Well, church checkers. I went and read Paul Robie's (Sr. Pastor of South Mountain Community Church in Utah) ebook on tithing. I actually read it a while ago, but it took me a while to think it through, write a long and detailed refutation of it, and send it to him. Once I did, we proceeded to email back and forth for a few months on the topic of tithing.
In the end, it seemed to be a futile endeavor, and we didn't reach any kind of resolution. I continued to study the Bible passages we discussed after we finished arguing, however, and I realized something that I can't believe I didn't notice before. I think it slams the door on Paul Robie's entire foundation for his views on tithing, or more specifically, his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 9. But I'll get to that later.
The point is, after having this realization, I decided that rather than try to discuss it with Paul after so many unsuccessful attempts to reason with him before, I would just publish my thoughts and arguments for everyone to read. While Paul continues teaching his congregation that tithing is a command of Christ and not optional (while also claiming he doesn't pressure people to give; go to SMCC's Why Give page to see what I mean), my discussions with Paul personally have only proved to be a waste of time.
If he won't hear me, that's okay. If he never agrees with me, that's okay. We don't need to continue arguing. It will only bring fruitlessness and contention. Perhaps the Church will find a use for my thoughts though. Maybe my arguments will help someone else, or make sense to someone that's having trouble making sense of the issue of tithing for themselves. I think there may be others who are more open to hearing my case, so I'll make it to them instead.
I am not trying to be antagonistic or contentious with pastor Paul or SMCC. On the contrary, I love Paul and I love the SMCC congregation. I think the topic of tithing and money in general within the context of the Christian Church today has been used to abuse the Body, however, and I am on a mission to prevent that abuse from happening to as many brothers and sisters in Christ that I possibly can.
So, just as Paul has written his ebook in order to try and find consensus with other Christian leaders on how they should teach on the topic of tithing and giving, I am writing this one for the very same reason. On a separate note, I also hope to show how the misapplication and misinterpretation of the Bible on the topics of tithing and money has been abused by today's Christian pastors for dishonest gain.
In the next few months, I will be publishing my first book. It will be book one in a series on the many problems within today's local Christian churches, and a much more in-depth look at the financial abuse being perpetrated on the Church Body today. It will be published by Bjorn Books in early 2021, so look for it soon, church checkers!
Before I point you to my pdf response, there's an important argument that I thought of after finished and posting my response here that I think is worth adding here. If we're going to be consistent and logical in our adoption of tithing as a universal law or principle to be commanded to Christians today, we need to look at how it actually worked in the Mosaic Law and practice it in the same way it was practiced in the Mosaic Law. If not, we are changing God's Law to fit our desires and actually disobeying Him. - Under the Mosaic Law, only the Israelites within the land of Israel that had enough land, crops, and livestock were required to tithe. Carpenters like Jesus and most Israelites of other trades, as well as the poor, were exempt from the tithe. If we're going to transfer this principle or law into the Christian Church, we shouldn't be tithing money since it was never a part of the tithe in any Law that God established before. We also shouldn't be tithing the poor, since they can't afford it. - Under the Mosaic Law, the tithe was given to the Levitical priests and the High Priest to be consumed by them. The High Priest consumed the tithe in the temple while the Levitical priests could consume the tithe anywhere they wanted to. Today, the High Priest is Jesus Christ Himself, and each individual Christian believer is a priest, and the temple of God is no longer a physical building, but our bodies are the temple. This would logically lead us only to tithe our food and livestock to ourselves and other priests/believers to be consumed anywhere we would like, while Christ within us is consuming it within the temple. - Or in other words (if we're going to tithe in the same way the Israelites tithed while being consistent with the New Covenant & the Gospel), anytime a Christian believer eats food grown from their own land or meat from their own livestock and dedicates it to God in their own heart, they are paying their tithing. - Pastors/teachers and other church leaders do not hold a monopoly on the tithes of God's people. All believers are priests while Christ remains the eternal High Priest. It makes no sense to have to tithe to only specific priests that have the gift of teaching since we are all ministers of the gospel and we are all priests of Jesus Christ. - The local church building is not the equivalent of the temple of God in Israel. That temple was destroyed, the veil torn, and now individual believers, not buildings, are the temple of God. If we're going to tithe to support the temple, the High Priest, and the priests of God, we should merely be supporting our own bodies and the Spirit within us (by the feeding of the Word).
And now without further ado, for my short pdf response to Paul Robie's ebook on giving, download the file below!