Archive for the ‘bullying from the pulpit’ Category

Church Property Reversion Clause: License to Steal

August 13th, 2012 No comments

By James Sundquist

The latest seizure of Grace Community Alliance Church property by the Christian Missionary Alliance of one of their local churches in Baldwin Park, California, by William Malick, District Superintendent, South Pacific District of the C&MA…full story at:

is just the latest installment in an epidemic of serial abuse of local churches. It is one of the snares in Assemblies of God, Christian Missionary Alliance, The Episcopal Church and other Denominations. What most of the local churches that tithe and send offerings to their headquarters and districts don’t know is that the money is used to sue their own brothers and sisters in Christ. The leaders and and districts in these denominations of course supply NONE of these funds for the local church being sued to pay to defend themselves. In criminal law, a defendant who has no money at least can secure a public defender, paid for by the State. Not so in Christian and Missionary Alliance or Assemblies of God. The leaders in these denominations are masters in greed and deception, they will have you believe that they are the victims and the victims are the perpetrators, even though these local churches have paid most if not all of the mortgages on these local church properties. Truly Isaiah was right about these holy hijackers:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20
Read more…

Bruce Terpstra, District Superintendent, Christian & Missionary Alliance expose

July 9th, 2012 1 comment

Bruce Terpstra and the Metropolitan District of the Christian Missionary Alliance lawsuit against Community Church of Paramus, in New Jersey:

New Jersey Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
September 19, 2012 at Brennan Courthouse,
583 Newark Ave, 2nd Floor,
Jersey City, 10:00 AM.


June 18th, 2012 6 comments

Dr. Russell Kelly, who did his Doctorate in Tithing, and is one of the foremost biblical scholars on the subject, has just released this report after investigating Rick Warren’s tithing covenants and published teachings on the subject. Dr. Kelly totally demolishes Rick Warren’s Principality.

June 17, 2012

The report is now posted at:

Dr. Russell Kelly exposed Rick Warren’s Tyranny of Tithing Scam Covenants on June 23, 2012 on

Dr. Kelly has also published biblical demolitions of four other Rick Warren tithing collaborators and strongholds:

JOHN MAXWELL (RICK WARREN’S GLOBAL PEACE PLAN PARTNER [effectively the “E” in the P.E.A.C.E. acronym]),

JACK HAYFORD (President of Foursquare Church International)…and principal leader in promoting Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Church teachings and programs:

(Taught Tithing at Rick Warren’s Financial Management Conference, Fall 2011 at Warren’s Saddleback Church):

also see:

ROBERT MORRIS, Pastor of Gateway, and Dave Ramsey (Spoke at same Rick Warren Saddleback Church Conference as Dave Ramsey)

ED YOUNG, Pastor of Fellowship Church, Grapevine,Texas
“If You Can’t Tithe, ‘DON’T COME BACK!’

Read more…

Church Under siege by South Pacific District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance

June 18th, 2012 2 comments

JUNE 15, 20102


Hello Mr. Sundquist,

I am writing as our Church is under siege by our local South Pacific District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Our local church is located in Baldwin Park California. We are currently vigilantly occupying the property to avoid being locked out. Please contact us if you can offer any guidance or assistance.

Praying for their willingness to reconcile,

Avery Schott

Hello James,

Thank you for your response. The following is a brief summary of our situation and some email correspondence. I have attached documents we received from the District:

This past Feb a leader in our church, who is related to a family that has demonstrated a dislike for our pastor over the years, was suspended by the board and pastor (majority vote) and ordered to stop teaching Sunday school. This was due to an ongoing unresolved issue of adultery. This caused division within our congregation and board as this individual felt it was a personal attack from our pastor. Since the voluntary exodus of this leader and his supporters another congregation came to worship with us as they had no place for themselves. We began to enjoy unity and peacefulness without the distraction or gossiping of those related to this leader who over the years have voiced their discontent with our pastor. We even were able to launch a new food ministry, glory to God for the abundant provisions. The unhappy parties approach the local C&MA district with complaints and this began the siege upon our local congregation. You see the district Superintendent Bill Malick was already displeased with our pastor for speaking out against the closure of a nearby local church. I believe that because of this the Bill is bringing up numerous complaints filed in prior years from this family who since 2004 has been consistently attacking and poisoning our congregation. Bill has demonstrated bias and support by limiting his contact to just that family and their supporters. We have not had visits or notice of any complaints that warrant action over the years and really feel that this bias is based upon a personal agenda and the intent to control the property owned by the local church. So we arrive at the current week in which the district attempted to lock us out of the property. We have been vigilantly occupying the property to avoid the district from taking possession.

Thank you James and God Bless you for lending your ear,

Avery Schott


Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 8:08 AM

(Please distribute to friends of GCAC who have received previous emails)

June 12, 2012

Dear Friends,

The South Pacific District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance has had to make the difficult decision to take possession of the Grace Community Alliance Church (GCAC) property. Today the building was secured and all services and use of the building cancelled until further notice. As you know from our letter of May 23, 2012, it was not our intention to cancel services, in fact we “…invited San Gabriel Valley Christian Fellowship under the leadership of Pastor Hernan Pada, to continue meeting at the church facility during this time of evaluation” to “provide a place of worship and care.” However, it became necessary to take this action as a result of the decisions and actions of former GCAC pastor, Fred Cheock, and with the apparent agreement and approval of his supporters.

Mr. Cheock was clearly instructed via registered letter and other communications, and again at a meeting on June 7, 2012, that he was removed from the pastoral assignment of Grace Community Alliance Church effective May 23, 2012. Present at the June 7, 2012, meeting were district Filipino pastors, the president of the Association of Filipino Churches, Bong Collado (see attached letter), and other interested parties.

Though directed “not to attend activities and services of the church,” Mr. Cheock has refused to submit to this directive even after stating that he would comply. Those who continue to attend GCAC are apparently in support his actions.

Grace Community Alliance Church has a long history as an Alliance Church. The Uniform Constitution and the By-laws clearly describe the relationship with the C&MA and the constituted authority. Unfortunately, GCAC now stands in violation of that authority.

While we still have hope for a better and effective future for GCAC, these actions have left us with no alternative but to cancel all services and activities at GCAC until further notice.


Rev. Bill Malick
Re: Friends of GCAC and SGVCF

Hide Details
Bill Malick

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 1:04 PM

Hello SPD Leadership,

This Letter is to inform you of my grave disappointment in your recent attempt to bully our Local Congregation by breaking in to and desecrating the GCAC property. I arrived at the property at 3:30pm 6-12-12 to find that the locks on the outside of the gates were removed, I proceeded to enter the property and investigate the apparent break in. As the building administrator I have the responsibility to insure the property is free from vandalism and theft. Not knowing what had happened I proceeded to enter and inspect both buildings to assess the situation. I was surprised to find the accounting office ransacked as well as the Pastors office. I proceeded to contact the Leadership of GCAC and the local authorities to inform them of my findings. I noticed many items missing and photographed all areas.
I am very surprised that you would violate local laws simply to impose your will on the Local Church. I had read and heard of your doing so in the past but was taken aback by this blatant display of disregard and respect for the Body. There was no prior notice of intent or posting of any notice on the property, simply malicious, unscrupulous and immoral behavior.

