Often God's people will see things from different perspectives. Truth,
like a lovely diamond, can have many facets to it. That aspect of a truth you miss, someone else will pick up on. So differing viewpoints on controversial topics should be respected. But I draw the line where bad doctrine causes heartache and needless misery to millions of poor people being deliberately deceived
from the pulpit for monetary gain. Now I will show a little Tough Love and for-BEAR-ance toward that lie of satan. Many gullible
saints are giving to "the Lord" out of fear, not love. After years of study in the Word and other sources, I conclude that
monetary tithing is a manmade church ordinance invented somewhere in the early Middle Ages. It serves as a money-making gimmick to put the squeeze on poor people to keep the funds rolling in for
more privileged church folk.
Which "Lord" are millions of intimidated people tithing to? A "lord"
that enjoys luxuries which make King Solomon look like a poor churchmouse. Church rulers wear designer clothes and fancy accessories,
drive brand new luxury cars, and many vacation in Hawaii at church expense. The lifestyle enjoyed by today’s fishers for funds would have outraged Peter
and John, who said in Acts 3:6: Silver and gold have I NONE. While little old ladies chow down on cat food and "tithe" on
their Social Security checks, their rich overlords jet around in champagne luxury from one tourist trap to another, enjoying
the finest of everything. Or their "tithes" are spent on building fancy additions
on church property, while millions around the world are starving, and true Christians are being martyred for their faith in
China and other strongholds of satan.
God warned ancient Israel what would happen if they set up a human king over them and invested him with power. I
Samuel 8: 11-18 warns repeatedly: Your new king will TAKE this or that from you. I’ll specifically cite the two verses
which involve tithing to men:
VERSE 15: And he (your new king) will take the TENTH of your seed and of your vineyards, and give them to his officers,
and to his servants.
VERSE 17 He will take the TENTH of your sheep, AND YE SHALL BE HIS SERVANTS.
TRUE! Just who are the people of God out in the pews of most American
churches serving with their "tithes" today, but preachers who don’t know what it’s like to punch a time clock
and pinch pennies when they go to the supermarket? When was the last time you saw a televangelist without gold jewelry on
his fingers? And yet, even the poorest of Christians are pressured to tithe to
men on their relief checks!
Where do God’s true priorities lie? Did John the Baptist pay tithes
on his grasshoppers and honey, as he denounced the wickedness of the religious leaders of Israel? No! The Temple had become so corrupt John kept his distance from it and fellowshipped with God out in the wilderness.
Millions of true Christians have been driven out in despair to their own wilderness to look for God as they see the corrupt
direction the institutional church is increasingly taking. When Ruth the Moabitess gleaned barley so she and Naomi could eat,
was she required to sell the barley for cash money and pay 10% of it to help buy a new belfry for the local synagogue? I very much doubt it. Yet wage slaves
who can barely feed their kids are pressured to "tithe" on their minimum wage paychecks. Even if their kids’ shoes are
falling apart and their teeth rotting out for lack of basic dental care, that abominable tithe must be put in the plate. Where
oh, where is the compassion of Christ in organized Christendom, where it concerns feeding the poor and fighting injustice? Isn’t "Love thy neighbor as thyself" the most fundamental of all Christ’s
The worst of swindlers use fear of sinning against the Holy Ghost to pry the tithe out of worshippers. I feel the
righteous indignation of the Christ Who drove the money changers out of the Temple and shouted in John 2:16: Make not My Father’s
House an house of merchandise! It is crass wickedness to exploit the Sin Against
the Holy Ghost to extort money out of God’s people! What a terrible example
of spiritual abuse, especially of new converts who have not spent hours reading the Word of God for themselves! What a betrayal of their trust, and an abuse of high position! Whoever treats their fellow believers like
that wounds the Savior who bought them! Jesus is not physically present here to stop such abuses, so unscrupulous clergymen
take advantage of His absence to "smite their fellowservants" as written in Matthew 24:49, so they can live in pleasure. Verses 50-51 spells out the fate of such: The Lord of that servant shall come in a
day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And
shall cut him asunder (cut him off), and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing
of teeth. Scripture couldn't be plainer about the destiny of those who commit spiritual abuse of poor believers for gain.
Only eternity will tell the multitudes who have refused to accept Christ or turned their back on Him because of all the greed
in Christendom. When you do something to hurt the least of Christ's brethren, you do it also unto Him (Matt. 26:40).
