With this “sorta sounds like” argument, we have pro-tithers trying their best to have us suspend disbelief, and identify Paul’s writings as not actually speaking about a tithe, but as “having a similarity” to Old Covenant Scriptures that (almost) refer to the tithe. The idea is that Paul is not really talking about what he is saying, but is instead, once again, talking about tithing by using words that actually mean something other than what they say. Let’s take a look.
In this case a preacher would quote something like Acts 11:29-30 “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”
Or 1Corinthians 16:2 – ” Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
These both refer to a situation in which Paul was directing a collection effort aimed at providing food and necessities for the destitute brethren in Jerusalem.
The preacher points out how the language in that verse is “practically identical” to the “tithing” language in Deuteronomy 16:16-17 “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.”
The preacher’s conclusion is that Paul did not bother to use the word “tithe” because he was employing obvious “tithe language”. The preacher reasons that these people almost certainly knew that Paul was talking about the tithe because the Corinthians spoke Greek, and the Septuagint was written in Greek, so there you go and Bob’s your uncle; What more connection could you want?
The fact is, however, that these people were practically all pagans and knew no more about the Septuagint, than Christians today know about the Bhagavad-Gita. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that these people automatically made a mental connection between Paul’s request for donations, and a Levitical tithe.
In a similar instance, the preacher would compare this verse to something like Deuteronomy 16:10 “And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee” or 16:17 “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”
These two scriptures are also talking about a feast day offering. So it is willful, voluntary giving that is the subject here, and not a tithe.
According to the alleged logic, some people brought their offerings to the feast day events, and other people brought their tithes to these events as well. Therefore it is “obvious” that when Paul is describing freewill offerings in 1Corinthians 16 he is really surreptitiously talking about tithes. That is because, they say, since both tithes and offerings were taking place at the same Old Covenant feast day event, that fact apparently makes the two activities synonymous with each other in the mind of the pro-tithe preacher. They make this claim, notwithstanding the fact that tithing is not mentioned anywhere near Deuteronomy 16, or any other scripture that they bring up to support their “kinda, sorta, sounds like” argument.
|“Keep in mind that Paul does not refer to any Old Covenant verse in this scripture at all; he is simply asking for donations to the cause of helping starving Christians.”|
The preacher then rationalizes something like this: “Notice how Paul’s words ‘as he may prosper’ is nearly identical to ‘give as he is able’ or ‘according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee’. Therefore Paul was clearly referring back to the Old Testament Law of tithing when he used ‘tithe language’ like this”.
So therefore, according to the pro-tithe myth, Paul is obviously teaching the validity of a tithe by using secret code words that really mean tithe, but do not actually say “tithe” or even describe the act of tithing.
Let me rephrase this argument from the pro-tithe point of view, but in a realistic manner:
- Paul’s secret code words are used in a context and situation which specifically describes freewill giving and not tithing.
- In the process of doing so he uses words that have only a vague similarity, if any, to an Old Covenant scripture from Deuteronomy which also described freewill giving at a feast day event, and which also has no mention of a tithe.
- The freewill giving referred to, took place at an event where tithing as a separate and unrelated occurrence was probably but not necessarily taking place. (Just as animal sacrifices were. – my comment)
- By doing this, Paul supposedly provides the nexus of evidence that he is very cleverly teaching the Levitical tithe to these Greek pagans through an esoteric means of subtle inferences that no one but a mind-reader would catch wind of.
This is a sub-rosa manner of teaching in which the pagans would have had to have had a very thorough, intimate knowledge of Old Covenant scriptures and feast events to even have a clue as to what Paul might have been secretly talking about, let alone having the paranormal ability required to make the mental leap that the tithe was the real subject waiting for them at the end of this rainbow.
This pro-tithe position requires us to assume that Paul had gone totally mad just before he wrote 1Corinthians 16, but then recovered his senses by the time he got to verse 17.
Paul was the Apostle to the ten-tribed disporia, don’t forget; the gentiles (Eph 3:18). These were pagans that Paul was talking to, which was Paul’s primary, if not exclusive mission. What would those people know or care about Judean religious history or culture? So this begs the question: Why would Paul make vague references to a foreign religious practice of freewill giving, in order to remind his audience of another unmentioned foreign practice of Levitical tithing, of which these pagans had no knowledge in the first place?
The answer is: He didn’t. The whole absurd scenario is made up by pro-tithe preachers for the purpose of gaining wealth for themselves.
This whole pro-tithe line of thinking that pagans intuitively latched on to a tithe inference about a generally unfamiliar foreign religion is totally intellectually indefensible. I mean, think about it: We have the Old Covenant and the New, all bound into one Bible, all in English and often cross-referenced. With all these advantages, we still cannot honestly make any of the connections that the tithe promoters try to foist upon their listeners. So how could we expect the pagans of Greece to make any sense of Paul’s allegedly cryptic, secret-code-word-laced messages, if that was in fact the case?
And what are some of the code words that Paul used about other subjects? If he supposedly used esoteric meanings about the tithe, he must have used them when talking about other subjects as well; right? Or is the tithe subject the one and only topic that Paul ran through the message scrambler before it was sent out?
Keep in mind that Paul does not refer to any Old Covenant verse in this scripture at all; he is simply asking for donations to the cause of helping starving Christians. It is the pro-tithers who have created this thought of a “similarity” and inserted it into the context of Paul’s writings. Since they could not even find Old Covenant tithe scriptures to suit their purposes, the Old Covenant scriptures on willful giving quoted above are the closest thing they could come up with, and they made up the difference with pure, unmitigated deception.
The same pro-tithe preacher also approaches 2Corinthians 8:8 through the end of chapter nine: he says that while these two chapters “could” be talking about freewill giving, Paul is instead primarily talking about a tithe because of the “tithe language” in 2Corinthians 8:12 “…it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
According to the tale, Paul’s “tithe language” comes right from Deuteronomy 16:17 “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.”
So, what can I say? There’s really nothing for us to discuss here because Deuteronomy 16 is talking about feast-time offerings, not tithe. There is no tithe mentioned in the entire chapter. Not even a “poor tithe”. Both the Old and New Covenant scriptures that pro-tithers compare are talking about voluntary, self-determined, freewill giving. The tithe aspect does not exist in either scripture.
The concept of a tithe is totally contrived, and inserted into the context by the pro-tithers; coming right out of left field like Planet X appearing out of another dimension – the preacher just plain made it up as an excuse to have the illusion of another “New Covenant tithe scripture” in place, because they cannot find valid scriptures to support a legitimate, intelligent argument.
In case you missed it, allow me to repeat:
- Paul is instructing freewill giving, not tithing, and he does not reference any Old Covenant scripture in doing so.
- The Old Covenant scriptures selected and linked to First and Second Corinthians are done so by the pro-tithe promoters only, not by Paul.
- The Old Covenant scriptures that they identify are not speaking about a tithe at all; they clearly describe freewill giving.
- The concept of a tithe or “tithe language” existing anywhere in the New Covenant is entirely, entirely made up and inserted into those scriptures and force-fed to the listeners through pre-meditated preacher-babel deception.
Ephesians 5:6 ” Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
Colossians 2:4 “I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.”
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
But wait, there’s more…
Leaving no truffle unsnuffled, the preacher continues with 1Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
The preacher specifically calls attention to the word “store” in that verse, and explains how that is translated from Strongs #2343, which is derived from #2344, which means “a deposit; wealth, either literally or figuratively”.
According to the preacher it is “perhaps” a reference to “storehousing”, and the revealing and astonishing thing is – #2344 is the same word used in the Septuagint version of Malachi 3:10 “storehouse”. Of course we know that Malachi was talking about filling the storehouse with tithed stuff.
That preacher’s point apparently is that this word “store”, (which is not really the word we should be dealing with, but is actually derived from the word which) means “a deposit of literal or figurative wealth”, and that this word is exclusively reserved for any discussion of the tithe, simply because this preacher says so.
The fact that The Septuagint uses this word #2344 in Malachi is a confirmation that food was considered a form of wealth, and that the context of scriptures referring to “wages” or “payment” did not necessarily mean that they were talking about money.
As a side note: Researching words in Strong’s Concordance can be very beneficial to understanding what is being said. However, any time someone treats a word as if it has the same meaning as the word that it is derived from – beware: your Spidey-sense should begin to tingle. Different words are different for a purpose. Different words have different meanings – sometimes vastly different than the word they are derived from. If the scripture writers had wanted to use the parent word instead of the word that they chose, they would have written that word instead of the word they chose. The word-switching technique used in this case is a very common means of scriptural diversion and deception.
In this case the difference in the two different words is not a big issue. The chicanery comes from switching the words for the purpose of creating a fictional connection between 1Corinthians 16:2 and Malachi 3:10 to give the illusion of some kind of tithe inference by Paul.
Not yet finished, this same pro-tither points out 2Corinthians 9:7-11 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”
As we can see in clear, plain language, Paul is speaking about having a sufficiency of material goods remaining even after the freewill giving has taken place. That is, having enough to get by on and thrive; not giving with the intent of somehow getting back much more than you gave. Paul also speaks of spiritual blessings and glory to God.
Nevertheless, the pro-tither emphasizes that this is “essentially the same language” as Malachi 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
This scripture is commonly portrayed by pro-tithers as meaning “oodles and oodles of wealth”, which is an entirely different concept than what Paul was talking about.
Since Malachi is referencing the tithe, the outcome-based tithe logic continues that Paul’s “tithe language” therefore affirms that he was talking about tithing in these two chapters as well, simply because he used the word “store”. This claim is made, notwithstanding the fact that this scripture is clearly describing freewill giving to those in need. They also seem to assume as fact the notion that the only way that a person can gain a material blessing is by tithing, not through generosity to others.
This is another example of how they constantly intertwine the tithe misnomer with freewill giving scriptures in an effort to deliberately destroy the distinction that scripture places between the two.
The pro-tithe line of thinking about Paul’s assumed crypto-tithe writings ignores the facts of what the scriptures themselves say when they quote them.
This far-fetched, silly attempt appears to be a desperate effort to make connections that are not there; not even close to being there. It is bizarre, but not surprising.
It is a strange technique that does not appear to be applied to any subject other than the tithe. That preacher is not alone in using this “similar language” tactic. It is misused multiple times in the pro-tithe campaign; too many times for it to be an accident or well-intentioned error. These are a few of the various pro-tithe talking points that become memes because they are used, re-used, circulated, and recycled over and over again by the tithe promoters.
For example something like “Malachi 3:10 ‘sounds a lot like’ Isaiah 62:14 and ‘much like’ Deuteronomy 28, and we all know that the blessings and cursing of that chapter are still valid, ‘so therefore it stands to reason’ that the tithe is still valid as well”.
Yet another example is 2Chronicles 31:4 “Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.”
This supposedly kinda, sorta, sounds like Acts 6:2-4 “Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
The preacher, in a “fete accompli” tactic (pretending that his assertion is an accomplished fact) concludes that the connection between these scriptures “demand” that New Covenant preachers be paid.
The world is full of demands I guess, anything to get their knickers in a twist; but these scriptures are not demanding anything. They are simply stating what happened in two entirely unrelated stories. The only “demand” that I see here is from the preacher for you to shut down your brain while they fabricate a connection that is so inane it could be debunked by a home-schooled third grader.
As a side note: A well established piece of knowledge is that those who allow nonsense into their minds, increase their own nonsensicality. It is said that you are the average of the five people that you surround yourself with the most. Your preacher, good or bad, becomes part of who you are. 1Corinthians 15:33 “Bad company corrupts good morals”.
Anyone listening to, and accepting this “similar language” absurdity is getting their common sense sucked right out of their minds in weekly increments with asinine preaching such as this.
“You can fool some of the people all of the time – and those are the ones that you want to concentrate on” – attributed to G.W. Bush
The Grown-Ups’ View
Contrary to the preacher’s “kinda, sorta, sounds like” conclusion, the reality is that Second Chronicles 31:4 is talking about food only, and for Levites only. This was just as it should be and as God had directed. Levites with their basic nutritional needs met, and they could then operate the temple and teach God’s Law. What else would we expect? That’s exactly what the tithe was meant for.
Acts 6:2-4 on the other hand, is talking about a case of leading by example, delegating authority, and assigning volunteers to help with some of the more mundane works of charity. Look at what this scripture is telling us: The Apostles were personally serving in some kind of soup kitchen for the poor; which was one of the basic activities of their movement – helping others in need. They could not handle the workload themselves, so they did the logical thing and had others carry on with these efforts while the Apostles did other things that required their personal attention. This only makes sense.
