Daniel Akin is president of Southeastern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
[Comment: With the lone exception of the second statement
which I underlined, Dr. Akin’s position is identical to my own. It seems like SBC leaders are required to make the underlined
statement in order to keep their jobs and obey the almost-secret Position Paper. Akin avoids any reference to tithing in the
remainder of the article and does not retreat to OT examples. He is to be highly commended.] Position Paper http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id98.html
in response to God's amazing grace is a vital and essential aspect of true and genuine Christian discipleship. The manner
in which one gives, both in attitude and amount, will be a reflection of the condition of the heart.
spoke to this issue, He encouraged His disciples to do more than what was required under the Old Testament with what was called
the tithe (Matthew ; Luke ).
is clear that our Lord was concerned not only with what we give but how we give. In other words, issues of the heart are at
the heart of giving.
This is correct. There is no compulsion or mandatory percentage to determine giving levels.]
The most extensive section
on giving in all of Scripture is found in 2 Corinthians 8-9. Here Paul lays down basic principles of New Testament giving.
Again, as did the Lord, Paul makes it clear that giving as we ought is a matter, not so much of obligation, as it is of gratitude,
Correct. Tithing was an obligation and commandment. Most Baptists teach that the freewill giving principles found in
2nd Corinthians 8 and 9 are above and beyond the still-required mandatory tithe. It is significant that Akin does not use
Throughout my 30 years in ministry I have instructed the students under my watch-care in what
I call "Grace Giving." Quickly walking through this classic passage in 2 Corinthians, what are some basic questions we should
follow as we express our gratitude to God for what He has done for us through His Son Jesus? I note 12 things:
There is not a hint that Akin is teaching on NT giving by requiring the tithe first.]
-- Outward circumstances
and personal difficulties should not prevent generosity in our giving (8:1-4).
but that does mean that a person in great pain should first tithe and not be able to afford pain medication or foot and
-- All financial giving should be preceded first by the giving of oneself to the Lord (8:5).
who follow Jesus should excel in the grace of giving (8:6-7).
-- Generous giving is an expression of the love one has
for Jesus (8:8-9, 24).
-- There is an intimate connection between the "Grace of God" and the "Grace of Giving." The
former naturally leads to the latter (8:8-9).
-- A willingness to be generous in giving is more important than the
amount given ().
verses (-14) are vital because they teach the “equality” principles of giving. The affluent should
be willing to give more than 10% while the poor also give to the best of their ability. No percentage is involved.
There is an “equaling” out of the gifts. ]
We should give to churches and ministries that handle God's money judiciously and responsibly (-21).
-- Generous giving out of gratitude to God will encourage others
to do the same (9:1-2).
-- The attitude in which we give is important to God. He loves willing and cheerful givers
-- Generosity in giving moves God to supply more and meet our genuine needs (9:8-11).
-- Grace giving
will result in praise and thanksgiving to God (-14).
-- Generous giving is the natural
response to God's gracious gift of Jesus ().
Paul understood how important Christian
stewardship was to true and genuine Christian discipleship. He knew that giving cannot help but reveal the spiritual life
of those who call Jesus Lord. He knew that how we give is a commentary on our love for Christ, His Church, and the lost.
Corinthians 9:15 says, "thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." So, look to the cross, consider what God has done for
you in Christ, and give. You will find it impossible to be anything but generous in your response. .........................................
Akin's underlined portion is wrong.
Jesus was only speaking to his Jewish disciples . He could not have been telling Gentiles disciples to tithe to the Temple
or show themselves to the priests after being healed.
Jesus was living under the jurisdiction of the law and was instructing his Jewish audience concerning matters “of the
law” in 23:23.
Jesus was telling his disciples to obey the scribes and Pharisees to go beyond the OT tithing requirements and tithe garden
spices because “they sit in Moses’ seat” of the Law. Christians today do not literally obey Jesus’
words and tithe garden spices.
Jesus did not tell His disciples to “do more than what was required in the Old Testament” and give more than 10%.
That is the SBC Position Paper commandment and interpretation in order to coerce everybody to begin their giving level at
10%. It is based on the false assumption that the OT required everybody to tithe.
reality, when researched 16 of 16 texts in God’s Word which describe the contents of the tithe always limit it to food
from farms and herds inside Israel. This is strange since money was an essential daily item even in Genesis and money was
used to buy land, slaves and pay sanctuary taxes.
only farmers and herdsmen had that which was tithe-able from God’s miracle increase. That which man produced through
his own skills was never tithed. In fact even Jesus, Peter and Paul had nothing tithe-able. This fact affects the entire tithing