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. -- Malachi 3: 10 (ESV)
As I was browsing through Facebook this evening I came across the above linked article entitled, "Why I Quit Tithing (And Why You Should Too)." Since so few truly get the truth about the false teaching of tithing I was immediately interested until I saw the author (Larry Poole) was a renowned tithing guru who is churchleaders.com designated hit man when it comes to fleecing the flock. Sure enough after reading the article it became apparent that this ploy was designed to lure people in only to check their pockets for any loose change. As always, let me start by saying that I believe in giving to a local church so long as they are properly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If the church you attend is not doing so however you have a Christian duty to not give a dime to any work that is scattering people away from Christ.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. -- Matthew 12: 30 (ESV)
There are only two choices beloved. Please realize that I am not speaking about adding church members. I am not speaking about people willing to raise their hands for some faux altar call. I am speaking about preaching the cross, the blood, sin, and the need to repent. No false teaching allowed. No purpose driven nonsense. No seeker friendly industrial complex marketing schemes and gimmicks. If the Gospel is being preached then there is no greater place to invest your money and to do so cheerfully:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -- 2Corinthians 9: 6-7 (ESV)
This is the New Testament model for giving. We are universally bound by the principle of sowing and reaping, confirmed in other portions of Scripture. This does not have to do with money exclusively, but finances would certainly count. Throughout the New Testament we see the new church give in relation to need, out of a pure heart. Tithing is the opposite. It is a compulsory system that was nailed to the cross along with the rest of the civil law. The problem most purpose driven pastors face today is that they lead congregations of falsely converted goats. Without the indwelt Holy Spirit they cannot just leave it up to them to decide what they will give. So they dredge up an old archaic portion of the agrarian economy of Israel and pretend historical narratives reveal commands from God that are simply not there. The complex employs gifted communicators such as Larry Poole to convince Christians that they must give in order to be blessed. A quid-pro-quo arrangement with a Mafioso god that will spiritually kneecap you if you do not give him his cut first. So did Larry Poole see the light? Has he renounced all of his false teachings in the past regarding tithing in the church? Has he really quit tithing? Let us reason together beloved.
"Most people simply don't understand tithing. To many Christians, it seems like some sort of country club due. Another bill in the long list of monthly expenses. Giving is supposed to be an act of worship that draws you closer to the heart of God." -- Larry Poole
Yes Larry. Most people do not understand tithing because charlatans like you confuse them with your spurious false teachings. For instance, take the teaching he presents hear about giving being an act of worship. We have all heard something similar in evangelical circles but the truth is this is not taught anywhere in Scripture. The best people come up with is the following instruction from the Apostle Paul:
Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. -- 1Corinthians 16: 1-2 (ESV)
Was this Paul's way of establishing a New Testament tithing system? Not at all. False tithing teachers such as Larry Poole would have us believe that because Paul is instructing them to take this offering on the first day of the week that it is thus part of the "worship service." What a stretch! The fact that is omitted is that this specific instruction was regarding an offering for the poor in Judea. It was relevant to the time the letter was written not meant to be taken as doctrinal instruction. Again, hear me well. I am not arguing against giving during a church service if that church is truly doing the work of the kingdom. I am against spiritual and emotional manipulation and that is what Mr. Poole is engaging in when his opening salvo is that giving is worship. Why is that manipulation? Well, how much to you truly worship God? Is He worth five percent? Ten? It is a set up beloved designed to make people feel like whatever they are not giving is an indication of not worshiping and that is simply tying the yoke of the law back around the necks of believers who were set free by Christ's work on the cross. Poole continues:
"Then why is it that the concept of tithing, giving the first 10 percent of one's income, has become so divisive in the church? Christians debate questions like: Is tithing still even required? Wasn't it an Old Testament law? Didn't Christ abolish the law with His death and resurrection? Should I tithe off the gross or net of my income? Does God really expect me to tithe if I'm struggling in my personal finances? I "tithe" my timeto the church. Isn't that enough? These questions all have the same recurring theme--what's the least I can give and still receive God's blessings. When you debate these questions, you totally miss the point." -- Larry Poole
Only to someone trying to get your money are these legitimate questions viewed so negatively. The truth is that Larry realizes that the jig is up. Most savvy Christians know now that tithing has always been a scam in the church. So he presents these questions as being bad because he knows the answers reveal he is a fraud. Is tithing still required? The answer is absolutely not. It was part of the Old Testament civil law that allowed the Levites to have a share of the agriculture produced. Not money, which they had in those days, but agriculture. This matter is settled clearly by God in Paul's letter to the Church in Galatia:
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.You are severed from Christ, you who would be justifiedby the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. -- Galatians 5: 2-6 (ESV)
Beloved, the Galatian Church was being infiltrated by teachers known as the Judaizers who taught that one needed to be circumcised in order to be saved as well as have faith in Christ. Paul makes it abundantly clear that the by insisting on keeping one part of the law meant you are severed from Christ! What does this have to do with tithing? Today the church is infiltrated by teachers insisting that you have to keep a different part of the law, tithing. Re-read these Galatian verses and insert the word "tithing" wherever "circumcision" is. Beloved, neither tithing nor not-tithing counts for anything. Christ did abolish the civil law on the cross. Your time does count in terms of service to the body of Christ. Lastly on this portion is the fact that Larry Poole tips his hand when he indicates that giving to him is about receiving God's blessings. We will see this theme develop as we continue:
"Biblical generosity isn't about giving the minimum. It's about surrendering it all to an all-powerful, all-loving God. A God who gave everything in his son Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Randy Alcorn said it best: "Giving affirms Christ's lordship. It dethrones me and exalts Him." Bull's-eye. I used to write checks to my church that looked like this: $112.14. To the penny. Nothing more. Nothing less. "There's my 10 percent God. Hopefully that'll cover the upkeep in Heaven until my next paycheck. Now bless me." I didn't get it. God didn't need my money. He wanted proof that He was first in my life. He wanted me to trust Him completely. He wanted to grow my faith." -- Larry Poole