By Edwin Christiaan | December 7, 2021 | Institute of Love Ministries

The Church in general has no power and is utterly ineffective! Many Christians have identical lives to those of the world! The unconditional, humble, loving, and giving attitude of Jesus Christ is hardly being seen in the Church today.

Rather, what we do see is a Church being busy dominating and controlling people, guilt tripping them with false teachings, obligating them to pay tithes, and fleecing them out of their money. The Church is charging for everything; conferences, Bible schools, worship seminars, even food and coffee! Many churchgoers struggle both financially as well as with ongoing physical health issues while continuing to believe false prophecies that never come to pass.

Narcissistic leaders are praising and celebrating themselves with much boasting and fanfare, as they award themselves titles, prophetic mantles, presidential seals, and boast of being “generals” in the faith. But these church leaders are actually charlatans, who twist Scriptures in order to steal money from gullible people. Through the enforcing of “firstfruit” payments from the book of Proverbs 3:9 NKJV, where it says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;” they brazenly obligate people to give the first cut of their paycheck to the church even if they won’t have enough for their own family expenses and needs afterwards. This pressure literally destroys people’s finances and causes them to become a bad testimony to the world around them. In 1. Timothy 5:8 NKJV it says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Frankly put, the Church is making people poor, and they are not there to help when things go bad! How evil and sad this is!

The Bible warns us about these false teachers when it says,

“They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.”‭‭2. Peter‬ ‭2:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

THE GOSPEL THAT COSTS MONEY

One of the most frequently used arguments church leaders use to collect money is the statement that the “Gospel costs money.” They want all their expenses covered by the church members. This is also a total bunch of baloney! These false leaders tell you to live in faith, while they themselves bank on the tithes of people. They should be the very examples to people of trusting in God for whatever He gives them through freewill offerings. These leaders don’t follow the example of Jesus Christ, who taught His disciples for three years for FREE! Prior to sending them out on the mission field, Jesus told His disciples,

“Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Additionally, Jesus told His disciples,

“Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.” Matthew‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus was basically saying, “Go in faith! I will take care of you! Be an example to others by trusting that I will provide for you! Then they will also learn to trust in Me.”

The apostle Peter writes the following about how church leaders should conduct themselves:

“Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone God has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please God, and not simply because you think you must. Let it be something you want to do, instead of something you do merely to make money. Don’t be bossy to those people who are in your care, but set an example for them.”‭‭ 1. Peter‬ ‭5:2-3‬ ‭CEV‬‬

The Church is supposed to teach people how to live an effective and holy “faith-life” in Jesus Christ. Instead, church leaders build their own empires by doing business with God’s Word, and enriching themselves through it. Churches have very little real impact on their local communities, let alone on society in general.

THE FIRST CHURCH AS EXAMPLE

The Church ought to represent Jesus Christ like the First Church did in the Bible book of Acts. They were humble, devoted, and they shared everything they had with each other. No one had lack! And because of this Christlike attitude, they enjoyed the goodwill of the people around them, and many were getting saved on a daily basis. Everyone was amazed by the many genuine miracles and wonders they were seeing, performed by the apostles.

The Church must go back to the model of the First Church, where, led by true shepherds of God, the people lovingly served one another and gave to the poor and the needy!

“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2:44-47 NLT

“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” Acts 4:32-35 NLT

There were no “tithing law” teachings involved there! But these modern-day pastors, ministers, and televangelists all over the world falsely tell you that, according to the Bible, you are obligated to give at least 10% of your money income to their churches or ministries in order for God to bless you and to avoid any curses! How have these teachings become so normal and accepted?

Led by the Holy Spirit, the leaders of the First Church in the Book of Acts came to a consensus and agreement about what should be required of gentile believers from that point on.

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.”‭‭ Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭15:28-29‬ ‭NLT

‬‬As you can see here, NO TITHING LAW was imposed on the New Testament believers! This scripture alone should be enough to convince everyone that tithing was never enforced in the First Church and under the New Covenant. Yet, the modern-day pastors continue to pressure and guilt trip the people by making up all sorts of lies to get hold of their tithe money.

