This post started because my friend Jesse Phillips tweeted an intriguing thought, he said, "I'm sorry, tithing to support a building & paid staff simply is not Biblically mandated. Otherwise Paul, Peter & Jesus were way off."
I would have to say that Jesse is 100% correct. This speaks to a bigger issue of the separation of the law and what Jesus brought when He came to earth. In my studies of tithing, I wanted to prove that it was Biblical because so many churches have taught that you should give 10%, every week, without fail. The argument becomes obtuse when people start to ask whether you should give 10% before taxes or after taxes.
During a church service, the question came up about what happened if you couldn't tithe; the pastor explained that he would actually keep a record of the times he missed and try to pay it back in full. I couldn't believe this, much less find this reasoning in the Bible. That the God who is merciful but just would lay a burden of debt on us simply because we didn't have the money to give to the church that week? That seems to be a little ridiculous and I certainly cannot find it anywhere in the Bible.
So I looked, and found some scriptures but they didn't quite support the argument I wished to make:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (Matt 23:13; Luke 11:42)
This is a powerful rebuke and I believe the key word here is "should." "You "should" have done [these things] without neglecting the others."
Isn't it amazing the things we should do versus the things we do because we are made to do it? The reason a 10% tithe was put in place was the same reason a majority of the law was put into place; the Israelite's hearts were hard and not open to the greater grace & freedom that God could provide.
Jesus comes to earth and turns the whole law upside...