews wanting to revert back to the ways of the old covenant. To leave Jesus would not be to return to the faith of the old covenant saints but to join a religion devoid of God's promise and power – without Jesus, there is no hope for anyone who attempts to walk in the footsteps of the old covenant saints apart from faith in Christ. It wasn't God's plan to perfect the old covenant saints apart from us but rather perfect us along with the saints in and through Jesus Christ. The Mosaic law, Aaronic law, and Patriarchal law was superseded and never given to the Gentiles.
Grace Giving Gary: The Mosaic law was not given to the Gentiles so how would they be accountable to tithe? Psalm 147:19-20 reveals that His judgements were not made known to those outside Israel. Not everyone was under the same covenant. In the law-gospel relationship, there is much disagreement and speculation about the uses of the tithes. If the entire tithe of the Israel were in fact given to the Levites every year, they most certainly would have been wealthier than anyone else living at the time.
Constantine (ca. 325 CE): My impact on Christianity was huge while I was emperor. I was a generous giver, but you'll find no record of me ever collecting or paying tithes.
Ambrose (374 CE): As Bishop of Milan, I clearly supported tithing and yet something I wrote might make folks think tithing is voluntary: "Never let us say we are doing more, when we are really doing less. What need is there to speak at all? In a promise a cheat lies hid. It is in our power to give what we like."
Tithing Tim: Gary, you say that our obedience is rendered to God to thank Him and I agree that we cannot earn our way into Heaven; however, obeying the command to tithe not only demonstrates our gratitude but more importantly, it is not an option – it is an obligation, and we will be blessed by obedience as described in Deut. 28:1-14 by "…observing carefully all His commandments …because you obey the voice of the Lord your God…"
Tithing Tim: We certainly want to avoid the curses of disobedience described in Deut. 28:15-68 which negatively mirror the blessings. Old or new, a covenant is a covenant, a legally binding relationship between sovereign God and His subordinates. "And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant” (Gen. 17:9-14). Gathering the tithe is a priestly function just as is circumcision. You mentioned earlier that with Jesus now as High Priest, the tithing and offering principle as commanded in the Old Testament became radically redefined. What I see radically redefined is circumcision. Circumcision of the heart – repenting and turning away from idolatry – has replaced the physical circumcision of Abram's day. The physical circumcision is a sign of sanctification and renewal of life (Gen.2:25, Deut. 30:6) but reality, not the sign, is what is important to God and this can be obtained without regard to one's Jewish ethnicity (Gen. 2:26-27). A Jew is always a Jew but a Gentile is not always a Christian.
Grace Giving Gary: Precisely! Jesus did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). We believers, both male and female, are now circumcised in a new way. We have to experience the inner reality of a circumcised heart that the circumcision of flesh was to signify. The Lord’s covenant of salvation has always been a covenant of the heart. Jesus made the ultimate blood sacrifice, the atonement for sin once for all and we are no longer required to sacrifice animals at the altar. In the new covenant, our bodies are to be a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). The author of Hebrews explains, "For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests, men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever." And so it is with tithing. Giving to demonstrate our gratitude has also been radically redefined by the grace of Jesus Christ. We've already established our agreement that Christians must give, and that the Israelites gave more than ten percent, but it's important to also acknowledge their free-will Tabernacle offerings and artistic works detailed in Exodus 35: 21-28. Do you recall the issue caused among the Gentiles when Paul said they did not need to be circumcised?
Tithing Tim: Yes, Paul was accused of telling the Jews who were among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. This was happening because as the church grew beyond the Jewish people, the Gentiles were not required to observe the ceremonial law of Moses (Acts 21:25; 15:1-31).
Grace Giving Gary: Precisely. Paul had no objection to Jews following the ancestral customs and says as much in Scripture when ministering to Jews. What he opposes is any attempt to impose the observance of Mosaic ceremonial laws on Gentiles, or to make such observance in some way necessary for salvation. His focus was on the Gospel and the teaching of Christ to support the needs of others, "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need" (Acts 2:44-45) and Paul declared, "But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things" (Rom. 15:25-27). Paul taught us to behave like a Christian, "distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality" (Rom. 12:13). Note that he did not instruct the paying of tithes but to willingly engage in hospitality and give from the goodness of heart. Regarding the Macedonians, he emphasized that amidst great trial and affliction, they gave according to and beyond their ability (2 Cor. 8:3).
Anastasius Sinaita (544 CE): Yes, beyond your ability! Give more than a tithe. By the way, I was often confused with the bishop and writer Anastasius I of Antioch, but I am a Greek ecclesiastical writer, priest, monk, and abbot of Saint Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai. In fact, some refer to me as Anastasios of Sinai. The only thing you need to remember about me is that just paying the tithe is just not enough.
Second Synod of Macon (581 CE): I show you Canon 5 which "Orders, under pain of excommunication, the payment of tithe, that the priests may apply them to the help of the poor and the redemption of those in slavery, and so render the prayers which they offer for the salvation for the people efficacious." I am responsible in part for the tithing being a custom sanctioned by church law. This is the ecclesiastical law to which Thomas Aquinas will refer.
Grace Giving Gary: Paul sums it up nicely and the NIV translates it well with, "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:6-7). If that doesn't reveal to you that we've gone beyond the mere ten percent of giving I don't know what will. Tithing dropped off during this Nicene era compared to that of the early church or Ante-Nicene era. One reason for this could be that Jewish law was still very much in the works of the early church whereas in the Nicene era, the delayed effect of the Apostolic teachings to move the followers from Mosaic law caused tithing to drop off, especially with the right and wrong understanding of grace; hence we employ the word antinomianism, the false sense that Christians are released by grace from having to observe the law.
Middle Ages 604-1517 CE
Tithing Tim: Well then let's just jump right into the Middle Ages of 604-1517 CE where tithing went from church law to state law. There were plenty in support of the tithe: Egbert (750), Pipin (750) Charlemagne (779), William the Conqueror (1066), and Bernard of Clairvaux (1139). Blame Charlemagne, "Emperor of the Romans" or "Father of Europe," for enacting the change in tithing requirements from church to state. William the Conqueror was the bastard son of Robert Duke of Normandy who then became the Duke of Normandy, won the battle at Hastings, was crowned the King of England, and imposed tithes on the annual increases of the population for the upkeep of the church. Charlemagne made tithing a legal obligation.
Grace Giving Gary: There were plenty in support of the tithe because in the Middle Ages tithing went from a custom sanctioned by church law to being made obligatory by the state!
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1275 CE): Oblations and first fruits were part of the ceremonial aspects of the old law. A tenth is contrary to natural reason – why not nine or nineteen percent? Freewill offering is the way to go and other theologians like John Wycliff (1328-1384 CE) and John Huss (1373-1415 CE) hold remarkably similar views. However, people should help support those who are ministering to them. Christian theologian and first bishop martyr of Africa, Cyprian, d. 258 CE, said it best with, "even…the tenths from our patrimony; and while our Lord bids us sell, [yes, sell not well], we rather buy and increase our store." In other words, Cyprian appeared to believe that the tithe was the minimum and that it was voluntary. Let me be clear: There is a difference between ceremonial aspects and judicial aspects. We should not pay tithes under ceremonial precepts, but we should pay tithes under judicial precepts and the New Law of the Church is ecclesiastical law which is judicial and therefore we should pay tithes judiciously. The bottom lines is that since the Catholic Church requires tithing, I require tithing.
Grace Giving Gary: I've read conflicting stories of whether you, Aquinas, was for or against tithing. However, clarity is recorded in your Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas, 2B:87.1, "The Old Law imposed the duty of paying tithes (that is, one-tenth of all revenues) for the support of religion. Certainly, the obligation of offering to the Church a decent proportion of one's income is incumbent on man, even in the light of natural reason. The paying of one's share here is an act of religion."
John Wycliff (1328-1384 CE): Well, I can tell you that I am emphatically against paying the tithe, especially the abuse of tithe, but I can tell you just as emphatically that I am for freewill offerings and that I have a constant affection for the deserving poor. I am known for helping in the complete English translation of the Bible and that I have a genuine desire for reform. The church should give up its possessions and return to evangelical poverty.
John Huss (1373-1415 CE): Oh, my, I am so happy to hear Wycliff's remarks! Much of my work was dependent on his as we have similar philosophies. I wanted to lessen the authority of the Pope and Wycliff pushed back against transubstantiation. Have you heard the saying, "cook your goose?" Well I think that phrase originated from a fraction of my legacy. I was burned at the stake on July 6, 1416 based on decisions of the Council of Constance and by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund because I would not recant my position for the authority of Scripture and in part because of my opposition to the selling of indulgences to raise funds for the Pope's crusade against one of my rivals.
Third Lateran Council (1179 CE): One of the things we had to do was settle a bitter conflict which had arisen about twenty years earlier between Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) and Emperor Frederick I (1152-1190). We ended up under Pope Alexander III. In Canon 12, regarding the Templars and Hospitallers, "We absolutely forbid that these orders and all other religious should receive churches and tithes from the hands of lay persons, and we even order them to put away what they have recently received contrary to this decree." (The churches are getting too wealthy and will soon be declared a heresy). In Canon 14, regarding some who are setting up multiple churches without regard to the authority of the Bishop and who assign clergy at their leisure "we forbid lay persons, who hold tithes to the danger of their souls, to transfer them in any way to other lay persons. If anyone receives them and does not hand them over to the church, let him be deprived of [Christian] burial." Regarding Canon 23 where separate churches need established for the gathering of the lepers and others who cannot dwell with the healthy, "We also declare that they should not be compelled to pay tithes for their gardens or the pasture of animals."
