Who’s Teaching Salvation By Tithing?

What Do Common Tithe Teachings Imply?

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Deception Starts Subtly

In the previous chapter, I shared how I became convinced that common tithe teachings undermine the very foundations of the gospel and how Christians relate to God.

Of course, almost everybody who teaches tithing would deny that they are teaching salvation by tithing. The more recent trend is claiming to teach “tithing by grace.” Realizing some of the inherent problems with the more traditional tithing message, more people are saying they teach tithing without the curse.

The logical conclusion of many popular tithe teachings is salvation by tithing. Even some of the most popular teachers today who claim to teach “tithing by grace” are continuing to teach salvation by tithing. I can already see some people’s eyes rolling, thinking I’m blowing this thing way out of proportion! We are going to come face to face with serious issues that cannot be ignored. As shocking as it seems, this is an area of widespread deception in the body of Christ with mainstream acceptance of even blatant statements of salvation by tithing.

Satan is a serpent, and deception starts subtly. He brings in a lie and tries to package it as truth. Few people would just go from believing “By grace you have been saved, through faith” to “Your tithe gets you into heaven.” It takes a number of steps to get there.


2 Corinthians 11:2-4 (NRSV) “I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough.”


Satan is quite happy if we give lip service to a truth while living and thinking according to a lie. It’s called being double minded. Even if most Christians would deny that tithing gets them into heaven, how many are fundamentally relating to God on the basis of their tithe, or their works, instead of on the basis of Christ’s work? I would have never have said I believed in salvation by tithing, but I was ashamed to approach God without my tithe!

Here’s one example of how deceptions starts subtly: you have probably heard this widespread teaching, but may not have stopped to carefully consider the implications of what you were hearing. Maybe you will listen to those messages again with new ears.

Many who teach tithing say the bread and wine were communion elements, Jesus’s body and blood, and then go on to say or imply that the tithe is the covenant, even what qualifies you to eat of Jesus’s flesh and drink his blood, thus receiving his life. On a widespread scale, people who have accepted this teaching are trying to relate to God as if the tithe was their “covenant connection” to him.

One of the teachers who has done the most to promote tithing among Charismatics teaches this. The pastors of the church I attended loved him. They would categorically deny teaching salvation by tithing, but they acted like I was out of covenant with God when I stopped tithing. They also decided I could no longer be in covenant with them! This is cognitive dissonance.

Lest anyone say “Don’t dismiss the principle because of abuse,” many teachers say they teach tithing by grace, yet their teaching on the matter still pushes people towards relating to God on the basis of their tithe. No matter how much you try to dress up tithing as “grace,” it still misrepresents how God relates to us. I fully agree with Matthew Narramore:


“The doctrine of tithing cannot be held by people without affecting their whole understanding of life in Christ. It colors their view of every individual subject, such as righteousness, grace, salvation, and blessing. It distorts the message of the finished work of Christ. It neutralizes the power of the New Covenant. It detracts from the glory of being a son of God in Christ, seated with him at the Father’s right hand, and reigning in life. It diminishes God’s goodness, it is a hindrance to his working, and it is inferior to the relationship that he expects to have with his sons”.[1]


What Does Salvation Encompass?

Without going into a big study here, it’s enough to say that I hold the “full gospel” position on salvation. That is to say, a scriptural understanding of salvation includes so much more than a ticket to heaven. It includes wholeness, healing, peace, provision, deliverance, and most of all, full access to approach God the Father and experience continual communion with him by grace. That communion with God produces the fruit of holiness.

Many Charismatic preachers have been inconsistent in their definition of salvation. They preach the “full package” of what salvation includes, and I agree. They categorically deny that they are preaching salvation by tithing. But then they say you obtain blessing, provision, and wholeness through your tithe, because they have suddenly switched their definition of salvation from “full gospel” to “a ticket into heaven.” They teach that you get your ticket into heaven by grace alone, but you only get the “full package” of salvation by your tithe.

When Benny Hinn called giving $1,000 to get a breakthrough “selling the gospel,” he recognized what should be obvious to anybody who holds a full-gospel position. If you believe God’s blessing is part and parcel of salvation, then it logically follows that trying to obtain God’s blessing with money is trying to obtain salvation with money.


Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSV)For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.”


Many of us know this as a foundational verse about salvation, and would agree that anybody who teaches otherwise is teaching a false gospel. However, we sometimes miss the fact that “salvation” here is more than a ticket to heaven upon death. The word “salvation” in Ephesians 2:8 is “sozo” in Greek. The meaning of “sozo” is practical, and the gospels often translate it “healed” or “made whole.”

Scripture does apply “sozo” to being born-again, but the Bible also often uses it in the context of physical healing or in other ways. Everyone who touched Jesus was made whole (sozo).[2] God saved (sozo) Paul from a shipwreck.[3] The scriptural uses and contexts for this word are foundational for those of us who believe the “full gospel” message.

Scripture speaks of salvation as past, present, and future. Being born again and forgiven is salvation in the past. Jesus dealt with sin once and for all by the sacrifice of himself. God’s present deliverance and the practical application of his grace in our lives is salvation present. If you need to be delivered or healed now, the scriptural promises of salvation apply. Receiving our resurrected, glorified body is salvation future.

According to scripture, the righteous are already surrounded with God’s favor,[4] and those in Christ are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places![5] Scripture is clear that we must continue in God’s grace the same way that we first received it. If it’s not the way you first received God’s grace, it’s not how you continue in God’s grace!


Galatians 3:1-5  “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again, I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?”


Colossians 2:6-9 (NKJV) “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”


Some will respond to me “You’re just overreacting to abuse, but that doesn’t negate the principle. We don’t preach the curse. We preach God’s grace. There is no condemnation for not tithing. Failing to tithe won’t bring a curse on you. But all the blessings for tithing certainly apply!”

If you didn’t first receive Christ by tithing, then don’t try to “get your miracle” or “get your blessing” now with a tithe. If you didn’t initially get God’s blessing by tithing, neither do you continue in God’s blessing now by tithing. Galatians 3:5 includes financial miracles—we receive them by believing God’s word, not by the works of the law.

Larry Burkett wrote that the tithe isn’t law, because there is no punishment for not tithing. Yet he said God will withhold his blessing if you don’t tithe![6] Isn’t that a punishment?

Trying to obtain the blessing by your tithe is the same error as trying to avoid the curse by your tithe. It is beginning by the Spirit and trying to finish in the flesh. Notice that Colossians talks about those who would cheat us according to the “tradition of men” and the “basic principles of this world” so that we would fail to live “according to Christ.” The modern tithe is a “tradition of men” which differs vastly in both practice and principle from even the tithe under the Mosaic law. And if you are relying on the tithe as a “basic principle” by which to obtain blessing, you are not living “according to Christ.”


1 Corinthians 1:19-20  (NKJV) “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”


If the promise is “yes” for you in Christ, it is not according to your tithe. Romans 11:6 says that if it is according to grace, it cannot be by works or grace would no longer be grace. Consider Romans 8:32 : “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” How then can it be that we need to give a tithe to receive God’s promises? Don’t be taken captive by the traditions of men and the basic principles of this world!

Many teachers rightly say that getting into heaven is “by grace, through faith, and not of works.” Yet they go on to teach that we get God’s present blessing, healing, provision, or deliverance by works. When you understand that a biblical view of salvation includes healing and deliverance, and every other promise of God in Christ, it follows that such a preacher is teaching salvation by tithing. He may say that you will get into heaven someday by God’s grace, but he is teaching people to relate to God practically and presently through their own self-righteous works.

Salvation is by grace through faith, and not of works, from the beginning to the end. God’s grace transforms us, manifests God’s nature through us, and empowers us. It brings us healing, deliverance, provision, and blessing. We continue to receive God’s grace in the way we first received it.  If you didn’t first receive God’s grace by tithing, you don’t continue to receive it by tithing. If you didn’t get saved by tithing, you don’t continue in your salvation by tithing either.

Some preachers have suggested that giving money in the offering can release a person’s healing or get them closer to it. Yet the Bible teaches healing as part and parcel of salvation, just as the forgiveness of sins is. Jesus paid for it with his blood.

The Catholic Church used to sell “indulgences.” People gave money to the church for their sins to be forgiven. When we understand that healing is just as much a part of salvation as forgiveness is, we should understand that suggesting anyone can obtain healing by giving money is equal to selling indulgences.

The tithe doctrine has paved the way for other errors. In one of the ministries that has had the greatest impact on my life, a conference speaker said “I’m not saying you can buy your healing but…” He went on to suggest that “sowing a seed” could help you receive your healing. Those who believe the full gospel must recognize this as no different than saying “I’m not saying you can buy your forgiveness but sowing a seed can help you to receive it.” Yeah right!

I wished I could speak with the leaders of this ministry and say “You have imparted so much to my life that I can never thank you enough. I appreciate you, but you are in bed with serious error. How can you allow a speaker to say such a thing without rebuking them in the fear of the Lord? How can you invite a speaker back who teaches such a thing?”

Let’s go on to examine the implications of some of the most common teachings about tithing. We’ll see how they logically lead to salvation by tithing, thus practically undermining the way people relate to God. We’ll then see how these steps have led to more blatant teaching of salvation by tithing.


Righteousness, Blessing, Salvation

Righteousness is being made right with God. Jesus is our righteousness, and scripture says this is a righteousness we receive by faith, apart from the law. Any righteousness apart from Christ is as good as filthy rags.[7] These teachings are foundational throughout the New Testament.


1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NRSV)He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”

Titus 3:5 (NRSV) “He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”


Here’s the important thing: righteousness and blessing are inseparable. You can’t be righteous and cursed. If you are righteous, you have God’s blessing. Since Jesus is our righteousness, we obtain God’s blessing through what Jesus has done, and not through any works of our own.


Psalm 5:12 (NRSV) “For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.”


Proverbs 10:6 (NRSV) “Blessings are on the head of the righteous.”


Psalm 112:6 (NRSV)For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.”


All God’s promises are yes in Christ. If you’re in Christ, the promises of God are yes for you. You can’t be in Christ and cursed. If you are in Christ, you are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.[8]


Is the Blessing or Curse Hinged on Your Tithe?

I grew up hearing, based on Malachi 3:8-10, that I would be abundantly blessed if I tithed and gave offerings, but I would be cursed if I didn’t. There are multiple layers of problems with using Malachi to teach a tithe for Christians today, and we will deal with them in another chapter. For now, let’s consider the implications of teaching that a blessing or curse hinges on your tithe.

We’ve seen from scripture that righteousness and the blessing go together. Therefore, if we try to attain the blessing or avoid the curse by tithing, we are trying to be justified by tithing. We may say we believe we’re justified through Jesus’s work alone, but the way we are practically relating to God is now through our tithe.

The gospel says we are delivered from the curse and receive the blessing because of what Jesus did. And again, trying to obtain the blessing by your tithe is the same error as trying to avoid a curse by your tithe. Don’t be deceived into trying to attain through works that which Jesus has already attained for you. Galatians is crystal clear that this issue of the blessing or the curse boils down to justification. The blessing or curse could only be hinged on your tithe if you were justified by tithing. But you aren’t! Don’t let anybody subject you to a curse that Jesus has redeemed you from.


Galatians 3:10-14 (NRSV)For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’ But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, ‘Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’—  in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”


I’ve often heard it taught that we receive the blessing of Abraham by tithing. That’s essentially the same error as it would be to teach that the blessing of Abraham came through circumcision. It came through faith, apart from tithes or circumcision.

Vitor Azevedo, the Brazilian pastor we mentioned earlier, shared the story of a woman who thought she got cancer because she didn’t pay her tithe. Sadly, there are now millions of Christians who think like her due to Malachi-based tithe teaching.


Open Heavens

The other way the misapplication of Malachi’s words undermines foundational gospel truth is that Christians are told their tithes open the heavens over them. Many have taught this without realizing or fully considering the scriptural implications of their teaching. Whether the teaching that tithing opens the heavens is shared knowingly or in ignorance, it still undermines the fundamental way that many Christians relate to God. What is an open heaven, according to scripture?

The book of Hebrews describes the Jewish temple and sacrificial system and then explains how all of these things were patterns of the “true realities” in the New Covenant. It teaches that the true Most Holy Place, which Jesus entered on our behalf, is heaven itself.


Hebrews 9:24  “For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.”


The next chapter continues:


Hebrews 10:19-22  “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.”


