So people have questions and I intend to give them answers, and not the ones they expect…
So, if tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament, how has this practice become so embedded and perverted in the modern church?
Tithing was first established by Cyprian of Carthage. He trusted that since the Levites were upheld by tithes, Christian church ought to be too. Numerous ministers today hold to this same conviction. In any case, scripture would demonstrate something other than what’s expected. At the point when Christ kicked the bucket on the cross the Levitical framework was annulled. Besides, 1 Peter 2 reveals to us that the devotees of Christ, all are of an illustrious ministry called the royal priesthood.
Preceding the eighth century tithing was voluntary. By the finish of the tenth century it was legitimately required with a specific end goal to subsidize the church. Frank Viola in his book, Pagan Christianity, writes:
“In the seventh and eighth centuries, leasing land was a familiar characteristic of the European economy. The use of the tithe, or the tenth, was commonly used to calculate payments to landlords. As the church increased its ownership of land across Europe, the 10 percent rent charge shifted from secular landlords to the church. Ecclesiastical leaders became the landlords. And the tithe became the ecclesiastical tax. This gave the 10 percent rent charge new meaning. It was creatively applied to the Old Testament law and came to be identified with the Levitical tithe! Consequently, the Christian tithe as an institution was based on a fusion of Old Testament practice and a common system of land-leasing in medieval Europe.”
Pastorate compensation was established by Constantine, who paid these rates from chapel reserves and metropolitan treasuries. In any case, tithing has no root or binds to New Testament Christianity.
Tithing turns into an issue when ministers distort and twist scripture by making the tithe a summon of God, banish individuals from serving or attending church who refuse to tithe, and toss the poor among into more profound neediness by influencing them to give out of commitment. (The church then tells you no third tithe is available to help you.)
Tithing turns into an issue when church leaders utilize these assets for purposes they were never planned for, for example, pay rates increases, bolstering staff, operational costs, and those useless building projects. (The third tithe in the ACOG’s has always subsidized the building projects.)
A salaried church staff has a tremendous potential for negative outcomes to the church group. The paid pastorate tends to prompt the wrongdoing results of ravenousness greed, power, and pride. Out of these will come these viable traps:
Elevates the pastor above the rest of the people creating a clerical caste system and business hierarchy. This results in a church of passive dependence.
Frank Viola writes:
“If all Christians got in touch with the call that lies upon them to be functioning priests in the Lord’s house (and they were permitted to exercise that call), the question would immediately arise: “What on earth are we paying our pastor for!?” But in the presence of a passive priesthood, such questions are never asked. On the contrary, when the church functions as she should, a professional clergy becomes unnecessary. Suddenly, the thought , That is the job of the pastor, looks heretical. Put simply, a professional clergy fosters the pacifying illusion that the Word of God is classified (and dangerous) material that only card-carrying experts can handle.”
The problem with a paid ministry is:
Encourages the pastor to be a crowd pleaser. Tells you what he thinks you want to hear. (fake prophecies, special knowledge, rules that make it look like the group stands out among others, etc)
Produces pastors and elders who feel “stuck” in the position. They lack employable skills. –Note that in ancient times, Greeks spoke publicly for a fee, while Jewish rabbis could not accept money for religious services.
Breeds insincerity – becomes just another job, not a calling.
Discourages the use of others gifts; prevents the church from functioning as it should.
Breeds contempt for the membership. Like a politician, they look down on you who financially support them.
On the off chance that the congregation did as what the NT calls for, if they quit paying for needless building projects, quit giving financial pastoral support, (which is a type of welfare) quit paying all these individuals to isolate themselves from this present reality and not work for a living like Paul, and began giving Biblically, as each has a need (Acts 2), the world would be changed for the better. The congregation would change for the better if these expansive hierarchically organized places of worship were saddled, and the situation of the minister was to remain unpaid.
The substance of Christianity would transform. They would look more like Christ, and less like an financial enterprise. Governments and insurance agencies would not need to supply programs for human services such as health-care for the needy. Christians would address each other’s issues as need arises. Assets would go to serve the poor instead of building structures that fill no genuine need, and that increase the bottom line of the church owner. Just those who truly ‘believed’ would minister. They would actually be functioning priests. There would be no money related, or influence impetus. Truthfulness would govern the day and not money.
A solution for the individual
Quit tithing to these corrupt and abusive men.
Set aside some money so that when you see someone who has a pressing need, you will be in a position to help that individual. And this would come from your heart, not some OT law that your church rehashes monthly.
Get involved with some groups outside your church life that actually go out into the world and help those in need.
Think about what Christ did when he ran into others that needed help. Did he turn them away like the Armstrong churches do? Did Christ walk away and say “stay warm and well feed” then do nothing to help them? No. He acted on the issue at hand and did the right thing.
In Armstrongism there is a notion that Christ will fix everything when he returns and the believer doesn’t have to do squat. Its not their problem when they see their fellow man in need. They say ‘let the dead bury the dead.’ An excuse not to help. These people have no heart. They are like their leaders who are a reflection of the society in which they live. Not just religious leaders mind you, but the politicians of the land who actually set a country on its moral course. But that is a subject for another day.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Tithing
Advantages to tithing: None. It does not please God nor is it required. To live your life chasing OT laws is to deny that Christ’s death had meaning or purpose to you. You deny your savior.
I’m sure that many Armstrongites will fall all over themselves claiming how much they have been blessed by tithing but in the end they know its all bullshit. They lie to others as to themselves. These people have no personal integrity and are dishonest to their core being.
Disadvantage to not tithing: None. The tithe you once gave, went to men who are NOT of the Leviticus priesthood. As we have learned, the tithe is a OT requirement and does not please God.
By not tithing you can truly help others as YOU see fit. Giving to those YOU want to help. Your money actually goes to make the world a better place. By not giving a tithe to your church and increasing the church owners bottom line, you discover your own values in how you use your money in helping others. If you find that you don’t want to participate in giving to others then that means your heart has never been into the Christian faith. No one likes being a hypocrite, and so you should use this moment of self discovery and quit going to church and just live as you like. When did giving money to an American corporation become a Christian duty or make you special to God? The truth is, none of us was special to God. God is not a respecter of men.
Christians are not under the law but the Armstrongites are, and this by choice. Those who embrace the teaching’s of Herbert W. Armstrong are under the law and rightfully so. They reject the NT teaching’s and embrace Moses. There is no sacrifice of Christ for them to accept, no law written on their hearts. They have rejected the teaching’s of Jesus Christ.
I have been dealing with these ACOG people for decades, and here are a few observations I have on the typical Armstrongite:
They are in passionate love with Herbert Armstrong. After all he provided them a safe haven from the chaos of the outside world by offering one of the most fundamental human desires: The feeling of belonging and the desire to be loved and accepted. Well this is what keeps the Armstrongites in love with Herbert Armstrong. They will defend him to their last breath, right or wrong.
Think about this. Recollect to a time when you experienced passionate feelings for a man or women out of the blue and got those opposing looks or basic remarks from your folks or companions. Perhaps your friends saw something you could not. Keep in mind how furious that influenced you to feel? Furthermore, that you resolved to love the individual all the more against all common sense.
For the cult leaders, religion is all about the almighty dollar, for the membership it is about love. When your in love, nothing, and I mean nothing can change your mind about the love of your life.
And so this one of several reasons why people keep giving to their Armstrong based churches. They are in love with the man, and that my friends is not lost on your guru. It is also the ACOG’s Achilles’ heel and is destroying them in the process. When new blood walks into the revolving door of Armstrongism, what’s the first thing they will do after church when they hear the name Herbert W. Armstrong? They will Google it. And in this day and age of information what will they find? Enough for the rational mind to destroy the illusion that they bought into.