I received an email at 5:44pm 6-12-12 forwarded by Felix Lucero with the attached letter indicating that in fact you did commit the offense. Again, we will continue to function as a Local Church until such time we can meet and reconcile. I would also appreciate advance notice of any future attempt to visit the property as there will be a caretaker on the premises at all times.
Praying for reconciliation,
Avery Schott

From: Ernesto Villalon

Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2012 12:28 AM
Subject: Re: Friends of GCAC and SGVCF
In response to the letter dated June 8, 2012 from Bill Malick SPD Superintendent the Board of Grace Community Alliance Church would like to express the following;
The informal meeting in which all parties with interest in your discussion were not invited is an inappropriate forum as basis for any decision affecting the local church body. As such no decisions can be seen as proper or binding.
We do not agree that you, as the leadership in the South Pacific District, have followed the policy and guidelines set forth in the governing documents. As such the arbitrary nature of the decisions made can not be held as valid.
The decision to place GCAC in Development status is again arbitrary as the conditions to qualify this change were not met according to the procedure for reclassifying accredited churches to developing status. As such we do not see this change as valid.
Again we encourage you all to meet with our local governance board which has been duly elected and in consideration of and regard for our local congregation honor the request to work collaboratively to clarify any misunderstandings and work to restore and reconcile.

The Board of Elders of GCAC,
[names removed for security reasons]

Bill Malick
[email protected]
[email protected]
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47 More…

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 6:16 AM

Hello All,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this note to you all, to bring to our District leadership and your attention this matter that Prayerfully you all will consider.
Attached is a letter that was initially sent to [name removed for security reasons] only and not to the rest of the board or congregation, from Pastor Bill Malick regarding the decision of the District leadership.

We have made several attempts to encourage a dialogue between Pastor Bill Malick and the Current congregation and leadership. The Current local church body is relevant as Pastor Malick has only chosen to speak to those members who left the church at various times throughout the past and for various reasons. This disregard for the Current Local Church Body and Leadership is contrary to the Christian doctrine. The lack of willingness to Restore and Reconcile the Body is disappointing to say the least. The rush to Judgement and imposition of personal will without taking the time to Observe and Submit to the working of the Lord in our local church, is also discouraging. The testimony of Sharon, Pastor Fred’s daughter, regarding Pastor Bills “yelling” at her father over the phone on multiple occasions is disturbing, to say the least. The assertions of Pastor Bill in the attached letter to the “Friends of GCAC” are as follows:
First, the issue of “Leadership Compatibility,” well the Current and Relevant leadership has been Harmoniously working with the congregation and our guests while following the leading of the Lord to his Glory. We have a renewed hope and spiritual peace within the church. Those who decided to leave willingly while being lovingly encouraged to stay have made a decision I can only hope was prayerful and I trust the Lords leading.
Second, Pastor Bill cites the “Significant Division within the body and leadership,” Again, this statement is not based upon the testimony of current members or observation, but only on the testimony of those who have had issue.
Third, Pastor Bill noted a “significant decline in attendance as well as financial viability,” what is this based upon? We have faithfully recorded attendance for many years and our records will demonstrate our attendance is well above that which would place our church in jeopardy of losing accreditation status. Our current attendance with our fellow worshipers actually well exceeds our average for the past two years. Praise God for his work. In regards to our “financial viability,” we are current with our mortgage payment and all other expenses other than our Pastor Fred’s salary, which he has willingly given up as he relies upon the Lord for provision and the Lord has been faithful to insure his well being. Also, we have always faithfully paid more than required of the offering to the District. As a matter of fact please check the records of the last financials offered by the District which detail GCAC’s stability and faithfulness.
In addition, is our Pastor and his family so much worse than a sinner that they are banned from the church property? You have, on so many occasions, failed to acknowledge the position that Pastor Fred holds referring to him in your correspondence as simply Fred. This title is acknowledged as it is his calling from the Lord and not a title you can revoke.

Lastly, It is not by your invitation, Pastor Bill, that San Gabriel Valley Christian Fellowship came to GCAC and have come to be one in spirit with us, this was the work of the Lord!

Update!…..Since the attached letter was sent Pastor Bill has continued to push by first imposing his responsibility toward the stewardship of the body, following his placement of GCAC in Development status, on Pastor Pada of SGCVF and then retracting that directive about a week later only to threaten loss of Pastor Padas license if he is not compliant with the demand that he and his congregation must vacate the church property. Pastor Bill is acting in reckless abandon of the Lords will which you can confirm with the testimony of our current worshipers seeking to divide further that which the Lord has brought together.
Again, in Love for you all and for the Holiness of the Gospel and respect for the Lords leading please pray and be patient. Let us not be so quick to abandon and destroy the Lords work. Let us correct the failure to seek restoration and reconciliation.
The following are letters of rebuke to Pastor Malick written separately from myself and my wife on two separate occasions, seeking to encourage a meeting focused on restoration. Please take the time to read and understand the emotional distress under which these were written and forgive us for any offense as our intention was to inform and rebuke.
In Christ,
Avery Schott

Re: Response to letter for June 9th Meeting
Saturday, May 26, 2012 4:09 PM

“Rosalinda Dominguez”

“Bill Malick”

Hello Mr. Bill,
I am a current member of GCAC and have been active in both ministry as well as financial support of the church for 2 yrs now. In this time period I have not heard of nor have I had the occasion to meet or even see you in or around GCAC. I am completely dumbfounded when I attempt to understand this personal attack that you have embarked upon soliciting the support from other Former GCAC members whom have No relevance to the current congregation and the church business. I am deeply disappointed to see that someone with your level of responsibility could act in such an irresponsible manner and with such unchristian-like character. You have constantly failed to acknowledge the title given to our Pastor Fred Cheock, which is not a title given by you but by a calling from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
You continue to address people outside of our congregation as if they have chosen to continue to support the Lords work at GCAC, which I can personally attest to the Fact that they Don’t and haven’t for quite some time if ever. This is exactly the type of strategy I would expect from a child or someone in the business of Gossip. Again as a Mature adult who believes in the Biblical principals set forth in the gospel I know as FACT that you have only attempted to garner support to continue a personal attack on my Pastor Fred Cheock. This is evidenced by your statements, your demeanor, your disrespect, your lack of willingness to even talk to the congregation, your lack of explanation as to the accusations of those disgruntled members and your lack of orderly process as described in the Discipline policy of the C&MA. I reference the Discipline policy because even as you have stated in your letter addressed to the “Friends” of GCAC you point out that there are no Moral or Disciplinary actions to be taken, but clearly a removal and banishment of a Pastor would fall into the area of Expulsion which is described in the Disciplinary policy.
Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that such a Life altering decision on your part could come so quickly without due process or due diligence on your behalf. I know that our church has records of everything including your discussions with the Board of Elders and Pastor Fred Cheock. Your disregard for the evidence on our behalf is disgusting! You have provided no copy of the accusations brought about and led by one Family from the Congregation who was unable to effect their will upon our Pastor in the past as the C&MA dissolved the prior board citing the fact that the Board was the Problem and not Pastor Fred Cheock and furthermore offered ongoing and Future support to GCAC. Since then, we have seen no effort on your behalf to work out any issues or concerns for our congregation. Furthermore, you have not even felt the need to advise us of any issues that were worthy of concern. I guess since the Superintendent at that time was not you, I would expect anyone in that position to follow the 125 years of policy revision set forth by the C&MA. A policy is only as good as the enforcement and adherence. Please do not demean our congregation by citing such things as you have grossly neglected to follow.
Please understand I am completely aware that this attack is from Satan and not you personally or those disgruntled FORMER members and as such we are more than willing and Able to stand and defend the will of God in our lives and Church. Complete submission you refer to in Romans needs to be filtered through the context of the entire Gospel and there are many instances in which standing in Faith was rewarded by our Lord as the will of God always prevails, so please do me a favor, Demonstrate a little more Love, Compassion, Humility, Holiness, Patience and Restraint of your tongue before going further!
I pray for your consideration,
Rosalinda Dominguez

Re: Response to letter for June 9th Meeting
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:00 PM

“Bill Malick”

Hello Pastor Bill,

My name is Avery Schott and I have recently been elected as an Elder at Grace Community Alliance Church. I am married, 40 years old and have three children ages 22, 17 and 12. I have quite a diverse background including fostering over 15 children in my household as well as coaching and personal training one of my nephews to the pro’s in basketball and three of my nephews to the pro’s in tennis all of whom received full ride scholarships to college. My formal education is in Electronics Engineering and I have been involved in Construction Management for the past 8 years.

