Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are Gentiles to Tithe?

The early church received it's first gentile converts. Some believers were not sure what to do with them. To be a follower of Christ would these new converts need to become Jews? Some of them were instructed to be circumcised... not the best marketing plan there. :)

So the apostles and elders in Jerusalem met to decide what Jewish customs these new converts would need to observe. Here is what they came up with:

Acts 15:23-29 (NIV)

With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
This would have been a great time to include instructions on observing other Jewish customs and laws... like tithing.

But tithing seems to have been omitted from the requirements of the early church... at least for 500 years or so.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tithe

2 comments:

Blessed Rain said...

it took a long time for formal meetings to get started for a long time Christianity was home based with all active members. If someone got sick many members helped their families, different families hosted the group in various homes giving the men more time to work and preach. We tithe now because we have leadership again, buildings, large amounts of people and the many that would fall through the cracks with out official teams to visit, call and reach out.
-just me

Jonathan said...

Hi, I just stumbled across a comment that I had not replied to. How rude of me. Sorry. :)

Thanks for the comment. I wonder if having larger gatherings is reason for more people to fall through the cracks or if it should be less reason. If there are more believers in a community, there should be more people to minister to others if everyone does the task of ministering and serving others.

In terms of people falling through the cracks, I wonder what is better. Having a large congregation that pays a few people to do most of the work, or having a number of smaller gatherings where everyone participates?

Just triggered a few additional thoughts. God bless!