Rebuttal to Thoughts, Fleecing the Flock, Aug 14, 2009
Although your story is interesting and very informative, it is wrong to compare sheep-crutching to tithing.
(1) True biblical tithes were always only food miraculously increased by God from inside Israel. Although money was common even in Genesis, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside Israel.
(2) Tithes were not the same thing as first fruits. Tithes were the tenth after full harvest or every tenth animal -- not necessarily the best animal per Lev 27:30-34. First fruits were a very small token offering which could be carried in a small hand basket to the Temple to be consumed there per Deut 26:1-4. The firstborn was a firstfruit, not the tenth-born per Neh 10:35-38.
(3) Tithing was only given to Old Covenant Israel to provide for the Levites and temple priests who forfeited inheritance. It is stealing to receive tithes under one pretense and also own and inherit property under another pretense. Numbers 18 is the statute of tithing and none of its rules are followed today. A) Tithes are not given to servants to the pastors. B) Servants do not give one tenth of their tithes to the pastor. C) Pastors are not the only ones allowed inside the sanctuary, D) Pastors still own property. E) Pastors do not kill anybody who dares to worship God directly. Both the temple and the priesthood have been replaced, not by pastors, but by believer-priests (compare Ex 19:5-6 with 1 Peter 2:9-10.
(4) NT giving to the Church after Calvary is primarily sacrificial. That means more than 10% for many and less for many others. It equals out per 2 Cor 8:12-14. For much more see www.tithing-russkelly.com. I would appreciate extended dialog.