F.A.C.T. or Fantasy?
How crafty the devil is as he deceives the people of God! If certain cherished teachings are exposed by correctly interpreted Scripture as rank heresy, satan doesn't give up. He will not willingly let God's people out of their cages of doctrinal bondage. He will bewitch his prisoners into seeing legalistic bondage as beautiful and altogether desirable (Gal.3:1).
Compromise and spin are the order of the day. Confronting religious leaders over dodgy doctrines is held to be a sin, although Paul confronted the apostle Peter over his own hypocritical behavior (Gal.2:11-14). We are to speak the truth in love (Eph.4:15). But it must be the truth nonetheless. We must contend earnestly (not half-heartedly) for the faith originally preached unto the saints (Jude 3). Doctrines given by the Holy Spirit to the Church were taught by the original apostles. If Peter, John, James and Paul didn't teach a specific doctrine as being part of a Christian believer's faith and practice, then that doctrine ought to be rejected as false. Religious heresies cooked up by prelates of the false institutional church systems of the Dark Ages are not binding upon us today.
Only eternity will tell the multitudes who have stayed away from church because they couldn't afford the membership dues imposed on them from the pulpit! How many weary, frustrated fathers or mothers felt forced to take an extra job because on top of state and federal taxes, they felt obligated to pay an extra ten percent of their gross earnings to the institutional church?
Jesus is the only High Priest (mediator, or middle man) between His subordinate New Testament priesthood and God (I Tim.2:5). In order to take "tithes" in God's Name, and present them to God on our behalf, a preacher must actually place himself or herself in the office of Jesus Christ Himself, Whose priesthood is permanent (Heb.7:23-25)! The Levites (which the clergy of Christendom love to call themselves today) claim to be a privileged class apart from Christians who supposedly have to tithe. But Biblical Levites were expected to take a tithe of what they themselves received from the people and present it to the High Priest (see Numbers 18:25-29). Remember, not all Levites were part of the priesthood, who were exempt from owing any tithes. To label yourself a spiritual Levite is actually to demote yourself from being part of Christ's Royal Priesthood of all believers. The Levitical priesthood did not tithe, so why should own Christ's Royal Priesthood who live under a much better covenant be expected to tithe?
Even in tithe-collecting Charismatic churches there is much singing about how we are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood. But why the inconsistency? Why is it now okay to tax the priesthood in ways they were never taxed under Mosaic Law? The only tithe-exempt individual in Israel who was allowed to take tithes was the High Priest. Whenever some religious figure takes tithes from you, he is acting as an intermediary between you and Christ Jesus, and supplanting Christ's own office of High Priest!
Not only that, no man is ever authorized to add his own ordinances to the Word of God (Deut.4:2). Even if we had to keep the Mosaic Law today, no preacher would have the right to include money in the list of EDIBLE products God wanted tithed in the Old Testament (Lev.27:30; Deut.14:22-23). Collecting and presenting monetary tithes in the Name of Christ is offering strange fire before the Lord which He commanded not (Numbers 3:4). God cannot bless such confusion! And blessing can't be measured merely in dollars and cents. Unless we do things His way, and give only in His way, there is no eternal reward forthcoming for our service unto Him.
Despite the FACT that New Covenant Tithing has been proven to be the mother of all doctrinal deviations, preachers desperately try to salvage this shipwrecked heresy to protect their own bank accounts. If you get folks to cool off and compromise, half the battle for damage control is done. Make 'em feel good about doing things your way, even if it isn't God's way! That old cow patty won't seem like a smelly disgusting thing if you repackage it in a candy box. If you're clever enough you don't need to get all bent out of shape when you defend your right to first dibs on another man's paycheck. A little sugar sure does go a long way. Make folks feel like they're carrying on a great tradition of God-honoring faith by being sweet and reasonable. Presto! Their defenses are lowered. Their sense of indignation about being fleeced vanishes. Everybody can get along just fine and be in agreement on how money should be collected in your church. No need to get all hot and bothered. People actually think they're still living in liberty even if they go on tithing. And like docile sheep, they forget all about this notion of freedom as you convince them that only in bondage can they be truly free. Success! Those people, and their paychecks are in your camp once again. You've built up their self-esteem to the point where they won't even mind parting with their hard-earned dollars anymore. Everybody is the best of buddies and on the same wavelength, and your offering plate won't lose a solitary cent!
One clever tactic making the rounds is F.A.C.T. (Faith-based Abrahamic Covenant Tithing). Man, if Father Abraham could look down from heaven and see some of the stunts being pulled by pulpiteers in his name, he'd be shocked!
Let's forget all the religious fairy dust being sprinkled around and take another good look at the type of tithe paid by Abraham. No minister ever likes to mention the fact that the source of the very first tithe recorded in Scripture was a town full of cathouses and bordellos! That blows their argument clear out of the water!
