is from yet another person who testifies to an "awakening" regarding the
tithe, in March of 2001. It was graciously donated by the author after
we asked permission to post it. Author's homepage is: http://www.LordYouAre.com/
To Tithe Or Not To Tithe
By Jack Helser <Jack@LordYouAre.com>
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".
What 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.
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
8. ""Will a
man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, `How do we rob you?' "In tithes
and offerings. 9. You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because
you are robbing me. 10. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that
there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty,
"and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out
so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
Many preachers shorten Malachi
3:8-10 to just "Bring the whole tithe into the
storehouse", and almost always with the inference that their church
is the "storehouse". For purposes of this paper, the Lord had me concentrate
on the passage: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in my house". From that passage, the Lord
had me research several questions:
1) What is the tithe?
What is the tithe? The tithe is 10% of the increase, established in
27:30-33 as an offering Holy to the Lord. The scripture identifies
the tithe as grain and fruit, herd and flock. The tithe is food! An example
of the tithe can be seen in a shepherd with a flock of 100 sheep who is
blessed with the birth of 50 lambs in the spring. Five of the lambs must
be offered to the Lord as a tithe. The tithe was brought to the temple
in Jerusalem in acknowledgement and appreciation of God’s provision for
2) What was the tithe for?
3) What is the storehouse?
2) What was the tithe for? God
doesn’t need the food – God doesn’t eat. God doesn’t desire sacrifices
or offerings ( Psalm
40:6 and Hosea
6:6 ) – He desires mercy. God doesn’t need us to give Him a 10th of
everything – when He already owns everything ( Psalm
24:1 and Job
41:11b ). The tithe was used to feed the Levite priests (and their
families) who were required to work in the temple day and night ministering
to God on behalf of God’s people ( 1
Chronicles 9:33 ). Without the tithe, the Levite priests would have
needed to raise their own food, thereby taking them away from ministering
before God. Hence the reference in Malachi
3:10 "…that there may be food in my house".
13:10-13 records a time when the Levite priests were not receiving
the tithe wherein they abandoned their daily temple responsibilities to
work the farms to feed their families. The reference to ‘robbing God’ in
3:8 is in fact robbing God of ministry and worship by failing to take
care of God’s priests through the tithe of food items. Unlike the other
tribes of Israel who were given land as their inheritance, the Levites
were not given any land – only a few cities in which to live. God was their
inheritance ( Numbers
18:20-21 ). Thus, the remaining tribes were obligated to provide the
Levites with food since they had no land on which to grow their own.
3) What is the storehouse? 2
Chronicles 31 teaches that the storehouse is the Temple in Jerusalem.
When the tithe was re-instituted under King Hezekiah, the king gave orders
to prepare storerooms in the temple to hold the tithe. Apparently the grain
"tithe" was heaped up in the streets, which caused a traffic jam of sorts.
King Hezekiah had the storehouse built to relieve a bad case of urban congestion
in ancient Jerusalem.
Having established the original purpose
of the tithe, the Lord prompted me with several more questions.
Q: "What happened to the temple
A: It was destroyed in 70AD and
has not been rebuilt.
A: The old covenant system of animal
sacrifice to atone for sin is finished. The new covenant is in the blood
of Christ who is the final and everlasting sin sacrifice.
Q: "Where is the temple now?"
Corinthians 6:19 says WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God no
longer resides in a stone temple, but in the hearts of his children through
the Holy Spirit.
Q: "What happened to the Levite
A: The Levite priesthood is no
longer necessary as the old covenant system of animal sacrifice in the
temple was superceded by the everlasting covenant of Christ’s blood.
Q: "Who is the priesthood now?"
Peter 2:5 and 9 says those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior
are the priesthood.
Come On Laity, Let’s Do The Twist
Burdening the Body of Christ with the
Tithe requires several twists and reinterpretations of scripture.
1) The tithe must be imported
from the OT law of Moses to the new covenant of grace by Christ’s blood.
The tithe has been introduced to the Body
of Christ using 2 tactics of the enemy.
2) The tithe must be redefined from
"flocks, herds, fruit and grain" to "money" and often "time".
3) The storehouse must be redefined
from the temple in Jerusalem to the local church building.
4) The Body of Christ must buy into
the ordained clergy as the new priesthood, thereby replacing the Levite
priesthood as the rightful recipient of the tithe.
