Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Tithing Lie and the Ridiculousness of the Pharisees


One thing the Church of God is good at is fleecing its members for money by claiming everyone must tithe 10%. Then, on top of that, 2nd tithe, excess 2nd tithe, 3rd tithe, a tithe of the tithe, special offerings, building funds, and co-worker appeal letters. The real gospel of the church is money.

Tithing has been a lie that has taken over the church for decades. Even the new splinter groups who had a chance to do things right still incorporated tithing into their belief systems. Who could blame them though, how else were these ministers going to maintain their privileged lifestyles? UCG and Global/LCG were particularly good at this as they started collecting tithe money from their "soon-to-be" followers secretly and putting it in the bank in order to have a steady income once they jumped ship from the mother church as they claimed apostasy.

This is an excerpt from Tithing - You're Doing It Wrong on the As Berans Did site. (You can read the full article there.)

Tithing was not 10%. It was one-in-ten.


What is the difference, you ask? Let me xplain.

Originally,  ancient Israel was an agrarian society. All that means is most of the nation's wealth was generated in a field somewhere. That is why you will only see tithes of the farm, field, orchard, or flock. That is why you hear of the Pharisees tithing of mint, anise, and cumin (DEU. 14: 22). Note: the church leaders tithed. You will not find a verse where tithes came from money. Or fish, for that matter. You can turn a tithe into money in order to make it easier to transport, but it was not money originally. (Does your Minister accept tomatoes?)

Some did have "income" as we understand it, because there were tradesmen and specialists in that agrarian society. Somebody had to cut stone and build houses and smith bronze and craft the clay and fletch arrows, and etc. That tent aint gonna weave itself! Yet, you never see a verse commanding them to tithe on their pay. It is implied that money income was donated, but it is never directly commanded that money income was tithed. Some forms of income simply were not tithed upon.

So, we are back to tithing on farm, field, orchard, or flock. Here, the one-in-ten system becomes necessary. To explain how the one-in-ten tithing system worked, let us imagine some shepherds.

Once a year, the shepherds would all gather in their area to have their flocks counted. We were reminded by Miller Jones in the comments on this post that it wasn't the whole flock that was counted, but the increase of the flock. An important point to mention! (No one tithes on everything they currently own, but the new income. Or else tithing would guarantee poverty.) For the count, the new sheep were caused to pass under a rod. Every tenth sheep was given.

(LEV. 27: 32) 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.

Let's say for example there is a poor shepherd who has three new sheep.

Under a one-in-ten system: This poor shepherd brings his three sheep to be counted. There is no tenth sheep to give, so he ends up giving nothing at all.

Under a system of 10%: He would have to cut three-tenths of one sheep and hand it over. That leaves him with two and seven-tenths sheep.

Let's say for example there is a more successful shepherd with twenty-nine new sheep.

Under a one-in-ten system: This shepherd brings his twenty-nine sheep to be counted. As the tenth passes under the rod, he hands it over. As the twentieth passes under the rod, he surrenders it over as well. Since there is no thirtieth sheep, nothing further is taken from him.

Under a system of 10%: He would have to surrender two whole sheep, then cut nine-tenths of a third sheep and hand it over. That leaves him with twenty six and one-tenth sheep.

Do you see the difference?

Let's do what is un-biblical and turn this tithe example into one of money. I only do this because so many people think of tithing in terms of money income, although that "biblical" idea is not in the Bible anywhere.

Ten percent of $19.98 is $1.99. One-in-ten of $19.98 is $1.00.

Ten percent of $983.75 is $98.37. One-in-ten of $983.75 is $98.00.

Same starting amounts, different tithe. The two systems are similar but not the same.

There is a tangible difference between 10% and one-in-ten. What is that poor shepherd supposed to do with that seven-tenths of a sheep, exactly? Plus, with one-in-ten you never have to round up.

If you understand how tithing really worked, it makes the ridiculousness of the Pharisees even greater. They didn't just weigh their herbs and spices then hand over 10%. No. If they were doing it as expected, then they had to count it all out and give one out of every ten. Talk about strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! Doing all of that fastidious counting, but missing the law of love almost completely.

The law of love in Armstrongism has always been missing. Fastidious lawkeeping has always reigned supreme. 

The church has never relied upon sound doctrine but upon the wild ravings of mad men leading it. They turned their itching ears away from the truth decades ago and that's why we are stuck with such fools as Bob Thiel, Dave Pack, Ron Wenland, and Gerald Flurry.


Anonymous said...

What exactly was the "change" of the law in Hebrews 7:12, particularly tithing (v.5)? Was the law rewritten? Did it revert back to an original tithing law that I can read? No. I cannot find a tithing LAW before Moses to read. Abraham and Jacob tithed but by law? What law? I want to read it. Can't find it. Cannot find a law about tithing on spoils. The change of the law was the removal of the law based on the Levitical Priesthood (LP) which included tithing laws which were for the support of Levites and the LP. Not all of the Torah was removed but what was associated with the LP. The Greek word for "change" in Heb 7:12 is the same word for "removing" in Heb 12:27-KJV.

Paul in 1Cor 9 discusses supporting himself, the brethren, Cephas, other apostles. What? The brethren? If there ever was an opportunity for Paul to bring up tithing, it was in 1Cor 9. But no, it was: don't muzzle the ox!!!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought….

Can someone provide a book, chapter, verse in the NT where a tithe was given to the apostles, or any leader of the Assembly? I can only find “donations.”

And, if so, did the disciples tithe to both the priesthood and the Assembly? The temple was still active till 70 ad. So how could two tithes be in effect at the same time?

Giving support was certainly in order based on one’s ability and heart, but there is something missing in the tithing is required teaching. Anyone want to clear this up?

Anonymous said...

In July of 2022, evangelist Creflo Dollar repented of tithing. He admitted that his previous teaching was incorrect, and advised his people to throw his publications that taught it in the garbage

Anonymous said...


Did you seriously just reference Creflo Dollar in support of a no tithing requirement? Please...just no.

Anonymous said...

Your paycheck is NOT increase, anyway! It’s cas receipts! Increase is what’s left over after you pay bills! But you can’t talk logic into people who are tithe brainwashed.

Anonymous said...

Tithing came about for Israel because of a covenant, promise, or agreement Jacob made with God, when he promised Him the tithe IF He would protect him from his brother Esau. God made a way for Jacob, (Israel), to fulfill that agreement/covenant by taking the Levites for HIS service, and had them receive that promised tithe. How else can one actually give of the increase to God? That was all set up to allow Jacob/Israel fulfill that promise made.

Anonymous said...

If Herbert Dollarbill Armstrong said we should do it, that's good enough for me.

Free Your Mind said...

Do we find tithing on money in the Bible? I have never seen that. Malachi was written to the priests of the day, not the Church today. God was condemning priests for stealing tithes (which were on agricultural increases only) for themselves, instead of giving that food to those who really needed it. Yet every single church that teaches tithing (and most do, not just WCG offshoots), claims that Malachi 3, talking about robbing God, proves that all Christians must tithe on their money to that church, or else they are robbing God.
Yet if we can apply Malachi 3 to the church today, it would apply to the ministry and how they have stolen the tithe money to make themselves fat.
As for what books command tithing, lots of books of Armstrong teach that, none inspired by God.