THE COLLECTIONS VERSUS THE TITHE (PART 1)
The continual discussion of the subject matter of the Tithe is important so long as unscriptural views of it are not only entertained, but made the bitter root of discord among believers. Truth ever prevails and error loses by honourable discussion.
For the past few weeks, this subject has been discussed in the light of relevant scriptural verses. The results and response to this discussion have been nothing but prolific seeing that this is a subject associated with much controversy especially in this present time of the Church.
Today, in very precise terms, I seek to establish the truth of God’s word that tithing is a principle much relevant in the New Testament. I will endeavour to do this through the ministry of Paul, the apostle, in the matters of church administration and the principle of the reward of the service of the tabernacle for the labourers in God’s house.
Ever before churches were established in the first century and the wake of the second century, Paul and the apostles of Jesus had already set forth the appropriate biblical pattern by which churches were to be administered. It is thus significant to comprehend the context of his epistolary conversations before raising questions concerning wages of the minister.
In 1 Corinthians 16, he writes concerning the “COLLECTION” for the saints: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, AS I HAVE GIVEN ORDER to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.”
Beloved, there is a set apostolic order defining the purpose of the collection for the saints. Before we proceed with this thought, it must be understood the Church of Corinth was a “Troubled Church”, and Paul’s epistle to them was to solve issues: In Chapters 1 to 7, he contrasts the carnal mind with the spiritual mind, as he speaks on matters of dissention, fornication and marriage. In chapter 8, he handles food offered to idols. In chapters 10 and 11, he handles the ordinances of baptism, communion and marriage. He proceeds the discussion to spiritual gifts in chapters 12-14, and then discusses the resurrection in chapter 15. Now, the matters of the collections and the wages are spoken of in chapters 9 and 16. The differences in the discussion of giving in these two chapters ought not to be mixed up.
In chapter 16, the apostle admonishes the church of Corinth that on the first day of the week, everyone was to lay in store as much as God had blessed him. These were FREEWILL OFFERINGS called the “collection”. Its purpose was vividly defined in scripture in several verses:
“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.” (Acts 11:29-30)
“For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.” (Romans 15:26)
Also read 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:1, 12; Galatians 2:10, and the whole of 1 Corinthians 16). To be continued ….