5) The Body of Christ must forfeit
their own priesthood and buy into the notion that they are the "laity".
1) Sowing guilt and
shame into the Body of Christ by quoting Malachi
3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But
you ask, `How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings." What devoted
Christian wants to rob God? The net effect of sowing guilt has been to
extort money from the Body of Christ, thereby robbing the Body of the joy
and blessing of giving as God leads. The practice ignores Paul’s instructions
to the church at Corinth: "Each man should give what
he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver ( 2
Corinthians 9:7 )."
The Apostles Did Not Teach Gentiles To
2) Blaming the "laity" for the
financial troubles in the Body of Christ , by telling the Body
they are not blessed by God because they do not tithe. Often Malachi
3:10 is emphasized "Test me in this, says the
LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven
and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
so doing, believers are challenged to tithe, with the promise that God
will bless them if they do. Such giving is not out of love for God, but
out of selfishness. It implies a reward for works, which contradicts
2:8-9 , and completely ignores our status as sons of God by faith in
Christ ( Galatians
3:26 ) and joint heirs of God with Christ ( Romans
8:17 ). The practice also ignores Christ’s words in Matthew
4:7 "Do not put the Lord your God to the test".
15:1-31 records a dispute over circumcision that arose in the Gentile
church at Antioch. Several false brothers had attempted to require Gentile
(non-Jewish) Christians to be circumcised. Paul and Barnabas sharply opposed
the false brothers and traveled to Jerusalem to discuss the issue of circumcision
with the other apostles. In Jerusalem, they reported the miracles and conversions
among the Gentiles. The apostles were filled with joy over God’s work there,
and they agreed that circumcision was not a requirement for salvation.
Following the meeting, the apostles and elders in the church at Jerusalem
sent Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch with a letter of welcome to the
Gentile Christians. The essential text of the letter is found in Acts
15:28-29. It reads: "It seemed good to the Holy
Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the
meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well
to avoid these things. Farewell."
The apostles did not want to burden
the Gentiles with Old Testament practices! The proof is in their letter
to the Gentiles and the fact that the apostles did not impose the tithe
Come, Let Us Reason Together ( Isaiah
Let’s suppose for the sake of argument
that Jesus had commanded us to continue tithing. It would be appropriate
then to use the tithe to feed the priesthood as originally purposed. Who
then is the priesthood? The apostle Peter writes in 1
Peter 2:5 and 9 that every believer is a priest ! Hebrews
5-8 also teaches us that Jesus is the only priest that we need .
However the institutional church has borrowed from the Old Testament model
of the Levitical Priesthood, thereby establishing a new priesthood (ordained
clergy) that is separate from the rest of the Body of Christ. The division
between the clergy, and the so-called "laity" is not Biblical (Is this
the doctrine of the Nicolaitan’s that Jesus says He hates in Revelation
2:6 ) ?In fact, Jesus did not establish the ordained clergy – He
chose fishermen and tax collectors to preach His gospel. Neither did He
establish division in His church, He desires unity ( John
17:20-23 ). The apostles did not set up an ordained clergy – they chose
men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom to serve the Body ( Acts
Timothy 3 ). This man-made division between "clergy" and "laity" has
effectively served to divert the offerings of the Body of Christ away from
the people it is intended to bless and the offerings are most often used
in ways contrary to the will of God. The net result has been starvation
and financial bondage for many believers, and the real priesthood – the
whole Body of Christ – has not been prepared to carry out Christ’s command
to preach the gospel to all nations!
Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh
1:14 ). He knew that Malachi
3:10 says "bring the whole tithe into the storehouse"
He instructed the rich man to sell everything and give the proceeds to
the poor ( Matthew
19:21 ). I imagine the Scribes and Pharisees about choked on what Jesus
said as they were in the habit of devouring widow’s houses for profit (
20:47 ) and the rich man’s possessions would have been a real feast
for them. In Matthew
25:31-46, Jesus reiterated His desire to help the poor in the parable
of separating the sheep from goats, wherein at judgement Jesus will reward
those who feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Since Jesus judges us for
our care of the poor and hungry, and since He commands us to preach the
gospel throughout the world, why is most of our giving used for church
buildings and salaries with only a small percentage devoted to the poor,
missions and evangelism?
Is the church making
goats out of us by not feeding the hungry and clothing the
poor with our offerings?
Let’s not wait until the Judgement
of Christ to find out!
