KLEPTOMANIAC is a journey into the annuals of biblical history concerning what the Bible teaches about tithing and giving. This book will take you on the proverbial archeological quest to uncover the true meaning of biblical words that deal with money. When confusion exists about what certain words mean in the Bible, such as tithe, tithing, tenth or ten percent, this book will examine the Hebrew and Greek language to bring to life what these words actually mean in context. This book will upend the common beliefs held by believers concerning giving and tithing based on the history of the original people of the Bible and how they related to money. From the very beginning to the end of the book, everything is supported by Scripture and research. You will know from the onset why the author, Dr. Frank Chase Jr., wrote the book and learn about his personal story of what happened as a result of embracing New Covenant giving principles from the New Testament. No book asks questions like this book. And some of those questions are: does the Bible talk about tithing? Did God change the tithe at some point in biblical history? Are first fruits money? Is the tithe food or money? 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?
Frank Chase, Jr. was born in 1959. He is the son of Frank Chase and Romaine Berry. He grew up in Baltimore Md. and graduated from Walbrook High School in 1978. After high school, Frank spent four years in the United States Army and during that time became a follower of the Messiah. After completing his tour of duty, he attended Washington State University (WSU) and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Because Frank believes in education, he pursued religious degrees and graduated from North Carolina College of Theology with a Bachelor of Biblical Studies, a Master of Arts in Theology, and a Doctor of Theology. You can follow is blog at http://tithenomore.com and the ebook is available on now on Book Baby and the paperback June 1st at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/kleptomaniac. For signed copies go to the Author's website at http://www.fcpublishing.com/about_kleptomaniac
In the information age, there is no reason for anyone to remain ignorant. If the truth is what one seeks, all they have to do is research. The first questions I asked is how did the edible tithe from the seed of the land; the fruit of the tree along with the herds and flocks suddenly become a tithe from cash. When I started my research, it didn’t take long to discover that I had been fooled about tithing. It is nonsense to believe in a doctrine when the truth smacks you in the face. The further I dug into the past on tithing, I discovered the perpetrators who began the push the convert God’s tithe into man’s tithe to amass cash. Constantine and Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire in an effort to build cathedrals for God needed money, so they instituted decrees to force their subjects to pay tithes as money knowing they did not have the scriptural authority to do so. The process started out as accepting livestock and crops and later became cash. If early church leaders admitted they reinterpreted the Malachi text to justify the commutation of the God’s tithe to cash, then it stands to reason that what we call tithing today is nothing but a temple tax.
Historical evidence proves tithing money did not exist in congregations as a practice among first century New Testament believers. This fact cannot be ignored because no verse in the entire Bible argues for a tithe of money. In Greek, church is defined as a group of people called Ekklesia, which means called out ones or congregation. Ernest L. Martin refutes tithing and writes:
Hastings’s Dictionary of The Apostolic Church states: It is admitted universally that the payment of tithes or tenths of possessions, for sacred purposes did not find a place within the Christian church during the age covered by the Apostles and their immediate successors. He further states that the Encyclopedia Britannica records, The Christian church depended at first on voluntary gifts from its members. Moreover, the Americana says, [tithing] was not practiced in the early Christian church. Even in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, published by a denomination that later called on its members to pay tithes states, the early church had no tithing system…it was not that no need of supporting the Church existed or was recognized, but rather that other means [of support other than tithing] appeared to suffice.64
When you research the history of first century believers and how they conducted financial matters, it is apparent they knew it was illegal for them to commute the livestock and crop tithe to money tithing. It appears that institutional religion rejected other means of support and co-opted the Old Testament tithe by redefining into a money collection to feed the institutional church juggernaut. For them to teach money tithing and claim that the Levite tithe inheritance somehow passed on to the New Testament church or preacher is kleptomania. They knew they were not Levites and that the tithe belonged to the tribe of Levi, which God ordained as their inheritance.
The Bible has a clear warning to those who call themselves pastors. Jeremiah 50:6 states, “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds [pastors] have led them astray, [in tithing] turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold” (ESV).
You have probably heard many tithing testimonies but have not given serious thought about the accuracy of those testimonies. In a religious environment, it is assumed that everything a pastor or teacher says is true because they are believed to be credible authority figures. What follows is a series of pro-tithing statements from leaders in the church. Based on exegesis, hermeneutics, the land, the language and the literature of the Hebrew people, these tithing arguments are spurious.
False Pro-Tithe Arguments
1. Israel’s farm produce was their income and they tithed on it. Money is what I produce by my labors. Therefore I should tithe my money.
This statement seems biblical and plausible; however, it is not true. When you work for money, you are selling your labor to man for a price. Therefore, you can’t produce money from your labors but you can earn money from your labor. Israel tithed from God’s labor. The Israelite farmer’s crops and animals were their farm assets not income. The farmer’s income came from the sale or barter exchange of those assets. What a farmer received from the barter exchange or sale would be the farmer’s income. The income was NOT what God wanted tithed but rather the assets (crops and livestock), which came from God’s hands as miracles. Here is an example: Fruit is not a payment or compensation. Fruit is classified as an asset because it is property, a product. The sale or exchange of the fruit would create income. There are no Scriptures showing Israel selling crops and cattle and taking the money from the sale and giving a tenth to the temple or to the Levites as a tithe. If you study every money verse in the Bible, it was never a titheable item. For example, Joseph gave Benjamin 300 pieces of silver (Genesis 45:22). According to Genesis 47:15-17, food was used for barter only after money had run out. Banking and usury laws exist in Leviticus even before tithing. Therefore, the argument that money was not prevalent enough for everyday use is false. Yet the tithe contents from Leviticus to Luke never includes money from non-food products and trades. The only mandatory tithe in the Old Testament is eatable items (crops and livestock).
2. Tithing is a mandatory biblical practice taught in both Old & New Testament.
According to Scripture, tithing was mandatory only for those who owned land and grew crops and raised livestock in the Old Testament inside Israel. There are no implied or direct mandatory commands to tithe money from the Apostles in any of the Epistles. To assert that tithing money is mandatory in the New Testament is an argument from silence in the Scriptures. Tithing is mandatory in the Old Testament under the law and not mandatory under the New Testament because it was not passed down. The New Testament encourages giving from the heart as outlined by Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:7. If Paul wanted to drive home a tithing argument, his style of direct and to the point writing would have been clear because the text would possibly read: “So let each one give a tithe as God commanded.” When Paul says give what you decide in your heart, he is emphasizing freewill grace giving not percentage based giving.
In his book, Unmasking Traditional Untruths About Tithing, Byron J. Shorter, exegetically argues that “Paul pushes free-will giving by writing the words ‘he purposes’ from the KJV, which the Greek translates as ‘proiareo.’ It means to choose before, or to resolve before, that is in one’s heart. The giver chooses the amount to give. When Paul says that giving should not be in a grudging manner, he literally means giving should not be done out of grief. The Greek word for grief is ‘lupe’ which means, ‘a state of unhappiness marked by regret as a result of what has been done.’ If regret or grief is experienced after giving then it was never given from the heart but as a result of pressure or a law. When the KJV uses the words ‘nor of necessity,’ the word is translated in the Greek as ‘anagke,’ which means ‘an obligation or a compelling nature, complete obligation, or necessary obligation.’ Therefore, giving should not have a hint of compelling or necessary obligation and tithing is a compelling obligation based on the law. Finally, Paul says God loves a cheerful giver. So the believer can only give from a cheerful heart, which is the Greek word ‘hilaros.’ It is also where we get the word hilarious. Hilaros means happy, glad or cheerful state of mind. No one can happily and authentically give 10 percent of their income under the guise of obligation, compulsion and fear that is required by law with curses attached if it is not done.