Many are using the Malachi 3:10 to impose tithing on modern Christians . When pressed for their Galatianism -they retreat to passages in Hebrews about Abraham giving the tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek. Without going to the typology of such passage -I will just to have a positive exposition of 1 Corinthians 9:
3 This is my defense to those who would examine me.
4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink?
5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?
7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?
8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same?
9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned?
10 Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.
11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?
12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?
14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.
Here the my inferred implications of such verses:
1 Workers in the church -apostles or modern-day missioaires have right for support -food and taking care of their family.
2. Support for them is compared to 3: Soldier , plowman and herdsman . The first is based on salary (money) or percentage of produce ( plowman and herdsman- usually at the harvest time) so it can be in kind.
3. This method of support is based on the Law -but not that of Levites or priests -it is about “ox treading out the grain”
4.This right to be supported -can be waived by the recipient in case it will be a hindrance to the furtherance of the Gospel. Here comes the rationale for support from sending churches or mission agencies.
5. Also -it is based on the comparison with temple food and sacrificial offerings at the altar -an indirect referrence to supporting priest and Levites . Paul could have easily mentioned titihing -BUT did not because Tithing is related to a physical Temple and the physical bloodline of Levites.
6. The spiritual temple and the spiritual priesthood of Jesus was already there -but he did not used this as justification for tithing for church workers support.