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Tithe Preaching and Fraud

 
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Tithe Preaching and Fraud

One problems with the way tithing is often taught is the fraudulent misuse of scripture. I know there are a lot of preachers who just believe what they are taught without studying it out. There is a brother I interact with online online who has written a book on tithing, and he believes the Lord has spoken to Him that He will be dealing with the church on the issue of tithing. Amen. Lord, please bring correction.

Let's consider some of the issues related to the abuse of scripture regarding tithing.

1. Preachers misusing scripture to demand resources that the Bible does not require.

If we studying tithing in Leviticus, it was to come from a tenth of the produce of the land, and a tenth of the flocks and herds of the land of Israel. There is no commanded tithe on cash income. There are some one-off tithes of the spoils of war. Abraham gave a tithe that may have been completely voluntary.

2. Preachers demanding resources that are not theirs.

The Biblical tithe is given to the Levites. Every third year, a tithe from within the city gates was to be given to Levites, the fatherless, widows, and strangers. There is no Biblical tithe commanded to be given to Gentile pastors of the Christian church.

The earliest Christians may have tithed if they had farm or ranch land. They would have tithed into the Levitical priestly system. Many priests became obedient to the faith, as it says in Acts. Early Jewish Christians in Jerusalem participated in temple rituals like we see in Acts 22. When Jesus spoke of paying tithes, He was referring to the Biblical tithe and had just told His listeners that the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses' seat and to do what they bid them observe. Who believes the scribes and Pharisees taught giving tithes of cash income to Gentile Christian preachers or the general fund of the local church or the local church tithe fund? That's ridiculous. They had traditions regarding the __Biblical tithe___ not the later made up Roman Catholic/Anglican/Pentecostal tithe.

3. Trying to put believers under the Law.

Malachi wrote of the curse on his readers were under a curse for robbing God. If we look in the Old Testament, there was a curse on the one who did not continue in the law to keep it. But we realize in Galatians, that this curse applies to those who are under the law, and they that are Christ's are justified by faith rather than by the works of the law.

There are preachers who take a verse about Israel not paying the required 10% of flocks an herds into the Levitical, priestly, system. and try to use that to put a curse on all Christians who do not tithe, including widows, including the poorest of the poor, including the types whose income would not have been tithed under the Old Testament system. They poor condemnation on people.

4. God loves a cheerful giver.

There are preachers who try to extract the extra-Biblical cash tithes from audiences by threatening them with a curse, telling them how they will be poor if they do not tithe. Paul wrote concerning collecting funds not to give under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. So why do so many preachers misuse scripture to demand and condemn their listeners into giving a type of tithe not commanded in scripture?

5. Teaching people that if they tithe, they do not have to give anything else.

I have heard preachers say, "God only asks for 10% and lets you keep the rest." Is this really true? Does God only expect 10% from us? The listeners who accepts this and acts on this may find himself in trouble.

I John 3:17 says
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (NKJV)

So if someone believes the preacher and says I've given my 10% and God wants no more, what if they do not give to the poor?

God may actually lead some believers into far more uncomfortable things with their giving, their finances, and their lifestyle choices than giving 10%. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and give to the poor.

6. Fear-based preaching.

When someone points out that a lot of the tithe preaching is contrary to scripture, there are those who will object and ask how will the preacher get his salary? How will the mortgage on the building be paid? I wonder how many preachers continue the traditional condemning tithe preaching out of fear that a fund they largely control, the fund that pays their salary and other expenses they feel responsible for, will run dry if they don't preach tithe preaching.

7. Collecting tithes the Bible doesn't teach, and not giving it to those who received Biblical tithes.

Of course the Biblical tithe was for Levites and the priests were funded out of it. There was a tithe that was consumed at feasts (which I interpret to be a separate tithe.) There was the tithe of the third year. Notice that not only Levites, but the fatherless, widows, and strangers would eat of it.

They tithe crops, flocks and herds, so a widow or a foreigner might not have any farmland. They could 'buy' it-- land usage rights for up to 50 years if Israel were following jubilee laws, but neither widows or foreigners would have had a land inheritance. If they did not have any farm or ranch land, inherited or purchased (leased), then they wouldn't have had to pay a tithe on crops they did not have. But they would have received tithes.

If we read the New Testament, we see the Jerusalem church distributed food to widows. We see Paul left Timothy instructions about who could be on the list of widows, so other churches outside of Jerusalem supported widows. In Jerusalem, the church collected resources and distributed to them that had need.