THE TITHING SCAM

Modern-day pastors and preachers use verses in the Old Testament that were only meant for the Jewish farmers, who, according to the Law of Moses, had to give 10% of their agricultural products from the land of Israel once a year to the Levite priests (see Leviticus 27:30). Oh, and by the way, tithing was never about giving actual money to begin with, even though those who were obligated to give tithes under the Law of Moses had money, and some lots of it! These church pastors use the passages in the Old Testament Bible book of Malachi, chapter three, where God admonishes the Israelites for failing to give their tithes of fruit and vegetables, so they can guilt trip and pressure people to give. If you don’t, they claim that you are robbing God and that you have come under a curse.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Malachi 3:8-11 NKJV

Misusing Matthew 23:23, they also tell you that “Jesus said” that you must tithe! In these verses, Jesus confronted and exposed the Pharisees who were living under the Old Covenant Law of Moses for their hypocrisy of how they would make a show of their faithful tithing practice, yet abuse people at the same time! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23-24 NKJV

These false pastors also justify tithing by telling you that Abraham tithed “before” the Law of Moses came, and therefore tithing is a principle or an act of faith that we must do in order to receive the promises of God.

But the Bible says in Genesis 14:18-24 that Abraham, in a one-time event, gave King Melchizedek of Salem ten percent of what he had captured in battle. In other words, Abraham gave a tithe of the spoil and not from his personal property! So, if this is the principle we should follow, then we should only give tithes whenever we capture spoils in battle of war!

TITHING WILL MAKE YOU RICH

On top of everything else, we also have to deal with the issue of the many prosperity preachers who teach you that if you give your tithes faithfully to their churches, God will eventually make you rich. They misuse the following scripture to prove their lie:

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭8:9‬ ‭NKJV

‬‬Ironically, it is the same apostle Paul who wrote the above Bible verse, who also says,

“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2. Corinthians‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So, the apostle Paul, who said he was poor, was NOT talking about Jesus dying for us to make us “financially” rich. He said that Jesus died for us so we can give spiritual riches to others.

Some of these pastors go so far as to have you sign documents stating how much you will be tithing when you become a member. People who don’t tithe cannot become members. Tithing is a requirement for membership and service in these churches. It is also common practice in many churches to be asked to pledge a donation if you don’t have any money on you. This way, you willingly obligate yourself to give an amount (that the Holy Spirit so-called tells you) at a later time when funds have come in. The promise of whatever blessing was spoken in that particular service will include you as long as you pledge while being “under” that “anointing,” and pay the pledge as promised. These pastors falsely teach you to depend on the law of tithing to be right with God and avoid being cursed by Him, but actually you are under God’s curse when you DO keep the law of tithing! The Bible says,

“Anyone who tries to please God by obeying the Law is under a curse.”‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭CEV‬‬

So, to teach that you must pay tithes is a dangerous and reckless thing to do. It is nothing but a calculated and convenient scam that often leads to financial ruin! Do not believe their lying testimonies of how they have so-called been blessed by tithing. They have been “blessed” by capitalizing on YOUR tithe money!

The apostle Paul warned those who teach such things,

“Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Gospel than the one we preached to you!” Galatians 1:8 NLT

When Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross, although incredibly amazing by itself, it actually meant even more benefits for believers than salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life. The Bible says the following about what Christ’s death means for the lives of every believer “after the cross”: “Christ gave His own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands.” Ephesians‬ ‭2:14b-15‬ ‭CEV

‬‬GIVING UNDER THE NEW COVENANT

The apostle Paul uses the same model of the First Church in the Book of Acts to teach the New Testament born-again believers how to give their money,

“Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” 2. Corinthians 8:11-14 NLT

And,

“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 2. Corinthians 9:7-9 NLT

CONCLUSION

I have been in full-time ministry for over 30 years, 16 of them on the road traveling with my wife, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in hundreds of churches and gatherings all over the world. We have ministered in almost every Christian denomination there is; Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Grace, Methodist, Evangelical, Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, Prophetic ministries, Lutheran, and the list goes on. I can count on my fingers how many churches did not impose the false doctrine of tithing on the people. Indeed, very few!

As a matter of fact, I have never entered a church that has a comprehensive and overall sound Biblical doctrine on giving, where both the Apostle Paul’s correct instructions on giving for New Covenant believers is taught unashamedly combined with a total abolishing of any imported practices under the Law of Moses. In those rare places where they don’t push tithing, it is usually done under a false understanding of the Gospel of Grace, and believers are not taught to give at all!

In other cases, tithing may not be pushed or advocated, but is still allowed if people want to.

Well, today, right now, I am making a plea: I want to find and connect with any sound doctrine Bible based Church, who does not teach this false doctrine of tithing, and who does not impose any other Old Testament Jewish law, practice, or tradition whatsoever on their members.

I would love to send you our latest book titled, “MOVE OF HUMILITY – Firing Up The True Church” completely free of charge!

My wife and I are looking to connect with such a church, especially in the New York City area. Please contact us if you are the pastor or a member of such a church. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Blessings in Jesus Christ!

With love,

Edwin & Sophia Christiaan

Personal cell: (917) 373-8007

Email: instituteoflove@yahoo.com