Halakha constitutes the practical application of the mitzvot "commandments" in the Torah, as developed through discussion and debate in the classical rabbinic literature , especially the Mishnah and the Talmud the " Oral Torah " , and as codified in the Mishneh Torah and Shulchan Aruch. With few exceptions, controversies are not settled through authoritative structures because during the Jewish diaspora , Jews lacked a single judicial hierarchy or appellate review process for halakha. According to the Talmud Tractate Makot , mitzvot are in the Torah, positive "thou shalt" mitzvot and negative "thou shalt not" mitzvot , supplemented by seven mitzvot legislated by the rabbis of antiquity.
Rabbinic Judaism divides laws into categories:  . This division between revealed and rabbinic commandments may influence the importance of a rule, its enforcement and the nature of its ongoing interpretation. A second classical distinction is between the Written Law, laws written in the Hebrew Bible , and the Oral Law, laws which are believed to have been transmitted orally prior to their later compilation in texts such as the Mishnah, Talmud, and rabbinic codes.
Commandments are divided into positive and negative commands, which are treated differently in terms of divine and human punishment. Positive commandments require an action to be performed and are considered to bring the performer closer to God. Negative commandments traditionally in number forbid a specific action, and violations create a distance from God.
A further division is made between chukim "decrees" — laws without obvious explanation, such as shatnez , the law prohibiting wearing clothing made of mixtures of linen and wool , mishpatim "judgements" — laws with obvious social implications and eduyot "testimonies" or "commemorations", such as the Shabbat and holidays. Through the ages, various rabbinical authorities have classified some of the commandments in many ways.
A different approach divides the laws into a different set of categories: [ citation needed ]. Within Talmudic literature, Jewish law is divided into the six orders of the Mishnah, which are categories by proximate subject matter: . However, Talmudic texts often deal with laws outside these apparent subject categories. As a result, Jewish law came to be categorized in other ways in the post-Talmudic period. In the major codes of Jewish law, two other main categorization schemes are found.
Maimonides ' Mishneh Torah divides the laws into 14 sections.
The codification efforts that culminated in the Shulchan Aruch divide the law into four sections, including only laws that do not depend on being physically present in the Land of Israel. Judaism regards the violation of the commandments, the mitzvot , to be a sin. The generic Hebrew word for any kind of sin is aveira "transgression". Based on the Hebrew Bible Judaism describes three levels of sin: . Relatedly, the three terms — chayyav, patur, mutar — in the Gemara and Halakhic codes classify the permissibility of an action or the severity of its prohibition and punishment.
For some classes of people, this is exceedingly difficult, such as those who commit adultery, as well as those who slander others. In earlier days, when ancient Jews had a functioning court system the beth din and the Sanhedrin high court , courts were empowered to administer physical punishments for various violations, upon conviction by extremely high standards of evidence , far stricter than those required in western courts today.
These punishments included execution , corporal punishment , incarceration , and excommunication. However, since the fall of the Second Temple , executions have been forbidden.
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Since the fall of the autonomous Jewish communities of Europe , most other punishments also have been discontinued. Today, then, one's accounts are reckoned solely by God. The Talmud says that although courts capable of executing sinners no longer exist, the prescribed penalties continue to be applied by Providence. For instance, someone who has committed a sin punishable by stoning might fall off a roof, or someone who ought to be executed by strangulation might drown.
The Seven Laws of Noah , also referred to as the Noahide Laws or the Noachide Laws, are a set of imperatives which, according to the Talmud, were given by God as a binding set of laws for the "children of Noah" — that is, all of humanity. The development of halakha in the period before the Maccabees, which has been described as the formative period in the history of its development, is shrouded in obscurity.
Baer in Zion, 17 —52 , 1—55 has argued that there was little pure academic legal activity at this period and that many of the laws originating at this time were produced by a means of neighbourly good conduct rules in a similar way as carried out by Greeks in the age of Solon. For example, the first chapter of Bava Kamma, contains a formulation of the law of torts worded in the first person. The boundaries of Jewish law are determined through the Halakhic process, a religious-ethical system of legal reasoning. Rabbis generally base their opinions on the primary sources of halakha as well as on precedent set by previous rabbinic opinions.
The major sources and genre of halakha consulted include:. In antiquity, the Sanhedrin functioned essentially as the Supreme Court and legislature in the US judicial system for Judaism, and had the power to administer binding law, including both received law and its own rabbinic decrees, on all Jews—rulings of the Sanhedrin became halakha ; see Oral law.
