Saturday, June 27, 2009

Defining the word "tithe"


Biblical tithes were always only food which God had increased from inside Israel. Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the CONTENTS of the tithe.

Jesus did not tithe, nor did he sin by failing to tithe because he was poor and did not own land or herd animals for his sustenance. The poor were only expected to give free-will offerings to the best of their ability.

#1 & #2: Lev. 27:30, 32 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD…. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to the LORD.

#3: Num. 18:27 And this your heave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing-floor, and as the fullness of the wine-press.

#4: Num. 18:28 Thus you also shall offer a heave offering to the LORD of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and you shall give thereof the LORD’s heave offering to Aaron the priest.

#5: Deut 12:17 You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your wine, or of your oil

#6: Deut. 14:22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.

#7: Deut. 14:23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name, the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the first offspring of your herds and of your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

#8: Deut. 26:12 When you have made an end of tithing all the tithes of your increase [produce: NIV, RSV] the third year, which is the year of tithing, and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within your gates, and be filled.

#9: 2 Chron. 31:5 And as soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the fields; and the tithe of all things they brought in abundantly.

#10: 2 Chron. 31:6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.[1][4]

#11: Neh. 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithes of our ground to the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

#12: Neh. 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where previously they laid the grain offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the ­ offerings of the priests.

#13: Mal. 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat [food] in my house.

#14: Mal. 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

#15: Matt. 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin….

#16: Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

O. K. Karasome, I have provided my 16 texts which prove that the tithe was always only food. Now it is your turn to prove these texts wrong. I am waiting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Universal health insurance same as Congress. Yeah!

President Obama

It is almost certain that you are not promoting this kind of universal health insurance today. If the members of Congress will be required to obtain the same kind of health coverage as every other American, then your bill will never be passed. Read the entire article on

"If you already have insurance, the only thing that will change under my plan is that we will lower premiums. If you don't have health insurance, you'll be able to get the same kind of health insurance Members of Congress get for themselves."
--Barack Obama, "Closing Argument" speech, Canton, Ohio, October 26, 2008

Reply to Pastor Rich Morris

Reply to pastor rich morris Most of you understood tithing to mean “a planned and consistent commitment.” That’s good.

Russ: True biblical tithes were always only food from inside Israel. Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, 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.

Rich: The word and practice of “tithing” comes from the Old Testament, involving two persons of legendary status, Abraham …

Russ: Those were solely pagan in nature and did not quality as holy tithes under the Law. Almost all pagans in Abraham's time required tithes from spoils of war.

Rich: Heb 7.4

Russ: Read all of Hebrews 7. It was necessary to change the law (of tithing from 7:5) per 7:12 in order to bring in the high priesthood of Jesus. That "change" was its "annulment" in 7:18.Rich: Abraham: A tenth of his wealth was quite a gift.

Russ: You just quoted Hebrews 7:4 which proves that he only gave tithes from pagan spoils of war! Abraham is not an example for Christian giving: (1) only unholy spoils of war, (2) only once recorded, (3) not from personal property, (4) kept nothing and (5) gave the 90% to the king of Sodom.

Rich: Everything we have belongs to God.

Russ: God owned everything during Old Covenant times also. However he only accepted tithes from food sources inside Israel.

Rich: Tithing becomes a consistent practice among God’s people. In a largely agricultural society it was understood that people of faith tithed what the land produced. You tithed all the resources God gave you.

Russ: The tithe came from what God's hand miraculously increased.

Rich: Tithing practices became so detailed among the Pharisees that Jesus criticized their practices because they used them to ignore justice and love for God.

Russ: Jesus criticized their abusive CHANGE of the law.Rich: Jesus tells the Pharisees you ought to tithe and do these other things.

Russ: This is Old Covenant context before Calvary. Read Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42! Jesus was discusing "matters of the law." He could not have commanded his Gentile disciples to tithe because it was illegal.Rich: But I am saying that God clearly instructs his people to give and give with purpose, sacrifice, and consistency.

Russ: Yes.
Rich: In the New Testament Church tithing was clearly practiced, but it was seen as a minimal step of faithfulness to God. How can I say that?

Russ: There is not a single text after Calvary where the New Covenant church is commanded to tithe. The tithing statute is Numbers 18. In addition to tithing it commands tithe-recipients to forfeit property ownership and to kill anybody who dared to woship God directly. Why are the last two parts ignored?Rich: Quotes Acts 2.44-45. The followers of Jesus were bringing it all to God. Did God need it? No, but the church did. Because the church was ministering and making disciples.

Russ: Acts 2:46 says that they continued to meet and worship in the Temple daily. Read Acts 15 and especially Acts 21:20. It is clear that 30 years after Calvary the Jewish Christians in Judea were still TITHING TO THE TEMPLE SYSTEM. Acts 2:42-45 described sacrifical freewill giving --not tithing.Rich: St. Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “For if the readiness (to give) is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.” Chapter 8.12

Russ: Finish the quote from 2 Cor 8 by adding 8:13-14. This is "equality giving." Some give much more and others give much less but it equals out. That is NOT tithing.Rich: Quotes 2 Cor 9:5-8. This is a discussion of freewill sacrificial giving. It is not a discussion of church support or pastoral support. And it is not a discussion of tithing.

Rich: We tithe our budget every year so that we are always giving at least ten percent to needy ministries.

Russ: That is commendable but it is not scriptural. Old Covenant tithes were never used to mission work to convert Gentiles. Rich: … Most of us are not approaching a tithe. Our first and best step is always to look at our giving from the biblical tithe perspective and only secondarily according to the budget and needs and so on.

Russ: Your first and best step would be to look at giving from the NEW COVENANT POST CALVARY BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE. (1) 1st Timothy 5:8 compels us to spend our FIRST income on medicine, food and essential shelter. (2) OT tithes were never the same as firstfruits and should not be confused with them per Num 18:1-20; Deu 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-38.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rebuttal to Pastor Scott Burr

Remarks to Pastor Scott Burr

Scott: (Exodus 13:2) is a precedent we see surface again in Exodus 23 when the children of Israel were instructed to celebrate the Feast of Harvest by bringing in the “firstfruits” of the crops sown in their fields. The book of Leviticus refers to this first portion as the “tithe”: Quotes Lev 27:30 only.Russ: You have mixed together two different words. Tithes and firstfruits are never the same thing. Tithes were always only food from inside Israel. Tithes were the "tenth-fruit" after the full harvest or every tenth "animal". The context in Leviticus 27:31-34 clearly says that the tithe was not even the "best."

Firstfrutis were only small token offerings according to Numbers 18:1-20; Deuteronomy 26:1-10 and Nehemiah 10:35-37a.
Scott: The word tithe itself means “a tenth”.

Russ: In the context of God's Word it is always only a "tenth of food products only from inside Israel." Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, 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.

Scott: … the giving of the “tithe” was demonstrated long before the giving of the law by two great patriarchs of the faith.

Russ: Just because something is very old and preceded the law does not make that act an eternal moral principle. For example, idolatry, child sacrifice and temple prostitution also preceded the law and were common.

Scott: In Genesis 14:20, Abraham is seen giving Melchizedek, who is a type of Christ, a tenth of the spoils …

Russ: Nothing done by Abraham concerning tithing is an example for Christians. (1) only pagan spoils of war which were not legitimate as tithes under the Law; (2) nothing of his own personal property; (3) only once recorded; (4) he kept nothing and (5) he gave the 90% to the king of Sodom.

Scott: Then, again, we see Jacob at a place called Bethel, after having an encounter with God, declare: “Of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Russ: You left out the context. Jacob the schemer set the conditions! Gen 28:28-22. (1) It was still pagan in origin and (2) we do not tell God what to do.

Scott: Still there are those who want New Testament affirmation for tithing! What about Jesus? Did Jesus ever talk about the tithing and whether it should be observed? There is no direct teaching by Jesus exclusively on the subject of tithing. However, there is a strong reference of support given by Him in regards to tithing found in Matthew 23:23:In this situation, the Pharisees were commended for their commitment to tithing, but were admonished for neglecting the weightier matters of the law like- justice, mercy and faithfulness. He instructed them to practice the weightier matters without neglecting their commitment to tithing. Join me next week as we continue to study the role tithing plays in our financial health.

Russ: It is amazing what you omit! Jesus was discussing "matters of the law" before Calvary when the Law still had full jurisdiction. He could not have commanded his Gentiles disciples to tithe because it was illegal. And tithes were still only food 1500 years after Leviticus! Churches who use this text disobey it by not commanding church members to tithe their garden herbs. The tithing statute of Numbers 18 commands Levitical tithe recipients to forfeit property ownership and to kill those who dared to worship God directly. Why is that part of the statute ignored but tithing still taught?

Please join us and repudiate this false teaching. New Covenant giving principles are far superior to tithing and have the blessing of the Holy Spirit. New Covenant giving is primarily sacrificial. That means more than 10% for many but less for others.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rebuttal to Hunter McGee

Rebuttal of Pastor Hunter McGeee, Deep End Thoughts, by Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

No. Tithing is NOT a biblical command for Christians and never has been. The Old Covenant was only commanded to national Israel per Exodus 19:5-6; Lev 27:34. The New Covenant has no text after Calvary commanding Christians to tithe. Christians are comamnded to give sacrificially. That means more than 10% for many and less for others.

No. Tithing was always only a principle for food producers who lived inside Israel. Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctaury worship, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe for over 1500 years from Leviticus to Luke.

Biblical tithes were not used for missionary work nor for building expenses. Those who received the Levitical tithe were not allowed to own or inherit property. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside of Israel.
You are correct. "The answer is simple: You should give if you have decided in your heart to give. You should not give if you are reluctant or under compulsion with selfish motives."

You asked "Why is it that those who have the truth like to argue; and those who do not have definitive answers for their beliefs, do not like to argue?"

Why is it that tithe-supports absolutely will not engage in any in-dept discussion of tithing or write Masters, Doctorate or PHD disserations on the subject at seminary level?

You said "What God wants is you, and he wants you with a right attitude, especially when you are tithing."

Thanks for nothing. You dispelled tithing and then let it back in. That is dishonest.

You said "Tithing shows God that he is number one in your life and that you trust in his security rather than the security of money."

This is totally your own personal opinion. Levitical tithing was cold hard Law and was required regardless of one's feelings. You have not even DEFINED the word "tithing" correctly. Read the statute in Numbers 18. Those who receive tithes are not allowed to own or inherit property and are commanded to kill anybody who dares to worhsip God directly.

You said "Tithing obediently can bring blessings to your life and those you give to."

This is only true if Jesus did not die and if all of us are still under the Old Covenant. Read Galatians 3:10-13.

You wrote: "There is no way around this command; CHRISTIANS MUST TITHE."

YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE. This is NOT in God's Word. Tithes were never money! God owned everything during the Old Testament time also, but he never accepted tithe-food or money-"tithe" from outside of Israel.

You said: "Some in the Christian church have taken the 10 percent figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a “recommended minimum” for Christians in their giving."

This is based on the false assumption that everykbody in the OT was required to begin their level of giving at 10% --which is false. Only food producers who lived inside Israel were required to tithe.

You said: "The New Testament talks about the importance and benefits of giving. We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means giving more than 10 percent; sometimes that may mean giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the church. Every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom in the matter of participating in tithing and/or how much to give (James 1:5)."

HYPOCRITE: You are arguing from both directins and both cannot be true. You previously said "It is money the Lord has given you charge over, you get to decide what happens with it; but as a Christian, God calls you to give a portion to him. There is no way around this command; CHRISTIANS MUST TITHE." Please make up your mind."

