The sweet sound of success in many Christian evangelical
circles is never heard louder than when money is dropped into the
The old fashioned collection plate has been supplemented by credit card transactions, checks through the mail, direct bank wire transfers, and various other advanced transaction techniques which magnify the amount of money that flows like holy water into the coffers of some of the largest and most profitable Christian churches.
These types of churches are truly industrial strength as they are in fact industries which peddle salvation and "blessings" in exchange for the money of believers.
"God will bless you after you perform the act of giving offerings (i.e. money) to the Lord."
Entire tax exempt television empires have been set up which piously spread the "Word" while at the same time they instruct people to "plant a seed" (i.e. money) into the soil of Pastor Elmo's Miracle Working On Fire For Jesus Church Of The Saints.
All sorts of things are peddled to the faithful, from ceramic trinkets with pictures of Jesus on them to scripture inscribed teacups, from self help tapes to the lastest Christian video, along with various other bric a brac.
Not only are trinkets sold, but the message is often given that if a Christian believer doesn't "tithe" money to the church, they are sinning and robbing God of what is rightfully his.
If a person listens to many television evangelists or radio preachers they may often hear this claim repeated to make people feel guilty if they don't fork over a portion of their money(usually 10%) and give it to the pastor of some mega church.
A common and favorite tactic used by many preachers, in order to drive home the point about giving money to the church, is to quote Mal 3:8 from the Old Testament, and for extra effect, read it with an air of righteousness and indignation.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Holy Cash Cow! After hearing this, what believer would want to sin and incur God's wrath by robbing God?
Better get out the money right away and give it to the church before God gets even angrier!
The problem with this commonly employed ploy is that it's blatantly hypocritical and is nothing more than a scare tactic on the part of many Christian holy men whose income stream is derived by "tithes" from the flock of sheep.
Most evangelical Christians who rule in the media empire claim that they're under the "New Covenant" and are therefore not bound by God's "Old Covenant" Law.
Usually they rely on St. Paul to provide the "proof" that this is so (Rom 10:4)(Gal 5:18).
If that's really true, then the tithe regulations from the law in the Old Testament don't apply to Christian believers.
Since most Christian preachers teach their congregations that aren't bound by the system of the law, that claim also applies to the regulations of tithing, since they are part of the old law system.
This practice of telling believers that they're required to tithe because God's Law in the Old Testament outlines it, is gross hypocrisy in action.
Christian preachers want to claim that they are not under the Old Testament system of laws anymore and at the same time want people to tithe money into the church bank account because it's written in the law.
These types of preachers take a cafeteria approach to God's word. If they like something in the law, they'll claim it's binding on believers.
However, if they don't like it, they'll say they are exempt from it because it's outdated.
The principle on which tithing is based wasn't a one way transaction where the believer simply gives something to God.
Tithing was conditional and was the offering of a portion of personal possessions which occurred after the believer had received a favor from God.
And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
In this passage, Jacob clearly states that if God will first give him certain things, Jacob will then have the Lord as his God and give him offerings in exchange for the blessing.
In other words, Jacob would first receive the blessings and would then tithe offerings to God.
The text does not say Jacob had to give offerings first or before he could expect a blessing and reward.
Jacob also didn't tithe to God by giving him money, but by setting aside a portion of his flocks and crops, which could be used as burnt offerings to the Lord.
After the Levitical priesthood was established by God, people brought their tithes to the priests.
According to Scripture, not just anyone could claim to be a representative of God and ask people to bring tithe offerings for God to them.
Only Levites and descendants of Aaron were allowed to be full service priests and proper representatives of God in the area of spiritual administration.(Exo 29:9)(Exo 40:13-15)(Num 25:13).
This is no minor detail that can be overlooked by Christian preachers who deem themselves qualified to collect tithes from God's congregation.
Anyone else attempting to have the authority of a priest was wicked in the eyes of God.
Such pretenders were to be put to death.
And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
The Levite priests had sole jurisdiction to collect tithes.
But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.
Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD'S heave offering to Aaron the priest.
Christian preachers who seek to extract money from believers, by quoting Old Testament scripture at them, are practicing fraud unless they can prove through valid genealogical records that they are descended from Aaron the Levite.
If these preachers can't provide that proof, then they aren't authorized priests of God and are not allowed to collect the tithe for the temple(Ezra 2:62)(Neh 7:64).
If these preachers want to consider themselves authorized priests of God they should also be performing the following functions which were instructed by God for all his priests:
And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them.
And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.
Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.
Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
Since no Christian preacher I've ever seen, by attempting to coerce the people of his church into regularly giving him their money by quoting Old Testament scripture, is taking God's instructions seriously, there is no valid reason to take the preacher who does this seriously either.
Church leaders have no right to do this and they are frauds and fakes by pretending to have rights to the "money".
Christian preachers want to claim they are authorized to collect money for God through the requirement of "tithing", yet these same preachers have no qualifications to do so according to the same law of God they say people are obligated to obey.
More specifics on tithes can be found in the Book of Leviticus.
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD ; it is holy to the LORD .
If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it.
The entire tithe of the herd and flock-every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod-will be holy to the LORD .
He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.
The tithe consists of products which are produced by the land which include seed crops, the fruit from trees, and land nourished herds and flocks.
Note that every tenth animal is subject to the tithe, and not the first animal.
The tithe is not the first tenth as many preachers claim, but the tenth tenth is that which belongs to God.
If a man has only nine animals, he is not required to tithe any of them.
Also note that there is no mention of money in these requirements, only land based assets are involved.
It should also be noted that when Christian money extraction machines, in human preacher form, quote Mal 3:8 to scare people into forking over a percentage of their income, they are neglecting to tell their audience that the robbers that God is referring to in Malachi, are not the people of the congregation but are priests who have become corrupt.
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
The objects of God's scorn are priests who have become corrupted and not kept the specifics of the law.
And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.
Now we get to the part which is so often used out of context by Christian preachers(Mal 3:8):
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
As seen in the earlier verses, the robbers are corrupt priests, not the people of the congregation.
The priests were ignoring many of the commands of God and were thus robbing God of the fellowship he was to have with the people who gave offerings and tithes.
Christian preachers who attempt to extract money from believers under the guise of Old Testament tithing ignore the following:
1) They cannot claim believers are no longer under the Old Testament law and at the same time claim believers need to tithe because the law stipulates it.
2) They cannot claim to be proper collection agents of tithes if they cannot provide proof they are descended from Aaron of the tribe of Levi, and if they are not performing all the required functions of a priest according to the Law of God in the Old Testament. Pretending to be an authorized priest is a sin (Num 18:7).
3) They cannot demand money from believers when tithes are defined as assets which are produced from the land and not from commerce.
4) They cannot claim that a certain percentage of income must be given to God prior to receive a blessing or to be saved in the eyes of God.
In the end, it's all about money and the constant need for it to flow into church coffers in order to support the often lavish lifestyles of the leaders and expand the influence of these religious elite and their theological whims.
Without a doubt, the common practice of many Christian preachers, which consists of scaring and beguiling people into "tithing" money, is certainly effective.
However, it also exhibits the symptoms of a scam based on people's gullibility and willingness to believe anything if it's said repeatedly and preached with an air of authority.
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