Second Chronicles 31:4 and Acts 6:2-4 are two totally different situations. In one, we have people tithing food (basic sustenance) so the Levites could study and teach; in the other we have Apostles learning to manage their time, while they train up new leaders by starting them with food service duties; expecting no one to do anything that they themselves would not do.
But according to pro-tithers, we are supposed to believe that Peter was looking for money in Acts 6; tithe money to be precise. The mental connection we are supposed to make is that if Peter was looking for money, then it must be OK for your preacher chase a buck as well.
It is a case of a person of low moral character slandering a person of upright character (the Apostle Peter), in order to justify the immoral lifestyle of the slanderer.
The problem for the pro-tithe slanderers however, is that neither scripture is talking about money at all, and with absolutely no implications of a tithe in any form in Acts. Their “kinda, sorta sounds like” allegation connecting Peter’s
desired conclusion.” bogus evidence in support of a pre-meditated effort to create “Instead it took a deliberate, request for volunteer help, to a scripture about tithe for Levites is once again, absolute fiction and deception.
The Power of Association
This argument of theirs is another case of pro-tithe preachers taking a great Biblical figure, in this case Peter, and attempting to associate their unclean tithe doctrine with him; hoping that some of his legitimacy will somehow rub off onto their illegitimate program. This is a common propaganda and advertising technique. In this case it is kind of like using Einstein’s image, not to sell Apple computers, but instead using it to promote Nuttie-Fuddies or Coco-Puffs.
These “kinda, sorta, sounds like” examples expose some of the fanciful pro-tithe mindset and what they consider “valid reasoning” as to why people should tithe. This type of faux deduction process may fly with some listeners, but only until an adult enters the room and shows it for what it is.
When the magic of professional presentation and oratorical devices are stripped away, and the concept is explained in plain black and white on paper, the kinda, sorta sounds like idea looks exactly like what it is. You can call it nonsense, hogwash, or perhaps predatory deception; call it what you will, just do not call it anything even close to the truth, or integrity, or honest preaching.
|“Instead it took a deliberate, pre-meditated effort to create bogus evidence in support of a desired conclusion.“|
Leviticus 19:29 19:11 “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another”.
First Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.”
First Corinthians 4:6 “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.”
That is a perfect description of preachers and how they split off from each other, thus dividing the Body of Christ based on their own personal little dogmas based on faulty reasoning.
First Corinthians 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God For it is written, ‘He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness’ ”.
First Corinthians 1:19 “For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’ ” (from Isaiah 29:14)
OK, OK, so these pro-tithers are not really clever, or wise, or crafty, because their efforts are so obvious and childishly done. The point is that they apparently try their best to be clever in their deceptive efforts to convince you to fund them and to persuade you to believe their various self-made doctrines.
They also do their best to be crafty, and in my opinion they are also adding to God’s Word and exceeding what is written when they play these base little manipulated word games and fizzled attempts at spell casting; i.e. making connections that do not exist; telling you that scripture says something that it does not say. It appears that these tithe promoters are not only false teachers, but they also make incompetent villains.
Considering the fact that not only is the tithe a specific amount of ten percent and that it was also a mandatory obligation, and considering that neither of these characteristics of the Law can be found in New Covenant writings; this sounds sorta similar doctrine was not a natural conclusion to come to. Instead it took a deliberate, pre-meditated effort to create bogus evidence out of thin air in support of a desired conclusion. All of this taking place when honest scriptural evidence that contradicts their conclusion could readily be found, but was ignored.
As they say: “A truth untold is a lie”. In this case I will have to coin my own phrase to state the obvious: A lie told is a lie.
For instance, why did the preacher ignore 1Corinthians 9:7 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;”? This indicates the same type of willful giving language as that which was also used in Exodus 35:5, 21-26,29; Ezra 2:68-69; and 1Chronicles 29:3-9. They are all clearly non-tithe. It appears that the pro-tithe preacher wanted to conceal or obfuscate as much as possible the freewill giving message that Paul was expressing. This evidence shoots down in flames any theory that Paul was talking about a tithe here at all.
Attempted Cleverness vs. Accomplished Fact
Let’s take a responsible look at those same scriptures that are claimed to kinda, sorta sound like something else. When we read Acts 11:29 and 1Corinthians 16:2 and their alleged similar language stated above, we see that Paul is looking for donations, and basically saying “give what you can spare”.
