March 8, 2007

Reconsidering the Tithe.

by @ 2:41 pm. Filed under The Truth Shall Set you Free!

I know if you’ve been reading this blog for some time, that you recall I’ve been one who used to endorse tithing. I must say that I apologize to everyone who read those past posts. I have found that I erred in my view of the issue. In this post I will walk you through how I found the truth and I figure sharing my path to finding the truth will help others who have been receiving bad teaching when it comes to the issue of Christian church tithing.

When I first became saved as a child, I like most Christians learned that I should pay 10% of my gross income. Even as a child I was tithing off my allowance, in hopes that I would please God, by giving my money to whatever church we attended at the time. I was told that I would be blessed if I did and cursed if I failed to tithe. Just the same, there were times in life where my money was tight and I’d fail to tithe. I’d feel guilty and often tried to pay back any tithes I might have missed. I tell you all of this because I know it is what some of you who believe in tithing do. You might even feel that reading this post might lead you into darkness, but do not fear. I want you to know that I don’t write this post as some effort to keep money for myself or have you hoard your own. I have worked to give the tithe when I thought it was the righteous thing to do and I only seek righteousness. I write this post because I have learned that we who endorsed tithing were sorely misled and it is my duty to openly share this truth with you.

As I said, I started out learning I should pay tithes. Then later I was told that it was an Old Testament Jewish practice and I felt that was correct. Then later I noticed that tithing was mentioned by Jesus and shown it is mentioned in the book of Hebrews. A misguided view of those scriptures led me to feel once again that tithing was a duty of Christians. And so we finally come to now, where I am thankful for a clearer view of the words of Christ and those in the book of Hebrews.

Most people speaking of tithing jump right to Malachi 3:8-12. Suffice to say, if you are tithing you already know those Old Testament verses well enough and could recite them to me, so I won’t even quote them here. Your pastor has probably already done a great job making sure you know those verses. Just the same, they were instructions given to the Jews, we know that, simply because the scripture is in the Old Testament. I personally had been misled beyond Malachi 3:8-12, to the point of being told that Jesus mentioning tithing in Matthew 23:23 was proof Christians should tithe.

Matthew 23:23 (New King James Version)

23) ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

What I failed to realize is that Jesus was speaking to Jews about what they should have done. Not what Christians should do once he sacrificed himself and the old law was no more.

You should first read the entire book of Malachi. You will notice that God speaks to Israel about a lot more issues than just tithing and in terms of tithing He was not even speaking to them about money when He used the word “rob”. Even Jesus mentioned that the scribes and Pharisees were paying the tithe in something other than money. It is highly important to understand this fact. A money tithe was only paid by people traveling and they didn’t use it the way your pastor is probably telling you to tithe money. (See Deuteronomy 14:22-29)

As part of my being misled about tithing Hebrews 7 was also used. And I must say I am glad I continued to re-read this scripture and better understand it. Hebrews 7 starts with talk about how a tithe was paid to Melchizedek and Jews paid tithes to the Levites.

Hebrews 7:4 (New King James Version)

4) Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils

And the chapter goes on to tell how we now live under a greater priest than the Levites and Melchizedek. So my pro-tithing brothers and sisters would simply ask, how can you not tithe now, when Jesus is greater than Melchizedek? This left me stunned. I had no response. I did not have a full understanding of Hebrews 7 & 8. I would read them, but as they lead me to see it, rather than the truth of it. Please read Hebrews 7 & 8. When they were asking me about Jesus being greater than Melchizedek, the proper response to them was right there in Hebrews 7 & 8 and I should have responded, for the same reason I don’t give a burnt offering or follow many of the old laws Jews were instructed to adhere to in the Old Testament.

Folks, even today’s orthodox Jews don’t pay the tithe any more. Because as Hebrews 7 mentions, it was paid to the Levitical priests. The tithe was used to support those Levites and the temple that is no more. The Levitical priests were all killed. We Christians know that we are no longer under the old law, but under grace. So why out of the old law is tithing maintained, when there is no New Testament support for it? We are beyond the old law.

Hebrews 7:18-19 (New King James Version)

18) For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,

19) for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is thebringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Christ is not like the old Levitical priesthood.

Hebrews 7:22-28

22) by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

23) Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.

24) But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.

25) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26) For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who isholy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

27) who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people?s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

28) For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

So the old law is done away with. We should not be holding to an old law just because a pastor said hold to it. We are a new priesthood with Jesus as our High Priest. Jesus wants all of us and we should give as he commands through us. Not as the pastor that wishes to hold you to an outdated standard commands. Read Matthew 25:31-46. You will not be judged by what you gave to your church. Of course supporting the ministry of the Gospel is a good thing, but we should ensure we ourselves are giving to help the poor. The words of Christ TO US show who we should focus our giving to. In this prior post I gave totally incorrect instruction in that regard. Although the poor will always be with us, Jesus mentioned that in a single instance where a woman wanted to anoint him with oil. That is not comparable to how we should give as Christians. Also I mentioned that Jesus justified himself by mentioned that he preached the Gospel to the poor. We should give them the Gospel as Jesus did, but Jesus told us we will be judged also by what we give the poor and hungry in the physical sense. So give to the needy, not the greedy.

In this old post, I mentioned Malachi 3:8-12 and treated it as being applicable to today. Another mistake on my part. The blessing mentioned by Malachi has already been poured and there is no greater blessing than Jesus Christ. Paying tithes won’t avert war and Jesus said we would have wars. I still do believe that spreading the Gospel will help though. The more people who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord in Muslim lands or anywhere for that matter, the better.

