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Friday, November 21, 2014

Tithing and Theocracy

Tithing and Theocracy
by R. J. Rushdoony

What we today fail to see, and must recapture, is the fact that the basic government is the self-government of covenant man; then the family is the central governing institution of Scripture. The school is a governmental agency, and so too is the church. Our vocation also governs us, and our society. Civil government must be one form of government among many, and a minor one. Paganism (and Baal worship in all its forms) made the state and its rulers into a god or gods walking on earth, and gave them total over-rule in all spheres. Tlle prophets denounced all such idolatry, and the apostles held, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

From the days of the Caesars to the heads of democratic states and Marxist empires, the ungodly have seen what Christians too often fail to see, namely, that Biblical faith requires and creates a rival government to the humanistic state. Defective faith seeks to reduce Biblical faith to a man-centered minimum, salvation. Now salvation, our regeneration, is the absolutely essential starting point of the Christian life, but, if it is made the sum total thereof, it is in effect denied. Salvation is then made into a man-centered and egotistical thing, when it is in fact God-centered and requires the death, not the enthronement, of our sinful and self-centered ego. We are saved for God's purposes, saved to serve, not in time only, but eternally (Rev. 22:3). To be saved is to be members of a new creation and God's Kingdom, and to be working members of that realm.

In a theocracy, therefore, God and His law rule. The state ceases to be the over-lord and ruler of man. God's tax, the tithe, is used by godly men to create schools, hospitals, welfare agencies, counsellors, and more. It provides, as it did in Scripture, for music and more. All the basic social financing, other than the head tax of Ex. 30-16, was provided for by tithes and offerings or gifts. An offering or gift was that which was given above and over a tithe.