Fourth Lateran Council (1215 CE): Similar to the third except we stipulate that the tithe is to be paid before taxes and we provide more detailed requirements of the tithe in Canons 53-56, and 61. Essentially we reformed many clerical and lay practices within the church. We were under Pope Innocent III, the most significant pope of the Middle Ages largely because he established a much larger papal authority than any of his predecessors had controlled.
Reformation Era 1648-1873 CE
Grace Giving, Gary: Well, grab a deep seat in the saddle, or pew, and hold on, because opposition to tithing becomes more widespread as we move into the Reformation Era, 1517-1648 CE. I'm going to invite reformation theologians Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and Martin Bucer. The laity saw the reformation as a chance to toss out the rules of what is now Catholicism but the reformers were more serious about creating a new Christian society. Consequently, their sermons speared the superstitions and abuses of the church and favored "the duties and responsibilities of the evangelical laity towards God and neighbor."
Tithing Tim: I'm surprised you didn't bring up the Anabaptists, John Smyth, the Separatists, the Established, and whatever else is supportive of not tithing or the reformation.
Grace Giving Gary: Actually, thanks for outlining my next set of comments. I'm sort of an Anabaptist in that I think the New Testament has moved away from the law of tithing and that baptism should be done when the person publicly acknowledges their faith. Therefore, that person's baptism is legitimate while their baptism as an infant is not. Consequently, "one who baptizes again", describes the Anabaptist.
John Smyth (1554-1612 CE): I was a Separatist, one who separates from a larger group, and in this case, I broke from the Church of England and became a Baptist preacher. I regret baptizing myself, but I do not regret saying that Christ abolished tithes. I later became a Mennonite but will always be remembered as the first Baptist. I came on the heels of Luther and Zwingli.
Martin Luther (1483-1546 CE): Not only did you baptize yourself, but you rejected the doctrine of original sin! You came on the scene after the initial reformation turbulence and I left the scene after the Peasants Revolt, reformer Robert Barnes being burned at the stake, and the English priest Thomas Abel being hanged then drawn and quartered by Henry the VIII. I am considered as the father of the Protestant Reformation. But such extensive information is for another day. For now, let me just say that much of what I had to say about tithing is ambiguous. Yet in the year 1525, in my sermon "How Christians Should Regard Moses," I declared that since all of the Mosaic laws were given to Israel, they were not binding on Christians.
Philip Melanchthon or Philipp Schwartzerdt (1497-1560 CE): I am a German Lutheran reformer and author of the Augsburg Confession which helped shape Protestantism. I systematized Martin's writings (he was not a systematician; he did not organize his theology in different or systematic ways like Calvin) and I helped bridge the theologies of Luther and Calvin. I am buried in Wittenberg beside Martin Luther.
John Calvin (1509-1564 CE): Although I have never met you, Martin Luther, or communicated to you directly, I know that our theology is more in agreement than disagreement. Regarding the use of church possessions, in lands or money, I wrote, "…those who devote their labour to the Church shall be supported at the public expense (1 Cor. 9:14; Gal.6:6) of the Church…ministers themselves, who ought to be an example of frugality to others, should not have so much as might be abused for luxury or delicacy; but only what might be needful to support their wants." I, too, believe that Christians are obligated to give but not tithe.
Tithing Tim: Since the Mosaic law wasn't given to the Gentiles, are they also exempt from the ten commandments? Afterall, the Gentiles "were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel" until Paul announces in Eph. 2:14, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation."
Grace Giving Gary: I see we've diverted from tithing, but I can see where this is going. My hope is that it will loop back to tithing; therefore, I will entertain your ridiculous rhetorical question regarding the exemption from the ten commandments. Of course the Gentiles were held to the ten commandments. The pagans were condemned and punished for their atrocities. While the Gentiles and pagans had no written law, idolatry was condemned for everyone (Ex. 20:3-5) and punishment was given (Ex. 32:35). Condemnation and punishment wasn't directed only to the Israelites, "And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi the daughter of Zur" (see Num. 25:1-18).
Tithing Tim: Ah, but where there is no law, there is no sin: "because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression" (Rom. 4:15). Since the Gentiles were not under the written law, they did not transgress.
Grace Giving Gary: Before the Mosaic law everyone was under the Patriarchal law. The Gentiles were under divine law! "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom.1:18-20). The Gentiles were indicted as sinners! (Rom. 3:10, 23). God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) and would not abandon Gentiles to a life without the hope of salvation just because they were not under Mosaic law. And don't forget about the law written on the hearts of the Gentiles: "for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts" (Rom 2:14-15).
Tithing Tim: That explains plenty! Everyone was initially under the Patriarchal law, then only the Israelites were under the Mosaic law while the Gentiles remained under Patriarchal law/Divine law, and when Jesus the new priest arrives on the scene, there was a change in the law to where now everyone is under one law – the Law of Christ (Eph. 2:11-22). Abram tithed to Melchizedek under the Patriarchal law, the Israelites tithed under the Mosaic law, certainly tithing is required under the Law of Christ.