I read somewhere that American churches typically spent over 80% of their funds on salaries and church buildings. There is no evidence in the New Testament that any church even built or purchased a church building. They did meet in homes, that already existed. How many modern American churches have no fund, no particular effort at all to provide for poor widows, or the poor in the congregation, or the poor in general?

Yet the preacher's shot-gun approach to tithing condemns the poor widow living on a tiny social security income, demanding a kind of cash-tithe not taught in scripture, trying to put the widow under a curse that doesn't apply to her, and then not making any effort to encourage the church to follow the New Testament example to provide for her?

If this is done with full knowledge, isn't it fraud?

8. Flies in the face of Pentecostal hermeneutics.

For the most part, Pentecostal hermeneutics are not highly allegorical. For eschatology, there is an insistence on literal interpretation.

But when it comes to tithing, it's allegorical interpretation gone wild. The storehouse allegorically becomes the tithe fund or the general fund of the local church. The preachers or the general fund or tithe fund substitutes for the Levites and priests. Crops, flocks, and herds become cash income.

I long to see repentance and a return to a Biblical balance on this issue.
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7/8/22 4:56 pm


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Post Da Sheik
Tithing is part of the Law of Moses. We cling to the Law when it suits our purposes. We do the same thing with Sunday, calling it the “sabbath day”. I doubt you’ll get much dialogue here but I think you’re spot on ! Acts Enthusiast
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7/12/22 9:53 pm


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Post UncleJD
I've come around to Biblical tithing and more importantly New Testament giving principles in the last several years. Whenever I challenge my family on it, they act like they are literally in fear of the ground opening up and consuming me (especially those who depend on that model for their income). My eyes were opened when my church suddenly started having demands of tithes and audits of members become a requirement to join the church (literally they would evaluate whether they believed your giving represented at least 10% of your income), coincidently that change came at the same time they committed to a 30Million dollar "family center" edition. One of my area's most popular pastors, who is influential accross the country, has "tithing and curses" as his signature sermon. I'm disgusted by it. Yes I believe in giving! Yes I believe for those who have it, that 10% is an excuse to not give more, but no, I do not believe that the Biblical, OT tithe is anything like what we practice today, especially when we pay our pastors (Levites??) a salary and they own homes for the most part. Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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7/13/22 9:43 am


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Post Nature Boy Florida
I believe Doyle would often delete these types of posts - so tread carefully here.

I believe 10% is a model for giving - that number was given by God as an example - and many things in the O.T. examples are useful/valid for today.

I understand your problems with tithing - the blessing and cursing part. I left a church due to the excessive emphasis on this every sermon.

I went to a church that never badgers people for money - and they give per capita much more than the other church. Other churches give to us, as well. I don't believe God needs your badgering to get His people to give. He does love a cheerful giver.

I will say this - if you are asking for tithes - you better take care of every widow and orphan in your church daily/weekly/monthly. Meet their needs like the OT storehouse did. If not - I believe there might be a real curse - but it would be on the ones demanding the tithe.
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7/13/22 10:03 am


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Post shaunbwilson
Nature Boy Florida wrote:
I believe Doyle would often delete these types of posts - so tread carefully here.


While this is true, I never shared Doyle's opinion that this topic is beyond Christian discussion or debate. As long as the discussion around this topic remains civil and follows the rules of the board, the discussion is welcome.
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Post Nature Boy Florida
shaunbwilson wrote:
Nature Boy Florida wrote:
I believe Doyle would often delete these types of posts - so tread carefully here.


While this is true, I never shared Doyle's opinion that this topic is beyond Christian discussion or debate. As long as the discussion around this topic remains civil and follows the rules of the board, the discussion is welcome.


OK. Thanks. I like the topic too.
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Post Da Sheik
I’m curious; do we have any instances in Acts or the Epistles where Gentile believers are instructed to tithe? With all the mischief found in the early church, surely Paul would have rebuked those who were withholding their tithes. Acts Enthusiast
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7/13/22 11:35 am


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Da Sheik wrote:
I’m curious; do we have any instances in Acts or the Epistles where Gentile believers are instructed to tithe? With all the mischief found in the early church, surely Paul would have rebuked those who were withholding their tithes.


I cannot find a specific reference to tithing in Acts, but we can infer it.

Jesus said to do what the scribes and Pharisees bid his listeners to do in Matthew 23. He said the scribes and Pharisees tithed of mint, anise, which they should do, and cumin, but neglected the weightier matters of the law.

According to Acts, there were many Jewish believers who were zealous for the law. There were priests who became obedient to the faith. Some of those priests, if not all, may have lived off the tithe, the tithe paid by Jewish people, including Christian Jews. If they participated in temple rituals like we see in Acts 22, they probably tithed.

But the apostles did not tell the Gentiles to tithe in Acts 15. And if they did, how in the world would giving 10% of cash to the church to support Gentile preachers satisfy the requirement to give 10% of crops, flocks and herds from the holy land to support the Levites?

I am pleased to see the responses in this thread. I think the proverbial collective veil on this issue may be lifted.

Jesus' teaching on finance is pretty heavy, though.
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7/13/22 11:21 pm


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Post Da Sheik
Those that would use Matthew 23 to support mandatory tithing miss the forest for the trees. Those to whom Jesus was speaking were fastidious in their tithing, but on their way to hell !! Not to mention that these words were spoken before Calvary, when the law was still binding. Those that would use Matthew 23 as a defense of mandatory tithing should be consistent. That means they should accept mint, anise, and cummin in place of paper money. Acts Enthusiast
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7/14/22 8:26 am


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Post Link
Squash is a North American crop, and I am pretty sure the Israelites did not have it. But they did have apples and grapes. I am wondering how they could have tithed squash. How do you keep track of how much of it is a tenth? We've got squash in our garden, and one day, you might get two, and another you might get three, and then none at all. We harvest them at different sizes.

I suppose one could tithe by weight, weighing each squash at harvest, or chop off a rotten piece you won't eat, then weigh the good part, then sun dry some of it and take bit you sun dried to Jerusalem as a tithe. An Israelite who grew something like this who lived far away could sell it and buy beer in Jerusalem instead for the tithe used at feasts.

I wonder how many tithe-curse preachers would accept squash or tomatoes in the offering plate.
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7/14/22 10:49 am


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Post Nature Boy Florida
Link wrote:
Squash is a North American crop, and I am pretty sure the Israelites did not have it. But they did have apples and grapes. I am wondering how they could have tithed squash. How do you keep track of how much of it is a tenth? We've got squash in our garden, and one day, you might get two, and another you might get three, and then none at all. We harvest them at different sizes.

I suppose one could tithe by weight, weighing each squash at harvest, or chop off a rotten piece you won't eat, then weigh the good part, then sun dry some of it and take bit you sun dried to Jerusalem as a tithe. An Israelite who grew something like this who lived far away could sell it and buy beer in Jerusalem instead for the tithe used at feasts.

I wonder how many tithe-curse preachers would accept squash or tomatoes in the offering plate.


Let the economy tank completely - and they might accept it. Tomatoes were pretty expensive last time I bought some.
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Post Cojak
Da Sheik wrote:
Those that would use Matthew 23 to support mandatory tithing miss the forest for the trees. Those to whom Jesus was speaking were fastidious in their tithing, but on their way to hell !! Not to mention that these words were spoken before Calvary, when the law was still binding. Those that would use Matthew 23 as a defense of mandatory tithing should be consistent. That means they should accept mint, anise, and cummin in place of paper money.


Cool Smile Smile Smile
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7/18/22 6:44 pm


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Post UncleJD
ok, I'm going to drop a shaker of cumin in the bucket next week. Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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7/19/22 2:47 pm


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Post Cojak
UncleJD wrote:
ok, I'm going to drop a shaker of cumin in the bucket next week.


Very Happy I m sure HQ will appreciate their share!....
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7/19/22 7:23 pm


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Post Da Sheik
Cojak wrote:

Very Happy I m sure HQ will appreciate their share!....
Smile Smile Smile


What we do is send the herbs and spices to state and international HQ respectively, and keep the cash at the local level. Seems about as biblical as the “tithe of tithe” idea right?
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7/21/22 10:31 am


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Post FLRon
The first act of tithing occurred long before the Ten Commandments were given, as we all know. So the case can be made for tithing outside of the Law of Moses.

That said, I tithe and have since I was saved. Can I say that my life has been blessed because I’ve been faithful to support the work of God? Absolutely!

However, I have asked myself many times if I do so out of obedience to the Word, or out of obedience to a church doctrine, or even out of guilt because pastors in the CoG expect you to tithe. I have ruled out obedience to New Testament doctrine, but still struggle with the other two. I will say that I don’t remember ever preaching a sermon built entirely upon Malachi 3!
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