If your pastor is a “tithe-collector,” ask him if he happens to be a Levite.
Do you know Jewish rabbis, who are still under the Law of Moses, don’t collect tithes? So how come Christian pastors do? Pastors insist Christians are no longer under the law. Why then do we demand that church-members pay tithes? Is the payment of tithes not a requirement under the law?
Point out to your pastor that if he insists on the payment of tithes, he must also insist on the keeping of the rest of the law. If you pay tithes, you should also refrain from eating pork; stone adulterers; execute homosexuals; stone Sabbath violators; and sacrifice animals, among other things.
Pastors impose on their congregants the “eleventh commandment,” which says tithes must be paid to the place where you receive your spiritual blessings; meaning your church. But the bible says no such thing. The storehouse of Malachi was not a church. It was a place where food was kept.
Pastors also hide from church-members the fact that money was not acceptable as tithe. Malachi says: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” He does not say “that there may be money in my house.” Obviously it was food and not money that God was after. The tithe was a tenth of the seed and fruit of the land and of the animals which ate of the land. This was used to feed the Levites, the poor, the widows, the orphans and the strangers.
Moreover, the tithe was divided into three segments. The first year, it was given to the Levite (the priest). The second year it was given to widows, orphans and the poor. The third year, it was eaten in the company of the faithful before the Lord as thanksgiving for his faithfulness. In the seventh year, there was no tithing because there was no planting and therefore no reaping.
So the next time your pastor asks you to pay tithe, ask him about the seventh-year reprieve. Also ask him if you can give it to the orphanage, or bring it as food items to be eaten in church. See if he will agree with you.
Tithing was only applicable to Jews and to the land of Israel. Most Gentile lands, such as those where the overwhelming majority of Christian churches are currently located, were considered defiled by Jews and a tithe from them was considered unclean. So you might need to tell your pastor that tithing cannot be applicable to Nigeria.
Servants or slaves who worked on the land did not tithe because the land did not belong to them. Since only agricultural and animal resources were acceptable, a fisherman gave no tithe of his fisheries. Neither did a miner or a carpenter pay tithes, nor did anyone from the various professional occupations. So you might need to ask your pastor for exemption if you are not a farmer.
Moreover, the only people authorised to receive tithes were the Levites. So if your pastor is a “tithe-collector,” ask him if he happens to be a Jew. Remind him that, even though Jesus was a Jew, he could not receive the tithe because he was not from the tribe of Levi but from that of Judah.
The trick, of course, is for pastors today to claim we are “Levites.” If your pastor is one such dissembler, ask him how he knows he is from the tribe of Levi, which happens to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. Point out to him that even Jewish rabbis don’t claim to be Levites. Neither do they collect tithes today because all Jewish genealogical records were lost with the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, ensuring that it is no longer possible to ascertain the true identity of Levites. Therefore, if Jews no longer tithe because the Levites are a lost tribe, how can Christian pastors collect tithes when we are not even Jewish, how much more Levites?
Tithes were used for administering the priesthood office in the temple. But there is no temple today and all believers are now priests unto God. Indeed, the believer is now the temple of God. So what are the tithes now meant for? Today, they are used inappropriately for, among other things, putting up church monuments, financing lavish lifestyles, establishing banks and universities and for trading on the stock-market.
Finally, ask that pastor who grandstands as a Levite if he lives as one. Remind him that Levites had no lands and were not allowed to have private property.