Then you said: "Tithing is a biblical command from God for believers; it is not an option."

SEE-SAW, SEE-SAW: Tithing was never a biblical command for the church. We do not kill children who curse or strike their parents per Exodus 21 and we do not force our pastors to forfeit property ownership per Numbers 18 --the tithing statute.
YOU--FOR: "However, above all, all tithes should be given with pure motives and an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ."

YOU--AGAINST: Again, a believer should give what he believes God would have him give.

Congratulations: In nine (9) years since publishing my book, Should the Church Teach Tithing, yours is the worst case of see-saw I have ever read. Paul calls this kind of nonesense "witchcraft" in Galatians 3:1-5. You have added Law back into the Gospel of Grace and are guilty of Galatians 1:8-9.

Russeell Earl Kelly, PHD

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rebuttal of Ron Varner

Rebuttal of pastor ron varner by russell kelly, June 11, 2009

Ron: Quoted 1 Cor 16:2

Russ: 1 Cor 16:2 is in the context of 16:1 "Now concerning the collection for the saints in Judea." It is NOT about tithing. It is NOT about local church support. It is NOT about pastoral wages.

Ron: Quoted 2 Cor 9:7

Russ: This is in the context of the same collection for the saints and all of 2 Cor 8 and 9. It is one of many very good freewill giving principles and is NOT a discussion of tithing.

Ron: Three vital truths come to mind regarding the importance of our giving, beloved, the first of which is that God has made it compulsory. In both Old and New Testaments the command is clearly and succinctly stated, revealing to us that obedient giving in all the commodities of life is no option:

Russ: This is an outright lie. There is not a single text to the Church after Calvary where God has made tithing compulsory. In fact the true biblical tithe was always only food from inside Israel. Although money was very common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not quality as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside Israel. Period.

Ron: In fact so compulsory is the act of faithful giving, beloved, that God said to His people through Malachi that not to be obedient in this area is actually to "rob God" (3:8)!

Russ: Have you ever read Galatians 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." (1) The Gentiles and the Church were never under the tithing laws (Ex 19:5-6; Lev 27:34). (2) Galatians 3:10-13 clearly replaces Malachi 3:10-12 for Hebrews. (3) God does not curse Christians in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.

Ron: Thus, for us ever to consider not giving according to the leading of God's Spirit is an act of rebellion against the God who has provided all of our needs. …

Russ: Freewill giving --yes. Tithing --no.Ron: Quotes Malachi 3:10.

Russ: Have you ever read Nehemiah 10:37? "And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage." The people were normally to bring their tithes --not to the Temple-- but to the Levitical cities. According to 10:38 the Levites and priests were responsible for bringing tithes to the Temple. Therefore Mal 3:10 must only be addressed to the dishonest priests of Mal 1:6-14; 2:1-9 and 2:17-3-7.

Ron: Quotes Luke 6:38.Russ: Luke 6:38 is not a tithing text. NT giving to the Church after Calvary is: freewill, generous, sacrificial, joyful, not by commandment and motivated by love for God and others. Ron: It is difficult to imagine God expecting us to expect Him to bless us, beloved, but that is precisely what the Scriptures reveal to us! We cannot imagine that God's command for us is that we "give to get," yet that is without a doubt what is woven into His eternal plan of economy for us.

Russ: Tithing does not work because the church is under the New Covenant. If tithing actually worked then tens of thousands of ghetto dwellers who have been "tithing" for generations would have long ago received overflowing blessings.

Ron: As surely as His requirement for us to give faithfully is compulsory in every sense of the word, it is also just that much compensatory in that we should expect Him to pour out His blessings upon us.