Grace Giving Gary: Abram gave ten percent only from the spoils of war and he gave the other ninety percent to the King of Sodom. That is the only account we have of him giving and a one-time giving does not create a model for tithing. The Israelites tithed to support the Levites and the Levites tithed a tenth of a tenth to the priests to perform the duties of the tabernacle. Although the Israelites used money before tithing is ever given as a command, the tithe was never in currency but only in food. In addition, the priests and Levites had to give up all rights to inheritance and land ownership (Num. 18:24). Priests receiving money today do not give up inheritance or land ownership. Since Christ, the Levitical priesthood is abolished and we have become one people of God, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). When Israel was under Mosaic law, tithing was required of them but not the Gentiles. Today, under the Law of Christ, we are called to a greater cause of giving in love for God, love for others, and with gratitude and contentment for the grace God has given us. Isn't it better for children to obey their parents out of love and respect than fear of punishment for not obeying a law? This concept of giving time, money, and love is found throughout the New Testament.
New Testament Scriptures of Grace Mandated Giving
2 Cor 8:1-5 "Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God."
Phil. 2:1-4 "Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
2 Cor. 8:10-12 "And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have."
1 Cor 13:3 "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
Rom. 12:10-13 "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality."
Luke 6:32-35 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil."
2 Cor. 8:8 "I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others."
2 Cor. 9:7 "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."
1 Tim. 6:17-19 "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
Tithing Tim: Let me save you the trouble and simply identify that the additional verses you claim abrogate the tithe include Matt. 5:23-24, 42; 6:1-4; 19:21-30; 23:23; 25:35-40; Mark 9:41; 10:21-31; Luke 6:30, 32-35;10:33-35; 11:41-42;12:33-34; 14:12-14; 18:9-14, 22-30; 21:1-4; and Acts 20:35. I think it's time to move into the Post Reformation Era.
Post-Reformation Era 1648-1873 CE
Grace Giving Gary: Now I have just given you multiple references about giving out of love rather than command and about principles of giving that far surpass the mere ten percent tithe of the Old Testament. Martin Luther was heroically bold, and John Calvin saw himself preeminently as a pastor and I admire their grit in launching the Reformation. But I have to confess, I most admire Francis Turretin, the Swiss author and theologian.
Francis Turretin (1623-1687 CE): Well, thank you, Gary. We are not bound by law to tithe. I wrote in volume 3 of The Salares of Ministers, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, “From the salaries of the sacred ministers under the Old Testament to whom were given ordinarily sacrifices, tithes, firstfruits, and other similar things, besides certain cities and suburban fields. Now although in the New Testament, we are not bound by those laws as to the special material from which and the manner in which the pay was given, still they remain as to kind and analogy, as is evident from the passage already quoted. Witness the example of Christ and the apostles, who did not refuse to receive from believers what was necessary for their support. Christ received from women of their substance (ta hyparchonta),, as also Paul from the Philippians."
John Diodati (1576-1649): I may only be a third-generation reformer after Calvin and Luther but Turretin was one of my students. I am a teacher, as was Philip Melanchthon, and remember, teachers are the profession that create all other professions. Born in Geneva, I was a student in Calvin's Academy and my views on tithing are likely similar to that of Calvin and Turretin.
Grace Giving Gary: Much of Europe and England had resistance to tithing. English jurist, John Seldon, stirred the pot to boiling on the subject of tithing. John Seldon was accustomed to stirring the pot. In 1621 Selden, though not a member, assisted the Commons in drawing up a protest against the King’s refusal to receive the petition of grievances; for this he suffered a five weeks’ imprisonment. His two principal works in English are Titles of Honour (1614), and History of Tithes (1618), which was suppressed by James I. on the ground that it denied their “divine right.”
John Seldon (1584-1654 CE): As an English jurist and scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law, I contend myself with quoting my authorities; for my aim in all of my works is an exposition of facts, and I allow them to speak for themselves. In History of Tithes, I refer to the tithe as an "ancient practice of such payment." I wrote in The First payment of Tithes to England, "But notwithstanding that first part of the body of the Canon Law, which expresly commanded Tithes to be generally paid, were here soon receiud among the Clergie, yet about L. yeers after that, the former course of Arbitrarie Consecrations of them continued. and both that and the rest of those courses in disposition of Church-reuenues which so differ from the Canons, and from the practice of this day, was not fully alterd till some Decre∣talls came hither with more powerfull and dreadfull autoritie (as the times were) of some of the following Popes, especially of Alexander the third, and Innocent the third, which two alone, I think, sent as ma|ny commanding Decretalls into euery Prouince as all their Predeces|sors had before done…"
Grace Giving Gary: Oh for Pete's sake, John, just come out say that you attempted to demonstrate that tithes are not of divine right but human appointment.
