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Tag Archives: Tithing
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Following a thorough examination of literally every biblical text on tithing, Dr. Russell Earl Kelly concludes that the church would be best served spiritually by believing and applying better New Testament principles of giving. After discussing sound biblical reasons for Christians to replace tithing, he presents God’s better principles of grace. Doctrines such as the New Testament concept of law and covenant and the priesthood of believers are presented as they affect tithing. Following several chapters that discuss disputed texts relating to pastoral support, this book traces the early development of church support as found in the Church Fathers before Nicea. This book leaves no question or objection about tithing unanswered and gives some very clear, biblical encouragement towards the kind of liberty and and release of the Spirit in our gatherings that may transpire when we embrace the Lord’s New Covenant way of giving. Russell’s book is a “must read” for any serious Bible student. Highly, highly, highly recommended! Note: This download is the THIRD edition printing of the full book. The hard copy of this edition will be available online for purchase very soon! You can ORDER the actual book at Amazon.com
Tithing expert Dr. Russell Earl Kelly from http://www.tithing-russkelly.com will be our special guest on ***THE WORD on the Word of Faith*** LIVE GROUP RADIO, March 12 @ 10pm central. Dr. Kelly is the author of the taboo shattering and controversy stirring book,,, “Should the Church Teach Tithing? A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine”. Dr. Russ has been on a CBS special about tithing. In charisma magazine, and has even been in the wall street journal. Besides his groundbreaking book on tithes. He has one on the SDA. (as he was once seventh day Adventist) and one on And several teaching essays and videos. And his books have made a big stir and are reviewed and referred to everywhere on the net and other material and books about tithing. BEST OF ALL he is ALL about GRACE GIVING and NOT tithing. He is very much strong against the WoF being a highly educated Baptist preacher and theologian. Dr Kelly also has a TITHING study group on yahoo groups. It is likely that some of the group members there will call in and participate. They are all very knowledgeable about the hugely controversial and taboo subject of TITHING. Dr. Russ makes no bones about it. TITHING IS A TOOL taken out of it’s Old Testaments context to enslave people to pastors pocket books to help them build mega churches. Dr. Russ will join Damon and John as we talk about TITHING, the Word of Faith and the false prosperity gospel. There is way more to a study of Tithing than you could ever imagine. And don’t assume just because your church does not GUILT YOU INTO GIVING using God’s OT law,,, don’t assume that all churches are the same. AND THE WoF could not exist apart from their false teaching on TITHES and their illusive and contrived appearance of prosperity through giving. IF IT WHERE TRUE,, THE TV PREACHERS WOULD BE GIVING TO YOU!!!!
Rebuttal of Kenneth Copeland on Tithing
BY Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
August 18, 2009
Understanding Tithing, Kenneth Copeland
Russell Kelly: When it comes to discussing any doctrine with Word of Faith preachers such as Kenneth Copeland, it is impossible to dialog from the standpoint of biblical hermeneutics (principles of interpretation). Word of Faith ignores context and uses God’s Word as a magic Ouija board to pull meaning out of individual words against God’s teaching.
Copeland: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith 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. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:10-11).
Kelly: This is the most mis-interpreted text in all of the Bible. God does not and cannot bless New Covenant believers because of their supposed obedience to one of hundreds of Old Covenant commands which were never commanded to the Church after Calvary (1:1, 6; 2:1).
Copeland: This is God Himself speaking and He is saying, “Prove Me in this.” This is the only time in the Word where God instructs us to prove Him, and it is the one area where most people have withdrawn from proving God.
Kelly: First, Malachi was addressed only to Old Covenant national Israel and NOT to New Covenant Christians. Second, the statement by Copeland is false. The whole law was a test –not merely tithing. Obey ALL to be blessed; break ONE to be cursed. The only way to claim blessings from tithing would be to obey the whole Old Covenant law (Neh 10:29; Gal 3:110-13). And, even then, God is working through His New Covenant stipulations. See http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id154.html.
Copeland: Tithing was instituted under the Old Covenant as a way for God to communicate His blessing to His people.
Kelly: Notice that Copeland does not even give “out of context” texts to validate this statement. He merely declares it to be so! That is his specialty. Tithing was instituted in Numbers 18 to sustain Levites and priests for ministering in the sanctuary and for losing land and property inheritance. Copeland gets both: he received the tithe and he owns much property which is against the tithing law.
Rebuttal of Tom Brown Ministries on Tithing
Brown: Tithing began before the law was introduced.
Kelly: The fact that tithing existed before the law proves nothing. Idolatry, child sacrifice and temple prostitution also existed before the law in all lands of Abraham’s day, including Canaan. The fact that something is very old and very common does not make it an eternal moral principle.
Brown: The Law simply regulated the tithe.
Kelly: No. The tithe of Abraham and Jacob had its definition from pagan Babylon and was not the same thing as a holy tithe of ONLY FOOD from a holy land miraculously increased by Yahweh and returned to Yahweh. The two definitions are very different.
Brown: Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, 400 years before the time of Moses and the Law,
Kelly: Why? The Bible does not say that Abraham did it voluntarily. There is just as much biblical evidence from Genesis 14:21 that he gave in obedience to common Canaanite tradition to his local priest-king, or as a passage tax.
Dr. Marinelli is the owner of wordoffaithanswers.com
Marinelli: I have never seen a hard and fast rule of 10% explicitly stated in the New Testament as a commandment.
Kelly: That is because none exists. If it did, and, if tithing were legitimate, then tithe-recipients would not be allowed to own property and would have to kill anybody who dared to worship God directly per Numbers 18:21-29.
Marinelli: This matter of tithing is similar to the discussion of the Sabbath (See my Q&A about the Sabbath). The Sabbath was a type of our rest of faith (Hebrews 4), and has been since replaced with the first day of the week for worship (Acts 20:7).
Kelly: The Sabbath of Hebrews 4:3 is a type of the Creation Sabbath which lasted until Adam sinned. The 7th day Sabbath was only given to national Israel per Ex 31:13-17. Sunday does not replace the Sabbath commandment as part of the Law. According to Hebrews 8:13 the entire Old Covenant Law vanished at Calvary.
Marinelli: The New Testament shouts aloud of our freedom in Christ. We aren’t bound by ritualistic observances.
Kelly: Tithing was the most important ritualistic statute-ordinance-ceremonial law because it enabled the priesthood to exist. It was not a moral law.
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STARTING JANUARY 6
Giving and the 100-Fold Return?!?!
One of the most depressing parts of the Word of Faith movement is its inevitable emphasis on money and its being given by the faithful. Of course, the beneficiaries of this doctrine are not the poor saps writing the checks of providing credit card numbers to WOF ministries–it is the ministries themselves that benefit. If you doubt this, just look at the incomes and extravagence of Joyce Meyers, Kenneth Copeland, Frederick Price, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson and any number of lesser luminaries in this movement.
WOF is truly an Americanized version of Christianity. According to the captialistic system, and indeed the American preoccupation with all things financial, success is measured according to how much a person has in their savings or checking accounts, their retirement funds, the size of their homes, and the type of cars that they drive. WOF buys directly into all of this. “God wants you wealthy!” is the mantra stated by any number of these ministries. If you are not wealthy, the believer is often told, it is the person’s own fault for lack of faith. The same dynamic is found when when seeks healing, too: if you are not healed, it is because of secret sin, unrepented lifestyles, or a simple lack of faith.