A couple of Internet preachers cited the example of Ananias and Sapphira, who dropped dead at Peter’s feet,
supposedly for withholding the tithe. They misapply Scripture this way, hoping that people's religious sentiment will blind
them to the true context of a passage. The word "tithe" doesn’t appear even once in that passage, and those hoodwinkers
know it! Nowhere in Acts 5:1-5 or anywhere else in the New Testament does St. Peter ever execute a believer for failure to
tithe! One preacher who cited that passage skipped over verse 4, in which Peter, far from saying the land in question belonged
to God, said it belonged to Ananias and was his to do with as he pleased. No,
Ananias' crime was in LYING to the Holy Ghost about what he did with his OWN money, not for non-tithing!
Nowhere do the apostles ever once command converts, whether Jewish Christians or Gentiles, to fork over "tithe money".
If they did, SHOW ME THE SCRIPTURE! And instead of putting a private interpretation on some verse which speaks of voluntary
giving out of love, you must pick a Scripture where Peter or Paul lays down the law to believers and commands them, on pain
of losing their salvation: Thou shalt TITHE on thy wages and salaries. That just ain't so!
But preachers count on the fact that most folks are too lazy (or busy!) to read their Bibles for themselves and let
God be their guide in studying it. They know as sure as the sky is blue that Ananias
fell dead because he lied to the Holy Ghost about what he did with his OWN money! But
one preacher ignored the context of that short passage and zoomed right on up to the place where Ananias dropped dead. So
in misrepresenting the crime Ananias committed in the sight of God, the preacher accused God of a terrible thing He is innocent
of: the Lord does not now, nor has He ever, bumped anybody off for failure to fork over ten percent of their hard-earned cash
to rich preachers! What cruelty! Do such swindlers ever stop to think what mental
distress and sleepless anxiety fear of having committed the unpardonable sin can cause? Many decent Christians been driven
to insanity by that fear! How can they foist that fear onto somebody and still claim to represent Jesus, Who said: "Even the
Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." And: "My yoke is easy, my burden is light?" Not once, even before
Jesus went to the Cross and believers still lived under the Law, did He ever
force anyone to pay Him 10% of their salaries or wages to finance His own ministry. If He had, Jesus could have stayed at
the fanciest inns on His travels, instead of saying: Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of
Man has nowhere to lay His head (Matt. 8:20).
Which brings me to another point: In Matthew 3:15 Jesus tells His cousin John that it is only right that they should
fulfill all righteousness. Jesus, although without sin, allowed Himself to be
baptized by someone who needed salvation from sin. Part of "fulfilling all righteousness" is found in Acts 20:27 where Paul
declares that he has not neglected to declare unto his listeners all the counsel of God.
Could Jesus have done any less? What if the Heavenly Father really had ordered Jesus to take tithes from all His followers
to finance His own ministry? In that case, Jesus would have been guilty of disobedience to the Father's will if He had refused
to collect tithe money, even if He refused to take tithes out of pity for the poor.
Many think the tale of the widow's mite proves we are required to tithe to some church. This story is found in Mark
12: 41-44. Many also think that the widow was required by law to give up the last of her food money to the Temple Treasury. Jesus did say she'd given much more than many rich people who gave only of their extra
fat. But He did not tell her she had to do it!
Although women were permitted to contribute to the Temple fund, offerings were required only of males, and only
three times a year.
Deut. 16: 16: Three times a year shall ALL THY MALES appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose;
in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles: and they shall not appear before
the Lord empty:
VERSE 17: Every man shall give (not tithe money) as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy
God which he hath given thee.
By the time of Christ even poor widows were being pressured by wicked religious fraudsters to pay far more than they
were able. Far from approving of the clever way religious experts added new requirements to God's Law so as it make it more
burdensome to the people and more profitable for themselves, Christ gives them a verbal whipping in Matthew 23:13-36. In verse 14 He condemns the Pharisees for devouring widows' houses while making a
pretense at piety. Far from pinning a medal on the proud chests of the Pharisees
for defrauding widows, Christ pronounces them worthy of hell.
NOT ONCE have I ever heard this verse mentioned from any pulpit on planet earth: III John 7: It says: Because for
His Name’s sake they went forth, taking NOTHING of the Gentiles! If God
had commanded tithing as a tax to be levied on the monetary income of all New
Testament believers, and Paul had refused to take tithes off even the poorest members of his flock, he would have been guilty
of disobedience to God. Even if Paul had refused to take tithes out of the kindness
of his heart, he himself would have been held accountable by God for not enforcing the tithing law. Instead, Paul says in
Acts 20:33: I have coveted NO MAN’S silver, or gold, or apparel (another scripture I NEVER ONCE heard quoted from any
pulpit, I wonder why!) Paul declared unto his hearers ALL the counsel of God, even that part which was hard to receive. Not once did Paul EVER finance his ministry with monetary tithing. If Paul had confiscated ten percent of everybody’s salaries and wages, he would have been as rich
as Bill Gates instead of having to say: At this very hour we are hungry, and thirsty, and are naked, and are buffeted, and
have no certain dwellingplace (I Corinthians 4:11).
