“This pro-tithe argument goes like this: “The tithe is part of God’s Law, and since the New Testament does not specifically do away with tithing, it therefore is still valid for today.”
They will state that the non-tithers require the New Covenant to reaffirm the tithe is being valid in order for it to still be in effect, and then go on to compare this to how the law against bestiality is not reconfirmed in the New Covenant, and imply that non-tithers are in favor of bestiality. A little slander to help their cause, I guess.
A New Covenant re-affirmation or exemption certainly would be in order to a reasonable person, because the New Covenant (Hebrews) categorically eliminated the whole Levite/temple/sacrifice paradigm. So the sacrifices were eliminated, the veil of the temple was ripped in half, symbolically ending that whole religious program; the temple itself was totally destroyed, and the gold, silver, and bronze utensils and fixtures looted. Along with this process, the Levites’ special contract was ended, the Aaronite Priesthood became obsolete, and they assimilated into the rest of the Israelite population.
There was nothing left of that sacrificial system so we do not need the redundancy of a New Covenant statement specifically eliminating the tithe by name. We certainly do however, need an exemption for the tithe if it was not meant to be included in that fundamental change.
(This issue has nothing to do with the totally separate broad-brushing “Law has been done away with” doctrine that is still debated between Christian denominations and sects. That is the doctrine that seeks to minimize or eliminate all of God’s moral code known as “God’s Law”, not just the sacrificial instructions.)
The New Covenant does not specifically say “the tithe has been eliminated, don’t you dare ever pay it” as pro tithers would like to require in order for them to be convinced. But then, neither does scripture specifically annul every detail of the size, shape and wood type of the incense altar (Exodus 30:1-10) or the design and metal type of the wash basins and utensils of the temple. Nor does it say we must scrap the formula for the incense (Exodus 30:35-38), or the size and fabric of the temple veil (Exodus 26:1-14, 31-33), or any other of the many detailed instructions for temple infrastructure stated in Exodus, Leviticus, and elsewhere. That is because it does not have to.
I mean, if someone informed you that the Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean, what kind of idiot would then ask “Did the propeller sink with it?; You need to prove to me that the propeller sank with the Titanic, before I’ll accept that it’s gone.” “Did the coal shovels sink too?”, Did the dance floor sink as well? The news articles never told us that the dance floor sank with the ship, so I’m going to believe and preach that we can still dance on the Titanic’s dance floor”.As stated earlier in A Few Specifics, there are Laws and instructions that are exclusive to a single group of people, notably the Levites. So when Hebrews states words to the effect that the Levites were dismissed from their special status, and that the “veil was rent, top to bottom”; when we are told that the temple would be destroyed and that whole system would collapse into history, we know that the tithe goes right along with them all because it was just another instruction like those about the altar, the wash basins, the veil, and the incense. This is not a difficult concept to understand, unless someone deliberately wants to make it difficult.
The very foundation of the pro-tithe argument is absurd. When something is generally but definitely stated to be gone or eliminated, you can expect that everything that was attached to it is gone as well unless specifically excepted, such as “The Titanic sank, and all that is left are the lifeboats and a few floating deck chairs”.
So therefore if there are any exceptions to the New Covenant’s broad invalidation of the Old Covenant sacrificial system of rituals, temple, Levites, and tithe, then they would indeed need to be stated. This is true particularly in light of the fact that the issue of supporting God’s workers is addressed several times in the New Covenant, and in these instances, any idea of a tithe is notably absent. Instead, Christ clearly specified the pay for His workers as being the basic necessities of life.
To be reasonable, we would need a clear statement exempting the tithe from this obsolescence, and to provide instructions as to whom this new tithe should now go, since the Levitical position has been eliminated. Neither of these instructions can be found in any objective reality; nowhere but in the imaginary parallel universe created by hope and change of the pro-tithe crowd.
So once again in this “the tithe was not specifically eliminated” premise, we have a very shallow pro-tithe argument that simply has no merit and would not last a full minute in a live debate. Neither would the similar prevarication that “non-tithers have no arguments other than that the tithe is not mentioned in the New Testament”.
The fact is that the New Covenant bans all teachings that cannot be verified through scripture (i.e. false doctrines).
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive though philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
The tithe doctrine certainly fits every word of that description.