Let's revisit the scene of Abraham's tithe to Melchisedek. In Genesis Chapter 14 Abraham wins a miraculous victory and rescues Lot and the other citizens of Sodom. Not only are Lot and his family rescued from captivity, but all the people and goods of Sodom are recovered (Gen.14:16). Afterward, the king of wicked Sodom comes out to meet Lot. Melchisekek, the priest of the Most High God, also comes to Abraham and brings him bread and wine.
Melchisedek blesses God for Abraham's victory and he also blesses Abraham. In verse 20 Abraham gives (not pays) tithes of all the spoils of war to Melchisedek.
Normally a tither will be told that ninety per cent of his paycheck belongs to him, after paying his tithe. So Abraham has ninety per cent of the spoils left over for himself after giving ten per cent to Melchisedek? Does Abraham consider this stuff his own property which he has just tithed from? No. The king of Sodom covets the souls Abraham has recovered, but tells Abraham he may keep the other booty for himself. In verses 22 and 23 Abraham swears by the Lord that he will not claim anything for himself, not so much as a shoestring. Abraham NEVER considered the spoil of Sodom his own property which he paid tithes on! He didn't want any of it! Abraham was a great friend of God, and anything God asked him to give he would give, even his own son Isaac. But nowhere does Scripture ever say that Abraham ever tithes again, or regularly tithes on his business or personal estate.
As for systematic tithing being a part of Abraham's faith covenant with God, tithing is never again mentioned as being done either by him or any of his descendants until Jacob made that deal with God in Genesis 28:20-22. IF God would take good care of Jacob first, THEN Jacob would give God ten per cent of all he had. If Abraham truly taught all his children to tithe, then why would Jacob be in any position to make a bargain with God and wait some twenty years to start paying on it? That's about how long it took Jacob to get back to the Promised Land after making that vow. Jacob would already be obligated to pay that amount to God, and if so, how would he do it, except through some human intermediary? Bargaining with a bill you ALREADY owe is just as ridiculous as vowing to pay your landlord the rent if he does something nice for you!
In Genesis Chapter 15 God appears to Abraham and ratifies his covenant. Abraham will have descendants as numerous as the stars and inherit the Land. Abraham offers up animal sacrifices to God. Abraham doesn't do much after that. Abraham takes a more passive role. He falls into a deep sleep, during which time God tells him what will befall his descendants in Egypt. Abraham offers up sacrifices unto God, but NOWHERE in that covenant is tithing of any kind ever mentioned!
Think about it. Abraham's ONE-TIME tithe came from the spoils of wicked Sodom, a place so sordid God wiped it off the map! Here's a brief description of the kind of place which was the source of Abraham's tithe:
Jude 7: Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
If you want to follow Abraham's example in tithing, you'll have to give SOMEBODY ELSE'S STUFF to the preacher, preferably from a house of ill repute. That's about as close as you can get to Sodom today. Remember, Abraham claimed NONE of the plunder as his own, either before or after tithing on it to Melchisedek. And if tithing was to be part of the covenant of Abraham who was justified by faith alone (Rom.4:3,9; Gal.3:6), then why didn't God ever mention any kind of tithing when He came down from heaven to ratify this covenant?
This F.A.C.T. fabrication folds like a house of cards, doesn't it? How can a work never once commanded by God (monetary tithing) be preached as a key element of a vital faith in God? How can a one-time act of tithing sourced from wicked Sodom serve as an example which we are commanded to follow? For that matter, which of the apostolic epistles ever mentions Faith-based Abrahamic Covenant Tithing as a standard of Christian generosity? Show me the Scripture! Properly applied Scripture alone is to be our guide, plain and simple.
Here is the anagram God gave me to show what He thinks of a dead doctrine which money-hungry preachers refuse to let go of:
Monetary tithing is a dead corpse of a doctrine which has been repackaged into a F.A.C.T. and perfumed to seem like somethin' it just ain't.
Monetary tithing is an overwhelmingly unscriptural doctrine which deserves to be buried in the sweet sea of forgetfulness. Calling something a F.A.C.T. just don't make it so. FACT: Two plus two will never equal three!
FACT: Monetary tithing began long after the death of the first apostles as a voluntary custom, then through satanic deception and greed of men was made law by the clergy of institutional Christendom during the Dark Ages.
NOWHERE is monetary tithing ever taught to believers in the New Testament, and not even in the Old. No preacher can wiggle their way out of that simple fact!
Tithing is part of the Law of Moses, given specifically TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL BY MOSES FROM MT. SINAI (Lev.27:30-34). Christ took the old ceremonial laws to the Cross with Him (Eph.2:15; Col.2:14). They were abolished to make way for a better covenant based on better promises (Heb.8:6). If tithing is binding on today's Christian, then circumcision, animal sacrifices, and the death penalty for breaking the Sabbath are also in effect today.
So many preachers today still lust for the rust. Jesus instructs His disciples to lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupts (Matt.6:19-21).
Here are a few Scriptures which warn the rich:
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
VERSE 2: Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
VERSE 3: Your gold and silver is cankered (rotted away); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
VERSE 5: Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (I Tim.6:10).
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