I would like to start by saying that I am deeply concerned about the manner that you and your associates have conducted yourselves. Please know as a fellow brother in Christ, that I seek nothing more than restoration and reconciliation.
I have attended Grace Community Alliance Church for two years now and during this time I have never observed your visitation of the Church. It would seem to be a priority of the District and most especially the Superintendent to periodically visit to share and support our ministries. I am a public servant, employed by local government and as a public employee my dedication to upholding the policies and ordinances of my jurisdiction is of the utmost importance.
I mention this because I do not appreciate your attempt to hide behind the Gospel as you impose your will upon the local church more specifically, in this particular instance, Grace Community Alliance Church. I would hope that someone of your experience while understanding the demands of your position should also feel the importance of adhering to the policy and ordinances of your jurisdiction, respecting those who have, over many years, prayerfully and carefully created and revised the C&MA governing documents.

As one Man to Another, please do not be offended by my words of rebuke but understand my Love for Christ and the local congregation to which I belong. I choose not to post this to a public forum as you have, but instead attempt to reconcile this matter with you personally first. It is my opinion in agreement with the policies set forth in The C&MA governing documents that we should “Collaboratively” (as stated in the Mission Statement of the C&MA) and with the intention of promoting the Health of each and every local church and its ministries.

I will not detail every instance in which the Governing Policy has not been adhered to, but instead seek to encourage a discourse that will lead to reconciliation. My prayers and hope are that you will take some time to reflect and consider our position.
First, I want to address the assertion that we are “standing against God’s clear word”. My understanding of Romans 13 agrees with this well stated commentary from Adam Clarke (Renowned British Theologian):

Commentary on Romans 13-1,”Nothing can justify the opposition of the subjects to the ruler but overt attempts on his part to change the constitution, or to rule contrary to law. When the ruler acts thus he dissolves the compact between him and his people; his authority is no longer binding, because illegal; and it is illegal because he is acting contrary to the laws of that constitution, according to which, on being raised to the supreme power, he promised to govern. This conduct justifies opposition to his government.”

I hope that you understand our regard for the Gospel and the desire to follow. I have conviction through prayer and fasting that the Lord’s will is Not for the Leadership or the Ministry at our local church to be replaced or redirected.
I feel I need to share a little history minus all the details which I hope to share with you in the near future. I have come to understand that the reason for the lack of “growth” in our local church was due to a constant poisoning of the body by the actions of a particular family of individuals within the church. The [name removed for security reasons] family has had such an adverse impact on the work and progress of the church beginning from my understanding since before the placement of Pastor Fred Cheock.
I have observed this first hand on many occasions and am proud to say that we finally in prayer and petition to the Lord have seen our God work to systematically free us from that which plagued our ministry. It was not until just the past few months that we finally were released from this bondage, unfortunately so many over the years were affected. This struggle has taken its toll but I am again proud to say that we have a very strong core of Righteous individuals willing to uphold the Holiness of the Gospel.

You cannot imagine how disheartening it was to find that just as the Lord was rewarding our Faithfullness by revealing a vision and direction for our ministry to grow that we suffered attacks once again from the aforementioned family including our very own District leadership. Leadership we would have expected to come to assist and lift us up in support rather than condemn simply based upon the testimony of the “dedicated vocal antagonists” without regard to, or hearing the testimony of those who persevered.
I cannot express the discouragement we all felt.

I am prayerful that you will agree to meet with us soon to work toward reconciliation in our relationship. I pray the Lord will encourage you to reconsider with the understanding that it is never too late to resist divisiveness and come together as one body.

Your Brother in Christ,

Avery Schott

Tithing Principality Demolished

April 16th, 2012 No comments



Dr. Russell Kelly, who wrote his doctorate on tithing, exposes the fatal logical and Scriptural flaws of John Maxwell’s and Tom Brown Ministries and teachings and promotion of tithing. John Maxwell is effectively the “E” in Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan and one of his significant partners promoting tithing and tithing covenants. Tom Brown is a leading Word of Faith teacher and New Apostolic Reformation apostate. Dr. Russell Kelly thoroughly demolishes this stronghold on the church.



I wrote my own expose on John Maxwell in my second book exposing Rick Warren entitled: RICK WARREN’S GLOBAL PEACE PLAN VS. SCRIPTURE


April 12, 2012

Amazing Finance, John C Maxwell

What Is Tithing And Why Is It Important?
by John C. Maxwell
Question: Isn’t Tithing Under the Old Testament Law?

Maxwell: Answer: No. While tithing one’s income was a lawful practice for God’s people, tithing was practiced by patriarchs 400 years before the law was even around (Gen. 14:20/ 28:22)!

Kelly: The Bible says nothing about Abram (not Abraham) tithing his “income.” The Bible does not tell us WHY Abram tithed; it does not say that he was commanded by God; neither does it say that his tithe of pagan spoils of war was a freewill decision. It is dishonest to twist God’s Word to make it say what you want it to say. The “tithing” which was practiced before the law did not qualify as “holy” tithes under the law as used by Malachi in 3:10 or by Jesus in Matthew 23:23. And Jacob’s tithe (not Israel) was an example of Jacob setting the terms and telling God what to do first. His tithe was also from pagan lands and his example is not for Christians to follow.

Maxwell: Abraham “tithed” to the Lord through the priest Melchizedek as a lifestyle principle, not a ritual.

Kelly: The only thing we know from the Bible is that Abram tithed spoils of war to a priest of El Elyon, God Most High. El Elyon was an extremely common name for god among the pagans of Canaan, Egypt and Babylon. It is as valid a question to ask why he did not include the name of Yahweh in his worship title as he should have per Genesis 4:26. Maxwell has no authority to add to God’s Word and call this a “lifestyle principle.” He should know better.

Maxwell: According to Deuteronomy 14:22-23, tithing was to be a practice of prioritizing God in life, and of recognizing that He is the source of our income.

Kelly: According to 16 texts, the contents of the HOLY (not pagan) tithe was always only FOOD from inside God’s HOLY land which God had miraculously increased. Tithes could not come from what man increased, from non-Israelites, or from outside Israel. The tithe is never the same as income. Although money was common in Genesis and essential for Sanctuary/temple worship, money is never a tithed item in the Bible. Only Hebrew food-producers who lived inside Israel could tithe. Lev 27:30, 32; Num 18:27-28; Deu 12:17; 14:22-23; 26:12; 2 Chron 31:5-6; Neh 10:37; 13:5; Mal 3:10-11; Matt 23:23; Luke 11:42.

