GrowingInLOVE

..Sharing with Fellow Christians..

“You’re a Calvinist” April 15, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 11:24 am
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I’ve never called myself a Calvinist, but I’ve been slapped with that label recently.  I do agree with the “five points”, however, I’m not familiar with the rest of John Calvin’s theology or system of beliefs in entirety, so I won’t title myself.  Besides, I think believing in God’s grace would make me a Bible-ist first…or maybe it would just make me a Christian?

What is it that’s got people so riled up about something as beautiful as God’s grace and sovereignty?  I understand the shock of it because I’ve been there.  I understand it completely!  I know how I felt when I was first introduced to it.  However, God has changed my thinking from man-centered to Christ-centered.  I no longer view God as “owing” man something.  We are owed nothing but what we deserve and that is Hell.  Flat out.  I won’t mince words about that.  But why do other Christians get so bothered by even considering God having a choice in who receives salvation?  Why does it bother them that God must change our hearts in order for us to even be able to receive Him?  And why does it bother them that theheart that’s changed to receive Him can’t choose to do anything but receive Him.  A changed heart comes with changed desires.  Here are some of the reasons that have crossed my mind why many people have a hard time with accepting God’s sovereign grace:

-Men are prideful.

-Man thinks of man as the focus of the universe instead of God

-Man wants more freedom than God.

-Man thinks God “owes” him something or that he is deserving of good things from God.

-Man thinks that if God doesn’t work the way he thinks He should or wants Him to, then He’s wrong or unfair.

-Man doesn’t like to be at the mercy of anyone other than himself.

-Man doesn’t really want to trust God, he’d rather trust himself.

-Man wants God to be God when he wants Him to be God and in the manner which he prefers Him to conduct His Godliness.

So in effect, I’m a “Calvinist” or anything other than just a Christian because I believe that God created this universe for HIS purposes, HIS pleasure, and HIS glory.  Who is the creation to answer back to his Creator?  I recognize that I was put here to glorify God and to serve the purposes that He put me here to serve.  When I was speaking with a loved one about God’s elect, I was accused of possibly developing the mentality of  boasting, “Oh, I’m God’s elect! That must mean I’m special!”  And that could not be FURTHER from the truth.  When you realize what you were before regeneration and faith in Christ, you understand the horrific state you were in, being under the wrath of the Almighty God!  I was no better, no more special, and worth no more than any other sinful human being.  There was NOTHING good about me, and being under the wrath of God is being under the wrath of God..I don’t think “degrees” or levels come into play much here.  So when I think about the fact that He, in His own will and for His own good pleasure, sent His Spirit into me crying Abba, Father, when I didn’t deserve it, it does nothing but humble and baffle me!  Humbled and baffled because I know that I don’t deserve it..and God could have very well left me alone to face the penalty for my sins committed against Him.  I understand that I’m unworthy of such a gracious and precious gift.  I have NOTHING to brag on and no reason to look at myself as if I was something special.  In my flesh dwells no good thing…and before God’s work in me, I was controlled by my flesh..and in that state, there was NOTHING I could do to please God (Romans 8:6-8).  And I couldn’t go from being fleshly-minded to spiritually-minded until the Holy Spirit enabled me to be so.  The natural man can’t understand the things of the Spirit (1Cor 2:14).  Therefore, in order for him to understand the things of the Spirit, the Spirit must reside upon him and in him.  A man who is still carnally-minded  and dead in his sins and trespasses can’t make himself understand the things of the Spirit.  No, God BEGINS the work and He, being faithful, will COMPLETE it (Philippians 1:6).

On the other hand, for someone to think that he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and enforced his mighty will to “activate” Christ’s finished work…what stops him from boasting?  “I chose Christ! I was smart/spiritual/wise/intelligent/had common sense enough to choose Him.”  And those who didn’t weren’t smart enough or spiritual enough?  So then your salvation gives you reason to boast or look to yourself as the final decision maker in salvation instead of God?  That would kind of mean God would have to share the glory for your salvation.  “Thanks be to God for providing Jesus, but thanks be to me for making it effective.” Glory split 50-50?

I’m labled with another title because I know that salvation is of the Lord, and that it is by His grace that we’re saved through faith, and not of ourselves, but it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8-10.  I just want anyone who claims the name of Christ to know that salvation is a product of God’s work in them by His grace and faith which He gave them…not by some emotional decision they made when they raised their hand, filled out a card, or repeated a “sinner’s prayer”…and not because they decided to give mere mental assent to Jesus Christ. Salvation is a miraculous work of God.  The greatest miracle He’s performed/performing among human beings. It is literally a miracle that an enemy-of God by nature, wrath-deserving sinner can be transformed into a child of God, truly loving Him and having their sins atoned for by Christ and Christ’s righteousness imputed to them, causing them to be justified and declared acceptable to God and inheriting eternal life!  Professing Christians of ALL “denominations” need to know that.

Soli Deo Gloria! Christ is King!

