Friday, August 14, 2009

Reply to Pastor Jim Woflcale

ALL I WANT IS YOU, Jim Wolfcale, Chesapeake, Va

Jim: I hunger for the truth; I wanna know more about Jesus

Russ: According to 2 Cor 3:10-18 the OT law has zero glory when compared to the glory of the New Covenant. Preaching law is preaching with a veil over your head. We are no longer commanded to kill our disobedient children per Exodus 21:15, 17 either. Only by knowing more and more about Jesus do we draw near to his image.

Jim: The 90 Tithe Challenge
One of my favorite things to teach on has always been financial stewardship.

Russ: True biblical tithes were always only food from inside Israel. Although money was common even in Genesis, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe for over 1500 years from Leviticus to Luke. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside Israel. Jesus only mentioned tithing three times and each time he condemned legalistic tithe-teachers while the law was still in full force. He never commanded tithing to the Gentiles because it would have been illegal.

Jim: His instructions and promises don't change with the stock market.

Russ: God does not change but he honors his different covenant conditions made with different peoples. Nothing about tithing under the Old Covenant has been brought forward to the church from the tithing statute of Numbers 18. (1) tithes are not given to the servants of the priests, (2) tithe-recipients are nor forbidden to own and inherit property, (3) preachers are not the only ones allowed into the sanctuary and (4) preachers are not commanded to kill anybody who dares to worship God directly. You cannot honestly pick and choose only that which you want to teach and ignore the rest. Jim: Like many of you, my family has taken a financial hit during this financial crisis …

Russ: Why? I though you were guaranteed overflowing blessings from Malachi 3:10. Your own testimony proves that the promises are not working in the New Covenant.

Jim: … but it doesn't effect my giving to God because my wife and I have done some advance planning.

Russ: You are probably well educated, motivated and plan ahead. There are tens of thousands in the ghettos who have been faithfully "tithing" for generations but remain in deep poverty. Why does tithing not work for them?

Jim: It's imperative that each of us take the time to plan our finances. If you don't have a plan to succeed you're planning to fail and I know that's not what anyone wants to do.

Russ: Really. Again you are admitting that success depends more on motivation and planning than on tithing. People who do that will most likely succeed whether they tithe or nor. You do not believe your own propaganda.

Jim: This Sunday I'm introducing a 90 Tithe Challenge to our church. We're going to challenge our people that during the next 90 days they will put God to the test as He invites us to do in Malachi 3:10.

Russ: Spend a week of the 90 days to read my web site and try to honestly reconcile what God's Word says with what you are teaching. Try to find even one major church historian who says that the early church taught tithing for the first 300 years. Actually it did not become legal until AD777 and was not widely taught in the USA until the 1890s.

Jim: You might have heard this but this is the only place in the Bible where God invites us to test Him. Pretty cool huh!? Actually, it's more than pretty cool. It's flat out AWESOME!

Russ: That is a lie! Read all of Deuteronomy 28 to 30; Nehemiah 10:29; Malachi 4:4 and Galatians 3:10-13. The whole law was a test, not merely tithing. Obey ALL to be blessed; break ONE to be cursed. You cannot demand God's blessings because of obedience to only one of over 600 annulled laws. Hebrews 7:18 clearly annuls tithing from 7:5 and 7u:12.

What about the curse of Malachi. How can you teach justification and the imputed righteousness of Christ and also that a believer can be cursed?

God does not and cannot bless New Covenant believers because of their obedience to Old Covenant conditional promises which have not been repeated to the Church after Calvary. NT giving is primarily sacrificial. Preach that. That means much more than 10% for many and much less for many others.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

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