Russ: No evidence. There are thousands of atheists and agnostics who prosper financially without tithing.Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Rebuttal of Steve Jesmere

Rebuttal of Steve Jesmer by Russell Kelly
Become a Tithe-Loving Church, Pt.2
By Pastor Steve Jesmer, June 11, 2009
Steve: How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. (Mat 23:23 NLT)

Russ: According to the context, Matthew 23:23 is a discussion of "things of the law" before Calvary while the Law was still in full force. (1) Jesus could not have commanded his Gentile disciples to tithe because it was not legal. (2) Churches do not teach Mt 23:23 because they do not teach tithing of garden herbs.

Steve: ... So, yes I do get angry about the tithe (by the way, God also got angry over the tithe in Malachi 3:10 ...

Russ: I get very angry when so-called pastors totally twist God's Word and apply it to the Church when not a Word exists concerning tithing and the Church.
Steve: Let me rewind real quick: a tithe is simply a tenth or 10% (if you are into mathematical terms:)

Russ: A "biblical" tithe is always "only food from inside Israel." Period. Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, 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.

Steve: The Bible says that the tithe belongs to the Lord.

Russ: The very last 5 verses of Leviticus say this. The other 27+ chapters of Leviticus say lists hundreds of other things which are also holy and most holy --these the church conveniently discards but keeps the tithe. The "tithe which belonged to the Lord" in Leviticus could only came from food producers inside Israel.

Steve: God gives us all that we have and He only asks us to bring back a portion of it …

Russ: God never commanded "US", the church to tithe. And he never commanded tithe-recipients to (1) forfeit property ownership and (2) kill anybody who attempted to worship God directly per the TITHE ordinance of Numbers 18.

Steve: A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. (Lev 27:30 NIV)

Russ: Leviticus 27:30-35 has it correct. Tithes were only food from inside Israel. Period.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NT Giving Principles are Better than Tithing

POINT #1: CHRISTIAN GIVING PRINCIPLES: New Covenant Giving Principles in Second Corinthians 8 and 9 are Superior to Tithing.

The false teaching is that tithing is a divine mandatory expectation which always must precede free-will giving.

Christians are commanded to give freely, sacrificially, generously, regularly, joyfully and with the motivation of love for God and man. The following New Covenant free-will principles are found in Second Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9: (1) Giving is a "grace.” These chapters use the Greek word for "grace" eight times in reference to helping poor saints. (2) Give yourself to God first (8:5). (3) Give yourself to knowing God’s will (8:5). (4) Give in response to Christ’s gift (8:9; 9:15). (5) Give out of a sincere desire (8:8, 10, 12; 9:7). (6) Do not give because of any commandment (8:8, 10; 9:7). (7) Give beyond your ability (8:3, 11-12). (8) Give to produce equality. This means that those who have more should give more in order to make up for the inability of those who cannot afford to give as much (8:12-14). (9) Give joyfully (8:2). (10) Give because you are growing spiritually (8:3-4, 7). (11) Give because you want to continue growing spiritually (9:8, 10-11). (12) Give because you are hearing the gospel preached (9:13).

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Robert's questions

Robert: Is this the place to send in a question about tithing? If not, please refer me elsewhere.

Russ: Thanks for the question. I have transferred your question and my answer to our Yahoo Tithing-Study Group for all to share. However you may continue to dialog with me here if you wish.

Robert: I generally agree with your view on tithing, but I have one question. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus said that it was correct for the Pharisees to tithe, and presumably so for all Jews in that time. So how did people tithe?

Russ: This is covered in great detail in my book, especially chapter 7, Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century confirmed three separate tithes. The Old Covenant only required food producers inside Israel to tithe and I must conclude that the Pharisees of Matthew 23 were in that category. The Old Covenant also required the people to bring their first Levitical tithes to the Levitical cities and the Levites and priests brought what they needed to the Temple when they rotated their every 24th week. The second festival tithes was brought and eaten in the streets of Jerusalem. The third poor tithe was kept in the town every third year.

Robert: Did Peter tithe his fish? Where did he give it? To a Levite friend? Or was it okay to give it to any poor person? Could he give it directly to the temple?

Russ: Peter, Jesus and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers because their increase did not come solely off the holy land of Israel. This is ignored by all modern "tithe-teachers." Fish were not tithe-able items. If Peter had been a farmer or herdsman he would have given his tithe to the Levites in the Levitical cites per Numbers 35, Joshua 20-21 and Nehemiah 10:37b. He would have shared his second tithe with everybody during the three festivals and he would have kept his poor tithe at home to give directly to the poor.

Robert: In general, is there anything written about how first century Jews, including Jewish Christians, gave the tithe.

Russ: It is possible that first century priests had usurped the Levites part of the tithe and collected it all themselves. Even if this were true (and it is just speculation) that does not make it biblical or correct. You need to read Josephus on this. As far as Christians are concerned, there is not a single text in the New Testament after Calvary where the Church was commanded to tithe at all. Examples of Christian giving in Acts 2 and 4 are examples of radical and sacrificial freewill giving. Acts 15 and 21:20 strongly suggest that the Jewish Christians never stopped paying tithes to the Temple system.

Robert: Is there any evidence, pro or con, about giving the tithe to the synagogue?

Russ: Tithes were never given to the synagogues or its rabbis (unless the rabbi were also Levites and most were neither Levites nor priests). The rabbinical schools of the first century taught that it was a sin to accept compensation for teaching God's
Word. When Paul accepted limited aid, he did so only because of his poverty. Paul's stated practice was to support both himself and those with him per 1 Cor 9:12-19 and Acts 20:29-35.

Robert: Are there any reference books where any of these questions are answered?

Russ: My own book is the most detailed. I suggest any church historian from any major denomination. The church historians have it right but their counter-part theologians twist the facts. I also suggest any major reference work, whether secular or religious such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Check the bibliography at the end of my book.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


(1) If we do not pay tithing, we pay the church bills the same way that the early church paid them --sacrificial freewill offerings. There is no biblical or historical evidence that the early church used tithing to pay its bills until it was legalized in the late 8th century. This can be documented by almost every notable church historian from any major denomination. Cyprian's attempt in the middle of the third century was not adopted by the Church. Neither was Chrysostom's nor Augustine's attempts in the 5th century. Two local church attempts in the 6th century also failed. Study "tithe" in any major reference work for validation of this history.

(2) The early church in the first two hundred years consisted mainly of women, children, slaves and soldiers. It flourished through radical sacrificial freewill offerings.

(3) Except for state-run churches such as the Anglican Church of England, the Lutheran Church of Germany and the Catholic Church of Spain and Germany, tithing did not appear in other churches in the U. S. A. until the late 1890s. It was not even introduced until the 1870.

(4) There are many great schools and churches which have flourished without teaching tithing. Examples are: Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, Talbot Bible School and John MacArthur's Master's Seminary. The key to successful churches is not the teaching of tithing. Rather it is the successful teaching of soul-winning and personal evangelism.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

INTRODUCTION to Essay, Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine

The essay is a summary of my book, Should the Church Teach Tithing? A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine. The book itself is a greatly expanded version of my Ph. D. thesis. I encourage Bible educators to be bold, to open up seminary level research and to promote studies on this subject in the Masters, Doctorate and Ph. D. levels. This doctrine is simply too important to ignore.

In many churches today the doctrine of tithing has reached the level of a modern scandal. While on the one hand, most seminary-level textbooks on systematic theology and hermeneutics by highly educated theologians omit tithing, on the other hand, the practice is quickly becoming a requirement for church membership in the very denominations which insist on solid Bible-based doctrines. There is also increasing evidence that lay persons who question the legitimacy of New Covenant tithing are usually criticized and ignored as being troublemakers or weak Christians. Sincere Christian leaders should always be open and available to discuss God’s Word. Failure to do suggests doubt and insecurity. More “holy boldness” is needed.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Tithing Rebuttal of: Revelation Knowledge Bible, by Russell Earl Kelly
RKB: In the first lesson in this series we proved that God wants to prosper us and that he does it through his covenant!