Here’s one of the most shocking scriptures in the Bible, one I’ve NEVER heard preached on in all my born
days: Proverbs 22:16: HE THAT OPPRESSETH THE POOR TO INCREASE HIS RICHES, AND HE THAT GIVETH TO THE RICH SHALL SURELY COME
TO POVERTY. I wonder why traditional preachers never resort to that Scripture in their appeals for money. What would they have to lose by mentioning it? All I know is, the more I sent in to money-hungry preachers,
the poorer we got! If God had prospered us for doing what the Prosperity Preachers said, He would have been endorsing a doctrine
of devils which He hates.
A great many of today’s ministers KNOW that compulsory tithing on money is nowhere sanctioned in God’s
Word! Yet they also know that most of their sheep are not nearly so Scripture-savvy as they are, and being afraid to question
what they are taught, people will go along with their every demand! God will hold false teachers accountable for fooling with
His Word in order to keep the funds rolling in.
King Saul of Israel also claimed that it was zeal for the Lord’s offering which made him deviate from God’s
instructions "just a little". But the Prophet Samuel’s response to that was: "Does
the Lord delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?" (I Sam. 15:22).
Despite long-standing traditions of men, God never gave anyone, even the Pope or Billy Graham, permission to add
one single commandment to His written Word, much less transplant and genetically modify their favorite Old Testament ordinance
to extort money out of fearful saints! The handwriting of Old Testament ordinances was nailed to the Cross of Christ (Col.
2:14). So it is wicked deception to say that all of them are to remain nailed there except the one moneymaker!
Deuteronomy 4:2 warns: Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it,
that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Now,
lest you say people are trying to get rid of the tithing law so they won’t have to obey it, remember that NOWHERE in
the Bible does God command tithing on money!
One defense of tithing ministers use: All Scripture is profitable for doctrine (II Tim. 3:16). Old Testament tithing
centered around food for the poor, and consisted of food. So have a heart for the hungry and feed them. But if you’re going to say that we are under the Old Law just because of II Tim. 3:16, be consistent. That would apply to every other Jewish ordinance
as well! Circumcise all male infants. Sew tassels onto all your garments. Men, let the sides of your hair grown long. Offer
up animal sacrifices in the church. Don’t sow two crops in the same field.
Don't wear mixed fabrics. Don’t eat pork chops. If your brother dies childless,
marry his widow to raise up a son to perpetuate his name. It works both ways, now! If
you bind yourself to one Old Testament Law you must keep them all. The Law is
an indivisible unit, not a pick-and-choose menu. But about the only Jewish ordinance
preachers foist on modern Gentile believers is tithing, because there’s money to be made from doing that! I Cor. 4:10
warns the Christian to take heed how he builds upon the foundation of Christ.
Some will object that Jesus commanded his hearers to meticulously observe all the ordinances proscribed by the Jewish
religious leaders, including the tithing of tiny garden herbs (Luke 11:42). In
the same breath, He rebuked the Pharisees for neglecting the weightier issues of the Love and Mercy of God. When that scene transpired, Jesus and the Pharisees were still living under the laws of the Old Covenant,
before Jesus went to the Cross as the Atonement for our sins. The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament mentions the collection
of tithes by the Levitical Priesthood, but that scripture was penned just before the destruction of Herod’s Temple in
70 A.D. At the time of its writing animal sacrifices were still being offered up in the Jewish Temple and all the ordinances,
including tithing, were still practiced by those of the Jewish faith.
Ever since the Resurrection of Christ, God’s people have lived under a New Covenant of Grace. Self-appointed
religious tax agents have no right to chain Christ’s redeemed ones to their version of their favorite ordinance of Jewish
Law; a Law He nailed to His own cross (Col. 2:14). Nowhere does God give any
man permission to take any of the ordinances of the Law back down off that cross to reimpose on His people, and it is an extremely
serious sin when they do! Enforcing such an edict of legal compulsion upon God’s
New Covenant children is contrary to the Spirit of Christ, Who has set His people free to walk in holy liberty. Our salvation
is free, not a taxable commodity! Some argue that tithing was done before the Law, but so was circumcision! Abraham predated
the Law and he circumcised His son Isaac (Gen. 21:4). If one law is binding, so is the less lucrative one. You have no more
right to impose tithing on New Testament Christians than circumcision! Paul said
that those who want to circumsise you, should go ahead and do it to themselves, and make a complete job of it (Gal. 5:12).
Let all those rich preachers who want to whittle away at your wages circumcise, not supersize, their own paycheck! Fair is