Tithe


Tithe.

I thought about this yesterday on a long drive to the middle of somewhere. There is a growing segment of IFB Christians who still maintain, despite a verse in the New Testament spoken by Jesus Christ, claim we are not bound by tithe today.

Whenever anyone talks about tithe, the cynical Christian immediately thinks, “He needs money.”

Well, you can’t pay tithes to me. And I don’t accept offerings. Do not send me money.

If you have extra cash lying around and want to make an offering, I suggest instead doing almsgiving. Go and donate money to a needy family, and just think my name as you’re doing it. If there’s any rewards from it, maybe the Lord will bless me for your good works.

Let’s get the command from Jesus Christ out of the way first.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23, KJV)

Let’s look instead at spiritual principles.

Why is there a tithe?

Yes, it was an agrarian society. We’re no longer in one.

The Levites had absolutely no land inheritance at all. They could not farm. They had six cities where they lived – that was it.

“But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.” (Numbers 18:24, KJV)

The tithe was instituted so that the Levites could dedicate themselves to the ministry of God.

We, as Christians don’t have Levites any more.

We have Pastors.

If you pay your Pastor less than a McDonald’s worker, it means he has to work a day job. And that means he’s going to have little time for dedicating himself to the Ministry of God.

The tithe today serves to take care of the costs of the church building, and those that dedicate themselves to the ministry of God. And if the Pastor preaches well, the biblical command is that you pay them twice as much.

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” (1 Timothy 5:17, KJV)

The word honour is τιμῆς in the Greek, times (Tee mess). That means “Price” or “Worth”. The reference in Matthew 27:6 & 9 about what to do with Judas’s coins that he threw on the floor is literally this same word. In Acts 4, same word.

Look up the average pay for a Baptist pastor in your area. In mine, that’s $65,000 a year.

If they preach well, then the command is you double that – $130,000 a year.

If tithe is not for today, how are they to dedicate themselves to the labor of the ministry?

Offerings?

People tend not to pay offerings to a point that equals tithe. They say “I can pay MORE offerings than tithe.”

I bet you don’t.

The Lord CLEARLY says in Matthew 23 that the Pharisees and Scribes should have indeed paid tithes. The Biblical model is that the tithe was instituted to ensure that the priests (today pastors) could dedicate themselves to the ministry without having to work. And if the Lord commands something and you won’t do it, then clearly, when it;s up to you, you’re not going to do it either.

That’s why we have the tithe.

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation.” (Malachi 3:8–9, KJV)

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:19–20, KJV)

I know there’s a couple of readers I have who don’t believe in tithe. I’m just going to say, that’s not a me issue. that’s a you issue, between you and God.

I said my piece – see ye to it.

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An Argument in favor of Expository Preaching


I was discussing the concepts of preaching with my son in the faith yesterday. I literally opened my Bible to Matthew 1:1-17 and told him to write two sermons based upon the text.

This is expository preaching. You expound what is in the Bible text. I have always preferred Expository preaching, but most pastors today don’t do it.

Now, there’s some rules about expository preaching. We’ll get to those another time. Why should a pastor preach expositorally?

Reason One – be instant in and out of season. If you preach topically, you may end up accidentally skipping topics that God has placed in Scripture. Ever preach on greed or adultery? Many pastors today have entered the ministry, preached 20-24 years and retired never having preached on certain topics. If you’re always searching for a text to write, you run the risk of preaching on all the topics that interest you, and skipping ones that the congregation often needs to hear!

Reason Two – Keeping your job. Pastors today are being fired simply because they’ve preached on a topic the deacon board was offended by. This is an absolute abrogation of Pastoral authority that cannot be found in Scripture. Alas, we have it, and it will take far more influence than I have to ever abolish that unScriptural entity of a deacon board. If you’re preaching expositorally, then it’s really hard to argue when Matthew 5:27 comes right after Matthew 5:26. And now you can really start asking the deacon board if they have a problem with the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture! A pastor cannot be fired for preaching on separationism, the Bible issue, idolatry, tithing, greed or adultery if they’re preaching expositorally.

Reason Three – you have to become a better preacher. If you resolve you’re going to preach through the New Testament, then sooner or later you’re going to run across a passage or verse you don’t understand. I guarantee that. So now you have to roll up your sleeves and dig into the text, opening your Textus Receptus and your Vine’s. You will end up knowing a LOT more about the Bible than you did before! And the congregation does as well.

Reason Four – your congregation will grow and mature as Christians. It’s hard to stay an unmatured Christian when the congregation is being fed meat instead of milk. Sermonettes make Christianettes or marionettes. Feeding your congregation baby food leaves you with a congregation of babies. But dig into the text and start explaining what the Bible means, and now people are adding to their understanding and beliefs about the Bible. Christians, according to John MacArthur, operate out of their beliefs. They forget what you exhort them to do, but they will always act according to their beliefs. By feeding them pure meat, you shape their beliefs, and the congregation grows spiritually.

