SHOULD THE CHURCH TEACH TITHING?
KOSTENBERGER, ANDREAS: 12-4-2007
Should the Church Teach Tithing?
SEARCH INDEX
RENDER TO CAESAR
ARTICLES
FIRSTFRUITS WERE NEVER TITHES
LETTER TO YOUR PASTOR ABOUT TITHING
BUY BOOKS AND VIDEO
BAPTIST ERRORS
ENDORSEMENTS
REBUTTALS OF TITHE-TEACHERS
RUSSELL EARL KELLY, PHD
THEOLOGIANS AND HISTORIANS WHO AGREE
INTRODUCTION
1. Origin and Definition of Tithing
2. Genesis 14:20 Abraham, Melchizedek, Arab Custom and Tithing
3. Genesis 28:22 Jacob's Bargain With God
4. Numbers 18: The Obscure Statute/Ordinance of Tithing
5. Leviticus 27:30-34 Tithing and Holy and Most Holy Statutes
6. Tithes Replaced Land Inheritance
7. How Many Tithes? 10%, 20%, or 23 1/3rd%?
8. Deuteronomy 12 and 14: Strange Facts about Tithing
9. The Poor and Jesus Did Not Tithe
10. Kings, Tithes and Taxes: Levites with Political Jobs
11. 2nd Chronicles 31 Explains Malachi
12. Nehemiah 10-13: Historical Context of Malachi
13a. Commentary on Malachi 1 and 2: Cursing the Priests for Stealing
13b. Malachi 3 and 4
14. Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42 Supporting the Old Covenant and Its Interpreters
15. Luke 18:12 A Pharisee's Boast about Tithing
16. Acts 15 and 21: Compromise Divided the Jerusalem Church
17. Hebrews 8; 2nd Corinthians 3; A Better New Covenant; MARTIN LUTHER
18. The Mosaic Law and the "Law" of Christ; MATT 5:17-19
19. Hebrews 7: Extremely Important
20. Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:13-17: Law Ordinances Ended
21. 1 Peter 2:9-10: Your Priesthood Abolishes Tithing
22. 1 Corinthians 9: Using Christian Liberty to Refuse Christian Rights [2007]
23. 1 Corinthians 16: Principles for Giving to the Needy
24. 1 Timothy 5:17: Worthy of Double Honor
25. Miscellaneous Objections
26. Chafer and Walvoord on New Covenant Giving
27. 2 Corinthians 8 and 9: Principles of Grace Giving
28. Acts 20:16-35: Paul's Sermon is Not Preached
29. Secular History of Tithing
30. Tithing Principles for Tithe-Teaching Churches
31. Spreading the Gospel
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND PAGE #
58% of Evangelical Leaders Reject Tithing, April 2011
140 QUESTIONS FOR TITHE ADVOCATES
1873: TITHING FIRST SUGGESTED IN USA
20% OF SBC PASTORS AND 31% OF OTHER PASTORS AGREE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THIS BOOK
AKIN, DANIEL, PRESIDENT SEBTS
ALCORN, RANDY
Amazon.com Reviews
ANTI-TITHING VIDEOS
ASSEMBLY OF GOD TITHING STATEMENT
BACKLASH AGAINST TITHING, WALL STREET JOURNAL
BAKER, ROBERT A: SBC HISTORIAN
BAKER'S EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE
BAPTIST STATEMENTS OF FAITH AGREED UNTIL 1963
BLACK, DAVID ALAN, TH. D.; SBC THEOLOGIAN
BLOGGING CONDEMNED BY GEORGIA BAPTIST LEADERS
BOOKIDEAS: PROFESSIONAL BOOK REVIEW
BROWN, TOM: WOF MINISTRIES
BURKETT, LARRY AND DAYTON, HOWARD; CROWN
CALVIN, JOHN: TITHING
CAMERON, BARRY: TITHING ABCs
CARSON, D A; REBUTTAL ON TITHING
CARTOON
CBS TRANSCRIPT AND COMMENTS
CHARISMA MAGAZINE 3-11-08
CHEUNG, VINCENT: MALACHI
CHRISTIAN TODAY, TITHING, 2016
CHRISTIAN TORAH DOCTRINE
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND RECOMMENDED READING
COME LET US GROW TOGETHER: TITHING
CONNER, KEVIN J; MELCHIZEDEK
COPELAND, KENNETH: TITHING REBUTTAL
CORBAN AND FIRSTFRUIT-TITHING
CROTEAU, DAVID, PHD
CROWN MINISTRIES 2012
DANA, H E: SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORIAN
DEJONG, PAUL: TITHING
DOLLAR, CREFLO: TITHING REBUTAL
DONATIONS
Et essay: Tiende er ikke en kristen lære