John Seldon (1584-1654 CE): Well, how you said it is a bit more concise but there was a lot going on in the English Parliament (both Long and Short Parliament) along with the continuing progress of Reformation and church reform. England went to war with Spain and France, the duke of Buckingham was assassinated (1628), and Arminians were viewed as radical reformers. William Laud, one of the ablest of the Arminians, became archbishop of Canterbury in 1633. He stressed ceremony over preaching and introduced measures too reminiscent of Roman Catholicism. Laud was imprisoned. The Bishop's Wars (fighting over whether the church be ruled by government or presbyters) ensued (1639-1640). The Catholics and Protestants were fighting in Scotland, England, and Ireland. Conflict between the Puritans and Arminians over the appropriation of tithes resulted in moneys returned to the crown. The war between Catholics and Protestants festered nastily throughout the 1640s and was settled only by a devastating use of force and terror by Oliver Cromwell in 1649–50 and his successors in 1651–54. My writings continued to influence the public mind!
Tithing Tim: Well, it is certainly the case that John Seldon's A History of Tithes stirred up a lot of controversy! The history of paying tithes in England is complex and I know that it wasn't until the Tithe Act of 1936 that abolished the tithe laws in England, but I wonder about the transition from there to America.
Grace Giving Gary: Essentially, and ironically, tithing reform was based on whether or not it was supported by Scripture rather than governmental or civil requirements. The Post-Reformation era with respect to tithing ended with ambiguity but more emphasis began being placed on spiritual renewal and radical discipleship. America benefited from the tithing history experienced by England – settlers initially seemed to have purposefully steered clear of a tithing system! Let's look at the tithing renewal in America.
Tithing Renewal Era 1873-Present
David A. Croteau (1975-Present): I encourage the reader to check that I've covered much of this material in two of my many books "You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe?" and in "Perspectives on Tithing."
Tithing Tim: David, could you provide a summation of tithing and those advocating the tithe during the Renewal Era?
David A. Croteau (1974-Present): Sure, here you go!
· Most congregations had no tithing system (1600)
· Over time, ministry was supported by taxes or rented pews (1818)
· Support reverted to volunteerism as church and state were separated (1836)
· The Great Reform ignited stewardship to boost ministerial support (1850)
· Essays in the nobler economy of no tithes conjoined free grace stewardship (1860)
Advocates of Tithing
· Thomas Kane helped with the "rediscovery of the tithe" (1876)
· Gordon advocated giving more than what was given in the Old Testament (1877)
· Robertson said Christians' righteousness should exceed that of Jews (1885)
· Rigby claimed tithing fulfilled indebtedness to God and was always required (1895)
· Baptists went from opposition to support of tithing (1896)
· Peck insisted Abel's offering was accepted as a tithe (1901)
· E.B. Stewart leaned on Heb. 7 to advocate the tithe (1903)
· Harshman dismissed the tithe in Mosaic law but argued the moral law (1905)
· Henry Lansdell, father of the modern tithing movement, The Sacred Tenth (1906)
· Duncan, tithing is of divine origin, part of moral law, and is God's standard (1909)
· Babbs traced universal tithing to Cain and Abel; and vital towards ministers (1912)
· Methodist Episcopal evangelist, May, traced tithes to Garden of Eden (1919)
· Hensey believed NT church became poor by abandoning the tithe (1922)
· J. M. Carroll advocated tithes to support ministers in Trail of Blood (1931)
· A. T. Robertson, Southern Baptist academic, advocated tithing (1934)
· Simpson maintained that Jesus sanctioned tithing in Matt. 23:23 (1935)
· Salstrand argued that tithing has always been required (1952)
· Dillard argued the minimum standard for Christians is the tithe (1953)
· Hobbs argued the Jesus taught tithing by implication (1954)
· Rice claimed tithing was before Mosaic law therefore not ceremonial (1954)
· Kauffman favored the one tree set aside by God in the garden concept (1955)
· Hastings invalidated the use of Scripture for tithe but tithed for love of God (1961)
· Powell's five views for tithing: Scripture, need, success, results, discipline (1962)
· Grindstaff concluded that Jesus tithed (1967)
· Olford advocated that Paul taught tithing (1972)
· Paschall: tithing occurred before Moses, Jesus tithed, tithe is the minimum (1972)
· Kendall, Pastor, Westminster Chapel in London, popular among advocates (1982)
· Price pushes the "prosperity gospel"– you give, you get abundantly (1984)
· Alcorn: Christians with Holy Spirit wouldn't give less than Jew without H.S. (1989)
· Burkett: tithe is not legalistic, demonstrates commitment, and is minimum (1991)
· Gill, Southern Baptist fundraiser and Lansdell fan, tout's universality of tithe (1996)
· John Piper: tithe with your paycheck and if it doesn't work, I'll give you a refund
· Hal Brunson: tithing was like capital punishment – both existed before the law
· Rick Warren: folks trust God with their salvation but not their money (2004)
· K. Hemphill: giving less under grace than under the law is disgrace to grace (2006)
· Oral Roberts: "Tithing is not a debt that I owe but a seed that I sow." (2007)
· Billy Graham, A. W. Pink, Elmer Towns, W. A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, and Hank Hanegraaff.
Grace Giving Gary: Very impressive; how about those who did not advocate tithing during the Renewal Era?
David A. Couteau (1975-Present): Sure, here you go!
Opponents of Tithing
· Versteeg: Hebrew tithe is confusing; Matt. 23:23 doesn't commend tithing (1923)
· Conrad said the tithe is ceremonial, not a law for today but a good principle (1944)
· Kantonen: tithing was a practical, ancient tool but lacked NT foundation (1956)
· Rolston: NT weak on tithing; poor shouldn't tithe; but is God-honored (1959)
· Roth warned of the many dangers of tithing in motivation and legalism (1960)
· Vischer: tithing is pragmatic, not biblical, and falsifies the challenge of Jesus (1966)
· Hendricks found the tithe practical and helpful, but not sufficiently biblical (1972)
· Foster concluded that the tithe is a helpful starting point (1981)
· Johnson: differences between OT and NT precluded tithing (1984)
· Brackett: pay tithe but don't pay all of it to the storehouse (1996)
· Getz: no obligation to tithe; Christians could use it to evaluate their giving (2004)
Grace Giving Gary: Overall, it is the responsibility of every Christian to support the church. That includes the shepherd, the missionaries, and the poor. Money must first go to those directly serving the Gospel before paying to cut the grass, keep the lights on, or securing the facility. Let God's people witness the overflow or shortfall or misuse of God's provisions. Whatever the outcome, like the seven churches during John's day in Asia Minor, the church will present itself and be judged accordingly.
Tithing Tim: I agree Gary; and David, while it is true that you have certainly covered all the bases, authors Earlinton Guiste and Evelyn Guiste, definitively state that "there is no direct or indirect instruction/teaching regarding the transfer of or the survival of the economic support engine of the sacrificial system since Christ died on the cross. The entire system was abrogated, including the tithing law, and it can be safely concluded that Christians are not spiritually nor financially obligated to return a limited ten percent of their income to the church in the new covenant dispensation of grace" (John 1:17; Eph. 2:5,8; Rom. 3:24; 6:14).
Grace Giving Gary: Why, Tim, I believe you are coming to the other side!
Tithing Tim: Not entirely. You see, I have come to realize that Christians are to give with a cheerful heart (2 Cor. 9:6,7) as they are able (2 Cor. 8:1-4) and as the Spirit leads (Gal. 5:18; Matt. 10:8). If giving is mandated by law, why should the poorest of the poor exasperatingly give ten percent (if even possible) to help support the wealthy (2 Cor. 8:13). If giving is mandated by law and only ten percent is given, how would God judge one giving more than ten percent? Does the law require the wealthy to help the poor? No, and just as you earlier laid out multiple New Testament scriptures on how it is grace mandating the giving, I can provide New Testament scriptures on helping the poor through God's grace and not by law.
New Testament Scriptures on Helping The Poor Through God's Grace and Not by Law
Matt. 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Matt. 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Matt. 25:33,36 "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; "I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me."
Mark 14:7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.
Luke 3:11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
Luke 6:20-21 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 12:33-34 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 14:12-14 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the ]maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Acts 20:35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Romans 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
2 Cor. 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Gal. 2:10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
Gal. 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Eph. 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Heb. 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Grace Giving Gary: Well, I think we have established that…
Too often in my research, I encountered faulty reasoning with regard to the arguments against everyone paying ten percent. A typical scenario is between two dissimilar annual incomes. The tithe on an annual income of $6000 leaves $5400 and the tithe on an annual income of $60,000 leaves $54,000. These well intentioned, but misguided authors try to make the argument that one can live on the remaining $54,000 but after tithing on the $6000, one cannot live on the remaining $5400. Two critical facts need to be realized: both annual incomes are reduced by the same ten percent. Living on $5400 or $6000 is proportionally the same as living on $54,000 or $60,000. Secondly, and more to my point, living on $5400 seems just as difficult as living on $6000. The authors imply the sufficiency of living on $6000 but emphasize the insufficiency of living on the $5400, completely overlooking their faulty reasoning. Neither amount is sufficient and the disparity they attempt to illustrate from a tithe on $6000 is a weak argument against any requirement that everyone pay a tenth. I think the more important point to make is that people who love money sin because they are looking to money as their providers and not to the One who meets our needs and enables us to obtain wealth.
Another discovery was that a particular author used biblical information out of context when trying to disprove the requirement to tithe. Additionally, he neglected to capitalize particular words which showed either his ignorance or irreverence. Thankfully, his writing was the exception and all other's used were exceptional. The dogma of tithing is complex, and challenging themes are further obfuscated when taken out of context.
In the end, we are all called to contribute to God's kingdom and each of us contribute in various ways and amounts. There are times when we cannot afford the time or resources. It should not be a balancing act – for all belongs to God – but when it is a balancing act, giving must always be in God's favor.
 David A. Croteau, You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe? A Deconstruction of Tithing and a Reconstruction of Post-Tithe Giving (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010) p. 5975  Earlinton Guiste, Ph.D. and Evelyn Guiste, Ph.D., Tithing. The Biblically Revealed Truth (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2018) p. 158  Colin Brown ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971) p. 851  John Selden, Historie of Tithes (London: William Stansby, 1618) p. 25  Winfried Corduan, Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction (IVP Academic, 2nd ed., 2012)p. 63  A ziggurat is a type of massive structure built in ancient Mesopotamia. It has the form of a terraced compound of successively receding stories or levels  Lev. 31:28  Lev. 31:30  David A. Croteau, et.al. Perspective on Tithing, 4 views ( Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011) p 49  Levi is the great grandfather of Moses  Although Melchizedek comes before Moses, Aaron, and Levi, the priesthood is changed as well as the priest lineage. Levitical law is superseded because of Jesus Christ, forever of the priesthood of Melchizedek.  Deut. 16:17 commands proportional giving. "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you."  David A. Croteau, You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe? A Deconstruction of Tithing and a Reconstruction of Post-Tithe Giving (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010) p. 1315  Earlinton Guiste, Ph.D. and Evelyn Guiste, Ph.D., Tithing. The Biblically Revealed Truth (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2018) p. 472  Ibid., p. 544  Croteau, p. 1167  Ibid., p. 262  Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011) p. 665  "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).  1 Corinthians can be dated around 55 CE.  The Reformation Study Bible, NKJV (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2016) p. 1724; also, Archaeological Study Bible, New International Version. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005) 1545.  Tertullian, Apology 39 [ANF 3:46]).  William Smith, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities: Being a Continuation of The Dictionary of the Bible (London: Krauss Reprint Company, 1880) p. 118  Epiphanius, Against Heresies; cited by Powers, "Historical Study of the Tithe" 43' Lansdell, Sacred Tenth, 218.  Guiste, p. 1720  David A. Croteau, et.al. Perspective on Tithing, 4 views ( Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011) p 177  David A. Croteau, You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe? A Deconstruction of Tithing and a Reconstruction of Post-Tithe Giving (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010) p. 5714  David A. Croteau, et.al. Perspective on Tithing, 4 views ( Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011) p 157  Ibid., p. 167  Ambrose, On the Duties of the Clergy, Book 1, Chapter 30, Section 146  John Chrysostom, Homily IV: Homilies on Ephesians (NPNF1 13:69). For some incidental references to tithing see Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 35, 54 and Chrysostom, Homilies on Hebrews 12 (NPNF1 14:423-26).  David A. Croteau, You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe? A Deconstruction of Tithing and a Reconstruction of Post-Tithe Giving (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010) p. 525  Acts 16:3; 18:18; see 1 Cor.9:20  Rom. 14:1-8; Gal.2:3; 5:2-6  John Seldon, A Historie of Tithes, (London: n.p., 1618) p. 1964-65  Edward H. Landon, M.A., Rev. A Manual of Councils of the Holy Catholic Church, https://www.ecatholic2000.com/councils2/untitled-16.shtml#_Toc386831072 Macon (5810. [Condilium Matisconense] Held in 584, by order of King Gontram, the Archbishops of Lyons, Vienne, Sens, Bourges, Besancon, and Tarantaise were present, together with fifteen other French bishops; Priscus of Lyons presiding. Nineteen canons were published.  Croteau, p. 179  William the Conqueror Timeline" History on the Net, Salem Media, July 19, 2020, https://www.historyonthenet.com/william-the-conqueror-timeline  property inherited from one's father or male ancestor.  Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church 26 (ANF 5:429). For incidental references to tithing, see Cyprian, On the Lord's Prayer 6 (ANF 5:449) Epistle 65 1 (ANF 5:367).  Thomas J. Powers, "An Historical Study of the Tithe in the Christian Church to 1648 PhD. Diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1948, p. 27  Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica "External Acts of Religion: Tithes" Part 2B article 87 paragraph 1. http://www.catholictheology.info/summa-theologica/summa-part2B.php?q=559  Christianity Today, Issue 68, 2000; https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/martyrs/john-huss.html  Ibid., Huss was born to peasant parents in "Goosetown," that is, Husinec, in the south of today's Czech Republic. (In his twenties, he shortened his name to Huss—"goose," and he and his friends delighted in making puns on his name; it was a tradition that continued, especially with Luther, who reminded his followers of the "goose" who had been "cooked" for defying the pope).  