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The Wealthy Christ January 26, 2010

So I was watching television this morning, waiting for one of my favorite shows to come on as I get ready for work, as I do every morning.  Kenneth Copeland’s “Believer’s Voice of Victory” program comes on before the show I like to watch, so sometimes I’ll just let the program run while I do my morning routine.  Fredrick K.C. Price was the guest speaker.  I sort of grew up in a Word of Faith/Prosperity church, so I was very familiar with Price.  Now, having left that environment back in late 2008, and having grown and matured in the Word, I decided to listen to him now and compare his teachings to the Bible.  I wasn’t suprised at the fact that the topic was “prosperity”, and I wasn’t surprised at the fact that some things were said that I didn’t agree with and that were not truly biblically sound.  The issue Price focused on  was dispelling the myth that Jesus was poor.  Some problems arose during the course of his arguement in favor of a wealthy Jesus.  Of course, I was upset at the tactic of making scriptures say what he wanted them to say, but what flabbergasted me was a particular comment he made about Christ and His disciples. 

Now, I could have totally misunderstood what Price was trying to say, but I doubt that’s likely.  His argument is that Jesus was wealthy.  He then takes things from scripture to back up this claim.  He pointed out Mark 1:20, where Jesus calls James and John.  He said that since they had hired servants they couldn’t have been poor, since poor people don’t have servants.  I’ll give him that, but he ignored what that passage shows.  They were fishermen who had fishing equipment, a boat, and hired servants, so they weren’t dirt poor, but when Christ called them, they FORSOOK it all, including their father, to follow Him.

He used that to get to his next point, the statement that made me cringe, close my Bible, and say, “Guess I won’t be needing this!”.  With his reasoning, he came to the conclusion that 12 grown men would not have followed a poor man, and that Jesus had to have had something to convince them to hang around….that absolutely floored me.  It wasn’t because He was the Son of God, or because He hand-selected them, or because it was revealed to them who Christ was, it wasn’t even because he performed great miracles.  It was because He was wealthy?…

Disgusting!

Within a very small sentence he sure said a lot about what he thinks of our Savior.  Even if that wasn’t his intent, it was a VERY dangerous statement because of its implications.

 

Silver and Gold Have I None January 14, 2010

Filed under: My Writings — growinginlove @ 1:03 pm
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Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee

 I don’t have great, swelling words or an extensive vocabulary

I don’t have the Bible memorized backwards and forwards from Genesis to Maps

I don’t know the Hebrew and Greek meanings of all the words in the Bible

I don’t have an educational background attained at a seminary or a degree in theology

But I have the Gospel of Jesus Christ

By the working of the Holy Spirit, I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior

I am daily humbled by my Heavenly Father knowing that He saved me in spite of myself

I rest in the fact that Christ died on a cross, shedding His blood for remission of my sin, and that because He paid the debt that I owed, I no longer have to  

I have salvation in Christ from the wrath of God that is due to all mankind because of sin.  I was driven to my knees in repentance, turning away from the desire to sin and live in wickedness before God.

I cried before God to change me, cleanse me, and to teach me to walk upright before Him

I have the Holy Spirit of the living God on the inside of me

I have a heart of flesh that God has given to me in place of my former heart of stone

A heart that yearns and seeks after God and His righteousness and grieves over sin-my own and others’

It grieves over the lost and the hurting, and over the stubbornness of those who claim to know Christ but whose thoughts, words, and deeds scream otherwise

 Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee:

 The truth is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.   God, being loving, merciful and extending His grace toward us, sent His Son to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Without accepting, believing, confessing, and trusting in Christ, the Son of God’s, death, burial, and resurrection you will pay for your own sins, being judged and condemned to hell.  It’s not a pretty truth, but it’s truth nonetheless.  Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  No good acts or good works can get you in right standing with God apart from Christ.  Also, it doesn’t end with simply believing.  Christ tells us that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. (Mark 3:34) and if we don’t, we’re not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:38).  We must live our lives for God, follow His will, and walk in His ways. Once we become children of God through faith in Christ, we must get to know Him through prayer and reading His Word and yielding to His Holy Spirit.

Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee

What I have is the Gospel of Christ and a love for God.  This is what I have, and this is what I’ll share.

 

The Power of the Tongue November 24, 2009

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I do realize and quickly acknowledge the fact that there is a lot I don’t know about the Bible.  I’m still learning things as the days pass, so forgive me if I don’t present things as a Bible scholar would.  God shows me a lot and He has a way of taking something that I’ve seen and heard numerous times before and making it come alive to me, and correcting the twisted view of scriptures that I had been taught.  Having said all of that, this is something I believe that God has allowed me to see.  *Please note that I am always open to sound correction.