That court ceased to function in its full mode in 40 CE. Today, the authoritative application of Jewish law is left to the local rabbi, and the local rabbinical courts, with only local applicability. In branches of Judaism that follow halakha , lay individuals make numerous ad-hoc decisions, but are regarded as not having authority to decide certain issues definitively. Since the days of the Sanhedrin, however, no body or authority has been generally regarded as having the authority to create universally recognized precedents. As a result, halakha has developed in a somewhat different fashion from Anglo-American legal systems with a Supreme Court able to provide universally accepted precedents.
Generally, Halakhic arguments are effectively, yet unofficially, peer-reviewed. When a rabbinic posek literally, "he who makes a statement", "decisor" proposes an additional interpretation of a law, that interpretation may be considered binding for the posek's questioner or immediate community. Depending on the stature of the posek and the quality of the decision, an interpretation may also be gradually accepted by other rabbis and members of other Jewish communities.
Under this system there is a tension between the relevance of earlier and later authorities in constraining Halakhic interpretation and innovation. On the one hand, there is a principle in halakha not to overrule a specific law from an earlier era, after it is accepted by the community as a law or vow ,  unless supported by another, relevant earlier precedent; see list below. On the other hand, another principle recognizes the responsibility and authority of later authorities, and especially the posek handling a then-current question.
In addition, the halakha embodies a wide range of principles that permit judicial discretion and deviation Ben-Menahem. Notwithstanding the potential for innovation, rabbis and Jewish communities differ greatly on how they make changes in halakha. Notably, poskim frequently extend the application of a law to new situations, but do not consider such applications as constituting a "change" in halakha.
For example, many Orthodox rulings concerning electricity are derived from rulings concerning fire, as closing an electrical circuit may cause a spark. In contrast, Conservative poskim consider that switching on electrical equipment is physically and chemically more like turning on a water tap which is permissible by halakha than lighting a fire which is not permissible , and therefore permitted on Shabbat. The reformative Judaism in some cases explicitly interprets halakha to take into account its view of contemporary society.
For instance, most Conservative rabbis extend the application of certain Jewish obligations and permissible activities to women see below. Within certain Jewish communities, formal organized bodies do exist.
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Within Modern Orthodox Judaism , there is no one committee or leader, but Modern US-based Orthodox rabbis generally agree with the views set by consensus by the leaders of the Rabbinical Council of America. Note that Takkanot, the plural form of Takkanah above, in general do not affect or restrict observance of Torah mitzvot. In common parlance sometimes people use the general term takkanah to refer either gezeirot or takkanot.
However, the Talmud states that in exceptional cases, the Sages had the authority to "uproot matters from the Torah". In Talmudic and classical Halakhic literature, this authority refers to the authority to prohibit some things that would otherwise be Biblically sanctioned shev v'al ta'aseh , literally, thou shall stay seated and not do. Rabbis may rule that a specific mitzvah from the Torah should not be performed, e. These examples of takkanot which may be executed out of caution lest some might otherwise carry the mentioned items between home and the synagogue, thus inadvertently violating a Sabbath melakha.
Another rare and limited form of takkanah involved overriding Torah prohibitions. In some cases, the Sages allowed the temporary violation of a prohibition in order to maintain the Jewish system as a whole. This was part of the basis for Esther 's relationship with Ahasuerus Xeres. For general usage of takkanaot in Jewish history see the article Takkanah. For examples of this being used in Conservative Judaism, see Conservative halakha. The antiquity of the rules can be determined only by the dates of the authorities who quote them; in general, they cannot safely be declared older than the tanna from Aramaic, literally, "repeater" to whom they are first ascribed.
It is certain, however, that the seven middot literally, "measurements", and referring to [good] behavior of Hillel and the thirteen of Ishmael are earlier than the time of Hillel himself, who was the first to transmit them. The Talmud gives no information concerning the origin of the middot, although the Geonim "Sages" regarded them as Sinaitic given by God to the people of Israel at the time of the Sinai presence. Modern historians believe that it is decidedly erroneous to consider the middot as traditional from the time of Moses on Sinai.
The middot seem to have been first laid down as abstract rules by the teachers of Hillel, though they were not immediately recognized by all as valid and binding. Different schools interpreted and modified them, restricted or expanded them, in various ways. Akiba and Ishmael and their scholars especially contributed to the development or establishment of these rules. Akiba devoted his attention particularly to the grammatical and exegetical rules, while Ishmael developed the logical.