When it says we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place, Hebrews isn’t speaking of the Jewish temple but of the same Most Holy Place that Jesus entered—heaven itself! When we approach God’s “throne of grace,” we enter heaven! Scripture is absolutely clear here that our open heaven is the torn body of Jesus! A scriptural understanding of an open heaven shows it corresponds to salvation and access to God’s presence by grace.

Therefore, to teach we can attain to an open heaven through tithing is to teach salvation through tithing. To say that tithing opens the heavens is to put the tithe in the place of Jesus’s sacrifice and what it accomplished. Don’t try to attain by tithing that which Jesus attained for you by dying. His torn body is the open door to heaven now; full access to God and to every blessing that is part and parcel of salvation.

Jesus said that God makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.[9] He said that God is kind to even the ungrateful and the wicked.[10]

It’s absurd to teach that God would curse (or “withhold blessing” from) a righteous person for not tithing when he blesses even the unrighteous out of his magnanimous heart! Keep continuing in your salvation in the way you first received it! Good works are the fruit of having received God’s life, and not a means of attaining it.


How Is Malachi-Based Tithe Teaching Leading Christians to Relate to God?

Most pastors will deny they are teaching salvation by tithing. Yet if your teaching leads people to relate to God presently on the basis of their tithe, you actually are teaching salvation by tithing and contradicting the message that leads to the manifestation of God’s glory in and through the church.

As I shared in my story, I thought I went to one of the least legalistic and most grace-based churches I knew, but when I got into a pressing situation I realized that I didn’t feel like I could approach God in the same way since I wasn’t paying my tithe. I knew many other Christians would feel the same. That was when I started to question what I was basing my relationship with God on.

Others, even from “grace-based” churches, have suddenly found they felt a tremendous amount of confusion, guilt, and condemnation over this issue when they were in a pressing situation. One person from a “grace-preaching” church had disagreed with me so strongly about the tithe just two years earlier. She broke down crying because she was in a pressing financial situation and felt so much guilt and condemnation about struggling to pay her tithe. Even though she was tithing, it was such a burden every time that she couldn’t do it with joy and then felt condemned because she was trying so hard to give it joyfully and felt she couldn’t so she was a bad Christian.

I could relate to her. When I was tithing, I had been taught that giving only started beyond my tithe. So, I always felt like I wasn’t giving enough. After all, Malachi said “You’ve robbed me in tithes and offerings.” I hadn’t considered that the tithes Malachi talked about were food and the “offerings” Malachi referred to included animal sacrifices. I was always wondering at what point my offerings were enough. Have you ever been there? You always try harder and it’s never enough. This is not the gospel I first received!

In his video “Tithing will kill you,”[11] Pastor Bertie Brits also shares his testimony of how tithing totally changed the way he related to God and to other people. He began to judge other people’s relationship with God by their financial situation. Instead of the compassion he previously showed for the poor, he wondered what they were doing wrong.

He was soon “sowing” so much on top of his tithe that his girlfriend was stealing from the restaurant she worked at so as to give him plates of food! He lost his joy and no longer saw God as a caring Father. When none of his tithes or sowing and reaping worked as he’d been promised it would, he kept wondering what he was doing wrong, redoubling his efforts, increasing his sowing, trying to be more joyful about it, trying to root out any unbelief that must be underlying, and feeling all the more insufficient.

I can testify that he’s right on. The tithe teaching changed how I related to God exactly as he describes, and I’ve seen it in the lives of many other people. I can relate to Bertie as to how zealous I was for the things of God. It’s often the most zealous people who take the teaching the most seriously who get burnt out on it and then, hopefully, realize the fundamental errors of the teaching. As Bertie describes, even if you are tithing, the accompanying teaching puts you in a place where whatever you do is never enough. The teaching says you are not even giving until it goes beyond the tithe, so unless you give significantly beyond the tithe you are “sowing sparingly.” So, if you are “reaping sparingly” you must also be robbing God in offerings.

There are two sides to this coin. I was a young man who had spent a lot of money on mission trips and was in the position of being the main provider for my family for a time after I just started working. For many people who are in a tough position like that, the tithe teaching bears the fruit of guilt and condemnation. For many others, the fruit is religious pride and self-righteousness.

I was recently listening to Reverend Mike Kola Ewuosho sharing his view on the tithe.[12] Although he insisted that the tithe isn’t what makes us accepted by God, he said, “The tithe is gospel.” He also teaches that the tithe is the fruit of faith, and we are justified by faith. These are typical statements of many who teach tithing, and I’ve heard them many times. Now if the tithe is gospel, the logical implication is that those who don’t tithe haven’t accepted the gospel. If the tithe is of faith, the implication is that those who don’t tithe don’t have faith. (Although Jesus referred to the tithe not only as law but as one of the lesser matters of the law,[13] and scripture says “The law is not of faith.”[14]) According to scripture, faith is what makes us acceptable to God.

For many people such as myself and my friend from a “grace-preaching” church who broke down crying, a blessing came with the financial difficulty. Being forced into such a hard position made us realize how guilty we felt without our tithe, and thus we examined the foundation of our faith in Christ. We would have never thought that we were relating to God on the basis of our tithe until we tried approaching him without a tithe.


The Implications of Tithing as a Requirement for Church Membership

A church may categorically deny teaching salvation by tithing, but if their acceptance or non-acceptance of people into fellowship (or even good standing for leadership) hinges on a tithe, consider what this implies. Remember that a scriptural understanding of salvation includes full access to approach Father God without shame.

We are ambassadors of Christ and the body of Christ on the earth. If the church’s acceptance of someone into fellowship depends on the tithe, the church is essentially telling people that being accepted by Christ depends on the tithe. If the church’s approval depends on a tithe, the implication is that God’s approval depends on a tithe. If the church’s qualification for ministry depends on a tithe, the implication is that Christ’s qualification for us to obey his call depends on our tithe. And thus, in all practicality, this teaches people to attempt to approach God based on their works rather than on Christ’s work. Who are we to reject someone whom Christ has received?

Although it’s hard to be sure how many churches are doing this, some are telling their people not to take communion if they haven’t paid their tithes. This clearly implies that our means of salvation, Jesus’s blood and body, are not given freely but only to those who pay. Thus, Christ’s work on our behalf is no longer effective by grace through faith and these churches might as well be selling indulgences.


Trying to Dress up Tithing Doctrines as Grace Doesn’t Make Them any Less Deadly

I recently listened to a sermon by Joseph Prince, one of the most influential grace preachers in the world today, called God’s Plan to Prosper You In The End Times.[15] He teaches that God’s plan to provide for us and our families is through the tithe. He states that tithing is God’s way of protecting us and our possessions, as well as enriching us in every area of our lives. (“Every area” includes the spiritual and emotional aspects as well as financial, since he includes marriages, parenting, family, and relationships.)

Prince says tithing is not out of obligation but then quotes Malachi with the interpretation “non-tithing Christians are God-robbers,” which is another example of cognitive dissonance. If failing to tithe is robbing God, tithing is an obligation. Prince implies that people will see God’s glory on us because we tithe, and teaches that tithing opens the heavens over us and delivers us from the curse of Genesis. He tries to dress up the tithe as grace by saying that God doesn’t curse us for not tithing, but failure to tithe puts us under the curse on the ground because of Adam’s sin. (Is the threat of remaining under a curse “obligation?”)

Prince says that we return to God by giving tithes and offerings, which implies that we are away from God without tithes and offerings. No wonder my friends acted as if I was backsliding by failing to pay a tithe! And no wonder I felt like I couldn’t approach God without my tithe! This is some of the most “grace-based” teaching in the Charismatic church on tithing, and it’s still deadly!

I don’t have anything against Joseph Prince any more than I have against the apostle Peter, who got carried away with the circumcision faction. I’m pointing out that my concerns aren’t just with some extremists who take tithing “too far.” The modern tithe teaching, especially the Malachi-based version, is poisonous at its roots. The subtitle on Prince’s sermon notes says “Jesus our Passover Lamb is the reason we can be protected, healthy, and blessed.” True. Then he goes on to teach that our tithe delivers us from the curse of Adam’s sin and brings God’s protection and blessing.

Stop for a minute and think about that. The tithe delivers us from the curse of sin? If we need the tithe to deliver us from the curse of Adam’s sin, then Jesus’s blood wasn’t enough to completely accomplish it or to completely undo the effects of Adam’s sin. If that were the case the first Adam (in Genesis) would be greater than the last Adam (Jesus). If we need tithes to experience prosperity in every area including our relationships, marriages, and family life, the blood of Jesus was not enough to fully bring redemption to these areas.

If we, as full-gospel believers, understand that protection, health, blessing, and deliverance from the curse of sin are part and parcel of salvation and then we say we have to tithe to get them, we are presenting salvation by tithing. My Bible says that the blood of Jesus is enough for God to reconcile all things to himself!


Colossians 1:19-20  “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.


Notice that Prince talked about redemption through Jesus’s blood, but then talked about the need to tithe in order to actually experience that redemption. I remember reading Jehovah’s Witness literature a few times. It talks about a lot of orthodox truth, like Jesus as the Lamb of God dying for our sins. What happens is that people put their guard down and start to listen, and they don’t realize as they go on how truth starts to be distorted. If you haven’t been warned and don’t yet know about all their teachings, some of which the literature does not immediately present, it takes discernment to recognize the deception creeping in.

Similarly, tithe teachings come cloaked in good intentions. People warm up to the error without fully considering what it implies. Orthodox statements bring their guard down. But like a cold-blooded frog in a pot on the fire doesn’t feel any difference if the temperature is raised slowly, they begin to increasingly accept error. What was implied now is stated blatantly. Soon it is not only your financial blessing, but your entrance into heaven that is secured by the tithe. And if the frog is suddenly snatched out of the nearly boiling water, the sudden change in temperature makes it feel as if the pot of boiling water was the norm, was right, and something is dreadfully wrong outside of it.

I don’t have to wait long at all when I share something questioning the modern tithe tradition for people to come out of the woodwork saying things like “Tithing is Christianity 101,” and “You’re teaching heresy!,” or even worse, “You’re on the highway to hell!” These statements prove that such people have come to see tithing as a foundation of the Christian faith, a doctrine as fundamental as the deity of Christ or the resurrection from the dead.

The abundance of people who make such statements shows the extent of the problem in which many Christians are building their house on tithes instead of on Christ, the only true foundation that can be laid.[16] And if so many people will say such things to a person who questions tithing, imagine how many more Christians feel that they themselves would be in hell if not for their tithes but they can now make it into heaven because of their tithes?

The specific issue of the controversy in Galatians was circumcision, but the broader issue was the law. The specific issue today is now tithing, but the broader issue is exactly the same.


Galatians 5:7-9  You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”


Matthew 16:6-8, 11-12  “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? … How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.


Do you think I’m blowing this thing way out of proportion? Let’s consider the extent to which the yeast is already working through the whole batch and this slippery, subtle deception has led to the acceptance of even more blatant and explicit teachings of salvation by tithing. It only takes a little bit of leaven, a little bit of subtle error dressed up as truth, to work through the whole batch of dough. What I’m about to share still shocks me, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg and it causes me great concern for the state of the church.

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[1]Narramore, Matthew E. Tithing: Low-Realm, Obsolete & Defunct. Graham, NC: Takoa Pub., 2004. Chapter 10

[2] Mark 6:56

[3] Acts 27

[4] Psalm 5:12

[5] Ephesians 1:3

[6] Burkett, Larry. Giving and Tithing – Includes Serving and Stewardship. Moody Press, 1999. Pg. 36

[7] Isaiah 54:6

[8] Ephesians 1:3

[9] Matthew 5:45

[10] Luke 6:35

[11] Brits, Bertie Healing For The Financially Abused (Tithing Will Kill You) Online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcyYnrQp7YA. Accessed December 3rd, 2019. Also in his book: Brits, Bertie. Jesus Is the Tithe: the Message of God. South Africa: Bertie Brits, 2019. Chapter 2.

[12] Debate between Rev. Ewuosho and Dr. Russel Earl Kelly Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okw70Ron6CQ Accessed August 7th, 2019

[13] Matthew 23:23

[14] Galatians 3:12

[15] Prince, Joseph. God’s Plan To Prosper You In The End Times. August 26, 2018. Sermon notes online: https://www.josephprince.com/sermon-notes/gods-plan-to-prosper-you-in-the-end-times Accessed December 18th, 2019

[16] 1 Corinthians 3:11