Question: How Do We Know That “Tithe” Means 10%?

MAXWELL: Answer: Tithing is directly mentioned thirty-nine times in Scripture, and in each case it means “a tenth part.”

Kelly: This is deception by being half true. The “context” of a HOLY tithe is only FOOD from inside Israel.

Maxwell: Again, in Genesis 14 it states that Abraham “tithed to the Lord;” then, in the New Testament explanation of that event, Hebrews 7:2-4 says that it was 10%.

Kelly: Again deception by being a half-truth. Abram (not Abraham) “tithed to El Elyon” which does not necessarily refer either to Yahweh (LORD) or the Lord (Adonai) of Israel. Maxwell conveniently omits that Hebrews 7:4 says he tithed “spoils.”

Maxwell: Numbers 18:26 speaks of the Levites “tithing off of the tithe” by giving 10% to the Lord from their income.

Kelly: This is really a distortion of the contents of the text. Numbers 18:21-24 (Neh 10:37b) teachs that those Levites who received the first Levitical tithe were not the minister-priests, but were only their assistants. According to Numbers 18:25-28 (Neh 10:38) the Levites only gave one per cent (1%) of the tithe to the priests. Maxwell does not elaborate on this because those who received the tithe were not allowed to own or inherit land in Israel. Today gospel workers get the whole tithe and also own and inherit much property.

Question: What If I Go Broke Giving Up That Much Income?

Maxwell Answer: This is a natural objection, given that the person still operates off of this world’s rationale.

Kelly: This is an odd statement considering the fact that your definition of “tithe” reflects the world’s rationale and not the Bible’s usage.

Maxwell: In God’s economy, however, the more a person sows, the more he reaps (Galatians 6:7). Give and it shall be given unto you, (Luke 6:38).

Kelly: Irrelevant. These texts are not discussing tithing. They are eternal principles of giving.

Maxwell: Tithing is just one of the three ways to “invest” in God’s kingdom …

Kelly: There are no Bible texts given to validate this statement.

Maxwell: — and in every case, God promises to repay in abundance. There is nothing unspiritual about this.

Kelly: In the context of the blessings and curses of the law (Deuteronomy 28 to 30), abundant blessings only came to those who obeyed all 600 plus commands. The curse of the law fell on those who violated any one command per Deu 27:26 and Gal 3:10. God does not promise blessings for tithing when other parts of the law are being violated (Neh 10:29; Mal 4:4; Gal 3:10).

Maxwell: The Apostle Paul discusses how to invest in the ministry through giving in Philippians, then concludes with verse 19: “And my God shall meet all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Doubtless, prosperity preachers today can distort this sowing/reaping principle — but it remains a scriptural principle just the same.

Kelly: The context is freewill giving and not tithing. Because the Philippian church had assisted Paul financially, Paul said that God would bless it in return; this is the principle of sowing and reaping, not tithing. It is a conditional promise.

Maxwell: The classic test illustrating this is Malachi 3:8-12 where God instructs His people to bring their tithe to His storehouse in order to prove His generosity, as He blesses in return.

Kelly: Malachi 3:8-12 is the single most abused giving text in the Bible and Maxwell joins right in to abuse its context.

(1) In 1:1-5 it is only addressed to Old Covenant Israel (Ex 19:5-6) and not the New Covenant church.

(2) It is secondarily addressed to dishonest priests who were then cursed for giving God leftovers (1:6; 2:1 compared to 1:13-14) and for stealing the tithe from the Levites (Neh 13:5-10).

(3) Most important the tithe was still only food over 1000 years after its description in Leviticus 27:30-34.

(4) The literal storehouse was actually two large storerooms combined and only 10 ft. by 20 ft. (compare 1st Kings 6:6 with Neh 13:5). It could not possibly hold the tithe of the nation and did not need to since the people brought their Levitical tithes to the Levitical cities per Neh 10:37b.

(5) The curse is the curse of the Old Covenant (Neh 10:29; Mal 4:4).

(6) The church assembly is never compared to a storehouse building in the Bible. The early church building was not even legal until after A.D. 300.

Question: Does Jesus or The New Testament Teach Us To Tithe?

Maxwell Answer: People often mistake the New Testament truth that since “everything” belongs to the Lord, tithing is now obsolete. It is true that everything does belong to God, but far too often this becomes a cop-out for carnal people to hold on to money and material things.

Kelly: Although the sentiment is true, the implication is wrong. While “everything belonged to the Lord” even in the Old Testament (Ps 24:1), the HOLY tithe could still only come from FOOD from inside HOLY Israel. There is no precedent because only food-producers living inside Israel qualified as tithe payers. Jesus, Peter, and Paul did not qualify.

Maxwell: They prefer to spiritualize the issue just as the Pharisees did in Matthew 15:4-6.

Kelly: It is not a matter of spiritualizing the issue. It is a matter of “rightly dividing the Word.” Old Covenant tithing has not been brought over into the New Covenant after Calvary. Period. The covenant, priesthood, temple, and definition all ended. God did not command tithing and neither did he say that tithe-recipients could own or inherit property.

Maxwell: Jesus is concerned about both our understanding that God owns everything and that we ought to continue exhibiting our submission to God (tangibly) through the act of tithing.

Kelly: Without a Bible text to validate this, it is error and distortion.

Maxwell: Matthew 23:23. Luke 11:42 echoes the same truth, straight from Jesus’ lips.

Kelly: Read the text.

(1) Being before Calvary, it is Old Covenant context. Jesus would have been sinning if he had commanded His disciples to tithe to himself and it was illegal to command Gentile disciples to tithe at all.

(2) The audience is not the New Covenant church; it is “you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites.”

(3) The context is not New Covenant; it is “matters of the law.”
(4) This is where proper hermeneutics must begin – in the text itself.

Maxwell: Tithing is brought up again in Hebrews 7:5-9 where the writer discusses Melchizedek receiving tithes as a “type of Christ.”

Kelly: Gross distortion. (1) 7:5 defines tithes as a commandment of the law to support the priesthood. (2) 7:12 says that it is necessary to change that law (of tithing) since the priesthood of Jesus is outside the law. And (3) in 7:18 the “change” was not “from Levi to gospel workers”; rather it was “from priests” to “an annulling of the commandment going before” “to collect tithes” from 7:5.

Maxwell: Clearly, this age of grace we live in was not to eliminate a biblical practice like tithing.

Kelly: It most certainly does. The covenant, temple, and priesthood supported by tithing was “abolished, annulled” per Hebrews 7:18-19.

Maxwell: if anything, we should be living an even greater, more supernatural life by giving more than our tithe!

Kelly: Again, tithing was only commanded to and received from food producers living inside Israel. It never was a standard minimum giving point for all Hebrews. Sacrificial equality giving for Christians does not look at a percentage. While some are not giving sacrificially at 10%, others are giving sacrificially at much less than 10% (2 Cor 8:1-16).

Question: Where Should My Tithe Go?

Maxwell Answer: This question has no dogmatic, scriptural answer, since the references to tithing aren’t specific as to where the tithe should be given. In the Old Testament, tithes were received at the place of worship …

Kelly: This shows a lack of deep study by Maxwell. The “tithe’ should go nowhere because there is no such thing as a tithe for the church. Jewish Christians in Judea kept paying tithes to the temple system per Acts 21:20-21. However “references to tithing were VERY SPECIFIC as to where the tithe was to be given”:

(1) Levitical tithes went to the Levitical cities for the Levite servants of the priests (Num 18:21-24; Neh 10:37b).

