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

You do not need anyone to teach you

Before retiring a few years ago, I was an auditor and analyst. A successful auditor requires a well developed nose for error, i.e., we’re a suspicious lot, but hopefully not to the point of paranoia. Likewise, a good analyst is all about the facts and data. So I suppose it was only natural that my suspicions together with my need for fact-based truth, would compel me to sit down with a large stack of church bulletins spanning several years of worship services, to inventory and analyze the many scriptures that were read for the sermon. My “gut” strongly suspected us pew-warmers were not getting the whole story and so I set out to confirm my suspicions.

holyspiritandbibleIt was quickly apparent that the same scriptures were read year after year in the weeks preceding Passover, Easter, Pentecost and Christmas, while entire books and chapters of scripture were never read at all. The first time I attempted such an investigation back in the early 80’s, I discovered that the pastor read just 10 verses of scripture on average, before giving his sermon. A few minutes of number crunching demonstrated it would take almost 60 years** to preach through the Bible at that rate, assuming no scriptures were ever repeated. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking; “how anal” and I don’t deny that. It’s just one of those things us analyst and auditor types do for fun when we’re not digging through the freezer to sort TV dinners in order of the “best used by” date. Suffice it to say, the exercise showed me IF I wanted to know what was in the Bible, I would have to read it for myself. 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

Fun With Numbers

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. 

My corporate background is a business analyst (thanks, I’m much better now), and I recently found myself looking at the institutional church in terms of overhead, and what the end product is for the majority of people. There is a sense in which the church exists to deliver the message, which in the institutional church is typically a 20-minute sermon on Sunday morning. For the vast majority of the congregation, the sermon is the product they take home. For those whose only church involvement is in the capacity of a listener on Sundays, everything other than the sermon is overhead. For giggles I examined the topic of dedicated giving using a typical church as an example.

donottithe14The church has 500 members who collectively pay for a pastor to preach the gospel twice each Sunday for 20 minutes. That’s 40 minutes of preaching the gospel per week – which amounts to 2080 minutes per year or 34.67 hours per year. We’ll give the pastor credit for occasionally going overtime and round it up to 36 hours per year. Based on the standard corporate year of 2080 hours for full-time employment, the delivery of the “sermon” represents about 1.7% of the pastors work year. In the interest of fairness, it is necessary to credit that 36 hours of preaching to the congregation that hired the pastor to preach the gospel for them rather than do it themselves as Christ commanded in Matthew 28:19. So those 36 hours spread equally across the 500 church members amounts to 4 minutes and 10 seconds per member per year (250 seconds) of “preaching the gospel”. Continue reading

Just What WAS Abraham’s Example?

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. 

donottithe9I have received many responses to the article “To Tithe Or Not To Tithe”. The following message from Doug White, a dear brother in British Columbia, is very insightful, and I believe Doug has touched upon the heart and faith of Abraham. I made a few edits for readability, and converted the scripture passages to contemporary English versions to assist with understanding Doug’s insightful reply. Here is his reply, posted by permission.

Dear Jack,

I recently read with interest your article “To Tithe Or Not To Tithe” … It confirmed and clarified some things I have been thinking myself in reference to the institutional church’s preoccupation with the tithing ordinance. Later this evening I found the follow up article on tithing. Your reference to Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20) was of particular interest to me because I studied it a while back trying to reconcile the issue of Abraham’s “example”.

When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!” And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered. (Genesis 14:17-20, GNB)

If we are to look to this passage and Abraham’s actions as an example for us today, should we not consider the whole example? Or are we allowed to pick and choose just the portions that what we want to emulate and ignore what we don’t? Continue reading

The Tithe: Who’s Robbing Who?

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. 

Preface: About 2 years ago, the Lord led my wife and I to leave the institutional church we attended to home church. Since both of us had attended institutional churches all of our lives, the new direction challenged us, and the alarmed reaction of our friends nearly persuaded us to ignore the Lord’s leading. Finally, after the Lord showed us numerous scripture references about believers meeting in homes (Acts 5:42, Acts 8:3, Acts 16:40, Acts 20:20, Romans 16:3-5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2), and that there is not even one scripture in the New Testament where believers erected a dedicated church building, we were put at ease about home church fellowship.

donottithe13Home Church is a new path for us, and the questions are many, as we feel our way along in this vast new territory. Still it is a wonderful adventure, and provides the kind of relational Christian fellowship, freedom and flexibility we have always longed for. One of the nagging questions for me as a ‘Home Churcher’ is the subject of the ‘collection’. There are clues in the New Testament about giving, such as the glimpses of the early Church provided by Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37 where everything was shared, every need was met, and there were no needy persons among them. There is also the picture in Acts 6 where the Apostles devoted themselves to the Word, and chose 7 men to oversee the daily distribution of food among the believers. Continue reading