Love Puts Tithes to Death

I’ve long been interested in the various descriptions the Greeks had for love in all of its forms and have taken the time to consider the Biblical assessment of these various forms called eros love, storgay love, philos love, agape love and other derivations.

Interestingly, the love that God is, agape love, seems to be the kind or type of love that does not come naturally to us but is an option or choice we make, often on His behalf, toward Him and others.  In other words, agape love is really only chosen and exercised when it does NOT come to us naturally but instead is present when we choose to do something that is counter to our nature, will, view and opinions.  Agape love seems to be best defined by the words sacrifice, insufferable, and selfless – terms that clearly show that such a love comes at a price and that price is a death to self in order to bring life to others.

What is really fascinating about this kind or form of love is that is cannot possibly come about by or through compulsion.  John said it best when he wrote,

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1st John 4:18

I maintain that in the inner workings of the Spirit whose fruit is love, that fear, threats, demands, and compulsion must be eliminated for one person to make the choice to selflessly love another.  If there is a law or a threat or condition placed on people to love, with a negative consequence looming if someone chooses to not comply, then that love is marginalize, even bastardized, and the heart that God looks for to freely submit to Him is somehow tainted, even lost.  This is all a long way of saying that agape love cannot ever be forced, mandated or demanded.  It must always, for it to be present and operative in the most effectual manner, be freely chosen.  Agape love then, when a product of Law, is not openly opted for by believers who are under its demands, therefore what God want’s His children to choose become no choice at all – its merely obedience without heart, without soul, and will never bring souls into they state God wants to meet them.

In this light I want to talk for a moment about tithes in the faith today.

Anciently, tithes (one tenth) was a law given by YAHAVAH for the Nation of Israel to practice.  The reality is this practice was just the tip of the iceberg God gave to the Nation as they were required to give in several other ways which made 10% just the beginning of what He commanded from them.

In the age of Christians playing brick and mortar church, gentile pastors overseeing large congregations of believers have, for the most part, taught that the Law was nailed to Yeshua’s cross, that Sabbath-day observances are over, that we are all now saved by grace through faith and that the ways and demands of the former age are over – with the exception of asking for tithes!

The issues this word choice brings are as follows:

  1. It was a law.
  2. The Law brings death.
  3. We are dead to the Law and all of its demands.
  4. To impose Law on people saved by Christ’s righteousness is counterintuitive to the New Commandment that He left those who love Him – to love as He commanded.

Love is not possible when it is forced or governed by Law for the simple reason Love, for it to be real and from the heart, must be from a fearless choice, not a fear-based command. Think of it this way – suppose you are in a relationship and your spouse demands that you bring her flowers every day (or if male, he demands that  his wife rub his feet every day when he comes home for work). There is no choice in the matter – it is a spousal demand that must be met and if it is not then the spouse becomes very upset and almost impossible to live with. 

Some couple might be able to meet the respective demands for some period of time but in the end, the act of giving flowers or rubbing feet by mandate (because we fear the reaction of the spouse if we choose to resist these things) will turn to resentment, obligation, duty and ultimately to the very death of love. Why?  Because the Law brings death through the stripping away of choice and freewill.  But genuine sacrificial Love that is chosen brings all things to life!

When a pastor or religious institution uses, appeals to tithes (which again, means a specific percentage (10) and comes by mandated Law, people are stripped of their choice to give or not, and the Law will ultimately serve to make them –

  • Resentful
  • Judgmental
  • Servile

These are all conditions that are antithetical to the liberty the living God wants His creations to walk and abide in.  Where there is law or demands, there is fear.  And there is no fear in love.  None.  Logically, then, love must come by unadulterated, unencumbered, unrestricted and unmanipulated choice.  It really should come as the fruit of the Spirit and where the Spirit of Christ is there is liberty, not Law.  Without choice, there is no love.  Without the choice to give when and however much a person freely chooses to give the only thing that remains is one entity (a person or religion) forcing another, in God’s name, to act.  This is not a real relationship with the living God.  This is religion.  And religion flies in the face of all God did for the world through the selfless, sacrificial offering of His Son for the world.  Whenever a believer hears a religious leader or a religious publication appeal to the word, tithes or tithe, it should serve as an immediate red-flag that the speaker or the group behind the publication does not understand Love and its counter-intuitive enemy called Law.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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