The rules laid down by one school were frequently rejected by another because the principles that guided them in their respective formulations were essentially different. According to Akiba, the divine language of the Torah is distinguished from the speech of men by the fact that in the former no word or sound is superfluous.
Some scholars have observed a similarity between these rabbinic rules of interpretation and the hermeneutics of ancient Hellenistic culture. For example, Saul Lieberman argues that the names of rabbi Ishmael's middot e. Orthodox Judaism holds that halakha is the divine law as laid out in the Torah five books of Moses , rabbinical laws, rabbinical decrees, and customs combined. The rabbis, who made many additions and interpretations of Jewish Law, did so only in accordance with regulations they believe were given for this purpose to Moses on Mount Sinai , see Deuteronomy See Orthodox Judaism, Beliefs about Jewish law and tradition.
Conservative Judaism holds that halakha is normative and binding, and is developed as a partnership between people and God based on Sinaitic Torah. While there are a wide variety of Conservative views, a common belief is that halakha is, and has always been, an evolving process subject to interpretation by rabbis in every time period. See Conservative Judaism, Beliefs. Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism both hold that modern views of how the Torah and rabbinic law developed imply that the body of rabbinic Jewish law is no longer normative seen as binding on Jews today.
Those in the traditionalist wing of these movements believe that the halakha represents a personal starting-point, holding that each Jew is obligated to interpret the Torah, Talmud and other Jewish works for themselves, and this interpretation will create separate commandments for each person. Those in the liberal and classical wings of Reform believe that in this day and era, most Jewish religious rituals are no longer necessary, and many hold that following most Jewish laws is actually counter-productive.
They propose that Judaism has entered a phase of ethical monotheism, and that the laws of Judaism are only remnants of an earlier stage of religious evolution, and need not be followed. This is considered wrong, and even heretical , by Orthodox and Conservative Judaism. Humanistic Jews value the Torah as a historical, political, and sociological text written by their ancestors.
They do not believe "that every word of the Torah is true, or even morally correct, just because the Torah is old". The Torah is both disagreed with and questioned. Humanistic Jews believe that the entire Jewish experience, and not only the Torah, should be studied as a source for Jewish behavior and ethical values. Despite its internal rigidity, halakha has a degree of flexibility in finding solutions to modern problems that are not explicitly mentioned in the Torah.
From the very beginnings of Rabbinic Judaism, halakhic inquiry allowed for a "sense of continuity between past and present, a self-evident trust that their pattern of life and belief now conformed to the sacred patterns and beliefs presented by scripture and tradition". When presented with contemporary issues, rabbis go through a halakhic process to find an answer.
The classical approach has permitted new rulings regarding modern technology. For example, some of these rulings guide Jewish observers about the proper use of electricity on the Sabbath and holidays. Often, as to the applicability of the law in any given situation, the proviso is to "consult your local rabbi or posek ".
See a Problem?
Paul, you appear to leave God out of your reasoning. God says, "Return your tithe, and see if I will bless you. The Apostle Paul tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God. Apparently, the richer people get, the smaller their percentage of giving gets.
Consider that with increasing income, expenditures usually increase. It is usually more difficult to help big income earners see the blessings of tithing than those with a very small income. Living below the poverty line, there's not much to lose and a high incentive to "prove" God. I'd also like to suggest that the vast majority of people have nothing left over as tithe after paying all their expenses.
That's not how tithing works. I write from the experience of living much of my adult life technically "below the poverty line. We didn't consider ourselves poor, and we didn't look like we were poor. Friends found it difficult to believe that we lived on as little as we did. There used to be "Dollar Stretcher" stores in our area.
Not sure about those stores, but God is the real "Dollar Stretcher. There is nothing wrong with your calculations in human terms - you are perfectly correct. The only thing you haven't taken into account is God's miraculous goodness. Countless people have stared in amazement at their accounts at the end of the month, because they have money left over when they should not have, by human reckoning.
The important point in my view is obedience to what God says. The moment you focus on what you will be left with then you cannot serve. Are we being 'Honest with Him' that we hard pressed and left with nothing for church? Figures get quoted quite often without a lot of proper investigation. There are a number of factors that need to be considered. For example some people may pay their tithe anonymously, or they may simply put it unmarked into the offering. Alternatively they may donate it to a specific branch of the church.
Paul, may I make another practical suggestion: Your friend needs to know that tithe is between him and God. God challenges us to "test" Him to see if He will not pour out a blessing when we give him a tenth of our "increase" before we spend our money on anything else. That means it is up to us to figure out the "increase," with the help of God. May I suggest that when we exercise even the little faith we have, God will bless and increase our faith. I understand the situations Paul cited.