Sins of the Church Against the Needy
Lord has been trying to bring me to the truth about giving for years. On
many occasions, He prompted me to take what I would have normally put in
the offering plate at church and give it directly to someone in need. I
love giving like that! Still, in the absence of specific giving instructions
from the Lord, I never questioned the common practice of giving everything
to the church, whereupon I trusted the church to administer my gifts. That
is until the day the Lord had me witness an abomination that left me nauseous.
In the main office of a church I attended
years ago, I was fixing a computer one Friday morning. Two young black
women, with 3 adorable children dressed in their Sunday best, came into
the office to ask for a food donation. The 3 secretaries of our all white
upper middle class church stared at them, and finally one said nervously
"our deacon of benevolence is in the office on Thursday afternoons – can
I make an appointment for you next Thursday?" One of the women pleaded
"We can’t wait a week, we need food now". The secretary repeated her offer,
and I became sick to my stomach. I left quickly and drove a mile up the
road to a cash machine and came directly back to the church only to find
that the 2 women and 3 children had left empty handed. The staff did not
know where they had gone, and I returned to my car and wept. I felt as
if I had failed but the Lord said "you did not fail son, the church failed".
Since that first eye-opening experience,
the Lord has shown me many more sins of the church against the poor that
have left me ill. One church considered installing an air conditioning
system for which several members had pledged $35,000 while another member
of the church who was wheelchair bound from advanced multiple sclerosis
didn’t have enough money to buy food at the end of the month with what
little state aid she received. Often she was forced to chose between food,
medicine or heat in winter. For many months my wife and I gave to her anonymously
and when she went to be with the Lord last winter, she was at peace – the
kind of peace that only acts of love can bring ( 1
John 3:18, James
1:22 ). As she was relieved of her financial stress, she blessed everyone
around her with unquenchable joy. Most importantly, she taught us about
More recently, I attended a conference
where the host appealed to the audience to give "an offering for
poor". I heard the Lord say "the poor are among you" ( Mark
14:7 ) and immediately I thought of a dear friend in attendance who
is experiencing financial difficulties and had recently lost her home.
The next day I began a letter to the host saying "Last night you took an
offering from the poor" . I groaned at the error and started
to rip the page from my notebook when the Lord said "that is not an error
– last night’s offering was taken from the poor".
The Lord then brought to mind the parable
of the sheep and goats, specifically Matthew
25:40 where it says "whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers of mine , you did for me".
The words "these brothers of mine" had
not made an impression on me before, and the Lord brought me to the understanding
that our first obligation to the poor is to the poor within the Body of
Christ. The Lord then brought Matthew
15:26 to mind wherein Jesus said "It is not right
to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs".
The early church had a much better
understanding of Christ’s intent to care for the needs of the Body of Christ
than we do today. The proof of their caring for each other can be seen
2:44-47 and Acts
4:32-37 where the Body of Christ shared everything, and through their
giving, they eliminated poverty and indebtedness. In fact, Acts
4:34 says "there were no needy persons among
them!" Taking up offerings to feed the Body of Christ was common
in the early church. In Acts
11:27-30, the Gentile church at Antioch took up an offering for the
believers in Judea who were experiencing a time of famine. Can you imagine
a church today taking up an offering for a cross-town rival?
How did the church get so far off course?
Giving as Christ Intends
Though the tithe is not a requirement
for the Body of Christ, we are still instructed to give. What changed from
the Old Testament to the New is our motivation for giving. In the Old Testament,
giving was compulsory – a tenth (tithe). In the New Testament we are to
give with joy as we are led to give ( 2
Corinthians 9:7 ), not by compulsion.
attitude about giving should be like that of the poor widow who Jesus esteemed
12:41-44. She put 2 small copper coins, worth a penny, into the temple
treasury. They were all the widow had to live on. She understood that
God owns everything and was willing to give all that she had with cheer
as God had prompted her to do.
It is time to invest cheerfully in
what is eternal, specifically in God’s children for the completion of Kingdom
work ( Matthew
6:19-21 ). The children must be fed, clothed and equipped to carry
Christ’s gospel throughout the whole world and to make the Bride of Christ
ready for her soon returning Savior. Imagine what it could be like if we
resumed giving and sharing as Jesus intends. Surely we would rediscover
the same abundant and powerful living as the early church enjoyed!
On the topic of giving, John
8:36 might seem like a strange scripture to cite: "So
if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed". While it is
true that Jesus set us free from the curse of the law ( Galatians
3:10-13 ), sin and death ( Romans
8:2 ), our failure to give as Jesus taught us has kept the Church
in financial bondage, and has prevented the Church from completing
the work of Christ on earth. How many children of God fail to reach their
full potential as ministers of the Gospel because they lack provision?
It is through our giving and sharing that we equip the Church for service,
eliminate hunger and poverty, and realize the fullness of our freedom in
We can no longer afford to misuse our
offerings for church buildings, parsonages, conference centers, multi-purpose
buildings, air conditioning, padded pews, pipe organs, and the like, all
of which will soon be forgotten, while God's children go hungry, poor and
ill equipped to minister the Gospel. Instead, like Abel, we should give
our best gifts to the true Church – the people – because we love God and
want to see God's work accomplished on the earth.
On concluding my study, the Lord asked
one final question: What building ever won
a person to Christ?
Ask the Lord to show you what to give
and to whom, and remember that His words "Feed my
21:17) go much deeper than a pastor's sermon on a Sunday morning. His
words are spiritual, and they are literal.
Jack received a large volume of e-mail
after his testimony was released via e-mail. Below is the reply he sent
out en masse:
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the past when I’ve sent
an article to Pam Clark for publication on the Trumpet
Wind Prophetic Bulletin, I typically received 3-4 replies and I responded
to each one individually.
The article "To Tithe
Or Not To Tithe – The $earch For Truth" has received over 60 replies
within a day of publication and I’m hard pressed to respond to each
one individually. Readers of Pam’s newsletter are now forwarding the article,
and I’m receiving a 2nd generation of replies. Most are words of encouragement
and agreement, others affirm that the Lord has been revealing the same
truth to them in recent months – some have been
bullied into silence about the truth. Several said the article
finally settled the tithe issue for them, and the Holy Spirit has given
them peace and the freedom to give as the Lord leads (Praise the Lord!).
A few dear brothers and sisters
also received permission from the Lord to sow into their own ministries,
which is a wonderful idea. I didn’t mention in the article, but the
Lord has had me sow into my own ministry a few times in the past. Once
in my early 20’s (I’m 45 now) I had a Christian band and a public music
ministry. For a time we used our offerings to purchase a PA system and
over the course of 4-5 years, we sang at 200 churches, prisons, military
bases, and schools in the Seattle area. We had a blast going wherever
we were invited and the Lord blessed us. We had good jobs so whatever we
received from the concerts was given to the poor, or donated to area food
banks. More recently, the Lord launched my wife Karen and I into music
ministry, and we purchased a small sound system for our concerts.
After hearing from one sister
who just received the Lord’s blessing to sow to her ministry in foreign
missions, the Lord spoke to my heart about our ministry. A few years ago,
the Lord called me via 1st
Timothy 1:12 (NKJV) and impressed my wife and I to move from the Seattle
area to north central Illinois. We incurred moving expenses, but we
never considered them ministry expenses even though it was the Lord who
directed us to move here for ministry. The Lord has impressed on me
that our moving expenses are indeed ministry expenses and that it is OK
to use what we would normally give to pay the moving expenses. Your responses
have been a real blessing to me, and I’m glad to share another way in which
the Lord has set me free to give as He leads me to give. Praise Him!
The Lord has reminded me
of the verse “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He
will give you the desires of your heart” ( Psalm
37:4 ). I sense in many of your replies that your heart’s desire is
for ministry, but you have been held back for lack of funding because you
give your entire offering to the church you attend. I know several of the
replies struck me as teachers, compassion ministries, encouragers and missionaries
– in waiting. I believe the Lord wants me to encourage you to take that
step of faith as He leads you, and sow seed money for the ministry He has
for you ( Ephesians
2:10 ). It’s OK to do that. ;^) Note that giving to your own ministry
is not tax deductible unless you have a registered not-for-profit organization.
I’ll save you the embarrassment of asking the Lord about that; when I complained
that a gift He’d asked me to give was not tax deductible, His reply was
I’m good for it!” ;^) (Oh me of little faith! ;^)
A few of the replies have
been from a brother or sister in bondage over the Tithe issue. Years
of hearing the tithe lie has robbed them of the joy of giving as they struggle
to obey the rules they’ve been taught: “you must
give 10% to the church or you have robbed God and He won’t bless you”.