Dizimar não é uma doutrina cristã
Un ensayo: el diezmar no es una doctrina cristiana
EVANS, TONY
EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE: NO TITHING
FLOYD, RONNIE
GEORGE, WILLIE; REBUTTAL
GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION
GRACE-GIVING CHURCHES
GRAHAM, BILLY: TITHING
GRAHAM, FRANKLIN: SALARY-TITHING
GREIMANN, DEAN ON TITHING
HAGEE, JOHN
HANNESSY, SHAWN, TITHING
HAYFORD, JACK; TITHING
HEMPHILL, KENNETH, TITHING; SBC SPOKESMAN
KEN HEMPHILL AND BOBBY EKLUND
HINN, BENNY: TITHING
HOBBS, HERSCHEL: TITHING
HOUSTON, BRIAN: HILLSONG, TITHING
HOW TO BECOME A PROSPERITY PREACHER
If We Don't Preach Tithing, How Do We Pay the Church Bills?
JAKES, TD; 49 LIES TOLD ABOUT TITHING
JEREMIAH, DAVID: TITHING
JEWISH TITHING CONCEPTS
JOYNER, RICK: TITHING REBUTTAL
KENDALL, R T: TITHING
KENNEDY, JAMES, PHD: TITHING
KOSTENBERGER, ANDREAS: 12-4-2007
"LAW" IN THE BIBLE
LAWLESS, CHUCK ON TITHING
LINKS: SITES AND BOOKS
LIST OF TITHING OPPONENTS THROUGHOUT HISTORY
LIST OF UNSCRIPTURAL BAPTIST TITHING ERRORS
LONDON DEBATE: POINT BY POINT COMMENTS
LONDON DEBATE, MAR 30, 2011 TRANSCRIPT
LONDON TV DEBATE DETAILS PLUS
LUTHER, MARTIN REJECTED TITHING: 1525
MALACHI 3:10 HAS BEEN MISINTERPRETED
MALACHI 3:10: THE TEST-GOD TITHE MYTH
MARINELLI, CHAD, WORD OF FAITH
MARTIN, ERNEST L; THE TITHING DILEMMA
MATTHEW 5:17-19
MAXWELL, JOHN C
MELCHIZEDEK: WAS HE A PAGAN GENTILE?
MEYER, ALLAN: TITHING
MONEY WITH GENTILE IMAGES WAS BANNED
MORRIS, ROBERT: Jesus is the Tithe
MORMON-LDS TITHING
NORTH, GARY COVENANTAL TITHE
NORTH, GARY PERSPECTIVES ON TITHING
NORTH, GARY WIKIPEDIA
OWEN, JOHN --DID NOT TEACH TITHING
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY: BOOK REVIEW
PINK, A W: TITHING
PIPER, JOHN: TITHING
POEMS BY H. K. PYWELL
POSITION PAPER FORCES EMPLOYEES TO TEACH TITHING
PREACHERS, EVANGELISTS AND THEOLOGIANS SPEAK OUT
PRINCE, JOSEPH
PROSPERITY GOSPEL: AVANZINI PLUS
PROSPERITY GOSPEL: Jones and Woodbridge
PROSPERITY GOSPEL REFUTATION
RAMSEY, DAVE: TITHING
RHODE ISLAND BAPTISTS: 1638-1770S
RICH PREACHERS WHO TEACH TITHING
ROBERTSON, NORMAN: TITHING
ROBINSON, VON ON TITHING
ROGERS, ADRIAN: Tithing Rebuttal
ROGERS, ROD: PASTOR DRIVEN STEWARDSHIP
ROSS, CHARLES: TITHING
SBC CHURCH WANTS YOUR BANK ROUTING NUMBER FOR TITHE
SBC FINANCIAL ABUSE
SBC SCHOLARS: THEOLOGIANS AND HISTORIANS WHO AGREE
SCHREINER, THOMAS R, PHD, SBTS, TITHING
SHAFFER, GLENN ON TITHING, RUSS KELLY
SIX MOST QUOTED LIES ABOUT TITHING
SOUTHERN BAPTIST ENCYCLOPEDIA: TITHING
SOUTHERN BAPTIST TITHING BROCHURES
SPROUL, R C: TITHING REBUTTAL
SPURGEON, CHARLES H
ST PETERSBURG TIMES
STOREHOUSE TITHING ERROR
SUBMISSION THEOLOGY
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ON TITHING; JANUARY 28, 2007
SWAZILAND, POVERTY, AND PROSPERITY PREACHERS
SWINDOLL, CHARLES (CHUCK): TITHING
TBN: THE CROUCHES: TITHING
TEXT INDEX FOR 2007 EDITION
THEOLOGICAL DOUBLE-TALK
TIMELINE: BAPTIST, SBC and REK BOOK
TITHE MAPS IN 18TH CENTURY EUROPE
TITHES: NEW ADVENT CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
TITHING ABUSE STORIES
TITHE AND OFFERING SCRIPTURES.COM/LEON
WALL STREET JOURNAL: RUSSELL KELLY LETTER
WARREN, RICK ON TITHING
WARREN, RICK: TITHING 2015
WE ARE NOT ALONE: VERY STRONG SUPPORT
Web Sites Which Discuss This Book and Tithing
WESLEY, JOHN
Where in the Bible Were Tithes Abolished?
WIDOW'S MITE
WOODWARD, GEOFF: TITHING
WYCLIFFE DICTIONARY OF THEOLOGY; F F BRUCE
WYTSMA, KEN: TITHING REBUTTAL
YOUNG, ED: TITHING REBUTTAL

