Exposing the Tithe Lie

There are 7 articles in the original “Tithe” series, written between 2000-2002 and posted to my former web site Lord, You Are (dot) com, now defunct. This article consolidates the  7 articles in the order they were published. Exposing the falsehood of the modern tithe doctrine was one of the instruments God used to set me free from man’s dead Laodicean church system. As always, I pray the Lord will use them to set you free from false teaching and guilt-based giving. 

To Tithe or not to Tithe: the $earch for Truth

Though I’ve always struggled with the tithe, I still shook my head in disgust when I heard about the preacher who’s congregation quietly left the church during the prayer following a long sermon on tithing. He said “Amen”, looked up and cried out “half my church is gone!” I laughed saying “they must have fled the conviction of the Holy Spirit”.

donottithe8What the Lord said took me completely by surprise: “They fled from error and guilt-based giving”. “What?!?” I’ve heard more sermons on the tithe than on any other topic except perhaps our need of Jesus for eternal life! After I picked up my jaw from the floor, the Lord prompted me to study tithing and giving.

Throughout the Bible study I prayed for His guidance and in the end I reached the inescapable conclusion that the “tithe” is to the modern church what the issue of “circumcision” was to the church in Paul’s time.

NOTE: Nothing in this article is intended as an excuse to stop giving as the Lord leads you to give.

The verse most often cited in support of the tithe is from the Old Testament, found in Malachi 3:8-10: Continue reading

Eye-opener: Sheep or goat?

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. (32)  Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (33)  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. (34)  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (35)  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, (36)  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (37)  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? (38)  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? (39)  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ (40)  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:31-40 ESV

sheepNotice in Matthew 25:31-40 (above) there are 3 groups of people: “sheep”, “goats”, and “my brothers.” All too often when people read that passage, they see only 2 of the 3 groups, “sheep” and “goats”. When interpreting it, readers tend to assume that the “sheep” and “my brothers” are one in the same. If that’s correct, then for all practical purposes Jesus is commending the “sheep” for serving themselves, feeding themselves, clothing themselves, visiting themselves, etc.

Let’s begin by looking at the word “nations”; the Greek word is ‘ethnos’ and Strong’s dictionary defines it “a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan): – gentile, heathen, nation, people.” Continue reading

Narrow is the way

There is a notion among believers that we must all walk arm-in-arm, agreeing on all things together, while making our way to the kingdom. Church sign boards and Sunday morning bulletins often boast slogans such as “come, let us grow together.” I’ve often heard proponents of line-dancing into the kingdom cite 2 scriptures in support of that notion:

Can two walk together unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3 MKJV)

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. (Acts 17:11 NLT)

narrowpathThe way I see it, two people walking together really only need to agree which path to take, how fast to walk, when and how long to stop and rest. There is no need to agree with everything another person believes in order to walk together for a time. There can be agreement in simply marveling at the beauty of God’s creation while walking together.

With regard to searching the scriptures together, during the time of Paul the only scriptures available were from the Old Testament. Bibles were not sold in book stores nor were printed scriptures commonly available. The village rabbi would have possessed a set of handwritten scrolls that were shared in the synagogue. Continue reading

A dream: Barren mountain, lush valley

The dream:

I was anxiously making my way down the side of a mountain on foot with another man who seemed to be a mixture of my earthly and spiritual fathers. The mountain we were descending from was desert like, covered with rock, cactus and stumps. Not a single tree remained on the mountain, while the valley below was lush and inviting with green forest and clear streams. Though I could not see them from the rocky trail, I knew the valley to be filled with people, shelter, food, fellowship, etc. Conversely, the mountain I recognized as “snake country” (if I’ve nevestumpfernr mentioned, I hate snakes!) Despite my best efforts to convince my “father” to continue on to the valley, which we could have reached by nightfall, he decided instead to camp out on the mountain for the night. We unrolled our sleeping bags, even while I was objecting to it and the danger posed by snakes. My “father” laid out his sleeping bag next to an old rotting stump, from which a vine-like fern was growing and he began to eat the fern, which I thought was most unappetizing. Finally in response to my concerns about snakes, my “father” pulled a full size wall calendar from his pack and showed it to me. In the dream, I was aware it was the month of December, and the calendar was marked “snakes in hibernation” beginning in November. Upon seeing the calendar, I thought to myself “it’s the cold that sends them into hibernation but it’s unseasonably warm!” Consequently, I believed the signs of the times more so than the calendar. As we settled into our sleeping bags with our heads pointed up hill, I did seem to get over my concerns about snakes. We went to sleep.

End of dream.

The dream confused me for several reasons. Continue reading

Wheat field vision

The Vision. Spring of 2000.

wheatfield

Suddenly I was standing in the middle of a vast rolling wheat field. How I got there, I had no idea. It was as if one moment I was a stalk of wheat and the next I was a man. As the vision continued to unfold, I thought to myself I need to look for others and began to look around for a building where I might find other people or a phone where I could call someone to come and pick me up. Turning completely around I didn’t see ANY evidence of buildings or other men in sight. So I stood there, waiting.

Continue reading

The Tithe Revisited

There are 7 articles in the “Tithe” series. Please click HERE for all 7 articles. They are:
1. To Tithe Or Not To Tithe: The $earch For Truth
2. Tithe Follow-Up
3. The Tithe: Who’s Robbing Who?
4. Just What WAS Abraham’s Example?
5. Fun With Numbers
6. The Tithe: Final Thoughts
7. The Tithe Revisited
Written between 2000-2002, they were posted on my former web site Lord, You Are (dot) com (now defunct). Exposing the falsehood of the modern tithe doctrine was instrumental in setting me free from man’s Laodicean traditional church. As always, I pray the Lord will use them to set you free from false teaching and guilt-based giving. 

The article “To Tithe or Not to Tithe: The $earch for Truth” was first published in March of 2001. The comments and questions that followed publication prompted me to study the tithe in greater depth and led to the publication of 5 follow-up articles. From time to time since the last of the articles was published late in 2001, I’ve been confronted with a few additional arguments in support of the tithe, I’d like to address.

Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek predates the Law of Moses and therefore is an example for us to follow today.

This argument was addressed in one of the original 6 articles, but I neglected to mention another objection I have with it. Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians often have strange ideas about what the Law comprises. Some hold that the law was given to Moses beginning with the 10 commandments. Teachers / followers of Judaism would disagree with that assertion. In Judaism, the entirety of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy comprise the book of “The Law”.

donottithe5Throughout the New Testament, we see Jesus and the apostles recite scripture from the Old Testament, attributing them to either “the Law”, “the Prophets” or “the Writings”, or what Judaism refers to as the Torah, Nivi’im and Kituvim, respectively. The Jewish book of scripture is commonly called the TaNaK, which draws on the first letter of the words Torah, Nivi’im and Kituvim. “The Law” (Torah) refers to the complete set of books (Genesis through Deuteronomy), not a subset of individual scriptures that cite specific commandments and requirements. Quite simply, if it’s in the Torah , it is of “The Law”. Continue reading

The Tithe: Final Thoughts

There are 7 articles in the “Tithe” series. Please click HERE for all 7 articles. They are:
1. To Tithe Or Not To Tithe: The $earch For Truth
2. Tithe Follow-Up
3. The Tithe: Who’s Robbing Who?
4. Just What WAS Abraham’s Example?
5. Fun With Numbers
6. The Tithe: Final Thoughts
7. The Tithe Revisited
Written between 2000-2002, they were posted on my former web site Lord, You Are (dot) com (now defunct). Exposing the falsehood of the modern tithe doctrine was instrumental in setting me free from man’s Laodicean traditional church. As always, I pray the Lord will use them to set you free from false teaching and guilt-based giving. 

Jesus As Priest Shows Us What To Do With An Offering

For a long time, I’ve had this gut feeling that there is so much more to the miracle of feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes than I’ve ever considered – specifically – I’ve felt there is a link between what Jesus did with the loaves and fishes, and what a true son of God – a true Priest – would do with every offering: specifically, give thanks for it, bless it, and then give it back to the very people who gave it, to take what they needed to meet their needs / fill their bellies.

donottithe18Let me digress a little – the modern mammon-loving theology of today goes something like this “I’m your priest, preacher, minister; this building is your storehouse; I’m the one feeding you; the worker deserves his wages; so you owe me your tithes and offerings; or you owe “this church” your tithes and offerings”.

OK, IF Jesus subscribed to that school of thought at all, here’s what the feeding of the 5,000 would have looked like:

Jesus would have received the 5 loaves and 2 fishes and said to his disciples “thanks – now I’ve got my lunch – why don’t you see if you can rustle up some grub for yourselves and these people here – good luck”.

Continue reading