(2) Levites gave the best one tenth of their one tenth to the priests in the Levitical cities (Neh 10:38).

(3) Levites and priests brought what they needed a week at a time to the Temple storerooms (Neh 10:39; 12:44).

(4) The second festival tithe was brought to and eaten in the streets of Jerusalem during the festivals (Deut 12:1-19; 14:22-26).

(5) The third year poor tithe was kept in the towns (Deut 14:28-29; 26:12-13).

Maxwell: … which, today could be interpreted as the local church. This practice continued, even into the New Testament.

Kelly: The local church was not a building to store anything; it was an assembly of believers. Church buildings were not legal until after AD 300. There is no historical verification of Maxwell’s statement “This practice continued, even into the New Testament” – that is a fabricated statement.

Maxwell: Malachi 3:10 instructs us to “bring the tithe into the storehouse.”

Kelly: No, it does not. It instructed Old Covenant Israel – not the church (Neh 10:29; Mal 4:4; Lev 27:34; Ex 19:5-6).

Maxwell: This is where the term “storehouse tithing” comes from.

Kelly: It is not found in the New Testament as a description of the church.

Maxwell: The storehouse represents God’s designated place of (corporate) worship; the place where His people are spiritually fed and nurtured. Again, this seems to imply the local church.

Kelly: No, it does not. Surely something this important would have texts. “Temple” is not equivalent to “storehouse.” The “storerooms” were only a very small part of the Temple and corporate worship was not held inside storerooms for food! Compare Neh 13:5 with 1st Kings 6:6.

Maxwell: The Apostle Paul argues that financial giving to the local church enables the elders or bishops to be supported, again implying that we should tithe to the body of believers where we are taught.

Kelly: You are teaching your false implications as laws for the church.

Question: But What If I’m Not Able To Do This?

Maxwell Answer: Obviously, God calls us to give what we cannot what we can’t. Nothing more and nothing less. If someone is unemployed or in school, under the financial care of someone else — then there may be no income to tithe. But the challenge God gives us in Scripture is to become a liberal giver; to practice the principle of giving our first and our best to Him.

Kelly: The error of this statement is in equating tithes with firstfruits. They are never the same in God’s Word. First-fruits were very small token food offerings given “first” (Deut 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-37a). First Timothy 5:8 overrides giving our first to the church. “If any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

Maxwell: Hence, tithing becomes less an issue of the wallet, and more an issue of trust. Am I trusting God to meet my needs, as I put Him first with my finances?

Kelly: All invented.

Maxwell: No doubt, we live in the age of grace.

Kelly: Grace, not law. Tithing was the heart of the law. Tithing supported the activators of the law.

Maxwell: God calls us to freedom, not bondage.

Kelly: Paul said that those who add the law back to grace have changed the pure gospel and have been bewitched (Gal 1:8-9; 3:1).

Maxwell: But formal membership in a local church calls us to live above our rights. It’s not an issue of being God’s child; it’s an issue of being God’s example for others.

Kelly: Irrelevant in a discussion of tithing.

Question: But What If I Can’t Give “Cheerfully?”

Maxwell Answer: It is true, 2 Corinthians 9:7 calls us to only give offerings that we have purposed to give; not grudgingly, but with a cheerful heart. However, note two truths. The context of this chapter refers to a special offering for an outside need, not to tithing.

Kelly: True. But you omitted “not by commandment.”

Maxwell: Tithing is the base (which God owns anyway: Malachi 3:8).

Kelly: No. This is distortion. Only food producers who lived inside God’s HOLY land of Israel were the base. Tithing never did apply to everybody or even to people like Jesus, Peter, or Paul.

Maxwell: Offerings are what we give (or “offer”) to God over and above the tithe.

Kelly: Distortion of God’s Word. The Bible does not teach “tithe PLUS offerings” – it teaches tithes AND offerings” – tithes from food-producers inside Israel and offerings from others. The New Covenant teaches freewill generous sacrificial giving – not tithing.

Maxwell: Offerings are one of the three ways we can invest in God’s kingdom, alongside tithing and giving to the poor (Proverbs 19:17).

Kelly: No. Only freewill offerings which include helping the poor (2 Cor 8 and 9 and 1 Cor 16). The word “tithe” does not occur in Proverbs.

Maxwell: The second truth we should note is that if we cannot tithe with a cheerful heart — our goals ought to be to change our heart, not our tithing amount.

Kelly: This is another non-biblical invention. It should read “freewill giving amount.”

Maxwell: God enables the Spirit-filled believer to live above rights and the flesh. We should be living supernaturally, not naturally.

Kelly: Not legally according to a set percentage.

Question: Isn’t All This Just Legalism?

Maxwell Answer: Let’s talk for a moment about legalism, grace and commitment. In the Old Testament, a Jew was first required to give one tenth to God.

Kelly: Wrong. Not all Jews. Not Jews who lived outside Israel. Not Jews who earned their living through trades and crafts. Only Hebrews who earned their living from FOOD off God’s HOLY land.

Maxwell: Then at harvest time, the farmer must give the firstfruits to God, and that consisted of one sixth of his increase.

Kelly: Wrong. Edersheim said that the firstfruits were one SIXTIETH. The Bible does not tell us and Maxwell should not be stating “one sixth” as if it were a biblical fact.

Maxwell: Then every three years a second tenth was given for the poor — social security tax.

Kelly: Wrong. This was not a “second tenth”; it was a “third tenth” per Deu 14:28-29 and 26:12-13. The first tithe is Lev 27:30-34 and Num 18:21-28. The second tithe is Deu 12:1-19; 14:22-26.

Maxwell: In addition were the special offerings of cleansing and consecration.

Kelly: Vows and fines could include money. Tithes never included money.

Maxwell: That means that his total contribution to religion would be nearer to a fifth of his income that a tenth– and that does not include voluntary support to the local synagogue. It is not difficult to imagine the temptation in times of stringency to withhold the tithe. So there we have our answer as to how much of His income Jesus gave to God.

Kelly: Josephus agrees that there were 3 separate tithes. This would amount to over 20%. If you are going to teach biblical tithing, you should teach 20-23%. As a carpenter and not a food-producer, Jesus did not qualify as a tithe payer. Jesus gave freewill sacrificial offerings.

Maxwell: If we object that the Jews were under law and we Christians are under grace, and that for us the law of the tithe has been abrogated, another question arises. Will a Christian who is experiencing intimacy with his Lord wish to take advantage of grace so that he can give less to God’s work than the less privileged Jew who knew nothing of Calvary’s sacrifice and the inestimable blessings it has brought?

Kelly: This argument falsely assumes that everybody under the law was required to begin their level of giving at ten per cent. It also assumes a false modern definition of HOLY biblical tithes. It has no basis in God’s Word and it makes the poor feel guilty.

Maxwell: Was our Lord’s matchless generosity in becoming poor for us intended to beget parsimony in His children? Paul cited it rather as an incentive to sacrificial giving.

Kelly: Does our Lord want poor widows with sick children to give their first income as a tithe to the church and do without essentials contrary to First Timothy 5:8? Teaching tithes as firstfruits should be a criminal offense of stealing from the poor who are giving money from welfare checks to the church.

Maxwell: Tithing was practiced by the patriarchs four hundred years before the Law was given (Gen. 14:20; 28:22).

Kelly: And they probably learned it from Babylon and pagan tradition as the law of the land.