Is that out of my gross or net earnings? “Do you
want a ‘gross’ or a ‘net’ blessing?” Argh! There was once
such reply that brought me to travail (weeping intercessory prayer).
What the enemy has done to that dear sister grieves me deeply.
I want to share briefly 2
letters that raised 3 objections to the article and address the points
of objection. As you exercise your freedom to give as the Lord leads,
you’ll no doubt hear these objections and I feel led to share what
the Lord has shown me. The Lord had me write the article around Malachi
3:8-10 . The objections refer to a few other scriptures that are often
twisted and manipulated to support the tithe.
The “Melchizedek” Argument
Abraham gave a “tenth” (NIV)
or “tithe” (KJV) to “Melchizedek” the King of ‘Salem (Jerusalem), High
Priest of God, in Genesis
14:18-20 . The “tenth/tithe” was given out
of the spoils of war, following Abraham’s victory over King
Kedorlaomer and those kings allied with him after they had captured Abraham’s
nephew Lot, Lot’s family and possessions, the people and possessions of
Sodom and Gomorrah ( Genesis
14:11-12 ). The person who found fault with the tithe article notes
the parallels between “Melchizedek” King of ‘Salem who received Abraham’s
tithe of spoils ( Genesis
14:18-20 ) and Jesus who is High Priest in the order of “Melchizedek”
(several mentions in Hebrews
A close read of Hebrews
7 reveals that the author is NOT writing a defense of the “tenth/tithe”
though it is mentioned several times. Rather the author discusses the
end of the Levite priesthood and the effect Christ’s death has on the practice
of the Law ( Hebrews
7:11-12 , Hebrews
7:18-19 ). Hebrews explains that Christ is the final and everlasting
sacrifice and that He is our High Priest before God forever ( Hebrews
7:24 ) in the order of Melchizedek ( Genesis
14:18-20 , Hebrews
A Tenth of Everything? Define
Abraham lived near the great
trees of Mamre the Amorite ( Genesis
14:13 ) at Hebron ( Genesis
13:18 ). Hebron is about 25 miles south of Jerusalem. The Genesis account
says Abraham pursued Kedorlaomer north “as far as Dan” ( Genesis
14:14 ) which is about 150 miles north of Jerusalem. Abraham’s pursuit
took him about 175 miles north of his home in Hebron. Following his victory
over Kedorlaomer, Melchizedek came out to meet Abraham in King’s Valley
(to the east of Jerusalem) as he returned from Dan ( Genesis
14:17-18 , Hebrews
7:1 ). Abraham’s home was still another 25 miles to the south of King’s
Valley at Hebron. Unless Abraham carried his household possessions with
him to Dan and back (about 350 miles round trip), Abraham gave to Melchizedek
out of the spoils he carried back from his victory over Kedorlaomer
7:2, 7:4 ). In that sense, it was Kedorlaomer,
the enemy, who paid the tithe.
It is a tremendous
perversion of scripture to take a perpetual tithe from the wages
of the sons of God – the Church – when the original tithe was a one time
thank offering given by Abraham to Melchizedek from the plunder of an enemy!
is shameful to treat the sons of God like the enemy! How should
the sons be treated? Consider Jesus response to the temple tax.
asked Peter “What thinkest thou, Simon? The kings of the earth, from whom
do they receive toll or tribute? From their sons, or from strangers?” Peter
answered “From strangers” and Jesus replied “Therefore the sons are free”
14:18-20 has been broadly interpreted to impose the tithe on the Church.
Obvious errors are:
The “God Changes Not” Argument
Reinterprets the “spoils of
war” ( Genesis
14:14-16 ) to “wages” or “time”.
Overlooks that Abraham’s “tithe/tenth”
to Melchizedek was voluntary, NOT compulsory.
Assumes that Abraham’s “tithe/tenth”
to Melchizedek was a continuing practice though there is no evidence to
suggest that it was.
