Newsletter 11-12-09

Are we obligated to Tithe?

There is no New Testament admonition to pay tithes. The reason is because we are not under law; that is, we don't "have to" pay tithes. However, Jesus taught us to love God and to love our neighbor. If we do this then tithing, it would seem, would be a natural response in the freedom that we have been Christ rather than a requirement of Law. Why? Because the tithe that we give to the church can be used for furthering the gospel, the presentation of Christian literature, support of missionaries, and, of course, pastors. Regarding the latter, let's take a look at what it says in 1 Cor. 9:3-10.

"My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? 8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops."

Paul is teaching us here that those who work at something have the right to make a living from it. This is a basic and simple principle that is found in the scriptures. In 1 Tim. 5:18, Paul says, "For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages."

Clearly those who work in the ministry are allowed to make a living from the ministry. How can they do this if they are not supported by tithes from the very congregation that the feed? This becomes more obvious when we realize that ministers often work more than 40 hours a week and are usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, it seems fair to say that tithing is, more or less, expected in the New Testament but we would not say that any Christian is under obligation to tithe. It should be done out of the kindness and generosity of the heart as an act of worship before God.

 

Ryan Turner
Last Wednesday, I went out witnessing again at one of the local colleges here in the Charlotte, NC area. As I strolled around campus looking for a conversation, I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to a group of a dozen or so guys who were hanging out. As I proceeded to share the gospel with them, some of these students raised objections. One guy asked me, “How do you know Jesus rose from the dead?” I proceeded to give him various lines of evidence such as the empty tomb, the numerous appearances of Jesus, the transformation of the disciples, etc. He seemed to appreciate the response.

As we continued our discussion, one extremely vocal student objected to me saying that Jesus rose from the dead. He said that it did not happen and Jesus never really existed. I politely responded to his objections to Jesus’ existence which were extremely misguided showing that we have more textual evidence for the existence of Jesus than many Roman emperors. He argued that the Jesus story was borrowed from the Osiris Egyptian myth which I then refuted showing that the Osiris myth does not explain many of the historical facts surrounding the resurrection including the early resurrection belief of the disciples, the transformation of their faith, etc. (For more, see my article)

As our conversation continued and he frequently interrupted me, I realized that there was a deeper underlying issue with his objections. This issue came out as he indicated that he thought it was ridiculous for there to be only one way to God. I responded to his objection by emphasizing that the question is not whether we like it that there is only one way to God, but whether there actually is one way to God. I stated, “If Jesus rose from the dead and He taught that there was only one way to God, then there must be only one way to God.” Nevertheless, please pray that the Lord will open this young man’s eyes to the gospel as well as the other people (Christian and non-Christian) who were hanging around and listening to our conversation. Despite our disagreement, we ended our conversation on quite friendly terms.

In addition to this interesting conversation on Jesus’ resurrection, I have to say that the most striking conversation that I have ever had with someone occurred that same day. During my previous discussion mentioned above regarding the resurrection of Jesus, another 30-year old or so black guy came up and started participating in our conversation. We started talking about moral absolutes. This guy refused to admit there were any absolutes. I asked him if the holocaust was morally wrong. He replied something to the extent of, “I cannot say. People were taught to act that way.” I then asked him the clincher question, “Is slavery morally wrong?” Without hesitation, he replied, “I cannot say. That is what people back then were taught to do.”
I was utterly shocked by this man’s response. As a black person, he could not say whether slavery was morally wrong! I have never heard this from any person in my life, much less a black person. This was a sad testament to the utter foolishness and irrationality that many people believe today. Please pray for this relativistic thinking man.
 

Love and Hate Mail

Love

  • Just a note on the hate mail.  I noticed in the most recent newsletter that almost all of the hate mail was poorly written. The clearly upset mormons & Jehovah Witnesses obviously 'aint got no grammar'. I am a 15 year old homeschooler, and I can't believe people would actually try to present a point with so many grammatical errors. (Do they actually intend to get a response?!?) If they aren't educated or disciplined enough to put together a simple, well-written, comment (hate note) should we give them an opportunity to put into writing what they believe? Another thing, they get so offensive, that they almost fail to make a point at all, and the point they do manage to get across is made invalid by their nasty words. (I certainly don't want to meet those mormons!! Much less see them at church every week!!) When they start to attack your values, you have to wonder if they want to correct you at all. As a Christian, my heart aches when the mormons I know talk about what they do/believe. If they were misinformed about my faith, I would correct them with love. Because what I share with Jesus is available to them, and I want them to have the same relationship that I have with HIM. I haven't watched video yet, but I'm sure I'll find that it says the same things I have found in what little research I have done. Thank you for your time and research. I appreciate the work you guys do!! Sara
  • Hello there, I just wanted to thank you for the great work you guys are doing. I find that the website is amazing, it helps me with my personal apologetic to others and despite all the threats and "hate" comments you guys still push the Word of God out. Some articles on the Trinity helped me figure out in an easy way how to explain the concept to non-believers. I encourage you guys to keep going and in the words of Paul, 2 corinthians 10, verse 4: "for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God." We have to be strong and be helpful to each other and your website is a great way to do it. Louis
  • Matt, I wish I could send you $, but our business had a 27,000 loss last year with the housing market. I wanted to tell you as a former devout catholic, they truly believe what they are saying. You are so brainwashed as a catholic and are taught that the Bible has been rewritten so many times that only the pope and archbishops can interpret it. They told me that only they have the Holy Spirit. They told me to put down God’s Word and read the catechism or leave the "church." So I kept reading and am now a Bible believing Christian . . . . God bless you. Keep it up. In Christ, Francie
  • Dear CARM, thank you much for the support and service your website has given me over the years. After 24 years in Christian Science, I finally was able to utilize rational thought thanks to the work of your and other ministries to logically counter the circular convoluted reasoning that had me trapped in a false faith in God. Even though life has been harder from the perspective of family, finances, and peace, God is finally able to use me as His instrument. I can see that the peaks and valleys that I've encountered these past few years and continue to endure are sharpening me into a threshing instrument for use by my Savior. Thanks again and God bless. Love, Bryan

Hate

  • Christian Apologetics & RESEARCH Ministry? hahahahaha that's hilarious....really? you call this research? this is almost all wrong! and you have taken many quotes & scriptures out of context. Rename your website "Ignorant Anti-Christian Ministry Attempt (without correct research)" ...because then, you wouldn't be misleading people.
  • What kind of a pompous, pious outfit are you people running that you would be so full of yourselves to believe that you're so much better then others??? Your website is nothing short of appalling!!!
  • WHO AND WHAT ARE YOU? I see that you are taking Gods job as being the judge. Of course you must be the real true religion by the judging and begging for money don't you think? Does it make you feel more comfortable by running down everyone else? Shame, shame. The very name Slick just about says it all.
  • “Women in Ministry” What a joke you people are. Search your soul. I have heard God advise me, have dreams & visions for direction: avoid the likes of you MEN... Lula
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.