 For years in church, we had Proverbs 18:21 drummed into our heads.  It was one of the scriptures used to tell us that we can somewhat create our own reality by the words we speak..to “claim” things we want by speaking it.  “If you want to have more money, you gotta start saying you have money!  If you’re tired of being sick, start speaking health to your body!  Stop speaking death into your life, and speak life into your life!”  I don’t think those people have a grip on what Proverbs 18:20 is really saying.  Proverbs 18:20-21 says, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue:  and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Now having seen that, let’s jump over to Matthew 12:22-37.  The situation here is that Jesus  had cast out devils from a man, and the Pharisees accused Him of doing so by the power of Satan.  In other words, they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit.  Jesus let them know that this was one sin that was unforgivable.  Thus, they faced condemnation for speaking against the Holy Spirit.  Jesus tells us that a good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good fruit, and an evil man brings forth evil fruit.  Then He goes on to say that on judgment day, man shall give account of every idle word they spoke.  On judgment day, they’ll be either justified or condemned by their words.  The Pharisees had condemned themselves because the words they spoke were blasphemous to the Holy Spirit, which is an unforgivable sin, and that will be brought up come judgment day.  Take note that in this same chapter, in verse 42, Jesus mentions Solomon’s wisdom and how He Himself is greater than Solomon.  Who’s wisdom was penned in Proverbs? Yes, Solomon.  This is why I believe Matthew 12:35-37 to be the explanation of Proverbs 18:20.  The power of death in the tongue is the ability of man to bring condemnation upon himself by speaking foolish words, e.g. blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  The power of life in the tongue is the ability of man to receive justification by his confession of Jesus Christ and acknowledging the work of the Holy Spirit, etc.  And since the words we speak come from the good or evil treasure within us, we’re already justified or condemned and our words confirm it.  When judgment day comes, the good man, who is justified through Christ, will have his belly filled/satisfied because of it and the evil man, who is without Christ and condemned, will have his meal of that fruit: a damning judgment.  The “death” and “life” coming from the tongue being synonymous with “condemnation” and “justification”, respectively. (Proverbs 19:21) (Matt 12:37).  And the part in Proverbs about loving the fruit thereof, the Pharisees loved every minute of speaking against Christ.  They lusted after the opportunity to accuse Him of something.  They will eat that fruit of condemnation because of their love of speaking those blasphemous words.

I could expound more on this topic, but I tend to get long-winded.  I just wanted to hit on Proverbs because it was ingrained in my mind so much from the pulpit over the years, and I’ve just seen that scripture in a new light a few days ago and I wanted to touch on that a little bit.  That scripture has nothing to do with “speaking things into existence” to get them to “manifest in the natural”.  Speaking death and life is not the act of speaking good circumstances and bad circumstances in order to bring them to pass..you’re speaking evidence of condemnation or justification.  The verdict comes on judgment day when you give account of the words you spoke.  Simply stating that an inconvenience/problem is currently present in your life is not “speaking death” and will have no effect on your eternity..speaking blasphemies, scripture-twisting, using feigned words to make merchandise of God’s people, and using the same mouth to bless God and curse your neighbor, on the other hand, carries more horrid consequences.  That sounds much more like the deathly power of the tongue, to me.

 

God’s Will or Man’s Will? November 13, 2009

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 9:31 am
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If I’m not mistaken, a person who claims to be a Christian believes that God is the Creator of the Universe, Sovereign, Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent, All Powerful, right?  I’ve been in a church where we were told never to pray, “Thy will be done,” but instead to “come boldly to the throne of grace” and tell God exactly what we want, and He’ll give it to us…Praying for God’s will to be done was said to show lack of faith, disobedience to the Word, and whatever else…They use Scriptures such as John 15:16 and John 16:23 to justify it.  John 15:16 says, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”  Jesus tells them that  that they didn’t choose Him, He chose THEM..what I get from that is that we’re supposed to conform to Him, not have Him conform to us.  Secondly, we’re supposed to ask the Father in Jesus’ name.  As of recently, I’ve looked at “in Jesus’ name” a different way…the manner in which it was taught to me was basically that “in Jesus’ name” at the end of my prayer was my “stamp” so to speak, that sent my prayer directly to the Father.  However, I’ve come to see that “in Jesus name” means: 1. Jesus is the sole reason that I’m able and allowed to go directly to God, 2. The prayer in His name must line up with Him, who He is, and what He stands for.  Your boss’ name itself, the actual letters and phonetic sound, is just a name…The PERSON, the WHO, that  the name stands for is what gets the recognition and holds weight..It’s because of who Jesus is and what He did that I can pray in His name…Having that in mind, whatever I ask of the Father according to what His will is (and what His Word says that is applicable to me), because He chose me for His purposes and not the other way around, in the name of Jesus, (or because who Jesus is and what He did), I can have what I ask for…

So then, I beg, explain to me the following:

 Matthew 6:9-13, After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”  Here, Jesus was telling the disciples how to pray: First, give glory and honor to God, second, pray for God to have His way on this earth like He does in heaven (have HIS will be done), Third, ask God for daily provision of your necessities, Fourth, when you stand praying, forgive, that your father in heaven may forgive you(Mark 11:25), Fifth, ask God to order your steps/direct your path.  This was Christ’s instructions on how to pray, yet preachers are telling people NOT to pray this way…asking things according to God’s will and praying that His will be done is not a sign of weak faith..on the contrary, it IS faith because it’s doing what the Word says, and it’s giving up your own desires in order to let God have His way, trusting Him…..He is, in fact, wiser than us all…

1John 5:14-15 says,“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”  The Scripture tells us that if we ask anything according to God’s will, THEN He hears us.  He hears us and grants us the petitions we desire of Him when we ask according to His will..not our own will, what we want, or what we think we want…I’m not in the business of bossing God around…

James 4:13-15 says, “Go to now, you that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.  For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”  It wasn’t even recommended for people to go around saying, “I’m gonna do this” or “I’m gonna go there”, but they were to forfeit their will to the Lord’s will…not force Him to do what we want Him to do…It doesn’t work that way…We need to fear God and acknowledge that He gets the final say so…

God is not going to give you WHATEVER you want just because you want it and you put your Jesus “stamp” on it..He knows more than you do, and He knows what He wants you to have and what He doesn’t want you have because He knows what you can handle and what you can’t handle…Whatever God doesn’t give you, there’s a reason He hasn’t given it to you..it may not be for you at this moment, or it may not be for you, period..Let God be God…Otherwise, you’ll end up getting what you want and it’ll destroy you, and God may allow it to happen because you didn’t seek Him, you sought what it was that YOU wanted…

It all boils down to the fact that we need to seek God constantly, and He’ll let us know what His will is for our life..and hearbreaking newsflash:  it might not have anything to do with what YOU and your fleshly, carnal desires long for…When you find out what God’s will is for your life through much prayer and much study in His Word, then ask Him to give you what you need to carry it out, and ask for His guidance and direction, and stay in His face…but let’s not confuse God’s will for our own will..Christ said to deny yourself..that means your own will too…you were bought with a price and are not your own…Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise…Why would God bend to your will when you were created to bow to His?  Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”

 

Why I No Longer Attend Church November 11, 2009

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 5:41 pm
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This blog is not a poem or story..It’s moreso just how I’ve been feeling lately…nothing organized or formatted, because I’m really just pouring out what’s on my mind..so bear with me..lol

Now, I’ve never been the one to cling to titles…I actually can’t stand them, honestly.  People are so concerned with being known as a Baptist, Methodist, Apostolic, Episcopalian, and whatever else is out there…I just prefer to say that I’m a follower of Christ..Anywho, I have, as of recently, decided that I’d be a “churchless Christian” (for the time being..until God leads me to the proper place/people)…Just today I ran across a term that I thought was cute and it made me laugh to myself:  “free-range Christian”…isn’t that a term used for chicken?..lol.  It’s a term for the Christians who have decided to step away from the “institutional church”…

Now, for some reason, the hairs on the backs of church-going Christians’ necks stand up when you say you don’t go to church.  Public Announcement:  Not all non-churchgoers are backsliders.  People are quick to throw out Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” But where is the verse that tells us how large that assembly has to be?  Where does it say that it has to be in the same building at the same time on the same day each week? What about what Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”?  That appears to be a pretty small assembly to me.  The Hebrews 10:25-ers seem to ignore verse 24, which says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works..” THEN, verse 25 comes in…I could be wrong, but verse 24 seems to show us the REASON for verse 25.  Provoking one another unto love and good works and exhorting each other is the purpose for assembling together.  Therefore, is it wrong to forsake the assembling if the assembly has forsaken its purpose of provoking one another unto love and good works and exhortation?  Basically, there is no scriptural reference or basis for pledging membership to any organization, whether it claims to be of Christ or not…we are to only pledge loyalty to Christ..
What we call “church” was not created to be what it is now. It comes across as very pharisaical–one of the very thing s that Christ spoke against during his ministry on earth.  Our Heavenly Father does NOT approve of his sheep being lorded or controlled by any but Himself.  Christ is the Head of the Church..not the pastor.  And the Church is not the building, hierarchy, institution, business, or corporation, etc. that we see today…Christ’s body of believers is the Church..The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands-Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24

So far, I’ve used the terms pharisaical, building, hierarchy, institution, business, and corporation.  I realize these terms may seem offensive, but a pig isn’t offending by being a called a pig..unless it thinks it’s a pony.

Why do I see the church system as pharisaical?  Well, in the days that Christ walked the earth, and prior to, the Pharisees and Sadducees had been enforcing laundry lists of religious rules for the people to follow…They were a puffed up bunch in positions of power and authority who exhibited outward shows of self-righteousness, they oppressed the laity–regular folks–and looked down upon them as if they themselves had all the answers.  They even tried to accuse Christ Himself of breaking religious laws and of blasphemy.  They tried, in vain, to trip Him up in all kinds of different ways.  In short, they thought they were the authority on holiness.  Now flashforward to today.   That same attitude or spirit, if you will, is still quite in operation today.  Many of these church leaders have special sets of rules and rituals that they enforce in either their own specific “church” or it’s a widespread sign or seal that is unique to their”denomination”.  The Pharisees enforced man-made laws over and above God’s laws.  These “denominations” seek to enforce their own man-made patterns and traditions that are not backed by scripture, causing division…Christ isn’t a siamese twin..He is the only Head, and He only has one body-one Church…Now, if you expect to be a member of that church or particular denomination, you have to follow those rules and/or abide by those traditions, customs, habits, or whatever may be the term of your liking.  This is imposing extra-biblical requirements upon God’s people…BONDAGE!!!..Christ said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light-Matthew 11:30…We are only supposed to be yoked and bound to CHRIST and doing what He tells us–what’s in His Word, not MAN’S systems and ways of doing things…That’s when we get into bondage which is exactly what Christ freed us from by His finished work on the Cross…The New Testament tells us about the liberty we have in Christ…Why would you settle for some human strapping their yokes and burdens of bondage back onto you?  Sounds a lot like the children of Israel complaining to Moses, wishing they could go back to Egypt after God had freed them from the bondage of Egypt…*sigh*..Biblical proof that some folks just prefer to be slaves and long for human rule over themselves…Let Christ govern your life and you’ll be more than alright.  I recognize the fact that God speaks through people..yes, He does..but people are not here to be our source of knowledge..God is..His Holy Spirit is the Teacher and He’ll guide you into all truth-John 16:13. We’ve become way to dependent upon people nowadays..We’ll bring a problem to a pastor or another person before we bring it to God..That is totally out of order..More dependency and loyalty is placed in the “church” system then in the Father and His Word…IDOLATRY!!

How does the church system operate as a hierarchy?  Christ said, in Matthew 23:8-12, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”  The titles of Father, Master, and Teacher are to only be given to our Heavenly Father.  Also, He said that the greatest among us should be our servant. Luke 22:25-26 says, “And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”  Christ is against men exercising lordship over His flock…Those who call themselves pastors, bishops, teachers, etc are there to serve the body of Christ and feed His sheep, not to BE served, or feed themsleves, as they are now.  There is so much pastor worship going on, it’s sickening.  The pastor is being treated like a king, when he should be a humble servant, setting an example for us to follow..we’re all to be humble servants…I’m not seeing a lot of humility in many of the church leaders I see…We are all to submit and be subject one to another, but it appears that only those who are in positions of power and control require submission, but they wouldn’t dream of submitting to those who are “beneath” them…To be a shepherd means nothing more than being an example unto the flock in how to fully take up our cross and follow Christ, because, techinically, the “shepherds” are still sheep…unless they’re wolves, of course… 1Peter 5:1-3 says, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” (I’ll get to the ‘filthy lucre’ part in a sec)  The Father also has judgment in store for the abusers of His sheep.  God spoke through Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 23:1-2, saying, “Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! says the Lord.  Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people; You have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them:  behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.”  Those who call themselves leaders will have to answer to God about what they’ve been doing and not doing in regards to God’s people, this includes those who claim to have received their position, “calling”, or “anointing” from God, when they’re really self-appointed or man-appointed..

Oh, the many ways the “church” is a business/corporation.  They’re God-peddlers, moneychangers in the temple, sellers of the Faith..or a faith, anyway…Apparently, there’s big money to be made as a pastor…Matthew 21:12-13, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”   I’ve heard the excuse that He only cast out those that sold at unfair prices, cheating people.  Clearly, the Scripture doesn’t make a distinction between who is and isn’t allowed to sell..(sidenote-they bought and sold, yet were still called thieves..hmm..interesting)…Christ made ALL of them leave.  Mark 11:15-18, “And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.”  I’m no “bible scholar” but I’ll go out on a limb and assume that the scribes and priests feared Him and wanted to destroy Him because people were actually taking notice of what He said about buying and selling in the temple, and that probably meant that Jesus’ words would hinder the money being made..and people don’t like for you to mess with their money.  No “church” should be buying or selling anything…Christ Himself would turn over the tables and probably turn the church bookstores upside down.  If a “pastor” cares so much about people’s salvation, well-being, and the quality of their lives, why would he make the people pay for that information.  Why do pastors have books upon books about how to do this or that, or how to live this way, how to get this to work for you?  If they felt it that important to help you, they should broadcast the message on their television programs free of charge.  If their revelation on how to do things came from God, I’m sure they didn’t write God a check in order to get it, so why do they get to put a price tag and barcode on it?  If I had some pertinent information that could change people’s lives, I wouldn’t dare expect payment for it. Also, why are million dollar jets, homes, cars, etc for the pastor being purchased for their “ministry” while there are people in their own congregations who probably had to choose between using their money for food or for rent?  Your “ministry” should start at home.  Why go to other countries to do things when there are families 20 minutes from their homes who are poor and don’t know the Gospel of Christ?  Instead, they hop in their private jets and fly right over the heads of their own community they’ve ignored just to dump their “religious” garbage on foreigners.  Christianity is one of the world’s largest religions, and it got that way before television and radio..What’s wrong with pounding the pavement for free and spreading the Gospel?..that’s how Jesus and the apostles did it….These people boast multi-million dollar ministries, but are spiritually bankrupt, and sadly, many don’t even know it..and dangerous are the ones who do…they also rob their “members” or patrons…I’ve already written about “tithing” so look on the side for my blog about the tithe, but if your pastor is telling you that tithing 10% of your income is required, they’re either ignorant of the Word concerning giving, or are intentionally conning you out of your money using fear tactics (being cursed for robbing God) and convincing you to treat God like a slot machine, e.g. “Sow a seed” and “The return on your giving”…Anyone who uses the excuse that the pastor has to drill you for money so the “church’s” needs are met, are in denial..if the establishment or “ministry” is from God, He’ll maintain it, if not then it’ll fall like it deserves to.  2Peter 2:1-3 says, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”  I don’t know about you, but I will no longer be the merchandise to feed any covetous man’s pockets, let alone while he endeavors to prostitute the Word of God…And how sorely do they ignore Christ’s warnings against the love of money and the desire for earthly wealth…

The long and short of why I’ve stopped attending “church” is because I’ve discovered that many churches (and no, I’m not condeming ALL “churches”) are preaching a “different gospel” and “another Jesus”, (2Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9) even though most would disagree …The Father has blessed me with the ability to discern between true and false teachings, and He’s giving it to me and increasing it according to His will..so I’m still learning…He’s taught me to filter EVERYTHING through His Word..if I find a discrepancy or encounter something I’m unsure of, I pray about it, and He either clarifies it for me so that I understand it, or exposes it for the lie that it is…I just refuse to eat the leaven-mingled messages and sit through the unscriptural practices of “churches” anymore…I pray that the Father opens the blind eyes of those who are being deceived, but sadly, many of the followers are receiving exactly what they want…2Timothy 4:3-4“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2Timothy 3:1-7, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” People WANT what’s being given to them.  They don’t want the REAL TRUTH of God’s Word..whatever the pastors tell them, that’s what they want…whatever the pastor is telling them that “God wants them to have” or what “God wants them to be” is what they want…they don’t want to know what God really says and what He really desires FROM us instead of FOR us…they want their itching ears satisfied..and this love for lies and lack of desire for the truth will put them in a dumbed-down state, which they’ll enjoy, and it will  prepare them for the appearance of the antichrist, to accept his deception through his lying signs and wonders..and GOD will SEND them strong delusions so that they’ll buy into the lie because they didn’t  have a love for the truth.  That’s their judgment. (2Thessalonians 2:1-12) 

I would apologize for my rant, but I won’t..I’m upset about this..I’m upset about God’s people being lulled to sleep in ignorance while they’re being sheared and starved…All I can do is inform those who’ll listen and pray for those who won’t..It’s all in the Father’s hands…

(The only thing I will apologize for is for the unorganized manner in which this was presented, but in all fairness, I warned you in the beginning..this is a blog in the truest, rawest definition of the word..lol)

 

Tithing…Free At Last! July 24, 2009

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 12:53 pm
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If you are a faithful, stern, avid tither, first I would ask you why and what scriptural basis do you use to support it?  Secondly, I would ask you to read the following with an open mind, letting go of preconceived notions.  Remember, ALWAYS look to God’s Word for the truth, not what men teach.  Don’t offer yourself  up to be put into bondage when Christ’s death made us free…free from sin and free from the Law (of Moses). 

Old Testament Tithing

Numbers 18:20-21 “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Numbers 18:24-“But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”

• The tithes were given to the tribe of Levi because they were not given a land inheritance. God would be their inheritance because He would command the children of Israel of the other tribes to provide for them because they had no land and devoted all their time to the Lord’s service. They didn’t have their own land to live off of to grow their own food and have their own animals, so we will see that the Lord had the children of Israel give a tenth of their food from their land and animals to feed the Levites.

Numbers 18:26-31 “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it. Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress. And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.

• The WHOLE tribe of Levi was the recipient of the tithe. However, they were required to give a tenth of the tithe they received to the priests (Aaron and the sons of Aaron). Also, the tenth that went to the priest was to be “the best thereof”. If tithe is money, how does one pick out what’s the best among it? Money has a set value. A crisp dollar and a wrinkled dollar are worth the same amount, but I’m sure someone would rather eat fresh food than spoiled food. We see here that the tithe should be eaten, “And ye shall eat it in every place..”

Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD.

• Notice here that the tithe was “of the land” or from the land: seed of the land or fruit of the tree.

Leviticus 27:32 “And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.”

• This is another passage which shows animals being a designated tithe item. Also, notice that the animals were made to pass underneath a rod, and every tenth one that passed under it was holy unto the Lord and was to be given unto Him. This tells me that if a person had less than ten animals, there was no tenth one to walk under the rod to be holy unto the Lord.

Deuteronomy 12:17-18 “Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.”

• Again, here the tithe is food, and it is to be eaten by the tithe-giver, his family, his servants, and Levite that was within his gates.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”

• Again, the tithe was to be given of the increase of the seed that the field brings forth. We also see here that they had and used money back then, but that wasn’t given as the tithe. Tithe consisted of corn, wine, oil, and animals, and other edible items. Money came into play when the distance was too far and the tithe too great to take the whole distance. They were allowed to sell the items for money and use the money to buy whatever kind of food items they desired once they got to the place where God chose. And this Scripture also tells us that the tithe was to be shared with the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. The tithe clearly wasn’t restricted to the priests. And it looks like the tithe was given at the end of three years, not every week or month.

Deuteronomy 26:12-13 “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them.”

• Again we see that tithing was done in the third year, and we see who ate it.

Nehemiah 13:5 “And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.”

• Again, here we see that the tithe was not only for the priests but was also given to the Levites (all priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests), the singers, the porters, and the priests. Also, again, tithe here is corn, wine, and oil.

Amos 4:4 “Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years.”

• Again, it refers to tithing being done in the third year, not every week or month.

Leviticus 25:1-7 “And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee. And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.”

• God instructed the people not to sow, reap, nor gather during the seventh year because it was the Sabbath of the land. During this year, the food from the land was for the landowner, his servants, and whomever was staying with him. However, churches do not teach their members to refrain from tithing every seven years and keep all their money for themselves.

Amos 4:7-9 “And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

•Notice how the conditions here look awfully similar to Malachi 3:8-11.

Malachi 3:8-11 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.”

• The tithe (again edibles, animals, things grown from the land) was to be brought to the storehouse, an actual storage facility for the tithe items. And I believe the curse that they were cursed with was similar to what we see in Amos 4:7-9 where God withheld rain and allowed pests to devour their trees. The curse would be lifted and God would bring forth rain (open up the “windows of heaven”-the same phrase used in the account of Noah’s Ark, referring to rainfall. Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:2) and he would rebuke the devourer, or pests that devoured and destroyed their crops and trees, as we see done in Amos, if they would resume tithing so that there would be food (not money) in the storehouse.

