Should I be saving up 10% for a family vacation? Should I plan to buy a lot of beer and wine with it? Should I be tithing according to Old Testament tithing principles?
Deuteronomy 14:22 - 26 (HCSB)
“Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields. You are to eat a tenth of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, in the presence of Yahweh your God at the place where He chooses to have His name dwell, so that you will always learn to fear the LORD your God. But if the distance is too great for you to carry it, since the place where Yahweh your God chooses to put His name is too far away from you and since the LORD your God has blessed you, then exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place the LORD your God chooses. You may spend the money on anything you want: cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or anything you desire. You are to feast there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice with your family.It seems this 10% tithe was to be spent primarily on a trip for the family. And you could spend it on anything you want, including wine and beer! I'm actually not much of a wine or beer drinker, but I love ice cream and chocolate - maybe I'd bring that to the celebration instead.
However, I'm not a farmer. This passage, like Leviticus 27:30, and 2 Chronicles 31:5-6 only speaks about agricultural produce. Not everyone was farmers. There were others who earned wages for their work as hired hands, fishermen, carpenters, millers, bakers, weavers, barbers, potters, fullers, locksmiths, jewelers, and more. For some reason it doesn't seem they were included in these instructions.
And I'm not sure where I'd go to find this place where "Yahweh your God chooses to put His name". I believe God lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV).
And there isn't evidence gentiles (non-Jews) in the early church practiced tithing at all.
So even though a 10% vacation tithe sounds great to me. Or a 10% beer fund may sound great for others. I don't believe we are bound by this anymore.