Our decisions in early life don't always work out the way we want; and sometimes our expenses and obligations leave us with far less in income than we might prefer, or need. Social programs, both public and private, can help with these issues, but still leave some needs unmet. If only our daily expenses were proportional to our income. The earlier point that tithe is proportional to income is one way in which tithing is fair; however, the gift of the Widow's mite was noted by Christ, not because of the amount; but because of the faith demonstrated.
The another way is that God is faithful in pouring out blessings in response to faithful accounting of the increase that comes under our stewardship. God's blessing in response to demonstrated faith isn't a matter of bargaining or some kind of business transaction, we can't manipulate God; but rather it is a freely given gift. Blessings are not limited in proportionality and may include continued health, opportunities for cost savings or improved income; perhaps even through local contacts provided by local church members or the church itself.
This is something I've seen and experienced personally. Tithe isn't a membership fee, it is a matter of demonstrated faith in God and his promises; and an opportunity for the local church to show their stewardship in assisting a brother with opportunities. Does a member have a garden with an abundance of produce; share this blessing with others who may be in need. Does a member need help with minor repairs or housekeeping due to infirmity or other serious issues; volunteer your time as a church member to help with yard work or minor repairs.
These are examples where we serve as the hands which bring God's blessing to others. We shouldn't just say "be filled" to those in need. Paul, The problems that you have mentioned are real, and to quote texts that are applicable to some, does not solve or answer the questions at hand. Most if not nearly all the text about tithing are in the old testament. As far as I know Jesus and His disciples did not tithe. The words in Matthew , were a rebuke to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Hebrews 7 mentions a history of Abraham and Melchizedek. All of the promises that God provides are reliable sources for all of our problems. Faith is a promise. Trying to solve problems by others in our society seems to be a brick wall much of the time. In Matthew 23, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for the wrong focus.
Their motive also was wrong. The most important verse there is where he said to them, "that you should have done, without leaving the others undone". So, yes they tithing is important but so also is mercy and good judgment. In other words, do your tithing and give your offering but don't forget the more important things as it relates to the kingdom.
Jesus told the Pharisees that they should tithe Matt Do you think that Jesus told them to do something that He and His disciples did not do? Paul, I am glad you felt able to share your honest views and feelings in this forum! We need spaces for more honest and sincere discussions like this. Your illustrations demonstrate that things are often complex rather than simple.
Hence, as Maurice has correctly stated, it is primarily a matter to be sorted out between the individual and God as per Phil and not a matter that someone else should be 'judging' whether an individual is doing the right thing or not. You haven't mentioned how unfair Ceasar is to your friend with all those silly requirements. His problem isn't tithe it's Ceasar. Yes, Edwin But again Paul many years ago I was given a testimony by a gentleman I became aquointed with.
He told me how before he had given his heart to the Lord he had to poach deer just to feed his family. When he became a Christian Seventh-day-Adventist the Lord got him into an apprenticeship, as an electrician. The Lord blessed him, it was no longer necessary for him to poach deer to feed his family.
I was a witness of heaven pooring out blessings for him. He was able to put his kids through our, Christian Academy. Paul, read 2 Corinthians You are not under compulsion. This is a question of faith. As SDA we unfairly attack, in general, "prosperity preachers" because most of us have not listened long enough to understand what many of them are saying.
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Some are definitely un-biblical, but many are spot on. That's why James says "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. If you believe that God seeks to prosper you, then tithe becomes part of a partnership investment instead of a burden. Dave Ramsey, who most people don't realize is an undercover prosperity preacher, gives examples in his book of desperately poor people who work his steps, which include systematic benevolence as well as systematic savings, and who are able in 15 years to retire comfortably.
But you would also need to know that what you give to God is dependent upon what you purpose in your heart. We don't live under the old covenant. You will not be struck dead. Annanias and Safira were struck dead because they lied about what they were giving. Peter told them "Was not the land yours before you sold it?
Why lie to the Holy Spirit? Go through Financial Peace or some other spiritually based financial system. Avoid debt like it was cancer. After all, according to the Proverbs, the borrower is servant to the lender, and according to Jesus we cannot serve two masters. So it's against the will of God for you to go into debt. As you systematically give, systematically save. Find other ways to bring in income. I'm as broke as you if not more so. Recently I got a job listing eBay items for someone else. I've already seen how I can double my income on my own time by replicating the system!