Ask yourself this: If God truly works according to a 30 fold, 60 fold, or 100 fold return on gifts given to Him, why don’t these same ministries simply give away all of their assets in order to get 100 times that back? I mean, if this pyramid-scheme of a doctrine is true, and those gaining all of those contributions are honest, they would never again have to ask for money if they simply followed their own teachings. Jesse DuPlantis wouldn’t have to whine about not having the two jet aircraft he wants; hell, he needs to just give away the airplanes he DOES have (or some other asset), and Bingo! Jesse would not have to plague the rest of us with his pleas. This holds true for the rest of these shell-game thieves, too, for they are the ones who benefit, not those from whom money is extorted.
Although I posted this elsewhere, consider this simple mathematical formula when considering the whole “100-fold return” that is being taught:
Let’s say that on Day 1 you feel genuinely moved of God to give $100. According to the formula, God will return to you $10,000.
Let’s then say that on Day 2, again with full faith, you give the entire $10,000 God just blessed you with back to Him (let’s say via Kenneth Copeland). According to the formula, God is required to give back to you the amount of $1 million.
Same thing on Day 3: You give God the $1 million back to a ministry in full agreement spiritually and mentally and God then returns to you the amount of $100 million.
On Day 4, giving God the glory and thanks, you again give God back the $100 million with which He just blessed you. God then has to return to you $10 billion.
The following day, Day 5, you give back to God the $10 billion, rejoicing in the blessings He has shown. God then returns to you $1 trillion.
On Day 6, in obedience to the Most High, you give Him the $1 trillion. God then responds by giving you $100 trillion.
By the end of a single week one person–if this formula nonsense is true–one person, mind you, owns all of the wealth and resources on planet Earth. What about all of the others, then, who are naming and claiming out there? Are they just out of luck?
Truly, WOF teaching is nonsense of the first order–or more directly put, absolute BS–and yet millions world-wide are throwing away money to increase the accounts of the ministries in question, many of those givers on fixed incomes, too.
So again I state what should be obvious: Let these Word of Faith ministries that push this doctrine simply give away all that they have. If they do so, God will multiply back to them 100 fold and these people will never again have to bother begging for funds.
Or could it be that the WOF ministries know it is a sham, and to do so would kill the goose that lays the golden egg?
To this writer at least, it is time for Christ to again clean out the temple of the money-changers, the Name-It-And-Claim-It crowd, and those victimizing the weak and hurting for their own gain. Or at least for Christian believers to open their eyes, quit being suckered, and ask questions.
As a member of the historic Christian Church, I answer this resolution in the affirmative: Yes, salvation is accomplished wholly without human effort.
I will prove that salvation is escape from the bondage of sin and the deserved judgment of God, through no human effort, but wholly on the basis of Christ’s atoning death on the cross.
I will use the Bible as my source of authority. It has a consistent doctrine of salvation, and its trustworthiness has been confirmed by Jesus’ words, validated by his bodily resurrection from the dead.
This resolution does not concern the Mormon doctrine of “unconditional or general salvation,” that is, what Mormon doctrine considers synonymous with immortality. Everyone, according to Mormonism, will be resurrected: not everyone will be exalted. Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie said, “But this is not the salvation of righteousness, the salvation which the Saints seek . . . . Salvation, in its true and full meaning, is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in getting an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom. With few exceptions this is the salvation of which the scriptures speak.”
This resolution also does not concern whether or not it is possible to lose one’s salvation. The question is, how is salvation accomplished, not how salvation is lost.
Salvation is being rescued from the deserved wrath of God. Romans 5:9 says, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
The alternative to salvation is destruction (Philippians 1:28), and eternal, conscious punishment (Matthew 25:46).
The moment of conversion is considered to be the moment of salvation, as Titus 3:5- 7 points out: “. . . not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” We are in need of rescue from the deserved wrath of God because we are bound by sin, both the sin guilt we inherited from Adam, and the weight of our own sins (Romans 3:23; 5:12-14).
Man is bound by sin. In Romans 3:9 Paul says, “we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.” Galatians 3:22 declares, “But the Scripture has confined all under sin.”
