This is Part VI of the article entitled,  “Is Tithing a Biblical Requirement Today.” Because of the extensive Biblical research involved, it will be posted in 15 Parts.  Although this subject may be controversial, the Bible tells us to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).

Where did this unscriptural law of Christian tithing come from in the first place?  Here is a bit of history from the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Tithes in Christendom—The earliest authentic example of anything like a law of the state enforcing payment appears to occur in the capitularies [ecclesiasticals] of Charlemagne at the end of the 8th or beginning of the 9th century. Tithes were by that enactment to be applied to the maintenance of the bishop, clergy, the poor, and the fabric of the church. In the course of time the principle of payment of tithes was extended far beyond its original intention. Thus they became transferable to laymen and saleable like ordinary property, in spite of the injunctions of the third Lateran Council; and they became payable out of sources of income [not just farming and herding, but other trades and occupations and salaries paid in the form of money] not originally tithable.” (1963, volume 2, page 253, ‘TITHES’).

Here is how tithing got back into the Church after being absent for nearly five centuries:  “As the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy.  The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law…The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the [canons] of the Council of Macon in 585.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia.

They “extended” their base of tithe collecting to eventually include all forms of income. All Christian scholars know that although money was in wide use in ancient Israel, it was never a tithing commodity. But modern Christian pastors don’t want tithes of goats or oil or corn—they want money. There is a Word to the “shepherds of the sheep,” and it is the very same message that God had for the Levites in Malachi:

“My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.” (Jeremiah. 50:6).

Most Christians are not aware that many are being lead astray by their spiritual leaders.  It is the book of Malachi that today’s clergy uses as their main authority for promulgating the doctrine of “Christian tithing.” Christian tithing means that everyone must give 10% of their gross income or they will be “cursed with a curse.” Usually we hear only three verses of Malachi quoted by those attempting to justify Christian tithing from this prophecy.

Here are the “cursing” verses:  “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:8-9).

Here is the “blessing” verse: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

The interpretation of these proof texts by some clergy are: Rob God of His ten percent of your income and be “cursed,” or pay God ten percent of your income and be “blessed.”  Why does some clergy use “scare tactics” to support tithing demands?

Who is really cursing whom in the Malachi prophecy?  Does God really say, “You are cursed with a curse” as stated in Malachi 3:9?  This surely sounds as if God is doing the cursing!  But have you noticed in your King James Bible that the word “are” is in italics? That means that the word was supplied by the translators and was not in the original manuscripts. Remove it, and the verse says: “You cursed…” rather than “You are cursed…” Thus, this verse could say “With a curse you curse Me, and Me you are defrauding—the nation, all of it.”

We must always keep in mind that when the Bible says “tithes” it means products from the land—as grains and cattle.  But when modern clergy says “tithes,” it always means money.  Because the clergy prefers to be paid in money, it became necessary to change the Biblical use of the word “tithes” to include money.  And if “money” can now be shown to be a tithing commodity, every Christian of every occupation is now required to pay ten percent of his or her income to the Church.


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