Maxwell: The usage of consecrated tithes prevailed among Romans, Greeks, and Arabians as well as with the Jews; so tithing seems to rest on the common law of God’s Kingdom rather than on special Hebrew legislation.

Kelly: This is a poor argument. It assumes that, if something is very old and very common, then it must reflect an eternal moral principle. Yet the same ancient civilizations which practiced tithing also practiced idolatry, worship of heavenly bodies, child sacrifices, and temple prostitution. Instead of arguing from common law, one should argue from the law of nature and the conscience (Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-16). Giving is written in the heart and conscience of every man but tithing is not.

Maxwell: Jesus gave tithes and offerings. Is the servant greater than his Lord?

Kelly: No, Jesus did not give tithes. He was a carpenter. HOLY tithes were only FOOD from God’s HOLY land. That which man crafted was not a tithe-able item.

Maxwell: It is a misconception of the meaning of “grace” to think that it leaves it open for a believer to do less than a devout Jew would have done.

Kelly: Maxwell keeps repeating this weak argument because it is the strongest tithers can devise. Again, it is based upon the false premise that everybody under the law was required to begin their level of giving at ten per cent. However tithes did not apply to Hebrew craftsmen, tradesmen, Gentiles, or anybody outside HOLY Israel.

Maxwell: If the true spirit of grace has gripped my heart, I will not be calculating the minimum I can get away with but the maximum I can give to my Lord. The New Testament standard is not lower than the Old.

Kelly: Repeat it enough and it becomes true! That is the tactic used so often by those who want to teach tithing. There was no such thing as a “minimum, maximum, or standard” in the Old Covenant except for food producers who lived in Israel. The repeated argument has no biblical foundation.

Maxwell: In speaking about tithing in Matthew 23:23 Jesus said, “You tithe mind and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”

Kelly: By using proper hermeneutics, the text itself is addressed to “you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites” and is in the pre-Calvary context of “provisions of the law.” It cannot be a commandment for the church. As a Jew under the full jurisdiction of the law, Jesus would have been sinning if He had not taught tithing TO THE TEMPLE SYSTEM.

Maxwell: Did that obligation cease a few days later when He died?

Kelly: Yes, it ceased when Jesus said “it is finished,” when the veil in the Temple ripped, when the Old Covenant ended, and when its priesthood ended. The Jews no longer had an obligation obey Jesus’ command to tithe to the temple system to support the Levites and priests per the context of Matthew 23:23. Instead of transferring tithing to gospel workers as might be expected from Hebrews 7:12, tithing from 7:5 was abolished per Hebrews 7:18.

Maxwell: Is the Christian not “under law to Christ,” with His higher law of love? “I am not free from God’s law,” said Paul, “but am under Christ’s law” (1 Cor. 9:21, NIV).

Kelly: The “law to Christ” and “higher law” are not a repetition of the Old Covenant law. See “not according to” in Hebrews 8:9, “ready to vanish” in 8:13 and “abolished” in 7:18. Our new law is freewill, generous, sacrificial, joyful, not by command, not grudgingly, and motivated by love for God and lost souls.

Maxwell: It would seem from an impartial weighing of the relevant Scriptures …

Kelly: What “impartial weighing”? I am almost certain that you think gospel workers should accept tithes and also own and inherit property. Nice. You have your cake and you eat it too.

Maxwell: … that though there is not legal obligation on a believer to give a tithe, or more, of his income …

Kelly: Amen. And neither is there a spiritual command for the church to teach tithing found in the pages of the New Covenant after Calvary.

Maxwell: … his experience of Christ’s matchless grace should provide a powerful incentive to emulate the example of his Master.

Kelly: Jesus did not give an example of tithing. He gave an example of extreme sacrificial giving to save lost souls.

Maxwell: As has been said, sacrifice is the ecstasy of giving the best we have to the One whom we love the most.

Kelly: Finally, something we agree on.


Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
[email protected]
Author of: Should the Church Teach Tithing




Delivered December 30, 2012 and January 6, 2013
Turning Point Ministries
by: Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

DJ: (1) Tithing is a principle of stewardship. Stewardship is a priority of the Bible. 2350 verses discuss giving and wealth; 15% of what Jesus taught. There would be 7.7 Sundays per year on tithing if the we used the same percentage as Jesus taught about tithing.

RK: While it may be true that 15% of what Jesus taught concerned giving, it is not true that 15% of what Jesus taught concerned tithing. Dr. Jeremiah knows very well that he is being very loose with the facts. When one combines Matthew 23:23 with its parallel in Luke 11:42, the word “tithes” was only recorded 2 times from the mouth of Jesus (also Luke 18:12). In each instance Jesus was condemning the tithe-payer and, in every instance, Jesus was required to teach tithing before Calvary while the law of tithing was still in full effect to support Levitical temple workers.

DJ: Tithing is a giving PRINCIPLE as in Luke 12:34 and 16:11 as a barometer of how God trusts us with riches.

RK: By “principle” I assume that Jeremiah means an “eternal moral principle” which applies to every believer. Yet he gives no texts to validate this; we are simply to believe it is a principle because he says it is a principle. Eternal moral principles have been written on the heart and conscience of men and are evident in nature (Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-16; 1 John 1:9). While “giving” is an eternal moral principle written in the heart and conscience, tithing an exact ten per cent of ones income before taxes is not.
In the O.T. two kinds of tithes are described. “Tithe” means “tenth.” The first use of “tithes” as “tenth” by Abram and Jacob was a “tenth of pagan spoils of war.” In Abram’s cases, they came from Sodom; in Jacob’s case they came from pagan Haran of Syria — probably a Babylonian settlement where the moon was its deity.
The most common tithe was the HOLY tithe as described by Moses in the Law, as used by Malachi and, especially, as described by Jesus in Matthew 23:23. Sixteen verses limit the HOLY tithes to FOOD from inside the HOLY land of Israel which God had miraculously increased.
DJ never mentions that the HOLY tithe was only food from Israel. While it is true that Israel was an agricultural nation, is it also true that God never accepted tithes from non-food Israelites who earned their livelihood as carpenters, tent-makers, teachers, judges, craftsmen or tradesmen. This is a crucial error of tithe-teachers.

DJ: (2) Tithing is a Preparation for service.

RK: Again, no texts are given to validate this point. What kind of preacher makes points without giving validation? Are we to merely blindly believe him? Are there not highly gifted persons of very low income who cannot give their first ten per cent but who are great soul-winners?

DJ: (3) Tithing is the plan God created to bless his people.

RK: This is pulling one command out of over 600 and making it the most important plan God gave O.T. Israel. Was Israel not blessed for obeying the first commandment of having only one God? Was Israel not blessed for observing their Sabbath day? Was Israel not blessed for observing the 3 annual feasts? Was God to bless an Israelite for tithing while that same Israelite was guilty of idolatry or murder? The logic behind this statement is lost in its over-simplicity.

DJ: If I do not teach on this subject what the Word of God says, I am robbing you.

RK: Yes, you are. (1) HOLY tithing of FOOD from Israel only applied to O.T. Israel. (2) HOLY tithes could not come from non-Israelites, from non-food items or from outside Israel. (3) HOLY Levitical tithes were only to support Levitical temple workers who were not allowed to own or inherit property. What gives DJ the right to accept tithes while owning property? See Numbers 18:20-28.

DJ: Basic simplicity of tithing: Tithe means tenth.