Also in my post about the prosperity gospel, I mentioned tithing as being a good thing. Giving is a good thing, but tithing to bind yourself under a law that does not apply to you is…well for lack of a better term foolishness. (You know I did it.) And let’s just thank the Lord those are the only places I mentioned tithing, because going back to correct myself is never fun 😀 .

There are a couple of papers that I highly recommend that you read in their entirety. Make sure you have your Bible open when reading them.

I could continue, but I’d only be saying what you will find in those papers I noted above. Please go and read them. They are not short reads and they should not be. They fully detail and explain what is possibly the greatest mis-teaching at most churches across this nation and possibly the world.

52 Responses to “Reconsidering the Tithe.”

  1. healtheland Says:

    The only thing that I have against tithing is that as people who have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we should be able to pray and be led by God in terms of our giving. So, if you are just giving 10% according to some legalistic ritual, then you are not praying over your giving and therefore not involving the Holy Spirit in your giving to God or in your finances. So, even though that is the only thing, I guess that it is a pretty big thing!

  2. George Says:

    Praise God that you had the courage to admit your change in belief about tithing for God’s church! I want to encourage your readers to consider visiting my website where those with high speed internet can download the free 10 part video series ‘The Truth About Tithing’.

  3. IndependentConservative Says:

    Hi George, I’ve started checking out your video series. Great stuff.

    You know, once folks get the matter of tithing straight, it also helps Christians to see clearly about a host of other issues.

  4. tithe Says:

    I agree with you here. thanks for posting your beliefs in support with scripture. There were a lot of questions that i had when i began to study tithing. a friend had approached me about the subject of tithing. i believed tithing was a mandate at the time so i studied the scriptures to prove him wrong, well, i only proved him right.

  5. IndependentConservative Says:

    Welcome to the blog “tithe”, I think you should watch George’s video series and read the write-ups I linked to.

  6. digitaln Says:

    The way we give is an indication of our love for God. All things belong to God. God says in Psalms 50:10, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” Everything we have received has come from God. God has only loaned them to us. John 3:27 says, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from above.” We can never out-give God. In Luke 6:38 we read, “Give and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” We give so the Lord’s church can better carry out its mission here on earth. The world must be evangelized, and the church must be edified, and the needy must be helped.

    Giving is a command of God. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 we read, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also. On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper that there be no collections when I come.” We see the giving here was to help the poor saints in Jerusalem. Notice also they were to make a regular collection every first day of the week.

    Because of everything God has given us, including His Son to die for us, we should be anxious to give back to Him. In 2 Corinthians 8:12 we read, “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” God expects us to give what we are able to give. How can our love for God be real unless it is expressed in our obedience and our giving? Our giving is an expression of love, and act of praise, and sacrifice to God.

    How we give is an indication of where our priorities are. Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth and rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Where is your heart?

    Since we can’t out-give God, we should at least be liberal in our giving. As we read in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” Our giving is to be planned. We should not give because we feel we have to give. Nor should we resent that we need to give to please God. We should be glad that we can give to the Lord.

    We should never try to impress other people with our giving. If we do we already have our reward. Giving needs to be a private matter. We should not seek recognition for the things we do. Jesus says in Matthew 6:1-4, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen of them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” We should seek the approval of God and not the glory of men.

    Our giving should not only include material possessions but we must first give ourselves to God. We are told in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethern, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” If we will first give ourselves to the Lord, we will have no problem in being liberal in our giving. Our liberal giving is part of worshipping God “in spirit and in truth.”

  7. IndependentConservative Says:

    digitaln – While I agree with your statements for the most part, there are some errors that need to be addressed. You mentioned Luke 6:38 and there I must mention that you’ve mischaracterized the context of that verse. This is something I addressed in a previous post.

    It is certainly good to give and it has a reward in Heavenly returns, not earthly gain.

    Paul notes:
    Acts 20:35 (New King James Version)

    35) I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

    Now we must keep in mind that when “giving” that means we should ensure the money is used as prescribed in scripture addressed to Christians. We are to FIRST seek to offer comfort to family, then other poor saints and from there consider outreach ministry. The charity should start within one’s own family and branch out from there.

    As Paul notes:
    1 Timothy 5:8 (New King James Version)

    8) But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    Many have been deceived into thinking that giving is not giving unless given to an organization that facilitates worship services. This is far from the truth. While giving should be done as a group and church body, it starts at home and goes from there. And when giving as a church body, again one MUST ensure the money is used according to scripture. If the money is mostly going to the upkeep of a building and not to poor saints, which is the case with the vast majority of “churches”, than the money is being misused. Notice Paul never owned a building to facilitate ministry, they (apostles) never recorded efforts to own buildings at all.

    First to family, poor saints, then to others in the form of giving while spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the ministers have need, they should be given money as well, but like Paul the good minister will not burden the church if they are able to do well for themselves.

    You ask.

    Where is your heart?

    Do you think this post was some effort to hoard money? Certainly not. It is to correct mis-teaching and help saints realize they are not bound to legalism. Because the contrived system of collections that has been branded “tithing” has put a yolk on the saints that is greater than what the true system of tithing was under the old covenant for the Jews.

    Given you seem to have a fairly appropriate view of giving, I’m going to assume you’ve already reviewed at least some of the recommended material in this post. Best if you’ve read or viewed at least one in full. But the contrived system called tithing today is worse than the true system of tithing in the past. John MacArthur offers a short explanation of giving and what tithing really was, that is worth reading.

  8. jalarise84 Says:

    Hello. Independent conservative, I would like to ask you, where do you go to church and who is your pastor?

  9. IndependentConservative Says:

    I’ll simply say that I personally attend a small church that you won’t find on TV or radio. (I say attend “church” but actually mean I attend meetings with fellow saints, because we all are the church and the church is not the building.)

    No matter where I attend, the scriptures are our guide. We each must seek out believers in our area that are willing to adhere to scripture.

  10. jalarise84 Says:

    I figured you would reply like that. You did not answer the last part of my question of whether you have a pastor or not? Remember in I Corinthians 12:28, it states: And God hath set some in the church (the body of Christ), first apostles, secondarily prophets, and thirdly teachers, etc., all for the edification of the body of Christ. So who are you accountable to? Who watches for your soul? You must be careful not to become your own pastor; that is very dangerous! For those who are adhering to your “enlightenment” they need to be careful, because I guarantee that it will cause confusion. You could cause many people in their local assemblies to leave there assemblies and just start their own little meetings amongst themselves out of confusion, which is what I sense you did, and God is not the author of confusion. I noticed that you ripped on almost every preacher in the TBN family. My father is a pastor and I wonder if you heard him preach, what would you say about him? You seem to find fault with these preachers and have in depth knowledge of the Bible only to claim that it is to bring “enlightenment.” Jesus said “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Now, you know that you are not without sin, so you have absolutely no right to get on the internet and tear these preachers down like wild dogs. It seems like to me that you have drawn conclusions based on negative experiences that you may have had in the church. You need to first, take a look at yourself (the plank in your eye), before you get on here bashing these preachers. It seems as if these meetings that you have with fellow “saints” are really geared towards finding fault with the church. Even if what you posted about these preachers are true, we simply just need to pray for them, and ask God for a discerning spirit. I do not know whether you are male or female, but whoever you are, independent conservative, I will pray for you that God will show YOU some “enlightenment.”

  11. IndependentConservative Says:

    jalarise84 – First let me note that I will not allow you to derail efforts here with babble and various accusations.

    I have told you that I attend an assembly, it is a church assembly with a pastor and so on. No I don’t tell you the name because it is not the issue here. You can’t disprove my points on so-called tithing, so you’d rather attack the messenger, given you can’t handle the truth. I’ve also mentioned John MacArthur’s explanation, does he not lead a church? I’ve said nothing but good about the man here. So no, I don’t speak against men who are actually trying to stand on truth rather than scams.

    Yes I point out pimps from TBN here and could care less who your daddy is.

    Regarding “judging” my eye is clear on this and you are upset that I might upset your daddy’s hustle. Also regarding “judging” read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 and note the parts about covetousness and extortion.

    Now, if you respond here again, your next response WILL address the issue of this contrived system of collection known as “tithing” or you will be shown the door.

  12. jalarise84 Says:

    Wow, Considering your tone, I guess you took my post negatively. I did not come from an upset point of view about anything. My main concern is for the posters on this site who are adhering to what you are posting about. I just pray that this site does not cause any confusion among the belivers here, and that they will pray to God for themselves to show them what’s real and what’s not, and not to look to someone called the “independent conservative” for answers. Don’t bother posting back, because believe me, I will not return to this site. God bless you, and God help you.

  13. IndependentConservative Says:

    Well I promised to show him the door, because he refuses to address the issue, so I will, just in case he does not desire to keep his word.

  14. epiphany Says:

    I shared this awesome revelation that God gave you with members of my church. Before they even read it, they said that NO ONE was going to stop them from tithing no matter what revelation was shared.
    I think that that mentality speaks to many bound people in that they are fearful of the truth and do not like when others shake their foundation with the truth.
    While it was admitted that they had not studied the bible fully regarding tithing, they were adamant that they would not stop.
    I emphasized that “giving” is not the true issue. Being “manipulated” and “deceived” into “giving IS. Giving to POOR ground IS. But, as you can imagine, no one wanted to hear that. They would just continue to give BLINDLY.'s%20Corner/tithing_sensibly.htm

  15. russkellyphd Says:

    Thank you for this blog. I was saved in an Independent Conseervative chruch and there are none in my area now which do not teach tithing. Since I did myu phd on the subject I am unwelcome almost everywhere I go. You give some hope that the truth might shine forth. May God bless you. Russeel Earl Kelly, Acworth, Ga.

  16. kcbr Says:

    My Pastor told me I couldn’t be in a leadership position if I didn’t pay my tithes. What is your take on this?

  17. IndependentConservative Says:

    Hi kcbr,

    My Pastor told me I couldn’t be in a leadership position if I didn’t pay my tithes. What is your take on this?

    Review the information presented here and what the sources cited say about the issue when rightfully dividing scripture. See the references in prior comments here too. Also see Dr. Russ Kelly’s work on the issue at . Dr. Kelly did his PhD work on the topic.

    And from what you learn, you can attempt to help your pastor learn a better way. Most are not willing, but maybe your pastor will be the exception.

    Some pastors use the “tithing was before the law of Moses” excuse, Dr. Kelley covers that well in his work, that is freely available on his web site. Animal sacrifices and total rest Friday sundown till Saturday sundown for Sabbath were done before the law of Moses also, but the same folks who advocate tithing seem to realize that those things are not the same with the new covenant. What is called “tithing” is nothing more than a man-contrived system of collection, that is not from the Lord. It certainly does not represent what the tithe was under the old covenant and Paul never instructed any converted (new covenant) Gentiles to pay 10%, never ever. On top of the fact they gave to help poor saints, not to build bigger buildings. According to scripture, in the early church, sometimes they shared all with fellow saints and other times they gave as they purposed in their hearts based on how they each prospered. No set amount, no fixed percentages, but what they felt they each should give as individuals and keep in mind, it was to help poor saints, not build buildings. When they shared all they were under persecution and desperate to help each other, Acts 4:32-37. Outside of that, saints gave as they felt led and they had church leaders who used the money TO HELP POOR SAINTS, 1 Corinthians 16.

    Even if saints desire to share all outside of being persecuted, it’s an agreed upon deal between fellow saints and nobody is treated like a sinner if they refuse to participate. Some small groups in some places establish private Christian communes, but that’s for those who desire to do that. It was not done everywhere in every case, usually it depended on the saints’ needs. The bottom line is to make sure poor saints are being helped. Not via secular government, but the church helping fellow saints, via saints who can giving to those who need.

    Pastors that press for what they call a “tithe” never talk about how even under the old covenant, poor people were not only exempt, they received some of the tithe. Plenty of people being paid money were exempt, even those who were making some money, if they didn’t have land and animals. It was a theocracy and a tax on those who could afford to pay. The tithe which was not money was used to support the Levitical priesthood, strangers, the poor and widows. The old Levitical priesthood is no more, which is why Jews don’t even tithe today. Jesus Christ is our hight priest, he wants hearts, not money.

    See what Messianic Jew (a Jew who accepted Jesus as Christ and Lord) Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum says about it on his Q/A page.

    Q. I have been taught that it is our duty to give precisely one tenth of our gross income to the church. Under this teaching not doing so is thought to be robbing God of what is His. What are your views on tithing?

    A. Concerning your question on tithing, what you have been told is a good example of what happens when people pull certain verses out of context and then misapply what they have pulled out of context.

    First of all, the actual Mosaic tithe was not 10 percent but 22-23 percent. That is because there were two annual tithes of 10 percent each and a third tithe every third year. The total averages out to 22-23 percent.

    Second, the tithing itself was aimed strictly at the farming community, which most Jews were a member of at that time. They had to tithe from what was grown and what was raised such as flocks. Anyone else outside the field of farming would simply pay the annual half shekel at Passover.

    Third, tithing was part of the Mosaic Law and therefore was only in force as long as the Mosaic Law was in force. The Mosaic Law came to an end when Messiah died on the cross.

    Fourth, the biblical principle for today’s giving is not based upon tithing but based upon giving as the Lord has prospered. From week to week the percentile might be different depending on the obligations we might have.

    Fifth, the Bible nowhere says we are to give our entire offering (not tithe) to the local church. On the contrary, we are told that we should lay it in private deposit and strictly distribute our giving as necessary. The certain things we are required to support would include the local church, but that does not mean they get the entire amount of our offering. There are other ministries we are obligated to support such as whom we learn the Word from (Galatians 6), Jewish ministries (Romans 15:25-27), and others we give to as we are led to give. There is no need to feel guilty if somebody tries to get on your case for not tithing specifically to the church. The verses they use are verses that deal with the Mosaic Law. The storehouse was in the Temple Compound where the food was stored and not the church treasury.

    Q. Based on Paul’s teaching about those observing the Law being under a curse (Gal. 3:10-14), does this mean that churches and believers who believe they must follow the law of tithing are under a curse?

    A. Paul’s basic teaching throughout Galatians is that Gentile believers who wished to submit to the Law through circumcision were, in turn, obligated to keep the entire Law (613 commandments). By so doing, they placed themselves under a curse – the disciplines of God detailed in several Torah passages (Lev. 26; Deu. 28-29; etc.) – as they would find it impossible to keep the whole Law.

    I would not say that modern-day “Law-keepers” are necessarily under a curse, but the fact remains that it would be impossible to keep the tithe exactly as Moses commanded: a largely agricultural, annual rate of 23 percent. Though they would not necessarily suffer any special judgment from God, I do believe they rob themselves of His blessings that come through the teaching of grace-giving.

    Now if a Jew who tried living under a form of “the law” then accepted Christ knows better than to fall for demands to pay 10% gross earnings, how straight nonsensical is it for Gentiles who never knew the law and are likewise saved by grace and likewise free from the law and not living in old covenant times to make up a collection system and call it a “tithe”? Really, it’s a made up scam, that many (even some pastors) innocently have bought into. More pastors than will admit know it’s not right though.

    The pastors that select leaders based on “tithes” are what I call “tithe enforcers”. Not only do they instruct tithing, like many church groups have been misleading people to do, they go a step further and make it mandatory for true acceptance with them. To me, they are the worst of the worse on this issue.

  18. Crimsonite Says:

    I have been long regarded as “baby Christian” at the Church I used to attend and told not to raise too many questions. I noticed back in Sept 2006, all the Apostles never asked for tithing/offerings to maintain their ministries in a building. I have been sharing with people at the Church that each and everyone of us is a Holy Temple of Christ, and the people are the actual “Body of Christ”, not a building. Giving money to Pastors/Church co-workers because they need the salary is NOT giving sacrifices to God. When I shared this with the cell-group, I was then accused of being deceived by Satan and the leader persecuted me from even share anything from that point on. I pray to God in the spirit that the ultimate truth of The One will be revealed, and He shall destroy the controlling spirit of Jezebel with His divine powers.

    God bless you all-

  19. eden07 Says:

    Hi! I am new to this site and I find it really refreshing!

    IC, this is something that I researched for almost a year and came to the same conclusion. I was so scared and tested my thought on the scriptures and convenants with friends and was shut down. I have an awesome pastor, and though our church does not believe in the prosperity gospel and we help each other more than family, we do tithe. Now, after deciding that I would not believe I was cursed for missing a tithe and that surely my salvation and spiritual health wouldn’t come down to money, I still pay tithes. I just have a different heart and mindset about it. I pay “tithes” and more because I am in a group that helps single moms and families. I am in a group that I know if I am going through something, a bunch of people are there for me and my family. I don’t have good relationships with my family and as a previous member of a mega Word-Faith church, I am elated to be somewhere that shows the love of God. For the first time in my life, I have a pastor that is actually a pastor the bible describes. This is why I give to help others receive. I just have to figure out how and if I should broch the subject with my pastor. It’s not that I feel he wouldn’t listen or read the info…I just think it would hit a wall with how to implement this study in the church… The revelations I have been coming to about the Word are scary because they are contrary to tradition. Any ideas? lol

    Thanks, IC! I am so very happy to read about this here.

  20. IndependentConservative Says:

    Well, your assembly is spending the money as the Lord commands. That’s way ahead of most. Sticking by you even better than blood, a real church assembly.

    I’d approach him with gentleness. Applaud all the good, but note what the Lord has given us in scripture, that allows money to be given freely with no set percentages. Point out that you know this could impact what the church could help you with if you had a future need. You just want the church to walk in truth.

  21. art123 Says:

    Before I knew better about tithes, I remembered if I missed one payment or more, I would be an emotional wreck, thinking that God would curse me.  In a attempt to make up what I’ve missed in tithes, I had other expenses to consider.  It has come to the point where one day, I’ve looked up and said to Him, paraphrasing that this doesn’t seem to work out and others are getting blessed, including the pastors.  What is going on? I came across Heatherland’s website which lead me to this website and then pulpit-pimps with Mr. Jones and got my answer.  Truthfully, I’ve been hearing for years about the pimpery of the church, but closed my ears to it.  It took this situation to see. God removes the blinders in His time.

  22. spocD Says:

    Praise the Lord!!!  I’ve been waiting for someone to say truly what the bible proclaims.  Case and point. Case:
    Luke 10:25-37 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
    1.  The levite and priest were doing the religious thing, the Samaritan was doing the Godly thing.
    2.  The religious folk gave (time, money, and energy) to the institution not to the one in need.
    3.  The wall of separation between the Jew and non-Jew was torn down through Christ with the true FULFILLMENT of scripture of giving is done not through legality, but love and compassion.

    Tithing in my opinion is the reason why so many people are disconnected from the actual work of ministry.  MINISTRY was never inteneded by God to be institutionalized, but individualized.  Every person is called to minister (SERVE).  Giving that is only taught in the context of the institution has ROBBED many of the obligation to feed the hungry, visit the jailed, and clothe the naked as Christ has directed us.  The mindset is I give to the church (institution) and the work they do is counted towards me when God judges my work.  That’s a lie.  You are required to do the work.  I must stop there.

    I appreciate your ministry brother and I pray God’s blessings over you life.

  23. Queen Ahuva Says:

    I read in Deuteronomy 14 years ago that Yaweh only required the Israelites to tithe once every 3 years in to their community storehouses. The other two years they were instructed to spend the tithe on whatever they wanted and to consume it in the place Yahweh designated that they may learn the fear of Yahweh. I have heard many so-called bible scholars try to say there was more than one tithe. I only read of this one . Anyhow I have never heard any minister speak about this point in scripture. They only use Malachai 3:8-10 to scare people into giving. In my opinion, I think the real reason that Yahweh was angary with the people about the tithe was becasue the function for the store houses (To care for the widows, orphans and foreginers)was being neglected by the Israelites. If every Israelite brought their tithe into the store house every 3rd year as Yahweh instructed, there should have been more than enough provision in those designated storehouses to address the needs of the poor in their community for the next two years. And while the preachers preach about bringing the tithes into the storehouses,I do not see many of them giving back to those generously in need and I am not talking about week old bread or expired canned goods from the church pantry. I heard about a lady who was a faithful memeber of her church who was laid off from her job and went to her pastor for assitance. They turned her away stating that she had not tithed enough for them to help her. Mind you this was a mega church with a multi-million dollar annual budget who would boast of the millions of dollars they sent overseas to plant churches and pay the salaries of the pastors in these foregin countries, but they were not willing to help one of their own memebers who fell on hard times. It seems that alot of these people are willing to go to any legnths to get the money our of our pockets, but become very suspicious and distrustful when one of their own has a need. I am not saying all churches are like that, but MANY of them are. I had another friend who had a dream reagarding the tithe. In the dream Yahweh showed her that he meant for the tithes in the storehouse to be set up like a “savings account for rainy days” for the community where if you fell on hard times you could freely go and get what you need. She shared this with her pastor who agreed with her, but did not want the congregation to know the truth for fear it would depleat the church funds and/or change the peoples attitude towards giving. There has abeen alot of abuse regarding the tithe which would not happen so rampantly if people would read their own bibles from cover to cover and ask questions about where their money is going and hold their pastor accountable when the tithing issue is being abused and/or mis-applied. God does not need our money, he set up the tithng principle to make the Israelites active participants in caring for the improverished in their own communities and for themselves when hard times hit.

  24. IndependentConservative Says:

    Queen Ahuva, please research the links provided by me and those provided by others in comments here, to gain a fuller understanding of tithing under the old covenant. There is no more tithe today, Matthew 25:31-46 is the current measure for giving. Which does reach your ultimate conclusion of helping others who are in need. Now each saint gives as they feel is best, free of fixed percentages, 2 Corinthians 9:7. Each person must let the Lord lead them when it comes to giving.

  25. Queen Ahuva Says:

    Thank you, thank you for the information. I was sharing what I discovered because this fleecing of Yahweh’s sheep has gone on for too long by pastors who have not presneted the whole truth about what the tithe was for within the nation of Israel which was to take care of people not the church budget. The money to maintain the temple was accomplished by the 1/2 shekel of silver each Israelite male had to bring once a year. When I give, I give to the person nearest to me who has a need and Yahweh has responded to me in wonderful ways as I am learning to give properly.

  26. IndependentConservative Says:

    When I give, I give to the person nearest to me who has a need and Yahweh has responded to me in wonderful ways as I am learning to give properly.

    And He will say you gave to Him when He was hungry, Matthew 25:31-46.

    Praise God we see it’s not about some fixed percentage to someone demanding that.

  27. art123 Says:

    Well, it looks like the government is doing a job that the church and many has neglect to do for the poor but even the government is holding back. Some people receive very little to live on. Try living off $60.00 a month. I hope that didn’t sound disrespectful.

  28. Queen Ahuva Says:

    If Yahweh does not step in to help, we are doomed. Exploiting and/or neglecting the poor is detestable to Yahweh! And he will hold accountable those who limit people from being able to get on their feet. 60 dollard a month? that is deplorable!

  29. art123 Says:


  30. eden07 Says:

    I remember feeling and reacting the same way… But I came to a conclusion one day that I was missing some key info… How could Christ’s blood cover so much and free us from so much EXCEPT a curse and issue of money? I have a friend who lives by the “don’t get cursed, so pay” mentality… If something bad happens, she asks you if you have paid your tithes. With all that goes on and all that goes wrong in the world, I am disgusted that churches make it boil down a lot of times to dollars and cents. It makes no sense. Pun intended :D.

  31. eden07 Says:

    Thank you for replying!!! I guess I am having trouble because my pastor is incredible. I have never been in a church like this before… I have grown so much as a person and we have been extremely blessed. I feel safe…etc etc. So when seeing all the wisdom, etc but still seeing that my pastor has missed this and I know how much he is irked by pulpit pimps… It makes me wonder if there is something you and I have missed in this issue… I know this sounds weak. But, I have to admit that where I was that taught me about tithes was a place that is missing it on so many areas they have no credibility with me. Now I am in a place that definitely does and I am finally seeing the fruit of a shepherd and this would be his only huge red flag. I almost want to just quit my membership and avoid it…but what if God sent me for this purpose to this church?

  32. eden07 Says:

    My mom was in a situation where she lost her job and went to the church for help to save us from being evicted. Every month, she was short on bills including our rent trying to make sure she paid her tithes. She was raising four of us and working three jobs and we were living paycheck to paycheck. She paid tithes to the same mega church for 19 years and continues to. The pastor’s told her that the church couldn’t give out handouts and that she should pray about what to do. One of them also criticized her for not having us moved out somewhere before they were to sat our stuff out on the streets… To make matters worst, no one showed up to help us quickly move out like we asked. So me and my mom–two females–moved everything–furniture and all. I never could go into that church again…

  33. IndependentConservative Says:

    When there was a tithe in scripture, it was paid off of INCREASE. People in debt, are in DEBT, they have NO INCREASE.

    Study how the tithe was done in scripture and you’ll be amazed at how far removed this man contrived thing is from what the tithe was.

  34. key2truth Says:

    IC, I and my wife praise God for coming across your postings today! I’ve been seeking and praying for God’s leading for a long time now having been called into the teaching ministry.I’ve been in a lot of ministries in the past and I’ve been labeled a non-conformist for opposing tithing and all their fleecing mechanisms!I choose to live entirely by God’s word even when it hurts my flesh.Jesus says that knowing the truth shall set us free (John 8v32).I choose to believe the truth! I read through some of the criticisms especially the one from a brother who appears to be a pastor’s son and wonder if he studies the bible for himself (2Tim 2v15) or he is being spoon-fed like most Christians are in this end-time by unscrupulous “men of God” whose god is their belies…(Phil 3v19). I understand where he is coming from though, he is simply protecting their investment. Today whenever a believer tries to express the truth, he/she is labeled as speaking against the lord’s anointed. They are quick to forget the purpose of the holy scriptures: for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting and training in Righteousness(2Tim3v16). God’s people are destroyed by ignorance of what the word of God says in every issue of life(Hosea 4v6). Christ Jesus has set us free from the curse of the law (including the so called curse in Mal.3v9 which doesn’t apply to the new testament believer in the first place)(Gal.3v13). My suggestion to you is not to allow undue criticisms get at you because it’s expected. Remember, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments,because you know they produce quarrels.And the lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.Those who oppose him he must gently instruct in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will”(2Tim2v23-26). I just left a church where I teach and have been feeling somehow guilty because of God’s people that I teach there because some of them have been calling me incessantly. However, I’ve decided to move on because I cannot continue to endure the lies any more. However, I’ve not been able to find a church in the NY metro area that doesn’t believe in tithing. Please do suggest or recommend to me any truth believing church in the NY metro area that you know. Iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another(Proverbs 27v17).I believe that God led me to you for a purpose and I hope to share and learn from you on a lot of issues. God bless you.

