KLEPTOMANIAC, Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway is a trek through the pages of the Bible to find the untwisted truth about the centuries-old false teachings on tithes and offerings. Every page of this book has information that will make you become an analyst in getting to the bottom line of what tithing is in the Old and New Testament. It takes you on a journey to first define the word tithe and then breaks down the differences between giving and tithing as the Bible instructs. The author attempts to expose what most people believe as fact to bring them to what the Bible actually teaches when it comes to true giving. Are the arguments put forth today about tithing fact or fiction? This book tackles tough questions like, did God ever require a tithe of money? Was the contents of the tithe always money in the Bible? Who is really robbing God today? Did God change the tithe at some point in biblical history? Are first fruits money? Is the tithe food, money or both? Is the church the storehouse? Did Jesus, Paul and the Disciples tithe? Did the early church honor a money tithe system? Are Christians really cursed for not tithing ten percent of their income? These questions will be answered based on scholarship, the land, the language and the literature of the original Biblical people. Not only will questions be answered for those confused about whether or not they are required to pay ten percent of their income to religious institutions, they will learn what the Bible really teaches about money and stewardship. The author meticulously examines the word tithe in both the Hebrew and Greek language. To understand every Bible verse that contains the word tithe, the author gives context and definitive definitions for clarity of the text. This book also explains the concept of giving from a New Testament perspective without the mandate of ten percent and explains why the Apostle Paul never mentioned tithing to any of the New Testament congregations. From Genesis to Revelation, this book is about how to properly interpret biblical terms to arrive at the proper interpretation of a biblical text that refers to money or tithing.
Targeted Age Group:: All Audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The story behind Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway is a 30-year unfolding tale of suspicion, intrigue and questions. My quest for truth started innocently when I first became a believer in the Messiah. One of the doctrines I first became indoctrinated to was the practice of paying ten percent of my income to the coffers of the institutional church as a command from God. As the years passed by I began to question this overtaxing financial obligation. Although it was tough to pay this kind of money years after year, I dutifully kept my obligation to pay God ten percent no matter the circumstances. Even in the face of not being able to pay my bills and struggling to feed my family, I paid God what He required to His representative on earth—the Church. I did this in hopes of receiving a financial blessing from God for my commitment. The scriptures pastors relied on for monetary tithing resides Malachi 3:8-10. As the years passed, I began to notice the windfall financial blessing I hoped to receive from God never materialized. The abundance that was to overtake me financially somehow escaped my grasp. After 30 years of paying ten percent of my income as a so-called tithe to God, my questions about the practice grew as my financial struggles mounted. About several years ago, I started investigating the doctrine of tithing on a deeper theological and scholastic level out of a need to try to find some financial relief.
Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway began with a probing question. What is tithing? By this time, I was a member of a church group that taught heavily on tithing and even suggested that all tithes must be paid on gross income before taxes to receive God’s blessings. And before you ask whether I succumbed to the pressure to of paying tithes on gross income, the answer is yes. And this went on for several years, which almost lead to bankruptcy. The book came into fruition as a result of a conversation with my x-pastor about the belief system of Jewish people have about the Bible. At that point, the subject of tithing came into the conversation, which prompted me to inquire of Jewish experts and Rabbis about what the Bible actually teaches about tithing monetary income. My first shocking discovery about monetary tithing came from a Jewish Rabbi’s point paper on giving to God. As I read through the document I wept tears of joy, but when reality set in, I became angry. What I thought was tithing for 30 years turned out to be not so accurate. As it turned out, tithing is in the Bible, but tithing money was not in the Bible. As I got over the initial shock, I thought I perhaps needed to do more research to verify my initial discovery. And so I went on a research journey and read my first two books on tithing. The information contained in those books blew up my so-called theology on tithing like an IED and created immediate cognitive dissonance in my tithing belief system.
Now, I was faced with a theological decision about what I would do about my newfound information. My first action was to write my church leadership about my decision to resign from monetary tithing and to take sabbatical leave to go on a yearlong study of the subject and come back with an empirical analysis on what tithing is in the Bible. Needless to say, my decision did not go well and the struggle for truth began. Even as I stepped down or was removed from leadership depending on who you talk to, fellowship with this church became more difficult because leadership felt I became a financial threat to the bottom line if the congregation discovered what I had learned about tithing. In the end, I was indirectly excommunicated from that church. After leaving that institution, I began studying tithing and compiled 117-page power point study and sent my finding to the church. Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway started as a power point study and expanded into a 400 page theological manifesto based on empirical, academic, scholastic research that went from the church in America to the land of Israel. In that journey, I discovered that tithing monetary income is not contained on the pages of the Holy Bible, nor was it ever uttered from the mouth of God that a tithe is ten percent of a person’s income. Writing this book about tithing monetary income and giving gave me biblical insight into the scriptures that changed my life forever. The academic study of tithing is a journey where not many Bible readers go to understand their Bible.
Once that project was complete, I decided to turn all my tithing research into a full-fledged theological book on tithing. That’s pretty much how the book became a reality. Basically, it all started over a disagreement on scriptural interpretation about tithing. In fact, I almost did not write the book because of fear of how people would respond to me. In the end, I followed my heart and published Kleptomaniac: Who's Really Robbing God Anyway?
There are many authors who prove with scriptural evidence that money was not tithed in Israel. The intricacies of the agricultural tithe economy in Israel cannot be simplistically explained but must be defined and understood in context. It helps to seek knowledgeable economic experts in biblical and Hebrew history when looking for answers. One author contends that the tithe was a vital factor of Israel’s economy without money ever being removed from their economy. Most of all, if the tithes were money; the majority would have been concentrated in the hands of the tribe of Levi, which would have created a rich aristocratic priesthood. With all the money resting in the hand of the Levites, much less money would be available for the remainder of the population of Israel. If there is not enough money in circulation because it resides mostly with the Levite population, it could have created a recession and perhaps an economic depression in Israel. The scenario would be rich Levites with all the money and that result would have devastated the temple system in Israel and the economy God set up for them. Israel’s economy would have collapsed because the tribe of Levi would own 90 percent of the wealth while leaving the rest of the population to fight over the remaining 10 percent. Money tithing would have turned the Levites into rich bankers providing credit to the other tribes to buy food for the festivals while flooding the economy with their money. Imagine the 11 tribes borrowing money from the Levites to buy certain food items to pay the tithes according to the law. It would have resulted in higher prices, less product (food items) and economic turmoil. We must understand that the tithe in Israel was also a tool to curtail heavy taxation. Tithing in Israel operated like a welfare system to aid the poor so they could meet their basic needs. Today the government taxes us to fulfill that purpose.
The bottom line about tithing is that no pastor or bible teacher should play scriptural shell games with money because doing so means people will suffer and be unable to take care of their basic needs. God warned Israel that asking for a king like other nations would disrupt the tithing and the temple systems. It would also affect the Levites as the king would require 10 percent of their agricultural products and animals. If you find this believable, read Chapter 8 of 1st Samuel.
When Saul became king, it didn’t turn out so good for Israel; the tithe system was changed irrevocably along with the manner in which Israel dealt with kings. That is why we must examine Israel’s tithe practices in the next chapter. Reviewing these Scriptures proves money played a substantial role in Israel. So when people argue against the agricultural tithe, it is simply not based on fact. Israel used money to support the temple and it was totally separate from the tithe. If the church wants money to support building upkeep, the Old Testament could provide justification. An example of an annual temple tax is the day of atonement half-shekel that was paid by every male over twenty years old for service of the tabernacle in Exodus 30:12-16. Today, however, churches would have a hard time trying to implement this process because believers no longer need to pay atonement money, as Yeshua (Jesus) paid it all on the cross for us by sacrificing his life.
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