You've got 5 kids? Are any of them old enough to know how to work a computer? Get them involved in your family eBay business! Here's the bottom line. According to 1 Corinthians 13 the three things that are the most important are faith, hope and love. Without faith you can't have hope and without hope it's hard to love even God. God can bring you out of this situation. He's done it for other people. That can give you hope. And once you have hope you can truly respond to His love.
When you respond to God's love, His "commands" are no longer "commands. And his commandments are not burdensome. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Hi Paul, I understand the tension in your message, and the apprehension that things will NOT turn out well if one who 'gives' a tenth of their income to God has less than nothing remaining to sustain themselves. I have a very low income myself.
I have never suffered from giving back to God what He has designated 'holy'. The tithe is actually not ours. The promise in Malachi 3:l0 is the boldest promise in the Bible - and one which God honours. The issue is, do we trust God? He doesn't force us to 'pay' tithe; He invites us to 'return' it and to experience an exciting relationship with him. Do not deny your friend the opportunity to learn about our wonderful God and how He can and will provide for us. God says, "Test Me'. Why not do as some have done and say, 'I'll give it a week,' or, 'I'll give it a month'. Or more.
You'll never look back. God is faithful! He is real and he does keep His promises. What you are expressing is a cognitive dissonance, that is, how could a loving God impose an arbitrary system that lays such a heavy burden on the poor and disadvantaged? I suggest you read Deuteronomy and you will see that God had a very different tithing idea in mind for those he led to his promised land.
Since the Kingdom of God is at hand, that year is now. Tithing is a template for systematic benevolence provided by a loving God to lead all with wealth and who are willing to his Christ. Richard, I think you're focussing on people and physical limitations, not on God's faithfulness.
You're not taking into account God's accounting. Tithing is an exciting adventure! God is faithful, not unfair. He invites us to exceed our expectations, He does not invite us to despair. He says 'Test Me'. It's a bold promise, one which anyone who trusts Him can depend on. If you still doubt, set a time limit on Him. He is real, He is true. He wants you to trust Him. See how wonderful our God is! Give yourself the chance to rise to new heights of belief and love.
Paul, let me be very direct: while you question God's fairness, I don't see you give any mention of His goodness and "exceeding great and precious promises". Is there anyone in your church that praises God? If so, make sure your friend meets them. If not, perhaps a different church where God is praised and His blessings are being received would be where your friend should go if he shows any interest in learning the Truth and desires to know Jesus as a friend.
Your view seems only from the perspective of the world, and not heaven, and I hope you understand the difference. Do you believe Jesus? Was He the Son of God or not? What did He teach us? Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?
For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. I would like to address your questioning of God's fairness by reminding us that this world has both rich and poor people. What does that have to do with God's fairness?
Are the rich honest, God-fearing people, or did they cheat, lie and deceive to get their gain? Are the poor trusting in God or have they been careless and foolish? God has taught that the poor will always remain, and that it will be easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle that for most of the world's rich to find eternal life, where there will be NO MORE poverty. Let me be really honest here and suggest that your question of God being fair tells me you have not fully understood what Jesus did on Calvary for you, your poor friend, and the rich people, and what it truly reveals to all about the character of God, His government, and purposes.
And what about His promises? I hope you find something encouraging for your friend, so he won't miss out on eternal life because his friend did not trust God's fairness, or His exceeding great and precious promises. Love and loyalty to God and our fellow man are the lessons in the tithing system. God does not need anything from us other than our love and loyalty, which was demonstrated in the account of Abraham being asked to offer his son Isaac. It was a test to prove his loyalty to God. God will not accept anything from us if there is no love in our hearts, as Jesus quoted in Luke God did not withhold His only begotten Son, He does not withhold oxygen from our nostrils or hide the sun, moon and stars, nor does he neglect to fill the oceans with life or seeds in the earth.
He does not prevent the rain to feed the earth and wind to clean it up.
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He allows the blood in or veins to flow and our hearts to beat. The benefits we receive from God's hand outweighs our imagination of giving. It is love that motivates giving. This is a powerful promise and challenge from God. He knows our weaknesses and will not ask the impossible from us. So be bold and prove Him today. How unfair was that!
I was also humbled by the realisation God was not able to trust me. I wondered then on how many blessings have passed me by because I couldn't be trusted to receive them. It's a hard lesson when you face yourself and look deeply and truthfully in the mirror. Tax is specifically intended to be a wealth redistribution system amongst many other aims. It is also astutely described as a tall poppy syndrome. As soon as one person rises above the rest, income wise, they are cut down, or growth inhibited, as you might say. You could also class it as punishment for working harder than your less wealthy neighbors.
PS: This is notoriously ineffective in taxing the wealthy who apply considerable talent to tax avoidance. Arthur Chibwana also made this point. I think your last paragraph nails it though, when you note how the "fairer" world is making the rich richer and everyone else poorer. That method isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it? Is that the right approach? What about the short story in John 21 especially verses 15 to 17 and 1 Corinthians and Matt ? If even the tithe commandment hangs on this, maybe it is best to start there?
But here's the thing. God meets you wherever you are. It could be that He meets your friend in the promise and challenge of Mal and the walk with him starts there. It is, I have noted, different for each of us, because it seems like there is literally nothing that He won't do to reach out to us, regardless of who we are, where we are, and how we got there. The prodigals father is always watching for his son and runs, not walks, to meet him. This is what many of us here can testify of, a God who went out of His way to meet us in unexpected ways and places to start that walk home with Him right then and there.
Once you love your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might, tithe is a non issue. You just do it. Out of love, not out of obligation. Conversely, within the church, we ought to help one another in love. He has placed them among us to awaken in our hearts the love that He feels toward the suffering and oppressed. First tithe to take care of the Levites Lev. The Levites had to pay a tithe out of what they received Num. Second tithe: In regard to the second God commanded, "Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.
Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, "That they may eat within thy gates, and be filled. Paul, You are mentioning laws and restrictions put in place by Civic Leaders and not God. Educational achievements are not used in determining how much you earn or how rich you can become in God's book.
THAT to me is how fair our God can be. They will live a life with no want or worry, that is the promise. I totally agree. I believe that the churches concept of increase is is wrong. I do not see in the bible anywhere that gods concept of increase is in line with Governments concept of net profit. I believe God sees us as individual business. I do not believe that increase is determined only buy an outside business or job. I believe that God determines my increase as a person as my increase in monetary value, and the expenses for me to function as a person or to survive are not increasing my value.
It to me would be the same as the items that are necessary to keep a business going. The only way that I increase in wealth is if I have money over and above my survival needs. If I did not have shelter and food to keep me alive I would not even be able to create wealth. If I didn't have a way to get to work, I would not be able to create wealth. If I am buying a car that has value more than just getting me to work then it is increasing my value as a person.
If I am buying a house, the equity that I am gaining is increase my monetary value as a person. If I use money to go on a vacation, that money is not being used for my survival it is giving me value in pleasure. Just as the maintenance that you would put into the items that you use for your business is not an increase to your business, the maintenance that you put into your body to stay alive so that you can perform work should not be treated as an increase to you. Just because a business is not compensating you to maintain yourself the same as any other tool they use in there business.
It doesn't mean that what they give you to maintain yourself should be considered income or increase to you. I believe that my increase as a person should be treated the same as a businesses increase. If my net monetary value as a person or balance sheet is worth 1, dollars at the beginning of the month and then at the end of the month my net monetary value was worth 1, then I should pay a tithe of 50 dollars.
Please tell me by the Bible how this line of thinking is wrong. Dale, I believe you put too low a value on a person when you write, "I believe that God determines my increase as a person as my increase in monetary value. The idea of treating the 'value' of a person the same as modern governments treat businesses is wholly foreign to Scripture. I believe you are proposing that we should tithe only our increase in personal assets.
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And it seems to me that that would exclude the vast majority of believers from the joy of tithing and the blessings it brings. After all, genuine sacrifice does not normally increase personal assets but decreases them. And the Psalmist defines God's people as those who have "made a covenant with me by sacrifice. In Old Testament times, if a family had a flock of 25 sheep and the ewes gave birth to 30 lambs, they would have all the lambs pass under a rod, and every tenth one would be considered as tithe - whether or not they used some of the sheep as food.
If they planted one bushel of wheat and harvested 11 bushels, then one bushel would be tithe, even if all of the wheat was used for food. The biblical concept of tithing is one of expressing gratitude for how God has supplied all our needs. Returning a tenth to God makes it eminently fair, in that those who have much return much, and those who are poor return a tenth of what they have received. What tithing, as well as proportionate giving, does is to give rich and poor an opportunity to express gratitude to God in a tangible way. It's a very simple system, and not so difficult even for a modern business.