Summary of Old Testament Tithing

• The tithe that God commanded consisted of edibles and livestock, NEVER money.

• It was given of the children of Israel to the tribe of Levi to feed them because they had no land inheritance as did the rest of the children of Israel.

• The Levites were required to give a tithe of the tithe they received to the priests.

• Tithe-givers also were to share the food with the Levites, servants, widows, fatherless, and strangers within their gates.

• There are no scriptures that instruct a weekly or monthly tithe.

• The tithe was part of the Mosaic Law.

• Overall, tithing had very specific guidelines to be followed.

New Testament Giving

Matthew 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

• Tithing, as mentioned here by Jesus, is still not money, it’s herbs, something grown from the land. Jesus told them that, though they paid tithes, they had ignored the weightier matters of the law, which shows us that there are other duties more important for us to perform than tithing. If we’re still “cursed with a curse” today for not tithing, shouldn’t we be even more harshly cursed for failing to do the things that are more important than tithing?  Also, notice that Jesus directed this to the scribes and Pharisees, never to His disciples or any people of the multitude which He taught.  Those Pharisees and scribes were required to tithe because they owned land, and they were still under the Law.  People who did not own land or livestock did not have to tithe because those were the only allowed tithe items and they didn’t possess any of that.  We never see in scripture where Jesus paid tithes, and there’s no evidence that he had land or livestock, and He didn’t collect tithes because He was not a descendant of the tribe of Levi, He was a descendant of the tribe of Judah.

Hebrews 7:5 “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham.”

• The sons of Levi are to take tithes according to the law. Many times in the New Testament we are told that we are not under the law but under grace, and if anyone attempts to put themselves back under any part of the law to follow it in attempt to justify themselves or to “earn” their salvation or righteousness, that they’ll be guilty of the WHOLE law if they fail to follow it in its ENTIRETY, leaving even one thing undone.  Attempting to put yourself back under the Law actually nullifies your salvation through Christ–dangerous territory!

Matthew 6:1-4, Luke 11:41, Luke 12:33, Acts 3:2-3, Acts 10:2, Acts 10:4, Acts 10:31, Acts 24:17

• These Scriptures above show that giving alms, or things given to the poor/needy out of compassion, is a perfectly acceptable form of giving. No amount is specified, making it obvious that it is not a tithe.

1Corinthians 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

• This tells me that collections were taken up to help the saints, or fellow believers, who were lacking and in need. Therefore, since God has blessed you with something, if you know of fellow believers who are lacking in what you have an abundance of, you should give to them.

2Corinthians 8:12-15 “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.”

• What I get from this is that we should give, but not necessarily so much so that you’re taking care of the needs of others while you ignore your own needs. Giving, here, serves the purpose of creating equality amongst the believers; whatever you have an abundance of, you should give to someone who lacks in that same area, and whatever area you lack, someone living in abundance in that area should give unto you, thus making things equal. Someone who gains an abundance will have nothing left over beyond what he needs, and someone who has less than what they need will have all their needs met through the love and generosity of those who give away their surplus.

2Corinthians 9:7 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

• We are to purpose in our hearts what and how to give, and we are supposed to give gladly, and not grudgingly or out of necessity (distress, constraint, feeling obligated to). Aren’t people giving “out of necessity” when they’re being told that they are “God-robbers” and “cursed with a curse” if they don’t tithe? And why would the Scripture tell us that every man should purpose in his heart to give if tithing is commanded and not optional? That’s not giving according to the purpose in your heart, that’s following an order. Yet again, no amount, increment, or percentage is specified. Also, what curse would we be cursed with for not tithing today? We own no fields or crops to be destroyed by lack of rain and by pests eating and destroying them. How is one cursed for not tithing? If we were to be under a curse for not doing so, wouldn’t the New Testament have warned us of it?

Galatians 3:10-13 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

• If Christ became a curse for us, redeeming us from the curse of the law, and if we are no longer under the law but under grace and living by faith and not the law, then how could any curse concerning the law, which included tithing, be effective for Christians?

1Corinthians 9:13 “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?”

• Yes, we are to give to the people who minister and teach the Word of God, but again, no set amount, increment, or percentage is implemented. Giving should be out of one’s love.

Summary of New Testament Giving

• Giving should be as a man purposes in his heart, out of love.

• There is no specified amount or percentage in relation to giving.

• Tithing (which, again, was always food, never money) was never commanded and there was no major focus on tribe distinction, especially since the Gentiles didn’t belong to any of the tribes of Israel.

• The New Testament saints are seen giving in order to make sure that all amongst them were equal, none suffering lack.

• The saints gave unto church leaders and unto each other.

