In my book, ‘The 8 Christian Persuasions for Church Tithing,’ I made the following conclusions on the matter of the legitimacy for Church tithing today:
As the truth about God is verified by the way He honors the word of His promises, so is the truth about God also verified by the way He consistently deals with His people to establish a paradigm that can be studied. In the paradigm of God’s dealings with His people – Abraham, the Nation Israel, and the Church to fulfill His priestly concept, the application of Church tithing verifies truth about God. In other words, it is the consistency of God concerning the fulfillment of His priestly concept that legitimizes the practice of Church tithing today (Pg. 38)
How did I come about this conclusion concerning the legitimacy for church tithing today?
I began the discourse with a discussion on the distinction among parameters, principles, and purpose. It was to show that through Melchizedek and Abraham, Church tithing in principle, is an application of giving that God established for the Church to practice. God established it to serve the purpose of His priestly concept that He envisioned in Jesus Christ to the Church. The distinction affirms that in principle, the application and its purpose had remained the same with Abraham, the Nation Israel, and today, the Church. It is rather the parameters of the giving of the tithes, as among other things that God changed. With Abraham and the Church, the parameter for Church tithing as a principle of giving is Faith. With the Nation Israel, the parameter for tithing as a principle of giving was the Law. These distinctions are necessary for showing that as God modeled in Abraham, the practice of Church tithing in principle is a legitimate application of giving by the Church today, and that its purpose is to serve His priestly concept that He eternally purposed in Jesus Christ, as part of His program for the Church’s spiritual and sacred relations to Him.
How do we distinguish parameters, principles, and purposes?
When used to serve as a boundary or limits, parameters are guidelines, frameworks, or standards within which principles are applied or purposes are fulfilled. A parameter would have rules, regulations, codes by which certain principles are applied or purposes are fulfilled. In this sense, the principles and purposes are not the parameters. Because the parameters have the principles and or the purposes, tendencies occur to lump them together as one in essence. For the sake of clarity, it is necessary to keep them separate as shown with the following diagram.
The box represents the parameter or the framework that contains the principles to be used and the purpose that is to be fulfilled. The parameter, the principles and or the purposes are distinct in their own respects.
How had God used His two parameter types for His priestly program?
In parameter terms, when we think of the Law as a framework regarding God’s priestly program, it has three essential things that are necessary points of considerations for our discussion. The priestly order of Aaron, the sacrifices of lambs and goats required for the atonement, and the principle of tithing, as a type of giving to primarily support the livelihood and the necessities of the Levitical priests and the Levites, who attended to the holy things of the tabernacle of the congregation. For our discussion, we would consider the following three things as the 3 basic applications of God’s priestly concept. These are applications required in the priestly concept of God and featured in all His dealings with His people – Abraham, the Nation Israel, and the Church.
The 3 Basic Applications of God’s Priestly Concept
- The Priestly Order
- The Sacrifice of Lambs/Goats
- Church tithing as a Unique Type of Giving
The Following diagram shows the three basic applications of God’s priestly concept, and the two distinct parameters or frameworks for the applications:
While God will alternate the parameters, the three basic applications for His priestly program remained intact, whether in His dealings with Abraham, the Nation Israel, or the Church. The frameworks, standards or the actual things or persons used are changed, yet the changes do not abolish the applications as requirements for fulfilling His priestly program. In the next edition, we will further expound on how God had consistently maintained the 3 basic applications for his priestly program whether by the framework of Faith or the Law.
>>>the writer is President of the Church Tithing Institute, www.churchtithing.org