I have a question for all you theology sorts. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and I have been unable to resolve the issue for myself. I even tried texting my pastor but I had technical difficulties in the process. The question: Why is the tithe a tenth?
Frequent readers of this blog are aware of my preoccupation with Genesis, but I was reading in Genesis (surprise, surprise) last week, and the question occurred to me, "Is the tithe a tenth because God said so, or because that was what Abraham (and, later, Jacob) gave?"
In other words, is the tenth honoring God or is the tenth God honoring us? If Abraham had given Melchizedek 17%, or, if Jacob had said, "surely I will give thee a ninth" would our Sunday morning math be a lot more complicated? God could have very easily commanded 47.3% after all.
I don't want this to be a discussion of tithing, per se. My humble opinion is that the tithe is no longer required under the law, but I think the spirit of the tithe is alive and well, and the blessings therefrom readily available. I still think we can make the whole lump (of money, labor, time, etc.) holy by offering the first fruits of same to God.
Nevertheless, why a tenth? Thoughts, ideas, comments?