Ignores that it is the descendants
of Levi who collect the tithe ( Hebrews
9:9-10 which clearly states that the old way of gifts, sacrifices and
offerings applied only until the “time of the new order” (NIV).
me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law
says ( Galatians
An objection made the statement
“God changes not”. While it is true God does not change, it is a poor
argument to use on behalf of continuing the tithe. If the argument
“God changes not” is a valid reason to keep one part of the Law – the tithe
– then it is a valid reason to keep ALL of the law ( Galatians
5:3 ). Consider the uproarious implications! Burnt offerings and sacrifices
on the altar of every church! “Come to our Sunday
morning worship service and BBQ!” Every church with it’s own
grain silo, winepress, and pasture / corral for the livestock people will
be tithing! We’ll need much bigger offering plates! Oh and the joys we’ll
all have practicing ceremonial cleanliness – women instructed to stay home
from church 1 week per month ( Leviticus
12:2 ). Pastors inspecting rashes and teens
staying home from church and school because of a zit outbreak
13 )! Undertakers! Poor undertakers! Every time they touch a deceased
person they are unclean for a week ( Numbers
19:16 )! If business is brisk, don’t expect to see the undertaker
in church again! Yes Lord! We want to go back to the Law! Not!
Rebuke of the Scribes and
Jesus rebuked the Scribes
and Pharisees for meticulously giving a “tithe/tenth” of their “mint, dill
and cummin”, while neglecting the more important matters of the law: “justice,
mercy, faithfulness”. Jesus said “these ought ye
to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (KJV) and “You
should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (NIV)
Once again, there are several
problems with using this scripture to support the tithe as applicable to
the Body of Christ.
The Last Word
Reinterpretation of “mint, dill,
and cummin” (food) to “money” and “time”.
Jesus was addressing the Scribes
and Pharisees – who are Jews – under the Law of Moses – and obligated by
the Law to tithe. Jesus was NOT addressing gentiles (non-Jews).
Jesus choice of words was different
addressing this sin than when He addressed other sins. His choice of words
is weak and in the past tense, as it would be from someone who understood
that the Law was about to be superceded by the new covenant in Christ’s
blood: grace! Strong’s Reference #4160
for the Romanized word “poieo” says it is a “less direct” form of a command
– which is why it was rendered “ought to” or “should have”. Contrast Jesus
words to the Scribes and Pharisees with His words to the woman caught in
adultery: “Go and sin no more” (KJV) and “Go
now and leave your life of sin” (NIV) - John
8:11 . His words to her are direct, emphatic, and they are in the
future tense – because there is a continuing command against adultery,
unlike the Law to tithe which ceased to apply with Christ’s death and resurrection.
What part of “It
is finished” ( John
19:30 ) is so difficult to understand?
Or what about “But
if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law” Galatians
There can be only one conclusion:
intere$t in $omething
Please pray that the Church
breaks free from the tithe lie, guilt, manipulation and fear that keeps
the Church in bondage. Pray for the Church to come into the complete freedom
of Christ and for freedom to give AND live freely and joyfully as the Lord
intends for each of us. Finally, please pray especially for those whom
the enemy has bruised by the tithe lie.
If this and the original
tithe article have blessed you, please pass them on as you feel led to
May the Lord bless each of
you with abundance as you give as He leads you to give.
Get free and stay free!
Love in Christ, Jack
This is a humorous musing by Jack:
Fun With Numbers
My corporate background is a business
analyst (thanks, I'm much better now) , and I 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 who's 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.
The 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. But wait! The
pastor only preaches in the church where everyone is already saved (supposedly)!
So that 4 minutes and 10 second credit for each member is WIPED OUT because
it wasn't preached to the LOST - it was preached to the FOUND.
Each member is credited with 250 seconds
per year. The church has an annual budget of $250,000 or the equivalent
of $500 per member per year. 250 seconds of preaching per member at $500
per member breaks down to a total cost of (including overhead) $2 per second
for the gospel message. The rate per minute is $120, per hour is $7200.
Each 20-minute sermon requires the TOTAL annual offering of 5 members.
Obviously there are problems with my
logic, nevertheless it serves to demonstrate the absurdities we've bought
into for so long. I zeroed in on the pastor's sermon because we have made
it the pinnacle of the church week, and many of us have bought into the
notion that only an ordained pastor can preach. In a very real sense, much
of the church is built around the pastor's message – just look at the sanctuary
and the focus of the congregation: the altar, where usually the pulpit
sits center-stage. Relegating our responsibility to preach the gospel throughout
the world, to a pastor who preaches it to those already saved, effectively
costs that church $2,400 per 20 minute sermon.
No wonder Peter left fishing for
How will the members of that church
fare before the judgement of Christ who commands us to be good stewards
and to preach the gospel throughout the whole world?
Personally, I think the devil laughs
himself silly about it.
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