T. PIERCE BROWN
It is probable that if the average member of the Lord’s church were to be asked why we do not practice tithing, the response would be something like, “That was the practice under the Law of Moses, and we are no longer under that law.” Of perhaps, “Jesus never commanded it, so it is not binding upon us.” Those answers would perhaps be given with at least an inward great sigh of relief that one of the things that makes the Christian system so much better than the Mosaic system is that it does not demand so much of us. In other words, because we are not under law, but under grace (Romans6:14), we can “get by” with doing much less than they did. That kind of so-called reasoning might be expected from immature carnal selfish people. If those who claim to be preachers of the gospel use it, it is astoundingly disgusting.
We do not know why there seems to be a serious lack of preaching and writing on the subject. It is not our intent to question the motives of preachers who fail to preach on the subject, but it is our opinion that in general the church is as untaught on that subject as on almost any. We submit this article in an effort to try to remedy the situation is some small way. We say “small way” because we are aware that even if the article is published, it will be read by only a very small portion of the brotherhood. Then only a small portion of those who read it will be influenced by it to change any practice to any appreciable degree.
First, let us emphasize that although the specific commands of the Old Testament are not binding on us unless we find them in the New, the principles and examples are for our learning (Romans 15:4) and for our examples and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11). Furthermore, the practice of tithing was not instituted by the Law of Moses, but was clearly practiced long before Moses was born (Genesis14:20, 28:20-22). How any thoughtful spiritually minded person could possibly assume that since we have a better covenant, better promises, greater blessings and a better hope than they had, we should be satisfied to give less than they did is indeed a mystery.
If we could really understand, appreciate and meditate on the fact that all that we are and have belongs to God and should be used to further His primary purpose for us, we would have no problem giving far more than one tenth. We know a person who was born before the “Great Depression” and was among the poorest of the poor, but whose contribution never was less than twenty percent of his income. We have known of at least four persons whose contribution was fifty percent of their income, and in every case God blessed them exceedingly abundantly above what they might have expected (Ephesians 3:20). How a person could give bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6) without giving at least one tenth of his income, we do not know. Why anyone would even want to do less if he actually believes God’s promises or cares anything about glorifying God, we cannot fathom.
T. Pierce Brown
1068 Mitchell Ave.