Some time ago I had a long conversation with a pair of highly educated people. Their background in both education, experience, and work life would be impressive to pretty much anyone. I readily admit that I felt a bit outclassed. They quickly moved the conversation to the importance and even requirement to read the Bible in the original languages to get a proper understanding. To this I gave multiple rebuttals. Standing toe to toe with this couple was super interesting but a bit frustrating at the same time. Please understand me in that I am in no way saying I am smarter or more intelligent that this couple. I however do not agree with the notion that a Christian must read Greek to understand the scriptures properly. I simply point over my shoulder to 2000 years of theologians that wrote their own Lexicons and Greek testaments along with Greek primers and dictionaries. These Greek experts from their various denominations have NOT brought Christianity as a whole any closer together on scores of foundational doctrines. The arguments continue to this day. After about an hour or so of this conversation I asked a simple question of this impressive couple. The question was this; What Bible doctrine can I not understand properly without the ability to read the Greek or Hebrew language? Crickets…… No response........ Then the response that followed was something to the effect of; We would need to just sit down and read the Bible together. They had no answer to what should have been a simple question. My point is this; Preachers every Sunday and Wednesday all throughout the world rob their congregations of the perfection found in the King James Bible. Preachers every week sow the seeds of unbelief in Christians when they look for the translation that they think says it better. Preachers every week teach UNBELIEF in the Bible as they tell people they need to interpret it because they went to seminary. Preachers bring upon themselves the disapproval from God himself for having the audacity to suggest that God gave us a book that needs fixed or corrected by every perversion that comes out claiming to be more accurate while lining the pockets of the publishing companies. I will definitively give you the key to Bible understanding right now. Even my simple mind can grasp the depth of it. It is BELIEF. The Bible requires and expects you to believe it. This is quite the task these days when your preacher reads from three different versions during one sermon because he “likes” the way one version says it. Who cares what you like? Who are you? What right do you have to decide how the Holy Spirit of God should have said it? Dispensational Bible study is the key to understanding the Bible because dispensational Bible study is the result of Believing the Bible LITERALLY. If you take a literal approach to Bible study, you can only end up being a dispensationalist. The new versions of the Bible change, pervert or remove the verses that teach you how to understand the Bible properly. Where does this leave the Christian in the pew? Wide eyed in the pew at the impressive knowledge of their pastor but clueless when they read the Bible for themselves. Crickets can be annoying. A shot of brake cleaner shuts them up quick. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t understand your Bible without listening to them. The Bible rightly divided and read with a believing heart shuts them up quick.
Oh boy, here we go. I just completed a lesson series on tithing and how we should be giving today in the age of grace. I don’t recall much teaching on tithing growing up in church since I was about 6 years old. Seams to me that some preachers don’t talk about it at all and some harp on it too much. Then there is the Bible position which is to stop tithing! If you are worried about giving 10 percent of your income each pay period, you have been led astray or worse. Anyone telling you that the body of Christ today is required to give 10 percent of their income is just not telling you the truth. By the way Israel did not give just 10 percent. Tithing properly studied will reveal that Israel gave MUCH more than 10%. There were MANY requirements regarding money and income that Israel had to do. Everything from the Year of Jubilee to not harvesting the corners of their fields to paying an extra fifth of their tithe if they had to convert it to cash. I could easily argue using scripture that Israel gave closer to 30% of their income and this was required. Of-course preachers today know there not going to get this much from anyone, so they tell you stories about the “storehouse tithe” and not “robbing God”. Tithing is Israel’s program to care for the Levites because they did not get a land inheritance. Tithing in Israel’s program was for the poor. So basically, some of the tithing requirements were for Israel’s welfare program. There are NO priests today in the body of Christ and although most of us have given money to help others at different points in our life, this is NOT a tithe and NOT required today as something the “church” does. If you are being taught that you are to tithe a tenth of your income, you should study the subject yourself rightly dividing your Bible. People today think building a church is about beautiful auditoriums with state of the art sound systems, lighting, and movie screens so you don’t have to hold a hymnal. We need reminded today that we are not building buildings, we are to be building the body of Christ. Success is not measured in the size of the building or even the number of your church membership. Success is measured in the doctrine being taught from the pulpit. I understand a building is a great thing to have, but if you are told everyone must tithe to get one, then you have doctrinal problems and need to find a church that teaches right doctrine. Today we are to give. Paul teaches we are all to give. Paul teaches that we give from the heart as we have purposed in our heart. So, as with almost everything in scripture, it boils down to a heart issue. Tithing is a LAW requirement that we are not under today. No, we don’t give because Abram gave 10% of the spoils of a battle. Abram was in a covenant relationship with God, and we are not. We give because we have a heart to give. The amount we give is based on that relationship we have with Christ. The love of Christ constrains us. If the car breaks down during the week, God understands. If your child needs medicine God understands. If you’re struggling to make the car payment on that 2022 Corvette, well….. If you are being told to give a tithe and even being told its on the gross and not the net of your income as I have heard, you need to learn about the liberty we have in Christ. Yes, we should give, but NO we DO NOT tithe. Giving is from the heart as you purposed in your heart, tithing is a LAW that then requires you keep the WHOLE LAW. Paul called the Galatians foolish to put themselves back under the law. Why then would you do this?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul