Is the New Testament Local Church The Equivalent Of Old Testament Storehouse?
The sentence “the local Church is the New Testament storehouse” has been repeated over and over again by multitude of Pastors all over the world.
Okay, for heck sake let us make the following assumptions:
1. The New Testament local Church is indeed the storehouse and Christians must bring the whole tithe to the local Church.
2. Money was a tithable item in the Old Testament
3. Jews actually tithed ONLY 10% and not 23.3% in the span of 6 years
4. The early Church practiced tithing and the early Church fathers taught tithing.
Let us see how the early Church functioned:
Ephesians 4:11 – And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.
Ephesians 4:12 – for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Ephesians 4:13 – until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:28 – And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 – 13 clearly states that there are supposed to be 5 fold ministries in order equip the saints.
According to 1 Corinthians 12:28 in the Church 1st apostles, 2nd prophets, 3rd teachers and the Holy Spirit skips evangelists and pastors.
Therefore would it not be logical to conclude that apostles collected the money and distributed to the rest of the ministers.
Even the following verses do not mention about pastors and evangelists.
1 Corinthians 12:29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?
1 Corinthians 12:30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?
What we see around us are two man-made systems of church government:
(a) The pyramid system a.k.a . hierarchical pattern. This is a centrally-controlled system headed by a General Superintendent like what we see in the Assemblies of God, Church of God and other similar Pentecostal denominations. Senior pastors in these kind of pyramidal systems consider themselves matured and treat the immatured junior pastors badly.
(b) The independent system. In this system, each church is totally independent, called non-denominational and answerable to no one. One Charismatic religious leader builds an empire collecting all tithes and offerings. He has the ultimate control over all decision making processes. Or a Senior Pastor with many associate pastors under him running a huge religious enterprise. Many Churches that practice the Word-of-Faith theology belong to this category.
Neither of the 2 models conform to the New Testament standards but call themselves as New Testament storehouses.
The pastoral calling is a gift given to the church and not the title of the leader of a church. The leaders of the New Testament church were called elders – not pastors – and there was always more than one elder in every church. There New Testament leadership was always in plural. Now those who think that New Testament Christians need to tithe to their local Church need to answer the following questions:
1. Can the pro-tithers show one Church or denomination that has all 5 fold ministries in it? All we see is a single pastor controlled religious enterprise.
2. How can a single pastor attempt to equip the saints without the help of apostles, prophets, teachers and evangelists contrary to Ephesians 4:11-13?
2. If a Pastor gets the whole 10% what about the rest of the 4 ministerial offices?
3. If the early Church had practiced tithing how did they “divide” the tithes amongst all 5 fold ministers?
4. How did the early Church support miracle workers, ministers who operated in the gifts of healings, helpers, administrators and interpreters of tongues?
4. Since 1 Cor. 12:28 says “first apostles”, did Apostles collect 10% and distributed to other type of ministers. Apostles appointed PastorS (actually elderS). So is it safe to conclude that ONLY Apostles got the tithes and gave a small percentage to Pastors and other ministers?
5. 1 Cor. 12:28 also says “second prophets, third teachers” and it does not even mention Pastors and think about how Pastors could have collected tithes.
6. Also in the early Church pastorS were in plural and no where the Apostles appointed a single pastor to shepherd a Church. So how can it be right for a single pastor to collect the whole tithe?
7. All of us may not agree that the offices of Apostles and Prophets exist today but most of us agree that the other 3 offices do. So should the “teachers” get the tithe first and distribute it to the evangelists and pastors ?
8. Also according to Acts 13:1 same people were holding 2 ministerial offices. In the Church of Anitoch there were 5 individuals holding dual offices.
Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Did they get more money for operating in 2 ministerial offices simultaneously?
Later in Acts 13:2, Paul and Barnabas were promoted to hold the office of the apostles!
Acts 13:2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
No where in the New Testament we can find any pastor collecting money neither in the form of tithes nor in the form of offerings.
Malachi 3:10 says “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
In our modern day Churches there is not food for Apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, helpers, administrators, faith healers, interpreters of tongues and miracle workers do not get their share. They are at the mercy of the senior pastors. Many fellow ministers are asked to “live by faith” by the senior pastors.
Therefore even if we assume that the New Testament Church is the modern day storehouse, it does not function like a storehouse.
In the New Testament, the Lord’s workers were supported financially in two ways: Some were supported by the gifts of believers, while others like Paul supported themselves.
What a glaring discrepancy from what we see today!
Christians wake up!
