Okay – I have to be honest: I’m OVER Leviticus. I don’t mean to be disrespectful of God’s Word and all, but it has given me a higher appreciation for what Christ did so we wouldn’t have to go through all this bloody mess and legalistic mumbo-jumbo, memorizing detailed sacrifical routines, keeping track of first-born this and flawless that.
I also have a higher appreciation for young Jewish students who actually have to memorize all this…hats off!!!
Today’s reading, as much as my bad attitude wanted me to just skip another day of trying to figure out something interesting to write, caused me to pause on the topic of tithe. Here’s what prompted the pause:
30 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. 32 The entire tithe of the herd and flock–every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod–will be holy to the Lord. 33 He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.'”
In “the day” the tithe was required of everyone, as a sign of gratitude to God, for the purpose of supporting and maintaining the ministers who took care of the people and the Tabernacle. Apparently, someone was permitted to substitude cash for the normal tithe of livestock or groceries (and of course this was spelled out in painstaking detail), but the point is, the tithe in some form, was a requirement.
Contrast that to today. Many people I know feel as though the tithe is no longer a requirment. Well, like many of God’s laws which are chronicled in Leviticus, this may be one that has gone away as well. Some say there’s no mention of “tithe” in the New Testament, which is used as supporting evidence.
So – if we say we still believe in the local church, are we still required to tithe? The ministers and pastors of our local churches are like the Levites of “the day” who’s responsibility it is to take care of the spiritual needs of members of the local church body. If we’re no longer required to tithe, then who takes care of the ministers & pastors?
I understand this is a perfect opportunity for my anti-church friends to jump in and say the duties of the local ministers & pastors went away with the Levites and the Tabernacle because of the New Covenant, but I’m not prepared to make that leap.
For the rest of you, I just thought I’d put the question out there and see what kind of responses I get: Is the tithe still required for today?
Love to hear from you…