Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TITHE HOAX: ① Didn't Abraham pay tithes to Melchizedek?

Dear in Christ,

Recently a preacher who advocates tithing commented on one of my posts on Facebook: “We need to tithe Televangelists who turns millions of people to the truth. Moreover, Paul has written in his epistle to Galatians that he would visit them to accept their collections.”

It is quite possible that one may mistake between the epistles to Ephesians, Colossians or Philippians. But, it takes no ordinary kind of stupidity to mistake three passages from Romans 15, 1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Corinthians 9 for the epistle to Galatians. Remember, the person who made the above statement is a preacher. If this is the kind of “truth” that he learned from Televangelists, what would be the plight of the millions of laymen who listen to them?

While I asked this preacher to define the Kingdom of God, he couldn't, despite taking three to four hours, probably, to seek assistance from someone else. The gospel is of the Kingdom (Mat 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mar 1:15) and if a preacher can't define it, he cannot preach it!

The motto of this series of articles is not to discourage anyone from helping preachers who genuinely work for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. No matter how big a church you have, how many follows you on Twitter, how many like your page on Facebook, or how many watch your “show” on television or YouTube, if you can't give a coherent and scriptural definition of the Kingdom of God, you cannot be a preacher of the gospel of the Kingdom. (Citing Rom 14:17 alone doesn't make you knowledgeable about the Kingdom.)

I always insist that believers have to support those who work selflessly for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Nevertheless, all of us have to resist the misuse of scriptures for fleecing the people of their hard earned money. Let me tell you this upfront, there is not a single scripture that entitles your pastor / church to demand tithes from you.

The Law of Moses is obsolete.


Most of the tithe fleecing pastors insist that only the ritualistic part of the Law of Moses has passed away and the moral laws are still in force. They will quote all kinds of scriptures to prove that the Law is still in force, the chiefest being:
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
(Don't even dare to ask them how the ritualistic laws can pass away, if a jot or tittle can't pass away from it, before all are fulfilled and heaven and earth still remains.)
It isn't very hard to prove them wrong, because, if the Law is still in force, the advocates of the Law should be practicing it.

Deut 22:13-23 is certainly part of the moral laws. According to this passage, if your son-in-law complains to you that his wife (your daughter) wasn't a virgin while he married her, and you are unable to disprove his allegations, you have to join the mobs in stoning her to death. If such an unpleasant situation arises in your tithe fleecing pastor's family and if he won't approve the stoning to death of his daughter, he approves that the Law has passed away.

According to Lev 18:29, anyone who is into incestuous relationships, homosexuality or bestiality have to be “cut off from among their people”, obviously, they have to be killed/expelled from society. If your tithe fleecing pastor's son or daughter turns out to be a homosexual and if he won't practice this, he is a hypocrite, and he defends the law only for fleecing you of your money.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Rom 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
One of the stupidest questions many legalists come up with is: can we rape or murder if the Law is taken away? Is there any proof to claim that the Law acted as a deterrent from sinning? Did the Law stop Israel from killing their own prophets, men of God and their own Messiah? Were not the Jewish religious leaders (who were the custodians of the Law) involved in some of these killings? Don't we have the record of some of the worst rapes in the Old Testament? (Jdg 19; 2Sa 13)

Didn't Abraham pay tithes to Melchizedek?


This is the counter-question pastors ask, each time we ask them: “Why should we pay tithes if we are no more under the Law?” It may appear that they have a scripturally valid point there, since the Law was given more than 400 years after the days of Abraham. Now, let us examine whether our Pastor John Doe matches the credentials of Melchizedek to deserve tithes from us:
Heb 7:3 He (Melchizedek) is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
According to scriptures Melchizedek is without father and mother, whereas, Pastor John Doe has both, Melchizedek is an everlasting priest, like the Son of God. Does Pastor John Doe match any of these criteria? Is there a way Pr. John Doe can prove that he is like the Son of God or he is an everlasting priest? If he can't, why should we pay him tithes? How does he deserve our tithes?

The next verse is all the more interesting:
Heb 7:4 See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! (See: Gen. 14:17-20)
Does the passage say that Abraham gave tithes from his agricultural income? Does it say that Abraham gave tithes from his monthly salaries? Does it say that Abraham gave tithes from the profits from his businesses or investments? No, none of these. It is specifically said that he gave tithes from the spoils! So, Pastor John Doe, do you expect us to loot our neighboring towns and give you tithes? Or, do we have to do a bank robbery and land up in prison, so that we can tithe you, Pr. John Doe? Sorry, pastor, we refuse to undertake such misadventures in order to pander your ego and greed!

Every believer is a priest under the New Covenant!


Since we are on the topic of Melchizedek, let us consider another important point about him.
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; and he was the priest of the most high God.
Heb 7:1 For this "Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God," the one meeting Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, "and blessing him;"
Has not Pastor John Doe told us a gazillion times that pastors are priests to God? Have we ever cross verified it with the scriptures? Let's do it now!
1Pe 2:5 you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:9 But you are "an elect race," "a royal priesthood," "a holy nation," "a people for possession," so that "you may openly speak of the virtues" of the One who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Sorry, Pastor John Doe, these verses are neither written to pastors, nor are they about pastors! It is about the believers in Christ.
Rev 1:5 even from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the First-born out of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and washing us from our sins by His blood,
Rev 1:6 and made us kings and priests to God, even His Father. To Him is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen.
Every single believer is a king and priest to God the Father. And, sorry, Pastor John Doe, there isn't a single scripture that specifically and explicitly says that pastors are priests to God. My question to you, Pr. John Doe, is: why should I tithe you, if both of us are priests to God? Why shouldn't it be the other way round?

Tithe is for the Levites and widows!

Num 18:24 but the tithes of the sons of Israel which they shall lift up to Jehovah, a heave offering, I have given to the Levites for inheritance; therefore I have said to them, They shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.
Pastor John Doe, tell us, when did you become a Levite, so that you can demand tithes from us? Does becoming a pastor automatically make one a Levite? Didn't your seminary, teach you that the covenant has changed?
Heb 7:12 For the priestly office having been changed, of necessity a change of law also occurs.
Heb 7:13 For the One of whom these things are said (Jesus) has partaken of another tribe, from which no one has given devotion at the altar.
Heb 7:14 For it is clear that our Lord has risen out of Judah, as to which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
The priesthood is no more with the tribe of Levi. With Jesus taking over as the high priest, Levitical priesthood ceased to exist! Nonetheless, Pastor John Doe demands tithes that were awarded to Levites!

Pastor John Doe, here is another scripture that your intense greed didn't let you to see:
Deu 26:12 When you have made an end of tithing all the tithes of your increase the third year, the year of tithing, and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the orphan, and the widow, that they may eat inside your gates, and be filled,
Read carefully, Pr. John Doe, Levites, aliens (strangers), orphans, and widows have equal rights in tithes. If you are not familiar with the scriptures, Levites are included among the destitute because they are not given inheritance among the tribes of Israel. Read again the above passage, the tithes are for Levites, aliens, orphans, and widows to eat. It isn't meant for pastors to purchase private aircraft or mansions! Neither it is for foreign jaunts or to invest in television channels. It is all about food stuffs and not money.

in Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal