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Coming Soon to Your Church -- The Tithing Propaganda Movie

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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)

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Beloved I want us to start today in ancient Galatia. The new upstart Christian church was being infiltrated by more traditional Jews who had a difficult time understanding that circumcision, which was the mark of covenant with God, was no longer required. This group of dissidents were known as the Judaizers and they started to gain influence in the church at Galatia; teaching that salvation was through faith and circumcision. Paul's rebuke was pointed and instructs us to this day:

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 justified by 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)

What is Paul teaching here? Is this about circumcision? No beloved. It is about yoking ourselves back to the law. It could have been any part of the ceremonial or civil law which Christ nailed to the cross. Because the Judaizers were hung up on circumcision, that was the focus but the point is that it could have been any part of the law, even tithing. That is right. Tithing was part of the civil law in Israel. God set it up to ensure that the Levite tribe had food so they could focus solely on priestly and spiritual matters of the people. Read the above verses from Galatians and simply replace the word circumcision with tithing and see what God is saying. If you accept tithing then Christ will be of no advantage to you. Accepting tithing means you are obligated to keep the entire law, have severed Christ from you, and have fallen away from grace. For in Christ Jesus tithing or no tithing counts for anything but only faith working through love. These are serious matters beloved. What tithing preachers are actually doing is yoking their sheep back to the very law Christ came to deliver them from. I say this as a backdrop to discuss the article linked above. Every now and again someone comes along to try and prop up tithing and today it has taken on a new form -- a documentary movie. I can see this being screened on Sundays across this country soon and that is why it is important now to debunk this nonsense now and get ahead of the story. So consider this a public service announcement and let us reason together once more:

'Almost every sermon about tithing references Malachi 3:10. That verse says to test the Lord. If we test the Lord, He will open up the floodgates of heaven. One Sunday morning I was visiting a church where the pastor read from Malachi and then offered a tithing challenge. He said, "If you tithe for 90 days to our church and at the end you aren't better off financially, then we'll give you your money back."' -- Rich Praytor

The key verse today is from the poor prophet Malachi who sees this verse and the third chapter of his short book mangled more often than any other portion of Scripture. Let us deal with some biblical matters regarding Malachi. The book is a narrative written not to the people but to the priests responsible for the overseeing of the temple of the Lord. Don't believe me? Read Malachi 2:1 where it expressly says that he is speaking to the priests. When we get to verse 3:10 he is still speaking to the priests. You want a cross reference? Read the 13th Chapter of the Book of Nehemiah. It was Nehemiah who was in charge then but we learn in the 13th chapter he had to return to King Artaxerxes and while he was gone the house of the Lord fell into the hands of unscrupulous men. They allowed Tobiah the Ammonite to stay in the temple in the area that was reserved for the grain offerings. That was not all:

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. -- Nehemiah 13: 10-12 (ESV)

Beloved, Malachi 3:10 was written to the priests, not the people. Once Nehemiah settled matters the problem went away. This was not meant as some prescriptive instruction from God to the church and if anything do not forget that tithing was nailed to the cross. You can easily tell this is a scam by the offer this church made. The tithing challenge, which I believe started with mega-heretic Steven Furtick, makes a mockery of God. When the tithe was required it was considered holy and set apart unto God. This is not some infomercial. Look at what they are promising here in this scam. It is a quid pro quo that God is required to give you more money than you tithe. That is promised nowhere in Scripture, even when tithing was in place. It is a well-crafted scheme however. Only ten percent of a church tithes so the preacher has little to lose. In a mega church of thousands, let's say 500 people commit to this challenge and follow though. It is set up to be a subjective measurement. Anything positive at all will be attributed to the tithing. So let's say only 50% feel better off after the 90 days. The 250 people that did not experience anything get their money back but that is no loss because they wouldn't have tithed it anyway. But the 250 that think it worked are now hooked for every week giving. It is brilliant in its wickedness.

"That inspired me to create and film my own tithing challenge. I would call it, The Tithe Project ( I set out to find someone who had never tithed before, get him or her to give 10 percent of his or her income away to a local church and document the journey on film. After nearly giving up, I found someone: an independent film producer who was working with me on another project! Beverly is a single mom of two who lives in Colorado Springs and had been inspired to start tithing after reading several books on generosity. At the outset, we set some rules. Beverly would tithe 10 percent of any income she received during the ninety days. She would give it to the church she attended. To help keep track of Beverly's finances each month, I enlisted the help of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Day one of the experiment was very traditional. Beverly headed to her church on Sunday morning and dropped a check in the offering bucket. Everything was going as planned until she got back home and opened the mail from the previous week. A disconnection notice from her utility company let her know that power in her house would be shut off if the balance she owed wasn't paid almost immediately. It turns out that the amount she tithed that morning could have paid her utility bill." -- Rich Praytor

Gee, I wonder what is going to happen. The reality is that for 250 of the 500 people, their lights would be turned off and their outstanding bills sent to collections. Tithing is not about generosity. It is about slavery. It is a compelled system of giving which violates New Testament scriptures regarding giving. Let me say now what I always say in this regard. If you are in a church that genuinely preaches the entire Gospel, without holding back sin and repentance in favor of purpose driven and seeker friendly pablum then you will not find a better place to invest your money. The New Testament giver is cheerful. He seeks through prayer how much God wants the giver to give. He does not give expecting anything in return. He understands his blessings have been given already at Calvary. He is not greedy for the things of this world. Praytor continues:

"At this point, I considered stopping the experiment. I didn't want to be the guy who was responsible for a single mom having no heat and no water in her house. Day two of the experiment is when she saw God remain true to His word. I received a voicemail from Beverly that afternoon. In the mail that day, she had received a check from one of her previous clients whose payment was seriously overdue. She had written the invoice off months ago and completely forgotten about it. The check was large enough to cover her utility bill. During the 90-day tithing experiment, several more miraculous events happened. For instance, Beverly had previously signed up for a non-related, home-based business but had never put any work into it. Halfway through the experiment, she began receiving commission checks from the company. The miracles didn't stop there. A friend from Beverly's church needed a place to stay as she transitioned into moving to another state. Instead of paying rent, the friend offered to provide childcare for free, which ended up saving Beverly more than $1,000 a month." -- Rich Praytor

Ok, this was what I was saying. These events are not "miraculous." They are the events of a normal everyday existence. Sometimes old debts are paid. Sometimes the home based business pays dividends. Sometimes the person that needs your help ends up helping you too. Think of the lunacy of his position here. God orchestrated these things in response to her sudden desire to tithe. That if she had not started tithing, then that person never would have paid his bill, that business would have continued dormant and that person from church would have ended up somewhere else. It is stating that God can be bought. Even though the Bible says that God is no respecter of person apparently He is a respecter of money. Here is the sad thing beloved. For every Beverly there are countless people who do not have the same circumstances happen to them. The home business never pays off. The debt remains unpaid. The friend from church goes somewhere else. What happens to those people in the middle of this "challenge? What happens to their faith? I remember once reading a post on Joel Osteen's Facebook page from a man facing foreclosure and forfeiture of his house in two weeks. With homelessness staring him in the face he asked for prayer but he was clearly disillusioned. He said he did not understand it because he attended church regularly, served in a ministry and tithed religiously. The truly sad part was the vacuous responses from people who have been taught so poorly. Every third response referenced Malachi 3:10 and how God was going to pour him out a blessing and throw open the very windows of heaven. Every fifth response was about speaking the money into existence. There was zero practical help and no biblical help whatsoever. That man had his doors padlocked in all likelihood and probably went on to blame the God he never even knew. There are real victims of false teaching beloved. When you promise that God will give you more money back than your tithe you are whoring your god out.

"We captured it all on film. Some of the most entertaining scenes are the meetings with the CPA. Each month he would try to figure out how Beverly's giving away 10 percent of her income was actually increasing her cash flow." -- Rich Praytor

Well, that must have been fun! Of course there is no causative relationship. This is the fundamental lie within this scheme. Everything that is negative is written off as happenstance, anything neutral is written off as life and anything positive is a miracle caused by tithing. The inherent dishonesty is staggering. If this was an honest look it would follow Beverly for five years and see if at every turn money magically fell out of the sky because of her tithing habits.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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