The monetary tithe doctrine that has swept across generations is tale of deception and misinterpretation of scripture. For many generations pastors have used Old Testament law to condemn and convict people that they owe God and tithe from the paycheck for life. Law tithing of ten percent is a violation of Apostle Paul’s giving instructions which reads, “7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver “(ESV). 2 Cor. 9:7 Read an excerpt of Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway? Examining what Paul taught on giving, there is no way you can tithe ten percent of your income and it not be under compulsion because you have no choice in the amount you give if ten percent is the standard. If someone mandate that you pay Yahweh ten percent it is still a violation of 2 Cor. 9:7 because mandating ten percent create reluctancy especially if you don’t have money to give. Cheerful giving can only happen when there is no preset amount and the giving act stems from the giver’s private decision on how much to give. If Paul wanted every believer to pay ten percent, he would have been clear in the text about Old Testament tithing. As it stands, Paul wanted every man according as he purposed in his heart on how much to give. Tithing money is not a New Testament command or suggestion. So let’s explore some reasons why you should stop tithing according to the scriptures, scholarship, exegesis and hermeneutics.
“It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to keep the Bible’s command to not give under compulsion while believing that we owe a compulsory tax of 10% of our income to some charlatan to spend any way that he wants.
Tithing is a system of policed and enforced “giving”, which is not voluntary giving at all but an involuntarily taxation. This is not remotely close to cheerful givers commanded to not give “under compulsion” as the Bible clearly teaches in 2 Cor. 9:7.
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7 NASB
But how can one do as he has purposed in his own heart if he or she is at the same time forced to tithe? Well, some tithing advocates who pound Malachi 3 claim that the voluntary aspect of 2 Cor9:7 pertains only to additional offerings or choosing where to tithe. But if the “where” was optional, then why does Malachi 3 set the storehouse as the exact “where” or place where the tithe must be given? The where is not optional. The problem is Malachi 3 does not apply in any way to Christians but rather only to Israel. Many of these tithe teachers mix Old and New Testament Scriptures together in a random haphazard way in order to try and get the Bible to say whatever they want it to say. This erroneous approach to Bible interpretation is often quite evident in many of their other teachings as well.
Briefly, you should NOT tithe. But, this is one of the hardest false teachings and false “church” habits to break. The reason is because we have been so utterly pounded with endless fear tactics and other mental gymnastics in order to keep us tithing. We think we’ll lose our job or our car will break down or some other fear based lunacy that these guys teach. It’s all unbiblical nonsense. Who is the direct beneficiary of the tithe teaching? You guessed it. The tithe teacher!” (excerpt taken from an article tithed, Is Tithing Biblical?)
We Are Not Under the Tithing Law
The official tithe law in God prescribed in Leviticus 27:30-33 defines the limited content of the tithe as eatible items and to try to include money is a misinterpretation of scriptures. Here is how God defines the tithe in Leviticus:
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 to the LORD. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. 33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’ ” 34 These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
In verse 34, we can see that the tithe law was issued only to the children of Israel and not to any other group of people. This law was not transferred to the believers in the New Testament Church. And that’s why you never read where Paul or any of the disciples taught monetary tithing to any believers in the New Testament Ekklesia, which began in the book of Acts. Here is what Paul said in Romans 6:14, “14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” If believers are not under the Old Testament ordinances of the tithing law but are under grace then is stands to reason that tithing is under the law and not under grace. That means anyone who tries to create a monetary tithe system under grace has just committed scriptural treason. So to let the cat out of the bag, if you hear any pastor teach a doctrine called grace tithing, it is an error. The tithe is the law, the tithe is not grace. The tithe in Leviticus is based on obligation. Today under grace all giving is based under on generosity. So the distinction today is do you want to pay ten percent under obligation or give under obligation. But all of this is a moot point because God’s tithe is livestock and crops. God’s definition of the tithe is the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree. So how does one get money out of this verse?
The Local Church Does Not Replace the Temple
Many pastors argue that the building where members gather is God’s temple and as such the member are obligated to support that building and all if the obligations to keep it running by paying monetary tithes. There is a problem with that argument. Your church building is the the temple in Jerusalem. God flipped the script and the building is no longer significant anymore because the building that God recognizes is the believers body. The Bible now calls believers the temple of God not your church building. Paul made that clean in 1 Cor. 3:16 when he writes, “16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” The building your pastor preaches from is owned by the bank not by God. It is not God’s responsibility to pay the mortgage. It is up to the pastor to ask the congregation to tax themselves on a regular basis to pay the banker the note on the building. That’s why tithing has to be forced onto the members of the congregation because if he didn’t the 501c3 tax exempt church would go bankrupt. So one has to enforce monetary tithing to keep enough funds coming in to sustain the religious organizations need to keep feeding the banker what the agreed to pay in the contract. The monetary tithing system has nothing to do with God command but everything to do with what the banker told your pastor he had to pay. In the Old Testament the spirit filled the temple, now the spirit of God dwells in believers. The house of God as we like to call it is a misnomer because God’s house is not the structures men build. God dwells in the heavens. He says in Acts 7:48:
48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the place of My rest? 50 Has My hand not made all these things?’ NKJV
God does not dwell in temples made with hands so why are people bringing so-called tithes to the so-called storehouse where God does not dwell. He only dwells in the hearts of believers and the building is just a gathering place that is owned by the bank until the member give all of the money to close out the mortgage. God’s house is in heaven, so if tithes were required today, but we know they are not, how would you get to heaven to pay God his tithes and offerings? Would he send you a flaming chariot to pick you up so you could make a heavenly deposit? So lets make since out of this tithe debacle. God’s temple was destroyed in AD 70 and with it went all the tithing laws that governed the function of the Old Testament temple. The tithe God instituted ended at the cross.
Tithing is a Contradiction of Scripture
People do not like it when they find out tithing is not what they’ve been told. However, no matter the evidence that exists showing tithing is not money, it is still an uphill battle trying to deal with cognitive dissonance. So what you read below is evidence showing how scriptures are redefined in the theology and mindset of people who can’t accept that tithing is not required today.
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.
Changed to: And all the tithe OF THE FRUIT OF YOUR LABOR, whether of your savings in the bank, or of the Fruit of the Federal Mint, is the preacher’s; it is holy unto the preacher.
Verse 31: And if a man will redeem ought (any) of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereto.
Changed to: If some poor widow wants to borrow back some of her tithe money to eat, charge her 20% interest.
Verse 32: And concerning the tithe OF THE HERD, or OF THE FLOCK, even whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Changed to: And concerning the tithe OF YOUR WORK WAGES, or OF YOUR POCKETBOOK, even whatsoever passeth out of an ATM machine, the FIRST part of it shall be holy unto the preacher.
Verse 33: He (the tithe payer) shall not search (inspect) whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
Changed to: The tithe payer shall inspect his paycheck to make sure he gives the BEST (biggest) part of it. If he changes his mind and decides to substitute a prettier hundred dollar bill, he should just empty his wallet and fast until the next payday rolls around.
Verse 34: These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mt.Sinai.
Changed to: These are the genetically modified commandments, which the PREACHER commanded the church in Atlanta, Ga.
Although these rewritten scriptures to justify tithing are not in the book, people have been psychologically and theologically bent to interpret the verses in a way that supports monetary tithing. So what happens in a persons mind is that they rewrite Bible verses on a a self-conscience level and when they hear people read the actual verses, the self-conscience overrides the authority of scripture because of years of indoctrination.
Here are more examples of how the mind can re-interpret Bible verses:
Deuteronomy 14:22: Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
Change to: Thou shalt truly tithe on all the wages you earn, that the boss pays you week by week.
Verse 23: 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.
Change to: And you shall pay, before the preacher, in the place where you’re sitting in the pew, the tithe or your cash, of your wallet, and of your oil stock dividends, and the first of your hard-earned paycheck, that you might learn to be afraid of the preacher always.* * * Forget that bit about the wine, everybody knows they really drank Welch’s Grape Juice back then. And don’t take scripture so literally that you actually EAT the Lord’s tithe like they did back then! The preacher will do that FOR you when he takes his buddies out to a lobster restaurant!
