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The Tithing Lie of Blessed and Cursed Money

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Uhmm, no Dr. Weiss it is not. First of all, it was written in the Old Testament, so it was written to Israel. Not everything that was written to Israel is considered doctrine for Christians. That is sloppy hermeneutics. Furthermore, this was not even written to the people but rather to the priests. How do we know this? Read the key verses today from one chapter earlier. The entire letter of Malachi was not written to the people. How ironic that the people who were robbing God were the leaders, not the congregants! Moreover it is just lazy to look at verse snippets from Chapter Three and create doctrine out of them without trying to understand the references and context. Malachi was a prophet in support of Nehemiah, much the same way that Zechariah and Haggai supported the work of Zerubbabel and Ezra a 100 years prior. So to truly understand Malachi, it is important to understand Nehemiah. Malachi was probably written somewhere around Nehemiah's second return to Babylon and back to Jerusalem. If you want to see what Malachi 3 is referring to one needs to read Nehemiah 13. Here is a portion of Malachi 3 and Nehemiah 13

"For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, 'How shall we return?' Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts. -- Malachi 3: 6-12 (ESV)

Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the kingand came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. So I confronted the officials and said, "Why is the house of God forsaken?" And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service. -- Nehemiah 13: 4-14 (ESV)

So when Nehemiah was away, Eliashib the priest decided to allow someone who was forbidden into the temple. Additionally, the Levites were no longer receiving their share, the tithe, from the priests as they were supposed to. It is not that the people were not tithing, they were. The leadership was not giving it out appropriately to the Levites. Beloved, we know this evil eventually spread to the entire nation because Malachi says it but he is still addressing the leadership. You cannot take this handful of verses and pretend that they establish some universal principle when they were written for a very specific problem, which Nehemiah addressed when he returned to Jerusalem. What about the other Mosaic Laws? This is the point tithing teachers can never explain. Why are all of the Mosaic Ceremonial and Civil Laws nailed to the cross except tithing? We know from Galatians earlier that tithing too is nailed to the cross lest we sever ourselves from Christ. Dr. Weiss continues:

"I believe in tithing and believe everyone would be wise to tithe. My point is not about tithing, however, but about being under the authority of the word of God. In this passage, God is determining whether a person or nation of people are blessed or cursed depending on their obedience. Their obedience to God's commands to tithe eventually bless the individual and the nation with money beyond what they could imagine. Disobedience to God's command to tithe caused God to curse the money of those who didn't tithe." -- Dr. Doug Weiss

I have seen this phenomenon before. It is almost as if tithing teachers feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and try to pretend it is about anything else but tithing. If Dr. Weiss was truly under the authority of the Word of God on this issue then he would not look at Malachi without looking at Nehemiah. He would more importantly read the New Covenant and see that Galatians 5 destroys the tithing argument. As does Corinthians when God says that giving should not be under compulsion yet tithing is by definition a compulsory system. If he were truly under the authority of Scripture he would know that there are no curses for those in Christ Jesus. The notion that their money is blessed or cursed is not born out in these verses at all. In fact, this was not about money as we see from the Nehemiah cross reference. This was about food in the storehouse so that the Levites could eat. Period. Now Dr. Weiss goes for the kill:

"As a side note - I meet with people who are in pain or in crisis with in their lives or marriages. Over 20 years, I have asked Christian couples about the structure of their marriage, such as dating, spirituality, sexuality, sharing feelings, social life and money. When it comes to significant financial trouble, every Christian couple who had had financials problems did not tithe. On the other hand, I also have seen the fruition of many of my multi-millionaire friends who tithe abundantly and regularly." -- Dr. Doug Weiss

Well, that is about as carnal and stupid an argument as I thought I would hear. So you find that people who have oodles of money have no problem tithing but people who are facing extreme financial difficulties do not? Well knock me over with a feather. Could it be because one of those people have money and give out of their excess while the other has nothing to give? To assume causality is disgusting. Seriously, think about the inference of this teaching. Dr. Doug Weiss is saying that a family of four facing bankruptcy and foreclosure were cursed by God because they did not tithe correctly unto Him. Yet John Q. Millionaire was able to buy his new yacht because God blessed him due to his tithing record. Jehovah is not running a pyramid scheme beloved. This is the real problem with teaching abusive tithing -- you eventually get here. Where God blesses the socks off of the filthy rich while He curses those who are poor. Hear me very clearly -- no He does not. Are you telling me that for the family facing foreclosure the only thing that mattered to God was their tithing record? What if they faced an unforeseen medical problem that dried up all of their savings? What if they faced a long period of unemployment? You do know the Bible calls you less than an unbeliever if you do not take care of your family, right? There are loan sharks who sound more unforgiving than this god that Weiss is selling. Thankfully he concludes:

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