There are two major reasons people give in their defense against paying tithe. The first is that it is an Old Testament practice. The second is that there is no record of it as a New Testament practice.
Both arguments are wrong.
Let’s look at some New Testament scriptures that point to the relevance of tithe in the New Testament.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone”.
Notice he did NOT say they should stop the payment of tithe. NEITHER did the Lord say that the New Testament principles (of mercy, justice and faith) that He was sharing had replaced the ‘Old Testament’ Law.
Each time the Lord Jesus taught the people from the Old Testament, He never failed to tell them what was still relevant to the New Testament and what was now obsolete. So, if tithe was obsolete and inconsequential to the New Testament, He would have said so.
For instance when He gave instructions concerning divorce (Matthew 19:8-9) He pointed out that under the New Testament, divorce is not acceptable nor excusable in God’s eye except in the case of adultery unlike in the Old Testament where divorce was acceptable under various circumstances.
Another example is where the Lord spoke up against the Old TESTAMENT doctrine of ‘revenge’ (Matthew 5:38) the Lord said, an “eye for an eye” is not a principle of grace but of vengeance, so instead of revenge He taught us forgiveness.
I still hear people argue that this is the only place tithe was mentioned in the New Testament. This argument is used to point out that no New Testament church practiced it. But that is so, so wrong. Let us take another scripture from the New Testament and breakdown the message.
In the Book of Hebrews, we are introduced to two orders of priesthood; in the Old Testament priesthood, they had priests in the order of Aaron but in the New Testament, our priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek (See Hebrews 7:11). Even Jesus was made our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:6.
Now, let’s go to Hebrews 7 and see if both priesthoods collect(ed) tithes or not:
“4 Now consider how great this man [Melchizedek] was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;
6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.
8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.
9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak,
10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him”.
You see? Both priesthoods collect tithes. Melchizedek collected tithe from Abraham and according to the wordings of verse 8, it has now become a pattern:
8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he RECEIVES them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.
Note that it says “receives” not ‘received’. If it was merely stated that tithe was ‘received’ in the past tense then it would be a one-time thing, but it says “receives” which is a present continuous tense. That means tithing under the Melchizedek priesthood is a continuous principle of faith.
I don’t want to go into that silly debate of whether it should be hundred percent of ten percent. That can really be annoying.
However, I must admonish all concerned; remember that “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). If you don’t believe, don’t bother paying the tithe. Whether your tithe is under the Aaronic order or the order of Melchizedek is not determined by the size of your tithe or if your tithe is crop based or cash based, but by your faith. If you don’t believe and just choose to give it out of obligation, you have reverted to the law, but if you truly believe, then it will be acceptable unto God, a sweet-smelling savour, well pleasing to God.
Put your faith in God and pay your tithe. God bless you.