About Jesus Steve Sweetman
I will not comment on the
whole chapter. Concerning
the first three verses. God
tells Israeli men not to shave the front of their heads.
This may sound strange to us in our modern culture, but you must
remember, this time in human history has few similarities to our
civilization today. The
reason why God did not want Israeli men to shave the front of their
heads was probably due to pagan customs, and God did not want His people
to copy pagan customs and rituals. Verse
2 pretty well means that. God
Some Christians might say
that men are not to shave their beards because of this verse, but that
is not so. This verse does
not apply to New Testament Christians.
Because the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross with Jesus.
Jesus is the end of the Law. (Romans 10:4)
The main thing to note is the connection beardless faces had with
pagan god worship.
This section concerns one
very misunderstood Biblical topic, and that is tithing.
What the Bible says about tithing is complicated.
It is not as simple as most Evangelical Christians like to think.
To say right up front, I do not believe that tithing is for the
New Testament Christian. The
New Testament teaches us to give liberally and joyfully from our hearts.
It does not put a percentage on our giving.
Many, if not most,
Evangelicals say that Christians must tithe because the Bible says so.
Well, first of all, the tithing rules, that were numerous, were
given to Israel, not Christians.
Some suggest that tithing
existed before the Law of Moses and thus even if the Law does not apply
to Christians, tithing does, because it predates the Laws.
Well, so does animal sacrifices predate the Law and we don't
offer animals to the Lord. As
a matter of fact, much of the Law predates the Law of Moses, so there is
no argument to be made here.
There was a minimum of
three tithes, each having specific reasons. If
you want to obey the tithing law, you must give way more than ten
percent. If you want to obey
the Law, then you must obey the tithing laws as they were stated, and no
Christian does that today. So,
there is no logic in teaching that you must obey the Law of tithing, and
then turn around and don't obey it.
Modernizing the Law makes no logical sense.
Jesus is the end of the
Law for the purpose of salvation and pleasing God, so Paul says in
Romans 10:4 and elsewhere. Tithing
does not belong in the teaching of the church.
One interesting thing to note in this passage is found in verses 25 to 27. This particular tithe was to be taken to the dwelling place of God. If that was too far too take an animal tithe then you could see the animal for money, and when you got to the dwelling place of God, then you could buy something in exchange to eat at the festival the tithe was for. One thing you could buy that was on the list God provided was wine. Can you see people doing that today? Can you see people buying a bottle of wine, taking it to church, and drinking it at a church gathering instead of putting money in the offering plate? If you want to obey the Law of Moses, then that is permissible.