CHURCHIANITY PART II – tithing

Published April 12, 2008

WORDSLINGER’S NOTEI’ve put off following up Part I of this series too long. This is a sensitive and controversial subject matter, so … if you’re new to this site, or subject, please read CHURCHIANITY PART I – a rant before continuing on with this article. Though my intent is to speak the truth in love, my bitterness at the unhealthy state of the Christian church, and the heretical bullshit many have proclaimed as gospel for ages, makes this a precarious line to walk. May God bless my efforts …

In my previous post regarding Churchianity, I pointed out that the modern-day church has scores, if not hundreds, of man-made rules that must be adhered to if one wants to not only belong to a church, but (according to them) have a relationship with God. I further pointed out that if one believes the Bible, there is actually only ONE rule to Christianity: Love one another.

I would like to address a few of these aforementioned “rules of the church,” that to my way of thinking, are more bondage in Christ than freedom in Christ. I am also going to divide them up into different posts so that they are easier for you to digest and for me to write about — I can be longwinded.

CHURCH RULE #1 – TITHING IS A REQUIREMENT OF CHRISTIANS

Does God bless those who give from their heart? Of course he does, but to say it is REQUIRED is to say what Jesus did on the cross is not enough, you’ve got to buy your way into His Kingdom. That is a spit in the face of our dying Savior.

Too many preachers throw up Malachi 3:10 when their bills are high and offerings are low. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” We need to remember this was an Old Testament message to pre-Messianic Jews. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that tithing is REQUIRED.

Jesus does say in Luke 11:42, “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”

I love that verse — it kind of sums up what I’ve been saying all along.

Jesus does not say there that tithing is a requirement. That statement was also spoken before the crucifixion when all the rules changed. After that sacrifice, we are no longer under ANY law — including one that says you must give ten percent of your income — but rather under grace. That in itself is a better reason to give than any law could ever demand.

Few New Testament verses touch on this topic. But 2 Corinthians 9:7 says – Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Not reluctantly or under compulsion … it doesn’t get much more complicated than that, folks.

I say … Woe to those evangelists and ministers who preach to their congregations that they should “plant your financial seed and get your miracle!” “Blab it and grab it!” “Get out your checkbook and show God how much you love Him!” “God says give ten percent or else!” Those who preach such heresy are worse than the money changers Jesus threw out of the Temple. They are manipulating God’s flock for financial gain. They are not furthering the Kingdom of God, they are hindering it — making the Good News sound like a Bad Joke.

Is it good to give to your church? Sure, as long as you’re giving out of a generous heart and not because you’ve been made to believe you’ll burn in Hell if you don’t. Or worse — that you can turn God into a vending machine that needs the bill acceptor fed before miracles can be produced. You might also ask yourself if your church is actively fulfilling The Great Commission (not just preaching at, but welcoming ALL to your sanctuary without judgment) and not rotting in the vacuum of The Church of the Bubble Dwelling Pharisee.

Sorry if that sounds harsh … it’s just where I’m at, what I believe and what I’ve experienced.

When Jesus walked the Earth, the only people he could not abide to be around, were the religious leaders. He was constantly calling them on their hypocrisy and self-righteousness … until they killed Him for it. Jesus hung with the rabble, rejects and ragamuffins. I dare say, if Jesus was here today, you probably wouldn’t find Him in church. He’d be right where He was before … with the broken ones. He’d be in back alleys with prostitutes, in basements with drug addicts, in hospitals with terminal AIDS patients. He would be with the hurting, lonely and outcast; those who have been ravaged by life and (all too often) rejected by the church. He would leave the 99 sheep in the pasture, to seek out that one lost sheep who needs Him the most. (For a beautiful example of this, check out an earlier post called Modern Day Magdalene).

He would not be concerned whether or not that lost sheep promised to give Him money. Contrary to what many churches have preached for centuries: There is no pre-nuptial agreement for the Bride of Christ.

Do you agree? Disagree? Your feedback is welcome here — post a comment.

I promise the next Churchianity post will not be so long coming.

God bless.

Continue to Churchianity Part III — Profanity in Context.