The following was a post I made to the Christian Professionals Worldwide topic on "When it comes to Tithing, is the 10% before taxes or after, gross or net pay?"
After reading the posts on this topic with interests there were a couple of issues that caused me concern. The following was my reply.
Old Testament Verses New Testament Dichotomy:
The constant appeal to the OT/NT dichotomy as if the two never met is concerning. Too often the OT and the Law is set up as a straw man to be knocked down by one's NT and grace. It is done to give one a sense of superiority — I am not like them. This is always a false dichotomy. Even more, it is dangerous and kills living a life of service to Christ.
Christ Frees Us to Fulfill the Law not Break the Law:
The idea that Christ's death and resurrection gives one license to not follow the law; and the idea that this act is our freedom in Christ is not only sophomoric but is false. Christ completes the law and in completing it, it stands. When we fall short of it, because He completed it, we stand in Him. The idea that we are free from the law is not an argument for freedom but a license to escape responsibility.
Christ's Fulfillment of the Law Empowers Us to Go Beyond the Law:
Christ's perfect fulfillment of the law does not negate keeping the law but empowers us to meet the law and also frees us to go beyond the law. A case in point is "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." (Matt 5:41) Very simply the presence of Christ in us calls us beyond the law. This "beyond" is not against the law. Rather, this "beyond" embraces and includes the law. Now that the Law is fulfilled, even more than the law is now ours to freely choose to do. This freedom kills the false NT/OT and Law/Grace dichotomy by joining the ability to meet the law and the freedom and power to go beyond the law, in One, Christ Jesus, living within us.
The OT Requirement for Beyond the Tithe Supports the Tithe:
The argument that the required tithe was greater than 10% (24%), does not negate the tithe rather it installs it as a beginning point. Thus far from being an argument defeating the requirement for the tithe, it substantiate it in full. Tangled arguments, pressing truth, tend to circle back in on their owners and give clarity to the truth while exposing the weakness of the attempted clarifying argument.
No Temple Equals Greater Priests:
The idea that because there is no "temple" there are no priest is totally false if not cynical on its face. The OT temple and the priesthood was a foreshadowing and an imperfect representation of the prefect priesthood God gave us in His Son Christ, Jesus. Jesus is the High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, lives in us. So through the Holy Spirit Christ, the High Priest, lives within us. We then are also priests. But even greater priests than the OT priests because our High Priest never dies. The fact that there is no longer a temple and no longer priests like there were in the OT, does not negate the presence of priests. Rather, the lack of a temple means the imperfect priesthood has passed and the perfect priesthood has taken up residence. Thus the lack of a temple does not negate the priesthood, but rather installs the priesthood fully and permanently.
A quick summary of holiness flow:
From the Holy of Holies the High Priest obtained the presence of the Lord. This was distributed to the other priest. The priest then distributed this presence to the head of each house hold. The head of each house hold distributed this presence to their house hold.
But the moment someone in that house hold came in contact with something considered unclean, for example a Gentile, the presence was lost and the law prescribed what that person and/or house hold had to do to return to the presence.
Fast forward to the NT. Paul writes, "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy." (I Cor. 7:14)
Because of Christ's victory, Paul has reversed the holiness flow. Rather than the believer being made unclean by the unbeliever, the believer, with Christ the High Priest living within them, transforms those with whom they come in contact, even the unbeliever. In essence, the believer carries the Holy of Holies with them always and as a result each event and person they come in contact with, is, or should be, transformed by this presence.
Today, a group of believers all possessing this presence have a shepherd to guide, lead and care for them and they call them by various names – Pastor, Minister, Reverend. Caring for their pastor's needs is not a freedom to choose or not to choose. It is a command. And yet those with the presence of the high priest, Christ, fulfill not only the command to care for these, but are free to go the second mile. But know this truth; one cannot go the second mile until they have gone the first mile. One cannot freely give until they have tithed.
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