Verse 24: 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:
Change to: If you live too far from the hole-in-the-wall and are unable to haul a hundred-dollar bill to the place where the preacher is building a name for himself, when you’re still living in poverty:
Verse 25: Then thou shalt turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place where the LORD thy God shall choose:
Change to: No need to turn it into money, it’s always BEEN money! Bring that money in to build a project which the preacher shall choose. (MONEY is mentioned in this tithing verse! So the preacher must be right…or IS he?)
The scripture that is used the most money to get money out of people is Malachi 3:8-10. These verse really scare the living hell out of believers or appeal to their desire to have more in life. Collecting tithes from people in the congregation works if you use the psychology of getting blessed abundantly by appealing to materialism, and if that doesn’t work, then presenting the idea that God will curse you if you don’t tithe will get people to cough up the dough. This next set of rewritten scriptures should get the message across to you.
Verse 8: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Change to: Will a man rob God’s supposed representative? Yet ye have robbed him of what he wants most: money. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed the preacher? In monetary tithes and big enough offerings.
Verse 9: Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Change to: That curse carries over into the New Covenant Gentile church, even though God was addressing the Nation of Israel (sons of Jacob) ONLY (see verse 6). Guess that’s a mistranslation.
Verse 10: 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.
Change to: Bring ye ten per cent of all the paychecks, that there may be money in my (the preacher’s) church treasury, and test GOD to see if he will open up an unexpected source of income and shower you with money, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I started out this blog post by citing 2 Cor. 9:7 and explained what Paul meant in the verse. But even this verse is not protected from mis-interpreters who support unscriptural monetary tithing.
2 Cor.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.
Change to: Every man (and woman) according as he feels intimidated by the sermon, so let him pay tithes, because he has to; for the preacher loves his cash cows.
Verse 12: For if there first be a willing mind [go give], it is accepted according to that a man hath, not according to that he hath not.
Change to: Your hesitation is of the devil! Hurry up and give before satan argues you out of it! Make a $2,000 vow of faith out of what you don’t think you have yet, because even though you haven’t gotten that money yet, you ALREADY have it by faith and it will soon materialize into the visible realm, so go ahead and pledge it by faith and God will accept it. All information for this section is taken from Ban Preacher Greed! Tithing Contradicts Scripture.
No Tithing Mentioned in the Book of Acts at the Inception of the New Covenant of Grace
In the book Acts Paul was was accused of starting a riot. In court he spoke to Felix, and this is what is said, 17 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,… (NJKV) He brought alms not tithes.
Acts 2:44-45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. -Why were there no tithes upon the sale of possessions and goods here?
Acts 4: 34 For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
-there is nothing on tithing from the sale prices here either, is there?
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 ) and kept back part of the price, his wife also privy to it, and brought ==> a certain part <==
and laid it at the apostles` feet.
…Nothing is said about them withholding tithes. But maybe he only gave “a certain part”, such as a 10% tithe?
We do not know, but if he was under a 10% “standard”as today, they may tithed 10% which could be the “certain PART” they gave. But many pastors teach tithing 10% on the increase of things sold in today’s church world.
Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
… In the daily “ministration”, nothing about tithes there either but under the law food tithes were given for widows from the priests.
Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles` hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money
… no tithe was mentioned.. -but today many might not pass up the offer of Simon!
Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money.
… no blessing from tithing silver money is mentioned.
Simon was rebuked for thinking he could buy the blessing with money. Nor did Peter correct him saying “just your tithes are fine”.
Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and alms-deeds which she did.
... Dorcas was known for faithful “alms” giving, not tithes.
“Alms” are compassionate giving.
a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.
.. Devout Cornelius did not tithe. He “gave much alms” to “the people”, not religious leaders.
And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send ===> relief to the brethren that dwelt in Judea:
.. they sent them“relief”, not “sent tithes”..
Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
… elders were appointed over churches. There were no tithes ordered to support them with.
Acts 15. 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying,
It is needful to circumcise them, ===> and to charge them to keep the law of Moses. <===
.. The church, elders, apostles and Holy Ghost release Christians from the law.
They did not “decree” tithing.
People had been teaching the law of Moses to Christians. (15:4)
Tithing was “of the matters of the law” -Jesus said in Mat. 23:23
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us,
to lay upon you ===> no greater burden <===than these necessary things:
29 that ye abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled,
and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you.
… The Holy Spirit and the apostles did not include tithing as a “necessary thing”.
Acts 16:4 And as they went on their way through the cities, they delivered them the decrees to keep which had been ordained of the apostles and elders that were at Jerusalem.
… Apostolic decrees were delivered confirming the churches, but no tithing decreed and none of the apostolic epistles to the churches decree tithing
Acts 16: 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, if ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord
… Lydia, a sellor of purple was judged faithful. She was not told to tithe or commended for paying them.
Acts 18: 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked, for by their trade they were tentmakers.
Paul and Aquila do not pay tithes on earnings from their trade. Paul and Aquila were tent makers who never paid money tithes under the OT law.
Acts 19:1 while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul … came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples
10 And this continued for the space of two years
…Paul ministered in Ephesus three years. But he made no mention of tithing from income in chapter 19, nor did he receive tithes.
Acts 20: 7 And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them….. and prolonged his speech until midnight.
… Paul and Luke were in Troas 7 days but on the first day of the week no tithes were gathered nor an offering mentioned.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to him the elders of the church.
… where he does not tell them to tithe or receive them from others.
Acts 20:27 For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God.
…the “whole counsel of God” he declared does not mention tithes from income. He also wrote the Ephesian epistle and never ordained tithing in that church letter.
Acts 20:28 Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock,
in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord
… “elders” are called “bishops” and instructed to “feed the flock of God”, not feed themselves from them.
Acts 20: 31 Wherefore watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish every one…
… Paul remembers his ministry for three years. he never thanked them for tithes or mentioned any of his own. Three years and nothing about tithing? -Nor did he write of tithing in the Ephesian epistle.
Acts 20: 33 I coveted no man`s silver, or gold, or apparel.
… Paul did not covet their money, a salary, or benefits. He did not request offerings and he did not instruct tithes.
Acts 20: 34 Ye yourselves know that these hands ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
… Paul used “these hands”, his own hands, to minister to his own needs and others through working.
Acts 20: 35 I gave you an example, that laboring like me, ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
…Paul told the bishops to work as Paul did, and help weak. He did not tell them to live from tithes. -He did not give them an example to tithe. He did not tell them to tell the church to tithe. (Excerpt information taken from article titled, Tithing in the Book of Acts from preparinghisway Blog).
Tithing is a complex subject to explain. It took me many years to come do a final conclusion about what it means with a lot of research. But one thing is certain now. I understand that the word tithe means a tenth part, based on the Hebrew work Ma’aser. That single word always refers to a tenth part of livestock and crops, which God say is the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree and herd or flocks. Now that is clear straight from the mouth of Yahweh. And since God did not include the Hebrew for money, which is Kesafim in Leviticus Chapter 27, monetary tithing is not biblical.
In my book, Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway? you will find hundreds of reasons why you should stop tithing and embrace New Covenant Grace Giving that Paul taught in the letters written the assemblies in the New Testament. If you would like to read more about tithing, click on the links below to read book bubbles from Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway?
- Is the Church the Storehouse for Tithing?
- Did Jesus Collect Tithes?
- Will a Man Rob God?
- Eating Tithes vs. Paying Tithes
- What are First Fruits in the Bible?
- Official Orthodox Biblical Tithing Has Passed Away
- Jesus and his Ministry Never Received Tithes
- Paul Never Taught Believers to Tithe Money
- The Church and Its Money Grab Tactics
- Monetary Tithing is not a Foregone Conclusion
- Money Tithing or Eatible tithing, Which One?
- Arguments Against Tithing Has a Long History
- What Does True Giving Look Like?
- Tithing on Increase
- The Law Does Not Teach Monetary Tithing
- Research Brings Truth
- Understanding Tithing Starts With a Definition
- The Fight Continues
- Did Paul Convert the Tithe to Money?
- How Did God’s Tithe Become Money?
Thanks Charles for Joining the Tithing Conversation
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