In the end, how we return tithe is up to each one of us, and our decision will likely say something about our faith. Thus we could possibly reason that we are just getting some of our investment back. That may suit some people, but we are still thankful for God's blessings and tithe our full retirement checks and are happy to be able to give offerings. The way we see it, we cannot outgive the Lord. For further insight into this subject please see my post, " Do You Pay Tithe " and the many testimonies posted as comments.
I suggest you also take time to read some of the posts dealing with tithe on this blog. I believe they will answer many of your concerns, and I trust you will be inspired. I pray that you may be encouraged to tithe generously and experience the blessings God has promised to pour out on those who cheerfully return to Him a tithe of His material blessings to them.
Mal I did Pathfinders. I've been a youth leader, Pathfinder leader, child and adult Sabbath School teacher. And it was only a few years ago that i learned i had been mis-taught the above verse my entire life! I grew up thinking the verse said "For God loveth a cheerful giver" and that was it! That's less than half of the verse. As a child we were required to memorize long passages like the 23rd Psalm and the Lord's Prayer. Each week in church we repeated the fourth commandment together so it was committed to memory as well.
And yes, each week the elder presiding over the offering would read the infamous passage from Malachi "Will a man rob God? When Abram gave the first tithe in the Bible, which he only did once, after God gave him victory to be able to rescue Lot and the rest of the people of Sodom and Gomorroh, he gave a tithe to Melchizadek, priest-king of Salem, AFTER Melchizadek blessed him and as a showing that it was God who gave Abram the victory. Tithe didn't become a compulsion until the Hebrews rejected God's offer of being a kingdom of priests and said "Moses, you talk to God for us but don't let God talk to us", then turned around and worshiped the golden calf.
God set up the Levites to work in the temple services and Aaron and his descendants to be the priests and then tithe became a compulsion. Yes, Jesus commended the Pharasees, While that priest system was still in effect, for paying tithe but that was part of His rebuke of them for ignoring more important things. Jesus also said if you something against your brother, I don't want your offering until you make that right. The main concern of the Christian should be "is my heart right" and not "do I pay tithe before or after taxes. From their children or from strangers? Are you free? Is the money you return to God based on your greatfullness for Him prospering you or is it out of compulsion?
Neither did Jacob invent a regular tithe. Think of it this way. To whom did Jacob physically pay his tithe? Think too of Cain and Abel. If Cain had paid his tithe in vegetables and Abel in sheep, was it not his thought then that a sin offering in the same vein would be acceptable? Like the Sabbath, Abraham knew what a burnt offering was as did Isaac, pre Sinai.
So too with tithe, Abraham knew to pay it to the house of God through the one who served as the priest. All the commandments - think through all of them, they were not unknown to Abraham. I believe you are being misled if you are told tithe did not exist before Abraham. The text quoted says to pay tithe on my increase and I appreciate the way the article addresses the issue.
I do have a question. Only what was actually gathered in could be tithed. The same principle should be applied to gross. Why is this case different from other direct costs which I may control to some extent? Interesting Brian! I receive a blessing from tithing on the gross, but always felt that was a personal decision. Now you have brought even more light on the topic. Thank you. I've known many faithful members who follow your good example and have no dispute with those who feel and do as you do. I've had to think long and hard on this topic ever since I was at Andrews University many years ago.
Realizing the financial loss this would cause, the paper was quietly withdrawn with the explanation that it was just one point of view open for discussion. To often I've heard sermons with Plentycostalist views and I've even seen some of our church widows in tears talking to their Adventist preachers saying they can't meet their bills and couldn't afford to give more this really happened than the tithe being paid from their pension and a very small offering. They were told to have faith and give anyway.
These kinds of positions are nothing but greed and leave me disgusted. I often wonder why this is so. I would love to see some masters or doctoral student do a survey on this question. Either way, seeing honest individuals who pay a faithful tithe on Gross or Net income and who care for those in need are a great witness and example to others. Thank you for your response and testimony on faithfulness. Brian most of the comments so far are about how and how much tithe is, or should be given. I believe it is a personal choice, not a matter of someone else's belief.
Some have also opted to give a freewill offering instead. Do you think that God is disappointed by the way an offering is labeled? We were given freedom of choice when we were created. The text from Matthew , is quoted often also when the subject of tithe is mentioned. Paul, "there is a way that seems right unto a man We are to serve the Lord with "all Though many have made this subject confusing, we have the Word of God and the promise that it will be made plain to us IF we are seeking with all our heart to understand the will of the Lord concerning our lives.