Kelly: Tithing was always only food from inside Israel under the Old Covenant. Tithing is never commanded to the Church after Calvay in the New Covenant. Period.
RKB: Key Statement- being a giver (tither and sower) is not about money it’s about obedience to the father and affection for his kingdom!

Kelly: Tithing was never about money. Although money was very common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe. Tithing was cold hard law whether or not one loved God and was joyful.

RKB: A law is a predetermined formula that when activated or put in use produces certain results. Laws are impartial and can be utilized for prosperity or violated/broken for punishment.

Kelly: The law or statute of of tithing is found primarily in Numbers 18. The Levites and priests who received the first tithe are prohibited from owning and inheriting property. They are also commanded to kill anybody who dares to worship God directly. The Church is not under the law of tithing.

RKB: What 4 factors cause the law of tithes and offerings to work in our favor?The obedience factor Levi 27:30 Job 36:11 Isaiah 1:19 1st Samuel 15:22-23

Kelly: Obedience was only required from food producers who lived inside Israel. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside Israel.
RKB: The increase factor (seedtime and harvest is the law of increase) Genesis 8:22 John 12:24 John 3:16

Kelly: The increase came only from the miracle hands of God in the form of food and livestock breeding. It did not come from anything man created or increased.
RKB: The others factor (whatever you make happen for others God makes happen for you) Ephesians 6:8 (KJV) Deuteronomy 26:12

Kelly: This has nothing to do with tithing.

RKB: The affection factor (Giving turns our hearts to God which causes God to turn to us) Matthew 6:21 2nd Chronicles 16:9

Kelly: The Bible does not connect this with tithing. It almost sounds like we have to pay God for his love.

RKB: What does God do for you as a Tither and Sower? Malachi 3:8-12 the tithe providing increase and insurance

Kelly: The dishonest priests in Malachi were cursed in 1:14 and 2:2. The whole law was a test --not merely tithing. Obey all to be blessed; break one to be cursed. Galatians 3:10-13 clearly replaces Malachi 3:10 but it is ignroed by tithe teachers.
RKB: 2nd Corinthians 9:6-11 giving releasing a grace from God to always have your needs met

Kelly: This is a general principle and is not related to mandatory tithing.
RKB: Philippians 4:15-19 giving causing the sower to have all their needs met from God’s resources

Kelly: The context reveals that this is a conditional promise to those who have given freewill offerings to help Paul.
RKB: Proverbs 3:9-10 giving causing your accounts to overflow

Kelly: This is good but firstfruts in the OT were not the same as tithes. Firstfruts were very small token offerings per Deu 26:1-4 and Neh 10-:35-38.
RKB: Luke 6:38 giving allowing you to determine the size of your harvest

Kelly: Freewill giving is not the same as tithing.

RKB: 6 things to do if you are not Tithing and Sowing. 1. Get in the word and get established in the law of Tithes and Offerings (meditate in the word to do the word)

Kelly: Yes, yes, yes, Get in the Word and thoroughly research the subject of tithing. You will discover the whole doctrine in its Old Covenant context and limitations.
RKB: 2. Repent with no condemnation

Kelly: Failure to tithe under the Old Covenant brought a curse and condemnation. Christiasn are dead to law per Romans 7:4 and Galatians 3:10-12 replaced Malachi 3:10.
RKB: 3. Figure out what your Tithe and Offering should be and develop a budget to liquidate bills in order to have the money needed

Kelly: No. Discover much better NT giving principles such as: freewill, generous, sacrificial, joyful and motivated by love for God and lost souls. That means more than 10% for many and less for others.

RKB: 4. Tithe time to the Lord (spend 20 hours a week with the Lord through prayer, study, church attendance and service to others, etc)

Kelly: Not biblical. Be a Christians al of the time.

RKB: 5. Give something consistently now6. Look for increase opportunities around you

Kelly: O. K. but this is not about tithing.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD