“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” – 1 Tim 4:7
The definition of Godrobber according to pro-tithe churchianity, is: “Anyone who does not give at least ten percent of their income to a preacher or church.”
Let us forget the “Godrobber” name-calling tactics of pro-tithe preachers, and instead let Jesus himself identify for you who the real modern day God-robbers are by recognizing the importance of God’s apparent fondness for what appears to be His “chosen of the chosen people”, aka: the faithful poor and humble.
In Matthew 25:34-46 Jesus clearly identified himself with the least fortunate of the Israel people. “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these, the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me”;
This is speaking of those who chose to either help, or to neglect the poor. In other words, if you choose to feed or help a poor man or his family, it is counted as if you are vicariously feeding or helping a hungry Jesus (God incarnate) himself.
Charitable empathy should be a major Christian concept. After all, scripture tells us that helping those in need achieves any or all of the conditions included on the following partial list:
- Gains blessing and deliverance from God (Luke 11:41)
- Gains treasure in Heaven (Luke 12:33)
- Shows your obedience to the gospel (2Corinthians 9:12-13)
- Helps to detach us from worldly desires (James 1:27)
- Achieves a valid means of honoring God (Proverbs 14:31
- Is a true venue to express love and appreciation for Jesus in a manner that He Himself specified. Thus, it puts you a step closer to His right hand side in the Kingdom and a step further away from everlasting fire. (Matt 25:40)
Proverbs 14:31 says that you honor God by helping the poor (not the preacher). That is how scripture defines giving to God. Proverbs 28:27 and 29:7 support the idea.
Paul, as one example, gives diligence and priority to helping the poor in Galatians 2:9-10. He states that the Apostles John, James, and Peter insisted upon it.
Acts 6:2-4 indicates that the Apostles were spending so much time helping the poor that they didn’t have time to teach the Word. They did not just quit helping others because of this; instead they made sure these programs continued, by delegating to others these duties of feeding the poor. This responsibility was not just conferred to anyone, but to those exhibiting the selfless spirit needed to do the job right; those who enjoyed being of service. This indicates that helping others materially and in sincerity was a major feature of their ministry and not just something to push off on to undedicated lackeys.
We can better understand and apply the concept of Matthew 25:40 to our lives regarding the tithe subject, if we turn it around and paraphrase: “Inasmuch as you defrauded and robbed these, the least of my brethren, ye have defrauded and robbed Me” (God in the flesh).
In other words, those who neglect or refuse to help the needy are robbing Jesus. Whether or not they give to a church or preacher is completely irrelevant.
Those who convince people that “Giving to God” means giving to preachers or church organizations instead of giving to the poor, are robbing Jesus (God) and the defrauding the people.
Even an average, non-tithe, hireling preacher who simply asks for gifts or donations instead of a tithe, but fails to fully inform the congregation by routinely teaching the instructions of Matt 25 about the priority of giving to the poor first; are by their neglect and omission, tacitly engaging in the God-robbing.
The flipside of that concept is that anyone, preacher or not, feigning poverty or need in order to take advantage of the generosity of others is likewise robbing God.
Preachers are personally responsible for the fraud of their teachings, since they know better or should know better than to promote a tithe. Their lack of plausible denial is in direct proportion to how heavily they have promoted themselves as being “rulers”, “authorities”, “seers”, “prophets”, “Law teachers”, “Doctors of Divinity”, or Bible college graduates, etc. as a means of creating leverage over others.
1Peter 5:21 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.“
John 9:39-41 “And Jesus said, For judgment came I into this world, that they that see not may see; and that they that see may become blind.
Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said unto him, Are we also blind? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would have no sin: but now ye say, We see: your sin remaineth.”
If preachers said “hey, I’m as clueless as the rest of you, but here is my opinion…” that would be one thing. However, just as in the scripture quoted above, today’s preachers also say “we see” by the self-promoted presupposition that they know what they are talking about. That is what they base their elevated position as preacher upon.
By proclaiming their perceived superior scriptural understanding and by asserting their alleged authority as a pastor or other religious leader, they are also imputing to themselves the responsibility that what they are teaching is in fact scripturally accurate. They are also accepting responsibility for the consequences of their preaching, whether good or bad. That word “remaineth” in the above scripture means that it stays permanently, like a tattoo. So false teaching is a sin that is not to be taken lightly.
Zechariah 13:3-6 “And it shall come to pass that, when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of Jehovah; and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he prophesieth; neither shall they wear a hairy mantle to deceive: but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondman from my youth.
And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds between thine arms? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
When the truth of this becomes known and people want accountability, don’t be surprised if the preachers try to slide off the rock and evade all responsibility for this false doctrine that they so adamantly promoted in the past. “Me? A preacher? No, I’m a …farmer, yeah, that’s the ticket. I’m a farmer and never was a preacher… I must just look like him… you got the wrong guy!”
James 3:13-15 “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
James is talking about leading by example. “Selfish ambition” includes seeking materialistic wealth, and it would certainly tie in to the act of promoting a fraudulent tithe when it mentions those who “lie against the truth”. I mean, this is a pretty straightforward scripture, so let us apply it to those who claim to have wisdom or authority.
Acts 8:20-21 “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased [or sold] with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”
Trust Them Not
I will guess that by now you have picked up on the idea that I am not too keen on the integrity of these people who preach, and who claim to be Christian “authorities” or “leaders”, and you are right. I place them quite low on the totem pole of respectability and trustworthiness, and I think you should do the same. That is because as previously shown, there are so many hireling impostors in preaching positions today that the default prejudice has to be “untrustworthy until proven otherwise”.
Just as politicians, and various law enforcement persons are traitors to the Constitution that they had sworn to uphold, so also do paid preachers disregard the constraints and accountability put on them by the scriptures from the very Bible that they claim to love and teach.
I abide by Paul’s instruction of “honor to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:7), which indicates that honor is not due to just anyone and everyone. His instructions imply that honorability must first be demonstrated, or at least that indications of dishonorable traits in that person should be absent.
Conversely, a predisposition of many people to believe the speaker makes that audience easy meat for a deceiver. Prudence dictates that anyone trying to influence others should be eyed with suspicion and kept at an arms length, particularly if they have something to gain by it one way or another. Wariness or even cynicism is a healthier approach than having an ambivalent opinion or a low standard for acceptance of information as fact. At least a suspicious posture enables a person to judge what is said more critically and thus more honestly than if they were encumbered with the sense-dulling condition of friendship or trust of the preacher.
Gideon for example, was instructed to pick only the wary men for his mission (Judges 7:5-6), yet I see groups with Gideon nicknames (“Gideon Army”, “Gideon Elite”, etc) who are so un-wary (of their preachers) it is ridiculous. The responsible thing to do, hard as it may be for some, is to keep your emotional distance from your preacher. Then again, this may not be all that difficult, since intelligent, pointed, rational questioning of his teachings will make the preacher want to keep his distance from you.
People tend to believe what they want to believe, and they want to believe that a friend would not lie to them. This relationship results in lots of mental excuses for the preacher’s behavior, and a minimum of questions as to his questionable doctrines. It certainly causes any verbalized doubt as to his basic integrity or motives to be strictly verboten. I mean, saying something like “It appears that you are a liar and a thief.” is not exactly the best way to maintain a friendship. So make Truth your best friend, and let those of perceived authority fall in line behind it where they may.
In the face of questionable teachings, inaction on your part is an action; one that you are accountable for. By giving any preacher a pass on teachings that you have contrary evidence for, you become a partner to the false teachings. Your silence gives your consent, as they say. That being said, do not expect any changes to their behavior as a result of your critical input, except to the extent that you have washed your hands of their sin. You can let them prove to you which side of the fence they are on. Five will get you ten that they continue their false teachings.
Godrobbing Preachers Rob You Too
We have covered the numerous scriptures indicating that, as a spiritual matter, blessing comes from your act of giving and caring for the needs of others, (“It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35). As we have seen, the concept of giving to any preacher, just because he is a preacher, does not harmonize with any of these scriptures at all.
Not unless he happens to be poor, sincere, and has sacrificed what he had for the sake of his ministry much like the Apostles did, and as described in Matthew Chapter 10. If he has enough to maintain his daily needs and cover his expenses of helping others, that is all he should want, and that is all that scripture allows.
If and when the time comes that you do meet a true man of God like that, your support for them would be invaluable. It makes those who provide such basic kindness a co-heir with that Godly person’s reward.
Matthew 10:41-42 “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little [humble] ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
This obviously has nothing to do with today’s paid preachers, however.
The Big Question that must be asked is: Could it possibly be, that the reason the scriptural emphasis on helping and giving to each other, particularly Matthew 25, is so extremely under-stated if not totally ignored by preachers, is because they feel that if we understood it, it might cause us to divert tithe money to the poor, as the Word instructs, and away from the preachers?
In other words: Their weekly take might be less if preachers are no longer the main object of your giving efforts because you instead followed the instructions of Jesus on giving to the needy. Alternatively, the preacher will make more money if they preach the tithe, or if they preach the fallacy that giving to the church organization is in some way synonymous with giving to God.
The financial gain that is the result of you giving to them, is at the direct expense of the scripturally promised blessing that you would have gotten, had you instead given to the poor.
So then, what is the moral heritage of “honoring God with your wealth” as instructed by scripture, as opposed to modern man-made tithing?
If you honor God by unselfishly helping others, you are blessed with the treasure in Heaven as promised in scripture, as God sees all that you do. The other person is blessed materially by what you have given them, and may some day help you or others in return. They then ask for blessings upon you in their prayers in addition to your initial blessing from God. Do not underestimate the power of the blessings, good will, and prayers that people have for others.
Do you really think that the automatic word of thanks from the preacher, or the generic form letter and tax receipt from the church office acknowledging your tithe money, holds an equal spiritual weight as the heartfelt appreciation of the truly needy?
How can tithing or giving to a preacher achieve a spiritual benefit, when it is not scriptural? It really makes no practical sense at all. It is no more scriptural or spiritually beneficial than if you bought the Brooklyn Bridge from your preacher. That is because in either case all you are paying for is a story; a belief, valid or not, that you have gained something by hearing the preacher’s schpiel. You can rationalize all you want as to the supposed benefits of this tither/preacher transaction, but they are only man-made reasoning and self-delusion. Pro-tithe assertions as to a supposed beneficial effect of tithing are often only opinions expressing exaggerated claims, misrepresented scriptures, and having no true validity whatsoever
Tithing may in some cases give a good feeling that an alleged obligation has been fulfilled and thus lifted from the shoulders of the giver, but it gains no more of a true blessing than does giving to the presidential election fund. Like dogs barking up the wrong tree, your good intentions alone do not count.
Just as Matthew 10:41 extends the reward of the holy men to those who gave them physical support, so also would we expect that those who support the false preachers to have a share in their reward.
The preacher gains the money that you give him. He pays his bills and keeps the rest; giving a very small fraction of that to the needy. They then bless him because they think he is such a great guy for giving them a pittance of what they might have gotten from you if you had known and acted upon your true scriptural obligation in the first place.
So by tithing or giving to a preacher, you have allowed this giant parasitic leech to plop himself right smack into the middle of God’s plan. This entity is detrimental to both the givers and to the valid would-be receivers, since both suffer for the sake of the middleman: the preacher. He sucks up 95% of the benefit to the needy, while short circuiting and destroying the proper blessing flow that is supposed to go to the givers. Very much like government welfare systems do.
Anyone who tithes regularly, but is ignorant of, or minimizes Matthew 25:34-46 with its priority to compassion for the needy and the associated ramifications, will have been robbed of any commendation that they might otherwise have had for themselves when it comes time for the Judgement; they lost their treasure in Heaven because they made their deposits into the wrong account.
“But Judge, I tithed every single week…” they might say. Then the Judge says “…and your point is? What has that got to do with the price of beans, righteousness, and what I clearly instructed? I told you how to inherit the Kingdom in plain language. I even emphasized it by pointing out what will happen if you don’t do it. You chose instead to idolize and gain social acceptance with your false preacher more than you believed my instructions. Next case…”