A LETTER TO MY PASTOR ABOUT TITHING
As a church member I honor you as my overseer and pastor. However, I have a right to expect you to teach me good principles of interpretation so that I can learn the truth of God’s Word for myself. As a priest myself, I am wholly responsible for my knowledge of God’s will.
I hope and pray that you agree that we must both interpret every text of Scripture in its context and first ask ourselves “To whom was God speaking?”
I am presently concerned about the lack of context applied when Malachi 3:8-10 is taught. It seems that the other chapters have been completely ignored. As a member of your flock, I sincerely and honestly plead with you to join me in a deeper study of Malachi.
1. The book of Malachi is addressed to Old Covenant Israel in chapter one, verse one. It is in the context of the whole law as revealed in Malachi 4:4 and Nehemiah 10:29. If I am wrong, please correct me in detail using God’s Word.
2. The book of Malachi is addressed more narrowly to the dishonest priests in 1:6-14; 2:1-10, 13-17 and 3:1-5 onward. To me it is clear that the pronoun “you” from 1:6 only refers to the priests and never changes in the book of Malachi. Again, if I am wrong, please correct me in detail using God’s Word.
3. I have reached the conclusion after much study that the definition of the HOLY tithe, as used by Moses, Nehemiah, Malachi 3:10 and Jesus in Matthew 23:23, was always only food from inside God’s HOLY land of Israel. Though money is common, money is never included in any description of the holy tithe. Again, if I am wrong, please correct me in detail using God’s Word.
4. Abraham only tithed once from pagan spoils of war. The Bible does not tell us why Abraham tithed or that he ever tithed again. It tells us that he gave the 90% of that increase to the King of Sodom and kept nothing for himself. Why do gospel preachers not follow Abraham’s example in everything else he did? Again, if I am wrong, please correct me in detail using God’s Word.
5. Jacob’s tithe was a freewill vow from pagan sources; it was conditional upon God blessing him first; it would have been rejected Moses as a HOLY tithe. Moses, Nehemiah, Malachi and Jesus did not refer to Abraham or Jacob’s tithe as examples for Christians to follow. Again, if I am wrong, please correct me in detail using God’s Word.
6. The Levites who received the first whole tithe were not allowed to own or inherit property in Israel or amass wealth. The servant Levites received the 10% while the priests only received 1% (Num 18:20-28; Neh 10:37-39). Why is that part of tithing not taught today? Again, if I am wrong, please correct me in detail using God’s Word.
7. As a carpenter, not even Jesus tithed. He was required to teach tithing as a “matter of the law.” The Holy Spirit teaches sacrificial giving (as Christ gave) after Calvary. Christians are guided by sacrificial principles of grace and faith. I sincerely seek answers from God’s Word in context. I plead with you to discuss tithing with me in a godly manner.
Your brother in Christ,