Friday, September 29, 2017

Tithing - The Lies Stop Here!

You may think that the title of this particular teaching is too much, but what's really gone overboard are the Pastors out there who teach such nonsense about tithing (giving to God)!

Today's question comes from a woman who has found herself  GROWING in the Lord! (and quite by surprise)

Question: Pastor Keith, my whole life I've heard about tithing and why it's so important, but recently some things have occurred to me that never did before.  I know that I'm supposed to give 10%, but 10% of WHAT?  Is it 10% of my net income?  Is it 10% of my gross income?  Is it just 10% of my main income or am I supposed to include 10% of my bank account and 10% of my secondary income and 10% of my gifts too???  I find myself feeling guilty all the time, because lately when I listen to the Pastor of my church, it feels like I'm expected to be giving away everything!  Can you help?

Answer: Sister.... YES I CAN!  :)

In the Old Testament, we learn about tithing (giving to God) in the very first book of Genesis.  As you reach chapter 4, you discover the very first offerings made to God.  Cain and Abel (Adam and Eve's first 2 sons), we're told that Abel gave of his flock of sheep and Cain gave of his crops.  And as most of us learned in Sunday School, God accepted Abel's offering, rejected Cain's offering and the next thing you know, Cain kills Abel and tries to cover it up.  While it's a little off subject, I'm often asked WHY Cain killed Abel.  As Jesus says, John 5:39 - You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  Since Genesis, we learn (in many ways) that Jesus has been here since the very foundation of the universe.  As such, it's important to note that God never contradicts Himself, never corrects Himself & doesn't need to switch things up, just so they continue to make sense.  What that story in Genesis 4 teaches us, is that since the beginning, A SACRIFICE OF BLOOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN REQUIRED BY GOD, in order for God to forgive us of our sin.  Simply offering fruits or vegetables won't cut it.

As for the biblical principles of giving to God, as you read through scripture, you'll come across the book of Leviticus.  That entire book is devoted to explaining Levitical Law, which is basically a code of legal and moral practices - FOR THE JEWS.  In it, we can read about the expectations that were put on the Jewish people, as far as tithing is concerned.  (pay VERY close attention to the last sentence!)

Leviticus 27:32-34 - And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.' " These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.

As I always like to remind everyone, the 3 C's of reading the Bible are ESSENTIAL if you ever want to fully understand what you're reading.  What are the 3 C's?  Context, context, context!  You take the verse you're reading and put it into context with the chapter you're reading.  Then you take the chapter you're reading and put it into context with the book that you're reading.  And finally, you take the book you're reading and put it into context with the entirety of the Bible - Then and ONLY THEN can you have confidence that you've read and understood things correctly.

As you read the above passage, verse 34 makes it crystal clear that this was what the Lord commanded for Moses and the children of Israel to do - NOT THE CHRISTIANS.  But of course, that hasn't stopped wayward Pastors, Ministers, Priests & Reverends from using that scripture out of context for CENTURIES!  Simply reading those 3 verses without interpreting or twisting them around gives us 100% certainty that we've understood it AS GOD INTENDED US TO.

So where's the answer to the original question???

Paul has a way with words, so much so, that I couldn't explain this any better:

2 Corinthians 9:7 - So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Do you see what is going on here?  Paul is telling us to give whatever amount that you can CHEERFULLY give.  How much is that?  I can't say.  Paul tells us to "give as you purpose in your heart", meaning, if you're unhappy, feel obligated, forced or expected to give something, then you shouldn't give it.  In all that you give, you should remember that WHATEVER you give, should be SEEN AS and indeed TREATED AS giving to God Himself.  Remember, if God is our provider and if all that we have is received FROM HIM to begin with, then we are really just giving God back something that he shared with us to begin with!

For those of you who need a more specific answer to help you decide how much you should give, allow me to offer you this advice.  Instead of figuring out percentages and hard figures, sit down and look at how much you actually get to keep every month (from all sources) and how much you spend every month (including rent, phone, electric, water, etc) and see how much you have left over.  Take some of that and put it aside for a rainy day and give the rest as you see fit.  Which by the way, fits nicely into the passage above from Leviticus.  God never, ever implied that you should give all that you have, all the time, without ceasing.  God never intended for you to go hungry, just so that your Pastor could go out and buy a mansion and a new Mercedes and new suits, watches and other nonsense.  All the way back in Leviticus, God told the Jews that they should give the LAST TENTH, not the first 10th.  God has always wanted to make sure that HIS are taken care of!

Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Of course that naturally leads us to one last facet of this issue.  People want to know WHO they should give this money to.  Should it go to their church ONLY?  Should it go MANY different places?  The only advice I can give you here, is you should only give WHAT GOD PUTS ON YOUR HEART TO GIVE.  You should divide it as you feel LEAD TO GIVE IT.  There are countless homeless shelters, battered women's shelters, prison ministries & a multitude of other Christian charities that would be truly grateful to receive what you would give to God.  But please, whatever you do, never let ANYONE manipulate you or otherwise convince you to give that offering ANYWHERE that you don't feel lead (by the Holy Spirit) to give it.

So that's it, that's my basic teaching on tithing / giving to God.  If you spend the time and read your bible like you should, you will uncover much, Much, MUCH more about this subject.

If you have any questions or comments about this, please feel free to leave your comments below!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mohammed - Prophet or Pervert?

To those of you who have been following me, you know that it's my "mission" to correct false, untrue, made-up, make-believe and otherwise insane or ridiculous teachings that have infected Christianity.

False teachings which include, but are not limited to:
  • Strictly following the 10 Commandments makes God happy
  • Speaking in false-tongues shows that you are truly saved
  • The more you give to your church, the more you'll be rewarded with cool stuff
  • There is no Hell (lol, sinners could only wish!)
  • The KJV is the only perfect Bible (lol, it's full of translation errors)
  • Pastors are always supposed to be happy and make you smile (because they're robots)
  • If you dream it, you can achieve it (dear Lord, that's Amway!)
  • The Bible says something different to each one of us (whew)
  • Homosexual "love" is love perfected by God (???)
  • God says we all go to Heaven (yeah, I know...)
  • Jesus and Satan are brothers and God is from another planet (seriously Mormons?)
But sometimes people send me things and it makes me want to shine a light on some of the insanity that Religion brings to people.  Now be warned, some people out there will consider telling you the truth in such an obvious way, without coloring it or making it seem different than it is, would be considered blatant hate-speech.  This is nothing of the sort!  If truth is hateful, then what is lying?  Love?  Anyway, in today's example, not just a few people believe this insanity, but more than 1.6 Billion people!


Every Muslim man has the dream, that their sons should be as "holy" and "pious" as Mohammed, but at the center of the "religion of peace", you will find a whole host of insane concepts that all true Muslims have been taught to respect and indeed attempt to carry out in their own lives.

Anyway, according to the books that Muslims use to learn from and enhance and increase their faith, we come to learn that Mohammed took a "wife" of a young girl named Aisha.  The general public will tell you that Aisha was a ripe and mature 9 YEARS OLD when Mohammed married her, but if you do just a tiny amount of reading, you'll find out that she was really only 6 YEARS OLD! (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234 and 236) Apparently, it's a Muslim tradition that a girl can not get "officially married" unless and until she has had her first period.  Because as everyone knows, the love of a 53 year old man and a 6 YEAR OLD GIRL would be beautiful in the eyes of God, RIGHT?  No... Not right.  In our society we call it RAPE, as a 6 year old (or even a 9 year old) is not capable of CONSENTING to anything.

If you'd like to fool yourself into thinking that this no longer happens in predominantly Muslim countries, you're only fooling yourself.  When radical Islamist groups that promote terror tell us that they hate Western values, is it any wonder, especially when they would have to stop their unconscionable acts towards each other?

Remember one thing about what I've just shared with you, this example of insanity isn't something that "crept into" Islam, it's part and parcel a foundational piece of it!

So when you hear the liberals and new agers begging everyone to "agree to disagree" or to "just get along" or "why can't we just respect one another?", how can you agree with, get along with or even RESPECT someone who thinks it's okay to RAPE 9 year old girls?  There is NO WAY to make this behavior or thinking into something that is POLITICALLY CORRECT.  If Mohammed was around today, if he wasn't already dead, he'd be on death row awaiting either the electric chair or a lethal injection.  How anyone (much less 1.6 Billion Muslims) could love and revere this rapist, is one of the best representations that I can think of, about how RELIGION is nobody's friend.

To anyone who thinks that Satan isn't real or that he never walks among us, take a good hard look at Mohammed.  As a matter of fact, Satan was so proud of his "great works" that he wrote a book all about it!  It doesn't sell as many copies as the Bible does, but Satan does alright.  The name of the book?  "The Qur'an" of course.

1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Job 1:7 - And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."

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