  35. IndependentConservative Says:

    key2truth – I’m just a guy trying to help some folks avoid the pitfalls I used to be pretty deep in personally. The Lord willed I come to a better understanding of some things and I just try and share 🙂 .

    I can’t say I have a map of good versus bad assemblies, but I do know many saints in the NYC area complain it’s very hard to find a place teaching sound doctrine in that area. I’ve never been a fan of “lists” because if I had a “list” and a place on it was bad that’s on my head till I can correct the “list”. Which is why I only seek to let believers know the truth and pray the Lord lead them from there.

    But perhaps someone reading of your plight with knowledge of your area may be able to offer suggestions.

    Christless Christianity and How to be Pimp Free

  36. key2truth Says:

    Thanks IC, I truly appreciate your stand. Last Sunday, I was at CCC in Brooklyn,NY at the prompting of my wife. The head Pastor is A.R. Bernard. I must say that I love the worship and his teaching on God’s guidance was great, however, I observed that they tithe. Also, I saw some cops with guns within the church premises. I checked out his website just like I did check that of Rick warren and T.D. Jakes and discovered they all sell the downloads of the teachings of God’s word!
    After discussing these with my wife she was greatly disturbed and a little confused. She wondered who then to trust if the so called men of God can’t be trusted.
    She suggested that we find people with similar faith. I believe what the psalmist says in Psalm 32v8:”I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go;I will counsel you and watch over you”.God will definitely lead me to the right brothers who have undiluted love for the Lord in the NY metro area.
    If anybody reading this is within the NY metro area please do let me know if you are in a truth believing assembly of the brethren not necessarily a church building. The believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit and not necessarily the church buildings
    (1 corr.6v19).

  37. IndependentConservative Says:


    She wondered who then to trust if the so called men of God can’t be trusted.

    It seems she’s learning you can’t put your trust in men. But only in God alone through Jesus Christ. The only man we can and should “trust” is the man Christ Jesus. But really the bottom line is that you’re seeing many desire tradition in many areas over truth.

    Not that I know an extensive amount about the “Christian City Church” organization (who I assume you are speaking of when you say “CCC”), but overall they seem to really be part of the “seeker sensitive” model, which I’m not at all a fan of.

  38. speakingtruth Says:

    Don’t forget, IC – A.R. Bernard also used to run with Eddie Long, although Club New Birth never really quite embraced him because he wasn’t as emotional as all of the other guest speakers that would come by.

    You’re right – CCC does have a “seeker-sensitive”-like model.

  39. IndependentConservative Says:

    Thanks Speakingtruth, the name A.R. Bernard didn’t ring any bells with me (I don’t remember the man at all). But a quick look at the overall model and setup of the “Christian City Church” organization and a few of their “plants” certainly sent alarms off in my head.

  40. IndependentConservative Says:

    Anytime A.R. Bernard is spending time with Eddie Long, that’s an even bigger reason for alarm.

  41. E.Bert Says:

    A quick clarification if I may:
    Ediie Long & A.R. Bernard came together under the banner of the Christian Men’s Network, which was founded by the Late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole. Upon Dr. Cole’s death, A.R. Bernard assumed the helm, and the organization was never the same again, but that’s not the point here.
    According to Bishop Long, in those days, he considered A.R. Bernard to be his ‘Father’, and Dr. Cole to be his ‘Grandfather’ in the ministry.
    CCC the Christian Cultural Center, which used to be called CLC (Christian Life Centre) and before that HHF (Household of Faith Ministries) is the largest ‘Faith Based Organization’ in NY at the moment. I cannot call it a church, because its CEO (AR Bernard) does not cal lit that, nor does he refer to himself as a Pastor. check his website and see for yourself.
    I would suggest that those who are not rooted in the word avoid this place at all costs

  42. IndependentConservative Says:

    Thank you for the clarification E.Bert, because I obviously was thinking of the wrong “CCC”. But apparently both CCC’s have some similarities.

    Christian Cultural Center

    So Eddie Long used to call A.R. Bernard “father” and now we know he says that of TD Jakes.

  43. IndependentConservative Says:

    Looks like this guy A. R. Bernard is peddling A.R. Bernard Partnerships.

    You can send him $30 a month on a monthly or annual lump payment of $360 and he’ll send:

    …monthly teachings that will change your life and experience spiritual growth like never before.

    He’s highly confident that HE has words that will do this. I’d rather just read my Bible. I don’t have to pay a monthly fee for it and the words in it have changed my life and I’ve experienced spiritual growth at the Holy Spirit’s leading, that lets me know to avoid peddlers, 2 Corinthians 2:17.

    And he’s even got the TBN deal!

    Bernard, a strong voice in the multi-cultural community of New York was recently quoted in an article as saying, “My desire is to effect change within society by representing the biblical worldview and the biblical value system.” He believes this is the only way to bring about cultural changes, as well as social and economic renewal within the community.

    Notice, values, not spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as the ONLY means of salvation, but values…

    He’s even got his own Joel Osteen styled book, Happiness Is… Simple Steps to A Life of Joy

    So let me do my mental check list here openly, of signs a guy is into bad doctrine, that are typical of so many today:
    – Speaks of “Christian values” more than of Jesus and the gospel message: CHECK

    – Tithe enforcement: CHECK

    – Tosses his wife into the pulpit as a pastor: CHECK

    – Has lots of pictures of himself all over the place: CHECK

    – Rolling tight with TBN: CHECK

    – Just flat out peddling: CHECK

    OK, this guy is a pulpit pimp. Key2truth, brother I think you should avoid this man.

  44. E.Bert Says:

    I just checked, and the bio has been updated. Here is what it used to say, and this versions tells you all that you need to know: (Italics mine )
    From (
    “Rev. A.R. Bernard is the founder and CEO of the Christian Cultural Center (CCC). Located in New York City, this faith-based organization currently has over 28,000 members and is situated on a welcoming 11-acre campus. Drawing on his beginnings in the financial industry, Bernard has built a familiar brand associated with positive, life-changing experiences and focused on customer service. Through his practical application of principles approach, and the successful leadership programs he has created, Bernard has become much in demand as a speaker by some of the leading “Fortune 500″ companies, universities, colleges and faith based organizations.”

    Please Note the wording, beloved: ‘CEO’ (not Pastor)’faith based organization’, (Not Church) ‘he has built a familiar brand (NOT THE GOSPEL,and not by God’s power, by his)

  45. IndependentConservative Says:

    With this guy A. R. Bernard, the more one reads about him, the more “but wait there’s more” comes up, as to why he’s one to avoid.

    Notice this rock solid proof he’s NOT sharing the true and full message of the Lord Jesus Christ with Hebrew unbelievers.

    From one of his current bios:

    He was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish National Fund.

    You don’t get something like that by caring for the physical welfare of Hebrews AND their spiritual welfare, by proclaiming the message of Jesus in front of them without shame. You can’t proclaim Acts 4:10-12 to them and get an award like that!

  46. key2truth Says:

    Thanks a zillion God’s people. These findings now confirms the uneasiness I felt after attending the church. I did hear him saying that the church is modeled
    after his more that 10 yrs experience in the banking business.
    CEO! wow! This explains why he said “…my church” Insisting that he’s saying it with a deep sense of humility. My wife was concerned about the statement.
    Indeed his church is simply a business.
    Again, messages are for sale!
    God bless you all.

  47. key2truth Says:

    IC, I read L. Smith’s take on tithing and agree with his exposition on this issue. However, I find his writing on water baptism very misleading. For instance he stated that baptism is not a necessity for a “Born again” Child of God. He sited an example where Jesus told one of the thieves that were crucified along with him that he will be with Him (Christ) in paradise. L. Smith believed that since the thief wasn’t baptized before he went to paradise, baptism is not a necessity. However, I want to clarify that the “Great commission” was given by Christ after He arose not before or at His crucifixion. Christ Jesus says,”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”( Matthew 29v19).
    I must say that some of L. Smith’s writing will definitely confuse or mislead a new Christian who is not grounded or rooted in the word of God. So I suggest you highlight the areas in his wrings with errors since you’ve already given the link to his sight.
    God bless.

  48. key2truth Says:

    I mean his site

  49. key2truth Says:

    E. Bert, do you know anything about David Wilkerson of the Times Square church in NYC. He doesn’t sell messages on his website. Also, his recent message on August,17 2007 titled: when God comes down, seems to be against pulpit pimps and homosexuality.Here’s the link:
    God bless.

  50. IndependentConservative Says:

    key2truth, regarding L. Ray Smith, with the link I provide to his web site I make it clear I don’t agree with him some of his other papers. Personally I find L. Ray Smith to be a heretic promoting universalism if you read enough of his works.

    However, his paper on tithing I found to be a worthwhile read, which is why I keep the link there.

    Regarding baptism, I don’t want to keep taking this thread off the topic of tithing. I’ll just say here, that I don’t find water baptism to be salvific and feel anyone who calls on the name of the Lord is saved, water or not. But before I go further on baptism, I only ask that anyone that wishes to discuss or even debate the topic with me first take the time to learn my point of view on the matter. See the post and fully review the teaching cited at: The Truth About Baptism.

    By the way, Jesus was having His deciples perform baptisms even before the announcement of the Great Commission. But let’s discuss that there, after you review that teaching in that thread of discussion.

  51. nastyman Says:

    Thank you for clearing up the notion of the Levitical tithe. It is NOT mandatory. I must say, however, that VOLUNTARY tithing is a most joyous spiritual discipline that carries its own unique benefits. My wife and I are never forced to tithe anywhere. In fact, we have been home-churching for the past 18 years. So, to whom would we tithe? Ourselves?!? Naturally, no. We simply send our tithes and offerings where the Holy Spirit directs us. From time to time, the list of recipients changes, again, as directed by the Spirit of God. Ever since we began the voluntary Christian tithe, we have never had a year where we had to go into debt one penny for our businesses and family to function. We are now, and have been since 1997, totally debt free. My ultimate point? I ask you to consider not throwing out the baby with the bath water. Cheers & blessings, IC!

  52. IndependentConservative Says:

    Please tell me why someone claiming to stand on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus would use a name for themselves like “nastyman”? Why would someone claiming Christ want their every word in these comments to be tied to something other than good? (You can always change your name seen in future comments by changing your “nickname” in your profile settings.)

    I have no problem with anyone voluntarily giving whatever amount the Lord leads them to give.

    I know people that paid 10+ all the while they were able to work and now are broke and unable to care for themselves. Money and health in this life comes and goes as the Lord wills. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul didn’t tell debt slaves they’d be free from that if they paid enough tithes. Each of us must do as the Lord leads and He will provide for us as He wills.

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