Should the Church Teach Tithing?
A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Here With Another View on Christian Tithing
December 18, 2007; Page A19
Although tithing is an extremely hot topic (“The Backlash Against Tithing,” Weekend Journal, Nov. 23), the Christian media have strongly resisted a dialogue on tithing in their bookstores, magazines, radio and television programming. Those of us who oppose tithing don’t oppose supporting churches. We teach that tithing never was a part of the eternal moral law of God and that it was only given to Israel to support its worship system, national holidays, welfare system and even political employees. We teach that tithing was never commanded to the church after Christ’s death and resurrection. There are far better giving instructions in the New Testament based on principles of grace and faith. We also point out that, contrary to popular opinion, tithing wasn’t practiced in the early church and didn’t become universal church law for over 700 years. Most tithing practices in the U.S. began after the 1870s and are relatively new additions to church doctrine.
Proponents of tithing refuse to discuss the issue most of the time. Hopefully many more articles of a similar nature will be forthcoming.
Russell Earl Kelly, Ph.D.
(Dr. Kelly is the author of “Should the Church Teach Tithing? A Theologian’s Conclusions About a Taboo Doctrine,” Writers Club Press)