Michael Pearl: All right. I am Michael Pearl and here I sit on my tractor. Jared has interrupted my day's work to answer your bible question and I'm tickled to do that. So Jared, what kind of question did you got for us today?
Jared: As a Christian, am I required to tithe?
Michael: I have a CD on that called Sabbath Rest you can order that for the No Greater Joy Ministries. I am going to give you an opening statement. Set you back on your heels. Tithing is sin for a Christian. That is fact. Tithing is sin for a Christian. Not only are we not required to do it. It is sinful to tithe. [laughs] . I can see my audience now. You say why? Paul said in the book of Galatians, chapter five, he said, who so ever you are justified by the law you are fallen from grace. When a person goes back to the law to keep the law in any part as an obligation or duty then he is stepping away from grace. It doesn't mean loss but it is stepping away from grace. He is falling from his position in grace.
So how would tithing make you fall from your position in grace if...let me ask you this, if you are tithing and you don't tithe, would you feel guilty. Would you feel like you're cheating God, robbing God. As the preacher said in Malachi five, you say yeah I would. Then you are doing a work in order to please God and make yourself right with him.
That is the law. That is all the law, doing what God said do in order to make you right with him. And when Paul came back on his third missionary journey to Jerusalem. The Gentiles, the Jew there were keeping the law every aspect of Moses law. They continue to keep it and they accused Paul of teaching Jews and outlining areas that they did not have to keep the law.
And so, Paul explained to them that he was not telling the Jews that they shouldn't keep the Sabbath, that they shouldn't tithe, that they shouldn't obey the laws. But then he was telling the Gentiles that God didn't give those laws for Gentiles. He gave them just for Jews. And so, the church considered the matter. Everyone present. All the apostles present.
And they decided what out of the Old Testament a Gentile should observe and four things. They should abstain from fornication, idolatry, from eating anything that is strangled and drinking any blood, and that was the only those four things. All those things existed as law to mankind in general before the flood, before Abraham, before Moses. And so that was not part of the law.
If tithing was something a Christian ought to do then they would have said to the Gentile churches. You need to collect on the first day of the week, ten percent of your income and give it to God to the Church. They didn't say that. If Sabbath keeping were part of it. They would have said, well you need to worship God, own the Sabbath or on Sunday or choose to do it. They didn’t do that. That burden was never placed on the Gentile churches, ever anywhere in scripture.
Of all the times, Paul wrote to the churches. Read the book on Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, first and second Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James. Read all those books and you have all kinds of exhortation to righteousness and duty for a Christians which you never ever have Paul suggesting that they tithe.
He even has in Corinthians, he tells when you gather together on the first day of the week, he said, "Set aside and collect an offer." But he never tells them to tithe in collecting that offer. They have to give willingly from a willful heart. They didn't say how much.
One of the sins of tithing would be, it wouldn't be enough. In other words, if you are a Christian and you believe the world is lost and you want the gospel out. Would you just give 10 percent of your income to God and feel like you've served him?
I think you would want to arrange your lifestyle so that you can give much more to missions than 10%. When I was in the college, bible college, my first year, I went to one of the professors and I said should we tithe? Does the bible teach tithe? He said, "Well the book of Malachi said..." Yeah, I know from the book of Malachi but what about the New Testament.
He could not answer me well. So I went to another professor and finally I started going to some of the older students who were pastors already; 35‑40 years old coming back for some courses. And I went to this one particular pastor and a friend of mine. And kept bugging him for a week there and finally he got exasperated and he stopped in the hall and he said.
"Look, when you get out and you are a pastor of the church and your income depends on what they put in your offering plate. Then you'd understand why we teach tithing." There I was an 18‑19 year old young man, all idealistic and I find out that preachers are teaching tithing because they need the money. Whoa, that kind of was a big let down. That didn't establish my doctrine. I became a student after getting out of bible college.
I had time to study my bible then. It became very clear to me that I was either going to be a New Testament Christian, spirit filled, spirit led, motivated by the love of God or I was going to be legalistic, motivated by duty of laws God gave to the Jews back in the Old Testament. So I decided on the former that I would follow the Spirit of God, let him lead me and guide me and then I would teach the people that I taught, to let the spirit of God lead them in how they gave.
That way they likely to give a lot more than just 10% and missions would be served much better. But when you get a big old church worth five million or 15 million or 40 million dollars, you got big notes coming in and you got hundred people on the staff. Preachers will use any method they can to keep that money coming in.
I'm afraid that's a whole lot of what motivates the bible doctrine these days.
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