What is Paul supposed to say – “Give us what you can’t spare”? “Give us what you don’t have”? “Give us some of your decrease?”
Anything Paul would have said along the lines of “give what you can afford” could be taken by tithe promoters as being “very similar language” to the “give as he is able”, or “according to how you’ve been blessed” willful giving quotes from Deuteronomy.
These two scriptures sound similar because both Paul’s writings and Deuteronomy 16 are talking about the same basic thing – freewill giving. They are not talking about tithe at all, which is plain to see to anyone with a 5th grade reading comprehension. The preacher goes on and on about how the two scriptures use “tithe language”, when in fact neither scripture has anything to do with tithing. Yet, he claims they are proof of a New Covenant tithe.
Looking at Deuteronomy 16:10-17
“And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.
Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
These verses state 4 basic things:
- They were to bring freewill offerings (of food items) for The Lord to the feast day event in amounts proportional to what they could afford to do.
- They put it all together into a big pot-luck kitty from which both rich and poor could partake and enjoy the event equally.
- They were to do this at the three designated feast days per year.
- There is no tithe involved in these instructions at all.
Willful giving that this scripture describes is not the same as tithing. The pro-tithers know this, but do their best to blur the lines between the two, and use the confusion to their advantage. The “poor tithe” mentioned earlier is separate and apart from the activity spoken of here.
Pro tithers then make patently false statements about Paul’s references to freewill generosity or to any kind of support for Paul as being the result of “tithing”, when scripture never says any such thing. In other words preachers who use this tactic are flat-out lying to their listeners.
The obvious question here is: If the tithe was still valid in Paul’s time as pro-tithers say, then why did he have to beat around the bush like he did to solicit donations, when he could have quoted the old tithe law and collected 10% of everyone’s incomes whether they liked it or not, and that would be that?
|“…it is not “being forced to willingly give”, which is a pro-tithe oxymoron that describes tithing.”|
Likewise with the presumed storehouse connection that they claim links Paul’s New Covenant instructions to Old Covenant tithe law. The connection is non-existent except in the most reckless of imaginations.
That word “store” has a very wide, general application. I am sure people held items for use at a later date all the time back in the first century just as they do today. People today store aluminum cans for example, all the time, until they have them recycled. So is aluminum recycling a reference to the storehouse concept of Malachi 3:10 as well, just because they are saving or “storing” something? Do people “tithe” aluminum cans just because they once stored them? Of course not, but it makes about as much sense as this whole similar language hypothesis held by certain tithe promoters, but once again, it is typical for pro-tithers because fiction is all they have to work with. They have to do all kinds of fancy dancing with scriptures like this to make it look like their tithe doctrine fits with New Covenant statements that in reality indicate something entirely different.
It is a perfect example of why people get turned off to the Bible, Christianity, and God’s true Law, and why they dismiss your valid scriptural comments by saying “Oh, you can make the Bible say anything you want.” They will be proven right in their skepticism if this similar language nonsense is ever accepted or taken seriously.
Acts 11:29 and Romans 15:26 & 27 refer to that same collection situation that Paul was talking about in 1Corinthians 16:2, as does 2Corinthians 9:1-8, which clarifies Paul’s meaning. For the sake of efficiency he wanted things organized and ready to go when the carts came around for collection. That is all. It is not some secretly-worded instructions to tithe that only preachers can see and decipher.
Paul states in verses 5-7: “Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift [not tithe] beforehand which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Do you see a single word in that scripture that can be identified as having to do with tithe (which was an obligation and a necessity) or a tenth of anything, as the pro-tithers claim? Paul is asking for freewill donations in amounts to be determined by the sole discretion of the giver.
Once again, a straightforward reading of scripture explains itself by what it says. Forget the speculation of supposedly secret meanings; Paul would not have to encourage generosity if he were enforcing a tithe. The people were not “playing God” by deciding for themselves how much to give, as Paul asked them to do, even if it was not the magical 10% figure that tithe promoters say it must be.
Romans 15:27 defines an expectation and blessing of giving, whatever the amount. It is more like a “we are our brother’s keeper” idea. It was giving, but giving in the right spirit. It is not “being forced to willingly give”, which is a pro-tithe oxymoron that describes tithing. Those people were looking for an opportunity to give to others in need, because they knew of the blessings of giving to God, and they knew the scriptural way of accomplishing that goal. It had nothing to do with tithing at all