Tithing according to Malachi


#1

Hi everybody,

I would like to get some opinions about the practice of taking Malachi’s exhortation on tithing literally:

"8 Dare a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me! And you say, “How do we rob you?” In tithes and in offerings!
9 You are indeed accursed, for you, the whole nation, rob me.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house, and try me in this, says the LORD of hosts: Shall I not open for you the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing upon you without measure? "

Our Parish priest is “stuck” on these three verses. With regularity, he refers to them, and takes them literally. He has preached that if given the choice of paying your rent or paying your tithe, you must pay your tithe. In the same sermon, he also said that if you don’t tithe, then you should not receive the Eucharist.

I believe this is contrary to the message of the Gospel.

I welcome your opinions.

Br Mike


#2

It is also clearly contrary to Church teaching.

The Catechism outlines our obligations in the Precepts of the Church and in the area of stewardship. Talk to him one-on-one and have your church documents with you.

If he fails to acknowledge he is teaching inaccurately, then I suggets you notify the Bishop.


#3

Not Catholic teaching. And silly, to boot. If you don’t pay your rent, and end up out on the street, it is unlikely you’ll have any money for the collection basket.


#4

I wrote this article. Thus far I have been proud that the RCC does not teach tithing but there are quite a few rogue priests out there.

RELIGION NEWS SERVICE, March 7, 2007

Malachi 3:10 Has Been Misinterpreted

The “whole” tithe never was supposed to go to the Temple! According to Dr. Russell Earl Kelly in his book, Should the Church Teach Tithing?, the usual interpretation of Malachi 3:10’s “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” is wrong for three reasons.

First, the Levitical cities must be included. God never told ordinary Israelites to bring the whole tithe to the Temple in Jerusalem. According to Nehemiah 10:38 that duty belonged to the Levites and priests. The Levites lived on borrowed land surrounding 48 cities. After the exile they lived in the 13 priestly cities in Judah such as Jericho and Hebron. Nehemiah 10:37b makes it clear that the people were to bring the tithes to those cities. Numb 18:21-24; 35 all; Josh 20, 21; 1st Chron 6:48-80; 2nd Chron 11:13, 14; 31:15-19; Neh 12:27-29; 13:10 and Mal 1:14.

Second, the correct interpretation of Malachi 3:10 must include the 24 courses of the Levites and priests. Only the older males ate tithes at the Temple and then normally only one week out of 24 weeks! Do the math! That is only 4% of the total work force! And with the wives and younger children staying at home it is only 2% of the total work force who needed to eat tithes in the Temple! 1 Chronicles, chapters 23-26; 28:13, 21; 2 Chron. 8:14; 23:8; 31:2, 15-19; 35:4, 5, 10; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 11:19, 30; 12:24; 13:9, 10; Luke 1:5.

Third, the word “you” of Malachi is referring to the dishonest priests and not the people: “Even this whole nation of you --priests.” In Nehemiah 13:5-10 the priests had clearly stolen the Levites’ portion of the tithe. Also, in Malachi 1:14 the priests had stolen that portion of the tithed animals which they had vowed to God from their herds. Read all of Malachi. God’s anger towards the priests and His curses on them are ignored by most interpreters (1:14; 2:2 and 3:2-4).

When the Levitical cities, the 24 courses and God’s anger towards the priests for stealing are considered, then Malachi 3:10 only makes sense when it only refers to priests who had stolen from God. Proof-text hermeneutics cause error.

It makes no sense to tell the people to bring 100% of the tithe to the Temple when 98% of those who needed it for food were still in the Levitical cities.

It is strange that the 3:10 of Malachi is so important It is while the 3:10 of Galatians and 2nd Corinthians are ignored. Perhaps those wanting to enforce the 3:10 of Malachi should also enforce the 3:10 of Numbers. Wow! Now that would lose members.


#5

When I read Malachi, I read the lack of adherence to the Law of God by the Israelites. Marriage is no longer honored as spouses break faith with one another. The Israelites are not giving proper honor to God within their lives. There are a number of parrellels to life today by those of us who claim to love God.
Jesus used as an example to follow the woman who gave her last mite to the temple. Our attitude should be one of serving God, of giving him everything that we have.
In his epistle, St. Paul talks about the generosity of the Church but also advises against impoverishing oneself.
Our tithe is a matter of giving God our first fruits, the best of what we have to offer.
My brother once told me of belonging to a tithing church. Each parishioner was asked to give 5% of his/her income to the church. The second 5% was to be given to a charity of choice, to God’s people in need. In turn the church tithed 5% to the diocese and 5% to those causes that generally come up as a second collections. There were no more second collections.
I liked the idea and it is one I try to follow. It also fit in with a suggestion made by one of my pastors to give one hour’s pay to the upkeep of the parish each week. In a forty hour work week, one hour’s pay approximates 5%.
The Old Testament is not made void by the New. Rather it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.