The Tithe That Binds by Rory O Moore!
The e-book version of this book is available in “.pdf” form and please click the link below to download.
Play Part 1 on-line directly!
Download Part 1 MP3 file:
Play Part 2 on-line directly!
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© 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by GeorgeAnn Hughes
All Rights Reserved Worldwide
I would like to thank GeorgeAnn Hughes of “The Byte Show” for giving her approval to upload Rory’s interview about tithing in this blog.
Many thanks to Rory Moore, who is the author of this book for granting me permission to make this e-book available in this blog.
©2009 Rory O Moore. All Rights Reserved.
If Jesus Addressed Matthew 23:23 To Christians…
Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 are the favorite verses for the tithe teachers because in this verse Jesus “commands” people to tithe!!!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
A Word of Faith preacher says the following in this website:
Notice Jesus said, “You should have practiced the latter (justice, mercy and faithfulness), without neglecting the former (tithing)….Some argue that Jesus’ words are not applicable to us today, because Jesus was under the Law and spoke to those under the Law. Their theory goes something like this: Jesus was giving an instruction to the Jews so His words are not binding to us. The problem with this interpretation is that these teachers are bringing Christ down to the level of a Jewish prophet or Teacher of the Law. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, so this means every word that comes out of His mouth is eternal. He cannot say anything without it being “spiritual law” and everlasting. Jesus emphasizes this point by saying, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt 24:35). These supposed Bible teachers are making the words of Jesus pass away—obsolete and out of date.
If Christians need to use the logic of these tithe teachers, then we should also consider the other saying of Jesus and obey them! Shouldn’t we?
1. Thou shalt not tell anyone about thy healing…
Matthew 8:4 / Mark 8:40-44
Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.
And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about this!”
a) Christians are not supposed to tell anyone if they get healed.
b)Take the offering prescribed by Moses to the Pastor of the local Church?
2. Thou shalt evangelize ONLY the Jews and not other people groups.
Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep–the people of Israel.
3. And say to non-Jews that God’s blessings are not for gentiles.
Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.
4. Thou shalt not proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah to anyone…
Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
5. Christians must sell all their possessions and give them to the poor.
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
6. Justification is NOT by faith but by obeying the commandments of Moses!
And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
So in order to lead an unbeliever to salvation, Christians must ask them to keep the commandments of Moses instead of asking them to trust in Jesus.
7. Thou shalt randomly enter into any house and thou shalt not stay in Hotel rooms!
Luke 9:4 / Luke 10:7
“Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city.
When we go to minister to the lost, Christians should randomly enter into a house and stay if they accept Christians. We should not make reservations to stay in hotel rooms! No continental breakfast and wireless internet for tithe teachers!!!
8. Thou shalt not attend thy Father’s wake/funeral and when thy Father dies, thy shall proclaim the Gospel everywhere!
But He (Jesus) said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.
9. Christians should not carry wallet,money, check book, credit card when they go for ministry!!!
Luke 10: 4
Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way.
Christians are not supposed to wear shoes, boots and sandals and we should go bare foot while going for ministry. No bags are allowed and we can save on flight ticket. Greet no one on the way…. Christians should not say Hi to anyone on the way, no smiling, no good mornings and no good afternoons.
10. Follow Jesus’ method while evangelizing:
v25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
v26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
Christians must ask seekers “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
11. Never invite friends and relatives for lunch or dinner!
And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.
12. Only invite poor, crippled, lame and blind
But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
13. Thou shalt celebrate the passover!
And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.”
All the above mentioned points were uttered by Jesus Himself and we know His words will not pass away even when heaven and earth pass away!
Therefore tithe teachers, why do you need to obey Matthew 23:23 alone? What about the other sayings of Jesus?
Our modern day Christian preachers keep telling us that even the early Church practiced tithing and the Church Fathers were in favor of tithing. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Let us first examine the writing of Saint Irenaeus who was one of the early Church Fathers:
Who was Irenaeus?
Saint Irenaeus, was bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, which is now Lyons, France. His writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology. He was a notable early Christian apologist. He was also a disciple of Polycarp, who was said to be a disciple of John the Evangelist. His best-known book, Against Heresies (c 180) enumerated heresies and attacked them. Irenaeus wrote that the only way for Christians to retain unity was to humbly accept one doctrinal authority—episcopal councils.Irenaeus was the first to propose that all four gospels be accepted as canonical.
From Irenaenus’ Popular Book – Against Heresies
Chapter XIII.-Christ Did Not Abrogate the Natural Precepts of the Law, But Rather Fulfilled and Extended Them. He Removed the Yoke and Bondage of the Old Law, So that Mankind, Being Now Set Free, Might Serve God with that Trustful Piety Which Becometh Sons.
“And for this reason did the Lord, instead of that [commandment], `You shall not commit adultery,’ forbid even concupiscence; and instead of that which runs thus, `You shall not kill,’ He prohibited anger; and instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, to share all our possessions with the poor; and not to love our neighbors only, but even our enemies; and not merely to be liberal givers and bestowers, but even that we should present a gratuitous gift to those who take away our goods”
Please pay attention that Irenaeus saying “…instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, to share all our possessions with the poor…”.
Here is another passage by Irenaeus on the same book “Against Heresies”:
Chapter XVIII.-Concerning Sacrifices and Oblations, and Those Who Truly Offer Them.
“And the class of oblations in general has not been set aside; for there were both oblations there [among the Jews], and there are oblations here [among the Christians]. Sacrifices there were among the people; sacrifices there are, too, in the Church: but the species alone has been changed, inasmuch as the offering is now made, not by slaves, but by freemen. For the Lord is [ever] one and the same; but the character of a servile oblation is peculiar [to itself], as is also that of freemen, in order that, by the very oblations, the indication of liberty may be set forth. For with Him there is nothing purposeless, nor without signification, nor without design. And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord’s purposes, bestowing joyfully and freely not the less valuable portions of their property, since they have the hope of better things [hereafter]; as that poor widow acted who cast all her living into the treasury of God.
Please notice that Irenaeus saying ” …And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord’s purposes…”
Here he contrasts between the Jews living under the law and the New Testament Christians who were living in the liberty of Jesus Christ.
* Irenaeus believed that tithing was part of the law of Moses.
* This statements by Irenaeus proves that the early Christians did not tithe.
* The early Christians believed that they were commanded to share all their possessions with the poor INSTEAD of tithing.
* Irenaeus recorded that the Jews had tithed but Christians set aside all their possessions. He actually contrasted between Old Testament Jews and New Testament Christians!
* Money is not mentioned by Irenaeus at all.
It is interesting to see that these writings appear in his book “Against Heresies“. Irenaenus probably would have labeled all modern day tithe teaches as heretics!
Therefore my friends, please realize that the early Church never practiced tithes and they did not even believe that they were commanded to tithe unlike what our modern day tithe teacher tell us.
May the Lord open the eyes of whoever reads this blog post about the dangers posed by the mammon loving Pastors.
Sources: Continue reading →
If they take Matthew 23:23/Luke 11:42 as a command for New Testament Christians to tithe here are the questions they need to answer:
1. According to the Talmud and Flavious Josephus the Jews practiced
multiple tithes (almost 3). How did the early Christians practice all 3 tithes?
2. Did the early Christians who did not own farms and cattle give 23% of their earned income to their Churches?
3. Levitical tithes were yearly and it went to Levites according to their
locations. Who are the Levites today and who were the Levites in 1st century
4. How did the “NT Levites” take the 10% of the 10% to the “NT Priests”?
5. If the NT Pastor is the priest don’t we have to tithe to the ushers, choir,
greeters and other Church staff members and let them tithe from their tithes to
the (senior) Pastor?
6. Why does the Senior Pastor collect all tithes today and give salaries to the
staff members and leave many Church workers unpaid? The OT High Priests did not
do that. The OT Aaronic Priests received only 1% of the total tithe.
7. In the OT the High Priests themselves did not tithe but why do our modern day prosperity
preachers tithe to their cohorts?
8. Regarding the festival tithe, do Christians need to go to Jerusalem to observe it as the Jews did? What is our Jerusalem now? Did the NT Christians practice pilgrimage to Jerusalem?. The festival tithe must be taken to Jerusalem. If that was prescribed to NT Christians we should make pilgrimage to Jerusalem like the Muslims visit Mecca?!?!?!
9. The 3rd tithe for poor (Charity Tithe): Why don’t tithe asking Pastors give their congregation the liberty to take care of the poor? Why would it go to the benevolent funds controlled by the Church board? Poor people need to go through hoops to get some help. That really complicates the process?
10. Even if we assume that tithing was commanded to NT Christians the pro-tithes fail to consider one important thing:
* The plurality of the NT Church leadership.
Therefore the pro-tithers still would not meet the NT model of tithing even if it was practiced by the early Christian church.
New Testament Christians Don’t Be Deceived By These Mammon Lovers!!!