Reason Five – The congregation now will accept the validity of the Pastor’s study time. If you’re preaching about how this word can only be found five times in the Bible, the congregation undergoes a change. They will begin to accept – even insist on – the need of the pastor to spend hours a day in study. Why? They’re getting FED! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve caught onto certain Greek and Hebrew words. If I were your pastor, you’d expect this kind of teaching every Sunday – and you’d become so accustomed to it that the lack of it would make you start insisting I get study time. And love of study of the Bible is one of the hallmarks of the calling of a Pastor.

Expository preaching is often viewed as boring – the problem is, most preachers who preach expository are boring. It’s not the method of the preaching, but rather, the preacher with the method. If the Bible does not excite you, why are you in the pulpit? It’s not an easy job or an easy income – you want that, there’s jobs out there that ARE easy. The Bible should be your obsession if you’re called to preach or teach! I am often fascinated by the minutae present in Bible passages. I love reading a passage and realizing that what I just read in this book is echoed in this other book!

Preach expository. Your congregation is demanding it. They deserve it.

Sinus Headache Day


Re-reading a lot of my old blog articles.

I truly was amazed that I’d written some good stuff. I mean, I do research, I make notes, I look things up, I drink coffee, article comes out.

There’s a lot of research I do with this blog. Fortunately, I did the majority of it back in 2012 and 2013. By 2016 I was doing half as much, because I’d saved a lot of it.

I used to use a number of different programs to keep all my research. Now I just use Evernote. At some point this year, I need to take a day and take ALL of my research and finally get it all stored into Evernote, so I have it all in once place. I literally just spent an hour trying to find a single name to put into Friday’s article, and couldn’t find it.

Hampered with a sinus headache.

Looking forward to the Rapture. I’m pretty sure that’s the once and for all end to my sinus headaches.

Reclaiming Christianity IV


Should be allow unbelievers to tell us what to read, believe, teach, preach?

Should we buy books by atheists and stack them in our homes, eagerly devoouring the writings of men and women hostile to the Gospel, and allowing those to shape our Biblical worldview?

Um… no.

You mean, you really wouldn’t read the writings of Richard Dawkins on the worldwide flood of Noah, and accept it as fact? Why not? It makes no sense not to!

Because you’re reading the writings of a great number of unbelievers when you open most books on Christianity. Study Bibles, etc.

So why should you accept the writings of a heretic like Andy Stanley? Bruce Metzger? Carlo Martini? Kurt and Barbara Aland? Julius Wellhausen? Eugene Nida? Robert Bratcher? C. H. Dodd? Karl Barth?

Reclaiming Christianity III


What is a Christian?

It’s pretty simple. All of you will agree with this. it’s someone who has repented of their sinful life and turned to Jesus Christ for salvation and been born again. We can make that more or less wordy. You have to have had a change of life, change of heart. Spiritual rebirth. Born Again.

Can you be saved by chanting “Om mane padme Om” three hundred times a day?

Nope.

Can you be saved by lighting a candle every day?

Nope.

You’re saved by faith through grace. You’re saved by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But you have to make a conscious desire to change (from your sinful nature and ways), beg Jesus Christ to save you. Maybe it was a moment where you realized God was real, and you were in violation of His laws.

Doesn’t matter. I’m not digging deep into this. The Gospel is simple enough that a drowning man can understand it and be saved.

Easy!

So, can you be saved by someone dropping drops of water on your forehead as an adult?

No.

So… why do we accept as Christians people who claim to be saved when this happened as a baby? Does it mean that if you missed out on this by the tenth day of life, that now you’ve got to use option B?

No. It means they’re not saved.

This is an issue. Because it rules out the overwhelming majority of people worldwide who claim to be Christians.

Think about that. Lutherans. Episcopals. Methodists. Presbyterians. Catholics.

Backup plans are of course Confirmation. You study a catechism, and have to pass a test of “Who is God?” etc. If you’ve memorized the Catechism, that’s salvation as a backup.

I know people who’ve memorized baseball stats and football player stats. That’s more complicated – is that salvation? No. Because salvation is not about works.

So, getting sprinkled or something drawn on your little infant forehead doesn’t save you.

So why do we call people who’s salvation testimony is just this… “Christians”?

Reclaiming Christianity II


My cats are really misbehaving right now, and I’ve got a wicked sinus headache, so I hope yesterday’s article made sense.

Do you know what a shell game is? That’s a game that you used to see at carnivals. A man would have three walnut shells, and place a pea under one. He’d slide the shells around and repeat the whole time, “where is the pea? Which one has it?” He’d stop. you’d pick. He’d lift the shell.

No pea. He was lying, because he scooped the pea up in his fingers before he started moving the shells. The dialog he used distracted you.

