The Dilemma Facing Christian Ministers
We now arrive at the real problem regarding the doctrine of tithing. The matter actually has nothing to do with the need to raise funds to support evangelistic and church activities. It ought to be a foregone conclusion that any minister or church organization that is benefiting the Christians they serve ought to be supported (even generously) by those who associate with the organization and love Christ and his teachings. This is especially so if those Christians are being properly edified and educated in the real teachings of the Holy Scriptures. There is nothing wrong in raising funds for Christian activities, but it should be done in accordance with biblical principles, not by misusing the tithing laws of the Bible.
As I am showing in this book, the matter of raising funds for Christian activities is not the problem. It is the method that is being used by ministers and churches to raise those funds that is at issue. It is whether ecclesiastical authorities should use deceptive methods to gain funds (by teaching that church members are obligated to pay the biblical tithe today). Such a method for raising funds is totally counter to biblical teaching. Letís face it, if ministers or preachers wish to use the biblical tithe, then they ought to follow the biblical directions for its use in a precise way. The trouble is, it is now impossible to put into action the biblical tithe in the way the Bible describes that it should be used. This is where the difficulty arises. We will show in this book just what the laws of the biblical tithe are, and without doubt not one of them is being used by the preachers today in the manner the Bible commands. They simply make up their own minds which way to use the tithe and then they manufacture their own regulations regarding it. This is not using the Bible as a book of direction. It is going absolutely counter to it!
Ministers who teach that God commands Christians to pay the biblical tithe to them or their churches (and citing some scriptural verses on tithing to support their claims) are taking biblical teachings out of context and making God teach something that he has never taught. This tactic is outright deception on the part of those ministers. Sadly, this procedure is being used on a wide scale today and ministers are brazenly showing an attitude of arrogance in regard to this erroneous teaching. It is this reckless application of biblical laws that do not apply to modern Christians that is the difficulty. It is really an attitude problem with the preachers. The wrong attitudes of many ministers on the question of tithing are so engraved in stone that they think nothing of telling Christians that they must pay them the biblical tithe or suffer the consequences of Godís wrath for their so-called "disobedience" to God.
Such teaching is an outrageous example of the misuse (or abuse) of scriptural doctrine. In no way is their teaching correct. There are strict laws that govern and regulate the biblical tithe and these must be obeyed to the letter if one wishes to abide by the biblical revelation that many preachers say they do. The fact is, most of the preachers and priests are not even close to abiding by the tithing laws of the Bible when they exact tithe from their congregations.
What is sad is the fact that most of the preachers know they are taking the teaching of tithing completely out of context in the Bible when they use it to get funds to operate their Christian work. Let us note what their misapplication of Scripture is like, and sadly they usually perform their tasks without the slightest blushing for their transgressions of biblical law.
Look at the example of the commission that God gave to Jonah the Prophet when he was told to go and preach repentance to the Assyrians some nine centuries before the birth of Christ. All the preachers know this story of Jonah and the Fish and the commission God gave to the prophet, and they also know and teach that the particular commission God gave to Jonah pertained to him, and to him alone. Indeed, most preachers would readily censure one of their church members who read the Book of Jonah and applied its precise message to himself today. Let us say a lay person who read Jonah went to a minister and said that God had given him the same commission to preach repentance to the Assyrians in this modern era. The minister would no doubt ask where he got knowledge of this commission and the man would reply that he read it in the Book of Jonah. But the minister would rightly tell the man that God gave that commission only to Jonah almost three thousand years ago. The commission could hardly be repeated today for even the Assyrians to whom Jonah was to preach long ago perished from the earth. There is nothing in the text that would suggest that any modern person could be selected to do the same thing Jonah did (that is, misapplying the commission to himself that God gave to Jonah).
Yes, the minister would be correct in telling the man the error of his ways by taking the teaching of the Book of Jonah out of context and misdirecting it to himself. But, strangely, this is precisely what ministers do when they apply the tithing laws to themselves (and not to the ancient Levites to whom the commission exclusively belonged). It is often claimed by modern preachers that they are the ones who are now doing the work of the Levites. Some claim they are the modern "Levites" (a title they have appropriated to themselves and by their own authority) and that all the teachings about the ancient Levites now pertain (in principle, they say) to modern Christian ministers. It is utter nonsense to claim such a thing. The man who claimed the commission of Jonah was doing the same thing, and it was also wrong.
This flagrant misapplication of the Scriptures by modern Christian ministers concerning the biblical laws of tithing needs to cease. They should give up their erroneous methods (their illegal ways) for gathering monies to themselves to support their religious activities and return to the true biblical manner for Christians to finance their work.
What our modern religious leaders really need to do is to change their attitudes and quit deceiving the people on this matter of tithing. It is really their recklessness in misapplying the laws of the Bible that is at issue. Their flippancy in taking scriptures out of context and erroneously applying them to themselves to support their denominational teachings shows a non-caring attitude to what God has written in his sacred word. Showing such an attitude in regard to the laws of tithing, indicates that they may also do the same thing with other important doctrinal teachings of the Bible. The modern preachers and priests need to abandon this false and slipshod method of using (misusing) the Scriptures and get back to a careful and accurate teaching of the doctrines of God.
Let me make it plain. From the biblical point of view, the ministers are stealing from the Levites the tithe that was designed to go to them (and exclusively to them), and the lay persons who give the ministers the tithe that should be going to the Levites are equally guilty by giving the sacred tithe to the wrong people! This activity is a disrespectful approach to (and a violation of) the laws of God. It shows an attitude of carelessness with the explicit commands of God.
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