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Should the Church Teach Tithing?
A Theologian's Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Video Tithing Essay on You Tube

video tithing debate

Recently, I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying that pastors teach a 10% tithe out of “pragmatism, tradition and ignorance, quite frankly.” While this represents the essence of a statement I made during the course of a thirty-minute phone conversation, I am concerned that taken out of context, my comments are likely to be misunderstood. As interpreters of Scripture, we all know how important context is in understanding someone else’s message. By failing to supply the larger context, the Wall Street Journal in effect rendered my comments liable to be misconstrued. Hopefully, providing you with the background and larger context will show you my true heart in this and illustrate how easy it is to be misrepresented in one’s true intentions, no matter how cautious one is in dealing with the media, even publications as reputable as the Wall Street Journal. 

When the Wall Street Journal reporter called me shortly before Thanksgiving telling me how I would be quoted, I immediately objected, pressing that the word “ignorance” be changed. The reporter flat-out refused. When I insisted on the change, she said she would take up the matter with her editor, but she could not promise that the change would be made. In the end, the quote was left as it was. I also objected to the reporter’s characterization of me as “challeng[ing] tithing in classes on the New Testament,” but again to no avail. It appears that I was needed as a representative of “Anti-Tithing in the Classroom” (the subheading), even though this is only a very partial and tendentious representation of my teaching practice. 

What do I teach with regard to Christian stewardship and giving? The answer is: I teach exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 says on this issue: “God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth” (emphasis mine). 

Note that the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 does not use the word “tithe” or “tithing” or specify a particular percentage of one’s income. It (rightly, in my opinion) sets financial giving within the larger context of one’s overall stewardship of all of one’s possessions, material and otherwise. It also shows that Christian stewardship (including giving of one’s resources) is part of one’s worship and lists several New Testament principles regarding how one should give: cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally. As Daniel Akin rightly noted in a recent BP First Person piece, these are the distinctives of what can be called “Grace Giving.” At the same time, and this was my point in answer to the reporter’s question, neither the New Testament nor our confessional statement make mention of a specific percentage, be it 10% or another percentage, as mandatory for all believers today. 

So, is my teaching “anti-tithing in the classroom”? Not at all. My focus is not on how not to give, but on the New Testament principles for giving highlighted in the Baptist Faith and Message. As one who grew up Roman Catholic where a fixed percentage of “church tax” is deducted on an individual’s tax form, I have come to cherish the New Testament emphasis on voluntary giving. I am concerned that if we stipulate a minimum percentage figure for giving as required in a church covenant, for example, giving will no longer be voluntary as the New Testament teaches. It is true, therefore, that if a student in one of my classes asks me if I believe that the New Testament teaches that all Christians must give (at least) 10% of their income to their local church, I cannot in good conscience say “yes” to that question but must qualify my answer in several respects: the heart attitude is more important than the specific amount; giving is part of our Christian stewardship and worship and should occur in a spirit of grace, not legalism; and so on. 

Did I therefore convey by my comments that Christians need not give, or need only give a small amount to their local church? Not at all. To the contrary: it seems to me that rather than inducing believers to give as little as possible, God’s grace should most certainly be expected to move the grateful redeemed sinner to give liberally, even sacrificially, recognizing that all that he or she has is not his or hers, but God’s in the first place. In this context, I told the reporter that we should approach the matter of giving not in a spirit of pragmatism or in fear that unless we teach a 10%-minimum requirement people will not give, or give only little. Rather, we should have faith in God’s work in the hearts of our people, trusting that he will move them to give freely just as they have freely received. 

If I may be so bold as to add a comment to all of us as Bible-believing Southern Baptists. Battles have been fought over the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture, and this doctrine is rightly important to us, for from it flow many other scriptural doctrines. Yet inerrancy must be more than merely a doctrine we affirm in general terms; inerrancy must be practiced as we approach any given issue, including that of Christian stewardship. This was my point when I spoke to the reporter about “tradition.” When we deal with a question, we should ask: What does the Bible say on this issue?, not merely: What is our tradition? In this context, when I spoke of “ignorance,” what I had in mind was the fact that some (though by no means all) may be insufficiently familiar with the biblical teaching on Christian giving. But if we hold that the Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, we should know and study what the Bible says. Certainly, I would hope that as Southern Baptists we can have a meaningful discussion on what Scripture teaches on a given subject, including Christian giving. 

I realize that this is a particularly volatile issue, because money is at stake, and this strikes very close to our livelihood and security. But in this area, as in all others, we should trust the Lord to provide for all our needs. Do I think all those who teach a 10% tithing requirement do so out of ignorance? Not at all. Do I believe Christians should not give or only give a little? No! Instead, they should give as much as they possibly can, which in most cases, I believe, should be considerably more than 10%. Do I believe that the New Testament teaches a 10% giving requirement for all Christians? I do not, and here some of you may disagree, and I am open to further discussion on this topic. I trust that this piece serves the purpose of clarification and better understanding. I have learned that when scholars are subjected to the laws of journalism (where all too often soundbites trump accuracy in substance), the whole truth often becomes the casualty. But who knows, perhaps God is able to use even a Wall Street Journal reporter to his good ends of helping us learn more about how, and how much, we should give to advance his kingdom? I believe he is. 

Dr. Köstenberger is Professor of New Testament and Director of Ph.D. studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC and founder of BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS (www.biblicalfoundations.org). He has co-authored a two-part series on tithing (here and here), as well as a blog summarizing his views on this subject, that are posted on his website.

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