Here’s a firm statement to grasp onto.

The Greek new testament the churches of Jesus Christ have always used is the Textus Receptus.

The Hebrew text the churches have always used is the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text.

I used to be able to say just, “Masoretic text”, but literally the Theological liberals have taken ANOTHER text, the Ben Asher text (which is not Masoretic) – and have renamed it the Masoretic text.

The churches of Jesus Christ have always used the Hebrew old testament. Blanket statement.

Theological liberals try to play shell games by substituting a different majority text (one of the nicknames of the Textus Receptus) and a different Masoretic text.

That’s called lying. “Is this the car I test drove?” “Uh… SUUUUURRE!” “It looks different… I don’t remember it making that noise…” “No, no, that’s the same one!”

That’s lying. To offer up a false text instead of the text we’re supposed to be using is called lying.

Then here’s the other part of the shell game.

They don’t use either.

They use another text. They prefer the Vulgate Latin for the Old Testament, and the Septuagint (which interestingly enough, may be only a myth – because we know a heretic named Origen wrote his own New Testament text, and bundled it in with his own parallel texts in Greek called the Hexepla, because it has six columns… well, guess how many columns the “Septuagint” has?).

And when they look at the Septuagint and are “unsure” (meaning they don’t like the answer in front of them), they consult the Vulgate, or the Syrian Peshitta (an Aramaic paraphrase of the Bible).

It’s kind of like most of you probably know the story of Codex Sinaiticus, as the story is presented to you. It’s a modern forgery, but they seem to neglect that part.

Then what they never tell you is that the modern Bibles ONLY USE SINAITICUS when Vaticanus is missing that verse, chapter, or book (both codexes are missing words, verses, chapters, and entire books).

so why do they make such a big deal about Sinaiticus? When they almost never use it?

Shell game. They’re lying.

So, here’s how you settle the Bible issue. Your Bible MUST BE TRANSLATED FROM TEXTS THE CHURCHES HAVE ALWAYS USED! The Ben Chayyim Hebrew and the Textus Receptus.

That narrows it to one. The King James.

Reclaiming Christianity


Most of you don’t know this, but…

I have a bad habit of not letting go of the shift key when I capitalize a word. It usually comes out as WOr, and not Word. Or THe, instead of The.

Be glad I didn’t write down the first verse of the Gospel of John!

The situation we have – as seen today from Fundamentalist eyes – is that Christianity has been overwhelmed by opponents of Christianity.

We’ve been given a viewpoint of something diametrically opposed to Biblical Christianity, and it has been passed off by fallen angels masquerading as ministers of light to us as if it were true Christianity.

How are we saved? I’d say that we’re having a problem even with that concept since I was a boy.

What are we supposed to believe about the Bible? Most believers hold to a defective view of Scripture.

Who is a Christian? We hold to a Biblical definition – but then we welcome under the title of “Christian” people who don’t fit that definition.

I’ve tried to write these articles a dozen times, and never quite knew how to approach this. But here it is. Should be short, perhaps a week of small articles you’ll actually have time to read, for once!

The question I want to ask is, how many of you are asking the same questions? How many of you have come to the same conclusions?

Most of the readers of this blog are here because they hunger and thirst for righteousness. They don’t agree with everything I write (that’s a good thing, BTW – if you agree 100% with any human, you’re in trouble!), but they are of the same mindset – or you wouldn’t be here!

Let’s talk first about the Bible, because if we can’t get that right, we can’t get anything right. What’s your standard? The people who introduced heretical Bibles that deny the deity of Jesus Christ are trying to make sure you don’t have a standard to measure things against.

The Bible has no errors. That should get an amen out of you. I see the attacks on the Bible DAILY by theological liberals every day in my Logos program. Greatest Bible software in the world, but you pay for it by constantly seeing the articles appear linking to video interviews or video blog entries by modernists. “If Archaeology contradicts the Bible, what should we believe?” Is one such headline they blared. Here’s the answer, I’m sure all 300 of you thought of it right away!

We believe the Bible, and doubt Archeology. That’s what we should believe.

THe Bible has no errors, No mistakes. Not one word in the Bible is spurious. Every word there was placed there by the hand of God, put in the mouths and pens of the Biblical writers. The question we should think is not, “what did the author intend by this?” but “What did God intend by this?” If you’re worried about what PAUL teaches, then you’re already day late, dollar short.

Why?

Because if you disagree with something, “Well, that’s just Paul.”

If on the other hand you believe in mechanical inspiration (which I do, and oddly enough everyone who’s been saved a week or so believes automatically), then it’s not Paul who wrote it, it’s God writing through the hand of Paul. God tells me not to have long hair? Yes, Lord. Paul tells me not to have long hair? That’s just Paul, and I’m free to choose. See what I mean?

If you grasp this mindset, the Christian faith gains more power, and holds you secure even in the darkest night.