RK: Yes, but in its first use, it was a tenth of pagan spoils of war gathered from Sodom. Yet those tithes could not enter the temple as HOLY tithes under the Law, by Moses, by Malachi, or by Jesus as “matters of the law” in Matthew 23:23.

DJ: Ten per cent of what God gives you back to God.

RK: Notice again the lack of validating texts because none exist. This is disgraceful for a man of Jeremiah’s caliber.

DJ: Tithe means ten per cent. Tithing is ten per cent. Mal 3:10-12. God expected 3 tithes.

RK: If you are going to agree that God expected Israel to give three different tithes of 23%, then are you not “robbing God” in your emphasis of only one tithe of ten per cent?

DJ: Why we tithe: (1) We put God first.

RK: Again Jeremiah does not provide a Bible text. Most would have quoted Proverb 3:10 but firstfruits were NOT tithes and even firstfruits were only from food from God’s holy land of Israel (Deu 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-38).

DJ: Quotes Malachi 1:8-14 and says these texts are addressed to “the people” and “these folks” who are “cursed” because “we” the people were giving God the leftovers.

RK: This is horrendous hermeneutics which completely ignore the context. Beginning in 1:6 the text is addressed only narrowly “to you, O priests.” It is not addressed to the “people” in general. This is a horrible omission.
The priests (not the people) had “despised God’s name” (1:6); the priests (not the people) had “offered polluted bread on God’s altar” (1:7). The “you” in verse 8 who had “offered the blind, lame and sick for sacrifices” still refers to the priests of verse 6!
Let the literal text support itself. In 1:9 Malachi tells the priests to entreat God for “us” – those who are not priests. Verse 1:10 clearly is speaking only of priests who duty included shutting the gates and kindling fire on the altar. The priests had received the best from the Levites (Num 18:21-24) but the priests had selected the worst from their own herds (1:11-14; Numbers 35:1-2; Joshua 21:13-19).
DJ has no biblical grounds for changing the context from only the priests to the people of Old Covenant Judah (and then to all New Covenant Christians).

DJ: Our first check goes to God. When we tithe we put God first.

RK: Jeremiah has combined apples and oranges with no validating texts. Tithes and firstfruits are never the same in Scripture. Do your homework. Tithes were “tenth-fruits” which could only be calculated after the full crop had been harvested. “Firstfruits” were the best of the crop and were harvested before the other harvest was done.
In the post-Calvary New Covenant Paul told Timothy in First Timothy 5:8, “… if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” It is evident that God does not want the poor to give first to the church and do without food, medicine and shelter. And it is almost criminal for tithe-teachers like DJ to teach that God wants their first regardless of what other needs exist.

DJ: (2) When we tithe we prove God’s promise (v10).

RK: The correct hermeneutical context is the Old Covenant which was only commanded to Israel. Therefore the use of “we” Christians is wrong because New Covenant Christians were never commanded to tithe after Calvary. Just as there is no post-Calvary New Covenant curse for not tithing, neither is there such promise concerning the blessings of tithing.

DJ: Malachi 3:10 is the only time in the Bible where God says “test me.”

RK: Has Jeremiah read the book of Deuteronomy — especially chapters 28-30? The whole law was a test: obey all to be blessed; break one to be cursed. God did not bless tithers who broke the law in any other command.
It is wrong for tithe-teachers to completely ignore the Biblical fact that the Law was an indivisible whole of commands, judgments and ordinances. It is also wrong for them to ignore Paul’s statements in Galatians 3:10-13 and stress Malachi 3:10-13.

DJ: Put God first. Proverbs 3:9-10

RK: As previously mentioned, tithes and firstfruits are never the same in God’s Word. A scholar like Jeremiah should perform some quick study and settle this issue (Deu 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-38).

DJ: Luke 6:38; Phil 4:19.

RK: Neither of these texts is in the context of tithing and it is wrong to quote them as if they were.


DJ: Malachi is a collection of 4 sermons delivered to Jewish people.

RK: It was originally delivered to Judah but, beginning in 1:6 it is narrowed “to you, O priests” and never switches back to the people. The guilty party from 1:6 is “you priests.” Also see 2:1 and 2:17. In 3:6 priests are also “sons of Jacob” and in 3:9 “this whole nation” refers to “this whole nation” “of you” priests – that is, every priest in the nation.

DJ: The people had stopped tithing. For God and His people tithing was important.

RK: The text does not say that “the people” had stopped tithing. Compare Nehemiah 13:5-10. If Nehemiah 13 is the context of Malachi, then the priests had removed the tithe from the temple storeroom and such caused the Levites to return to their Levitical cities in order to eat. The priests were the guilty thieves.

DJ: 1:8 to the people; “they” were the people; 1:13-14 cursed people.

RK: This was discussed earlier. Jeremiah incorrectly identifies the guilty party as the ordinary people instead of only the priests (1:6; 2:1).

DJ: The tithe is the FIRST AND THE BEST.

RK: Wrong twice! In Leviticus 27:33 the first Levitical tithe was specifically NOT the “best.” It was the tenth which could only be determined after the whole harvest had been completed or after all animals had been counted.
The BEST tithe was only the one tenth of one percent which the Levites gave to the priests per Numbers 18:25-28.

DJ: God is not pleased with leftovers.

RK: While this is true of firstfruits, according to Leviticus 27:33, the tithe could include the less-than-perfect crop food or animal.

DJ: Best, First, Tenth.

RK: Again this was discussed earlier. Since when is the “first” the same as the “tenth”?

DJ: Tithing is a means of proving God; there is only one place in Bible (3:10).

RK: This was discussed earlier. Jeremiah also preaches the same sermon two weeks in a row.

DJ: “If you will do this, I will provide for you but I want you to try me.”

RK: How can Jeremiah honestly tell his congregation that God will bless them for tithing and NOT mention the O.T. fact that God did not bless O.T. believers for tithing while they were breaking the Law in any other command?

DJ: It was spiritually dangerous for Jacob to bargain with God.

RK: Correct. And it is wrong to use Jacob as an example of tithing.

DJ: We give out of love and obedience.

RK: This is true of any percentage. New Covenant giving is sacrificial, generous and motivated by love for God and others. These are freewill giving principles and not tithing principles which were commanded.

DJ: Our motive ought to be because God has asked us to tithe.

RK: It cannot at the same time be commanded and also be given out of love.

DJ: Tithing is God’s PROVISION after we give. We give first and God provides second.

RK: Concerning Old Covenant tithing, this was only mentioned once in the last book of the Old Testament. In the New Covenant this is a principle of sacrificial freewill giving.

DJ: Notice the personal pronoun “you.”

RK: Yes. Notice that, beginning in 1:6 and continuing in 2:1 the pronoun “you” only refers to the dishonest priests of that time period.

DJ: In the context of Malachi tithes were agricultural products.

RK: Yes, the HOLY tithe was first described in Leviticus 27:30-34 over 1500 years before Christ. That description never changed 1100 years later in Malachi 3:10-12 and 400 years after that in Matthew 23:23. Although there were scores of occupations the tithe was NEVER described as non-food items from outside HOLY Israel.

DJ: Tithes were always given first.

RK: This was discussed earlier.

DJ: Tithing is a matter of PURPOSE.

RK: No texts. Subjective opinion.

DJ: Many critics say that tithing was mostly O.T. which is not true.

RK: Tithing is only found in Hebrews 7 after Calvary. By connecting Hebrews 7:5, 12 and 18 the “commandment going before” (7:18) to “tithe” (7:5) was “of necessity changed” (7:12) and that “change” was its “annulment, abolishment” because tithing was “weak” and “un-profitable” (7:18).