Overall statements and questions

All in all, tithing is not once commanded in the New Testament. It was commanded to the children of Israel (the Jews) and the guidelines were laid out and specifications were given as to what the tithe was, where it was to be taken, to whom it was to be given, and what was supposed to be done with it. With the Gentiles having come to accept Christ, becoming children of God, wouldn’t there be specific instructions given to them concerning the tithe since they had no prior obligation or knowledge to tithe, not knowing that it was required in the first place? When we see that God wants us to do or not do something, shouldn’t we try to follow it exactly as He says it should be done? The tithe had specific requirements attached to it, but why do churches today pick and choose which principles about tithing apply to us today? Tithe was always food, never money, but why can’t someone today bring 10% of the food they have at home to church and call it their tithe? Tithe was to be given to the Levites, but no one knows who the Levites are today. If the pastors/preachers today are “symbolic” of the Levite priests, justifying their collection of tithes, then what Israelite tribes, symbolically speaking, are the rest of us supposed to be a part of that we’re giving tithes? If the tithe was given to the entire tribe of Levi, why are only the pastors of today taking up tithes? Who would be the regular non-priest Levites that should also be receiving tithes? Among the Levites were the singers who sang in the temple. They also partook of the tithe, so why aren’t tithes taken up and given to the choir members and musicians? And the purpose of the tithe was to provide for the Levites because they had no land inheritance. Assuming, for a second, that the original tithe of food has somehow been replaced by today’s tithing of money/income and that preachers are today’s Levite priests, then why do the preachers today who have outside sources of incomes like other jobs, companies or business that they own or are partners in, or have products they sell (books they’ve written, and other things) need to collect tithes? They have their own “inheritance” (means of earning money, since the actual biblical inheritance of land is no longer in effect) now and their stomachs are well-fed. And why aren’t tithes taken up to feed the needy members of the church? Recall that the tithe was eaten by the Levites, the priests, and also the widows, the fatherless/orphans, the strangers, etc. But today, no one but the pastor has the right to take up buckets full of tithes. Also, the tithe was meant to take care of the people (Levites, widows, fatherless) not the temple building. And probably most importantly, the Levite priests represented the people before God. They had to go to Him on behalf of the children of Israel. We don’t need priests today because Jesus is our High Priest and through Him we can go directly to God for ourselves.

My main gripe with “tithing” is that today’s “tithing” isn’t actually tithing at all when compared to the real, Biblical specifications of tithing. It’s simply giving 10% percent of the money you make, which churches tell you that you have to give. There is no such commandment under Christ to do that. We are instructed to give, but there is no command to tithe. We do need to give to our local church to support it and keep it running, butwe don’t need churches bullying people and telling them that they are robbing God and will be cursed for not tithing. We should want to give out of love to make sure that not only are the church’s needs met, but more importantly that God’s people who are the Church (capital “C”) have their needs met. Why don’t preachers put emphasis on giving for that reason? People give all their money to the church, but never give it the brother or sister in Christ sitting next to them on the pew or living next door to them who may not be able to eat or feed their children this week. Churches never seem to pressure the people into giving to that person like they pressure the people into giving to their ministry. I have never experienced a pastor collect “tithes” to make sure that everyone in the congregation can eat, or can pay their rent, or pay their light bill, etc. I have yet to see a pastor berate his congregation for some of them living in abundance while ignoring the needs of their brothers and sisters who are suffering lack. I haven’t seen them teach that equality of the saints as seen in 1Corinthians 8:12-15. But the church-goers get harshly chastised for not tithing to the church. People should never be made to feel forced, obligated, or threatened with a “curse” to give. When the feeling of threat or obligation is taken away, true believers who read the Word will fall in love with giving freely, and may even want to give more than the supposed “minimum requirement” of 10 percent. I believe that God will make sure that a church that puts its trusts in Him, and not in scaring their members into tithing, will receive adequate care by moving upon the hearts of His people to give according to the ministry’s needs.

I simply disagree with what is being done today. The “tithe” isn’t a tithe unless it follows the guidelines laid out in the Old Testament, and therefore it should not be referred to as a tithe. If people decide they want to offer up 10 percent of their income to the church, then they can offer that up. But it’s just that: an offering. Again, as followers of Christ, we need to give, but we shouldn’t be threatened by Old Testament laws that no longer apply to cause us to give out of fear of “robbing God” or being “cursed”. Nor should we be giving with the expectation of receiving something in return for giving, leading many people to treat God like an ATM or a slot machine. As followers of Christ it should be our desire to help our respective local churches, and also one another. We need to give out of love from our hearts, and in whatever manner the Holy Spirit may personally instruct us to give, but we should never be giving based on the demands and scare tactics of men.

I understand that this may be hard to digest for a lot of people, having been a stickler for tithing for years myself, but let the Word speak for itself.  We should be following God’s Word, not the doctrines of men.  This is why it is so vitally important for us to study the Word for ourselves and not just gobble up the messages given to us from pulpits.  Scriptures and principles get twisted all the time…many pastors are honestly unaware of some of the false doctrines they teach because they may be just passing on what they’ve learned from others and have taken it as truth…others are KNOWINGLY teaching false doctrines and refuse to repent…and God is going to deal with them as He wills..and it won’t be pretty, I can guarantee that much..

This isn’t just strictly about tithing, we need to be educated in the Word about EVERYTHING…ask God to guide you through His Holy Spirit..learn about God from God..and only accept the teachings of men if their teachings can be validated by the Word…the Word is your filter…Nothing should be taken away from or added to God’s Word and the principles therein. 

Thank Jesus Christ for your salvation and freedom!

To them that have ears…..