#6

““Our tithe is a matter of giving God our first fruits, the best of what we have to offer.””

Sounds good and I applaud the church for the 5% scheme although not biblical. However tithes and firstfruits are no the same thing. “First” means “first” and “tithe” means “tenth.”

According to Duteronomy 26:1-10 firstfruts were extrremely small token offerings which would fit into a small hand-held basket. That is hardly a tithe.

According to Leviticus 27:30-33 the tithe was the tenth, not the first, And it was not necessarily even the BEST; it was the tenth.

We must call things what the Bible calle them.

In the OT the poor did not tithe. Only the landowners and herdsmen were required to tithe that which God mirculously increased.

In the NT the Church is never told to tithe after Calvary. We are told to give from the heart, sacrificially, to best of our ability.

May God bless.


#7

did the Catholic Church have tithes?


#8

Yes


#9

is it a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church or just a law or an obligation of the faithful. Secondly, what is the stand of the Church concerning the abuses of tithes not just in the church I belong but also the Roman Catholic Church.:slight_smile:


#10

I’m not sure what you are asking here.

No one checks to see if a person tithes. That is between them and God.

What abuses of tithes?


#11

The Catholic Church does not officially teach tithign today although many of its organizations and priests do teach tithing. During the Middle Ages when the Church owned a lot of land in Europe it required a tithe of frood from those who lived on and worked its land. That was proper. Later there seferal popes who required that churches titeh the value of church property to higher echelons.

Malachi 3:10 has been abused mostly by Protestants but is beginnig to be abused by a lot of priests also. If the specific response to Malachi 3:10 below does not answer your question. please go to my web site for a greatly expanded commentary on Malachi at www.tithing-russkelly.com.

Malachi 3:10 Has Been Misinterpreted

The “whole” tithe never was supposed to go to the Temple! According to Dr. Russell Earl Kelly in his book, Should the Church Teach Tithing?, the usual interpretation of Malachi 3:10’s “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” is wrong for four reasons.

First, the Levitical cities must be included. God never told ordinary Israelites to bring the whole tithe to the Temple in Jerusalem. According to Nehemiah 10:38, that duty belonged to the Levites and priests. The Levites lived on borrowed land surrounding 48 cities. After the exile they lived in the 13 priestly cities in Judah such as Jericho and Hebron. Nehemiah 10:37b makes it clear that the people were to bring the tithes to those cities. Numb 18:21-24; 35 all; Josh 20, 21; 1st Chron 6:48-80; 2nd Chron 11:13, 14; 31:15-19; Neh 12:27-29; 13:10 and Mal 1:14.

Second, the correct interpretation of Malachi 3:10 must include the 24 courses of the Levites and priests. Only the older males ate tithes at the Temple and then normally only one week out of 24 weeks! Do the math! That is only 4% of the total work force! And with the wives and younger children staying at home it is only 2% of the total work force who needed to eat tithes in the Temple! 1 Chronicles, chapters 23-26; 28:13, 21; 2 Chron. 8:14; 23:8; 31:2, 15-19; 35:4, 5, 10; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 11:19, 30; 12:24; 13:9, 10; Luke 1:5.

Third, the word “you” of Malachi is referring to the dishonest priests and not the people: “Even this whole nation of you --priests.” In Nehemiah 13:5-10 the priests had clearly stolen the Levites’ portion of the tithe. Also, in Malachi 1:14 the priests had stolen that portion of the tithed animals which they had vowed to God from their herds. Read all of Malachi. God’s anger towards the priests and His curses on them are ignored by most interpreters (1:14; 2:2 and 3:2-4).

Fourth, the blessings and curses of tithing are identical to those of the entire Mosaic Law and cannot legitimately be separated from them. Read all of Deuteronomy 27 and 28, especially 28:12 “The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand” and 28:23-24 “And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” Compare this with Galatians 3:10 quoting 28:26 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Trying to earn God’s blessings through tithing only brings curses for failure to keep all of the law. These were agreed to by Malachi’s audience in Nehemiah 10:29.
When the Levitical cities, the 24 courses, the nature of the blessings and curses and God’s anger towards the priests for stealing are considered, then Malachi 3:10 only makes sense when it only refers to priests who had stolen from God.

It makes no sense to tell the people to bring 100% of the tithe to the Temple when 98% of those who needed it for food were still in the Levitical cities.

It is strange that the 3:10 of Malachi is so important It is while the 3:10 of Galatians and 2nd Corinthians are ignored. Perhaps those wanting to enforce the 3:10 of Malachi should also enforce the 3:10 of Numbers. Wow! Now that would lose members.

2 Cor 3:10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. NASU [Old vs. New Covenant glory]

Since every believer is a NT priest and since the NT Temple is the body of every believer, the purpose of OT tithing has disappeared. The Christian is never told to tithe. Many should give more than 10% but many of the poor cannot and God still accepts their freewill gift from the heart.


closed #12

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