Saturday, September 19, 2015

Russell E Kelly Rebuts John Sullivan, Executive of Florida Baptist Convention

Russell Kelly Rebuts John Sullivan, Florida Baptist Executive Director, on Tithing


Sullivan: God says ‘Prove Me’ with the tithe.

Kelly: This was not commanded to the church. It was only commanded to Old Covenant national Israel as part of the Law (Mal 4:4; Neh 10:29). The whole law was a test: obey all to be blessed; break one to be cursed (Gal 3:10; Deut 27:26.

Sullivan: God is a demanding God. He is an unchanging God.

Kelly: In Malachi God demanded that the dishonest priests of Israel replace the tithes they had stolen from the Levites in Nehemiah 13:5-10. He had already cursed the priests 4 times in Malachi 1:6-14 and 2:1-2. He was “unchanging” in that he kept his Old Covenant blessings and curses.

Sullivan: Malachi 3:8 says that He is also a reprimanding God. 

Kelly: God also commanded the Old Covenant Levies and priests NOT to own property or amass wealth in Israel. Today’s so-called tithe-receiving gospel ministers both own property and often amass much wealth contrary to Numbers 18:20-28. They only teach a small part of the tithing doctrine of the Old Covenant. They deserve a severe reprimand.

Sullivan: God reprimands Israel as He declares, “You have robbed me in tithes and offerings.”

Kelly: Yes, only Israel. The Old Covenant HOLY Levitical tithe was always only FOOD for its Levites and priests from inside HOLY Israel. God never commanded after Calvary that gospel workers should not own property or amass wealth; neither did He command tithing because all believers are now priests.

Sullivan: It is faulty theology to receive the good of life without thanksgiving.

Kelly: It is also faulty theology to teach Old Covenant tithing to New Covenant believers. As non-food-producers not even Jesus, Peter or Paul qualified as tithe-payers in Israel. Explain that.

Sullivan: However, it is even worse to ask for the things of God and then not take them. 

Kelly: It is even worse to receive false tithes from money and also own property and amass wealth when those were never Old Covenant standards for Temple workers.

Sullivan: God says, “Now prove me. Here it is.” 

Kelly: He also said to Old Covenant Levites and priests “Do not own property or amass wealth (Num 18:20). He also gave them over 600 commands and required complete obedience before they could claim a blessing (Gal 3:10; Deut 27:26).  We are either under all of the Old Covenant Law or none of it.

Sullivan: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse …

Kelly: As King Hezekiah discovered in 2 Chron 31:1-19, Solomon’s temple was not designed to hold all the tithes of the nation. He reshipped them to the Levitical cities (31:15-19) as Nehemiah knew in Nehemiah 10:37b-38. The tithes of Malachi 3 are probably those from Nehemiah 13:5 removed by the priests.  Plus, the early church had no legal storehouse buildings until after A. D. 312.

Sullivan: “… that there may be meat in mine house …

Kelly: Over 1000 years after Leviticus 27:30-34, HOLY tithes were still only FOOD from inside HOLY Israel. It is a lie to change the biblical description of HOLY tithes away from that used by Moses, Nehemiah, Malachi and Jesus.

 Sullivan: “… and prove me now herewith, I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings…”

Kelly: Tithes were still only food miraculously increased by God inside His HOLY land. HOLY tithes never included that which man increased from his own labor or money.

Sullivan: What is the proof? “There will be meat in my house.”

Kelly: Read the text!!! The literal text means FOOD and nothing more!

Sullivan: We will never be overwhelmed by the grace of God through experimentation.

Kelly: Yes, New Covenant post-Calvary grace. Tithing was pure law and none of grace. God expected it from food producers inside Israel whether they wanted to give it or not.

Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Mal 4:4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Sullivan:  There is another note from this text found in Malachi. … There is the immediacy of God’s command to our life.

Kelly: The SBC wants us to “tithe right now; don’t study the subject; just obey your pastors.” This is bully pulpit rhetoric and is against 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

Sullivan: God has an expectancy that we will follow His instructions without delay. There is an urgency.

Kelly: Scare tactics. It is a lie to equate tithing with firstfruits. Then Christians will give their first 10% to the church and do without household necessities like medicine and food and basic shelter.

I challenge you or any other church leader to enter and open dialog on the subject of tithing. I know you will not do this because it would expose your deception and lack of faith in solid post-Calvary giving principles

In Christ’s love
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD



No comments: