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 https://www.fcpublishing.com
In studying tithing, one thing I know for sure is that definitions of biblical words matter a great deal in understanding the meaning of a scriptural text. In the New Testament, it is a common practice to insinuate that Paul taught tithing or to say he did not need to directly address the subject because it was a standard practice in the first century. The argument is, that’s why the New Testament is mostly silent, but does that pass the smell test of scriptural hermeneutics and exegesis? I blew this argument to smithereens by simply apply principles of context and looking up definitions to words Paul used in his giving instructions. There is no faithful monetary tithing happening in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. Imagine my shock when I discovered that Paul never taught tithing by simply looking up some words in Greek and Hebrew. Now I’m learning that people are now falling for this new doctrine called grace tithing. Anytime a mandatory percentage is involved in your giving it is still the law. Let’s make this clear, at the time of Paul, the temple still stood and the law required tithes of crops and cattle to be brought to the temple and Paul never tithed because he was not a cattle rancher or farmer. Get the facts.
When offering time rolls around on Sunday morning, verses from 2 Corinthians Chapters 8 and 9 and Malachi Chapter 3 are used out of context by pastors to argue for tithing. These Scriptures are strung together to make it appear that Paul taught believers to become faithful tithers. This disingenuous intellectual process takes place through repetitive groupthink, which involves not telling the whole truth about the authentic whole tithe until money tithing becomes truth by convention. Also, to ensure regular tithing is not abandoned, some pastors pronounce a curse on people to produce fear as a way to bolster the argument that 10 percent belongs to God.
Even though 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 do not support tithing, people have a way of connecting Paul’s giving references to tithing by cobbling together verses from the Old and New Testament to bolster the position that Christians need to tithe money. None of the Apostle’s letters give any real methods of continuous weekly giving to support a building called church.
The problem with modern day churches is that the Epistles never instruct believers how to support buildings that a pastor and his representatives sign off on to obtain a mortgage with a lending institution. Most Bible teachers create extra-biblical instructions along with taking Scripture out of context to amass financial support. The context of 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 deals with Paul’s giving appeal to help needy saints in Jerusalem who experienced a famine. How do we know this? The event Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 refers to events in Acts 11:27-30, “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples,as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul” (NIV). If you read this verse in the NKJV, it is clear that Paul did not command them to help but they gave voluntarily because Acts 11:29 says, “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea” (NKJV).
The important factor in Acts is the famine situation and the causes that put fellow believers in a tight spot that required help from Corinth. How could anyone interpret 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 to mean that Paul addressed tithing? In fact, the context is about an unidentified gift. Is the text referencing to money or food that Paul collected for the people who were suffering and who needed help? Be mindful that Paul uses specific words in his letters such as ministration, collections, and gift to describe benevolent giving, not tithing. When Agabus spoke of a famine in the world in Acts 11, he did not mean the entire earth. The word world in the text means the famine took place in certain parts of the Roman Empire. The Hebrew word for world is “oikoumene” (Strong’s #3625). If the entire world experienced a famine, the people in Antioch would have also been starving. The overall message Paul puts forth in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 is that he encouraged the Corinthians to follow through on their promise to help believers in need. The chapter’s context does not establish a pattern for tithing or weekly giving. Paul starts chapter 8 with an example to encourage the Corinthians. He shows them how the Macedonian believers asked if they could partake in helping other needy believers even though they were poor themselves. Notice that Paul never commanded them to do this, but made it clear to the Corinthians that the Macedonians gave of their free will because they committed themselves to the Lord first. They gave not based on Paul’s command for a tithe, but by the will of God. Read 2 Corinthians 8:6-8, and make sure you are clear about Paul’s message. He exhorted them to give and never used guilt methods or glowing financial overflow testimonies or promises to bait them into action.
The subject of 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 is interesting because the language ought to turn on the inquiring mind. The text says:
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints (NKJV).
There is a lot a person can gain from these verses, however, the important question is: What did these poor Macedonian believers give? Paul identifies what they offered as a GIFT, but says nothing about what items made up the GIFT. To determine what the gift was, we have to find out what gift means in Greek. “The English word gift is translated from the Greek word “charis.” “Charis” means charm, beauty, loveliness, favor, and preciousness: it does not mean grace as unmerited favor, kindness, or mercy. The actual word grace in the Greek is “eleso” and in Hebrew is “chesed”; it means unmerited favor, grace, kindness, pity and mercy.”82 So, the GIFT Paul speaks of in verse 4 might read like this, “That we should receive charm, beauty, favor, preciousness, underserved favor, mercy, kindness and the fellowship of the ministering in service to the saints.” What the Macedonians ministered in service to the needy saints in the age of “charis” (grace) is not called a tithe but giving grace. The payment of the mandatory tithe belongs to a different age. In this age of God’s under-served favor, charm, beauty, preciousness, mercy, and kindness through the Messiah, there is no longer tithing but grace giving. So even if the gift the Macedonians gave was money (which probably wasn’t much) or something else is immaterial because it seems the deep poverty they experienced would lead me to believe they had little to give. However, the most important point from verse 3 is that they were freely willing to give. Now if you check this word out in the Greek, it is “authairetos.” Vine’s dictionary says, authairetos is from autos, self and haireomai. It means to choose, self-chosen, voluntary, of ones own accord as in 2 Corinthians 8:3 and 17 in the churches of Macedonia when referencing their gift for the poor saints and Titus’s willingness to travel ahead and exhort the church in Corinth concerning this [giving] matter.”83 Paul used an example of the Macedonian poor giving to the poor to spur on the Corinthians to finish the work they started. The Macedonians gave a voluntary gift and Paul never forced them to do it.