Ibid., Christianity Today  The Papal Encyclicals Online, Third Lateran Council, 1179 CE, Feb. 20, 2020, Canon 12 https://www.papalencyclicals.net/councils/ecum11.htm  Ibid. Canon 14  Ibid., Canon 23  There are many more reformation theologians I could include such as Heinrich Bullinger 1504-1575, Theodore Beza 1519-1605, Peter Martyr Vermigli 1499-1562, John Knox 1499-1572, Thomas Muntzer 1489-1525, William Farel 1489-1565, Johannes Brenz 1499-1570, Jacobus Arminius 1560-1609, Caspar Schwnckfeld 1490-1561, Urbanus Rhegius 1489-1541, Hans Tausen 1494-1561, Balhasar Hubmaier, Johann von Staupitz 1460-1524, Olaus Petri 1493-1552, George Spalatin 1484-1545, and Marie Denbere 1495-1561. Up  Amy Nelson Burnett "Church Discipline and Moral Reformation in the Thought of Martin Bucer."The Sixteenth Century Journal 22, no. 3 (1991): 439-56. Accessed July 28, 2020. doi:10.2307/2541469.  Anabaptists who opposed the exacting of tithes include Felix Mantz, Conrad Grebel, Simon Stumpf, Wihelm Reublin, Hubmaier, the Hutterites, and Thomas Muntzer.  David A. Croteau, et.al. Perspective on Tithing, 4 views ( Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011) p. 180  Jason K. Lee, Theology of John Smyth: Puritan, Separatist, Baptist, Menonite (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2003) pp.1-7  The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, John Smyth (Encyclopaedia Britannica, July 29, 2020) https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Smyth  John Lander, The Queen's Champion: A Forgotten Hero at the Court of Henry VII, Up Front Publishing Ltd. (2008)  Crouteau, p. 180  Clyde L. Manschreck, The Augsburg Confession, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Philipp-Melanchthon  John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated by Thomas Norton, IV.6 (Strasburg, France: Pantianos Classics, 1539) p.381  Eph. 2:12  Patriarchal law exists in a social system where men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property.  The minting of coins began after the late seventh century BCE. Lev. 25:37, "You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.".  Francis Turretin, “The Salares of Ministers, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 3” http://www.apuritansmind.com/stewardship/francisturretinsalariesministers/  (Num. 18:8-12): And the Lord spoke to Aaron: “Here, I Myself have also given you charge of My heave offerings, all the holy gifts of the children of Israel; I have given them as a portion to you and your sons, as an ordinance forever. This shall be yours of the most holy things reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me, shall be most holy for you and your sons. In a most holy place you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you. “This also is yours: the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and your sons and daughters with you, as an ordinance forever. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. “All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they offer to the Lord, I have given them to you.  (Num. 35:1-8): And the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, saying:“Command the children of Israel that they give the Levites cities to dwell in from the inheritance of their possession, and you shall also give the Levites common-land around the cities. They shall have the cities to dwell in; and their common-land shall be for their cattle, for their herds, and for all their animals. The common-land of the cities which you will give the Levites shall extend from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits all around. And you shall measure outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, on the south side two thousand cubits, o n the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits. The city shall be in the middle. This shall belong to them as common-land for the cities. “Now among the cities which you will give to the Levites you shall appoint six cities of refuge, to which a manslayer may flee. And to these you shall add forty-two cities. So all the cities you will give to the Levites shall be forty-eight; these you shall give with their common-land. 8 And the cities which you will give shall be from the possession of the children of Israel; from the larger tribe you shall give many, from the smaller you shall give few. Each shall give some of its cities to the Levites, in proportion to the inheritance that each receives.”  (1 Cor. 9:13): Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?  (Luke 8:3): and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.  (Phil.4:10): But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.  John Seldon, Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration, critical introduction by William S. M'Cormick, (Henry Craik, ed. English Prose, 1916)  Isaac Herzog, (1931), "John Selden and Jewish Law", Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, 3, 13 (4): 236–45  John Seldon, Vol II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration, The First Payment of Tithes to England , (Henry Craik, ed. English Prose, 1916)  John Seldon, The Historie of TITHES That is, The Practice of PAYMENT of them. The Positiue LAWS made for them. The OPINIONS touching the Right of them. A REVIEW of it. Is also annext, which both Confirmes it and di∣rects in the Vse of it. By I. SELDEN. Nec partis studijs agimur. Sed sumsimus arma Consilijs inimica tuis, IGNAVIA fallax! M.DC.XVIII. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A68720.0001.001/1:7.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext  Daniel Neal, History of the Puritans or Protestant Nonconformists: From the Reformation in 1517, to the Revolution in 1688. 2 vols. Edited by John O; Choules. (New York: Harper, 1856) p 1:266  Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/place/United-Kingdom/Charles-I-1625-49  Ibid., United Kingdom, James I, https://www.britannica.com/place/United-Kingdom/The-Long-Parliament  Crouteau, You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe? p.1011  Ibid., p. 1158 Earlinton Guiste, Ph.D. and Evelyn Guiste, Ph.D., Tithing. The Biblically Revealed Truth (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2018) p. 1957