DJ: Quotes Randy Alcorn and 23% tithe.

RK: Alcorn is correct. The total O.T. tithe was 23 1/3 per cent. Therefore Jeremiah is being dishonest by not teaching his congregation to tithe 23 1/3 per cent.

DJ: The ratio of 23/2.5 means that the law was 10x more efficient than modern giving practices.

RK: What is Jeremiah saying here? The Law of tithing was never enforced and it is wrong to imply that 100% of Israelites under the Law actually tithed.

DJ: NT LOWERS the standard of giving.

RK: The error here is assuming that there was a “standard” which applied to everybody. Tithing never included non-food-producing occupations in Israel; it never included anything from Gentiles or from outside Israel. Not even Jesus or Paul qualified as a tithe-payer.

DJ: When the N.T. says to give as we are prospered, it means more than 10%.

RK: Terrible logic. There is no standard of 10% taught after Calvary anywhere in God’s Word. For many freewill giving should be above 10%; others are giving sacrificially and generously while the percentage is less than 10.

DJ: N.T. reap what sow.

RK: This is not a reference to tithing.

DJ: In the O.T. God will supply all needs if tithe.

RK: No. God will supply all needs if obey the whole law.

DJ: Phil 4:19; start with 10%.

RK: Phil 4:19 is a discussion of freewill giving and only applies to those who sacrificially gave to help Paul in his gospel outreach.

DJ: Widow’s mite; Zaccheus’ 50%; Rich young ruler; Barnabas sold land; Acts 2-3

RK: These are not examples of tithing; they are examples of sacrificial freewill giving.

DJ: If you really want to know what God wants you to do, just do it?

RK: Wasted verbiage. This does not make tithing a New Covenant command.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
[email protected]
January 7, 2013



Robert Morris: “Robert Morris Shakedown at LifeChurch: Don’t Pay Rent or Electric Bill Until FIRST You Pay the Church – Or 100% of Your Money is Cursed”

Rick Warren Exposes His Congregation to the False Financial Teaching of Robert Morris







Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, author of an eight volume Systematic Theology, and a leading spokesman for conservative Christianity, wrote an excellent article discussing New Covenant giving in his book,Major Bible Themes. That article is reprinted with permission in its entirety. Sperry is required reading in many conservative schools of theology.

Major Bible Themes Lewis Sperry Chafer, Revised by John Walvoord

“The giving of money which a Christian has earned becomes an important aspect of any believer’s service for God. Self and money are alike the roots of much evil, and in the dispensing of money, as in its acquisition and possession, the Christian is expected to stand upon a grace relationship to God (2 Cor. 8:1, 7). This relationship presupposes that he has first given himself to God in unqualified dedication (2 Cor. 8:5); and a true dedication of self to God includes all that one is and has (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)–his life, his time, his strength, his ability, his ideals, and his property.

In matters pertaining to the giving of money, the grace principle involves the believer’s recognition of God’s sovereign authority over all that the Christian is and has, and contrasts with the Old Testament legal system of tithing which was in force as a part of the law until the law was done away with (John 1:16-17; Rom. 6:14; 7:1-6; 2 Cor. 3:1-18; Gal. 3:19-25; 5:18; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). Though certain principles of the law were carried forward and restated under grace, tithing, like Sabbath observance, is never imposed on the believer in this dispensation. Since the Lord’s Day superseded the legal Sabbath and is adapted to the principles of grace as the Sabbath could not be, so tithing has been superseded by a new system of givingwhich is adapted to the teachings of grace, as tithing could not be.

Christian giving under grace, as illustrated in the experience of the saints in Corinth, is summarized in 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15. In this passage we discover:One: Christ was their pattern. The Lord’s giving of Himself (2 Cor. 8:9) is the pattern of all giving under grace. He did not give a tenth; He gave ALL.Two: Their giving was even out of great poverty. A striking combination of phrases is employed to describe what the Corinthians experienced in their giving (2 Cor. 8:2): “in a great trial of affliction,” “the abundance of their joy,” “their deep poverty abounded,” “the riches of their liberality.” Likewise, concerning liberality in spite of great poverty, it should be remembered that “the widow’s mite” (Luke 21:1-4), which drew the commendation of the Lord Jesus, was not a part, but “all that she had.”Three: Their giving was not by commandment [1 Cor. 8:8], nor of necessity [2 Cor. 9:7]. Under the law, a tenth was commanded and its payment was a necessity; under grace, God is not seeking the gift, but an expression of devotion from the giver. Under grace no law is imposed and no proportion to be given is stipulated, and, while it is true that God works in the yielded heart both to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13), He finds pleasure only in that gift which is given cheerfully, or more literally, “hilariously” (2 Cor. 9:7).

If a law existed stipulating the amount to be given, there are those, doubtless, who would seek to fulfill it, even against their own wishes. Thus their gift would be made “grudgingly” and “of necessity (2 Cor. 9:7). If it be said that to support the work of the gospel we must have money whether given hilariously or not, it may also be said that it is not the amount which is given, but rather the divine blessing upon the gift that accomplishes the desired end.

Christ fed five thousand from five loaves and two fishes. There is abundant evidence to prove that wherever the children of God have fulfilled their privilege in giving under grace, their liberality has resulted in “all sufficiency in all things” which has made them “abound to every good work,” for God is able to make even the grace of giving to “abound” to every believer (2 Cor. 9:8).Four: The early Christians, first of all, gave themselves. Acceptable giving is preceded by a complete giving of oneself (2 Cor. 8:5). This suggests the important truth that giving under grace, like giving under the law, is limited to a certain class of people. Tithing was never imposed by God on any other than the nation Israel (Lev. 27:34; Num. 18:23-24; Mal. 3:7-10). So, Christian giving is limited to believers and is most acceptable when given by believers who have yielded their lives to God.Five: Christians in the early church also gave systematically. Like tithing, there is suggested systematic regularity in giving under grace. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him” (1 Cor. 16:2). This injunction is addressed to “every man” (every Christian man), and thus excuses none; and giving is to be from that which is already “in store.”Six: God sustains the giver. God will sustain grace-giving with limitless temporal resources (2 Cor. 9:8-10; Luke 6:38). In this connection it may be seen that those who give as much as a tenth are usually prospered in temporal things, but since the believer can have no relation to the law (Gal. 5:1), it is evident that this prosperity is the fulfillment of the promise under grace, rather than the fulfillment of promises under the law. No blessings are thus dependent on the exact tithing.

The blessings are bestowed because a heart has expressed itself through a gift. It is manifest that no gift will be made to God from the heart which He will not graciously acknowledge. There is no opportunity here for designing people to become rich. The giving must be from the heart, and God’s response will be bestowing spiritual riches, or in temporal blessings as He shall choose.Seven: True riches are from God. The Corinthian Christians were made rich with heavenly riches. There is such a thing as being rich in this world’s goods and yet not rich toward God (Luke 12:21). All such are invited to buy of Him that gold which is tried in the fire (Rev. 3:18). Through the absolute poverty of Christ in His death, all may be made rich (2 Cor. 8:9). It is possible to be rich in faith (Jas. 2:5) and rich in good works (1 Tim. 6:18); but in Christ Jesus the believer receives “the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7), and “the riches of his glory” (Eph. 3:16) .

SOURCE: Should the Church Teach Tithing?
A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD


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