The only choice we have been given is whom will we serve? God or self are the only options. God has made clear His requirements for faithfulness, but leaves the choice to us whether or not we will obey and serve the Lord. Malachi will soon be fulfilled. What if you have "auto payment" for your utilities, services and perhaps loans, etc, and it is taken out before you access your money?
Does this lower your "increase"? Or, are these utilities, services and goods the loan was for considered increases as well? Concerning taxes, do they pay for anything you benefit from, such as law enforcement, roads, protection from enemies military etc? Are these increases? How would one drive to work if they didn't help pay for a road to drive on, or the snow plow to clear it after a storm?
I'm not arguing gross vs net as much as I am extending your logic to other instances. Where do we draw the line concerning what has brought us increase? Perhaps our greatest need is to understand what the will of the Lord is Eph and know it for ourselves. Is this possible, or do we need letters from the conference or doctoral papers to define our duty to God? Is this knowledge beyond the grasp of the common man? Or do we have "exceeding great and precious promises" and need not walk in darkness, relying on other men to define duty for the servant of God?
I would also suggest that the great percentage not returning God's tithe are ignorant of His goodness that leads one to repentance of, say, robbing Him. How sad that they are "members" of the church while remaining ignorant of these things. You have a choice on whether or not you want to set up your check on autopay or even whether or not you want to have utilities.
You don't have to have electricity or running water. Many Amish live without those things. Unless you own a business, electricity and running water are not a part of your profit calculation. If you are a business, then yes it is. The Bible does not teach that a person running a business had to pay tithe on a loss. That person paid tithe on increase. You grew more grain or you had more cattle, you paid tithe on it.
And tithe only became mandatory after the Aaron priesthood was instituted. Under the Melchizadek priesthood it was voluntary. Your question is an interesting one, but as you've pointed out in your example, I chose to have the utilities deducted, therefore these funds were under my stewardship. This isn't true of taxed monies. Your second point is that in return for taxation I might gain some incidental benefit. It is also true that the money might go to things that are harmful to my interests or which my conscience is opposed i. Just because someone takes my money and a later action happens to incidentally benefit me, doesn't mean that I had stewardship of these funds at any point.
As I understand the principle, tithing is to be done on the increase of which I am a steward, not on the increase under the stewardship of others. I would also agree that whether you tithe the gross or net increase, I do wish that more members would settle this principle for themselves and return an honest tithe and free will offering to support the preaching of the gospel. Those who die without hearing the word preached, because of our negligence or personal greed, are our responsibility and we are answerable for what we refused to do, just as much as we are answerable for what we did do.
Adventists used to be known as a people of the book, but I doubt many do daily bible reading, or personal study on questions of faith and obedience. I know I didn't for many years and I've come to regret the time I could have put to better use. As to this question of gross. This is a guide that can never fail. Brian, do you deduct the tithe from your "increase"? Like taxes, you have no stewardship over those funds. Just because you agree with what tithe is used for doesn't change the fact you have no say over it.
If you make nothing, you pay no income taxes. If you make more, you pay more taxes in some tax brackets , as you do with tithe. Do you deduct sales tax? Taxes are what you, the wage earner, pays for what that government you voted for, provides for you and the society where you work to earn your increase. Not sure how you can change the rules simply because you cannot have your taxes spent as you wish. Tithe is really no different, and is based on your increase before you return the tithe. From you increase, you return to God and to Caesar, based on that increase. Or is our increase deductible where Caesar is concerned?
I'm only bringing up this because I'm not that sure myself and have never really considered this question before. Years ago our household income was received and brought home first, with the gross indicated. Now it's auto deposit with only the net amount indicated. We used to pay on the gross and as a result never tithed the tax return, having tithed it already. Now we tithe our tax returns. I'm wondering now if we should request to know the gross pay. Instructions to give in new testament is give freely not under compulsion tithes was a old testament principal. Scripture says we no longer under the law but under grace why when it comes to giving we back under the law.
The only PPL that gave a tithe was farmers they produced from the land. Fishermen construction workers diamond cutters garment workers won't eligible to tithe only fruit and vegetables. Donovan, In the New Testament Jesus says we should tithe. Matthew NLT. Nothing changed from Old to New Testament regarding tithe. It was supposed to be given cheerfully and willingly in both Old and New Testaments. Brian: I see those payroll deductions as bills you would have to pay regardless of whether they are taken from your paycheck, or paid by your personal check after your paycheck was deposited.
They are debts you owe for the privilege of working and living in this country. Thank you for your thoughtful reply Leilani. It is clear we both agree this is a question of honest stewardship.