This bondage comes in part from our representative participation in Adam’s original sin and in part from our own sins, as Romans 5:12 clearly states, “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
Man cannot free himself from this bondage to sin, as Paul makes it clear in Romans 3:11-12 (quoting Psalm 5:9): “There is none righteous, no not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
Atonement means the reconciliation of the guilty to God by divine sacrifice, that of Jesus Christ on the cross.
There are four results of the atonement:
- The guilt of sin is transferred from the sinner to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:2).
- The guilt of sin is removed from the sinner (1 Corinthians 6:11).
- Forgiveness is granted by God to the sinner (Romans 4:6-7).
- Righteousness is imputed (credited) by God to the sinner (Romans 10:3-4; Philippians 3:9). The word translated impute in English is the Greek logizomai, meaning “to reckon, impute, credit to one’s account.”
Christ’s role in the atonement includes
- He becomes our ransom sacrifice (Matthew 20:28).
- He dies in our place (1 Peter 3:18).
- He dies for our sins (1 Peter 2:24).
- He reconciles us to God (Romans 5:10).
Because Christ’s atonement accomplishes all this, there is nothing left for us to do. All of our sins are forgiven, atoned for, and covered by Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross. No human effort can add to Christ’s all-sufficiency. As Hebrews 7 reminds us, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him. . . . who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”
Justification means accounting the guilty just before God. The New Testament Greek term is dikaioo, to be acquitted, pronounced and treated as righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 declares, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Justification is initiated by God’s action, not man’s. Romans 4:5, speaking of Abraham as representative of all mankind, says, “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”
Faith is not a human work or effort (Ephesians 2:8), but is the divinely prompted heart-response of the individual (Romans 10:9-10) to the gospel (Acts 15:7-11).
Faith and repentance are corollary to salvation, meaning they accompany salvation, but they are not the cause of salvation (Acts 11:18; Acts 5:31).
Sanctification is how the Christian lives his newly justified life. Justification is completed at conversion (Ephesians 2:5); sanctification begins at conversion (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 10:38-39).
One who has been saved (Ephesians 2:8) produces good works as a result of salvation, not a cause of salvation (Ephesians 4:1, 13). Ephesians 4:23-24 declares, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.”
The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is accomplished wholly apart from human effort or work:
- Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
- Romans 4:4-5: “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”
- Titus 3:5: “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. . . . “
- Galatians 3:21-22: “For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”
Passages associating works with salvation do not teach that works contribute to or cause salvation. Some of the most common misinterpreted by Mormons and others include
- James 2:14-16: “Faith without works is dead.” This passage does not teach that salvation is accomplished by any human effort, but instead that no one can see one’s faith without works. James uses Abraham as his example, just as Paul did in Romans 4. However, James discusses how one’s actions “justify” him before other men, and Paul discusses justification before God (how one becomes saved).
- Acts 2:37-39: “Be baptized for the remission of sins and be saved.” This passage does not teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, but in context it teaches that baptism accompanies salvation, or, as it is sometimes paraphrased to accurately reflect the Greek, “Be baptized on account of the remission of your sins, being saved.”
- John 6:29: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'” Far from teaching salvation by human effort, this affirms, especially in the Greek, that even our ability to believe in Him comes from the work by God enabling us to believe in Him.
- All of the other verses often misinterpreted as teaching salvation requiring human effort do not actually or contextually support such an interpretation. Instead, the Bible consistently teaches that no one is saved by works, but works are considered in every judgment pictured in the New Testament, as an evidence of salvation or lack of salvation, not as a cause of salvation. As the Old Lutheran phrase goes, “Faith alone saves, but saving faith is never alone.”
The Bible is God’s perfect Word, and it clearly and consistently teaches that salvation is accomplished wholly without human effort. Verses misinterpreted to teach the necessity of human effort in securing salvation actually show that works follow salvation, they do not cause it.
On the basis of the argumentation and biblical evidence presented here, I affirm the resolution: Yes, salvation is accomplished wholly without human effort.
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